Best Perfumes 2014

It is that time of year again!  Time to look back at the Perfumes That Were in 2014 and pick out some favorites.  Make sure to visit the other blogs participating in our Best of 2014.

Patty –  I’ve had to dig deep through what came out in 2014 – this is always the biggest challenge, just remembering, researching and digging !  Let’s detour around that a little. What did I wear the most in 2014, which is different from what was released. Le Labo Vanille 44, which is always my go to fragrance, along with By Kilian Flower of Immortality (dear lord, that peach and vanilla are yummy) and Tom Ford Shanghai Lily.  The one that hits both points – something I wear all the time in 2014 and was released in 2014 is Parfums DelRae Wit.  Love, love love Wit.  Things released in 2014 that I loved were Kilian Intoxicated, Naomi Goodsir Or du Serail, and Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt.  For the overpriced part of 2014, Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire.  I can’t believer  Miss Anita is dissing this. yes, it’s way too much, but dang, I smell amazing all day when I put it on.  But, yeah, $600 is ridic.  The scents falling in the tooting mine own horn faves of 2014 are Surrender and Cold Water Canyon. We loved creating these scents and hope to do more.

What I hated the most this year –  the folding of some spectacular independents into the Estee Lauder group. I don’t hate Estee Lauder, but I worry about what they will do do Le Labo and Frederic Malle.  What I hate the most this year turns into my most fervent hope for 2015 – that Lauder will let these two companies continue to create perfume the way they have – selectively and when they feel they have something new to offer – and not on a Lauder “flanker upon flanker and 14 new releases a year” mode that they have with their own fragrances and what they did with Jo Malone.  Please, please, please.

Anita –  2014 had some real winners!   Not all of mine are 2014 releases – some of them are things I was newly intro’d (or re-intro’d) to – and do you care?  OF COURSE NOT!  Let’s get on to the perfume, shall we?

There is a certain beauty in perfume.  Not ‘a’ perfume – just perfume.  You know how you walk into a Beauty dept and it just smells….Beauty?  Yeah, that.  I love that.  The Diana Vreeland line of scents (which I keep promising to review and still haven’t – sorry!) fit that Beauty bill.  I’ll tell you more about them NEXT WEEK, I promise.  But suffice to say , they were a delightful surprise – and they just scream Beauty.  Which is not a bad thing.   Amouage Sunshine was another stunning surprise for a lot of the same reasons DV scents were:  Christopher Chong take on ‘fresh’ is a total success.  Light, airy, with that unmistakable Amouage quality.  Super Surprise:  Creed Iris Tubereuse.  Portia and I both fell in love with this during my Birthday Sniff.  I could easily see myself with a FB of this – and I nearly never say that anymore.  More tuberose than iris, nevertheless it retains enough rooty earthiness to lift it out of Fracas territory!  eminently wearable.  And gorgeous!  April Aromatics.  The whole line (I’m slow).  My favorite?  Unter den Linden, followed by the gorgeous citrus-y one…hang on…Ray of Light.   Beautiful.  And I think it was released in 2014 proving, once again, that even a stopped clock is right twice a day!

Most Stunning Find of 2014:  Patty & Lisa’s Surrender & Coldwater Canyon.  No, they did not make me say that.   Both of these blew my mind!  And I don’t even like jasmine all that much.  Surrender has all the Sexbombalicious thing going and Coldwater Canyon is…well, it’s just gorgeous, in a green, herbal, jasmine way.   Another WOW!

Least WOW of the year:   Uncle Serge’s L’Incendiare (like he cares what I think).  I remember A Certain Person spraying it on me and saying “Here.  That’s what $600’ll getcha”.  Truer snark never spoken.


AnnFrederic Malle Eau de Magnolia: I enjoyed this beauty spring, summer and fall in 2014. What’s not to love? Its citrusy, bergamot open that is refreshing and extremely long-lasting; its recognizable, yet somehow slightly abstract representation of the magnolias I’ve sniffed here in the American South; and its vetivery, mossy base, creating an earthy, elegant contrast to the lemony tang. Simply a beautiful scent that’s up for anything.

