International Fragrance Day Isn't Happening As Originally Planned, But Happening All the Same

Take a moment to smell the virtual roses.

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Fragrance Foundation

International Fragrance Day, which is tomorrow, March 21st, is going to be a little different than Fragrance Foundation president Linda G. Levy had originally planned. It was going to be a splashy, news-making event, with a full week of special in-store happenings and promotions in shops up and down Madison Avenue, and even a dedicated Fragrance Foundation Pop-Up, with VIP guest appearances from the likes of Jason Wu. Things changed, of course. The stores are shuttered, the string of starry meet-and-greets cancelled. But there’s an upside. First of all, International Fragrance Day is still being recognized with activations on social media and by fragrance houses around the globe—and, as Levy notes, there’s something unexpectedly resonant about it given the current climate.

“I think that right now people are focused on using this time to get in touch with what’s important,” she says, “and with that, fragrance can play a very powerful role, whether it’s simply by lighting a scented candle while you work from home or finally taking that bath you’ve been meaning to take.”

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Fragrance Foundation

It’s also a stroke of luck that Levy chose renown fashion designer and artist Rebecca Moses, whose signature style is whimsical, witty, and undeniably optimistic, to create the artwork for this year’s campaign. Moses created seven paintings to spotlight different perfume notes—floral, fresh, citrus, woody, fruity, sweet, and spicy—each of which is depicted as a uniquely accessorized and characterful woman. Sweet, for example, sports cotton candy hair and a coconut bra; floral is a regal vision in a rose-bestrewn skirt and tuberose crown; woody is a mysterious sophisticate in a leather cape. “You don’t get projects this fun every day,” says Moses. “And to be able to combine painting which is my passion, with fragrance, which is my other passion, was a dream project.”

Moses wanted to convey “the creativity and joy that goes into the world of fragrance” by giving each scent profile an indelible personality—an idea that is admittedly tricky, since fragrance is something so inherently difficult to convey through any other medium. “Rebecca’s work is very emotional and sensual, and it transports you to another place,” Levy says. “Even though you can’t transfer a scent through the internet, she really evokes the feeling of those ingredients. And she brings a smile to your face.” And Moses says that, in the end, is always her goal. “We all have a responsibility to bring good energy into the world. As an artist, if you tell me that I’ve distracted you from your worries, that’s the ultimate compliment. I like to help people find humor in life—because if we can find humor, we can endure anything.”

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NEST founder Laura Slatkin, by Rebecca Moses
Rebecca Moses

A Fragrance Foundation pop-up “absolutely will happen” in New York at a rescheduled date, Levy says, and the organization is ongoing in its support of NEST Fragrances founder Laura Slatkin’s NEXT for Autism charity. In celebration of NEST’s new Apple Blossom home fragrance, which promotes Autism Awareness month in April, Slatkin even got the Moses treatment, depicted in the midst of copious flowers and fruit—a feast for the eyes, and the senses.

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