Scents and Sensibility



On December 10th, The Fragrance Foundation will join forces with NEXT for AUTISM to host Pedal Power, an exciting, purpose-driven spin class to raise awareness and funds as its premiere Give Back event . What could possibly make this event even more special? It will be led by AARMY, a new fitness studio created by rock-star SoulCycle instructor Akin Akman, and behind-the-scenes fashion and beauty legend Trey Laird, whose creative agency Laird + Partners has masterminded countless ad campaigns for everyone from Tiffany & Co to Tom Ford. Laird is enthusiastic about harnessing the combined energy of the fragrance, fitness, and creative worlds for Pedal Power, which he has chosen to be the first-ever AARMY charity event. ACCORDS caught up with him to talk about how getting physical can change the world.

What’s the idea behind AARMY?

It’s a new fitness experience and a new fitness brand that has both a physical side and a digital side. I founded it with my partner, Akin Akman, who has been the number one SoulCycle instructor in the world for the last five or six years. He’s a phenomenal force in fitness with incredible background training to be a professional athlete. So, it’s about bringing pro athlete training to everyone—really pushing people to find their best and be their best with mental conditioning as well as physical conditioning, across multiple modalities that they can personalize based on their goals. It’s about inspiration and innovation, drive, and determination, in a very elevated setting, with this incredible, next-level coaching experience.

How did it all start?

Akin had always had a vision to do this. He was a child tennis prodigy, and he’s had this incredible experience of top-level training for virtually his entire life. But when he began his coaching career and started training people and working with different fitness brands, he couldn’t find anything that matched the quality, authenticity, drive, and determination that he was used to as a real athlete.

My background is that I’ve had an advertising, marketing, and branding agency, specializing primarily in fashion and beauty luxury goods. I’ve had that for about 17 years and spent my whole career building brands for other people, doing everything from Lauder and Tiffany and Tommy Hilfiger and Jimmy Choo and Tom Ford. It’s been amazing, but I’ve always wanted to be involved in a brand in a deeper way. I met Akin through his classes about seven years ago. We became really good friends, and realized that we wanted to do this together.

Why did you decide to kick it off with a pop-up location?

We’re officially launching in a permanent location early next year, along with our digital app. But as that’s under construction, we wanted to start teasing the experience. We wanted to make sure that Akin’s loyal followers had a place to train with him and his hand-selected coaches build some buzz. So we’re operating a pop-up for several months in advance of our official opening.

How did you get involved with NEXT for AUTISM?

I’ve known Laura and Harry for many years as well as Tommy and Dee Hilfiger. Tommy’s been a client for years and a very close friend. And I’ve worked with Laura and Harry on various projects for fashion and fragrance and have followed their journey with this issue. I actually didn’t know that they had this type of fundraiser, but when I showed Tommy what I was doing with AARMY, he called Laura, who he knew wanted to do a benefit ride, and said, we’ve got to do this with Trey and Akin. It’s really an incredible way to join forces, and it will be our first charity event at AARMY.

What can we expect from the event on December 10th?

What’s incredible about Akin’s philosophy is that you really, you really commit. It’s not just coming in, taking a class, leaving, and that’s it. It’s building a foundation for something that can have a big impact in your life. And when you think about being able to give back and the way that any single person can have an impact on change, I think that’s what NEXT for AUTISM has done too. They’ve engaged families and broader communities of people that have been affected by autism to step up and do their part and recognize that everybody collectively can make a difference. And when you do something physically and you push yourself physically, but at the same time you’re doing it for something bigger than yourself, it means more.

To be able to engage NEXT for AUTISM’s community and the Fragrance Foundation community as well as the AARMY community, and be able to say let’s like physically put ourselves out there and move this thing forward, I think is really inspiring. And Akin is a master and a genius of pushing people to find something inside themselves. We couldn’t think of a better purpose for our first event than doing this to help people that we know, as well as all of those whose lives have been affected by this in some way, shape, or form.

How many bikes do you have? You might need to get more!

We have 62. And, you know, it’s great when people write a check because anything helps. But if you do something physically, it’s like you’re literally putting your sweat into this and you’re asking people to get behind you and, and support you to support this cause. You’re putting yourself out there, and that takes it to the next level and makes it more meaningful for everyone. It’s going to be a great ride.



Scents and Sensibility



The Fragrance Foundation’s Give Back Charity of the Year, NEXT for AUTISM, has been fearlessly and resourcefully helmed by founder Laura Slatkin since 2003. Slatkin, revered in the fragrance world as the founder of NEST Fragrances (and the 2019 Fragrance Foundation Game Changer Award honoree), became a crusader for raising awareness for autism and funding treatment and research after her son was diagnosed in 2001. As The Fragrance Foundation and NEXT for AUTISM gear up for their first major fundraising event, Power Pedal, on December 10th, ACCORDS spoke to Slatkin about the charity’s greatest achievements and future plans. 

