The Best/Worst Noses of 2011, Celebrate the FiFi Awards!

FiFi 2011 Winners Mary J. Blige and Halle Berry

Ever felt like your job title sucks?  Unless you have things like “Chief Hooker” (cable yarding systems) or “Erection Engineer” (manufacturing plant position) written below your name, you shouldn’t complain.  But what if you were referred to as “the nose” at work?  Either you look a little like Lea Michele or Owen Wilson, or perhaps you are responsible for eliminating unwanted odors from the kitchenette or bathroom.  That, or you are a perfumer.  Known as “the nose” in the beauty industry, there is a small and elite group of experts who are responsible for creating the scents that we all live our lives in.

On the heels of the FiFi Awards held this week in New York honoring the best fragrances of 2011 (what, no Kardashian winners?), I thought it would be interesting the review outstanding fragrances that led the pack this year and alas, a few that never had a chance of getting out of TJ Maxx reduced price bin.

The Best:

Let’s start with Luxe Women’s Fragrance of the Year: Gucci Guilty 

Developed for an iconoclast woman who lives life at full throttle- potent, spirited and unrepentant, Gucci Guilty for her is made of three layers. The base  is created from a mix of amber and patchouli, setting the stage for a sensual experience. The middle notes are fruit and lavender, combining for a floral and feminine cap to the base. Finally, pink peppercorn and mandarin are the top notes providing a very spicy and vibrant end.  Mix these layers in a art deco, sleek bottle and you pretty much get Rachel Evan Wood  (excellent casting for the ad campaign).  This is the fragrance you want to wear on a Friday night when you want every man to take notice.  It almost gives you the attitude required to keep the attention!

Men’s Specialty Brand Fragrance of the Year: Banana Republic, Republic of Men:

If you are looking for a last minute gift for Father’s Day, this is hands down the best, affordable scent for men on the market right now.  Aligned with the BR male customer, the Republic of Men Essence is modern and relaxed.  The cucumber and spicy pepper notes (noticing a trend in using pepper outside the kitchen?),  create a dynamic and layered, spicy yet cool fragrance.

Fragrance Sale Breakthrough of the Year: My Life by Mary J. Blige

Wanting to create a fragrance that represente every female’s everyday life, Mary J. used incense as the base and built it up with notes of candied drydown, tuberose, jasmine, lily, gardenia, pear, and freesia.  Sounds lovely, so much so I would like to eat it and apparently I am not the only one.  When the fragrance debuted on HSN in July, 2010, the six hour inaugural presentation sold 60,000 units, over $2.6 million in sales, breaking Sean John’s previous record  for fastest selling fragrance. This tells me two things: the first is that the Home Shopping Network is uber powerful and second, Mary J. knows how to connect to everyday women on an emotional level. After all she holds the record for moving more women to buy fragrance faster than anyone else, and all without the benefit of actually having them smell the fragrance. Now that is a powerful brand!

For an entire list of the FiFi 2011 Winners, click here

Now, lets review those that never had a chance to avoid the TJ Maxx markdown bin:

Stunning by Katie Price:

With sales of Stunning accounting for less than 1% of all celebrity scents, you have a pretty good chance of seeing this fragrance at your local discount store.  Its sorta hard to believe Katie didn’t find more success.  After all, absolutely no one knows how she is and who wouldn’t want to look like her?  Shoot, I hear stripper-chic is au courant, no Kesha?

M by Mariah Carey

Mariah will slap her name on anything and top it with a butterfly.  According to the press notes, M, Mariah’s debut fragrance is suppose to be “captivating like a song.  With its harmonious marriage of velvety sensual notes overlaid with the floral texture of Tahitian Tiare flower, this beautifully feminine fragrance will linger in your mind like a timeless melody. With notes of Warm Marshmallow Accord, Gardenia Petals, blah blah blah:. Wait, marshmallow?  Who really wants to smell like marshmallow?  Not me, and apparently not many others as this train wreck produced less than stellar results.  I guess no one really likes to smell like a musky cake. Not even if Mariah says its cool.

Trump the Fragrance

Oh Donald.  What would possess you to use “get to know every aspect of Trump” in the market collateral for a men’s cologne. What would then prompt you to price it at $60.00?  For someone who apparently has this thumb on the pulse of wise investment and the economy, this venture was clearly more about ego than strategic brand expansion.  If you don’t believe me, read these actual reviews I pulled from


and my favorite review:

You just cannot refute that TJ Maxx is where bad celebrity decisions go to die.  Long story short, if you are going to wear fragrance, please make sure it is one that smells good, and is not simply a juice with celebrity association!


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