Tomorrow is the fragrance industry’s biggest night – The Fragrance Foundation Awards, or the ‘Oscars of the Fragrance World’ as they are often referred to. The glitterati of the perfume world will be donning their, well, glitter I suppose, and will be heading out for a night of fragrant celebration. The awards, which are in their 23rd year, serve to recognise “excellence within the fragrance arena, from Packaging and Advertising through to Best New Fragrance” and are the most important event in the industry’s calendar.
This year sees established brands and young, indie brands being recognised for their work. Who will win? Well, we’ll just have to wait until Thursday to find out! I will be in attendance at the awards and will be tweeting up a storm as the names of the winners are called. Follow me on Twitter @candyperfumeb0y to see my tweets, or for a more general view of the evening, you can find all award-related tweets via the official Fragrance Foundation awards hashtag – #FragranceAwardsUK. For a full list of the 2015 finalists, simply click below the jump. Who will you be rooting for? Let me know in the comments box at the bottom of the post!
Last Thursday (15 May 2014), the Fragrance Foundation UK hosted their annual Fragrance Awards (formerly known as the FiFis). I had the pleasure of not only attending the event but also of presenting an award for one of the categories I had judged alongside my fellow Jasmine Award winners. Believe me when I say it was the most exhilarating and terrifying moment of my fragrance career, so far!
The evening was, as one would expect, a glitzy and glamorous affair hosted at The Brewery in the City of London. Guests were greeted with a champagne reception followed by a gala dinner (three courses of amazingness) with musical entertainment supplied by ex-Mis-Teeq chanteuse and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon. All-in-all, it was a lively evening with wonderful food, interesting company and lots of music – and this was all before we even got to the awards.
A few weeks ago, following my recent Jasmine Award win (I promise to stop banging on about it eventually, honestly), I was afforded the luxury of being able to judge in not one, but two categories for this year’s Fragrance Awards, which are set to be hosted by The Fragrance Foundation on May 15th 2014. All-in-all this was an incredibly fun process that I found interesting and challenging in equal measure, but it also afforded me the luxury of thinking about how a perfume can be approached in so many different ways.
The first category that my fellow Jasmine Award winners and I were asked to judge was ‘Perfume Extraordinaire’. The perfumes in this selection are submitted blind by the big fragrance houses and the judges are required to test these without knowing the name, brand, perfumer or any details in fact, making for a completely impartial landscape where all that matters is the smell. Personally, I found approaching these perfumes without the knowledge of any bells, whistles or marketing guff, rather refreshing and it made the whole task of selecting the more creative and well-executed perfumes in the pack really quite easy. It’s so easy to get distracted by all of the ‘noise’ surrounding a perfume, but when relying simply on one’s nose the task becomes almost effortless.
Following the Perfume Extraordinaire blind-sniff, the judges were invited to test and score the fragrances selected for the category of ‘Best New Independent Fragrance’, which sees perfumes launched by the smaller, more bespoke houses. Unlike the other category, this one wasn’t a blind sniff and the judges had the opportunity to appreciate the perfumes, some of which were familiar and others that were first-time sniffs, in their entirety with a lively discussion from all sides. Whether blind-sniffing or just simple straightforward-sniffing, this blogger has to admit that the whole process was eyeopening, great fun and an absolute honour to be involved with.