May

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: dsm-firmenich MIND NOSE + MATTER™- MOMENTUM

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:                                                                             dsm-firmenich MIND NOSE + MATTER™- MOMENTUM
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: dsm-firmenich MIND NOSE + MATTER™- MOMENTUM

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:                                                                             dsm-firmenich MIND NOSE + MATTER™- MOMENTUM

Started two decades ago, translating fashion trends into fragrance, Mind Nose + Matter™ has evolved into an exhibition showcasing consumer insights and ingredient innovation from a global arsenal of perfumers who were invited to a creative playground where boundaries of scent profiles were pushed and new olfactive expressions were explored. The multi-sensorial experience reimagined dsm-firmenich’s signature socio-cultural forecast for the 2024 edition by tapping into popular culture of the past, present, and with an eye on the future of fragrance.  

dsm-firmenich Catapults Into the Future of Fragrance with “Momentum”

Photo courtesy of dsm-firmenich

By Pia Velasco

What moves you forward? For some, it’s a feeling or instinct. For others, it’s a physical step ahead or a meticulously prepared plan. For dsm-firmenich, it’s momentum. 

For the fragrance company’s biannual exhibition — Mind Nose + Matter™ —it decided to look to the past to predict the future. And looked to movement, and to the power attraction and avoidance of scent has to make us go forward and backward. It asks the question: What moments from the past still resonate in the present? And how does fragrance make the connection to get to the future? To get there, dsm-firmenich embedded empathy into every step of its showcase to elicit an emotionally connected response to where do you want to go and how do you feel right now? The power and possibilities where fragrance can play a role in helping us move forward and move throughout moments in our lives is what this year’s Mind Nose + Matter experience is all about.

“The idea was to really come from a place of empathy,” begins Global Marketing Director for Fine Fragrance, Justin Welch. “Instead of just thinking about where we want the consumer to end, we really thought more about how they feel now, and from there try to understand how we can get them to where they want to be through fragrance.”

Photo courtesy of dsm-firmenich

And with that comes “Momentum,” an exploration of olfactive friction and other fragrance trends that are reflective of life’s dualities and how, through scent, we move forward in light of them. Through this exhibit, dsm-firmenich harnessed its 2023 global insights study, Magic Moments, which looked at specific moments of a consumer’s life with men and women ages 16-65 throughout the US, France, China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and Spain, to uncover the instances where fragrance can play a significant role. Welch says they looked at more than just the moments, but also the motivations and feelings associated with them as a way to uncover enriching the role fragrance can have at each touchpoint.

We know that fragrance goes beyond making a user simply smell good. A resonating spritz has the power to truly move us, whether that be emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or even physically. According to the study, 82% of fragrance buyers prioritize scent, its quality and uniqueness, over packaging, branding, or merchandising activities. Wearing fragrance is no longer just about smelling good. For the American consumer, the primary reasons they wear fragrance—social confidence (24%), playing different social roles (31%), and enhancing physical and mental performance (27%)—align with their dynamic, multifaceted lifestyles. In short, scent plays a vital role in moving people through life.  

“The future of fragrance as we see it, is built around the idea of olfactive friction,” says Global Fragrance Development Director, Caroline Ornst. “This notion is defined as taking brushstrokes of notes that we avoid, and adding them to notes we are attracted to, which in turn helps to amplify the fragrance’s pleasure, power, and noticeability, all with the ultimate aim of helping to move us forward.”

Furthermore, Welch says the future is based on duality of attraction and avoidance. Throughout “Momentum,” users experience a plethora of feelings and initial reactions as a way to confront ourselves and the complexities of the human experience. “It’s all about that relationship, but really in thinking about those moments in life we’re avoiding — what are the things that make us uncomfortable?” asks Welch. “How does fragrance then help the consumer not avoid those moments any longer, but rather to approach them differently?” 

So, what exactly does dsm-firmenich predict lies ahead? For starters, tapping into feelings of discomfort to help consumers transform how they approach those moments. Imagine a work presentation, for example. The feelings one may encounter are those of anxiety as the moment to present approaches but can scent change that and make the user feel calmer and more confident? dsm-firmenich is betting on it, and the rising popularity of functional fragrances supports its hypothesis. Fragrance emerges as an unexpected ally in this quest for connection, wielding the power to embolden and empower. It’s not just about masking odors, it’s about weaving scent into the fabric of human interaction and transforming nervous energy into confident strides towards genuine connection.

For the exhibit, dsm-firmenich enlisted 21 of its perfumers from around the globe to interpret momentum freely and creatively. They each created a fragrance sketch that was presented to clients in different mediums and in one of four settings to elicit sparks of inspiration and to stretch their imaginations. How far can fragrance take you if you surrender to the moment and allow the power of fragrance to transport you

Photo courtesy of dsm-firmenich

Guided by the metaphor of a body in motion, “Momentum” pushes the boundaries of fragrance by introducing innovative scents and experiences within a captivating, multi-sensorial space. Four rooms were transformed into an experiential walk-through of scent discovery through art, personal interaction, education, and collaboration — the connecting bridge being that of an interactive experience. Each of the spaces represents a different moment in momentum: push, lift, release, and rest, making the connection to body, brain, and breath. To set things in motion, the exhibition kicked off with a spiritually grounding deep breathing exercise.

This hands-on experience is interactive by design, as Welch explains that this exhibit is meant to feel like a playground, laboratory, and workshop. For dsm-firmenich, this is key to its client relationships and creative processes as they co-design the scents of the future, and “Momentum” gives glimpses of those throughout the exhibit — each scent excitingly different from the rest. From olives to vanilla, dsm-firmenich delved into the shape and structure of each ingredient. Weaving in pop culture moments that defined a generation from Nirvana’s Nevermind to redefining nostalgia through mashups, the showcase was a transportive journey to test if Gen Z and Boomers can find common olfactory ground.

Throughout “Momentum,” dsm-firmenich creations were presented in varying formats to showcase to clients the different and creative ways scent can be integrated into all sorts of products for a wide range of user experiences including formats like fabric softener, dsm-firmenich omega rich skin and hair oil, SPF hand cream, and candle. With 65% of consumers feeling that scent can create awe-inspiring experiences, the future of fragrance is in motion.

dsm-firmenich’s Mind Nose + Matter “Momentum” experience debuted in Manhattan and is on display until June 7th, an intentional move that Robin Mason, President NAM Fine Fragrance, says honors the heart and soul of where olfactive trends begin. “It’s so symbolic as NYC serves as a global center of excellence to create for our clients around the world.” From there, it will then roll out to Geneva, during the World Perfumery Congress in June, followed by events in Shanghai, Paris, and Sāo Paulo.  

Apr

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:ALKA JOSHI, An Interview on India’s Legacy in Global Perfumery

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:ALKA JOSHI, An Interview on India’s Legacy in Global Perfumery The Perfumist of Paris
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:ALKA JOSHI, An Interview on India’s Legacy in Global Perfumery

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY:ALKA JOSHI, An Interview on India’s Legacy in Global Perfumery The Perfumist of Paris
ALKA JOSHI
INTERNATIONAL BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
The Perfumist of Paris
The Jaipur Trilogy
PARIZAAD KHAN SETHI
BEAUTY WRITER AND EDITOR

Anyone who was present at the TFF Awards luncheon in New York City on April 11th will already have been touched, and charmed, by Alka Joshi, author of the Jaipur trilogy. In her brief-but-powerful speech at the event, she related that when she decided to set her third book in the world of haute perfumery, she knew very little about the fragrance business. But thankfully, fate—in the guise of the TFF network—intervened: A mutual friend introduced her to Ann Gottlieb, who subsequently introduced her to Carlos Benaïm and to Linda G. Levy. Here, Joshi talks more about this journey, and why she felt so passionately about shining a spotlight on the rich fragrance culture of India.  

By Parizaad Khan Sethi

“Remember I asked you what your earliest memories were? I still remember what you said. The smell of the mud hut where your mother gave birth, her wheaty breath, the sari she had lain in for a week and the incense the midwife lit. Radha, you were born of fragrance. It’s in your blood, bones, hair, breath. You eat fragrance in your food. You wear it from the inside out. You understand it in a way Michel, with his chemistry degree, and Ferdinand, with his family’s wealth, never will.”

In The Perfumist of Paris, author Alka Joshi builds a world that centers around a fragrance house, where its protagonist, Radha Fontaine, works as a lab assistant. Just like Radha, who flows in an instinctive rhythm with the perfumed world that surrounds us, as observed by her boss Delphine in the excerpt above, Joshi, too, has lived a life grounded in scent.

Joshi, who now lives in California, spent her early years in the north of India, and has specific scent memories from that time coded into her being. “The smells of India that I remember are cardamom, because my parents would drink chai in the morning and add crushed cardamom pods to it. Of course, I remember all the spices used for cooking. Then, there was the smell of henna from the mehndi on everybody’s hands. And I remember the smell of the soil right after the monsoon rains,” she says.

She felt a sharp divide between the aromas defining her early childhood in India and her subsequent years in Ames, Iowa, which is where her family emigrated to in 1967, when she was nine. “It was April, and we left India with the smell of mangoes, bananas and coconuts that were sold on the street. In Iowa, there was still snow on the ground. And what struck me was the absence of smell. Aside from diesel exhaust, there was no smell. There always seems to have been in the West a need to eradicate smell,” she says.

Being preternaturally aware of scent helped Joshi weave a tale that effortlessly speaks the language of perfumers. Despite knowing nothing about the fragrance industry before she started writing this book, she has a theory as to why she—and by extension, Radha—so easily latched on to this language of the scent world. “One of the things that I thought was important about Radha is that she would naturally be a fragrance enthusiast because of all those years in India.” Just physically existing in India is akin to be automatically planted on an olfactory roller coaster that takes you on an encyclopedic journey through every smell in existence, ranging from the sublime to the fetid and everything in between. “She would have known exactly how to discern different scents, which is the first place that you start when you want to be a perfumer,” she says.

That’s not to say Joshi relied on her natural instinct alone to inform the book. As a self-proclaimed nerd, she also embarked on a research trail that took her from New York to Istanbul, with stops in Paris, Grasse and Lisbon. She met with an enviable array of master perfumers and industry experts, plumbing them for not only technical knowledge, but also absorbing their deep reverence and devotion for their craft.

Yves de Chiris, the celebrated seventh-generation French perfumer, also recognized that Joshi has a soul that is attuned to the language of fragrance. He agreed to speak to Joshi for the book only after reading the two preceding works from the trilogy Perfumist is a part of. They met in Lisbon and spent hours talking about perfumery in Paris in the 1970s. “I put a lot of the little anecdotes that he told me in the book,” Joshi says. When de Chiris read her completed manuscript, he bestowed high praise. “He told me, ‘you’ve learned more in a couple of months researching this book than most people learn in five or 10 years.’ It was so rewarding to hear somebody like him say that,” she says.

Getting to perfumery stalwarts like de Chiris was a journey in itself. The Fragrance Foundation’s president Levy knew Joshi would match well with Paul Austin, the co-founder of LilaNur Parfums, a perfumery house that marries the know-how of two great fragrance cultures, France and India—the exact Venn diagram of overlapping worlds Perfumist was based in. Through Austin came an introduction to de Chiris, and after many conversations with friends of friends, Joshi wrote her layered description of the fragrance industry.

The Perfumist of Paris is as much a love letter to the fragrance world, as it is a call to action. Joshi gently tackles the problem that perfumery has long been accused of: a lack of diversity, of both ethnicity and gender, especially in the milieu of 1970s France where the book is set. “In my research I only found references to French or French-based master perfumers. And very few women rose through the ranks.” After speaking to well-placed sources, Joshi got the impression that women reached a glass ceiling they couldn’t break through, rarely making the title of master perfumer, which is a designation bestowed upon the discretion of the company they work for. “I kind of got the feeling that the women were just thought of as more assistants to the men than anything else.” Her protagonist reckons with those obstacles while also navigating other universal themes dealing with motherhood and female friendships.

Another issue Joshi wanted the book to address was the invisibility of India despite its status as an invaluable contributor and collaborator on the global perfumery stage. “I learned that many of perfumery’s basic and precious ingredients come from India. And I couldn’t understand why India didn’t get recognition for this. Why don’t they ever say, ‘We could never have done this without the tuberose and jasmine, cardamom and cloves, that are grown in India.” More than a deliberate omission, she thinks it was the idea that was cemented over time and still endures, that the French were experts in perfumery over everyone else.

Joshi attempts to solve this problem by familiarizing her readers with how interwoven scent is in the daily life and mundane tasks of regular Indians, and that a whole world of perfume exists outside of bottled scents. The book introduces many facets of the fragrance culture of the East that are little known outside of it, like oud-scented bakhoor smoke that’s used to perfume clothes and spaces. From her childhood she pulls references of vetiver screens designed to shade indoor areas from the blazing sun; “they were sprayed with water, so when the air came through them, you would have this cooling air in the room, but you’d also get that wonderful smell,” she says.

Though her appreciation for India is deep, it’s a relatively newfound; she spent her youth trying to fit into her new homeland by adopting American food and clothing habits and rejecting anything too outwardly Indian-seeming. “I had a hard assimilation route and it made me not want to focus on India at all. But fast forward to me being in a writing program in my 50s, researching and writing about India: what these trilogies allowed me to do is to subtly work in the messaging of how much India has contributed to the world.” She says countless readers have written to her or contacted her to say she deepened their understanding of India more than anything else had.

She’s also done the same for the perfume industry: pulled back the curtain on what the world at large has very little understanding of, and somewhat demystified the alchemy of fragrance-making. “When we grow up with certain scents and use them to create perfumes, what we’re really channeling is the memories, and mining the feelings that are associated with those memories. To be conscious of scent and to design perfume is to actually share all our experiences with everybody around us,” she says. She brought millions of readers of her New York Times bestselling books into a niche, rarified universe, showing them that our memories, dreams, and entire lives are indeed woven in scent, whether we realize it or not.

Mar

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: Fragrance Day™ 2024

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: Fragrance Day™ 2024
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: Fragrance Day™ 2024

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: Fragrance Day™ 2024

Driving Consumers to Discover Fragrance

Reaching a crescendo on March 21st, Fragrance Day™ 2024 made its mark on the calendar and in stores all across the USA. It was a festive day for fragrance lovers from perfumers to consumers where everyone who shared a passion for fragrance could come together and celebrate, and for those who are new to fragrance who want to experiment and explore.

Scent filled celebrations were everywhere from digital banners to department stores. It was a standout month with the most in-store events and fragrance launches to date amplified by social media activations and campaigns. The enthusiasm and energy was palpable as promotions, giveaways, and sampling created excitement everywhere. With a special day dedicated to all things fragrance, it gave consumers a reason to go back into stores and collectively experience the joy of scent up close and personal.

Punctuating the excitement at stores were the perfumer meet and greets. Consumers were invited to discover the artistry of our perfumers who share their creativity with us through their scent creations. Not only could they explore their own self expression, but they could hear the inspiration behind new brands and iconic scents.

National retailers including Bath & Body Works, Bloomingdale’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Thirteen Lune, Ulta and Victoria’s Secret ramped up their digital and social sites with dedicated campaigns to drive awareness of the day with special promotions.

Coast to coast celebrations took place from Byredo’s Ben Gorham whose book signing was a must attend event at Bloomingdale’s in Miami to Mind Game’s Christelle Laprade at Neiman’s in Newport Beach, CA. Brands big and small hosted unique in-store events that tied into their cultural heritage from Elorea’s Afternoon Tea with Linda Song or to their pop culture status with Victoria’s Secret and perfumers Adriana Medina of Bombshell and Caroline Sabas of Bombshell Escape fame at the Fifth Avenue global flagship. The House of Bō launched at Bloomingdale’s with 59th Street hosting perfumer Carlos Benaïm.

Making the celebration even more special was the series of new scents launched the week of Fragrance Day from Bath & Body Works Gingham Gorgeous, Brown Girl Jane’s Carnivale, Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl Blush Elixir, D.S. & Durga’s Black Magenta, Maison Nomad Noé’s first collection Eaux de Parfum, Narciso Rodriguez’s Musc Nude for Her EDP, Nette’s Pear Jam, Philosophy’s Radiant Grace, Prada’s Infusion de Gingembre and The House of Bō’s Oro Verde, Bombón, and Casa Blanca.

Consumers were not the only ones joining the festivities. Celebrities and designers who launched their own signature scents were celebrating their brands and being an important part of the fragrance industry from Vera Wang to Paris Hilton and Billie Eilish too. Influencers saluted the day with their favorite fragrances from candles to perfumes.

It was a whirlwind of media for Fragrance Day 2024 with TV in cities from Atlanta and Baltimore to Las Vegas, Tampa, and Washington, DC, livestreams on IG and live shopping on the web. Macy’s Live shopping show featured TFF ‘s Linda G. Levy discussing new spring fragrances from the world-renowned 34th Street flagship. Going up to 57th Street, Nordstrom’s IG shopped with Linda for the scents of the season and fragrance tips spotlighting an array of brands. LoveShackFancy’s ethereal NYC showroom became the backdrop for an intimate chat with founder Rebecca Hessel Cohen delving into her fragrance and fashion inspirations.

It was also a day where we got to celebrate the diversity in our industry from the brands, the founders, perfumers, and ambassadors that reflect the dynamic diversity of the fragrance population. In the spirit of #FragranceForwardTFF and Women’s History Month, there were more fragrances created by female perfumers than ever before, and more female founded fragrance brands in the marketplace for consumers to choose from.

Our unabashed passion for fragrance brought us together for the month-long celebration. It was an incredible celebration to bring the fragrance community together.

Feb

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF’S
2024 CLASS OF NOTABLES

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF’S<br>2024 CLASS OF NOTABLES
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF’S
2024 CLASS OF NOTABLES

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF’S<br>2024 CLASS OF NOTABLES

On February 7th, TFF welcomed 14 outstanding fragrance professionals into the Notables Class of 2024, the tenth group to be inducted into this prestigious cohort of emerging leaders. At a well-attended event rife with moving speeches and celebratory toasts, the new Notables were praised for the contributions they have already made in their roles and the visions they hold for the future of the fragrance industry. These Notables will join their predecessors to share ideas and experiences in the TFF Think Tank, which is instrumental in ideating TFF programs and key initiatives. With the invaluable input and passion of these 14 individuals, who range from perfumers to scientists to marketers and beyond, the fragrance community will grow stronger, more diverse, and more inspiring for all.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

Being honored as a member of the Class of 2024 TFF Notables is an incredible honor and privilege! I look forward to fostering connections, exchanging ideas, and contributing to the collective enthusiasm for fragrance that defines this community.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

As a TFF Notable, I am grateful to have a platform to continue to foster an inclusive industry, while making fragrance accessible for all. I am looking forward to taking actionable steps with TFF to break barriers and drive education about fragrance careers for students of underserved communities.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

My favorite moment of the Notables ceremony was seeing the entire industry come together as one to celebrate the future leaders within the industry!

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

Being recognized among emerging fragrance leaders is an honor and speaks to the meaningful contributions I’ve made so far. But this is just the beginning, as there is important work still ahead for all of us. What drives impactful change is the power of community. I am grateful for the chance to collaborate with talented professionals from diverse backgrounds, united by a shared passion. Together we can reveal the captivating magic within fragrance – how a simple spritz can be transportive.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

Growing up in a Puerto Rican household in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the fragrance industry felt unattainable. I’ve made it my mission to share my story with promising individuals interested in entering this world but unsure how. As part of TFF’s ongoing diversity initiatives, which I proudly participate in, I aim to amplify overlooked voices and inspire my community. I want to show that our industry values diversity and is taking action.

I want my story to inspire others to take risks, dream big, and unlock their potential no matter their background. I hope to collaborate with schools and organizations to spread the word that this industry values fresh perspectives and has space for all who dare to dream.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

My favorite part of the evening was hearing the nominators’ speeches about each Notable. Listening to these personal stories moved me, and helped me better understand my accomplished peers. Hearing how they broke into the industry and continue to spark positive change was so inspirational. Their passion, motivation and drive shone through. Getting a glimpse into their journeys reminded me that we all face challenges, but can achieve great things through perseverance. That universal message will stay with me well beyond this special night.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I’m thrilled to be included in this exceptional group of emerging leaders and fragrance industry talents, get the opportunity to participate in Think Tanks, gain insights from my fellow Notables and share my own. It’s an amazing honor and opportunity to network with great minds from a variety of functions within beauty.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

I’m looking forward to partnering together to continue improving this incredible industry, specifically in making it more sustainable and approachable to all. There is so much opportunity within this industry to give a platform to people of all shapes, sizes and identities, scent is a universal mood lifter and can be a unifying force. As a large, growing industry I feel we have a responsibility both to the world and its inhabitants, and I’m hoping we can leverage upcoming Think Tanks to incorporate these values in our everyday work.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

I was fortunate enough to bring my team and my husband to the event, and getting to share this honor with them was a great privilege.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

To be nominated among such talented individuals is both humbling and motivating. I am truly excited to be able to connect with people across the industry. A truly inspirational group this year!

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

TFF’s initiative inspires me to continue pushing boundaries (something YSL Beauté is known for as well), exploring new ideas, and striving for excellence in everything I do. In particular, I am committed to leveraging this recognition as a catalyst for even greater contributions to champion DEI both internally and externally. I plan to continue exploring new avenues for this effort to materialize, and strive to inspire those around me to do the same.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

The Notables ceremony was filled with excitement and recognition of incredible achievements so it’s hard to pick a favorite moment. If I had to pick a favorite moment, it was the celebration by all the loved ones. It was amazing to see the support which to me was a testament to the shared success everyone in the room was feeling.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I am incredibly grateful to be part of the 2024 TFF Notables class, and to have the opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of the fragrance industry with this prestigious group of professionals. Through dynamic discussions, recruitment initiatives, and community projects, I am confident we will collectively contribute to driving positive innovation and change within the industry.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

I hope to be a resource and example to others of how to pivot their career into beauty and fragrance specifically. I want others to know that it’s never too late to discover their passion and to find a niche within this dynamic and multi-faceted industry.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

I loved hearing each participant’s theme song as they were called up for their award – it was a unique way to get to know each other on a more personal and fun level. It brought a new dimension to everyone’s personality and made the evening a true celebration!

