The Art and Olfaction Awards 2018 – Photo Essay


I had been looking forward to last weekend for MONTHS. So many of my friends from other countries, that I rarely get to see, would be converging on my home town for the fifth annual Art and Olfaction Awards on the evening of the 21st April.


The day before I met up with my mate (from APJ and now a ABR contributor),  Val the Cookie Queen and her fabulous daughter, Blundeswunder, over from Austria. We met at the Frederic Malle store in Burlington Arcade and immediately tried the forthcoming Sale Gosse by Fanny Bal. It has notes of pettigrain, neroli, bergamot, rosemary, Malabar and violet. On me, it’s a very lovely, sweet-but-not-too-sweet violet cologne-style fragrance. I didn’t pick up on the much talked about bubblegum.


While Blundeswunder scoured Topshop, Val and I did some sniffing downstaits in the cafe. ABR reader, Crikey, had sent Val some of Dior’s discontinued Mitzah and very generously included some vintage Miss Dior for me – whoop!


Later in the day we met up with Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Profumo for drinks. He is always excellent company and was on the judging panel for the Awards. They sent him no fewer than 180 vials of scent to assess.



Antonio and Val the Cookie Queen


On the morning of the Awards, eight of us met for brunch at The Diner in Spitalfields. This fragrant group included Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume, Megan of Megan in Sainte Maxime, Lucy of Indieperfumes, regular commenter Lady Jane Grey and the superstar that is Margo, over from Poland. Just as much chatting and sniffing as eating took place, as you can imagine.


Lucy brought us lots of American indie samples to try from brands like Kerosene and For Strange Women. Val brought the new releases from the Hermssence collection.  The three perfumes are Cedar Sambac, Myrrh Eglantine and Agar Abene. The two oils are Musc Pallida and Cardamusc. Musc Pallida was beautiful but far too ethereal for £275. The one I really fell for was Cedar Sambac.

After brunch we made our way west to the niche perfume store Bloom, in Covent Garden. I’m very pleased they now stock Aussie brand Naomi Goodsir. Her niche fragrances are distinctive in a world of blah. The latest addition, the striking Nuit de Bakelite, was a finalist in the year’s Independent Category of the Awards – review to come.



The Art and Olfaction Awards celebrates independent and artisan perfumery from across the globe.  The city location changes each year (in 2017 it was Berlin) and this year they were held at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill. If you’re interested, you can read the full list of 2018 finalists and judges here. It’s fantastic that the Awards shine a spotlight on the great work indie and artisan perfumers are doing.

The event was very well attended (and rather hot) with musical accompaniment from a samba band.


I was excited to be reunited with Portia from the back-in-business Australian Perfume Junkies. Happily, I was seated near the dynamic duo that is Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley who recently quite rightly won the Innovation Jasmine Award for their brilliant Fume Chat podcast.


Portia, Nick and Thomas


Michael, Portia, Val and Me

A lot of indie perfumers were in attendance including Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes and Andy Tauer.

Andy Tauer, Denyse Beaulieu and Sarah McCartney all presented awards (pictured below).



Here are the winners, who each received ‘The Golden Pear’.


golden pear



by BedeauX
CD/ Perfumer: Amanda Beadle

Club Design
by The Zoo
CD/ Perfumer: Christophe Laudamiel


Eau de Virginie
by Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger
Perfumer: Jean-Claude Gigodot

Nuit de Bakélite
By Naomi Goodsir
Perfumer: Isabelle Doyen


(Experimental Work with Scent)

Under the Horizon
by Oswaldo Macia
Perfume: Ricardo Moya (IFF)


Pays Dogon
By Monsillage (Canada)
Perfumer: Isabelle Michaud


Peter de Cupere (Belgium)


Above: Naomi Goodsir with perfumer Isabelle Doyen and Chrisophe Laudamiel

It was a fun night, not least because it was a great excuse to catch up with friends from near and far.


