Star power? The 2021 Fragrance Foundation Awards, which was streamed live today to an audience of more than 3,000 viewers globally, had it—and then some. The celebrity-studded affair celebrated this year’s winners and nominees in 22 categories, toasting creativity, innovation, and achievement in all aspects of the fragrance industry.
The event kicked off with a very special presentation of award-winning cinematographer—and Fragrance Foundation artistic collaborator—Louie Schwartzberg’s work by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Schwartzberg’s breathtaking time-lapse films of flowers were the dazzling centerpiece of Fragrance Day 2021 and an integral part of TFF communications and social posts throughout the year. His short film, Gratitude, spoke for so many in such a challenging time—and, as Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy said in her opening remarks, “We are now about to emerge more resilient than ever.”
Fragrance Foundation Chairman of the Board Jerry Vittoria welcomed attendees, highlighting how the pandemic showed the world how important fragrance could be by bringing positivity and comfort at a time when it was so sorely needed. “Now more than ever the benefits of fragrances are recognized by all,” he said. “Seduction and romance are well and good, but there are so many emotions we can activate to capture a far greater number of consumers. The feelgood factor of fragrance is a huge opportunity for our entire industry.”
And then the roll-call of wow-factor presenters began. First up was model, actress, and iconic face of Lancome Tresor Isabella Rossellini, who announced the winners for Editorial Excellence in Print and Digital (Town & Country, “It Smells Good in Here,” and townandcountry.com, “How Signature is Your Signature Scent?,” which were accepted by Beauty Director April Long). Designer Narciso Rodriquez presented Fragrance of the Year Universal Prestige (winner: Tom Ford Black Orchid, accepted by Nathalie Berger Duquene, Senior Vice President Global Marketing Tom Ford Beauty), and Fragrance of the Year, Universal Luxury (Byredo Tobacco Mandarin, accepted by Julien Gommichon, President Americas Diptyque and Byredo). Editor, author and style icon André Leon Talley began his segment with a shout-out to fellow presenter Dolly Parton for her contribution to vaccine development—“You are our heroine”—and revealed that he has been working on his own scent with Firmenich. He announced the winners for Fragrance of the Year Prestige (Giorgio Armani My Way, accepted by Priyanka Newkirk, Vice President Marketing L’Oreal, Armani Beauty), and Fragrance of the Year, Women’s Luxury (Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden A Chant for the Nymph, accepted by Jordan Saxemard Vice President Marketing, Gucci Beauty, Coty).
Thom Browne, winner of last year’s Indie Fragrance of the Year Award, presented the awards for Packaging of the Year, Prestige/Popular (Marc Jacobs Perfect Eau de Parfum, accepted by Aleksandra Mainka, Senior Director, Luxury, Marketing and Local Brand Management, Coty), and Packaging of the Year, Luxury (Christian Louboutin Loubirouge, accepted by Jessica Fang, Brand Manager, Marketing ,Christian Louboutin Beauty, Puig).
The woman, the legend Dolly Parton took the mic for Fragrance of the Year, Candle & Home Holiday (Nest New York Blue Cypress & Snow, accepted by Laura Slatkin, Founder, Executive Chairman of Nest New York) effusing joy and warmth as she expressed the happy feelings that fragrance can create around special occasions. She then presented the Perfume Hall of Fame Award for Lancome Tresor to Isabella Rossellini, who told a story about how she had fallen in love with Tresor upon first sniff, without yet knowing that perfumer Sofia Grossman had been inspired by her mother’s great film Casablanca when creating it.
Interparfums CEO and co-founder Phillipe Benacim was inducted into the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame with a short film and congratulatory introduction from Nicolas Mirzayantz, who highlighted how Benacim has created a legacy in the world of perfume and fashion while also being known for his generosity, compassion, and killer sense of style. Benacim closed his own remarks with a quote from the late Alber Elbaz: “Success is like a perfume. We can smell it, but never drink it.”
Alicia Keys, who said that for her, “scent is a deep, beautiful way to connect with each other,” presented the winning Indie Fragrance of the Year (Arquiste Misfit, accepted by Carlos Huber, Creator & Founder of Arquiste Parfumeur) and Levy returned to reveal Fragrance of the Year Popular (Ariana Grande R.E.M., accepted by Noreen Dodge, CMO Luxe Brands). Dedicated scent lover Marc Jacobs opened the virtual envelopes for Fragrance of the Year Men’s Prestige (Dior Homme Eau de Toilette, accepted by Tim Halle Marketing Director Parfums Christian Dior) and Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Luxury (Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Roman Wood, Eau de Parfum, accepted by Patrice Beliard, Global Brand President, Estée Lauder Companies).
The 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award went to super-achieving Calice Becker, the nose behind such blockbusters as Tommy Girl and Dior J’Adore and the Vice President Perfumer and Director of the Givaudan Perfumery School. She was feted for her creativity, dedication, vision, entrepreneurship, and endless curiosity by friends and colleagues including Kilian Hennessy, Ann Gottlieb, Rodrigo Flores-Roux, and Gilles Andrier from Givaudan.
Designer Christian Siriano presented the gongs for Media Campaign of the Year, Women’s (Marc Jacobs, Perfect, accepted by Fred Arbel, Senior Vice President, US Marketing Luxury, Coty) and Media Campaign of the Year, Men’s (Calvin Klein CK Everyone, accepted by Mainka). Rossellini reappeared to present the award for Perfume Extraordinaire (Scents of Wood Plum in Cognac, accepted by Pascal Gaurin, VP Senior Perfumer IFF who created Scents of Wood) and Innovative Fragrance Product of the Year (Diptyque Electric Wall Diffuser Baies, accepted by Julien Gommichon).
The Awards concluded in a suitably memorable way, with pop phenomenon than Kylie Minogue, who presented the winners for Consumer’s Choice, Candle & Home Collection of the Year (Boy Smells Slow Burn by Boy Smells x Kacey Musgraves, accepted by Matthew Herman, Co-founder and Creator of Boy Smells), Consumer’s Choice, Men’s Fragrance of the Year (Calvin Klein CK Everyone, accepted by Fred Arbel), Consumer’s Choice Women’s Popular Fragrance of the Year (Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Passion, accepted by Greg Unis, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Beauty), and Consumer’s Choice Women’s Prestige Fragrance of the Year (Marc Jacobs Perfect Eau de Parfum, accepted by Fred Arbel).
In all, the Fragrance Foundation Awards 2021 were a dazzling testament to the passion and creativity behind fragrance, and the dedication and innovation that makes the fragrance industry such a unique and beautiful world. Perhaps it was summed up best by Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Calice Becker, who said, “A fragrance created with joy will bring a lot of joy.”
Featured Artist Louie Schwartzberg
At the 2021 Fragrance Foundation Awards, Louie Schwartzberg, award winning cinematographer, director and producer, who is TFF’s 2021 collaborative partner, was welcomed officially to the global fragrance community. TFF showcased his awe-inspiring work of floral photography and timelapse videos throughout the event and shared his inspiration between humans, nature and the environment. “Beauty is nature’s tool for survival because we protect what we love,” said Louie Schwartzberg.
Learn more about Louie’s work at www.movingart.com.