Art & Olfaction Awards: register to watch for free!

The Art & Olfaction Awards 2020 are to be live-streamed online this year (as with so many other scented events we’re sadly missing in person), but the good news is, this means they have flung open the virtual fragrant doors, and you can register to watch as a guest…

The scented award season really is in full swing – we’ve just had the Fragrance Foundation and Jasmine Awards, the Perfumed Plume Awards, and now: The Art & Olfaction Awards sashay forth to the spotlight.

Far more than an exercise in self-congratulation, The Art & Olfaction Awards are open to any independent perfumer who wishes to enter a submission, and the results are blind-sniffed by a panel of judges around the world. As well as the indie brands, they celebrate artisanal fragrance and installation artists who work with fragrance as a creative medium as part of their work.

Some of the names you may have heard of, but we guarantee there will be many you don’t (and need to get to know!)

These houses and artists represent some of the most interesting movements in perfumery right now, and it’s always fascinating to keep an eye (and, indeed, nose) on them by way of glimpsing to future trends for the fragrance industry as a whole…

 

 

The organisers of The Art & Olfaction Awards say: ‘Grab a bottle of bubbly, wear your fanciest outfit, and join us to celebrate this very strange year’s most excellent finalists in the artisan, independent and experimental categories. The ceremony will take place on September 17, 2020, from 2pm to 3:30pm PDT. Join us!’

To watch the event, you need to register for free tickets first.

Meanwhile, check out the list of 2020 finalists (always names worth knowing, as these awards are hotly contested…)

By Suzy Nightingale

Perfumed Plume Awards 2020: the winners are…

The Perfumed Plume Awards are an annual celebration of international fragrance journalism, to showcase writing that gives ‘an inside view of the cultural, historic, scientific and personal approaches to fragrance design and what it takes to create an evocative scent.’

‘While we would normally gather at MANE Gallery to celebrate with a glass of bubbly, this year is obviously a different time,” said Co-Founders Mary Ellen Lapsansky and Lyn Leigh.

‘In these very unusual times, we’re grateful to have the technology to share this occasion with you.’ Lyn continued.

The ceremony was held virtually on Zoom, and so we were excited to tune in and celebrate the winners, who were…

 

Perfume Stories – Print – Magazines & Newspapers
The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information.

A tie!

Holiday O.G. – Why frankincense – the original Christmas present – is suddenly so smoking hotTown & Country

Scents of Place – Venice The Scented Letter, Jo Fairley, The Perfume Society

Perfume Stories in Mainstream Media – Digital – Magazines, Newspapers, Blog Postings, Webzines
The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information

Guerlain Mitsouko Centennial 1919-2019: The Scented Skein ÇaFleureBon

Short ‘n Sweet Perfume Stories – Print or Digital
The criteria for judging: quality of editorial content; originality & creativity; accuracy & depth of information

Vision Quest – NewBeauty

INSTApost — Perfume Stories on Instagram
The criteria for judging: originality/creativity of visual element(s); quality of the post content

Cooper Hewitt – Resurrecting the Sublime – Futureofsmell

Visualization of Perfume Stories — Print & Digital
The criteria for judging: design concept; how design relates to content

In Bauhaus we trust – the smell of minimalism — Scentury.com

Fragrance Book of the Year

“Perfume Legends II: French Feminine Fragrances” – Michael Edwards

This was the first year we’d submitted entries, so we were particularly delighted to discover we were finalists with FOUR nominations (and of course, even more delighted that we won one!)

The Perfumed Plume judges commented that:

‘…these marvelous writers deserve recognition and congratulations for their perfume stories. All are factual. All are creative. All are fascinating.” It’s true to say that all the submissions were just wonderful and the results a close call. These fabulous stories are a must-read so please take a few minutes to appreciate the talents of these writers.’

The full list of entires can be found on The Perfumed Plume website, with links to each of the finalists’ work, and we urge you to grab a cuppa, put your feet up and peruse every single one for some precious moments of perfumed escapism.

