May

SPOTLIGHT: NEW MEMBERS

Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: NEW MEMBERS

Joining TFF unlocks a world of opportunities and inspiration for fragrance brands, uniting them with a community of peers and further strengthening TFF’s mission to ensure that everyone has a voice and a seat at the table through #FragranceForwardTFF. Every new member enriches the conversation, enhances the network, and proves the indisputable truth that we are always better together than we are apart. In this issue of ACCORDS, we take a moment to welcome new members and celebrate everything that makes them special. Here, we invite them to share their unique brand perspective, what they hope to bring to TFF, and what they are looking forward to as they enter this exciting new chapter.

What does it mean for your brand to join TFF as a new member and what do you hope it will help you achieve? 

I was so excited to join TFF as a new member—to me, it felt like Nette had really arrived onto the fragrance scene. TFF and its leadership, including the incredible Linda Levy, has such a powerful way of bringing the fragrance community together—brands, perfumers, fragrance houses, executives, retailers, and all. It has been incredible to be given the opportunity to be in the same room with this community and feel that, even amongst brands, it is so much more about collaboration than competition. 

What is your brand’s unique point of view and how does it appeal to consumers’ lifestyles? 

Nette is a clean, scientifically-backed, approachable luxury fragrance brand focused on amplifying well-being and NettePositive™ emotion through scent. We firmly believe that fragrance can change our lives for the better, have a proven effect on our emotions and moods, and deserves to be a recognized art form in and of itself. I think consumers in general want more from their products—for example, they want their makeup to have serious skincare benefits. Fragrance is perfectly positioned to cater to that need by offering emotional benefits along with satisfying the desire to smell amazing. 

TFF’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance and has been driving change in the industry with #FragranceForwardTFF. How does your brand embrace these values and incorporate them into the business?

Nette’s brand mission has always been to help our community Take Good Care™ through the incredible art and science of fragrance, which I feel aligns really nicely with TFF’s mission on discovery. There is such an intricate and fascinating world of fragrance and if we can be part of what causes people to discover that magic—the artistry, the poetry, and the science of fragrance—we will have done a good thing. 

What does it mean for your brand to join TFF as a new member and what do you hope it will help you achieve?

I have been part of the family of the Fragrance Foundation for the past 32 years since I founded Slatkin + Co. with my wife Laura who now owns NEST and is a member. With a short hiatus being out of the fragrance world I am so happy to be a family member again with the return of my Slatkin + Co. Brand…..it is the Platinum level of achievement and I am proud to have received several awards in the past. 

What is your brand’s unique point of view and how does it appeal to consumers’ lifestyles?

I like to refer to my brands as Masstige – I bring a prestige product at an affordable price and I don’t like to talk down to a consumer. Working with master perfumers all these years and the most important fragrance houses in the world have brought prestige and a level of quality often missed in the mass world. Adding the aesthetic element with the quality of fragrance creates a win experience for the consumer and for myself as I love all my children as I refer to my products as my family.

TFF’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance and has been driving change in the industry with #FragranceForwardTFF. How does your brand embrace these values and incorporate them into the business?

When we work with the perfumers it’s not to create a space in the category but to create an experience which is influenced by travels around the world, reading, museums, the inspiration than becomes a dialogue with the perfumers on their experience and through that magical conversation is how Slatkin + Co. delivers its rarity within Mass (Masstige).

What does it mean for your brand to join TFF as a new member and what do you hope it will help you achieve?

It is truly a dream realized! Fragrance has long been a passion of mine and the opportunity to create scents that are grounded in my beauty journey is something I am truly grateful for. I am so honored to be a part of TFF and the wonderful community of experts, founders and brand builders. I hope to be able to broaden my scent knowledge and learn from fragrance founders of diverse backgrounds. 

What is your brand’s unique point of view and how does it appeal to consumers’ lifestyles?

Relevant as a brand is clean, inclusive skincare, color and scent. Every formulation has been thoughtfully created to see and celebrate all skin tones. Many of the ingredients are inspired by my Kenyan heritage and are time honored and effective on all skin types.

13 Stems is a well-balanced, gender-neutral fragrance. includes top notes of freesia and green peppercorn; mid notes of cucumber, woody bamboo, french mimosa and violet leaf, and a base of cashmere, crisp amber and white leather. I had the great privilege of working with Robertet’s Jérôme Epinette to make this beautiful fragrance. I am so happy to work with Jérôme and the team to bring my vision to life. 

TFF’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance and has been driving change in the industry with #FragranceForwardTFF. How does your brand embrace these values and incorporate them into the business?

My point of view is always one of inclusion. This rings true with 13 Stems, Relevant and thirteen lune. 13 Stems as a scent and story resonates with many people and inspires them to discover it and incorporate it into their everyday. It encapsulates the “bloom” most of us seek. That “aha” moment. Blooming is important, but it’s my stem that gave me the ability to co-create a brand and business that aligned my passion and purpose.

What does it mean for your brand to join TFF as a new member and what do you hope it will help you achieve?

It’s an honor to be recognized among legacy fragrance brands. It speaks to how dedicated Victoria and the team were to getting every aspect of our fragrance product and launch right. For our fragrance consumers, they will know that our presence here shows how serious we take this category. As for this storied industry, it’s incredible to be welcomed and recognized for our fragrance as a new player, it reinforces our huge ambitions for this category.

What is your brand’s unique point of view and how does it appeal to consumers’ lifestyles?

The vision for Victoria Beckham Beauty is to create a modern luxury house that becomes a cornerstone of the beauty industry overall, and that has the potential to become a heritage brand over the coming decades. Being born of a fashion house is core to our identity in color, and in fragrance, our aperture is wider – our fragrance stories are chapters of Victoria’s life. These are memories of her important life moments, all complex and all beautiful. Our scents are created with a very specific time and space, as well as the emotions surrounding them, in mind.

TFF’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance and has been driving change in the industry with #FragranceForwardTFF. How does your brand embrace these values and incorporate them into the business?

Fragrance is a powerful and transportative art – something that Victoria recognized and honored through her approach. It deserved to feel intimate, to have its own journey of creation … it deserved to wait until every element could live up to the vision and her uncompromising standard. Victoria Beckham’s Fragrance Launch in 2023 was a true labor of love and what Victoria considers her autobiography through scent – a holistic sensory experience with campaign visuals by Steven Klein, bottle design by Ezra Perronio and collaborating with Jérôme Epinette as our “nose” in building out the fragrance collection.

An aspect of the brand’s DNA is what we call The Victoria Standard: we only create something that meets the most discerning customer’s criteria; we only finalise a product when we have achieved Victoria’s emphatic excitement to use the product. We aim for customers to experience that our products stand out in terms of excellence in all ways a product can.

What does it mean for your brand to join TFF as a new member and what do you hope it will help you achieve?

We are so excited to be part of The Fragrance Foundation alongside incredible heritage brands. It is an organization that is creating positive change in our industry. The ability to connect with and learn from other brands in the space is such a unique opportunity. To be able to share ‘Ôrəbella with our peers in our community means the world.

What is your brand’s unique point of view and how does it appeal to consumers’ lifestyles?

‘Ôrəbella introduces the skinification of fragrance, a unique and innovative approach to fine fragrance. Each intentional skin parfum is alcohol-free, hydrating, and elevated with essential oils to infuse with and last on the skin while amplifying the wearer’s aura. Going beyond cruelty-free, clean, and vegan, ‘Ôrəbella is also dermatologist tested and suitable for sensitive skin. It is inspired by nature, harnessing its healing benefits to enhance both skin and soul. Our signature bi-phase formula features two layers that moisturize skin and deliver a long-lasting fragrance immersion. With a shake-to-activate formula, the fusion of the bi-phase creates a magnetic perfume that becomes one with the skin. As consumers become more aware of the ingredients within their beauty routines, we’re proud to offer a safe and effective product to help elevate and inspire their beauty ritual.

TFF’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance and has been driving change in the industry with #FragranceForwardTFF. How does your brand embrace these values and incorporate them into the business?

The mission of Fragrance Forward is very important to the ever-evolving fragrance industry. It promotes positive change, new ways of thinking and fosters innovation. At the core of ‘Ôrəbella we are a brand bringing a new type of fine fragrance formula + format, passion, and authenticity to the category.

What does it mean for your brand to join TFF as a new member and what do you hope it will help you achieve?

Joining TFF is an honor for Argos Fragrances, symbolizing our commitment to the highest standards of excellence and tradition in the global fragrance industry. We hope this partnership will enhance our reach, foster innovation, and allow us to contribute meaningfully to the fragrance community. 

What is your brand’s unique point of view and perspective and how does it appeal to consumers’ lifestyles?

My brand’s unique perspective blends the rich narratives of Greek and Roman mythology with modern day sophistication & elegance, creating fragrances that strike a chord with the consumers. We celebrate the past but are new age in our approach. We are unapologetically extravagant, love making bold statements, and being remembered. Our customers love this about us and resonate with it. Our storytelling, brand persona and craftsmanship appeals to individuals who value true luxury, heritage, and personal expression in their lifestyle. Building a vibrant community and showing our gratitude are at the heart of what we do, ensuring our customers feel valued and empowered in the Argos family.

 TFF’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance and has been driving change in the industry with #FragranceForwardTFF. How does your brand embrace these values and incorporate them into the business?

 Our dedication to craftsmanship, use of cutting-edge equipment and time-honored techniques, ensures each fragrance tells a captivating story, honoring our heritage and embracing #FragranceForwardTFF’s innovative spirit. Our carefully selected raw ingredients, chosen for their meaning and purpose, ensure that every composition is unique, memorable, and satisfying. Also, I deeply value the support from our fragrance community—the experts, content creators, collectors, and loyal customers—who inspire us to give back meaningfully. Together, we strive to foster mutual support and collaboration, driving our shared passion forward.

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.  

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

Always one of my favorite features in Accords is when we shine a spotlight and welcome new members to TFF.  It signals that our industry is thriving with new brand introductions and fragrance launches, and that our membership & fragrance community is growing. Every day we celebrate our #1 priority to expand our membership with new brands of varied sizes & diverse brand stories, as these six certainly illustrate. We are happy to welcome all to the TFF family & community.

May also signals one of our most important spring time gift-giving holidays, Mother’s Day. Fragrances remain a top go-to gift, from the finest florals to the fruit forward scents of the season. We reached the consumer in cities across America from Atlanta & Miami to Las Vegas & Washington, DC at this all important time to shop through TV.  

These TV shows also allowed me to encourage Consumer Choice voting across the USA. We reached of over 9 million via TV & with huge support from our 18 Finalists across the 3 categories, the # of consumers voting this year increased by over 60%. Through social media and press, we had the biggest activation yet!

We are in the final countdown to our June 5th, 2024 Awards Ceremony! It will be a spectacular night when the fragrance community gathers together for the industry’s most illustrious honors. We have so much to celebrate this year including the 75th Anniversary of The Fragrance Foundation to all of our winners & honorees and the achievements we have accomplished together.

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President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Apr

SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL EDWARDS, DEBUTS AMERICAN LEGENDS

SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL EDWARDS, DEBUTS AMERICAN LEGENDS American Legends The Evolution of American Fragrances
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL EDWARDS, DEBUTS AMERICAN LEGENDS

SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL EDWARDS, DEBUTS AMERICAN LEGENDS American Legends The Evolution of American Fragrances
MICHAEL EDWARDS
FRAGRANCE HISTORIAN

Michael Edwards is an historian and taxonomist, a veritable walking encyclopedia of fragrance knowledge, and a good-company raconteur who always has an illuminating story to tell. His Fragrances of the World database—the largest guide to perfume classification that has ever existed—has been going nonstop since 1984, and his first book, Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances, has been a must-have for fragrance lovers since its publication in 1996. Now, his much-anticipated second compendium, American Legends, has arrived. It is a landmark moment, not only for Edwards himself, who has been researching the book for more than 20 years (many of the interviews were done when he was working on Perfume Legends), but also for the American fragrance industry, which is celebrated for its unique trajectory and global influence. Beginning with 18th-century Caswell-Massey and running through to the runaway success of Santal 33, American Legends chronicles fragrances from Old Spice to White Linen, Youth-Dew to Cashmere Mist, Jungle Gardenia to Giorgio Beverly Hills, Brut to Tommy Girl. Featuring in-depth interviews with the perfumers, bottle designers, and fragrance developers who brought these iconic scents to life, the book is comprehensive, fascinating, and quite beautiful. In the midst of his world tour, Edwards was in New York CIty as a featured guest at the TFF Awards luncheon. He also shared his wealth of knowledge at an event at FIT for students, then joined a special panel with Chris Collins moderated by Linda G. Levy.  Here Edwards spoke to ACCORDS to discuss how, ultimately, the history of perfume is about much more than what we smell in the flacon.

What was the criteria for fragrances to be included in American Legends?

Exactly the same criteria that I applied to the first book. It was limited to fragrances that introduced a new note or a technology so innovative that competitors flocked to copy it. Think for example of the Iso E Super in Halston, or Antonia’s Flowers, which pioneered Headspace technology. Or, alternatively, fragrances that made such an impact that they created a new trend. Think of Charlie in the 1970s. Before Charlie, men bought fragrance for women. After Charlie, women bought fragrance for themselves. Or Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion, which started an explosion in celebrity fragrances.

I also chose fragrances that reflected their times. Nobody talks about Bluegrass now, but before there was Lauder, before there was Rubenstein, there was Elizabeth Arden. When the stock market crashed in 1929, Elizabeth Arden soared. I found a Forbes report that said she had earned more money than any other woman in the history of America. And you might wonder why I included Demeter’s Dirt, from 1996. But it pioneered the sense of memory. If you look at Martin Margiela, for example, and the Replica scents. That goes back to Dirt.

What are some of the main ways that the story of American fragrance differs from the story of fragrance in France and elsewhere?

It’s an interesting question. American fragrances, when you smell them close up, they’re not always that pretty, but in the air they resonate. That’s the American spirit. Estée Lauder believed that women expect American fragrances to start the way they end. She had little patience with this idea of top notes, of fragrances changing over time: It has to be straight, she believed. It has to be direct.

What do you think defines an American perfume?

On the one hand, it can be loud, or even crass. On the other hand, it can be striking, innovative, and rich. In any market, you get the extremes. But in America, you get more extremes.

I start off the book by saying that to the French perfume is liquid art, to the Italians it’s liquid style, and to the Americans it’s liquid money. Nowhere else do you have the clash of art and commerce so fiercely. It was Ernest Shiftan, the father of American perfumery, who said that the history of perfumery is the history of our civilization. And he was right. Americans can be bold, striking, and direct. So can their fragrances. It’s a different style from the French.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the way it illustrates how fragrance trends reflect larger shifts in American culture.

Absolutely. I’ve found, for example, that in most people’s minds Norell was just another designer fragrance. But Norell was crucial. Until that time in America, most upscale department stores had not regarded perfume as an important category to focus on. In the 1960s, even Chanel No. 5 was a drugstore fragrance. But Norell’s success in specialty department stores was so spectacular that it forced them to reassess their thinking. It even opened the door for Estée Lauder, who launched Estée in 1968, just when these stores were starting to support fragrance. Norell also opened corporate America’s eyes to the potential of licensing designer fragrances. In the early 1970s you started to see the Halstons, the Anne Kleins, etcetera, and at the same time baby boomers, who were getting really interested in status labels, were moving to the suburbs, where department stores were being opened. By continuing to focus almost exclusively on prestigious center city stores, the French totally missed the moment—while all the American designer brands were making hay in the sunshine in the suburbs.

In his lovely introduction to your book, Leonard Lauder touches on the idea that America has changed the way the world wears fragrance. In what ways has it done this?

It has—no ifs, no buts. Charlie, for example, had a huge impact far beyond America. Brut, too, changed the world. When I was researching the Caleche by Hermès for Perfume Legends, the man who developed it told me that the original intent was to launch a fragrance for men rather than women, but there was no market in France for men’s fragrances. He said that the key was Brut—when it came along, it created the men’s business worldwide.

Look at Giorgio in the 1980s—such a potent, powerful scent—then look at Obsession. And surely America influenced Poison. We can also talk about Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion, the first of the great celebrity fragrances. It launched in 1985 and was so explosive that within the next 10 years we tracked the launch of some 600 celebrity fragrances. But that was part of the problem: In order to pay the celebrities, brands were forced to cut the quality of the juice and complaints soared. And that was why people were so open to niche fragrances when they came in. It was a unique coming together of factors that changed everything.

In American Legends, there is noticeable diversity in key roles, including brand founders, perfumers, and bottle designers. How does that reflect the spirit and development of American perfumes?

To my mind, America is far ahead of France. When you think of French female perfumers, there was Madame Z for Jeanne Lanvin back in the 1920s who did four fragrances, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that you had Germaine Cellier, who created Bandit and Fracas. Whereas America was different. Ernest Shiftan seemed very comfortable with women and deliberately encouraged them. I mean, think of [Youth Dew perfumer] Josephine Catapano. He hired her. Think of Bethy Buseé, who created Chloé, and Estée. When she came to America, Shiftan hired her as a secretary because she spoke French, but he would test everybody in his vicinity and he was struck by the sensitivity of her nose. I mean, she was a brutal perfumer. She refused to adhere to any techniques and if you didn’t like what she gave you, she’d throw it across the room. But she was a genius. Then there was Sophia Grojsman, another incredible perfumer, also IFF. Some people may say that until recently American perfumery was a man’s culture. But when you look at the sheer number of women perfumers, it’s impressive.

At TFF, DEI is the #1 priority. How do you see DEI in fragrance evolving?

It is changing, although slowly. I would anticipate that by now we would have more Black American brands, but I think I have picked up only about nine so far. We’ve seen James Bell, who did Passion, with his marvelous story, but Black perfumers have been rare. It’s silly, and overdue because the Black American and the Hispanic American are two key users of fragrances. Absolutely. So hopefully we will see a lot more of that kind of diversity, in all kinds of roles throughout the industry, which will bring in new ideas and creativity.

