And the Fragrance Foundation Award Goes To…-------
“To you, the artists whose canvas is air,” began a section of Richard Blanco’s perfume prose as President Obama’s inaugural poet took to the stage last night at the Fragrance Foundation Awards. It was an appropriate ode to the audience of renowned noses—and the marketers and beauty executives who translate their vision into retail success—who had packed the auditorium at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to celebrate the year’s best bottles. Hosted by SNL alum Dana Carvey, the evening was packed with plenty of comic relief (Carvey did not let the award for “Best Packaging, Mens” go without comment) that was tempered by a few noted moments of sentimentality. Coty senior vice president of corporate communications Catherine Walsh struck a contemplative chord when she stood at the podium to accept the FiFi for Balenciaga’s Florabotanica, which won statuettes for Best Packaging, as well as Fragrance of the Year, Luxury Women’s. Rather than simply thank her team at Coty Prestige, Walsh read from an e-mail that came from the French house’s revered former creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, who was instrumental in the scent’s development. “It was a fantastic creative freedom to create it,” Ghesquière wrote to Walsh. “I’m very thankful for the recognition.”
The night’s other big winners included, Taylor Swift, who accepted her Celebrity of the Year award for her growing arsenal of eaux in a flowing, floor-length Emilio Pucci gown; Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend, which beat out heavy hitters such as Chanel Coco Noir and Gucci Premiere to take home the Consumer Choice award, in addition to being named Perfume of the Year, Popular Women’s; and Marc Jacobs Dot, which won the Fragrance of the Year, Prestige category. The show also honored Allure‘s intrepid editor in chief, Linda Wells, with the Hall of Fame award, which was presented by Nashville star Connie Britton, whose lustrous ginger locks apparently have their own Twitter account, Wells informed the audience in between a few choice one-liners. “I have loved fragrance since I first inhaled Play-Doh,” she later joked. The twenty-plus-year industry vet also revealed that the ever-evolving world of fragrance still manages to surprise even her, as she thanked her 17-year-old son for teaching her how to appreciate the nuances of Axe Dark Temptation Body Spray.