Byline: J.B.F.

NEW YORK — The Fragrance Foundation is determined to take a 24-year-old tradition to a new level.
The Foundation is implementing changes in its annual FiFi awards, adding new categories and criteria which will result in expanded eligibility for participation regardless of whether or not a company has introduced a new fragrance.
“We’ve expanded the FiFi’s to allow certain segments of the industry that have never been eligible for an award to be able to participate,” said Annette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation. “After last year’s ceremony, someone in the industry said that it wasn’t as exciting for him and a lot of others, because they don’t have the opportunity to win anything. That really prompted me to accelerate my feelings on the subject.”
The result is a number of new categories — some that will honor classic fragrances and some that are category extensions — for the 24th annual FiFis to be held on June 4.
The new categories include:
* Innovative Technology of the Year, recognizing technological advances in areas such as fragrance sampling, packaging, delivery systems, extraction of fragrance ingredients, and fragrance production and creation.
* Product Innovation of the Year, honoring a category of products not previously recognized, including home fragrances, bath lines, seasonal introductions, line extensions, aromatherapy-enhanced scents and children’s fragrance collections.
* Fragrance Star of the Year, honoring one women’s and one men’s fragrance regardless of distribution category or channel. While fragrances will continue to compete according to their distribution channels, they will also for the first time compete against each other.
* European Fragrance Star of the Year, in which the winners of the European introduction of the year awards compete against each other, with the winner being announced at the New York awards ceremony. The prize will be awarded to one men’s and one women’s fragrance. Existing categories which have new awards include:
* Introduction of the Year, which will feature an alternate distribution category, honoring fragrances marketed directly to the consumer through channels such as television home shopping networks and the World Wide Web.
* Best Print and Television Ad Campaigns of the Year, which will honor two television and two print awards, each for a men’s and women’s classic fragrance, in addition to the four awards honoring new fragrances.
* The Certified Fragrance Sales Specialist of the Year, which will be distributed on stage for the first time. · Perennial Success, which will recognize one women’s and one men’s fragrance which are 10 or more years old, instead of only one award. The award was created to address what Green considered a lack of attention given to classic brands.
“Despite all of their efforts throughout the year, classic fragrances lost their ability to be acknowledged, because we’ve only been focusing on new launches,” Green said. “We want to encourage companies not to forget their classic brands, and within that context, we’ve established this award.”
Other new happenings at the Fragrance Foundation include its first-ever advertising campaign. Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the print ads, which have the tagline “Stop and Smell the Memories,” broke late last year in consumer publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
“We’re calling it our consumer awareness campaign,” said Green. “We’re not trying to sell fragrance. We’re trying to sell the meaning of fragrance in people’s lives.”

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