Perfumed Plume Awards for Fragrance Journalism – more good news!

We could all do with some good news at the moment, and we were thrilled to discover we’re finalists for this year’s prestigious Perfume Plume Awards for Fragrance Journalism, with FOUR nominations!

The Perfumed Plume Awards are held annually – though this is the first year we’ve ever submitted entries – in order to celebrate the tricksy art of fragrance journalism, and 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.’

The Perfumed Plume Awards committee comment: ‘We’re SO happy to share some good news: announcing the finalists for the 2020 Perfumed Plume Awards. “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. “Nonetheless 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.’

Our nominations are for…

Perfuming a Part, by Suzy Nightingale

The Poison & the Remedy, by Suzy Nightingale

Scents of Place: Venice, by Jo Fairley

The Perfume Society #smellfie campaign 2019

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 and read every single one for some precious moments of escapism.

There’s a wealth of journalistic talent out there and we are honoured to be numbered among them. It’s such a shame the awards ceremony is cancelled, though of course understandable given the circumstances we find ourselves in with Covid-19 and self-isolating… but WHAT a refreshing blast of (fragrant) air this was, amidst so much gloom.

Hot on the back of our celebrating the news that we have SIX Jasmine Award nominations this year for our writing, we do hope you will join us in celebrating, perhaps with a fragrant gin or two!

Smell all about it! Scented inks & inky scents

Givaudan recently created the first newspaper printed with perfumed ink, and we suddenly wish all papers were similarly scented. It would certainly make some of the news a nicer experience to read, don’t you think…?!

Partnering with the Argentinian publication ‘Diario Perfil’, Givaudan perfumer Walter Soares worked together with the newspaper’s team to compose this one-of-a-kind scent. Sadly we didn’t get to smell this scented paper first-hand (first nose?), but it reportedly featured ‘spicy, amber-y, citrus and floral notes.’ It got us wondering about using scented inks for ourselves, to write literal ‘scented letters.’

And because simply everything leads back to perfume for us, that got us thinking about the wonderfully ink-inspired fragrances out there, and so we’ve included a round-up of those to consider trying…

The Scented Inks from the Jacques Herbin Collection offer ‘a new expressive dimension to writing, correspondence or calligraphy.’ They combine deep colors and an evocative scent of memory and travel. Scented Inks develop subtle hints of honey or lime, with musky or floral inflections.’ With scents from Rose, Violet and Lavender to Chocolate, Orange and Apple to choose from,there’s luckily also a selection pack to enjoy them all.

Jacques Herbin Scented Inks £7.80 for 30ml
Try them at thewritingdesk.co.uk

Although inky notes can come from natural materials like oakmoss, it isn’t generally ink itself that you’ll smell in a scent. More commonly, ‘ink’ is a synthetic ingredient, used in fragrances to give a mysterious hint of solvent or damp moss, or (more romantically) to conjure up the vision of someone writing love letters, perhaps, with a good old-fashioned quill.

Here, Bertrand Duchaufour imagines Tender is the Night as a black tulip, ink swirled through leather, saffron and geranium on a flickering, amber-ish base. Held aloft by the fizz of a pink pepper CO2 extraction with aldehydes, the most incredible green hyacinth opens to shimmering cyclamen, incense and that dry, metallic base.

Miller Harris Tender £120 for 50ml eau de parfum
millerharris.com

Mark Buxton used headspace technology to capture and reproduce the scent of Japanese ink for this lovely play of light and shadow in a fragrance. There’s a sense of cold air from aldehydes and juniper, and drifts of incense with that liquid inkiness, emphasised by labdanum, cedar and shadowy pools of vetiver.

Comme des Garçons 2 £90 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at selfridges.com

We sense ringlets romantically tangled by the wind, a softness of candlelight on ink-stained love letters, a scatter of singed rose petals and the peaty depth of patchouli swirled throughout. A glorious Galway-based house to be celebrated, Cloon Keen combine contemporary elegance with emotional lyricism.

Cloon Keen Atelier Roísín Dubh £136 for 100ml eau de parfum
lessenteurs.com

Inverting the traditional perfume ‘pyramid’ of notes, we plunge straight into darkness with bittersweet black cherry and plum lapped by salty purple roses and liquorice. Deep violet begins to soar, a brightness softened by the soft almond-like powderiness of tonka beans then swathed again in the darkest of inks. It really tells a tale on the skin…

Map of the Heart Purple Heart V 5 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
Try it at harrods.com

The cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamom, juxtaposed with smoky birch and an accord of magnetic ink is ‘A scent of subtle contrasts.’ Birch & Black Pepper is tarry, leathery and seasonally perfect, with its whispers of bonfire smoke, and so great worn with a chunky knit and wellies on a brisk autumnal walk.