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

It’s truly an honor! Being recognized for my passion and expertise in the fragrance industry brings immense joy and fuels my commitment to continue to share my experiences with others. I’m excited to continue to make a positive impact on others through fragrance.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

The past two years with TFF’s Scents for Success programs have been incredibly rewarding. I’m inspired to share and educate the younger generation about the fragrance industry. I look forward to continuing as a role model, fostering talent, and building a stronger industry community through leadership and relationships.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

Celebrating with colleagues and family was a special moment, marking my successful years in the fragrance industry. Receiving the award from my leadership made it truly unforgettable.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I’ve been in Digital for a long time, and now it’s exciting to officially be a part of the fragrance industry and community as well. I have loved fragrance my whole life, and am thrilled to be building a career in something that I care about.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

I want to spread the word about careers in fragrance. It’s not something that people generally consider first and foremost. Someone who studies biology, or chemistry, or many other disciplines may find their passion as a perfumer. And in the digital space, there is a major opportunity to define how fragrance is sold online where people cannot smell what they’re purchasing.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

Seeing and hearing from all of the supporters of the Notables who came out for the event was very exciting. It was a lovely and wonderfully attended event.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I feel so very fortunate to be inducted into TFF’s 2024 Notables class of incredible talent. It is thrilling to be awarded this honor by Symrise and The Fragrance Foundation. It makes me happy and humbled to be publicly recognized for my contributions and love for fragrance storytelling. I am also excited to contribute to The Notables Think Tank to help make a lasting impact in the world of fragrance.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

Passion is at the heart of fragrance. I am so looking forward to inspiring others by sharing our little-known industry at educational outreach events with Scents of Success. I also hope to do whatever I can to support #FragranceForwardTFF to break barriers for people of all backgrounds in fragrance.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

It is difficult to choose just one favorite moment of the Notables ceremony. But seeing so much of my Symrise family show up for me and celebrating with them (and my husband) is at the top of the list. Getting to know The Notables Class through the photo slideshow and listening to our playlist of songs that inspire us was certainly a cherry on top!

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I am extremely honored and humbled to be alongside so many talented individuals. To see a new beginning of a beautiful cycle, and Nominators and Nominees come together to exchange acumen and discuss how to evolve & improve our industry in the future.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

The opportunity to contribute and promote towards a more inclusive future within the fragrance industry through leadership by example and taking initiative to enforce equality and inclusivity throughout.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

Celebrating each other and the fragrance industry in a thriving environment, sharing our common passion and our experiences between so many different profiles and backgrounds.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I am truly excited to be part of the Notables Think Tank and I will find ways to support the LGBTQA community.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

I deeply respect TFF’s pledge to diversity, equity & inclusion; I will take pride in honoring this commitment every day in both my professional and personal life.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

During my nominator speech, it was a great moment. I felt proud to work in such a supportive team. The after-speech portion was nothing short of exciting as I was able to meet some other Notables and make new friends!

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I am honored to be a part of this incredible organization. What I am most looking forward to as a new member of the Notables cohort is getting to collaborate with and continue to learn from some of the top minds in the industry. Being exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking always sparks creative energy in me, so I can’t wait to build relationships with others who are just as inspired by fragrances as I am. I hope I can do the same for them!

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

I am proud to represent both a company and a community that has a strong stance on diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an industry that fundamentally touches all pockets of global consumers, I hope to introduce young people of all backgrounds to career opportunities in the world of fragrance. I truly believe that diverse ideas coming together enhances every aspect of life and I am excited to participate in the Fragrance Foundation’s efforts to ensure people of all cultures are not only represented, but celebrated.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

My favorite part of the ceremony was feeling a sense of community. Connecting with familiar and new faces that all have a common passion is always inspiring and reminds me of the gratitude I feel to have landed in a career in the beauty industry.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

I’m lucky to be, as Linda Levy puts it, “tied to the Fragrance Foundation FOREVER.” The fact that TFF is a supporter of all players in our industry big and small has carried a lot of meaning to me personally and I am happy to give back in any way that I can.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

Thankfully TFF has committed to this journey of progress with #FragranceForwardTFF and part of that is having perfumer representation. Hearing real stories of people in the industry feeling encouraged in their career because they see representation and hope for their future is validation we are moving in the right direction. There’s so much more we can do, and I’m committed to being an ally and an advocate.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s speech! I was grateful for all the support from my colleagues and team. Plus, it was incredibly impressive to hear all the accomplishments of each individual Notable, I’m honored to be among such an inspiring group. To know that we have such great talent in our relatively unknown and mysterious industry is exciting because the future looks bright.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

What excites me about being a 2024 Notable is that it gives me an opportunity to share my passion for science and perfumery with other members of the Think Tank. I look forward to having the chance to learn from this amazing network, as well as share my own ideas and insights into the world of fragrance.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

In an industry that is currently evolving, I hope that, through #FragranceForwardTFF, I will be able to raise awareness of the importance of having a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry. I have always wanted to leverage my passion for mentoring others to help more women with scientific backgrounds enter this field of work.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

My favorite moment of the Notables ceremony was being surrounded by so much talent in one room. The venue was overfilled with joy and individuals who share a collective passion for fragrance. It was truly an honor to be recognized alongside 13 other gifted professionals.

What most excites you about being a Class of 2024 TFF Notable?

The opportunity to connect with a diverse community of talented individuals who share a passion for our industry and making a positive impact. Hearing the different stories of all the honorees the night of the event and why every Notable is so deserving of the award was truly inspiring. Being part of this esteemed group inspires me to strive for excellence and incorporate different ways of looking at our industry through collaboration.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF?

I hope to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to TFF’s ongoing initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF. With a passion and a drive for positive change, I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Notables to address pressing issues in the fragrance industry. Additionally, I feel a big part of contributing to TFF’s ongoing initiatives is learning from the other Notables about their experiences, not only within the fragrance industry, but also within their everyday lives.

What was your favorite moment of the Notables ceremony?

For me, the Notables ceremony was truly an unforgettable experience and an incredibly meaningful night. My favorite part of the event was having my family and coworkers in attendance, which made the occasion even more special – knowing that I had such a strong support system cheering me on during this important event.

Jan

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: Givaudan What is love?

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: Givaudan What is love?
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: Givaudan What is love?

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: Givaudan What is love?

Understanding Gen Zs Love Languages with Givaudan

Courtesy of Givaudan

By Pia Velasco 

Situationships, swipe-rights, #couplegoals on TikTok, live streams, beige flags, and gender neutrality—these words aren’t the lyrics to a modern reinterpretation of “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” but rather a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of many Gen-Zers. 

The way people aged 15-24 interpret the world around them, express themselves, and consume is completely different from those who came before them. After all, they all grew up with the internet and smartphones—they’re the most digitally literate generation. This impacts almost every aspect of their lives, including how they perceive love. 

Ethical non-monogamy, talking stages, and inverted gender roles are widely accepted in romantic relationships, but romance isn’t the only type of love Gen Zers prioritize. Love to them also encompasses friendships, family relationships, and self-love. Furthermore, how they’re developing these relationships is also a novelty—many of them bare their souls to each other digitally before even meeting in person. With that knowledge, how do brands speak to their love languages? How do they connect? 

These are the questions Givaudan set out to answer in 2020—and a few years later, they cracked the code. As noted by Arnaud Guggenbuhl, Head of Global Marketing Insight & Image Fine Fragrance, “Supported by extensive global researches led over the last two years, we have decoded the ongoing and future needs of Gen Zs, addressing a strategic opportunity to reclaim a core tenet of fragrance, love, while exploring new narratives relevant to a new generation.”

Fragrance and romance have been gone hand in hand for decades, but while notes of rare roses and white florals used to interlink with adverts featuring dazzling women being swept off their feet by men in tuxedos, today’s generation rejects such traditional displays of love. Seeing as Gen Z’s perception has shifted from the generations before them, brands have been tasked with connecting the dots and seeing where fragrance fits into the narrative of their lives and relationships—if even at all.   

Gen Zers are increasingly forming relationships with people online before even meeting, so that puts into question the role that scent plays in seduction, especially as 45% of people in the US report using fragrance as a tool to attract others. It used to be that people would first meet in person, and instead of knowing details of their personality and past, one of the first things they’d notice is how the other person smelled. Nowadays, the roles are completely reversed—scent is the last thing people learn about one another as they meet way later than their first interaction. In fact, Givaudan found that by 2040, 70% of the US couples will have met online. However, they also found that scent played a pivotal role in sealing the deal with their online crushes—it’s a make or break factor. 

“As an industry, we set out to understand Gen Z and their feel factors, and crack the code on how to connect the dots through scent,” says Jenine Guerriero, Givaudan’s Head of Marketing, Fine Fragrance North America. They quickly found that the link between attraction and scent was still very relevant, but reaching Gen Z and speaking their love languages was still a hurdle to be overcome. 

Understanding how digitally native this generation is, Givaudan exhausted social media listening and consumer insight to come away with  five major learnings that help break down what makes Gen Z different from those before them. The first shift found that love has shifted from being an intimate journey to being a shareable quest, pointing to Gen Z’s openness and transparency. Then, they found that Gen Z prizes vulnerability over sensuality — the more attractive nakedness comes through baring one’s soul and being “real” versus putting up a wall and not being genuine. Thirdly, they found that Gen Z is swapping gender fluidity to de-genderization, meaning that gender isn’t a major factor in attraction and traditional gender roles aren’t a given in any relationship. Going off Gen Z’s draw to vulnerability, it comes as no surprise that the following finding discovered that this generation prefers an unfiltered and spiritual mindset over sophisticated images and filters — a big reason why they prefer TikTok’s personality-first platform over Instagram’s curated feel. Lastly, they found that they crave emotional intimacy over feeling sexual lust, pointing to their yearning for profound connection. 

They scoured through hundreds of thousands of TikTok videos, found innovative ways to test a fragrance’s allure, measured the findings against traditional standards to ensure their innovative methodology worked (it did), collaborated with dozens of Gen Zers, and, once insights were provided and streamlined, gave Givaudan perfumers free reign to interpret them as they best saw fit. 

With that, the “What is Love?” project kicked into high gear. 

Senior Perfumer, Caroline Sabas, says the creative freedom was inspiring to her and her peers. Instead of receiving a brief—as is industry standard—they were given consumer insights and told to interpret love and emotion as they saw fit—no filters, no boundaries.

Each Givaudan perfumer took a different approach. Sabas, for example, was inspired by her daughter’s love for feeling rain on her skin to develop a water-inspired scent titled “In My Element,” which she developed by creating an accord reminiscent of petrichor. Some used digital looks like CARTO to optimize certain ingredients and play with innovative accord combinations. Perfumer Michael Carby was moved to create “Safe Haven,” a comforting musk, after his daughters revealed they sometimes took his sweaters to comfort themselves when he wasn’t around. Vice President Perfumer, Rodrigo Flores-Roux partnered with Carol Belli, a 2023 graduate from Givaudan’s Perfumery School, to get a broad point of view when it comes to olfaction. 

Courtesy of Givaudan

In September 2023, their creations were shared with the world at the inaugural “What is Love?” exhibit in New York City. 

Across a vast 4,000 square foot space, five immersive experiences explored what love means to Gen Z and how that connects with scent. Upon arrival, viewers walked through a tunnel inspired by a ring light to enter the space. The first section, “Digital Connection,” spoke to the digital-first experience many Gen Zers live. There, viewers stumbled upon five big vertical screens made to mimic the appearance of a phone screen. In each screen, a different TikTok influencer spoke about a Givaudan creation, and instead of speaking about whether or not they liked it or or describing the fragrance notes, they were instructed to share how the scent made them feel and their thoughts on love—a nod to how Gen Z’s first thought when purchasing fragrance is on the emotions they fell from it rather than prioritizing the ingredient consideration.  

The second space was steamier. Titled “Open-Hearted Connections,” the immersive experience reflects on how this generation champions their sexual exploration and journey. They’re curious, open-minded, and vulnerable. This is demonstrated via a video played on a big screen of two young people hanging out and eventually going to bed together, with a diffuser that sprayed different scents at different parts of the film. They ranged from very boozy to skin-like and even fresh. 

“Drop of Tears” was the next space and paid homage to Gen Z’s intense vulnerability. Unlike with other generations, this one views crying as a strength rather than a weakness. “People really connect with public displays of vulnerability—in fact, they’re honored,” shares Guerriero. To play into that sentiment, fragrances with names such as “Sugared Tears” and “Love Hurts” were placed in a handmade glass vessel that slowly dripped its parfum into a petri dish below, mimicking how tears roll off cheeks. 

Courtesy of Givaudan

The fourth space, “Love Expression,” was a nod to Gen Z’s fun and quirky side. The entire space was filled with reflective surfaces that were covered in colorful scented stickers that made for an Instagrammable moment. Mirrored stands presented different scents, which could be explored with traditional spritzes or scented stamps. 

Courtesy of Givaudan

The fifth and final space, “The Bedroom,” was perhaps the most intimate. It was designed to mimic a typical teenager’s bedroom, including posters of Billie Eilish and Zendaya, plushy stuffed animals, and lip balms inspired by Starbucks coffee. “This space is sacred to them,” says Guerriero of the decision to recreate a bedroom space. “It’s where they let their guard down.” Here, hoodies were lined up on a clothing rack, each with a different lingering scent, reminiscent of how Gen Zers swap sweatshirts with the people they love to feel close, even when they’re apart. 

Each space captured an undeniable yearning for connection and nostalgia for the past, Y2K references were present in design and scent. And while the objective was to create scents that spoke to this generation, the scents aren’t available for purchase—yet. 

After the scents were created, Matthieu Befve, Head of Fine Fragrance North America, says that they shared them with their clients whose marketing and product development teams decide whether or not they want to pick them up or rework them. “It was interesting to watch them have very visceral reactions to these fragrances because they haven’t been over-developed—they’re all pretty raw,” elaborates Befve. “Usually, when we present or develop scents for our clients, we spend some time co-creating with their teams through various iterations. These fragrances were way more vulnerable and direct, so I think it was refreshing for them.” 

While the scents are all vastly different, they’re all anchored in emotion—whether that be a yearning for love or a strong sense of nostalgia. “Seggs” by perfumer Caroline Sabas features notes that olfactively remind her of sex, such as leather and animal musks, and made it younger by adding notes of pistachio and honey for more “lick-ability.” Senior Perfumer Nicole Mancini was inspired by the peach emoji for her “That’s Fire” fragrance, which features upcycled peach with organic Egyptian basil. Flores-Roux and Belli collaborated on “Air Popped Petals,” a scent that transports users to the hood of a car while watching a movie outside with a blend of popcorn, gardenia, and jasmine notes. 

Givaudan found that at least 50% of Gen Zers express wanting to take risks with their fragrance, and they don’t settle on just one. “They don’t have a signature scent, and there’s no specific note they’re more drawn to than others,” confirms Guerriero. Furthermore, they don’t feel brand loyalty and are open to wearing everything from a $30 Zara perfume to a $500 Maison Francis Kurkdjian creation. Ultimately, they’re searching for scents that they feel represent their personality and are willing to save up and pay a premium for it, when needed. 

This also speaks to their willingness to experiment with scent and layer. So, Givaudan perfumers took on the challenge of creating scents for different product formats—hair mists, incense, hand soap, solid shampoos, body moisturizers, etc. Guerriero says they don’t want to DIY their own scents by cosplaying a perfumer, but rather, they want the freedom to mix-and-match fragrances to find something that feels as unique as themselves. 

This search of self-expression and identity through scent is the bottom line. However, the difference between millennial and Gen Z consumers comes through differently. Brands spoke to millennials by empowering their sense of self—take Zendaya’s Lancôme “Idôle” commercial featuring her horseback riding as an example. Befve points to Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills’ “Wildly Me” campaign as an example of the type of marketing he believes will resonate with Gen Z the most: “It’s the idea of homemade footage, of raw videos of her with her boyfriend, being authentic and discussing moments that link back to her fragrance. I think we’re going to see more campaigns like that because you don’t feel like she’s selling you something, you just feel like you’re getting a glimpse into her world.”

Millennials wear fragrances for themselves, but Givaudan found that Gen Z widely uses fragrance as a way to express to others who they are, every spritz revealing bits of their soul as a way to connect with those around them. 

“What is Love?” has been presented in New York City, Paris, Dubai, and São Paulo, and Givaudan will be expanding it to other cities around the globe.

Dec

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: TFF NOTABLES ON WHAT THEY’RE THANKFUL FOR

Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: TFF NOTABLES ON WHAT THEY’RE THANKFUL FOR

What does gratitude mean to you?

Gratitude for me means looking at all that I have and understanding it didn’t just come from me. Having real “active” gratitude carries a responsibility. It is to share with others, to make a conscious effort to connect and make life better for others.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

I am currently the most grateful for being in a good place mentally. I feel like I am thriving with a beautiful new family (I recently got married) and a career at NEST New York that is constantly exciting and pushing me!

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

We all know the power of fragrance. It is such a sweet feeling to know that you are kind of woven into someone’s life when they choose to experience a fragrance I worked on. I can’t describe the honor (gratitude) of knowing that I was involved in shaping the moments when people needed comfort. It continues to make my journey as a product developer special. I love when projects/launches have a life beyond their initial release.

What does gratitude mean to you?

Gratitude is finding something to be thankful for each day, even when life can feel upside down. Celebrate the small wins and don’t take things for granted!

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

Both personally & professionally, I am grateful for my closest family & colleagues that surround me. I work alongside a really smart & hardworking group that I am thankful to be a part of.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance unlocks core memories, especially around the Holidays. Christmas at Grandma’s house always included the sweet smell of honey from the Struffoli dessert, and her bathrooms always had the most lovely fragrant hand soaps. I’m grateful for the beautiful memories I share of her.

What does gratitude mean to you?

It means to stop and smell the roses…appreciating all that you have.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

I was thrilled and thankful to be selected as a Notable and promoted to a Senior Account Manager role in 2023, but am truly grateful for the fantastic team at dsm-firmenich – there are so many people that have contributed to my success over the past 10 years and continue to inspire me each and every day! I will forever be grateful to my mentor, Herve Pierini, for expanding my “small world” and introducing me to this whole new world of fragrance.

On a personal note, this year also brought my fourth nephew into the world and I am so grateful to watch him grow (and giggle).

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

In working with our talented perfumers, I have come to realize that fragrance itself is an expression of gratitude – for all of the beautiful raw materials, innovative ingredients and amazing experiences this world has to offer.

What does gratitude mean to you?

To me gratitude means being able to take a moment to appreciate all that I have and acknowledge that I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people that I admire and care for and who support me. I try to pay that gratitude forward through my actions, and be that support for others.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

2023 was truly a year of new beginnings for me. Professionally, I completed the first full year in my new role as Head of Communications for North America at dsm-firmenich, which was an exciting challenge. It was a busy year moving from the brand side to a fragrance house, but being able to work alongside some of the most talented perfumers and team in the industry make each day exhilarating. 2023 is also the year that we moved into our new home with my husband and son where I am looking forward to creating new memories together.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance has always played a big part in my life. I have been wearing it since I was a child and I am grateful for having those early scent memories. I have been able to pass that tradition of scent along to my son who also wears baby cologne, and even though he is only two, he points to his cologne when getting ready. I feel incredibly grateful each day that I am able to work in this industry I love on a personal level, and that I am able to continue learning each day – smelling and wearing beautiful scents every day is pretty special too!

What does gratitude mean to you?

For me, gratitude is about shifting my mindset and focus to the good. I am practicing gratitude when I am intentional about drawing attention to positive thoughts, and things and appreciating the small wins that can make a huge difference in my day.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

Personally, I am grateful for the incredible support system I have in my life (my fiance, family, friends, and colleagues) who have helped me to navigate a challenging year of change and who have reminded me that I am resilient and can succeed when pushed outside of my comfort zone.

Professionally, I am grateful for the opportunity I was given this year to transition into the Consumer Products division at Givaudan. In just 6 months I have learned a tremendous amount. It has been a challenging and rewarding new adventure and I have had immense support from a fantastic new team.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

One way that fragrance helps me to express gratitude is by giving it! I love gifting fragrance and seeing the true joy that it brings people when they smell something new that they love. It never gets old. Being able to share joy in such a wonderful and sensorial way makes me feel truly grateful.

What does gratitude mean to you?

Gratitude to me means being happy for all the good moments in life. Despite all the hardships we live through, there is something about appreciating the small moments that makes me very thankful.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

Professionally, I am most grateful for a career where I am able to work on exciting projects, while also being challenged in different ways to grow and improve myself daily. Personally, I am most grateful for my growing family, their health and happiness.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Every weekend, I spray my favorite perfume on a Saturday night and I feel like everything is right in the world. The simplicity of that moment helps me feel grateful for the small things that make us happy each day. A simple spray of a perfume that makes you smile can turn your mood around instantly.

What does gratitude mean to you?

It means appreciation for what is not a given, and often what is fleeting.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

Personally, the ability to spend time with friends and family—I’ve had a lot of great times, especially those with my little girl, Lake, now three. Professionally, I am grateful for the launch of Moda Operandi beauty in January 2023—it’s been an amazing year! I also celebrated Fat Mascara’s 500th episode this summer—we have the most loyal and brilliant, inspiring fans across the world, and I am so appreciative of every listener.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Sharing my favorite fragrance with someone is a way that I show gratitude for their friendship or generosity—especially home fragrance.

What does gratitude mean to you?

For me gratitude represents thankfulness and the way you reciprocate appreciation for others’ kindness.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

I am immensely grateful for my amazing team and their unwavering support of each other personally, as well as their dedication to always going above and beyond the call of duty. From a personal perspective, I am thankful for my family, their health, and the love and security that they provide.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance serves as a reminder of the notes of my loved ones and allows me to be transported to the best memories I have experienced.

What does gratitude mean to you?

Gratitude for me is the energy of thankfulness and appreciation of the little things in life that make my heart full of joy and love. Gratitude is the fuel for my soul to shine, and it makes me feel alive and peaceful with myself and the world around me.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

Personally without a doubt, my family. This year particularly, I am so grateful for the birth of my daughter Aria. Becoming her mother is the most beautiful gift that life could offer me. Professionally, as a perfumer, the creative & innovative team who I work with and a special mention to the people behind the scene, from farmers to the ones in Research & Development, who work hard and eco-consciously with passion to offer us beautiful natural ingredients, that I love to use in my fragrances.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance awakens the senses instantly and makes people feel good, happy, loved and themselves. I think I am very lucky and proud to be part of the fragrance creation process to give emotion and pleasure to people’s lives with my perfumes.

