Jun

SPOTLIGHT: JEFF GENNETTE – HALL OF FAME HONOREE

SPOTLIGHT: JEFF GENNETTE – HALL OF FAME HONOREE
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: JEFF GENNETTE – HALL OF FAME HONOREE

SPOTLIGHT: JEFF GENNETTE – HALL OF FAME HONOREE

How do you create a bona fide “fragrance destination” for shoppers? Just ask Jeff Gennette, Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who has positioned Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury as precisely that. The enterprising leader, who has been honored with the prestigious 2022 TFF Hall of Fame Award, has long understood the power of storytelling and interactive experience in fragrance retail. He has made fragrance central to the shopping experience, intuitively recognizing how intrinsically connected it is with fashion and beauty.

This understanding comes from experience. Gennette began his nearly four-decade retail career in 1983 as an executive trainee at Macy’s West in San Francisco. In March of 2017, Gennette was elected Chief Executive Officer of Macy’s, Inc., and Chairman in February 2018. Over the years, he has served in key roles as EVP and Director of Stores for Macy’s Central, and as Chief Merchandising Officer, keeping fragrance front-and-center in the retailer’s merchandising mix.

Gennette’s deep understanding of the consumer — from how they wish to move through a store to how they buy, use, and gift scent — has propelled Macy’s, Inc. to the top tier of fragrance retail. Even more meaningful is the tone that he has set: His commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has positioned Macy’s, Inc. as a role model in making the fragrance world open and equitable for all.

What does it mean to you to receive the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Award?

I am incredibly honored to be receiving this award, but most importantly, I think it’s a testament to the role Macy’s, Inc. has played in elevating and growing the fragrance industry. I humbly accept this award on behalf of my entire team and our valued fragrance partners, without whom this wouldn’t be possible.

What led you to first join Macy’s?

Macy’s is well known in the industry for its executive development program, and the opportunity at a young age to get management experience was what first drew me to the company. I thought I would stay a couple of years and then go to business school, but here I am four decades later. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What lessons did you learn early on in your career at Macy’s that have continued to be relevant in your role as Chairman and CEO?

There are two lessons that still guide me today. One, is the importance of being your authentic self. When you can come to the workplace living your truth, you can fully engage, innovate and bring different viewpoints to the table. The other is to always focus on the customer. Without an unwavering focus on what is right for the customer, you can’t successfully lead a retail business.

What have been your proudest career achievements?

Hopefully that will continue to evolve over time, but right now I would say that I’m most proud of successfully steering Macy’s, Inc. through the most challenging parts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our team really came together to recover the business and emerge as a healthier and stronger company. I’m so proud of the incredible work that all my colleagues did to continue to deliver for our customers during this unprecedented time.

How and why is fragrance so important to Macy’s?

The Fragrance business is important for our company because it evokes powerful, emotional connections for our customers. Together with our fragrance partners, we have built the business into a powerhouse in the beauty industry, giving customers the opportunity to discover new scents that complement their unique personal style.

What are some of the key ways that you keep customers engaged with fragrance at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury?

We continue to invest in the fragrance shopping experience across our stores and digital platforms.

We’ve developed rich, creative, sensory experiences that support this emotional purchase. This includes collaborations with our valued partners on product launches, storytelling and leveraging customized digital tools that enable us to bring the very best of the in-store experience to online shoppers.

It is also important for us to innovate and find new ways to engage our customers with the fragrance business through experiences like our recent integration of scents into the Macy’s Flower Show. We’ve also continued to inspire discovery through digital channels as showcased by our live shopping programming on Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com.

What have been the biggest changes you have seen in consumer behavior regarding fragrance over the years?

We have seen fragrance explode as the perfect gift for any occasion. Today we enjoy a strong business in custom gift sets and baskets for all gifting holidays. It’s not only a staple gift for Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, but fragrances have also become the go-to gift for marking special moments in people’s lives. We have also seen customers evolve to become true fragrance connoisseurs, increasingly knowledgeable and discerning about what makes a fragrance unique and how that fits with their personal style.

How would you characterize the current state of fragrance retail?

The business continues to expand, adding new and returning customers to the category. The past couple of years have further highlighted the importance of fragrance and scent memory for our customers. Fragrances reminded them of locations they missed or special memories during these trying years. They have also become the perfect self-treat for those seeking a pick-me-up.

What do you predict for the future of fragrance retail?

The next evolution in the business has begun. We’ve started to see how the customer is seeing fragrance as part of their whole lifestyle. They want scent for themselves, their home, car and office. They are making fragrance an essential part of their ecosystem. We also see a huge opportunity for growth, particularly in the luxury segment.

How does TFF’s DEI initiative #FragranceForwardTFF resonate with Macy’s values and practices?

Macy’s, Inc. and The Fragrance Foundation both see diversity, equity and inclusion as bedrock values. They are paramount to creating an equitable future that allows colleagues to be their authentic selves, that reflects and values diverse customers, and one that supports our shared communities. We applaud the work that The Fragrance Foundation is doing to create a more equitable world for all.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: FRANÇOIS DEMACHY – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER HONOREE 

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: FRANÇOIS DEMACHY – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER HONOREE 
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: FRANÇOIS DEMACHY – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER HONOREE 

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: FRANÇOIS DEMACHY – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER HONOREE 

Anyone who has watched the documentary NOSE: The Most Secret Job in the World, which follows François Demachy on his travels around the globe, is unlikely to forget witnessing the master perfumer’s passion for selecting exquisite raw materials—just as anyone who has smelled his creations, including Dior Eau Sauvage and Dior Joy, is unlikely to forget experiencing their olfactive magic.

Raised in Grasse, where his father was a pharmacist, Demachy studied medicine before turning to perfumery and embracing the bounty of his native soil. He spent years as the Director of Research and Development at Chanel, and in 2006 became the Perfumer-Creator for Dior, where he dreamed up imaginative and evocative fragrances for the Maison until retiring in 2021.

From meticulous perfume craftsman to somewhat reluctant—or at least very humble—movie star, Demachy is a true legend in the industry. He is known for his gentleness and thoughtfulness, and for his dedication—especially through his relationships with raw material producers in Grasse—to making sure that beautiful ingredients will be available to perfumers for a long time to come. “Maybe in the future I could be a producer of raw materials myself,” he says, speculating on what he might do next. “Who knows? Perhaps I will try. It would be a nice way for me to complete the circle—to be at the very beginning of perfume.”

What does it mean to you to be awarded TFF Lifetime Achievement Perfumer?

It’s hard to say, because there are two feelings. On the one hand, it means it’s the end of my career in a way. On the other hand, I am delighted, of course! I am so proud to receive this award. It is a real honor.

What made you want to be a perfumer?

As the French say, when you eat, you get hungrier: Your appetite comes as you eat. I would say that I didn’t really feel a calling or anything like that to be a perfumer, but my one big advantage is that I grew up in Grasse. And when you are in Grasse, you are never very far away from perfume. Apart from that, it was because I failed in all my efforts to become a doctor or join the medical field in one way or another. At the time, my father was extremely desirous that I should become a doctor, so I tried to obey him, but at the same time I wanted to do something different. So, I decided to try perfumery.

You are known for your love of naturals and your engagement with raw materials. How has that passion shaped your career?

When you learn something in your youth, it stays with you. It leaves a stamp in your mind. And that’s what happened to me. I was lucky because I had the experience of working early on with some very technically knowledgeable and well-established perfumers, even though they were not well known because they remained on the sidelines. They showed me how to use raw materials, particularly those from Grasse, and flowers especially. There is no perfume without flowers—that’s what I learned—and it became part and parcel of who I am. So, when I am making a formula, it just comes out instinctively. It is innate.

How would you describe your style as a perfumer?

I tend to be extremely fussy. I am very fastidious. Perfume for me starts off with an idea, and then I give that idea a shape, and then I put that shape into practice and work to improve it. That’s how l like to proceed. I go into the nitty gritty. As I mentioned, I had two great professors. One was Jean Cavallier, the father of Jacques Cavallier, who taught me that in a mixture of items no one product should stand out. A balance is required. My other professor was Henri Robert, who at the time was the perfumer for Chanel, and he trained me on certain features of raw materials – not the raw material as such, but certain characteristics – and how to use them properly in a perfume. It’s all this knowledge that left its stamp on me and on my formulas. Like everyone, I have my preferences—there are certainly ingredients that I like to use. Patchouli and amber, in particular. I can’t say I have a style, exactly. But it’s true that I like to give perfumes a feeling of roundness, if that makes sense.

You created a modern classic with Dior Eau Sauvage. What do you think is the secret to its success?

I don’t know if there is a secret to it. If there were a recipe, I would have used it again and again. I think most of all it’s about continuity. You start off by choosing your ingredients, and I was very lucky because I was able to select my own raw materials, which was a huge advantage. It’s like in a restaurant where the grand chef selects his own ingredients, and more than half of the end result comes from the quality of those ingredients. And then of course there are certain characteristics of the raw materials. Amber, for instance, is very animal-like. It has a sensuous effect that is deeply and profoundly appealing to us even if we are unaware of it. It’s not something you distinguish, but you feel it, and you want it. So, there you go. Sauvage appeals to the unconscious—that’s how I did it.

Having lived in New York and Grasse and traveled so extensively, what have you observed about the way that people engage differently with fragrance around the world?

There is not really much of a difference. When you talk of perfume, it is a universal language. In fact, that’s the specialty of perfume. If I were to draw a parallel, the closest would be cooking or cuisine. You may not be Chinese, for instance, but you might still love Chinese food. It’s a similar quest for different tastes, for different experiences. Think of our love of spices, though they are used differently around the world, or lavender, rosemary, aromatic herbs—they speak to a universal desire for pleasure. I think that is what this whole thing is about. It’s a story of feeling, of emotion. That has always intrigued me. I have tried to make perfumes that are a source of pleasure for all, that have a universal appeal.

What do you consider to be your greatest legacy?

What I am most proud of is that I actively participated in the renewal of certain very exceptional raw materials from different countries, and particularly from Grasse. I can see the results of the effort today. There are so many perfume houses, so many companies that want to come to Grasse now. Ten or fifteen years ago, Grasse had lost its role, but now it is coming back, and I am so proud of this achievement. I would take that as my legacy.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: CELEBRATING GRATITUDE WITH FILMMAKER LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: CELEBRATING GRATITUDE WITH FILMMAKER LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: CELEBRATING GRATITUDE WITH FILMMAKER LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: CELEBRATING GRATITUDE WITH FILMMAKER LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG

For more than 40 years, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg has been capturing the slow, intricate processes of nature. Whether by filming flowers as they open up in time-lapse, or tracing the fascinatingly complex world of mushrooms, as he did in his riveting 2019 documentary Fantastic Fungi, Schwartzberg aims to guide our eyes and hearts to understand and appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us. His next film, which will premiere later this year, will be titled Gratitude REVEALED, and devoted to all of the ways that our experiences—and the planet we live on—can be better when we take the time to feel thankful for each other and this incredible web of life that we are a part of.

In 2021, Schwartzberg was TFF’s partner for Fragrance Day, when his short films of blooming flowers featured prominently throughout the event and on social media, illustrating perfectly and profoundly the occasion’s floral theme. That collaboration has proven to be important and enduring, which is why TFF showed a trailer for Gratitude REVEALED—and welcomed Schwartzberg onstage—at the 2022 Fragrance Foundation Awards, opening the evening’s festivities with a message of thankfulness and community.

What led you to start working on your next film, which is about gratitude?

I started it over a decade ago when I showed a teaser trailer at a TED x SF event, and it went viral. That led to a book, an interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, and lots of heart-warming comments as people said they watch it every day and turned it into a practice. During the pandemic I could not travel, so I finally assembled the nuggets of wisdom and magic moments I have been capturing over the last 40 years, and built this mosaic of gratitude, weaving people together who are diverse, sharing their wisdom, luminaries and remarkable ordinary people, who all have a story and a gift to share.

One of the hardest aspects of the pandemic was disconnection from each other, losing things we often take for granted like seeing friends and family, going out to eat or seeing a movie. Appreciating the little things in life, being grateful for what you do have, is a beginning step going forward out of this pandemic.

How does gratitude connect to nature, and to its preservation?

When you watch a bee pollinate a flower, filling you with wonder and awe, that makes you present in the moment, and that beauty and awareness engenders gratitude. Gratitude for the sweet fragrance the flowers give, gratitude for the fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables that will unfold from what I just witnessed. And since I love it, and comprehend that it is the foundation of life, I will do everything I can to protect it.

What does gratitude mean for you personally?

My parents were Holocaust survivors, so living under their roof I saw how grateful they were for every blessing that came their way, a roof over their heads, food on the table, a steady job, and the miracle of being able to have children after what they went through.

How does gratitude connect to the world of the senses – in particular, smell?

I am grateful for the colors, patterns, rhythms, textures and aromas that flowers give us, seducing us to love and care for them, manipulating me to have cameras filming them in time lapse non-stop, 24/7, for over four decades. Squeezing 40 years into 20 hours of film.

How do you think people can become more mindful about experiencing life from a perspective of gratitude?

When you are grateful, you are present, which is what mindfulness is all about: Not thinking about the past or future, but truly being present with another person or in nature. Being present with yourself is what meditation strives for, and we can shortcut that practice by just being grateful.

What can we do to encourage it in others?

If you express your gratitude for others, it actually makes you feel good. And the person you shared your gratitude with will share the gift of gratitude with someone they are grateful for, and the energy of love and compassion keeps rippling out exponentially.

How can taking the time to appreciate the small, beautiful things around us – like blooming flowers or the scent of a perfume – enhance our happiness?

Not only do these moments of appreciation make us present, which is medicinal and good for the soul, but it also pulls you out of the draining world of social media, being distracted by eye candy that is not nutritious. When you fill your mind with good feelings, there is little room left for negative thoughts to enter.

What have been some of the most profound examples of gratitude that you witnessed when making your film?

Filming Erik Weihenmayer, the blind ice climber who climbed Mount Everest. He lost his vision as a teenager and yet overcame adversity and climbed the seven highest summits, and had a family. Courage and resilience are a big part of gratitude because, as Erik said, “sometimes things are taken away, and sometimes things are given to you, and you have to appreciate the things that you have.” These are the stories I love to tell.

What do you consider the mission of your work as a whole?

To unveil the mysteries, by making the invisible, visible, so we can celebrate life.

What has been most satisfying about your collaboration with TFF?

Working with Linda Levy and her team, who bring such passion and creativity to this wonderful event and organization.

THE AWARDS INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE AWARDS INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE AWARDS INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE AWARDS INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

TFF Awards 2022 on June 9th at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in NYC was an extraordinary reunion of the fragrance community after 3 long years. We had an exciting lineup of presenters along with dynamic co-hosts Mario and Courtney Lopez who all share our passion for fragrance as well as our commitment to #FragranceForwardTFF. This signature event included TFF Awards Finalists to celebrate, announcements of TFF Awards Winners and featured iconic Honorees Jeff Gennette of Macy’s Inc. and François Demachy formerly at Dior.

The theme of the evening was Gratitude based on a creative collaboration with award winning artist and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. Louie’s incredible time lapse cinematography capturing flowers in miraculous ways brought grandeur to the presentations of all categories of awards.

For all of us in the fragrance community who have great respect and admiration of nature, we had a new guide in Louie who joined me on stage to share his vision. In addition videos of flowers in kaleidoscope mandalas opened and closed the presentations.

We inducted Jeff Gennette into The Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame. This award from the Fragrance Foundation is our way of recognizing a person in the industry who has contributed in a significant and impactful way to the fragrance business. In addition, the person to whom we award this honor must be aligned with our mission and our values. Personally and professionally, Jeff Gennette exemplifies all we stand for at TFF.

Our 2022 Lifetime Achievement Perfumer François Demachy was honored and met many of us for the first time in person after a long pandemic delay. However all of us were happy to hear from François “that it all started for him in New York” where at long last he was returning to be celebrated for his many achievements. I have gotten to know François from across the pond for decades, as I had the exhilarating experience launching Dior Sauvage as a retailer. We had a plan and instead we set a sales record for a launch together.

If you were not able to join us in person June 9th, please experience the highlights at TFF’s website or just click here for the sizzle reel and individual TFF Awards Winners.

Thank you to the entire fragrance community for your support of TFF Awards and throughout the entire year! We are grateful for all of you.

President, The Fragrance Foundation

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@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

May

SPOTLIGHT: THE POWER OF HOME FRAGRANCE

SPOTLIGHT: THE POWER OF HOME FRAGRANCE
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: THE POWER OF HOME FRAGRANCE

SPOTLIGHT: THE POWER OF HOME FRAGRANCE

A few years ago, it might have been hard to imagine the impact that the pandemic has had on the fragrance industry, particularly in the way that it sparked an explosion of the home scent category. With people spending so much more time in their personal spaces, scented candles, diffusers and other ambient fragrances took on new importance: They became tools to create or alter moods, to mark time, and to deliver joy and peace in a time of chaos. Now that the consumer has truly been awakened to their magic, home scents are certain to remain strong. They have become as much a part of the fabric of our lives as the perfumes we wear on our skin: Just as desirable, and thanks to the continued innovation of imaginative brands, increasingly as creative and diverse. Here, the finalists for the 2022 TFF Candle & Home Collection of the Year Award reflect on the state of the industry and share the inspiration behind their lauded products.  

Boy Smells, Fantôme Collection

Matthew Herman, Co-Founder & Creator                     

In what ways did the Candle & Home fragrance category boom over the past year?

Starting in March of 2020 we saw dramatic increases in demand for the candle and home fragrance category. During these uncertain times the home has become much more than just a place to sleep. It has become an office, a sanctuary, and an extension of ourselves and our identities. Being able to bring small luxuries into the lives of our customers and offer some respite from external stressors brings us a lot of joy. In 2021-2022 specifically, we saw dramatic year over year growth in both home and personal fragrance. It’s been great to participate in the fragrance conversation at a time when it seems to be so greatly appreciated by the consumer. 

What was the inspiration behind the Candle & Home collection nominated for the 2022 Consumer Choice Award?

One of our brand pillars is what we call the ritual of closeness. This is the customer’s ability to self define selfcare. We believe that becoming true to yourself is paramount to your quantity of life. Our Fantôme Collection celebrates this with olfactive structures that encourage a ritualistic sense of meditation. Each of the three scents takes one hero accord, whether that be Thè, Iris or Copal and mixes it with deep smoked accords of wood, leather and spices. Each of the hero accords has an eternal sensibility to them as well as a rich history of different cultural usage throughout time. We hope these very focused olfactive creations induce introspection and reflection. 

What does it mean for the brand to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

Creating Boy Smells is a creative second act for myself and David Kien, our other Co-Founder. Having started in fashion and joined the fragrance industry not through training but through deep admiration and personal love it is humbling and astonishing that we have been recognized by The Fragrance Foundation. Being nominated alongside these iconic brands and legendary noses is a highlight of our journey so far. 

dipytque Paris, Curiosity is a Treasure

Julien Gommichon, President Americas

In what ways did the Candle & Home fragrance category boom over the past year?

Over the past two years, consumers have become increasingly invested in their homes and wellbeing; during this time the brand acquired new clients, discovering the brand online, and through our recent store expansions and incredible 60th anniversary celebration last year. The brand also continues to innovate and add newness to the category, most recently with the introduction of the reed diffuser, which is seeing great success and adding incremental sales to the home category.

What was the inspiration behind the Candle & Home collection nominated for the 2022 Consumer Choice Award?

This was our fifth and final collection of diptyque’s very exciting 60th anniversary year. The common thread of this collection is curiosity, an inheritance passed on by the trio of founding artists who were all astute collectors. Their ability to discern the beauty in all things and unearth wonders led to the success of the Maison. This collection encapsulates this curious lifestyle, which brought us a whimsical and giftable holiday collection.

What does it mean for the brand to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

We are thrilled to be included in this category. Our holiday collections are always so near and dear to the brand’s heart; an annual moment that reflects the core ethos of our founders. The success of this collection is now being further emulated through this nomination, reflecting the growing desirability of the brand.

Jo Malone London, Townhouse Collection Diffusers

Celine Roux, Head of Fragrance Development

In what ways did the Candle & Home fragrance category boom over the past year?

Jo Malone London has always been a lifestyle brand offering scents for the home which create scented stories tailored to any and every space.

Scenting your lifestyle has become even more important recently, where people want to create their own unique space which feels right for them. At Jo Malone London, we experienced unprecedented growth in our home category within the last few years, with significant uplift in our Global Home mix of business, especially our Candles and Diffusers.

What was the inspiration behind the Candle & Home collection nominated for the 2022 Consumer Choice Award?

In Autumn 2020, we launched The Townhouse Collection – a new selection of scents created for the home that takes inspiration from the scented scenes and celebrated moments within a London townhouse; from freshly baked temptations in the drawing room to colorful stories among the vines in the garden room. Six candles make up the collection, each one capturing the unique mood of a particular room or moment within the home.

Wild Berry & Bramble is our ‘welcome home’ scent; a scented pathway leading you to the Townhouse. It was important to have an opening scent in the collection because it’s something you experience when you walk into a person’s home. We felt ours had to be very British and outdoorsy, with this fantastical image of arching brambles and sun-warmed bushes brimming with berries. It creates an inviting mood; it is so joyful and juicy thanks to the fruity blackcurrants and the refined aromatic facets of clary sage and geranium.

What does it mean for the brand to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

For us, it’s always a real honor to be recognised by our consumers.

Mizensir, Winter Candle Collection

Alberto Morillas, Master Perfumer & Founder

In what ways did the Candle & Home fragrance category boom over the past year?

The Candle & Home fragrance category is a growing market. It is a market that has become more and more important because it has become a lifestyle. People like to buy candles to personalize their interior. It’s a sign of refinement. There are more and more brands on the market so there is something for every taste and budget, like perfumes!

What was the inspiration behind the Candle & Home collection nominated for the 2022 Consumer Choice Award?

For the Winter Collection, I wanted to create a poetic and imaged collection by bringing together rich and varied emotions via subtle notes, both delicate and suggestive. Each of the Winter edition scents tells a story, the names of which are the titles: the mountain, the chalet, the coziness, the vacations, the emotions, the memories and the well-being. It is a reflection of my universe and my vision of winter.

With these candles, I wanted you to be able to travel and dream even if you are at home. It is an opening of the mind and imagination.

Let yourself be spellbound and seduced by these fragrances that will catch you by surprise with their magical contents.

What does it mean for the brand to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

For Mizensir and myself, it is a huge honor to be selected for the Consumer Choice category. It makes me happy because there are so many choices and brands on the market and it means that many people have been seduced by Mizensir’s signature and know-how. This is really important to us.

Nest New York, Wild Mint & Eucalyptus Home Fragrance Collection

Laura Slatkin, Founder

In what ways did the Candle & Home fragrance category boom over the past year?

As the greater population remained working from home, or spending more time at home in the past year, the “Scent your Sanctuary” trend continued. During 2020, people found great comfort in fragrancing their homes and creating an enjoyable ambiance to soothe their souls or awaken their senses. Home fragrance is now an important ritual for one’s everyday lifestyle.

What was the inspiration behind the Candle & Home collection nominated for the 2022 Consumer Choice Award?

The inspiration for Wild Mint and Eucalyptus fragrance and our move into the wellness category began five years ago. I experienced this amazing eucalyptus fragrance in the steam room of The Beverly Hills Hotel while on a trip touring colleges with my daughter, Ali. It was so extraordinary to enter The Beverly Hills hotel steam room and inhale this amazing aroma—it immediately lifted my spirits, rejuvenated me and cleared my mind. We asked Jerome Epinette to create a fragrance inspired by the essence of Eucalyptus and we created this outstanding fragrance together—Wild Mint and Eucalyptus. That single experience was the starting point that inspired us to turn to time-honored botanicals and create a collection of wellness fragrances that could enhance one’s body, mind, and spirit.  

 What does it mean for the brand to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

Both The Fragrance Foundation and being nominated for this award is very important to everyone at NEST and to me, both professionally and personally. It’s the industry’s stamp of approval for work well done. It’s a great honor to be nominated —but we want to win!

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF CONSUMER’S CHOICE FINALISTS WOMEN’S & MEN’S

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF CONSUMER’S CHOICE FINALISTS WOMEN’S & MEN’S
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF CONSUMER’S CHOICE FINALISTS WOMEN’S & MEN’S

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF CONSUMER’S CHOICE FINALISTS WOMEN’S & MEN’S

The Consumer’s Choice awards category is an important one for TFF and the fragrance brands that are nominated, for it truly represents the voice of the shoppers who are buying and enjoying fragrance. This year, the diverse array of nominees is testament to the breadth, creativity, and robust health of the fragrance business as a whole. For this month’s Accords, we quizzed the contenders for Women’s Prestige, Women’s Popular, and Men’s about what it takes to make a crowd-pleasing scent.

Women’s Prestige

Dolce & Gabbana, Dolce Rose

Virginie Bourliere,  US VP Marketing for Shiseido Fragrances

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

One of the latest flowers to join the Dolce bouquet, Dolce Rose expresses a new facet of the Dolce girl – bold, upbeat, and sociable – while also celebrating the most iconic of flowers, the rose. The rose acts as a symbol of love, beauty and femininity that is one of Dolce&Gabbana’s iconic patterns. The fragrance, crafted by perfumer Violaine Collas, is an addictive fruity floral, combining delicate rose absolute and crisp rose centifolia with soft musks and tangy redcurrants. Joyful and full of energy, Dolce Rose is a rose of exquisite allure.

How does the fragrance reflect what the consumer is looking for from the brand?

With this fragrance being especially geared towards our Gen Z audience, Dolce Rose is meant to be playful, fun and energetic. Every component of the fragrance, from the rosy hue of the glass bottle to the vibrant red flower cap, reflects the vivacious spirit of the fragrance. Like its counterparts in the Dolce bouquet fragrance collection, Dolce Rose captures a fun and happy attitude in a fragrance that emulates the lively and daring approach of the Dolce girl: a girl with a vibrant mood and playful energy who speaks her mind and brings her spontaneous feminine spirit to the streets.

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

It’s an incredible honor to be among such worthy competition and it’s a testament to our partners and our teams for making this fragrance a great success and for being so well received by our customers.  

 

Kayali, Vanilla 28

Mona Kattan, Founder

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

As a fan of gourmand fragrances, vanilla has always been a go-to note for me, and when we were creating this juice, I wanted something super addictive and indulgent but also comforting and delicious. It was important that this juice could stand on its own or be the perfect topper when it came to pairing it with other scents. I always say Vanilla | 28 is like the whipped cream on your favorite dessert. It just makes everything sweeter, more delicious. 

How does the fragrance reflect what the consumer is looking for from the brand?

When we were developing this brand, Vanilla | 28 was launched with three of our other juices to reflect my love of fragrance layering. All the fragrances were designed to stand on their own and to be layered with others from the original collection to create a certain mood. We got so much criticism in the beginning with people saying, ‘You’re going to tell people to buy two perfumes, you’re insane!’ But layering is so authentic to my heritage and my fragrance experience and I wanted to share that ritual. I owe a lot of the success of this juice to the fragrance community. They have been so supportive and sometimes I truly have to pinch myself when I watch YouTube reviews and TikTok videos showing what they are layering with Vanilla | 28. The love has been overwhelming!

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer’s Choice category?

“It’s surreal to be amongst so many legendary brands. We launched Kayali less than four years ago and it’s been such a challenging journey. There’s been many times where I thought we would not be able to survive as an indie niche brand trying to do something very differently – but with the incredible support of our community and our amazing team, we’ve been able to create something really special and it’s such an honor to be nominated.

MCM

Jean Madar, CEO of Interparfums, INC.

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

Capturing the essence of the brand’s DNA of travel, MCM Eau de Parfum is a transcending journey. Fragrance deconstructed, this spirited floral woody aroma remixes classic perfumery with cutting edge technology resulting in a disruptive scent designed for the global nomad generation. Drawing inspiration from MCM’s cult-classic Stark backpack, the one-of-a-kind bottle design represents an unmistakable synergy between fashion and fragrance.

How does the fragrance reflect what the consumer is looking for from the brand?

MCM is synonymous with freedom of movement, hence we wanted to conceptualize our DNA of mobility through a fragrance that captures the essence of discovery–from sentiment to scent. Our consumer is not confined by rules, gender, boundaries, or location–travel is their creative expression. The MCM fragrance joins them on their voyage of exploration and discovery across real and virtual worlds.

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

We are truly honored by the outpouring of consumer love for the brand. We believe in every person’s right to express themselves. We find ourselves constantly inspired by this creative and curious new generation of universal citizens, all of whom represent a perpetually mobile tribe of style-setters who freely write their own stories without rules or boundaries.

Women’s Popular

Billie Eilish, Eilish

Lori Singer, President Parlux

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

The fragrance is purely a creation of Billie’s own necessity because she, in her own words in an Allure feature, “desperately wanted to wear something that didn’t exist… yet.”  The captivating Amber Gourmand scent, featuring notes of sugared petals, soft spices and vanilla is one that the star had been chasing for years and years, until finally, she created it. 

What are the most important elements in making a fragrance that strikes a chord with so many consumers?

Billie wanted her fragrance to be personal, relatable and intimate. She says, “I just want everybody to be able to see themselves in this bottle and see whoever they wanted to see in the bottle.” “It’s really about embracing yourself, being confident, and loving how you look and the way you feel.” 

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

Billie was quoted in Vogue saying “Perfumes have been one of my greatest joys in life, and I’ve always wanted to make one.” So Eilish being a Finalist for the Consumer Choice category has made the star “Happier Than Ever.”

Dolly Parton, Scent from Above

Dolly Parton

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance? 

I have been dreaming of my own fragrance for years and I feel like it really was “Scent From Above.” It’s bright and irresistible like butterflies in a garden. It has top notes of mandarin, blackcurrant, crisp pear and fresh peony, heart notes of jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and vanilla, and base notes of sandalwood, fir, musk, tonka bean, amber and patchouli. Overall it’s really just floral, fruity, casual and feminine. 

What are the most important elements in making a fragrance that strikes a chord with so many consumers? 

The first part that was important to me was that I personally loved it. I have been experimenting with fragrances all my life, mixing and matching scents and oils, flowers and soaps; Anything that I thought smelled pretty, I wanted to try. As an adult, I’ve been blending my own scents together to come up with my personal signature scent. I only hoped that it would strike a chord with other people, and it looks like it has. 

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category? 

What an honor! I am so proud that we were considered at all, let alone becoming a finalist. All my life I have loved playing in beauty products. Lotions, makeup and of course perfume. Being a finalist in this category means the world to me because it’s for the fans, and I just love that! 

Guess, Bella Vita

Jean Madar, CEO of Interparfums, INC.

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

GUESS is known for its iconic advertising imagery featuring women who embrace all facets of life and the power of their femininity.  This fragrance was inspired by the confidence of the Guess women who celebrate and enjoy life, who create their unique story, their beautiful life, their own “Bella Vita”! 

