Top 20 Best Perfumes of 2009

It is that time of year, when we all turn our noses to look at what has passed by them in 2009 and decide what we loved the most.  We all put our little heads together and tried to come to some agreement.  We didn’t all love them all. Some of them we hated,  some we loved, some of us equally hated and loved the same perfume at the same time, but these are the standouts of the year – Best Perfumes of 2009.

Perfumer of 2009 – Bertrand Duchafour.  His work, whether you like the perfumes personallyor not, for L’Artisan and Comme des Garcons in the past and his new entriees this year for them, as well as Penhaligon’s Amaranthine are great perfumes, diverse and interesting.

New House of the 2009 – Maison Francis Kurkdjian.  Excellent entries from top to bottom.  Interesting, well-made, but all having Kurkdjian’s stamp on them.

Then, without further comment since most of these have been reviewed on this blog, sometimes more than once, these are our Top 20 Best Perfumes of 2009:

  1. Amouage Tribute Attar
  2. Apothia Pearl
  3. By Kilian Pure Oud
  4. Carol’s Daughter’s Pearls
  5. Cartier – L’heure Mysteriuese, L’Heure Brilliante, and La Treizieme Heure
  6. Creed Windsor
  7. Kenzo UFO
  8. L’Artisan al Oudh
  9. L’Artisan Havana Vanille
  10. La Perla Life Threads
  11. Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita Lempicka
  12. Natori EDP
  13. Parfums DelRae Mythique
  14. Penhaligon’s Amaranthine
  15. Prada L’Eau Ambree
  16. Strange Invisible Perfumes Fire and Cream
  17. Soihvohle Oudh Lacquer
  18. Soihvohle Love Speaks Primeval
  19. Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
  20. Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidee Vanille, Bois d’Iris and Muguet Blanc

That’s our list of Best Perfumes of 2009. What’s on yours for 2009?  I’m sure we forgot something or several somethings.

60 Comments
mr.eims @ perfume January 13, 2010

Kenzo UFO is nice.. :) hurm..but its hard to find some of those brand names here. duh.

london January 4, 2010

I thought I was doing well keeping up with the new releases this year but I haven't even tried 10 of the 20(ish) on your list! But I did buy FBs of 2 of the rest (L'Eau Ambree and UFO) so I guess that's not bad. My favourite overall was Tiare which I know didn't go down so well at the Posse so I will add a special mention to Le Rivage aux Syrtes for being a GIANT fruit that I can actually wear (unlike Pulp). But there a few late contenders that I just haven't spent quite enough time with yet so I may change my mind.

Elizabeth January 4, 2010

Interesting list! Of the ones you list, I also have tried and love Al Oudh, Love Speaks Primeval, Amaranthine, Tribute and Pure Oud. I've definitely been enjoying getting my skank on this year. :) I haven't tried any of the others, so when I do, a few of them will likely get added to my list (esp. the MFK's). Oudh Lacquer was surprisingly a flop on me, but I'm going to keep trying it until I get it, or at least have used up my precious $20 sample. ;)

Robin R. January 3, 2010

Phew. Thought we'd lost you there for a second. #:-s

Robin R. January 3, 2010

Hey, you guys, where the heck ARE you? It's three days into the Tens, and you're off the radar. I'm going through withdrawal here. :-ss

maidenbliss January 3, 2010

Thanks for that insight....I agree about seeing the same ideas over and over again. I'll get the book. I've been checking out the vintage and next is the queen of ouds for me.

maidenbliss January 3, 2010

This sent me into full tilt LOL. I've so many 'blunders' I've lost count. Been a scentaholic all my life, but when I seriously began to pursue, read and buy-- it quickly escalated to full-blown 'got to have' and need I say more? My hands used to be something I used to type or wash dishes with-hug my children with, play guitar and piano. Now they find themselves gravitating towards my nose, not to mention constantly reading blogs until I'm bleary eyed. I'm in a serious duel at the moment and want to lay my head down, tie my wrists with something impossible to undo...

maidenbliss January 2, 2010

A note to Jirish-I'm a lurker as well, but will now share. Une rose chypree is very beautiful, love the AT sample set. I was the lucky winner of L'Artisan HV-sensual vanilla-beautiful. Thank you to Perfume Posse! VCA Bois d'Iris - the bloggers were right- gorgeous. I've started my little vault and it's filling up quickly. I'm a bit off track as far as 2009 goes, but being introduced to, among many, Serge Lutens, Amouge, POTL, Teo Cabanel, MPG, AG, FM, Bond, to mention a few, it's hard not to share my wealth. Now, on with the ouds for this next year. Also, will try to be more scentsible (yes, it is spelled wrong) about my addiction. No more FB's without sniffing first. Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for all of your comments which inspired me to spend more money.