What does gratitude mean to you?

Gratitude is an acknowledgment and appreciation for the positive aspects of life, recognizing the good even in challenging times. It’s a powerful force that enhances one’s perspective. Life is a journey, not a destination; we must learn to adapt and be open to change with gratitude, and opportunities will follow.

What have you been most grateful for in 2023, both personally and professionally?

Personally, in 2023 (and always), I have been most grateful for my wife and family’s support throughout both good and tumultuous times. Reflecting on 2023, I am grateful for the professional opportunities and accolades that have come my way, propelling me into the next chapter. I am also thankful for the colleagues who have supported me on this journey.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance plays a distinctive role in the experience of gratitude, as our sense of smell serves as a reminder to appreciate and not take things for granted, especially in the post-COVID era. This sensory aspect further enriches mindfulness and cultivates a deeper sense of gratitude. Fragrances evoke memories and can transport us to a different state of mind. Aromatherapy can soothe and contribute to well-being, enhancing positive moods and creating a loop of gratitude.

Nov

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING NEW TFF MEMBERS

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING NEW TFF MEMBERS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING NEW TFF MEMBERS

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING NEW TFF MEMBERS

In 2023, TFF has welcomed many more members to our ever-growing community of vibrant, diverse brands both big and small. Every new TFF member brings something exciting to the table, with fresh inspirations, ideas, founder stories, and sensational fragrances. This month, we take a moment to introduce some of the brands that have recently joined, shining a spotlight on their unique identities and points of view. Here, the CEO from Grace de Monaco & the Founders of LAFCO, LoveShackFancy, and Lake and Skye share what it means to them to join TFF’s expansive network of friendship and support, and how they will advocate for #FragranceForwardTFF and bring TFF’s overall mission to life in the world.

How would you describe your brand’s unique point of view and approach to fragrance?

The inspiration behind Grace de Monaco is to create an exquisite, luxury Maison across Beauty, Accessories and Home – all evocative of Princess Grace’s timeless, elegant yet effortless style. Princess Grace possessed a profound appreciation for the arts, craftsmanship, and quality. This is meticulously encapsulated in every Grace de Monaco fragrance, crafted by perfumers who are true masters of their art. The first three Grace de Monaco scents are a trilogy that tell the story of Princess Grace’s journey from Hollywood icon to Princess of Monaco. For example, while Promenade Sur La Rocher and Danse Étoilée were celebrations of Princess Grace’s public moments, Ombre Sereine focuses on the personal: her relationship with Prince Rainier, her inner joy around her new roles as Princess, wife, philanthropist, and mother.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

We are thrilled for Grace de Monaco to become an official member of TFF! It is an honor to be part of a community committed to sharing the artistry, creativity and emotional power of fragrance. With TFF’s community of incredible talent – from perfumers to distributors and retail partners, we look forward to creating more awareness of the Grace de Monaco brand and mission that lies at our heart: to preserve the humanitarian legacy of Princess Grace through our revolutionary luxury-for-good business model. 100% of profits benefit the Princess Grace Foundation to support emerging artists in Theatre, Dance and Film.

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,” as well as support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

We understand fragrance is powerful, and it can transcend boundaries and connect people. Our products not only tell the story of Princess Grace, our icon and muse, but they also elevate the stories of every single emerging artist who receives a career- altering grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, artists who are as diverse and unique as the art they create. Our fragrances serve a larger purpose directly in line with the values of TFF. Talent, kindness, creativity and generosity don’t discriminate, neither did Princess Grace, and neither will the Grace de Monaco brand. Raising the bar in how a luxury brand does business is in our DNA.

How would you describe your brand’s unique point of view and approach to fragrance?

LAFCO has a unique approach to the home fragrance market wherein we strive to merge fragrance with home decor and craftsmanship. We articulate this through our brand pillars of Artistry, Integrity and Luxury. We draw on our roots as distributors of artistic perfume and botanical skincare to develop unique fragrances with a modern aesthetic. Our products are designed to transform any space, any moment, or any mood. We make considered choices by working with partners who take pride in their trade and follow principled production practices and strive to use sustainably cultivated, ethically sourced, and cruelty-free materials. We believe that quality, craftsmanship, and conscience are essential ingredients of luxury, and we develop our fragrances with that backbone.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

Whether partnering with the Hetrick Martin Foundation during Pride month in support of the LGBTQ+ or maintaining a warehouse in Brooklyn to provide employment opportunities within NYC, engagement in our communities has always been something central to what we do at LAFCO. Broadly speaking we joined TFF to connect more deeply with our fragrance community. We hope to connect, share ideas, and listen to other fragrance community members as part of TFF.

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,” as well as support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

The process of ideating, manufacturing and ultimately selling our products is very much aligned with TFF’s mission. By doing what we do, day in and day out, we are very much furthering TFF’s mission. As an LGBTQ+ owned business, DEI within our workplace is something that has always been important to us and we are thrilled to be part of an organization focused on furthering DEI initiatives within our industry. The alignment is really quite a lovely thing!

How would you describe your brand’s unique point of view and approach to fragrance?

We always like to say that we see the world through rose-colored glasses, and that is certainly how we have approached our fragrances. We wanted to create something that celebrates what makes you feel unabashedly and unapologetically beautiful: To channel a day where the sun is shining, the music is pumped up, and the air is filled with flowers, plus some confetti and definitely balloons. Scent marks the moment, and we think of our fashion collection that way, too; you always remember what you sprayed, and what you wore. With the introduction of fragrance, we can tell the LoveShackFancy story with a whole new beauty language.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

I am so blown away by the vision and creativity of the dreamers that exist in beauty, especially fragrance. Perfume is all about storytelling and making memories, and I love seeing how so many TFF members translate their own ideas from concept to juice to bottle to campaign. I am also such a perfume lover at heart so I am really looking forward to learning from the noses and those in the industry about the ingredients, the accords, what makes a successful fragrance, and what’s next in the industry.

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,” as well as support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

We know that LoveShackFancy appeals to a wide age range – I always say babies to eighties! But for so many of our customers, LoveShackFancy is their first grown-up perfume, and we hope that we can help share our passion for the fragrance world with them. We want to help educate clients in our stores, on TikTok and Instagram, and at Sephora to learn about the fragrances and create a scent wardrobe just like they put together a closet of clothes. I also love that fragrance is for everyone, and I want to celebrate and honor that. Our gorgeous gardenia and pear scent Forever in Love was created by the amazing Honorine Blanc, and we look forward to collaborating with more female noses as we develop what’s next!

How would you describe your brand’s unique point of view and approach to fragrance?

At Lake and Skye, we operate with the mission that fragrance is a force for wellness. We distill scent down to its essence, giving it the power to impact your mood, emotions, and memories. Our award- winning and best-selling scents are unique and intimate.

As the founder, I developed a passion for wellness and alternative healing methods after a health crisis. I went on to study everything from aromatherapy, meditation and reiki to yoga and nutrition. Paired with a lifelong passion for fragrance, I sought to combine the idea of wellness and scent and launched the line making fragrance as a gift people can give to themselves throughout their day for whatever they may need – a moment of calm, a boost of confidence or added joy.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

We are thrilled to be a part of The Fragrance Foundation and look forward to engaging with and learning from the community for all things fragrance. We are interested in being a part of this growing industry to continue to push it forward in new and exciting ways.

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,” as well as support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

Our brand DNA was formed on the connection of fragrance and wellness, encouraging our community to use scent as a driver for uplifting the everyday; something unique and special to each individual. As a female founded brand and team, we strive to be inclusive and break barriers (or stereotypes) across all areas of the business whether that be recruitment, brand collaborations and partnerships, or breadth within our assortment.

Oct

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: THE CATALYST INITIATIVE

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: THE CATALYST INITIATIVE
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: THE CATALYST INITIATIVE

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: THE CATALYST INITIATIVE

In September, TFF launched The Catalyst Initiative with the New York Urban League (NYUL), opening up a forum for exchange between the fragrance world and the esteemed historic organization dedicated to empowering underserved communities. On October 5th, at Cucina 8 ½, TFF introduced the NYUL Young Professionals organization to various segments of the fragrance industry: Perfume House, represented by Givaudan; Marketing & Education, represented by Jo Malone London; and Retailer, represented by Victoria’s Secret. The event allowed TFF members and NYUL members to share their collective passion with an exchange of information and expertise. Here, Kenya Townsend, the President of NYUL’s Young Professionals organization, shares more about her role and the future of the partnership.

Please explain your overall role as President of The New York Urban League’s Young Professionals organization.

My name is Kenya Townsend, President of New York Urban League Young Professionals (NYULYP). In my role, I am privileged to lead our Executive Leadership Team and membership body in serving the volunteer auxiliary organization of New York Urban League (NYUL). As the external-facing representative of our membership body I work to fortify existing relationships and introduce new partnerships to significantly contribute to the 20 year history of our chapter. It’s also my primary duty to proudly uphold the ideals, mission and empowerment agenda of the entire Urban League Movement. I serve as a NYULYP representative among the National Urban League Young Professional (NULYP) Council of Presidents both regionally and nationally and at our annual business meeting. As President, I ensure we are always supporting programming initiatives of the National Urban League (NUL), National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP) and of course our home affiliate New York Urban League.

Currently, what does the NYUL Young Professionals group stand for?

We are a robust group of young professionals ages 21-40 who live or work throughout the New York City region. We are the volunteer auxiliary group of the New York Urban League and our membership body of 150+ members exists to support the entire Urban League Movement. While NYULYP exists as the volunteer arm of the NYUL, our chapter is one of 60+ chapters under the umbrella of National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP). YP members curate programming that encourages community involvement through mentoring, tutoring, and scholarships, while simultaneously developing our members personally and professionally through economic empowerment, political engagement and professional development. Within the Movement, we represent both the current and future senior executives, C-suite leaders, elected officials and more in our respective professional fields.

How do you think the Catalyst Initiative partnership between The Fragrance Foundation and NYUL will benefit the NYUL Young Professionals?

Thus far my attendance at the introductory events between the NYUL and TFF has been enlightening and eye-opening. Therefore, I am very excited for NYUL(YP) members to learn more about the entire fragrance industry. From the outside looking in, the fragrance field is luxurious, creative and has a longstanding foundation that no doubt would be attractive to all YPs no matter their professional interests. I’ve seen that if you have a skill or talent there is a place you can thrive in this industry. As I’ve learned, this field has very non traditional pathways of entry. And the YP of today are definitely equipped to navigate those paths of opportunities should they be offered to them. Therefore, I see this as the beginning of a worthwhile and fruitful relationship that I hope will yield dividends to YPs here in NYC for years to come.

Sep

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: NEW BOARD MEMBERS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: NEW BOARD MEMBERS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: NEW BOARD MEMBERS

How does this fall feel different this year, for you personally as well as in the fragrance industry?

We can always count on a constant evolution in the fragrance & beauty world, which I find very exciting. Right now, consumers’ heightened expectations and desires are a reflection of what is happening all around us… more access to information, the opening up of travel to incredible places, and rapid tech advances, just to name a few. We are also seeing issues emerge that affect their wellbeing, and consumers are looking for help to manage their energy, focus, sleep, etc. Our own research at Givaudan shows that customers are wellness-led and turning to fragrances with benefits. 85% of consumers believe fragrance has power over our moods.

At the same time, there is an increasing need and (to some degree) the ability to “tailor” to distinct preferences. Consumers want the ability to design fragrances based on their preferences and emotions, giving them greater control over their individual scent narrative.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

We’re excited to introduce Givaudan’s new “What is love?” creative vision that translates Gen Z’s love and seduction language into olfactive creations that we are currently showcasing in an immersive experience in NYC and later in Paris, Dubai and more. Through extensive research of consumer insights & social listening, “What is love?” invites our customers to dive into the Gen Z universe in an engaging, fragranced event. As the rules of attraction evolve, our team of perfumers have delivered olfactive interpretations—unfiltered, unstaged and inclusive—as expressed by Gen Z. By looking beyond conventional perfumery standards, Givaudan demonstrates its ability to connect with this free-spirited generation in order to shape the future of fragrance design.

How do creativity and gratitude fuel good leadership?

Gratitude helps invite deeper team connectivity that fuels engagement and creativity. I’m personally grateful for the talented team that I have the pleasure to work with every day, and that shares the same passion for this beautiful industry. I’m incredibly fortunate and constantly remind myself how lucky I am to be part of it.

How does this fall feel different this year, for you personally, as well as in the fragrance industry?

This will be my first Fall/Holiday Season with NEST. The Fall and Holiday collections are the most important revenue generator for us so this is a very exciting time for us all at NEST! Regarding the fragrance industry, I think it will be interesting to see how Brick & Mortar and online will outweigh each other as this is the 1st official post Covid Holiday Season.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

I am looking forward to see the success of several new scents we have launched recently, especially with our fine fragrances and perfume oils and I am horrified by the thought that my teenage daughter will start driving a car this Fall .

How do creativity and gratitude fuel good leadership?

We are operating in an industry of desire, creativity and innovation which are the key drivers for growth and for inviting new customers to enjoy our products and various brand experiences. There is no good leadership without gratitude!

How does this fall feel different this year, for you personally as well as in the fragrance industry?

This fall feels uniquely invigorating both personally and within the fragrance industry, ushering in a sense of normalcy and stability following so many global crises. I’m inspired by the evolving consumer preferences, which seem to lean towards a desire for comforting, nature-inspired scents that reflect a renewed appreciation for the outdoors. The juxtaposition between cozy scents and aromatic outdoor olfactive directions, creates opportunities for innovative, eco-conscious fragrance creations that resonate with the current cultural shift towards sustainability.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

I’m most excited about the fall season as it introduces the launch of new, captivating fragrances that align with the changing consumer preferences and trends unique to this season. It’s an opportunity to explore more warm and nature-inspired scent directions, which I personally love, and see how our innovative scents and olfactive marketing strategies will resonate with customers. Fall launches always drive consumer traffic and set the tone for the upcoming holiday season.

How do creativity and gratitude fuel good leadership?

Creativity in leadership sparks inclusivity and adaptability, inspiring innovation through diversity, where every voice contributes to the conversation. While gratitude fosters positive relationships, empathy, and trust within team dynamics. Together, creativity and gratitude cultivate a culture of collaboration and success.

How does this fall feel different this year, for you personally, as well as in the fragrance industry?

Fall is my favorite season of the year! It feels different for me personally this year because I have a renewed sense of excitement and passion for getting out and exploring new places. On my travel list this Fall are Paris, Bar Harbor, Maine, and even some new spots on Long Island where I live. I want to visit some new wineries and have a fire on the beach in the Hamptons. The off-season is fantastic!

In fragrance this Fall, you can’t miss the Vanilla trend! Our VS customers are scooping up all that is vanilla within our portfolio more than ever. Also, the hype around niche fragrances this Fall through social media is allowing brands like VS to take cues from that to evolve our customers to try new and exciting notes. It is an exciting time to be in the fragrance world!

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

This fall, aside from traveling, I’m really looking forward to the crisp fall air to do some hiking at my family’s lake house in PA. Afterward, there’s nothing like building a fire, listening to some great music, cooking something comforting, and having some good family time. I get so much inspiration for fragrance ideas by doing things outdoors and just being one with nature.

How do creativity and gratitude fuel good leadership?

Gratitude is the key to life in general. If you’re grateful, you see things more positively and feel more satisfied. You have a certain positive energy around you, and this carries over to your team. When you have a team working together and feeling great, there’s no better recipe for creativity.

Jun

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG

TFF’s relationship with Louie Schwartzberg dates back to 2021, when the award-winning artist and filmmaker’s breathtaking time-lapse films of flowers unfurling their petals were a centerpiece for Fragrance Day communications and celebrations. The 2022 TFF Awards at Lincoln Center kicked off with a screening of the trailer for his film Gratitude Revealed, and this year the partnership continues with Schwartzberg’s stunning visuals appearing throughout the Awards presentation.

Schwartzberg’s 2019 documentary Fantastic Fungi focused on intricate relationships and cooperation in the natural world, and Gratitude Revealed is a must-see opus about human resilience, connection, and the endurance of hope. In the months since the film premiered in cinemas and special screenings around the world, Schwartzberg’s message has only grown stronger and more relevant. He has also launched his own streaming platform, The Louie Channel, which brings together his inspirational work with cooking shows, meditations, and conversations with luminaries such as Dr. Andrew Weil, and nature programs. “It’s all about creating positive energy in the world,” he says.

What have been some of the high points for you as you’ve taken Gratitude Revealed around the world?

At the Fragrance Foundation Awards last year, Linda introduced me to Linda Valentino, who was head of nursing at Mount Sinai. That evolved into a relationship where we ended up doing a screening of Gratitude Revealed to honor the frontline nurses who dedicated themselves during COVID, and who are now suffering from burnout. We did a screening at Mount Sinai, and we connected seven of the other New York area boroughs virtually. It was a beautiful way to express our gratitude for them, and it enabled the nurses to connect with each other and talk about how grateful they were for each other’s support.

You recently launched your own channel, Louie TV. What do you hope to accomplish with it?

The Louie Channel is a streaming platform, similar to Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Disney+. We’re shoulder to shoulder with the big boys. I don’t think any other individual has done that yet. We are able to show films about gratitude, about mushrooms, about art, about flowers. Louieland is one category, that will be for children’s hospitals to turn them on to the beauty of nature. Then there’s also Friends of Louie, where we’re showcasing or curating the best high quality positive messaging films that celebrate life. I’m opening it up to anyone who has got something that’s going to help elevate consciousness. Imagine going to a platform where you don’t have to worry for a second that you might get a shot of violence or fear. It’s all about triggering your emotions in a positive way, similar to what aromatherapy can do. That’s what the whole fragrance industry is about, too, right?

I think the only way you can fight the fear and negativity that surrounds us is by shifting it, and giving people an immersive experience that appeals to their sensory receptors. You turn them on with love. Remind them to smell the roses, smell the fragrances. Look at
the beauty around them.

Why do you think that experiencing wonder is so key?

Wonder takes you to that point, which you could say is the intersection between art and science. It also takes you to bliss. It takes you to the divine, and you have to feel that every once in a while. We have to feel reconnected to ourselves and to whatever that thing is, that spirituality or transformational experience. It’s like when you inhale a fabulous fragrance for two to three seconds. Man, that’s a trip. It’s an immersive sensory experience that knocks you out of your present dilemma and reconnects you to wonder.

What is next for you?

I just want to continue to make films that unveil the mystery of life, to make the invisible visible so that we can be more conscious of what life is and what energy is. Whether it’s in people or whether it’s with nature, it’s all the same.

How does TFF’s DEI initiative #FragranceForwardTFF resonate with you?

It totally resonates. In Gratitude Revealed, I’ve got all ethnicities and all kinds of people from all parts of the country. There are people of color, African Americans, Hispanic people, salsa, jazz, dairy farms, rug weavers, cowboys. It’s just people’s wisdom that emanates from having a life where you overcome adversity, yet you still have a lot of love and joy. That kind of wisdom is precious, and in the movie, you see these examples of people’s lives from all across America, from Cajun country to Vermont to Appalachia. It’s cool to see that diversity. I think that to see how all of us are connected—how every single one of us matters—is such a powerful thing.

May

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: AAPI BRANDS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: AAPI BRANDS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: AAPI BRANDS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: AAPI BRANDS

ELOREA

Founders Su Min Park & Wonny Lee

How does Elorea bring the inspiring heritage of Korea to life?

Elorea brings Korea’s heritage to life through fragrances that draw inspiration from the country’s natural beauty, traditional practices, and rich scent culture dating back to 500 B.C. Scent played a significant role in the daily lives of Korea’s ancestors, who believed in its power to promote well-being by clearing the mind, protecting the body, and dispelling negative energy. As this aspect of our history is lesser known, we believe it is essential to highlight it through our brand. Our fragrances reflect the traditional approach to scents while offering unique olfactive experiences with the finest ingredients sourced from Korea and around the world. By telling the story of different aspects of our culture, we strive to capture the essence of our heritage through thoughtfully crafted products.

What is the philosophy behind the brand?

ELOREA is a portmanteau of ‘Elements’ and ‘Korea’. The philosophy behind our brand is to draw inspiration from Korea’s rich history of fragrance and lifestyle, capture, preserve, and share the stories of our heritage. Our brand is built on the foundation of balance, blending traditional and modern elements, classic and unconventional ideas, as well as sustainability and luxury. We believe in sourcing only the highest quality materials and producing in small batches with exceptional care. Our mission is to create fragrances that evoke a sense of balance and harmony, not only in the scent but in the overall experience.

What does having a unique identity and rich cultural reference points bring to the fragrances themselves?

Having a unique identity and rich cultural reference points brings depth and meaning to the fragrances themselves. Each Elorea fragrances are more than just a scent- they are a way to connect with and appreciate the beauty and complexity of Korean culture, and they serve as a way to explore and experience the world beyond one’s own perspective. By drawing on cultural heritage, Elorea is able to create fragrances that are unique, meaningful, and unforgettable.

FORMOSA

Founder Shining Sung, Bottle Designer Marc Rosen, Master Perfumer Honorine Blanc

What was the original idea behind Formosa?

Taiwan used to be called Formosa when in the 17th Century, the Portuguese sailors sailed past Taiwan and saw how beautiful the island was, they called it Ille Formosa, beautiful island. Since then, Taiwan has always been known as Formosa!

I came from Taiwan and love Taiwan. I have always been active in promoting Taiwan in cultural programs, in art and music. Since Marc Rosen is a good friend and I always admire his talent for designing the famous and beautiful perfume bottles, one day I just came up with the idea of having Marc design a perfume bottle to celebrate and promote Taiwan by calling it Formosa, to bring the name Formosa to the world.

How do the notes in the fragrance conjure the beauty of Taiwan?

This fragrance was inspired by the unique beauty of Taiwan. The exotic native Plum Blossom, the Rose Petals and Tiger Orchid together with vibrant indigenous Mandarin and candied lemons are enveloped in musks and sheer Amber to capture the essence of this magical place.

How does the bottle design reflect the brand’s heritage and Taiwanese culture?

I was inspired by Taiwan’s contrast between the modern and the antique. For example, the modern architecture and their predominant position in supplying the world’s computer chips vs their position in being a leading exporter of Jade. Hence the very contemporary and sculptural crystal bottle capped with a faux carved Jade ball. As a designer my object is always to create a design that both looks and feels tactile.

