The annual FiFi Awards (sponsored by the Fragrance Foundation) are often dubbed the “Oscars” of the fragrance world—perhaps an overstatement considering there isn’t wide awareness of the awards among the general public. Still, the comparison highlights just how important fragrance is to the fashion community, and what a big moneymaker it has become.
Last year’s FiFi Awards were held in a tent in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, but this year the ceremony moved nearby to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Glee’s Jane Lynch played host for the evening, stealing the show in a custom-made cream Mugler jacket and navy pants. The actress joked that if she had a fragrance it would smell like a mix of French roast coffee and fresh manure in a garden.
A hodgepodge of celebrities were in attendance (some accepting an award for a fragrance they created, others clearly gunning for a fragrance of their own). Nicole Richie presented the FiFi for “Men’s Nouveau Niche Scent” to Tom Ford Jasmine Rouge. Richie has a fragrance in the works that will hit stores in September. Martha Stewart presented the FiFi for “Consumer’s Choice Men’s” to Bath & Body Works Signature Collection for Men Classic. And Josh Groban was on hand to give the FiFi for “Fragrance of the Year Broad Appeal” to Curve Appeal for Women by Elizabeth Arden.
Most in attendance expected Justin Bieber to show up to accept his “Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award” for his bestselling scent Someday—which broke sales records selling over $3 million dollars worth in just three weeks when it debuted last year. Instead the teen crooner gave his thanks to the crowd via video. He said in his acceptance: "I'm honored to be named 'Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year.' It means a lot to me that my fans and the Fragrance Foundation support all my accomplishments. The best part is that my favorite charity is sharing in the success. It is important to pay it forward. Plus, I have the girls smelling great."
Bieber wasn’t the only celeb to win—Heidi Klum won the “Broad Appeal Women” award for her fragrance Heidi Klum Shine. Other celebrities who were nominated, including Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce, didn’t pick up awards.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of the night was when Estée Lauder Chairman Leonard Lauder broke down while he accepted the “Legacy of Excellence Award” in honor of his late wife, Evelyn Lauder. He told the crowd, “You have no idea how much this means to us. Evelyn wanted to make women feel beautiful and be beautiful.”