By and  on October 6, 2011

Monday marked a milestone for both the American Jewish Committee and for Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and chief executive officer of L’Oréal, who received the organization’s International Human Relations Award. The event, held at the New York Hilton, raised $1.35 million, a record — and also dramatized the recent change of command at L’Oréal, when the outgoing chairman Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones retired on March 17, leaving the chairmanship to Agon. Fittingly, Owen-Jones presented the AJC award to his successor. In discussing how the AJC and L’Oréal share the same values of integrity and tolerance, Agon said the company’s field of business is a place where values matter. “Beauty — like peoples and cultures — is a multifaceted world and a multicolored reality,” he said. “No beauty is better than another, and each one has its own inner truth. We respond to these diverse aspirations with respect and show our willingness to listen.”

On Tuesday, Camille McDonald was inducted into the Fragrance Foundation’s Circle of Champions, in an event held at the St. Regis.

“Tonight, we are here to honor and dishonor Camille McDonald,” cracked Don Loftus, president and ceo of P&G Prestige U.S. and the evening’s emcee. “Yes, that’s right, it has moved from an elegant evening where the Fragrance Foundation would honor one of the industry’s finest to a horrific night of malicious mudslinging and cruel and callous character assassination. Camille, we hope you enjoy the evening.”

Loftus then called Jerry Vittoria, president of fragrances for North America at Firmenich; So Young Kang, vice president of brand development at Bath & Body Works; and Cos Policastro, executive vice president of fine fragrances at Givaudan — “three people who have known Camille for a number of years and are still willing and able to talk about it” — to the stage to continue the roast. Looking on proudly were McDonald’s cousins, George DeCanido and Sandy DeCanido, who traveled in from Florida to see her honored.

When given a chance to speak, McDonald cracked, “Now I’ve got you where I want you — you know how verbose I am!” Summing up her feelings about the award, she said, “This is one of the proudest moments of my career.”

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