Jo Malone London Birch & Black Pepper £120 for 100ml Cologne
Try it at jomalone.co.uk

Writing actual letters again is something we plan to do more of – or sending lovely postcards to friends and loved ones around the world. What a wonderful surprise it always is to receive a letter in the post, rather than junk-mail and yet more bills! And how even more special it would be to have the ink beautifully scented.

Meanwhile, if you’re still also stuck on the hundreds of daily emails, as we are – why not try some of the delightfully inky scents, above, to at least feel writerly and filled with fragrant inspiration.

Now then, we wonder: who will you choose to send that first scented letter to…?

By Suzy Nightingale

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

 

Marty the Mighty Nose – smelly poems required!

Do you know a child aged 7-11 who loves writing and exploring their sense of smell? Get those nostrils in training, for The Fragrance Foundation‘s Marty the Mighty Nose Awards are once again open for smell-inspired poetic entries!

Kids tend to be far more naturally connected to their sense of smell than most adults, and the annual competition invites Key Stage Two pupils to explore this sense even more, by taking ‘…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.’

Marty the Mighty Nose entries can be made by schools, or by individual parents and guardians, and details of the competition and how to submit an entry are explained, below. Poems are judged and awarded prizes individually, but there’s also a Best Class prize to the highest overall scoring class, so the more who join in, the merrier Marty will be.

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 this year’s Head Judge being Nicky Cox MBE, Editor of young person’s newspaper First News, who are this year supporting the awards.

Entering Marty The Mighty Nose Awards is easydownload the entry pack here. The deadline for submissions is the 14th December 2018, and entries can be sent online or through the post.

Here’s one of last year’s winning entries, to get you inspired…

Smelly Seasons
Suncream and salty air,
Summer smells are here,
Candyfloss and doughnuts,
Sweet smells at the pier.
Lavender and Wisteria,
Spring flowers in bloom,
Bluebell and lilac,
All smelling of sweet perfume.
Fireworks, pumpkin soup,
And smoky burning leaves,
Toasted sweet marshmallows,
Fill the autumn’s breeze.
Frost morning air,
Cloves, cinnamon and pine,
Pretty burning candles,
Christmas is my favourite time!

– Bella Barlow
Shiplake C.E Primary School

We always wonder if the talented children who enter the awards with their smell-inspired poems could well be the noses behind future fragrances – or the journalists writing about them –  either way, we can’t wait to read the results, so get those kids’ noses in training…

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

Fabulous new fragrant reads to get your nose stuck into

Make room on your shelves immediately – not for more bottles of fragrance, this time, but books about them. There’s a perfumed plethora of fragrant reads out there that we’ll be reviewing in the coming months, showing the ever increasing lust for more, more, more fragrance facts and behind the scenes peeps in to the perfume world.
Here are just a few of the favourites we’ve read already, but fear not – there are many more fragrant reads to stack up on your bedside table, and we shall attempt to cover as many as we can possibly get our noses stuck in to…


The Scent of You by Maggie Alderson (HarperCollins AU), 32.99 AUD

‘I experience the world through smell – I always have.’ So begins the latest novel by Maggie Alderson, and we couldn’t agree more. Central character, Polly, is a perfume blogger who loses herself in the world of fragrance while her own world falls to pieces around her – something many of us can empathise with. We love the fact Maggie was inspired to name her after falling madly for Vilhelm’s perfume, Dear Polly, and that she even created a blog and Instagram account for Polly to share her perfume reviews.

Having grown up surrounded by the beautiful perfume bottles of her ultra glam (ex-model) mother, and learning to explore the world by sniffing ‘…everything!’ Polly now distracts herself with, among other things, ‘Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer.’ We’re rather wondering who this may have been based on, as that description doesn’t sufficiently narrow it down…
Currently the book has been launched in Australia, but having been utterly gripped by the first chapter – which you can read for free, here – we’re crossing everything that the book will be published in the UK and other territories, soon.
 

CHANEL – The Art of Creating Fragrance by Lionel Paillès (Abrams Books), £125

A breathtakingly beautiful – and lavishly presented – six-volume set of books that foucs on single ingredients, revealing the artisinal techniques used to create those famous Chanel fragrances. Following the journey of the five main flowers from which the majority of Chanel perfumes are made, we learn about the growing, harvesting and meticulous processing of May rose, Grasse iris, Grasse jasmine, rose geranium and tuberose.
Stunning photographs by Pierre Even ensure a feast for the eyes, with fascinating facts dotted throughout. Did you know, for example, that since the very first bottle was made in the 1921,  Chanel No. 5 has been made with flowers from the same picturesque patch of land between the Alps and the Mediterranean, known as the Pégomas Valley?
Gloriously celebratory, this visual tour of the French Rivierea by way of its fragrant flowers just makes us want to jump on a plane and run through the fields in a gauzy white gown and a straw hat, stat. Yes, it’s far pricier than your average book but you are getting a set of six, and these are volumes you’ll want to treasure forever – or give as a really special gift for that ultimate Chanel fan.
 

