Beauty Insider loves an awards gala that moves
them to tears. And the Museum of Arts and Design Visionaries! Gala and Awards Ceremony, which celebrated two
fragrance legends and two design pioneers, did not disappoint.

evening’s event, held at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City, honored
two members of fragrance royalty: International Flavors & Fragrance’s Sophia Grojsman and Estée Lauder’s Karyn Khoury. Sophia,
a legendary perfumer, has created the most classic and iconic fragrances in the
industry, including Tresor, Paris, Eternity, Calyx and White Linen. Karyn, Lauder’s Senior Vice President
Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide, is touted as one of the “most
important patrons of the art of scent.”

Sophia, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1965 from Poland, accepted her
awarded and said, “I am living proof that anything can happen in the United
States.” She joined IFF as a fragrance lab assistant and rose to Vice President
at the firm, where she stayed her entire career despite “many, many people
asking me to join their companies.” She said IFF is one of the most important
places in her life, where she had the opportunity to mix fragrances with Estee Lauder,
Ann Gottlieb
and Karyn Khoury, and also work with Aerin Lauder, who attended the Gala, as did Leonard Lauder,
Chairman Emeritus of Estée Lauder.

Karen, who was introduced by Group President at Estée Lauder, John Demsey, was credited as establishing “a
classism in prestige and luxury fragrances” for her work with designer Tom Ford
and fellow Lauder colleague, Veronique Gabai Pinksy. Karen recalled one of
her first days at the company, where she called into the office of Estée and asked to tell what she
thought about a particular fragrance on her desk. “I told her it was awful,” Karen
recalled, passing an important honestly test, and she was then asked to sit
down for a meeting.

The 2012 Visionary! Lifetime Achievement Award went to designers
and entrepreneurs Joyce and Maya Romanoff,
leaders of innovative wall coverings and surfacing materials.

The evening, which followed
a “scent” theme—a nod to the Museum’s
Art of Scent exhibit, a first of its kind exploring the design and
aesthetics of olfactory art—concluded
with an interactive parallel dining experience led by Chandler Burr,
whereby olfactory and taste senses merged during dessert.