Best Perfumes of 2016

best perfumes of 2016
Best Perfumes of 2016 – can it be that time already?  Yes, it is!  Make sure to check out Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmi
n, The Non-Blonde and Grain de Musc for their 2016 best perfume picks.

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?

  • filomena813 says:

    My favorites for 2016 (and the ones I purchased) in no particular order are:

    Chanel L’Eau
    Chanel Boy
    Arquiste Ella
    Ex Nihilo Sweet Morphine
    MFK Grand Soir and Petite Matin
    Bruno Fazzolari Au Dela Narcisse
    Tom Ford Vert des Bois and Vert D’Encens
    Tiziana Terenzi Laudano Nero
    Naomi Goodsir Iris Cendre
    Parfum De Empire Tabac Tabou
    Andy Tauer Rose Delight and Lonesome Rider
    SJP Stash

  • Zazie says:

    Guerlain’s Neroli Outrenoir!!!

    To me, it doesn’t just top the 2016 list of favorite discoveries… it feels so wonderful and so right it is almost ridiculous. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I think it is perfume perfection. But since perfection is not of this world, it comes in a bulb atomizer bottle! ?

    Which shows how 2016 has been truly a mixed bag for me.
    So it’s time to look forward to what lies ahead!
    Wish you all a wonderful, healthy and successful 2017. Auguri!!!?

  • Sylvia says:

    First of thank you to the Perfume Posse staff for all you do here on the blog- and for giving us a space to learn, glory in our ‘fumes,and share our perfume nerdiness!
    Thanks to Patti I got to try three new of incense offerings from the Sauf line. Beautifully done!
    The Other two new releases I tried were Neroli Dore ( Hermes)- Loved it and want to try it some more!), and SJP Stash. Stash was fun and cheap and I’m glad I bought some!
    This year I also tried some older releases from SSS – *thank you for the recommendations!
    In no particular order-
    Rose Volupte ( beautiful plummy rose I need to spend time with!) , *Cocoa Rose,
    Tabac Aurea ( love this but probably for my husband),
    *Champagne De Bois and Incense Pure.
    I sampled SL Santal Majuscule (2012?) several times against the CdB and fell completely in love.with the SL. My sweet husband bought it for my birthday.
    I’m looking forward to trying the Hiram Green line, some of the FMalle line and retesting a few things again.
    I’ve learned so much here this year. Thank you and wishing you all a peaceful new year.

  • Tatiana says:

    I didn’t really sniff anything new this year, although I just ordered a sample of Neela Vermeire’s Rahele. I did sniff Boy in the Chanel boutique when they had tester bottles but nothing for sale and while it was good, it just wan’t my cup of scent. I did fall head over heels for a new woody/amber/oud scent from Jovoy, but since it was new they were only offering it in a large bottle for 795 euros. I was really more interested in the 15-30ml bottles and not spending quite that much on perfume.

  • Nadja Sand says:

    I have to admit that I’ve been very lazy about sampling new things this year. But it seems that I’m in good company! 😉

    Some that I did try and enjoyed:
    – Slumberhouse New Sibet. I adore it about half the time (skanky floral, yum!) and half the time I find it too cool and ashy.
    – Oliver & Co. Vaninger. Lovely citrus, ginger, balsamic vanilla… but a bit too much hedione for my tastes.
    – Smell Bent Smoked Ambergris. Salty buttery caramelized woodsmoked ambergris with a bit of pine tar. Amazing stuff, but the amazingness doesn’t last very long unfortunately. Best opening of a perfume of 2016 though, for sure!
    – Smell bent One Day. Bright green dewy grass and conifers with some creamy florals and a sweet fruity vibe. Thoroughly lovely!
    – Smell Bent January. Red currant and creamy florals. Lovely and suprisingly long lasting.
    – Les Liquides Imaginaires Peau de Bete. Earthy dirty smoky dry animalics. Too dry for me, but worth sniffing nonetheless.

