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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of 2010

'Tis the season for looking back on the olfactory year gone by ... Please join us and list one, yes just one, scent that you nominate to be the best of 2010 for you personally. It does not have to be a 2010 release, and, as always, when we say, "the best", we mean, "the one that brought us the most delight".

How I wish I could nominate some quirky, underappreciated perfume for my choice. Alas, I will have to be satisfied with a quirky, appreciated masterpiece. There is no denying that Nuit de Tubereuse has quickly entered the select circle of perfumes in my collection that manage to be wholly wearable, but never boring. I have worn it for all weathers, moods and occasions, and am still irretrievably addicted to its electric pepper opening, the weird giggle of that green mango note, and the wholly lovely dark veil of that drydown, hovering between tuberose, incense, and oriental. Reader, I bought my bottle retail.

This was easy, although a little unexpected! 2010 was the year that I rediscovered the House of Chanel. For years No 5 was my “go to” fragrance whenever I needed something just a little bit black tie. Sadly, it changed on me and it’s been years since I enjoyed it. That’s all different now because about 2 months ago I rediscovered the magic of No 5 all over again in the form of No. 5 Eau Premiere! Whatever they’ve done to it is perfection and I can’t stop wearing it, almost like a lover that you’ve just been reunited with after 20 years of absence.......

My favorite perfume discovery of 2010 was Tcharas by La Via del Profumo - in fact, the repertoire of the house itself was a revelation to me. Its wild, exhilarating, and shocking beauty expanded my thinking about what fragrance could be, and the perfumer's skill with all-natural ingredients including resins, moss and earthy animalic elements left me in awe and eager to explore the rest of the line.

Declaration Cartier (1998) Jean-Claude Ellena. I have been obsessed by the artemesia and cedar mixed with the sunny bergamot and bitter orange notes. When I wear it, I can't believe it was a mainstream release because the opening notes are all about bitter herbs and sweaty cumin and cedar. I remember reading in an interview that with was Mr. Ellena's favorite creation.

Lostmarc'h Lann-Ael
is my favorite scent this year (and have you tried Din-Dan?). This whisper of a scent has long been a favorite in my rotation, as it is creamy without being heavy, foodie without being dessert, interesting without being too challenging... but right now I am mad for it. The reason? It smells like the top of my baby boy's warm little noggin after a bath. The pure, sweet, milky and weirdly cereal smells of clean baby are intensely there - and all of this without a touch of powder.

Al Qurashi’s Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bent Mubarak
- This dark and glamorous blend is a hypnotic mélange of lemony Taif rose, suede-lined oud, and bewitching musk, a riveting perfume that’s most at home in flickering candlelight behind locked doors

The olfactory color of this year for me was green. The aloof, cold, stark intensity of green chypres, the deceptive lady-like, crispy fragility of green florals, which hides unyielding core of strength, the general angular, jolie laide beauty and the noli me tangere quality of the green family held an incredible appeal. Private Collection and Private Collection Jasmine White Moss, Untitled, Amazone, Puredistance, Bel Respiro, and Memory of Kindness were in constant rotation. The perfume that I worn and enjoyed the most, however, was the very successfully re-done Futur by Robert Piguet. The standoffish fragrance with an attitude and an oddly, wonderfully metallic verdancy has been my armour this year. I imagine its thorny, dry, earthy greenness to be a protective shield and thus I would go so far as to call Futur my comfort scent.

I had a seemingly unbreakable tie between Serge Lutens' Bas de Soie and L'Artisan Parfumeur's Traversee du Bosphore. So I put one on each arm and asked for family and friends to vote. Traversee du Bosphore won by 3 votes! I think if you like one, you'll like the other as well....

My best scent of 2010 is one that I am happy has a price point that not only allows but practically begs extravagant spritzing: Mocktail by smell bent. It's a happy, sparkly citrus with a smooth woody finish that never fails to elicit a grin and at $45 for 55ML almost feels like it's free..

Please tune in to the other participants: Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Now Smell This, and Perfume Posse.



Blogger Gaia said...

What a great range! I haven't tried the ones Donna and a certain scent twin chose, but I'm completely there with Marina. I love many a green scent and Futur is particulary wonderful.

12:07 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I have a gift certificate to Neimans hot in my pocket. Futur might be in my future, if you'll pardon the pun..

12:24 AM EST  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

First I thought you're asking for the "Best of 2011 release" - but I can see on the choices that it's not the case.
Still, my "Best of 2010" would be L'Artisan's Vetiver Sacre (the non-pickle one :-)...). I had no other revelations this year

4:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal Best of 2010... very hard to whittle the choices down to just one...
Well, decide I must, so I'll go with Puredistance (but please can I cheat now and NOT decide between Puredistance I and Antonia?) ;)

5:30 AM EST  
Anonymous mocards said...

The perfume which most impressed me in 2010 was Juliet by Juliet Stewart. It's so quietly beautiful and delicate. It suits any occasion.

6:04 AM EST  
Blogger rosarita said...

Great take on a best of list! My own favorite discovery this year is Histoire d'Eau Mauboussin, a little known fragrance that's practically free online. It has a subtle orange/cardomom/leather thing going on that I can't get enough of.

9:06 AM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

This one is easy for me, but that would because it comes with a story. The best perfume of 2010 for me would have to be Caron L'Accord (Code 119).

