Best of 2008 and a Prize Draw
Only once before have I been more glad to see a year come to an end. In my personal history, year 2008 will go down as the 2nd most horribilis. And that is saying a lot. There were very bright moments that I will remember forever, warmly and gratefully, the moments that I am happy I have got to experience. Still, I am relieved that it is over. Here is to moving on, to getting over, to patching up ...to new beginnings for all of us. To an easier 2009.
This year, we at Perfume-Smellin' Things decided to see the year off by each choosing just one perfume we loved, wore and enjoyed the most in 2008, thus creating our Top 8 of 2008. We invite you to do the same in your comments: name one and only one scent that shone for you the brightest this year.
Etat Libre’s Jasmin et Cigarette is not the best perfume I tried in 2008, nor even the one I reached for most often, but it is the perfect accidental souvenir of a year marked by trips to the city, rough ideas on the verge of turning into something better, inchoate longings for an imaginary lush life, and of course, by perfume and cigarettes. I first tried it in the middle of a New York heat wave, stealing a sample from the tester at Bendel’s after the SAs pointedly ignored me. I’m surviving the winter with my decant. If the center of my dream holds, and I return to the city in the spring, a bottle will be mine.
In a year of so many lovely smells it is so very hard to choose just one, but choose I have. Hands down, Sali Oguri’s luscious chocolate drenched Persephone was by far the most original and deeply enjoyable perfume that I tried this year. Persephone makes me want to laugh , twirl and dance until I have to gasp for air. I love her decadent , wild gypsy nature but at the same time she is as restorative and earthy as a deep drink from a cool artesian spring nestled within the Middle Earth. She was my prayer for the dying as she helped my mother cross beyond the veil of this world. She entices my husband to nibble on my neck. She is simply....beautiful.
I have tried many really good fragrances for the first time in the past year, so this is a tough call. After much consideration I am selecting Chypre Noir by Ava Luxe. It is so very different from anything else I have come across. Deeply, profoundly green and dangerously sexy, it’s mysterious and intense, transporting me to a secret enchanted forest with just one powerful drop
My pick for 2008 is Tauer's Incense Extrême. I haven't been this excited about a fragrance in quite a while. It is a minimalist scent with (if I remember correctly) only seven ingredients. Andy's website lists spices, powdery orris, dry cedar wood, and ambergris, supported by frankincense as the notes. There isn't much development just pristine frankincense made slightly more exotic by the other listed ingredients. This is literally a religious experience!
My pick is Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance. It is the most multifaceted scent I encountered this year: sap-green lily of the valley with a salted twist of grapefruit peel, underscored by vetiver shifting from spicy and rooty to earthy and bittersweet. It's great for walks on the beach.
To be honest, I thought this mission of choosing one most favorite fragrance of 2008 would be truly impossible. But as I soon as I looked at the "most loved" shelf of my perfume cabinet, I had an answer. Of course, could there be any contest? The perfume that brought me most joy in 2008 was Guerlain's sublime Quand Vient la Pluie. Orrisy melancholy of Apres L'Ondee married to the happy, playful gourmandness of praline, a scent-chameleon that changes its mood according to mine. It is comforting when I need it to be, elegant when I have to be so, demure when requiered, flirty when appropriate. And always exquisitely beautiful. This is one of the most thrilling discoveries of 2008 and one of the gifts for which I will be always grateful. This year, in a super-short, recession version of The Award, it receives a Golden Colombina.
Jean Paul Gaultier's newest, Ma Dame, is just FUN in a bottle. Dreamsicles. Necco wafers. Now N Laters, hot pink vinyl plastic, Lorna Doone cookies, neon, and some odd touches of metal thrown in. There is absolutely nothing natural in this, but it's a potpourri of modern frivolity. At first I thought, "another synthetic fruity floral", but after receiving two samples from an enthusiastic German SA, I was hooked. I started smelling all the items above, and more. It's just quirky silliness, and, as sweet as it sounds, it's not cloying. It's one of the most humorous perfumes I've smelled in years. This will save me from the blahs of deep dark European winter for certain. And the bottle's fantastic. (How did they make that, anyway??)
Serge Lutens Serge Noire. I've found myself reaching for it more than anything else in 2008. It smells like being enveloped in the embrace of the best-dressed man at the ball.
And a bonus one from Paul a.k.a Mr Colombina
Fou d'Absinthe was my favourite scent of 2008 because it reminds me of my years Europe, yet somehow feels so right for New York.Its a fragrance I can't wait to get back to after I have obligingly gone through my rotation.
We couldn't end the year without having one last prize draw, our biggest so far. We have three bottles to give away: Chanel Chance, Ralph Lauren Notorious and Vera Wang Look. Please choose ONE that you would like to win and let us know in your comment. The draw will end on 12am EST on Jan. 4th, 2009. Three winners (one for each scent) will be chosen randomly and announced in Jan. 6th. Happy New Year, everybody!
To read other Best of 2008 lists, please visit:
Bois de Jasmin, Now Smell This, Perfume Posse, Scentzilla
Image is bottle by hermanturnip at flickr; some rights reserved.
Labels: Best of