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.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY Michael Edwards and Alka Joshi Photo Credit: Regina Fleming Photography
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY Michael Edwards and Alka Joshi Photo Credit: Regina Fleming Photography

The April issue of ACCORDS captures the spirit and kicks off of our annual Awards season. From the Luncheon on, TFF is now officially in countdown mode to the June ceremony extravaganza.  

This year’s luncheon had more members and media attend than ever before. The afternoon was filled with memorable moments and the room with a sold-out crowd. With finalists for 19 categories announced and five winners revealed, the energy was dynamic. Awards winners included categories from the Indies to the Innovations & from the Editorial to the Packaging,  which will be celebrated again at the June event. The much anticipated announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Perfumer, Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, Master Perfumer of Bvlgari & Louis Vuitton, was also made.

Our special guests at the luncheon touched a chord with guests. Alka Joshi’s story was heartfelt. Weaving in her homeland and heritage, she recounted her personal journey to learn about the fragrance industry and celebrate India’s influence from the scents she called home.

We welcomed a legend of fragrance to the stage, the one-and-only Michael Edwards. Michael’s impact on our industry has been immeasurable. On a global tour, his stop at our luncheon coincided with the launch of his iconic book, American Legends. 

Celebrating the incredible industry and impact of American fragrance, TFF & The FIT Foundation co-hosted a special evening with Michael Edwards for the students of FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). Michael took us through the storied journey of American fragrances with milestones marked by 40 iconic fragrances.

As the month ends, the start of May will bring the Consumer Choice categories to the public for voting. These Awards are one of the most anticipated as the finalists and ultimate winners have captured the hearts and minds of the consumer.

See you all soon in person or on TV or social in May as we promote Consumer Choice Voting along with influencers, retailers & brands.

signature.png

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Mar

SPOTLIGHT: GINA BOSWELL, Chief Executive Officer & Director, Bath & Body Works

Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: GINA BOSWELL, Chief Executive Officer & Director, Bath & Body Works

Gina Boswell is a business visionary, inspirational leader, and true Woman of Action who joined Bath & Body Works as Chief Executive Officer and Director in 2022. She is also, wonderfully, a fragrance lover. For this special edition of ACCORDS, she imparts a few secrets of her success, reflects on how important scent is for experiential and emotional impact (both in life and in commerce), and shares why she brought Bath & Body Works membership back to TFF.

What is your personal connection to fragrance?

Beyond dousing my teenage self with Love’s Baby Soft fragrance mist, my personal connection to fragrance started fairly early in my career, when I first fell in love with the beauty business. Fragrance was a fascinating category to me in part because it was a much more personal one–almost like the fragrance picked the person versus the other way around. Three decades ago, I started collecting the most beautifully crafted solid perfume compacts from Estée Lauder in iconic fragrances like Beautiful and Pleasures. Some were limited edition Swarovski encrusted gold pieces that, when opened, would unleash the most incredible scent. I’ve lots of fond memories of my two daughters who might have pulled apart their Barbie dolls or drawn on them (think weird Barbie) and yet they treated these compacts like the most fragile Faberge Eggs. We moved many times as a family and the first box they’d need to secure and open would be these fragrance compacts, carefully and proudly placing them on their vanity, as if to say, we’re in our new home now.

Fragrance has been so integral to Bath & Body Works’ success. Why do you think that scent connects so much with consumers?

At Bath & Body Works, we believe in the power of fragrance – fragrance is a deeply sensorial experience that moves beyond olfactory into something much more transportive. Smell is the most evocative of all the senses, and our customers seek fragrance to transform their moods, express their identity, and connect with others. Fragrance even has the potential to unlock special memories, create new ones and
unite people over a common bond.

You have brought Bath & Body Works membership back to TFF. As TFF has expanded its scope with so many programs for the community & consumers in the last 6 years—such as Fragrance Day, media and college student outreach (Scents for Success), online education, TFF Awards, etc—what are you most excited to engage in?

We’re glad to be back and I feel like we’re reconnecting at the right time, for the industry and for our brand. As we build on the strong foundation we have today as global leaders in fragrance, staying connected and involved with The Fragrance Foundation is key. TFF is a great connector to our industry with a wealth of experts who each share unique and future-focused insights. As we continue to innovate and extend our brand reach, we see TFF as an important voice to help educate and engage consumers while elevating the industry through professional development and recognition. We’re particularly excited about the potential in TFF’s Scents for Success program. Its focus on fostering the next generation of fragrance professionals and driving diversity and inclusion is so important to the future of our industry. We look forward to seeing how our experts can take part in educating and supporting new members in our fragrance community.

What are your goals going forward regarding Bath & Body Works and fragrance?

Bath & Body Works has an excellent track record of being a fragrance-first innovator and we continue to play to our strengths. We’re uniquely positioned to deliver newness to our customers along with their familiar favorites and can do it across two dozen product forms. You’ll continue to see us celebrate our core fragrances while expanding our portfolio. I’m eager to continue working with the team to elevate our brand and expand our reach to new categories with fragrance at the center. We’re excited about the success of our expanding Men’s Shop collection. It remains one of our fastest growing product lines as more men get connected to personal care routines and incorporate scent into their daily practice. What’s equally exciting is bringing customers a full spectrum fragrance experience. We’ve played an important part in our customers’ home fragrance journey, and we’re thrilled to add to the head-to-toe routine with fragrant hair care and laundry.

What are the chief tenets of good leadership?

People need to feel empowered and comfortable making decisions, whether they are small scale decisions or larger, more creative endeavors. None of us are as smart as all of us – that’s why, regardless of where I am, I focus on being collaborative and decisive while always encouraging my team to do the same.

What advice do you give to other women who strive to become CEOs of global brands?

Don’t second guess what you bring to the table. People found it amusing that I moved from cosmetics to cars (and then back). When I made the switch, at first, I was a bit unsure of myself as someone who could not even change a flat tire, but then I realized that the company was full of people who knew about cars and that was not the perspective they needed for the future. It’s also advice that goes beyond switching industries; expanding my professional portfolio, from finance to strategy to marketing to sales, was not only rewarding but also prepared me to lead a multi-billion-dollar company.

I’m thrilled to be back in the beauty industry but would encourage anyone – regardless of career stage – to get comfortable with taking risks, especially when you want to rise. We all must be willing to go there and embrace change, especially with how much change we’re seeing in our business and in society.

To what do you attribute your own success?

While it is tough to sum it up in one word, I can tell you what’s shaped my career: I like going where the heat is- stretching myself to learn and grow along the way. I was also blessed to have an incredible network of mentors/former bosses and supporters— legends like Leonard Lauder, Jeanette Wagner, and Paul Polman to name a few. Each of them took a chance on me and showed me how to navigate the business and accelerate my learning curve. Their extraordinary energy, passion, work ethic, and legacy are something I still think about often and I do my best to pay it forward. I think much of my success has come from building on iconic brands, shining a light on what makes them iconic, and then taking them to the next level. That’s what we’re doing at Bath & Body Works.

How does your beauty industry background enhance your role at Bath and Body Works?

The beauty business brings with it a constant drumbeat of innovation and change. In the time I’ve spent in the industry, I’ve had remarkable exposure to renowned brands which helped shape me into the leader I am today. I first caught the beauty and retail bug as a management consultant focused on driving shareholder value. I then officially joined my client and it was at that point that I really began to understand the beautiful business of beauty; that is, the overall attractiveness of the business fundamentals. Few industries have such a strong emotional connection with consumers that helps support the category’s resiliency (in good times and bad times), the opportunity for brand love, and customer loyalty, not to mention the favorable structural economics in margin and profitable growth.

My experience across four beauty businesses has exposed me to literally every channel and geography where beauty and personal care brands are sold. There are differences in the various go-to-market strategies across prestige, mass, direct, or e-commerce, and certainly cultural and regional variations, but the core of beauty, with its functional and emotive benefits, is similar, and frankly transportive.

Transportive is a word we use frequently at Bath & Body Works whether describing our wonderful fragranced products or our immersive store experiences. Having recently celebrated my one-year anniversary as CEO of Bath & Body Works, this chapter might just be the most exciting yet.

What are some ways that DEI initiatives such as #FragranceForwardTFF can make Bath & Body Works better both internally and for the consumer?

We know that diversity, equity, and inclusion make us stronger, and we strive to ensure everyone is included and has equitable access and opportunity. Something I’m proud to share is our commitment to developing the next generation of perfumers through the American Chemical Society Scholars Program. This program awards renewable scholarships to undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups majoring in fields like chemistry and perfumery.

We’re in year two of our three-year partnership and so far, we’ve donated $200,000 to this important program. As a retailer who excels in storytelling, we’re also proud to showcase the diversity of our perfumers on our in-store material and on the product package itself. Leveraging our own channels to elevate and celebrate underrepresented perfumers is critical and sets an example for the next generation. We will continue to invest in DEI not only because it’s the right thing to do for each other, but because it’s the right thing to do for our business, our associates, and our communities.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS- Fragrance Day™ 2024

What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS- Fragrance Day™ 2024

Food & Fragrance, an Immersive Dinner Experience

As a delightful and delectable countdown to Fragrance Day™, TFF hosted a special dinner event the first week of March, a first for the Foundation, that reimagined Hav & Mar, Marcus Samuelsson’s foodie hotspot, into a fragrance-forward space for one night only. Eight ingredients, ten perfumers, and an award-winning emerging female chef who shares TFF’s passion for sustainability became the centerpiece of a celebration of raw ingredients that touch our lives from the foods we eat to the scents we wear. Creating a journey of olfactory and taste exploration, scents of fresh florals, fruits and foods filled the air, as TFF reset the table with the trending notes of the season and the perfumers from our member fragrance houses.

At the heart of any fragrance or dish, is the perfumer who always finds the right notes to evoke an emotional connection and the chef who finds just the right ingredients to entice the senses. As March signals the start of Spring, the time was ripe for a collaborative endeavor that celebrated the source of their creative inspiration, the delicious ingredients found in both fragrance and food. From the fragrance house to the kitchen, TFF with Executive Chef Fariyal Abdullahi of Hav & Mar, created an immersive experience that touched and tempted the senses from taste to scent, spotlighting the star ingredients of the Spring season.

The essence of the season’s essential ingredients of Banana, Coconut, Ginger, Orange, Lemon, Mango, Strawberry, and Vanilla shared in cuisine and fragrance creations were captured for an elevated multi-sensory experience pairing food and fragrance.

The bar was transformed into an exhibition space for the fragrances that married their connection to the ingredient. From Marc Jacobs banana inspired Daisy Wild Eau de Parfum to the strawberry based Gingham Gorgeous by Bath & Body Works and Coach’s Love Eau de Parfum, the array of fruit and floral forward fragrances was extensive. Both LoveShackFancy and Givenchy, sweet on coconut, infused the ingredient into Forever in Love Eau de Parfum and Irresistible Very Floral, respectively. The essence of orange burst through in Costa Brazil’s Aroma and Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl Blush Elixir while mango emerged in Nectarine Petal Eau de Parfum by Clean Beauty Collective H2Eau Collection. Lemon zests Byredo’s Animalique Eau de Parfum. Ginger spices Tumi’s Awaken Distilled Extrait de Parfum. Vanilla notes continued on a high note into the season with Chris Collins’ Long Kiss Goodnight, Victoria’s Secret Bare Vanilla Cashmere Eau de Parfum, and Sol de Janiero’s Cheirosa 59.

The sit-down dinner for the creators, fragrance enthusiasts, and beauty editors, all who revel in the transportive and emotive connection to fragrance, came together to break bread and celebrate the season’s ingredients. The curated menu spotlighted the fundamental food ingredients that have become the foundation for many iconic fragrances and signature scents.

Tables filled with Jacques Huclier, Adriana Medina and Linda Song of Givaudan, Mathilde Bijaoui and Ugo Charron of Mane, Jérôme Epinette of Robertet, and Catherine Selig of Takasago, and Honorine Blanc, Gabriela Chelariu and Frank Voelkl of DSM-Firmenich, who enjoyed the flavorful cuisine and captivated the audience as they spoke to the power of connection between their featured fragrances and their culinary counterparts, as well as the common bond of sustainability.

The multi-course menu of global pairings included a strawberry salad, snapper wrapped in banana leaves, coconut-infused curry rice, and ginger-spiced meatballs capped by vanilla cream puffs, the perfect accompaniments to the refreshingly lighter fare of the season. As the gourmand trend shows no signs of slowing down, the blending of food and fragrance was a festive way to celebrate the artisanship of perfumery and the craft of culinary arts with an eclectic, sustainably sourced cuisine, created by Chef Abdullahi as it paid homage to her Ethiopian heritage. Complementing the cuisine was a curated wine list featuring BIPOC and women producers.

It was a moment for fragrance lovers to savor as media including Allure, Ebony, Fashionista, GQ, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Harlem News, The Zoe Report, Town & Country, The Wall Street Journal, WWD, and many others along with fragrance enthusiasts and influencers including Fat Mascara and The Perfume Room, as well as fashion and food friends of TFF from Francisco Costa, Rebecca Moses and Melba Wilson joined the festive dining experience.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY Linda G. Levy President The Fragrance Foundation
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY Linda G. Levy President The Fragrance Foundation

Our March issue of Accords is a great platform to welcome back Bath & Body Works to TFF & shine a spotlight on Gina Boswell. Gina & I met decades ago, so it is both heartwarming on a personal level as well as professionally exhilarating to reconnect officially in her 2nd year as she leads BBW to bring a huge business to its next level. BBW shares TFF’s objectives & values so together we will be able to reach millions in the USA population expanding #FragranceForwardTFF, highlighting perfumers, educating associates & inspiring all to discover fragrance in new ways.

Earlier in March, TFF kicked off The Fragrance Day with a new media dinner event highlighting the connection of fragrance to food & wine with focus on perfumers, sustainability, & spring ingredient trends. Thanks to our Fragrance House Sponsors: Givaudan, Takasago, MANE, Robertet and dsm-Firmenich & an extraordinary dinner by Executive Chef Fariyal Abdullahi at the Marcus Samuelsson restaurant Hav & Mar.

The Fragrance Day March 21, 2024, expanded to the entire month as TFF members focused on fragrance launches, perfumers, sustainability & major activations. After several years of experiencing fragrance often in isolation, we all got back out there where the return to shopping in stores & gatherings of the community with consumers resulted in pure joy as well as a monetization of sales on the calendar.

We at TFF extend a huge thank you to all our members & the community for the support & excitement that brought The Fragrance Day expansion to Fragrance Week & Fragrance Month across the USA! Together we can accomplish so much more than we can do alone & this proved it! Video recaps will be shared as the month concludes so be on the lookout for each week’s Noteworthy & on our website.

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President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Feb

SPOTLIGHT: CHRIS COLLINS ELECTED TO TFF BOARD

SPOTLIGHT: CHRIS COLLINS ELECTED TO TFF BOARD
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: CHRIS COLLINS ELECTED TO TFF BOARD

SPOTLIGHT: CHRIS COLLINS ELECTED TO TFF BOARD

Earlier this month, Chris Collins, CEO & Founder of The World of Chris Collins, was elected to The Fragrance Foundation Board of Directors and announced as the Chair of the groundbreaking new Entrepreneurial Committee, which will focus on independent brands and inclusivity within the fragrance community.

Collins launched his much-lauded The World of Chris Collins brand in 2018, creating a collection of beautifully crafted, luxurious fragrances steeped in evocative storytelling. His sophisticated vision and the unerring quality of his scents struck a chord with fragrance enthusiasts, and the brand went on to become the first black-owned fragrance line in Sephora. As a passionate and engaged member of TFF, Collins has actively participated in all aspects of #FragranceForwardTFF since its conception, in leadership roles of initiatives including TFF’s first DEI webinar, the Scents of Success program reaching colleges and universities, and the NYUL Catalyst Initiative focusing on career and talent pipeline development.

The new Entrepreneurial Committee will be launched initially with TFF members including Arquiste Parfumeur, Brown Girl Jane, Harlem Candle Co., House of Bō and The New Savant, in addition to The World of Chris Collins. The committee will focus on representing fragrance brands created between 2010 through 2020 that have scaled their businesses for rapid USA sales growth, achieved wide ranging consumer engagement, and are still led by the entrepreneurial founder.

To mark this exciting occasion, Collins shares his thoughts on how being a part of TFF has impacted the growth of his brand, why #FragranceForwardTFF has been so successful, and how he plans to lean the Entrepreneurial Committee into an even more richly diverse future.

What does joining the TFF Board as Director mean to you?

This is a monumental moment in fragrance. From being the first black-owned brand to join The Fragrance Foundation, to now being on the Board of Directors is a huge honor. It’s showing how far the fragrance industry has come.

What is the mission of the Entrepreneurial Committee?

Chairing the newly founded entrepreneurial committee will probably be my important responsibility at TFF. This committee has been created to reflect and support the most important category in the fragrance industry: The independent fragrance brands.

How did your involvement with TFF help you develop The World of Chris Collins?

To know that I had the support of President Linda and the rest of the team at TFF was vital for the development of my brand. The knowledge, resources, and support of TFF has been there since I launched.

Why do you believe that TFF membership is so important for brands of all sizes and diverse backgrounds?

I’ve always felt that TFF membership was very important for the development of smaller more diverse brands, because it gives us the opportunity to be seen alongside the bigger more established fragrance brands. I believe the smaller independent brands are the engine that powers the fragrance industry.

What are some of the ways that you have seen #FragranceForwardTFF make an
impact so far?

Since its inception, the goal to make the fragrance industry more diverse and equitable is working. There are more diverse brands in the fragrance industry than ever before. I’m so proud to see how far the industry has come. When I first joined, I didn’t see any other black or brown owned brands. Now when I look around, I see many. We’ve come so far.

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.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

This issue of Accords provides an opportunity to celebrate our newly elected Board Director Chris Collins who was also named Chair of the new Entrepreneur Committee. Creating this committee with its Chair on the board is a natural next step in the evolution of #FragranceForwardTFF & will add a significant voice & role of entrepreneurial brands in our community.