Designed to celebrate the allure in the personality of the GUESS women, Bella Vita is a floral amber fragrance that opens with bright sparkling top notes, then transitions to a hypnotic luscious heart, and finally leaves a sensual radiant trail. 

What are the most important elements in making a fragrance that strikes a chord with so many consumers?

Fragrance has the power to create an emotional connection.  We wanted to create a scent that would immediately transport us to the glamorous iconic world of GUESS. The GUESS Bella Vita fragrance unmistakably conveys these elements with an irresistible twist, so the consumer has an instant connection to the brand they know and love. 

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category? 

GUESS is thrilled that Bella Vita is a finalist for the Consumer Choice category! Bella Vita is the first feminine blockbuster fragrance created by Interparfums for the GUESS brand. We are truly honored to receive recognition for bringing the passionate, zesty spirit of Bella Vita to life and our work in elevating GUESS in the world of fragrance. It is exciting for us to see how much the consumer continues to embrace the iconic glamour status of the brand. 

Philosophy, Amazing Grace Jasmine

Taous Bellahsene, philosophy Global Marketing Senior Director

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

With Amazing Grace Jasmine eau de Toilette, we wanted to create a fresh, luminous and comforting twist on our iconic favorite — Amazing Grace eau de Toilette. The team was inspired by the delicate and sensuous quality of the jasmine flower, translating it into a modern and alluring fragrance story and bright, eye-catching packaging.

What are the most important elements in making a fragrance that strikes a chord with so many consumers?

The most important element was to keep the connection between the Amazing Grace eau de Toilette and the new twist — which is the softness of the fragrance and the easy to wear aspect — while modernizing the Amazing Grace story with a distinct emotional facet.

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?

It’s a true honor for Amazing Grace Jasmine eau de Toilette to be included in the finalists — a testament to how the ‘whisper-soft’ quality and timeless sillage of Amazing Grace resonate with consumers around the world.

Victoria’s Secret Tease Crème Cloud

Kristen Lagoa, Vice President of Merchandising, Beauty and Accessories 

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

When developing Tease Crème Cloud we were looking to expand upon the gourmand positioning of our Tease fragrance. We were looking for a fragrance that still exuded Tease’s playful positioning but in a softer, dreamier way. When we first smelled Tease Crème Cloud we were instantly attracted to its light-as-air sweetness which is led by the whipped vanilla meringue. It then opens up to a luminous floral heart of exotic santal flower—which gives it this addictive hook. At the base is a bare musk accord that softly floats on skin. The scent inspired everything: the name, the design, the marketing campaign. When you experience it you feel like you are floating on a delicious cloud.

What are the most important elements in making a fragrance that strikes a chord with so many consumers?

A fragrance must be emotional, it has to take you somewhere. That doesn’t necessarily mean a physical place, but can be a mindset. Customers connect with fragrances that fit their various moods and personalities. That emotion, then, must come through as a well told story across every aspect of the fragrance. Secondly, it must be memorable. There are so many fragrances out there. We are always looking for that note or combination of notes that pull you in so you always go back for more. 

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category? 

Our customer is at the heart of everything we do. For our product to have made enough of an impact for them to take time out of their day to recognize us…there is no greater honor.   

Men’s

Burberry, Hero

Aurélien Guichard, Perfumer

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

Burberry Hero features a new masculine spirit exploring the house codes of duality and the power of the animal kingdom. A man in search of transformation and metamorphosis as new modern heroism.

On a personal level, in the middle of my property in the south of France (where I grow rose centifolia), 3 majestic cedar trees dominate the land and overlook the fields of roses. They must be around 50 meters high now. They are strong, they live through a generation of people and they are of extreme beauty. Last year, one cedar got struck by lightning… a year later, the magic scent of the wood remains in the air and the tree still stands. This fragrance is a tribute to this tree.

What makes a fragrance stand out in the men’s category?

The success of a fragrance, I believe, comes in how close the final version is to the initial concept, and how well it pairs with the campaign, the bottle, and the name. The talent involved will all contribute to the success. The fragrance is one element and a very important one, but success is found in the strong link to the brand heritage and the vision of the designer. 

Stetson, Spirit

Emmanuelle Bonte, Chief Marketing Officer

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

Stetson Spirit was inspired by the 40 year relationship of the Stetson Original with its customers. As an iconic American brand, Stetson has always stood for the pioneering, authentic, adaptable, and diverse core of the American spirit and Stetson Spirit continues to build upon that. Stetson Spirit captures the energy of younger consumers into a scent that’s fresh, vibrant, and rooted in adventure. 

What makes a fragrance stand out in the men’s category?

It’s not often that we see a bold, updated idea of a brand that is iconic and embodies the spirit of Americana. With the Stetson Spirit, we embrace a new generation of adventure. from ranchers and cowboys to musicians and mavericks. Stetson Spirit is made for each individual style whether they adventure outdoors or around the city. 

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category? 

We see the launch of Stetson Spirit as a reflection of our evolving times, a fragrance that captures the desire for adventure, freedom, and individuality. We are honored to be recognized for our bold reimagination to reflect our evolving times. 

Tumi, Continuum [12:00 GMT]

Alex Shalbaf, President and CEO

 What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

As the third fragrance introduction from TUMI fragrances, Continuum [12:00 GMT] TUMI Eau de Parfum was created as a celebration of adventure in achievements, the perfect companion on his journey, whatever it may be.

The Perfumer, Catherine Selig, described her inspiration as “Crafted around the idea of fusing an unforgettable, earthy ingredient such as tobacco leaf into a drydown of precious ingredients to reinvent the classic oriental structure. A juxtaposition of ingredients that work harmoniously together to create a raw sophistication, an olfactive duality that is hard to resist.”

What makes a fragrance stand out in the men’s category?

A fragrance that instantly connects with the consumer is a fragrance that stands out in the men’s category. Not only does the fragrance need to be aesthetically pleasing to the male or female consumer, it must also capture their senses. Additionally, the accessibility of the fragrance is very important in today’s market. Continuum [12:00 GMT] TUMI Eau de Parfum definitely represents a fragrance that stands out in the men’s category.

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category? 

It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Fragrance Foundation, especially to be nominated for an award that will be voted on by consumers. It is also validation of the hard work by the many people that brought Continuum [12:00 GMT] Eau de Parfum to the market.  

VS Him Deepwater

Kristen Lagoa, Vice President of Merchandising, Beauty and Accessories

What was the inspiration behind this fragrance?

While many customers love our Men’s Fragrance VS Him Platinum we were noticing more and more customers coming in asking for a fresh olfactive as an alternative to the woody scent of Platinum. The Team worked on this fragrance that opens with bright notes of Frozen Bergamot mixed with aromatic fresh water and Blue Sage. All wrapped in a deep, comforting layer of woody Cedar Leaf. 

What makes a fragrance stand out in the men’s category?

Just like a women’s fragrance, a men’s fragrance has to transport you, it has to convey a story. I think VS Him Deepwater is a very visual fragrance. When I smell it, I can picture myself floating in the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean.

What does it mean for this fragrance to be included in the Finalists for the Consumer Choice category?  

Our customer is at the heart of everything we do. For our product to have made enough of an impact for them to take time out of their day to recognize us…there is no greater honor. 

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS’ PERFUMERS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS’ PERFUMERS
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS’ PERFUMERS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS’ PERFUMERS

What constitutes a Perfume Extraordinaire? Many things: Unique or especially tantalizing ingredients, an unusual composition, a stop-you-in-your-tracks olfactive impact, powerful storytelling. But perhaps more than anything else it comes down to a certain verve on behalf of the perfumer—a facility with raw materials and a willingness to take risks. Here, the noses behind the 2022 TFF Perfume Extraordinaire nominees share their inspirations and give us a peek into their creative processes.   

 

D.S. & Durga St. Vetyver, David Seth Moltz

What was your inspiration for St. Vetyver?

Whenever I travel to the Caribbean, I look for local made cologne. You often find them wrapped in jute sitting in baskets on the floor of shops. They smell old-fashioned and recall sailors of the high seas with aromas of bay rhum and citrus. ST. VETYVER places one of the most beautiful extracts of the region (Top Fraction Haitian Vetyver) into a spicy sailor cologne reimagined for modern tastes. 

What did you want the experience of wearing this scent to be like?

I think ST. VETYVER gives one the chance to armchair travel to Caribbean climes with carefree airs by the sea. It smells fancy and of old world sophistication, sort of like aromatic resort wear.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

It is a great honor to be considered for this based upon the juice alone! It is perhaps the “purest” award for a perfumer. Good luck to everyone!

Kilian L’Heure Vert, Mathieu Nardin

What was your starting point for L’Heure Verte?

The creative idea behind L’Heure Verte came to life during a scented session with Kilian. Kilian and I were smelling and sharing about MANE’s raw materials when we came across Absinth. Absinth, a bold, exquisite and powerful ingredient with a storytelling that perfectly fitted with the spirit of Kilian’s Liquors collection. Indeed, a few decades back, Absinth was known to be the signature drink of the traditional “Happy Hour” and served with a touch of sugar. From this intoxicating note, we chose a triptych of Violet leaves absolute, Patchouli Gayo Pure Jungle Essence™ and Licorice absolute to enrich and contrast Absinth, the star ingredient of this new opus.

How do the notes that you used conjure the feeling or atmosphere you wanted the perfume to have?

Absinth is a challenging raw material to craft with. Its rich aromatic scent is difficult to tame and control. Therefore, I chose to embrace it with Patchouli Gayo Pure Jungle Essence™ to enrich the intoxicating facet of Absinth with a darker sensuality. Then a duo Violet Leaves and Licorice, to enhance the intoxicating aromatic and herbaceous notes. A perfume with an addictive and unforgettable sillage.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

It is a recognition to be nominated and selected among the finalists by experts with whom I share a passion for fragrances. It was a challenging creation, but thanks to Kilian’s strong beliefs and vision, the project gorgeously came to be.

LilaNur Parfums Davana Cèdre, Honorine Blanc

What was the inspiration behind Davana Cèdre?

With Davana Cèdre, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and play with cedarwood and beautiful Indian ingredients in a new way. The idea behind this fragrance is to magnify all the facets of cedarwood, even its imperfections. This is why I combined it with naturals, such as herbaceous davana, and an earthy, spicy angelique. Unique Firmenich musks also helped to enhance the warm sensuality of the cedarwood on the skin.

How did you approach working with the unique ingredients to create a fragrance that honors India?

The two main pillars of this fragrance are davana and cedarwood. On one hand, the cedarwood brings the strength, the intensity of life in India and its wild and vibrant nature – a strong energy I felt when I was there. The davana, on the other hand, brings the sacred spirituality. The elevated spirituality that I experienced while meditating in temples is an intense emotion that I can’t forget. Thanks to Lilanur, I was able to capture and bring back all these memories in Davana Cèdre.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

It’s an honor to be nominated in this unique category. It highlights the choice of ingredients, the structure of the fragrance and the creativity of the perfumer. It’s all about the métier.

Maison Margiela Replica Matcha Meditation, Maurice Roucel & Alexandra Carlin

What was the initial inspiration behind this fragrance?

Alexandra: I wanted to “replicate” the state of complete harmony of the body, mind and soul you reach after meditation or a yoga session. To me it’s a moment of bliss and serenity which I like to extend by drinking matcha tea. I feel like really connecting to nature. Focusing on the now, being in the moment, feeling the flow! At this moment my senses are awake and I’m in the best state of mind for creation. Matcha is also called the “Meditation” tea.

Maurice: A while ago in Tokyo on a fast-paced journey. I remember this timeless moment : a tea ceremony.  It was a very codified traditional ritual, a privileged moment that allowed me to re-focus. Simplicity, purity and peace of mind. Just like yoga, and creating a perfume, preparing matcha tea requires precise gestures, patience and concentration.

What was the creation process like?

Alexandra: Making a perfume is telling a story and giving emotion. In this quest, ingredients are “perfumers’ words”. We associate each one to a color, a sensation, a place, a noise, anything which will help us to memorize them and use them in perfumes. Matcha tea has a green seaweed bitterness and a milky sweetness. It was important to have this contrast in Matcha Meditation and it took several months to find the good balance. The second pillar is orange blossom, whose smell and taste are linked to bliss and childhood in many cultures. 

Maurice: We wanted to explore the facets of Matcha tea and create a new addictive freshness built on citrus, tea notes and comfortable warm notes of matcha using sandalwood, benzoin and white chocolate. I worked on many tea notes in my career but Matcha tea is so intriguing and unusual in Perfumery that I said “yes !” to Alexandra when she asked me to work with her. 

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

Alexandra: It means a lot to me, first of all that we managed to bring our imagination to life and that our perfume touched people. This is why we create perfumes, to provide happiness and emotion. Then, that we were right to be bold, trying a completely different way to create a tea note in perfumes. So happy to be nominated with the one who was my mentor in Symrise and gave me so much.

Tom Ford Ebene Fume, Rodrigo Flores-Roux

What was the starting point for Ébène Fumé?

The original inspiration comes from Tom Ford himself. He loves rich woody characters and is always interested in exploring new dimensions of that olfactive universe. He then discovered Palo Santo (which literally translates to “holy wood” or “saintly wood”) which is the resinous wood of an aromatic tree endemic to the Americas. Its wood and resin emit a powerful incense like scent, and are particularly redolent while being burnt. Mr Ford wanted to evoke a meditative, introspective feeling through a sensual and thought provoking scent, rich in new woody nuances. At that time, I had been working on a rich and powerful woody harmony and it was only natural to graft a rich Palo Santo accord to it, perfected through burning the wood and also using Givaudan’s ScentTrek™ technology. This resulted in a mysterious, perfumed talisman that could connect Earth to Heaven…and beyond.

What do you believe makes this fragrance so special?

I love to think that while Ébène Fumé is nature at its most mysterious and enigmatic, it becomes extremely amplified through the high tech woody ambery ingredients. This innovative encounter ushers both a rich natural feeling and a highly abstract fragrant message. Watching the volutes of thick, fragrant Palo Santo smoke, the image of a black, highly polished object came to mind, intriguingly holy. The scent vocabulary was a parade of Palo Santo wood accord, African Ebony Wood, black pepper, coniferous notes and rose. Ébène Fumé is a unique combination of dark elements that delivers a flash of bright light, a perfume harmony that transcends with spirituality and meditative calm.  

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

I couldn’t feel more honored and privileged to be one of the nominees for this prestigious award. I am very proud and humbled to receive this acknowledgement from my peers and from notable members of the perfume industry of today, so all my gratitude goes to them for it. Additionally, I am celebrating my 30th year working as a perfumer, so being part of this list of candidates feels particularly special. Again, thank you!

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

We are in the final countdown to June 9th for the 2022 TFF Awards, where we will gather in person for the first time in 3 years for this signature event. Now is the perfect opportunity to celebrate TFFAwards Finalists and share the storytelling behind 5 TFF Award categories. While several awards categories are voted on by TFF members to determine the ultimate winners, these Finalists ultimate winners are determined otherwise. 

In our Accords sections’ “Spotlight” + “Scents and Sensibility”, we feature those Finalists in the 4 Consumer Choice categories where consumers submit ballots to determine the ultimate winner. We asked the creators or brand leaders of those who achieved Finalist status to share their inspiration and their perspective on the significance of being a Finalist. Unfortunately, a few Finalists were not able to provide their responses in time for publication.

Accords’ “What the Nose Knows”  features the Perfumers who created the Finalists for Perfume Extraordinaire, the exceptional award based only on the fragrance itself. This is the only award category eligible for nominations by fragrance houses or brands with in-house perfumers. It is judged confidentially and anonymously by perfumers who were not creators of nominations this year. The expert judges complete a confidential ballot focused only on the fragrance itself with a variety of evaluations, and each of the fragrances are submitted in a standard “agnostic” bottle, so that there is no identity.

Every year I advocate celebrating all the Finalists, not just the winners.

This year, more than ever, I must emphasize that reaching Finalist status

which was achieved by indies, mid sized brands and mega-sized brands was a major competition with many in a close race to the final count. 

While all winners for each category will be announced live at the TFF Awards June 9th, let’s celebrate all the Finalists and all who attend and be grateful for this major reunion of the community!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Apr

SPOTLIGHT: SUSTAINABILITY & FRAGRANCE

SPOTLIGHT: SUSTAINABILITY & FRAGRANCE
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: SUSTAINABILITY & FRAGRANCE

SPOTLIGHT: SUSTAINABILITY & FRAGRANCE

Sustainability can have different meanings for different brands, but all can agree one thing: its importance. From recyclable packaging components to the way that ingredients are sourced and processed, the fragrance industry is stepping up to ensure that the impact it makes on the planet is minimal and responsible. Consumers, too, are driving this change, with increasing expectations regarding brands’ transparency regarding environmentally friendly practices. For Earth Month, ACCORDS tapped four brands with strong sustainability messages—Ralph Lauren Polo Earth, Costa Brazil, Amen Candles & House of Bō—to talk about what they are doing to protect the planet, and what we can look forward to in the future from the fragrance industry as a whole.

Alex Choueiri, Ralph Lauren, L’Oréal

Why is sustainability so important for fragrance brands right now?

Sustainability has become an essential part of what all industries need to focus on. Our communities, our employees and our customers are expecting that from us. For the fragrance industry to continue to thrive, we have to revisit everything we do and try to improve. 

What are some of the sustainable measures that your brand has taken?

With the launch of Polo Earth we tried to do a deep dive on every aspect of our marketing mix and tried to push the boundaries to make our product as consciously designed as we can. We learned in that process and started implementing some of the learning (refillability, lighter glass weight, sustainably sourced verified ingredients, post consumer recycled carton and glass) to other products in our range.         

What do you hope to see regarding the future of sustainability and fragrance?

We hope we will continue the journey. We dream of seeing plastic free pumps. Our wooden cap will no longer have a plastic insert from next year. We are also working with all fragrance houses to increase the number of certified sustainable ingredients and fair trade certifications. Much more needs doing but it is an exciting journey.

Francisco Costa, Costa Brazil, Amyris

Why is sustainability so important for fragrance brands right now?

Sustainability needs to be important for all brands right now. For me, and Costa Brazil, it marks the beginning of our story. When I first went into the Amazon and learned more about the benefits of Brazilian ingredients, and self-care rituals from the Yawanawas, I directly sourced everything from them. It was as clear and simple as I’d hoped it could be. Of course, as we grew, the challenge became how to scale and continue to be sustainable. Fortunately, that’s when I met Amyris, leaders in biotechnology and now our parent company. They have helped us choose an even more sustainable path, from packaging to procurement to providing products like Aroma with proprietary ingredients such as Clean Ethanol, which is a non-toxic alternative to other ethanol alcohols because it’s derived from Bonsucro-certified sugarcane, not petrol, it’s non-GMO and, to top it off, it’s upcycled. It’s better for the environment, and you, without sacrificing efficacy. Today, we’re more sustainable than I could have ever imagined.

What are some of the sustainable measures that your brand has taken?

Sustainability is part of the everyday for us. We are always talking about ways to improve, across all tentpoles: animal, environmental and human welfare. We are sustainably sourced, environmentally responsible, cruelty free, and we truly care about our partners on the ground in the Amazon. That said, every time I go back into the rainforest, and witness just how hard and long a sourcing trip for a single ingredient like Breu is, I realize how unsustainable it is for those communities. 

 Currently, we’re in the process of formalizing an agreement that supports these communities through commitments to buy directly from them, and at a fair price, an acknowledgment of their hard work and culture, while also developing sustainable alternative ingredients in the Amyris lab. This way, we can harvest at the amount that will help the forest and its people thrive, but also allow us to scale and push the conversation around clean science.

What do you hope to see regarding the future of sustainability and fragrance?

Safer ingredients. More transparency. Cleaner science. Ongoing respect for nature. There is so much potential when it comes to fragrance. In the office, we have been speaking a lot about the direct line scent has into our immune systems. I want to change the purpose of fragrance. They shouldn’t mask who you are or be worn for others; they should be worn for you, to make you feel better, and help you smell like the best version of yourself. And they should be free of toxins and full of benefits like phytoncides, which are chemicals emitted from trees that have a proven physiological effect on our parasympathetic nervous systems. Aroma evokes such chemicals. How incredible is that? The future of clean beauty and particularly fragrance is incredibly bright.

Rodrigo Garcia, AMEN Candles

Why is sustainability so important for fragrance brands right now?

The oceans are speaking, the earth and climate are calling us to immediate action. Sustainability is not enough and it’s time for Regeneration. Fragrance brands have been using plastics and contributing to plastic contamination to the ocean for decades and this has to stop. We know it is hard, we don’t claim to be perfect, and we don’t expect to fix issues overnight, but what is important is to start incorporating this in all new products and make incremental changes. The philosophy should be  “As Sustainable As Possible As Soon As Possible”. 

What are some of the sustainable measures that your brand has taken?

AMEN started because I was having headaches from paraffin candles, and after searching for many years I partnered with an artisanal candle maker in Grasse to create paraffin-free sustainable candles using vegetal wax. It resulted in a unique combination of sustainability principles with French savoir-faire and high-end design. So since inception we started free of oil-derivative paraffin, and then while defining packaging we refused to use packaging that takes 500 years to decompose for a candle that only burns for 50 hours, and decided to ‘grow’ mushrooms carbon negative packaging for our candles.

AMEN is not about measures that we took to be sustainable, but about our way of thinking to be sustainable from the beginning, is in our DNA, and this is actually how sustainability is taught at universities, is not one measure, but a way of thinking and considering the sustainability aspect of every decision.

What do you hope to see regarding the future of sustainability and fragrance?

There will be two main changes: in the short term a plastic ban on packaging and in the long term a shift to more natural, conscious ingredients.

Soon, it will become unthinkable for a brand to use single-use plastic. Our mushrooms carbon negative packaging is our manifesto. It costs 10 times more than a plastic styrofoam, and as a young brand it was a tough decision to reduce our margins, but we believe that we have to lead by example and support new biodegradable alternatives whenever possible so other brands and designers see that it is possible. Clients support this initiative, and department stores are incredibly supportive, with dedicated areas like Conscious Curation at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. The more brands use biodegradable alternatives, the prices will become more affordable. That is the only way to live in a world without plastics. Recycling is good for the mind to feel less guilty, but it is not good for our oceans.

I am optimistic that we can change this in the right direction. We are in a moment of awakening and shifting towards a more natural, conscious and regenerative period at all levels.

Bernardo Möller, House of Bō 

Why is sustainability so important for fragrance brands right now?

As we move into the future, and society has more access to information, we have become more aware of the issues that affect our planet. I think people are realizing that Earth is rare and precious and we must protect it. Sustainability has not only become a growing trend in fragrance production but in everything we do and consume. Thus, it is important to lead by example by choosing materials and manufacturers that are aligned with this message of sustainability to create an environment where conscious purchases become a priority for consumers. We call it Conscious Luxury, the responsible production of quality goods.  

What are some of the sustainable measures that your brand has taken? 

Our packaging is made from FSC certified paper, our caps are made from reclaimed travertine marble stone, and our glass bottles are manufactured from recyclable glass in a facility that uses sustainable energy. We are also currently developing a refilling program. We believe all these measures contribute to our goal of creating quality goods that minimizes our impact on the environment.

What do you hope to see regarding the future of sustainability and fragrance?

We hope there continues to be a growing commitment within the fragrance industry to use sustainable and responsibly sourced and manufactured  ingredients. Ultimately I believe people will become more aware we are a product of this Earth, which is a system of ecosystems that are all connected. It’s in our best interest to make sure we focus more on cohabiting instead of inhabiting irresponsibly. To achieve this change we must educate and guide the consumer in the right direction by creating trends which ultimately lead to a greater impact. We have a duty to protect our environment which is ultimately the source of inspiration for everything we do.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: INDIE FRAGRANCE FINALISTS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: INDIE FRAGRANCE FINALISTS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: INDIE FRAGRANCE FINALISTS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: INDIE FRAGRANCE FINALISTS

The Finalists for TFF’s 2022 Indie Fragrance of the Year all bring something fresh and intriguing to the table. Arquiste’s Peau recreates the scent of skin; The Maker’s Stag is inspired by the modern nomad; Shalini Parfum’s Fleur Japonaise conjures the peacefulness of Sakura season in Japan; Sous le Manteau’s Odisiaque No. 6 was inspired by an 18th century aphrodisiac recipe; and Veronique Gabai’s Le Point G celebrates female sexuality. Following this month’s TFF Awards Finalists luncheon, we asked each brand’s founders—Olivia Bransbourg, Veronique Gabai, Lev Glazman, Carlos Huber and Shalini Kumar—to share the inspirations behind these outstanding fragrances with ACCORDS.

Olivia Bransbourg

Sous le Manteau, “Odisiaque n°6”

Nathalie Feisthauer, LabScent – Perfumer

What is the inspiration behind Sous le Manteau?

It was on the rediscovery of apothecary formulas forgotten in a 19th century pharmaceutical book, in particular love potions, that I designed Sous Le Manteau: A house of confidential, intimate perfumes, which could only exist for oneself. Inspired by the bewitching power of these ancient potions, I entrusted the perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer with the mission of extracting from these aphrodisiac charms what makes their essence. A bewitchment, loving and timeless. The result is a collection of unisex fragrances decorated with the Best Newcomer Award 2020 awarded by the Fragrance Foundation UK. Poudre impériale, Fontaine Royale, Cuir d’Orient, Essence du Sérail, Vapeurs Diablotines, and Odisiaque n°6: six intriguing or addictive proposals, designed in Grasse with the finest raw materials, an 18% concentration and 100% organic alcohol. Six expressions of yesterday’s love transfigured by the olfactory language of today.

What is the story behind Odisiaque No. 6?

Odisiaque n°6 was designed to evoke the languorous state of a world that is slowly waking up. “I taste the odisiaque hour of your return.” Odisiaque n°6  draws its inspiration from an aphrodisiac formula written in the 18th century by Jean-Claude-Adrien Helvetius, great physician to Louis XV and Marie Leczynska and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences. After an aromatic and zesty accord of Bergamot and an extremely rare essence of Cascarilla specially made available for this formula, Odisiaque n°6 reveals all the warmth of a feasting heart of wild and dry grass. A short formula, whose transparency serves to sublimate the addictive, suave and carnal fragrance of the absolutes of Mate, Liatrix, Tobacco and Tonka Bean. A perfume “made to go and listen to the sea,” according to the playwright Florient Azoulay, to whom Odisiaque n°6 immediately inspired the breath of an oceanic poetry.

Veronique Gabai

Veronique Gabai, Le Point G

Frank Voelkl, Firmenich – Perfumer

What prompted you to create Veronique Gabai fragrances?

Scent is my passion and has always been my creative expression. After years creating perfumes for remarkable brands, I decided to launch my own, with the desire to bring “sunshine for the senses and the soul”. It is all about light and sensuality.

Inspired by the Cote d’Azur where I was born, my brand is there to offer a sensorial escape to the Mediterranean and a connection to Nature through our ethically sourced raw materials and an effort towards sustainability. 

Our sillages are luminous, our rendition on skin extremely sensual. 

I also wanted people to express their personality through scent, so we made this idea part of the line and the experience. Our perfumes can be layered with our Eau du Jour or Eau de la Nuit, also available in Body lotions,  to enhance either the luminosity or the sensuality, and to create a unique signature. We also made sure to offer a personality test based on the correspondence of the senses to help find the perfect one!

And then again, our clients can wear their perfume the way they want, all from re-usable beautiful objects, from our gorgeous refillable bottle, to our on the go travel case or our line of jewelry pieces containing a mini spray. Fun, gorgeous and lasting a very long time….

What was the inspiration behind Le Point G?

I am inspired by women, their generosity, their strength, their subtlety, their stories. I wanted to pay homage to their bodies, their sensuality, their pleasure and do so through the eyes of another woman, with affection, respect and a bit of humor. 

So came le Point G (or the G spot) a perfume built like a pulse, a vibration and a crescendo, from the kiss of rose and iris, the caress of musks, the soft bite of leather, the depth of woods and to the pure pleasure of vanilla. A climactic perfume in other words, one everyone would want to look for, and hopefully find! 

Frank Voelkl of Firmenich was my partner in creating this perfume, a delicate balance of softness and power, and Jennifer Massaux put it all in images, with tenderness and passion. 

Demanding skin chemistry, this perfume is quite unique, probably like our relationship with pleasure and intimacy. You have to try it for yourself!

Lev Glazman

The Maker “Stag Eau de Parfum”

Jerome Epinette, Robertet – Perfumer

What is the story behind The Maker?

Alina and I always sought to bring unique, meaningful — and simply beautiful — experiences to life and this philosophy led us to open the doors to The Maker. 

What began as a bespoke hotel redefining the bohemian travel experience in Hudson, NY, has expanded into a multi-faceted lifestyle brand with a fragrance collection inspired by inhibitions melting away— bottling hotel travel fantasies we’ve lived or long to. 

As beauty veterans who transcended to hospitality, returning to fragrance, a huge passion of mine, has allowed me to inspire guests through sensual spaces and now provocative scents.

What inspired Stag?

Stag is inspired by the modern nomad. Somebody who leaves a mark wherever they roam. Cool and charismatic, yet diabolically independent, their touch is fleeting but their impression is everlasting.

I wanted the fragrance to smell like a rich, clean blend of seductive woods, a scent that smells like innate confidence.

Carlos Huber

Arquiste Parfumeur “Peau”

Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Givaudan – Perfumer

What was the inspiration behind Arquiste as a brand?

ARQUISTE has always been about transporting you to another place in time. 

My career started in architecture and historic preservation, so when I started learning about perfume under the mentorship of Rodrigo Flores-Roux I was fascinated by the timelessness of scent: you can smell an actual eau de cologne formula created in the 17th century and if you pay attention, it can transport you back to that world: the perfumer’s vision, the style and sense of beauty of the era and the raw materials available. 

So with that in mind, before I start a development on a fragrance, I research a fragrant setting as one would an architectural or archeological site. I like to travel and identify diverse stories from around the world that connect people and cultures. I then identify and categorize the details behind these sites into foundational, structural and ornamental notes, which in turn are translated into base, heart and top notes. 

Working with experienced and inspired perfumers like Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Yann Vasnier and Calice Becker, and using high quality, sustainable and responsibly-sourced materials completes the architectural vision of form, function and material quality. 

What was the inspiration for Peau?

Our goal with Peau was to recreate, as vividly as possible, the scent of skin: particularly, the idealized scent of a lover, the memory of their scent. No story felt more evocative than Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinoös, his lost lover. Hadrian commissioned thousands of sculptures of Antinoös all over the Roman Empire, so that through the idealized representation of his body, his memory would be preserved forever. 

