Whew! 2011 is nearly over and I still don’t have my Escape limo and I have NO idea where Woody Harrelson is right now. Better hustle!!! But – we still have a few days so let’s take a look back at our top pickes for best perfumes/worst/most intriguing of 2011. Most of this will be perfume, as it is The Perfume Posse, not Anita’s Playpen…but save room for a couple of weird inclusions, just because I Am In That Kinda Mood. We are also not limiting this list (or your comments) to stuff brought forth in 2011 – rather, we’re interested in what piqued your interest this past year – some may have transported you with delight, some might’ve brought up your lunch! Ya nebber know.
So, without further ado, here’s what grabbed us for best perfumes in 2011.
Cartier les Heurres Fougueuse. I fell in love with this the moment I sniffed it. Then, inexplicably, I fell OUT of love with it – I think I got scared. Then I just…gave in. And swooned as over the course of the year it wrapped its honeyed, monied silken tendrils of sun-kissed hay around my soul….sigh. Oh, Mathilde…..every time I wear this my step lightens just a little.. Liz Zorn Centennial. This is an offshoot of her Historical Chypre, which I fell in love with (and bought nearly every drop she had) during the Chicocoa Scentsation. The perfect peachy chypre, it is the essence of everything I love about Liz’s work; I’m praying she brings it back soon. Chanel Coco (the original). Blame March. I wondered what y’all were yarking on about. Now I know. Amouage Epic Bath Gel and Body Creme. (not too far behind on this one, right? I know it’s a 2009 but I wasn’t able to make it to the Dubai launch -previous plans, don’tcha know…)…anyhoo, 2011 made it New To Musette. I just might make it through the winter (and the coming Apocalypse) with this. I’m going to have to send my water bills to Christopher Chong, though. Or His Majesty. Whichever one is most likely to pay.
Teo Cabanel Alahine. Epic FAIL. Can you believe it? Neither can I. I waited 2 years to sniff that and when I did……..nothing. I mean, it’s nice. But what in the hell are you people smelling that transports you so? March can’t even SPELL it, she is so in love. She’s all ‘Alahiiiiiiiine’. Wish I could have what she’s having. sigh.
BestChowDiscoveries: Trader Joe’s Chicken Shu Mai. For all I know these are made with chicken feet and beaks. But isn’t that the best part? Sonoma Farm (from Chicago, go figure) Hot Pickled Garlic (that’s not what it’s called but that’s what it is ). The website is seemingly gone and their stuff is hard to find (and when you do, at Food Fairs, etc, well, let’s just say they are not Good With the Publick. But! these (and the Brussels Sprouts) are worth the slog. Perfect in everything and yummy alone. But I suggest you actually BE alone when you eat this stuff. You will be comin’ in HOT for awhile…
Movies: I hate going to the movies so I’m usually months behind everybody else. And I admit to being Cranky Old Bat about the sheer volume of crap that gets released every month – there must be a whole lotta money needs launderin’, is allz I got to say (don’t believe me? take a look at this 2011 list (and I’m not even that fussy – I love blow’emups and Tony Scott!). I did brave the plex for Contagion. 3 of us in the theatre. Hey, I could get used to that! El O hated the movie. I thought it was quietly horrifying. I also finally got around to The King’s Speech - hey I said I was behind! Why didn’t the gen pop like this film? I think Geoffrey Rush could read the phone book and I would be entranced. The funny, touching scene with him and Colin Firth when Lionel parks himself in St. Edward’s Chair… Pitch-perfect.
March says: I went back and looked at the release dates of new-ish best perfumes I enjoyed, and … they all came out in 2010. So this year has been kind of a dud for me, in terms of new releases. The one exception is Bottega Veneta, a less-powdery alternative to the new iteration of Cuir de Lancome, if you like the smell of expensive handbags. Mostly I’ve been enjoying old favorite best perfumes gathering dust in my collection, including Teo Cabanel Alahine, Amouage Jubilation 25, Chanel Coco, Tauer Orris, and Serge Lutens’ Fleurs de Oranger. I can think of worse things. Anita sez: that’s Alahiiiine! to you, li’l Missy.
Patty chimes in: This has been a weirdly great year for me in finding new best perfumes to love. From Prada Candy to the new JAR Bed of Roses, to Flowerbomb Extrait to a never-smelled bottle of the now-discontinued Lorenzo Villoresi Ylang-Ylang I found in my closet (yes, everyone should have closets like mine where you find a box full of perfume you forgot you had) that has sent me to the moon (um, see yesterday’s post for histrionics over this), it’s been a mixed bag of great smells.
I still love Bertrand Duchafour because he’s prolific and great, and I know for a fact there is more great stuff coming in 2012, so he gets my vote for Perfumer of the Year? Decade? Oh, wait, we are two years in a new decade, it’s too early.
MDCI’s La Belle Helene: Up until this baby, no way, no how was I ever going into pear territory again. Annick Goutal’s Petite Cherie went sour on me in record time and too many cheap pear body products left me shuddering. Until a sweet Posse swapper sent me a sample of La Belle, and one day, feeling brave, I said, “Oh, what the heck!” and put it on. Wowza! Now this is a pear I can wear. On me, it starts out a little bright, but true to the fruit, and later, deepens, getting burnished down to a slightly gourmand (is that chocolate I smell?) soft oriental. It has a touchable, almost suedelike vibe to it, not unlike SL’s Daim Blond. It’s almost as if her gloves got left behind in the pear orchard, instead of atop a bushel basket of apricots.
Maison Martin Margiela Untitled: The fashion minimalist in me (I’ve always loved designers such as Zoran and Ronaldus Shamask) coveted this cool, paint-dipped bottle long before I had a chance to sniff the juice. And what lovely green juice it is: A hit of bitter green galbanum a la Cristalle segues beautifully into some musky, almost smoky incense, and thankfully, not an ashtray in sight.
Parfumerie Generale’s Indochine: This has turned out to be one of my favorite comfort “blankies” this winter. It reminds me a bit of Kenzo’s Amour (perhaps the thanaka wood that both share) but to my nose, the PG is richer, more creamy, dreamy and woody. This in a body cream would be nothing short of heaven in a jar. Its stablemate, Cadjmere, is another fave, although it gets a little cheeky with me if I do more than dab it.
Bottega Veneta: This lovely is helping to make a leather lover out of me, despite my earlier misgivings about the note. BV’s easy elegance just coos quiet sophistication and makes me feel like a million bucks. And it doesn’t hurt that the bottle’s a thing of beauty. Now, if we can just get our hands on some MPG’s Cuir Fetiche to try …
And here’s a wonderful scentiment from Tom, which we all share!!!
I’m doing my “best of” scent-wise on PST, so I’ll content myself with with celebrating a different best here: YOU GUYS! That’s right! I want to toast all of you out there, fellow bloggers, commenters and readers. In the last several years of blogging, reading, learning and meeting people I can honestly state that I have never met a more warm, funny, intelligent and giving group of people. YOU are the best of 2011 or any other year and I wish you all the best in the future.