Flacons Guerlain: Collection de Sylvie Guerlain, by Bernard Gangler (Chêne), £42.24

Imagine being a member of the Guerlain family (oh, imagine…) and becoming obsessed by the bottles (easy enough even when you’re no relation at all, we find!) and then setting about making an extensive collection of them by scouring the flea markets and antique shops of France to hunt down every last rare example you can find. The book is written in French, but really it’s all about the lovingly documented flacons themselves – page after page of them – with greater emphasis on the visual joys than the writing itself, so even if your French is sub- Sixth Form, you’ll get by just fine.
We think this is the perfect ‘coffee table’ book with which to flagrantly display your love of fragrance – hours of flicking through, gazing and sighing happily are pretty much guaranteed, we feel. It’s so interesting to see how some of the bottles change through time – and those that barely change at all. Definitely one for your Christmas List if you can’t quite swing for it yourself right now.
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 
 
 

How can you improve your sense of smell? Watch this cute cartoon and book our 'How To' workshop!

Are perfumers possessed of magical noses gifted to them at birth – with a heightened sense of smell beyond the reach of mere mortals…?
Well, there’s an argument to made that perhaps some of the ‘noses’ behind our favourite fragrances are somewhat naturally gifted, but my goodness they had to work to get where they are. Perhaps also some of them grew up in perfume-y places – like Grasse – where the culture, history and even the streets themselves are awash with scent. But the truth of the matter is, they had to start somewhere. And those of us lucky enough to have a working sense of smell can undoubtedly go about improving that sense – and thereby enhancing every aspect of our lives.
We couldn’t resist sharing the wonderfully incisive (and undeniably cute) cartoon, below, that does a great job of explaining how important our sense of smell is in everyday life, and the basics of how one might begin mastering the sense of smell.

Apart from simple practice, practice, practice – the most important aspect, we have gleaned by interviewing those famous perfumers over the years; is learning to “fix” a smell in your head by creatively describing it in terms that are absolutely and entirely personal to you. And how on earth do you go about doing that? By attending one of our regular How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops
These fun, informal (but totally informative) sessions are held in groups, some people liking to bring friends along others preferring to sniff solo, and during which you will be taught how to start building your very own volcabulary of scent – pinning those intensely personal memories and emotions that are automatically triggered the second you smell something (good or bad!) and using that to invesitage – and vastly improve – your sense of smell. We’re not pretending you’ll come out as a fully fledged perfumer – and neither is this the reason we set up the workshops. But we can gurantee you’ll not only experience your favourite fragrances in a whole new way – you will appreciate your nose like never before.

Resized
[Photos by Essence PR]
So, do you fancy a morning or afternoon of sharing fragrances, laughter and learning to improve your sense of smell – with a fragrant goody bag at the end of it and as many biscuits and tea (or coffee) you can drink in-between? Of course you do!
Come and join us for the next How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshop in London on Saturday 4th February. Not a Londoner? Look here to find (or request) your nearest workshop.
How do you join in the fragrance fun? It’s simple:
How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops cost £10 for VIP Subscribers – which is 100% redeemable against any box purchase on the day of the workshop
Want to bring a guest? (it’s even more fun with a friend!) £20 for Guests of subscribers or non-VIP Subscribers
Maximise the opportunity by choosing to become a VIP with your booking for £35 to include a one-year VIP subscription to The Perfume Society, £10 of which is redeemable against box purchases on the day of the workshop.
Want to read a review from a happy attendee of a previous workshop? Cosmetic Candy blog waxes lyrical about attending one of our Manchester workshops, and Samantha Grocutt, MD of Essence PR describes her experience, here.
Workshops are generally hosted by Senior Writer of The Perfume Society, Suzy Nightingale within the London area, and co-founder Jo Fairley further afield.
Simply bring along a favourite fragrance – and your nose – and we so look forward to meeting you there.
Book your tickets here.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Jasmine Awards 2016 – the full list of winners, including… ta-dah!

