If money spent is any indication, then it must have been a good year for perfume — I spent plenty. The quarterly "damage" poll is coming up on Friday, so start adding up your receipts! Meanwhile, here are my picks and pans for 2008. Scroll down to see what other Now Smell This contributors have to say on the subject, or check out the lists at Bois de Jasmin, Perfume Posse and Perfume Smellin' Things. And of course, do add your own favorites in the comments.
A few of my favorite things (in no particular order): Tauer Perfumes Incense extrême and Incense rosé, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Costume National 21, Le Labo Gaiac 10, Eau d'Italie Baume du Doge, Jo Malone Kohdo Wood, Serge Lutens El Attarine, L'Artisan Aedes de Venustas, Chanel Sycomore.
Perfumer of the year: Antoine Maisondieu, who brought weird and wonderful back to Comme des Garçons with Stephen Jones and Monocle Scent One: Hinoki.
Did what they were supposed to do: Calvin Klein Secret Obsession, Kenzo Amour Le Parfum, Tom Ford White Patchouli, David Yurman, Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras, Ed Hardy Love & Luck Woman, Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame.
Didn't do what they were supposed to do: So many that I started a list, realized it might take me hours to finish it, and gave it up as a lost cause. It was a good year overall, but there was plenty of boring dreck all the same.
Best perfume commercial: As always, I probably missed lots of them. Of what I saw, I liked Jean Paul Gaultier's spot for Ma Dame the best, with runner-up status going to Paco Rabanne 1 Million.
Get your melon out of my niche: L'Artisan Fleur de Liane, Parfums DelRae Emotionnelle (which admittedly I have not even smelled yet), Hermès Un Jardin après la Mousson.
But oddly enough (for me), I liked two berry fragrances this year: The Different Company Sublime Balkiss, Byredo Pulp.
Cheap thrill of the year: Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple.
Best celebrity fragrance: Jennifer Lopez Deseo, although once again, the competition was not exactly fierce in this category.
Best packaging: Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers.
Angela's Best of 2008
I'd always pooh-poohed the Amouage line as expensive, staid perfume for people who mistake "costly" for "desirable". Then I spent a little time with them.
Jubilation 25 is carnal and womanly, and it's my favorite discovery of the year. It's even more special because it's so demanding. Its gorgeous fruit and flowers shout out gala evening, but its vivid animalic streak tells everyone else to go home except that guy over there with that look in his eyes.
Lyric Woman is wonderful, too — creamy, lush, and much easier to wear than Jubilation 25 — and I crave my own bottle. Gold Man is an intriguing floral that any woman interested in Amouage should try, and I wouldn't mind hefty decants of Dia Man and Jubilation XXV, either. Excuse me while I go buy a lottery ticket.
Erin's Best of 2008
I must confess that this year bored me a little. Some of the mainstream lines that had an inspired 2007 fell flat this year, and the niche lines only seemed to pick up speed towards the end of 2008. After a world-beating 2007, Chanel continues to lead the pack of big houses, with the delayed general release of an outstanding flanker (No. 5 Eau Première) and a new classic Exclusif to join 31 Rue Cambon (Sycomore). While the unfortunate luxury pricing trend continued at Comme des Garçons, the stalwart niche darling still comes out a winner with two collaborations, Monocle Scent One: Hinoki and Stephen Jones.
In my opinion, Guerlain came up with the biggest bloopers of the year, with the cruel joke of Cruel Gardenia and the plain baffling art direction and ad copy for Les Elixir Charnels. (I'll admit to liking Oriental Brûlant, but for over $250, it should blow the top of my head off.) Other big disappointments from normally interesting lines were both Kenzo Amour flankers, Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang, Tom Ford White Patchouli, Hermès Un Jardin après la Mousson and Ormonde Jayne Zizan. In the pleasant surprises category, I'm blessing Donna Karan for re-releasing some much-loved fragrances. More favorites for 2008 were Armani Privé Rose Alexandrie, Dior Escale à Portfino and Tauer Perfumes Incense rosé. Scents I missed at their launch but enjoyed wearing this year include Heeley Verveine, Cuir de Lancôme and MDCI Enlevement au Serail.
Jessica's Best of 2008
Some things never change: I was still a devoted rose-lover in 2008, and two of my favorite new perfumes were Parfums de Rosine Rose Praline and Malin + Goetz Otto. My favorite new line overall was the perfumer-designer collaboration Six Scents. The perfumes whose beautiful bottles won my heart were Lalique Amethyst Extrait de Parfum and Anna Sui Night of Fancy (the latter is also my newest guilty-pleasure fragrance). The bottles whose sheer ugliness stopped me in my tracks were Sophie Matisse’s designs for By Kilian. I coveted some decorative perfume solids: “tokens” from Bond no. 9 and a Daisy pendant from Marc Jacobs. Diptyque delighted me with L’Ombre dans L’Eau shower gel and lotion, and I was thrilled to see Lush offer some previously discontinued items (Potion lotion!) through its online “Retro” store. However, Paul & Joe disappointed me with insipidly sweet new products in scents called Pink and Purple. My prize for most intriguing home fragrance goes to the Cire Trudon candle collection.
