MILAN — It was time for a change of scenery. That was the prevailing sentiment at the Accademia del Profumo’s 25th annuals awards ceremony, held Wednesday here at the 16th-century Palazzo Spinola — headquarters of an exclusive gentlemen’s club, la Società del Giardino — after years in Bologna, where it had been tied to the Cosmoprof trade show. Various members of the perfumery industry said their strong ties to fashion houses and the absence of major perfumers at the fair justified hosting the event, organized in collaboration with Vogue Italy, in Milan.
“Looking at the Fragrance Foundation Awards [for comparison], Bologna was not the right location for this event,” said Orna Nofarber, who retired in December from her role at the helm of Estée Lauder Italy after 35 years at the firm. Douglas Italy president Jörg Mingers agreed, saying he had not attended the awards ceremony for the past five years, and was pleased with the decision to move it to Milan. “Let’s see if they can keep this up,” he added.
Designers, too, were appreciative of the change. Dsquared2 creative duo Dean and Dan Caten noted that while traveling to Bologna for a night was a hassle in the run-up to the next fashion week, they could happily make a dinner in Milan, where they live. Trussardi creative director Gaia Trussardi agreed, adding, “Milan is the capital of Italian fashion and always has been, and perfume is closely linked to fashion and the expression of a brand’s identity…while Bologna is very interesting and beautiful in terms of culture, the partnership with Vogue Italy in Milan makes more sense.”
ITF marketing director Giorgia Martone, who works with Trussardi and Dsquared2 on their fragrance lines, said that the designers’ participation in an important industry event was crucial.
Other guests included Marni’s director of special projects Carolina Castiglioni and many beauty industry leaders, such as Augusto Mazzolari and Carlo Rossi — owners of the Mazzolari and Rossi Profumi perfumery chains, respectively — but also Perfume Holding country manager Gianfranco Castro, Cosmetica Italia president Fabio Rossello, ICR president Roberto Martone, BolognaFiere president Duccio Campagnoli and Estée Lauder Italy general director and chief executive officer Edoardo Bernardi.
As invitees set down their cocktails and trickled into the Sala d’Oro, or “golden salon,” for dinner, Accademia del Profumo president Luciano Bertinelli, who is also president of Ferragamo Parfums, joined Vogue Italy editor in chief Franca Sozzani and mistress of ceremonies Isabella Ragonese in an official welcome. ICR’s Martone, one of the Accademia’s founders, received special recognition for his many years in perfumery. Dispensing with the upbeat musical numbers of editions past, the event then called on special guests such as model Karolina Kurkova and architect Fabio Novembre to announce winners.
When the results were in, L’Oréal Luxe took home four awards: Consumers voted the Giorgio Armani Sì women’s fragrance and Armani Eau de Nuit men’s fragrance the best of the year, while the Accademia’s technical jury also recognized Sì as best women’s olfactory creation, and Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb for best men’s packaging.
It was a big night, too, for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton: Dior Homme Cologne won best men’s olfactory creation and best men’s communication, while Acqua di Parma Acque Nobili Iris and Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Oud won best women’s perfume Made in Italy and best men’s niche perfume, respectively.
Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale was voted best men’s fragrance Made in Italy, while Marni, produced by Estée Lauder, was selected as the best women’s niche perfume. Coty’s Marc Jacobs Honey was awarded best women’s packaging, and P&G Prestige’s Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme Intense triumphed in the best women’s communication category.