What does it mean to you to be partnering with The Fragrance Foundation on a cause so close to your heart?

We’re extremely excited to be the Give Back charity for The Fragrance Foundation this year. It’s an enormous honor to have our colleagues and our partners supporting our organization and getting involved and helping us raise awareness for the organization, raise funds and further our mission.

Linda has been an amazing leader of The Fragrance Foundation, and for me, receiving the Game Changer was another terrific honor because we’re so flattered to have been recognized for what we’ve done in the field of home fragrance. My husband Harry and I worked very hard over the past 25 years to build our brands and help other people build their brands, really getting home fragrance growing and thriving as a category. 

All of this gave Linda and I a terrific opportunity to get to know one another, and she was impressed with the work we do for autism. When she came up with this idea that she would highlight our organization with the Give Back program, I couldn’t have been happier.

How do you define the NEXT for AUTISM mission?

We’re dedicated to improving the lives of individuals that are affected by autism and their families. We decided to start NEXT for AUTISM because we were very disappointed back when our son was diagnosed to find that there was such a dearth of services in the community that we live. There were no state-of-the-art schools in Manhattan that followed the principles of applied behavioral analysis, which is the educational curriculum that is reputed to be best practice. We started by opening up the first charter school for children with autism in the state of New York. We partnered with Mayor Bloomberg and our school chancellor. They had over 10,000 kids affected by autism in the New York city public school system, and they needed our help to improve the services for this population. Our first charter school was in Harlem, because I knew that Harry and I could get all the resources that we needed, but what about that single mom living in Harlem with three kids, working three jobs to put food on the table? How was she dealing with a child with autism and how was she going to find a proper education for her child? We then went on to partner with Columbia University, Cornell University and NewYork-Presbyterian hospital to build a medical center that would treat individuals with autism across their lifespan from diagnosis through adulthood. And at that Institute, The Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, we accept all insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, all insurance, so no one gets turned away.

What are your ongoing goals?

We’ve always tried to partner with institutions that already are in the business of education or health care, and build a program that can scale up very quickly. We raise the money, we get these programs started, then they become self-sufficient, and we move on to the next issue. That’s why we’re called NEXT for AUTISM, because we’re always thinking about what’s next for this population? What else do they need? Now, for example, we’re focused on adulthood. So we’ve partnered with Arc of Westchester to build an adult program that contemplates how adults will live in our community and be a part of our community. If one out of 59 individuals are diagnosed with autism, we should be seeing them in our supermarkets and our movie theaters. That’s what we’re working on. Then there’s corporate consulting and we do employment programs and recreational programs.

What are you looking forward to most about the NEXT for AUTISM & Fragrance Foundation Power Pedal event?

We are always finding innovative ways to raise money to support the work that we do. So we’re doing this Power Pedal spin class with AARMY, which is a new training program that was started by Trey Laird, who has opened a pop up downtown. It’s kind of like the way one does a walk or a marathon. So, for example, I take a bike in this class and I pledge to either give or raise at least $5,000 and I send it to absolutely everybody in my email database asking them to support my ride. Obviously, we’ve partnered with The Fragrance Foundation, and when they had their recent board meeting everyone raised their hands unanimously that they would take a bike and participate. So we’re really, really excited about it. Tommy and Dee Hilfiger are co-chairing it with Trey Laird, Martha Stewart, myself and Harry and a bunch of friends and colleagues. We’re all going to have fun and raise money! 



Scents and Sensibility



Carly Cardellino Vaccaro is the beauty director for Cosmopolitan magazine, as well as its digital sister A true style and scent-loving tastemaker, Carly’s passion for perfume enhances the lives of readers she speaks to every day. Here, she celebrates the magic of her favorite fragrances, and reveals how the top trends in scent mirror the endless energy and transformative power of fashion.

I love fragrance, but it’s a tricky topic to talk about because it’s a very personal and subjective subject. One person’s whole entire day could be thrown off by the mere scent of rose, where another person craves a soft misting of the delicate flower. Me? I gravitate toward anything vanilla and musk (I’m looking at you, Cosmopolitan’s new Love, Unfiltered Eau de Parfum)—I actually don’t even feel put together unless I spray one of the many concoctions I’ve hoarded over the years that blend the two accords together. My most recent favorites are Love by Killian Don’t Be Shy and Kayali Vanilla—both instantly take me back to sitting at the table with my grandmother, getting wafts of her pure vanilla perfume as she passed by me with a grilled cheese (the crust cut off, obvi) that she’d just made for me. My grandma wasn’t obsessed with fashion, but man did she love an accessory—one of her most prized possessions being fragrance (and a lucite bracelet). In a way, her scent was the last accessory she’d put on and she inadvertently passed that tradition onto me. Cut to 30 years later, I’m spraying on a perfume from my very vast fragrance wardrobe—I have ones for day, night, vacation, running errands…the list goes on—that I’ve curated over the years, allowing it to be the final touch to any outfit, making me feel like I have my life together (I don’t, but a girl can dream, right?!). Fragrance just lets me feel like I can actually take on the day—a power fragrance of sorts, if you will—and that’s why I never leave my apartment without it on.

