Events

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018: Hall Of Fame, Ann Gottlieb

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018: Hall Of Fame, Ann Gottlieb

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Events

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018: Lifetime Achievement Perfumer, Olivier Cresp

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018: Lifetime Achievement Perfumer, Olivier Cresp

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Events

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018: Gamechanger, Frédéric Malle

The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018: Gamechanger, Frédéric Malle

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The Creatives 2019

February 27, 2019

The Creatives featuring John Varvatos, Rodrigo Flores-Roux, moderated by Ann Gottlieb

By: Megan Deem

The soaring Weill Music Room at New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall was the setting for the latest installment of the Fragrance Foundation’s Creatives panel held Wednesday, February 27th. The most recent conversation in the series featured fashion designer John Varvatos and his longtime fragrance collaborator Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Givaudan Vice President of Perfumery, in a discussion moderated by fragrance icon Ann Gottlieb. As Fragrance Foundation President Linda G. Levy noted in her introduction, the performing arts venue was a perfect match for the “three rockstars,” who spoke in this “magical place celebrating creativity.” Indeed, rockstar tendencies were on display, from the leather jackets of Varvatos and Gottlieb to Flores-Roux’s leather trousers.

To kick off the conversation, Varvatos noted he likes to shake things up (using a more colorful term for “things”). “When we think about fragrance, we think about memories,” he says. “But we also want to have an edge.” He found his perfect partner in Flores-Roux, with whom he has created 15 scents, including John Varvatos Artisan Pure, which won a Fragrance Foundation award for Packaging of the Year in 2018. The two originally met when Varvatos was thinking about creating his first fragrance. He spoke about how he’d interviewed a variety of perfumers during the process, all of whom came and showed him sterile pie charts. Then he was introduced to Flores-Roux. “He didn’t have a pie chart,” Varvatos says. “He was passionate about fragrance.” According to Varvatos, that was all it took to seal the deal. “We don’t like rules; we try to push the wall out on rules,” he says. “That’s been our success.”

Gottlieb called the duo “disrupters” and pointed out that neither member is known as an introvert. That may be, but they insist there have been no disagreements. Still, their partnership has had its moments. “When we started, John said, Incense and patchouli give me bad vibes,” Flores-Roux says. “I thought, We’ll get there.” Varvatos admitted he wasn’t much of a fragrance wearer before making his own, but that once he committed to the project, he dove in headfirst. “I wasn’t looking to stick my name on something,” he says. “I wanted to become knowledgeable.” According to Flores-Roux, it’s mission accomplished: “John has a very good nose.” In addition to his own instincts about whether he’s got a hit on his hands, Varvatos also relies on customer feedback, not market projections. “When you think you know because you look at the numbers, that’s only part of it,” he says. The other element is being a good listener and finding out what clients think by talking to them, he pointed out.

And it’s not just about the juice. Both agreed that seeing the bottle and packaging as he’s working on the fragrance to go inside is an important part of Flores-Roux’s process and results in a cohesive end product. “You can’t have one story here and another over there,” Varvatos says, referring to the development of the various parts. When it comes to the external elements, Varvatos is just as hands-on as he is with the scent creation. He recounted the story behind the iconic rattan wrap of the Artisan flask. That came about after Varvatos cut up a woven placemat he had at home and fashioned a mock-up of how he thought the bottle could look. His fragrance partner at the time said it couldn’t be produced. “And I said, Let’s figure out a way that it can be done,” which they eventually did.

Out of 15 scents they created together, each man has his favorite. For Flores-Roux, it’s the woody, smoky John Varvatos Dark Rebel, which he says was “the most difficult one to make. It required a leap of faith.” Varvatos gravitates to the very first fragrance they made. “I love the juice and what it represents,” he says. “And I continue to discover things about it as I wear it over time, the same way people learn about the hidden treasures in our clothing.”

It’s been 15 years since that debut scent launched and throughout it all, Varvatos has kept his sense of optimism and can-do attitude. Even when faced with those who say his vision can’t be executed, Varvatos remains true to a guiding philosophy that has served him well: “Let’s find the path to make it happen.”

