The glamour wattage may have been dimmer than usual at last Thursday’s Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards, but the feel-good vibe was as strong as ever.
This story first appeared in the June 18, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Michael Kors picked up the Fragrance Foundation’s Hall of Fame honors — after just pocketing the CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement award earlier that week. “Well, you know, good things come in pairs,” he observed. “They’re amazing awards, because you’re talking about your peers. To be recognized — when I still feel, quite frankly, like a neophyte — is very exciting. And it’s kind of nice that they all fall in the same week — revolving black suits.”
Comparing the FiFi’s with the CFDA awards, Kors said, “There’s some similarities between them because there’s a very family kind of spirit to it, which I love. It’s not the same [as the Oscars]. Whenever we take an actor to the CFDA awards or the FiFi’s, everyone’s like, ‘My God, everyone actually gets along. How nice.’”
This year’s roster of celebrities included Usher, Kim Kardashian and Leelee Sobieski, as well as Saffron Burrows of “Law & Order,” Randy Jackson of “American Idol,” Sofía Vergara of “Modern Family,” Tinsley Mortimer and Gail Simmons of “Top Chef.”
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Usher, who was honored as Male Celebrity of the Year, also expressed gratitude. “I’m getting accustomed to [getting awards], but not necessarily outside of music. To be recognized is incredible. When I came out with my first fragrance, I only hoped that people would love it, that it would become part of people’s overall lifestyle. But to be recognized in this way speaks to the future of what this business is for me.”
Some 26 crystal FiFi trophies, produced by Pochet, were handed out during the ceremony at the Downtown Armory, with Usher taking home the Fragrance Celebrity of the Year award. Coty Inc. received four awards, while the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. accepted two awards, as did Bath & Body Works. A dark horse among the titans was Bond No. 9, which also grabbed two FiFi’s.
On the red carpet, prior to the celebration, Kardashian said she is working on a second scent. But that is not her total focus. Considering the multiple beauty projects with which she is involved, Kardashian said at this point, she prefers skin care — no doubt thanks to PerfectSkin, a treatment line she has developed with her sisters and markets at perfectskinnow.com.
But ever since her father bought Kardashian her first bottle of fragrance, Thierry Mugler’s Angel, she has professed a love for the business. Her first signature scent, produced with Lighthouse Beauty, was launched in February. “I love white florals,” including gardenia, tuberose and jasmine, she said. “I took all my favorite scents, put them in a bottle and it’s my bottle of memories.”
But the floral appreciation was not shared by Colombia-born Vergara. “I love all perfumes that don’t have flowers,” she said. “So usually I buy Hermès.” Londoner Burrows said she went to the FiFi’s because, “I thought this might be fun. I’m fond of fragrance but I’m not working on one myself.” Others hoped to: “I love perfume and I’m constantly mixing together a bunch of different scents to come up with something I really like,” said Sobieski, adding, “I’d love to do a fragrance.”
During a break from his duties as a presenter, Jackson said he is “working on a couple of concepts in the men’s area, grooming and fine fragrance,” but was mum on what companies with which he was developing them, saying only they’re about “freshness, cleanliness and artistic beauty. We’ve got to look beautiful!”
Jackson was sitting with Firmenich, whose past projects picked up a number of awards. As each was announced, a gregarious Jackson pointed to himself and said jokingly, “It was me. I did it.” Charismatic presenter Vergara, also seated with Firmenich, cheered for each of the winners while snacking on truffle popcorn.
2010 FiFi Award
Male Celebrity Fragrance of the Year: Usher
Retailer of the Year: Bath & Body Works
FiFi Hall of Fame: Michael Kors
Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Luxe: Tom Ford Grey Vetiver — The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Fragrance of the Year, Women’s Popular Appeal: Halle by Halle Berry — Coty
Fragrance of the Year, Women’s Luxe: Lola Marc Jacobs — Coty Prestige
Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Popular Appeal: Seduction in Black, Antonio Banderas — Puig USA Inc.
Fragrance of the Year, Women’s Nouveau Niche: Bond No. 9 Astor Place — Bond No. 9 New York
Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Nouveau Niche: Bond No. 9 Brooklyn — Bond No. 9 New York
Fragrance of the Year, Women’s Private Label/Direct Sell: Love Rocks — Victoria’s Secret
Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Private Label/Direct Sell: Patrick Dempsey 2 — Avon Products Inc.
Fragrance of the Year, Unique Boutique: Tom Ford White Suede (unisex/women’s) — The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Fragrance Hall of Fame: CK One — Calvin Klein Cosmetics/Coty Prestige
Fragrance of the Year, Bath and Body: Couture Couture by Juicy Couture — Elizabeth Arden
Best Packaging of the Year — Women’s Popular Appeal: Bath & Body Works Signature Collection P.S. I Love You EDT — Bath & Body Works
Best Packaging of the Year, Women’s Prestige: Life Threads Collection: Silver, Gold, Platinum — La Prairie
Best Packaging of the Year, Men’s Popular Appeal: Comme une Evidence — Yves Rocher North America Inc.
Best Packaging of the Year, Men’s Prestige: John Varvatos Artisan — Beauté Prestige International
Best Women’s Media Campaign: Chanel No.5 “No.5: Train de nuit” — Chanel
Best Men’s Media Campaign: CK One “We Are One” — Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Coty Prestige
Best Interior Scent Collection: Scentbug Diffuser — Slatkin & Co./Limited Brands Inc.
Perfume Extraordinaire: Firmenich
Editorial Excellence in Scent features: Allure, Elle, elle.com
Technological Breakthrough, Packaging Technology & Delivery Systems: Victorinox Swiss Unlimited rubber bottle — Victorinox Swiss Army
Technological Breakthrough, Fragrance Creation & Formulation: Miriad 2.0 — Givaudan Fragrances Corp.