ISSEY MIYAKE

How do Issey Miyake fragrances express Miyake’s Japanese heritage?

In 1992, Issey Miyake created his first signature fragrance for men, L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme, which was inspired by traditional Japanese baths and the smell of yuzu, a citrus typical to Japan. With its vibrant freshness that combines strength and balance, the fragrance established itself as truly timeless and iconic, an elegant and recognizable scent and bottle in the world of perfumery.

What are the most important elements of the brand’s cultural background and philosophy?

Issey Miyake was a Japanese fashion designer who was known for his technology-driven clothes design, exhibitions, as well as fragrances. His international background allowed him to get the best influences from Tokyo, Paris, and New York creating a cultural melt, fulfilled by diversity and intelligent creativity.

Issey Miyake’s brand philosophy has never deviated. The brand’s goals are still to create fragrances that convey a message, inspire everyone with hope, present simple yet functional designs that are at once accessible and universal, while never losing a sense of wonder. As with his clothing design, Issey Miyake would ensure to create fragrances that are not only pertinent to lifestyles but are also founded in pure essentials.

How has the brand’s unique sensibility set it apart in the fragrance industry?

For the past thirty years, Issey Miyake perfumes have been celebrating nature in all its forms and manifestations. This unconditional love for nature can now be seen in a commitment towards tangible actions towards its preservation. It also represents the future for the perfume industry, which needs to move towards more environmentally conscious production in general.

Issey Miyake Fragrance as a brand has a genuine vision for its sustainable development. Previously, he was always inspired by nature, and very respectful of it too, and this commitment is reflected in all the perfumes as well as in their packaging as the brand continues to move forward and expand.

KENZO

How does Kenzo express Kenzo Takada’s Japanese heritage?

KENZO has only one creative credo, that of its founder: the world is beautiful.

KENZO perfumes take up the themes and values dear to Kenzo Takada: nature, flowers, happiness, freedom, dreams, youth, and the fusion between East and West. Tradition and modernity. Excellence and attention to detail.

What does the East Meets West philosophy behind the brand bring to the scents themselves?

A unique olfactory journey. Each creation leaves a strong and poetic signature in its wake.

What are some of the ways that the brand’s heritage has set it apart in the fragrance
industry ?

KENZO perfumes will be from the very first, against the current, far from the trends, in the vanguard with a philosophy carried by the love of the beautiful and the good. Pioneering fragrances that have marked the history of perfumery.

LILANUR PARFUMS

Co-Creator Paul Austin

What are some of the ways that LilaNur is dedicated to celebrating the rich floriculture of India?

LilaNur was born in the flower fields of Madurai, in Southern India. Due to India’s biodiversity, it grows an abundance of pristine natural ingredients used in haute perfumery – from flowers to spice, woods, gums, herbs and more. Our vision has always been to craft traceable fragrances woven around these ingredients – and the communities where they are cultivated, processed and used in daily life.

Working with our foundational partners – Jasmine CE – and a community of 5000 flower pickers, we’ve established the Rosabagh (which means rose garden) Foundation with a mission of nurturing rural workers whose livelihoods are dependent on the floriculture economy. The Jasmine C.E. team facilitated the planting of Rose Centifolia in Madurai to fill out the crop calendar covering seasons when fields were fallow and no picking work was available. Not only was this a source of full-year work for the picking community, it also led to an extraordinary outcome: LilaNur Parfums facilitated the addition of this unique Indian-grown Rose Centifolia to the international perfumery palette and it is our greatest hope to extend the global demand for this specialty. It is a stand out star of Fabrice Pellegrin’s masterpiece “Gul Rouge” scent.

What is the philosophy behind the brand?

LilaNur Parfums’ mission is to inspire the world with India’s rich fragrance culture, build awareness around its array of natural perfumery ingredients, and to drive opportunities to the thousands of rural workers whose livelihoods depend upon India’s floriculture economy.

From its inception, LilaNur Parfums forged partnerships with Jasmine C.E. in Madurai – the country’s leading supplier of floral absolutes to the fragrance industry – and the Firmenich Naturals Innovation Group in Grasse to create fully traceable and innovative scents from field to flacon.

What does having a unique identity and rich cultural reference points bring to the fragrances themselves?

India is alive with scent. Its vast array of flowers, spices, and herbs are such a key part of daily life and have been an intrinsic part of Indian culture for millennia. Each of our Eau de Parfums is a portrait of LilaNur India’s rich fragrance culture – and its scenting rituals. For example, our Vettiver Mousson references the vetiver roots woven into mats that are placed in windows and splashed with water to act as a natural air conditioner. The cooling breezes are filled with the fresh, earthy smell of damp vetiver roots. And once the monsoon arrives, this smell mingles with the wet, humidity of the rains along with the first flush of jasmine.

Our Davana Ceder Eau de parfum is a herbaceous scent that originates from an Indian plant holy to the Hindu deity Shiva, the god of transformation.

Rajni Nocturne is a scent that captures the night-blooming tuberose, called rajnigandha (night-fragrant). This tuberose is harvested before dawn to ensure the integrity of the scent.

Apr

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF MEMBERS HONOR EARTH DAY

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF MEMBERS HONOR EARTH DAY
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF MEMBERS HONOR EARTH DAY

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: TFF MEMBERS HONOR EARTH DAY

On April 22nd, billions of people around the world celebrated Earth Day, marking the 53rd anniversary of the important event that was initiated in 1970. This year’s theme, Invest in Our Planet, encourages education, raising awareness, and taking action in areas encompassing climate literacy, tree-planting, reducing consumer waste, supporting sustainable fashion and more. The fragrance industry participated with a broad range of programs, discussions, and launches, finding new ways to make existing products more sustainable and communicating with consumers on multiple platforms about ingredient sourcing and eco-friendly packaging.

Several TFF member brands extended special offers to consumers. Diptyque rolled out fragrance refills beyond its New York Prince Street location (the flagship for its fragrance refill program), and Robert Piguet Parfums launched refillable 8ml sprays of popular scents Fracas, Casbah, V, and Oud.

Other brands chose to spotlight storytelling about ingredients. Bulgari Parfums focused on the new Allegra fragrance Ma’Magnifica and Magnifying Sandalwood Essence, sharing the importance of preserving and protecting Sandalwood trees, while also tying in the Allegra packaging, which comes from 80 percent recycled materials. Six Scents Parfums re-released Wolfsbane, one of Les Potions Fatales, the brand’s collection of fragrances inspired by poisonous flora, in a new clean reformulation with all-new Earth-friendly packaging, in that every element is biodegradable or recyclable. Floral Street brought Sunflower Pop, featuring sustainable sunflowers, to the foreground as a fragrance focus, and Veronique Gabai chose to highlight her use of refillable bottles and natural ingredients that are sourced ethically and sustainably. Homecourt, which uses upcycled ingredients developed with Givaudan in many fragrances and features packaging made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials, announced plans to debut a refill format.

House of Bō pushed the brand’s Conscious Luxury Campaign video, in which founder Bernardo Möller presents House of Bō’s efforts to remain as sustainable as possible, from sourcing natural and organic ingredients through using repurposed materials in the fragrance flacons. 5 SENS, meanwhile, made a $25,000 donation to the Oceanic Society, which supports global ocean cleanup reducing marine-life-imperiling plastic pollution.

Lastly, D.S. & Durga gave us all something to meditate on—literally—with the launch of a new candle, Be Still, featuring a scent of pure incense resin to encourage contemplative thought. Valuable for Earth Day, and beyond.

Mar

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE DAY TFF MEMBERS’ CELEBRATIONS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE DAY TFF MEMBERS’ CELEBRATIONS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE DAY TFF MEMBERS’ CELEBRATIONS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: FRAGRANCE DAY TFF MEMBERS’ CELEBRATIONS

When Fragrance Day arrives on March 21st, it’s not just the first promise of spring that’s in the air. It is also a time to smell the scents of a new season, with a flurry of launches from brands big and small. Among TFF Members, there were many exciting introductions. Boy Smells debuted Emotional Illuminations, a candles-and-functional-beverages collaboration with Kin Euphorics utilizing mood-altering technology, Cartier featured Les Écrins Parfumés, a collection of scented candles, Shalini Parfum offered a limited-edition Aurora flacon, and new spritzes debuting for Fragrance Day included Clean Beauty Collective’s Apple Blossom, Diptyque’s L’Eau Papier, Eloreas Forgotten Words Collection, Jo Malone London’s Blossom Collection, Kilian’s limited-edition Blue Moon Ginger Dash, Harlem Candle Company’s Speakeasy EDP, Kayali’s Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense, Givenchy’s Gentleman’s Society, NEST New York’s Balinese Coconut Perfume Oil, Phlur’s Solar Power, Sol de Janeiro’s Rio Radiance Perfume Mist and Michael Malul London’s collection of three new fragrances—Agar + Myrrh, Amber + Smoke, and Rose + Honey.

When it came to retailer activity, Fragrance Day 2023 was also brimming with enthusiasm and engagement, with consumers turning up to shop in person as well as following along on social media. Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy participated in a MACY’s LIVE at Herald Square, exploring new scents and dispensing tips in a very special segment that lit up Instagram and can still be watched on Macy’s home page. She also made an appearance at Nordstrom, which orchestrated a digital experience online as well as an instore celebration with multiple media outlets during which Levy discussed how to buy scents for yourself and others. Bloomingdale’s celebrated with a virtual event for Maison Francis Kurkdjian, with National Training and Events Director Joan Tanis discussing the history and creative inspiration behind the brand’s latest scent, 724 EDP; Saks promoted the day on social through Instagram and Facebook; Sephora trumpeted the scent-central day with social posts, emails in-store brand events, and offers including complimentary samples with every fragrance purchase; Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Ulta also supported the day majorly with special offers both instore and online.  

Meanwhile, TFF celebrated March 21st in a major way with exclusive virtual content from influencers, brands, fragrance houses, and leaders in the industry, all viewable on demand throughout the day and on TFF’s YouTube channel. Click here to watch content from Fragrance Day 2023! The first 1,000 US-based registrants to sign up received a complimentary Scent Journey kit, containing fragrances from TFF members including Costa Brazil, Floral Street, House of Bō, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Maison Margiela and more. There was further Fragrance Day support at TFF’s Scents of Success partners Florida State University, Spelman College, City College of New York , and F.I.T, with inspiring and educational special events that engaged students with the exciting world of fragrance as they discovered their Scent Journey Kit’s.

  Fragrance Day 2023 was bigger than ever, and yet another success. As an important moment when fragrance takes center stage and all can join together to experience, experiment, and extol the pleasure and joy it can spark, the day truly did live up to TFF’s mission: To inspire the world discover the artistry and passion of fragrance.

Feb

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART I

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART I
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART I

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART I

The Fragrance Foundation’s annual Notables awards ceremony is one of the most anticipated—and often, truly moving—events on the fragrance industry calendar. The 18 individuals who were inducted into the Notables Class of 2023 on February 7th at the Hudson Yards headquarters of L’Oreal Luxe embody all of the qualities that make the scent world so inspiring: passion, creativity, initiative, and advocacy. In this month’s Accords, we celebrate the new TFF Notables, all of whom are dedicated to upholding the #FragranceForwardTFF DEI pledge. They share what the honor means to them, and what they look forward to as they join the growing Notables Think Tank to brainstorm initiatives that will continue to energize and galvanize progress in the industry and beyond.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

This incredible industry is filled with so much talent, so I truly mean it when I say I am honored to be recognized. I look forward to learning and collaborating with this amazing group both past and present, as we continue to push boundaries within the fragrance industry.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable? 

I am constantly pushing myself to deliver high-class products to keep my brand relevant and top of mind. As I collaborate with Notable fragrance professionals, I look forward to instilling a sense of purpose into how we are thinking about product development whether that be through product innovation, sustainability, or getting product to counter in the most efficient way.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

I am very proud and grateful to have been named a TFF Notable.

It is a privilege to work in fragrance and even more to be recognized by my peers and The Fragrance Foundation. I am very excited to join this group of talented individuals and to impact the new generation by sharing my experience in this incredible industry.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

Having lived in Europe, Asia and America, I will bring my multicultural experience and insights to the young people in the industry. I will always bring positivity and energy into the room.

With my experience in Global and Local Marketing positions, I have the understanding of the full creative process from the blank page to the bottle of fragrance on shelf all over the world including consumer insights, product mix, media and channel strategies. As an ambassador of the #FragranceForwardTFF movement, my focus will be to educate and promote DEI in the inclusive and open world of scent.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

I am honored to join this esteemed group of 2023 notables and support The Fragrance Foundation in so many magnificent initiatives this year. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to get to know and share new and innovative ideas and learn from my fellow Notables. Together we will collectively be contributing to the growth, awareness and future of our industry, and it will be the most rewarding aspect of this incredible honor and opportunity.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

I will bring my expertise and insight to the table as a 2023 Notable. My approach is always a 360 view. All training I create at Bulgari Parfums is through the eyes of an educator, a client and a client advisor. I believe being able to share experiences of how to properly train our teams not only to sell fragrance but engage our clients and bring out the emotions within them through fragrance will contribute to our initiatives and industry elevation throughout the year and beyond.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

I am excited to be a part of a growing group of industry professionals whose main goal is to constantly evolve the fragrance industry in a positive direction. I look forward to meeting with the notables at the quarterly Think Tanks to strategize and brainstorm on important topics that are affecting our industry – today and in the future.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

I have a unique role at L’Oréal. Not only am I the only fine fragrance expert based in North America, but I am also very integrated into the Ralph Lauren global marketing team and lead their fragrance development process. With this background, I have developed and refined a few skills: love of fragrances; knowledge of raw materials, natural ingredients and sourcing; being able to define a brand’s olfactive philosophy; understanding and translating marketing language to perfumery language; engaging with a consumer through product testing; investigating challenges and brainstorming solutions; working with many cross-functional teams at a time on multiple projects.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

I feel very privileged to be included in such a remarkable group of talented individuals all paving their way within the fragrance industry. I look forward to having the opportunity to learn from this network but also contribute in upcoming Think Tanks, which will hopefully foster new ideas and deepen education tools available to expand our community.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

I am able to bring a global perspective, merging both my experience in fashion and beauty, to shine a spotlight on the magical world of fragrance and the boundless memories and diverse places it can transport you to.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

Having worked on leading fragrance brands like Yves Saint Laurent and currently Maison Margiela fragrances, I have had the opportunity to use the power of scent to create fragrances that engage and bring joy to our consumers. As a TFF Notable, I am excited to continue to engage and educate consumers on not only the inspiration, but also the emotional connection of fragrance.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

I look forward to massively accelerating consumer connections. At L’Oréal, it is our mission to build deeper consumer relationships, to retain high value customers and increase their lifetime value. I strive to continue to use testing, insights and analysis to put the consumer first, at the center of all decisions.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

Fragrance holds a very special place in my heart. It is so much more than what meets the nose. In times of self-doubt, it has brought me confidence. In times of discomfort, it has brought me solace by transporting me to memories of joy and happiness. What excites me about being a Notable is the privilege of serving as an ambassador for the fragrance industry and The Fragrance Foundation. This platform will allow me to share my passion for fragrance, inspire future leaders and educate those who would otherwise be unfamiliar with everything this beautiful industry has to offer.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

As a Muslim and proud Veteran, I am very passionate about all the work that The Fragrance Foundation has done with #FragranceForwardTFF. I commit to support these efforts by continuing to challenge the status quo and deepening my understanding of people’s diverse experiences and identities to create more inclusive fragrances. I will leverage a test and learn mindset to create marketing campaigns that deepen consumer connections and grow the category.

What excites you most about being named a TFF Notable?

I am very excited to be part of this impressive cohort of people that demonstrate such dedication and passion for the fragrance category and our continuous discussions on how we can contribute to a more equitable and ever evolving industry.

As someone with expertise in engaging consumers with fragrances, what skills and insights will you bring to the table as a TFF Notable?

A never ending quest for understanding how consumers see and interact with the category and to keep finding new ways to make the experience of finding, wearing and learning the stories behind each fragrance simple, relevant, accessible and delightful; throughout the entire 360 experience.

Jan

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LARRY BERMAN & VANESSA DABICH

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LARRY BERMAN & VANESSA DABICH
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LARRY BERMAN & VANESSA DABICH

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: LARRY BERMAN & VANESSA DABICH

Two more fragrance industry veterans who will be taking a TFF Board of Directors seat this year bring unique perspectives: Larry Berman of Arcade Beauty, whose leading role in sampling, blending and fragrance filling puts him and his company at the intersection of diverse brands and at the forefront of new experiences for the customer; and Vanessa Dabich, who brings her energy and expertise to Strategy, New Ventures, and Communication at the historic House of Creed. Here, they reflect on what joining the TFF Board means to them and how their commitment to #ForwardTFF will galvanize positive change within the fragrance world.

What does it mean for you personally to join the TFF board?

As I have been in the industry for over 30 years, I have always admired the leaders in the industry and have fond memories of my very first Fifi awards. I remember the week or two after the awards, waiting for Cosmetic World to deliver to our office, so we could see not only if our picture made it into the extra-large edition, but all of the glamor that accompanied the night. Additionally, as the foundation has provided so much for the industry that I have loved for so many years, I am thrilled to be able to spend my time helping give back as well.

How does your business align with TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

Being part of Arcade Beauty, the global leader in sampling, blending, and fragrance filling, I am constantly experiencing not only new fragrances, but also new up and coming brands as well. I love hearing their stories behind their fragrances and I enjoy the excitement that they have in launching something they created. We frequently lower our MOQ’s ( minimum order quantities) to help the Indie Brands grow, as we know they may not have the volume that the larger brands have, and we are also willing to help partner with them on pricing so we can grow together.

In what ways can you commit & take action for positive advances for DEI with #FragranceForwardTFF?

One of Arcade Beauty’s social objectives is promoting diversity as well as preventing discrimination and harassment at the workplace. I currently have a very diverse sales team and continue to ensure that our leadership team is interviewing and hiring from a large pool of backgrounds. Additionally, in my personal life, I am very involved in a non-profit organization run by my wife, named The Bass Foundation. The Bass Foundation provides food, winter coats, mentoring, and academic scholarships for the underserved communities in New Jersey. This month was one of our largest events where we were able to distribute brand new winter coats to every student at the Louverture Elementary School in East Orange, NJ.

What does it mean for you personally to join the TFF board?

TFF is such a prestigious organization. It’s a true honor to join the TFF board with such esteemed industry colleagues. I’m excited to learn more from this incredible group and help to better serve the fragrance community together.

How does your business align with TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

I love and respect TFF mission. Our work at The House of Creed is truly in sync with these values.  Fragrance inspires people in so many ways and to work in an industry that can transport with one spritz, is awe inspiring. 

In what ways can you commit & take action for positive advances for DEI with #FragranceForwardTFF

DEI is an important cornerstone of all meaningful growth and change not just at our company, but within the industry and obviously our daily lives. I’m committed to making significant in-roads through meaningful, inclusive programming working with diverse content creators and business partners.

Dec

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: NEW TFF MEMBERS ON STORYTELLING & COMMUNITY

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: NEW TFF MEMBERS ON STORYTELLING & COMMUNITY
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: NEW TFF MEMBERS ON STORYTELLING & COMMUNITY

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY: NEW TFF MEMBERS ON STORYTELLING & COMMUNITY

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

Homecourt is a collection of beauty products for the home, disrupting the household products industry with fine fragrance, clean skincare-inspired formulas, and sustainable packaging.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

The Homecourt team looks forward to networking, building additional relationships, and learning from others in the fragrance industry as we continue to innovate.

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,” and how will you support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

Homecourt will contribute our passion for “The Beauty of Homecare” and continue to educate all on the art of scentscaping and decorating your home with fragrance. We are recruiting new customers to the world of fine fragrance via our innovative and accessible products like surface spray and dish soap. As Homecourt grows, we are excited to build new careers in the fragrance industry and are committed to practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our recruitment and culture.

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

BROWN GIRL Jane infuses the power of wellness into masterfully crafted fragrance collections designed to boost mood and reduce stress. Working alongside preeminent perfumers and inspired by the richness of diversity, BROWN GIRL Jane’s award-winning and solution-forward scents are not only an olfactive escape but are powered by clean, clinically studied ingredients designed to marry function and fragrance.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

We’re thrilled to join the TFF family and hope that our membership in this esteemed organization can help elevate the conversation around diverse perspectives within this industry, deepen connections with other experts and founders, and highlight our distinct, wellness-forward approach to scent and the emotionally transformative power of fragrance.

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,” and how will you support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

Our mission and ethos at BROWN GIRL Jane is wonderfully complementary to that of TFF, and as a brand that works tirelessly to center a global, multicultural audience, we will continue to ensure that the world of fragrance is inclusive, reflective, and diverse. We are scent-obsessed, not only because of its ability to quite literally shift mood and create a personal aura, but because it is a remarkable industry where true craftsmanship still exists. We hope that our membership serves as an example to others that they too belong and that diverse brands and founders have unique and valued contributions to share with this industry.

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

We believe in CELEBRATING all life’s magical moments, INNOVATING so we are always serving her, PERSONALIZING everything so it’s all done her way, DESIGNING the most luxurious dresses and scents, and finally, KINDNESS – so she doesn’t have to worry about anything. It is our mission to help anyone and everyone find the look that will allow them to be the best, most genuine version of themselves on their wedding day or any special occasion. Our fragrance line aims to capture this feeling and allow them to revisit this special moment in their lives.

What do you hope that TFF membership can help your brand achieve?

We have 70 years of experience crafting magical moments and empowering shoppers globally. While the fragrance category is new for us, we are excited to join a community of renowned brands with like-minded values of serving customers and empowering individuals through the storytelling art of fragrance.

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,” and how will you support TFF’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fragrance industry?

David’s is grounded in our core values to empower people to innovate, create, and celebrate and it shows. In 2022 Forbes named us on their Best Employers for Women List, using results from a survey that is based on a variety of criteria including working conditions, diversity, and how likely employees are to recommend their employer. We are proud to offer inclusive and fun environments to empower our employees shine, in turn fostering passion, and overall growth, we hope to inspire others to do the same. Our brand ethos of ‘serving her or serving someone who is’ speaks to our overarching mission to welcome and celebrate EVERYONE for all of life’s magical moments.

