Written by Jim Shi
If April showers bring May flowers, then it is sure to be one fragrant spring season!
Industry leaders both from the fragrance and editorial worlds braved a morning rain to gather at 583 Park Avenue for The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018 Finalists’ Luncheon — a prelude to the highly-anticipated Fragrance Foundation Awards on June 12, which will be hosted by none other than actress, television personality and Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski.
Helping kick off the event was Jerry Vittoria, Head of Fine Fragrance Worldwide at Firmenich and Chairman of the Board of The Fragrance Foundation. “Our finalists represent the best of this industry and everyone should be extremely proud,” he said, before welcoming Fragrance Foundation president Linda G. Levy.
Ann Gottlieb, celebrated perfume strategist, was announced as the 2018 Hall of Fame Honoree. Ms. Gottlieb and Firmenich’s Olivier Cresp, recipient of the Perfumer Lifetime Achievement Award, will both be honored at The Fragrance Foundation Awards.
Levy made note of the Fragrance Foundation Awards’ reach — over one billion consumers — and shared detail the results of a personal point of pride for her: the first official Fragrance Day.
Plans are already underway to expand Fragrance Day — March 21 — globally in 2019. If 2018 (blizzard and all) was any indication of the results — ranging from a 21-day countdown on Instagram to an art mural by Marco Santini in Bushwick, Brooklyn — it’s sure to be an international blockbuster. “We increased our social media following by 15 percent in three weeks, gained 2,000 followers and reached a combined following of 400 million people!” Levy announced.
Victoria’s Secret Angel Romee Strijd received the second-annual Face of the Year Award presented by Greg Unis, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Beauty.
“It’s a big honor to be the Face of the Year since I’ve been obsessed with fragrances since I was young; I would always look at all these commercials wanting to be the face of a fragrance one day [as a model],” said Strijd, who added that, as a child, her mother would always bring home a fragrance for her from her travels. “And the same for Victoria’s Secret, it’s always been a dream to work with them… so to combine those two together and be a face of not just one Victoria’s Secret fragrance, but multiple ones, is a real honor.”
Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage Awards were handed out in three categories: Article, Online and Feature. Elle Magazine won both the Article and Feature categories for “Dream Catchers” and “This Is Your Brain on Vetiver,” both by April Long, respectively, while TheCut.com’s Kathleen Hou won the Online category for “It Took 150 Tries for Dior to Make Their Next Hit Perfume for Millennials.”
Parfums Christian Dior’s campaign for Miss Dior Eau De Parfum won the award for the best Social Media Campaign, while Gucci Bloom by Coty was voted as best 360- Degree Marketing Campaign.
In addition to the introduction of a new Home Collection of the Year category, luncheon attendees also were privy to a first: electronic voting for the Popular, Prestige and Luxury categories for Fragrance of the Year, adding an extra competitive edge to the festivities.
Pivoting to a more philanthropic note, Levy recognized two new categories for the Foundation: Consumer Experience, highlighting activities by RPG & Macy’s & TFF, Gucci, Cartier, Perfumarie and YSL Beauty, and Give Back, citing NEST, PHLUR, Dior, Givaudan, Mane, Firmenich and IFF for their community-minded charitable efforts.
“It’s always a delight having the whole fragrance community together to celebrate the awards, not to mention the fabulous reactions to the give back and consumer experience recognitions. They really loved that new dimension because there’s so much going on in the community,” said Levy. “What I really like is the fact that everyone really wants to join hands and put all of their energy and force together to give to the consumer.”
All that pomp and circumstance will reach a fevered pitch come Tuesday, June 12, when all winners will be celebrated at The Fragrance Foundation Awards’ black-tie gala at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. All winners will be announced that evening.
“You can expect the elegant, first-class event we’re known for hosting,” said Levy. “There will be new things we’ll be offering, but you won’t know what until June 12!”
A special thank you to our sponsors: Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Women’s Health, Coty, Estée Lauder Companies, Firmenich, Givaudan, IFF, MANE, Puig, Revlon/Elizabeth Arden, Robertet, Victoria’s Secret.