Chris was unanimously endorsed by the board for these roles & TFF’s full membership voted to add him officially to the board. This endorsement of Chris in these roles is based on the significant World of Chris Collins brand he created plus his major contributions & actions for #FragranceForwardTFF. He is a true leader who teaches us that aspiring young professionals need to see someone who looks like them & not just recognize but to celebrate diversity.

Accords features the 14 2024 Notables, providing each of them the opportunity to express what this recognition means to them & how they will pay it forward at TFF & beyond. The new Notables event received rave reviews based on these up & coming professionals celebrating with the entire community & setting their sights on initiatives individually as well as a group too.

While world events continue to challenge all of us, let us always be a united community & celebrate our creativity & achievements within & even more significantly with consumers.

We look forward to celebrating The Fragrance Day on March 21 with all as we drive consumers into stores to discover the artistry & passion of fragrance.

signature.png

President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Jan

SPOTLIGHT: Debbi Hartley-Triesch, Nordstrom

SPOTLIGHT: Debbi Hartley-Triesch, Nordstrom
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: Debbi Hartley-Triesch, Nordstrom

SPOTLIGHT: Debbi Hartley-Triesch, Nordstrom

New Member of TFF Executive Committee

The first ACCORDS of 2024 kicks off with new TFF Executive Committee member Debbi Hartley-Triesch, who shares her insight into the world of fragrance retail. Debbi’s extraordinary career has taken her from Nordstrom beauty advisor more than 30 years ago to her current role as EVP and GMM for Beauty and Accessories. She is a true leader and fragrance devotee, and also serves as Chair of the TFF Consumer Engagement Committee. Here, she shares her valuable perspective and predictions for the future.

What did you learn from working in many different roles over the course of your 30+ year career with Nordstrom?

Nordstrom empowers us to do whatever it takes to create the best experience for our customers. We do this by making our decisions through the lens of our customer and keeping our core purpose top of mind: to help them look good and feel their best. By prioritizing their voice and needs – reading their letters, spending time in stores, hearing feedback from our teams – has helped me keep a customer-focused mindset in everything I do.

What aspects of your job do you find especially rewarding?

Retail is such a dynamic and always evolving industry which I find very invigorating. At Nordstrom, our culture of flexibility and adaptability to meet the ever-changing retail landscape through teamwork and open communications has been very rewarding to me. I enjoy the collaborative and inclusive team environment we have to create amazing customer experiences, the ability to partner with the world’s best brands to bring our product assortment to life, and the overall Nordstrom promise of delivering exceptional service.

What are your priorities as Chair of the TFF Consumer Engagement Committee?

Our top priority is to build strong customer relationships in the fragrance category by fostering a sense of community, while also encouraging loyalty and engagement through events like The International Fragrance Day and the Fragrance Foundation Consumer Awards, new launches, marketing, social media, sampling, and more. We want to help build an enduring customer bond by creating positive experiences and meaningful connections by leveraging The Fragrance Foundation as an industry platform and a strong commitment to meeting customer needs and expectations.

What do you personally love most about fragrance?

I love that fragrance can evoke memories, enhance your mood, and express individuality. I love the way a fragrance makes me feel! Every morning I choose my scent based on what I want to accomplish that day. If I have a big presentation or important meeting, I need a scent that gives me an extra boost of confidence, or if it’s a weekend away with my family I might choose a fragrance that is calming. Scents hold a powerful emotional connection for me. It’s the finishing touch of my outfit or my invisible accessory. Fragrance creates a positive atmosphere in my life, and I never leave home without it.

How do you predict people will be shopping for fragrance five years from now?

The fragrance business has evolved so much over the past few years, but what hasn’t changed is how a fragrance makes you feel. I think we will continue to see a rise in experiential in-store activations that offer a multisensory approach to choosing and understanding fragrances. I also think the industry might see advancements in customizable and unique fragrance formulas that provide customers with more tailored and bespoke options. Other potential shifts in fragrance could be around health and wellness integration within products, personalized scent recommendations through AI, and a growing focus on sustainable and eco-friendly options.

How is the mission of #FragranceForwardTFF impactful for consumers as well as companies?

FragranceForwardTFF is a very important pledge prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion. The impact of the fragrance industry goes beyond just social responsibility, it positively influences product development, fosters innovation, market reach and the overall customer experience. At Nordstrom, we’ve long believed that we’re all made better by the diversity that exists within our communities. Our values are centered on creating a place where every customer and employee is welcome, respected, appreciated, and able to be themselves.

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.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

Accords 5 Year Anniversary

Our Spotlight in this issue features Debbi Hartley-Triesch, Nordstrom EVP GMM Accessories & Beauty, who joined TFF’s Executive Committee as of 2024. We welcome Debbi who has served as a Director on our Board & Chair of our Customer Engagement Committee & has been an enthusiastic supporter of TFF for decades.

With 2024 marking the fifth anniversary of the debut of our digital magazine, ACCORDS, TFF expands our coverage with exclusive editorial content focusing on TFF members, fragrance and the future. Guest writers covering the fragrance world with success reaching consumers will bring new, forward-looking and in-depth takes on industry forecasts and trends, and innovative member initiatives.

Debuting with this issue, ACCORDS feature editor Pia Velasco brings her unique global and journalistic perspective to our digital pages. This extra special content debuts in our Scents & Sensibility section creating newsworthy narratives that capture the essence of the fragrance industry in a feature-length format, written with an insider’s look.

Pia Velasco is a seasoned beauty journalist with over a decade of editorial experience. She has held positions at outlets such as Vogue, Good Housekeeping, People en Español, and InStyle, where she served as the senior editor, leading the beauty coverage. She also has bylines in Allure, Byrdie, Latina, Elle, and more. Currently working as a freelancer, Pia also provides consultancy services for Fortune 500 companies, including Dove and SnapChat. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from New York University and a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University. She is also an advisory board member at Sparks & Honey, a cultural intelligence consultancy in Manhattan.

Enjoy this 2024 premiere issue & thank you to our contributors as well as our talented TFF ACCORDS editor since we debuted 5 years ago, April Long.

As a community of creators and storytellers, these new special features will be a place where the art, science, and business of our industry will converge and be celebrated through compelling content. We are beyond thrilled to have Pia share our mission of inspiring the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance through her stories.

Dec

SPOTLIGHT: TFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON THE POWER OF GRATITUDE

Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: TFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON THE POWER OF GRATITUDE

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

I’ve been fortunate to embark on a new career journey over the past year, taking on the position of Head of Givaudan Fine Fragrance North America that has positively impacted me on both a personal and professional level.

I’m deeply grateful to have had a strong support system of colleagues, clients, friends and family along every step of the journey.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

Being grateful allows me to recognize the contribution my partners & teams have every day on the products we create and establishes an environment of trust. It allows us to take even more risks and be bolder in how we bring incrementality & newness through our craft to deliver value to our clients, the brands we work with and ultimately the end consumers.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance is a highly personal and emotional art where perfumers (or the creators) are completely vulnerable in their craft, putting themselves on total display. The act of releasing a fragrance out into the world is something deeply meaningful. For this reason, it’s my go-to gift when expressing gratitude to my friends and loved ones.

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

Personally, I am grateful for the love and overall health and happiness of my family. Professionally I am so grateful for my amazing team. This group of powerful professionals always sees what is possible and has committed to working with and for each other in order to meet our customers wherever they are. This team is not just smart and dynamic, they are kind and caring and define the true meaning of teamwork!

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

This reflection reaffirms for me that people are the most important part of the organization—having the right people in the right jobs is only part of the equation. Empowering them, providing opportunities to learn and grow, and creating consistent room for open honest conversations helps to ignite passion and inspire creativity and happiness. Happy teams are the most productive teams.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance is all about emotion, memories and joy! I am grateful every day to work in a passion filled industry.

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

As I reflect on this past year, I’m deeply humbled, grateful and proud of Ulta Beauty’s The Joy Project – a company-wide, multi-year initiative we introduced in September to help people experience more joy in their lives. With beauty and most importantly, scent, being so closely connected to emotion and self-care, it has been such an honor to be part of a movement that helps our guests silence their inner critic and embrace their most authentic selves through their beauty routines. I am proud and grateful to not only partner with incredible brands every day, but to also celebrate the role beauty plays in spreading more joy and self-expression in our world.

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

In 2023, I am grateful once again for being part of such an amazing Team at IPLB. Building success as a team is the most rewarding experience. 2023 was definitely another remarkable year from that standpoint.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

It keeps you alert on the ‘why’. Why are we dedicated to a common goal: it is for the fun, the thrill, and the achievement. A subtle secret recipe for each organization. Never lose that recipe to build the future.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance is the perfect balance of in surface and in-depth expression. It creates a dialog, echoes personal memories, and delivers the unexpected. It is a bridge from the past, the present and the future. From a volatile whimsical and primal state of being it creates a powerful personal story. It celebrates oneself and/or the person you are gifting with one of the most sensorial experiences. A very authentic expression of gratitude.

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

As I reflect on this year, there is so much I’m grateful for! I’m grateful for my husband, my kids, and our dogs, who are all happy and healthy. Professionally, I’m grateful to be surrounded by such a passionate team of people that bring positivity, collaboration, and hard work to everything they do.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

It’s important for me to take these moments to reflect because life can get so busy, but reflection allows me to stop and thank the people around me and enter the next year having learned the lessons of the last year.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrances also help me pause and reflect on the moments I’m grateful for. For me, fragrances are connected to memories and people, and smelling them again allows me to stop, reflect and feel grateful for those memories and people again.

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

I am grateful for friends and family and honestly my colleagues. I find that over 30+ years in this industry, I have been able to connect with some fabulous colleagues that have been incredibly supportive and help me realize some of my dreams.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

I think realizing how wonderful and supportive colleagues in my industry are has inspired me to mentor and support not only my colleagues but new talent coming in. I think we are so lucky to be part of this industry.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Actually fragrance is one of my favorite gifts during the holiday season. Fragrance helps uplift our spirits, dream of new places and experiences and elevate our well being.

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

In 2023, both professionally and personally, I have been immensely grateful for the many opportunities that unfolded and the growth that ensued. I joined the Board of Directors for TFF this year and I’m thankful for the meaningful connections and collaborative spirit I have found with other industry peers. It has expanded my skillset and allowed me to dive deeper into the world of fragrance. On a personal note, whether it is the unwavering support of family or bonds forged with friends, these connections have made me realize how truly lucky I am to have amazing people in my life.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

By reflecting on what I’m grateful for, I’m able to gain a deeper understanding of what truly matters to me. It allows me to then have a solid foundation for setting meaningful goals and make decisions aligned with my aspirations. Gratitude acts as a guiding force, shaping a future path that is not only purposeful but also rooted in the values and experiences that bring me the most fulfillment.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

A familiar scent has the remarkable ability to evoke memories and emotions, grounding me in moments of joy or connection. By associating a particular fragrance with positive experiences, it becomes a sensory trigger for gratitude, allowing me to relive and appreciate those moments. Additionally, sharing fragrances through gifts or using them to create a comforting atmosphere provides a thoughtful and expressive way to convey gratitude to others.

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

I’m immensely grateful for my family’s well-being. Their support has been invaluable. The success of the Parlux business, fueled by the significant growth of brands like Billie Eilish Fragrances and Paris Hilton Fragrances, has been a significant source of professional gratitude. I’m thankful for the collaborative efforts of my teams and our business partners that have contributed to our achievements.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

Gratitude allows me to acknowledge the strengths and successes that have brought me to this point. It’s a reminder of the resilience and dedication that underlie these achievements, guiding my decisions and aspirations.

Recognizing the value of partnerships, team efforts, and the impact of successful brand launches helps shape a path that emphasizes collaboration, innovation, and continued growth. It encourages a forward-looking approach rooted in gratitude for past accomplishments. This extends to our expansion into scent-adjacent categories, which presents an opportunity to explore new territories while staying true to our ethos and values.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance has a unique ability to evoke memories and emotions. Certain scents carry personal significance, triggering memories of special moments or individuals. This aspect of fragrance allows for a tangible expression of gratitude, creating connections to cherished memories and experiences.

In a broader sense, fragrance can serve as a form of self-care and mindfulness. Taking a moment to appreciate and enjoy a favorite scent can promote a sense of gratitude for the simple pleasures in life and elevate one’s mood, fostering a positive mindset.

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

The incredible success of our wonderful clients! It’s been another year of unprecedented growth all around– we’re seeing start-ups turn into global powerhouses, the legitimate return of celebrity, existing clients expand into unexpected categories and more. And to be a part of that is incredibly exciting, always fun, and makes me feel both lucky and of course immensely grateful. On a personal level, I appreciate that I’ve accepted how a consistent rhythm in living & working is no longer possible and not necessarily a bad thing.

How does taking a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for now help you define your path for the future?

Pausing and considering what the work & effort all means is essential, whether that’s through simple contemplation or an overt celebration – does it pay off, is it worth it? And yes, it always does, and the ongoing successes inspire us all to keep moving forward and working hard to find new reasons to celebrate.

How does fragrance help you experience or express gratitude?

Fragrance has always been my escape, never failing to transport and distract and always brings me unadulterated, pure joy. If it can deliver on all this for me, I trust it does the same for others and so expressing gratitude comes by way of gifting fragrance, of course.

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.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

All of us at The Fragrance Foundation are grateful for our Board of Directors, members & those in the community who supported us throughout the year. As a team, we achieved more than ever & I am grateful to Elina, Allison, Sharné, Chelsea & Cheryl.

We are grateful for our united commitment to #FragranceForwardTFF and The Pledge which is more important than ever: We commit to being fragrance forward by holding ourselves & our company accountable at all levels to drive diversity, equity & inclusion.

In this year, I became comfortable being uncomfortable & learned to celebrate TFF success marking my 6th year in my position. I was deeply grateful for being honored as the first ever Catalyst Champion by The New York Urban League in February & in October as an inductee to TFF’s Circle of Champions.

Next year we have set even higher goals & with your support we will achieve them together.

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President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Nov

SPOTLIGHT: SCENTS OF SUCCESS: THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK

SPOTLIGHT: SCENTS OF SUCCESS: THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: SCENTS OF SUCCESS: THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK

SPOTLIGHT: SCENTS OF SUCCESS: THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK

Scents of Success is one of the most important and impactful DEI initiatives for #FragranceForwardTFF, sharing guidance and information about careers in fragrance with students at universities across the country through lively panel discussions and workshops. At the return for its 2nd Scents of Success event in October, TFF and The City College of New York welcomed an accomplished duo of L’Oréal Groupe team members (both of whom are also TFF Notables) to talk about their experiences, challenges, and accomplishments with students. Led by Professor Lynne Scott Jackson, Distinguished Lecturer – Ad/PR Program Director of Internships, Industry Relations & Professional Development Media & Communication Arts Program, CCNY, the inspirational duo – Solange Silva, Director of Marketing Lancôme Fragrances and Tripta Holtz, Senior Fragrance Evaluator L’Oréal—gave an in-depth look at L’Oréal’s brands and career opportunities, while also sharing their personal stories.

For this month’s Accords, the participants reflect on what made the event especially meaningful.

What do you think was most valuable about the Scents of Success workshop/ Initiative?

TFF Scents of Success helps students understand how they can be part of the vast fragrance industry. It’s as simple as a class visit, with TFF Members sharing insider experiences that give students “a day in the life of” knowledge about how their skills and interests might apply to the fragrance industry.

Guest speakers provide an important window for CCNY students, helping them Access Excellence, aligned with the CCNY mission. Our students are eager to ask questions and learn about the fragrance industry and how execs have transitioned through different roles that led them to a career in the fragrance industry. The Ad/PR Program applauds TFF & TFF members who are willing to give their time, talent and attention to our students. Once they are turned on to what they can do in the fragrance industry, they’re hooked! We can always count on TFF – Scents of Success to value the essence of our students’ education as they transition to the work world.

This exemplifies the aura of a meaningful partnership, rooted in a willingness to help students build successful careers. We respect and value TFF’s commitment.

In what ways do you think it piqued the interest and inspired CCNY students?

From observing and contributing, students refine skills learned in the classroom and begin to understand how they might fit in the fragrance industry. Nothing can replace 1×1 interactions with Manhattan-NYC, national and fragrance industry executives—opening our students’ minds and hearts to not only what is possible—but what they CAN achieve with persistence, perseverance and resilience.

The opportunity to informally chat with execs from leading L’Oréal brands and other TFF members is transformative. Often, students believe their experience won’t translate to what iconic companies need in their day-to-day operations. While our students are savvy, contemporary New Yorkers or international students, they’re still 20-something college students who are at the start of their careers. This includes the need for a real world, crash course introduction to the hyper-competitive, “heady” world of marketing, fragrance development and multinational businesses in the USA’s largest city.

Scents of Success provides exposure to careers in the fragrance industry and beyond realizing there are a wide range of careers in the fragrance industry that might utilize their skills

What were the students most keen to learn about?

The individual journeys and career growth of executives 5 – 10 – 15 years out of college as well as understanding that it is doable as evidenced by CCNY Alum Erika Cruz-Vasquez’s class of 2023 ascent as an Events Coordinator, LVMH Fragrance Brands.

What did you most enjoy about participating in Scents of Success?

I loved seeing their excitement in discovering that working in the fragrance industry is a possibility for them and their eagerness to learn more about it.

What do you think inspired the students most about your career path?

I hope they were able to see that there is a place for diversity in this industry with me being a foreign woman, with an accent, from a Latin American country. I also believe they could relate to the fact that I was exposed to the possibility of working in the fragrance industry around their age and like many of them I was also working full time while attending college.

What were some of your own takeaways from the CCNY event? 

I came back from the CCNY event so refreshed, it was a wonderful reminder of how exceptional our industry is and a personal reminder of how special it is to be part of it.

What did you most enjoy about participating in Scents of Success?

