Thursday, January 01, 2009

Favourite Fragrances in 2008

What else is there to say about 2008?
 For me, this was a year spent in a cocoon in comparison to previous years in the sense that I didn’t try much to get a hold of new fragrances. I’ve been carrying on the fatigue from the oversaturated market from 2007 to an even greater extent, as it only got worse this year. I didn’t even bother looking for newly launched perfumes, unless they’ve practically landed on my lap.

However, some of the newly launched perfumes that I have tried were refreshing, interesting, even fascinating. There sure is hope for a positive change in the world of perfumery. At least we seemed to have gotten out of the sticky goo of pink bubblegum fragrances and celebrity copies of each other’s perfumes that marked the majority of the beginning of the millenia. We are definitely seeing more woody (vetiver, anyone?) scents, more green and refreshing ones that are not exactly aquatic in the 90’s-rave-sense, and overall, there are interesnting ideas floating in the air. Unfortunately, I have just been too busy to notice them or give them enough time beyond a scent strip.

And to summarize, here is a very sweet and short (perhaps my shortest ever?) list of lists, including favourite perfumes that came out in 2008.

Favourite New Perfume:
Un Jardin Apres la Mousson

Funnest packaging:
Harajuku Lovers

Best Sequel of the Year:
KenzoAmour Le Parfum

The Classic Discovery of the Year:
Sous le Vent
As I feared, this is beautiful. Ever since I smelled it at the Guerlain boutique in Montreal I'm haunted.

Favourite New Niche Perfume of the Year:
Considering that Les Exclusifs were my disappointment of 2007, this was a beautiful surprise!
Therefore, I am also considering Sycomore to be the surprise of the year. But to make it less boring for you I've chosen another nominee...

Note of the year:
Not only because of the many fragrances based on it this year, but also because of my personal interest. Followed closely by ginger, which was a new interest of mine.

The Surprise of the Year:
Velvet Gardenia
I really did not expect to meet Tom Ford at Holt Renrew. Nor did I expect to fall for the mysterious charms of this dusky beauty. But I did. Now this is the kind of surprise that makes me look forward to 2009.

The Re-Discovery of the Year:
Cuir de Russie
Best worn when it’s unusually cold in Vancouver, preferably in addition and not as a substitue to your vintage Canadian beaver fur coat, as the perfume cannot keep you warm enough when it hits (-)30 degrees celsius.

This Year's Change-of-Heart:
Davidoff Cool Water for men. Used to hate that stuff until I met a man who smells wonderful in it.

Celebrity Fragrance Release:
Deseo for women from JLo

Favourite New Natural Perfume:
Musc Botanique

Favourite New Perfume for Men:
Aveda Men Pure-Formance

The Ugly Duckling of the Year:
Narciso Rodriguez for Him
It's smells awful and wonderful all at once, and certainly once you get your head wrapped around it its beauty is striking, even if distrubing.

The Disappointment(s) of the Year:
Unfortunately, both come from my all-time favourite perfume house. Cruel Gardenia, which to me was neither cruel nor gardenia; and Iris Ganache, which was overly sweet and plasticy smelling, where I was expecting white chocolate or cocoa butter.

Favourite Scented Body Product:
Un Jardin Apres la Mousson body lotion and dry oil, or anything really.

Favourite Scented Candle:
In the absence of the Noel candles, and with all my new line coming in I'm proud to admit that my own Bois d'Hiver is my favourite scented candle, ever. I've been spoiled and can hardly look back to using anything that has synthetics as candles now. They now smell too strong for me, even the more delicate ones.

Most worn this year:
The perfumes I have been wearing the most this year are also more simple, and tend to be more dry than sweet. The one I’ve worn the most:
Le Parfum de Therese
Un Jardin Apres la Mousson
Narciso Rodriguez
No. 19
L de Lolita Lempicka
"Petals on Wet, Black Bough" - aka the working name for my "Perfume Inside a Poem" contribution
Bon Zai
Immortelle l'Amour

Would love to hear what scents made this year for you - and wishing you all a Happy New Year!



At January 02, 2009 2:39 PM, Blogger pikake said...

Trish here from Portland. Happy New Year! Received my order of samples and have loved the ones I have tried so far (Sabotage and Moon Breath). I adore plumeria/frangipani and do agree that you should be proud of your your latest refinement in the Moon Breath sample I received? If it is...or isn' is wonderful! I have a sample of Un Jardin Apres la Mousson sitting on my dresser, I have yet to try it, and you have inspired me to do so, after I get through yours! And Sycomore, have not experienced this, and cannot wait to do so. A decant has my name on it, I just know it! And I am in firm agreement about Musc Botanique. I feel lucky to have stumbled upon a couple samples and do have a decant headed my way.

At January 03, 2009 10:31 PM, Blogger Flora said...

Very interesting, you are one of the few perfume bloggers who really liked Un Jardin Apres la Mousson - I have not tried it yet but it sounds like love to me. I love melon if it's done right, which is admmittedly rare, and JCE is the one do do it.

I have to agree about Deseo too, it was better than most celeb scents, though I would still not buy a full bottle.

I have not been stopping by as often as I used to, I am very busy too but your site is still one of my very favorites, I will be back soon!

At January 04, 2009 8:38 AM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Happy New Year, Trish!
I'm so glad the samples arrived and that you are enjoying them!
Moon Breath has frangipanni absolute in it, not the "Frangipanni Gloves".
I probably have a carded sample of Un Jardin Apres la Mousson somehwere that I can send you some next time I go to the post office. I'm well stocked, so I won't need any of them ;)
Sycomore has truly surprised me. It's not a typical Chanel at all though. It's perhaps what I would have wanted Vetiver Orientale to be...

At January 04, 2009 8:44 AM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Happy New Year, Flora!
And thanks for stopping by and posting! I'm so fortunate that you enjoy reading my blog. Thank you!

Un Jardin Apres la Mousson has cantaloupe, not melon. Which is a whole other story in this case. It gives a sweetness to an otherwise very dry and tart perfume.
I don't usually enjoy melon notes (especially not the calone derived) - with the exception of Le Parfum de Therese and Spring Flower - but this is really different. And instead of being distrubed by it, it's one of the things I enjoy the most about Un Jardin Apres la Mousson. That and the vetiver I suppose.

I think Deseo is well composed and interesting even without taking the celebrity context into consideration. It's interesting in a similar way to Pure Turquoise in how unsweet it is and the sheer dry base. It does start kind of sweet and fruity but that doesn't happen for too long. I still prefer Pure Turuoise for that genre though, which is better in my opinion.

At January 04, 2009 1:54 PM, Blogger pikake said...

Ayala, you are a sweetheart to offer the Un Jardin Apres la Mousson sample, but I do have one, I just have not had the chance to try it yet. Thank you though. Over on POL there is a challenge to wear just one perfume house for a week, so I am going to wear yours that I received every day next week (looking forward to it!) So after that I will give Un Jardin Apres la Mousson a spin.

So are you working on a new fragrance that will have the "frangipane gloves"?

At January 05, 2009 10:39 AM, Blogger pikake said...

Ayala, I just read further that "frangipane gloves" is a new fragrance that you have created! I misunderstood. Is it possible to purchase a sample of it? If you have my email and would like to follow up with me there, that would be fine.



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