Last night, deep in EC1, a young man asked “is this a movie premiere?” The red carpet and paparazzi waiting outside the venue might give you that illusion, but no, this was The Fragrance Foundation Awards – better known by its kitsch acronym Fifi – the annual perfume industry awards ceremony.
Most of the nominations are from the big commercial brands, but slowly the smaller luxury and independent perfumers are getting recognition. Sadly, most of it seems to be quite predictable.
Here’s a quick look at the winners, and who we would have chosen on the categories that we give a damn about…
The ultimate launch award went to Dior Sauvage, which is not surprising – it was certainly the most memorable campaign, even if the perfume is… Well not to our tastes.
Best new female fragrance was won by Marc Jacobs Decadence. We really wanted to hate this due to its tacky bottle, but it’s kind of okay when you want subtle glam on a budget.
Retailer of the year – Harrods, again. Yawn!
People’s choice for men: Paco Rabanne One Million Cologne… well, all those kids these days have far too much pocket money.
Peoples choice for women: YSL Opium Black, proving we are in an era of glamour and decadence, even if it’s a rather conservative one.
Anyway, enough of the dull stuff (we’re not going to even think about the idea of an award for Best Celebrity Fragrance). Onto the god stuff…
Best new independent: The Perfume Garden – India. This is a charming little perfumery deep in Avalon, specialising in natural ingredients. Also in this category where 4160’s Maxed Out and Papillon’s Salome, both firm favourites of The Reprobate, and -strangely – Miller Harris, who to us seem too big a company to feature in the indie selection.
Perfume Extraordinaire is a blind submission – the name and brand are only revealed after judging has taken place. It was won by Armani Privé’s Sable d’Or. If it hadn’t been a blind choice we would be screaming fix!
Limited Distribution category for women was of course won by Tom Ford’s Fleur de Portofino – a bit predictable. There were a couple of little gems in this section – Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s A la Rose, which contains the equivalent of 400 roses in each bottle, and Byredo’s Rose of No Mans’ Land which is not a bad little rendition.
Limited distribution men went to… yes, Tom Ford again for another private blend number. It was bizarre to see Huge Boss in this shortlisted in this section. The big boys are trying to muzzle in to the creative arena due to its double digit growth in the market, but are still only thinking of bottom line profit, not actual creative originality. Editions de Parfum’s Cologne Indelible should have won this one.
Azzedine Alaia won a couple of awards, which was good – not only is he one of our favourite fashion heroes but it’s a damn nice all rounder, if a little safe.
For those of you that are completists read all the other details at www.fragrancefoundationawards.com