Kevin's Best of 2008
First, I’m shocked at the number of 2008 fragrance releases I have NOT smelled yet. As I write this, I have approximately 100-150 untried samples in a bowl next to me and that’s only a fraction of the year’s output. My list of 2008 perfume favorites comes with two provisos: I didn’t try all of the 2008 releases (who could?) and no single fragrance release 'blew me away'. On the men’s mainstream front my favorites are Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Coffee, Chanel Sycomore and Prada Infusion d'Homme — in that order. Niche fragrances I like include Penhaligon’s Elixir, i Profumi di Firenze Muschio dell’Himalaya (a charming, old-style musk fragrance with a hint of sap and talc), Miller et Bertaux A Quiet Morning (not so “quiet” but fresh as morning dew), Eau d’Italie Baume du Doge and (the soon-to-be-reviewed) Nasomatto China White and Humiecki & Graef Eau Radieuse. I don’t know if Domenico Caraceni 1913 was released in 2008 but I came to know and love it this year: it’s a classic, classy mix of styrax, Bourbon geranium, rose, neroli bigarade, tobacco, cypress, frankincense and bitter orange.
Non-perfume, but still “perfumed,” discoveries of the year are: Cire Trudon candles (these candle fragrances are truly original – I wish they were in perfume form); Tea Vitale chocolate and teas — I enjoy the Ice Wine Black Tea, Chocolate Black Forest Black Tea, Crème Brûlée Rooibos, and Venezuelan Black drinking chocolate; and Karen Klein soaps (my favorites are Vetyver-Daffodil-Roman Hyacinth, Leather-Tobacco-New Mown Hay, and Bergamot-Sandalwood). Everyone: Happy 2009!
Marcello's Best of 2008
As for books, this was definitely the year of Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. I must have skimmed through it over a hundred times just for fun (and haven't grown tired of it yet) so I'll pick it as my overall favorite. My vote for most original book goes to Robert Blackson's If There Ever Was… a book of extinct and impossible smells, which shows the huge potential of olfactory experiences in museum exhibitions, fairs, and other cultural events. I haven't paid many visits to the perfume counter this year; I've been most faithful to Parfums de Nicolaï's Baladin (1994), Annick Goutal's Duel (2003), Guerlain's Mitsouko (1925) and Caron's Yatagan (1976).
Note: image is Bottles & Reflections (Revised) by dvaires at flickr; some rights reserved.
robin seeing as how deseo was ure fav celeb scent did u happening to try deseo for men? if so what did u think?
I'm sure I'm forgetting dozens of perfumes (I did, after all, just start my decent into the Perfume Zone during the summer…) in my tabulations….
My favorite that I've discovered is Chanel's No. 5 Eau Première. The top notes smell like soda but the dry down is pretty damned amazing. I broke both samples I'd finangled from the local Chanel in my pockets and was reluctant to wash the pants. As soon as it hits discounters….
I turned out to be happy with Ayala Moriel's ultra-exclusive, ultra-expensive, ultra-riskily-bought Sahleb, which is such a weird little cozy paradox that it requires much self-sniffing. The only other fragrance put out this year (again, that I remember) that wowed me was Infusion d'Homme, though I think that Infusion d'Iris suits me more.
Um… most disappointing? Apres la Mousson was pretty upsetting but it's kind of greedy to hope to like all of the Jardin line. I'm hoping (ferverently praying) that the next Hermessence blows my mind. Of course, then I'd have to buy it…. Also, the one that really sticks out to me (mostly because I got one of 100 free samples) was Vetiver Dance. No matter how many times I try it on, it has this weird plastic edge. I retooled my Jolly Rancer observation, not because it doesn't fit. It tends to lead people to think I think it smells fruity.
I'm happy. Of course, with so many new releases, I'm going to be playing catch-up with the old news for a good long while.
I'm not even going to burn myself trying to think of the most interesting releases this year. I'm so hopelessly behind it's useless, and so many perfumes that have been discoveries/revelations to me are older than this year's crop.
Still. In mainstream, I liked Amour Le Parfum and Secret Obsession. Jardin Après la Mousson… I have been among its strongest defenders and I still reluctantly believe it's a great scent in *theory*, but the last time I sprayed it on I got, for the first time, watermelon. It spoiled it for me. I don't know what's different now: is my nose more sophisticated or is it the cooler weather? Hoping it's the weather.
Great discoveries this year: L'Air du Désert Marocain, Aomassai 10, Ambre Narguilé, the Ava Luxe line, Tam Dao, CdG Avignon & Ouarzazate, L'Artisan Jour de Fête, Philosykos, Bois d'Iris, Cuir Ottoman, Bvlgari Black & Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge, Parfum Sacré… the list is endless.
