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Jane Lynch and Nicole Richie Enjoy the Smell of Success at Fragrance Awards

LINCOLN CENTER — "Glee" star Jane Lynch brought her signature over-the-top comedy to the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center Last Night in Manhattan, when she hosted the FiFi Fragrance Industry Awards.

Describing what her own imaginary fragrance might smell like, the star of comedies such as
"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" struck a decidedly un-glamorous stance: French roast coffee and fresh manure in a garden.

Poking fun at the billion-dollar industry, Lynch said if she did create a perfume, it would come in a Pez-like dispenser: “You would pull back my head and the fragrance spits out.”

Lynch, joined at the awards by presenters Nicole Richie,  Martha Stewart, Carol Alt, Tyson Chandler, Phillipe Cousteau, Josh Groban, Mariska Hargitay, Chaka Khan, Michelle Monaghan and model Jessica Stam, is known to millions as the villain Sue Sylvester on the TV show about a high school glee club.

The industry awards night promoted the late French perfume and fashion icon Coco Chanel to its Hall of Fame and named Justin Bieber as the "Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year," although the pop phenom wasn't there to accept his honor.

Nicole Richie in Emilio Pucci at the 2012 FiFi Fragrance Awards at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall Monday, May 21, 2012.
Nicole Richie in Emilio Pucci at the 2012 FiFi Fragrance Awards at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall Monday, May 21, 2012.
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Award winners included Victoria’s Secret Angel, Prada Candy, Tom Ford Violet Blonde and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge, Curve Appeal for men and Heidi Klum Shine.

Actor Kevin Navayne let it slip that he was a last-minute, fill-in presenter to replace Ryan Gosling.

"I was just going to attend and be low key," he explained, "but they asked if I could step in and help out."

Leonard A. Lauder broke down when he accepted the "Legacy of Excellence" award in honor of his wife, Evelyn Lauder, who died last year. After regaining his composure, he said, "You have no idea how much this means to us. Evelyn wanted to make women feel beautiful and be beautiful."

Nicole Richie and Givaudan executive Cos Policastro managed to keep the mood light when the projection of the nominees stopped not once, but twice, during the men's fragrance award category.

"I just wanted a little extra stage time," Richie quipped to fill the awkward moment. Then Policastro told the crowd that his co-presenter had just flown in from Australia.

"I’m taking the month off to be a wife and mother," she explained. "My husband is working there." (Richie's spouse is Joel Madden, the frontman of Good Charlotte, and is filming TV's "The Voice" down under).

The video started back up and sputtered out moments later and Lynch jumped back into the fray. "I don’t enjoy this, but don’t all good things come out of discomfort?"