Watch the Virtual Ceremony:
By: April Long
On February 10th, The Fragrance Foundation welcomed the Notables class of 2021 with a virtual ceremony that celebrated the talented individuals bringing extraordinary energy and vision to the fragrance industry, from marketing to account management to development and perfume creation. Jerry Vittoria, Chairman of the Fragrance Foundation and President of Fine Fragrances Worldwide, Firmenich, opened the evening—which marked the first TFF event of 2021—by offering his perspective on the state of the fragrance industry and of the Fragrance Foundation itself, reiterating the organization’s commitment to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative that was launched in 2020. “Who cannot be incredibly optimistic about fragrance in the next year?” he said, congratulating the 13 new Notables. “Our Notables always inspire me, and always reassure me that the future of fragrance is in very dynamic hands.”
Fragrance Foundation President, Linda G. Levy then took the mic, thanking sponsors Coty, Dior, Firmenich, Givaudan, L’Oreal, MANE, NEST New York, and Shiseido, and outlining how the growing Notables network plays such an important role within the Fragrance Foundation community by providing input and ideas that influence strategy and event planning. Levy applauded Fragrance Foundation Senior Director Sharné Jackson for her work on tonight’s event—including orchestrating a slide show of the Notables and a playlist of their individual “theme” songs—and Jackson spoke about the vital contributions that Notables have made to the Fragrance Foundation as well as to their individual companies. She highlighted their enthusiasm about the 2021 education program, in which they will serve as mentors, connecting with universities and speaking about their work. “Our Notables with their passion for this industry will be instrumental in supporting this program by inspiring young people about the opportunities in this fabulous industry,” she said.
It was then on to the true heart of the event, in which the new Notables are introduced by those who nominated them. Adam Banfield, Vice President North America, BYREDO congratulated CeCe Conner, Marketing Manager, BYREDO, calling out her achievement across categories including cosmetics, fragrance, and her work on the brand’s bath and body line, thanks to “her tenacious spirit, her ability to lead a team, as well as her relentless pursuit of excellence.” Robin Mason, SVP US Shiseido Fragrances & Global Tory Burch introduced Andrea Duarte, Director, Integrated Communications, Shiseido as “a behind the scenes phenomenon” who “graciously delivers with excellence every single time,” and Duarte in her acceptance speech recalled how her childhood in Guatemala and the scents she encountered on her global travels impacted the way she approaches her work. Sophie Bensamou, VP Creation, Fine Fragrance NA, Symrise, heralded her Notable, Chantell Gerena, Fragrance Development Director, Symrise, as someone who is “constantly looking to enrich her olfactive vocabulary” and spotlighting her inspiring work as a mentor to interns. Parfums Christian Dior Senior Marketing Director Fragrance Jennifer Moon praised Notable Tim Halle, Marketing Director Men’s Fragrance & Maison Christian Dior, for the “passion, creativity, and leadership that makes him an unstoppable force.” Asha Coco, VP Sales and Business Development, Givaudan expressed her amazement at how Notable Sophia LaDouceur, Junior Account Manager, Givaudan, started her first day in March 2020, also the first day that the work from home order was instated, and yet “persevered in the face of challenges” to make her mark. Lauren Rooney, Vice President Marketing, Fine Fragrance, Firmenich, said that Notable Jessica Leslie, Senior Marketing Manager, Firmenich, is “like some of the best fragrances we create, a paradigm of soft strength, able to command a room with steadfast confidence and charisma.”
Alexandre Choueiri, Global President, Ralph Lauren Fragrances L’Oreal shared that Notable Minkie Liou, Director Global Marketing Ralph Lauren Fragrances, L’Oreal, “never misses an opportunity to express her creativity.” Ken Kasegrande, Vice President, Creation & Technical Services at MANE reflected on on Aurore Mane’s life growing up in the Mane family and her determination to be a part of the legacy and become a perfumer; and Mane herself shared that “being a perfumer is not just about being talented, or gifted, or having a good nose. Being a perfumer is to embrace who you are, your emotions – to let go of fear, be bold, trust your intuition.” Maria Dempsey, CEO, NEST Fragrances New York hailed Notable Caitlin McCarthy, Senior Director Fragrance Marketing, NEST Fragrances New York for her “talent and common sense”; Jordan Saxemard, Vice President Marketing, US Luxury Division, Coty (2018 Notable) called Notable Nico Mossa, Marketing Director Gucci Fragrances, Coty, “extremely relatable, driven, and resilient – the whole package.” Isabel Lopes, Creative Center Director, IFF, brought to life Notable IFF Perfumer Mackenzie Reilly’s extraordinary creations and “their ability to transport you to nature in high definition.” Aleksandra Mainka, Senior Director Marketing at Coty Luxury said that Notable Rhita Squali, Sales Operations and Channel Strategy Director, US Luxury, Coty, was proof that “with the right attitude there are no obstacles to success”; and lastly, Simone Bolotin (2019 Notable), Senior Director, US PR and Influencer Marketing, Luxury Division, Coty, praised Notable Lindsay Tomaro, Senior Manager, PR and Influencer Marketing, Coty for her “professionalism and preparedness” when working on brands such as Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Tiffany & Co, saying that “her analytical mind, collaborative spirit, enthusiasm, and humor make her a true Notable.”
The engaging and heartwarming evening ended with a wrap-up by Levy and Jackson, who warmly congratulated the new Notables, and announced that the Fragrance Foundation’s virtual programing has been such as success that there will always be a virtual element going forward, even into the fall of 2021 and beyond, when we will re-join together again in person to celebrate the fragrance industry and the talented individuals who make it such a special and rewarding place to build a career.
The 2021 Notables – Click below to watch each Notable accept their Award!
CeCe Conner, Marketing Manager, North America – BYREDO
Andrea Duarte, Director, Integrated Communications – Shiseido
Chantell Gerena, Fragrance Development Director – Symrise
Tim Halle, Marketing Director Fragrances – Christian Dior
Sophia Ladouceur, Junior Account Manager – Givaudan
Jessica Leslie, Senior Marketing Manager – Firmenich
Minkie Liou, Director Global Marketing, Ralph Lauren Fragrances – L’Oréal
Aurore Mane, Perfumer – MANE
Cailin McCarthy, Director, Marketing – NEST New York
Nico Mossa, Senior Marketing Manager, Gucci Fragrances – Coty Inc.
Mackenzie Reilly, Junior Perfumer – International Flavors & Fragrances
Rhita Squali, Sales Operations & Channel Strategy Director, US Luxury – Coty Inc.
Lindsay Tomaro, Senior Manager, PR and Influencer Marketing – Coty Inc.