Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Bonkers is shortlisted for the Jasmine awards!

As my Facebook friends may know already, I heard yesterday that a post from my 2014 archives has been shortlisted in this year's Jasmine awards. Administered by The Fragrance Foundation, 'the Jasmines', as they are colloquially known, are 'the premier awards for journalists writing on the subject of fragrance'. Thanks to a nudge from Tara of OT, I entered the competition this year for the first time, as much as anything to see whether my writing fitted the eligibility criteria in terms of both coverage and style. I was told, for example, that write ups of events are not normally accepted, but the post that got shortlisted is about a focus group down the pub, which perhaps was a sufficiently loose sort of gathering to escape definition as an 'event'. And we were foregathered there with the express intention of testing The Library of Fragrance range of perfumes, so this collective purpose may have redeemed us right there from any 'event-y'-type auspices.

I should mention that I am up against some very distinguished bloggers in this category: past winners Persolaise and Thomas Dunckley, the Candy Perfume Boy, plus Pia Long of Volatile Fiction, who was shortlisted last year. Of note is the fact that Persolaise has three entries in this category alone, while Thomas has no fewer than five spread across four categories.

The full list of shortlisted authors may be found on the Fragrance Foundation website here, including several other well known names on the blogging scene, such as Victoria Frolova (for articles in FT how to spend it in the Digital category), and Liam Moore, Alex Musgrave and Neil Chapman (all writing for ODOU in the Literary category).



I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who has been selected and to wish them the best of British! And a big thank you is also due to Jim, David, Clare and Tony, my four focus group respondents, without whom this post would not have been possible. ;) Whatever the outcome, I am as pleased as I am surprised to have even got this far, and am looking forward to the ceremony on 18th March. To minimise travelling on the day, I have organised a B & B a few stops down the Piccadilly line, but I still foresee that my general aversion to morning may be woefully at odds with this breakfast event.

And I note that Sali Hughes, beauty columnist for the Guardian, whose skincare tips I have woven into past posts, and of whom I am not a little in awe, may be attending. Assuming I spot her in the throng, it will be all I can do to restrain myself from buttonholing her and begging her to sort out my eyebrows / hooded eyes / sun spots / turkey neck / everything.


Will be back shortly with a post about the thorny business of finding a very specific style of rose perfume for a friend...

36 comments:

  1. Congratulation, Vanessa! My vote goes to you: not just because you're a friend but because I prefer entertaining stories related to perfumes to straight-forward reviews. I noticed recently that in the best delivery I do not recognize perfumes that I tried and know. It says a lot about the usefulness of somebody else's description of what they smell. I mean, for me. YMMV ;)

    Until today I didn't realize that you were supposed to "volunteer" the participation. I thought they were scavenging magazines/Internet to find "best of the best of the best." Is this award country-specific? I see that with magazines there are non-UK nominations but then all the blogs are UK-based.

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    1. Hi Undina,

      It is very kind of you to bat in my corner - I know how you prefer stories involving perfume as a rule, and I can also relate to your point about those reviews where other people have a completely different experience of the scent. When reading reviews I tend to gravitate towards a number of bloggers whose take on a given scent I have found to be broadly in synch with my own view when I do finally catch up with it. Which also plays into people's individual taste, I guess.

      Re the Jasmines, yes you do indeed have to consciously enter the competition, submitting up to six articles per category - and there are quite a few categories. I submitted two in the blogger category - to be fair, I wasn't sure what the other two 'Digital' categories meant!, and a number of categories weren't applicable - and one of those made the cut.

      The Jasmines are held in a number of countries: France (where they began), UK and Australia for sure. I think the FiFi awards would be your US equivalent? The blogs have to be UK-based for sure, and I thought the magazines did as well. I must check the list again.

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  2. Congratulations my dear. So well deserved and in such distinguished company! What a wonderful way to start the new year!!!

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    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much. It is illustrious company indeed, including two previous winners no less!

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  3. Congratulations! This is very exciting news. I remember that particular post very fondly, so that makes it even more fun :)

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    1. Hi Yuki,

      Thanks a lot, and I am glad you liked the post in question. I am conscious that the feedback from the 'respondents' was not unequivocally positive, so I hope that doesn't count against my entry.

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  4. Congratulations! And I really hope you win! :)

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  5. I'm so happy you went for it V! Your writing deserves wider recognition. Your posts are so cleverly written and you always ensure we get maximum entertainment value.

    Can't wait to hear all about the event and do collar Sali!

