The French Fifi Awards will be presented on April 10th at the Salle Wagram, in Paris. For the fifth year running, I was a member of the jury for the Prix des Experts, along with fellow bloggers, journalists and evaluators.
This year there are two awards, one given out for niche, the other for exclusives lines by big brands. Jurors were sent a first list of 86 fragrances in the first category, 21 in the second – far short of the 395 niches fragrances tallied up by Michael Edwards in Fragrances of the World, but a fair round-up of products available in France in more than a single point of sale.
We were each asked to pick three fragrances for each category, with 5 points for the first, 3 for the second and 1 for the third. According to Sabine Chabbert, deputy director of the Fragrance Foundation France, 58% of the votes singled out 5 fragrances in the big brands; in niche, the 5 short-list selectees garnered 38%.
We met up in the offices of Cinquième Sens to blind-smell the 10 finalists, with two sets of blotters: one dipped earlier in the day, one freshly made up for each scent. Again, we were asked for three picks in each category, with the same points system as in the first round.
Here are the finalists. The winners will be announced on April 10th (or on the 11th if the evening has been too… bubbly).
Shortlist in the niche perfume category
Black – Comme des Garçons
Eau du 34 – Diptyque
Dries Van Noten par Frédéric Malle – Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle
Saffron – Jo Malone
Ylang 49 – Le Labo
Shortlist in the big brands' exclusives collections
1932 – Chanel
Gris Montaigne – Dior
Epice Marine – Hermès
N°14 Rossetto – Prada
Tobacco Oud – Tom Ford
Which would you vote for in each category?
The person who guesses the two winners correctly will win one sample from each shortlist, out of my personal decants (but bear in mind I don’t have Gris Montaigne, Saffron or Eau du 34). If there is more than one correct answer I will do a draw. You have up to April 9th to enter.
Composition of the Jury for the Prix des Experts
10 fragrance evaluators : Julia Devismes (Drom), Célia Dunand (Takasago), Lydie Deneiple (IFF), Maryline Bonnard (Cinquième Sens), Naila Hamayed (Givaudan),Peggy Robert (Mane), Anne-Marie Benoît (Firmenich),Caroline Catherine (Symrise), Sophie Villerette (Robertet), Hélène Jamin (Fragrance Resources).
5 bloggers : Denyse Beaulieu (Grain de Musc/Citizen K), Juliette Faliu (Poivre Bleu), Nicolas Olczyk (Rouge Curaçao, Osmoz), Thierry Blondeau (Olfactorum), Alexis Toublanc (Dr Jicky & Mr Phoebus).
10 journalists : Lili Barbery-Coulon (M le magazine du Monde), Johanne Courbatère (Les Echos Série limitée),Laurence Férat (Le Figaro), Marie-Bénédicte Gauthier (Voici), Karine Grunebaum (Version Fémina, Gala), Laurence Hovart (Numéro), Antigone Schilling (Faux Q, slate.fr), Lionel Paillès (Grazia, Lui…), Jean-Luc Suchet (Voici), Sylvie Vaz (Cosmétique Mag).