Nov

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MEET THE 2022 TFF FIT DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MEET THE 2022 TFF FIT DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MEET THE 2022 TFF FIT DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MEET THE 2022 TFF FIT DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

TFF places tremendous emphasis on the importance of education—and access to education for all—in creating a future in which the fragrance industry is truly inclusive. The Fragrance Foundation FIT Diversity Scholarship, introduced in 2021, is a powerful door-opener for students from diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing careers in scent. The annual, $100,000 academic award is dedicated to helping students on both the undergraduate and graduate levels of FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance education programs follow their dreams—and, ultimately, bring their creativity and passion to the fragrance business as a whole. This year’s winners, Yasmin Hussain and Monique McKenzie, both undoubtedly innovators-in-the-making, share their love of fragrance, their professional and academic aspirations, and how their commitment to #FragranceForwardTFF will build a better tomorrow for all.

What first inspired your desire to pursue studies towards a career in the fragrance industry?

I’ve always loved fragrance so in the fall of 2020, I took the Advanced Perfumery course at Pratt Institute with Raymond Matts. Learning about the intricacies of each note really fascinated me. Before taking that class, I never knew that the smell of rose had so many individual parts to it! Smelling different notes and families and seeing how they were used in different fragrances made me want to keep learning more and more about what goes into a fragrance.

What are you excited to learn more about in regard to the fragrance industry?

I’m excited to learn more about how fragrance is advertised. I’ve always been interested in both print ads and commercials so I’m excited to learn about the process that goes on behind that. I also look forward to learning more about the science behind fragrance, it’s as interesting as it is challenging.

What does it mean to you to be honored with the TFF FIT scholarship?

I feel endlessly grateful to be given this opportunity, it has enabled me to focus solely on my studies. Not only that, it has also made me feel like I have a place in the industry. Linda, Sharné, and Christina have gone out of their way to be welcoming, affirming and inclusive towards me. I have connected with them on a personal level and feel thankful to The Fragrance Foundation for prioritizing DEI initiatives in education.

How do you believe you can be part of #FragranceForwardTFF moving forward?

I hope to be able to tell stories and create feelings of nostalgia for people like me. I think we all have something different that we can offer and I hope to be able to represent that for people who don’t feel seen or heard. I also hope to one day give people from underrepresented backgrounds affirmation that they too have a place in the fragrance industry.

What first inspired your desire to pursue studies towards a career in the fragrance industry?

My first memory, and frankly love, of fragrance comes from my father. Living in Virginia Beach, my father often traveled for work during the week, joining my mother and I on the weekends.

While I didn’t quite know all the days of the week, I knew it was the weekend when the scent of my father’s Ralph Lauren legendary Polo fragrance arrived at our home in Virginia Beach. Ralph Lauren describes the fragrance as “celebrating the timeless appeal of the sporting lifestyle” while blending “the very best of wood, leather and other natural scents to convey a handsome, enduring character.” And my father was quite the handsome character.

I could easily find myself entranced in the top and middle notes of lime zest, leather and cedar once he walked through the door. But it was the scent of balsam, patchouli, and oakmoss, the base notes, that stayed throughout the week, lingering in all the places he was…the kitchen table where we ate dinner, the sofa where we watched weekly episodes of In Living Color and even my pillow where he tucked me in. I often found myself perusing through my parent’s closet and even trying on my father’s jackets and shirts to recreate that moment of him walking through the front door.

Nearly forty years later, my father still wears that fragrance. While a seemingly innocuous fragrance in a green glass bottle, it proves how much power fragrance has. Fragrance has the power to comfort us, to make us feel at home, and even to bring us joy and laughter; for decades, it’s been an inside joke between my mother and I about how much of the fragrance my father wears.

What are you excited to learn more about in regard to the fragrance industry?

It’s this power of fragrance that inspired me to join the Class of 2024 of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Master in Professional Studies program, the only program of its kind in the U.S. where classes are held in the only working fragrance laboratory on a U.S. college campus. Not only will this program provide me with in-depth knowledge about the role of scent and hands-on olfactive training, I’ll learn to identify consumer preferences as well as the societal, cultural, and other trends that shape them, like familial relationships akin to my relationship with my father, and turn those into brand stories, integrated marketing communications strategy and brand loyalty.

What does it mean to you to be honored with the TFF FIT scholarship?

With the support of The Fragrance Foundation, I can further the organization’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance while also serving as a face for the diversity, equity and inclusion pledge and how people can commit to breaking barriers for people of all backgrounds in launching, growing and sustaining careers in the fragrance industry.

How do you believe you can be a part of #FragranceForwardTFF moving forward?

According to The Cut, Nielsen reported in 2018 that Black people were the biggest consumers of fragrance, responsible for 23 percent of the market (which translates to $151 million) while making up 14 percent of the population. Despite being such avid consumers of fragrance, Black people are rarely, if ever, represented in the industry — whether in advertisements, behind the scenes, or in retail spaces. With the support of the Fragrance Foundation and their objective to nurture talent, I’ll design and create a functional fragrance for a consumer product as part of my final joint interdisciplinary project with a focus on diverse and underrepresented communities. This will aid in my pursuit of innovation in the cosmetics and fragrance industry. Ultimately, I want to leverage my 15 years experience designing campaigns that evolve brand positioning, drive brand awareness and build brand equity for the most iconic and recognized global brands to inspire brand affinity and consideration, increase cultural relevancy and reach diverse audiences within the fragrance industry.

Oct

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SCENTS OF SUCCESS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SCENTS OF SUCCESS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SCENTS OF SUCCESS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: SCENTS OF SUCCESS

Diversity brings ideas, energy, and insight to any field, but building a truly inclusive workforce begins with education: for students, knowing what opportunities exist can be the first step towards discovering and flourishing in a rewarding occupation. This month, TFF rolled out its exciting Scents of Success Career Panel Discussion Series, in which TFF and six participating member companies conducted educational sessions about careers in the fragrance industry at Florida State University, University of Rochester, William Paterson University, Spelman College, City College of New York and Rutgers University.  These panels brought 500 students together with fragrance professionals to discuss roles at fragrance houses, brands, retailers and more—highlighting the fact that the fragrance industry has many entry points, and is committed to recruiting and retaining teams that reflect the entire USA population. The feedback from these events was overwhelmingly positive. 

As Sophia Bressani, a student at Florida State University, said of the event with Cosmo International Fragrances, “I could tell all the panelists were very passionate about what they do, and it made it a very fun, engaging, and insightful panel discussion.” 

For Priyansh Patel, a student who attended the Rutgers University event with Robertet, the experience was truly mind-opening: “As an engineering and business student, I never even knew fragrance companies like Robertet existed. However, this event bridged the gap between my two passions and showed how they are interrelated. From learning the chemical backgrounds of creating the ‘perfect scent’ from Robertet’s Senior Perfumer to understanding the business strategies that are necessary to sell perfumes, I am extremely grateful to have been able to gain exposure to this field.”

Keokuk Kight, Quality Enhancement Plan Manager Institutional Effectiveness, Spelman College, noted that the college’s October 12th panel with L’Oréal was “a fabulous opportunity to bring industry professionals to the students to have real-life and behind-the-scenes conversations about the fragrance industry. Students were able to ask questions, network, and get information on valuable internship opportunities. It was a true gem of an experience.”  

Spelman student Kathleen J. Bostick was so inspired that she has already begun exploring how she might bring her passions and educational expertise into the fragrance world: “Attending this event was incredibly beneficial to me,” she said. “I have a strong background in plant biology and having the opportunity to see firsthand how the marketing is implemented in such a dynamic product was very eye opening. Seeing the Black women speak about their experiences was incredibly inspiring and I am really happy that a company with such prominence and success is devoted to creating spaces for Black women and equity. I was left with interesting ideas on how neuroscience can be utilized in a customer’s reaction to smells from these fragrances and potential extraction techniques that could be utilized for this product. I decided to reach out to several representatives for further guidance on future opportunities there may be for someone with my background. I am excited for what the future holds!”

Students at the City College of New York event with LVMH lauded it as “refreshing and valuable,” and, as student Lol Amu said, “the panelists and Fragrance Foundation members were very warm and encouraging to students.” For CCNY student Nisa Manzar, “the Scents of Success panel was an amazing opportunity for CCNY Ad/PR students to learn first-hand what it’s like to work in the luxury fragrance world. Hearing the panelists stories of how they got to where they are today was both inspiring and informative. Some of the panelists also spoke about their day-to-day responsibilities within their roles which helped us as students get more familiar with what working in the luxury industry looks like. Hearing from successful professionals that were once in the same boat as students was very comforting.”

It wasn’t just the students who benefited from these enormously fruitful events. Seeing the enthusiasm and boundless potential that the students brought to the table energized and inspired the panelists too. 

As Vanessa Santarossa, LVMH Head of Education and Events, said of the CCNY event, “Connecting with the students left me feeling invigorated and recharged!”

Sep

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MAKING CONNECTIONS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MAKING CONNECTIONS
Scents and Sensibility

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MAKING CONNECTIONS

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: MAKING CONNECTIONS

Melba’s restaurant in Harlem is as celebrated for its welcoming, convivial neighborhood atmosphere as it is for its raved-about comfort food. What better place to make new friends and mark noteworthy progress in #FragranceForwardTFF’s push for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fragrance industry? The three brand-founders featured at the TFF Connections brunch— Chris Collins, founder of World of Chris Collins, Teri Johnson of the Harlem Candle Company, and Francisco Costa, creator of the award-winning beauty line Costa Brazil—have all been deeply involved and aligned with #FragranceForwardTFF, and each brought a unique perspective and true enthusiasm to the event. Here, the trio of game-changing brand creators reflect on their experiences at the brunch, and share why networking moments that bring together the perfume world with new media are so important for all.  

What were the highlights of the TFF Connections brunch for you? 

The connections! Seeing old friends and making new relationships is what Linda Levy and The Fragrance Foundation is all about. She’s an amazing connector. I always leave her gatherings with new ideas and excitement for what’s to come.

Why do you think an event like this is important, both for the media and the brands? 

It’s imperative that people see fragrance as it really is — for everyone. Fragrance is a headspace. It should transport you to a place of safety, comfort. It has no boundaries. We need to communicate that.

How does Costa Brazil support #FragranceForwardTFF, and what do you hope to see in the future?

We’re both all about sustainability and inclusivity; our missions have long aligned. I’m very inspired by the magic of nature and science, something you can tell if you’ve smelled my unisex perfume Aroma, which features ingredients from the Amazon that evoke stress-reducing phytoncides as well as a patchouli-type oil that was sustainably made in the lab of my parent company Amyris. The perfume comes in either a base of upcycled ethanol derived by Bonsucro-certified sugarcane, or long-lasting pataua oil, the latter of which has great skin hydration and firming benefits. We can make beautiful fragrances using safe sustainable ingredients that don’t rely on petrochemicals or vulnerable plants and animals. And it’s important we do it now, because scent plays a large role in how we internalize life and regulate emotions. Costa Brazil’s tagline is spray it, layer it, evolve with it—and I truly mean that.

What were the highlights of the TFF Connections brunch for you?

The highlight of the TFF Connections Brunch for me was being able to introduce myself, my passion for fragrance and how I came to create the Harlem Candle Co.  It was an honor to meet and network with the journalists and reporters who also have a passion for fragrance and beauty.

What did it mean for you that Connections was held at Melba’s?

I LOVED the fact that the Connections brunch was held at Melba’s in Harlem as Melba’s has become an institution and a place where artists, creatives and influential people in Harlem convene on a regular basis.  I also loved how conveniently located it is relative to where I live.

How does the Harlem Candle Company support #FragranceForwardTFF, and what do you hope to see in the future?

As a relatively new brand among The Fragrance Foundation members (joined in 2020) we hope to become more involved in helping and mentoring the next generation of niche brands owned and operated by women and people of diverse backgrounds.

What were the highlights of the TFF Connections brunch for you?

Besides the delicious food and meeting the great Melba herself, it was nice to meet and talk to the other amazing brand founders that joined the brunch.

What did it mean for you that Connections was held at Melba’s?

To me it was very special to have a fragrance event in Harlem. The neighborhood where I live and where my fragrance brand was born.

As someone who has been involved with. #FragranceForwardTFF from the beginning, what are some of the biggest impacts you have seen from this initiative?

 I’m absolutely thrilled with how far the Fragrance Forward initiative has come. Shining a spotlight on the brands, founders and professionals of color in the fragrance industry is beautiful to see.

Jun

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.

May

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. 

Apr

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.

Mar

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.”

Feb

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.”

Jan

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.
Dec

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.

Nov

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.

Oct

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.”

Sep

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.

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.”

Mar

THE SCIENCE OF SMELL: DR. PAMELA DALTON

THE SCIENCE OF SMELL: DR. PAMELA DALTON
Scents and Sensibility

THE SCIENCE OF SMELL: DR. PAMELA DALTON

THE SCIENCE OF SMELL: DR. PAMELA DALTON

March 2021

Pamela Dalton, PhD, MPH is an experimental psychologist who studies smell at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Her work focuses on the ways that we interact with scent in our daily lives, revealing the way that smell guides us through the world, affects our emotions, and colors our memories. The Monell Center’s research has taken on particular resonance in the Covid era, and Dalton has been working closely with individuals whose sense of smell has been impacted by the virus to develop scent training tactics designed to help restore their olfactive function. As the Fragrance Foundation has now established a close relationship with Monell, Dalton joined Linda G. Levy in an engaging conversation for Fragrance Day 2021, which you can replay here. For this month’s Accords, she goes into even greater detail about her fascinating work.

Tell us a bit about the Monell Center and what it does.

We were founded 52 years ago as a basic research center devoted to things that nobody was formally studying in an institute at the time: smell and taste. The institute started small, but it has grown exponentially over time, and our approach is a bit different now. The fundamental mechanisms of smell and taste have largely been elucidated and described so now we’re looking at the downstream effects. What happens when you lose your sense of smell? How does smell determine what you choose to eat, what kind of air freshener you choose, what perfume you wear? We’re trying to understand that in the context of everyday life.

Why has smell historically been less studied than the other senses?

One, it was undervalued greatly and so even a few years ago when people would go to their doctors and say, I can’t smell, or I’m having trouble smelling, it would be like, well, worse things could happen. It’s become very clear that that’s not true. Sometimes it is the worst thing for many people. Also, taste and smell are incredibly difficult systems to study and for a long time there was no standardized way of doing it. We knew how the visual system works a very long time ago, but we only really came to understand  the receptors for smell 20 years ago. 

Can you explain why smell is so connected to memory?

The olfactory system is privileged in its access to what we call the emotional center in the brain, the limbic system. And sensory stimulation from smell arrives in the cortex without having to go through a lot of different gateways. Our emotional reaction when we smell something is very immediate,  even when we’ve never smelled that item before. When we don’t understand what an odor represents, we’re probably going to be a little bit cautious, but this hedonic response immediately calls on our memory system and our emotional memory system to say, “ah, that’s, the smell of my first boyfriend’s cologne” or “that’s the smell of my grandmother’s kitchen when I would go to visit her.” It’s because of this privileged access between these brain structures that govern not only smell, but also emotional experience.

What are some of the things that affect the way that we feel about something that we smell?

Generally, our experience with it. I really love for there to be some definitive evidence one way or the other, but we really don’t know whether we are born as babies with innate aversions or preferences. We know that with taste, for example, all mammals will like something that’s sweet hours after birth. And if you put something bitter on their tongue, they will make a very characteristic gaping, like, get it out of here. These are hardwired probably because ingesting something sweet is nutritive and ingesting something bitter in nature could be toxic. But we don’t have any evidence that that’s true for odors.  In fact, you don’t actually see children start to mimic what we would call the standard cultural adult reactions to odors, liking or disliking, until they get to be about six to eight years old. They’re really learning from the people around them.

What happens to us physiologically when we smell something that we like?

We breathe very deeply. A very good friend and colleague of mine was studying a cinnamon apple odor at Yale many years ago when he was a postdoc. And he was amazed to see that their heart rate got much lower when they were smelling this odor. But what he wasn’t measuring at the time was how they were breathing. When they were smelling something they really liked, they took longer deep breaths, they slowed down their respiration rate, and of course that had an effect on their heart rate. People have studied breathing and relaxation for thousands of years, and it does have a beneficial effect. That’s why people tell you, when you’re stressed at work, sit back for three minutes and do some deep breathing. If an odor that you like can reinforce that, so much the better, right?

What fascinates you personally the most about smell?

The fact that I can’t really experience what anyone else is experiencing. For example, my husband is colorblind and so I know that he doesn’t see color the way I do, but I know that most other people in the world do. With odor, it’s so individual because it’s the genetics of the system that determines what we can smell, how acutely we can smell it, our own experience. With respect to odor, we really live in different sensory worlds.

So I might smell my perfume differently from someone sitting next to me?

Yes, and this is probably why most people don’t realize they have a loss of sense of smell until it’s completely gone. When I say to you “Do you see that?”, if you don’t see it and it’s sitting 10 feet in front of us, I know one of us has a problem. But if I say, “Do you smell that?” we’re much more likely to allow there to be huge individual variation. We don’t have the same confidence in the uniformity of our responses. So if you say no, I wouldn’t say “You need to get your nose checked,” whereas I would definitely say, “You need to get your eyes checked.”

What are some of the things that you’ve seen as far as that shift in thinking about smell due to COVID?

There’s much greater awareness about how devastating the loss can be. Not being able to smell makes you feel incredibly disoriented. We process odors in our environment almost automatically. And so walking into our home, our olfactory receptors are responding, but they’re not alerting us to anything as long as everything smells the way it should. But when your sense of smell is  gone, you have no marker for, “This is home” or “This is my office” or “This is the park I go to.”

How can scent training work to restore the sense of smell?

Generally, it started out by someone picking four qualitatively different scents from something that had been developed earlier as an odor wheel. You would bring these essential oils to your nose and try to inhale them for maybe a minute each, maybe think about what the odor might be, if you remember what it smelled like, like clove. It’s intentional mindful stimulation of the olfactory system. Some people have paired it with pictures, some people have started using it with odors that are specific to the individual and meaningful. There are a lot of variants to it, but it does appear to work. I think the outcomes are better the sooner you start it, and it probably relies on a certain amount of what we call synaptic plasticity. The system may not be responding but the brain representation of what that smell is still exists. We have to retrain the receptors to make those appropriate connections.

Keeping with the Fragrance Day theme, what have you learned about flower scents in your research?

We may have evolved to have some special preference for floral scents. It’s not just looking at things that are pretty and green or floral, but actually smelling them. I think that there’s a real opportunity to use floral scents in a way where they do have benefits for us in terms of relaxation and stress relief.

Finally, what does the support of the Fragrance Foundation mean for the Monell Center?

It brings us an opportunity to convey our science to a wider audience. It also provides us with a level of expertise in the world of fragrances, which is very valuable.  And I think because of the Fragrance Foundation’s reach in the industry and beyond in consumers, we can provide understanding of our science through another outlet. I think the synergy of the association is a beautiful thing.

Feb

NOTABLE ALUMNI: ACCOMPLISHMENTS & ASPIRATIONS

NOTABLE ALUMNI: ACCOMPLISHMENTS & ASPIRATIONS
Scents and Sensibility

NOTABLE ALUMNI: ACCOMPLISHMENTS & ASPIRATIONS

NOTABLE ALUMNI: ACCOMPLISHMENTS & ASPIRATIONS

February 2021

Once you’re a Notable, you are forever a Notable. Ever since TFF began honoring Notables in the fragrance community in 2015, those individuals have become a part of the TFF family, and have played a role in guiding policy and planning events via the Think Tank. At TFF, every voice is heard, and the power of the growing Notable community is that with each year that group of voices grows ever more diverse. Organizations have nominated Notables, too, from virtually every division and job description in the fragrance world, building a strong collaborative force with a real understanding of how things work and how we can all work together. For this issue of Accords, we checked in with some of TFF’s past Notables to see how they have found the experience so far.

Since becoming a Notable, many of our honorees have hit career milestones. “Since being named a Notable, I was promoted to Fragrance Director of Cartier North America and had to lead my team through the challenges of the pandemic, while maintaining a positive outlook,” says Anais Nouvet, North America Fragrance Director, Cartier, Class of 2018. “I am most proud of seeing the resilience and creativity that each of my team members demonstrated in these tricky times.” Alexandra Cassar, Scent Design Manager, Fine Fragrance, IFF, also Class of 2018, says, “Since having been named a Notable, my proudest achievement has been completing my FIT Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Masters while juggling a full-time career. You realize you can take on more than you ever deemed imaginable. The difficulty is what has made it so rewarding.” Jordan Saxemard, Vice President Marketing, US Luxury Division, Coty, galvanized the launch of Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum, beginning work with perfumer Jacques Huclier to develop the scent not long after his 2018 Notables Award. “Fast forward to Holiday 2020, the new Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum helped the franchise reach its new peak position of #4 men’s fragrance brand in the US market: the stars were, indeed, aligned,” he says.

The TFF Think Tank meetings have been gratifying for all, with a common feeling that creative solutions are valued and that real change is being made. “I feel that they’ve provided fresh thinking and new perspectives on how the Fragrance Foundation can leverage new social platforms and utilize untraditional means to communicate with members within and outside of our industry,” says Ashli Hamilton, Project Manager, Ann Gottlieb Associates, Class of 2016. “I think the Notables Think Tank meetings have been great for TFF and the industry because we are able to effectively communicate and align on goals, values, and missions,” says Hannah Silver, Product Development Assistant Manager, NEST New York, Class of 2018. “These meetings are a safe place for us to clearly articulate what needs to happen and ignites an inspiring start for change.” Saxemard adds, “These meetings are crucial to the future of our industry. We must keep a pulse on present and future trends at all times to stay ahead of the game and continue to inspire the American people through the art of fragrance.”

The Notables also appreciate that they all bring something very different and special to the table. “I grew up on a dirt road in Western Pennsylvania. I now live on a graffiti-covered street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I combine a small-town boy’s appreciation for life’s simple joys with a New Yorker’s love of the fantastically weird,” says Justin Welch, Director of Marketing, Firmenich, Class of 2017. “We all took separate journeys to meet together in this industry. Our individual stories have the power to facet a beautifully colorful dialogue together.”

