2010 was the year I became exhausted from the onslaught of new releases, most notably the high end niche market. 2010 was also the year I began to lose hope for the future of mainstream perfumery, given that Celebrescents have taken over the market and aren’t going anywhere. It was also the year I found the largest number of reformulations; some of which people aren’t even talking about. I adore vintage perfumes, but I can’t spend my time chasing rainbows, I would much rather find something current and fresh than chase expensive 35 year old vintage bottles whose top notes have been lost.
On the whole this was the year I’ve been the most annoyed, jaded and least excited about anything happening in perfumery. But I’ve forced myself to stop and take note of the fact that if I’m still enthused about a handful of perfumes each year, well, that’s all it takes to keep the fires burning. As long as there are a half dozen or so perfumes that rock my world, whether they be new releases or plain old new to me, that’s what this hobby is all about. Because, let’s face it, I can only wear and enjoy so many fragrances in my lifetime and finding 5-10 winners each year is enough bounty to add to my already burgeoning collection.
It also hasn’t helped that, as Brian has already mentioned, I, too, felt a similar frustration with a strong current of snobbery, elitism and hypocrisy in the perfume blogosphere. For me, this fueled a sense of disinterest in perfume. I finally decided that I should continue to write because I want to offer the perfume community exactly what I, myself, set out to find when I read other blogs. I will continue to write and read only honest, enthusiastic, passionate, moving and fun posts. I would never write and will avoid reading anything with a snobbishly critical tone or a veiled intention or affiliation. I love smelling perfume and that’s all I’m here to communicate.
One thought I’d like to include is that I am so thankful for YOU. The biggest reason is that you make me feel LESS WEIRD!! This Christmas I visited family in North Carolina and for a solid week I felt like an oddball with a strange habit. Three times (not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES) my Mother told me that “so-and-so” requested I not wear perfume when we went out. The craziest part is that all three times were individuals I have never met before so they couldn’t have previously met me whilst wearing a kiloton of Shalimar. I’m sure my Mother mentioned to these folks that I have a business and a blog that’s all about perfume and these individuals decided they didn’t want to spend even a few hours around someone who might be wearing scent. Nobody in my family, extended family or even the endless encounters with Mother’s friends was remotely interested in perfume; they just wanted to be sure I wasn’t wearing any. This made me realize what a unique community we have here. I appreciate you and I value your interest in perfumery and I am hopeful that our numbers grow so I don’t have to spend much time feeling like a crack addict billowing wafts of Alahine in a corner by myself. It’s amazing how many suddenly have asthma when the topic of perfume comes up. Perhaps needless to say, I didn’t wear perfume for an entire week. I only wore it to bed at night.
2010 was the year I found a few beautiful new releases as well as a few scents that were just new to me. Typically I’m a lover of orientals, florientals and chypres but I found myself enjoying a bunch of sheer, light, seemingly simplistic beauties in 2010. Here’s a stream of consciousness list:
Atelier Orange Sanguinne and Trefle Pur: The entire Atelier line is about pure and natural smells. These fragrances smell so realistic, gorgeous and simple it’s easy to overlook them. If you’re like me and tend to prefer orientals, chypres or anything complex you might think “oh yawn” when it comes to a line like Atelier. But, honey, I gotta tell you, Atelier is killer in warm weather. Orange Sanguinne is the juiciest and most pure and realistic blood orange I have ever smelled. On me, Orange Sanguinne never goes sour; it stays perfectly zesty and sweet. Trefle Pur is a softly green scent, all meadows and clovers; it’s so simple yet so perfect for those occasions when you desire a refreshingly cool green scent.
The Different Company de Bachmakov: The Different Company has some great fragrances, most notably Sublime Balkiss and Oriental Lounge. TDC de Bachmakov is a treat for lovers of tea and spices. It wears softly yet stays with you through most of the day. It’s unusual but not overly so, you can wear this without feeling a little odd.
Canturi eau de parfum: I should have reviewed Canturi earlier. Canturi is an old school oriental fragrance. My only complaint is that I wish it was a bit more potent and projected more as it’s rather soft and subtle for an oriental. Canturi isn’t groundbreaking or unusual, rather it’s a classic oriental which was released in 2010, a year in which most releases were anything but classically styled. This alone is why I like it so much. Canturi leans toward the Far East for me; it’s very much an Asian inspired oriental. I smell dry plums and sake and it’s never especially sweet, it’s exceedingly understated. Canturi is a gorgeous oriental housed in my favorite bottle of the year.
Annick Goutal – the whole line: It was earlier this year that I stopped to realize just how exceptional everything from Annick Goutal is with a week long series on several fragrances from AG. There are so many beauties from AG and their newest fragrance called Rose Splendide took me by surprise. I’m never looking for a rose soliflore, but Rose Splendide is not just a rose soliflore. Instead, it’s an intensely green rose, think of the privet scent in AG’s Eau de Camille and add a dash of fresh roses – that is Rose Splendide. Rose Splendide is another one which seems so simple and sheer yet manages never to turn sour the way some rose scents do and also maintains its own unique green character in an endless sea of rosy fragrances.
Guerlain Chamade: I’ve always liked Chamade but just this year I took the time to actually wear Chamade, not just sniff it, and I fell hard. Five years ago, I would have said there was a strong ‘hair spray’ note in Chamade but somehow this has vanished for me. Chamade is astonishing and I’m trying to figure out why I think I must have it in pure parfum. I have so much perfume yet I feel I need a bottle of Chamade in pure parfum. Like soon.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz: DSH is an enormously talented perfumer and I personally find her orientals and gourmands to be fantastic. This winter I’ve been enjoying Mahjoun, Cimabue and Parfum de Luxe lots and lots. DSH American Beauty is one of my favorites, if not my most favorite, rose perfume. American Beauty wears well year ‘round but I especially enjoy it in winter.
Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese and Dior Diorama: both are sublime creations from Edmond Roudnitska; Diorama was created in the 1950’s and Le Parfum de Therese is essentially Diorama’s modern offspring. Diorama wears like an evening scent on me and LPdT feels like a brighter, clearer day-time scent.
Serge Lutens Bas de Soie: a seemingly simple, sheer and lovely Lutens. Bas de Soie snuck up on me and I love its soft iris/hyacinth/Chanel-esque charms. I like it more than Chanel 28 La Pausa which only lasts 17 minutes on me. Bas de Soie lingers for awhile.
Profumi del Forte Roma Imperiale: I previously reviewed this one; it’s basically the softest and most beautiful oriental wrapped in bunny ears.
Jean Patou Joy: I know, this is about as exciting as listing Chanel No. 5, but have you really worn and smelled Joy lately? It’s an animalic floral with attitude by the suitcase.
Guerlain Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus: WHY was this limited edition? It is so incredible!
Ormonde Jayne Tiare: reminds me of Chanel Cristalle but I like it even better.
Solange Cosmic: I’m fixated on this one lately.
Teo Cabanel Alahine: my BFF 4-evah
Vetiver & Leather quandary: I’ve finally concluded my efforts to find a vetiver and a leather that I like. I’m throwing in the towel on vetiver fragrances; I hate them all. I like some classic fragrances considered leathery like Robert Piguet Bandit, but for the most part I don’t like anything that’s strongly leather focused; with the exception being Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather. Tuscan Leather is dry and herbal and reminds me of the New Mexico desert. It reminds me of cowboys riding on worn leather saddles. This one I love, especially on men.
Happy 2011 to all! And thank you so much for being here :)
Other participating blogs:
Roxana Illuminated Perfume
A Rose Behind the Thames
All I Am a Redhead
Portland Fragrance Examiner
Sorcery of Scent