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrant escapism… read each of our Jasmine-Award nominated pieces!

In the flurry of everything that’s happened over the last few weeks with a global pandemic, though we shouted our happiness on our social media channels at the time, we must admit this had escaped our minds to post about. But as we’re clinging on to every good news piece we can, right now, we hope you’ll forgive us for re-living the joy we felt because of the news…

For this year’s Fragrance Foundation Jasmine Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the fragrance world – we have an incredible SIX nominations!

We wanted to give you a chance to take a look over each of the pieces we’re nominated for – a form of fragrant escapism, if you wish, amidst the worry that’s all around. So sit back and take some time to unwind, and read about something nice for a change…

Finalist: Literary AwardPerfuming a Part, by Suzy Nightingale

Finalist: Literary AwardScents of India, by Amanda Carr

Finalist: Practical GuideScents of Place: Venice, by Jo Fairley

Finalist: Practical GuideThe Future of Fragrance, by The Perfume Society Scented Letter Magazine team

Finalist: Short PieceOrange Blossom, How to Bottle Sunshine, by Suzy Nightingale

Finalist: Short PieceScented Inks & Inky Scents, by Suzy Nightingale

Do make time to have a look at the full list of finalists and their work – we are thrilled to among such a pool of perfumed talent, of names we know well as friends, and those new to our noses. We’re crossing our fingers for even more good news when the winners are announced (a lot of fingers to be crossed, with our nominations for Perfumed Plume Awards this year, too!)

Until then, we hope that you’ll enjoy this list of lovely things to read, and wish you all sunshine, health and happiness…

mNPA – China’s first niche perfumery awards

The passion for niche perfumes is growing worldwide, and fragrance houses have been telling us for some time that the Chinese market has been expanding. Once written off as only liking quiet or subdued scents, or outsiders assuming the majority of consumers don’t feel comfortable wearing personal scent at all, it’s fascinating to see that China have just held their first ever awards for niche perfumery: the mNPA

Set to become an annual event, the mNPA – Minorité Niche Perfumery Awards – is a collaboration between the niche Chinese fine fragrance and distribution company Minorité and Firmenich, the largest privately-owned fragrance and flavour company.

Minorité founder Song Yuan said ‘This is the first time we have held the awards for niche perfumes in China… We hope these awards will help Chinese consumers learn more about our local niche brands and inspire domestic perfumes.’ Paul Andersson, Firmenich China President, explained why China was the perfect setting for these awards. ‘Following the opening of our first Fine Fragrance Atelier in China in September last year, Firmenich’s participation in mNPA demonstrates our commitment to developing the fine fragrance industry in China. Firmenich is honored to support worldwide exposure for the outstanding fine fragrance players in China by leveraging our global network and our understanding of the local Chinese consumers and market.’

‘The awards encourage the creation of innovative fragrances with an artistic touch, based on a unique approach. The nomination jury included leading perfumers, senior fragrance critics and Key Opinion Leaders who were responsible for nominating the candidates and shortlisting the finalists for each award category. Winners were then chosen by public vote.’

And the winners were…

  • Best Independent Niche Perfumes 2019: Fig-Tea by Nicolaï; Hermann A Mes Cotes Me Paraissait Une Ombre by Etat Libre d`Orange; The Orchid Man by Frapin.
  • Best Niche Perfumes Affiliated with a Group 2019: Oolang Infini by Atelier Cologne; L`Ombre Dans L`Eau (EDT) by diptyque; Florabellio by diptyque.
  • Best Chinese Niche Perfume 2019: Insects Awaken by KONG BAI; Wind by UTTORI; Rosmanthus by O D’HORA.

