2010 – Year in Review
Longish Preface to My Short “Best of 2010” List
Trish of Scent Hive has invited me to write about the best of 2010, and I knew when agreeing that this was not going to be an easy task. You see, if judging by what I write about on SmellyBlog, and what I was wearing on my skin, this year to me can be summed up in one descriptive line – “The Year of Self-Absorbency”. In reality, this year was more like “The Year of Working Relentlessly, and Collaborating with Amazing People”.
This year, I have decided to take a break from travels (this year I have finally come to the realization that it’s ok to admit how much I hate traveling). Nothing makes me happier than spending the whole entire year within the safety and the comfort of my little neaighbourhood, surrounded by nothing but ocean, trees and a bunch of highrises. If it wan’st for my family living so far away in Israel perhaps I would have enjoyed traveling to new places, but most of my trips are back home and they simply drain the life out of me. So I hope to do as little as possible in the future and earn enough money to fly my family all the way here or meet me somewhere in the middle of the way (some unknown island in the Atlantic, or even Nova Scotia would be a good compromise to me).
Instead of traveling this year, I spent the summer developing my new line of simple and elegant, all natural body products. I was fortunate to have Olivier Biedermann by my side - my intern from Switzerland, who is a perfumery student at ISIPCA and an accomplished cosmetics chemist that has a deep understanding of the natural oils used in body and skin care. He also has a very sensitive nose and was just a delight to work with and get to know. At the end of the summer, I had the formulas for my two dream sugar scrubs finalized, as well as 4 scented body oils that are used as moisturizers (except that being oils, they don’t require any preservative, just vitamin E as an anti-oxidant). I’ve been enjoying the use of these products so much that I have been purchasing very little else in the realm of body and bath products – except for some locally made soap bars.
My other incredible project was the chocolate bars I created with chocolatiere Rachel Sawatzky of CocoaNymph. This collaboration was a dream come true for me – not only because I love dark chocolate and was just thrilled to turn three of my most innovative and favourite truffle flavours into non-perishable and easy to ship (or mail!) bars – but also because it’s good to delegate and not do everything myself. And Rachel is a pleasure to work with and I know that these bars are created by good loving hands and the products is always top notch. This way I can spend less time rolling truffles except for when I really feel like coming up with a fun new flavour for a tea party or some other event.
As far as trying new perfumes – I’ve been so busy with my own business, as well as with teaching, that I found very little time to try any of the new launches this year. And there is also a personal reason for that: I’m feeling not only quite jaded about the whole perfume industry and how many perfumes are released every year, but also am so fed up with smelling synthetic musks everywhere I go. Almost all the people I happen to hug (yes, I admit, I’m a hugger) – reek of synthetic musks without even knowing it. They think it’s the scent of their laundry or – worse – their own “natural skin scent”. If they only knew that what they smell is chemicals that were designed to never leave their skin or the water systems of this planet perhaps they would have thought twice before using those innocenst soap bars, shower gels or laundry drying sheets. This is probably why I was so disappointed in Voyage d'Hermès: it smelled like very little else besides musk. And what I loved most about this house till now is the absence of that dominant, generic underlining presence of this overly-done synthetic note.
If Basenotes is up to par with how many new scent there are than there is an improvement this year: only 285 launches (in contrast to last year’s 584 fragrances). And among them, the niche houses seem to have so much more presence than ever. Sadly, I can’t say I even got to scrape the surface of the very tip of this little iceberg. And unfortunately, the ones that I have tried left me with such a disappointment in my nose that I felt very discouraged from going through the trouble of sourcing out the more rare or hard to find niche scents. Also, as a counter-reaction to what the previous years have been, I only released one scent this year – the limited edition Frangipanni Gloves, which helped to raise funds and rescue the Bloedel Conservatory. Aside from that, I honestly felt that coming up with the world’s first perfume-inspired chocolate bars and my little modest line of hand-made body products should suffice for this year.
I will share with you my “Best of 2010” list tomorrow.