Beauty industry executives, perfumers, models and celebrities crowded into Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on Tuesday evening for the annual Fragrance Foundation Awards.
Notable guests included Naomi Campbell, Rita Ora, Nina Dobrev, packaging nominee Jason Wu, Josephine Skriver, Morena Baccarin, Ben McKenzie, Hari Nef, Olivia Palermo, Derek Hough, Hearst chief content officer Joanna Coles, John Varvatos, Elle editor in chief Nina Garcia, founder and chief executive officer of Glossier Emily Weiss and Huda Beauty founder Mona Kattan.
Actress Jane Krakowski presided over the ceremony, cracking the usual “best-smelling room in New York” jokes and breaking into song at one point — a rendition of “Fragrance Is a Girl’s Best Friend,” sung to the tune of the original Broadway song.
The show tunes were surely the touch of Fragrance Foundation president Linda G. Levy, who is also a Broadway aficionado and supporter of the Dramatists Guild Fund. This year’s awards were the first Levy has organized since beginning her role in August.
In her first year as president, Levy focused on reaching consumers through campaigns such as National Fragrance Day. Raising awareness extended to the Fragrance Foundation Awards. A new award was introduced this year — Best Vlog, won by Jeremy Fragrance for his video “5 Reasons to Wear Fragrance.” The Germany-based fragrance influencer celebrated his accolade by completing 11 push-ups on stage. Levy announced that for this year’s awards, four consumer choice awards garnered votes from 250,000 people — a record high. Going forward, the Fragrance Foundation will become increasingly focused on charitable initiatives. Levy noted that in 2019, the foundation will announce an ongoing cause-related partnership, hinting that it would likely be in the sustainability-related field. This year’s awards noted the perfumers associated with each fragrance. “Every nominee now includes a perfumer,” said Levy. “Perfumers will continue to be a major focus [for the Fragrance Foundation].”
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The evening’s honorees included Hall of Fame honoree Ann Gottlieb, Lifetime Achievement Perfumer Award winner Olivier Cresp and Game Changer Award winner Frédéric Malle.
Coty Inc. picked up two awards for its Gucci Bloom fragrance: women’s prestige fragrance of the year and media campaign of the year.
Hari Nef, who appeared alongside Petra Collins and Dakota Johnson in the winning campaign, walked the red carpet during cocktail hour.
“I look for something that is equal parts enchanting and bizarre, maybe even a tiny bit repulsive ’cause that makes me want to know more and it draws me in,” Nef said of what she looks for in a fragrance. “I like the smell of sweat on other people. After a night out, you’re in an Uber with all your friends, leaning on each other and you’ve been dancing all night and everybody smells kind of gross, but it’s mixed with their fragrance and mixed with their hair products. It can never be too perfect, it can never be too sweet. I think the future of fragrance is integrating the unfamiliar with the pleasurably familiar.”
Also on the red carpet was Victoria’s Secret Angel Skriver. (Victoria’s Secret Love eau de parfum did not win in the popular category — that award went to Glossier You by Glossier.) Skriver said Love is a departure from the typical Victoria’s Secret fragrance. “It’s so subtle,” she said. “You know that feeling in the morning when you put on new laundry or you put on your boyfriend’s T-shirt? It kind of has that feeling of you just wanting to cuddle with it.”
Despite the Victoria’s Secret loss, L Brands did not lack for trophies — Bath & Body Works took home three, including two consumer choice awards.