Perfumed Plume Awards 2019 winners

It’s fragrance awards season a-go-go with The Fragrance Foundation UK Awards last week, but right now we’d like to cast our eyes over the pond to the prestigious Perfumed Plume Awards™ – an annual celebration of fragrance journalism now in its fourth year, and gaining ever more attention all over the world.

Held in New York, the ceremony (and what looked to be a fabulous perfumed party!) was held at The Society of Illustrators, which the founders and organisers, Lyn Leigh and Mary Ellen Lapsansky – both perfume industry veterans – agreed, for them the awards ‘…honour and recognise fragrance stories and the many talented writers and visualists who give the reader an inside view of the cultural, historical, scientific and personal approaches to fragrance design and what it takes to create an evocative scent.’

Winners were each presented with a signature Tiffany pen, but perhaps more than just the honour of recieving the award, The Perfumed Plumes are all about showcasing the incredible diversity of writers using fragrance as a theme – helping spread the scented word far and wide.

We’re always encouraging the sharing of these ‘perfumed stories’, and are delighted to bring you the list of 2019 winners, along with links to their fabulous fragrance writing. Congratulations to ALL the finalists and winners, we’re going to sit back, pour ourselves a cup of tea, and allow ourselves to fall under your scented spells…

Perfume Stories in Mainstream Media – Print – Magazines, Newspapers:
Chemical Romance” – New Beauty — by April Long

Perfume Stories in Mainstream Media – Digital – Magazines, Newspapers, Blog Postings, Webzines” A tie!
How Britney Spears Built a Billion Dollar Business Without Selling a Single Record
InStyle — by Rachel Syme

Fragrances of Film Noir: Scenting Five Femmes Fatales
ÇaFleureBon — by Despina Veneti, Sr. Contributor

New Category: ‘Short ‘n Sweet’ Perfume Stories – Print & Digital:
Blind FaithNew Beauty — by Brittany Burhop Fallon

Visualization of Perfume Stories — Print & Digital:
Travels in France, Part One: Everything Is Lavender” —The Fragrant Journey — by Cynthia Lesiuk

New Category: INSTApost — Perfume Stories on Instagram:
but_not_today” — The Plum Girlby Elena Cvjetkovic

Fragrance Book Award:
Spritzing to Success
With the Woman who Brought an Industry to Its Senses”— by Annette Green

by Suzy Nightingale

 

Smell-X installation explores future of smell

What does the future hold for scent? This was the question posed at a sensory installation called Smell-X, recently held at the Figment NYC festival at Governor’s Island in New York City. We used to rely on our sense of smell to stay alive, but as Helen Keller commented, this once-vital ability became something of ‘the fallen angel of the senses’ when we no longer needed to smell a sabre-toothed tiger or forage for food with our noses as the guide.

We teach people techniques proven to enhance our olfactory abilities in our regular How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops (keep an eye on our events pages and newsletter) attempting to re-connect those neural pathways and genuinely get more pleasure from smelling things in a different way each day. But what if we lived in a future where smell had become so dismissed, we forgot the emotional connections and time-travelling memories that scent can tap in to…?

Olivia Jezler is a designer and scent strategist, who invited guests’ to save the future of humanity’ in the multisen­sorial installation. Having worked for fragrance houses including IFF, Symrise and Robertet, working with brands and participating in academic research in Human Computer Interaction at the SCHI LAB at University of Sussex, Olivia wanted to see how members of the public interact with scent in a series of  hands-on (or rather ‘noses-on’) experiments.

Participants were asked to imagine a future where, ‘…there is no need for the sense of smell and thus our smelling abilities have been genetically engineered to not exist. However, it has become noticeable that people have become joy-less, feelings of enjoyment, connection, beauty and emotion have disappeared and most worrisome, rates of suicide have increased…

Yet, there is hope. There are a few people who through a genetic mutation have retained their ability to smell, those in possession of the gene family Smell-X. Special agents search the world to identify these rare individuals who can perceive through their noses to be a “smell translator”. They are invited to a competition to translate basic smells into shapes. This is the first step to bringing humanity back into balance – giving them the ability to experience the elusive and emotive sense of smell through one of their other senses.’

We so wish we could have been in New York to see the exhibition in person, but for the rest of you who also couldn’t be there, luckily the Smell-X experiments are written about in great deatail on their website.

We’re completely fascinated by these ‘cross-modal’ explorations of smell – finding out the myriad ways our senses overlap. Indeed, we dedicated an entire issue of our magazine to the subject, including our award-winning feature on Synaesthesia. If you’re interested in discovering more, buy your magazine here!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

 

Perfume adventures: global scent shopping

Have you already jetted-off to a long yearned-for holiday, or are you planning a quick city trip to tide you over? Perfume shopping is always one of the best bits of our holidays, and so we have scoured some of our favourite fragrant destinations to bring you top tips of where to shop and what to look out for…
On our Perfume Adventures section of the website, you can find our guides to havens of heavenly scents to explore – like Le Bon Marché in Paris: Department store perfume shopping doesn’t get much sexier than this, since LVMH supremo Bernard Arnault gave Paris’s oldest department store (it opened in 1838) the most glamorous of makeovers: three floors of designer gorgeousness – and on the ground floor, a stunning perfumery showcasing many different (and not necessarily mainstream) brands.
Or why not hop to Florence and visit the veritable temple of scent, Farmacia Santa Maria Novella? Wander through the three high-ceilinged, fresco-ed rooms and drink it all in. Either explore the fragrances (there are now over 30) at your own pace at the glass cabinets, or tap into the experience of knowledgeable assistants, first checking out the upliftingly citrusy Santa Maria Novella perfume – the first the monks created – for none other than local noblewoman Catherine de Medici, who became Queen of France. It’s based on the famous Queen of Hungary’s Water (an early eau de Cologne).

In New York, those in the know (nose?) head to MiN – it’s quirkily designed:  dark wood floors, slightly scuffed antiques and custom library shelving create a clubby vibe, but the selection itself is worth a pilgrimage – from Cire Trudon candles and Culti home fragrance, Laboratorio Olfactivo, Keiko Macheri, Patricia de Nicolaï, Amouage, Etat Libre d’Orange, Jovoy and more, more, more – including a particularly quirky collection by Kerosene – seen above. (The creator is a mechanic, the labels hand-embossed from brass, the bottles sprayed with car paint.  Yes, really.)
Shopping lists and city maps at the ready? Get even more ideas for your fragrant fixes when flying away…
Written by Suzy Nightingale