In a star-studded event held June 12, 2018 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The Fragrance Foundation celebrated the artistry and creativity that are the hallmarks of the fragrance world. Award-winning actress Jane Krakowski hosted the event, which recognized the 2018 winners and paid tribute to legendary fragrance luminaries.
Krakowski said that fragrance has always been aspirational for her. “Growing up in New Jersey, I always felt that fragrance made me feel so French. I love everything about perfume; and I love The Fragrance Foundation Awards because they are the only game in town. There are no ‘Smellies’ or ‘Fraggies, or ‘Golden Noses.’ These awards are special,” said Krakowski, who shared a rousing rendition of “Fragrance Is a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Jerry Vittoria, president, Firmenich, and chairman of The Fragrance Foundation board of directors, introduced Linda Levy, president of The Fragrance Foundation, noting the close communication that exists between the board and the organization’s new president. Levy said, “Tonight’s winners, finalists and honorees represent the very best of the fragrance industry. They bring to life the artistry and passion that makes fragrance so transformative and inspiring.”
She explained her process of integration into her role, noting that she had gone on a three-month listening tour to immerse herself in this most creative industry, and she highlighted the achievements of the organization over the course of the year, including such stand-outs as Fragrance Day Across The USA, held in March 2018; artist, Marco Santini’s mural in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to celebrate and engage the community in social media; the Consumer’s Choice voting outreach, which brought in 250,000 voters; and the mission of giving back, through philanthropic partnerships, including an upcoming Fragrance Foundation partnership in corporate sustainability, to be announced in 2019.
She thanked sponsors, Coty, Firmenich, Givaudan, Hearst Magazines, and IFF; and concluded with a quote from Yoko Ono, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.” She added, “And tonight, together, we celebrate the achievements of Ann Gottlieb, Olivier Cresp, and Frédéric Malle, and together we enjoy the artistry and passion of fragrance.”
Patrick Firmenich, chairman of the board, Firmenich, presented the Hall of Fame honors to Ann Gottlieb, saying, “In this year of the woman, it is very special to honor Ann. With your work with perfumers you have created such fragrances as CK One, J’Adore, and Obsession,” and, noted, Firmenich, “Ann has developed every AXE fragrance, worked with SC Johnson for home care as well, and indeed her work is with billions of consumers around the world; but, more, Ann has the highest integrity and we know she will always choose the best fragrance for the project.”
Firmenich described Gottlieb as a professional who could sense the trends even before they develop, and highlighted the distinctive honors she has achieved, thanking her for “the wisdom and creativity she has shared for 50 years.” Gottlieb, a celebrated perfume strategist and founder of her own consultancy, said, “To receive this award recognizing my contributions to the world of fragrance is a validation of my work and is absolutely thrilling. I’m truly honored and poised to continue for the next 50 years.”
Gottlieb, who said quite simply that she is “a marketer with a good nose,” explained how she always wanted to work in layman’s terms, noting that “fragrances needed to be brighter, sweeter, or have bigger balls.” She paid special tribute to her own family, as well as her fragrance family, including her “backstage family of fragrance evaluators and fragrance house marketers.” In conclusion, she said, “I know people always say that tonight is really special. Fifty years ago, I got an entry level job at Lauder; thirty-five years ago, I started my own consultancy; and seventy-five years ago, today, I was born. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to spend my 75th birthday with.”
Frédéric Malle, known for creating his iconic Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, received the Foundation’s Game Changer Award, which was presented to him by Leonard Lauder. Malle, whose mother and grandfather all worked in the fragrance industry, described the importance of crediting each perfumer with his or her creation, a mission he carried out in the creation of his Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle. “The perfumers are part of this great adventure,” said Malle.
Armand de Villoutreys, president of Perfumery and Ingredients, Firmenich, presented the Lifetime Achievement Perfumer Award to Olivier Cresp. He said that Cresp, who was born in Grasse, the cradle of perfumery, had created Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and Angel, among many others, and enjoyed the discovery of new molecules. He credited him with starting the gourmand category, and for his use of such ingredients as honey and dry woods.
Cresp said, “To start from scratch and have maybe the highest award that one can receive is truly incredible. It’s something I never expected and I am very honored.”
Other awards presenters included dancer Derek Hough, actress, Morena Baccarin, singer and actress, Rita Ora, models, Chanel Iman and Naomi Campbell, designers Jason Wu and John Varvatos, actors Ben McKenzie and Rick Gonzalez, Elle Magazine editor, Nina Garcia, and stylist Olivia Palermo.
Slideshow: Who Will Win Packaging of the Year? See the 2018 finalists.
Face of the Year Winner: Scenes from the Fragrance Foundation 2018 Finalists' Breakfast