Moving on to the New Year's resolutions: I find I'm suffering from the newbie syndrome of being predisposed to disliking anything designer – my NY resolution is to change that. Also, to settle down on one fragrance in one category, already, and stop dithering with the sampling. I *know* AL Vamp, Opoponax Intense and Les Nereides Impérial Opoponax are too close to call; time to just go with one and add a decant decant or FB of one to my 'drobe.
Whew, that turned into a long post. Oops
does Rossy de palma count as celebrity scent . if she does that scent won hands down
Angela, I'm so glad–in an enabled kind of way–you've changed posture toward the Amouage. I, too, found both 25 and Lyric Woman to be really wonderful. Though I, too, still find the prices a bit out of my league…if I don't run the numbers on the inexpensive –> moderate “near hits.”
I'm also happy to see Erin giving a little love to Cuir de Lancome; so many of my leather friends were “meh” about it that I thought it belonged to a special happy receptor found only in my nose. Jessica reminds me I want to try that new Rosine.
As 2008 was my newbie year, my joys were equally in scent, learning, and action. I'm not ready yet to focus on the “new releases,” since I'm still building a knowledge base, but I can tell you that I've learned I can be as floored by a classic (such as Bois des Isles) as by something modern (Fleur de Narcisse)…that I should explore by note (hello, leather, amber, violet, grass/hay, etcetera) but neither assume nor rule out by note (skank–is that a note?)…that decants and swaps are my wallet's friend…that I can be happy with just a little expenditure (Jose Eisenberg, Yves Rocher, Mariella Burani) or a veritable investment (it only starts with the Amouage).
So, I've sidled alongside some of my favorites here…thanks to all of you for bringing such fun, informative bloggery in 2008!
jonr, it was ok, but I didn't find it very interesting so I never reviewed it. Did you try it, and what did you think?
Well, time to start adding up the damage…. hopefully it's not too bad.
I loved Jo Malone Kohdo Wood, Amouage Lyric, L'Artisan Aedes de Venustas, and L'Artisan Voleur de Roses.
Eric, Great list. I'm sure I'm forgetting dozens of perfumes too, and there are tons of 2008 releases I never even managed to try.
I guess it is greedy to hope to like all of the Jardin line. But then, I'm greedy!
Zoe, I'd bet it's the weather. I mean, trust me, the melon is there, but if it didn't bother you before it's probably the weather.
Your list of great discoveries is fabulous! And the anti-designer prejudice is hard to break, I'll admit. Even now, there are certain lines I just can't be bothered to even try. It really would be interesting if we had to try everything in unmarked vials, like it was wine.
“Get your melon out of my niche!”
I too, am not even going to try. 2008 was the Year of the Vintage for me, so my favorites are from around 1932 or so. (Well, at least they're appropriate for the *times*…)
Skank is an idea — means the scent is noticeably animalic or dirty, which could presumably include leather, of course!
This was my worst spending year in a long time — I'm disgusted with myself and not looking forward to actually adding it up! With you right up until Voleur de Roses, which I did revisit recently and found it still not “me”.
I am REALLY hoping that was just a little bubble — if melon is to be the new niche trend, I'm in big trouble, aren't I?
I haven't tried almost any of these… in 2009 I will have to try to stay on top of the new releases.
I liked the Paco Rabanne 1 Million commercial
The artist should get credit for the remarkable work that this is a photograph of. It is Josiah McElheney, Modernity circa 1952, Mirrored and Reflected Infinitely, 200.
I bought Kenzo Winter Flowers, which is pretty and simple. I like Chanel No 5 eau Premier very much. I bought Laura Mericier's Neroli which is a nice pretty neroli floral for springtime. I was also very lucky to score an original bottle version of Donna Karan Signature from Nordstrom – and I love it! But I'm happy that it's coming back in it's new bottle/release. I may eat some fragrance crow here, but I actually like SJP Covet enough (after smelling it on my sister) that I'm wondering if I'll actually buy a bottle now it's in discounter land, or just pinch a large decant off her for the few times I'm likely to wear it.
My favorite niche that I discovered in 2008 and now absolutely adore are Laurie Erickson Sonoma Scent Studio frags – Velvet Rose, Rose Musc, Femme Jolie, and upcoming soon to be released frags I'm sure I'll love. I'm really looking forward to the release of Gardenia and Lieu de Reves…Her fragrances are just wonderful.
Aside from Amouage Lyric Woman (and Dia Woman) fragrance lust, I've mostly been trying to collect oldies but goodies that I'm nervous may get the axe, reformulation, or disappear from US distribution – AG Heure Exquise (b/c of sandalwood availability issues) & Mandragore…Guerlains Apres L'Ondee, Chamade, Vol de Nuit & Nahema which are all seeming to disappear from the radar. I was more concerned about getting backup bottles of frags I love than buying new stuff that was just OK or will be around for a few years yet.
