May 19, 2017
"Alternative" fragrance awards have gained more and more attention over the past five years, most focusing on non-mainstream and artistic perfumery. In 2016, the OSA! Outsider Scents Award first annual edition was conceived by Italian writer and perfume expert, Ermano Picco, (who many of our readers know as a Contributor here) as an alternative to many fragrance competitions; with a theme given to perfumers, (most unknown), that corresponded to the annual Smell Festival in Bologna, Italy founded by Francesca Faruolo.
What is the criterion for submission? No matter who you are, anybody can submit their own creation that fits the theme; 2017 OSA! Outsider Scents Award theme was “roots”. The submissions are created specifically for OSA (which means dare in Italian) and can be sold commercially at a later date.
Photo: Ermano Picco, Maria Candide Gentile 2016
“The first edition was held in beautiful Puglia and both the participants and the members of the jury, among which perfumer Maria Candida Gentile, were all Italian.
2016 Awardee Luca Cavaleri
The winner was Luca Cavaleri, a self-taught perfumer from Macerata who composed an elegant green chypre built around a daring (OSA means dare in Italian) raw material seldom used in perfumery: sea fennel oil. Since then, the contest has grown. gaining international appeal and the latest submissions have come from all over Europe and the USA. As in 2016, the judging is blind; the submissions are given an anonymous tracking number and the members of the Jury are kept secret till the submission time is over in order to prevent any possible bias.”
The Judges 2017
This year's judges are a diverse group of olfactivce experts with different backgrounds and specializations. This year submissions have been evaluated by:
Antonio Alessandria – perfumer and founder of the perfume brand under his own name, Alessandria is also owner of Boudoir36, the most exquisite perfume shop downtown in Catania
Luigi Cristiano – herbalist, artisanal perfumer, author of books on ancient and modern Italian perfumery (i.e. "La nota gradevole" (Studio edizioni)
Roberto Dario – independent perfumer, educator, and consultant on Olfactory projects development (i.e. DFG1924)
Gianni De Martino – author of cultural/etnoghraphic researches and books on the sense of smell (e.g. “Odori” e “Viaggi e Profumi” Urra – Apogeo), some of them in cooperation with Luigi Cristiano
Alessandro Gualtieri aka "the Nose" – a major talent in Italian artistic perfumery, he is the mind beyond the brands “Nasomatto” and “Orto Parisi”; he is also involved in artistic project and olfactory installations
Vero Kern – an icon in independent perfumery from Switzerland, her unique signature is a fusion of style, consistency, and meticulous aesthetic research.
Alex Musgrave – Fragrance Foundation Award winner (for ÇaFleureBon, 2015) and Jasmine Awards finalist, writer, fragrance expert and founder of the blog "The Silver Fox at A Scent of Elegance".
Ermano Picco – fragrance expert, founder of the blog “La gardenia nell'Occhiello”, a consultant for fragrance brands (i.e. Rubini), Contributor for CaFleureBon. Ermano is involved in several cultural project connected to the sense of smell, such as OSA!, the contest he created in 2016 in cooperation with Smell Festival
Submissions are judged on a scale of 1 to 50 points that are computed basing on various aspects:the relevance to the olfactory topic proposed (the theme, up to 10 points), harmony of the composition (the balance, up to 8 points), care in selection of the raw materials (up to 8 points), originality of the composition (the daring creativity, up to 8 points), skill of expressive means (technical composition skills, up to 8 points), originality of concept (the inspiration, up to 8 points).
The FINALISTS are:
HUMUS by Michele Bianchi (Russia)
LIGHT’IN THE ROOTS by Léa Hiram (France)
MEMORHYZA by Marco Ceravolo (Italy)
PINK WOOD – PINK W(OUD) by April Aromatics founder and natural perfumer Tanja Bochnig (Germany)
RACINES DANSEUSES by Valeria Sargu (Italy)
On May 27-28, guests and attendess can smell the finalists' perfumes in a special sensorial exhibition path named “UNDERGROUND – fragranze dal sottosuolo” in Bologna.
AWARD CEREMONY: the announcement of the perfume winner and the award ceremony will be on Sunday May 28 at 4.00pm at the Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica in Bologna as a closing event of the Festival. Together with the official award, one of the five finalists will be assigned a special mention from the greatest Italian perfume lovers’ community Adjiumi.
Smell Festival will be held on May 24-28 at Museo Internazionale della Musica in Bologna.
The OSA! Outsider Scents Award 2017 Ceremony will be there on Sunday May 28 at 4pm
For more information about the competition, judges, criteria and Smell Festival, click here.
Via Ermano Picco and my own synopsis
–Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief