Fragrance Notes Issue 2, 2018 - Page 9

SLUG SLUG David, Annissa, Bob, and Gail in Indonesia at David and Annissa’s wedding celebration ADVOCACY MAKES SCENTS “I don’t think they’re aware enough of how much they enjoy fragrance.” Obviously, that message informs the industry’s advocacy efforts, with which Bob has been engaged since the 1990s. He says it’s the fact that it’s a challenge that makes it fun. Additionally, “I think it’s very important for the industry to constantly be talking to legislators and talking to our critics, just to make sure they don’t go too far in another direction,” he says. When you’re on The Hill, there are always a number of staff or legislators themselves who have that “a-ha” moment, when they realize that fragrance is more than just fine fragrance, but is also in the soaps, detergents, shampoos that each of us uses every day. “I think the industry, for many years, thought the best thing to do was just stay quiet,” he says. “Most of us who have been around a long time have come to the conclusion that that was a big mistake.” While we may have attempted to deal with these issues head on in regard to safety, by creating RIFM, “we didn’t in terms of PR and talking about what we’re doing and addressing concerns in a straightforward, transparent manner,” he says. He’s heartened by what he sees of late, associations and companies “responding when it makes sense and talking not just with legislators but also the general public to make sure they understand our safety program,” he says. “I don’t think most people are aware enough of how much they enjoy fragrance.” We need to be able to make people understand that they’re often enjoying fragrance even when they don’t realize it. MAKING TIME FOR WHAT MATTERS “When you’re exercising, I think your brain goes to a different place and functions differently.” When he’s not working or fighting the good fight, Bob makes time for his beautiful family—wife Gail; sons Matt, David, and Phil; daughters-in-law Kristin and Annissa; and grandsons Blake, Cole, and Max. On raising a house full of boys, Bob says it was a challenge—the good, life-affirming sort of challenge. He remarks that his father always talked about the “Stubborn Bedoukians”—to which he replies, chuckling and including himself in the assessment, “He had NO idea!” While he says they don’t make it up to visit nearly enough, Bob and Gail own a small house on Cape Cod on the bay. “It’s great to have people come up and visit,” he says. “The grandkids are getting old enough now to come up and actually enjoy it.” On the weekends, he enjoys spending time with family, as they all live near each other in Connecticut, except for his youngest, Phil, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at Cornell University. (Yes, another soon-to-be Doctor in the family!) Last year, following son David and daughter-in-law Annissa’s wedding, the family traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, for the first time for the Indonesian celebration of the couple’s union. “It was unbelievable,” says Bob. “There were Indonesian dancers, and there was an entire hall that, from ceiling to walls to floor, was completely covered with fresh flowers everywhere. It’s something you could never do here… It was an amazing experience.” In his free time, Bob admits he absorbs way too much news, which, these days, doesn’t quite help him relax, but he also Issue 2, 2018 | FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG | 9