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 fourth annual Art and Olfaction Awards open on October 6, 2016 at 9am PST. The online submission form closes at November 28, 2016, 11:59 pm PST. The post deadline for the packages to arrive in the mail is Monday December 12, 2016.
Q. HOW DO I SUBMIT?
A. There is a two part process:
STEP 1. Fill out the online application form (available Oct. 6).
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?
We accept submissions that were released (or will be released) to market for the first time between January 1 and December 31, 2016. We do not accept reformulations of perfumes that were released to market before January 1, 2016 (see the FAQ section below for more about reformulations). We also limit the amount of submissions to three per perfume company. For rules relating to specific submission categories, please refer to our submissions page.
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 category.
Q. I REFORMULATED MY PERFUME AND RE-RELEASED IT UNDER THE SAME NAME IN THE CALENDAR YEAR FOR THIS SUBMISSION CYCLE. CAN I SUBMIT IT?
A. We cannot accept reformulations or re-releases of existing perfumes.
Q. OK, BUT 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). This also includes releases of a new dilution strength (e.g. a new EDP made from an existing release).
By re-release, we mean a second (or third!) public release of an existing product, and 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.
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 CREATED THE PERFUME MYSELF, BUT WE DECIDED TO USE A FRAGRANCE HOUSE TO FORMULATE THE LARGER BATCH. WHAT CATEGORY AM I?
A. If a fragrance house had any part of the creation of the final blend for sale - even if just working to your specifications - it would fall into the independent category. This rule was created based on massive amounts of feedback we received about this very issue.
Q. I CREATED AND FORMULATED THE PERFUME MYSELF, BUT WE USED A FULFILLMENT HOUSE TO ADD ALCOHOL AND FILL BOTTLES. WHAT CATEGORY AM I?
A. This would qualify as artisan. As long as you made the actual aromatic juice in-house, to your own formula without any use of a fragrance house, you can be considered artisan. Fulfillment is a different thing.
Q. I CONSIDER MY COMPANY TO BE ARTISAN, BUT 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 several dozen perfume companies, drawing conclusions, and doing our best to remain true to the original definition of 'artisan'. 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).
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 work is artisan, independent, or experimental in nature, 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 catch it, and contact you.
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. WHY BERLIN?
A. We decided to take the awards on the road for its fourth edition as part of our commitment to create a global arbiter of excellence in independent, artisan and experimental perfumery. To put it simply: In order to call ourselves an international award, we need to occasionally pay a visit to the various communities we serve outside Los Angeles. Berlin, like L.A., is a hotbed of unconventional creativity, and hosts a thriving community of perfumers and olfactory artists.
Q. ARE YOU LEAVING L.A. FOR GOOD?
A. No way! We live here, we're based here, and we love our west coast family. We will take the awards on the road periodically, but we will always come home.
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.