MILAN — “What would the world be without scents?” said Ambra Martone at the end of the Accademia del Profumo annual gala on Tuesday night.
Her first awards ceremony as president of the Italian association of companies promoting the culture of perfume was an unusual one, as Martone hosted the event not surrounded by peers of the fragrance industry but in front of a camera. Originally scheduled for May 14, the gala was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and, for the first time, staged remotely and made accessible to the public via a livestream on the organization’s YouTube and social media channels.
In introducing the project ahead of the event, Martone said that “in such a particular year, we rethought the format with the goal to engage an increasingly wider audience. It will be the occasion to bring our universe of fragrances to the homes of many people and in the best way possible by showing the most appreciated scents of the year.”
In a virtual gold-and-black theater, Martone flanked Italian TV host Giorgia Surina in bestowing a special prize on Louise Turner, the nose behind Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl fragrance as her creation achieved the best sales results in the first six months after the launch on the Italian market.
Surina then took over to reveal the winners of the remaining categories, each introduced by artistic clips and historic anecdotes on perfumery.
Chloé L’Eau and Dior Sauvage Parfum were named best fragrances of the year in the women’s and men’s categories, respectively, as a result of the votes of consumers. Altogether, more than 130,000 votes were registered and cast through the contest’s dedicated web site, the association’s social media and via a QR code displayed at about 500 perfumeries in Italy.
A technical jury, comprising beauty editors and retailers, assigned prizes in six other categories. Narciso Rodriguez For Her Pure Musc and Bottega Veneta Illusione For Him were awarded best olfactory creations, with the respective noses Sonia Constant and Antoine Maisondieu giving brief acceptance speeches via pre-recorded videos.
Lancôme Idôle and Montblanc Explorer were recognized for their packaging, while Bulgari won both prizes dedicated to Made in Italy scents thanks to its Splendida Tubereuse Mystique fragrance for women and the Bulgari Man Wood Neroli perfume.
Awards for the niche category went to the Poppy & Barley scent by Jo Malone London and to the Arancia di Sicilia fragrance by Perris Montecarlo, chosen as best fragrances by an artistic perfumery brand and indie label, respectively.
Introduced this year, the award for best fragrance of an exclusive line developed by renowned labels was bestowed to Tom Ford Lavender Extrême.
Gucci Guilty Pour Femme, whose advertising campaign is fronted by Lana del Rey, and Valentino Uomo Born in Roma, whose face is Anwar Hadid, were recognized for best communication in the women’s and men’s categories, respectively. These awards were bestowed by a VIP jury, which included local personalities and artists.
After the livestream, the digital award ceremony was saved on the Accademia del Profumo accounts to enable international users in different time zones to rewatch the event. Compared to the physical gala, which usually stretches to over three hours, the digital format resulted in a 20-minute ceremony.