Hiram Green Shangri La: I adored his Moon Bloom, a gorgeous love child echoing Fracas and Carnal Flower (with SL’s Tubereuse Criminelle lurking close by in the family tree), so couldn’t wait to try his take on chypre. And when a kind friend sent me a sample recently, I nearly turned somersaults. If Moon Bloom sings out joyously, Shangri La purrs with pleasure. After its tangy open, in rushes a slightly peachy, floral yet furry vibe spotted with spices and a musky undertone that get rounded off by vetiver and oakmoss. A sleek, sexy and satisfying chypre beast.

Best mainstream fragrance (tie): Bottega Veneta Knot and Cartier La Panthere. Two lovely, grown-up-leaning scents that give perfumistas hope for the department store counters.


Portia – Heya POSSE! I have given you my fave releases of 2014 already. The one To Die For standout for me was Neela Vermeire’s Mohur Extrait. If ever there was a fragrance that you might think about selling your mother into slavery to be able to afford then Mohur Extrait is the one. Also an honourable mention to Aftelier’s Palimpsest and Amouage’s Sunshine, both fabulous fragrances that bear close scrutiny.
So I too will give you a run down of a few of my Most Worn Fragrances in 2014, I’ll only chat about the ones still available to buy.

Shalimar Guerlain Fragrantica
Shalimar by Guerlain is still my most worn fragrance by far. Shalimar’s soft swirl of gelato over animalic funk is forever the thing I’ll first think of when you say the word fragrance. It fits me like a glove and the 2014 EdP reformulation has made it smell even better, a lot of extra growl from beginning to end and an excellent vanilla/resinous/mossy dry down.

Amoureuse Parfums DelRae Fragrantica
Amoureuse by Parfums DelRae is still up there at the top of my spritz list. It was rarely taken off the makeup counter in 2014 and due to its gloriously naughty and magically sensual nature this wet white flower bomb got loads of skin time. It is also one of my best compliment getters, that could be because I spritz the shit out of it and wear it like a fragrant bullet proof cloud. BTW you also need to try Wit, it’s even better than Amoureuse though I can’t imagine wearing it as often.

Coco by CHANEL gets heaps of wear too. I have a few variations of it, old and new, EdT, EdP and parfum. Though the fragrance has changed over the years I still get a very real hit of Coco even from my newest formulations. It is a very beautiful oriental fragrance that is both armor and purring comfort kitten. When you find a fragrance that is excellent for work, rest and play it tends to become a super staple.

Ombre Mercure Terry de Gunzburg Fragrantica
Ombre Mercure by Terry de Gunzburg is one that I keep thinking I will fully review but every time I sit down to write about it I make it sound completely and absolutely disgusting. The way my nose reads the notes is only attractive through my enjoyment of the wear, on paper it reads awful and yet it’s totally freaking fabulous. Unlike anything else in my collection and one of my 2014 easy spritz and go fragrances. I will do a full review in 2015.
All my photos from Fragrantica


Tom –

This year I’m not nominating one scent as best of 2014. I’m nominating a whole line: smell bent. Not just because I think Brent Leonesio is brilliant (although he is,) but because he manages to make his scents affordable as well as really good.  For hat alone he deserves a “best of” nod.


So what’s your favorite released for 2014 or the things that were your favorites to wear?  Trends, news you hated/loved?  Also – check out the rest of the Best of 2014 lists at Now Smell This, Grain de Musc, Bois de Jasmin and The Non-Blonde.

  • Suzanne says:

    Moon Bloom is one of the prettiest things I smelled in 2014, and I’m so glad to hear that you love Shangri La, Ann!

    I’m glad to see that Portia put Amoureuse on the list, as that perfume is so incredibly addicting, I’ve never tired of it and am always amazed at its incredible beauty. Parfums del Rae Wit would also top my list of the best of the new launches in 2014, but still I love Amoureuse even more.

    Among the best things I smelled in 2014 (new launches and old): Victoria Minya Eau de Hongrie, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient, Arquiste Anima Dulcis and Giovanni Sammarco’s Bond-T.

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, sweetie! So tickled that you’re a Moon Bloom fan, too! Did you try Shangri La, and if so, what did you think of it? BTW, you have some cool stuff listed there. I am getting ready to test that yummy-sounding Sammarco. Big hugs and Happy New Year!!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I haven’t sniffed anything that was released this year but I did make a couple discoveries. L’Heure de Nuit was something that I wasn’t too impressed with at first but after finishing a small decant, I fell in love and finally loved and understood L’Heure Bleue. My second was Diorissimo in EDP form. Let me say that Diorissimo in EDP form does somewhat smell like the EDT but is more of a very indolic jasmine bomb and I love my indolic jasmine.