Which is a wonderful perfume of the dense variety, kind of a more herbal Sacre. Octavian called it a fruit floral chypre -- the first two adjectives in combination generally send me running away, but I'd hasten to add neither is two thick/prominent. Nor is the patch, which can also cause my nose to clamp upon itself.

But this is not why it's my perfume of 2010. It is my best of 2010 because I had no idea it existed, would not have predicted I liked it, and picked it up on my first/only trip to Paris, where I wore it on many, many walks through one arrondisement and another, thinking I smelled fabulous. And then I brought the bottle back, and shared with friends.

So, L'Accord brought suprise, pleasure, discovery, and the joy of passing it forward. Not a bad reflection to have for any year.

Wishing everybody here the same for 2011. :)

10:13 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Glad that you like Futur too! I feel like it is flying under the radar somewhat.

10:13 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think it would suit you so well. Have you tried it?

10:14 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Even though it obviously doesn't smell as it probably was intended on me, I'd put Coeur on the list of the most interesting scents of the year for sure.

10:15 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't know Antonia yet, but the original is gorgeous!

10:16 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I must try that one!

10:16 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You intrigued me no end! cardamom! must try...

10:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

what what what what is that you speak of?! L'Accord? Where when how...? Why don't I know about this one?! *goes off to google*

10:18 AM EST  
Blogger The Beach Bedouin said...

Both of my best discoveries are not from 2010 but though here they come:

1. Oud Wood - Tom Ford Private Blend
2. Attar Homage - Amouage

They are totally different but unique in their own way! Just fell in love with them!

11:04 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

both are beautiful!

11:14 AM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Very interesting range of fragrances! Ok, I really have to dig out my sample of Puredistance. Everyone speaks so highly about it!

11:21 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

will be waiting for your take on it!

11:26 AM EST  
Blogger ViRiDeScEnCe said...

Fascinating choices, all. Must research some of these immediately! Re: the Profumo fragrances, I'm curious whether they last?

11:26 AM EST  
Blogger ARO said...

For me, it was an old favorite from Lutens (Sheldrake,) Fleurs d'oranger. I wouldnt go near it before, smell always reminded me of the Barney's cosmetics counter; I definitely didn't want to be that woman. But last spring, with a new job in California and coming off a terrific run with Carnal Flower, I needed something sunnier. To my surprise and delight, gone were the harsh edges. It's all about that little bit of mystery going on underneath.

11:29 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sure Donna will get back to you on that

11:30 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Isn't it great when a scent does a turn for the best. There is certainly that sunshine in FdO.

11:31 AM EST  
Anonymous March said...

Bosphore I love love love and am sort of surprised more people don't -- perfume people, that is. Regular ol' people-people seem to like it!

12:30 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I see a lot of love-love for it all over the blogosphere. Hmm.
(me no likey though)

12:35 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Great lists everyone! Love to see Cartier's Declaration. Was just thinking recently that some niche brand could easily release it and charge double the price.

12:35 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Lovely to see you! :)
As for Declaration- totally agree!

12:51 PM EST  
Blogger ML said...

I agree with Beth having been a No. 5 girl since I was 13--34 years ago!

1:06 PM EST  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

I'd have been hard pressed to pick just the one favourite like you all did... Probably a toss-up between Nuit de Tubéreuse and L'Heure Fougueuse for the amount of wear they both got. Marian's pick reminded me that if I need to make a resolution for 2011, it would be to explore non-Western perfumery a bit further...

4:22 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

can't speak for the others, but for me it was fairly easy, tthere wasn't that much exciting stuff out there this year.

4:26 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Viridescence, the La Via del Profumo fragrances can be very long-lasting depending on which one you try - they make some very light cologne style scents, but the powerhouses like Tcharas, Hindu Kush and Mecca Balsam will be with you all day, and more, in my experience!

4:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Joan said...

I've been wearing more bestsellers this year, like Juicy Couture and Eau Premiere, which is applicable to any occasion.

Although Mitsouko never gets old either.

6:14 PM EST  
Blogger Vinery said...

I nominate Grossmith Phul-Nana. In fact, all three Grossmiths enchanted me in 2010 with their very vintage, mysterious quality.

6:31 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Love Eau Premiere

7:29 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The Grossmith scents are something else, aren't they? Such a palpable retro feel!

7:29 PM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

If I had to choose one - Kilian Love and Tears!

Marina - so great to have you back. :-)

8:33 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, it's great to be back.
I am anxiously awaiting my sample of Love & Tears, heard it's a good jasmine..?

7:29 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

Yes!!! Love and Tears is a gorgeous jasmine. It sort of reminds me of the old Sung by Alfred Sung. (I say "old" cause I hear it's been reformulated, and I haven't sniffed it in years!)

8:09 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

well, now I need to source some Sung too

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

Make sure it's vintage, though! Tania in PTG describes the new one as "jasmine diaper." Ugh. One reason why I've stayed far, far away from it.

8:50 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

that IS scary :)

8:52 AM EST  
Blogger Cerise said...

Flora, thank you for your response about the Profumo fragrances. There are so many unique houses to sample that it's difficult to choose, but I know that a long-lasting fragrance is much more likely one I'll purchase.

10:48 PM EST  
Blogger Cerise said...

Re: my above comment, Google keeps changing my handle but Cerise is much more manageable than Viridescence! (I chose it for a blog once upon a time long ago).

10:50 PM EST  

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