Best Perfumes of 2008
The first thing that hit us when we went to pull this Best Perfumes of 2008 list together is the monumental number of fragrances released in 2008, many of which we have yet to smell, even though we’re doing our best to keep up. We’ve revised this list several times and could just as easily have added or deleted various fragrances, so feel free to mock us or offer your own list in the comments.
- Chanel Beige and Sycomore — Both part of Les Exclusifs, they demonstrate indisputably that Chanel still has something interesting to add to the conversation. Sycomore is a woody vetiver that’s a must-try for any serious vetiver freak (and is also more of a powerhouse than much of Les Exclusifs.) Beige is a classic-manner Chanel along the lines of 31 Rue Cambon that surprised both of us; for something that’s not particularly our “style” we found ourselves turning to it again and again.
- Le Labo City Exclusives — Poivre 23, Gaiac 10 and Musc 25. As Patty notes, we are on a roll now. March didn’t even care about these until she smelled Poivre and promptly muscled her way into a split. Bonus points for actually smelling like their names. Points deducted for being ridiculously expensive and difficult to get.
- Amouage Homage Attar — Smoky, woody oud and ridiculously expensive, but should we hold that against it? It really is lovely, and one little drop lasts all day.
- Amouage Lyric Women — Spicy, smoldering rose, it has a soft, enveloping, addictive quality that had Patty squirming in joy.
- Dianne Brill — March adds this as her dark horse. Celebrity fragrances seem almost destined to fail the interest test — even people like Gwen Stefani end up releasing dull juice (albeit really cute bottles for the Harajukus.) Dienne Brill’s not an A-list celebrity, and the fragrance is not everyone’s cup of tea/cigar/sawdust/poppers, but hats off to her for setting out with an oddball vision and producing a fragrance that achieved it.
- Stephen Jones Comme des Garcons – we are seriously overdue for another interesting violet, one of the early notes in perfumery that we swooned over together. What is not to love about a CdG fragrance in a milliner’s hatbox that is supposed to smell like a violet colliding with a meteorite? Smoky, inky, toasted, spicy, leathery, violet and strange, and highly wearable.
- Serge Lutens Serge Noire and Five O’Clock Au Gingembre – Noire is a love-it-or-hate-it, depending on how much armpit you get, among other things. Five O’Clock seems either to enchant or irritate. But both of these provoke enough rabid reaction and devotion the list seems incomplete without them.
- Cartier Roadster – Unisex, earthy, vetiver goodness, slightly mineralic, a scent you can happily wear every day or all night. Elegantly Cartier, but keeping it unique.
- Frederic Malle Dans tes Bras – Strange and wonderful earthy, mushroomy violet, it’s a walk in a beautiful forest with a little sprig of violet posies in your hand on a sublimely happy day. Beautifullly executed and never slick
- Rosine Rose Praline – A Gourmand rose that somehow splits the difference perfectly. One of Rosine’s best efforts in years and a line that is far too underappreciated.
- The Woods Grow in Macy’s — okay, maybe a “molten river of woods” is the new litchi, but we’re still happy to see woody/ambery mainstream scents that don’t smell like someone barfed up a daiquiri. Honorable Mention Shout-Out to Estee Lauder Sensuous and Amber Ylang, and Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession.
Note: image is Bottles & Reflections (Revised) by dvaires at flickr; some rights reserved, image of “Modernity, Mirrored and Reflected Infinitely” by Josiah McElheny (2003), MOMA