Solange and I got the unique opportunity to speak with a room full of CCNY students at the Scents of Success event series. We shared with them our identity maps and career paths and talked about the key stakeholders in product development at L’Oreal. We also shared advice on how they could put their best foot forward while applying for such roles and what to expect when they get in. I really enjoyed the Q&A that followed and was fueled by their engagement and active participation. We could have easily made a day of it! Having never had such an opportunity as a student myself, it was most important and rewarding for me to step into that role for the next generation of professionals.

What details about your life and career experiences do you think most resonated with students?

As with most people in our industry, my career path has been quite unique. While our individual journeys are unique, the lessons we learn tend to be the same. I actively sought out this industry when I was in high school. However, I didn’t know anyone in it. Getting my foot in the door was the biggest challenge for me, but I didn’t give up. I have also had my fair share of rejection through the years and have had to advocate for myself at every stage of my life and career. Fighting for what I truly believe in and not giving up are some virtues that truly make me, me. I believe that similar life lessons also resonated with the students we met at CCNY. They all seemed driven by determination and passion, and I believe those are necessary traits to thrive in our industry.

What were some of your own takeaways from the CCNY event?

It was most inspiring to meet the CCNY students who are interested in a career in beauty and fragrance. Our industry is lucky to have so much diverse talent to choose from. The next generation is brimming with potential! I wish the best to every one of them. I am so excited to see them in the industry and to work alongside such brilliant and curious minds in the years to come.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS ON HOLIDAY SCENTS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS ON HOLIDAY SCENTS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS ON HOLIDAY SCENTS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS ON HOLIDAY SCENTS

What inspired you to create scented candles for Cartier?

I wanted to create candles that are simpler and bring something different to the market because, after COVID, I felt that lighting a candle at home was more about bringing in nature and memories of the beauty of the world and wide-open spaces, rather than using what we call home fragrances. I chose to name them after landscape like the canopy, snow, and desert because it encourages contemplation. It’s crucial to be able to enjoy nature, something we missed during lockdown. Contemplating space and immensity is what we lack when we’re indoors. Our candles are olfactory contemplations of nature.

How would you describe the difference between home scent and personal scent?

Home scent is external and shared with others. It’s something we use for ourselves and for others. It’s much less personal, intimate because everyone breathes it in. In my opinion, it’s crucial that home fragrances are inspired by nature because it aligns with the shared imagination. Sharing an olfactory universe with guests or family is wonderful. It needs to be simple and universal enough for everyone to enjoy it. On the other hand, a personal fragrance is truly a dialogue with oneself. You can choose it purely for your own pleasure, as a life companion, a talisman; it’s entirely personal.

What was your inspiration for creating Cartier’s newest scented candle, Neige?

My inspiration for creating Neige was for the pleasure of smelling the scent of snow. It’s a pleasure linked to the fact that olfaction can all of a sudden bring back, like a Proustian madeleine, all the memories linked to this olfaction. With Neige, I wanted to evoke the pleasure of contemplating snowy landscapes, whether it is sunny or not, in essence, the beauty of pure snow. It’s a way of showcasing beauty wherever it may be found. With the Neige candle, we also return to the notion of eternity that perfumery allows. A notion that can also be found in the Epures de Parfums: offering eternal and usable beauty at will, a beauty that can only be contemplated fleetingly in nature.

What inspired you when creating the Amber & Incense scent for NEST?

Amber & Incense was all about expressing the coziness of the season and inevitably, the multitude of flavors and scents that signal holiday. I wanted this sort of duality embedded here- coziness paired with an intriguing dark amber, or that feel-good moment along with the rejuvenation and relief that holidays entail. I think that’s why I used a lot of fresh and aromatic notes with spices to express this moment of pause and calm but also excitement.

What notes or fragrances are particularly evocative for you personally when it comes to holiday?

I love that holiday means both indoor and outdoor festivities – at first it brings me to the crisp woods, frosted fir or pine scents, and of course a smoky, crackling fireplace… but it’s the edible nostalgic notes of the season that really excite me – roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate, whipped cream, buttery caramel, and indulgent gingerbread always transport me to the spirit of the season. With Amber & Incense I was able to leverage both holiday stories here – creating a narrative around the warming amber paired with the outdoorsy, refreshing incense.

What do you look forward to most about the holiday season?

All of it! It’s the energy & excitement, the traditions, the shared moments, indulging with family & friends, and having the time to find peace and perhaps lighting a seasonal candle? And this season, that will be Amber & Incense, of course.

What inspired you when creating the Only in New York candle for The New Savant?

Ingrid did!! She always has such a clear vision for the candles, and it continues to be a real partnership bringing it to life. In this case, her idea was a specific pignoli cookie that she loved, with notes of caramel, pine trees, a bookstore, sawdust, and cashmere sweaters in the background. How could you NOT be inspired by that?!

What notes or fragrances are particularly evocative for you personally when it comes to holiday?

For me it’s definitely cookies! I kid you not, my parent’s house has six different Christmas cookies that we always have on hand during the holidays. Almost every other day from Thanksgiving to Christmas there is a cookie being made in the kitchen, ready to entertain and give out as gifts.

What do you look forward to most about the holiday season?

Seeing family, eating all the food, and skiing if it’s a White Christmas in Vermont 🙂

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

As we are days away from the Thanksgiving holiday, this issue brings to our readers a true sense of what all of us are grateful for in the fragrance community which shares our #1 priority #FragranceForwardTFF.

Our Spotlight section features the Scents of Success event at The City College of New York. This exceptional program, rolling out in its 2nd year, was created by TFF Executive Director Sharné Jackson, so TFF could share fragrance roles & career paths with students. While the majority of universities we partner with are where TFF members are alumni such as Sharné’s alma mater Spelman College, CCNY is a perfect exception thanks to the connection Helen Shelton of FINN Partners gave us to Professor Lynne Scott Jackson (no relation to Sharné, but oh what a powerful connection of like minded women of action). This fall L’Oréal was our TFF partner & last year LVMH not only partnered but hired a student who attended the 1st Scents of Success program, initially brought on as a LVMH intern & now a full time employee. We celebrate CCNY Alum Erika Cruz-Vasquez & LVMH for this great opportunity to mark our 1st Scent of Success fragrance employee! We are thankful for all TFF members involved in the program roll out & TFF’s Sharné & Cheryl Fried leading the way!

For this issue, the Scents & Sensibilities section allows four new TFF members to share their stories, which are each inspiring in every way! Enjoy reading about these valued new members all with their own unique stories ! Thank you to all for scenting the USA in new ways.

As we always celebrate the importance of Perfumers, we feature inspirations from three Perfumers who share story telling of their new 2023 Holiday candles.

We on the TFF team – Elina, Allison, Linda, Sharné, Chelsea & Cheryl – wish you all the best Thanksgiving possible as we express our gratitude for all your support all year round!

signature.png

President, The Fragrance Foundation
@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Oct

SPOTLIGHT: LINDA G. LEVY, CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREE

SPOTLIGHT: LINDA G. LEVY, CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREE

SPOTLIGHT: LINDA G. LEVY, CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREE

SPOTLIGHT: LINDA G. LEVY, CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS HONOREE

On October 26th, Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy was inducted into TFF’s illustrious Circle of Champions at a lively dinner event held at 583 Park Avenue in New York. Levy was unanimously voted this year’s champion by the TFF Board of Directors, and the fragrance industry turned up in force to support the woman who has transformed the role and, indeed, the fragrance world itself.

The inaugural Circle of Champions award was given in 2000 to industry icon Leonard Lauder, and tonight began with TFF Executive Committee Chairman Jerry Vittoria reading a letter from Lauder in praise of Levy, thanking her for her friendship and saying that, to him, she embodies the great James Bond theme: “Nobody Does it Better.”

Ann Gottlieb lauded Levy’s charm, warmth, and tenacity and described her as “the family member everyone wished they had.” Her fearless leadership, Gottlieb said, “has consistently pushed the boundaries and made TFF more exciting, more important, and more relevant.” Jeff Gennette, Macy’s Chairman and CEO, congratulated Levy in a video address, noting that Macy’s would not be the fragrance destination it is today were it not for Levy’s efforts during her tenure at the company. Tricia Butler, Executive Committee member and President, North America, LVMH Parfums Givenchy, Kenzo, and Acqua di Parma, gave a heartfelt speech praising Levy’s commitment to important causes, her ability to bring people together, and how she has, with her “amazing hand-selected team,” turned TFF “into a force of nature.”

Levy herself took the stage to give a rollicking recount of her long and varied career—one that has been filled with connections made and friendships forged, all of which paid forward tonight. Those who spoke about Levy did so with great affection, enumerating her accomplishments—which include transforming and modernizing TFF, prioritizing DEI with #FragranceForwardTFF, vastly expanding membership, and bringing the organization and its mission into the public eye through enhanced social media activity and national news exposure—while frequently reiterating, “she is just getting started.”

As Levy enumerated her goals for TFF and the milestones she has achieved, which she maintained were done with the supportive community as a whole, not alone, she called out that her biggest goal remains and will continue to be a commitment to ensuring all voices are heard and all backgrounds and identities respected within the fragrance industry. “We have so much to do together,” she said. “I’m not going to stop, you know that.”

Click here to view more information and videos.

What does the Circle of Champions Award mean to you?

This is an extraordinary honor for me that I am truly thrilled to receive. For me to join this Circle as a Champion whose first recipient was Leonard Lauder, as well as other accomplished leaders, is humbling, yet I am so very proud of it. This is the greatest affirmation that as President of TFF my contributions to the organization & fragrance community have been recognized, valued & have made significant impact.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity & time in my role to learn every day on the job & not just dream, but make things happen. The time I spend with Perfumers, Fragrance Houses, Brands big & small, Retailers & creatives in other related arenas is educational, informative & stimulating. All have been my teachers & I share this award with all.

What accomplishments are you proudest of in your role as TFF President?

As my decades in the beauty business in many companies gave me the opportunity to gain knowledge & experience in so many aspects of the business, I took on this role with great ambition. It has been my track record to not just fill the requirements of a defined position, but to go above & beyond: to add incremental value. I have had the opportunity to add value & create a new modern elevated image for TFF with real action based on meaningful deliverables. As TFF President I have had the opportunity to add new strategic initiatives, activations & dimensions.

My top 10 accomplishments that I am most proud of are:

1. Uniting the fragrance community with a new mission & objectives: To inspire the world to discover the artistry & passion of fragrance.

2. Enhanced membership: utilizing TFF member content in all TFF communications & to media. 

3.  Nurturing talent: creating the Notables Think Tank & mentoring  programs.  

4.  Adding Indies as members. Seeing them. Giving them a voice to be heard. 

5.  Creating elevated experiences.

6. Give Back: NEXT for Autism for 4 years & now the New York Urban League.

7.  Engaging Consumers: International Fragrance Day March 21 + campaigns and experiential events.

8. Perfumers in the headlines:  Elevated the role & cast the spotlight on their extraordinary craft.

9.Building awareness of careers in the fragrance community with our members, higher education institutions and the New York Urban League.

10. #1 priority Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: #FragranceForwardTFF – So that we reflect the entire USA population: race, religion, gender identity & abilities.

What changes would you like to see in the next year(s) within the fragrance industry?

Our TFF strategy & efforts will deliver change for next year & the years to come.

In the next few years I would expect to see the range of people in the industry in roles at all levels from interns up expanding to include more of a reflection of the USA population in terms of race, religion, gender identity & ability. We are in motion & taking action, so I expect to see measurable progress. This will be an ongoing process forever. The programs in place will roll out including the Catalyst Initiative with the New York Urban League Young Professionals & Scents of Success across the nation.

We will focus on expanding the industry & expand our direct dialog with consumers. We will expand TFF membership to include more fragrance brands as well as retailers, as wherever fragrance is sold, we want to add value, contribute content & amplify.

We will be launching Scent Escentials, a new online course, created for those who are entering the fragrance industry to learn the basics. As this will be available both within TFF & outside we will share it with media who are responsible for fragrance content & students as well.

The Fragrance Day March 21, 2024 will move from the past years where activities were predominantly online to driving in-store experiences offered by TFF Retailers across the nation with a focus on key fragrance markets.

The topic of sustainability will be addressed providing relevant information to consumers discussing both myths & realities culminating on Earth Day in April.

Last but not least we will celebrate great fragrances at TFFAwards Finalists in April & winners declared in the first week of June at our star studded iconic gala event.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: INTENTIONAL INCLUSIVITY

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: INTENTIONAL INCLUSIVITY
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: INTENTIONAL INCLUSIVITY

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: INTENTIONAL INCLUSIVITY

This month marked the third annual webinar dedicated to the mission of #FragranceForwardTFF, which launched in Fall 2021. This year’s panel, Intentional Inclusivity: The Value of Diverse Perspectives, was moderated by Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and NY-1 Noticias Weekend Anchor Birmania Rios, and included Arquiste Creator and Perfumer Carlos Huber, Givaudan perfumer Adriana Medina, and Diptyque Director of Marketing Eduardo Valadez. Together, the group discussed a variety of topics ranging from how important it is to ensure that people from all backgrounds have access to information, inspiration, and education about the fragrance industry, how important it is to see the individuality in every consumer, and how inclusivity can enliven not only the fragrance business the but fragrances themselves. For this edition of Accords, the panelists dive deeper into the importance of DEI, and how the industry can best support #FragranceForwardTFF.

What has your unique background brought to your career and the way that you approach & appreciate fragrance?

I think coming from a multicultural background has made me more open and interested in representing different cultural voices. I have Jewish roots that originated in places like Poland, Lithuania, Greece and Turkey, and my family emigrated to Mexico in the 1920s. They became very proud Mexicans, grateful for a new life in the New World. I’ve been extremely fortunate- thanks to the opportunities and education our life in Mexico afforded us, I’ve been able to travel the world freely, choosing to settle in New York City not because of any persecution or struggles back home, but because I’ve been raised to see myself as a citizen of the world. It’s made me curious about the world in general, without prejudice. As a fragrance developer, it made me want to explore and develop perfumes and stories from around the world that exemplify how we’re all connected: via our love of scent, cultural ties, trade, immigration. I like stories that connect us. Perfumes are compositions that bring different things together, like people, and sometimes the most beautiful ones are all about this contrast.

What are some of the ways that you believe that an inclusive approach most benefits a fragrance story or a brand as a whole?

Because we need to tell more than one side of the story. I’m a minority in more ways than one. I’m Jewish, Mexican and gay, and all of this makes me who I am. Life and people are diverse and complex. When you listen to other points of view it makes you a better leader, a better fragrance developer. You understand that people will have different experiences with your scents, so by bringing them into the fold, you’re creating a more rounded product.

What are the things to consider in order to ensure an authentic dialogue between consumer and brand?

Respect and kindness above all. We must remember that the consumer is a real person, but behind the “brand” you also have real people, working hard, trying to do their best. Always be respectful and treat people the way you would like to be treated.

How can you and members of TFF best contribute to #FragranceForwardTFF?

Support independent brands, look beyond the mass market. Explore the niche perfume shops and websites that support small brands and explore our scents. 

What has your unique background brought to your career and the way that you approach & appreciate fragrance?

I come from Colombia, a country full of passion, resilience and positivity. All of these qualities were essential in becoming a perfumer. In fact, I put them into action every day within my work—I approach every creation as a new adventure.

Each brief is quite unique so I always keep in mind what my fragrance is going to communicate and how the end consumer is going to feel.

What are some of the ways that you believe that an inclusive approach most benefits a fragrance story or a brand as a whole?

It’s important to consider the general consumer; in the USA, we are a mix of different cultures where hispanics are taking a major role in fragrance purchasing. We’ve been wearing fragrance since we were babies, it’s are part of our culture! The more you know about a specific culture, the more you can provide to them, attract them and make them connect with your brand.

What are the things to consider in order to ensure an authentic dialogue between consumer and brand?

Consumers want brands that are a reflection of their diverse desires and needs. Ensuring authentic communication with a consumer is about putting them first. In doing so, being transparent and consistent is critical in creating trust and enhancing credibility.

How can you and members of TFF best contribute to #FragranceForwardTFF?

As an industry, we need to continue to prioritize an ecosystem of diversity through an inclusive approach which includes everything from representation, education to communication.

What has your unique background brought to your career and the way that you approach & appreciate fragrance?

Scent has been an influential and integral part of my Mexican heritage, a culture which is passionate for experiencing everyday life through the senses. Since birth, having been immersed in the rich and diverse, multi-sensorial cultural experiences, provided this innate passion that I wanted to explore and pursue. This ultimately propelled me to a career in the beauty and fragrance industry. I continue to be fascinated by the idea that fragrance can allow you to express a feeling and a sensation.

What are some of the ways that you believe that an inclusive approach most benefits a fragrance story or a brand as a whole?

Inclusivity is an essential element to any fragrance story. We need to tap into more than just the visual messages that bring a fragrance to life, we can’t neglect the need to explore the various cultural aspects that allow everyone to feel connected, heard and seen within the story.

What are the things to consider in order to ensure an authentic dialogue between consumer and brand?

To ensure the conversations are meaningful, and engaged on a deeper level, authenticity is fundamental. Our conversations must have resonance and relevance. Consumers must feel a sense of trust in a brand to connect and engage for the years to come.

How can you and members of TFF best contribute to #FragranceForwardTFF?

I believe this is very simple, although not always easy—we need to continue to have conversations rather big or small at all levels. We need to keep the dialogue as a continuum if we want to see change in our industry. We need to actively look for varied perspectives that will not only enrich our industry and the people who work in it.

Sep

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE

On August 23rd, TFF and the New York Urban League hosted a “Getting to Know You Breakfast” to launch the Catalyst Initiative Partnership, a sweeping and important program that will drive DEI forward in the fragrance industry. NYUL CEO and President Arva Rice shared an inspiring “walk” through the 105-year history and impact of the New York Urban League, and eloquently shared her hope that this alliance with TFF becomes a significant part of NYUL’s legacy in the future. NYUL Chief Program Officer Shalima McCants shared the breadth and impact of NYUL’s Programs, which TFF members will also have an opportunity to participate in, including Empowerment Days for high school students to shadow workspaces and be exposed to the industry first-hand. And lastly, NYUL Diversity & Inclusion Lab Program Manager Sandra Garcia shared insights on leveraging NYULConnect, the D&I Lab’s signature program that partners with companies to solve the challenges brands experience in sourcing, reaching, retaining, and developing diverse talent. For this month’s ACCORDS, each of these inspiring women discuss their vision for the Catalyst Initiative Partnership, and why uniting with TFF to pursue a common goal is so significant.