mals86 January 2, 2010

2009 was my first full year of PerfumeHeadDom, and I only managed to sniff three of your Top 20 (actually 24 counted individually!), while making up for lost time by testing... let me check the Excel file... 271 fragrances this year, 13 of which were 2009 releases, but all of which were new to ME. :d I did absolutely adore Lumiere Noire pf.

aubrey January 2, 2010

Wow. Just tried Penhaligon’s Amaranthine as part of a late Xmas present of samples yesterday, and wow. Just wow. I'm not sure if I am impressed by it or I'm afraid of it. Cumin just doesn't seem to work for me-- I'm really afraid of that note, because it's just so dirrrrty. But I must admit that it's an original composition, well designed, and stays together well.

Laura M January 2, 2010

So interesting: I don't particularly remember raves for most of these scents in reviews here and on the other blogs: e.g., the Eau Ambree, Natori, Fire and Cream, Grey Vetiver, Life Threads. Umm, the Life Threads is La Prairie, not La Perla, right? And, if so you snuck two extra scents into your top twenty! (I'm not even mentioning numbers 5 and 20. Why not add four more and make it the top 30? I'd like to see individual lists from you. Please? http://perfumeposse.com/smilies/yahoo_pray.gif Thanks for providing a wonderful year of information, amusement, and good writing! Happy New Year! http://perfumeposse.com/smilies/yahoo_party.gif

E January 1, 2010

I sampled a lot in 2009, but didn't buy much -- and only a couple of FBs as opposed to decants. In addition, some of the things that I fell for weren't 2009 releases (Hermes Ambre Narguile comes to mind). My favorite release in 2009 was Angel Liqueur (also one of the three or so that I bought FBs of -- I can only think of that one, AN, and re-released Chaos). I've never worn Angel before, and it hasn't been to my taste in the past, but I'm really smitten with the Liqueur. I haven't tried most of the scents on your list -- time to get cracking! :d

CynthiaW January 1, 2010

My favorite new releases of the year: Epic Woman, Vanille Galante, Back to Black, and Alien Liqueur. Which isn’t to say that they’re the only ones that I bought – I also love Natori, Cristalle Eau Verte, Une Rose Chyrpee, Jasmine White Moss, and Naked Honey. I'd like to be able to add Havana Vanille to my list, but I'm still waiting for it to arrive. :-( And I really have to try the Cartiers and give a more thorough testing to the VCAs - I really liked a few of them, but have to do a complete testing to decide if any of them qualify for an FB or split purchase.

Marsi January 1, 2010

I am the lone voice in the wilderness calling out the name Daphne!

Mwa December 31, 2009

I hope The Perfumed Court will offer a sampler of the Perfume Posse Best of 2009 Picks since I found so many beauties in the Posse Best of 2007 sampler.

carter December 31, 2009

Several of your choices overlap mine, and I would add Filles en Aiguilles. Of the FKs, Lumiere Noir Homme is my fave. But of all of them, Cartier VII and VIII are the two that stand out for me and if I could only have one new fragrance this year it would be VIII. Felicitations and may the heavens smile down on all of Posseville in the coming year.

Aparatchick December 31, 2009

Mary, going on Perfume Safari! ^:)^ love it! The one that went directly from sniff to FB purchase for me this year was Sonoma Scent Studios' Tabac Aurea. It's in my personal top 10. I enjoyed John Varvatos' Artisan and the new Lolita Lempicka, but neither were FB-worthy. I've been having fun lately with the Pacifica, Tokyo Milk and Crazy Libellule lines. Cheap and cheerful. And I've got samples of Wazamba and Havana Vanille on the way, so something to look forward to in the new year!

Wendi December 31, 2009

I'm still working my way through 201 ;), so like many others my big discoveries have been some classics. The big story of the year for me- I FINALLY "get" Mitsouko! ^:)^ I have to say that I did manage to smell the VCA bunch, and Muguet Blanc remains on my shopping list. Happy New Year to you all! Thanks for helping along my perfume education!