 

 

These awards work both ways: showing the fragrances that are making significant scent waves in China while also showcasing home-grown Chinese niche houses that perhaps aren’t widely known about even in their own country. We applaud this initiative and would love to explore more truly niche fragrances from around the world, wouldn’t you? Anything that helps diversify our olfactive palate, and the voices and memories creating their own unique stories in scent, can only be a good thing.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Art & Olfaction Awards 2019 winners announced

The sixth annual Art and Olfaction Awards recently took place at the majestic Oude Kerk building, right in the middle of Amsterdam’s thriving and eclectic Red Light District. There, the gathered audience of perfumers, artists, journalists and fragrance afficionados were just as eclectic, honouring the absolutely thriving artisanal sector of scents – beyond the much bandied-about term ‘niche’ – celebrating the art of perfumery and the people who make it happen.

We’re always fascinated to see the winners list and to share it with a wider audience, as although you may not recognise all the names, seeing who the ‘golden pears’ were awarded to is a way of tapping in to what’s going on in the roots of perfumery today and may well shape what you wear in the months and years to come…

ARTISAN AWARD

Hyde
By Hiram Green Perfumes (The Netherlands)
Perfumer: Hiram Green
+ Brand Website

Powder & Dust
by SP Parfums (Germany)
Perfumer: Sven Pritzkoleit
With: Yana Lysenko Tommelise
+ Brand Website

INDEPENDENT AWARD

Colorado
by American Perfumer (USA)
Creative Director: Dave Kern
Perfumer: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
+ Brand Website

Rich Mess
by Ryan Richmond (USA)
Creative Director: Ryan Richmond
Perfumer: Christophe Laudamiel
+ Brand Website

 

SADAKICHI AWARD FOR EXPERIMENTAL WORK WITH SCENT

Diary of Smells: Glass Ceiling
by Josely Carvalho (Brazil)
Perfumer: Leandro Petit
+ Project Website

AFTEL AWARD FOR HANDMADE PERFUME
Maderas de Oriente Oscuro
by PK Perfumes
Perfumer: Paul Kiler

THE SEPTIMUS PIESSE VISIONARY AWARD
Frederik Duerinck

CONTRIBUTION TO SCENT CULTURE AWARD
Sissel Tolaas

By Suzy Nightingale

Jasmine Awards Winners 2019: we’re celebrating!

The Jasmine Awards are the most prestigious literary awards in the UK for fragrance journalism – think of them as the Oscars for olfactory writing – and every year, The Fragrance Foundation nominate a list of finalists for the fragrant categories, and finally, announce the winners.

We waited with baited breath… and are thrilled to have won the Practical Guide Award, with our Scented Alphabet issue of The Scented Letter Magazine!

The Scented Letter is delivered digitally, for free, to our VIP Club members, or you can subscribe for glossy print copies of the magazine – and now International Online Subscriptions are available for only £20 for a full year.

But as a special treat, we’d like to make the entire award-winning issue available for you to read:

Simply click on the picture above, make yourself a cuppa and lose yourself in the wonders of fragrance history, design and innovation… we tried to cover everything fragrant from A-Z, and it was a huge effort to research, write and put together, so we really couldn’t be more pleased to have won this award.

Continuing with the celebrations, we are jumping for joy for all the winners this year, and wanted to share them with you. Do make time to go and have a look at their work – in each case, you’re in for a treat…

We were especially thrilled for Viola’s piece winning an award, written after joining us at one of our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops – and highlighting the importance of this, our most neglected of senses.

Congratulations, again, to everyone involved and all of the finalists – we don’t envy the judges having to make the final decisions from such a wealth of creative talent!

Now, you’ll have to excuse us because we’ve got to find time to eat celebratory cake while getting ready for National Fragrance Day tomorrow (Thursday 21 March) and our social media scented take-over with our #smellfie campaign. Make sure you join in – and WIN prizes up to £300 of scented goodies…!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Jasmine Awards 2018 Finalists…

When we received emails beginning, ‘Congratulations, you are a finalist!’ we’re pretty sure you must have been able to hear us squealing from the moon…

The Jasmine Awards are often referred to as ‘the Oscars of the Fragrance Industry’ – an annual event in which The Fragrance Foundation celebrates those who write about and discuss fragrance in engaging and innovative ways. We are utterly thrilled to have made the final line-up, with several nominations, and to be sharing that space with so many talented individuals.