As the new year gets rolling, the Notables are brimming with ideas and goals that they hope to implement with TFF moving forward. When asked what she would like to see TFF accomplish in the coming year, Hamilton says, “A topic that’s been a hot button for me is the truth behind “naturals” and having a forum for industry leaders to debunk some of the myths around naturals being the holy grail for consumers. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and I think it would be helpful for us as an industry to demystify some of that information that natural isn’t always better.” Silver says she would hope to see TFF “bring more attention to sustainable practices across the fragrance industry. Right now, fragrance houses have done a comprehensive, dynamite job sourcing materials and ingredients in a sustainable way, but the same has not happened for packaging. There are so many innovative packaging materials for both consumer-facing and business to business. I am hoping TFF brings to light the amount of opportunity we have to implement ethical processes and practices.” And for Cassar, it’s all about spreading the good word: “I would love to see TFF achieve their goal in getting the word out to colleges. Our industry is so hidden, you either know someone who works in it or you fall into it by pure chance. Imagine the talent we could be missing out on?”

Lastly, they share advice for those who are just starting out, and dream of becoming a Notable in the future. “Work hard, and communicate with your team and colleagues,” says Liza Ketcham, Account Executive, Givaudan, Class of 2019. “Speak up when you need help and speak up when you’re ready to take on more. Take ownership when you make a mistake, and learn from it. Learn as much as you can from the people around you, not just in your area of the business. And finally, don’t always take everything so seriously—it is just as important to work hard and do your job well as it is to laugh and make connections with people and find joy in the parts of your job that you really love.”

Jan

THE DISRUPTOR: ROB SMITH

THE DISRUPTOR: ROB SMITH
Scents and Sensibility

THE DISRUPTOR: ROB SMITH

THE DISRUPTOR: ROB SMITH

January 2021

Rob Smith calls himself a “disruptor in traditional spaces,” and the work he has done to challenge norms within the fragrance industry is nothing short of astonishing. His Phluid Project community (and gender-free Phluid Scent Elixirs) gives underrepresented LGBTQIA+ youth a platform for their voices to be heard, as well as opportunities to forge career paths free from the hindrances or bias of the past. His emphasis as a leader in the Fragrance Foundation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative is on education, and helping corporations transform their policies to make them more open and equitable. This month, he shares his thoughts on the DEI’s accomplishments, and the objectives he hopes to spearhead in the months ahead.  

Why do you think TFF’s DEI is so important, based on your experience in the industry?

To be honest, every industry should be focused on DEI, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s statistically proven that more inclusive companies outperform their competitors. The world continues to look more diverse, the global economy is booming, and companies that don’t stand up and face that reality, they will lose out. Starting with an inclusive workplace will bring the voices and insights into a brands voice, focus and strategy. 

Why do you feel so personally committed to this cause? 

I’m an openly gay man and I guess that I started off navigating a heteronormative Caucasian industry. Even after I came out as gay, I was performing as a straight acting executive. I suppose this helped to create a sense of empathy by being “othered.” I started to direct this passion into working within my companies to bring inclusive thinking and strategy into the workplace as well as working with nonprofits. The more I focused, the better I felt about my purpose. Now, it’s just a part of my everyday existence. But, I tell myself everyday, I can always do more and give more.

What are you proudest of that the DEI initiative has accomplished so far? 

I’m proud that we’re starting the conversation, knowing that we don’t have the answers, and we’re willing to expose our naiveté. That takes courage. We’re lifting up underrepresented voices and giving them a platform. It was shocking to me; the lack of diversity in the fragrance industry. We have work to do. But we’ve started to take the first step. And, that’s how the journey begins.

What are the next steps? 

We need to find more and more voices from underrepresented communities to join the group. Each bringing a unique perspective. And, then we need to listen and learn. Additionally, I learned during the BLM movement that it’s our job to educate ourselves and not just sit back and wait to be educated by a minority. Once you’re educated, you can have a much more intellectual and productive conversation. Then, we move from ally to advocate, helping to create change and impact within our sphere of influence.. and we have many of them. 

What do you consider the biggest challenges we will need to overcome? 

The biggest challenge is making change in a very traditional space. Fragrance is notorious for the exploitation idealism of what it is to be male or female. It’s a dated and very unhealthy representation of masculinity, femininity and beauty. Deconstructing this space to be more inclusive will take a great deal of work and courage. 

What do you consider your mission within the DEI as well as within the fragrance industry as a whole? 

My role is, and will continue to be, a peaceful warrior. I find a great deal of satisfaction being a disruptor in traditional spaces. I hope that I can help people to think differently as we enter a conversation with an open mind and open heart. The mission statement of The Phluid Project is to “challenge boundaries with humanity”. It could serve as my personal mission statement as well. 

You’ve offered to help educate TFF member companies on communication and culture surrounding DEI. Why do you believe this is necessary? 

One of the social codes from The Phluid Project is “we are all students and we are all teachers”. I have spent the past three years learning about Gen Z, learning about the fluidity in identity, expression, orientation. I’d like to share this insight with as many interested adults as I can find, navigating us through a portal into the future. You see, I’ve learned that binary constructs hurt all of us. We are binded into “rules” about how we’re supposed to act, believe and behave. Gen Z says “I’m not this or that. I’m this AND that. We all have the opportunity to join them on this crusade toward authenticity and self-expression. Let’s stop wasting time and get on with it.

THE TRAILBLAZER: CHRIS COLLINS

THE TRAILBLAZER: CHRIS COLLINS
Scents and Sensibility

THE TRAILBLAZER: CHRIS COLLINS

THE TRAILBLAZER: CHRIS COLLINS

January 2021

As the founder of Harlem-based luxury brand, World of Chris Collins, Chris Collins is a vital force in driving diversity within the fragrance community. His enthusiastic participation in the Fragrance Foundation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative has been integral to the program, and by sharing his example and brand story he hopes to set an example for other Black brands to see and follow. Here, he shares his thoughts on the advances made so far, and where the fragrance community still has important strides to make to build a future where everyone is represented and given the tools and opportunities they need to thrive. 

Why do you think TFF’s DEI is so important, based on your experience in the industry?

When I entered into the world of perfume, there were very few examples of people of color that I could follow, if any. I think in high-end perfume, I had the first brand that was launched by a man of color. And it was a very tough road. I was well-accepted because I had great mentors and great support around me, but had I not had that, I think it would have been even more difficult. I think it’s important now that we shed light on the diversity in perfume. There’s so many smaller brands that don’t have the opportunity to be noticed. And I think that it is very important that the Fragrance Foundation, which has a very large, broad platform, shed light on them. I had a conversation with Linda right before the pandemic, that I thought it was a pretty big deal that a man of color had his brand sitting on a shelf next to the likes of Tom Ford, Creed, and Killian, which are brands that I look up to and that I admire very much. We should shed light on the fact that I’m next to those brands, so other brands can know that they also have the opportunity to do the same. I’ve learned so much along the way. And there’s so much to share with brands that are wanting to launch, or people who just want to be in the business, whether as a buyer, or an evaluator. People of color, both men and women, need to know that there is possibility in this industry.

Why do you believe it is crucial that people see diversity within the fragrance industry?

I just think the more you show diversity, the more people understand that they have the opportunity to be a part of it. There are some very cool brands out there, with really cool stories. I knew that once I broke into the industry, I would have to be a trailblazer, because again, people who follow, they have to know that it’s possible. I still have a long way to go. It’s not a situation that is fixed, or even up to par to where it should be, but we’re on track. And, with me and some of the other brands that are involved and with Prez Levy, I think we could really break some ground here, and open this up to a lot of brands, a lot more diverse brands, both men and women, around the world.

What are you proudest of that the DEI initiative has accomplished so far?

I’m proudest of the fact that it started as a conversation between Linda and me, and now it’s grown. And now we have so many retailers and buyers onboard who understand. I think the Black Lives Matter situation, the racial unrest that happened last year, lit a fire under a lot of retailers and a lot of people in the industry recognizing that we need more diversity in the field of perfume. I think it is happening, and I think it will happen, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud to be the brand that is being able to be discussed with these bigger brands. And now other smaller brands can see my example.

What are the next steps?

When you think next steps, it’s hard to see how this initiative will grow, but you just keep pushing forward. You put one foot in front of the other. There’s been new involvement within the Fragrance Foundation with other brands that are more diverse, so we just keep pushing. I think it’s a beautiful thing. Diversity is beautiful. Men, women from different walks of life, races, cultures, it just adds to a platform for new stories to be told.

Where would you like to see the program be in a year’s time?

Next year, hopefully, we’ll have more brands that we can shine a light on. And, we’ll keep having a conversation. We have a great Board. We have a lot of people who want to be involved, which is very exciting. I’m here to support. I’m here to help, and do whatever I can do. It will be one of my proudest accomplishments if my brand grows to a point where other brands of color have never gone, but also to bring some other brands with me. I take that job very seriously.

What do you consider the biggest challenges we will need to overcome?

The biggest challenge I think is just to convince people around the world, other retailers, other boutiques, to give us the opportunity. That is the number one thing that we all need as diverse brands, brands of color, both men and women, the LGBTQ community. We all need opportunity. Once we have the opportunity, I think we will be able to show that we’ve got good stuff. After the Black Lives Matter and racial unrest happened last year, there was new attention paid to Black brands. And, all of a sudden, I started to see all these brands come out of the woodwork that I didn’t even know existed. There are hundreds of beauty brands that are run or owned by men and women of different diverse backgrounds, and I thought that that was beautiful to see. There’s a place in this space for all of us. So hopefully, we can grow and move the initiative forward, and this time next year, we’ll have more brands on shelves by men and women of color.

What do you hope that aspiring fragrance brands can learn from your example? 

 I hope that they can learn from me that all things are possible. You have to put the work into it. I never wanted a handout. I never wanted someone to just give me an opportunity because I was Black, but I did want an opportunity to show work that I took a lot of pride in. So I hope people will give these brands at least a chance. I’m looking forward to seeing how the DEI grows, because there’s so much work we need to do, but there’s so much possibility that we can attain. I want to keep trailblazing. There’s more ground to cover. There’s more places to go, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m looking forward to making sure that there are more diverse brands in the market very soon.

Dec

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: LEONARD LAUDER

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: LEONARD LAUDER Credit: The Estée Lauder Companies Archives
Scents and Sensibility

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: LEONARD LAUDER

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: LEONARD LAUDER Credit: The Estée Lauder Companies Archives

December 2020

Leonard Lauder’s page-turner of a memoir, The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty, is essential for beauty junkies and aspiring moguls alike. The former CEO, who famously pens handwritten thank you notes on robin’s-egg-blue stationery, maintains that the secret to his success has been treating the company—including its employees and the brands it has acquired, including Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Kilian Paris, Le Labo, and Jo Malone—like family. He also writes thoughtfully about maintaining equilibrium and collaboration within the Lauder dynasty itself, nearly every member of which, from Leonard’s brother Ronald and son William to his nieces Jane and Aerin and even his grand-daughter, Danielle, have come on board to enhance and enlarge the house that Estée built. Here, Lauder reflects further on his business philosophies, and how a corporation can stay forever nimble. 

Fragrance is very personal. What is the key to devising scents that can be both very popular and very individual?

The key is to listen to the consumer! They will tell you everything they need.

You have talked about human nature versus marketing, and instinct versus strategy. Where is the line between the two, and how do you balance them?

These are very important concepts, and while they may seem like opposing ideas, they work hand-in-hand for successful business operations when balanced correctly. Marketing and strategy are two concepts you learn how to use successfully; human nature and instinct you experience. That said, I want to make one thing clear: one of the most important lessons I learned that would shape my career and my life inside and outside of the company was this: to trust my instincts. Instinct is something that is natural and ingrained, but also that has its foundation in experience. If you have enough experience, somewhere along the line, instinct will kick in—crossing the line from learned strategy to experienced instinct.

What is the key to keeping a business modern?

Never stop evolving! Never stop trying to elevate your game, to reach new heights, to explore the unknown. There is always learning that can be done, and a modern business is always evolving to learn what’s next.

Nov

MASTER PERFUMER: CARLOS BENAÏM

MASTER PERFUMER: CARLOS BENAÏM
Scents and Sensibility

MASTER PERFUMER: CARLOS BENAÏM

MASTER PERFUMER: CARLOS BENAÏM

November 2020

IFF Master Perfumer Carlos Benaïm is a true legend. Hailed by Frédéric Malle as the greatest American perfumer, he is the creator of a slew of instantly recognizable blockbusters, including Polo Green, Polo Blue, Calvin Klein Eternity for Men, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb, and YSL Libre. He is also one of Malle’s most prolific collaborators. As much to his surprise as to everyone else’s, his work with Malle began not with the invitation to create a bottled fragrance, but rather a collection of candles—the first wax-and-wick line-up, it would transpire, in the Editions de Frédéric Malle repertoire. Though Benaïm’s considerable expertise was in fine fragrance, not home scent, he took up the challenge—and the world’s rooms have been unforgettably transformed by the beauty of his creations. Here, the Morocco-born perfumer, who in 2014 received The Fragrance Foundation Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award,  talks to Accords about his journey with Frédéric Malle on the occasion of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle’s 20th birthday.

What originally made you want to become a perfumer?

My father was a pharmacist and a botanist. He was very interested in going through the mountains and the fields in Morocco and looking for plants that he could distill for pharmaceutical purposes. With him, I was able to see how distillation works—how you get the essences of plants—and that whole process brought me to perfumery from the ground up, not from being from a family of perfumers.

To be a perfumer was not in my radar. It was only something that I became interested in after the first year of engineering school, when I needed to do an internship. I was sent to Grasse through one of my father’s contacts where he used to sell his raw materials, and when I arrived, the chemist that I was supposed to work with had gone sailing and didn’t come back until the day before I left. Nobody knew what to do with me, so they just put me in a room with all the raw materials, naturals and synthetics, each one in those old-fashioned brown bottles with handwritten labels. I spent a month smelling. And through that I developed so much curiosity about the field of perfumery that I eventually took the plunge.

How did that unconventional beginning, and your studies in chemical engineering, affect your path as a perfumer?

It doesn’t hurt to have a chemistry background to understand the ingredients like chemists do, but fine perfumery is more of an artistic creation. When I basically abandoned chemistry at age 22 to go into an artistic career, it was a big step because it’s a completely different discipline, and it takes five to 10 years to know whether you’ll make something out of it.

I learned, not from a school, because I didn’t have any opportunities like that at that time, but more like the old masters used to teach their apprentices. I was invited to work in New York with Ernest Shiftan, who was the Chief Perfumer of IFF and had just retired to open a perfumery school. But it was not a classic perfumery school. It was more, “You learn by doing it next to me.” After that, I went to Paris for two or three years to continue because I had to get my visa. During that time, I worked with Max Gavarry, who was a Chief Perfumer in Paris, and we did a lot of the classical way of learning, which is to study all the classics in perfumery, just by smelling. I couldn’t wait to get to do real work in perfumery, but that only came when I arrived back in New York, and I started working with Bernard Chant, who was the Chief Perfumer then. I worked with him for 15 years as his right hand, and I just learned as I went along.

How did you first meet Frédéric?

I met Frédéric when he came to me to ask me to create a whole line of candles for the home for him. I had never done candles. I was very frank with him. I said, “Listen, you’re asking me to do something I’ve never done in my life. Are you sure you want to do this?” He insisted. He said, “No, this is an opportunity to put your imagination to work. You’ll have no constraints of price. Just try to do something beautiful.”

When you start working with him, it just becomes long conversations about everything and anything, while you are doing experimentation. By the time the lab is weighing what you’ve done, you talk architecture, you talk artistry, you talk France, you talk family, you talk anything. It was the beginning of a friendship that lasts today.

What was your process in creating the first collection?

I worked on them one at a time but they were introduced together—Jurassic Flower, Rosa Rugosa, Casablanca Lily… I wanted to bring a novel approach to this whole development. Frédéric and I both really admired one of the heads of research of IFF, an Indian man, Dr. Braja Mookherjee, who had been a brilliant, very religious man, who invented the Living Flower technology. So, I thought, why not take that headspace technology and develop candles based on the smell of those flowers in their natural environment.

How different was it for you to work on candles instead of perfume?

It’s very different in the sense that what counts is how the essential oils and the ingredients burn, not how much they smell when they are just freshly incorporated in the candle. And that is all technology that was really not my specialty. You want to create the feeling in the air of that flower when it burns without smelling the smoke. That was a challenge, and with enough experimentation we were able to do it.

Was there ever any discussion about making any of those into fragrances?

Yes, some did become fragrances. Eau de Magnolia came from Jurassic Flower. Jurassic Flower was such a success in the stores that the idea came naturally. But one thing is to have the smell of a flower, and another thing is to make a perfume that people can put on skin, that wears well, that has a beginning and an end and a beautiful sensual feeling. It’s one or two years of work before it becomes a real fragrance.

Another example was the candle calleafé Society. That started as a very sensual accord that I had made with patchouli and lavender. It was in my drawer and I had not shown it to people, but I showed it to Frédéric, and we made a candle out of it. A few years later, Frédéric suggested we go back and make it into a fragrance. That became Music for A While. In order to be a fragrance, it needed to be softened and surrounded by notes to make it prettier and sweeter, all those little things that you need to do to make a note that has a lot of character into something that people can wear more easily.

What do you think that Frédéric has done for perfumers and for the way that people perceive perfume?

The most important one is putting the name of the perfumer on the bottle because, previously, perfumers were ignored. They didn’t exist, basically. They were like ghost writers. What existed was the brand or the designer, but who were the creators? Nobody knew.

Frédéric broke the rules and started putting the name on the bottle and all of a sudden, the perfumer was celebrated. They were recognized, they had faces. The press fell in love with them. Everybody wanted to know who they were. And for the perfumer, that has been like a liberation. What Frédéric did was revolutionary and a big gift to the perfumers.

The second thing that he did that was very important was to bring back perfumery to the level of quality it had 50 years ago. He said, “You can create without any price constraint,” meaning use whatever ingredients you want. You could use sandalwood from India, you could use the best roses from Turkey or Morocco, anything. The main thing is that you be creative. That approach puts the perfumer front and center because the perfumer becomes very responsible. If your name is there, it’s your creativity that is at stake and your reputation. That was smart. And for the perfumers and the industry, it was a great advance.

You and Frédéric are aligned in your belief that ingredients shouldn’t be the main way that fragrances are presented. Can you explain?

The ingredient story was something people thought would impress the consumer. Somebody came up with the idea, “Oh, you have to give three top notes, three middle notes, three back notes,” but that’s not what a fragrance is. A fragrance is the intention of the perfumer. As with any art. What did the artist want to accomplish? Whether he used blue or yellow or green, it’s fine, but that’s not the point. The point is, what emotion did you want to get out of it? Is there any special theme that you have for your composition? Could be one thing, could be three things. It doesn’t need to be an ingredient. It could be the smell of autumn, and that’s it. I don’t need to tell you that I used the smell of a burned leaf. To me, that’s irrelevant.  The ingredients by themselves don’t paint the picture, the artist does. 

Oct

THE DYNAMIC DUO: MATTHEW HERMAN & DAVID KIEN

THE DYNAMIC DUO: MATTHEW HERMAN & DAVID KIEN David Kien, Matthew Herman
Scents and Sensibility

THE DYNAMIC DUO: MATTHEW HERMAN & DAVID KIEN

THE DYNAMIC DUO: MATTHEW HERMAN & DAVID KIEN David Kien, Matthew Herman

October 2020

How do you create a super-cool, millennial-friendly candle? In the case of Matthew Herman and David Kien of Boy Smells, it was simply by following their noses. The business and life partners were disillusioned with the way they saw scents being gendered, and—through kitchen-sink experimentation, hard work, and laser-focus vision—they set out to build a company that would appeal to, and embrace, everyone. With colorful vessels that pop on Instagram, out-of-the-box aromas such as Rhubarb Smoke and Cashmere Kush, and a witty, engaging approach to social media, Boy Smells quickly made good on that initial premise, and, since 2016, the brand has grown exponentially, embarking on high-profile celebrity collaborations and even introducing an “Unmentionables” underwear line (with more exciting news to be revealed in the coming weeks). As the brand meets another goal post in joining the Fragrance Foundation, Herman discusses the secrets to Boy Smells’ success.

What was the original spark, for you and David, behind Boy Smells?

David, my real-life and business partner, and I created Boy Smells in 2016 as an experiment in our home in Los Angeles. At that time, we were both drawn to fragrances that were more traditionally labelled as feminine, and also noticed that many of our girlfriends were drawn to more masculine notes. So we wanted to approach scent in a way that broke the traditional gender norms. As we moved in this direction, the “genderless” caption to beauty and wellness products didn’t resonate with us in the way we saw ourselves. Coming from previous careers in the fashion industry and also engaged in LGBTQ+ activism, we were seeing trends across industries move in the gender defying direction, but felt that there could be a better way the fashion and beauty industries should approach it. In 2016, we ditched our day jobs in pursuit of our passion: Boy Smells, a company that speaks directly to expanding gender identity in fragrance, adopting the term GENDERFUL. Genderful is a celebration of all different ways people identify gender identity and expression, recognizing that neither is static. 

What was the idea behind the name and how is that reflected in how you wanted to position yourselves and your messaging?

The name Boy Smells came to us as the perfect juxtaposition to our signature pink packaging, purposefully poking fun at gendering. It teases that what you’d find inside will defy norms and challenge the usual binary trenches often associated with scent.  

As gateways to gender expanding olfactive moments, we blend the traditionally “masculine” and “feminine” to capture the complexities that come with modern identity. The implication is to harness your power from wherever you find it. Something as simple as a candle has the potential to reflect the quickly evolving and a drastic reimagining of identity that is underway in society; and we saw an opportunity to contribute to the social discourse around gender by creating Boy Smells. 

How did you first go about getting the candles into the marketplace?

We showed the collection to our families, real and chosen, and sent samples to our friends in the fashion industry. In our first year we were in some of the best directional boutiques. From there it happened quite organically.

Your social media is how many of us found (and fell in love with) Boy Smells. How would you describe the aesthetic? What was on your mood board when you envisioned it?  

The success of our brand on social media was a complete surprise to us, and not something we master-minded. I hope, though, that it speaks to the spirit of our brand: fun, provocative, and progressive; something that resonates with today’s consumers.

