It's one of my favorite times of the year - beauty award season! Last night marked the 40th Anniversary of the FiFi Awards, known as the "Oscars" of the fragrance industry. The red carpet was filled with stunning celebs and even the Biebs made a virtual appearance. But while the attendees wowed, the real stars of the night were liquid gold! Congrats to all of the nominees, and I'm so excited to share with you some of our favorite winners of the night.
Gucci Gulity Pour Homme received double honors, with wins in the categories of Men's Media Campaign of the Year and Men's Luxe Fragrance of the Year.
Best Packaging in the Men's Luxe category went to our very own Design Star Judge, John Varvatos, for his fragrance John Varvatos Star.
The Fragrance Hall of Fame Award recognizes a truly classic scent, that has been around for 15 years or more. When I heard the nominees in the men's category, it came as no surprise that the number one cologne, Acqua di Gio, ended up taking home the well-deserved prize. Still, this category would have been exceptionally difficult for me to judge with a fellow-finalist like Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey - one of my personal favorites.
Just as wonderful as the men's fragrance, Acqua di Gioia for women was also a winner, picking up an award for Bath & Body Line of the Year.
And of course there are a few very special awards handed out each year. While he wasn't there to accept the in person, Justin Bieber sent a video message to share his excitement about receiving the Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award for Someday. In it he said, "It means a lot to me that my fans and The Fragrance Foundation support all my accomplishments. The best part is that my favorite charities are sharing in the success; it is important to pay it forward. Plus, I have the girls smelling great!"
In addition to Coco Mademoiselle receiving an award for Women's Media Campaign of the Year, the legendary fashion and fragrance icon Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was also honored with the Hall of Fame award. It's almost unbelievable to me that she introduced a little scent called Chanel No 5 over 90 years ago, in 1921! Even if you've never worn it, every woman knows of Chanel No 5. I think I first saw it in a movie, and I remember the beauty of the bottle. Even though I hadn't smelled it, I aspired to have that fragrance sitting on top of my dresser because it represented sophistication, strength, confidence, and achievement. I suppose that's very telling of the impact that fragrance can have on our lives. And just as Coco Chanel pushed boundaries, the House of Chanel continues to carry on that legacy, reinventing their classic fragrances in a way that transcends time and trends. Just last week Brad Pitt was named as the face of Chanel No 5, shining an entirely new light on this timeless perfume.
Finally, the most touching moment of the night came when Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of the Estee Lauder Companies, accepted the Legacy of Excellence award on behalf of his wife Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder. Mrs. Lauder was honored for being a fragrance visionary and her exceptional contributions to the industry and the arts. She's credited with the development of award-winning scents like Calyx, Pleasures, and Beautiful to name a few. At first overcome by emotion, Mr. Lauder spoke about his wife and business partner in a way that was truly moving and represented the amazing love they shared. He closed his acceptance by saying, "She was a great lady, and you are carrying on a legacy of her and all of her predecessors in that you believe in this industry as we did. What you're doing is making women feel beautiful and be beautiful. For that, bless you all and thank you."