Patty – Best perfumes of 2016 (lines) that were new or new to the U.S. or new to me – Zoologist, Dusita, Atelier des Ors, Hiram Green and La Curie. Best mainstream’ish perfume line start in 2016 – Louis Vuitton. Yes, I know, I think I’m the only person that feels this way. While I still believe there was nothing groundbreaking in the perfumes they released, they were all beautifully made and are ones I find myself wearing often because of, well, that. Surely we have room in the world for beautiful perfumes you don’t have to think too hard about?
Individual best perfume of 2016 standouts for me – Neela Vermeire Rahele (gorgeous Osmanthus), La Curie Incendo (smoked smoky smoke) and Hiram Green Dilettante (white floral that floats) and the Sauf incense series (loved the art and the intention and the perfume) and the stunning Atelier des Ors Lune Feline. I haven’t smelled their new one coming out in 2017 quite yet, but given their work so far and the early reviews, it is one to make sure you don’t miss. Orlov Star of the Season (skanky gourmand, who knew?) also makes the best perfumes of 2016 list.
Musette – This has been a weird year for me & perfume. I didn’t get out much and sort of went backwards for a lot of things, falling in love with Surrender to Chance’s vintage Arpege. It was a SWOON. The kind where you just fall straight down into LOVE. My mainstream find, though, was super-surprising: Chanel No5 l’Eau ! I kn’eau, right? How bizarre – but it actually works really well in warm weather, allowing for the idea of No5 without the overwhelming firepower of the real stuff. I went in expecting to Snob OUT and got hoist on my perfume petard!
Right before my sinuses blew out, I had the pleasure of sampling DSH Perfumes Chinchilla – it is a glorious throwback to the 40s, very grrrrowwly and Joan-ish. Love it. A big surprise for me was Amouage Bracken Man. Normally I am not a huge fan of fougeures but one has an alternating cool/warm vibe that keeps it both grounded and slightly out of reach, like trying to pet a dragonfly – or a hummingbird. I find myself reaching for it when the temps are in the 50s and the air is a bit damp.
Best Revisit of 2016: Neela Vermeire’s Bombay Bling. I’ve always liked it – but it wasn’t until we got hit with a massive snowstorm, followed by a vicious polar vortex that I realized what a perfectly sunny, optimistic fragrance this is. I wore it 4 days in a row and am convinced it is the only thing that kept me from curling up in a sobbing ball of misery.
Portia – OK Rahele by Neela Vermeire (osmanthus ++) is #1 for me. ordering a bottle now that it’s available, can’t wait! Oliver & Co Ambergreen (cold vegetal ambergris) is the greenest take on ambergris you’ll ever come across: super freaky, weird and wearable. Another weird wearable fave for 2016 is Cuir Mojito by Daniel Barros, name is self-explanatory but till you wear it you’ll never quite understand how it takes umpteen twists and turns and is such a fun ride.
It seems animalics are on the menu in a BIG way with Barbara Herman’s Eris Perfumes, DSH Perfumes Chinchilla and Mandy Aftel’s Amber Tapestry. Two budget but fabulous, punching far above their pricepoint, for 2016 are Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker and L’Occitane Cedrat L’Homme. Also two 2015 releases that I paid retail for in 2016 and am wearing a LOT are Eau d’Italie Morn To Dusk (vanilla & crunch) and Hermès Monsieur Li (oily green citrus cream).
Tom – Well, I don’t think it’s really completely fair for me choose a “best of” 2016 since I haven’t been the best at riding the crest of the wave, trying everything new. Mostly I have been turning inward and rediscovering things that I have had. Of course, Tauer Hyacinth and a Mechanic made a special guest appearance a few weeks ago at ScentBar with no less than Andy himself autographing bottles (only available while he was there in the store) so that was a nice treat. So I will give my best of 2016 to him and look forward to a more engaged 2017, I hope the new year brings us all good health and good news. I think especially after the past few weeks we could all use it.
Ann – Ah, 2016! I must admit that I did far less scent sampling this go-round compared with years past, but still managed to find a few faves. Among them: Seconding Patty, above, on the wonderful Hiram Green Dilettante; also went ga-ga over Amouage Lilac Love (a hint of Vacances nestled in a soft, cozy down comforter); Aerin Lauder’s Mediterranean Honeysuckle (So fresh! So crisp! My warm-weather go-to); and Ex Nihilo’s Sweet Morphine (giving gourmands a good name).
Also found love with an odd duck, the love-it-or-hate-it Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream. It has a dee-lish throwback chypre vibe (Paloma Picasso, anyone?) with something thoroughly modern mixed in, and is highly addictive to my nose.
And lest I forget, one surprise: Sampled Chanel’s Boy at an autumn Saks trunk show of the Les Exclusives — wow! It was fabulous on me (if I do say so myself 😉 ). I’m not big on fougeures, but this one went a bit soft, creamy and super-yummy for me. Who’da thunk it? Looking forward to reading what you all loved this year!
What are you best perfumes of 2016 picks?