    • Ann says:

      Yay! So glad you found love with L’Heure de Nuit (I am fond of it as well) and with EDP Diorissimo. Here’s to indolic jasmine! 🙂

    • FeralJasmine says:

      I have never been much of a Diorissimo person- Lily of the valley doesn’t usually send me- but as soon as you said “indolic jasmine bomb” I blind-bought a bottle. Oh dear, I really don’t need another bottle of anything, but now the thing is done…

  • rosarita says:

    Hiya Posse!I always enjoy these lists. Perfume has taken a back burner in my life along with everything else as I care for my elderly parents who have had some rapid decline but I want to thank all of you for your hard work in keeping the blog so entertaining and informative. You guys are the best 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Hi, dear! I know (as we all probably do) how demanding those elderly parent issues can be, so do what you can, hang in there, and be sure to take care of YOU! Perfume and the Posse will be waiting for you when things settle down and then you can get back to happily exploring.

  • Kandice says:

    I have to second Ann’s nominations. I also loved FM’s Eau De Magnolia and Hiram Green’s Moon Bloom. I have yet to try Shangri La, but it’s on my list for 2015. Also on my list is Amouage’s Sunshine (despite the fact I’ve had no luck with this line) and Surrender and Cold Water Canyon. Looks like it will be a very fragrant 2015! Happy New Year everyone!

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Kandice — glad we had some in common. Do give Shangri-la a whirl as soon as you can; it’s fast becoming one of my favorite chypres. I liked Sunshine as well but need to try it liberally sprayed, and also the STC scents.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I did more rediscovering than discovering this year. My most exciting perfume-related event was buying what I thought was a lab sample of Oud Ispahan EDT and finding that it was the concentrate, meant to be diluted in alcohol to make the scent as sold commercially. What a glorious rich smelly mess it is, nuclear in its potency but very low projection because of the lack of alcohol. Yum. I also found a couple of Guerlains to love after dissing the whole line for years. Oh, and I made my annual effort to love vintage Shalimar, and that grande dame still hates me. No new developments on that front except that I hate her back more mildly than in previous years.

    • Ann says:

      Wow, lady — talk about a happy accident! That is just so cool. Would love to know what Guerlains you found love with this year. And don’t feel bad about Shalimar; she strongly dislikes me, too, but I’ve found that I can get along with one or two of her flankers.

      • FeralJasmine says:

        The Guerlains are Gourmand Coquin and Cuir Beluga. What a Shalimar flankers are you on speaking terms with?

        • Ann says:

          Lucky, lucky you! Those are both so nice (I’m especially partial to the Cuir Beluga as it reminds me a little of the beloved but discontinued Iris Ganache). I did OK with the Vanille du Mexique (sp?) Shalimar and also the one targeted to a younger audience. Neither one knocked my socks off but were at least wearable and sociable.

    • Julie L says:

      Ooooh! THAT sounds fascinating! How’d you get ahold of THAT??

      • FeralJasmine says:

        Pure chance. Somebody on EBay was selling it sealed, admitted frankly that he didn’t know what was inside, and I decided to spend a hundred or so finding out. Which is weird, because I am generally frugal to the point of extreme cheapness, but I came up a winner on this one.

  • Julie L says:

    Well, I haven’t been able to actually BUY any new bottles this past year, but thought this the best place to THANK YOU for the CB I Hate Perfume sample!! It arrived over the weekend and the Do Not Ask Me Why is just beautiful! I kept sniffing my wrist, wondering WHAT it was reminding me of and I GOT IT! To me, it has a little (a lot?) in there that’s similar to one of those “Kummba” fragrance oils that Whole Foods carries…the one called “Black Copium”…I have several of them, but ran over just to test me nose and was right; it is similar, but with “a touch” of incense like Avignon (which I ADORE). I’m enjoying the sample very much. Thank you!! Happy New Year!-see everyone for our next Perfume Fairy post! 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Julie! So glad you’re loving the CB sample. Isn’t it great to find unexpected love? Happy New Year to you as well from all of us!

      • Julie L says:

        It sure it! I would really love to sample the new Cold Water Canyon some time, too…..among about 100 others!