Mandragore is lovely. No staying power on me though….. I get 2 hours of heaven and that's it…..
Staying on top of the new releases is more trouble than it's worth, IMHO…there are too many new releases.
It is true, to see that credit you have to click on the attribution link at the end of the article.
I liked Covet too…and it's a shame it didn't do well — that will discourage other companies from doing interesting celebrity scents. Oh well.
Make that two of us!
Love to eat melon, just not “wear” it!
Well, that's what I figured…(haven't seen it on any official lists yet)…but if it ever appears, let the world know I wouldn't call it cumin. That's culinary. I'd call it “panties.” That's skank. (To me…though aged sweat is an ancillary division that seems appropos for me.)
Two out of three isn't bad though….
Odori Iris is the '08 winner for me (and perhaps the most expensive I own), and Pacifica Sandalwood and Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple the cheap and satisfying buys. . . . and since this is only my second year of exploring perfume, most of my sniffing was pre-08 anyway.
I guess I could have done worse damage. All in all, I found 2008 to be rather lacking in amazing new releases. Poivre 23, Dans tes Bras, Onda (finally came to the US), Pulp, Lexington Avenue and Rose Praline stand out. I also agree that Sublime Balkiss is lovely, and I may spring for a bottle when it hits the States. Sadly, Rose Praline is not slated to come to Barneys.
But, I have a feeling 2009 will be great, don't you?
It doesn't last long on me either, but while it's around it is lovely. I treat it more like a cologne as a pick me up & I either reapply and enjoy again, or put on another frag entirely (it transitions well into rose frags or other citrus/tea frags). I did get the edp version, which sticks around longer than the edt, but actually I prefer the edt lightness & zestyness.
As I said to Marina, I was not particularly excited about anything this year to want to buy it. Although now that I am thinking about it, I liked Dans Tes Bras and I enjoyed El Attarine. In comparison to the last year, however, I found fewer favorites.
Odori Iris is really pretty, I liked it too. And of course we agree on the Pacificas
R, I hope 2009 is amazing! On the other hand, I spent plenty this year and perhaps don't need to spend more
Many people find that cumin on skin = panties though. Or sweat. Or both.
I am never even close to up to date sniffing even the things I think I might be interested in. I tend to focus more on sampling from different houses or different families, since I'm still fairly new to all this. This year I surprised myself by going through half a bottle of Bronze Goddess, and I loved Sycomore, but not enough to buy such a huge bottle yet. I also like Cartier's Roadster, and found Jo Malone's Sweet Lime and Cedar to be the perfect (for the moment) lime scent for my son. And, like AnnS, I loved discovering Sonoma Scent Studio this year, especially Fireside Intense and Vintage Rose. In general, this was the year of scaling back on purchases, and being more thoughtful on full bottles. As my shelf gets full, I find myself asking what are the more important purchases — what's missing in my collection, what will I truly love. But then again these things can be surprising. Really want to try the Byredo Pulp, especially since I've heard it compared to Miller & Bertaux's No. 3, which I really love.
2008 was the year of perfume for me- so a lot of my darlings are not from this particular year, decade, or generation. BUT, I am a fan of SL 5 o'clock Gingembre, Jubilation 25, Poivre 23, and I have a huge lemming for that Stephen Jones violet space rock perfume. And I ordered myself a Chrismas present last week after reading Kevin's french history lesson- a Cire Trudon candle-sounds like I am in for a treat!
“Anti-designer!” I'm new too and fell into the same thing, thought it was just me. I need to get my sampling under control and try to be systematic…but it's so much fun to just sample around. My big 'discoveries' were hardly new: L'Artisam Mure & Musc Extreme and Serge Lutens Gris Clair. Have decided to focus on old-school French frags for sampling in 2009, starting with Guerlain. Or Dior. Or Balmain. Or all…
Thanks for the incredily fun blog where I spend more time than I should!
as a perfume newbie, i just want to say how helpful your site has been. there are a few perfumes i just love the smell of, but the bulk of them smell pretty awful to me…..how to find my way to the good stuff amidst the yuck?!?!?
that's where the faithful bloggers show the way. you provide so much information: reviews, notes, impressions, comparisons. i can do research on line and then hone in on the most likely scents for me without having to blindly sniff through some – unpleasant? – experiences. honestly without the resources you all provide i don't know if i would be at all involved with perfume, as it would be too much pain versus pleasure!
so thank you and know that your efforts are very much appreciated in this quarter. Happy New Year Everybody! lunarose
V, you're smarter than I am — I bought too much.
Scaling back is a very good thing — I managed it in 2006 & 2007, but fell off the wagon this year.
Personally don't think Pulp is much like the MeB — the MeB is all about green, the Pulp is all about fruit.
helenviolette: curious…which candle did you order! Let me know how you like it….Kevin
Hear, hear! I don't know what I would have done without the blogs.
This year I spent a lot of hard-earned euro on perfume – yes, it is your fault! Buying my perfume in Paris at L'Artisan Parfumeur next to the Louvre was the greatest thing for me.
