You've got questions, eh? Well, you've come to the right place. Read on for the most common questions we receive about submitting to The Art and Olfaction Awards. We threw in some information about the awards in general, for good measure.
Q. I WANT TO SUBMIT: WHAT'S THE DEADLINE?
A. Submissions for the fifth annual Art and Olfaction Awards open on September 15, 2017 at 9am PST. The online submission form closes at November 1, 2017, 11:59 pm PST. Physical submissions must be received in the mail on or before November 14th, 2017.
Q. HOW DO I SUBMIT?
A. There is a two part process:
STEP 1. Fill out the online application form (available Sep. 15).
STEP 2. Send 15ml of the perfume in the mail.
Once you fill out the online application form, we will send instructions on how to submit the physical package.
Q. AM I ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT MY PERFUME?
A. We accept submissions from all countries that were released (or will be released) to market for the first time between January 1 and December 31, 2017.
We do not accept reformulations or re-releases of perfumes that were released to market before January 1, 2017 (see the FAQ section below for more about reformulations or re-releases). We accept submissions from companies that are independently owned, or owned by a parent company with no more than four perfume companies in its holdings.
Q. HOW MANY SUBMISSIONS CAN I SEND?
A. We limit the amount of submissions to three per perfume company.
Q. WHY DO YOU ASK FOR 15 ML OF MY SUBMISSION?
A. We ask for 15ml of your submission because we have to send the perfume around to various judges, and people are often judging in different places across the world at the same time. It's a colossal amount of organization, and having extra perfume on hand makes it possible to get the judging done in a timely manner. We also keep a portion of the perfume at the IAO as a backup to send to the finalist judges should your perfume make it to the finalist phase.
Q. I WORK IN ALL NATURALS, AND 15ML COSTS ME A LOT OF MONEY! WHAT DO I DO?
A. We are cognizant of the value of your work, and apologize for any inconvenience the quantity that we ask for might present. If you have any issues with providing 15ml of your scent, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will see about finding a solution (get it?).
Q. I WANT TO SUBMIT TO THE EXPERIMENTAL CATEGORY, BUT THE SCENTS WERE NOT IN LIQUID FORMAT: WHAT DO I DO?
A. Don't worry, you're not alone! Email us (email@example.com) and we'll work out an alternative for your situation.
Q. CAN I SUBMIT THE SAME SCENT TO TWO CATEGORIES?
A. The only time this should ever come up would be if your project is in the grey area between artisan and experimental. Welcome to the complicated world of olfactory art! If you absolutely cannot decide which it is, you are technically allowed to submit the same project, separately, to both categories. But save yourself an extra submission fee and email us first: We can probably help you decide the most appropriate fit.
Q. CAN I SUBMIT MORE THAN THREE SCENTS?
A. You cannot submit more than three scents to each individual category. However, you can submit three scents to the three categories, meaning that a very busy perfumer could theoretically submit three to artisan (released under his own brand), three to independent (if he worked as a perfumer-for-hire for an external brand) and three to experimental (if he is also working in an experimental capacity).
Q. I REFORMULATED AN OLDER PERFUME AND RE-RELEASED IT UNDER THE SAME NAME IN 2017. CAN I SUBMIT IT?
A. We cannot accept reformulations or re-releases of perfumes first released by the same company before 2017.
Q. HOW DO YOU DEFINE A REFORMULATION OR RE-RELEASE?
A. By reformulation, we mean any perfume that was tweaked and re-released under the same name, in the same form (e.g. liquid perfume).
By re-release, we mean a second (or third!) public release of an existing product. By public release, we mean any instance or engagement that allows people to purchase the perfume, in any country. This could include making the perfume available for sale on the internet, making it available for sale in or to third party entities such as a store, gallery, or craft show, exhibiting it at a public-facing perfume exhibition where direct or industry sales are allowed (eg Esxence, Pitti, Tranoï, etc), or placing it any other environment where a press release might be dispatched, or a financial transaction may occur. Note that we do not consider pre-launch marketing as a public release (e.g. social media posts, coming soon notices, trade show participation announcements, etc).
Q. ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS?
A. The only exception to this rule is when the new release comes in a clearly different form – e.g. you released a candle, soap or body lotion before 2016, but then took the formula and made a perfume, making it for sale to the public under the same name in 2016. We consider this new product to be in such a different form that there could be no confusion in the market as to their being different products.
Q. CAN YOU SUMMARIZE?
A. Let us summarize: If you are releasing a tweaked perfume in 2016 that was originally released before 2016 under the same name, we cannot accept it as a new perfume – even if you reformulated it drastically. If you re-formulated and re-released it in the current submission year under a different name or a different physical form (e.g. perfume vs. soap, body lotion or candle), it would qualify.
