Fragrance Notes Spring 2017 - Page 29

PROFILE I n fragrance – a world steeped in Almost Fall in Love beauty and delight – the smell of success does not come easy. As one of the highest ranking women in the fragrance industry, we wanted to learn how Joy Atkinson forged her pathway to success. A freshly-minted Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business President of Body and Home Car e, North America at Firmenich – one of the largest multinational fragrance houses in the world – Joy’s journey toward leadership is guided by truth to self, paved with steadfast commitment to quality work, and fueled by seeing how fragrance uplifts the lives of others. Associate Buyer in Domestics, before assuming the role of Buyer for Add an uncommon combination of style, humor, irreverence and grace – hallmarks of a genuine leader – which makes others naturally follow Joy’s trailblazing lead. But how did this business-minded, numbers obsessed business major f ind success in the creative and artistic world of fragrance? graduate, Joy thought she was destined for the banking world. But she landed her first job in retail, and little did she know, so began the whispers of her fragrance industry calling. Using sheer drive and dedication, she climbed the ranks of JCPenney’s tough management program. From there, Joy joined Rich’s Department Stores, now Macy’s, becoming an Assistant and later Men’s Fragrances. Her next foray in fragrance began with an irresistible job offer from the Fragrance Marketing Group (FMG), who noticed her sharp eye for business. A short time after acquiring FMG, Tsumura took notice of her rising reputation and tapped her to develop a special brand for debut in the U.S. market. The company promoted her to Marketing Director of Fragrances and that’s where her affection for home fragrance blossomed. Somewhere amidst the push and pull of business, the negotiations over space and prof itability per linear inch, she fell in love with fragrance. “Indeed, ‘love’ is a strong word, but when you first realize you’ve found your passion – it’s incredibly exciting – it almost feels like falling in love.” When the Universe Conspires to Help You… Let it. In 1995, a recruiter for Firmenich called. It felt like fate, because it was. Joy joined the Firmenich team as a Senior Account Executive and used her background in retail, marketing and product development to help her clients achieve success in developing fragrances to launch in the U.S. In her early years at Firmenich, she realized, “If our clients are successful, we will be successful with them. In order to do that we have to completely understand our clients’ needs in their marketplace.” Today, you will still find Joy roaming around a retail store, analyzing shoppers, the bags they carry and looking for the busiest departments. “Through years of observing and feeling, I’ve become in-tune with my intuition. I trust it now. It allows me to intimately understand my clients, the consumer and the market.” FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG 29