Why is the Catalyst initiative with TFF so important, and what do you hope to achieve?

The New York Urban League (NYUL) is thrilled to partner with The Fragrance Foundation (TFF) in the Diversity and Inclusion Lab. The multi-year partnership will afford TFF and its members strategic interaction with two of the core target groups NYUL serves – youth and young professionals. The Catalyst Initiative represents a historic opportunity for our organizations to make impactful and long-lasting diversity and inclusion changes in an industry rather than in single corporations. The Fragrance Foundation recognizes that inequality is unacceptable and is taking meaningful steps by working with NYUL to create change. This initiative will become a part of the New York Urban Leagues legacy and essential work that will lay the footprint for future diversity and inclusion endeavors.

Why is it so special that the Catalyst Initiative is the 1st ever industry wide program?

The partnership provides us with an opportunity for NYUL to learn the fragrance industry from concept to bringing products to market. In understanding the steps of creating fragrances, we can help prepare and recruit diverse talent for the industry, from young students to our Young Professionals. Site visits, guest speakers, and participation in membership events will allow NYUL to understand the culture and process of the fragrance industry. The potential for impact is beyond a company or even a set of companies to an entire industry.

How does NYUL Connect help companies attain and foster diverse talent?

NYUL Connect is an online destination where the New York Urban League community and the broader metropolitan New York City community of job seekers, career seekers, and connection seekers are invited to join through a free membership. The platform creates space to engage with working professionals, individuals willing to mentor, brand partner job listings, career development, and professional development opportunities. Every month, NYUL Diversity & Inclusion Lab partners submit open job opportunities, which are listed on NYUL Connect and socialized on other NYUL marketing platforms to reach a wider and more diverse audience.

What do you hope to see emerge from TFF’s Catalyst Initiative with NYUL’s Diversity & Inclusion Lab?

I am eager to make the fragrance industry accessible to our NYUL community through the Catalyst Initiative. During my brief time working with The Fragrance Foundation, I learned about the myriad opportunities within fragrance houses, retailers, and brands. I’m thrilled to introduce the industry and its career potential to our Black and Brown New York community, who may not yet know the exciting possibilities.

What have been some of the major achievements of NYUL’s youth programs?

The New York Urban League has a decades-long history of working to improve children and youths’ social-emotional and academic outcomes. From creating some of New York City’s first sleep-away camps in the 1920s to operating academies for young men to get their GEDs on evenings and weekends in the 1960s, NYUL has been at the forefront of educational issues. 

The New York Urban League has strengthened our connection to community partners, professionals, and entrepreneurs, who have supported our programming by providing tours, workshops, panel discussions, and presentations, to name a few, for our students. These experiences have increased their connection to college and career opportunities.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS NEW PERSPECTIVES

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS NEW PERSPECTIVES
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS NEW PERSPECTIVES

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUMERS NEW PERSPECTIVES

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you?  

I traveled to Costa Rica and it’s so rich in terms of nature and feelings of freedom and exploration. I was particularly inspired by the coffee plantation I visited. I had the chance to smell and experience coffee flowers for the first time. As soon as I smelled them, I wanted to bring in Symrise’s Instaessence® technology to precisely capture this fresh, delicate scent  and Costa Rica is filled with lush and wonderful landscapes. I was horseback riding and came upon a tree standing in the middle of the sea. It happens at certain times of day with the tide and it was very poetic. This gave me the idea to work around a 100% biodegradable and renewable woody note we have at Symrise called SympepTM. It’s made from Guaiac wood oil and has a soft driftwood facet that would be at the center of my creation, like the tree in the middle of the sea.  

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance?  

I love the creation and conceptual process. It’s amazing to experience moments, feelings, places and sensations in everyday life and then be tasked to capture and bottle them. To be able to re-experience that feeling or place in time whenever you wear a fragrance is so powerful. In my daily work, I love the challenge of adapting to an ever-changing customer demand. Our industry is in constant movement, and I like the stimulation and energy that it brings to me.

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you? 

This summer I traveled to two of my favorite beach destinations, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Wildwood Crest, New Jersey.  I am always inspired by the beach.  The salty ocean breeze is one of my favorite scents.  When this smell hits me, I am instantly relaxed and in vacation mode.  I love working on fragrances where I can incorporate some of these salty, fresh, watery notes.

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance? 

As a perfumer, I really love recreating scents from my everyday experiences, the small yet special moments of my daily life. These fragrances are my scent memories, and I enjoy recreating an impression of a beautiful walk I’ve taken on the beach or the scent of baking a delicious apple pie.  When I smell these fragrances, I am taken back to that exact moment. 

Are there any specific notes or ideas for fragrances that you are especially interested in exploring this fall? 

It is fun to blur the seasons to find new creative nuances in my work.  For fall, I am using some of the salty, watery notes that remind me of the beach and adding them to a traditional fall fragrance.  I am inspired by what the beach smells like in the fall.  A cool and crisp, outdoorsy feeling with the salty ocean air in the background.

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you?

Every year I go to Greece and from an olfactive standpoint the islands are packed with inspiration – from fig trees to aromatic herbs like thyme, rosemary, immortelle. Even the olive oil smells and tastes better in Greece. But, as odd as it may sound, I am most inspired by my trips to the pharmacy. I love exploring local brands, which are often harder and more expensive to find in the US. I love how they market local ingredients like yogurt or mastic into their products. So when I come back to work I think naturally these inspirations stick with me as a subconscious way of extending my vacation – because who wouldn’t want to stay in Greece!

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance?

The same thing that excited me when I first started. Perfumery is about being able to play and have fun. This is usually in the evening after most people have left for the day. It’s also when I turn the music up on my Beats speaker. I guess you can call this my “playtime”. Every artist needs their playtime. It’s when I get most creative and imaginative. But I guess the real excitement comes the next day when I smell what I created the day before. It can feel like Christmas morning.

Are there any specific notes or ideas for fragrances that you are especially interested in exploring this fall?

Yes actually. I have been working on this Brown butter popcorn accord. Not sure how I will develop it yet, but I love the possibilities it brings.

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you?

I was able to spend time in both Miami and Utah this summer. While in Florida, I enjoyed Cuban coffee and the enchanting smell of wild lilies. The vast desert landscapes out West provided mineral, earthy and sundrenched inspirations. I found the life that thrives in the desert particularly captivating as well.

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance?

I feel like the consumer is willing to take more risks; they’re open to being more adventurous – which allows for creative explorations in fragrance and the use of new technologies.

This, along with Gen Z’s approach to fragrance and how they relate in quite a different way. They’re searching for authenticity, they’re extremely knowledgeable about ingredients and they want to express their uniqueness through fragrance. Through Givaudan’s new “What is love?” program, we explore just that—this generation’s olfactive exploration through the prism of love and seduction. We’ve been able to translate Gen Z’s desire for authenticity and caring love into never-before-smelled fragrance compositions.

Are there any specific notes or ideas for fragrances that you are especially interested in exploring this fall?

I’m eager to pursue ideas of this ‘Farm to Fragrance’ evolution—playful, yet refined + fresh, garden-inspired expressions—in fragrance, along with more sacred and spiritual themes that lean deeper into cultural history and rituals.

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you?

When visiting the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Yoho National Parks, and Maine Acadia National Park I was initially quite surprised and a bit disappointed to be surrounded by so many visitors. While this at first made it harder to enjoy the beauty of nature, it ultimately compelled me to take several unbeaten paths which transported me to endless green in the middle of majestic and beautiful wet forests. Reconnecting to the raw scents, sensations and feelings brought me back to what I love about fragrances and natural materials. This vast portfolio of wet stones, cold rivers, crumpled leaves, sun-heated soil is something that I’m now exploring in my creations, trying to immerse you in the scents of the blissful outdoors.

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance?

There’s a “nouvelle vague” happening where some new up & comers are trying to define a new perfumery, around new accords and centered around beautiful naturals. In a time where clients and consumers are becoming more and more educated about these, it’s exciting to be a part of defining what the future of scents might be. In such busy times, it gives us the opportunity to stop for a minute, to rethink the way we reformulate and really go back to the materials themselves.

Are there any specific notes or ideas for fragrances that you are especially interested in exploring this fall?

Literal notes such as vegetables, fruits or more conceptual ones like petrichor and wet soils accords seem to be in favor at the moment and this is something I love working on and developing. Ingredients that were in fragrances for decades are also finally remerging . For example, carrot is extremely interesting and I’m working on developing an authentic accord around this scent. Another trend ongoing is the revival of 80s & 90s fragrance accords, with strong identifiable signatures, and reimagining these with a modern twist — like carrot — makes it unusual and fun, unexpected but also olfactively interesting and pertinent. 

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you?

This summer I spent time in Barcelona, where I represented Cosmo International Fragrances in the Mouillette D’Argent International Perfumery Competition with my perfume inspired by the Mediterranean sun. What inspired me most when traveling were the aromas of local flora, unique cuisines, the climate, and the cultural landscape of the Mediterranean. Catalonia has always stimulated my senses in a never-ending way; the saline breeze, wild herbs and aromatic resinous pines combine with warm, dry earth and a relaxed, bright atmosphere that eases the mind and warrants artistic expression.

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance?

What motivates and excites me most about perfumery is witnessing the progression involved in developing a tangible finished creation that started from nothing more than an idea. Nothing is more satisfying to me than that first sniff of each new trial and watching your unique personal vision materialize with every addition or modification of the formula. This eternal pursuit of progress has me waking up excited every day to dream, experiment, and create.

Are there any specific notes or ideas for fragrances that you are especially interested in exploring this fall?

Cosmo International Fragrances has several exciting natural extracts with unique characteristics available in our palette. As the cooler weather comes around, I find myself drawn to warm, sweet, and comforting scents with character that make you feel bundled up and embraced. I have recently enjoyed experimenting with Osmanthus Craftivity, Myrtle Inca Oil Peru, and Ginger CO2 Peru, which bring a fresh, unique perspective to the classic wintery themes of spices, dark fruits, and other gourmand directions. Being able to continually explore new directions on familiar themes and experimenting with entirely new ideas and unique materials makes every day on the job an adventure.

How did your travels or experiences this summer inspire you?

This summer I moved from Paris to New York. I feel this city is a new playground where all my senses are stimulated. Inspiration is at every corner – a new pastry, the smell of coffee in the street – it is just all so different from France. It’s amazing how the places we grow up influence our olfactory tastes. I also traveled to California to go surfing this summer and I’m starting to become obsessed by the mix between the salty air of the sea, the mineral sand, the sunscreen and the surf wax infused by coconut that I used. This is something I want to recreate in a fragrance creation.

What currently excites you most about working in fragrance?

What I like about this work is that creativity comes from curiosity. I love to make a parallel between different art forms and try to apply what I discovered into perfumery.

For example, I went to see this building “couvent de la Tourette” in France, built by the architect Le Corbusier. He’s famous for his work with concrete and the way he played with the light. The simplicity, the colors, and the shapes he used give a majestic and modern impression. At that time, it was really avant-garde and groundbreaking.

After visiting it, I tried to apply what I perceived there into my way of creating. Trying to be simpler and finding ingredients that bring light and contrast because an ingredient surrounded by a good environment can express itself at its full potential.

The weather becoming chilly brings me to explore warmer notes. I’m really attracted to palo santo. I feel it’s really interesting because it has the contrast I was talking about. It’s a really creamy wood, dark and sensual with a slightly aromatic note that brings the contrast to the wood. I definitely want to integrate this smell in one of my next creations.

Are there any specific notes or ideas for fragrances that you are especially interested in exploring this fall?

As the weather becomes chillier, I begin to explore warmer notes. I’m really attracted to palo santo for example, because it’s a creamy wood, dark and sensual with a slightly aromatic note that brings an interesting contrast.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

Our TFF Catalyst Initiative officially launched with The New York Urban League in late August & is now moving forward with monthly activations & communications. In the Spotlight section of Accords, the leaders at NYUL share how & why we are now officially connected & it makes us so very proud to join together as #FragranceForwardTFF.

In our early stages now, we are spending time getting to know each other. We know it is important to share who we are as well as our missions & objectives, translating these to our actions that unite us to bring diversity to the fragrance community. Our emphasis is focused on actions so that students & young professionals are welcomed, celebrated & recruited for roles throughout the fragrance community & industry.

In Scents & Sensibilities, we asked new TFF Board members to share their perspectives of the new Fall season. Also, each executive explains how important both creativity and gratitude are in their leadership roles.

We are thrilled to also feature some of the next generation of Perfumers who share how their travels this summer have inspired their outlook going forward and how fragrances can transport us to new destinations. They also enjoy sharing what excites them and will affect their future creations.

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month officially through October 15th, we recognize the major contributions this important part of the fragrance community makes every day of the year. We value the talent that is brought to the industry as well as the consumers across the USA!

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President, The Fragrance Foundation

@linda_g_levy
@fragrancefoundation

Jun

SPOTLIGHT: NICOLAS HIERONIMUS – HALL OF FAME

SPOTLIGHT: NICOLAS HIERONIMUS – HALL OF FAME
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: NICOLAS HIERONIMUS – HALL OF FAME

SPOTLIGHT: NICOLAS HIERONIMUS – HALL OF FAME

At the 2023 Fragrance Foundation Awards on June 15th, The Fragrance Foundation honored Nicolas Hieronimus, L’Oréal’s CEO, with its prestigious Hall of Fame Award. A major player in the fragrance industry for more than a decade—and the 6th CEO of the L’Oréal Groupe in its 113-year history—Hieronimus’s accomplishments cannot be understated.

Beginning in 2011 as President of the L’Oréal Luxe Division, Hieronimus’ unique vision paved the way for L’Oréal to become the world’s fine fragrance leader. Iconic fragrances such as Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle, Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium and Libre, and Si by Armani were introduced with great success under his leadership, and his forward-looking focus on sustainability and technology ensures that L’Oréal will continue to thrive and inspire into the future.

How does it feel to be honored with the TFF Hall of Fame award?

I am personally very honored to receive this prestigious award from The Fragrance Foundation. Fragrance is a very important pillar of our French heritage and L’Oréal has an important role to play as the world leader in fine fragrance.

I humbly believe this award is also a collective recognition of the passion, dedication, and fragrance know-how of our teams, it’s a great tribute to all the fragrance teams at L’Oréal.

What have been the most impactful actions you’ve taken that have resulted in L’Oreal becoming so successful in fragrance?

I chose to bet on 3 important elements: quality, creativity, and experts’ collaboration. I empowered the team to over-invest in the quality of ingredients and concentration. This was also true for bottle designs. I pushed for creativity and uniqueness in all elements of the mix including naming and advertising. A fragrance, even a blockbuster, needs to create emotions and be memorable. It cannot be mainstream. And this could only be achieved with a unique collaboration of all our in-house experts and our external partners. I am referring to our dedicated in-house fragrance team, who orchestrates all our fragrance creations in partnership with the greatest fine fragrance houses, our marketing creative minds, and our in-house industrial teams partnering with the greater glass manufacturers. A magnificent orchestra.

Over the past decade or so we have built an unparalleled portfolio of complementary and aspirational luxury fragrances. I’m very proud to see our iconic launches, like La Vie Est Belle, Black Opium, Si or Libre are such incredible success stories.

What are some of the ways that L’Oreal is leading the fragrance category into the future?

As a leader, L’Oréal has always had a strong ambition to lead the future of fragrance, which like the rest of the beauty industry, is increasingly being driven by sustainability and technology.

We’ve also been exploring the power of cutting-edge technology to enhance the fragrance experience for customers. For example, with Scent Station by Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, which helps customers find their perfect fragrance by analyzing their emotional olfactory profiles.

Why do you think that fragrance is so important in the beauty world as a whole?

Fragrance plays such an important role in fostering individual wellbeing and contributing positively to society and culture.

Throughout history fragrance has had the power to stimulate our senses, our memories and our emotions and it can be linked also to self-confidence and mental wellness. We’re seeing today, post pandemic, that fragrance is perhaps more relevant than ever, because it helps us connect with ourselves and with others.

What is your personal connection with fragrance?

I have a deep love for fragrances – for me, like music, creating a great fragrance is more than just choosing the right combination of notes, or accords. It amazes me how different notes can be combined, like a symphony, to create harmonies that are original, memorable and have the ability to connect with people.

Given the nature of my role, I’m constantly trying new and different fragrances. Yet, I have to admit that I’ve a soft spot for Armani Privé’s Cyprès Pantelleria and the new YSL masculine fragrance to be launched next fall…

How do you personally and professionally stand for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

This is a topic that is very close to my heart. A more inclusive world is also a fairer, more empathic world. A world that is open to more perspectives is awash with creativity. As a leader, I’ve seen first-hand that diverse teams with a range of different perspectives create more interesting products.

But it’s more than just the composition of our teams, we need to ensure that DE&I is reflected in everything we do – from product development through to representation in advertising. That way we can satisfy all beauty needs and desires in their infinite diversity and deliver ‘beauty for each’.

What do you think is the most exciting thing about perfume right now, and what do you predict in the coming years?

I’ve been fascinated to see the rapid regrowth of perfume post-pandemic – it’s a real testament to the social nature of the fragrance category. We can now see fragrance playing an increasing role in boosting both well-being and self-indulgence.

As we look towards the future, I believe that innovation will complement the traditional creative process. Advances in technology such as AI will help us boost creativity, invent new ingredient combinations, build new fragrance experiences in store, and capture new consumers outside of the traditional channels.

I look forward to some exciting times ahead!

