Indie Fifi Awards 2013 ~ the winner

Indie Fifi Awards 2013, logo

The Fragrance Foundation has announced the winner of their second annual Indie* Fifi Award: By Kilian Amber Oud. You can see the finalists here.

(via By Kilian at Twitter)

* Per the Fragrance Foundation:

“Indie” is defined as an established brand that has been on the market for at least two years, is not distributed or owned by a large company and is sold in 1 to 50 stores in the U.S.

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  1. lucasai says:

    Still I wouldn’t give the prize to Kilian…

    • Robin says:

      It doesn’t make much sense to me to add an indie category and then reward fragrances made by the same few big fragrance & flavor companies that make all the rest of the fragrances in the world…but that’s the way they’ve set it up. Last year it was an Odin fragrance, same thing.

      Still, it’s a good fragrance and won’t be surprised if it turns out to be the best of all the Fifi winners this year.

      • lucasai says:

        I, personally am not fond of Amber Oud really but that’s just my opinion.

        Anyway I’m not gonna lose my balance because some FiFi guys made a choice I don’t agree with.

  2. plume says:

    These weren’t nominees, they were submissions. The Fifi folks emailed a bunch of indie perfumers asking for $400 to be considered for this “prestigious award” then they handed the award to Kilian. They fleeced the true indies and it’s a shame the blogging community lacks the courage to speak up about this. There’s a good thread on Basenotes about this too.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, that’s how all the Fifi awards work — you have to enter your product and you have to pay for the privilege.

      IMHO, the award is not for what I call “indie”, but still, don’t see that anybody got fleeced — the set up is very clear from the outset. And notably, many of these are the same brands that entered last year, so by this year, they could presumably have figured out how it works.

      Bigger question, in my mind (repeating myself from last year, admittedly), is why true indie brands are interested in winning a Fifi anyway, that is, why they’re looking for approbation from an arm of the big fragrance & flavor companies. If you’re trying to do something different from the mainstream, hardly seems a badge of honor.

      • plume says:

        Very good points Robin. Kilian has its place in the market, but I don’t see how a company with as much money, backing and connections as Kilian could be considered indie, or put in the same category as say Providence Perfume or DS+Durga. Kilian is niche to me (and was actually nominated for some niche Fifis last year, which seems far more accurate than indie).

        • Robin says:

          At various times, the Fifi’s have had niche-like categories, most recently, there was something that was for scents in 26-50 stores. They got rid of those categories when they added this, but they have always defined ALL of their categories essentially by distribution and not by who made the fragrance, that’s just how they work. They did add the proviso this year about “not distributed or owned by a large company”, but I can’t see that they’re ever going to have a category for what I call indie — a small DIY brand where the owner makes the fragrances themselves without using the services of a fragrance & flavor company. And why would they? Their funding comes from the fragrance & flavor companies, after all, and from the big brands.

          Went and looked at that thread at Basenotes, and from my perspective, it’s all just a basic misunderstanding about who the Fragrance Foundation is and what they do. It’s sort of like blaming the Academy Awards for not properly honoring little low budget indie films — that’s just not how the system works. The Fragrance Foundation is very clear about who can enter this competition, and so we might not agree with how they define “indie”, but that’s just a question of semantics in the end, and doesn’t really change anything.

          • plume says:

            But to play the devil’s advocate, it seems like what you are saying is that people should expect an award called the Indie Award to be a far cry from that. That’s misleading and I don’t think it’s surprising that people are voicing skepticism about it.

            You said yourself, you can’t see Fifi ever having a true indie category, and that they shouldn’t because Fifi is funded by the fragrance and flavor companies and the big brands. If this is true, then why are they emailing these very indie perfumers and telling them they have a chance at this award as long as they submit $400? $400 may not be much to Kilian, but it’s probably a lot to an actual indie perfumer. That is where the dishonesty is. And the fact Fifi has to keep changing their criteria each year speaks to just how confused they themselves appear to be over this. Then you go on to say actual indie perfumers shouldn’t even want recognition from Fifi. You’re basically saying indie perfumers are suckers for submitting their fragrance for this.

            Either way, after seeing Odin and Kilian win this award I think it’s safe to say the award has been a failed project by Fifi to award actual independent perfumery.

          • Robin says:

            Well, no, but I expect the Fragrance Foundation to represent the industry — that’s their mission. It’s not all that different to me from when they started a category to reward blog articles — I did not expect them to reward voices that were critical of the industry, and I personally did not see any value, as a blogger, in competing for or winning such an award. As an indie *anything* — blogger, perfumer, woodworker, artist, filmmaker, whatever — I would not expect or seek or value approbation from the industry in question.

            Not saying indie perfumers are suckers, just saying I don’t understand or share the motivation. Clearly many of them felt differently than I do, which is fine.

            I do think the Foundation is searching for a way to be more relevant and to reach out to consumers and other entities outside the industry, hence the changing categories and the blog award & this indie award. But they’re stuck inside their own parameters.

            When you say “But to play the devil’s advocate, it seems like what you are saying is that people should expect an award called the Indie Award to be a far cry from that” — no, what I’m saying is that I don’t expect the Fragrance Foundation to define “indie” the same way I do.

        • Robin says:

          And by the way Plume, this is an interesting conversation & hope you don’t think I’m shouting you down or saying you’re wrong — my perspective is different from yours, that’s all.

          • plume says:

            Not at all Robin, please don’t think that. I think it’s great that we all share this passion to the point we can have these types of conversations. Fifi is a big organization, there’s no way everyone will be happy with the way things are run but any dissatisfaction I feel toward their award has no bearing on you or your site. I’m game for healthy disagreements (life would be boring if everyone always agreed!)

          • Robin says:

            Well good. You never can tell. And sometimes I do go on, LOL…just looking at the sheer volume of my comments here, I got a little worried!

  3. Tama says:

    I think a lot of the little indies who enter their fragrances do so more for exposure than for the chance of winning a FiFi. These lists go around and get published on the bigger blogs and whatnot, and there’s that little brand. It can spark interest.

    • Robin says:

      That may well be — in that case, wonder if it is worth the $400.

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