The awards will be announced on April 19th, so until then we’ll be sharing some of the nominated features from The Scented Letter Magazine with you right here – content that’s usually exclusively for our subscribers (in print and online) – because as it’s a very special occasion, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to have a gander!

Below, you’ll find the complete list of finalists in all the categories, but firstly we’d like to share with you an episode of Thomas & Nick‘s always informative (and often hilarious) podcast, Fume Chat, which features none other than our Co-Founder Jo Fairley as a guest, and has been nominated for the Innovation Award.

Have a listen to Fume Chat: The War of the Roses, and do catch-up on any others you may have missed. We’re sure you’ll join the growing legion of listeners who tune in for a regular dose of the duo…

CREATIVE VISUAL AWARD

Can You Feel The Love Look Magazine Lydia Thompson & Ian Oliver Walsh
Crowning Glories Harrods Magazine Jan Masters & Ashleigh Houlton
Scents & Sensibility Men’s Health UK Eric Down, Luke Kirwan & Zena May
The Big Splash Stylist Magazine Shannon Peter, Mitch Payne & Kyle Bean
The Craft Stylist Magazine Nikita Gill & Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
The Rise of “Marmite” Perfumes Stella Magazine Alice du Parcq & Josh Caudwell

INNOVATION AWARD

Can a Perfume Change Your Life?
ELLE Magazine Sophie Beresiner & Joely Walker
Crowning Glories Harrods Magazine Jan Masters & Ashleigh Houlton
Episode 16:Molecule Mania Fumechat Nick Gilbert & Thomas Dunckley
Episode 18: The War of the Roses Fumechat Nick Gilbert & Thomas Dunckley
Scents & Sensibility Men’s Health UK Eric Down, Luke Kirwan & Zena May
The Sweet Smell of a Bargain Cosmopolitan Lucy Partington

LITERARY PIECE AWARD

Mimosa: Let The Sunshine In The Scented Letter Jo Fairley
Oranges Are Not The Only (Fragrant) Fruit The Scented Letter Suzy Nightingale
The Rise of “Marmite” Perfumes Stella Magazine Alice du Parcq
This is a Journey into Skank Basenotes.net Louise Woollam
Transcending Scent Stylist Magazine Anita Bhagwandas
Vanilla Wards & Ghosted Olfaction REEKperfume Alex Musgrave

PRACTICAL GUIDE AWARD

Heal Thyself Cent Magazine Suzy Nightingale
Live, Love, Spritz Red Magazine Alexandra Friend
One Scent Good, Seven Scents Better? The Scented Letter Thomas Dunckley
Scents of Calm GRAZIA Alice du Parcq
Scents of Place The Scented Letter Carson Parkin-Fairley
Summer Fragrances for People Who Hate Summer & also Summer Fragrances Basenotes.net Claire Vukcevic

RISING STAR AWARD

Best Fragrance Discoveries 2017 Tommelise Yana Lysenko
Christmas Trilogy Harry Sherwood
Parterre Fragrances – a New Concept in Perfumery Maria Angelidou
Scents & Sensibility Sara Sheridan
Smells Familiar Grace Cook
The Juice – A Sensual Story of a Most Singular Smell Richard O’Mahony

SHORT PIECE AWARD

A Scent To Swear By Financial Times – Life & Arts Kathleen Baird-Murray
Dear Bleu – A Letter of Apology to Bleu de Chanel The Candy Perfume Boy Thomas Dunckley
Falling Through The Chypre Portal I Scent You a Day Samantha Scriven
Free Florals Harper’s Bazaar Hannah Betts
Revisiting Three Modern Perfume Classics How To Spend It Victoria Frolova
Scented Androgyny Harper’s Bazaar Hannah Betts

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT AWARD

#AdPSmellogram Alice du Parcq
Black Friday The Perfume Shop
Love at First Scent Persolaise
Mixed Gems Rose Gallagher
#Smelfie Campaign Carson Parkin-Fairley
We Wear Perfume Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton

We would like to congratulate every single person who made the finals, we’re such admirers of all their work, already, and will be biting our fingernails alongside them until the winners are announced!