On that note, like fashion, it’s also one of the best ways to express yourself without having to say a word. Soft, floral fragrances can mean you’re looking to be playful, light-hearted, and free (I instantly picture Lily Aldridge in her new Haven campaign, running through a field of wildflowers—Hi, Lily!), while muskier, heavier scents scream that you’re confident and warm—or trying to be sexy (without actually trying). And then you have citrusy scents that give off fresh vibes, but also mean you’re ready to be a BO$$ (perfume PSA: grapefruit scents are amazing to wear on job interviews because they allow you to smell fresh and gives off an energizing aroma). And now, brands are going out of their way to think out of the box in terms of how people wear fragrance, like coating temporary tattoos, dousing woven bracelets in scent (hi, Diptyque!), hair mists—and even turning to huge fragrance houses to scent your favorite dry shampoo for a luxurious, lingering aroma that is sure to get your 1,000 compliments. What a time to be alive! Not to mention, the huge wave of genderless fragrances we’re seeing marketed to appeal to anyone and everyone—I, myself, wore Curve for Men in high school and everyone was always like, ‘Why do you wear a men’s scent?’ My response: ‘Why not! It’s just what I like.’ So it’s nice to see gender being more fluid in the fragrance industry because scent is simply what you gravitate to (Same goes with fashion!)—there aren’t meant to be, nor should there be any rules.



Scents and Sensibility



In 2020, the Master’s Program at FIT will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its launch. The brainchild of industry legend Leonard Lauder, it has become a true Think Tank: an incubator for talent, producing global business research and annual trend reports. Fragrance Foundation President Emeritus Annette Green championed the development of first the undergraduate and then the graduate Cosmetics and Fragrance curricula at FIT, and each successive Foundation President has served on the Industry Board. ACCORDS spoke with Professor Stephan Kanlian, who has been with the Master’s Program since its inception two decades ago. 

How did you get started with FIT? 

My wife saw the position in WWD, and urged me to consider it.  I had worked in global marketing in skincare, after several years with the diplomatic branch of the US Department of Commerce, running consumer product trade missions overseas. The final step of the hiring process in 1999 was a one-on-one interview with new college President, Dr. Joyce Brown.  I laid out my vision for a “think tank for beauty” and she said “let’s do it.”  She has been a champion of the program ever since.

What makes the FIT Master’s Program so unique?

No other industry has collaborated across competitive lines to create graduate business curriculum to train talent and undertake research. There is a close collaboration between industry leaders and the faculty: defining skill sets for successful leadership, and identifying business issues that need fresh and disruptive thinking by emerging leaders. 

How has the the curriculum at FIT evolved over the past 20 years to keep pace with changes in the industry?

The faculty have evolved the fragrance curriculum away from merely focusing on fine fragrance, to teach the fragrancing of all consumer products, as an integral part of the marketing mix and a sensory branding opportunity to reach consumers.  As the only college campus in the US with a working fragrance laboratory, this is a unique strength at FIT.

What, to you, is the most captivating thing about fragrance?  What do your personal favorite scents have in common?

Fragrance is incredibly intellectual, and yet simultaneously spiritual (primal, really), and as an academic that combination has always intrigued me. My favorite scents are generally artisanal fragrances, either floriental or gourmand notes, with an interesting combination of ingredients that is at once surprising and familiar.      

What stands out in your mind as you look back over a 20 year collaboration with the industry? 

The seamless partnership we have built between industry and academia is a model for the future of education, and the future value of universities. There is also the ability to effect positive change through a strong community of 350 alumni, who work across the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. I’m also very proud to work in an industry that values education and nurturing talent as part of its culture. The Fragrance Foundation’s programs for The Notables and certification of consumer-facing store personnel are great examples.

What still surprises you about the fragrance and beauty industry?

Perhaps given that I am so invested in our student’s success, 95% of whom are women, it still surprises me that more Corporate Directors and “C Suite” leadership in beauty are not female. 

What’s the one thing you hope every student walks away with?

The gravitas that only comes from the conviction of great ideas, informed by solid analytics, and the executive presence to sell-through those ideas from corporate leadership to the end consumer.  

Has there been a specific moment in your career of which you’ve been particularly proud? 

There have been quite a few: the first student collaboration with the WWD Beauty Summit (2004); student research with IDEO presented at the American Express Luxury Summit (2007); students delivering the keynote for the Fragrance Foundation Summit (2010); publication of student research in the Wall Street Journal (2015); and most recently, two of our graduates being named Chief Marketing Officers, and a third becoming Head of Fashion and Luxury at Google. As a professor, nothing engenders greater pride than to witness your student’s success. I have been very blessed in my career in that regard.


