Is it true? Is 2010 almost over? I don’t even remember it starting! But I do remember my favorite new fragrances from the past 12 months or so, that counts for something, right? Alas, most of them were vintage finds, which misses the point of this kind of post…..but! there were a few new-release gems . Here’s what ‘we’ think are the Best Perfumes of 2010 – I can’t wait to read what you guys think was ‘best’ in 2010~
Bas des Soie (Serge Lutens). Everybody take a minute to catch your breath at this one. Yes, it’s iris. Yes, I can smell it. Yes, I love it! Well, I don’t LOVE it, but I liked it a whole heckuva lot – it’s the first Serge I’ve ever taken a second/third/possibly FB look at! I love the initial blast of cool, ladylike iris and the hyacinth followup, though warmer than I expected, was intriguing. I kept sniffing my wrist and wondering what that great scent was (don’t ask – my short-term memory is gawwwwn). I like it! I really like it!
Frederic Malle 1er Mai candle. While not technically a perfume, it could – and should – be (and you know that came up at the Candle Thingie, right?)! If I could scoop this out of the Red Glass Jar and apply it to my wrist, I think I just might, though I’d be thrilled to just have it sitting on a table in my clean, newly-renovated house (that should give you some idea of the fantasy of this whole concept). An absolutely beautiful scent, redolent of May flowers, with no waxy buildup! And here I thought I hated candles!
Dior Diorama. I’m not exactly sure if this qualifies as a 2010 release since it’s 61 years old. But the current iteration was released in the States in 2010 so I’m running with it, okay? March thinks the new iteration dries down like current Diorella and she’s not wrong – ish. I get a minty note in both drydowns but Diorama seems a bit embarrassed by it, rather than embracing it, as has Diorella. So why am I so keen on it? Well, I’ll tell ya : this entrance into the US market makes my heart go pitty pat in hopes they might send Diorling over soon! Hope springs eternal…
Tom steps in with this elegant review (and I should beat him because I do NOT need to be lemming any more perfume):
My best of 2010 is the one I’ve found myself reaching for most frequently since the bottle was acquired: Mocktail by smell bent. The sparkling citrus and almost aldehyde-like woods make for a perfect answer to drab winter days, spreadsheets and 4:30 sunsets, while the price point makes spritzing with abandon a guilt-free pleasure. I couldn’t be happier if I found zero-calorie champagne!
March: 2010 marked the year when I gave up trying to keep up with new releases – even from the niche houses. If you’d like to torment yourself, go browse the list at Now Smell This, I throw up my hands in defeat.
So this is (what else?) my highly subjective best-of list for 2010, what I enjoyed the most or thought most interesting from the scents I got around to smelling.
Serge Lutens Boxeuses, in which Monsieur Lutens quits goofing around (has anything been more disappointing than his L’Eau?) and gets back to what he does best – those Hammam/Souk Delirium scents which I, and apparently many of you, never tire of. I’d wear this in a heartbeat, and would love a bottle. This also marked the year that I developed a new appreciation for some of his older scents, including Chene and the cumin-y El Attarine. I will not be surprised if Arabie is next, god help me.
L’Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse and Traversee du Bosphore – in which I am forced to eat my whiny-baby words about how Bertrand Duchaufour can’t make a scent that doesn’t smell like old vase-water, at least on me. Love it or hate it (and I loved it) NdT was a fascinating new take on tuberose, spicy and dark and strange. Traversee du Bosphore sounded even less promising (Turkish Delight? Rose and pistachio? no, thanks) and yet is lovely, not too sweet, with a nice tobacco note. Some of you have complained it’s too light. I find it, a la the Three Bears, just right.
Finally, I find myself reaching (on crappy winter days) for my Tauer Eau d’Epices. I should note here that, no, it’s not particularly spicy on me. It’s less the list of its notes, which sounds all spicy – cardamom and clove and what have you – and more what I’d think of as Tauer-ade – if you took just the drydown of Andy’s fragrances, that rich, warm ambergris base, this would be it. It’s the sort of scent I spray on at the end of a tiresome day, and delight 0n finding traces of on my sweater.
Patty: Ive been pretty simple this year, and I’m giving my best of to what I keep wearing more days than not – L’Artisan Nuit de Tuberose (March already picked this one). There’s something spicy, rich, deep and lovely about it that makes it easy to wear, but stays interesting from start to finish – not so interesting that I’m trying to figure out if I can leave the house in it, though. It’s also the one people compliment me on.
Do I need a second one? Well, yeah, and I do this with trepidation since I”m not quite certain that it rises to this because I’ve only been smelling it for a couple of days – Dior New Look 1947. More on this on Thursday, but it is also a tuberose entry, one that captures a time, a look, a place, but keeps it modern so you can avoid all of those ignorant “old lady perfume” comments. I think that one is going to see me into 2011 for a couple of months and is now putting some pressure on Nuit de Tuberose for what gets worn more.
Nava: I didn’t get the opportunity to sample much this past year, but one standout for me was Thierry Mugler Womanity. I know; the house that brought us that devil, Angel. But I’m helpless when it comes to salt and fig. The other was Balenciaga Paris: violet, musk, labdanum, and just a hint of chypre that doesn’t send me screaming in the opposite direction. I wore it constantly in the spring, but it turned a bit suffocating on me in the hot weather. Honourable mention goes to L’Artisan Havana Vanille. I blame the shivering Musette for this one. I have been coveting a bottle of this for months.
We’ll leave this post up on Wednesday; please join us on Thursday while Patty reviews one of the new Diors. For other Best Perfumes of 2010, please see Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Now Smell This, and Perfume-Smellin’ Things.
Photo: Best of Halter Class Stallion – 2010 World Percheron Congress/ “Moose” of Windermere Farms. My new stallion – just as soon as I can figure out how to pay for him/buy the farm/build the state-of-the-art barn to house him/feed him…