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Edited by on May 27 2011 at 7:07 AM

The Fragrance Foundation’s 39th Annual Awards, better known as the FiFi’s, were held Wednesday night in Manhattan at Lincoln Center and despite the presence of A-listers such as Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige and…Fergie, the show was a bit on the ghetto side.

The FiFis Really Stunk Up the Joint

Technical difficulties — including inappropriate music cues, microphones cutting out, an errant and uninterested audience, empty awards envelopes and even a full-on blackout after generators blew — were the biggest problems of the night.

That is, if you discount some of the winners acceptance speeches.

MJB won two awards for her My Life by Mary J. Blige fragrance, including Fragrance Sales Breakthrough of the Year, and naturally thanked god, with whom “we can do anything.” Like schill perfume on HSN. Praise him.

Josh Duhamel apparently lied to wife Fergie — of Black Eyed Peas not royal wedding snub fame — telling her he was going on a golfing trip. But surprise! There he was presenting her with the totally legitimate-sounding New Fragrance Celebrity of the Year award for Outspoken.

Fergie, always the picture of class, began her speech with “You fuckers” then thanked the 6.5 million Avon ladies around the world.  Sounds like someone missed out on a perfectly good 18 holes.

Elizabeth Taylor, whose White Diamonds is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was inducted posthumously into the Fragrance Hall of Fame — because that exists — just in time for fellow Oscar winner Halle Berry to pick up the newly named  Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year award.

Halle, an old pro at this speech thing, left the tears and sincerity at home: “Fragrance is a new love for me. I never thought I’d be here four years later. And I’m inspired by Mary J. Blige and Fergie — let’s keep lifting women up.” Lifting women up, turning them upside down and shaking them till their loose change falls out.

All in all, it was a successful night…I mean, we’re actually talking about the FiFi’s. Aim low and never be disappointed, I always say. [WWD]

Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester at