The Fruits of Our Labor

This month's editor's note reflects upon the incredible changes of the past 12 months.
This month's editor's note reflects upon the incredible changes of the past 12 months.

When I accepted the role of associate managing editor of Perfumer & Flavorist one year ago, I had no way of anticipating how much the world would change in just 12 issues.

I was looking forward to a year of far-flung travels to taste dishes and smell scents featuring the latest ingredients, of shaking hands with industry professionals in Berlin and introducing conference speakers in Miami. Yet, the very week I was slated to make my first trip abroad, travel between the United States and Europe ceased: COVID-19 lockdown had officially begun.

This year has instead been one of moving furniture around my tiny Brooklyn apartment to better accommodate working from home, of downloading a seemingly endless array of video conferencing apps and of learning just how resilient humans are.

Because, despite the trying conditions, the world has kept on spinning. Instead of tasting dishes halfway around the world, I have taken to experimenting in my own kitchen. Like many consumers, I have become more willing to try out a fragrance sight unseen (or, rather, scent un-smelled). And while I didn’t get a chance to interact with industry professionals in person, by the time this issue lands into your inbox (or mailbox), our two virtual events—Perfumery for the New Normal and Flavorcon Virtual—will have aired.

Naturally, for our last issue of 2020, the previous year was on many of our minds. In his annual citrus retrospective, Richard Pisano provides a deep dive into a year defined by more than one crisis (page 48). I was able to look into the ways in which the year’s social movements have brought Black perfumers and fragrance brands into the spotlight; I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did crafting it (page 36).

Not that we aren’t also focused on the future: Eddie Bulliqi takes a look at what’s on the horizon for citrus (page 26) and superfoods (page 28), and Ben Mead tells us about the ways in which sustainable practices are re-inventing ingredient production in the Philippines (page 20).

As we move into 2021, we will have a better idea of the myriad of ways COVID-19 will alter the future and the things we could have done differently in the moment. But in the meantime, let’s all just appreciate that we’ve made it this far.


D. Eden Stuart

Associate Managing Editor

[email protected]

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