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    1. Hi Tara,

      I don't think I would have gone for it without your encouragement, so thanks for the push! The other finalists set the bar very high, but just attending the event will be an adventure. In case Sali shows up, I will ensure my eye shadow is not too sparkly on the day. ;)

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  6. I'm so delighted to see you on the shortlist (and really look forward to the event). Well-deserved!

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    1. Hi Pia,

      Congrats to you too! It will be lovely to meet everyone on the day.

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  7. Congratulations, Vanessa! I am thrilled for your success, and you're already a winner in my eyes! Your posts are so witty and informative, I love to recommend your blog to anyone interested in perfume. Your style is funny and charming, and I'm crossing my fingers for you - good luck!

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    1. Hi Gil,

      Thanks for your lovely comment and good wishes. Receiving positive feedback like that inspires me to keep on. The standard in the competition is very high but I am just pleased that the judges were up for a bonkers entry. ;)

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  8. I really hope you win! It would be fantastic!
    (Like Undina I am floored that one has to enter... didn't know that.)
    Congratulations and have fun at the event, too bad it is only two weeks after my London trip, I would have been your groupie there. ;) )

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    1. Hey Olfactoria,

      Thanks for your support - it means a lot. It certainly is a shame the event doesn't coincide with your visit. I may still be working on my next project when you are over - unless it is the weekend - but if I can nip down to London earlier in the month I will!

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  9. Congratulations, how fun! I really hope you win! I do rremember that partiular post, really entertaining.

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    1. Hi Ingeborg,

      You're very kind! By the way, I loved the Christmas card you sent me, for which I have yet to thank you. Glad you liked that post - it stood out to me when I was looking for something suitable, even if arguably I am only reporting what other people said, rather than talking about perfume in my own words...;)

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  10. Brilliant news Vanessa!

    You are officially my 'most read blogger' and as such I'm going to be rooting for you to win in March. I love the fact that the very article that you have been shortlisted from is somehow 'very you'. A really good example of your quirky voice and personal approach to the bizarre and often overhyped world of scents. A test event with (more or less) civilians in a pub needs to win.

    I wish I had remembered to enter too, my first knowledge of the awards this year was when I read of the shortlist, doh!

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      I am flattered to be your 'most read blogger', and thanks for lending me your vote. If it turns out to be too quirky, that's fair enough - you don't know what the judges are looking for till you try. And next year you will be in good time to enter!

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  11. You go Vanessa! I do hope you win- that would be so much fun. Besides think of all the samples...

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    1. Hi Blacknall,

      Thanks! I am not sure I could deal with lots of samples, haha, even if I was lucky enough to win - my nose is easily overfaced these days with my present stocks of perfume. But there are specific samples I do get a yen for from time to time, certainly...

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  12. Yay, Vanessa! Best of luck, I hope you win it!

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    1. Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for your support!

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  13. Also, I just saw your postscript about finding a rose perfume for a friend...that sounds really difficult! I can't really say I have found the perfect one for myself after years of looking, and there are just so many to try!

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    1. Hi Yuki,

      It certainly is proving quite a challenge. I haven't found the perfect one either and am warning my friend that she might end up needing a whole flowerbed of rose perfumes to cover all bases...;)

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  14. Well done indeed! I confess I'm another V-groupie as your blog is the only one I read every time you post. I'm sending out positive vibes for you to win, but the fact that you got this far is a win on its own.

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    1. Hi SallyM,

      I did laugh at your coinage of a 'V-groupie', and am dead chuffed that you read every post. ;) You are right - I will feel quite content if I don't get any further than this - having my 'left field' style even qualify does feel like a result.

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  15. Congratulation, dear Vanessa, you so much deserve this!!! And it's so nice and cool to read that Tara has encouraged you. It's good to be pushed from time to time, isn't it?
    (Btw, I have a general aversion to morning, too, haha).
    Warm wishes
    Anka

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    1. Hi Anka,

      Thanks for your lovely comment. And I am so grateful to Tara - I definitely needed that nudge. Very pleased to learn that you are not good in the mornings, hehe.

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  16. Congratulations Vanessa! I am over the moon to see you on the shortlist. I love your witty and unique voice, and it's wonderful to see such recognition for a wonderful blog (one of my favourites, no less).

    Well done!

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    1. Hi CPB!,

      Aw, that is kind of you to say so. I am a big admirer of your writing - on multiple channels! - which seems to flow so effortlessly. You really have a way with words, which, teamed with your keen nose, means your reviews are always spot on. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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