 

The 'Golden Pear' Awards come to London…

We’re rather thrilled the Art and Olfaction Awards are coming to London in April 2018! The awards (aka ‘The Golden Pears’) are a program of The Institute for Art and Olfaction, a non-profit organisation based in Los Angeles, USA.
An annual event showcasing the very best niche and artisan perfumes from around the world, independent perfumers and small-scale brands are invited to submit their fragranced wares (closing date is November 1st though, folks, so you need to get a wriggle on!) by filling in the online form, and then sending a 20ml bottle of the perfume for judging.
The rules are as follows…
‘For the 5th annual awards, we accept submissions from independent and artisan perfumers, and experimental practitioners with scent from all countries. 
Brands must be independently owned, or owned by a parent company with no more than four fine fragrance holdings in its brand portfolio. In the independent and artisan categories, we accept perfumes first released to market between January 1 and December 31, 2017. In the Sadakichi Award, we accept projects that had or will have their public début between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017.’


The Institute for Art and Olfaction say: ‘Awarded to just four perfumes and one experimental project a year, The Golden Pears is designed to raise interest and awareness for independent and artisan perfumers – and experimental practitioners with scent – from all countries. By shining a spotlight on perfumery’s most outstanding creators, we hope to help generate support for independent practices in perfumery as a whole.’

Submissions close: November 1st, 11:59pm PST
Physical submissions must be received on or before November 14th, 2017

Round one judging : November 14, 2017  – January 15, 2018
Round two judging: January 15 – March 1, 2018

Finalists Announcement at Esxence: April 5, 2018
5th annual Art and Olfaction Awards at The Tabernacle in London: April 21, 2018

Niche perfumery was once viewed somewhat sneeringly, but the larger brands have had to sit up and take notice in the last few years (indeed, acquiring a few of them along the way to add to their existing portfolios), because those brands have ploughed the way for new trends to emerge, a fresher breath of air that provides a barometer for the rest of the industry. Whether perfume-lovers are directly seeking out more unusual and under-the-radar brands because they ‘don’t want to smell like everyone else’, or perhaps we’re all just getting a little braver in our fragrance choices; it’s become clear that niche is the new black.
And we can’t wait to see what the awards uncover next…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Marty The Mighty Nose Awards – open for entries

Get those nostrils flapping in preparation, for The Fragrance Foundation‘s Marty the Mighty Nose Awards are once again open for smell-inspired poetic writing…
The annual competition invites Key Stage Two pupils (aged 7-11) to ‘take an aromatic approach to creative writing, as we invite them to write their own smell-inspired poems for the chance to win prizes for themselves and for their schools.’

The Fragrance Foundation say: ‘Whether it is inviting children to develop their use of simile and metaphor in English by writing smell-inspired poems or learning about history through the stinky aromas of the past (Ancient Egyptian Mummification anyone?), structured activities incorporating fragrance and smell can truly support and inspire pupils of all abilities.’
Entries can be made by schools, by individual parents and guardians, and details of the competition and how to submit an entry are explained, below…

The Fragrance Foundation encourage pupils to write poems inspired by the sense of smell (the whiffy socks of an older brother has been a previous winner’s poetic theme!) and these are then read and chosen by a distinguished panel of judges each year, with awards being presented to the children and schools during the prestigious Jasmine Awards ceremony, held at BAFTA.

