Awards go a long way in promoting a luxury product. But there are so many awards and so many rankings that the reading public gets confused at times. The awards also have to build up their reputation and credibility as they must be seen to be objective and fair. The popular awards are those that depend on the people’s votes to decide the best in a category and the subsequent ranking. The French fragrance foundation awarded its annual prizes exclusively to local brands last week.
The decision to consider only the local French brands has limited the scope and appeal of the awards. Most of the brands in contention are global brands that enjoy a reputation and market share around the world. The benefit accruing to these brands will be limited to France and the French markets. The foundation has given its most prestigious award for the best fragrance of the year to Yves Saint Laurent’s update of Opium, Belle d’Opium, in women’s perfumes and Bleu de Chanel in the men’s category.
Marie Claire magazine used to earlier partner the official French fragrance awards but they have now gone their separate ways. The magazine has also announced a separate list of winners that does not correspond with the foundations list of awardees. The magazine has voted Balenciaga Paris and Thierry Mugler’s Womanity. But one has to admit that France’s fragrance awards are a lot more democratic than their American counterpart. Seven of ten prizes are voted on by the public. Apart from the best fragrance of the year there were awards for best packaging with Balenciaga Paris and Voyage D’Hermes winning the women’s and men’s section respectively. The other important winners were Lancome Tresor in Love, Biotherm Homme Force, L’Occitane en Provence Pivoine and Thierry Mugler Womanity.