I never thought I would fall in love with the monsun garden, IMHO it is underrated still, it is a masterpiece with it's soft smell of water and ginger, great!
I bought NAHÉMA and got crazy for it, though someone asked at a party “Who smells like a grandma here?”
And I found a SL I truly love, A la nuit, which is really only wearable at “night” if you know what I mean.
Through NST I could easily find through thousand of scents, I know what is worth even only spending time to ask or sniff for. I learned a lot and I am hapy to share it with my (german) readers.
Thank you that I did not waste one euro also!
I'll try again in summer!
Blind sniffing would be good, but for education purposes I haven't been able to so far. I need a vocabulary to go with my smelling experiences! Maybe I can figure out a way to experiment with blind tests. It'd be interesting.
I want to hear about your new candle too! I'm a cheapskate when it comes to candles, but I'm getting tempted.
Thank you both so much!
mybeautyblog – when I was in highschool back in the 80's I got teased a lot for wearing Tea Rose (even in light doses). I can't repeat on a “family” blog what some kids said, but it put up my back and my courage to wear what I liked with confidence.
I LOVE Nahema, and wear it often. You should wear it with pride! It is woefully hard to find in the USA, and one of the greatest rose fragrances ever developed. If you are so lucky to have found and love Nahema (or any other frag for that matter) you should wear it with confidence and intelligence – it is a very beautiful fragrance! The person who made the grandma comment was very rude and probably a little uninformed about fragrances. (There are some really excellent reviews and info about Nahema online if you look for them, and some very famous people wear it as well.)
thank you AnnS! I got also compliments for it, and I do wear it with confidence. I will go and get L'Heure bleue also, I think I will have enough confidence for this jewel too!
Great that you enjoy Nahema also, I do not know anyone wearing it. The Guerlain rep kept it hidden.
I use to say: Unobtrusiveness is weakness
Well- it was tough to choose- I was very tempted by the Abd something and the leather/tobacco and the moon BUT- I recalled you having three in your hand to buy and then choosing the one you reviewed and decided it would have to be the one for me to order unsniffed (we have no Barney's in San Antone)- It is scheduled to arrive on January 1, 2009 and I hope it does…
Hey Robin! It was more than I have ever spent on a candle but I am looking forward to it- and it is very satisfying to know I will be able to use it up (unlike my perfume collection)…
That would explain it. Which is weird…I cook with cumin, have for a good long time, and know what that smells like.
Maybe I need to put it on my skin.
Also- has anyone smelled the D.L. and Co. Tony Duquette candle? I was pretty impressed with thorn apple and I adore Tony Duquette…
Another Mandragore edt fan speaking up…I find it is soothing/refreshing in the way Guerlain Eau Imperiale is…but enough more complex to move it up at least one rung on the ladder of perfume concentrations and/or complexity. (Come to think of it, that would be one rung each.)
It's one of the few things I can put on when I sense there might be a migraine lurking. But I can't put it on after one has begun…only Imperiale can cross that threshold, and only in certain circumstances.
Not me yet. I'm headed downtown SF tomorrow so I'll check it out.
Adore the packaging, it's like a gift within a gift, just lovely.
LOL — go ahead, blame us, we don't mind
Robin, just wading back through 2008 to see what was issued gave me a headache. And I'd completely forgotten about things like the JM Kohdo Wood, which seems unfair. (I also think we forgot Vero Kern on the Posse, which makes me feel even guiltier.)
And you cracked me up with your “Didn't Do” list — yeah, that would take way too much time.
Well, this was my Perfumista 101 year, and I made many wonderful discoveries. I'm a “thoroughly modern Millie” type, so most of them were newer & niche. My goal for 2009 is to try more of the classics – I hope to find a couple that are really “me”.
As far as 2008 fragrances go, I was thrilled to discover the Saffron James fragrances, the Kohdo Wood duo, and Dans Te Bras. All FBW for me!
I really liked Incense Rose (but wish it had a higher rose to incense ratio), Un Jardin Après La Mousson (I'm not a fruit lover, buy melon is surprisingly OK with me!), and Lyric for Women (may be too sophisticated for me, but SO pretty!).
2008 fragrances I am very intrigued by, and still want to try: Rose Praline & Rose Kashmirie, Stephen Jones, Shanti Shanti, Fleur de Liane, Felanilla, and Homage.
It's scary that 2009 fragrances are on the horizon, and that I still have so much to learn (telling self to chill out – LOL!)
it was ok 2 me 2. kinda like the new gucci 4 men. nothing special. its been done a dozen times. kinda disappointing. deseo for women is far much better. i do love its mossyness and tobacco.