Q. I WROTE THE PERFUME FORMULA MYSELF, BUT WE DECIDED TO USE A FRAGRANCE HOUSE TO COMPOUND THE LARGER BATCH. WHAT CATEGORY AM I?
A. As long as the perfumer who wrote the original formula owns or co-owns the company (and can provide proof of formula ownership, should the case come up), we allow this to be submitted in the artisan category. Note that this is a loosening of our rules, due to the difference between European and US regulation and practices.
Q. I CREATED AND WROTE THE PERFUME FORMULA MYSELF, BUT WE USED A FULFILLMENT HOUSE TO COMPOUND THE FORMULA, ADD ALCOHOL AND/OR FILL BOTTLES. WHAT CATEGORY AM I?
A. As long as the company's main perfumer wrote the original formula, and owns or co-own the perfume company releasing the scent, it qualifies as artisan.
Q. BUT THAT'S NOT HAND-MADE
Yes, we have had to make a differentiation between hand-made and artisan, due to the vastly different practices and regulations in different countries.
Q. I MARKET MY COMPANY AS ARTISAN, BUT WE USE A COMPLETELY EXTERNAL PERFUMER TO WRITE THE ORIGINAL FORMULAS. ACCORDING TO YOUR RULES I SHOULD SUBMIT AS INDEPENDENT. WHAT DO I DO?
A. Our rules are rules ONLY for the awards, not for the world at large. We do not pretend to define the market. We developed our rules by assessing the business model of past submitters, drawing conclusions, and doing our best to accomodate various global practices. However, we are cognizant that words can have many meanings, and meaning is relative. So go forth with your artisan self in the wider world (but submit to us as independent, please).
Q. I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT CATEGORY I SHOULD SUBMIT TO!
A. If after reviewing that category descriptions and the answers above you still are not clear on whether your submission should be in the artisan, independent, or Sadakichi Award categories, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help. We can assess your situation individually, and recommend the appropriate category for your work.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I SUBMIT TO THE WRONG CATEGORY?
A. We will try to catch it, and contact you. Please be prepared to provide proof of ownership, if submitting in the artisan category.
Q. WHAT IF MY PACKAGE ARRIVES AFTER THE TWO WEEK GRACE PERIOD?
A. If you anticipate any troubles in this vein, email us (email@example.com) right away. We'll do our best to accommodate late arrivals, where possible, but we're on a tight schedule so be kind and send early!
Q. WHY DO WE HAVE TO PAY TO SUBMIT?
A. A simple question with a simple answer. The awards cost us a lot to operate, and as a non-profit we rely on several sources of income to run them: Sponsorships, and submission fees. Without submission fees, we wouldn't be able to hold the awards.
Q. AFTER I SUBMIT, CAN I CONTACT THE JUDGES ABOUT MY SUBMISSION?
A. We would ask you to please respect our judges' time, privacy and integrity by refraining from contacting them directly about your submission. As we are trying to maintain an ethical competition, the scents are judged blindly. For any issues or queries related to our judges, please email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q. MY QUESTION ISN'T ON HERE... WHO DO I TALK TO?
A. Email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have, including the meaning of life.
Q. WHEN ARE THE 5TH ANNUAL AWARDS?
A. The 5th Art and Olfaction Awards take place on April 21, 2018, in London.
Q. ARE YOU LEAVING L.A. FOR GOOD?
A. No way! In the immortal words of our former governator: "We'll be back"
Q. WHAT ARE THE ART AND OLFACTION AWARDS?
A. An annual awards mechanism designed to promote and celebrate independent and experimental practices in perfumery.
Q. WHEN DID THE AWARDS START?
A. The program was initiated in 2013, and the first awards ceremony took place in April 2014 at Goethe Institut, in Los Angeles.
Q. WHO’S BEHIND THIS?
A. The Art and Olfaction Awards are a program of The Institute for Art and Olfaction, a non-profit organization devoted to advancing public and artistic engagement with scent through public education programs, creative residencies, and collaborative projects between perfumers, scientists and other creative practitioners.
Q. WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
A. The HQ is in Los Angeles (United States), but the awards are an international mechanism - with judges and participants spanning the globe. 31 countries, at last count!
Q. CAN I BE A JUDGE?
A. Our judges are invited based on proven experience with perfumery, cross-media arts practices, and other fields that are important to fair and diverse modes of assessment. If you have something to offer that you feel is not already represented on the judging panel, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that only one or two judging slots open up every year.
Q. I WANT TO SPONSOR YOU! WHO CAN I TALK TO?
A. Oh, hey there! Please email us at email@example.com, and we will get right back to you.
Q. I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT THE AWARDS. WHO DO I TALK TO?
A. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will connect you with the appropriate person.