Fabrice Pellegrin, from Firmenich, wins the 14th François Coty Prize, succeeding Shyamala Maisondieu, who won in 2019. A look back at this award crowning the best French perfumers.
The François Coty Prize rewards a perfumer for his or her entire career. The winner is chosen by an exceptional jury of six renowned perfumer-creators. Prior to this, all selected candidates must present three perfumes of their choice, which are studied in a blind test before the final deliberation, which took place on December 2 at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris.
The event is produced by the François Coty Association, and each new edition highlights a perfumer-creator. The winner receives a trophy signed by Lalique. Since 2000, the François Coty Association has rewarded the greatest names in French perfumery such as Jean Guichard, Sophie Labbé, Christine Nagel or Maurice Roucel. This prize aims to reward the audacious perfumers who will inspire the creations of tomorrow. The ceremony also commemorated the 100th anniversary of Émeraude by François Coty, a mythical fragrance with a voluptuous amber sweetness.
This year, the jury was chaired by Tristan Auer, interior designer. He has designed decors for the Hôtel de Crillon and the Bains-Douches in Paris and around the world. Among the jury, we also find Jean Guichard, who received the François Coty Prize in 2000 and decorated Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Then comes Maurice Roucel who studied chemistry before starting at Chanel in 1973. He is now a perfumer and creative director at Symrise since 1996. Sophie Labbé is a literary perfumer. Trained at ISIPCA in the François Coty class, she is now a designer at Firmenich. Also on the jury is Alberto Morillas, a self-taught. After studying at the Beaux-Arts in Geneva, he was hired by Firmenich in 1970 and has not left since. Then, Émilie Coppermann, who received the François Coty award in 2018 and exercises her talents at Symrise. Finally, Dominique Ropion, trained at Givaudan, is the author of bestsellers including Ysatis by Givenchy, or Alien by Thierry Mugler.
For this 14th prize, Fabrice Pellegrin has the honor of winning the precious sesame. He is rewarded for the whole of his creation whose diversity and audacity seduced the jury of experts. The son of a perfumer, he began his career in the olfactory composition sector before joining a creative house. His career explores multiple collaborations with niche brands such as Diptyque. He thus turned to niche perfumery: he advocates a return to a more refined perfumery and remains convinced that this requires the multiplication of so-called confidential perfumers. He proved himself at Mane, in 1999. Today, he works for Firmenich, the Swiss aroma creation company founded in 1895, considered a giant in the perfume industry.
Christopher Sheldrake was also presented with an honorary award for his career that has contributed to the enrichment of olfactory creation. Christopher Sheldrake is a British perfumer who began his career with the company Charabot, in Grasse. In 2005, he officially joined Chanel. Currently, he still holds a position as director of research and development of perfumes where he works in constant collaboration with Jacques Polge, official nose of Chanel. Since 1995, he also collaborates with Serge Lutens.
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Featured photo : © Association François Coty
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