IrisNobile's best of 2008:
Hermes un Jardin Apres la Mousson, Serge Lutens 5 o'clock au Gingembre (too beautiful to be true, this fragrance takes my breath away). i really want to try the Comme des Garcons plus Stephen Jones, more, I am dying just to buy a bottle unsniffed! I love the packaging, i love the idea of “violets hit by meteorite”, I love the name, the color, the design, the list of notes… I don't really like the price tag but oh well, too bad, I still want a bottle of this! UNSNIFFED!!! (I just need to find a good soul to purchase a bottle for me:))
2008 was my year to rediscover perfume, after many years of ignoring it. With help from this blog and Perfumes: The Guide I did a lot of niche sniffing, but found myself gravitating towards “old style” frags I used to scorn, such as Piguet's Fracas. I have fallen in love with the 1940's and '50s! Also, some niche houses I will explore further in 2009 are CB I Hate Perfume, CdG, Tauer, FM, SL, and Etro.
I actually started one, just listing things that were particularly disappointing to me, but gave it up — it got too long, and given how much crap there is, it seemed unfair to call out just some of the crap — HA.
Hearing rumors that JM will reissue the Kohdo Woods, & hope it's true.
Haunani, I'm really hoping there will be fewer new scents in 2009, but we'll have to wait & see. So far, the list looks pretty long but I won't be surprised if some brands cut back on their plans.
We're talking about the Deseo, right? I thought the women's was much better too.
Robin J reminded me the Vero Kerns were 2007 so feeling less guilty about that.
I also heard that rumor from a Jo Malone SA here, we'll see.
Talking about great candles, a couple of days ago in the L'occitance store, I got a fantastic candle called The Golden Branch. It is sublime and, to me, smells like gorgeous incense. I LOVE candles but this one is my new favourite.
Like Angela, I love Jubilation 25, and she describes it perfectly. I am in the minority of perfumistas, I think, for also loving Serge Noire, although I wish that trumpet blast would last longer before fading off to merely agreeable ambery woods. I fell hardest this year for things that weren't new releases: CBIHP's Musk Reinvention Absolute (more of a vibration than a scent), Domenico Caraceni 1913 (glad to see Kevin likes it as well), Montale Greyland, and PG Corps & Ames All of this is making me feel really noire myself, so I have to say that I sniffed Calyx a couple weeks ago, and wished that it was March already so I could wear it. All in all, I learned a lot in 2008, my second year as a member of perfumanity, about my tastes as well as what is what in the world of perfume. Books like The Guide notwithstanding, my own personal perfume journey would not have been possible without blogs like this one, so I have to say that NST is my “best of 2008” perfume-related thing. Happy New Year, everyone!
Or someone else's…
Odori Iris is the one fragrance from '08 that I have fallen head over heels in love with and resisted buying because of the price. It's on my wishlist for after the holidays. I don't hear many people mention it, but I think it's just beautiful. One of the loveliest iris fragrances I have sniffed.
Do not buy unsniffed! That one's too spendy to take the chance. But I want a bottle of it myself…
Fracas is so wonderful, no? It was one of the first “old style” (or at least, heavy) scents I came to love too.
My one resolution: I will not feel guilty about my '08 fragrance purchases. There. Done.
My favorites? I bought a lot of classics, but from the new releases, I adore (in addition to Odori Iris, which I have only sampled): Dans Tes Bras, Jubilation 25, Homage, No. 5 eau Premiere, Poivre 23, Hilde Soliani Bell'Antonio and I'm sure there are a few others. I have mixed feelings about Serge Noir. Some days I like it and others, well, it's just too armpit-infused even for me.
Bronze Goddess was one of my buys this year, too, and I really like it.
I am still so new that I have no idea what was released when, and most of the new ones mentioned I haven't tried. On the list, but I doubt I will begin to catch up.
Also, quite often when a new release is mentioned here I forget about it by the time it actually comes out, or I put it on my list and then can't find it for a year.
That's really kind, thanks! And love the idea of “more of a vibration than a scent” — would apply that to the LesNEZ musk thing too.
And — joining you in wishing I was wearing Calyx in 65 degree weather!
Chiming in to say I'm also tempted as heck (and envious of Helen & Kevin), but to spend more than $35-$40 on a candle would qualify as insanity for me…. and I was so overwhelmed with everything else on my first trip to Aedes yesterday that I totally bypassed the rather impressively large display of Cire Trudon they have (though I did admire the presentation).
My cheap thrill candle of choice is Voluspa Baltic Amber, of which I purchased a replacement at Anthropologie just before Xmas.
Well IrisNobile, if we both try Stephen Jones and love it, then maybe we could buy it for each other. Gifts don't count as self-indulgence, right?
LOL — that was easy! I'll try it myself
Yep! But will be surprised if they ever top Nil in my book.
No, I think it's very common — you discover niche, it blows you away, and then it takes you awhile to realize that a) there are plenty of crappy niche scents too and b) there are some really wonderful mainstream scents.