Likewise, this fragrance seeks to bottle (and preserve) the idealized scent of the human body. There’s surprising botanical ingredients like white pepper that helped us evoke that slightly spicy, salty and soft musk in skin. My favorite thing about it is that it’s ever present and familiar, while at the same time being hard to describe. Working on this with Rodrigo Flores-Roux was cathartic, especially during a year of lockdowns like that of 2020. We wanted to express longing, intimacy and closeness. To identify that special scent behind the nape of a lover’s neck that tells you you’re home. 

Shalini Kumar

Shalini Parfum “Fleur Japonaise”

Maurice Roucel, Symrise – Perfumer

What inspired you to create Shalini Parfum?  

My journey from Haute Couture to Haute Parfum was destined to happen. I had not envisioned creating a Perfume House.  It all started when I met Maurice Roucel, the renowned Master Perfumer. A friend introduced me to him when he had just moved to New York City from Paris. 

At the time, I was still creating Haute Couture for my own Fashion House, and Maurice visited my atelier. He immediately connected to the timeless elegance of my designs, and a friendship between us was born. As this friendship flourished, we decided to create together a fragrance that would echo the standards of Haute Couture – a composition of the purest, supreme-quality raw materials, executed with Maurice’s extraordinary talent and artistic sensibility.  

Our first perfume was my namesake, SHALINI, which we created on a cold, November afternoon in New York. It was an olfactive painting of my soul – inspired by childhood memories of inhaling the nocturnal beauty of tuberoses in my garden. I desired to present SHALINI in a Lalique crystal flacon that would reflect its exquisite beauty. We introduced the perfume to Bergdorf Goodman with great success, and we were asked to launch Shalini Parfum there exclusively.

What inspired Fleur Japonais?

The series of seven perfumes that I created with Maurice Roucel is inspired by the changing moods and passions of the soul.  Each of our perfumes reflects a stage in the journey of life. Nirvana is life’s final stage, during which the soul comes to the understanding of self, purpose and destiny. A sense of peacefulness prevails in that understanding. It is the transcendent beauty of life that I desired to capture in FLEUR JAPONAIS. 

In Japan, the Sakura and the Samurai are deeply connected, due to the fleeting nature of their lives. FLEUR JAPONAIS is the synergy between the softest of flowers, and the strongest of Japanese men. Naturally, the perfume is an ode to the revered Japanese cherry blossoms. The “Sakura season” is a time of renewal, as well as of celebration of life, as the pink flowers embrace the temples of Kyoto. The delicate flowers are part of the Buddhist themes of mindfulness, and of living in the present.  Maurice brilliantly added the purest frankincense to the composition, thus radiating serene strength and meditative energy.

I see FLEUR JAPONAIS as a timeless metaphor for human existence; it is soft but also tenacious, sensual in all its spirituality, and absolutely heavenly. 

We would like to express our gratitude to the judging panel of the prestigious Fragrance Foundation Awards for recognizing this perfume as one of the five 2022 Finalists in the “Indie Fragrance of the Year” category. We are extremely proud and overjoyed.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: NEW INSIGHT FROM THE MONELL CENTER

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: NEW INSIGHT FROM THE MONELL CENTER
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: NEW INSIGHT FROM THE MONELL CENTER

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: NEW INSIGHT FROM THE MONELL CENTER

Sudden smell and taste loss has become a well-known symptom of COVID-19. However, some people have also woken up to discover that their usual beloved coffee odor has been distorted and now smells like garbage or rotting meat, a condition known as parosmia. Others smell cigarette smoke, for example, when no odor source is present, a condition called phantosmia.

Now, investigators at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and colleagues at AbScent, the University of Reading, and Technische Universität Dresden, have teased out the differences between these two conditions and described them in the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Senses. Knowing the distinct patterns of demographics, medical history, and quality-of-life issues associated with each condition may provide insight into the organization and function of the olfactory system, as well as help physicians better treat their patients. AbScent is a non-profit charity in the UK, founded by Chrissi Kelly, dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of smell disorders.

“It’s clear from our results that these distortions in smell are distinct and common among those with smell impairment,” said lead author Robert Pellegrino, PhD, a Monell postdoctoral fellow. “Identifying patterns in these conditions is a first step to discovering their underlying biological cause.

“We hope this work will attract more research on the reason for these conditions, followed by intervention to help these patients.” For example, the team discovered that parosmia tends to occur three to six months after smell loss, so while this smell distortion has a huge effect on quality of life, it typically resolves faster than phantosmia or smell loss. “And that’s extremely useful for some patients to know,” he added. Despite the obvious differences between parosmia and phantosmia, most studies do not separate them in their analyses and have not gathered quantitative data, instead relying on narratives of anecdotal patient experiences.

The team suspected there might be important lessons to learn by studying what is unique about each condition. They designed a questionnaire to better understand nuances of these disorders of smell to produce quantitative data to describe each state, allowing them to compare and make conclusions about the differences between the conditions. From this, they created a severity metric for research and clinical use, based on the combined frequency and duration of distortion episodes.

“There are major differences in patients’ experiences with these distortions, with some more severe than others and the capacity to cause significant impact on their quality of life. This work could not have been done in the first place if it was not patient-driven,” said Pellegrino. “For instance, these patients frequently report that they are continually reminded of their disorder, which may lead to such mental health conditions as depression. This study arose out of conversations with and comments from people experiencing these difficult disorders.”

The team surveyed over 2,100 people with at least one olfactory disorder acquired during their lifetime. They found that odor distortions were common at 46 percent, with respondents reporting either parosmia at 19 percent, phantosmia at 11 percent, or both at 16 percent. They used an online questionnaire distributed globally in English, with the United Kingdom and the United States representing the largest proportion of respondents. Primary areas of recruitment were the website of the patient advocacy group AbScent and social media posts to AbScent’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Survey data were collected between May 2019 and October 2020.

The distinctions between the disorders include:

Age and Gender: Parosmia patients were more likely to be female and younger than individuals who were phantosmic or had full (anosmic)/partial smell loss (hyposmic). In contrast, phantosmia was more prevalent in 41–50 years olds, and anosmia or hyposmia was more prominent in older individuals. There were no differences in gender between phantosmic vs. anosmic or hyposmic sufferers.

Cause: Viral infection led to parosmia more often than other smell disorders, while traumatic impact to the head led to phantosmia more often than other disorders.

Improvement Timeline: Parosmic individuals were more likely to say their condition improved over time and recovery coincides with the timeline of physiological recovery. On the other hand, phantosmia was more stable, with no change in improvement across time.

Triggers: Most parosmic patients cited specific distorted sources of smell, while only a few phantosmic individuals could identify a source of their smell distortions. When describing the triggers of distorted smelling episodes, parosmic individuals cited odors, such as roasted coffee or garlic. In contrast, phantosmic sufferers noted locations, time, specific sensory input, stress, or memories.

Word cloud of nouns used to describe triggers of parosmia, with size representing word frequency across 375 parosmics.

Word cloud of nouns used to describe triggers of parosmia, with size representing word frequency across 375 parosmics.

The neurological mechanisms of parosmia and phantosmia are still debated among scientists. The Monell team’s work supports a parosmia hypothesis that a sensory neuron (located in the nose) tuned to one odor mistakenly signals the presence of a different odor. “This miswiring may create a flip in the odor perceived, with good odors smelling bad and bad odors smelling good,” said Pellegrino. Phantosmia, on the other hand, might happen if the brain is discharging sporadic signals, leading to odor hallucinations in an individual. Next steps to untangle the cause include confirming these ideas in animal models and translating findings back into treatments to help the patients who report a dramatic impact to their quality of life.

Other research team members are Joel D. Mainland, PhD, Monell; Christine E. Kelly, MSc, AbScent; Jane K. Parker, PhD, University of Reading; and Thomas Hummel, PhD, Technische Universität Dresden.

Research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health (T32DC000014).

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The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, Monell‘s mission is to improve health and well-being by advancing the scientific understanding of taste, smell, and related senses, where our discoveries lead to improving nutritional health, diagnosing and treating disease, addressing smell and taste loss, and digitizing chemosensory data.

EARTH MONTH INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

EARTH MONTH INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

EARTH MONTH INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

EARTH MONTH INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

Our April issue of Accords includes 3 important topics in celebration of Earth Month: sustainability, Indie Brands and an update on the sense of smell from Monell research. Although the topics seem divergent, each topic typifies what we have in common. We are united that scent is essential to our well being, enhances our lives and we all must respect our planet Earth. 

Sustainability is an important focus for the fragrance community. We are united as an industry and are implementing new practices in the entire product cycle from ingredient sourcing to the ultimate packaging. This is a journey we are on now and will be forever with fragrance houses, brands, retailers and all. We highlight leaders of brands that vary in size to show clearly how all can engage in this effort and their stories take us on travels from the jungle to the urban corporate office.

The 2022 Fragrance Foundation Awards Finalists in the Indie category represent brands each created with a unique story and point of view. They were judged objectively by a panel of experts with no brand affiliation. From TFF’s point of view indies are not competitors as each fabulous brand has its own unique personality and scents.

Once again, we thank the Monell Institute for sharing the latest significant research to keep us informed about the sense of smell. This information resonates with us all and we appreciate the clarity as there is much information available affecting those with COVID and other medical challenges that is confusing at times.

Happy Earth Day today – April 22nd! Let us all celebrate together the joy of fragrance as Spring brings us the promise of renewal and reconnecting with nature and IRL reunions!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

signature.png

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Mar

SPOTLIGHT:
WOMEN DRIVING INDUSTRY DIVERSITY & INNOVATION

SPOTLIGHT:<br>WOMEN DRIVING INDUSTRY DIVERSITY & INNOVATION
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT:
WOMEN DRIVING INDUSTRY DIVERSITY & INNOVATION

SPOTLIGHT:<br>WOMEN DRIVING INDUSTRY DIVERSITY & INNOVATION

This year’s virtual TFF event to celebrate Fragrance Day on March 21st raised the bar for exceptional participation and engagement, and the digital program emphasized the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to forge a bright and flourishing future for the industry. Among the highlights of the day were two especially inspiring women who have risen to great heights in their careers: Carol J. Hamilton, L’Oreal USA, Group President Acquisitions Women, and Ilaria Resta, Firmenich, Global President Perfumery Division and Executive Board Director, Women Driving Industry Diversity & Innovation. These two titans discussed their career paths and current roles with Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy and Fragrance Foundation Senior Director Sharné Jackson, and shared their thoughts on the importance of mentorship and why the #FragranceForwardTFF movement is such a crucial step in opening up the world of fragrance to creative and passionate individuals from all backgrounds. Read on for some of the highlights.

Carol Hamilton, L’Oreal USA, Group President Acquisitions Women

Linda G. Levy:
Being a woman and rising up as you have is a major accomplishment. Why is diversity—including women, and LGBTQ+ and beyond—so important in the industry?

Carol J. Hamilton:
Diversity is so important. I am very happy that our industry is embracing diversity—I believe in a truly deeper, newer way than before, which was often storytelling but without really digging in and doing the hard work of searching for and righting and balancing the many big inequities of the past. You have to fix things before you can truly start treating everyone equally, because if you just start treating everybody equally and problems and inequities still exist, those are just going to persist as you try to equalize the workplace.

If you are curious about people, if you love people, if you respect people, and you create a diverse group of people on your team through your hiring practices and your retention practices, you will have a much happier and therefore more productive team. The different points of view when you have a diverse team, versus one that is not diverse, are remarkable. Every once in a while, I am thrown back to what I experienced a lot early in my career, which was walking into a room of white men in their 40s or 50s all wearing pretty much the same suit in pretty much the same shade of grey or navy and looking at them and thinking: how am I going to learn from these people? They all become one in your lens. Now when I walk into a room I see so much diversity.

When I met the Youth to the People [Hamilton spearheaded the brand’s acquisition by L’Oreal] team for the first time, I saw that they walk the talk: They embody diversity from the ground up. And it makes their business so much stronger, because they understand the voice of the consumer through their diverse employee population. I am very proud that they have done that, and that L’Oreal is learning even more deeply how to reflect that kind of best practice in our teams at large. It’s one of the most important questions we’re all facing as leaders in this industry.

LGL:
Why is it so important that the Fragrance Foundation be involved as a leader in this initiative with #FragranceForwardTFF?

CJH:
First of all, I love it. It’s so important for the fragrance industry, because the fragrance industry has some stereotypes to shed. We’re known as being very French, for a start, and I think of diversity as cultural diversity as well. So spreading the incredible competencies that it takes to create a beautiful long lasting fragrance is really exciting for this industry culturally, and I think that sometimes the stereotypes that our industry can convey through our advertising – man gets girl, for example – it’s exciting for all of us to think about how we can sell fragrance, how we can create this unbelievable emotion that fragrance evokes, in a different format, with different cultural icons, with things that are not that one standard that just keeps repeating the past and violates who human beings are today. We are so much more interesting than that, and I think that the fragrance industry can embody and reflect all of us, and with your work it’s really starting to happen.

Ilaria Resta, Firmenich, Global President Perfumery Division and Executive Board Director, Women Driving Industry Diversity & Innovation

Sharné Jackson:
What have been some of your most rewarding career moments, and what advice would you give a young person who wants to pursue a career in the fragrance industry?

Ilaria Resta:
When I look back at my career I don’t see achievements, I see the faces of the people I have worked with over the last 25 years. I can vividly remember the moments we shared. And for me the biggest reward is when I can promote people in their career and when I see people in my organization growing. I am also really rewarded by transformation in the business. I love when you are the architect of a change—seeing the change and the disruption that you plan happen successfully.

As for advice, I would say the same to anyone starting a career in any field: I believe in the power of the three L’s: love, learn, and legacy. You need to love what you do. Love doesn’t always come easy. You will have hurdles. But what’s important is that you see the bright side of your love and feed your passion. Second, if you keep on learning every day and move from an attitude of ‘I know everything, I know how it’s done’ to one of openness and learning every day and learning new ways of solving problems that will give you agility and the ability to adjust to new realities. And the third one is legacy. You need to be able, when you do a job, to look back and be proud of what you left behind. It could be on the business side, or it could be a fragrance you created. What’s important is that you have that as a lighthouse as you keep on working.

Linda G. Levy:
Why is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion so necessary in the industry and why is #FragranceForwardTFF so important?

Ilaria Resta:
It is fundamental. Diversity is an obligation to represent society. And as society changes, diversity will change, and the meaning of diversity will change. I am a true believer that we need to be a mirror of society and represent in an equitable way our society. Today, it is not the case in this industry. And it’s surprising, because this is an industry whose products are consumed by women and loved by women and we have amazing women creators. But still, diversity is not there in the management teams, and there is no diversity across geography in terms of ethnicity, so I see many gaps in diversity. It is fundamental that as leaders in our roles in the industry we need to push for it and enforce it. Sometimes you need to force something from specific hiring practices and focus on diversity as criteria number one. I hope one day this will no longer be the case because we will reach a level of parity.

I am surprised that we lack diversity because it is very well proven by millions of studies that diversity improves business results – and not only that it improves creativity because through diversity and different points of view creativity increases and creativity is the lifeblood of this industry. So, I see no reason why we shouldn’t push for diversity. It’s an effort, because starting from the schools there isn’t even equal representation there, and I’m not talking only about sexual representation but also country of origin, sexual orientation, everything – so even at the base of our recruitment we cannot find diversity.
But what we cannot achieve we need to create. We need to give the tools to educate the people who are under-represented in our industry. We should as an industry talk about how we can create the conditions for all of the under-represented people to have access to our industry.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE INFLUENCERS JOIN FRAGRANCE DAY

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE INFLUENCERS JOIN FRAGRANCE DAY
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE INFLUENCERS JOIN FRAGRANCE DAY

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE INFLUENCERS JOIN FRAGRANCE DAY

As we all know, discovering new scents and brands is a great, and supremely rewarding, delight. Fragrance Day 2022 brought this to life with segments that featured three influencers welcoming new members to The Fragrance Foundation, telling the stories of the brands and sharing their olfactive impressions while showcasing a selection of exciting, intriguing scents.

First up was Tiff Benson (@tiffbenson), a self-described New York perfumista, who began with Robert Piquet Parfums, a brand “known for their elegance and sophistication in fragrance” and “iconic beautiful black bottles.” She described the newest offering Bandit Supreme, a leathery, green, aromatic, mossy fragrance, as “retro with a modern twist,” “the perfect unisex scent for chypre lovers,” and “a must-try.”

Next, Benson presented LilaNur Parfums, India’s first luxury fragrance house, which celebrates the riches of Indian floriculture through the lens of French perfumers, saying, “I really admire how the brand embraces its own culture and its unique perspective on fragrance.” She highlighted Rajni Nocturne, which “is all about the scent of night-blooming tuberose” and the Discovery Set, which contains 7 perfumes, including her favorite, the “stunning” Agar Epice.

About Lumira, a luxury niche house from Australia, Benson said, “This company sticks by its ethos which is to be sustainably conscious– using only non-toxic, cruelty free, vegan ingredients. I love that.” She shared Radiant Oud—“If you like resinous, slightly sweet, alluring fragrances, Radiant Oud will leave you with a lasting impression”—and called out Tuscan Fig as a favorite from Lumira’s perfume oil collection.

Benson demonstrated how to use House of Bo’s ingenious fragrance primer, then gushed about the scents themselves, all created by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux—especially Espiritu: “I am obsessed with this wonderful woody fragrance with a touch of leather as well as floral notes of iris and rose. I receive so many compliments when I wear it.” Another new favorite? Libertine, by The Maker, a brand connected to the Maker Hotel in Hudson New York and created by the founders of Fresh. “I love this as a skin scent because the white musk really does pop off the skin in a natural, familiar way.”

Lastly, Benson introduced La Maison Valmont, a luxury fragrance collection made in Italy and inspired by stories of Venice. About Just Bloom, which has notes of lily-of-the-valley, ambergris and gardenia, she said, “This fragrance is warm and buttery; it’s a sensual floral that’s inspired by the contemporary woman. It’s polished and elegant like all of the fragrances from this brand.”

Emma Vernon, fragrance content creator on TikTok, a comedian, and the host of The Perfume Room fragrance podcast (@perfumeroompod) welcomed the next batch of new TFF members, starting with black-owned, female-owned Mair. The fragrance Peony Silk, she said, “is a fragrance for someone who is going to order a mimosa with a meal. Because it’s sophisticated and elegant, but it’s fun. This is that friend who gets ready before everyone else but looks the most put together.”

From Aspen Apothecary, a black-owned, female-owned, CBD infused, cruelty-free and vegan brand founded in 2020, Vernon shares Dusk, a new scent with notes of grapefruit, fig, lily, cedarwood, frankincense, patchouli. “It has an air of luxury in an effortless way,” she said, comparing it to those people who never seem to need reservations to get into the most in-demand restaurants. “The frankincense and patchouli really ground it in something deep and stunning.”

Vacation, she said, “does sunscreen better than sunscreen does.” She painted the picture: “You’re at an all-inclusive resort, basking in the sun, a little bit wet in your bathing suit, lying on a pool toy, lathering on coconut oil in one hand and drinking a pineapple daiquiri in another.” That she said, “is Vacation in a bottle.”

Sir Candle Man (@sircandleman), the Zimbabwe-born, Los Angeles-based candle lover who curates and reviews luxury candles for his followers online, presented new TFF members with candles, but also provided a series of tips on how best to enjoy and use candles in the home. “I personally love a brand that has a story, is backed by a master perfumer, and burns clean,” he said, demonstrating this point with Mizensir, by master perfumer Alberto Morillas. About Palo Santo, a candle with notes of Ceylon tea, cinnamon, and woods, he said, “It feels like a candle you would burn in a sacred space. A candle to give you respite from the crazy busy world.” He showed off his 5-wick Santal Vanille from Voluspa, a brand he said “creates fragrances that transport you to another world,” and gave a major tip: Before you light a candle, always trim the wick to a quarter inch. This keeps the flame from getting too big and creating smoke, and also prevents soot build-up.”

From Source Adage, which creates unique handmade candles made with essential oils, he sampled Great Plains, a green, meadowy scent that he said “smells exquisite. I imagine being in the countryside, on a horse, wearing leather. It’s outdoor luxury.” And then, another tip: Always burn a candle long enough to make sure the entire surface melts, which will ensure that you always get an even burn.

A beautiful candle vessel can become a permanent fixture in your living space, with a multitude of uses. Sir Candle Man, a big believer in using candle vessels as décor, reveals Sacred Ember, from Wickers Creek. “it’s the kind of candle you want people to see when they walk into your home.” And even better? “It smells like a warm hug with friends by a campfire.” Lastly, Sir Candle Man demonstrated how to extinguish a candle—and blowing one out is not best practice. Instead, try using an elegant candle snuffer or a wick dipper. Because don’t you want to treat your beautiful scented candles with utmost care? As Sir Candle Man said in closing: “Take care of your candles and they will take care of you.”

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:
MONELL CENTER ADVANCES IN SMELL TESTING

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:<br>MONELL CENTER ADVANCES IN SMELL TESTING
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:
MONELL CENTER ADVANCES IN SMELL TESTING

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:<br>MONELL CENTER ADVANCES IN SMELL TESTING

The Fragrance Foundation has developed a strong relationship with the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the country’s leading research facility for all things related to how our sense of smell functions and affects our behavior, moods, and overall health. For the second year in a row, Monell research scientist Dr. Pamela Dalton joined Linda G. Levy in conversation for Fragrance Day, and shared fascinating insight into what has been learned regarding how COVID-19 manifests loss of smell, and how Monell’s SCENTinel Program, which has applications far beyond the pandemic, can help everyone track changes in their olfactive acuity.

Linda G. Levy:
What can a person do to regain their sense of smell if they continue to experience it as part of Long Covid?

Pamela Dalton:
If it’s persistent, they should consult a physician, especially an ENT or someone who can ensure there is no swelling or congestion that would affect the lack of smell. Usually with Long Covid that is not the case. It has to do more with the cells that are responsible for letting our olfactory receptors send smell signals to our brains. For that reason there are not many treatments that we know of. One thing that helps many people is smell training. You select four or five different odors. They can be spices, essential oils, or personal care products. Things that you remember how they smell. And twice a day you take about five minutes in the morning and five in the evening, and you intentionally smell them and think about what the memory of that scent was like even if you’re not getting any scent at all. This seems to be able to restart the process of smelling for some people.

LGL:
Could smell loss happen over and over again if someone is reinfected?

PD:
Unfortunately, yes. I personally know people who had smell loss with the first variant, and then when Delta came around they were reinfected despite being vaccinated and boosted. They did lose their sense of smell, but they recovered both times. We don’t know how repeat insults to the system can affect smell, but we are learning all the time. It’s a horrible thing, but it is an important opportunity for us to remember to value how important our sense of smell is and also to learn as much as we can about how it works and what can disrupt it.

LGL:
What is Monell’s SCENTinel test?

PD:
We were intrigued that one of the first symptoms of Covid was sudden loss of smell and taste. In many cases it was an earlier signifier than a fever. Our idea was to develop a way that people could be quickly screened.

Our SCENTinel test is a unique smell test. It measures four different aspects of our ability to smell, and it is done in less than two minutes. Most smell tests are of the scratch and sniff variety, where you scratch a card and are asked to describe what you smell. We embody four different types of metrics in one test. The card has three patches, only one of which contains the odor. You lift the cover – you don’t have to scratch it – and you decide first of all which patch contains the odor. The second question is how strong the odor is. The third is what does it smell like, and you are given four images to choose from. And the final question is, how pleasant is it? Because some people who have smell loss from Covid, as they begin to recover, have a distortion that makes things that used to smell good smell very bad.
We were funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop this as a screening method for Covid but we see it as having broader implications for understanding the ability of people to smell more generally. We’re all about universal smell testing. In the same way that we get our eyes and ears checked, we should get our sense of smell tested throughout our lives. Right now, SCENTinel is a research tool but very soon we hope it will be available for sale.

LGL:
Why is it so important to know where you are with your sense of smell and how it changes over time?

PD:
Changes in our ability to smell can tell us so much about underlying health conditions. We know for example that many neurodegenerative diseases start with an inability to smell, years before there is a cognitive decline or, in the case of Parkinson’s, before there are motor symptoms. Seeing changes in your sense of smell over time may tell you that you need to be screened. Or it might tell you that you need to have a methane detector installed in your home, for example. There have been many stories over the course of the pandemic about one person in a home who hadn’t lost their sense of smell being able to alert others, who had lost their sense of smell, to a fire. These are potentially life-saving situations and show just how important it is to know if our sense of smell has diminished.

For readers wanting to receive a SCENTinel card, please email: rapidsmelltest@monell.org. And, for people wanting to continue learning about the science of smell, please visit monell.org/fragranceday.

THE FRAGRANCE DAY INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE FRAGRANCE DAY INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE FRAGRANCE DAY INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE FRAGRANCE DAY INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

While this spring continues to evolve globally with uncertainty and ever evolving change affected by war and the pandemic, we are dedicated to joining forces with our community to share the creativity, innovation and transformative powers of fragrance.

Our March issue of Accords provides highlights of the BIG day. You can still experience any segment via TFF’s website. March 21st, The Fragrance Day 2022 elevated this annual celebration to a new height and was viewed on the day by more than 3000 viewers. Replay was available the next day and thousands viewed on their own around the globe.

We received great reviews on the content, with Perfumers called out as the greatest stars who shared trends from fragrance house members or their creative process with brand creators. The new event feature of the Scent Discovery Kit, received by the first 1000 US residents to register, was a major success and the ability to experience the scents while learning its story was considered of great value to all.

Fragrance Day was also a natural progression of #FragranceForwardTFF, our #1 priority to galvanize the industry for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As March is Women’s History Month, we were fortunate to include discussions with two fabulous and successful women of the industry: Ilaria Resta of Firmenich and Carol Hamilton of L’Oréal, who inspired us with all they shared.

In addition, the annual TFF interview with the Monell Center’s Dr. Pamela Dalton on the sense of smell and the impact of Covid was highly informative. TFF will continue our connection with Monell and share updates throughout the year.

While TFF offered this free event to all, The Fragrance Day was celebrated by retailers and brands across the USA with both in store and online special events and promotions. This year we had more media coverage than ever before, generating coverage to a potential audience of over 200 million via TV, print and social media.

Enjoy this issue and make every day Fragrance Day!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

signature.png

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Feb

SPOTLIGHT:
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS

SPOTLIGHT:<br>WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT:
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS

SPOTLIGHT:<br>WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS

Keta Burke-Williams, Founder

How would you describe your brand’s unique passion and point of view?

Aspen Apothecary exists to create non-toxic, earth friendly fragrances that amplify you as you are. We are inspired by a story our Jamaican mother told us that showed us the power of scent and memory. We are inspired by the knowledge that beautiful fragrances that make us feel good can be crafted without many traditional toxins, and we are driven by the belief that we are all deserving. We are enough as we are, and our fragrances exist to celebrate that!

Why did you decide to join TFF?

We were particularly inspired to join TFF after attending a webinar and learning more about the #fragranceforwardtff initiative. It’s no secret that the industry is not diverse, and we want to be change-drivers reshaping that narrative of who can be the faces behind the brands. We are excited to be members alongside some members and institutions with incredible industry knowledge and passion. We can’t wait to learn from other members, and share our unique perspective as newcomers to the industry to see how we can all take part in helping the world experience the power of scent. I truly believe scent has the power to make us feel and help us connect, and The Fragrance Foundation does important work to help us all consider what the future of fragrance can and should look like.

What do you believe that your brand can contribute to TFF’s mission “to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance”?

Black, female founded and owned, our very existence is driving change in fragrance. We want to change who has a hand in creating fragrances and who fragrances are created for. We are creating fragrances for those of us who have been left out of the traditional narrative, due to color, belief, self-expression, or identity.
We are so excited to bring our unique viewpoint because we believe fragrance has the power to connect us. It allows us to recognize the humanity in one another. For us, fragrance and the power of scent are the ultimate form of self-care, so we are excited to inspire others to experience the world of fragrance!

Mara Dumski, Chief Fragrance Experience Officer

How would you describe your brand’s unique passion and point of view?

We simply want to bring the beauty of fragrance to more people, more often. That ambition led to innovation that blends fragrance, creativity, and technology together to create a home scenting experience unlike any other. We are curators and collaborators with a diverse and prestigious marketplace encompassing the perfect fragrance experience for all individuals.

Why did you decide to join TFF?

Quality changes everything. If our fragrances aren’t the best, created by the best in the industry, we have no place in millions of homes. We know that being part of The Fragrance Foundation gives us the opportunity to rub shoulders with industry leaders, and leads us to putting the best fragrances in the homes of our customers. It is a privilege to associate with organizations prioritizing shared values like the Fragrance Foundation’s mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

What do you believe that your brand can contribute to TFF’s mission “to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance”?

Our innovative marriage of fragrance and technology delivers the experience of scent to homes in a way people have never quite felt before. Pura and the Fragrance Foundation understand that fragrance can change your day, your mood, your life, and your attitude. Scent transports you to places where memories are emotional and opens your heart for music to play and colors to dance. Through Pura’s belief in the power of fragrance, we bring the voice of the future to The Fragrance Foundation.

Jim Maki, President

How would you describe your brand’s unique passion and point of view?

Sisley-Paris is a family-owned French cosmetics company with a rich history in fragrances. Even before the brand launched in 1976, Hubert d’Ornano and his brother founded a small perfumery business together. The d’Ornano family looks at each fragrance as though it is a work of art and is inspired by their own personal experiences and memories when creating them. Each perfume not only contains high quality rare essences that are perfectly balanced but the bottles are also little works of art, designed by Polish sculptor Bronislaw Krzysztof.

Why did you decide to join TFF?

Given Sisley’s rich history in fragrances and deep passion for the axis and world as a whole, we look forward to being more involved in the fragrance community. We are interested in learning more from industry experts and working alongside others in the organization to teach and inspire.

What do you believe that your brand can contribute to TFF’s mission “to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance”?

Fragrances are so deeply personal to the d’Ornano family with each scent having its own unique story. Sharing the story of the family’s passion for scent and their journey when creating notes and accords that are distinctly their own is what truly brings the Sisley fragrance house to life. We can’t wait to share new exciting innovations in our collections that continue to highlight our heritage and unique mark on the fragrance category.

Robert Dobay & Christopher Draghi, Founders


How would you describe your brand’s unique passion and point of view?


We are just as passionate about the process of creating a fragrance as we are about sharing it with the world. Because we formulate the initial accords and facets for target compositions in-house before going to the team at the fragrance house to perfect, our brand’s distinct point of view is inherent in each of our final fragrances. It is important to us to have original scents that are uniquely “adage”.


Why did you decide to join TFF?


The Fragrance Foundation has the credibility and the resources to help us introduce our brand and to connect with the best in the industry. Our love of fragrance, the formulation process, and the excitement of bringing a finished product to the shelf is a shared joy in the community that we look forward to participating in.


What do you believe that your brand can contribute to TFF’s mission “to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance”?


