The Elements Showcase trade show will be held in NY next week, and the Indie Fifi award winner will be announced at the show. This is the second year that the Fragrance Foundation has had an Indie category in the Fifi competition.
Indie perfumers enter their own perfumes into the competition by paying the entry fee and mailing in the forms with two bottles of their perfume. Only one perfume can be entered per brand, and the entered fragrance must have launched for the first time in the U.S. in the previous calendar year (2012 for this year). The entries are all accepted into the competition as long as they meet the following requirements to qualify as being “indie” according to the Fragrance Foundation guidelines:
Must be an established brand on the market for at least 2 years
Must be independent, not distributed or owned by a large company
Entry must be submitted by the brand; not by a distributor
Must be sold in 1 to 50 stores in the U.S., including online
Because perfumers nominate themselves, it’s really more of a submission process than a nomination. The submissions are then smelled and judged, resulting in a list of top five finalists. It is an honor to make the top five. Then one winner is chosen from the top five, and the award is given out at the Elements Showcase (next Monday for this year’s award).
I considered whether to enter anything this year but decided against it. My two releases for 2012 were Forest Walk and Nostalgie. Forest Walk was too unusual to enter, and I worried about Nostalgie because there have been quite a few vintage-inspired scents the last few years. I did not think I could place in the finalists with either scent, though the exposure can be good just for entering.
The list of entrants this year was impressive! Two favorites of many people this year were entered, Trayee by Neela Vermeire and Amber Oud by Kilian. Two of my favorite natural perfumers entered: Mandy Aftel with her Wild Roses and Ayala Moriel with her Treazon. DSH entered Le Smoking, which I haven’t tried yet but thought sounded wonderful. I’ve also heard that Lightscape by Ulrich Lang is lovely.
The five finalists were just announced today: Cuirelle by Ramon Monegal, Rima XI by Carner Barcelona, Terrasse a St Germain by Jul et Mad, Amber Oud by Kilian, and No. 30 Eau d’Hiver by Le Cherche Midi. Congrats to the finalists! One of them will win the grand prize next Monday. The only one I have tried is the Kilian, so I see I have some sniffing to do. 🙂
There has been a suggestion to create an Artisan category as well, for small indie brands that are owner/perfumers who formulate and blend their own creations. It will be interesting to see if they add the new category next year. It would be wonderful to see a category for artisan indie brands whose products are handmade.
The Elements show itself sounds like fun to visit, and for those of us who won’t be there, the blogs will post coverage (Fragrantica and Cafleurebon will be there, and probably others as well).