While our pink label became more iconic than we could have ever imagined, we love seeing it in homes all over the world, dressing vanities, coffee tables, bedside tables, what have you. It’s always a thrill to see our customers posting about us on their social channels, just as they’d post an outfit, beauty routine, or a new piece of furniture.

What has social media, and the connection it fosters, brought to the brand?

It has helped us connect and build community. And, we now view it as an essential part of the brand. Social media has been hugely impactful in communicating our purpose-driven messaging, and we love that our brand can stand for more than just expecting a good fragrance. It is an intimate relationship we get to develop with our customers.

What was the process in creating the early fragrances?

Our very first scent, Kush, a cannabis-inspired scent, continues to be our #1 selling candle. Its long-term success took us from indie newcomers to an established brand with a known hit product.  We mixed all of our original fragrances at home and have since reworked them to be clean formulations with more refined olfactive balance.

How do you go about working with perfumers?

We work with fragrance houses Robertet and Firmenich, and each relationship is unique. We usually start with a brief. I like to use visual briefs of photography, graphic design, architecture, furniture, sculpture, wherever conveys the emotion we want the scent to occupy. We also start with a laundry list of fragrance notes we’d like to explore. I like to think of it as a conversation and collaboration.

What do collaborations – such as Slow Burn – mean to the brand?

We have been so excited to introduce two noteworthy collaborations thus far in 2020, the first of which being with Kacey Musgraves. Upon its debut in early February, the spiced and smokey Slow Burn candle sold out in less than 24 hours and generated an eager waitlist of over 15,000 people. The Slow Burn candle was the first ever musical artist collaboration for the Boy Smells brand as well as Kacey’s first major brand collaboration, bringing her creativity and great tastes to the complex world of fragrance. Our launch event at PUBLIC in NYC created a huge media moment that opened us up to an entirely new audience and the collaboration has sold out multiple times since. 

Another keystone moment was the launch of the PRIDE Collection this June, benefitting The Trevor Project. We partnered with 6 unique luminaries to ignite a campaign spanning diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, and industries who are breaking down boundaries towards universal acceptance for the LGBT community.  Each of the six ambassadors––including fashion model Richie Shazam, R&B rising star Rileyy Lanez, drag superstar Naomi Smalls, dancer Harper Watters, musical artist VINCINT and actor & musician Alex Newell, –– embodied their own hyper-hued candle from the limited collection to open the conversation about embracing one’s full spectrum identity. 

Why did you decide to also introduce underwear?

We view candles and underwear as objects you intimately relate to, integral to one’s personal care routine and identity. The objects we hold closest to us, candles, fragrance, underwear, should reflect our most authentic selves, before we put on our uniforms for the roles we play in the world. We always knew our next step after candles would be underwear, due to the fact that it’s perhaps the most gendered item out there. The way we label our underwear allows for the purchaser to decide how they relate to the product, we don’t dictate that. It’s effortless and uncomplicated, no shame in our Unmentionables collection. Everyone participates in their own way.

With underwear, perhaps more than any other category, binary ideas of gender are used in marketing to consumers  In our newly relaunched Unmentionables collection, each style and color is available with either a “Pouch Front” or “Flat Front,” shifting the conversation away from gender labels to the right fit and end usage for the customer. No matter how you define yourself, Unmentionables is here to support your comfort and confidence. 

What challenges have you faced as an independent brand?

At the onset of the pandemic as stores began to close, we found ourselves with close to 100% off our wholesale orders canceled. On top of that, our supply chain quickly came to a screeching halt with components coming from both Northern Italy and China. The early success we had experienced since the start of the year, along with our Q2 sales projections, seemed like they would no longer be a reality. We knew it was time to go back to basics and connect with our customer through a DTC-focused model. 

We have an amazing team, and we all learned how to pivot quickly and adapt our sales model to fit the current economic landscape. DTC took off significantly, hovering at about 1200% above last year!

What does it mean to you to officially join the fragrance community with the Fragrance Foundation? 

We couldn’t be more excited to become a part of this community. Despite not starting our careers in the fragrance industry, we have been so welcomed by all of our partners and TFF.

What is your vision for the future of Boy Smells? 

As we grow, we will continue to activate this conversation around identity expression with everyday products used to reaffirm and feel good. Our goal is to turn all of our daily routines into rituals of self-realization. There are exciting plans in the works for new product categories, with scents that go beyond anything we’ve ever done before.

@boy__smells

Sep

INSIDE THE INSPIRATION: JEAN-CLAUDE ELLENA, CATHERINE SELIG & CHRISTIAN ASTUGUEVIEILLE

Scents and Sensibility

INSIDE THE INSPIRATION: JEAN-CLAUDE ELLENA, CATHERINE SELIG & CHRISTIAN ASTUGUEVIEILLE

September 2020

Perfume Extraordinaire of the Year – Finalists

For the keen eye (and especially the talented nose), inspiration is all around us. But what elements spark the creation of a true Perfume Extraordinaire? The 2020 Fragrance Awards Finalists—and Winner—in this category are all perfumes that excel at bringing to life the unique vision and inspiration of their inventors. And they could not be more different—these singular scents originated from ideas summoned by the smell of freshly cut grass (Copper eau de Parfum by Comme des Garçons, by perfumer Aliénor Massenet), a rose (Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Rose & Cuir, by Jean-Claude Ellena), a family legacy (A.N. Other F/W 2020, by Catherine Selig), and a mysterious sea creature (the winning scent—Zoologist Squid, by Celine Barel). Here, the perfumers and creators provide a glimpse into the compelling backstories behind these olfactive masterpieces.

Jean-Claude Ellena

Rose & Cuir, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

What was the initial spark behind Rose & Cuir?

A new idea of writing roses. 

How did the collaboration process with Frédéric Malle shape the finished fragrance along the way?

In complicity, friendship and mutual respect. 

How does Rose & Cuir express your style as a perfumer?

Elegant juxtapositions. Elegant interplays.

What are some of the elements that make this fragrance so unique?

New interactions between raw materials. 

What did you want to achieve with Rose & Cuir that you had not yet accomplished in your career?

Let the story go on until my last summer.

Catherine Selig, Takasago

WF / 2020, A.N Other

What was the family backstory behind this A.N OTHER fragrance?

The creative journey of the fragrance WF / 2020 from A.N OTHER started in the 19th century.  My great grandfather Meinrad Hilfiger Maitre Gantier Perfumer created a signature patchouli fragrance formula.  His secret formula manuscript was handed to me by my father when I was a child and I gave this elegant 19th century formula a new life when I redeveloped it with exclusive quality ingredients, a modern twist, and a new vision.

What were some of your considerations while formulating it?

I was inspired by thoughts of timelessness, elegance, and the uniqueness of an unforgettable trail. I purposefully chose only the best quality ingredients such as Italian Bergamot, French rose, Ambrette Absolute and Patchouli Coeur, the purest exclusive quality of Patchouli from Takasago, to create its unique and unforgettable trail.

How does the fragrance express your style as a perfumer, as well as your lineage?

The creation of this fragrance came to me naturally, all the ingredients combined beautifully with each other in harmony allowing each of them to radiantly diffuse. Within its first trials, this fragrance already displayed its unique characteristics and personality. 

My creative signature in every fragrance I create is a combination of  radiance and luminosity which resonates with the soul. The foundation of this fragrance is based on my family legacy of creating fragrances with pure lines, beautiful ingredients, luxurious simplicity with a mystical travel through time.    

What effect did you want the finished perfume to achieve for the wearer?

I wanted this scent to be the essential olfactive finishing touch that radiates self-confidence and inner strength of those who wear it.

This fragrance, like the Kelly bag from Hermes, will dress its wearer up to the effortless style of timeless elegance.

What does being a finalist for Perfume Extraordinaire of the Year mean to you?

Being a finalist for Perfume Extraordinaire is indeed a great honor for me.  It acknowledges the timeless craftsmanship of my fragrance creation and gives me the opportunity to tell the story behind that fragrance creation to those who wear and appreciate fragrances.

Christian Astuguevieille, Creative Director

Copper Eau de Parfum, Comme des Garçons

Christian Astuguevieille, the creative director for Comme des Garçons’ fragrances, worked with perfumer Aliénor Massenet to conceive Copper Eau de Parfum.

What was the initial inspiration behind Copper Eau de Parfum?

 The initial inspiration behind Copper was the green scent of fresh cut grass.

Were there challenges in conveying the idea of a material such as copper through scent?

We tried to work on the specific Galbanum green and metallic amber.

How does the composition express the brand?

We expressed the brand’s universe through the choice of high quality raw materials, from galbanum, blackcurrant buds, myrrh and metallic amber. This green is like no other, and originality is what we aim for in our olfactory writing. 

What effect did you want the finished perfume to achieve for the wearer?

I would like the wearer to have the wonderful sensation of wearing a true green. The mythical notion of green in perfumery.

What makes you most proud of this scent?

 I am very proud of the green we created. Green represents audacity. We stand behind legendary greens but today it is not very common anymore, and that is what’s so exciting.

Aug

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST: FRANCISCO COSTA

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST: FRANCISCO COSTA
Scents and Sensibility

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST: FRANCISCO COSTA

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST: FRANCISCO COSTA

August, 2020

Brazilian designer Francisco Costa has long been a force in fashion, having garnered accolades as creative director for Calvin Klein Womenswear for more than a decade. His newest project, however, is supremely personal: In 2019, he introduced Costa Brazil, a line of home fragrance and luxurious face and body oils using indigenous ingredients from the Amazonian rainforest. Costa Brazil is mindfully intentional and committed to proper stewardship of the environment—the ingredients are responsibly sourced, the packaging is recyclable, and the brand’s partnership with the non-profit Conservation International ensures sustainability. The products have drawn raves across the board, but it is their unique fragrance profile that has made them most recognizable and unforgettable. With Resina de Breu, a resin used by Amazonian tribes, Costa has introduced a novel experience to the home fragrance market. Once lit, the resin fills the surrounding space with an intoxicating aroma of soil, leaves, and wood—fulfilling Costa’s mission to remind us how interconnected we are to the earth. Here, Costa shares his inspiration with Accords

What has been your relationship with fragrance throughout your life?

Fragrance is everything, fragrance has the power to transport you. I remember taking walks in my childhood in the countryside near my town, the olfactive memory of my childhood is vivid. I also remember my sister’s lavender scent, an alfazema fragrant water she would put on after a shower.

How did you first encounter Breu, and what sparked the idea to introduce it as a home scent?

I discovered Breu during my time with the Yawanawa tribe in the region of Acre in Brazil. I noticed this incredible scent, I thought it was wood, but saw they were tossing Breu into the fire. It’s a wonderful home scent because of its healing and balancing properties; it stabilizes the ambiance in any space, and it is said to open up the 6th chakra.

Why was sustainability so crucial for you, and what have been the challenges and rewards of assuring environmental responsibility?

Beauty is inseparable from the health of the earth. This isn’t something we should be praised about, it’s something we need to consider every step of the way as our new normal. 

What feedback about Costa Brazil has made you happiest?

When people tell me they instantly recognize Costa Brazil through scent, without seeing it. 

As a newcomer to the US fragrance community, what would you say is the biggest difference between the fragrance world and the fashion world?

When fragrance walks into the room, it’s the last one to leave. There is more longevity. 

Jul

HAUTE PURSUIT: SHALINI KUMAR

HAUTE PURSUIT: SHALINI KUMAR
Scents and Sensibility

HAUTE PURSUIT: SHALINI KUMAR

HAUTE PURSUIT: SHALINI KUMAR

July, 2020

When Bombay-born fashion designer Shalini Kumar launched her fragrance collection in 2004, she did not hold back. Her goal, she says, was “to create opulent perfumes composed of the rarest, purest ingredients,” and the first scent out of the gate, Shalini, was a tour de force white floral composed by esteemed nose Maurice Roucel, who has since created a wardrobe of sumptuous showstoppers for the brand. With a background in architecture as well as couture, Shalini brings an attention to detail and eye for luxury to every Shalini Parfum, each of which is available for collectors in limited-edition Lalique bottles that are themselves works of art. Here, she shares her journey and inspirations with Accords.

What inspired you to start your fragrance brand?

I believe I was destined to create a collection of pure parfums. My first scent memory was as a baby being massaged in essential oils by my mother. There were different oils ranging from classic florals — rose and jasmine — to others like sandalwood, olive and ylang ylang. That’s when my love for fragrance was born.

I started my career at Valentino where I developed an appreciation for couture and the history of design, luxury, and longevity. Subsequently, I launched my own Haute Couture collection, Shalini Couture, focused on womenswear and a limited collection of jewelry. Shalini Parfum was conceived as a heritage brand built on the principles of classical French perfumery. I wanted it to be the ‘essence of luxury,’ and the fragrances to be modern masterpieces. Our fragrances are of the pure parfum concentration so the wearer can feel the quality of the natural essences. Each bottle is hand-poured and presented in beautiful black boxes handwritten with gold ink and tied with our signature Shalini yellow ribbon.

Historically, perfumes were not used merely for beauty, but for healing and prayer—the spiritual element. My vision for Shalini Parfum is returning to the healing properties at the root of perfume.  

How did you find and begin to work with perfumer Maurice Roucel?

I met Maurice through a friend and we instantly connected. He visited my atelier a few days later to see the couture collection and we had a very long lunch. Tuberose is my favorite flower and I lamented to Maurice that it was difficult to find a parfum composed of the pure tuberose absolute, often referred to as liquid gold. His response was “Let’s create one.” This was the beginning of Shalini Parfum.

I wanted to create the most exquisite tuberose and neroli fragrance. As a child I would sneak into the garden at night so I could inhale tuberoses by the moonlight. My first memory of neroli was arriving in Seville in the evening hours and the entire city was filled with clementine trees in full bloom. The smell of the orange blossoms was mesmerizing. So my Shalini parfum was originally created for my skin and we offered it to our special couture clients.

Maurice is a pleasure to work with. We connected instantly in creating something of lasting beauty. He captures what I am yearning for. It is a joyful experience. He has the soul of an artist and is very present and connected.

What challenges did you face getting established?

My journey with fragrance was rather miraculous. I didn’t experience many of the challenges faced by most brands. I desired to launch Shalini Parfum at the prestigious Bergdorf Goodman, and Pat Saxby, VP Divisional Merchandise Manager of cosmetics and fragrances at Bergdorf fell in love with Shalini immediately and decided to launch it. Pat is the Godmother of the brand. She recognized the uniqueness of my Parfums and has always believed in them. Harrods Salon de Parfums has also been extremely supportive. They have an exquisite display of our parfums and have dedicated their most coveted wall to them.

I do face some challenges in launching in the Middle East and Russia. We have many clients in both these areas and they would like us to launch the parfums there. However, the logistics and registration processes are rather complicated. 

Your Lalique flacons are so special. How did you begin to incorporate them into the world of Shalini?

For Shalini, I envisioned a bottle that would convey the exquisite beauty and the lightness of flight of the fragrance. I found the beautiful Lalique crystal flacon “Le Coquillage” in Paris. The design reminiscent of a butterfly wing echoes the preciousness of the fragrance.

It is an honor to be able to present our opulent pure parfums “Grand Cru” in the exquisite creations of Rene Lalique. Each parfum has its own Lalique flacon which reflects the inspiration of the parfum. The sense of the visual is extremely important to me and the Lalique flacon allows the wearer to engage both sight and smell. To hold the falcon in your hand as you apply the parfum on your skin is magical.

What do you love most about fragrance?

Fragrance transcends country, gender, culture, religion and season. Like music, it is an art form that is very inclusive. I compose my fragrances like poems that leave something to the imagination of the wearer to interpret based on their own memories and experience. My fragrances are inspired by moments and memories of my life—my magical childhood, my first love, endless days of summer by the Mediterranean, arriving in Seville in the evening hours, driving under the night sky of Dubai, fields of blue lavender in Provence…and the sense of the ethereal. 

The passion I bring is very deep. It is an offering of the self, at the soul level to the wearer. The wearer experiences that passion. Fragrance is what a person wears closest to their skin. It enters the body through the pores and affects the soul in the most subtle way.  Selecting a fragrance is a very personal commitment so our fragrances need to appeal to a deeper sense of self.

 What are your goals for the future?

We are planning to launch our new parfum, Iris Lumiere in Autumn. Harrods has an exclusive pre-launch in August, and we have a worldwide launch in September. There will be a sixth parfum of the series with Maurice Roucel planned for Autumn 2021.

We have a loyal following all over the world including Royal families on two continents. Our brand has been built through word-of-mouth by those who understand “the essence of luxury” that we stand for.  We are looking for an umbrella company which would understand the luxury and purity of our parfums and bring in the infrastructure to develop the brand worldwide.

How has being a part of The Fragrance Foundation benefitted your business?

Linda is a wonderful friend and mentor for me and I have immense gratitude for all the support of The Fragrance Foundation. It is a great community to be part of. There is also an immense learning opportunity in connecting with the foundation members at events.

Amorem Rose was a finalist for The Fragrance Foundation awards which brings visibility and honor to our brand, and Paradis Provence was also nominated for an award which was a great honor. The Fragrance Foundation is also very supportive in including our brand on Instagram and other media. This brings further visibility and is wonderful.

What can you teach other independent brands from your experience?

I always say find something you believe in and pour your heart into it. Trust that your heart and creativity will take you in the right direction. Don’t follow any trends, just your inner vision. I believe it is very important to be authentic in your creation as well as your message.

As a child, my grandfather took me to the races where he showed me that the thoroughbred horses wear blinders when they race so they are not distracted by others. He told me that to be a success in life you need to think like a thoroughbred and focus only on your vision and not what others are doing. To this day, I follow that advice.

Persistence and patience are extremely important virtues in any endeavor. I remind myself of this every day. I also feel it is very important to connect with your clients, spend time with them and laugh with them. I understood that during my time in haute couture where my personal relationships with our clients was very important.

How can you contribute to The Fragrance Foundation’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusion? 

As a woman, creator and artist I have lived and traveled in many parts of the world. This shifts your awareness and everything you create encompasses your view of the world.

Our parfums are inspired by different places, and bring not only the essences of those places but also their culture and art, their very soul. Diversity begins with compassion and understanding of another culture, religion, food, music and art.  Once you raise your soul consciousness, diversity, equity and inclusion become a natural state of being. You transcend these definitions.

Jun

THE FASHION DESIGNER TAKING A STAND AGAINST HATE: JASON WU

THE FASHION DESIGNER TAKING A STAND AGAINST HATE: JASON WU
Scents and Sensibility

THE FASHION DESIGNER TAKING A STAND AGAINST HATE: JASON WU

THE FASHION DESIGNER TAKING A STAND AGAINST HATE: JASON WU

Jason Wu, lest he need any introduction, is one of the world’s leading fashion designers and lifestyle creatives—and the very scent-attuned, super-involved creator behind the beloved Jason Wu fragrance and its nighttime sister Velvet Rouge. Just as he has always broken down barriers with his democratic fashion vision, Wu has also been actively working to give voice to the marginalized, striving for progress and acceptance for all in his role on the Board of Directors of the GMHC [Gay Men’s Health Crisis] organization. Most recently, he aligned with the creative agency Collective Shift to design a face mask for Distance Yourself from Hate, a campaign that features social media PSAs from an array of voices from the arts, fashion, and entertainment worlds (think everyone from Rosie Perez to Diane Kruger to Latrice Royale) calling for an end to prejudice and discrimination. All proceeds help GMHC provide assistance to people in need throughout New York City. As he joins the Fragrance Foundation’s initiative for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Wu shares his thoughts on how the fragrance and fashion industries can be powerful players in communicating messages of love and solidarity that will make the world better for all.

How did you originally get involved with GMHC?

I’ve been on the board for about five years. I was originally on the board of ACRIA [AIDS Community Research Initiative of America], which merged with the GMHC, a much larger HIV/AIDS organization. I’ve been working with them at their center on 38th street and in many other capacities. We do the AIDS walk every year, and we do the Latex Ball, where thousands of voguers come to compete. These kids are just incredible, and it’s a great way for our community, which is very diverse, to come together and share their creativity. This year I took on more of a developmental role, to come up with ideas and see how we as a service can be even more inclusive.

What was the genesis of the Distance Yourself from Hate project, and why was it so important to expand the message to all kinds of discrimination?

With everything that started happening with the pandemic in March, we sought out a collaboration with my friend Jae Choi at the Collective Shift creative agency, and came up with the program for Distance Yourself from Hate. It started because it became very apparent that face masks would become important to our daily lives in the coming months, and we wanted, first of all, to address the issue that there was a lot of anger and discrimination against the Asian community at the beginning of the virus. Being Chinese myself, I felt singled out, just walking down the street. Jae is Korean American, so he felt the same way. We talked to the GMHC board, which is amazing, and together we thought, how can we expand our services? The GMHC came from the LGBHQ community in the 80s when gay men and women were targeted because of HIV/AIDS. So we’ve seen it before. And now we have technology to spread our message so much more quickly. But the work is not finished. That’s why today in addition to covering the LGBTQ community, we’ve expanded to work with other organizations to provide them with protective masks and food.

Fabien Baron graciously designed the logo. I know everyone in the fragrance world knows his name very well. He’s been a close friend for many years, so I looked no further than asking Fabien to design a logo that’s really beautifully executed and also powerful in its messaging. Then we created videos for social media that involve a hugely diverse group of people from actors to volunteers to people in fashion. It was very important to show our diversity, because in New York City you have such a diverse environment, but that’s not necessarily the case everywhere else. We wanted people who don’t live in big cities to hear from voices they might not hear from so often.

What is some of the most crucial work that you think needs to be done to overcome discrimination, and spread the message of finding real strength in solidarity?

Since we started this in March a lot of things that have happened in our country that have revealed that we have a lot more work to do as a society and as a country in terms of systemic racism and bigotry. As one marginalized community to another, we understand how that feels. We want to be spearheading the idea of leading with a voice of love not hate.

I think a lot of us in creative fields are particularly open minded because we have to open ourselves up to so many cultures and experiences in order to stay creative. We are often lucky enough to be able to travel the world, whether it’s sourcing materials for fragrance materials or for fabric, and there are a lot of lessons out there for us to take away. The creative industry is really primed for helping society move forward to be much more inclusive and forgiving, and spread the message of equality.

How can fragrance and fashion specifically help change people’s perspectives and build a more inclusive world?

