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December 24, 2014 - Comments Off on What happens when your vials arrive

What happens when your vials arrive

All perfumers who submit to the Art and Olfaction Awards are asked to send us four small samples of the scent submitted. We thought we would give a little process update about what happens next!

Vials ready to be re-labeled.

Vials ready to be re-labeled on the left, and vials ready for judging on the right.

When we receive the vials in the mail, the first step is to unbox them (sometimes more complicated than expected) and assign the submission its internal tracking number.

We do this using our own coding system that often looks something like this: A-071-DG, I-039-SR, or E-014-WD-01.

Where do we get these numbers?

The first letter represents the category the submission is in: 'A' stands for artisan, 'I' stands for independent and 'E' stands for experimental.

The subsequent three numbers stand for the order in which the submission was received vis-à-vis the others (e.g. 10th submission to have come in would have the number 010 assigned to it- as in x-010-xx).

The last two letters are culled at random from the perfume name. If a perfume is named 'Pretty Scent', we might, for instance, assign x-xxx-RC, or maybe even x-xxx-YT. The trick is to keep it random, to ensure anonymity.

For the experimental category, we add a second set of letters at the end to accommodate the fact that many experimental entries have several scents associated with the project. Thus the last two units can either be a number or a set of letters, but they identify which vial of the multiple vials is at hand.

Tagged and bagged and ready for judging.

Tagged and bagged and snug as a bug.

Once we have set and logged the tracking number on our (secret) spreadsheet, we remove the existing labels from the vials and replace them with new labels containing only the tracking number. We re-label them so that we can ensure the anonymity of the perfume, when it comes to judging (which in turn allows us to create a fair and impartial award).

We put three of the freshly labeled vials in a bag, and place them in our main submissions box - this is the box we use for judging, and we have one for each category. We keep the fourth vial separate, in an archive/backup box, which we will draw from should any of the three judging vials be inadvertently dropped, or should the judges run out of the perfume in their testing.

Our system works pretty well, we think, but there's always room for improvement! We welcome questions or suggestions, anytime. Just email us at [email protected]

Published by: artandolfactionawards in process

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