Known as ‘The Oscars for fragrance journalism’, The Jasmine’s are highly sought after, celebrating innovative and creative fragrance writing from the top-selling glossy magazines, newspapers, independent blogs and beyond. And when The Mighty Nose Awards are read out during the ceremony, there’s always a ripple of absolute delight within the industry professionals present.
Teachers can view and download materials to aid the scent training, and request t-shirts and scratch-‘n-sniff stickers from the Marty the Mighty Nose website, but for now, why not sit back and relax while Richard E. Grant guides you through your very own workshop in the film, below?

Entering The Mighty Nose Awards is easy – download the entry pack here.
We’ve been highly honoured at The Perfume Society to be nominated for and win several Jasmine Awards, and always wonder if the talented children who enter the awards with their smell-inspired poems could well be the fragrance writers – and noses behind the fragrances of the future! So get those kids’ noses in training…
Written by Suzy Nightingale

BeauFort London fly the flag for British fragrance as Art and Olfaction Awards announced…

The fourth annual Art and Olfaction Awards were announced on May 6, and with a heady melange of strong candidates in the running as finalists, we were so thrilled and proud to see that BeauFort London won for their outstanding fragrance Fathom V in the Independent Category. In fact, though the awards ceremony were held in Berlin this year, we’re pretty sure you could have heard us whooping all the way from the UK!
Based in Los Angeles, the The Art and Olfaction Awards are designed to ‘…raise interest and awareness for independent and artisan perfumers – and experimental practitioners with scent – from all countries.’ More than simple recognition for the immense hours of hard work undertaken by these small and proudly independent fragrance houses, the award founders explain that, ‘by shining a spotlight on perfumery’s most outstanding creators, we hope to help generate support for independent practices in perfumery as a whole.’

We have long known and celebrated the importance of niche fragrance houses and the great influence they now carry for the designer brands and the trickle-down effect they have for the mainstream market. Those mega brands now showcasing “unisex” scents in paired-down bottles across the range, florals for men and unusual note combinations? All these trends began long ago in the niche world – think of them as catwalk couture influencing eventual high street styles.

Of course, before BeauFort London had even officially launched, we were championing the house based on love at first sniff of their historically inspired yet ultra contemporary scents, and you can read our interview with founder Leo Crabtree, here.
Read our page dedicated to the BeauFort London to find out more about their inspirations and our thoughts on some of the fragrances themselves, but for those of you who haven’t yet tried the (now award-winning!) Fathom V – get ready to have your senses beguiled. It’s one of the most incredible shared fragrances we’ve smelled for some time – a humongously green, tousled bouquet of flowers tossed into roiling waves as guns fire a salute, sinking in to salty, opaque waters cloaking hidden treasures in the shdowy depths… And you can try it for yourself at home in our Precious Perfumes Discovery Box.
We would like to extend our congratulations to all the finalists in this hotly contested year, and are busily reading up on some of the more artisinal houses we’ve not yet had the pleasure of exploring. So really, think of the entire list of finalists as your must-sniff guide to all that’s uber-cool right now in the perfume world.
And for 2017, the winners are…
ARTISAN CATEGORY WINNERS
Bruise Violet
by Sixteen92 (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Claire Baxter
Presented by judge Luca Turin
Mélodie de l’Amour
by Parfums Dusita (France)
CD/ Perfumer: Pissara Umavijani
Presented by 2014 winner Tanja Bochnig
INDEPENDENT CATEGORY WINNERS
Altruist
by J.F. Schwarzlose Berlin (Germany)
CD: Lutz Herrmann / Perfumer: Véronique Nyberg
Presented by judge Matthias Janke
Fathom V
by BeauFort London (UK)
CD: Leo Crabtree / Perfumer: Julie Marlowe
Presented by judge Antonio Gardoni
SADAKICHI AWARD WINNER
Osmodrama Berlin / Smeller 2.0
by Wolfgang Georgsdorf (Germany)
Perfumer: Geza Schön
Presented by judge Ashraf Osman
CONTRIBUTION TO SCENT CULTURE AWARD WINNER
Christophe Laudamiel
Presented by founder Saskia Wilson-Brown
Written by Suzy Nightingale