The Future of The Fragrance Foundation

The Future of The Fragrance Foundation
Scents and Sensibility

The Future of The Fragrance Foundation

The Future of The Fragrance Foundation

Featuring The Notables

What does the future look like for the Fragrance Foundation? The momentum is building, and the bar is set high. Over the past year, the Foundation’s reach has already expanded exponentially: the success of Fragrance Day, established in 2018, reached an audience of 200 million via social media in 2019. And that’s just one of the many ways that the organization is delivering on its mission —to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance—says president Linda Levy. Her goals for the coming year are even more ambitious. “For Fragrance Day 2020, we will focus our campaign on ingredients with a new and exciting artistic collaboration, as well as expert content on ingredient transparency, because product safety and sustainability are important messages for us to share with consumers,” she says. The organization will also make a tremendous international push, reaching out “to form new alliances with other countries to re-establish official Fragrance Foundations with Fragrance Day 2020 as a key pillar.”

There will also be a continued campaign to elevate and celebrate perfumers, something that was integral to 2019’s agenda, reaching its greatest expression in the series of perfumer portraits photographed by Michael Avedon for Fragrance Day. “Fragrance Day is a fantastic initiative that has brought perfumers in the store with consumers and celebrated perfume as a precious but accessible, mysterious but tangible product. It rejuvenates perfume and what it stands for,” says Fragrance Foundation Notable Lorraine Miche de Malleray from IFF. Many also appreciated how it impacted their perspective on their own work. “Fragrance Day was an opportunity for my team at Robertet to take a moment and celebrate the hard work we all do and each department’s contribution to the industry,” says Katrina Guillermo of Robertet Fragrances. “I was really impressed on how The Fragrance Foundation was able to use technology and social media as a platform to express love for fragrance.”

2019 also saw the Fragrance Foundation redefine and revitalize its communication strategy, with the new monthly digital magazine Accords, and the new weekly newsletter Note Worthy. These platforms will continue to provide exclusive and exciting content, including personal perspectives from industry icons, perfumers, and fragrance creatives, and, says Levy, enable the TFF to “continue to build our messaging with modern formats and unique messaging.” As Notable Malinda Appel of NEST Fragrances says, “Most of the members of the Fragrance Foundation are in competition but we’re also friends. The events and new communications are a neutral place for brands and fragrance houses to unite about our shared interest in growing the awareness and future of the fragrance industry. The new approach the Fragrance Foundation has taken feels fresh, and supportive of all organizations, large and small.” Notable Amy Rueckl from IFF agrees: “I think the fragrance foundation is doing a wonderful job of elevating their vision and image to begin to appeal to a new, broader audience.” Going forward, the communications will seek to engage increasingly more fragrance-loving readers. The ultimate goal, Levy says, is “to grow the dialogue in the fragrance community and most importantly, directly with consumers.”

As Levy announced at June’s resoundingly successful TFF Awards, the Foundation will also be ramping up its philanthropic GIVE BACK efforts, first by partnering with 2019 Game Changer honoree Laura Slatkin to benefit her charity, Next For Autism, by offering a full year of programs and events that raise awareness and funds for this important cause. Because in making the world a better place, as in all things, “The Fragrance Foundation and our members have a much bigger voice together than we would have alone,” says Levy.

The Notables program is another bright light for the future of TFF, as it unites young, enthusiastic minds to come together and dream up new possibilities and programs. “That fact that we’re asked for input is meaningful,” says Tracy Taylor of Firmenich. “TFF encourages new voices, ideas and perspectives in an industry grounded in heritage, tradition and ritual. Even emerging professionals have the opportunity to help shape the future of fragrance and a responsibility to preserve what makes it so special.”

The Notables program began in 2015, and honorees from each class continue to passionately contribute ideas to Think Tank meetings. When recently asked what they feel they can achieve as ambassadors to their company, responses varied from focusing on the network they can build (“I would like broaden my knowledge of other parts of the industry that are different from my own contributions,” says Kaleigh Prokop from MANE) to bringing the Fragrance Foundation’s mission statement to life in the world at large. “I feel confident that I can get people more engaged, educated and excited about the fragrance industry,” says Hannah Silver of NEST Fragrances. “There are so many resources and “seeds” that The Fragrance Foundation provides to its members. It is up to me to see the future and enlighten others.” Katie Bell from Cosmo International Fragrances, too, believes that being a Notable offers an exciting opportunity to be an ambassador for scent. “If we can continue to inspire the world to share the same passion we all have for fragrance through our talents as creators, storytellers, artists…then we are on the right track!”