I think we can actively use our platforms in order to communicate and spread awareness. Everything is connected. We created a mask, rather than a T-shirt or something else, because we wanted to make sure that we were making something that people actually need. I think it’s become painfully clear how overly consumeristic we are as a culture – and I know that’s weird coming from a fashion designer – but I think we have to slow down our consumption. It was important to create something functional, quality, reusable, and sustainable.

What do you hope to accomplish through your involvement with the Fragrance Foundation’s initiative for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

I think it will really open up the conversation. Every time I go to the Fragrance Awards, I’m always in awe about how international it is. This is more than a national movement, and we’re so solidly connected to the world through the Fragrance Foundation itself, more so than any other industry. I think the Fragrance Foundation can be a key player in helping us to unite and bring our voices together as creatives globally. When you go to the Fragrance Foundation Awards, it’s like the Super Bowl for fragrance. Everyone from the amazing Frederic Malle to the best perfumers in the world are there. And I think that’s something that’s so powerful, how one organization can unite different races and cultures and people from all walks of life who come together in the interest of creating beautiful fragrances.

And these people have all traveled the world. Having been in the fragrance game myself for about three years, I’ve learned so much about ingredients and where they come from, such as my favorite jasmine sambac, which we source from India. These amazing materials connect us, and we can use that connection to spread the word of love.

May

HOME FRONT: TFF BOARD MEMBERS ON THE SILVER LININGS OF WFH

HOME FRONT: TFF BOARD MEMBERS ON THE SILVER LININGS OF WFH The Fragrance Foundation Board of Directors Meeting – January 2020
Scents and Sensibility

HOME FRONT: TFF BOARD MEMBERS ON THE SILVER LININGS OF WFH

HOME FRONT: TFF BOARD MEMBERS ON THE SILVER LININGS OF WFH The Fragrance Foundation Board of Directors Meeting – January 2020

Like everyone, Fragrance Foundation board members have been adjusting to working from home, and finding new ways to spend their free time while social distancing. Here, Accords asks them to reflect on the silver linings—from having more family time to learning to cook—that they have discovered in their time away from the office.  

Marc Blaison, EVP, Cosmo International Fragrances

In what ways have you benefited from staying home and slowing down? 

We were lucky in the sense that our offices and factory remained open. And living in Florida, you don’t feel the same “lockdown” effect: space, garden, weather … Other benefits were: having our 2 girls back home from college, so definitely family time, some cooking (could share some recipes), gardening, reading, and relaxing! 

Penny Coy, Vice President Merchandising, Fragrance and Prestige Skincare, Ulta Beauty

What shows are you currently binging?   

Tik Tok has taken over TV for me and my family!  OMG before you realize, a half hour, hour goes by.  And we are seeing sales climb unexpectedly because a product showed up organically on this channel. 

Diane Crecca, SVP, Arcade Beauty

What shows are you currently binging?

Ozark—THE BEST SHOW.  The writing was pure genius, it’s the on-the-edge-of your-seat stuff you cannot turn off.

In what ways have you benefited from staying home and slowing down?

My cooking has gone from practically inedible, to “not bad”. I even understand a few of the cooking shows, which I used to put in the same category as watching golf on TV. Good background noise for nap time!

What have you discovered about yourself that you didn’t know pre-quarantine?

I have discovered that I like to talk back to the TV. It’s great therapy and gives me satisfaction – so there!

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time?

One ritual I enjoy is watering my plants—I was known as the Grim Reaper of the plant word a year ago. I actually felt sorry for the plants I bought because they were headed for a slow torturous end. Now I can actually keep them alive and thriving!

Describe your ideal first day post-quarantine.

I am having a backyard barbeque—even if people have to wear snow boots. Nothing hits the spot like a grilled hot dog!

Maria Dempsey, CEO, Nest Fragrances

What shows are you currently binging?

Loving Nashville (we have watched over 60 episodes!), Normal People, Billions

In what ways have you benefited from staying home and slowing down?

I have been able to be more creative, to take time for myself and my family, to get back into cooking. I feel like I have a lot more time and am much more productive with my time.

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time?

I need to exercise and meditate every day in order to stay sane! 

Describe your ideal first day post-quarantine.

Meet up with friends, eat at a restaurant and ride the bus in NYC!

 Pierre Desaulles, CEO, Interparfums

What shows are you currently binging?

Money Heist on Netflix. Robbing a bank while being the good guy and being incredibly smart… Who does not want that? I watch only in Spanish—subtitles allowed—to get the savory and witty smell of Spain.

Also Versailles on Netflix. When history fascinates with romance, intrigues and spirits!

In what ways have you benefited from staying home and slowing down?

Unfortunately I did not slow down at all, quite the opposite. However I could share meals with my family and spend some quality time with them (even if it is sad to need this to make this statement).

What have you discovered about yourself that you didn’t know pre-quarantine?

That I play UNO well and I can actually handle multitasking.

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time?

Being down to earth and just opening my eyes to see how lucky I am. That is worth all the mental support in the world.

Describe your ideal first day post-quarantine.

I would love to do a Flashmob with my team in the office to Elton John’s I’m Still Standing! And then go back to my office routine that I love!

Nata Dvir, SVP/ General Business Manager at Macy’s – Beauty & Center Core

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time?

I try to schedule my day to allow for a run in the park in the morning or a virtual pilates class. I love that I now can build in a little me time during the day and be just as efficient. I find it helps me focus for the rest of the day.

I also try and shut down my computer and put it away and make a complicated dinner. I have cooked every meal for the last 8 weeks! It allows me to keep my hands occupied and away from the email.

Julien Gommichon, President Americas, Diptyque & BYREDO

What shows are you currently binging? 

Hollywood, Explained

What have you discovered about yourself that you didn’t know pre-quarantine?

Better control of stress and pressure, re prioritizing what is essential/less essential in life.

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time?

Bike riding out of home; playing games with kids in the evening (vs video and tablets).

Describe your ideal first day post-quarantine.

Reconnect with friends, colleagues and go to a French bistro!

Mark Knitowski, VP Product Innovation, Victoria’s Secret

In what ways have you benefited from staying home and slowing down?

Spending more time with my family, especially with my daughter, Sedona. We take hour-long evening walks each night, which has been great to hear her thoughts and ideas about so many things, fashion, beauty, influencers, apps, digital. Exercising, walking/running 5 miles a day.

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time? 

Playing guitar, writing songs,

Julianne Pruett, VP Fine Fragrance Sales, Symrise

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time? 

I am not sure what I would do without my daily running!  It has always been my “religion”, but even more so now, to clear my mind, take in nature, and feel physically and mentally FREE!

Jerry Vittoria, President Fine Fragrance Worldwide, Firmenich

What shows are you currently binging?

Handmaid’s Tale, just finished Ozark.

In what ways have you benefited from staying home and slowing down?

Wish I had slowed down! But not travelling has allowed me to spend more time with the family and have more actual dinners together!

What have you discovered about yourself that you didn’t know pre-quarantine?

I need reading glasses! Staring at the screen all day did that .I also enjoy snacking way too much. 

What routines or rituals keep you grounded and sane during this time?

Sleeping better due to less jet lag, eating healthier and more time to work out.

Describe your ideal first day post-quarantine.

In Paris, we had it…..I went to the office and air hugged several colleagues! I had missed them!

Apr

MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER: LINDA G. LEVY

MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER: LINDA G. LEVY Photo by: Michael Avedon
Scents and Sensibility

MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER: LINDA G. LEVY

MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER: LINDA G. LEVY Photo by: Michael Avedon

As this challenging time continues, we at The Fragrance Foundation are focused on what we can do for our community as a team, and as individuals. Our collaboration for many months with the extraordinary artist and designer Rebecca Moses resulted in a magnificent campaign, focused on 7 ingredient ladies for Fragrance Day on March 21. For TFF and all of us in March, we took a sharp turn away from our big dreams and immediately created an alternative “Plan B.”  Fragrance Day will be back next year when we can all celebrate together around the globe.

As for Rebecca Moses, she has once again put her heart, soul, and extraordinary creativity into a new and unexpected creation. Rebecca has authored all on her own in her studio home, a social media campaign filled with exceptional beauty and content named “The Stay Home Girls.” The self-written stories of girls staying home around the globe are being sent to Rebecca directly and the results are phenomenal. Each girl’s portrait by Rebecca captures their essence in their homes. Please visit @rebeccamosesofficial and join this movement. I am honored and proud to be included [View Illustration Here], as well as these girls on our TFF team, Alissar, Sharne, April Long, our editor and TFF member Shalini, so far.

We are also proud that so many in our fragrance world and related industries are contributing aid and support in so many ways: production of sanitizers, masks, hospital equipment, medical supplies, food and financial donations on a global and local basis. There is a tremendous amount being done and even more to do, so to recognize and applaud all of these tremendous efforts, we have created #TFFCommunityDoingGood in our social media with ongoing communication of these valiant efforts.

We also pivoted our communication to focus our TFF social media on the benefits of fragrance as we work from home and stay home. Much of the population considered home fragrance and personal fragrances a pure luxury, and at times it may be. However, now we find our family, friends and even ourselves wanting to enjoy every moment at home with our sense of smell a source of comfort and enjoyment. Follow us @fragrancefoundation.

As stores are closed, most launches and planned events are postponed, or converted into virtual experiences, our industry is recalibrating the business. We need to reinvent all we do and take advantage of this time to think creatively how to re-enter the world which will have a new “normal.” Flexibility, agility and strategic decision making have reached a new level for all in our new daily routines. Our consideration and sensitivity to this global health crisis for all must be in the balance too.

Together we must join forces and use our resources to plan how we will engage the newly defined consumer. The time we have now is like no other time before, so education of our teams and spreading positivity daily is key to our current status and our future.

I used to have a saying: “Be comfortable being uncomfortable.” Now I think it best to find the place you can be the most comfortable possible, and be sure that every day you appreciate those in your life and spread positivity. Although we are all challenged, together we will emerge stronger, more resilient and hopefully better than we were before.

Feb

RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: LEONARD A. LAUDER

RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: LEONARD A. LAUDER
Scents and Sensibility

RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: LEONARD A. LAUDER

RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: LEONARD A. LAUDER

Always forward-thinking, Leonard A. Lauder is known for the creativity and innovation he brought to The Estée Lauder Companies, implementing successful marketing and sales strategies, and establishing the company’s first R&D laboratories. But perhaps more than anything else, Leonard Lauder emphasized the importance of listening. He went out into the field on now-legendary van trips to visit sales people around the country, and cemented close relationships within the major fragrance houses. In his estimation, no individual was less important than any other, and as a result, he built a brand distinguished by loyalty and goodwill. In the second part of his conversation with Accords, he shares why that approach was so important as Estée Lauder defined the American fragrance landscape.

How would you describe your mother’s approach to fragrance development and working with perfumers?

Firstly, she had her favorite perfumers and she worked with them all the time. She had one person in particular who was her acolyte, Karyn Khoury, and they would work and work together until a fragrance was finished. We also never used consumer studies. Once she liked it and Karyn liked it, that was it. I used to just say to Karyn, is this a good fragrance? If she said yes, we would launch it.

How have your relationships with people like Patrick Firmenich and Nicholas Mirzayantz enhanced the work you’ve done with the fragrance houses?

I have to go way back because the Estée Lauder relationship with IFF’s predecessor was with van Ameringen-Haebler. My mother had a great relationship with Arnold van Ameringen. And we became very, very friendly with the whole family and they gave us their best perfumers to work with. And then later on, as we needed to expand the number of people who are able to do fragrances for us, we started with Firmenich. It was not yet with Patrick Firmenich, it was with his father, Fred-Henri Firmenich. Now we have a great relationship with Patrick. And before Nicholas at IFF, it was a man named Tom Joy. My relationship with Nicholas is fabulous, as is the company’s.

We spend more time working with our suppliers and thanking them for their help than we do with the people we sell to. I remember our first Christmas party, and it was a party for our suppliers. And from that time on, our suppliers were at the heart of what we did and we depended on them. We’re very loyal to them.

You also had a great relationship with your sales force and retailers, going out on now-legendary van trips to make personal connections at stores. How did that make the company what it is today?

We had a great field culture. We depended not on our advertising but on the people behind the counters, our beauty advisors and consultants, to sell our products. I would always make it a point to see them on our trips. We would take van trips and I would say to everyone, you all have a vote. You’re part of a family. When we talk about work, and what’s a good thing or not, you will have a vote. So, we’d all pile into the van and go out and then at four o’clock in the afternoon, we’d have milk and cookies. Then we’d have dinner at night. And on occasion I would have a dinner for the people who are working for us the field, plus their spouses. Because I wanted to thank them for the time their spouses spent working so hard.

My late wife Evelyn was also very deeply involved with everyone. If someone got ill, she was on the phone with them. And I would also take care of them. We love the people who work for us. We love them.

What else made your approach to retailers so successful?

Well, whenever I would meet with a member of the press, my job was not to ask them to support me, my job was to give them something that they could write about that no one could read about elsewhere. My job was to help them be successful. Same thing for the retailer. My job was to make them successful also. They all had businesses to run. I was trying to help them look at us not as a vendor but as a full partner.

Now, as time went on, it became harder because the people who owned the retail companies left. They retired one by one. The companies became professionalized. But I love finding people who love to see things sold, and I love to give them things that they can sell. And I try to make all of them heroes. We would give the launch of something to a particular store, so they could say this is ours alone.

I must say, my greatest gratification was the people who worked with me and for us and the people who I befriended. And I can tell you story after story, after story, of how so-and-so assistant buyer became the CEO of a store. I kept in touch with them throughout the years and they are still my friends. We are friends forever.

What do you think makes a great fragrance launch?

You have to start off with a good product. And there’re some things I don’t want to tell you because if you write about it, I’m telling my competitors. But we made sure that the launch was important. My phrase was ‘launch strong, stay strong’. We didn’t say, let’s try it and see if it works. We just did it and sampled it and sampled it some more. We believed in our fragrances so much. Although we had advertising, the key thing was: how does it smell?

How do you view the difference between a launch of a fragrance versus makeup or skincare?

Launching a fragrance was launching the brand again. Launching makeup or skincare was launching a product. When you’re launching a fragrance, you’re relaunching Estée Lauder.

How have you seen advertising evolve?

My view of advertising was always sell the brand, not the product. Because if you sell the brand, you sell many products. You have the customer’s trust, and they’re coming back and buying more later on. Brand means everything to me.

Dec

DON’T THINK, JUST SMELL: RON WINNEGRAD

DON’T THINK, JUST SMELL: RON WINNEGRAD
Scents and Sensibility

DON’T THINK, JUST SMELL: RON WINNEGRAD

DON’T THINK, JUST SMELL: RON WINNEGRAD

For decades, perfumer and author Ron Winnegrad has been opening people’s minds, lighting up their olfactory bulbs, and firing up their imaginations. As educator and de facto patron saint of IFF, Winnegrad has forged a very unique niche in the fragrance industry, thanks to his ability to help his students—who can be fragrance novices as well as perfume pros—“see” scent with color. After spending time with him, one walks away understanding not just the building blocks of an eau, but also how perfume can so powerfully tell stories, affect emotions, and connect individuals.

Winnegrad, who began his career as a chemist at Unilever before transitioning into fine fragrance, trained under the legendary Jean-Claude Ellena, and in turn mentored Thierry Wasser, who is now in-house perfumer for Guerlain. His resumé as a nose includes such blockbusters as Love’s Baby Soft and Lagerfeld Classic, but he maintains that his work as the director of IFF’s perfumery school has been his crowning glory. Winnegrad is truly someone who improves people’s lives—or at the very least, their days. A visit to his delightful stuffed-bear-filled midtown office is a treat, as is a perusal of his thoughtful blog, perfumewhisperer.net, or a dip into his 2017 book, InsBEARations: Warm and Wise Words of Encouragement, which pairs his whimsical and charming bear illustrations with wise quotations from the likes of Maya Angelou, the Dalai Lama, and Michelle Obama. As he writes in the book’s intro, “Happiness, it seems, is not about having everything you want, but about finding meaning, connection, and fulfillment in all the things you do.”

How have your unique life experiences affected your work?

I went to Syracuse University, where I became very good friends with my native American roommate. He invited me to his reservation, which was about six miles from the school, and I really hit it off with his cousin, who was the chief. He and his wife had two kids, and they kind of took me in. I never went home after that. I stayed there over the summers and I learned their ways, which is what made me who I am now. The native Americans believe in the circle – whatever you get, you give, and it comes back around. I started teaching 20 years ago, and it has been the greatest thing ever. When I was a perfumer, I trained some evaluators and I trained some perfumers, but when I was given the opportunity to come here and teach at IFF, I was so grateful. I get so much joy out of completing the circle.

You teach how to understand scent in a very unique way. How did that come about?

When I started training in 1968, perfume was talked about musically, in terms of notes and accords. But I’m tone deaf—so I couldn’t relate to that. I wanted to relate it to something, so I started thinking about it in terms of color, and the more I did that, the stronger it became for me. At the time, there was no Internet, and I didn’t know the word synesthesia. I didn’t know it existed. But years later, I was able to look it up and I learned so much more about it. And this is how I train: I train people how to smell using color.

How does synesthesia work?

Everybody’s born with synesthesia. But after about a year old, most people lose it. There’s only four or 5 percent of people in the world who have synesthesia as adults. But you can train yourself. And the more you train yourself, the stronger it gets. You actually wake up those neurons that were active your brain when you were born.

What inspired you to start your blog?

I started doing it in about 2015. First I only shared it internally, but I saw people’s reactions and I thought, maybe this could assist others. So now I have 300 and some odd people who have signed up for emails, and a lot of other people just visit the site. Sometimes I talk about fragrance and sometimes I just talk about life. I post every Friday. An early one that meant a lot to people was the Talking Stick. It’s something I teach to everyone, and a lot of people say it’s good for life in general. I learned it from going to meetings with the Native Americans where the chiefs meet. When one chief is talking, he has what’s called the Talking Stick. If someone wants to contradict him or add something when he’s through, they say, ‘Can I have the Talking Stick?’ And before they take it they have to repeat back to him what he said to show that they understand his point of view. Then they can say whatever they want. I teach people here at IFF that when the customer says, ‘I want a rose,’ they shouldn’t just say, ‘oh, they want a botanical garden,’ and walk out. Too many people leave a conversation with an impression, not the real desire. And there’s a difference. It’s important to understand what someone is saying.

What inspires your posts week to week?

Usually something I’ve read or come across. I don’t think I’m intelligent, it’s just that these are things that I find and I think they might interest other people, and I want to share them.

What are some of your sort of early scent memories?

Oh wow. That’s difficult. I guess it would be the first time I went to the South of France. That was really powerful for me. Everything was in bloom. The reservation always had a very strong smell for me, too—mostly of wood.  

Did you always recognize that you had a specially attuned sense of scent?

No, I didn’t. And that’s why I truly believe that it’s a skill. There are two degrees of being good. You can be just good. Or you can be very good, if you practice that skill every day or once a week. That’s why I train people the way I do—first to identify single ingredients, then the mixes. Because it doesn’t matter how many ingredients a fragrance has, there are only going to be 10 to 12 ingredients that give it its DNA. Think of this analogy: when you take a shower, you walk out, you have no clothes on, that’s you. You put on clothes, you’re still you. All the other stuff that’s in a fragrance is just the jewelry, the sweater, the tie. But the personality comes down to the core ingredients. And if you can identify them, you can find the DNA of any fragrance.

It all comes down to practice. Twyla Tharp wrote a great book on creativity and skill and she said that every day after practice Michael Jordan would stay and take basic shots, the type people take when they’re just learning, for about 20 minutes. The point being that no matter how good you are, practice will keep your skills sharp.

What would you say your philosophy of scent is?

To me, every fragrance should have a story. It should take you somewhere. If I give you something to smell and say, “I’m going to make you feel like you’re walking on a beach in Hawaii. And you’re going to see palm trees,” the same sites would light up in your brain that would if you were actually there. When I give you that message, you neural couple with me, and that creates trust. This is what I think the meaning of fragrance is. We’ve gotten so analytical about ingredients, and we have machines to tell us what they are. But what I teach people is that it what matters most is the story.

You’ve written on your blog a lot about trusting your intuition. What does that mean when it comes to understanding scent and creating perfumes?

When you have basic knowledge, it’s in your memory, which means it’s in your limbic system where your intuition is. So if you go with your first gut feeling, then you’re using intuition, which comes from knowledge. But once you smell something and you say, ‘I think it’s rose, but let me double check,’ you put it in your prefrontal cortex which becomes your reasoning. That challenges your intuition—and that’s when you start changing your mind.

When I train people, there are three things I teach. One is to use both nostrils when you smell. The next is to close your eyes, so that you can focus on the smell. The last thing, which takes time, is to use your intuition. When you doubt yourself, you might not try something new, and I believe in pushing boundaries. 

Nov

TREY LAIRD ON POWER PEDAL WITH NEXT FOR AUTISM

TREY LAIRD ON POWER PEDAL WITH NEXT FOR AUTISM
Scents and Sensibility

TREY LAIRD ON POWER PEDAL WITH NEXT FOR AUTISM

TREY LAIRD ON POWER PEDAL WITH NEXT FOR AUTISM

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

What’s the idea behind AARMY?

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

How did it all start?

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

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

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

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

How did you get involved with NEXT for AUTISM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct

LAURA SLATKIN ON NEXT FOR AUTISM

LAURA SLATKIN ON NEXT FOR AUTISM
Scents and Sensibility

LAURA SLATKIN ON NEXT FOR AUTISM

LAURA SLATKIN ON NEXT FOR AUTISM

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

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

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

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

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

How do you define the NEXT for AUTISM mission?

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

What are your ongoing goals?

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

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

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

Sep

THE EDITOR’S EYE: CARLY CARDELLINO VACCARO

THE EDITOR’S EYE: CARLY CARDELLINO VACCARO
Scents and Sensibility

THE EDITOR’S EYE: CARLY CARDELLINO VACCARO

THE EDITOR’S EYE: CARLY CARDELLINO VACCARO

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

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

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

Aug

HIGHER LEARNING: STEPHAN KANLIAN

HIGHER LEARNING: STEPHAN KANLIAN
Scents and Sensibility

HIGHER LEARNING: STEPHAN KANLIAN

HIGHER LEARNING: STEPHAN KANLIAN

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

How did you get started with FIT? 

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

What makes the FIT Master’s Program so unique?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What still surprises you about the fragrance and beauty industry?

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

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

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

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

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

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