I still feel like very much of a newbie two years into this obsession, but I'll say, like everyone else, that I have learned SO much from everyone at NST (and that of course includes the comment community)… and not just educational, but an enjoyable part of my day. Since I'm still working to build up my knowledge of “classics” (old AND new), I feel that trying to keep up with new releases is even more difficult. There's no way to catch up, is there!? So, for 2008, wow… how to make a list??
Ahhh, Amouage: I think of Jubilation as a 2007 scent for some reason, but, yes, I scored my 30ml bottle of XXV in 2008 and pretty much consider it my holy grail incense & “extra special occasion” scent. Lyric Man would be REALLY nice if I had the extra cash lying around, and I was also very impressed — possibly even more so — with Lyric Woman (which I just sniffed for the first time yesterday).
– Dans Tes Bras: I've definitely succumbed, and I'm weeping because FM is so dang pricey. I may have to buy at least the set of three 10ml bottles (along with an “oldie” I also just fell in love with: Noir Epices).
– Apres La Mousson: Count me among those who actually DO like it, though I don't yet own it.
– Sycomore (wish it was available in a smaller bottle!)
– Montale Red Aoud
– El Attarine: I first found it too much of a curry-bomb, but it's subtle fruity charms have really gotten to me.
– Speaking of Serge, I REALLY want to check out Serge Noire some more, because my first sniff yesterday didn't scare me nearly as much as Kevin led me to expect. (It was wildly strange and compelling in the same way I find Dzing! and Cumming.)
Surprised that I liked these so much:
– Kenzo Winter Flowers
– EL Amber Ylang Ylang
– Lancome Magnifique: does for me what Sensuous does for Robin, I think.
I greatly appreciate the following, but my wallet is thankful that I don't NEED to own them:
– Aedes de Venustas (all I smell is the frankincense)
– Baume du Doge (Noir Epices fills that niche for me SO much better)
Finally, something I realized in 2008: I really need a part-time job in a perfume store or something!
I will never catch up either!
I'll look for that one — more in my price range than the Cire Trudons!
It's true, I've used up more candles than perfume in the past few years. Of course, I don't have 100+ candles
Hey, but what did you think of Aedes? Buy anything? And where else did you go in NY?
LOL — then let's make it a 3 way exchange, ok?
Well, I'm another newbie here and like the other fragrance newbies, I also found myself going back and buying a lot of older stuff: Dzing!, Tabac Blonde, Black, etc. I also think it's safe to say that I've fallen in love with anything (vintage) that Guy Robert created. Let's just say that I'm with a lot of you: I spent waaaaay too much…
As far as new or newer fragrances go, I was pleasantly surprised by Infusion d'Iris and Comme des Garcons 888. I got a small bottle of d'Iris and my wallet could only shell out for a decant of 888.
I agree that Ma Dame was quite a good commercial. Also, I have to admit, that the Britney Spears' commercial for “Fantasy” has been reappearing quite frequently and every time I cannot help but snicker a little to myself…
Cracked up at your last sentence — talk about using up your salary before you earn it! I think that's probably the last place I need to work
And Jubilation was 2007, in fact, I included it in last year's Best of post.
Hey Joe- I think 35-40 is pure insanity too!!! I mostly buy Root candles from their outlet shop for about 12 bucks a pop…so in light of that, I justify this splurge. (But I worry that if this one is sublime, I will splurge again- for my sake lets hope they aren't all that)
For a newbie you've got excellent taste already!
Ohhh, I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Let's hope they do.
Angela, I know tastes vary, but I musk know…what the heck is wrong with Cruel Gardenia???
Does anyone know? Is it the price? or the juice itself?
Many reviewers hate it, and it was the only thing I've fell in love with this year.
So I must know; what are other people smelling while I am smelling what I imagine angel's skin would smell like? The silage is impressive for such a tender scent. It doesn't smell like gardenias, but smells to me like a flower that should exist.
So what is it others don't like? I'm more curious than ever.
It wasn't about the salary at all. At this point, I'd probably “intern” pro bono. HA! It's all about just getting to SNIFF all the product!
Actually, I think you might be responding to my comment. And I found the sillage very unimpressive, the price silly, the name wrong – but most significantly, the scent noncommital on all fronts. The SAs here inevitably go on and on about how “soft” CG is, which always seems to translate to: “floral” soap smell designed not to cause waves at the office. But as always at NST, different strokes for different folks! The important thing is that you sniff your wrist and think: Hey, I smell like an angel!
It's a plan!
What an incredible year!
I loved the Orientalists and bought a bottle of Encens Flamboyant and Ambre Fetiche. I was very impressed with the 2008 Chanels. Not tempted to buy yet since I have generous samples of Beige, Sycomore and Eau Premiere. One of my favorites for this year is Serge Noire and I hope to have a bottle of Gingembre in the future. But my favorite fragrance this year was Amuage Homage. I just need to save my money for it!
Thanks for the daily information. I enjoy reading the reviews and the information about the new perfumes every day.
Happy New Year!!