For 2020 and beyond, the Notables have shared many ideas and hopes. Julia Olivier from Firmenich wants to see even more paying-it-forward work to help others on behalf of the Foundation: “We could develop a team of olfactive expert volunteers to either entertains kids in hospital with olfactive workshops or help adults that have lost sense of memory stimulating them with olfactive scents,” she suggests. Karissa Ciliento of Givaudan, is excited to see the Fragrance foundation “reveal and share the stories of the unsung heroes within the industry, “We are finally pulling back the curtain on the creative process with perfumers, but there are still so many more people to showcase behind the scenes of our fragrance world,” she says, “such as Evaluation, Sales, Lab Technicians, Marketing, Consumer Insights, Graphics, S&T, and Raw Materials.” Brand Strategist Gayathri Balasundar says, “I also hope TFF can promote more diversity in fragrance the way we are seeing in other categories. I don’t just mean diversity in color, though I think that’s critical, but also diversity in backgrounds.”

Simone Bolotin of COTY says, “The fragrance industry is evolving every day with new technologies, digitally native brands, gender fluid concepts and more, and I look forward to seeing the Fragrance Foundation continue to embrace and celebrate these new innovations.” And Lindsay Powell Schwartz of COTY says, “I hope that the Fragrance Foundation brings industry leaders together to thoughtfully address consumer concerns around safety and the need for more transparency. This will require an honest dialogue with multiple parties with different perspectives in order to ensure that the response doesn’t simply feel like propaganda to the consumer. I also hope that the foundation leads the way in identifying innovative ways to modernize the fragrance industry, including new technologies, formats, accords, ingredients, and ways to sample.”

Brooke Selitto from Cosmo International Fragrances, is “looking forward to The Fragrance Foundation continuing to connect the fragrance community through meaningful conversation and initiatives”. Perhaps more than anything, the Fragrance Foundation is a connector—of people, ideas, passions, inspiration and information. As Notable Anais Nouvet of Cartier says, “To me, the Fragrance Foundation is the “highest instance” of our industry. The Foundation keeps us all connected to what’s happening in our profession at a more human level, which is very different from the competitive reports or data we usually work with. It animates our network of passionate professionals through its amazing events.” Its work to unite brands, individuals, and the perfume-loving public at large will continue apace in 2020 and beyond—especially with so many enthusiastic members driving it forward. “Not so long ago, the fragrance houses were thought of as the “ghost writers” behind the perfume industry, yet more and more there is great interest from consumers to know the back story of fragrance design,” says Notable Liza Ketcham of Givaudan. “It’s an industry that many people know very little about, and I love what The Fragrance Foundation is doing to reveal the beauty, passion, and creativity that make up our world. My hope is that TFF continues to be an active force in helping to bring our perfumers to the forefront, and helping to provide a better understanding of our creative process and the storytelling behind each fragrance.” Finally, Alexandra Cassar from IFF sums up the feelings of many who work closely with the Fragrance Foundation and believe in the difference it’s making and will continue to make within the fragrance industry and beyond: “I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this movement and finally show the world what we do and who we are. Fragrances are much more than just a beauty product. They inspire, build confidence, and make people dream.”


Game Changer: Laura Slatkin

Game Changer: Laura Slatkin Portrait by Michael Avedon
Scents and Sensibility

Game Changer: Laura Slatkin

Game Changer: Laura Slatkin Portrait by Michael Avedon

Beneath Laura Slatkin’s soft-spoken demeanor lies a true Woman of Action. Not only is she a fashion plate, an incomparable hostess, and a philanthropic powerhouse, she is the home fragrance pioneer we have to thank for the fact that the category has become so vital. Slatkin first introduced luxury scented candles to the US market, along with her husband Harry, with Slatkin & Co in 1992. She went on to create home fragrances for a roster of brands including Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, and Jonathan Adler, and launched her own blockbuster venture, NEST Fragrances, in 2008. Slatkin implicitly understands that a candle, when constructed with the complexity and nuance of an eau de parfum, can glorify our shared spaces and offer an invisible welcome when we walk into a room, while also acting as a silent but profound communicator of who we are and how we wish to move through the world. As NEST has branched out into fine fragrance and body care, the brand’s spectrum of unique and addictive scents has made it truly iconic. “When I first started the company,” Slatkin says, “I’d go to a dinner party and sit next to someone and they’d say, “What do you do?” “I have a home fragrance company called NEST Fragrances.” And they’d say, “Oh,” and go back to their dinner. But now, when I say that I founded NEST Fragrances, they say, “I love that brand!” To see someone’s face light up—that’s my measurement of success.”

How does it feel to be honored with the Game Changer award?
It’s as exciting as it is for an actress to win Best Actress at the Academy Awards. That’s how meaningful it is to me, because it’s before all of the professionals who I work with, compete with, and partner with. It’s just an extraordinary moment.

