Many of The Fragrance Foundation’s esteemed executive committee members were in attendance as were a number of the industry leaders who sit on the foundation’s board of directors.
Beyond that, the private dining room at Brasserie 8 ½ was filled with fragrance brand and company leaders, retailers, publishers, media (including Cosmetics Design), perfumers, packagers, entrepreneurs, and allies—foundation members from all corners of the industry.
Attendees learned first-hand how president Linda Levy’s three-month listening tour informed the group’s new mission and objectives. Going forward, the stated mission of The Fragrance Foundation is: “To inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance.”
And, simply put, the foundation’s 5 objectives are to: engage consumers, enhance membership, nurture talent, give back, and create experiences.
Starting this year, March 21 will officially be Fragrance Day. Planning is still in the works, but as Levy explains, many activities and celebrations will be organized around this first Fragrance Day. The foundation will be running social media campaigns to count down to the launch of Fragrance Day.
The day before, the foundation is facilitating an event for FIT undergrad and graduate students studying fragrance. Industry professionals from companies including Firmenich, Givaudan, IFF, Symrise, MANE, and Robertet will meet with the student to discuss and describe the future of the fragrance business.
And the day of, Levy told those gathered, the foundation will create “a PR happening,” painting a Fragrance Day mural in Brooklyn. And foundation members are encouraged to celebrate the day with their teams and customers by holding Fragrance Day activities and promotions.
Levy believes there are several ways to enhance The Fragrance Foundation’s membership.
As “the only trade organization focused 100% on fragrance,” (a distinction that chairman of The Fragrance Foundation Jerry Vittoria observed in his introductory remarks), The Fragrance Foundation is well positioned to attract new members. Vittoria is the head of fine fragrance worldwide at Firmenich.
But new members need not necessarily hold such prestigious posts in the industry. Small ventures and indie fragrance brands are welcome too. “We are doing everything we can to involve small indie brands,” Levy told attendees; she went on to explain that The Fragrance Foundation offers reduced rates for these folks. And indeed, indie fragrance was represented in the room Wednesday by brand founders and innovative retailers.
Also, current members will have more opportunities to be involved with programming throughout the year. And companies and brands able to provide space for meetings, events, and activations will have the chance to host small or sizeable groups, helping cultivate and strengthen the fragrance industry network.
The Notables, up and coming fragrance industry professionals recognized at an annual awards event, will now also participate at the committee level, helping guide and implement the foundation’s work. (In fact, the idea for a social media Fragrance Day count-down campaign came from The Notables, according to Levy.)
Improved social media outreach is just one way The Fragrance Foundation plans to connect and engage with fragrance consumers going forward.
There is also a proposal for an experiential retail pop-up shop late in the year that would give holiday shoppers the unique opportunity to sense fragrance from multiple foundation members’ brands all in the same place as well as the chance to meet with perfumers.
On her listening tour, Levy was impressed to see the array of corporate citizenship initiatives that The Fragrance Foundation member brands and companies have undertaken, like the Giorgio Armani Acqua For Life project.
The Fragrance Foundation is now intent on giving back as well and is searching for just the right initiative. “Somewhere in the endangered ingredients world,” says Levy, “is a story for us to tell.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.