    My list of things I still want to try is way longer. Cadavre Exquis, Sweet Morphine, Kerosene Follow, Eris Parfums, Tabac Kretek, Ile Pourpre & Belle Bete, Lune Feline, Nishane…

  • HeidiC says:

    I didn’t do a ton of new sniffing this year — never got to try the Zoologist line, and must do that! I fell in love with Hiram Green Dilettante and Armani Privé Vert Malachite, and really enjoyed Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Forte and Vert Boheme. Was Liquides Imaginaires’ Peau de Bête this year, or did I just try it this year? Because that was amazicrazy good.

    Thanks for another fun year of frag-blogging!

    • Ann says:

      Happy New Year, Heidi! I do believe we are scent twins, as I was nodding my head vigorously to all your picks (save for the LI, which I have yet to sniff). You smell fabulous!

  • mikasminion says:

    I missed a lot of the new releases this year but my vote for best goes to Taklamakan with an honorable mention to Stash, which I’ve been wearing the heck out of. Vert d’Encens was nice, too and I enjoyed L’Envol and the newest Kurkdjians. A couple I was really looking forward to and that have received much praise were awful on me but I have a long list of things I still want to try anyway.

  • Maya says:

    This year I discovered Arquiste perfumes and I really like them. Flor y Canto and Ella are my favorites. Flor y Canto is a lovely white floral that is not too big or in your face and I love the marigold in it!

  • Tara C says:

    I’m with Patty, I think Louis Vuitton’s launch was very good and have bought 2 bottles so far: Mille Feux and Matière Noire. Apogée is on my list for spring 2017. My other big hits of 2016 were Hyacinth & a Mechanic, Au Coeur du Désert and the rose and amber body oils by Andy Tauer. Perfume-wise it was a good year but can’t wait for an end to the celebrity hecatomb to stop. It’s giving me the creeps.

    • Musette says:

      I am eager to try the LVs – I actually really appreciate a good mainstream scent (even though I usually wear only the vintage, I quite like No5 parfum in its contemporary form).

      Do you really think this is a hecatomb? Or is it simply that, with Social Media & the Internet and all, we now know way more about celeb comings and goings? Then again, there were quite a few ‘before their time’ leavings…… maybe you’re right…


    • Patty says:

      My two faves as well. I know they are overpriced, though the gigantic bottles in a split make them not that bad, honestly. Kinda of same with the Buterbaughs which I have come to appreciate a lot of what they are. I’m still sad i didn’t get a bottle of the Hyacinth & Mechanic. I was on the round-robin when he sent it around years ago and fell in love.

  • Rosemary says:

    I’m in love with Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli. It’s very soft, and not Phish-crowd patchouli at all (which I would love too!), but rather a gorgeous scent that brings me bliss. Love it!

  • rosarita313 says:

    In 2016, perfume hasn’t been on my radar much so I haven’t done much sampling but I discovered Zoologist thanks to Patty and the Posse win of samples of Nightingale and Macque. Looking forward to trying more from the line. DSH Chinchilla is fabulous and I went through my sample in no time, and I also really like Angel Muse. As always, thanks for all your hard work, Posse, my days wouldn’t be the same without you! ??

    • Musette says:

      of those, I’ve only sampled Chincilla – and LOVED it!

      SO glad you are here with us, Miss A. Best of 2017 to you and yours! xoxoxoA

    • Patty says:

      I got a sample of that darn Chinchilla with my last DSH order and fell in love and had to order a bottle. Gorgeous stuff.

  • rickyrebarco says:

    I didn’t buy much this year but my faves of 2016 that are now in my collection are: Chanel no. 5 L’Eau. Love it! And Chanel Boy. As a lavender lover, this hit the spot. Also, ‘Sweet Morphine” is truly delightful. Love it for sure. the fragrance I wore as much as these in 2016 was Annick Goutal’s “La Nuit Etoilee'” Not sure if it came out in 2016 or an earlier year but I adore it!!