Photos By: Casey Kelbaugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE NOTABLES CLASS OF 2019

February 11, 2019

The Notables Class of 2019 (from left to right): Rachel Greenspan (Takasago), Katrina Guillermo (Robertet), Thomas Lamotte (L’Oreal), Kaleigh Prokop (MANE), Adam Leibgorin (Interparfums), Liza Ketcham (Givaudan), Alissar Taremi (The Fragrance Foundation), Julia Olivier (Firmenich), Simone Bolotin (COTY), Christina de Matos (IFF), Nathalie Authier (Cosmo International Fragrances)  Photos @caseykelbaugh

By: April Long

Last night, as the sun set outside the sky-high windows of the LVMH Magic Room, a new generation of rising stars were named. The Fragrance Foundation’s Notables Class of 2019 was announced at a cocktail reception to a crowd of enthusiastic guests, who sipped wine, cheered joyously, and stayed to mingle around tables adorned with white calla lilies at the program’s end. Each Notable was announced by a mentor, who paid heartfelt, often hilarious tribute to their nominee, celebrating their achievements both within their respective companies and in the fragrance industry as a whole. The 11 Notables, who were each asked to share something others don’t know about them and something valuable they’ve learned on the job, offered insights about the fragrance industry and insights into extracurricular activities ranging from musical theater aspirations to skydiving expertise.

IFF Perfumer Celine Barel kicked things off by introducing her Notable, IFF Account Manager Christina Da Matos, who paid homage to “ingredients from all over the world which, when combined, have the power to transport us.” Next, Gerard Camme hailed “talented and motivated” Notable Thomas Lamotte, Marketing and Events Manager for Atelier Cologne as “poised to make his mark in this industry” and Cosmo’s Marc Blaison praised Notable Nathalie Authier, Cosmo International Fragrances Senior Creative Trends and Marketing Expert for her “creativity and passion.” Notable Simone Bolotin, Senior Director, Influencer Marketing/PR for COTY revealed that she once “wanted to be the next Kristen Chenoweth”; Notable Julia Olivier, Senior Fragrance Development Manager at Firmenich, laughingly reported that she sampled Creamsicles and S’mores after arriving from France in order to understand American tastes; and Notable Adam Leibgorin, Senior Marketing Manager for Interparfums, outed himself as a French Wheel of Fortune winner, “which is why I don’t mind leaving certain things up to chance.”

Michelle McCabe said her Notable Liza Ketcham, Junior Sales Executive, Fine Fragrances for Givaudan, “represents how we like to do things at Givaudan—with heart and soul”; Tathiana Remick said Notable Kaleigh Prokop, MANE Junior Perfumer (and avid cocktail mixologist), “shows up every day with a hunger for knowledge”; Piero Savio praised Notable Katrina Guillermo, Senior Project Coordinator at Robertet (and skydiving enthusiast), for her ability to “find inspiration in every situation,” and Takasago’s Cutler Whitman, VP of Fine Fragrance, gave Notable Rachel Greenspan, Takasago’s Account Manager for Fine Fragrance Sales, a witty welcome, after which she said, “working in the fragrance industry has taught me more about creativity, trust, and teamwork than I ever could have predicted.” Lastly, Fragrance Foundation President Linda Levy honored Notable Alissar Taremi, Fragrance Foundation Marketing Director, for the Fragrance Foundation, for her exemplary “passion, talent, intelligence and creativity” and the commitment she has brought to helping develop successful new initiatives such as Fragrance Day and the Notables Think Tank. “When you find something you’re truly passionate about,” said Taremi, “you go all in.”

Levy wrapped up the evening’s festivities with a thank you to sponsors LVMH and MANE, and congratulations to all the Notables, who proudly posed for photos with their elegant blue glass awards. As a final wow, Levy announced the exciting debut of ACCORDS, the Fragrance Foundation’s new digital magazine featuring industry executives, icons, and perfumers, poised to launch February 8th. “This year going forward,” she said, “we are going to be laser focused on expanding communication and talking directly to the consumer.”

 

Photographer: @caseykelbaugh

 

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Top Notes: Legend du Nord From Diptyque, KKW Fragrances At Ulta, And Le Labo

This is the news you can’t afford to miss…Your Daily Digest from The Fragrance Foundation

• Legend du Nord Diptyque partners with French designer Pierre Marie for their holiday candle collection. Forbes

• Exclusive Ulta focuses on core products and exclusives this holiday season including the launch of KKW Fragrances. WWD (sub req)

• Le Labo Dining destinations in NYC are stocking their lavatories with this soap from Le Labo. Eater

• Thankful  Fragrance gift-sets your friends will be truly grateful for. Byrdie

• Le Rouge Chanel celebrates its festive edition of the No. 5 bottle with 5 giant fragrance bottles scattered across London. Evening Standard

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