February 19, 2020

Fragrance Day Press Event

Rebecca Moses – Kelly Taub/BFA

By: April Long

What delights you more: the notion of cotton candy hair, strawberry shoes, or a patchouli necklace? The fragrance insiders, perfumers, and media who attended last night’s big reveal of the Fragrance Foundation’s exciting multi-media International Fragrance Day 2020 campaign at the Italian Trade Commission discussed these questions and more as they enjoyed an exhibition of enchanting, fragrance-focused works by world-renown artist and designer Rebecca Moses.

Like so many great artworks, love connections, and mesmerizing fragrances, the story behind Moses’s collaboration with the Fragrance Foundation began in Italy, said Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy. Many years ago, Moses had created paintings inspired by the captivating scents of Capri, a place very close to her heart; and when Levy saw them on a visit to Moses’ studio in 2017, the idea for what would become the centerpiece of this year’s International Fragrance Day celebration was born. Levy commissioned Moses to create seven artworks, each of which celebrate a different scent category—floral, fresh, citrus, fruity, woody, sweet, and spicy—in the form of a colorful, exuberant woman adorned in aromatic ingredients. “I wanted them to be joyful, to have big personalities, and to really reflect what each note is all about,” said Moses, as she talked the rapt audience through the inspiration behind each image.

The cotton-candy-haired Sweet woman, with a vanilla necklace and a coconut bra “likes laughter,” Moses said; the elegant Floral personification, with a skirt of roses and a tuberose headpiece, was inspired “by an 18th century lady in Versailles.” Each of the large-scale paintings were matched with a trio of scent experiences—single notes chosen to be representative of each scent family, such as grapefruit or lavender—to draw the viewer in even more deeply.

Moses’s works will be at the heart of International Fragrance Day 2020, said Levy, with whimsical videos in which the illustrations come to life—dancing, blowing bubbles of chewing gum, donning sunglasses—accompanying the awareness initiative on social media and beyond. But although International Fragrance Day itself will fall—as always—on March 21st, Levy announced that this year it will explode into an entire week of celebration and engagement.

The entire extravaganza will be touted on social media by brands, fragrance houses, influencers and supporters. “We want to talk to consumers about what ingredients mean, and this a wonderful way to communicate in an entertaining way but also in a very intelligent way how fragrances are made. We believe that fragrance is an invisible art and this will allow us to go somewhere we’ve never been before.”