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT ANNE FLIPO

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT ANNE FLIPO
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT ANNE FLIPO

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT ANNE FLIPO

Sniff just a few of the fragrances IFF Master Perfumer Anne Flipo has composed, and you’ll immediately detect a bold, questioning, and sensitive personality behind them. A very thoughtful perfumer, Flipo is known for her quiet rigor—including a dedication to hand-written formulas—and for her outsize talent and expertise. Over the course of her now 35-year career, Flipo has created sensational scents for houses big and small, from history-making blockbusters such as Lancôme La Vie Est Belle to vibrant masterstrokes such as Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Synthetic Jungle to nuanced niche works such as L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons. Whether working alone or collaboratively, on feminine, masculine, or universal scents, Flipo’s process and goals are constant, and an inspiration for all who encounter her—and her fragrances. “My quest remains the same,” she says. “Signature, impact, pleasure!”

What initially drew you to perfumery?

I grew up in the North of France, surrounded by a wonderful garden kept by a gardener, full of flowers year round. Maybe it was that garden, or my father working in sugar, or my grandmother who lived in Laon and who excelled in the art of entertaining, the art of living, cooking: When it was time for me to choose what I was going to study, I opted for the ISIP, the French perfumery school, which offered a three-year program in flavoring, cosmetics, and fragrance, against the wishes of my parents, who wanted me to prepare the entrance exams for engineering schools.

What are the earliest scents or fragrances you can recall?

From that life growing up in the North of France, I vividly recall the flowerbeds, the orchards, the smell of tennis courts, lilac trees, lily-of-the-valley, weeping willows, ornamental cherries, peonies, and poppies. Funnily enough, American perfumery also made a lasting impression on me, as the small local perfumery carried American brands which became the staples of my mother and aunt, who wore Estée and Youth Dew. My sister also used to wear Alliage and Cinnabar by Estée Lauder as well as Charlie by Revlon.

What was your experience at school in Versailles like? Did you have a mentor?

When I started learning to smell, it felt like second nature to me. I was lucky to be trained by Michel Almairac and Jean-Louis Sieuzac, perfumers with an outstanding track record.

How would you describe your style as a perfumer?

I don’t believe I have a style per se, as I make it a point to blend myself in with the brands I create for.

However, there is a common denominator which I try to bring into all my creations: the immediate recognizability of a signature, the immediate pleasure it provides. It needs to be readable, impactful, recognizable: that is my style!

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Orange flower is my personal favorite, but I also love green notes which I’ve used in many different ways.

What do you personally find most fascinating or absorbing about perfumery?

I love to listen to people who come to see me and to translate their words into perfume. I also love challenges, working on brands I’ve never worked with before, and with people I don’t know, taking risks, approaching things from a different angle. I like to win as well! Today, my greatest ambition is transmission. I don’t worry about going down in history; being forgotten is of no importance. But I am keen to be a mentor to young people, to help them win and to think outside the box, to let go without letting go while letting go without letting go . . . In a word, to find themselves; because in the end that’s what it’s all about, and it can bring as much joy as pain, sometimes. It takes a lot of self-sacrifice. Perfume is hard work.

Which of your perfume creations have you been most proud of, and why?

I’m sure most perfumers will give you the same answer: it’s hard to choose between your children! I’m proud of having created the world blockbuster La Vie est Belle with my colleagues Olivier Polge and Dominique Ropion, but there are so many I’m proud of: Libre for Yves Saint Laurent, the shockingly green notes of Synthetic Jungle for Frederic Malle; the sensuality of L’Interdit; the countryside laid back feel of Jo Malone Basil & Neroli; the sexiness of Jimmy Choo; the immediate femininity of Lady Million for Paco Rabanne… and many others!

Were there specific moments or opportunities you believe were crucial or especially formative in your career?

In the 2000s my career took a new turn when I joined IFF, an exception in the male-dominated world of perfumery. When I started out, I was told, “a woman perfumer: no way.’ Luckily when my mother was raising us she was obsessed with telling my sister and I that we had as just as much opportunity as boys, if not more. At IFF, it was a relief; it was more open, there were women who had beaten the odds, like Joséphine Catapano, and Sophia Grojsman, who came up with some of perfumery’s finest fragrances. IFF was also the first company to encourage collaboration between perfumers. You have to be able to work with other perfumers: it’s a challenge, you learn from it; it’s helped me a lot. Curiosity, honesty, respect, emotion . . . That’s what takes you to the next level: humility and pleasure.

What inspires you most?

Meeting new people. The people I work with fuel my creative energy!

How do you define success?

Balance.

How does it feel to be named TFF Lifetime Achievement Perfumer?

Saying it is a dream come true is an understatement. It gives me so much pleasure, since I was informed that I would be this year’s recipient, I’ve been walking on clouds!

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

This year marks the 50th year of our signature event, The 2023 Fragrance Foundation Awards which was held June 15th at Lincoln Center. Over 900 attended the awards presentation in person & thousands joined us on social media. We all agreed it was more spectacular than ever.

The ceremony, a creative collaboration with award-winning artist and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg, revealed winners across 14 categories and highlighted the winners from 5 categories previously awarded at the 2023 Awards Luncheon held in April where finalists for all 19 categories were announced.
Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal was inaugurated into The Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame with actress Cate Blanchett presenting him the award. Anne Flipo, master perfumer at IFF, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Perfumer Award.

Our star lineup of presenters from the worlds of design, entertainment, ballet & small fragrance brand founders all shared their passion for fragrances as the TFFAwards announced the winners.

We celebrated TFF Awards in a magnificent way, but what has affected this signature event, and what I am most proud of, is the diversity of people and creations we are celebrating. #FragranceForwardTFF

Enjoy this special June issue of Accords by our Editor April Long. To experience more of our TFF Awards event, view the Awards winners, & see photos that capture our iconic evening, CLICK THROUGH HERE!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

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@linda_g_levy

courtesy of @gettyimages @fragrancefoundation

May

SPOTLIGHT: VERA WANG – THE TRAILBLAZER

SPOTLIGHT: VERA WANG – THE TRAILBLAZER
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: VERA WANG – THE TRAILBLAZER

SPOTLIGHT: VERA WANG – THE TRAILBLAZER

Vera Wang’s impact on American fashion cannot be understated. A former figure skater and Vogue editor, she revolutionized and modernized bridalwear when she opened her first boutique in 1990—and she has since brought her unerring good taste to everything from eyewear to tableware, bedding to jewelry, even to vodka. She has also been prolific in the world of perfume: her beloved fragrances—nearly 30 of which have launched since the first, Vera Wang, debuted in 2002—transcend the Big Day to become lifetime signature scents. Here, the iconic designer, who was recently awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Biden, reflects on her surpassingly successful career, and shares why she believes that perfume is the ultimate accessory.

What did your experience as a skater and early career as an editor bring to your sensibility as a designer?

Skating gave me a physical ability that’s quite rare in the fashion world. And before I ever went into fashion, I was already involved in fashion, because skating is probably the only sport in which your performance involves how you look, how you dress, what the choreography is, and what the music is. That’s not so different from putting together a fashion show.

As a fashion editor, I was exposed to more fashion in one run through at Vogue than most people see in a lifetime. You’re sitting there for eight hours, and there’s clothing from all over the world. It’s tried on, discussed, evaluated. Is it good enough for the magazine? Is it something that’s going to create a story? Is there a trend? Fashion, for me, is so much about line. It’s about the body. Lyricism, sensuality. I’m so connected to my own body because of my history. Every designer brings something from their life to their work. I brought 22 years of using my body for expression, and using my mind.

What do you think it was about your early wedding dress designs that struck such a chord with people?

I was the girl who was never getting married. I got engaged at the ripe old age of 38 and three quarters. We didn’t even have time to arrange a wedding, we were both so busy working. And when I went wedding dress shopping… well, you can imagine. I didn’t intend to wear a traditional wedding gown, which, at that time, was basically a uniform, with all kinds of frilly things and leg of mutton sleeves. I just couldn’t relate to any of it, and most of the other women getting engaged were 15 years younger than me. So I ended up designing something and having it made. That’s how it all started. I realized there was an opportunity to bring an editorial eye, and a real fashion sensibility, to bridal.

You recently received a National Medal of Arts from President Biden. How did it feel to be recognized with such an honor?

The United States has been so prolific in its contribution to all the arts and humanities, and to sports, it’s incredible. And when you think of getting a medal from the President, for the arts, it’s a bit surreal, I thought of all the other people that should have gotten it instead of me. So many American fashion designers have made such great contributions to making American style so influential. I’ll cite two of my friends: Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren, my ex-boss. They exported American culture to the world. What’s even more ridiculous is that I was the first one to get an award for fashion, because I presume fashion had never been considered an art.

But have you ever tried to dress a woman’s body, a real, live woman? Have you ever tried to change her life or envision her in a different way? If that’s not an art form, I don’t know what is. I am really proud that I was awarded this medal for that reason, because my whole life has been devoted to, hopefully, making women feel comfortable and not intimidated by fashion.

How has your Chinese American heritage enriched your life and work?

I grew up having to be a blend of cultures. Chinese families have a very distinct culture. It’s based on respect for elders, on discipline, hard work, tenacity, humility, and being grateful for opportunities. You don’t forget that kind of upbringing. And you do bring that along with you, throughout your life. I felt very grateful to have gotten the job at Vogue. And grateful to have gotten a job at Ralph. And grateful for having had the opportunity to create my own company, and to have had people understand what I was trying to do.

What do you love most about fragrance?

First of all, it conjures up memories. There’s a sensuality of fragrance that you feel, and you experience, but so do people around you. It’s a way to communicate. It’s about mood and individuality, and self-expression. In a way, fragrance is the ultimate accessory. And I think that it’s sexy. I remember whenever I used to work really late, and when I had a dinner date or something, I would just put on a bit of fragrance. Some women do lipstick, but for me it was always fragrance. I would just put a bit behind my ears, and I would transition from a frantic workday to feeling feminine, and ready to go out.

What role does it play in your daily life?

It’s an every day, every way type of thing for me. I always put something on in the morning. And when I’m going out at night, I always remember to spritz myself, because it puts me in a different place. That’s what’s so amazing about fragrance. It can do that for you, just like music can.

There are friends of mine who have their scent. And there are friends of mine who like to explore. I think fragrance has evolved. The new generations are a bit more adventurous, and they like to find new things. There’s more flexibility. But it’s also their lifestyle and seasonality, the occasion. Lots of girls like lighter in summer. Many other things start to enter into their choices of scents, I think, from what I have experienced with all the women around me.

What differentiates a bridal fragrance from any other scent?

The enormity of the event. It takes on so much emotion on your wedding day. It takes on a very different symbolism. God knows, I’ve attended enough weddings, and done enough weddings. I don’t know how many thousand I’ve done in 34 years, but I do know that scent plays such a significant role because it’s something that you’ll remember, probably, forever. It immediately conjures up where you were, what you were doing, how you felt. And hopefully, those are wonderful memories.

What is your process when you’re working with perfumes and fragrance?

It’s always different. I’ve done a lot of fragrances. When the first Vera Wang fragrance came out it was a stronger fragrance than what was popular at the time. But I had been brought up and raised in the French fragrance tradition, so I felt that it was more authentic for me to do a fragrance that was a bit stronger. I remember working on it was such an education. It was smelling different trials, testing, having the coffee beans there, spraying it all over your body, your wrist, your finger, your elbow, your arm, your neck. It was a labor of love.

And every perfumer works differently. Of course, I had my own story that was from my past, and from my youth, and from my education. But starting with that first fragrance, I began to learn about top notes, dry downs. I’m always learning. And certainly, fashion changes in fragrance as well. Sometimes women don’t want musky or heavy, they want something very light or they want unisex. Things evolve. That’s what makes it so challenging, but it also gives you a chance to be creative.

Among your Vera Wang fragrances, what’s your favorite?

It’s like asking which is your favorite child! I really did love my first one. And Princess came out of a personal story. I was driving my daughters around West Palm Beach, and they had all their friends with them. I had about five girls in the back seat. I think they must have been eight to 10 years of age. And I’m thinking, at the same time, of a new fragrance concept. And I said, “What do you think about ‘Princess?'” And they started screaming in the car. Because obviously, they all wanted to be Disney princesses. They all wanted to wear crowns. And so we got Vera Wang Princess. It was never meant to be about royalty, per se. It was such a bigger concept. There is no limitation to what the word “Princess” can be. Rock Princess, the next one, was inspired by the movie Almost Famous, and the love of music in this country, young people, garage bands, flannel shirts, guys on skateboards, suburbia. And every single Princess that followed… from Princess Night, about going clubbing, to Preppy Princess, which was about girls in kilt skirts and blazers, like Gossip Girl… was different but touched on something in popular culture.

And now we have Rock Princess 2023.

Yes, a relaunch of Rock. It’s a very different time now. Guys aren’t all running around in flannel shirts on skateboards. There are cell phones, there’s Coachella. I felt it’s got to be much more about the influence of rappers, the star power of the Beyonces and Rihannas of this world. It’s really about being cool, being glamorous, the love of makeup and nails and glitz, and all these things that did not exist 20 years ago. I said, “If we’re going to bring Rock back, it’s got to be a different Rock.”

What are your plans for future scents?

We have another scent in the pipeline. It is not part of the Princess family, and I think it’s incredibly exciting. It has a different price point. It’s higher, with more essential oils. It’s got its place, I think, with the brand, because we really span from accessible to haute couture. So I think that it’s the right time for this to happen. I can’t say any more yet… but it’s coming.

How do you support the Fragrance Foundation’s DEI initiative, #FragranceForwardTFF?

First of all, I think that Linda Levy has done an insane job. I have to give her kudos. She has been nothing but supportive of me, and a very good advisor, as she is to all, in this business. Anything that we can do as a brand, anything I can do as a designer, and a woman, and someone has been lucky enough to work in the fragrance industry—we’re going to do whatever we can to be supportive of Linda and the Fragrance Foundation’s work. Linda is just unstoppable. I say that in the most complimentary way. It was not just a position for her, it’s a calling. And I think every fragrance firm would agree. She has gained enormous respect from the entire industry, because she is someone who believes so passionately in this industry and what can be done to make it better. It’s refreshing. And it’s encouraging, and it’s exciting.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: AAPI PERFUMERS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: AAPI PERFUMERS
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: AAPI PERFUMERS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: AAPI PERFUMERS

What initially drew you to perfumery?

I always say perfumery found me. It’s different in America, compared to other parts of the world, especially in France, where you might have family members in the field and be born into it. When you’re there, everyone knows about perfumery, it’s a celebrated art form and a very common field to aspire to work in, even at a young age. Here in America it’s much less common to have a desire to become a perfumer or to even know about it. It was a great deal of hard work, a bit of luck, and the unpredictable twists and turns of my career that brought perfumery to me.

How did growing up in Saigon affect your sensibility as a perfumer?

Southern Vietnam is famous for its fertile land, lush nature and rice fields. There I was able to learn natural healing ingredients at a very young age by working alongside my grandfather, a healer who taught me how to identify, smell and harvest local healing plants. This experience is always a good reminder of how every one of my creations must connect to the beauty of nature and evoke happiness in the bottle.

What do you think is unique about the Vietnamese experience and appreciation of scent?

I would say this is two-fold. For one, my hands-on knowledge of tropical botanicals and raw materials native to Vietnam have greatly influenced my palette and how I create today. Secondly, I am grateful for my past, my heritage and my journey. I look back on it all with only positive embrace, yet my gaze is always on the future and what’s next.

What are some of your sources of inspiration?

If we look around us, inspiration is everywhere. In the people we meet, the things we see, the food we eat, the music we listen to. Each moment offers something unique, and all of these moments add up to something beautiful. I try to bottle that. Even off-duty, when I’m restoring vintage cars I feel inspired. They share a similarity with fine fragrance in their beautiful design and performance.

What initially drew you to perfumery?

When I first discovered Poison de Dior at the age of 18 (also my first time smelling perfume), I became aware of a whole new world – the world of scents. From then on, I gradually realized that olfactory beauty is one of the most interesting and elusive forms of art, and so I decided to devote my life to perfumery.

How did growing up in Beijing affect your sensibility as a perfumer?

Growing up in Beijing or, more broadly, growing up in China, the most important thing for me is that the core of my thinking is based on Eastern philosophy. In my opinion, the emphasized non-dualistic concepts of “unity of human and nature” and of “harmony” align perfectly with the philosophy of fragrance creation. I have been fortunate to receive a Western education while also being able to think and create in an Eastern way.

What are the similarities and differences between the French and the Chinese perfume industries?

The word “culture” in Chinese directly translates to “the evolution of language”. In comparison to the mature perfume industry in France, China currently lacks a perfume culture. This means that the Chinese language, or people’s expression abilities, are not yet adapted to scents. As a result, both consumers and our direct clients find it difficult to describe their needs and concepts, which in turn affects the efficiency and cultural dissemination abilities of the perfume industry. Changing this situation requires accumulated time, as well as the responsibility of Chinese perfumery professionals, to take action.

What are some of your favorite scents?

I like Ambrox, Patchouli and Rose very much. They all have a well-rounded, quite changeable, and powerful quality to me.

What are some of your sources of inspiration?

My sources of creative inspiration come from photographs, paintings from both the East and West, poetry, Japanese haiku, and of course the great works of other brilliant perfumers.

What initially drew you to perfumery?

Initially, I had no idea that there was an entire industry behind perfumes. I really stumbled upon it by luck and a series of circumstances.

I was interested in mathematics and ended up pursuing chemical engineering, but I also loved anything to do with the arts–anything creative that involved me using my hands.

I first heard about perfumery at a job interview, after university, when speaking with a perfumer. I knew immediately that it was something I would enjoy–it was the perfect combo of science and art

How did growing up in Malaysia affect your sensibility as a perfumer?

Malaysia is just filled with odors. We have flowers which are very fragrant, leaves (like pandan leaves) which we use in cooking just for their smell, all sorts of spices grow in the region, we also grow coffee and tea, and the famous agar oud can be found in the forest there. Because of its warm and humid climate, the smell and its importance is somehow magnified.

What are some sources of inspiration that relate to your heritage?