Beyond expressing our passion for what we do, we hope that we contribute to the education of the fragrance consumer as well. Our fragrances are not only an expression of our own passion and creativity but also of the mastery of a team of expert perfumers and evaluators. We cherish that partnership, we learn from it ourselves, and try to inform our audience of what is involved to bring a fragrance to life so that they have a better appreciation for the scents they wear.

Brittany Bell, Director of Fragrance & Education

How would you describe your brand’s unique passion and point of view?

We believe that though our eyes show us the world, it’s what we breathe in that brings us closer to it. At Voluspa, we handcraft scents filled with the essence of exotic locations, rare ingredients and unique experiences, and package them in vibrantly evocative designs that capture a true sense of place. Every fragrance enables a personal journey of discovery that brings the best of the world into your world and expands your horizons along the way.

Why did you decide to join TFF?

We are thrilled to join the TFF to connect with like-minded industry professionals and brands who are passionate about fragrance and fragrance culture. We are so excited to utilize our membership with TFF to further learn and immerse ourselves in the industry and to continue to grow and develop our products and brand.

What do you believe that your brand can contribute to TFF’s mission “to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance”?

With the strike of a match, our complex, globally-sourced fragrances instantly construct a world around you that illuminates your unique interests and passions. Not only do our products ignite a sense of adventure and travel, the vessels themselves are equally captivating, transforming not only your mood but physical space as well, through the use of colors, intricate patterns, textures and more. Our fragrances inspire others to unlock a world of discovery through scent by their transportive qualities, erasing the space between memory and reverie to fill in the details of a daydream.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:
NOTABLES COMMIT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:<br>NOTABLES COMMIT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:
NOTABLES COMMIT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:<br>NOTABLES COMMIT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

The Fragrance Foundation welcomed a new class of TFF Notables in a virtual ceremony on February 16th, warmly congratulating a group of eleven individuals who had been nominated by their colleagues for their outstanding career performance. The message shared by all was TFF’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in all aspects of the fragrance industry. The importance of taking action on this front was reinforced by both Jerry Vittoria, Chairman, the Fragrance Foundation, and President, Fine Fragrance Global, Firmenich, and Linda G. Levy, President, The Fragrance Foundation, and each of the Notables was asked to express how they personally would pledge to deliver on the #FragranceForwardTFF mission.

As the Notables will join TFF as ambassadors in the Scents of Success career path series, a series of educational initiatives involving visits to colleges throughout the country, education played a key role in many of the speeches. Notable Amy Caljean, Senior Fragrances Development Manager at MANE, said, “It is time to set the stage for the new and long-awaited standard of our industry. As an ambassador of this movement, my focus is to educate and guide students of my alma mater how to pave their path into this industry. I have the special opportunity to promote exciting careers for those who may not know what awaits them in the inclusive and very human world of scent.” Notable Segolene Dewey, Fragrance Development Manager Firmenich, who established the company’s Changemaker Committee, expressed a devotion to mentoring programs and to “educating external talent about this magical world of fragrance.” Notable Vanessa Marques, Senior Project Coordinator, Symrise, pledged “to be a part of conversations with students from any and all backgrounds on how they too can build a career within this space,” and Notable Alison Zimmernmann, Global Marketing Director Calvin Klein & Marc Jacobs Fragrances, Coty, said, “It is a privilege to work in an industry that empowers people in their everyday lives. I look forward to dedicating my time with the Fragrance Foundation to bring awareness to the many career opportunities in the industry, actively reaching out to universities and new communities.”

Others voiced their commitment to opening up inclusion among consumers as well as in the workplace. Notable Shui Hwang, Senior Marketing Manager, Luxury US Coty promised to pass on her knowledge and opportunities “in particular to diverse audiences,” while Notable Melissa Lombardo, Marketing Manager IFF, stated, “It is our job to authentically represent our consumer’s voice and story.” Notable Alexa Kagan, Senior Brand Manager of Marc Jacobs Fragrances at Coty, said, “I’m so proud of our industry for championing Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the workplace. I am taking actionable steps with DEI starting with the hiring process, making sure we are bringing diversity to our teams every day but also following through and making sure that everyone is comfortable and has a voice at the table. I hope everyone takes this as a next step in their workplace too.” Notable Kristin Wiacek, Director Consumer Insights, Takasago, noted that “since fragrance creation requires a range of talents, from creative to analytical, it can be applicable to all people with varying skill sets. I look forward to sharing my personal experiences within consumer insights, as we represent the voice of the people and how we approach Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is critical to our research, from data collection to storytelling.”

Some Notables expressed their DEI mission as being inseparable from the greater mission of fragrance itself—that is, to bring joy to everyone in the world, regardless of their background, gender, or beliefs. Florie Tanquerel, Cosmo International Fragrances Perfumer, talked about the way that fragrance can bring happiness and enact real inclusive change, citing her work creating a candle for Labyrinth Made Goods, which gives money to women who have experienced incarceration, and Notable Hassan Benabid, Director of Education Tom Ford Beauty, Kilian Paris, and Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, Estée Lauder Companies, said “I want to inspire people that fragrance is all about joy. It’s not about being a man or a woman, everyone is equal.” Notable Gianni Magliaro, Sales Account Executive, Robertet vowed, “My goal is to continue to push our industry forward to create, innovate, and to be an inclusive place to work,” adding words that sum up the positive future outlook for everyone involved in The Notables ceremony as well as the fragrance world as a whole: “The fragrance industry is a place everyone can call home.”

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:
NEW TFF MEMBERS ON WORKING WITH PERFUMERS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:<br>NEW TFF MEMBERS ON WORKING WITH PERFUMERS
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:
NEW TFF MEMBERS ON WORKING WITH PERFUMERS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS:<br>NEW TFF MEMBERS ON WORKING WITH PERFUMERS

Bernardo Möller, Founder and Creative Director

What do you enjoy most about creating a fragrance(s) with a perfumer for your brand?
Creating an experience that helps tell a story behind each scent. I believe perfumers are truly architects of memories.

What opportunities for scent creativity did you experience working with your perfumer(s)?
Rodrigo Flores-Roux and I are both Mexican therefore we were able to draw a lot of creativity from our upbringing as we were inspired by similar things growing up. For Espiritu, we used Mexican Maculis wood notes which is a kind of tree that surrounded my childhood home and for La Mar we used sea water notes which reminded us of our times with our family in Mexico’s coastline. I believe these notes were key in making these fragrances truly unique and transportive.

How are the fragrances that you created for your brand unique?
We really focused on making a collection of scents that were truly transportive and universal. These scents not only represent memories but heritage as well. The sea water notes of La Mar, the incorporation of mexican maculis wood in Espiritu, and our modern interpretation of the generational Mexican Agua de Colonias with Agua de Santos truly made these scents story tellers that are made with the highest quality of natural, raw, and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Lev Glazman, Co-Founder

What do you enjoy most about creating a fragrance(s) with a perfumer for your brand?
I always dream about fragrances with specific accords and compositions in my head, which are inspired by a personal story, a moment or place. What I love about this process is taking the perfumer on my creative journey, which makes it an incredible collaboration to create the fragrance I imagine in my head. It’s inspiring to see how the perfumer interprets my dream and then brings it to life with their technical craft.

What opportunities for scent creativity did you experience working with your perfumer(s)?
I find the opportunity in the creative process is to not just interpret an ingredient singularly, but how it smells in its own environment.
For example, when I’m dreaming about a tuberose, I’m envisioning not just how the tuberose smells on its own, but also how it smells in nature. The smell of the earth that is warmed by the sun, the smell of the trees nearby, and the scent of the air around it. These are the integral components when developing a multi-dimensional accord of any composition.

How are the fragrances that you created for your brand unique?
When we created The Maker collection we wanted to make sure every fragrance has their own unique character, but also an interconnectedness between them to tell a harmonious story. They are all sensual, complex, and easy to layer together.



Dakota Green, Executive Chair: Operations

What do you enjoy most about creating a fragrance(s) with a perfumer for your brand?

Carlos Huber and Rodrigo Flores-Roux are simply the best at what they do, and we had so much fun bringing our signature scent to life with them. Our brand is all about creating “leisure enhancing” sunscreen products, and through the development process we identified that people have a really deep connection with the smell of sunscreen. It’s not something you’d realize until digging into it, but with scent and memory being so intrinsically tied, nearly everyone has a cherished memory of sunscreen. One sniff brings you back to the best times of your life: you’re out of school, hanging out by the pool, and your only worry is when the sun is going to go down. Carlos and Rodrigo were able to bottle that emotional, nostalgic, and beloved poolside experience that so many people share.

What opportunities for scent creativity did you experience working with your perfumers?

Carlos and Rodrigo both have really rich, treasured memories of spending family vacations in Acapulco, and during the creative process they dove into those moments – reminiscing about how the salt air mingled with pool water and sunkissed skin. They called upon notes found in classic sunscreens to give you a jolt of nostalgia at the start, but layered these with beautifully nuanced notes that capture classic poolside memories such as plastic pool toys, pool water, and even swimsuit lycra to completely transport you to a sunsoaked, poolside daydream. “VACATION” by Vacation® is all about celebrating those joyful moments of leisure like they remembered from their holidays in Acapulco, and the scent welcomes you to relish in your own cherished summer memories.

How are the fragrances that you created for your brand unique?

With a focus on “leisure-enhancing” products, our fragrance does exactly that; whether you’re in a conference room in the middle of December or on a tropical beach, our signature scent will ensure that you find yourself in paradise. By incorporating an elevated take on nostalgia (in both the formula and the packaging), spritzing “VACATION” by Vacation® offers a welcome respite from the everyday. It’s the scent of sunscreen and summer, sprayable on demand.


Chad Lavigne, Founder

What do you enjoy most about creating a fragrance with a perfumer for your brand?
We were very lucky to be able to have all of the perfumers on-site for the initial brand brief. We were all gathered along the Hudson River touring the site that inspired the brand and I could see the excitement when we were along the beach, in the cave and experiencing the texture in the building. It made such a difference compared to most briefs that land in a presentation deck. After touring the site we spend a good deal of time reviewing the individual fragrance concepts and it all just “clicked”. It was so inspiring having the perfumers out of the traditional briefing format.

What opportunities for scent creativity did you experience working with your perfumers?
We did explore IFFs “Living” technology during one phase of the fragrance development. Essentially it can extract the headspace of any living ingredient or object and then be recreated. Being able to capture the essence of an aged whiskey barrel gives you the opportunity to layer in profiles that are signature to your brand. The possibilities were truly endless.

How are the fragrances that you created for your brand unique?
Each one of the fragrances that live within the brand are creations based upon authentic experiences. For example, Whiskey Nights was born from a visit to a small tavern in the town of Tivoli. For me the space captured the essence of whiskey culture with its aged wood , warm lighting and unusual edit of whiskeys and bourbons. For Sacred Ember, I experienced my first Native American teepee. I was so entranced by the olfactive journey that I experienced but honestly apprehensive about how to best describe the experience with the perfumers. Today, it is by far my favorite fragrance within the brand so hats off to Pascal.
One could say that I am obsessed with fragrances that capture a narrative as opposed to a heavy lean on the ingredients. We are burning our Indie Summer candle as we speak because I am done with the snow and it takes me to bohemian summer days just thinking about the scent. Perhaps my days working with Ralph Lauren are still in my bloodstream…

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

This Accords issue takes us forward into 2022 with the Fragrance business continuing to remain strong. Consumers embrace fragrance in ways that were strengthened this last year as a personal invisible accessory, as well as an emotional escape to transport us or enhance self-care.

For this issue we asked some of our new TFF members to share insights about their brands so our community could get to know them personally. The brands range from newly launched to established brands who wanted to join our community officially with TFF membership. We hope all of our readers will join us in welcoming all who are based throughout the USA, with brand stories that are each unique and fascinating.

We are also highlighting TFF 2022 Notables, whose words will translate to action for diversity, equity and inclusion #FragranceForwardTFF.

Looking forward to celebrating The Fragrance Day March 21st with you all in store and at TFF’s virtual event!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

signature.png

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Jan

SPOTLIGHT: REMEMBERING MANFRED THIERRY MUGLER

SPOTLIGHT: REMEMBERING MANFRED THIERRY MUGLER
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: REMEMBERING MANFRED THIERRY MUGLER

SPOTLIGHT: REMEMBERING MANFRED THIERRY MUGLER

Manfred Thierry Mugler, who sadly passed away on January 23rd, was a true visionary whose impact on fashion and fragrance cannot be overstated. Having launched his eponymous designer label in Paris in 1974, he ascended to superstar status in the 1980s with his dramatic-yet-graceful silhouettes: emphatically structured shoulders, wasp waists, and prominent peplums that reshaped the body as well as the fashion landscape. Everything he did, from his over-the-top runway spectacles to his lavish, unforgettable advertising campaigns was uncompromising and unlike anything that had come before—something that was also true of his revolutionary approach to fragrance, which he truly believed to be a wearable art. In Part 1 of Accords’ special edition dedicated to Mugler’s genius, two women who worked with him closely— Mugler & Azzaro Global President L’Oreal, Sandrine Groslier-Douhet, and Nicole Fischelis, the fashion expert and former Saks VP who introduced Mugler’s collections to the USA—share memories of their charismatic, legendary friend.

What was your experience working with Thierry regarding the launch of Angel?

Let me quote Manfred himself who said: “I always wanted to make a perfume that could have a common resonance for everyone, something close to tenderness, to childhood. I wanted to have such a sensual contact with this perfume that you almost want to eat the person you love.”


A blue fragrance? A star shaped bottle? A scent with the notes of food? How many times would he hear it was impossible! But Manfred Thierry Mugler would not know the word impossible!


He wanted to create something never seen before, never smelled before which would break the stereotypes and conventions. Indeed, no one could stop him in this dream. Angel really did revolutionize the fragrance industry and created the news fragrance genre: the gourmands.


Angel is the quintessence of the Mugler spirit. A hymn to pleasure, the sensual and carnal fragrance of a woman who is part-angel, part-demon. This fragrance has a power of metamorphosis, with the interplay of multiple facets it is the essence of femininity.

What is your most cherished personal memory of him?

I remember so many bright afternoons of creation with him, ideas that burst forth, his great enthusiasm to push the boundaries of our industry. I remember these difficulties in accepting legal or technical constraints. And this sentence he said to me one day when I asked him to sign a contract: “Do you believe Sandrine that I came to Earth for this kind of thing?”


He felt on a mission. He always wanted to surprise people, to amaze his fans, to create deep emotions and connections with people. A few days ago, again, he told me “Sandrine, I want to make people dream, put magic in their lives, give them a scene and provide strong emotions.” He was a magician.

How would you describe his creative vision, and what made him so unique?

Manfred Thierry Mugler was a genius of everything and had a profound impact on fashion and beauty worldwide. He was a man who inspired, refused compromise and consensus, the one for whom there were no limits.


He was a creator with infinite energy and a boundless sense of creativity who dreamed much harder and further than the others and who built a rich, multiple, coherent legacy. He was nourished with fantasies; he refused nothing, dreamed of himself handsome and strong like the titans of comics, post-war American comic strips.


Manfred Thierry Mugler wanted everything, ran everything and finally obtained everything, being always ahead of his time. He also pioneered the diversity and inclusiveness in fashion, exploring the human in all its dimensions and invented a life to excess.


Apart from his undoubted genius, extreme and uncontrollable, he was a very sensitive and generous man and this is how I will remember him.

What was so revelatory about Thierry’s approach to fragrance, and how did it relate to his fashion creations?

I think that if I should use just two words, this would be BOLDNESS and EXCESS!
Manfred did not know the limits, that is why in the perfumes you have so many overdoses of ingredients, they were at the times an olfactory shock. They were and still are very polarizing, delighting those who refuse half measures and compromise.

According to Mugler, perfume is the absolute art of metamorphosis. Like fashion, it means staging oneself. It enhances the personality, shapes the aura and offers freedom to be someone else, the pleasure of being known and recognized without unveiling yourself. The olfactory shock has a magical effect: it allows those who wear a Mugler fragrance to accept the various facets of their personality, to play on duality, and really enjoy it.

What do you believe his legacy will be in the fragrance world?

I think it will be Freedom. Freedom to create with no fear to break the codes.
Let me sum it up with another quotation of Manfred Thierry Mugler that concludes it perfectly: “I know why my perfumes are so attractive. It’s exactly the same thing that made me so popular as a fashion designer: a signature without concessions, very recognizable and outside conventional codes.”

How did you first bring Thierry Mugler to America?


At the time, I was running the Paris buying office for Saks Fifth Avenue. I was in charge of discovering new talent. That’s how I discovered many designers Saks launched in those years, including people like Christian Lacroix, Claude Montana, and Thierry Mugler. I got a phone call from Thierry’s representative in the early ’80s, and she came to my office with a suitcase. That’s how they did it at the time. She opened the suitcase on my desk, and she pulled out this jacket with this entirely new construction with these shoulders, and a peplum—typical of Mugler. I could not believe what I was seeing, because it was so modern, and so fresh, and so beautifully made. I fell in love with it. Saks bought the line exclusively, right away.


Saks continued to have a great business with his ready-to-wear collection. We used to attend every single show that he produced in Paris, which was so grand, and so spectacular, and so inspirational, and so new and different, with all the star models, the music and the decor. There’s a retrospective going on in Paris right now, at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, where you can see videos of the shows from those years. They were incredible.

What do you remember about the launch of Angel?


We launched Angel fragrance with an event at Saks. I’ll never forget it. Diana Ross came with Mugler to present it. It was an incredible evening and party.


I was completely in love and obsessed with Angel. I think the best way to explain what makes it so special is that it’s all the senses. First of all, the blue color. And then the way that star bottle feels in the hand. And the smell… The jasmine. Personally, I always love jasmine. And the fruity, sweet smell is like a flavor. But it’s not just the way that it touches your senses—it also elevates your imagination. There is definitely a magic to it. You see that star, and it takes you somewhere else.

What are your personal memories of Mugler himself?


Thierry was an amazing persona. He was modest, in his own way. He was always very extremely cheerful, and charming. And his vision was totally futuristic. And he was an artist. He was a designer, but he was an artist, and he was a show maker, and he was a photographer. He had so many different talents. He was a great individualist, but at the same time with a wonderful character.

Everything he did had so many dimensions.


Yes! The fragrance had unique dimension, and the clothes had a unique dimension. Not just enhancing your femininity, but at the same time it was sort of promoting you, giving you strength, because of the construction. They were very wonderful to wear. You wore them, they didn’t wear you.

What do you think his lasting legacy will be?


The magic of his work, you still see today. It came to me when I saw the retrospective in Paris. I got kind of emotional, because it brought me back to this whole time of my career. And it was very clear to me the influence that he still has on the new generation—you can see it in rising designers, the lines of his work.


And the fragrance is also going to remain. It’s unique. It’s individualistic. That’s why it’s still so successful. And the bottle… I mean, everyone keeps it. It’s like an art object. And it had such an impact. Not just the fragrance and the bottle, but even the advertising around it. You never saw that before—Jerry Hall on that mountain! I think the man was a genius.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW ANGEL CHANGED THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW ANGEL CHANGED THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW ANGEL CHANGED THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW ANGEL CHANGED THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY

The creation of Angel, Mugler’s pioneering debut fragrance, is the stuff of legend. When the now-iconic bottle hit perfume counters in 1992, it was a shock to the system—a scent so new, unusual, wonderful, and addictive that it could not be ignored. In bold contrast to the minimalist scents trending at the time, Angel was a patchouli-drenched, cotton-candy sweet juggernaut that single-handedly launched an entirely new olfactory category: gourmand. Even its presentation was a sensation, from the faceted star-shaped bottle—a collectable work of art in itself—to the arrestingly beautiful blue-hued juice. Conceived with then-president of Thierry Mugler Parfums Vera Strubi and perfumer Olivier Cresp (who was then with Quest International, now incorporated into Givaudan), Angel manifested Mugler’s vision to devise a scent that could stop traffic, but also become a classic. And become a classic it has—30 years later, it is still a best-seller. Here, perfume historian Michael Edwards, who so expertly chronicled Angel’s creation in his must-read book Perfume Legends II, and Cresp himself share what made Angel such a lightning bolt
in the world of fragrance.

What was the starting point of Angel for you?


The starting point was the brief I received while I was at Quest international. Mr. Mugler wanted a very powerful fragrance; he was looking for a kind of overwhelming fragrance. For his first fragrance ever, he wanted something outstanding.


I showed him an idea I had which was called “Patchou.” It was a rough patchouli blended with vanilla. Among all the fragrances he had in his hands, Patchou came across as his favorite. He fell immediately in love with this scent.

What were the challenges in creating something so extreme and different, but also wearable?


In order to make it more feminine, we tried to open up the fragrance by adding some floralcy, but it didn’t work. It just wasn’t right.


Then one day, he spent the whole afternoon telling me the story of his life. He was born in Strasbourg, in Alsace [in the eastern region of France], and he talked mostly about his grandmother, and about his childhood. He recalled waking up in the morning and going to the kitchen, tasting and smelling nice things such as milk blended with chocolate, and “pain au raisins” pastry (raisin bread). He also had memories about fairs in his hometown, and he told me how much he loved the color of blue sky and the stars. He also told me about visiting countries like Russia and his encounters with the people and the country – that was during the era of Perestroika. I discovered he was really gifted as a photographer to shoot the stars, the blue skies…


After that in-depth conversation, I went back to my lab; in order to get the blue color, I was using some watery elements, but again it wasn’t right. So I tried to grow the gourmand aspect. I moved my fragrance towards something edible, by using praline, chocolate, honey. It went on for two years to work on modifications. There were 620 trials in total.


After so many experiments, we found the right dosage/ balance between patchouli and vanilla. That’s it!

When did you realize that you had created a truly game-changing scent?


We knew we had a nugget in our hands because we had so many compliments from those wearing the fragrance. Suddenly we were on a trend, but we discovered only later that we were creating a new olfactive family. After the launch, maybe two years later, we realized that the fragrance was totally unique, a kind of UFO, and opening up a new family called “gourmand.” It was incredible. It was a new family no one had explored yet.


For me, Angel is also the first “niche” parfum, in the sense that there were few stores, but Thierry wanted to be number one among competition. He already knew the importance of word of mouth, and of street marketing.

What are your personal memories of working with this larger-than-life artist?


His behavior throughout the project was fantastic. I was in front of a genius, but he always remained humble, respecting everybody around him. He was a very simple man, but very open-minded. He was a visionary and always looking at the future, with so many projects in his mind.

What do you think made Angel a “Perfume Legend”?

An accord so innovative that it inspired other compositions; an impact so profound that it shaped a new trend; and an appeal likely to transcend the whims of fashion.

What was the perfume landscape like when it launched?

Angel, launched in 1992, was the finale of an age of blockbusters, larger-than-life fragrances that swept all before them: Giorgio (1981), Obsession (1985), Poison (1985), Passion (1987), to name but a few.
Vera Strübi, then president of Thierry Mugler Parfums, directed the creation of Angel with Quest International’s (now incorporated into Givaudan) Yves de Chiris. “Quest was a very exciting place at the time,” recalls perfumer Christopher Sheldrake, who created most of Serge Lutens’ perfumes while at Quest. Over some fifteen years, Chiris had gathered together many of the most important perfumers of the period, including Sheldrake, Calice Becker, Pierre Bourdon, Olivier Cresp and Maurice Roucel. This dream team produced a quantity of masterpieces rarely rivaled in the history of perfumery: Angel, Féminité du Bois (1992), Ambre Sultan (1993), Tocade (1994), Tommy Girl (1996), and J’Adore (1999), to name but a few.

Angel was among Quest’s first legendary projects. “We began by doing Mugler’s olfactory profile,” Chiris recounts. “It turns out that he loved bergamot, the nectarine base Dewberry, the honey tones of phenyl acetaldehyde, coumarin, vanillin and, most of all, the caramellike smell of ethyl maltol.”

Perfumer Olivier Cresp recalls Mugler’s words when he described the sensation of the aromas he recalled, “He spoke of the caramel scent of sugared apples, the sugary notes of candy floss, and the smell of the funfair.”

What elements make it timeless?

Thierry Mugler’s imagination transformed perfumery. Angel was to be a perfume like no other. “‘I want something mouth-watering and tasty, which reminds me of my childhood,’ he said. ‘The scent of a fairground, candy floss, little cakes, chocolates, caramels and things like that.”

Translated literally, the result would have been fragrance candyfloss, icky and sweet. Chiris recognized that ‘The scent of a funfair is largely the aroma of fresh sawdust and the bitter-sweet fragrance of the wooden stalls. To me, it was reminiscent of the warm, woody and bitter-sweet scent of patchouli. The words bitter-sweet were the key. Whatever note we used had to be a little bitter in order to balance and contrast the sugary scents of chocolate and toffee apple.’

Chiris calls Angel ‘a personal treat, ‘because vanilla brings back the pleasure of ice cream, while chocolate often makes people feel better. Gourmand notes also recall the scents of the things we enjoyed as children, and yet are very sexy. Like a kiss, they are both a taste and a scent.’

From Angel sprang a new fragrance family and such gourmand gems as Chance (2002), Flowerbomb (2007), and La Vie est Belle (2012)

How important was the bottle design to the impact it had in the market?

Thierry Mugler was in love with stars! He called them his ‘lucky stars’. The whole project started with the star concept and the bottle that Mugler himself designed and then fought to have produced.
Mugler’s bottle also influenced the fragrance, its rather cool feeling contrasted by the mouth-watering fragrance.

What will Thierry Mugler’s legacy be in the world of perfume?

The man who pioneered gourmand fragrances.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: 2022 PERFUMERS’ FRAGRANCE TRENDS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: 2022 PERFUMERS’ FRAGRANCE TRENDS
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: 2022 PERFUMERS’ FRAGRANCE TRENDS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: 2022 PERFUMERS’ FRAGRANCE TRENDS

What fragrance trends do you predict for 2022?

After the past two years of uncertainty and change, we are all finding solace in fragrances that support us emotionally. We are seeking comfort, balance, confidence and joy from the micro moments in life and we find gratitude in these spaces. Scent is fulfilling a huge role with emotional benefits coming from fine fragrance, candles, body washes and beyond. In 2022, new expressions of scent will help express our individuality, balance our wellbeing and strengthen our sense of self. We also expect gender neutral fragrances will continue to show strong performance as Gen Z are driving this trend into the future.

What do you think we will see happen in categories such as home and innovative scent delivery?

People today see their homes as their safe havens, their shelters from the storm. When at home, they are interested in immersive new experiences linking all of their senses with current and emerging technology. “Always on” scent delivery that can be customized via smart devices will continue to evolve and grow in popularity. New expressions of freshness, comfort and wellness will be sought after both at home and in the car. Candles are booming. We expect that the delightful ritual of lighting a candle and creating a mood at home will show no signs of slowing down in 2022 and beyond. People are also looking for a true connection with nature and are seeking more authentic, sustainable scents with biodegradable / biobased, fully transparent source storytelling.

What ingredients or notes do you think we will be smelling more of?

As we look ahead to 2022, we will be seeing more sustainable ingredients woven into the composition and storytelling of our fragrance creations. Forest bathing has been celebrated and elevated in almost every product category. As we move forward, we will see recognizable notes from nature woven in intriguing new ways to bring us a new clarity. Be on the look out for highlights such as gorgeous gardenia, warm cedar, vibrant vetiver, the dual roses of perfumery, awakening teas and earthy patchouli.

What fragrance trends do you predict for 2022?


At Firmenich, consumer expectations and desires are thoroughly monitored. In our two years of tracking consumer sentiment throughout the uncertainty of the Covid crisis, we have seen that motivations to buy perfume have shifted. Today, in addition to seduction and indulgence, consumers are looking for fragrances that make them feel safe, serene and good about themselves. Building upon this evolution, we also anticipate that fragrance products which are convenient, conscious and offer active benefits will continue to see growth in the future. As a perfumer, it is an exciting time to explore new olfactive territories that integrate and support these consumer shifts.

Delving further into the topic of conscious consumers, this is a trend which we have continued to watch strengthen over the past few years, particularly driven by Gen Z consumers who are highly engaged in the concept of clean and sustainably sourced fragrance ingredients. Another shift that I am excited to see and proud to support is the expanded presence of new, diverse fragrance brands. I have had the pleasure of collaborating on projects with several of these new brands, including Oldvine Fragrance, the first global luxury fragrance brand launched by a prominent Black female floral designer, for which I created a fragrance called Meadow Bloom. Another exciting collaboration has been with the brand Brown Girl Jane, for which I have developed two fragrances. Bahia is a beautiful white floral bouquet, and Casablanca is a very sultry, sexy scent with cardamom, vanilla orchid and amber. Each fragrance has mood-boosting benefits that contain a neuroscientifically proven technology shown to elicit feelings of relaxation, comfort, calm, serenity, light, and peacefulness.
Such innovative and disruptive solutions are truly driving the future of fragrance!


What do you think we will see happen in categories such as home and innovative scent delivery?

Our homes have become multi-purpose: home of course, but also office, gym, and much more! Thus consumers are ‘scent designing’ their spaces. We have seen a rise of home fragrances, allowing consumers to escape or cocoon as they wish. Scents really have a transformative power with the ability to bring more experiences and emotions at a moment when we need them most. This trend goes further as now we are seeing a very luxury approach, with more sophisticated offerings, to scent one’s home. Candles are a great example of this. Talking about sophistication, smart homes where technology is getting integrated in people’s lives will also impact the way we scent spaces. The future for products like diffusers looks bright!

What ingredients or notes do you think we will be smelling more of?


The trend for renewable and biodegradable ingredients is gaining tremendous momentum in our industry. One recent example is the introduction of DREAMWOOD® in our palette: readily biodegradable and made by biotechnology from renewable sugar sources, this ingredient allows us to build on the mythical sandalwood note to invent a different and modern perfumery.
Naturals also continue to play a critical role in fragrance creation. Our Naturals Together collection sources from some of the most precious, innovative, and sustainable natural ingredients, supplied by 22 producers across 25 countries, contributing to the livelihood of thousands of small farmers families.
Most recently, I have used several of them – Rose, Geranium, Copahu – in a very special creation. Inspired by Very Peri, Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year, Firmenich has developed a “Pure Imagination” fragrance collection. The fragrance I have featured in this collection is Pericherry, a Floral Fruity scent built on a cherry cola accord and wrapped in roses and blushing blonde woods. It is 96% Biodegradable and made from 92% Green Chemistry!
Another trend is the fluidity of fragrances and fragrance notes that were historically associated with one gender or another. Mixing traditionally masculine and feminine scent notes together are becoming more and more common. One example of this is a creation I worked on for Boy Smells called Tantrum, an explosive green cocktail. These types of notes and products resonate especially with Gen-Z, as we know 50% of Gen Z based in the US believe traditional gender norms are outdated.

What fragrance trends do you predict for 2022?

