The Jasmine Awards started at 8.45am (which meant I had to get up very early to get there on time – serves me right for not living in London any more). Our ODOU gang was there – Liam Moore, Paul-André St-Georges, Neil Chapman and me – and a whole host of other nose-nerd buddies (Grant Osborne from Basenotes, Nick Gilbert from Penhaligons, Persolaise, Thomas Dunckley from Candy Perfume Boy, Louise Woollam from Get Lippie…). I had a glass of orange juice from a champagne flute and ignored the decorative breakfast canapes. I was quite excited to be at BAFTA on Piccadilly though I didn’t feel nervous about the ceremony itself because I had no expectation to win; just to be there to admire the proceedings and cheer my buddies on. Nominees were supposed to sit on rows 2-4 but when we made it to the screening room, there weren’t enough spaces left for all of us, so our ODOU group decided to go right up the stairs to the back row.
When the awards whittled down to the last – original and most coveted – literary award, head judge Joanna Norman read out the shortlist:
- “Your Nose Is A Snowflake” by Pia Long for ODOU
- “Perfume Haters” by Neil Chapman for ODOU
- “Diary of a Perfumed Ponce” by Richard E. Grant for GQ
- “Chanel The Nose behind the Egoiste” by Tony Marcus for 10 Magazine
- “Scents with Spirit” by Amerley Ollennu for Psychologies
- “The Perfumed Home” by Hannah Betts for Elle Decoration
All the shortlisted nominees were splashed on screen.
All the nominees were shown on screen and as Joanna opened the envelope, she said: “The award goes to a magazine in its first year…” we all had a moment of shock – wait, what? Neil was the most charming contender to go up against – just as our names came up on screen, he shook my hand and said “good luck”. It was clear he meant it. So losing to him was almost as good as winning the award myself and I was absolutely over the moon that Liam’s magazine scooped this much-admired prize. (Issue 2 is out at the end of March, by the way, and I’ve written another geeky article for it if you’re interested).
Neil’s article “Perfume Haters” was sublime; well-written, engaging, informative, and a worthy winner of a literary award. My article was more of an essay, and as much as people have told me they have enjoyed reading it (thank you), I do think the judges made the correct choice. Congratulations once again to Neil and Liam!
I was also delighted that Thomas Dunckley from Candy Perfume Boy scooped up the Jasmine digital award – it is simply fabulous to see wider recognition for excellence in digital fragrance journalism and for the judges to pick up on rising talent. Of course, the seasoned journos from mainstream press may have found our whooping from the back row a little crass. Apologies.
Below is our gang before the award ceremony (shows how old my PR photo is – a couple of years working mostly from home = massive weight gain. I am on a slow but steady diet. You have my permission to laugh and point if, by the end of this year, I am found in a pile of Ladurée macaroons, weeping, not having lost a pound. I will soon no longer be predominantly home-based, of course – I have a new, exciting job! More about that soon…).
Almost everyone I chatted with commented on my nail polish so here’s what it was: Revlon in “Sassy”. A great colour for spring!
After the Jasmine Awards, I mooched around London for a while (I popped to Waterstones, Piccadilly, and to Oxford Street deparment stores) and headed home at lunchtime. My next London trip will be a week from now – I will be at the British Society of Perfumers/IFRA one day regulatory workshop and will do a low-down of the key points from the day for Grant at Basenotes, so look out for that in just over a week or so.