I love the smell of the frangipani flower, which grows abundantly in Malaysia. Whenever I work on a white floral I draw inspiration from flowers like these. Plus, growing up with spices and tropical fruits at home, I tend to blend these smells into my compositions.

What are some of the perfume creations you are most proud of, and why?

It’s difficult to choose which ones really. I am proud of each and every creation for different reasons…Lancôme Idôle because of the team work which was incredible and wonderful, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Forever because of the accord using Givaudan’s captives which provided something innovative, and so many more!

What initially drew you to perfumery?

I have always had a love for fragrance since my childhood. I used to put my head in a fabric bag to smell my favorite fabric softener when I was a child. I remember that it just made me really happy. As a teenager, I used to go crazy trying perfumes at Duty Free shops overseas on family trips. I did not know back then what made me smell those scents so obsessively, but in retrospect, it was because of the emotions they evoke and how directly they touch our souls. It was like an uncontrollable passion that I could not explain.

How did your pharmacy studies affect your work as a perfumer?

The intense level of chemistry and botany needed for pharmacy studies still continue to impact my perfumery work. I think that the commitment and concentration that you need to know of how the tiniest of details impacts the end product are similar and equally important in both fields.

How do you express your Japanese roots in your perfume creation?

I adore Japanese minimalism, which is reflected in my creations by keeping formulas minimalistic. I want every ingredient to have a reason-to-be in the formula for the fragrance message to be bold and memorable. When I create with this in mind, I always feel clear on my intention. I also appreciate the concept of wabi-sabi, which is about finding beauty in imperfection, simplicity and impermanence. I love deconstructing formulas, overdosing some ingredients, and playing with extreme fragrance structures.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with, and why?

I love working with combinations of woody materials because they have many different textures, depths and feelings. I enjoy the opportunities we have in perfumery to use both naturals and synthetic woody materials to express our creative visions in a wide variety of ways.

What initially drew you to perfumery?

My mother loves gardening and her garden is full of fragrant flowers. As a result, I also love fragrant flowers influenced by her. I was initially attracted to perfumery when I joined the fragrance industry and smelled so many raw materials and essential oils. I had never smelled so many wonderful scents. I was impressed that the scent of every flower consists of many components which are so well-balanced in nature.

How has your Japanese heritage influenced your work as a perfumer?

One of the many parts of my Japanese heritage that influences me as a perfumer is the art of the Japanese tea ceremony. These beautiful tea rituals create a spirit of hospitality, and people can really “feel” the theme of the ceremony in the small space of the tearoom. Each ceremony can be customized, considering individual preferences and needs to create specific emotions. The same is true of my work. I am trying to create a fragrance that evokes special emotions and impressions with positive feelings.

What are some of your sources of inspiration?

I get inspired from the scent of plants, music, arts and food. I especially love Japanese and French cuisine. Japanese cuisine is all about preserving the natural tastes and scents of ingredients. The way it is prepared, the delicate seasoning, and the combination of herbs and condiments are incredibly inspiring. French cuisine brings together a unique combination of ingredients and creates unexpected flavors with such a beautiful appearance.

What is your favorite raw material to work with?

One of my favorite types of raw materials are spicy lactones. Like Jasmin lactone, Wine lactone, and Celery lactone. Each one has spicy facets in the base floral note. Adding a little bit of a spicy note gives my fragrances impact, harmonizes the fresh and floral parts, and connects floral and woody parts smoothly. And it provides the authentic quality of the surface texture and structure of flowers. I’m always interested in learning more about spices from around the world, learning new cultures and understanding how to use regionally important spicy notes in intriguing new ways.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

TFF proudly celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in this issue of Accords! By featuring individuals in our fragrance community who share how their heritage, culture and experiences contribute to their creative vision and fragrance success, we recognize our diversity makes us all stronger together in the fragrance world.

Vera Wang’s drive and evolution from figure skater to editor to designer and on to fragrance creator and more, is truly exceptional! In this interview, our editor April Long prompts Vera to share inside personal stories that perhaps only the Veragang have heard before and allows our audience to truly get the inside scoop.

For all she has achieved so far and for all that is still ahead the culmination was during March, Women’s History month, when President Biden honored Vera Wang with the National Medal of Arts. Click here to see the ceremony at the White House!

The very talented AAPI Perfumers and brand creators share their visions and fragrances based on their history, while each and every one is extraordinary and unique. Enjoy the journey we take you on in May Accords!

#FragranceForwardTFF

President, The Fragrance Foundation

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@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Apr

SPOTLIGHT: INDIE FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

SPOTLIGHT: INDIE FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: INDIE FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

SPOTLIGHT: INDIE FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

On April 5th, TFF celebrated the big reveal of 2023 Award Finalists at a festive lunch at Cipriani 42nd Street, hosted by TFF President Linda G. Levy and Author and TV Personality on Spectrum News NY1, Cheryl Wills. Wills effused about her love of fragrance and the role it plays in her life, and a special moment was reserved to present her inspirational book, Emma, which was given to attendees at the event’s close. Among the many big announcements of the day—Anne Flipo will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the June Awards ceremony. Previously announced, Nicolas Hieronimous, L’Oréal CEO, will be honored with the Hall of Fame Award. At the luncheon, the Finalists in 19 categories were named, as were the winners in 5 categories. Here, we spotlight Four of the Indie Fragrance of the Year Finalists, intriguing and expressive perfumes that embody the limitless creativity and passion that smaller brands bring to the world of scent.

What does it mean for you to be nominated for the TFF Indie Fragrance of the Year Award?

It is an honor to be nominated, especially among so many other deserving and innovative fragrance brands in the Indie category. We are excited Ink has resonated with so many, just like the art of tattooing this fragrance was inspired by.

What is the philosophy/guiding principle behind Akro as a brand?

Akro began when founder Anaïs Cresp was living in London. She became enraptured by the scents around her; by the flower stalls, coffee houses, charcoal grills, by the whiskey and leather of the grand old Irish pubs and the inescapable haze of weed in the air.

After a long, lost summer of indulging in everything the city had to offer, Anaïs hit on an idea; that these distinctive aromas could be bottled and turned into fragrances. Anaïs turned to her father, Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp at Firmenich, and together they began to share ideas, stories and eventually scents. Soon enough, Akro was born.

What do you believe makes Ink particularly special?

Everyone remembers their first tattoo; the fear, the sensation, the adrenaline rush, the futile attempts to hide it from your parents…

For those who’ve fallen under the spell of this ancient art, it’s much more than a bit of body decoration; it’s a reminder of a time, a place – a fleeting moment that becomes a permanent memento. In many ways, a good fragrance works similarly – something you carry on your skin, to remind you of who you were at a moment in time. At Akro, we’ve always been fascinated by the parallels between tattoos and perfumery, which is why we’ve created Ink.

What does it mean for you to be nominated for the TFF Indie Fragrance of the Year Award?

It is a great pleasure and an honor, all the team involved here is giving its best, so it’s a great reward for us to be recognized again this year.

What was the inspiration behind Santal Calling?

With French perfumer Antoine Maisondieu at Givaudan, we tried to translate our fascination for this precious and almost mystical note.

How to mix contemporary Parisian inspirations with this iconic ingredient to create a bright and soothing scent that leads to an ultimate addiction.

How do you want people to feel when they smell it?

I don’t know if all the addictions are comfortable, but this is what we wanted to create: an ultimate skin fragrance, urban, protective, reinsuring but also very sensual and totally mesmerizing. We want them to feel ultimately comfortable with it, we want people to be addicted to the notes.

What does it mean for you to be nominated for the TFF Indie Fragrance of the Year Award?

Matiere Premiere is still very new to North America, so it is a thrill and privilege to have our newest scent, Crystal Saffron, recognized in this way. We are excited to be included and congratulate all the nominees in the indie category and beyond.

What is the philosophy/guiding principle behind Matiere Premiere?

Our mission is in our name, MATIERE PREMIERE is the French for raw material. The best natural ingredients are selected from around the world, favoring ethical and organic channels. MATIERE PREMIERE perfumes contain between 85% and 92% natural ingredients, and they are vegan and phthalate free.

Aurélien Guichard, Founder and Perfumer at Takasago, also produces the house’s own roses and tuberoses at an organic farm in the Grasse region of France.

What inspired Crystal Saffron?

“I wanted to create a fragrance built around an overdose of natural Saffron, like never before.” – Aurélien Guichard, Founder and Perfumer of the House

Saffron Oil Greece is the main and extremely precious ingredient of Crystal Saffron. It is obtained from the dried stigmas of hundreds of thousands of crocus flowers, grown under the unique sun and light of Greece in the Kozani region, and is considered to be the most qualitative saffron in the world.

What does it mean for you to be nominated for the TFF Indie Fragrance of the Year Award?

It is a great honor to be nominated. I’ve been wearing Le Gris for years before bringing it to market and it’s fulfilling to see it received by the community with the same enthusiasm I feel for it.

What do you believe makes Le Gris particularly special?

Pascal Gaurin at IFF is a brilliant perfumer, and with Le Gris, he has managed to make something so complex and distinguishable; There’s a single-pointedness I find really addicting in it. It lifts me up.

What is its place in the Taffin collection as a whole?

It’s a widely appealing scent. The freshness is attractive to many, and the woods and bergamot notes connect with those who prefer stronger scents. It’s well rounded both olfactively and in terms of who is drawn to it.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS

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

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: PERFUME EXTRAORDINAIRE FINALISTS

On June 15th, TFF will award the Perfume Extraordinaire Award to one of the finalists who dare to take risks and challenge conventions to create truly outstanding—and out of the ordinary—scents. For this month’s edition of ACCORDS, the perfumers behind 2023’s five Perfume Extraordinaire finalists reveal their inspirations and share how they brought these unique scents to life.

What was the inspiration behind BDK Parfums Gris Charnel?

Gris Charnel Extrait was born from the original, Gris Charnel EDT, a fragrance with many contrasts between luminous and dark notes. In its second chapter, the extrait, I played with quintessential creamy and enveloping notes, the notes that I love to work with the most. Rather than simply creating a more intense version of the EDT, I worked with David to intensify the notes in the fragrance that give a unique intensity. I am often asked what kind of perfume I would create for myself. Well, this would be Gris Charnel, no doubt.

What are some of the elements that make the scent unique?

I wanted to magnify the sensuality of the original signature of Gris Charnel, to be even more magnetic and captivating. I played with the different tonalities of sustainable Madagascar vanilla and vetiver bourbon to push the intensity of Gris Charnel’s powerful, woody signature. I also used one of my favorite ingredients on the MANE palette, Cardamom Pure Jungle Essence™ to bring freshness in a very elegant way.

What effect do you want the perfume to have for the wearer?

I want the wearer to feel sensual and a little enigmatic, a feeling of elusiveness that is at the same time carnal, cool and sexy as is the name, Gris Charnel.

What originally sparked the idea for D.S. & Durga Leatherize?

I wanted to make something that could turn any other perfume into “a leather.”

How does the fragrance express your style as a perfumer?

I often aim to do something classic in a modern way. Our house style often has an edge, but I always want to make wearable perfumes that bring people joy. LEATHERIZE touches upon all of these.

What effect did you want it to have for the wearer?

I think it is a transparent, kaleidoscopic leather perfume – it takes the sniffer from fresher butterscotch clean leather down to a harsher, Earthier horsey animalic leather in the drydown.

What was the inspiration behind Marc-Antoine Barrois Encelade?

We wanted to do something joyful yet sensual. It started with the idea of a green explosion–I introduced the rhubarb note but balanced it with luxurious woody facets to give it an authentic elegance.

What do you believe makes the scent especially unique?
It’s a powerful and memorable scent; it’s a diffusive scent that balances the refinement of a great signature.

How did you want people to feel when they smell it?
Joyful and confident.

What was the inspiration behind Matiere Premiere Radical Rose?

In 2016, I founded an organic flower farm in the region of Grasse, near the French Riviera, where I was born. I am a 7th generation perfumer, and I have unforgettable memories of perfume flower harvests at my grandparents’. When they stopped their farming activity, it took me a few years to realize I simply could not let this amazing bond with natural ingredients and know-how collected over generations disappear. This is how I became the only Perfumer in the world to grow his own ingredients. My first plantation was Rose Centifolia. And with Radical Rose, I wanted to create the fragrance with the highest possible dosage of Rose Centifolia from Grasse.

How were the specific materials important in achieving the final effect?

Rose Centifolia from Grasse has specific olfactive qualities, due to the terroir and the way we produce it. Our farming is organic, without any pesticides, and we plant and prune our rose trees in very specific ways – In Grasse we say that a rose tree has to “fight” a little, in order to bloom with profusion. Our Rose Centifolia has a very rich, multi-faceted smell, both deep, almost dark, and also bright and airy. When you use an extreme dosage of Absolute from this Rose, all the facets express themselves almost to an excess. I’ve selected only a few ingredients, of equally high quality, to turn this wild overdose into a perfume signature that stays true to the complexity of our rose, with power and long-lastingness. I’ve used Saffron and Pepper Berries Oil from Jamaica to exacerbate the bright, spicy facets, and Patchouli Oil Indonesia and Labdanum Absolute Andalusia to highlight the dark, woody facets.

What do you believe makes the scent especially unique?

In my eyes it is unique, because at the heart of this scent are the roses I grow on my own organic farm. But above all, Radical Rose is unique because no other scent contains this much Absolute of Rose Centifolia from Grasse, because it’s a rose like no other, not the pink soft rose you could expect, but complex, like a chiaroscuro, with no pre-defined gender.

What was the inspiration behind Mind Games Gardez?

Chess is such a classical game with strong vintage ties and timeless allure. There are these layers of duality to the game—like the two players and the juxtaposition of the black and white elements of the board itself. Much of this was our inspiration. Leather is the base of Gardez and it’s a reminder of the game’s classic elements. But then a playful popcorn note brings in something unexpected.
-Emilie Copperman

I agree, chess is a game of luxury, surprise and delight, and unexpected twists and turns. A great deal of thought goes into each move. It’s all very nuanced and that was our inspiration in approaching creation. We’re like the two players in the game, working together from two regions with two points of view, Paris and New York.
-Nathalie Benareau

How does it relate to the Mind Games Fragrance line as a whole?

Mind Games, as a collection, links the strategy and brilliance of Chess, with the innovative and hypnotic effects of perfumery. The fragrances transport you to the crucial moments of competition in a test of character, skill and intellect. Gardez is an olfactive depiction of the two sides playing against each other, gracefully pulled together by the game.
-EC

What effect do you want the perfume to have for the wearer?

I want the wearer to feel the sensual, enveloping impact of this fragrance. It’s so velvety because of the leather note. And then the popcorn adds creamy indulgence. A dichotomy of strength and delicacy, Gardez reminds the wearer that they can be bold and vulnerable.
-NB

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

The Fragrance Foundation 2023 Awards season kicked off April 4th at our annual Luncheon event which was bigger and better than ever! At elegant Cipriani 42 on a magnificent Spring day, we had an exciting event celebration with 300+ guests. I shared the big reveal of Anne Flipo, Master Perfumer at IFF, as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Perfumer. Anne will be honored at our TFF Awards ceremony on June 15th at Lincoln Center. 

In addition to announcing the Finalists in all 19 Awards categories and 5 category winners, Indie brands were highlighted with fragrance demonstrated before the luncheon from:

Amouage Opus XIV Royal Tobacco 

Arquiste Parfumeur Indigo Smoke     

Marc-Antoine Barrios Encelade 

Parfums Quartana Lerofante Extrait de Parfum 

Perfumehead Cosmic Cowboy 

Taffin Fragrance Le Gris

Veronique Gabai Ready for Rose 

The Phluid Project INTENTION Eau de Parfum 

Matiere Premiere Crystal Saffron  

 A great surprise for the guests was our multi-talented Emcee Cheryl Wills, Author and TV Personality on Spectrum News NY1, who shared the story of her great great great grandparents Emma and Sandy Wills. Now Emma’s story continues to be shared as the books have already been passed on to TFF’s community of children, schools in NYC and more.

As sustainability is a major priority for all at TFF, members celebrated in store and online on Earth Day and more with a myriad of activities.

We look forward to a fabulous Mother’s Day in May as well as the exciting Consumer Choice Voting.

President, The Fragrance Foundation

signature.png
@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Mar

SPOTLIGHT: INSPIRING WOMEN LEADERS

SPOTLIGHT: INSPIRING WOMEN LEADERS
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: INSPIRING WOMEN LEADERS

SPOTLIGHT: INSPIRING WOMEN LEADERS

March brings us the joy of Fragrance Day, and it is also International Women’s History Month. To celebrate this important recognition of women’s contribution across all fields, and in keeping with #FragranceForwardTFF, TFF President Linda G. Levy spoke to two very inspiring leaders in the fragrance industry: Sabrya Meflah, President, Fine Fragrance IFF, and Tricia Butler, President, Givenchy and Kenzo, North America LVMH. In video segments that made their debut as part of TFF’s Fragrance Day Virtual Event on March 21st, Levy joined Meflah and Butler to discuss their career trajectories, accomplishments, and goals for the future. For this month’s ACCORDS, they take the time to reflect upon team building, mentorship, and the future of women in the fragrance industry (spoiler alert: it smells bright!).

You have been at IFF for 27 years in different roles. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the company and industry?

When I started at IFF, I was impressed to see so many empowered women who were making the industry: Mrs Lauder first and foremost, and in Europe women like Vera Strubi, Chantal Roos, Patricia Turcq Paquelier… These women deeply transformed the perfume industry. On the fragrance creation side, while the industry was mostly made up of male perfumers, IFF had a very different position from that of its competitors: perfumers like Josephine Catapano had shaped the American perfume industry, working with Mrs Lauder to create Youth Dew. Sophia Grojsman had created some of the blockbusters of the 80’s and 90’s, from Beautiful and Trésor to Eternity and Paris, paving the way for a new generation of empowered female perfumers who then joined our ranks as I started into IFF.  

These young female perfumers are now master perfumers, VP perfumers, and continue to be a role model for the next generation. We also have a strong corporate commitment, heralded by Franc Clyburn, IFF CEO: by 2030, 50% of our senior executives across IFF will be women. 