As we move further into 2022, the clean and green movement for fragrance will only get stronger as consumers continue to prioritize safeguarding their health and the planet. We are seeing all elements of conscious fragrance merge the ideals of safety, transparency, and trust, driving a new narrative for natural scents that highlights more than just the scent profile but shows we are embracing green chemistry and taking measurable actions to reduce our environmental impact.

What do you think we will see happen in categories such as home and innovative scent delivery?

For home, we can expect new launches targeted towards the younger consumer that promote their ideals, such as eco-consciousness and tech-savvy products. For example, different ways of delivering fragrance will continue to emerge, from alcohol-free fragrances to biodegradable diffusers to minimalistic formulas and better for the planet. The “Fragrances with Purpose” concept will trickle down to the home category, and technology will continue to play an important role.

What ingredients or notes do you think we will be smelling more of?

As we continue to focus on the sustainability message, we can see notes trending that connote the fresh, clean, and green characteristics. For example, verdant, leafy green notes such as Cosmo’s Spinach Absolute help connect the consumer to that ‘farm to fragrance’ mentality while giving back to the community.

What fragrance trends do you predict for 2022?

We are all so starved for travel and escape that I predict we’ll continue to see the launch of destination fragrances that make you feel like you’re anywhere but here. I dream of someplace very far away, like Fiji. The olfactive fantasy might begin with MANE’s Coconut Jungle Essence™ for a fresh-grated, milky, textural effect that’s contemporary and market-right. Next, I’d add a proprietary molecule called Tropicalone™, which has a musky pineapple effect. . . then see where that takes me.

What do you think we will see happen in categories such as home and innovative scent delivery?

We are all facing burnout from stress and anxiety, trying to balance work and home while feeling committed and connected. Since working from home isn’t going away, we need to surround ourselves with optimistic fragrances: energizing, fun, happy, citrus, sparkling fragrances. Home fragrance can help you transition mindsets, even (or especially) if you’re not transitioning physical surroundings.

What ingredients or notes do you think we will be smelling more of?

In the men’s market we’re going to start seeing more gourmand fragrances that US men aren’t quite used to. These will give a new addiction when combined with traditional aromatic fougere elements. We’ll also continue to see the rise of genderless fragrances, going beyond our normal comfort zone with what we think “masculine” or “feminine” are supposed to mean.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

This special January edition of Accords was redefined with the untimely passing of Manfred Thierry Mugler last week. While much has been shared in the news, we reached out to TFF close friends and colleagues who knew him well to share unique insights & perspectives. From each of their distinct vantage points, each shares personal stories with some common themes providing insights to Thierry Mugler. On behalf of myself and all at TFF, we thank Sandrine, Nicole, Olivier and Michael for their contributions at this very difficult time. We have lost a visionary but he left us gifts that are eternal.


In my experience as a competitor at other fragrance brands, as a retailer with huge Mugler Parfums success, as a consumer and now in my current TFF position, I know we have lost one of a kind. Now we know with certainty his fragrance legacies are rightfully named, and we will remember Thierry Mugler forever: Angel and Alien and Aura.

Accords had reached out for Perfumers’ takeaways from 2021 & predictions for the future. There are common themes but certainly subjective interpretations of the past and future we value as insightful and inspiring from Michelle, Clement, Constance and Gino.

As the first month of the 2022 year concludes, we honor those we lost and join together as a community going forward with gratitude and #FragranceForwardTFF.

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Dec

SPOTLIGHT: NEXT For AUTISM & AARMY

SPOTLIGHT: NEXT For AUTISM & AARMY
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: NEXT For AUTISM & AARMY

SPOTLIGHT: NEXT For AUTISM & AARMY

NEXT For AUTISM has been a powerful force in providing resources for autistic individuals and their families, as well as in driving forward awareness and acceptance, ever since the non-profit was founded in 2003. With every year, the organization—and its impact—just gets stronger. To mark TFF’s ongoing Give Back support of NEXT For AUTISM—and the partnership’s third annual AARMY Bootcamp Fundraiser, which took place on December 7th—ACCORDS welcomes NEXT For AUTISM co-founder Laura Slatkin, as well supporters from TFF Board of Directors  Mark Knitowski, SVP of Product Innovation for Victoria Secret Beauty, and from  TFF Executive Committee & Board Ron Rolleston, General Manager of Global Fragrance at Revlon, to discuss the strides made in 2021 towards making communities and workplaces more inclusive for those with autism, and what it means for them.

Laura Slatkin:

What have been the main achievements of NEXT For AUTISM in 2021?

We feel like we have cracked the code in terms of how NEXT can make a meaningful impact on what the future can hold for autistic adults. One area in particular has been the need to support the workforce of direct support professionals (DSPs).  For too long, DSPs have been without adequate training, professional development, benefits, and livable wages. To this end, NEXT For AUTISM has partnered with The ARC Westchester to launch “NEXT for DSPs,”  a professional learning model focusing on components of choice, belonging, healthy living, and life-long learning. Amidst a national workforce crisis, NEXT For AUTISM is working every day to move the needle for DSPs and this critical profession that serves our community. 

 This year, we launched NEXT for GOING OUT, an easy-to-use resource providing visual support tools for adults with autism and the professionals supporting them. Picture supports for common activities like shopping and going to the library will be easily accessible for every adult. Using visual supports improves the ability of adults with autism to be independent and have more control of their world. 

We also launched NEXT GEN CONNECT, a peer mentorship program to improve acquisition and retention of employment for autistic adults. We are leveraging the passion and skills of professionals to act as mentors. Neurotypical people can fill the role as mentors, but ideally mentors will have autism too. After we pilot, evaluate and refine our program, we will disseminate it across the myriad of channels available for mentor relationships. These include alumni associations working with soon to be college graduates, young professionals committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, autism networks interested in supporting the emerging workforce—we are open to all interested.

What are some of the biggest challenges for autistic individuals in the workplace?

Adults with autism continue to face barriers to meaningful employment. In actuality, those barriers can be quite simple. As an example, some individuals with autism simply don’t interview well—yet they are highly skilled to outperform on the job, so what should the “interviewing” process look like for an autistic individual? Other times the barriers are more complicated. With a heightened focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, and thanks to a grant from the Bhatia Family Foundation awarded to NEXT For AUTISM, we are creating a DEI toolkit for companies that are committed to reporting their disability statistics. NEXT for DEI encourages every business to measure their success in employing professionals with disabilities and promoting this data publicly, as they do with gender and race/ethnicity in their diversity reports.

Your son is at this age, so you are seeing many of these issues and positive experiences up close. How have NEXT resources benefited him?

David now has a sense of belonging and a sense of community. After one year of being in the NEXT program—everyone knows David in the community. The pizza parlor chefs know David likes his pizza not too hot, at the checkout counter in the local grocery store they all know it’s going to take David a little longer to put his groceries on the conveyor belt, and because he is now a known member of the community–they are very patient. At the local store where David gets his candy, he has a friend, Gina, who gives him a warm welcome when he walks in the door. A fulfilling and meaningful social life is key for any adult. Integrating into the community and having a sense of belonging is very important.

How has the pandemic affected those with autism in particular?

It’s been a challenging time. We have all experienced incalculable loss — of life, of opportunity, and of our daily patterns of living. For the community NEXT For AUTISM proudly serves, the stakes have changed. The isolation brought on by COVID-19 restrictions has only magnified the many disparities that autistic adults face at work, at home, and in their communities. We are keenly aware of how disconnected from their larger communities individuals with autism and their families often feel, even in the best of circumstances.

This was the third TFF/NEXT For AUTISM/AARMY event.

How does each year’s event build on this partnership ?

Since 2019, the GIVE BACK partnership has helped raise over $1.5M towards NEXT For AUTISM’s mission and initiatives. We are beyond grateful for The Fragrance Foundation’s commitment and generosity.  The TFF community has been a champion of opportunities and choices for autistic adults for many years, leading the way for acceptance and inclusion. On a personal note, the opportunity for me to bring my professional, personal and philanthropic worlds together has been very special on so many levels! 

Mark Knitowski:

What do you believe is the most important impact that NEXT For AUTISM has had for autistic individuals and their families?

The opportunity to provide confidence to the individuals about their value to themselves and others.  The pride they can take when they find themselves growing, evolving in a place and environment that they can be a part of.  

What has been your personal experience having a young adult son with autism, and how have NEXT programs and awareness-building been helpful?

The hope that as Kyle grows and evolves he can find what he loves to do and excel at it.  These young adults have so much to offer, they are incredibly smart and detailed. It takes patience to understand each individual for who they are and what they need, and NEXT For AUTISM programs do that. 

What is your advice to those who have recently been diagnosed, or have a family member who has been diagnosed?

Reach out. Don’t be worried about what people may think or say, as there will be people who you didn’t even know have been in a similar position, and have gone through it and have great insights. That is what happened with us. When friends and friends of friends found out Kyle was autistic, we were overwhelmed by the support and compassion. For that willingness to help, we are forever grateful. That help which started when Kyle was just about 2 helped him to progress, whereas if we didn’t have that support he may not have gotten as far as.  Get as educated as you can, believe in your missions to find out as much as you can through anyone you know who has been involved with autism.  NEXT For AUTISM is an amazing organization and resource that can guide anyone.

You have been a huge supporter of the TFF/ NEXT For AUTISM AARMY fundraisers, which are such joyful events. How do feel that these events energize the organization and the overall movement? 

The support and compassion for NEXT For AUTISM with the Fragrance Foundation’s commitment to continue to create visibility in a fun and engaging way (a little tiring, I am not in the shape I need to be in) for the autistic community has been humbling. The TFF/NEXT For AUTISM AARMY event especially embodies the spirit of so many in the autistic community, who are always pushing forward, and never giving up.   

Ron Rolleston:

What do you believe is the most important impact that NEXT For AUTISM has had for autistic individuals and their families?

The most challenging thing about autism is what happens to autistic individuals when they become adults. An autistic individual gets educational support and services through childhood until young adulthood but they all eventually age out of those programs. It is difficult for many of them to find meaningful work and integrate into the world. I think the fact this organization helps them in the next stage of their lives is very valuable. The idea that every autistic person can lead a meaningful and productive life means everything to me. It is the goal of every parent with an autistic child.

What is your advice to those who have recently been diagnosed, or have a family member who has been diagnosed?

The advice question is challenging . Every autistic person is unique. They are on a spectrum. It really depends on the individual. When children are first diagnosed, it is essential that they get early intervention in areas such as speech and language. The early intervention is key and then you see how each autistic individual responds to define their therapies.

You have been a huge supporter of the TFF/ NEXT For AUTISM AARMY fundraisers, which are such joyful events. How do feel that these events energize the organization and the overall movement? 

I think these events serve to raise money for individuals who are very much in need . As importantly, if people take the time to learn about autism, I think it benefits society as a whole, as well as the autistic community. I believe that as more people become aware of autism and its challenges, the more society will welcome autistic people into the mainstream and allow them to lead productive lives.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF Creatives with diptyque

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF Creatives with diptyque
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF Creatives with diptyque

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF Creatives with diptyque

On December 9th, TFF held its annual signature event, The Creatives, featuring a conversation between diptyque CEO Fabienne Mauny and beauty editor and media consultant Katie Becker. The pair sat down together at diptyque’s new boutique at 31 Prince Street in New York to talk about the history of the brand, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021, fragrance, décor, and home scent innovation. Below, Accords presents some of the highlights.

Katie Becker:

diptyque has a very deep artistic history. What was the original vision?

Fabienne Mauny:

Our founders were three artists who created diptyque as a creative project. One was English painter, one was a French theater decorator, and one was an interior architect. They created diptyque because they wanted to do whatever they felt was true and beautiful. Much of their lives, travels, and taste was put into creating products for the original store at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, which opened in 1961. They started with fabrics, and then they added decorative objects, and they created the first scented candles in 1963 and the first unisex perfume in 1968. That is when they really started their adventure in the fragrance world.

KB: In celebration of diptyque’s 60th anniversary, the brand has unveiled different initiatives throughout the year. How do you nod to the heritage of the brand while still moving the conversation forward?

FM: We decided to have several moments throughout the year that paid tribute to the heritage of the brand while sharing the very special diptyque spirit with our fans. We started with a Graphic Collection, which celebrated our famous black and white logo. Next, we launched Orpheon eau de Parfum in March, which was inspired by a jazz club that once existed in the basement of the original diptyque store and which was quite famous in its time. In September, we held a contemporary art exhibition in Paris—our very first one—and opened pop-up stores in different capitals around the world. For that special event, we created five different products and revealed very special artist collaborations.

KB: What makes a perfumer a diptyque perfumer? How do you identify the noses you want to collaborate with?

FM: Our founders worked with several perfumers from the beginning. They wanted to find people who had the right connection with them and who understood their world and could translate their stories, visions, and inspirations into perfume. We continued working like this, and for our anniversary Le Grand Tour collection we worked with five perfumers. Almost all of them have been working with us for a long time. It’s a creative dialogue that we continue year after year. Olivia Giacometti worked with the founders, actually—she created Feu de Bois, for example, an iconic scent for us. Fabrice Pellegrin also worked with the founders when he was a very young perfumer. He created in 2005 Du Son, which is a diptyque favorite. We also have Cecile Matton and Alexandra Carlin, the newest perfumer in the family, creating amazing fragrances for us.

KB: Do you leave a lot of room for perfumers to come to you with challenges and ideas?

FM: We always like surprises at diptyque. Sometimes they will come with one idea, maybe they are working with a specific ingredient, or they have an idea for a specific place they would like to translate into perfume. But we also may contact them when we have a project for which we think they would be ideal. It depends. We love the olfactive accident. And all five of the perfumers who worked on Le Grand Tour have the capacity to give a little twist with an unexpected ingredient or idea that will make the product even more different and even more diptyque.

KB: diptyque is a forum for a lot of different types of artists, making fragrance into a multi-sensorial experience. What makes someone the perfect collaborator?

FM: Le Grand Tour was a fantastic experience for us. We wanted to pay tribute to the love of travel that the founders had – different cities, cultures, cities. We decided to do this project choosing 5 well known artists—from a photographer to a fashion designer to a sculptor—to celebrate the anniversary with us. We gave them carte blanche to create whatever they wanted with only one condition – it had to be scented. Each of them created something incredibly special, and it was emotional to see how these people we contacted engaged with the project and made this cultural experience really unique.

KB: How do you foster an atmosphere for your team where all ideas are welcome and people are encouraged to think outside the box?

FM: My job is to make sure that all of the talents that we have inside the house and the artists and creatives that we collaborate with can express themselves in the best possible way. I think it’s the purpose of the brand to make sure that creativity and innovation is at the heart of every product. I think that what makes diptyque different is that we have the freedom to experiment. Our whole goal is to give people some time out of time, some time for themselves, some time to let their imaginations wander.

KB: diptyque has become a home décor status symbol. How does the brand enjoy listening to the customer and how does the brand respond?

FM: It’s always extremely interesting to listen to the customers and we have the chance to have our customers from around the world coming into our stores and giving comments on social media and on our site. Our goal is to create beautiful objects that last. And if our customers use these objects in their lives for multiple purposes that is even better. We knew that our candle vessels were being used for flowers or makeup brushes or pencils, and we thought that was a wonderful idea. In this year’s holiday collection we have offered some accessories that come with the candle, for example the Nomad, which is a handle, so that they can use the jars after they are done in a new way.

KB: Can you give us a hint of what’s to come for the brand?

FM: The goal is to continue being as creative as possible, taking into account the fact that the brand is a contemporary brand and the goal is to make it a beautiful thing to enjoy for at least another 60 years to come. We have 90 stores around the world so to have this opportunity to engage customers and tell our story is an incredible thing. We will continue to create fragrances and home accessories, and continue our décor. In fact, we are just about to launch a new category in home décor: wall paper. These are beautiful prints inspired by our archives. It’s going to be fun. We are so excited about it, and about the brand’s future. We have so many ideas.

WHAT THE INDIE NOSE KNOWS

WHAT THE INDIE NOSE KNOWS
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE INDIE NOSE KNOWS

WHAT THE INDIE NOSE KNOWS

Stacey Bresnahan, Laubahn Perfumes 

As an Indie brand, how does your holiday 2021 selling season differ from any other time of the year?

It’s the busiest time of the year for us!

What excites you the most about going into the New Year? Are there any product launches or partnerships that you can share?

We are very excited about the launch of our New Fine Fragrances in luxurious glycerin soap. 

What would you want TFF’s Accords readers to know about you?

All of our fragrances are inspired by a world of dreams. Where a passion for fragrant adventures combines with the breathtaking beauty of nature. Two of our fragrances, Hinterland and Naughty Garden, were created by the amazing Ralf Schwieger. 

Rodrigo Garcia, AMEN Candles

As an Indie brand, how does your holiday 2021 selling season differ from any other time of the year?

AMEN candles in a mushroom carbon negative packaging are a great gift because it is not just a product, you are gifting the belief that if we all make conscious decisions we can live in a world without plastics. Beyond being a great gift of craftsmanship  hand made in France, and Grasse perfumery, the values behind it make it a great holiday gift for this season.

What excites you the most about going into the New Year? Are there any product launches or partnerships that you can share?

New Beginnings are an opportunity to leave things behind and start a new chapter. It’s a great opportunity that we actually have every day as every day is a new life.

We just launched our new collection of light sculptures with Sculptor Katharina Kaminski at Design Miami, which sold out in Design Miami and have a few last pieces available. We share awareness of intersex community, and celebrate the infinite human experience and beauty beyond gender.

How would you describe the impact that The Fragrance Foundation’s support has had on you and your brand?

As a South American outsider of the fragrance world, the support of the Foundation makes you feel that everything is possible no matter where you come from and whatever your background. Linda is an incredible connector of alike minds and meant to be best friends, and the support and connections along the way are key when you are an indie brand just walking the first steps.

What would you want TFF’s Accords readers to know about you?

We believe in a world without plastics and our mushroom carbon negative packaging is our manifesto. We have a list of biodegradable suppliers for you to look at and consider them for your next designs and if we all only use biodegradable alternatives then we will live in a world without plastics. Here is the list, we call this project Mushroom Conversations: https://amencandles.fr/pages/mushroom-conversations-purpose 

Carlos Huber, Arquiste 

As an Indie brand, how does your holiday 2021 selling season differ from any other time of the year?

We’ve just launched our newest scent PEAU – a very abstract, emotional scent evoking the scent of skin and the memory of a loved one. It’s all about intimacy and closeness, very relevant to the season, so my selling season is dedicated to engaging with our base on a very personal level…Intimacy is the key word: One on one, responding to social media messages, providing dedicated customer service, engaging and motivating discussions around the memory of certain scents. After years of social distancing, what does smelling the nape of the neck of a loved one mean to you?

What excites you the most about going into the New Year? Are there any product launches or partnerships that you can share?

I’m very excited for 2022 -there’s so much development work! We have fantastic new work for Vacation Inc that I’m excited to unveil. The inspiration behind the scents we’ve created is so cheeky and fun. I’m also really excited to start work on a fragrance for Sabah, the Turkish-made, NYC based footwear brand, great friends, and a brand I love. There’s a new fragrance I’m developing for ARQUISTE that I’m really inspired by: with an amazing signature. Most of all, I’m excited to keep doing what I love the most: traveling the world, researching history and finding ways to connect with it through our sense of smell. 

How would you describe the impact that The Fragrance Foundation’s support has had on you and your brand?

It’s like having a loud speaker to the industry – it propels our voice so we can be heard. It establishes and cements our part as the tip of the spear in an exciting industry. 

What would you want TFF’s Accords readers to know about you?

Above all, I want them to seek out and explore ARQUISTE Parfumeur – try our scents, our candles, our collaborations. You’ll understand what I mean by storytelling through scents, fragrance architecture and olfactive experiences.

Belinda Smith, St. Rose 

As an Indie brand, how does your holiday 2021 selling season differ from any other time of the year?

This year we’ve seen a tremendous boom in sales that started well in advance of November. As a young brand launching just four months before the pandemic we haven’t had ‘typical’ selling years to benchmark against and both our DTC and wholesale businesses have surpassed our forecasts. Our Discovery Set for gifting has been a top sku and we are already working to prepare gift sets for next year.

What excites you the most about going into the New Year? Are there any product launches or partnerships that you can share?

I’ll be ringing in the New Year back home in Australia, at long last, so I am really looking forward to 2022! At ST. ROSE we have some very exciting launches on the horizon. First up, we are thrilled to be launching into home fragrance with our first candle available in Q2. I am also thrilled that ST. ROSE is launching at some incredible global doorways especially in the European market where we’ve had customers very anxious for us to arrive.   

How would you describe the impact that The Fragrance Foundation’s support has had on you and your brand?

The Fragrance Foundation’s support has truly been invaluable. This community is made up of such inspiring individuals that I feel very lucky to have become introduced to and now count as both friends and mentors. As an indie brand to have both industry veterans and fellow brand founders to lean on for help and guidance in navigating unchartered waters is priceless. Linda and her team are such incredible brand champions.

What would you want TFF’s Accords readers to know about you?

How thankful I am. Looking back on another amazing year and everything we’ve been able to accomplish as a young brand is truly thanks to our incredible community. ST. ROSE is very mission driven and this year in addition to supporting our conservation partners through 1% for the Planet we also have started working with the Aboriginal led non-for-profit connected to our Western Australian sandalwood supplier with a special focus on youth art programs. I have always considered myself to be an environmentalist and after becoming a new mum this year I have become even more impassioned to do whatever we can to conserve and protect the wonders of the natural world for our future generations.

Holly Tupper, Cultus Artem

As an Indie brand, how does your holiday 2021 selling season differ from any other time of the year?

Our holiday 2021 season has been one of our busiest seasons. We’ve experienced tremendous growth with our DTC business. We must be agile and adapt quickly to overcome these challenging times as an indie brand. Cultus Artem is a vertically integrated company and does everything in-house, controlling every aspect of our business, from storing, packing, filling, and shipping all Cultus Artem products from our laboratory & atelier in San Antonio, TX, to marketing and customer service. 

We also use the season as an opportunity to engage with our clients on a more personal level – this can be by surprise gifting and having more one-on-one conversations with our more ardent supporters. We are one of the few luxury brands that do not participate in seasonal sale periods like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We address the season with a more considered perspective to commerce.

What excites you the most about going into the New Year? Are there any product launches or partnerships that you can share?

I am most excited about the New Year in continuing and growing the partnerships that we have established in 2021. We’ve had much success in 2021 with new partnerships with retailers like Neiman Marcus and Beauty Habit in California, where we recently launched our skincare collection. We were also selected as an anchor brand for Bergdorf Goodman’s, The BG Beauty Edit.

There are a lot of new exciting plans for Cultus Artem in the New Year as well! We were asked to participate in a curation by Surface Magazine for their unique retail/gallery experience in the Miami Design District called Surface Area. I am thrilled that my Vetiveria fragrance and skincare collection are available to experience in a wonderfully curated space. We are also working with stylist Melissa Ventosa Martin’s latest venture, Old Stone Trade. Old Stone Trade is an expertly curated online marketplace offering handmade-to-order luxury womenswear. Cultus Artem’s brand ethos is in so much alignment with her mission of considered commerce, slow approach to luxury, and preserving essential heritage crafts. 

How would you describe the impact that The Fragrance Foundation’s support has had on you and your brand?

The Fragrance Foundation’s support has had a tremendous impact on my brand. By being a member of TFF, I’ve been able to garner new relationship opportunities that have had a genuine impact on my business. The support system TFF also provides a chance to receive invaluable industry feedback and a sense of community by the Indie Advisory Group and its members.

What would you want TFF’s Accords readers to know about you?

Cultus Artem is the vessel for my creative output and is very personal. As a founder, I feel it’s essential to ensure that my input is included in every touchpoint that a client may experience for our products. I consider Cultus Artem an outlier, and unlike most, I have the privilege of creating as I want. I am excited about the continuing development of our skincare collection and look forward to collaborating with our current retailers, making more relationships, and growing the brand. In the coming year, we will add a few more fragrances to our fragrance line, along with inspiring artist collaboration projects that will be revealed in 2022.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

This December issue features major highlights of the month including two TFF signature events and great TFF Indie members available to share their holiday season perspectives. 

Our 3rd annual Bootcamp event with NEXT For AUTISM and AARMY was a success in many ways. We joined together as a community working out and supporting the cause to raise $500,000 and major awareness. This year we are especially proud of the new programs Laura Slatkin and NEXT For AUTISM created for young adults on the spectrum for enhanced everyday life skills and professional development. Our fundraiser continues through December 31st, so please join us and donate here.

Our TFF Creatives event with diptyque was terrific with so much shared about this fabulous brand never revealed before in the USA. Fabienne Mauny explained so many treasures of diptyque on the topics raised by Katie Becker’s insights. It was pure creative inspiration! In Accords we share highlights, and you can watch the full discussion on our website here.

In this last issue of the year, we featured a few special TFF Indie brand creators who took time out for us during these hectic times, to share their viewpoints. Bravo Stacey, Belinda, Holly, Rodrigo and Carlos for these outstanding fragrance brands!

On behalf of The Fragrance Foundation team, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our Board of Directors, members and community for their support and enthusiasm all year round. The fragrance gift holiday season is soaring as we countdown to Christmas; and afterwards we all will hopefully take time off to relax and rejuvenate! TFF looks forward to reconnecting in the New Year 2022. 

Wishing you all great health, happiness and fabulous fragrance forever!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Nov

SPOTLIGHT: CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREES VIRGINIA BONOFIGLIO + STEPHAN KANLIAN

SPOTLIGHT: CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREES VIRGINIA BONOFIGLIO + STEPHAN KANLIAN Stephan Kanlian, Virginia Bonofiglio
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREES VIRGINIA BONOFIGLIO + STEPHAN KANLIAN

SPOTLIGHT: CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREES VIRGINIA BONOFIGLIO + STEPHAN KANLIAN Stephan Kanlian, Virginia Bonofiglio

This year’s Circle of Champions event was the first in the Fragrance Foundation’s history to honor educators. Reflecting TFF’s firm belief that access to education is key to building a flourishing and diverse fragrance industry fueled with fresh ideas, the two honorees are top-of-class veteran educators with unsurpassed knowledge about what makes the scent business tick. Virginia Bonofiglio, assistant professor and head of FIT’s undergraduate program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing (CFM), and Stephan Kanlian, professor and head of the college’s graduate program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (CFMM), share their insights on the importance of FIT, its relationship with TFF, and education for all. 

Virginia Bonofiglio:

This was the first time that educators have been honored with the Circle of Champions awards.  What did that mean to you?

I have always believed that education is the path to success. 

The recognition by the Fragrance Foundation of the importance of education for the fragrance industry is a confirmation of the importance of educating the next generation, which is FIT’s mantra. I was deeply honored by this award and thrilled that the Fragrance Foundation and its membership values the work we are doing in preparing students for the role they will play in this fabulous industry. I applaud the Foundation’s forward thinking in making education an important part of their ongoing mission to support fragrance as a business, an art form and a societal touchpoint.

What is unique about the programs at FIT?

 FIT’s Fragrance and Cosmetics programs, CFM and CFMM, are built around academic excellence and industry know-how. There are very few college programs that follow the industry as closely as these two programs do. In order to provide the fragrance industry with innovators and game changers we need to offer students a profound understanding of the industry’s current toolkit while providing a pathway to where the industry should be going in the future. 

What has always been most important for you to teach your students about the fragrance industry?

We live in an opti-centric society. Our main way of relating to the world and things around us is by using our sense of sight. This has become even more prevalent during the time of Covid, where our reliance on screens has escalated and our world has become two dimensional. I always start every fragrance class with a review of all of the sensory experiences we need to have in order to enrich our lives. My focus is to drill down to the importance of the sense of smell and the role of the fragrance industry. I confirm for my students that in addition to covering malodors and providing pleasure, fragrances can define a decade and delineate a culture.  

What unifies the undergraduates coming into the program?

The great unifier for our students is their passion for this industry. While there are other universities that offer similar programs FIT has three distinct advantages: cost, location and a fragrance laboratory on the campus. 

Our students are a unique brand of college student that has made a choice about their field of study at the beginning of their college career. Many of them have taken high school classes on the campus and this solidifies their desire to come to FIT for the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing program. We find that students who do not get in the first time they apply, will return and apply the following year.

What is so special to you about your relationship with The Fragrance Foundation?

The Fragrance Foundation has been an integral part of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing program at FIT since its inception.  Annette Green, President Emeritus of the Fragrance Foundation, was one of the original founders of the CFM program.  It was her vision to create a course of study at FIT that would prepare the next generation of industry leaders. The Fragrance Foundation supported the creation of a Fragrance Studio on the campus of FIT to ensure that the curriculum included a strong commitment to fragrance knowledge.

Linda Levy, current President of the Fragrance Foundation, and her team continue to support the CFM program at FIT, and CFM’s relationship to the Fragrance Foundation remains strong. We share common goals and ideas about the fragrance business. The Fragrance Foundation’s dedication to DEI mirrors FIT’s devotion to the same objective. The Fragrance Foundation FIT Diversity Scholarship demonstrates this mutual commitment. We are both ardent about education and its importance for moving the industry forward.  

We will continue to partner with the Fragrance Foundation to build a like minded community of fragrance enthusiasts including members of industry, students of fragrance, and ardent supporters of the Fragrance Foundation and its mission.

Stephan Kanlian: 

What did being a Circle of Champions honoree mean to you?

It meant everything to me. FIT educators have been very honored over the years to be the “first educator” to represent the beauty industry in many roles, all owing to the investment the industry has chosen to make in not only educating talent for industry, but “educating the educators.”

What attributes do you think are most important for a graduate to succeed in fragrance?  

First: the dual competency of being both analytic and creative, is a foundational benchmark, given the sophistication of consumer science and competitive nature of the business. Second: a global perspective and appreciation of global culture, both for consumer understanding and inspiration. Success in fragrance depends on having the mind of an entrepreneur and the heart of a poet! 

Why and how is a global perspective especially important for your students? 

 The intimacy of fragrance and all beauty products, and their representation of individual expression requires a deep knowledge and nuanced understanding of global culture.  As a former business diplomat, that seemed elemental to me when I became an educator. We normally take the students to six countries in two global regions on their academic field studies.

What do you think are the greatest achievements of the CFMM program? 

 Two things stand out as the lasting legacy of the CFMM Program: the leadership of its graduates as change agents in the re-shaping of industry, and the prescience of the student research in accurately predicting coming shifts in the marketplace and recommending ways to future proof businesses.

What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in the 22 years of heading the program? 

Change is a constant in the consumer space – as fundamental as change in individuals themselves. I like to think of these 22 years as a “generation” and the changes have been generational, indeed: the development of lifestyle marketing, the growth in the sophistication of behavioral and consumer science, the evolution of retail, the blurring of lines of distinction in distribution, the importance of people & planet in measuring profit, the importance of supply chain to innovation, globalization, and the advent of technology have been the hallmarks of this particular epoch of change. 

