We looked to the Cookie Calendar and well, we’re still here, we’re still eating cookies annnnd..we’re looking at our
Best Perfumes of 2012!
This has been an interesting year, with Industry Drama and more IFRA speculation, new niche houses, some odd mainstream celebrity fronts…but when all is said and done, there were some amazing standout fragrances – and that’s what it’s all about innit?
So, without further ado, here are the Posse picks for Best Perfumes of 2012 (note : not all of these may have been launched in 2012. I put no restrictions on our writers’ choices, so perhaps you will find a few herein that were just perfect for them in the year 2012!)
Me (Musette) – Amouage Interlude Woman. Launched in 2012, it took me quite awhile to get with the Interlude Woman program. I was a big ol’ fan of Man straight out of the bottle…but the grapefruit/coffee opening in Woman took some getting used to. In fact, I thought I was just going to have to put on my Lady Smile and let this one fade into the back of the closet. To quote Mr Darcy ” I cannot fix the hour or the spot…..I was in the middle before I knew I had begun” and that is exactly how it was with Interlude Woman. One minute it was not tempting me. The next, I was in love. With no urge to pander to mass-market focus groups Amouage, under the auspices of Creative Director Christopher Chong, continues to release perfumes of staggering complexity and quality. I, for one, am exceedingly grateful!
Maria Candida Gentile Luberon. Oakmoss, rose de mai, lavender. Clean. Perfect. Beautiful. This perfume smells like the most perfect Spring morning EVAH! I was having a really crappy couple of days and decided to spray a bit of this on my hands as I made the bed….within 3 minutes my mood lifted and I was on a balcony overlooking a garden in the South of France. The fact that lavender in perfume usually gives me a headache is what makes this one so memorable. Not only did I not get a headache (or that skritchy feeling I get, like when I wear too much fleece)..I actually found myself craving the slightly medicinal tang of the lavender in this composition. Go figure. It is a lovely, lovely scent with an incredible drydown.
Hermes L’Ambre de Merveilles. I never could get the hang of the original Merveilles because of the chocolate note that Patty says isn’t in there so I ignored the offspring. L’Ambre slipped under my ‘Danger!Danger!’ radar because I was yapping with Alyssa Harad at Barneys and before I knew it I had it on my wrist. See??? Sometimes yapping is a Good Thing. This is a salty, ambergris-y bit of loveliness, without the chocolate note (That Patty Says Isn’t In There). It’s a golden glow scent with enough salty tang to suggest a sweater-snuggly walk along the Brittany coast.
L’Artisan Seville a’Laube . I don’t even know what to say about this, it is so beautiful. Orange blossoms and zest under a starlit sky. Sensual delight. It is one of the most blissful scents I’ve ever experienced!
(Musette sneaking back in here to say) “d’oh! I completely forgot the uber-Gorgeous Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient was released in 2012″ (yeah I copied off Patty’s test paper. Sue me). I can’t say it any better than she says it below. But I’m on my third decant of the stuff, so that orta tell you something!
Opardu — The latest from Puredistance is flat-out gorgeous, right out of the gate. The back story talks about the past, and as I wore this, it did indeed hit a few retro buttons for me. Its lovely lilac note sweetly called to mind the divine, belated Vacances; in the mid notes something from way-back-when tickled my brain but I couldn’t put my finger on it. And then its drydown with a gentle, creamy hint of coconut had me thinking of Ysatis from the ’80s. It doesn’t last as long as I’d like (oh, 8 hours would be nice, wink-wink), and it’s not overly complicated, but sometimes beautiful things are like that: simply lovely and a joy to behold while they last.
Amouage Interlude Woman — Now this one IS complicated (at least on my skin). When I wear it, I expect to be surprised. In my mind’s eye, it’s as if a beautiful, seductive veil of incense has come down over my wrist and little sweet puffs of other notes (marigold? grapefruit? bergamot?) keep peeking out to playfully tweak my nose and keep things interesting and a bit off-balance. Then they shift and recede and other notes pop out to take their places through the life of the scent. End result: an amazing melange of sweet, sour, smoky and even a little ashy, but in the best way.
Portia has these beauties:
Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse: If you want to smell blue cheese, pears, olives, wine and spices all at once and have them make up a sweet, sour and savoury scent that harnesses your own personal fragrance and amplifies it with embellishments that will have people around you coming closer for a sniff, this is the one. Pear + Olive is follow me home and f*ck me fragrance. Wear it cautiously and with bodyguards.
Of all the scents I tried this year, I have to say that the one that was the most arresting to me was Vero Kern’s delightful Mito. It’s a breath of summer and right now I think everybody in the US could use one.
Best Perfume Note of 2012 – gardenia. Illustrated best by Arquiste Boutonniere, Ineke Hothouse Flower and Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire. That this note finally got some love and continues to get love and great perfumers’ attention perfumers is a great thing.
Best Perfume Flanker of 2012 – Hermes L’Ambre des Merveilles. There really isn’t another choice. Ellena does great flanker since this is about his only series. Always paying homage to the base ambergris confection, he layers on a warm amber accord. This is an exceptional flanker and the one anyone considering doing a flanker should look at to see how it’s done.
Best Perfume Limited Edition of 2012 that I hope fervently will become permanent – Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin and L’Artisan Seville a’Laube. The sinner and the saint, each are both.
Best New Perfume Houses 2012 – Naomi Goodsir, Neela Vermeire and Ann Gerard. The year of the woman designer perfume house. These three come from different artistic backgrounds, and every scent in their new line has been beautifully made, artistic and lovely to wear. This is all I ever ask from a perfume line, new or old.
Best Perfume Mainstream return to class 2012 – Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs isn’t groundbreaking or something that will make you stop in your tracks with how different it is, but it will make you stop in your tracks and just admire it for the orange blossom profusion of lovely it is.
Best Perfume Mainstream Limited Edition – Guerlain les Deserts d’Orient. I like all three of them. They aren’t over the top weird or unusual or anything memorable even. They do what Guerlain does so well – make perfume beautiful to wear.
Best Perfume Indie Release of 2012 that surprised me – CB I Hate Perfume 7 Billion Hearts. Never thought vanilla and Christopher Brosius would be in the same sentence, but it is, and it was really good for me. You?
Best Perfume House of 2012 – Amouage. Christopher Chong has year by year transformed Amouage from a regional perfume house that most associated with sultans, attars and eastern perfumery into a mainstream niche perfume house that puts out some great scents. This year saw Amouage Beloved and Amouage Interlude Man and Woman. All great scents, each with their own unusual story and beauty.
Best Perfume House that keeps putting out great, wearable perfume – Atelier Cologne. They just keep impressing me with what they do. Everything in this line is easy to wear, pretty, and the line shows a longevity that’s impressive.
So what’s your favorites for Best Perfumes of 2012?