When did your love of fragrance begin?
In 1992, after I married Harry. Prior to that I worked on Wall Street, and I was buried in finance, so I didn’t really think about it. It wasn’t until my brother-in-law told me, as an interior designer, that the final touch on a beautifully decorated home is a beautiful home fragrance. He showed me that to really create an ambiance in a home and please all the senses is something extraordinary. When we got into the business, I’d never even burned a scented candle before. It just wasn’t on my radar. But the first time a perfumer brought in samples for me to smell based on the inspiration I gave him, I picked one of them up and smelled it and said, “Oh my God, this is beautiful.” It really impacted me and moved me so that I could feel my whole body transform when I inhaled this beautiful fragrance. And then we lit it, and it filled the room with the most extraordinary scent. There was no question that this was perfection. It became our Bamboo candle, which has been our number one scent for 25 years.

At the time, there was nothing else like it. Do you think that’s why it was such an immediate success?
Yes, Slatkin & Co. started with 12 fragrances and went to 24 fragrances. Saks Fifth Avenue launched us on their couture floor, which was very unique at that time. Home fragrance was usually on the eighth floor buried in the back of the bra department. After that, we grew to be the number one luxury brand and everybody started getting into the business and coming to us for help in creating their assortments. When I started NEST Fragrances in 2008, my whole premise was, why can’t every scent be a Bamboo? Let’s raise the bar. Nothing gets launched unless it moves you, and impacts you, and transports you, in the same way that Bamboo did for me when I first smelled it.

What else do you think makes NEST so special?
There are a few pillars that we stand on. Number one, the glass packaging. You can put it in any room. If you have a modern house, if your room is green, if it’s orange, if it’s purple, it still fits in. That was really important to me. We also have the highest fragrance load in the industry in terms of the amount of perfume in our candles, and we have a proprietary wax formulation that we developed over 25 years that makes the candles extremely efficacious in filling a room with scent. That’s why NEST is loved. NEST is loved because each fragrance has a really strong personality; each one creates a different mood, and that mood is very apparent when you walk into a room.

Is that what defines a good home scent for you?
It’s one that really transforms the space. So much so that when people walk in, they say, “Oh my God, it smells so good in here.” That’s my definition. Those three words, “Oh my God,” are our guiding principles.

What was your creative process when launching your fine fragrance collection?
I’m always working with master perfumers for home fragrance. And in the back of my mind, I always wanted to do fine fragrance but never had the inspiration for it. What would it look like? What would its positioning be? It never really gelled until I was sitting in the library one day looking at some art books. And I came across this book on Mrs. Delany, an 18th century botanical artist whose work really moved me. From there, I commissioned an artist to paint paintings of flowers that I really loved, and then we took the paintings to the perfumer, who used the inspiration to create the fragrances. The collection was launched exclusively at Sephora in 2013, and today we are consistently ranked between 7 and 9 against 125 or so nationally advertised brands. I think what moves the needle is the passion, the creativity, the originality, and the inspiration coming together in a way that creates an authentic story.

You recently opened your first New York flagship. Why was now the right time?
We have NEST home fragrance in Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, Nordstrom. We have fine fragrance in Sephora. The body collection was launched at Ulta Beauty. So we wanted one place where we can bring all of the categories together as a story. Because that’s the future for NEST, to start to bring together the brand in home, fine fragrance, and personal care now that it’s gained such incredible traction. To be this enormously successful in fine fragrances is really groundbreaking. And there’s a different way of looking at fragrances today. It’s about having a whole wardrobe. When I wake up every morning, I have all eight fragrances in my closet and I say, “Who am I going to see today? What kind of mood do I want to create? What am I wearing?”, etc. It’s no longer about a singular scent.

What kind of sensibility were you able to bring to the table when creating fragrances for other brands?
We’ve created home fragrance for over 100 luxury brands, which has given me my PhD in fragrance. Working with perfumers, and understanding the various notes and how they blend together, was an extraordinary learning experience. But I also had to get into the psyche of every brand. What is their DNA? Aerin Lauder and Vera Wang are very different than Jonathan Adler, and very different from Ralph Lauren. Everything from the packaging, to the vessel, to the scent, it all has to be harmonious. I found it very exciting and interesting to delve into that.

While you’ve been building this empire, you’ve also found time to do so much amazing philanthropic work. What are you particularly proud of in that area?
When Harry and I started NEXT for AUTISM, we were thinking about how when our son David was first diagnosed, the best place to get an evaluation was Yale, and there was a four-year waiting list. I just kept thinking about that single woman living in Harlem, three kids, working three jobs to put food on the table, one with autism. So what I’m most proud of is the fact that we have partnered with the government to bring services to that population that doesn’t have the resources. Whether it’s our charter schools, which are located in Harlem and the Bronx, or whether it’s our brain center that we built with Columbia, Cornell, and near New York–Presbyterian Hospital, which accepts any insurance, nobody gets turned down, and provides state-of-the- art care – we’re bringing that excellence to a population that normally wouldn’t have access to that.