What do you find most gratifying about teaching? 

I deeply admire the intellect of the fragrance industry, and to be entrusted with educating it’s best and brightest is a great honor. But the gratification of teaching itself, and the joy of watching students discover their leadership voice, is an exceptional privilege. There is no more important role in society to ensure its future than that of “teacher”, whether it is in families, schools, the workplace or volunteer organizations.

 What is so special to you about your relationship with The Fragrance Foundation?  

Without the Fragrance Foundation, these programs at FIT would not exist. It was the support and “push” of industry and President Emeritus Annette Green that established the Bachelor’s program, and her successors have all been believers in education who have partnered with FIT in creating a unique collaboration and the only working fragrance laboratory on a US college campus.  Before Linda Levy led the Foundation, for example, she was an Advisory Board member to the Master’s Program in the early 2000’s while at P&G. That combination of industry insight and academic expertise is the future of education, in my opinion, and what makes the FIT/Fragrance Foundation partnership so visionary and so special in the world of academia. In my heart I am an entrepreneur, and the limitless possibilities of this industry/academic collaboration, and its ability to push the boundaries of normal academic pedagogy, are what feed me as an educator.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SUPPORTING EDUCATION FOR ALL

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SUPPORTING EDUCATION FOR ALL
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SUPPORTING EDUCATION FOR ALL

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SUPPORTING EDUCATION FOR ALL

TFF’s Circle of Champions event on November 4th marked a major unveiling: The Fragrance Foundation FIT Diversity Scholarship, a $100,000 academic award that will benefit FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels. The gift demonstrates TFF’s commitment to diversity and to education, and will open the doors to students who may otherwise have been unable to pursue studies at FIT. Here, FIT President Dr. Joyce F. Brown and Dr. Brooke Carlson, School of Graduate Studies Interim Dean, discuss how this scholarship will benefit both FIT and the fragrance industry as a whole. 

Dr. Joyce F. Brown

Stephan Kanlian, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Virginia Bonofiglio

What does the scholarship mean for FIT?

We are honored that The Fragrance Foundation chose to establish this exceptional and very timely scholarship fund at FIT. FIT will benefit greatly from the perspective that diverse and underserved students will bring to our fragrance labs and classrooms–our students, in turn, will benefit from exposure to a superior faculty, a forward-focused curriculum and industry best practices. This scholarship will prepare them for executive ranks and leadership roles–and transform their lives. 

What does it mean for the future of the fragrance industry?

I think this scholarship fund is a wonderful measure of the commitment to achieving diverse representation in the fragrance industry on the part of the Fragrance Foundation. I hope it will help not just to open company doors to more diverse individuals, but also–importantly–to provide a meaningful career path so that they advance as far as their talent and hard work will take them.

What are the broader goals you share for DEI within education and within the fragrance industry?

Clearly, we are aligned in making diverse representation a priority both in educational settings and in the fragrance industry. FIT is taking actionable steps to increase the number of diverse youth seeking careers in the creative industries, and with our industry partners, helping to transform the culture within those industries so that current and future employees who are part of these communities can succeed.

What do you think will be the biggest hurdles?

We recognize that real change takes time–it often happens in increments and requires constant collaboration and recommitment to maintain the momentum. But I believe we have reached a turning point in this country, and I am encouraged by the commitment of partners such as The Fragrance Foundation.  I am optimistic that together we will affect meaningful change within the fragrance industry.

Dr. Brooke Carlson

Linda G. Levy, Dr. Brooke Carlson

What does the scholarship mean for FIT? 


The Fragrance Foundation scholarship program symbolizes the college’s interest in helping diverse professionals in the fragrance industry progress to managerial levels and beyond. The support encourages individuals with a passion for fragrance but may not be able to afford the cost of an undergraduate or master’s degree to pursue their educational goals. 

What does it mean for the future of the fragrance industry? 


This scholarship support will be instrumental in advancing the capabilities of the industry itself. In order to best understand and serve diverse groups of consumers, fragrance industry businesses and brands must reflect that same diversity internally among their leadership and in their teams. This is as critical as are the opportunities that will be provided to diverse professionals in the industry.  

What are the broader goals that you share for DEI within education and within the fragrance industry? 

The creative and business industries offer so many varied professional opportunities and we must broaden and focus our reach when it comes to educating our diverse youth and young adults about these career paths. This must be a sustained effort embedded in everything we do. As for the fragrance industry specifically, identifying and showcasing all the career options—from fragrance suppliers to independent manufacturers, small independent brands to large global brands, and of course, retailers—is key. 

What do you think will be the biggest hurdles? 

It takes time, effort, financial support and commitment by all stakeholders to realize change. Recognizing that we need the professional talent of diverse individuals who are also representative of the national and global consumer in order to create, innovate, market, and sell fragrances and fragranced products with authentic, compelling stories that resonate will result in overcoming any hurdles.

FIT NOTABLE GRADUATES

FIT NOTABLE GRADUATES
What The Nose Knows

FIT NOTABLE GRADUATES

FIT NOTABLE GRADUATES

Malinda Appel – Senior Director of Product Development, NEST FRAGRANCES

What did you find to be most rewarding about the program?

The most rewarding benefit of being a CFM student was the life-long friendships I have with other graduates of the program. Over ten years later we still love using our senses to cook delicious meals together.  We celebrate our life milestones and, as we grow in our professions, we are one another’s cheerleaders – even when Finalists for the same Fragrance Foundation Award!  

What was the most important thing you learned?

Professor Bonofiglio provided the most helpful tips on how to begin a career in this industry.  We were encouraged to get involved while we studied through volunteering, interning, or working behind the counter. By doing so we could see in real time what we were learning in the classroom.  Professor Bonofiglio also stressed how important it was to make positive connections within the industry. This advice helped me successfully proceed with an ambitious opportunity received upon graduation.

How has your education at FIT helped you in your career?

My education at FIT allowed me to make career connections while I was obtaining my CFM undergraduate degree.  As a student, I was already hands-on exploring different areas of the industry, ultimately recognizing my passion for product development.  I was able to take on a targeted approach to my career directly stemming from my experiences as a student.

Gayathri Balasundar – Director of Marketing, Takasago

What did you find to be most rewarding about the program?

The content and rhythm of the FIT program is incredible because of it’s community – the FIT community is generous.  From the professors and mentors to my immediate cohort and the extended alumni network and even the overseas partners – Everyone is very giving with sharing their knowledge, experiences and offering their support.  It’s the gift that just keeps giving!

 
What was the most important thing you learned?

In the world of cosmetics and fragrance, there are so many stories and stats embedded into every brand, person and product that it is important to stay open minded.  The most important thing I learned was to listen to all perspectives and challenge the status quo with empathy to move the industry forward. Today many of our alumni take this invaluable lesson to question what stories are being told in our products and what perspectives are represented around the table. 

 How has your education at FIT helped you in your career? 

Through my work ethic, education, and community, I have held key roles at several amazing companies. Over the years, I found clarity in articulating my strengths and value.  I gained the courage to leverage my inclusive spirit and own my cross-cultural background to highlight and amplify diverse voices in my work. Above all, I take the same support and strength that has been given to me by the FIT community and channel it towards those I mentor & coach.

Simone Bolotin – Senior Director, Influencer Marketing and Public Relations (US), Coty Luxury

What did you find to be most rewarding about the program?

Learning from and collaborating with those who had experiences different from my own. What is unique about the program is that you learn as much, if not more, from your peers and classmates, as you do from your professors and guest lecturers. As a communications professional who tends to work most closely with other Marketing and PR pros, it was fascinating to work on group projects with classmates from backgrounds spanning HR to product development, who provided insights and perspectives that I never would have considered otherwise. The two field studies programs in Europe and Asia also provided invaluable perspectives on other cultures and shopping habits that opened my mind to new ideas.

What was the most important thing you learned?

 The value of collaboration and teamwork. Since much of the coursework in the FIT program includes group projects, I was forced to rely on classmates to deliver work essential to our collective success, relinquishing the control I was used to in my professional role. The outcome was undoubtedly improved as a result, and allowed each team member to shine and take pride in their individual contributions. As my management responsibilities have continued to grow following graduation, I have endeavored to instill this collaborative spirit and sense of pride in my team at Coty, with a mindset rooted in trust, accountability and recognition. 

How has your education at FIT helped you in your career? 

 Having a more holistic understanding of all of the aspects of the beauty and fragrance business helps me to have a more well-rounded perspective. When I talk to the perfumers creating our fragrances or the sales teams negotiating shelf space with our retailers, I am able to better understand the ways in which their roles are essential to the overall business, and how I can take a more integrated approach in my own work. The network I built with my classmates at FIT has also been incredibly beneficial, with a solid support system of industry rock stars that I am now lucky to call lifelong friends.

Sophia Gillio –  Director of Sales and Specialty Business Category, MANE

What did you find to be most rewarding about the program?

The most rewarding part of the FIT CFMM Master’s Program was the ability to make lasting connections with some of the industry’s most talented people.  I like to think about my time in the program as the ultimate meeting of the minds – an all access pass to collaborate, challenge, and learn from beauty industry peers, senior executives, professors, and beyond in a way that transcends the normal limitations of corporate culture and boundaries.

What was the most important thing you learned?

The most important thing I learned is that an open mind paired with the diversity of thought and experiences of others can be transformative to growth – as an individual or as a corporation. In the CFMM Master’s program, we gained exposure to diversity of thought not only from our cohort of beauty industry executives, but from countless people around the globe through our travels to Europe and Asia. In corporate culture, I think there is often a tendency to stay hyper-focused on one’s job, one’s company, one’s industry; however, the ability and confidence to leverage the strengths and knowledge of people with different experiences, backgrounds, skillsets, and cultures opens the door to the possibility of exponential growth.   

How has your education at FIT helped you in your career? 

The depth of research we conducted in certain areas has proven beneficial to my ability to add value back to my current company and beyond.  I have a profound interest in what is next for beauty and fragrance + tech, and our culminating Capstone presentation, Beauty and Technology, laid the foundation to my knowledge of tech’s impact on human identity and societal evolution.  We are at a pivotal moment in time where our opportunity to impact the digital world in an inherently physical business is unprecedented through the metaverse and what it means for our businesses and user experiences.  I look forward to spending more time building in this space!

Kaleigh Prokop – Perfumer, MANE

What did you find to be most rewarding about the program?
My FIT experience created lifelong friends, both personally and professionally.   These connections enhanced my in-person experience with a chance to learn from others’ knowledge and points of view.  With its unique focus on the beauty industry, I was able to blend my real-life with work-related projects, and push me personally into new rewarding experiences. 
 
What was the most important thing you learned?
The most important thing I learned from the program is that I can turn my passion into a career.  On the first day of History of Beauty class I learned that Perfumery was an actual career.  That class changed my life, I knew immediately what path I wanted to take!  I now have the unique opportunity to create fragrances that consumers attribute to their best olfactive memories. 
 
How has your education at FIT helped you in your career? 
I was able to secure an internship after meeting a perfumer at an event that I accompanied with FIT Professor, Virginia Bonofiglio.  That internship opened the door to my future and created opportunities that led to my lifelong career.  I started as a perfumer’s assistant, which led to my apprenticeship learning in house perfumery with a leading fragrance house.  My success can be traced to the opportunities created by my experience at FIT.

Tracy Taylor – Associate Director, Consumer Insights, Firmenich

What did you find to be most rewarding about the program?
 Walking off the stage at capstone after delivering our industry presentation!
 
What was the most important thing you learned?
 With determination and humility, almost anything is learnable. From a career standpoint, it was a true gift to be surrounded by so many other industry professionals. I was vicariously exposed to such a diverse range of roles, departments and companies, without ever leaving the classroom. The exchange of experiences with other students will always be one of the most valuable aspects of the program for me.
 
How has your education at FIT helped you in your career? 
The CFMM program helped me see beyond the specifics of my role, enabling me to grasp broader industry dynamics that impact fragrance development and our clients. I LOVED the freedom to explore new topics, ideas and business challenges, beyond my usual scope of work. I emerged feeling more confident making strategic decisions and guiding my internal and external partners. Additionally, after completing the program, I feel more integrated within the fragrance community as a whole.

THE MOMENTOUS EVENT SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE MOMENTOUS EVENT SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY Linda G. Levy
The Inside Scoop

THE MOMENTOUS EVENT SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE MOMENTOUS EVENT SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY Linda G. Levy

The Circle of Champions event was truly extraordinary on many levels. 

On an individual level for the attendees, it was the first in-person event for the fragrance community in two years. That human connection was exhilarating and heartwarming for all 175 in the fragrance community, plus more than 50 FIT student guests.

For The Fragrance Foundation, it was a landmark for our Circle of Champions signature event as we honored outstanding educators as Champions, reflecting our core value of nurturing talent. Professors Virginia Bonofiglio and Stephan Kanlian have displayed unwavering leadership and dedication, and have shared their expertise at FIT’s programs for decades, impacting hundreds of students.

It was my great honor at this momentous event to present the awards to these Champions and to announce the first ever Fragrance Foundation FIT Scholarship dedicated to students of diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing a career in fragrance! 

The Fragrance Foundation FIT Diversity Scholarship signifies a collective commitment to diversity, and a natural next step in the advancement of our #FragranceForwardTFF initiative. It was a groundbreaking evening for us all at TFF as we showed we can amplify our commitment to championing diversity in all of its forms, and strive towards a fully inclusive industry that is an accurate reflection of our world.

The evening concluded with the guests joining me to recite the TFF DEI Pledge together as one. Click here to take the pledge! This is just the beginning of actionable steps clearly showing all we can achieve together!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Oct

SPOTLIGHT: BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE WITH #FRAGRANCEFORWARDTFF

SPOTLIGHT: BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE WITH #FRAGRANCEFORWARDTFF
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE WITH #FRAGRANCEFORWARDTFF

SPOTLIGHT: BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE WITH #FRAGRANCEFORWARDTFF

On October 20th, TFF kicked off its ambitious and focused DEI initiative with Industry Perspectives on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a free webinar watched by more than 1,500 attendees, including beauty and fragrance executives, individuals from fragrance brands and media, as well as students and consumers across the country. The event brought to life and articulated #FragranceForwardTFF, the industry-wide inclusivity movement that TFF is galvanizing in order to push forward significant and visible change.

The event featured a thoughtful and engaging discussion from panelists Chris Collins, the founder of World of Chris Collins, Corey Smith, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for North America, LVMH, Rob Smith, CEO and Founder of The Phluid Project, and Linda Song, Senior Perfumer at Givaudan. Each of these inspiring individuals shared their personal stories with moderator Helen Shelton, Global Chief Diversity Officer and luxury brand marketing communications expert at Finn Partners, as well as a wealth of insight and actionable advice both for those inside and outside the fragrance industry.

Jerry Vittoria, Chairman of the Fragrance Foundation Board of Directors opened the webinar, naming DEI as the number one priority of TFF, and outlining the broad definition of diversity that the organization considers important to its mission. “Our definition of diversity goes beyond gender,” he said, “to include all contexts in which people may identify themselves as part of a minority group. These include ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, different abilities, age, and a variety of backgrounds.” Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy outlined the #FragranceForwardTFF goal, “to foster a fully inclusive industry that truly represents the population of the USA” and introduced the panelists, all of whom had passionate and nuanced thoughts to share on how the entire industry can ignite and propel positive changes.

They all shared personal stories—Collins discussed his journey from fashion into fragrance, and his acknowledgment from the outset that “Whether you’re Black or you’re a woman or you’re LBGTQ+, you have to work three times as hard for anyone to take you seriously”; Song recollected her “love story” with raw materials that drew her in, and mused on how being Korean in America, and a woman, has shaped and enriched her work; Rob Smith outlined his journey from Macy’s and the corporate world into the Phluid Project, the world’s first gender free store, and the Phluid Scent Elixirs. “Why should anything be strictly male or female?” he asked. “It should be about what makes you feel good and brings out your authentic self”; and Corey Smith, who has spent more than 20 years working in DEI, highlighted the challenges and importance of initiating changes within an industry that cherishes heritage.

The panel touched on everything from the need for visibility and representation in marketing to the critical importance of the three A’s: allyship, advocacy, and activism. Corey Smith drove home the point that all efforts need to be 360—and while pledges are important, what’s even more important is “having diverse products on our shelves, products created by diverse people for diverse people.” They offered advice for anyone, but especially minorities, to break into the fragrance business, from networking to mentoring, to just sticking with it. “Don’t be afraid to fail,” said Collins. “If you’re afraid to fail, that means you’re afraid to take risks. You have to be courageous enough to know that you’re going to get some things wrong. You have to learn from your mistakes. And you can’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Song spoke about the importance of having this conversation at all levels of the industry, and thanked The Fragrance Foundation and Michael Edwards for taking a strong stance about the use of the term “oriental” in the fragrance industry, recognizing that it is outdated and offensive, and announced that Givaudan will now be using the classification Amber-y in its place. Corey Smith talked about how critical cognitive diversity is, and all agreed that greater diversity means greater creativity, output, and success. “There is a value in difference,” he said. “Innovation comes from difference. Productivity, efficiency. All of that comes from a bunch of different people sitting around a table and debating until the best idea rises to the top.”

And as for how we move the needle in the right direction? It will take everyone, individually and together. “Accountability is individual, then it’s team, then it’s organization,” said Corey Smith. “It’s a level of self-awareness, learning, unlearning, respecting difference. All of that contributes to what we call inclusion.” Rob Smith advised taking leaps, having conversations, listening, being aware, and celebrating every individual. “You’re going to have to do things that are untraditional in order to make space for untraditional brands to succeed,” he said. “We’re never done with this journey, so let’s keep pushing and challenging each other.”

Among the questions submitted by viewers in a post-event follow-up was: What would you change if you were Chairman of the Board at a large fragrance house or corporate fragrance brand? “First,” Rob Smith said, “I’d look at the diverse composition of the Leadership team and the Board of Directors. I’d make a commitment toward diverse representation, equitable pay and an inclusive environment. I’d ensure the company had ERG’s and a mentor program for high potential and diverse executives. Finally, I’d hire outside consultants to hold the team accountable.” He also offered advice for finding mentors: “Reach out to people you admire. Find a few mentors who can guide you through your career. And, understand, they may not look like you. Many people are looking for talent and opportunities to create a more inclusive future.”

“When seeking a mentor, don’t give up and try not to take it personally—sometimes reaching out to someone on the wrong day or wrong time is just that,” Song said, in response to the question. “Try again, try a different approach, try a different person, take time to self-reflect, pick yourself back up and keep going!” And regarding what TFF’s DEI initiative means to her personally, she said, “All individuals play a role. I never would have imagined speaking on this topic or that I would ever feel qualified, but it’s a human experience and we all have the right to it.”

Levy closed Industry Perspectives on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with an announcement of the creation of an industry-wide, Fragrance Foundation DEI Signatory Pledge. TFF’s 100+ members – that include both independent and corporate entities – will commit not only to furthering their respective DEI goals, but also to assisting TFF in building and shaping #FragranceForwardTFF in the months and years ahead. The pledge in full: “I commit to being fragrance forward by holding myself and my company accountable at all levels to drive diversity, equity and inclusion. I commit to breaking boundaries for people of all backgrounds in launching, growing, and sustaining careers in the fragrance industry. I commit to actionable steps to broadening my perspective, changing my workplace, and changing the industry.”

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW TO BUILD A CAREER IN THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY – SPELMAN COLLEGE

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW TO BUILD A CAREER IN THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY –  SPELMAN COLLEGE
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW TO BUILD A CAREER IN THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY – SPELMAN COLLEGE

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: HOW TO BUILD A CAREER IN THE FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY –  SPELMAN COLLEGE

Critical to the Fragrance Foundation’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—and indeed to the entire fragrance industry’s future—is education and outreach. Earlier this month, TFF launched its TFF Career Paths series, which will involve visits to colleges around the country to showcase professions in the fragrance industry and engage curious young perfume-lovers who may not otherwise have easy access to information or guidance about the field.

The inaugural event, Scents of Success: How to Build a Career in the Fragrance Industry, was held during Homecoming at Spelman College, an Historically Black institution in Atlanta and the alma mater of Sharné Jackson, TFF’s Senior Director of Events, Education and Give Back. Venetta Colman, Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Spelman College, opened the webinar, introducing Jackson and TFF President Linda G. Levy, who explained the history and purpose of TFF, including its great mission: to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance. “Regardless of what you are studying,” she said, “I bet everyone who has tuned in today could find a path into the fragrance world if they wanted to.” Jackson’s own impressive and varied journey from Spelman to joining TFF—including stints as a first-grade teacher, the Director of Events at Macy’s, and a developer of educational initiatives at City College—provided the event’s first inspiring story, and opened the floor to very special guests: Chris Collins, founder of The World of Chris Collins luxury fragrance brand and Chavalia Dunlap-Mwamba, founder and CEO of independent fragrance brand Pink MahogHany.

Collins and Dunlap-Mwamba both revealed that their paths into perfume were not exactly straightforward. Collins, who double majored in psychology and biology thinking he would become a doctor, ended up being a model for Ralph Lauren for more than 20 years, then encountering Kilian Hennessy, who encouraged his love for fragrance and inspired him to create his own line. “My advice is to be open to opportunities that come your way,” he said, “and do what you’re passionate about because that will always give you incentive.” Dunlap-Mwamba, meanwhile, first worked as an elementary music teacher, but it was her fascination with fragrance design and the creators behind scents that lured her into becoming a perfume brand entrepreneur. Both felt challenged by others who didn’t take them seriously along the way, but perseverance, self-belief—and, of course, the quality of their products—ultimately earned them respect and gave them the traction that they needed for success.

The two also shared their personal stories about connecting to fragrance and how it inspires them every day. “I make very powerful, intense, emotional fragrances, because I think a good fragrance should move you to tears; a good fragrance should make you fall in love with yourself and make other people fall in love with you.” Dunlap-Mwamba taught herself, through time, commitment, and trial and error, how to create perfumes. “I wanted my imagination to just run free, and fragrance has allowed me to do that.”

Advice for students and budding entrepreneurs? “Own your individuality,” Dunlap-Mwamba said, “Figure out your why. And never deviate from it.” Collins advised being open and listening, but weeding out the actionable information. “Love what you do and be very passionate about it, because when those times come when you fail, you’ve got to get up.” Both recommended finding mentors who can share insight, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, and not being afraid to take chances.

In the second half, students engaged in an experimental smell session, in which they smelled seven scent ingredients provided by Firmenich that introduced them to the seven scent categories—floral, fresh, citrus, fruity, woody, sweet, and spicy—while Collins and Dunlap-Mwamba talked through how they use these notes and ingredients in fragrances. At the end, students chimed in with enthusiastic inquiries about everything from marketing to entrepreneurship to fragrance structure and complexity.

As the first of many such sessions, Dr. DeKimberlen Neely, Associate Dean for Spelman College, declared Scents of Success “a win-win! Our students will now be exposed to a career path that may be unknown to them without this collaboration. Thank you, Linda Levy and Sharné Jackson for being intentional about inviting us into your world and leveraging your influence to include students of color in this space.”

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

This issue of Accords marks a landmark month in the history of The Fragrance Foundation. Our announcement of  #FragranceForwardTFF and our DEI  Pledge officially kicked off and was enthusiastically received by thousands in the fragrance community. Vast media coverage and the live webinar declared our commitment to our #1 DEI priority. 

Now we are moving forward together to ensure that the fragrance community welcomes, appreciates and celebrates people of all backgrounds. We will continue to reach out to colleges and universities following the premiere of Scents of Success at Spelman College. Students will learn that a career path in fragrance has many different entry points, and that the industry intends to recruit, hire, train and retain diverse teams that reflect the entire USA population.

More news will be announced soon that proclaims our united TFF commitment in this ongoing effort. We will continue to take actionable  steps to move forward and expand our reach. The DEI Pledge will serve as our guide and a thread in all we do. We know there is much to be accomplished, but with the passion we share, we are united to move forward together.

We look forward to seeing many in the fragrance community at The Circle of Champions first in person TFF event soon. For those who cannot attend, we will share highlights of the presentations & major DEI breaking news!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Sep

The Reimagineer: Michael Clinton

The Reimagineer: Michael Clinton
Spotlight

The Reimagineer: Michael Clinton

The Reimagineer: Michael Clinton

September 2021

“I appear to have struck a chord,” says Michael Clinton, whose book ROAR Into the Second Half of Your Life (Before It’s Too Late) is currently—and with considerable zeitgeist-capturing buzz—climbing best-seller lists. ROAR (an acronym that stands for four actionable steps towards a more fulfilling future: Reimagine yourself, Own who you are, Act on what’s next, and Reassess your relationships) was born when Clinton stepped away from his role as president and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, and it’s an inspirational, motivational exhortation to view growing older as an opportunity to forge new opportunities and experiences. Clinton—an accomplished photographer, pilot, philanthropist, marathon runner, and wine maker—is himself a role model in this regard, and while ROAR may be targeted at the post-50 set, it resonates with anyone looking to re-examine their relationship with work and envisioning moving through the chapters of their life with passion and gusto. Here, Clinton shares his advice with ACCORDS on how to take steps – and yes, even fragrant sniffs – towards a happy future.

You interviewed 40 people who made major life pivots for ROAR. Who did you find most personally inspiring?

We called them Reimagineers. One was a woman named Stephanie Young. She was a book editor for her whole career. She had studied English in college. She was 53 when she decided that she wanted to become a doctor. She applied to American medical schools and she faced a lot of ageism, but she then got accepted to a Caribbean medical school. During that process, she went through a divorce. So, after getting scholarships and grants to fund her education, she went off to the Caribbean on her own in her mid-50s. I thought that took an enormous amount of courage. She’s now in her early 60s and she is a doctor. She had a lot of twists and turns along the way, but she just kept going. She kept pushing forward. She had a great quote: “You can’t read about the top 10 most beautiful futures. You have to find it through yourself, keep the vision, even when you stumble along the way.

You also conducted a huge survey, gauging people’s feelings about their life choices. What were some of the most surprising findings?

We had 630 respondents, a cross-section of people from all kinds of walks of life, and we asked them if they could do a major redo of their life, would they? Seventy-six percent of them said they would, which was a surprise to me. Then we gave them the opportunity to write in what defining moment in their life they would redo. The number one response was, “I would redo my marriage or not marry the person that I married,” which was really interesting. The second was, “I wish I had taken school more seriously so that I could have done more, expanded more, had other opportunities.”

But the majority of people still felt optimistic about future possibilities and things they might do. This gets back to the thesis of the book, that if you’re 50 and you’re healthy, you may live to be 90, and when you pivot out of a first career, you begin to realize that you have another 20, 30, maybe more, years to live. It’s not your father’s or your mother’s retirement.

What can hold people back?

Two things. One is self-imposed barriers. They say, “I coulda, shoulda, woulda” or “I made a mistake and I didn’t do X or I didn’t do Y.” The second thing is self-imposed ageism. They say, “I’m too old to do that.” Where did that come from? In the book, instead of using the term age appropriate, I say person appropriate. Women are having babies at 50. You may decide to adopt in your 50s. You may decide to completely change your career in your 50s. To say you’re too old for something is an old-fashioned way of thinking about it.

What are signs people should be aware of that it might be time for change in their lives?

I think we all have this little nagging voice in the back of our heads when we need change. Generally, what happens is it gets louder and louder and you can ignore it and be dissatisfied or you can confront it and identify it and say, “Okay, I know that I’ve got to leave this profession or this company or this relationship.”

One of my favorite stories in the book is Rob Smith. He wanted to work in social justice, but his father told him, “I’m only going to pay for college if you study business.” So, he studied business, and had a long successful career at Macy’s, but then when he was around 50, he had kind of a meltdown and he said, “I need to check out and think about my life.” He went traveling and did an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru, and in a hallucinogenic state, he saw his 16-year-old self and said, “I’m so sorry that I abandoned you.” I thought that was very poetic and also poignant. He came back home and he started the Phluid Project, and moved into the social justice space in his 50s. He’s now thriving and loving it.

What’s your advice for people who feel like they need something new, but don’t know where to start?

What I learned from the interviewees is they identified what it was that they needed to change, then they spent a year-plus going deep into it, really pulling it apart to figure out how they were going to make that change. It wasn’t a spontaneous thing. It was very well thought out. Some of them started creating parallel lives to their existing life by turning a hobby into a passion or starting to freelance. A lot of them went back to school.

You also shared a very nice concept of life-layering to find your passion.

That’s right. If you start building a layer, over time that layer may become your launchpad into a new business, or into becoming an entrepreneur. In the beauty industry, there are lots of examples of people who worked for established beauty companies but then went off and launched their own skincare or fragrance or something else in the beauty world. That’s an example of layering. You learn different aspects of the job you already do. If you’re a marketing person and you’re weak on the financial side, then you can go and take some courses in financial management and start rounding out your business experience.

Do you think fragrance is a tool that can be used to focus, or open up connections that might help someone find their path?

We have to find the triggers that can put us into a state of reflection, introspection—let’s even call it meditation. I think fragrance is a great example of something that inherently brings that out. If you are sitting in your private space and you are reflecting on your life, having an aroma that can help facilitate that is a great tool. Sometimes that’s an applied fragrance. Sometimes that’s a fragrance in a candle.

Fragrances and aromas also invoke lots of memories. My grandmother was a huge influence on me, and when I smell the fragrance she wore, which was Youth Dew, it takes me right back to her wisdom, her advice. It makes me stop and think about her. If you had a powerful mentor or you had a powerful influence in your life and she or he wore something that was comforting to you, it will take you back to thinking about them, and put you in the state of really being able to take a deeper dive into your own life. Maybe it will take you back to a time when you were younger that you had a discussion with someone about what your dreams and aspirations were. You may pick up a thread just from that alone.

Ageism escapes a lot of DEI initiatives. What are your thoughts on how even employers can be more inclusive about age?

A very good point. If you think about it, ageism affects you regardless of your gender, your race, your ethnicity, your religious beliefs. It’s a universal experience that people over 50 have. Part of it is language. Part of it is government and corporate policies that haven’t kept pace with the change that is happening with the dynamic 50-plus cohort. Thirty-four percent of the population is now 50-plus. Every day, 10,000 people turn 65. In 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.

I think that you’re going to see over the next few years a lot of change in policies, government institutions, and corporate policies, especially because a lot of people who are “retirement” age are going to leave a huge gap in employment needs. So you’ll have a lot of people who are 60-plus who are going to be working in different kinds of hybrid roles. There’s going to be a rethink because there are not enough people to fill what will become the jobs that the boomers will be leaving from their first careers.

In the book, instead of talking about retire, we talk about rewire. Instead of talking about getting older, we say we’re living longer. Instead of talking about self-imposed ageism, we focus on self-imposed growthism. Ultimately, things are going to change because the people are going to force change.