See you in Amsterdam for the 2019 Awards?





Filed under Perfume Events, Perfume Friends

19 responses to “The Art and Olfaction Awards 2018 – Photo Essay

  1. Lady Jane Grey

    It was a bliss to see you all again. And some for the first time : so happy to meet Lucy and Megan, finally.
    Am very courious about your Nuit de Bakelite review !


  2. Must have felt almost like Esxence, when concentration of perfume people per square meter gets really high and you know everyone around you.
    Maybe one day I’ll go


  3. Great account of the absolutely action packed weekend you had, with lots of sniffing under your belt – I was so happy to catch you all on Saturday during the day, and to meet Margo and Megan for the first time. The awards look very stylish and fun, if a little hot! Some really notable people there, plus quite a few I’ve not heard of. But that is nothing new, hehe – the who is who in perfume making circles is a fast moving picture.


    • It must be pretty gruelling to come down for one day, V but I’m so pleased you did. I know didn’t half of the finalists either but with 180 anonymous submissions to consider from all over the world, the field was wide open.
      I was really happy Naomi Goodsir won and I was informed that she hadn’t come all the way from Down Under but has lived in France for many years. Neela Vermeire made it over the Channel to be there too.


  4. Sometimes looking forward to something for too long ends in uhm, anticappointment. Our meet up exceeded all expectations. Was so much fun, and we managed to do a lot without going into total meltdown. Although the awards were so hot, had I not been able to fan myself with THE wedding invitation I think I would have passed out. I will pick up 10mls of Sale Gosse next week. If I use it I will buy more. Tried it again on Sunday and it is so good in the warm weather. Brunch was a blast, although I am always a little overwhelmed in a large group,and end up wishing I had spoken more to everyone. Esxence would probably kill you, and I have no immediate plans to go again. Milan, yes, the show, no.
    Amsterdam? Now THAT sounds fun. Big hugs. xxxxx


    • No anticippoinment this time!
      Some of the guys (Thomas, Pia and co) were talking about Amsterdam next year. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and I’d LOVE to see it with you.
      Yeah, Esxence is a hard no from me 🙂


  5. Sandra

    What a wonderful weekend Tara. The pictures are great. So glad to hear about Naomi Goodsir winning. I loved Nuit de Bakelite. Have a great week. Sandra xo


  6. Loved the report, Tara! I sooo miss those from the time of the Perfume Lover London days (in your interpretation).
    I’m less interested in any official events but meeting many people from the circle is very appealing, so the part about your earlier meet-up was even more entertaining than the award event that followed.

    I haven’t been to Amsterdam yet… Hmmm…


    • I love doing these write-ups, Undina. It’s an excuse to re-live it all over again. Meeting up with everyone was definitely the best part. For ages I was saying I didn’t want to go to the Awards but I’m so glad I did. Between you and me – haha – we crept out before the end and had a great time in the bar.

      Come to Amsterdam!!! It’s such a brilliant excuse to see the city and hang out with everyone.


  7. Sounds and looks like a lot of fun for all, Tara. Thanks for sharing with us.


  8. Wonderful, thanks for the write up, I miss meet ups!
    I sniffed all the finalists in Milan, and funnily picked out three of the 4 (not the Virginie one), whether that means I picked what everyone else liked, or what was best, who knows 😀
    Nuit de Bakelite is such a memorable scent, and that is not often we get that with new releases. I really liked Chienoir, though I can’t remember why, just that I did. And the Zoo one must have had something too since it stood out to me…
    Ah well, any excuse to get together with your fume friends is a good one.
    Amsterdam? Why not 😊


    • Picking 3 out of 4 is quite something Asali! You have a great nose.
      Totally agree about Nuit de Bakelite being memorable. You have to admire it for that reason alone. It’s amazing that Chienoir was Amanda Beadle’s first perfume.
      It would be so good to see you in Amsterdam! I’m seriously starting to get excited already 🙂


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