How do you foster an environment with your team so that they feel that anything is possible?

This is how I was brought up, by a mother who taught me that indeed, anything is possible, if you will it. That is my almost obsessional message to my team: if you will it, if you really will it, it is in your hands to make it happen. And I trust them completely, to make anything happen. 

What challenges do you think that women in the fragrance industry specifically face?

I don’t see specific challenges relating to our industry for women. I believe this is an industry where they have been empowered for a while now. However, there is still a glass ceiling, when I look at the small number of female CEOs. 

The beauty industry seems to be a very fertile ground when it comes to equality and diversity, if only because it is dedicated to beauty, men as much as women. It is a rallying industry and not a dividing one. Fragrance knows no borders, no race, no gender: its inclusive powers are limitless. 

Fragrance creation mirrors society, its evolution, much faster than many other industries: so let’s embrace its full diversity!

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe everyone on our team is there because they add value and their voice matters. Communication – open, honest, thoughtful and kind, is critical and necessary to get the best out of everyone. Leadership and ownership from every chair builds a sense of belonging and commitment to the brand and to the team at large. We have been working hard to remove the standard hierarchical approach so often found in office settings in order to help us be nimble and develop skills and strategic thought processes at every level. Trust is critical and no one wins alone. I believe success is a team sport.

How do you help people find their voice and feel empowered in your team?

The short answer is you have to level the playing field. Actually accomplishing this though, really takes a lot of effort and requires the whole team to be on board in order for the forum to be a true “safe” space for EVERYONE. For me this goes back to building a culture of honest communication and feedback, in real time, on the spot. We encourage everyone on the team to have conversations with the teammate that is the subject matter expert (or can solve or remove the roadblock), this means ideas, concerns and even tough conversations. We created a Call to Courage, together as a group – we have it printed and shared it with everyone. We committed to: Leading ourselves and others with empathy, curiosity and from a place of learning (not judging). We agreed that we would have tough conversations (or provide feedback), in real time with Kindness and Clarity. And we committed to consistent collaborations and communication in order to foster a Culture of Trust. We are a work in progress but have all identified accountability partners to keep us focused and honest with ourselves as well as the others.

What is your advice for women who are embarking on careers in the fragrance industry?

I think that the path for everyone may look a little bit different but first, you need to have real clarity of what is important to you – the values that light you up and find a company/team that is similar in those focuses. This is the single best way to guarantee you look forward to getting up in the morning and going to work. Then I would say identify 1-2 people that you want to learn from and ask them to be a mentor (I believe peer mentorship is as important as having someone in that Sponsorship role) and spend scheduled quality time with them. I believe we are incredibly lucky to be in this industry, for the fact that the majority of the leaders want to share, want to build for the future and truly believe in investing in talent!

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: THE SCIENCE OF SMELL – PAM DALTON/MONELL CENTER

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: THE SCIENCE OF SMELL – PAM DALTON/MONELL CENTER
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: THE SCIENCE OF SMELL – PAM DALTON/MONELL CENTER

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: THE SCIENCE OF SMELL – PAM DALTON/MONELL CENTER

TFF has an ongoing partnership with The Monell Center, a nonprofit institute in Philadelphia dedicated to exploring the science of smell. Monell Research Scientist Pamela Dalton has become a regular and cherished guest in TFF’s Fragrance Day celebrations, sharing valuable, thought-provoking insight into how smell—and its loss—can affect health and mental outlook. For this year’s TFF Fragrance Day Virtual Event on March 21st, Dalton spoke with Levy about new science surrounding COVID-19 anosmia and the research and programs that Monell is currently focusing on. Here, she shares more about what the institute is learning about smell’s relationship to the brain and emotions, and what advances we can hope to see in smell testing.

What are some of the ways that smell loss can affect people cognitively and emotionally?

Many people who lose their sense of smell often report emotional changes such as sadness and depression. Of course, some of this can be understood as grieving for the loss of the ability to enjoy food and beverage, smell the world around them and especially the smell of a loved one. However, the close interaction between the olfactory structures in the brain and the limbic system (i.e., emotional center) structures strongly suggests that the lack of olfactory input can disrupt emotional processing as well.

Olfactory decline is associated with cognitive impairments, and that has largely been attributed to the fact that the central brain structures involved in olfaction are often the first location of impact in neurodegenerative diseases. However, more recent discussion has centered around whether lack of input or stimulation to the olfactory brain structures is what is responsible for the onset of neurodegeneration, the appearance of plaques and tangles in the primary olfactory cortex. Sadly, we will have an opportunity to find this out as we now have many millions of people worldwide, often younger individuals, who have not yet and may not ever recover from COVID-19 related smell loss.

What are some of the current programs and specific research channels that you are working on now? 

Our lab and others at Monell are still working on developing and deploying our rapid smell test called SCENTinel, which was originally conceived as a way to screen for a virus like SARS-COV-2, which manifested initially in dramatic loss of smell. We hope to utilize this test in a study of adults at risk for neurodegenerative diseases as a way to separate which aspects of olfactory function are impacted in each disorder, thereby leading to an earlier and more specific diagnosis. We are also interested in working on promoting the concept of universal smell testing in order to fully characterize this important sensory system across all age groups and importantly, to be able to track changes that may signify other types of disease or illness. Monell will host a 2-day conference in November that will bring together scientists, physicians and hopefully patients to further this goal. Our Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute funded survey that recruited over 6000 people in just 3 weeks gave us great insight into how devastating the loss of smell can be and that there is insufficient information about treatment and resources, even among physicians, for patients to access.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

This year The Fragrance Day and surrounding days were BIGGER than ever! We are growing participation beyond the fragrance community by engaging consumers through our online events, retail events and major TV exposure across the USA!

TFF premiered on March 21st to an online audience of nearly 8,000 pre-registered viewers of which half were consumers! TFF members’ exclusive content includes participation by brands, Fragrance Houses, Perfumers, The Monell Center and so much more! All this great content continues to be accessible, so please visit our Youtube Channel to view all the fabulous Fragrance Day content on demand! 

As we celebrate the final days of Women’s History Month, Sabrya Meflah of IFF and Tricia Butler of LVMH share how they inspire their teams in this issue of Accords, with further insights based on their Fragrance Day discussions with me. Dr. Pam Dalton from the Monell Center provided further updates on the sense of smell research.

My TV tour was an exciting Fragrance Day marathon with 8 MILLION media impressions, with 10 in market and national TV interviews + 7 online features. While I was in person in the studio here in New York City for NY1 Spectrum with Cheryl Wills In Focus series for Women in Business, the Spring TV Tour from TFF’s office studio included appearances covering several states across the nation.

Fragrance Day’s major activities also included student interactive events to celebrate with our Scents of Success partners at The City College of New York, Spelman College, Florida State University and the Fashion Institute of Technology. TFF’s Sharné Jackson and Cheryl Fried partnered with brand teams from Givenchy, NEST New York and more bringing Fragrance Day to the campuses.

We look forward to more scent journeys with you this Spring as The Fragrance Foundation Awards season gets underway!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

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@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

Feb

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE: TFF CATALYST AWARD

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE: TFF CATALYST AWARD NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 15: (L-R) Jerry Vittoria, Linda Levy, Arva R. Rice, and Helen Shelton attend a luncheon hosted by the New York Urban League to honor Linda G. Levy and The Fragrance Foundation @ Champions 2023 on February 15, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Fragrance Foundation)
Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE: TFF CATALYST AWARD

SPOTLIGHT: NEW YORK URBAN LEAGUE: TFF CATALYST AWARD NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 15: (L-R) Jerry Vittoria, Linda Levy, Arva R. Rice, and Helen Shelton attend a luncheon hosted by the New York Urban League to honor Linda G. Levy and The Fragrance Foundation @ Champions 2023 on February 15, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Fragrance Foundation)

On February 15th, The Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy was honored with the first-ever Catalyst Award from the New York Urban League. Presented at New York City’s Plaza Hotel during the NYUL 2023 Champions of Diversity Event, it was a thrilling moment for Levy and a momentous recognition of her leadership in advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the fragrance industry.

The New York Urban League is one of the nation’s oldest civil rights organizations, dedicated to furthering economic empowerment, career development, job training, education, mentorship and health advocacy for New York’s underserved BIPOC communities. This year’s Champions of Diversity celebration kicked off with a breakfast and morning Symposium that included insightful sessions on Leading While Black and Brown, with Chris Collins of World of Chris Collins among the panelists, and Emerging Trends in DEI, for which TFF’s Executive Director Sharné C. Jackson shared her knowledge and expertise alongside Corey Smith from LVMH, Sharon Foretia from Blackrock, and Chris Metzler from National Urban League.

Joined by more than 250 leaders from the fragrance industry and beyond, the Champions Awards presentations took place over a lunch hosted by Arva Rice, President and CEO of New York Urban League, emceed by WNBC-TV anchor David Ushery, and chaired by Helen C. Shelton, Global Chief Diversity Officer at FINN Partners and NYUL Board Member. Levy’s Catalyst Award was accompanied with a video tribute in which friends and colleagues praised her vision and commitment to galvanizing DEI within the fragrance industry, including Fragrance Society Founder Tiff Benson; Tricia Butler, President, Givenchy and Kenzo, North America, LVMH; Chris Collins, Founder World of Chris Collins; Ann Gottlieb, President, Anne Gottlieb Associates; Sharné Jackson, Executive Director, TFF; Nicole Monson, Senior Vice President, Estée Lauder Companies; Giancarlo Pérez and Bernardo Möller, founders, House of Bō; Linda Song, senior perfumer, Givaudan; and, Jerry Vittoria, TFF’s Board Chairman and President, Fine Fragrance Worldwide, Firmenich.

Levy’s TFF presidency has been defined by her tenacious drive to equalize and democratize the industry, expanding TFF membership and spearheading #FragranceForwardTFF, the sweeping initiative that launched in October 2021. Just as she has reshaped the goals of TFF to direct the organization towards an equitable future in which all voices are heard, she has inspired the industry to take a pledge to increase workplace diversity and create career and educational opportunities through mentorships, scholarships, proactive recruitment and allyship. As Vittoria states in his tribute, “Linda has always been a catalyst of change, a catalyst of courage and a catalyst of doing the right thing. She puts DEI at the forefront of all TFF activities and is dedicated to bringing people together and opening the door for the exciting possibilities that the fragrance industry offers.”

The day was a triumph and inspiration for attendees as well as for Levy’s fellow Champions Awards recipients: Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President, National Hockey League, who was named Leadership Champion; HR&A Advisors, named Champion in Recruitment, Retention & Belonging; Clarissa Moses-Washington, Manager of DEI, JetBlue Airways, named Rising Star Champion; and Kenneth Ebie, Executive Director, Black Entrepreneurs NYC, named Equity & Inclusion Ambassador. And, in keeping with TFF’s ongoing drive to forge new initiatives that create lasting change, the NYUL 2023 Champions of Diversity Event introduced the Fragrance Foundation Catalyst Initiative, a partnership that will benefit NYUL’s Diversity Lab and provide training, career development, mentorship, and job opportunities for professionals of color interested in careers in the fragrance industry. The initiative is supported by all 200+ TFF member companies in a focused effort, including Fragrance Houses, Brands, Retailers and related businesses.

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.

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART 2

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART 2
What The Nose Knows

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART 2

WHAT THE NOSE KNOWS: WELCOMING TFF 2023 NOTABLES, PART 2

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

We discovered at the Notables Breakfast that the majority of the Class of 2023 never aspired to work in the fragrance industry, as most of us did not know this was an option at the onset of our careers, yet each of us shared such passion for what we do! Despite having different backgrounds and roles, our collective love of fragrance was visceral and radiating within the walls of the TFF offices that morning! I am beyond thrilled to have been nominated by Firmenich, awarded by TFF and join this distinguished group of gifted creatives! I look forward to partnering with the amazing team at TFF as part of the Notables Think Tank and on their DEI initiatives to ensure that the next generation of talent is aware of the amazing opportunities within this industry.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

Growing up, I imagined that by 2023 we would be able to teleport or time travel. While sadly (especially for those of us that commute) physical teleportation is not yet a reality, the magic of fragrance is that it can and does immediately transport us – with one breath, we can be instantaneously brought back to a cherished childhood memory or a destination halfway around the world, or even feel enveloped by a loved one that is no longer with us! At Firmenich, the creativity of our perfumers allows us to transport over 4 billion customers several times throughout their day!

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

It is a wonderful recognition for the passion I bring to work every day. I feel very honored and grateful.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

As Perfumer, the answer seems to be obvious for me: by creating fragrances. Also, I believe that the passion for fragrances is closely linked to the passion for raw materials, whether they are naturals or synthetics. Working within a fragrance house enables me to highlight these raw materials. I particularly like to use natural essential oils from Maison LAUTIER because being part of Symrise I know better the supply chain and feel closer to the raw material, they smell amazing. There is also a sustainable aspect that I like by empowering women and local communities. Then, together with the customer’s vision, we give life to the fragrance and hopefully inspire the world.

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

I’m still absorbing this amazing recognition. Our industry is full of stand out talent and I am very happy to be counted among them.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

My favorite experiences in fragrance houses over the years have been working with incredibly diverse and talented perfumers. I work with them to uncover the stories, the secrets, and the signature entwined within each creation. My goal is to teach a new generation of evaluators to look deeper, and to take the time to give meaning and soul to a fragrance creation. A “story full” fragrance connects and enchants and lives and breathes. That is a powerful tool to connect people everywhere.

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

It simply means the world to me! I have admired The Fragrance Foundation as long as I have been in the industry so to be able to be a part of the TFF family, especially being able to represent a company like Givaudan at the same time is a dream come true.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

I adore working at a fragrance house and being at the true center of creation. The opportunity to work with the best perfumers in the industry to create fragrances that have a tangible and lasting effect on the consumers is something I am grateful for every day.

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

I am particularly touched to have been nominated by IFF as the 2023 Notable. It is wonderful to have within our Industry an organization such as The Fragrance Foundation and its key members who relentlessly develop meaningful programs, highlighting individuals in different roles and great causes to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance, and aiming at sparking career aspirations for upcoming generations.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

The adventure of crafting a fragrance is fascinating, the magical story that goes with it, working alongside incredibly talented artists, our perfumers, hand in hand with our clients and partners, drawing on the past to create the future of fragrances to awaken the extraordinary senses for a better world. Being able to share this passion with others, whether neophytes or experts is always highly gratifying!

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

It is a huge honor to be named a TFF Notable, and I am truly grateful to be a part of the Notables Crew! We all share a genuine passion for fragrance, which is the driving force behind TFF’s Mission. I am looking forward to my first Think Tank, because it is an opportunity for my voice and unique ideas to be heard, while also making a positive impact.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

There is a deep connection between scent and memory. Unlike anything else, fragrance can conjure up memories of the past or become something new altogether. Scent is a very powerful tool because it is so closely tied into your emotions. In a way, fragrance makes you feel something. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to inspire and connect with people through my perfumery work.

What does it mean to you to be named a TFF Notable?

Being named a TFF Notable is an incredible honor and humbling experience, yet a great source of pride. It signifies not only hard work and dedication, but also recognition and appreciation from the leading experts of the industry. One of the many responsibilities that comes with being a Notable includes driving the TFF initiative forward. My goal is to spread awareness of the benefits of fragrances and how the industry is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

How does working within a fragrance house enable you to fulfill TFF’s mission to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance?

It provides unique opportunities to connect with customers, creators, and the wider industry to build relationships, inspire meaningful conversations and promote awareness of the craft and experience of fragrances. By utilizing my regulatory expertise to develop an educational presence, the complexities of fragrance creation and the ever changing regulatory landscape and scientific aspects of the artistry of perfumery can be brought to light. Working at Robertet offers the invaluable opportunity to bring joy and inspire others to discover the world of fragrance.

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 15: Linda Levy speaks onstage during a luncheon hosted by the New York Urban League to honor Linda G. Levy and The Fragrance Foundation @ Champions 2023 on February 15, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Fragrance Foundation)
The Inside Scoop

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY

THE INSIDE SCOOP: LINDA G. LEVY NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 15: Linda Levy speaks onstage during a luncheon hosted by the New York Urban League to honor Linda G. Levy and The Fragrance Foundation @ Champions 2023 on February 15, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Fragrance Foundation)

What a great way to celebrate Black History Month! 

The New York Urban League honored me and The Fragrance Foundation for its first-ever Catalyst Award. The Champions Awards symposium and luncheon at The Plaza in NYC was attended by many TFF Board members and members of the fragrance community. The half day event gave all attendees an opportunity to learn about NYUL programs and meet their talented team. This was the official launch of The Fragrance Foundation Catalyst Initiative, which will benefit NYUL’s Diversity & Inclusion Lab and provide training, career development, mentorship and job opportunities for professionals of color interested in careers in the fragrance industry. 

Thank you to Arva Rice, NYUL CEO, and Helen Shelton, Chair of this event and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Finn Partners. Helen and our Executive Director Sharné Jackson at TFF have been valued partners for their vision, guidance and implementation of TFF’s DEI initiative #FragranceForwardTFF. 

There was huge media outreach, as well as many in the media reaching out to us, with results that are monumental. The TV coverage, as well as far reaching media online, brought our industry initiative to the forefront. Now #FragranceForwardTFF has been amplified to the entire USA big time, and we will continue to galvanize the community uniting all for our #1 priority DEI.

February was also a milestone for the first in person Notables event after the last two years celebrating virtually. With L’Oréal Luxe as our generous hosts at their Hudson Yards Le Café, the evening celebration was fabulous and each 2023 Notable shared their passion for fragrance and their personal dedication to #FragranceForwardTFF. In this issue of Accords, you can learn more about these truly Notable individuals who we value to join the Notables Think Tank and contribute to our TFF future!

Next month we look forward to celebrating The Fragrance Day on March 21st and the weeks around that date, as well as International Women’s History Month!

President, The Fragrance Foundation

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@linda_g_levy

@fragrancefoundation

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