The Fragrance Index: Larissa Jensen

The Fragrance Index:  Larissa Jensen
Scents and Sensibility

The Fragrance Index: Larissa Jensen

The Fragrance Index:  Larissa Jensen

September 2021

The pandemic has had different implications across industries. In the case of prestige beauty, from the onset, areas of the market have been particularly hard-hit as so many beauty products are tied to social usage occasions. On the other hand, consumers deemed many areas essential, such as focusing on self-care and treating themselves to little luxuries. This validates the emotional component of the beauty industry. Despite the need to spend more time at home and observe social distance during the past year and a half, people have still wanted to look and feel good ― even in those moments when they were living in loungewear, working from home, or not venturing much farther than their own backyard.

Today, amid many uncertainties, we are seeing a return to some aspects of normal life, and the beauty industry is experiencing renewed growth across all its categories. Fragrance has emerged as the brightest star, posting unprecedented, double-digit growth against both 2020 and pre-pandemic 2019.

We asked Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at The NPD Group, to help us understand fragrance’s strong growth.

What are the biggest takeaways in terms of the fragrance category’s performance so far this year?

In the U.S., fragrance sales began to recover in August 2020, and remained positive for the remainder of the year before surging in 2021. In the first half of this year, fragrance revenue grew by 82% compared to 2020, and by 35% compared to pre-pandemic 2019, which is nothing short of spectacular. Higher-concentration juices, such as EDP and parfums, have been by far the category’s strongest growth drivers. These higher fragrance oil concentrations enable a longer-lasting fragrance, which is a key consumer purchase driver. In fact, our latest Fragrance Consumer Report shows 70% of U.S. fragrance wearers are willing to pay more for a higher-concentration, longer-lasting fragrance.

Why fragrance, and why now?

There is no question that the past year and a half has been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. And there is the science behind scent that could help explain why consumers are focused on fragrance. Research tells us the sense of smell is directly related to memory. In fact, smells trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing that feeling of “being brought back in time” than images. Our Fragrance Consumer Report shows three out of four consumers connect fragrance to boosting their mood or bringing back memories. As a beauty category, it is well positioned as a means to lift our spirits.

Could fragrance be the new lipstick index?

I believe it could be, especially given that lipstick is not exactly pandemic-friendly when wearing a mask that covers the lips. And the shift to fragrance — specifically luxury fragrances — is a solid indicator that consumers are treating themselves. This was validated in our recent omnibus study, where we asked consumers why they recently purchased fragrance. The top reason was as a treat for themselves.

How do you expect fragrance to perform during the critical holiday season?

Times of gift-giving associated with key holidays, including Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and the December holidays, create excitement around fragrance. These are the biggest revenue-generating periods for the market. I expect double-digit growth in fragrance for this year’s holiday season. Clearly, the fourth quarter is an exciting time for anyone in the fragrance business, but despite the positive news there is no question that many unknowns remain. The delta variant is a major consideration, and we have no idea what’s around the corner. But the eternal optimist in me says that it’s because of all this uncertainty that our industry has many opportunities to maintain the momentum. It’s all about identifying those opportunities to drive your business forward.

To view the report prepared by NPD, FRAGRANCE INSIGHTS: THE NEW FRAGRANCE CONSUMER, click here available on TFF website.

PERFUMERS’ SPOTLIGHT

What The Nose Knows

PERFUMERS’ SPOTLIGHT

September 2021

Fanny Bal, IFF

Did you always dream of being a perfumer, or did you begin another career path or study path first?

I was supposed to become “an engineer like everyone else,” but I was looking for passion and thrills. My goal was for my life to be stimulating: I wanted to have a job that I loved because getting up every day to exercise a profession I didn’t enjoy just wasn’t an option. When I found out about the Isipca program and the profession of perfumer, which would consist of creating perfumes that people would wear, and realized that I might find myself recognizing in the street a perfume that I had created. I thought that had a certain magic to it, and that if my job were such, every day would be different from the day before and the day after. And so it would truly be a job that I’d love. I took the plunge while my parents, who were unfamiliar with the profession and concerned about the small number of job opportunities, watched in amazement. Their fears were legitimate, for the exams are notoriously difficult and it is a path strewn with obstacles: Until the very last moment, you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. So I did have my doubts!

What do you believe that your experiences or studies outside of perfumery have brought to your work as a perfumer?

I think having studied chemistry provided me with a very good skeleton for the precision and the rigor required to be a perfumer. Also, I love pastries; I love making pastries myself and visiting luxury pastry shops. I draw quite a lot of inspiration from pastries; they are behind my Santal Pistache and Nutella Fumé accords. What I love is that you have to follow the recipe to the letter. It takes a lot of rigor and a touch of creativity, as in our perfume craft. Making pastries is precision work. Pastry is about self-indulgence, addiction, a sweet tooth. I like to explore addiction in perfume, the sugary addiction that has characterized perfume for almost 20 years now. My latest collaboration with pastry chef Nicolas Bernardé, to create a candle and a collection of “pâtes de fruits” with LMR perfumery naturals, was a fantastic source of inspiration, a great creative playground!

Who have been your greatest career role models?

Dominique Ropion, of course! Dominique offered me a technical apprenticeship and was the perfumer figure who materialized the profession I wanted to pursue. When I started my training, of course I wanted to be a perfumer, to create perfumes; but I didn’t exactly know what that entailed. Working with him, seeing all that rigor and precision, made me understand. A perfumer has an artistic, creative side, of course. But they are not people who have their head in the clouds, who simply improvise and follow their inspiration, doing pretty much what they like, creating perfumes as if by magic. No, there’s a real rigor, and that’s what inspired me. It’s that tension, that contrast between the artistic side and the very rigorous side, that dialogue between the two, that appeals to me.

Jessica Reichert, Robertet

 Did you always dream of being a perfumer, or did you begin another career path or study path first?

The first career that I ever wanted was to be an actor, but many of the schools that I had applied to had very competitive programs which I did not get into, and I studied art history instead. I was hoping to get an opportunity in the city focusing on art while working in the lab as a fragrance compounder for Premier Specialties. Premier was considering hiring another perfumer and being that both my parents were perfumers, they had asked if I wanted to be trained. I had my doubts because the majority of the perfumers I knew were men, and I didn’t want people to think I only had the opportunity because of nepotism rather than earning it. Ted Barba, who would be the one to train me, was consulting for Premier at the time, and I told him my concerns and thought it would be better if I continued pursuing a career in the arts, to which he asked, “You don’t think creating fragrance is an art?”  It was that question that made me want to be trained, which was not easy by any means, but now, I do feel that I create art, which has become one of the most beautiful and fulfilling things about my life.

What do you believe that your experiences or studies outside of perfumery have brought to your work as a perfumer?

Something that is very special is that I have been able to travel to many different places around the world, with achieving the goal to travel to 30 countries before I turned thirty. It gave me the chance to be exposed to different foods, music, art, the way people live and to explore nature. It has been wonderful to capture those moments by creating fragrances based on the deserts in Morocco, the beaches in Brazil and even the tea plantations in Sri Lanka. One other facet of my life that I feel is very important is being part of the LGTBQ+ community. When the pandemic happened, it was a blessing for me, giving me time to focus on myself and have the courage to not lie about who I was, and come out as queer and non-binary. It has been so rewarding as I can see a difference in myself and my work now that I feel I can be authentic, and I am fortunate to be surrounded by people that make me feel valued and accepted

Who have been your greatest career role models?

Besides the obvious of my parents, Odila Zocca and Tony Reichert and my mentor Ted, my greatest role model is Cecile Hua. She has had a very successful career as a perfumer and had to work harder than most people to get into this industry. I have had the privilege to work with her on the American Society of Perfumers Board and be part of a panel with her for the Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce, where we discussed the importance of Diversity in perfumery. She is extremely graceful and honest about what she feels is important for being a perfumer and has helped me so much. I am extremely  lucky to have gotten to know her and feel that I can call her a friend.

Christine Hassan, Givaudan 

Did you always dream of being a perfumer, or did you begin another career path or study path first?

Although I didn’t know the word “perfumer”, I recognized early on that I wanted to work with fragrance. Smell has always been an integral part of my identity and how I interact with the world around me–the first job I can remember wanting was to become a florist; my favorite lab in high school was synthesizing scented molecules. Apparently, I even told my best friend that I would make her a wedding fragrance when we were kids…and a year ago, I did!

It was eventually through an internship with Givaudan that I first learned about ISIPCA and the job of a perfumer.

What do you believe that your experiences or studies outside of perfumery have brought to your work as a perfumer?

Along with Biochemistry, I studied Fine Arts in college, specializing in sculpture and cinematography. That training taught me how to fully immerse myself in the creative process. Designing a fragrance is like any art, you must understand the history of your craft and the fundamental methods and materials in order to develop your own style. I also learned vulnerability. You need to be vulnerable in order to put your heart into your craft. 

Who have been your greatest career role models?

My greatest role model in life has always been my mom. She left France for the US at the age of 20 (this was back when making international phone calls were a rarity), knowing very little English and having no family in the states, to work for the UN, where she felt she could help impact the world in a more positive way. 

I like to think that I followed her fearless example, with that sense of adventure and curiosity guiding my career. I have particularly enjoyed the multi-cultural experiences that have fed my creative spirit. I have also found a strong sense of purpose as a perfumer, being able to touch people’s lives with the beauty and magic of scent.

The Inside Scoop with Linda G. Levy: Moving Forward with Optimism

The Inside Scoop with Linda G. Levy: Moving Forward with Optimism
The Inside Scoop

The Inside Scoop with Linda G. Levy: Moving Forward with Optimism

The Inside Scoop with Linda G. Levy: Moving Forward with Optimism

This edition of Accords features varied perspectives and subject matter, but are all interwoven with fragrance, as an important factor in personal or professional paths. Also, all share my personal priority of positivity and moving forward cautiously, with great optimism. 

Our spotlight is on Michael Clinton who has just published ROAR, which is a “must read.”  While it would have been a success at any time, ROAR  particularly resonates now as many of us have reflected on our lives during this pandemic, evaluating not just what we have achieved so far, but also starting to make changes for an even more fulfilling future. His terms of “rewiring” instead of retiring and “life layering” serve as great mantras to move forward with positivity. He shares his own personal story, as well as many others including our TFF star, Rob Smith. 

Michael also adds “ageism” as an important obstacle we must all overcome and TFF will certainly include this as we unite and lead the fragrance community in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  Of course, in this exclusive interview with Michael, our editor April Long has Michael share the importance of fragrance in life reflection, memory and its transportiveness.

Larissa Jensen, Vice President, Industry Advisor at The NPD Group, shares  the positive business growth of fragrances and optimism for the upcoming holiday season. I am thrilled that a new measure in the industry “The Fragrance Index” has brought heightened awareness to the overall beauty category. We are all appreciative of how fragrances have impacted consumers’ lives, prompting memories, escapism, mood elevation, enhanced selfcare, and  as an important daily  invisible accessory.

Our 3 featured Perfumers share their stories of what they dreamed early on before training as perfumers. I am happy these 3 talented individuals reimagined their dreams. One day if you are lucky enough to meet them in person, perhaps you will be certain as I am that we gained 3 talented perfumers even if we lost a pastry chef in Fanny, an actor in Jessica, and a florist for Christine. Instead their related fields have benefited from their fragrance creations. They all found their authentic talents translated from their original career goal to that of a perfumer, where they could incorporate these other areas of creativity.

We will be back in October as we enter a very exciting stage where TFF goes into a major action phase with Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Jun

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER: CALICE BECKER

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER: CALICE BECKER

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER: CALICE BECKER

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PERFUMER: CALICE BECKER

June 2021

Calice Becker, the widely adored 2021 Fragrance Foundation Lifetime Achievement Perfumer Award recipient, has made the world a more beautiful place in countless ways. Her work has a signature grace, but she is also unafraid to be daring, and her singular vision has brought us such masterpieces as Dior J’Adore, Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl, and several distinctive By Kilian creations including Back to Black and Woman In Gold. The VP Perfumer is also Director of the Givaudan Perfumery School, where she shares her thoughtful approach and accumulated wisdom with the next generation.

How does it feel to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Perfumer Award?

I have many feelings. First, I think it’s incredible. Second, I’m not sure I deserve it. Third, does it mean that it’s something that is behind me? How about all of the things I still have to do, because I put myself into a lot of new projects. I’m always thinking of what’s next. So, let’s put it this way—I’m not used to this!

What made you want to be a perfumer?

I didn’t want to be a perfumer. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to heal people. And this feeling, I still have it today, because to be compassionate and to bring good things to people, in a way, is what I do with fragrances. I was pushed into math studies because my father is a mathematician. I ended up doing an internship in an engineering company. And I said, oh God, no, never. I would never do this professionally. It was not my type of environment. That’s why my mom suggested that I become a nose. I imagined that I would be like a dog, sniffing the conditions in factories. I had no idea what a nose was. She told me, “No, it’s not about that. It’s about creating fragrances for companies like Chanel.” At the time we didn’t have the internet, so I grabbed the yellow pages. I called Chanel, and they said, “No, that won’t be possible.” I called many places and someone was nice enough to tell me that I should get in touch with one of the fragrance houses. These days, you have Wikipedia, but then you have to be very resourceful. I called the perfumery school in Versailles and they told me I needed a Masters in Chemistry, so I was just about to go buy a lab coat when I got a phone call from Roure asking me to come in for an interview. I guess I made some impression, because they hired me to enter in the perfume school in Grasse. When I started perfumery school, I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t believe that people would be paid to play with smells. I fell in love with the profession the day I began to learn it.

Did you have a mentor?

Yes. You do your studies for four years and then you work with a mentor. I had very well-known people. Dominique Ropion and Francoise Caron, who have both done so many fantastic fragrances. And then I started to fly with my own wings. I always loved what I was doing, so each time I got a promotion or a raise, I was like, “Do you think I need it?” I was already so happy to do it.

How do you describe your style?

Even if I tried to do things that are very meaningful and powerful, I always work very much towards harmony. So, if there is a spike of something, I always try to go from one note to another in a harmonious way. It needs to be nicely put together, it needs to be kind. To me, all of my fragrances are kind. Even when I do darker fragrances, they are velvety and smooth. I don’t do anything harsh.

What accomplishments are you proudest of so far?

I have many accomplishments I’m proud of. Part of my personality is that I’m always very curious, and I’ll always try to find a new solution of any problem. But in terms of fragrances, I’m very proud of Tommy Girl. I’m proud of what J’Adore has done on the market, but I think Tommy Girl was more of a breakthrough fragrance. I’m proud of the fragrances I’ve done for Kilian, because they don’t look like anything else. But there are also things I’m less proud of. I have done some flops, too.

What are the most important lessons you can teach as an educator?

What I’m looking for is people who love the product above everything, above the glamour of being a perfumer. I teach them to train their brain, because their brain will be their worst enemy. It’s very easy to jump to conclusions, to imagine that you have smelled something, to imagine someone told you something. You need to always take a step back. I teach them what’s called metacognition. You have to ask yourself so many questions as you work. We have limits to what we perceive, and we perceive things under a certain context. For instance, if you go in a room that is normally bright but you come from outside in the sun, the room is very dark; but the same room, if you come from the cellar where it was dark, you’ll find it very bright. It’s the same when working with scents; you always have to contextualize what you’re doing. When you smell something, to be true to what it is, you have to think of what you have smelled before, the environment, how do you feel at this time? Did you get coffee beforehand? These things make a huge difference.  

What do you find most interesting about perfumery?

I’m learning something every day. I’m not that type of teacher who gives something to students to do that I know the result. I’m learning with them, which I think is fantastic. Right now we’re working on a yellow orris. The smell is amazing, and I’m breaking my teeth, trying to find what’s inside it with them. I think that what drives me is curiosity. I need to learn something new every day to have a fulfilled day.

What scents do you dream of that you have not yet captured?

I’m not the only perfumer saying this, but it’s true that it’s very difficult to capture the beauty of the honeysuckle. It’s a little bit like magnolia. It’s very refined, you have to be very close to smell, but even from afar, you can smell it with the same intensity. It fills the air, it creates a trail, but with something very delicate.

What are some of the inspirations that you draw from when you’re creating?

Everything! First, other artists. I look at how artists work, how they transform something from another media, how they trickle down, how they trickly up, how they think. Looking at artists, creators, authors, musicians, inspires me a lot. For instance, one day I was at The Hermitage looking at the Dutch painters of the 17th century, those black paintings with the flowers that are quite bright. I thought, I can’t have a bouquet like that because none of those flowers grow together in the same season. I understood that they work separately with the flowers, the painters. They don’t draw a bouquet with everything together, they go one by one. With J’Adore, that was the way I worked. I worked on each flower separately and I put them together in a way that they don’t overlap.

How has the fragrance industry changed?

Everything has gotten much more technical, much faster, much more ethical, much more sustainable. There is a huge consciousness of what we are doing, what we are using, and that is totally new. When you use something, you are responsible for its safety. You know where the ingredients are coming from, and you know they’re ethical. That has been a huge shift. And the speed. Now, AI is coming as well. It can be a help or it can be a threat. It can take over many cumbersome tasks, but maybe some people are very comfortable to keep doing those tasks and they don’t want the computer to take over. I think it’s not special to perfumery, it’s something you can see across all industries. Everything changes.

HALL OF FAME: PHILIPPE BENACIN

HALL OF FAME: PHILIPPE BENACIN

HALL OF FAME: PHILIPPE BENACIN

HALL OF FAME: PHILIPPE BENACIN

June 2021

Though he may be humble about his impact, Philippe Benacin revolutionized the way that fragrances are licensed and distributed when he co-founded Interparfums in 1982. The hugely influential global company designs, produces, and distributes perfumes and cosmetics for such brands as Coach, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Montblanc, Montcler, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Kate Spade, among others, bringing them success and visibility in the fragrance world. Chairman and CEO Benacin, who is an avid musician and art collector, has been recognized with a Creative Audacity Prize awarded by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in 2011 and now he has won the coveted Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Award for 2021. To mark this milestone, he reflects on his career and shares wisdom he has learned along the way.

How does it feel to be named the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame honoree?

It is a great honor. I was only once at the presentation in New York and it was when Tom Ford was awarded – it was gorgeous. This time it has to be virtual but that’s ok. It’s very nice to get it no matter what.

You have so many interests. What started you down the path to the business of perfume?

People often ask me if fragrance was something I was always interested in, and I say no. I was not into fragrance at all, and my family has no link to perfumery. It so happens that when Jean [Madar, the Interparfums co-founder] and I finished business school we started a smaller company doing market surveys, and we met a French fashion company that wanted to launch a fragrance. That was the starting point. We did the market survey of the competition, but after a year of work with the CEO of that company he proposed that we develop and continue to work, physically, with the fragrance. This is how we moved, step by step, from market surveys to fragrances. We did market surveys for about two years, and it was something that I personally didn’t like at all, so it was a good point to meet this gentleman, and start in fragrance, which is much less abstract. Scent was very interesting to me, from a creative development point of view, from a supply chain point of view, and from a market point of view. When you look at the fragrance business, it’s very large. It’s very vertical. You meet people who are very different according to which segment they work in. And I have found that it’s a really nice world.

What do you consider to be your greatest contribution to the perfume industry?

I don’t want to be pretentious. I think the perfume world would have gone the same way if we were not there. But what we think we’ve done well is we’ve come to understand all of the segments of the luxury business and we have become very good at translating a brand DNA into fragrance, into product, into communication. I have the impression that we’re good at that, when you compare us to our competitors.

What have been the turning points for Interparfums?

The turning point for sure was 1993, when we signed Burberry. There had been two licensees before but neither was successful. When we signed the contract the business was almost at zero, but we created different fragrances starting in 1995, and after three or four years they were very significant in terms of sales.  I remember in year three we were at 160 million French francs. It changed completely the size of the company and also the strategy. So, 1993 was very important. And then 2013, exactly 20 years after, when Burberry decided to integrate their business. At that time, we lost 50 percent of our scents, but we knew ahead of time and could reshape our brand portfolio. I hope that 2020 will be a key date in the future, because we signed the Montcler license in 2020. But I cannot tell you now – ask me again in two years, and I will be able to tell you whether it was a success or not.

What are the keys of success that you can teach to others?

In luxury fragrance, I would say attention to detail is the most important thing. Attention to the client and to the product and to the brand.

How have you seen the fragrance business change?

Two things. In terms of retail, when you look at France and then the USA, when you look at the markets 30 years ago, you had many different retailers everywhere. Today it is no longer like that. In France you have three retailers who have 80 percent of the business. In the USA it is the same, with Macy’s doing not far from 50 percent. That’s a key point. And secondly the fact that the most powerful brands are more and more powerful. There are probably 10 companies doing most business around the world. Which means that when you launch a brand, if you don’t achieve certain figures, you are going to be out. You have to be successful. It’s no longer possible to be just ok – either you win or you lose, no middle ground.

How does close work with perfumers enhance your role?

We work with perfumers directly. When we start working – with Givaudan or Firmenich or IFF or whichever company – we give them a brief and they come back with different creations, but we don’t know who creates what. If we select three or four fragrances, different mods, then we go to the perfumer at the second stage, and in general we work with the perfumer directly until the finalization. We have a lot of possibilities – because we don’t just work with one or two perfumers, or all of the perfumers of the company. It happens often that we select a fragrance that is from a perfumer we don’t know yet. For instance the next Lanvin will be from an American perfumer, Mackenzie Reilly, from IFF. There was no specific link with her, but we liked very much the fragrance she gave us.

You have said the 200 women of Interparfums are very important. How so?

It is an industry that is very feminine. When you hire someone in France in this industry, you have more women than men. It happens that our company is 70 percent women. I fight to hire men! We have women and women and women. They are all very talented, and it works super well. They are faithful, and probably more conscientious than men.

What is the best advice you have received?

Again, I think it’s about attention to detail. In 1995, 1996, I met the CEO of Clarins and we happened to become friends. We spent hours talking about the industry, and he gave me so much good advice at that time, but on a friendly basis. Like pay attention to details, don’t go with too many creations – I can’t remember everything, but it was such a nice moment. That is why I asked him to join our board after he left Clarins.

What are your predictions for the future of the fragrance industry?

I have the impression that it will not change so much, because it has changed so much already. We will of course find newcomers – there will be newcomers on the brand level, the supply chain level, the retail level, of course – but I think that all of the key elements are there. I am talking in the next 5 to 10 years, not 50 years, because that you can never know.

BEHIND THE SCENTS: INDIE BRAND FOUNDERS

BEHIND THE SCENTS: INDIE BRAND FOUNDERS

BEHIND THE SCENTS: INDIE BRAND FOUNDERS

BEHIND THE SCENTS: INDIE BRAND FOUNDERS

June 2021

Arquiste Parfumeur – Carlos Huber

What was the creative/historical starting point for this fragrance?

The history of how patchouli arrived to European noses (via Kashmiri shawls) and its association and evolution with social changes of the 19th century. Patchouli first became the scent of misfits and counter-culture as the use of these shawls descended from the well-off classes to bohemians and courtesans . 

Were there challenges in striking the desired balance between elegance and decadence in the scent?

Yes, like misfits, the scent of patchouli is preceded by its reputation, and our goal was to turn this on its head.  Misfit is centered on the idea of things to go in and out of fashion… of fads that go from the mainstream to the fringes of society, and from the outside back in. Of making the undesirable desirable again. Instead of following a trend, being a misfit and reclaiming the elegance of patchouli.

What emotion or sensation do you want it to spark for those who smell it?

An enveloping sense of self…of individuality that doesn’t need to sacrifice elegance in order to stand out and declare its non-conformity. It’s a scent for every gender, every skin type, and every season because it celebrates both softness and assertiveness. 

How does your relationship with Rodrigo Flores-Roux enhance Arquiste, and what did he specifically bring to this scent?

Rodrigo has an emotional understanding of my creativity. He gets my ideas on storytelling and historical connection and in the feelings and sensations that I seek to provoke with a scent. He is an artist that creates new accords with seemingly disparate raw materials. He also sees perfume as an affirmation of life…as a tonic to the void that is loss. His perfumes have color and texture and give dimension to the stories I tell. 

Reaching the Finalist level for the Indie Fragrance of the Year is a big accomplishment, what does it mean to you?

This is my third Fragrance Foundation nomination in my career in fragrance and it’s a huge honor. Misfit falls exactly on my 10 year anniversary with ARQUISTE. It reaffirms my passion in meaningful and intelligent fragrance development.

D.S. & Durga – David Moltz

What was the original spark of inspiration for Jazmin Yucatan?

A trip into the interior of the Yucatan, driving through dense humid jungle en route to Coba. One feels a parallel with an inward journey as they reach such a center of ancient civilization. The jazmin yucateco growing wild smells powdery and animalic which juxtaposes with jungle dew and crocodile filled cenotes.

Working with such unique ingredients – including copal and snakeplant – were there any challenges you faced in the fragrance’s creation?

I own a snakeplant, so am quite familiar with its aroma.  The accord is built around fresh green notes and ginger which marries well with jasmine.  Copal is a wonderful base note that I use all the time and screams of the Yucatan. The main challenge was capturing a realistic jazmin flower blooming in humid air.

What is your favorite aspect of this scent?

 The realism of the jasmine. The harmony between green, water, powder, flower, fruit, and vetyver.

What sensory effect did you want it to have on those who smell it? 

I want people to be brought in their minds to an uplifting place – the humid interior of the Yucatan, and also to take an everyday mental vacation (which was particularly important last year).

Reaching the Finalist level for the Indie Fragrance of the Year is a big accomplishment, what does it mean to you?

We are always honored to be considered for our work. It says something about the state of fragrance that a small company like ours could be recognized among giants. Thank you!

Floral Street – Michelle Feeney

What was the inspiration behind Arizona Bloom?

My initial inspiration for Arizona Bloom came a few years ago as I was flying over the desert from LA to NYC – I was taken with the intense colour and it was so vast! A year later I visited the Atacama Desert in Chile with my family.  It’s the driest desert in the world, and we hiked through salt lakes and cactus valleys, all at high altitude under clear blue skies.  This dry, high environment where earth and sky meet was so freeing to the spirit that I literally wanted to bottle it!

What emotion or sensation do you want it to spark for those who smell it?

Arizona Bloom is a scent that is grounded in the wonder of nature for when you are feeling sunny, euphoric, nomadic and free-spirited. It’s a fragrance that really ‘takes you away’ from our tech-heavy world, capturing a feeling of total freedom and high octane living.  It stimulates your mood, reconnecting you with its combination of ingredients and crystallized musks, which give a warmed skin sensation and a surprise element to the scent.

What is its place within the Floral Street family?

Arizona Bloom is our 10th fragrance and our most successful launch to date. It’s a dry, floral amber scent that opens up a new fragrance category for us within our floral portfolio.

What pleases you most about the way that it has been received?

We took a risk by launching it digitally during the height of lock down in the pandemic but the response from e-tailers, retailers and consumers has been incredible. It was a true marrying of my personal inspiration with the skill and expertise of our scent superstar, Jerome Epinette. What has surprised and delighted me personally is that it has been loved by everyone, it’s truly a gender-neutral fragrance.   

Reaching the Finalist level for the Indie Fragrance of the Year is a big accomplishment, what does it mean to you?

As the Founder of an independent, British brand, this is, for me, is the highest accolade Floral Street could achieve. Even being a finalist for us is amazing. If we win it gives us such a credible accreditation in an industry packed full of talent. 

Shalini Parfum – Shalini

What unique properties of iris made you want to create a fragrance devoted to it? 

I have always loved the many colors of irises. I find it magical that Iris flowers are named after the Goddess Iris. Iris Lumière captures the cold silvery beauty of orris butter with all the nuances of its watery green nature. There is a longevity and delicacy to orris butter that is very haunting.

I felt an internal direction to create two fragrances as the twin lights of creation – Golden and Silver lights.  Iris Lumière, the fifth parfum in our Collection, is the Silver light of Iris and the twin to our fourth parfum, Paradis Provence — the Golden light of Thyme. Both parfums carry the cosmic energy of the Sun and the Moon.

My vision for Shalini Parfum is to return to the historical value of perfume – healing and prayer. 

How do you want people to feel when they wear or smell this fragrance? 

There is a cold essence to iris, almost like camellias in the wintertime.  The beauty and fragrance in the cold warms your heart. I desired Iris Lumière to capture the lunar energy of the Full moon and feel watery like the ocean and waves which feel the energetic pull of the moon — the tides as the water rises to the moon.  Iris Lumière evokes the feeling of swimming naked in the sea under the moonlight with the water caressing your skin creating a sense of peace for the soul.

How does your close relationship with perfumer Maurice Roucel enhance Shalini creations, and what did he specifically bring to Iris Lumiere? 

Maurice is a great lover of Iris. We both agreed that the parfum should capture the watery elements of Iris to reflect the lunar energy of the Moon.  It was a very innovative approach to Iris which is usually treated as a powdery element. He understood on an intuitive level what I yearned to create for Iris Lumière, the fifth parfum in this series inspired by the moods and passions of the soul. Usually, I compose a poem for Maurice to bring him into the creative space I am in. He has complete freedom to use the purest naturals to compose his poem.  It is like two artists creating together – a duet. We have a unique synergy as creators.

Shalini Parfum is the only complete collection that Maurice has created during his illustrious career.  

What pleases you most about the way that it has been received?

Created as the Silver light of peace and self-acceptance and launched last year during a time when the world needed peace, it is very rewarding to see how clients have embraced Iris Lumière. It touched our clients at a deep soulful level and became a much-loved parfum almost immediately. We received many heartfelt messages from clients telling us how it helped them during the pandemic and how they desired to be immersed daily in the healing energy of Iris Lumière. As an artist, it is the most precious compliment to bring joy and pleasure to people.

Reaching the Finalist level for the Indie Fragrance of the Year is a big accomplishment, what does it mean to you?

I am truly grateful to have this tremendous honor bestowed upon Iris Lumière.  Being a Finalist reinforces our parfums’ position as Modern Masterpieces that transcend time.

As an Indie parfum creator, I greatly appreciate the recognition of the fragrance industry.  The Fragrance Foundation is very supportive of my vision and it has meant a lot to me personally.

Being a finalist also introduces the beautiful energy of our parfums to a worldwide audience.

St.Rose – Belinda Smith

What was the original idea behind the creation of Vigilante?  

The name Vigilante comes from the latin “To be wide awake” and the inspiration for this bold new fragrance was actually from witnessing the unconquerable human spirit of brave individuals across my native Australia, who rose up to fight the devastating bushfires that took hold in late 2019 and continued to catastrophic proportions in early 2020.

As we were working on this fragrance development through 2020, an unprecedented year with profound revelations unfolding across the world stage, it has been that same power of quiet resistance and of mavericks working to change the status quo, bringing with them hope and optimism, that influenced the essence of our Vigilante.

Are there challenges to working with upcycled and natural ingredients, specifically for this scent?

