The Art and Olfaction Independent Award honors excellence and vision in independent perfumery. The 9th Art and Olfaction Independent Awards will be presented to two outstanding independent perfumes out of five finalists.

    The independent category is for perfume brands that employ an external perfumer or fragrance house to initiate and create their blends, with creative direction from the perfume brand. The final perfume is then released under the brand's name.

    An independent submission will meet one or more of these points:

    • The company that released the perfume commissioned or employed an external perfumer or fragrance house to initiate and create the perfume, which was then released under the company name
    • The company that released the perfume had creative control over the creative decisions related to the scent, including branding and marketing
    • If the company is owned or co-owned by the company's perfumer, the perfumer acts primarily as a business person and/or creative director, leaving the majority of the formulations to external hires, commissions, or fragrance houses
    • The company producing the perfume is either privately-owned, or owned by another privately-owned company with no more than four fine fragrance holdings in its brand portfolio


    The definition of independent varies widely depending on who you ask. We came to our definition through our direct experience of various practices, across the globe.

    We define an independent perfume, in short, as a scent where the perfumer who wrote the initial formula:
    + Does not have ownership or co-ownership in the brand that is releasing the perfume, and
    + Wrote the formula in collaboration with - but independently from - the brand releasing the perfume.

    All submitters to the independent category should be prepared to provide the information and names of their external collaborators, including the submission's primary perfumer. This information will be requested if the submission makes the finals.


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