Mary December 31, 2009

Ooh, I will print out that list and go back out on Safari. We visited Strange Invisible Perfumes in Venice CA yesterday, and smelled everything in the store. We came away with a bottle of Trapeze, which reminds me a little of the Chaos I had around 10 years ago-- I was a little amazed at my DH, but I think it was a six month late 50th birthday gift. This has been such a wonderful hobby-- lots to explore. Happy New Year, all!!

Fiordiligi December 31, 2009

I know I'm an old fuddy-duddy, loving all my vintages. Nothing new has grabbed me terribly this year, although it's been fun testing and sampling! Happy New Year to all Posse scribes and readers, you lovely people. Not too long now until the next decade begins for those of us on this side of the Pond. Have a wonderful evening, whatever you decide to do.

Arwen December 31, 2009

Happy New Year! I hope 2010 brings a lot of fragrant surprises.

Flora December 31, 2009

Une Rose Chypree, Amaranthine and Amouage Epic, of the ones I have tried, plus the VCA Collection. I may be the only one who liked the fleshiness of the "Lys" one as much as I did, but there you go, I am a lily pushover. :) Flora/Donna (not that Donna, the other Donna)

Jirish December 31, 2009

Hi, long, long time lurker here, but I wanted to thank everyone, both the posters and the commenting community for making this one of my favorite perfume sites. You've given me lots of joy and giggles over the past year. My favorite new scent of 2009 is Un Rose Chypree. I'm beginning to think I'll love anything Andy does. Happy New Years everyone!

Dusan December 31, 2009

As you may have noticed, I got rather slack and jaded perfume-wise in 2009. But I could never EVER go off you, my lovelies! Hey, I've made some super-duper friends on here :-* Wishing the Posse and the Posseites a phenomenal new year! Love you!

Masha December 31, 2009

Wow, but did you notice 17 of these are impossible to find if you live anywhere but NYC or Paris?? Now that's just sad for the perfume industry. Shame on them. Shame on IFRA. If it weren't for places like TPC, 99.99% of us would never have a shot at sniffing 17/20 of these!

aubrey December 31, 2009

This was my 1st year in the hobby, so I discovered many oldies that were new to me. But, here's my top niche frags of 2009: * Parfums de Nicolai Week-end a Deauville (HG) * MDCI Un Coeur en Mai (HG also) * VCA Vanille Orchidee or Bois d'Iris Best mainstream: * NR Intense I am sure that I am missing some really obvious items, or things that I think were from last year. I really, really liked Hermes Pamplemousse Rose. And I am happy (but conflicted) to note that I haven't tried many of the items you list as tops. Conflicted because I now have sooo many perfumes and swore to myself that I would stop sampling new things for a while. I guess it's good to know that there is still good stuff awaiting me. And is it bad that I am praying for the Van Cleefs to hit the discounters? That's mean spirited, right? Oye, I'm addicted to frags. My poor wallet.

Melissa December 31, 2009

I completely forgot that Apothia Pearl was a 2009 release. So glad to see it here. It's a wonderful and little-known summer scent. Nava, was that one from you? So, I'll add it to my favorites. I also forgot about Vapor until now. Thanks Louise! Here are mine: Amaranthine Epic for Women Mythique Lumiere Noire pour Femme Pure Oud Tribute Al Oudh (Duchaufour is my hero this year) Apothia Pearl NM Vapor I'm sure that once I read all of the lists, I will be tempted to add to mine. I had trouble keeping my wallet shut this year.

Rappleyea December 31, 2009

I feel like I've been sampling my toochie (sp?) off, and yet I've only tried a bare minimum of your list. I really liked Cartier XIII but on me it was a dead ringer for Le Labo's Patch 24 which I liked a little better. The 2009 keeper for me was Wazamba, and the blew me away discovery was Chanel's classic Cuir de Russie. I bought myself a bottle of extrait for Christmas. Great list by the way, and a happy and healthy 2010 to all. Hugs, Donna

Louise December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, Posse <:-p Patty, only a wee bit of overlap here...I do love the FKs, and especially Lumiere Noire for women (and the Soir). I haven't yet sniffed Al Oudh or Tribute, but have been told by Knowing Noses that I will like these. I resolve to try more Soihviles-though the oud didn't work for me. And sadly, the Cartiers and Van Cleef and Arpels were tragic on me. My favorites are: Filles en Aiguilles (complete soulmate) Foureau Noire (my best smokey vanilla) NM Vapor (favorite new aldehyde) Vanille Galante Amouage Epic Lumiere Noire ... and some fun things, especially Tokyo Milk Honey and the Moon, and a particularly nice incense oil from my apothecary. @};[email protected]};[email protected]};-