The Sweet Smell of Success at Elements Showcase 2012

by Mark Thompson

EDGE Style & Travel Editor

Tuesday January 31, 2012

It's possible to think of Elements Showcase as the Art Basel of the fragrance industry. As much an art fair as it is a design show, Elements Showcase has become an acclaimed exhibition for some of the most visionary creators and entrepreneurs of fragrance. Founded in 2011 by fragrance industry artisans Frederick Bouchardy, Ulrich Lang, and Jeffrey Lawson, Elements Showcase celebrated its third edition at Skylight West in Manhattan with interactive art installations - and also celebrated the inauguration of a new "Indie" FiFi fragrance award.

An influential meeting ground for fragrance and beauty industry leaders, buyers, and brands, Elements Showcase also works with a rotating group of visionary collaborators to create artistic installations and eye-popping production design. This season, Elements announced a sponsorship agreement with IFF, one of the word's leaders in the creation and manufacture of flavors and fragrance. At the Showcase, IFF's stand enabled visitors to experience some of the precious raw materials in the production of fragrance.

One of the highlights of this edition of Elements Showcase was the 2012 FiFi® "Indie" Award presentation. Five finalists where named by the Fragrance Foundation for the 2012 FiFi® "Indie" Award with the winner revealed on January 30th at the Elements Showcase FiFi® Award Ceremony and celebration.

From a field of thirty-six official nominees, a distinguished panel of expert judges chose five outstanding fragrance brands based on criteria provided by the Foundation and the "Indie" Committee.

"The competition was stiff," stated Mary Ellen Lapsansky, Vice President of The Fragrance Foundation. "We are excited to present these finalists with mini-FiFi® trophies and of course honor the winner with the official crystal FiFi® Award."

The five finalists were: Carner Barcelona "Cuirs" by Min New York, Come L'Amore, Bois 1920 by Bois 1920 (Perfume Holding Corp.), Miller Harris La Fumée by Miller Harris, Odin New York 06 Amanu by Foundry NYC, and Siberian Snow by D.S. & Durga.

"Indie brands play an important role in our industry by engaging the consumer with their unique stories," said Cos Policastro, Executive Vice President, Fine Fragrances at Givaudan. "Their creativity and innovation inspires the fragrance world and should be recognized and rewarded."

As sponsor of the award, Givaudan presented the winner with a $10,000 check, which was given, according to Policastro, "to encourage [fragrance companies] to continue to push the boundaries of olfactive creativity."

Andrea Maack Parfums created an in-house installation titled "The Blotter Project," which was a scented installation by Icelandic visual artist Andrea Maack. Maack cut an original large-scale drawing into oversized perfume blotters, which she invited participants to choose from - to be spritzed with their favorite Andrea Maack Parfum and signed by the artist. "Blotter Project" will travel to London, Paris, and Milan in 2012.

Frederick Bouchardy, co-founder of Elements Showcase affirmed that "the 2012 FiFi® "Indie" Award presentation at the Elements Showcase was a terrific moment of recognition for the "Indie" category. It's very exciting and we salute all these independent creators."

"Presenting the FiFi® in such a stylish, innovative venue as the Elements Showcase is just the kind of creative thinking that brings new energy to the fragrance community and new choices to the fragrance-loving consumer," added Bruce Teitelbaum, Chief Executive Officer, RPG.

Exhibitors at Elements Showcase included Caron Paris with their Martial Vivot barbershop and Lost Weekend NYC's pop-up show with exclusive, limited-edition Blue Bottle for Elements blend, as well as Tay, Ursa Major, Belle Fleur, Bond No. 9, D.S. & Durga, Joya, MCMC Fragrances, Ulrich Lang, and Intertrade.

Making their debut in the States at Elements Showcase was German skincare studio, Legart Forschungs Atelier. The Bavarian German company creates limited editions of bespoke, sustainable beauty products that are based on handpicked, raw materials with the purest alpine spring water from the Kitzbuehel Alps.

W Magazine sponsored an educational forum titled "Choosing Fragrance: The Influences Behind the Purchase," which was moderated by Jane Larkworthy, W Beauty Director.

And what's a fragrance event without Chandler Burr, Curator Olfactory Art at New York's Museum of Art and Design? Burr was a panelist on the "Six Scents Forum: Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration and Artistic Process in Fragrance Design and Beyond," which was moderated by Levi Pharoah and was an exploration of the impact and challenges of interdisciplinary collaborations and creative process in perfumery and beyond.


Elements Showcase at Skylight West
500 West 36th Street?
New York NY 10018

A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.