The Fragrance Foundation’s Jasmine Awards are often called the ‘Oscars’ of the fragrance-writing world – held at BAFTA in Piccadilly, with Lalique statuettes polished and gleaming, Wednesday 16th March saw the gathering of excitedly chattering nominees shortlisted for 2016’s crop of awards. We have to say, the whole Perfume Society team was thrilled to be honoured with nominations this year – not merely for features we’d written online or published in our magazine The Scented Letter, but with fellow journalists also nominated for features they’d written about The Perfume Society.

What happened next? Well read on as we veritably squeal with excitement…

Presiding over the event were Chairman of The Fragrance Foundation – Annalise Fard, and Cecile Budge – Managing Director P&G Prestige & Chairman of The Jasmine Awards, said:

‘Congratulations to all the winners today. As always, the quality of the entries from both the finalists and the winners was very high. We saw great creativity throughout and pieces that truly inspire consumers to try and then buy fragrances.
We had entries from a wider range of publications and individuals this year, which is really encouraging to see. We also saw increased participation from retailers this year.’

The judging panel this year were industry expert Joanna Norman ‑ Chairman of the Judging panel, alongside Paula Hawkins – Author, Gill Hudson – Editor, Millie Mackintosh – Fashion Designer & Blogger, Natasha Kaplinsky – TV Presenter, Sanjay Vadera – CEO The Fragrance Shop, & Daphne Wright – Author.

Best Article in a Customer Magazine: The judges chose Deborah Bee & Jan Masters for ‘Birth of a Fragrance’ in Harrods Magazine.

Best Digital Article on Fragrance: The Perfume Society co-founder Josephine Fairley (hoorah!) was chosen to receive this prize – for ‘Perfume Notes: Smoke and Fire Fragrances’ published on the telegraph.co.uk.

Best Digital Fragrance Experience: went to Anna Hunter for ‘The Niche, Lesser Known Fragrance Brands You’re About to Fall in Love With’ on getthegloss.com.

Jasmine Independent Literary Award: This year went to our very own Suzy Nightingale for ‘What Does Wednesday Smell Like?’ in The Scented Letter.

Jasmine Independent Soundbite Award: A new category for this year was awarded to Persolaise for his article ‘Closer to Heaven’ in (yay!) The Scented Letter.

Jasmine Soundbite (news press): Journalist Edwina IngsChambers was awarded the prize for her piece ‘A Better Bottle’ in The Sunday Times Style.

Jasmine Soundbite (magazines): The judges agreed the prize should go to Sali Hughes for ‘It’s Backbone in a Bottle’ in Stylist.

Best Practical Guide to Fragrance: The judges decided that the Award should go to ‘How I Learned to Think Through My Nose’ (about our How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops – huzzah!) by Kim Parker from Red.

Jasmine Visual Award: This category had some stunning visuals were original and eye-catching; the prize went to ‘Birth of a Fragrance’ from Harrods Magazine, Words by Jan Masters, Creative by Deborah Bee.

Most Creative Visual Award: This is for a stand‑alone piece with minimal words which stood the test of inspiring the reader by its visual impact. The judges found this a tough decision due to the high quality of entries, but it was decided that the prize should go to ‘The Forever Fragrances’ from marksandspencer.com, by Emma Robertson with the creative by Karen Davidson.

Jasmine Literary Award: Lucy Pavia for ‘What Does Pleasure Smell Like?’ from InStyle.

Jasmine Rising Star Award: Shannon Peterʹs ‘A Perfumer’s Business Card’ – Stylist Magazine.

Winners of the ‘Junior Jasmines’ – the Mighty Nose Awards – were utterly adorable, and their poems incredibly creative! This section of the awards was set up to challenge and inspire primary school children to write poems specifically about the sense of smell. The judging panel comprised of Richard E. Grant – Actor, Director & Chairman of the Judging Panel, Nicky Cox MBE – Editor of First News & Josh Lacey – Children’s Author.

Years 3 and 4 – First prize went to Isaac Littlewood from St Mary’s CE Primary School Edwinstowe, for his brilliantly funny poem – ‘The Smells Inside my Brother’s Room’. Runner up was Emily Wates for her poem ‘In My Dreams’ from Cranleigh Preparatory School.

Years 5 and 6 – First prize went to Tess Garrett for her excellent poem ‘The Smell Olympics’ from Bedford Girls School. Runner up was Anya Hemingway for her poem ‘Smells of a Summer Walk’ from Sheffield High School.

IMG_1322Truly, we have to keep pinching ourselves and aren’t quite sure it’s sunk in yet! Many, many sincere congratulations to ALL nominees – we were proud to be among you, and in a room full of such talent.

The winning articles are available to view on www.thejasmineawards.co.uk. The Mighty nose winning poems are available to view on http://www.martythemightynose.org