Scents and Sensibility



Caroline Fabrigas is the CEO of Scent Marketing Inc., a full-service Scent and Sensory Marketing company, which creates signature ambient fragrances for companies to feature in spaces such as hotel lobbies and shops in order to cultivate an atmosphere that draws customers in and resonates with brand values. Previously, Caroline held senior positions in the corporate beauty world.

How do you define ambient scent?

Ambient scent is one of the most influencing factors in brand communication. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to express the values, emotions and ethos of a brand. Ambient scent acts as the background, the canvas against which all else plays. It works to enhance all other branding elements such as a brand’s logo, color palette, vocal identity and sound track. In fact, it is a brand’s logo in the air: A well crafted ambient scent is an invisible influencer that envelops you, whispers a brands message in a deep, meaningful, and indelible way.

Scent Marketing has allowed me to gain a total appreciation for the art of fragrance and the talented perfumers who translate our brand briefs into magical scented compositions that embody a brand. And, through my experience with scent marketing, I’ve come to see how scent impacts our lives at every level. It touches our emotions, provokes our memories and even enhances every experience making it richer and more multifaceted.

How do your partners feel about bringing scent into their environment?

More and more companies are recognizing the influencing factors of ambient scent today. Brands are actively embracing the creation of signature scents and  get really excited about the scent development process as it often allows them to revisit the core values, philosophies and true mission as we consider how to express these through aroma. Our partners welcome the opportunity to use their signature scent to inspire their consumer base and internal teams and often charge their communities to help in the naming process.

Scent marketing not only enhances a consumer or guest experience but can also provide a lasting revenue stream for brands as the signature scent expands into scent extensions and a multitude of scent extensions. A successful signature scent becomes a part of a memorable experience and guests/clients often want to take a souvenir home with the which leads to the development of host of scent extensions for retail sale.

It’s wonderful to see the power that a signature scent, artfully crafted and perfectly delivered, can impact on a client’s brands, and to be a part of that growth is very fulfilling.

How does ambient scent affect people when they walk into a room, retail store or experience?

It’s fascinating to watch people enter a space with ambient scent. Reactions range from verbal outbursts exclaiming immediate love of the aroma, while others seems to relax and breath more easily as the environment envelops them and all at once they are at one with their surroundings. Some people don’t notice it at all but later report feeling good in the space and spent more time there than planned.

In the digital world, how is scent especially important?

As the world becomes more digital, the role of the brick-and-mortar has changed. A trip to a brick and mortar location must now offer more than an array of great merchandise it must also provide a unique consumer experience through multi-sensorial touch points. To this end ambient scent is one of the most powerful ways to capture share of mind and wallet.

How would you diffuse scent at a major event?

Scent marketing is a true balance of art and science and this is never more evident than when using ambient scent at a major event. The art of creating the “right” scent to communicate the desired message and align with the decor is key. However, it is through the science of diffusion that perfumer’s magic comes alive. Diffusers need to be accurately selected for the size and scale of the space, they need to be located precisely where the presence of scent is desired and finally they are calibrated to match scent velocity (level of scent in the air).

Ambient scent is the invisible influencer. You cannot see it, feel it or hear it….only the scent of a memorable immersive experience remains.



Scents and Sensibility



Following its momentous introduction by the Fragrance Foundation on March 21st last year, Fragrance Day 2019 was greeted with enthusiasm by members, consumers, and retailers, all of whom worked together to give this year’s celebrations tremendous visible impact. The Fragrance Foundation kicked it off with an Instagram campaign that ran from March 1st to the 21st, highlighting powerful portraits of 15 perfumers taken by esteemed photographer Michael Avedon, as well as brief video interviews. TFF also introduced highly popular fragrance giveaways to galvanize engagement with consumers—and these posts, featuring beautiful images of scents such as Dior Joy, Marc Jacobs Daisy, and Atelier Cologne Pacific Lime, generated lively conversation and interest, tallying up more than 10,000 comments on the Fragrance Foundation feed.  On March 7th, Avedon’s portraits were displayed at the Italian Trade Commission for a media launch event attended by the perfumers themselves and industry leaders which garnered 130,000 media impressions. And the media went on to toast Fragrance Day warmly: The March 21st celebration was covered in L’Officiel, Forbes, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue, among many others.

On Instagram, Fragrance Day was hard to miss: Over 60 TFF brands and retailers celebrated #nationalfragranceday on Instagram, reaching a combined total of 200 million followers. Influencers such as Mona Kattan called out Fragrance Day in Instagram Stories, and Sephora—with 17 million followers—spotlighted the event on Instagram Live. In stores, retailers such as Bond No. 9, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret and Tom Ford hosted special events and displayed bold signage in windows and on counters to recognize and promote the significance of March 21st, giving Fragrance Day 2019 even wider reach.