 Being a clean and transparent brand we already present technical challenges for our perfumers before our push for using only sustainably sourced ingredients of the highest quality. That is truly why we are so proud of our partnership with Givaudan who share our commitment to creating in harmony with nature. Linda Song, the incredible perfumer who is the nose behind this composition was inspired to work with upcycled Cedarwood Atlas which fit so beautifully into the creative direction. At first I was concerned that since many of these materials are created from already distilled materials that there would be a diluted quality to them but it’s exactly the opposite. Instead the aroma is entirely unique and makes certain facets more intense which is an amazing way to intentionally influence a composition into a certain direction. 

To quote Linda, by repurposing what some might discard as waste, we are using the forgotten material to create added value and to explore new olfactive dimension–bringing unique notes to a perfumer’s palette. In the upcycled rose in Vigilante, it’s about introducing a modern, fresh rose nuance to the floralcy and the upcycled cedarwood Atlas, which is a more intense and fruity version of the Atlas cedarwood without the animalic overtones allowing it to be used more fluidly between both masculine and feminine fragrances.

What effect did you want Vigilante to have on those who smell it?

 Intrinsic to the ritual of wearing fine fragrance is that it makes us feel good, confident, sexy … but more than anything I hope with Vigilante that there is a feeling of empowerment as well. It’s a scent that was certainly inspired by a rebellious energy and I think we really infused that sentiment into the final essence. I’ve always loved a bit of a quiet rebel, those who in their tireless pursuits continue to push against the grain. That unconquerable spirit is inspiring and contagious. Of all the mavericks I adore, it’s the artists who don’t just paint, compose, or write what they see, but rather what they wish the world to see; who are my favorite type of renegade. In their finished works we share a common experience and that sentiment of oneness is something I hope we all wake up to, … may art inspire the way.

How does Vigilante express ST. ROSE aesthetic and ethos? My desire for this composition was really to be an artistic call to arms, one that pushes boundaries for clean beauty and luxury fragrance. At. ST. ROSE,  our greatest aspiration is to make this planet more conscious for all humankind and what better art form than fragrance, drawing from the Earth’s most alluring aromatic materials, to inspire a deeper connection between self and nature. Creating with smart transparency from a palette of environmentally friendly ingredients we hope to make the artistic intention behind Vigilante that much more inspiring.

 Reaching the Finalist level for the Indie Fragrance of the Year is a big accomplishment, what does it mean to you?

 It is truly such a dream. To be recognized alongside such a gorgeous company of finalists is an incredible honor. Choosing to take the path less travelled and make choices as a young brand that often presents more challenges and takes more of an investment is not always easy. To be recognized for that effort is so validating and also incredibly invigorating, knowing our efforts are championed. From the entire team at ST. ROSE, I am so thankful to The Fragrance Foundation.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G. LEVY

June 2021

This June issue of Accords includes insightful one-on-one interviews with the 2021 TFF Awards honorees whom we just celebrated: Calice Becker, Lifetime Achievement Perfumer and Philippe Benacin, Hall of Fame. Please get to know these Honorees in addition to viewing their TFF Awards videos on our website here.

In addition, we conducted a Q&A exchange prior to the winner announcement on June 10th with the finalists in the very special category Indie Fragrance of the Year. As 2020 brought challenges to all in the world, reaching Finalist status for these 5 brand creators in such an exceptional year clearly indicates not just what the specific finalist fragrance achieved, but that the overall brand portfolio is positioned for ongoing success in the years to follow. This category is judged by anonymous fragrance experts on many aspects of the fragrance itself and its direct communication to consumers. 

The winner was just announced a few days ago: MISFIT Arquiste Parfumeur!

As in the Olympics, only one contender can win and is certainly the winner. However, as many know I am consistently communicating that Finalists are all to be celebrated, not just winners. So for this year and particularly in this category, it is even more important to celebrate the positivity of this achievement and applaud these Finalists as they are not competitors from the TFF perspective, but undeniably winning brands going forward. I have had the privilege, along with the TFF team, to get to know them and have to applaud these Finalists and all our valued Indie fragrance brands.

Please accept our deep gratitude to the thousands who joined us virtually for The Fragrance Foundation Awards to celebrate with us as a global community! 

You may replay the entire exciting Awards available on our website or view each separate category which includes the experience from the star presenter to the announcement of the winner and their acceptance, here.

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

May

THE FUTURE OF FRAGRANCE – THE RETAIL PERSPECTIVE

THE FUTURE OF FRAGRANCE – THE RETAIL PERSPECTIVE
Scents and Sensibility

THE FUTURE OF FRAGRANCE – THE RETAIL PERSPECTIVE

THE FUTURE OF FRAGRANCE – THE RETAIL PERSPECTIVE

May 2021

For this edition of ACCORDS, the Fragrance Foundation reached out to retailers to get their perspective on how the fragrance market has changed, and how it has been in many ways revolutionized by the pandemic. As we enter a new era, how have our shopping habits transformed and how will we continue to fortify ourselves with fragrance moving forward? No one has a closer eye on the consumer than those who watched and learned as their companies navigated the past year.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw our customers responding to fragrances,” says Julie Walsh, VP, Divisional Business Manager, Fragrances, at Macy’s Inc. “Scent is powerful.  It reminds you of people and places. It makes you happy and brings you comfort. We all needed that this past year!” Elizabeth Miller, VP, Divisional Merchandise Manager for Cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s agrees that this is why the fragrance business showed so much success in 2020. “Smell is the sense most closely linked to memory. In a time where we are all longing for normalcy, it follows that we would look to scents that call back some of our favorite times, whether it’s a wedding day, a special vacation, or another memorable moment. In the past year, our Bloomingdale’s customers shifted from spending on experiences to investing in ‘little luxuries,’ including home and personal fragrance that bring a sense of comfort.”

Retailers pivoted to meet both a surge in demand and the shift to digital that the pandemic necessitated. “We had to think of how to engage the customer digitally, creating compelling content to keep her engaged, connected and excited to come back to hear the story around our fragrances in store, and how to ensure safety through touchless scented sampling,” says Mark Knitowski, VP, Product Development Innovation & Fragrance at Victoria’s Secret Beauty. “Our customers voted for collection fragrances, layering of scents and body products as well as candles and home fragrance,” says Gemma Lionello, EVP, GMM Beauty & Accessories, Nordstrom. “Our team did a great job connecting with our customers through digital events and digital master classes that were very well received. Our customers were able to learn about scent layering and finding new favorites with special event kits that our teams sent to their home. Sampling continued to be one of our core service values and our customers enjoyed being able to try several scents before they decided what to buy.”

All agree that the upswing in fragrance sales, as well as the agility of both retailers and consumers who will be excited to shop for their next scent both online and in store, will continue into the future. “While we anticipate our customer getting back to spending on travel and experiences, we believe the future of fragrance is bright,” says Elizabeth Miller, VP, DMM for Cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s. “Luxury continues to grow exponentially, as does our customer’s appetite for investing in quality items like luxury fragrances. We see the focus on pillar/hero fragrances within lines, while also evolving to include new formats and formulations of our customer’s favorite fragrances. As more shoppers return to our Bloomingdale’s stores, we see a return to in-store activations that our customer craves, and finally, utilizing technology to enhance the customer’s experience.” The key, says Knitowski is maintaining the gains. “We need to take this momentum we are seeing to catapult the category onward.  The customer sees fragrance as special again, we need to hold her attention and think forward to what she wants next.”

“The respect and trust our teams have with our brand partners continues to lay the foundation for success,” says Penny Coy, VP Merchandising, Fragrance at Ulta Beauty. “Our guests have reacted so positively to the many partnerships around new launches, exclusives and  spotlights on legacy.” As for the future? Coy sums up the retailers’ positive consensus perfectly. “We are very optimistic for the category to continue on its trajectory,” she says. “Our fragrance team mantra is “Can’t stop, won’t stop!”

POSITIVITY FOR FRAGRANCE IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD: NPD & TFF

POSITIVITY FOR FRAGRANCE IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD: NPD & TFF
Scents and Sensibility

POSITIVITY FOR FRAGRANCE IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD: NPD & TFF

POSITIVITY FOR FRAGRANCE IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD: NPD & TFF

May 2021

Video Interview – Click HERE To Watch!

The NPD Group is one of the world’s largest market research companies. This week, Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy joined Larissa Jensen, Vice President, Industry Advisor, Beauty, The NPD Group for a wide-reaching and optimistic conversation about the state of the fragrance industry.

Highlights from the discussion centered around consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how much of the change in purchasing priorities and patterns is expected to endure as the world returns to offices, travel, and social interaction.

The pair kicked off by talking about the incredibly strong performance and momentum that fragrance has shown in retail over the past year. Consumers have been purchasing higher ticket items such as larger sizes, high-concentration juices, and luxury brands throughout the pandemic. Remarkably, this has happened despite the shift to online purchasing. “I never thought that fragrance could be soaring the way that it is considering the pandemic where  the vast majority of sales are done online,” Levy says, predicting that even though brick-and-mortar will always be important to perfume purchasers, the shift to digital will continue to be substantial as a percent to total now that consumers are comfortable maneuvering in that space.

Home fragrances became incredibly important during the pandemic, as people rediscovered how scent can enhance an atmosphere and lift a mood. The category diversified, with candles, diffusers, and plug-ins becoming an essential part of creating a home sanctuary—and the market exploded. Similarly, fragrance came to be regarded as self-care, a beauty and wellness accessory that helps everyone feel good. Because the sense of smell is so intertwined with memory and emotion, consumers found that scent could provide them with an important sense of escape.

“In many ways we believe that fragrance has become the new lipstick index,” Jensen says, noting that an NPD survey showed that the number one reason people have been purchasing fragrance—at 50 percent of those who responded—is as a treat for themselves. Fragrance is an affordable indulgence, and, she says, “It really has become a luxury that people are buying for themselves.”

Not that they aren’t buying it for others as well. Holiday was a huge moment for fragrance in 2020, and Mother’s Day 2021 saw fragrance sales soar. According to NPD, 19% of Mother’s Day gift buyers purchased fragrance, double the rate of other beauty categories. During the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, fragrance sales posted a remarkable 33 percent growth rate over 2019. Levy points out that rose scents and florals in general were wildly popular, as well as categories such as candles, perfume oils, and hair mists. She predicts that “bridal registry is the new holiday,” now that people are gathering for events and celebrations and will want to share their love of fragrance.

Consumers have clearly awakened to a newly powerful love for fragrance. “Pre-pandemic, people looked at it as frivolous,” says Levy, “but now it is seen as important, part of their personality and how they feel every day.” She predicts that growth will continue as the market recovers overall. Ultimately, “it’s about understanding market dynamics and the consumer behavioral shifts,” says Jensen. “And companies that are able to do that are really going to win in the end.”

PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE: PERFUME FINALISTS Q&A

PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE: PERFUME FINALISTS Q&A
What The Nose Knows

PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE: PERFUME FINALISTS Q&A

PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE: PERFUME FINALISTS Q&A

May 2021

Ralf Schwieger, MANE

Bukhara by Gallivant

What were the inspirations you drew upon when creating Bukhara?

Bukhara is a city on the Silk Road with a long history of culture and trade. The scent is dedicated to the majesty of the orris flower: the vast dark blue skies, arid landscape and architectural elements like the vibrant tiles used to decorate the mosques stand in for the colors of the flower, and spices representing the ancient trade are woven into a radiant latticework.

How do you want someone to feel when they smell the scent?

Elegance and transparency are two lodestars ruling my work –  I dislike heavy and cloying fragrances and those where you only smell single raw materials in the trail. I hope that I somewhat accomplished that mission if the person who wears the fragrance  feels the luminosity I tried to infuse in this scent.  

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

The Perfume Extraordinaire is chosen by an industry panel of experts – perfumers, evaluators and marketers who criticize, praise and judge scents on a daily basis. The fact that Bukhara made it to the finalists’ stage fills me with joy, knowing that only the scent and not the brand or packaging determined the choice.

Florie Tanquerel, Cosmo International Fragrance

Garden of Grace 

What was your starting point for Garden of Grace ?

When I received the brief from Sarah Horowitz, you can only imagine how excited I was! We worked closely with her to make her vision come to life in creating the smell of the “perfect rose” grown in the Rose Grace Farm located in Santa Inez, California. Growing up in the South of France, close to Grasse, the kingdom of the Rose Centifolia, I have a very special connection to the scent of roses.  This was my starting point in creating Garden of Grace.

 What specific effects did you want to achieve with this scent?

I knew I wanted to use our exclusive natural ingredient, the Rose Craftivity®, which is extracted through a green process in our plant in the South of France. This ingredient really captures the purest and most natural impression of a rose field in full bloom. I wanted to reflect a mix of modernity and sophistication while revealing the petally texture and pastel colors exclusive to the roses of Grace Rose Farm, so I combined other fluffy floral notes such as peony and Moroccan orris. Inspired by the California landscapes,  I also incorporated fresh marine notes and fruity vineyard grapes while rounding out the fragrance with a bit of soft cashmere woods and musk.

 What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

All I can say is…Wow! Cosmo International Fragrances and I are very proud and more than happy to have been picked among the other amazing fragrances by the industry.  For me, it means that we have accomplished great success with this fragrance.  It is already a true honor for us to be nominated this year and it really was a great collaborative effort across the globe, from Miami, Los Angeles to the South of France!

Alberto Morillas, Firmenich

Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden Hortus Sanitatis 

What is unique about your collaboration process with Alessandro Michele?

Each time I get to work with Alessandro Michele, he seems to bring out a new facet of my own personality, or a curiosity that I didn’t know existed. He’s a fascinating individual, with a totally unique vision, and he has a way of bringing you into his world, so that you become part of the tapestry of what he’s building. I’ve had the pleasure of co-creating with Alessandro since 2017, and during this time we’ve collaborated on nearly thirty different Gucci fragrances. Ultimately, we’ve developed our own unique ‘language’ and way of communicating. It’s a very special and direct relationship that exists between myself and Mr. Michele, and it’s important that I understand his perspective so that I can create fragrances that mirror his aesthetic and the vision he has for the brand.  There is a certain amount of trust between us, and I have a keen sense of Alessandro’s expectations even before I begin developing usually. Mr. Michele knows exactly what he likes, and subsequently what he doesn’t like, and his feedback is invaluable to me during the process of formula creation. We are very in-tune with each other, and the chemistry between us at a creative level is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable parts of working with him.

What were the inspirations behind Hortus Sanitatis?

Hortus Sanitatis, which is the Latin name for ‘Garden of Health’, is named after one of the first natural history encyclopedias published in the 15th century. Interestingly, Gucci had already published a tome under the same name with English photographer Derek Ridgers, who shot their Pre-Fall 2017 collection. This collection (and specific fragrance) was inspired by the art of alchemy and the concept of layering, to be able to customize fragrance combinations to create an utterly unique and personalized scent. I used notes of premium quality papyrus and cedarwood to showcase timeless elegance, imbued with a smoky quality. During the creation process of Hortus Sanitatis, I imagined rows of old glass flacons sitting on the wooden shelves of an antique apothecary, with recently brewed strange and mythical fumes wafting throughout the space. There’s a rare strand of intoxicating darkness that runs through this perfume, with musky undertones that remind me of journeying to a pool of undiscovered water in a remote cave, the ebb and flow of waves marrying the essence of life and freshness with depth and shadows.

 What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

I’m truly honored to be a nominee. This award is one of the most coveted and renowned for perfumers worldwide. I feel extremely privileged to be in the company of many other esteemed perfumers, and humbled that my life’s work is recognized as a distinguished body of thoughtful fragrances. Ultimately, the greatest pleasure I take is knowing that for every perfume I’ve crafted, I’ve imparted a bit of my soul into the creation, and I’m able to touch the hearts and minds of millions of people in this way.

Philippe Paparella, Symrise

Memo Retba 

How did you translate the idea of Lake Retba into scent?

Retba was initially intended for the Middle East market. My primary idea was to play with an addictive amber and stay away from the Rose/Oud cliché. I started with an accord made of our Ambre 84 DeLaire base, Vanilla Absolute from Madagascar, and some red fruit notes as a reference to the Lake’s colors. Then I facetted this accord with spices (Cardamom, Pink Pepper, Ginger & Cinnamon from Madagascar) and woods to bring more sophistication. The result is an opulent ambery scent.

What emotions would you like the fragrance to evoke?

I want Retba to intrigue the consumer and take them to remote places. I like this quote from Yves Saint Laurent, who once said:  “I use my imagination to conjure up countries I don’t know. I hate to travel. For example, if I read a book about the Indies with photos or about Egypt, where I’ve never been, my imagination takes me there. That’s how I take my best trips.” As most of us have been unable to travel due to Covid-19, I’d like to think that this creation can transport us somewhere else with the strong evocative power of fragrances. And that’s what Memo is about.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

I have always admired Dave Apel and Emilie Coppermann’s creativity, so being nominated in the same category as them is such an honor. It would be amazing to follow in their footsteps. Thanks to my colleague Alienor Massenet, I had a chance to fulfill my passion and work in tandem on niche perfumes for Hermetica, Memo, and a few other brands. I owe this nomination to her for being an inspiration and role model over the past few years.

Pascal Gaurin, IFF

Scents of Wood Plum in Cognac 

What effect did you want to achieve with this scent?

Brands are always a reflection of their creators. Scents of Woods reflects Fabrice Croise’s love for nature and uncompromising stand for creativity and luxury.  With Fabrice, we are both astonished by the endless power of trees, these majestic living organisms have been our silent companions since the beginning of humanity. We also share the same fascination for wood as a living material and its infinite transformative power when it interacts with human imagination. Wood as a raw living material has yielded us the most beautiful human creations on earth whether it be a sculpture, an architectural masterpiece, or a luxury fragrance.

Plum in Cognac is at the confluence of my childhood memories and my constant quest for sensuality in perfumery. With this fragrance, my desire was to convey the memories of a voluptuous purple Plum ripe with life, also known as Quetsche d’Alsace, combined with the dense woody and resinous essence escaping from the dark forests of my childhood.

What challenges did you encounter in its creation?

My first challenge was to preserve the woody signature which is at the core of Scents of Wood’s brand DNA while magnifying it with a sensual and decadent element. It’s where this luscious purple Plum enveloped in a thrill of dark Rum comes into play. The decadent blend of this juicy fruit dripping in voluptuous dark Rum brings this deep sensual purple effect to the wood. 

My second challenge came from the brand’s unique creative process, the organic alcohol was aged in a vintage Cognac Barrel. Throughout the creation process, I had to make sure the scent will perfectly marry with this aged alcohol and will reveal all the olfactive complexity of Aged Cognac Wood.  

What does it mean to you to be nominated for Perfume Extraordinaire?

Working on Scents of Wood has been a beautiful journey and it’s especially incredible to see Plum in Cognac nominated in the Perfumer Extraordinaire category only 9 months after the brand was launched. At a time when the number of fragrance launches is hitting a record high, seeing Plum in Cognac being recognized for its creativity and uniqueness is also the most beautiful reward I could have wished for.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G.LEVY

THE  INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G.LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G.LEVY

THE  INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA G.LEVY

May 2021

This holiday weekend, when we pay tribute on Memorial Day to honor and remember our Veterans who sacrificed their lives in the military. We also kick off  the summer season officially. For both of these significant occasions, we are filled with gratitude and cautious optimism, as the world moves forward. We are emerging more resilient and going forward, into the “new normal”.

In this May Accords, we feature discussions of the past and the future of the pandemic impact at retail, for consumers and fragrance creativity. The insights in this issue cover a broad range of perspectives but share common themes from Retailers, NPD, and Perfumer  Finalists in the Perfume Extraordinaire category for the TFF Awards.

All of us at TFF look forward to all of the global fragrance community joining us at our big TFF Awards event on June 10th. We will celebrate fragrance creativity, our passion for fragrance, honor Calice Becker, Vice President Perfumer & Director of the Givaudan Perfumery School with the Lifetime Achievement Perfumer Award; and Philippe Benacin, Chairman and CEO Interparfums, with the Hall of Fame Award; as well as announce all 2021 TFF Awards winners.

At the event, Louie Schwartzberg, award winning visual artist and filmmaker, who is TFF’s collaborative creative force in 2021, will share his inspiration for the magnificent films he creates of nature & humankind. 

The webinar is free to the fragrance global audience, and open to anyone who registers to join the awards presentation. Please register here.  See you June 10th with Dolly Parton, Alicia Keys, Kylie Minogue, Isabella Rossellini, Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Thom Browne, André Leon Talley, and Christian Siriano!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Apr

NEXT FOR AUTISM – THE YEAR AHEAD: LAURA SLATKIN & TOMMY HILFIGER

NEXT FOR AUTISM – THE YEAR AHEAD: LAURA SLATKIN & TOMMY HILFIGER

NEXT FOR AUTISM – THE YEAR AHEAD: LAURA SLATKIN & TOMMY HILFIGER

NEXT FOR AUTISM – THE YEAR AHEAD: LAURA SLATKIN & TOMMY HILFIGER

April 2021

Laura Slatkin, the unmistakable and famously gracious woman behind NEST Fragrances, co-founded NEXT for AUTISM in 2003, and has since worked tirelessly to build the non-profit into a potent force for change. Whether through medical care, education, or community support, the organization has improved the lives of those affected by autism in countless ways. Iconic fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, who has collaborated with his friend Laura and her husband Harry Slatkin on events and projects raising money for autism research and awareness, has also joined the NEXT for AUTISM Board. Together, they have big plans for the future—including NEXT for AUTISM’s continued partnership with the Fragrance Foundation’s Give Back program—which they share with ACCORDS in this month’s special edition.

April has traditionally been Autism Awareness Month. What has changed for 2021?

Laura Slatkin:

This April is different than in past years when it comes to autism. NEXT for AUTISM and our colleagues across the disability community are formally calling for a change to the terminology we use to recognize this month, moving away from the previous moniker of “Autism Awareness Month,” to the more relevant and meaningful “Autism Acceptance Month.” As the prevalence for autism mounted in the 90’s it was critical to raise awareness, advance the field and make progress. Now that we have seen progress in these areas it’s time to focus on accepting individuals with autism and integrating them into the community. Autism Acceptance Month signifies a necessary evolution in expecting a deeper understanding, value, and inclusion of individuals with autism in society.

Tommy, what motivated you to join the NEXT for AUTISM Board?

Tommy Hilfiger: 

Autism is very dear to my heart and I want to do my part to ensure that the more than 5.4 million adults on the autism spectrum have the support they need to have active, productive, fulfilling lives as adults, without boundaries or barriers to live out their dreams. That’s what NEXT for AUTISM is all about. They are a highly focused team of doers. NEXT for AUTISM is always challenging the status quo, leading the charge to make the world a better, more inclusive, and more equitable place.  

What do you admire most about what NEXT for AUTISM has achieved so far?

Tommy Hilfiger:

NEXT for AUTISM is always pushing boundaries and advancing innovative programs for individuals on the spectrum and their families. They launched two charter schools for students on the spectrum in Harlem and the Bronx, started a training course for educators and professionals with Hunter College and opened a clinical center with NewYork-Presbyterian, Columbia and Cornell providing services across the lifespan, to name a few. They have a history of getting things done and impacting the autism community and I want to be a part of that.

What are the current initiatives for NEXT for AUTISM?

Laura Slatkin:

While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been collecting data and releasing information about the prevalence of autism in children for decades, 2020 marks the first time the CDC has reported on adults. There are more than 5.4 million adults living with autism in the U.S. and they deserve equity in the workforce, homes that are safe and welcoming, a rich social life–desirous life experiences for all adults.

NEXT for AUTISM wants to be part of the solution. We are dedicated to building resources and programs that are grounded in best practices, committed to system change and that both promote acceptance and truly move the needle for adults with autism. The goal is healthy quality life experiences within the home, community and social networks for adults on the spectrum. The team at NEXT for AUTISM is working hard to bring this vision into reality.

What are the specific NEXT for AUTISM initiatives for adults with autism

Laura Slatkin:

This year, we are embarking on several exciting efforts to quickly address some of the most pressing issues adults on the spectrum now face. Three of our most exciting initiatives are:

NEXT for NEIGHBORS: There are more than 800,000 Direct Support Professionals/staff (DSPs) working in the United States. The backbone of a quality supported living environment for an adult with autism are the professionals who work in those homes. NEXT for NEIGHBORS empowers DSPs by providing professional development, that inspires the delivery of quality support so adults with autism can thrive with improved communication, having choices and engaging in preferred activities in the community and much more. Presently we are piloting the NEXT for NEIGHBORS curriculum and training initiative with The Arc Westchester in New York and our goal is to fine tune this program, and develop comprehensive materials that can be disseminated and expand our reach nationwide.

NEXT for GOING OUT: There are more than 600,000 adults with autism and other developmental disabilities that are being served in day programs throughout the United States. NEXT 4 GOING OUT is an easy-to-use resource providing visual supports for adults with autism and the professionals supporting them that ensure that adults are going out into the community and engaging in programs that will enhance their lives and promote independence.

NEXT GEN CONNECT Mentorship is a well-established practice for supporting employment. NEXT GEN CONNECT is a peer mentorship program to improve acquisition and retention of employment for autistic adults.

What is your perspective on the third annual December event with the TFF and AARMY? How is this event growing? 

Laura Slatkin:

We are honored that The Fragrance Foundation has chosen to support NEXT for AUTISM by making our AARMY event an annual event. We are building momentum–the Fragrance community is getting to know us and the work we do, and we are building important relationships with TFF members. We value everyone’s willingness to partner, highly. This year we will brainstorm on how we can expand our reach to include more folks, particularly those that are affected by autism that work in the fragrance community—or know someone who is affected by autism. At NEXT we always say “Someone You Know Loves Someone With Autism.” 

Why is the ongoing relationship between TFF and NEXT for AUTISM is important?

Tommy Hilfiger:

The Fragrance Foundation and the fragrance community at large is a very dedicated, passionate group of individuals that also know how to get things done. For someone like myself and Laura and Harry, who have been deeply involved in the fragrance industry for decades it’s heartwarming to know that what is important to us is important to them. The ongoing relationship between NEXT and TFF is important because we all know that it takes time and momentum to build something important and meaningful. With the awareness and funds raised from TFF involvement we now have the opportunity to create lasting and impactful change for the autism community.

Laura Slatkin:

On a very personal level I feel so excited about having the opportunity to combine my two favorite passions in life, fragrance and philanthropy.

ON THE NOSE: DR. PAMELA DALTON

ON THE  NOSE: DR. PAMELA DALTON

ON THE NOSE: DR. PAMELA DALTON

ON THE  NOSE: DR. PAMELA DALTON

April 2021

Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia have been conducting groundbreaking research into how smell shapes our daily lives for more than 52 years. This work has perhaps never been so pressing and relevant as it is today, when so many individuals have lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19, and the Monell Chemical Senses Center has become a critical force in gaining greater understand of the mechanisms behind sudden smell loss, as well as building awareness with its Monell Smell For Life Project (https://monell.org/anosmia/).  The Fragrance Foundation welcomed experimental psychologist and Monell Center scientist Pamela Dalton, PhD, MPH, to share insights from her studies as part of Fragrance Day 2021, and in this month’s edition of ACCORDS she outlines not only why the olfactive system is so crucial to health and happiness but also how all of us can support the Monell Center’s mission.

How common is the loss of a sense of smell, and what are the primary causes?

Fortunately, prior to COVID-19, complete smell loss was relatively uncommon, although not unheard of.  Because we don’t regularly test smell ability, most data on the frequency of smell loss are estimates.  Probably the best ones are from the NHANES studies, where they found that ~12% of the population has a smell disorder and 3.2% are severely hyposmic or anosmic (total loss of smell).  Increasing age has always been a factor in smell loss.  Nasal-sinus disease, head trauma, upper respiratory viruses, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons) and toxic chemical exposures are all etiologies of smell loss, whether acute, persistent or permanent. 

What are some of the ways that it can affect a person beyond the direct consequence of not being able to smell?  

People who lose their ability to smell often feel disoriented in familiar environments and feel isolated in social relationships (spouses, children) because the odors that signal familiarity are missing.  Changes in eating behavior are also common—some people undereat and lose weight because food is no longer appetitive and some people overeat because they’re looking to regain the satisfaction that flavor (smell+taste) brought them. There is also a tendency to experience depression which may be due to reduced or absent input to the olfactory bulb (a part of the ‘emotional’ limbic system). People also worry about the inability to sense danger—from gas leaks, fires, spoiled food.  And they also worry about not being able to smell their own body odor and offend others. 

What are the current key studies Monell is conducting?

We have studies attempting to understand how well smell loss is predictive of COVID-19 infection; at present it appears to be a better and more specific indicator than fever (which can have many different causes).  We are using a test we recently developed called SCENTinel, that uses a single odorant but taps three different components of olfactory function:  detection, intensity and identification.  We also have an ongoing study of smell training in normal aging, to see if it can improve odor sensitivity.  Other studies that are conducted remotely are using the Monell Flavor Quiz- a 12 item sensory test that evaluates smell, taste and chemesthesis (cooling, warming). And other studies are attempting to understand how the molecular structure of a chemical can be used to predict odor quality and intensity.   

What have been the most significant findings so far regarding scent loss?  

Scent loss affects different people in different ways—but uniformly people report feeling like they’ve lost a very significant dimension of their everyday life.  We’ve never had an occurrence where so many people have lost their ability to smell in such a short span of time. Obviously we hope that what we learn about how the virus is affecting the olfactory system will lead to treatments and understanding for other types of post-viral smell loss. 

How can people participate in Monell research?

Several ways:  there are ongoing studies where people come into the Center to be tested, but we also have modified a number of studies so that people can participate in their home.  Either the samples are mailed to them or they come to the Center to pick up the samples.  In some cases, testing takes place while you’re on a Zoom call with the scientist at the Center, in other cases, you sample the stimuli yourself and respond on a computer or your cell phone.  Studies that are currently enrolling are posted on our web page:  https://monell.org/participate 

How does scent training work?  

The basic program is to choose four odorants—there are kits you can buy or you can choose your own scents—either essential oils you buy or scented objects you can find around your home (spices, fragranced lotions, soaps etc). Twice a day you should sit down with the odorants and smell each odorant—while trying to recall how you remember the odor experience—spending around 1 minute per odorant. The key is to do it consistently.  It can be frustrating (if no feedback initially) and a bit boring, but it is the only recommended therapy for post-viral smell loss that has been shown to restore the ability to smell better than the passage of time.  And it has no risks.

What should someone do if they begin to notice a deficiency in their sense of smell? 

 Because there can be multiple reasons why someone’s smell ability is changing, it is recommended that they try to get tested.  If a smell loss is confirmed, then it’s probably a good idea to talk to your doctor to investigate the potential health conditions that may have caused the smell loss.  They may recommend an ENT exam of the nose to rule out nasal sinus disease or they may identify a recent viral infection that may have caused lasting changes.  However, there is absolutely no reason not to start smell training at any point if you think your ability to smell is changing.

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