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Spritzing to success, with the woman who brought an industry to its senses

Several years ago I first heard about Annette Green because of the eponymous Annette Green Fragrance Archive at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising), which I have not visited, even thought it is only four blocks south of Central Library. For many others she may not be well known outside an industry that she helped jumpstart and flourish, but her influence is felt in many aspects of our lives. A good deal of what happened in her life was by happenstance, and she always made the most of those events. As a successful businesswoman, innovator and mentor (financially and personally), she thinks that the direction of her life took place on an eventful day in 1924 when her pregnant mother's water broke in the Perfume Department of Wanamaker's Department Store in Philadelphia. As a young girl growing up in Newark, New Jersey, she could see the bright lights of the Empire State Building and decided that Manhattan was where she belonged. 

She had to earn a living and came of age at a time when there were very few places in the business world for women. Before World War II she found work and always kept learning on the job and as she advanced, frequently with encouragement and sound advice from others. Throughout her professional life she paid it forward by doing the same for others. Even though she was undermined at times, and there were plenty of problems from some very influential people, some of whom she names, she carefully charts the waters without vengeance or anger. When opportunities were present, she took advantage and ran with them. Other times she was presented with problems that developed into gold because of her curiosity, leadership and determination to make things work. A very interesting part of the process, that Green does not always reflect upon, is that in working on problems other solutions open up and evolve.  Annette Green was always a hard worker, with a positive view of life, who became very successful and in turn brought success to others by linking business and artistry that was advantageous to both  Her autobiography charts the projectile of her professional life, which might be an inspiration to those in business, other professions and for everyone's daily life.

The indefatigable Annette Green continues to bring her energy and determination to today's problems, " ... by bringing her trademark vigor to the frontline workers of the coronavirus pandemic ... According to Green, philanthropy and fragrance both take similar qualities for success ... I tried to bring positive results to the industry which needed it so desperately in those early days ... I’m a very determined person, and I always try to not be deterred by the odds.” Read the full article here.

The Los Angeles Public Library owns one other book by Annette Green, Secrets of aromatic jewelry.

For another perspective of Annette Green this 1996 interview with FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) fully captures her personality and ideas. And a more recent interview is here.

The local Institute for Art & Olfaction (IAO) is a way for fragrance aficionados to pursue their interests.