@monakattan

Mona Kattan was named Instagrammer of the Year at the Fragrance Foundation’s Finalists’ Luncheon, held on Friday in New York. The sister and business partner of super influencer Huda Kattan, Mona is no slouch on the social media front with 1.8 million Instagram followers, and has been a driving force behind the company’s Kayali fragrance brand.

“Fragrance is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Kattan, noting the line will expand from sephora.com into the retailer’s brick-and-mortar doors by year-end. “It’s about building an emotional connection and relationship with the consumer, and it’s much harder than with color, because fragrance is so personal. Scent carries individual memories for people.”

Laura Slatkin, the founder of Nest, was named this year’s Game Changer, and will be honored at the Fragrance Foundation Awards on June 5.

Other big winners included Byredo, which took home its first two Fragrance Foundation awards for Bath & Body Collection of the Year with its Black Saffron line and Indie Fragrance of the Year for Eleventh Hour; Dior Sauvage for Breakout Star; Victoria’s Secret model Martha Hunt as Face of the Year; Hollister’s Togetherness for Men’s Popular Fragrance of the Year, and Diptyque’s Legend of the North for Home Holiday/Seasonal Fragrance Collection.

Padma Lakshmi served as the lunch’s host — a natural fit, she noted. “So much of what I do in the kitchen is similar to fragrance,” she said, “taking beautiful ingredients and mixing them in a beautiful way to evoke emotions and inspire joy, passion and sensuality in people.”

But for all the similarities, it did take Lakshmi a moment to adjust to greeting the afternoon’s other presenters, many of whom were French, as they took the stage. After heading back to her seat before finishing the customary double kiss, and being beckoned back, she jokingly referred to the admonishment of Fragrance Foundation president Linda Levy to keep the event rolling and remarks brief: “Can we make an executive decision of whether or not we’re going to kiss once or twice,” said Lakshmi. “I want to make sure we’re concise and timely.”

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