“Fragrance Day March 21st continues to gain momentum as retailers and brands join the annual celebration,” says Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy. “Although many agree every day is Fragrance Day, The Fragrance Foundation leads the charge to spread the word to consumers. As always, we work to spread the message based on our mission: to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance. We have so much more to discover as perfumers share their insights and creativity through storytelling.”

— April Long


The Photographer’s Eye: Michael Avedon

The Photographer’s Eye: Michael Avedon
Scents and Sensibility

The Photographer’s Eye: Michael Avedon

The Photographer’s Eye: Michael Avedon

I’ve always been drawn to scent because of its associations with memory, and the way it draws you back to a time or a place or a person. When I return to Southeast Asia and smell the exotic and strange scents there, for example, I immediately get a bolt of the same awe I felt when I first went at the age of 16. I find perfumers’ talents, and their ability to compartmentalize scent, absolutely astonishing.

For this project, I photographed 15 perfumers from the major houses, and they were all extremely delightful and kind. My overall impression was that they had a tremendous discipline and work ethic, and a strong sense of new beginnings. Like Bob Dylan said, “You should always be in a state of becoming,” and I could tell that they all had a creative charge to keep creating, and to always push the boundaries.

They were all photographed in the same environment of tranquility, in a kind of ethereal, angelic, glowing white light. That removed them from the lab, and gave everything a softness and delicacy.

The idea was to incorporate objects that were important to them, so I worked with capturing a sense of who they were through the visual interplay with their chosen object. It was interesting for me, because I’m usually just focusing on people, but this was about finding a psychological compromise between the object and the sitter.

Some were challenging because when you have an object that’s rather large it can take a lot of attention from the viewer, and I wanted to emphasize the perfumer’s identity and their spirit while also portraying an object near and dear to them. The objects ranged from a bust of Buddha to dancing shoes to a wonderful piece of art created by a dear colleague. It was fantastic, and galvanizing, to see this dialogue between the sitter and the thing that was so important to them.



Addiction According to Olivier Cresp

Addiction According to Olivier Cresp
Scents and Sensibility

Addiction According to Olivier Cresp

Addiction According to Olivier Cresp

The Fragrance Foundation 2018 Lifetime Achievement Perfumer

Perfume is my life. Perfumers are addicted to this all-consuming work we love and to the rush of excitement we experience when we’ve created something truly new.

Every generation of the Cresp family loved sweets. My childhood memories are of cakes baking; as a child I had even had my own specialty: candied fruit cakes. So it’s not surprising that one of my creations was Angel by Thierry Mugler, which opened the door to a new olfactive family: the gourmand.

I decided to combine edible, sugary notes like licorice, honey, and special vanillas. This led to praline mixed with cocoa to add a chocolate inflection to patchouli. Something very addictive resulted!

Gourmand scents transport us through the power of olfactory memory. Easily recognizable and reassuring, their “edible” quality makes gourmand scents irresistible.

Another addictive fragrance I am proud to have created is Dolce Gabbana Light Blue, a surprising combination of sexy, warm woods and inviting citrus notes. One of the earliest woody fragrances for women, it continues to be successful.

I believe today’s consumers – especially millennials living in big cities like London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sao Paolo – want to live life intensely. They travel the world, which is more accessible now because of the internet, and enjoy extreme sports for the strong sensations they impart. Living life to the fullest, they have lots of energy, and seek immediate gratification, so the scents they wear must complement their complex lives. They must be both comforting and captivating to grab and hold their attention.

Addictive ingredients and fragrances, then, are more relevant today than ever and still resonate strongly with me. I’m proud that, in October, 2018, I launched my own niche brand with my daughter Anais, an architect, and her husband Jack. Called AKRO, which means “addicted” in French, it is a collection of daring and disruptive unisex fragrances inspired by uncontrollable, delicious dependencies – the simple pleasures of life that keep us coming back for more!
My work is figurative. I prefer working with something tangible rather than abstract. I enjoy reproducing the actual smells around me and then making them wearable, with wonderful diffusion. So this project suits my creative style very well.

Each AKRO fragrance relates to a different time of day –and the little daily personal indulgences. AWAKE is a delicious combination of coffee, cardamom and caffeine to start the day right, like our morning expresso. Next, we reach for the DARK – an intense chocolate note to finish our midday meal. We might follow that with SMOKE – naturally addictive notes of tobacco leaves with nicotine. Then we unwind after work with intoxicating MALT and its vapors of whiskey and rum. Now it’s NIGHT – and the animalic allure of “dirty rose,” agarwood and cumin notes evoke the nocturnal pleasures of sex. Finally, HAZE and the daze we’re in from cannabis and cardamom, letting go with a joint after a long, often stressful day at work.

Personally, I am addicted to dark chocolate with a good espresso, so DARK and AWAKE both fit my personality well. Maybe AKRO’s tagline should be “Wear without Moderation”!