The fragrance business has been getting some good grades this year in prestige. Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, called the improvement “a period of uplift.” From January through April, prestige fragrance sales were up 4 percent, with men’s showing a 5 percent gain. The good news was seconded by Nordstrom. “May was a good month for us and we are pleased with our current trends,” said a spokeswoman. At tonight’s celebration, John Demsey, group president of Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., will receive a Hall of Fame Award and Annie Buzantian will collect the Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. The proceedings should be lively enough, with Alec Baldwin acting as emcee and Bryan Adams slated as musical guest. The long line of award pre- senters starts with cochairs Anja Rubik and Linda Evangelista. Kendall Jenner, the new face at the Estée Lauder brand, is expected to make an appearance.
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One change in the lineup has been the elevation of the Indie awards, which previously were announced at an earlier breakfast. Instead, they will be part of the main event. The same goes for the interior scent and bath and body category — both upgrades reflecting how the business has changed. At Bloomingdale’s, strong results are coming from a stable of limited distribution brands. Howard Kreitzman, the retiring vice president of cosmetics and fragrances added, “The fragrance business is performing better now — and has been for the past 12 to 25 months — than we have seen in a long time and with greater consistency. We are in a good place.”