I also wanted to give credit to Energy C fragrances from Comme des Garcons, and to L'Artisan for creating Fleur de Liane. I have not smelled fleur de liane, but I do like the concept.
For the mainstream market – BIG credit to Ralph Lauren for creatinf Notorious.
mbanderson: stop resisting ! ! odori iris is soooo lovely – i cannot afford a full bottle, but I did buy an 8 ml spray from perfumed court – and worth every penny –
I am probably the closest to Angela's list. And farthest from Robin's Which is only to be expected. Happy 2009 to all at NST!!
Lunarose, I could have written the exact same thing, this being my first year into perfumes.
Thank you to everybody who blogs and comments!
Didn't finish my decant of Kohdo Wood because I didn't want a broken heart. If reissued, I might buy.
Same here – this newbie has been spending too much time getting acquainted with the oldies-but-goodies to bother with the designer frags and the latest launches. However, I am whittling away at my “must smell” list, so maybe in 2009 I'll start smelling the new stuff. Not sure about the niche – may just be too hard to find and too expensive for my schedule and purse.
Kohdo Wood was a highlight for me of the scents released this year, but as others have said before me, with this being my first year of perfume exploration, everything – regardless of launch date – is a discovery! I loved Eau Premiere too, and Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, and have a soft spot for Amber Ylang Ylang and Mousson (to stay within our time frame).
I don't know if it's changed, but SA's used to get “gratis” so that's another great benefit….
Oh, a big yes to Kashmirie! I thought that was released in 2007, so I left it out, but I could be mistaken.
Haha, I have had the exact same fantasy as Joe. Indeed an Estee Lauder SA in a big store in Manchester said I knew enough about EL and Jo Malone already to get a job there if I was serious! Shame I don't live nearer….
Homage is really lovely stuff. I've (happily) forgotten the price already. A wonderful 2009 to you!
My favorites (although the first may be technically 2007) were
Chanel no. 5 eau Premiére
Bvlgari Jasmin Noir
Kenzo Amour le Parfum
I like the L'Artisan travel series too — looking forward to the next entry. Didn't love Liane though.
Yes, all is as it should be, LOL…happy 2009 to you!
A Niemann's SA told me they'd heard Kohdo Wood would be reissued in spring.
It's fun when everything is a discovery! You'll be jaded by the end of next year
I bought the darker one, but haven't used it up just because I have too much perfume…
Most people didn't get to smell the Chanel til this year, so it counts
That's exciting!!! I particularly love “Day”.
Thank you so much Erin! It actually doesn't change my opinion. I guess I might be a *floral soap* kind of girl. I love Guerlain, but I wonder what they were thinking with that $200+ price tag?
Why thank you, Robin
Well, I'm glad – I wouldn't want to change your opinion! You've found something you love, which is great. NST commenters have variously described things I adore of smelling like vomit, poop, tooty-frooty, bad breath etc. etc., and yet I still love these things. Floral soap sounds good in comparison
Well let's see my Fav's this year were Aedes de Venustas, Angel Pure Coffee, Costume National 21, Red Aoud, Byredo Pulp, and Annick Goutal's Encens Flamboyant, Myrrhe Ardente, and Ambre Fetiche. My fav sampled but didnt buy…El Attarine, Hinoki, AT Incence Rose, Baume du Doge, TF White Patchouly (until last night…too cheap of a deal to pass up…YES Kevin I'm WEAK!), EL Sensuous, and CK Secret Obession. Old but new to me Dzing! (Shout out to Angela), and Voleur de Roses. Dissapointed by Dans tes Bras, TF Champaca, and REALLY REALLY hated Serge Noire. Happy New Year to all of my blog buddies. Be safe and HAVE FUN!
PS- I forgot I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Homage Attar by Amouage
Isn't Attar lovely? Like I can afford it, LOL….
I think I'm disappointed by TF Champaca too, although have only given it one try so far.
A very happy 2009 to you!
Stopped by the Jo Malone store last night and the SA said both Kohdo woods are coming back in April, but again in limited edition. There was some kind of waiting list (already 5 pages) to “guarantee yourself a bottle”; I'm not sure how important this is or how it works at other stores but he said that last time they ran out. Seemed to me like it could just be for the sake of hype, though.
Thanks for the update — and agree, sounds like hype!
Gosh, Nil is beautiful!
I bought it unsniffed out of your suggestion along with a bunch of sample from a discount site, I called it 'atmosphere', it gives a distinctive feeling you are in a garden, with all the smells come rushing toward you. Nil is just a poem so beautiful that you can't stop reciting, others merely article written by 3rd grade student. : )
I am some how curious for Mousson, I went to department store to have a sniff last month, all I get is only pepper, I don't know what's the problem with that bottle, my sis even commented that she 's surprised that someone can bottle pepper and slap on a high price, lol.
So glad you love it!
I wonder if you are possibly anosmic to something in Mousson? It is not a favorite of mine, but it smells like more than just pepper to me. Did you try it on skin or on paper?
i still have no clue about that, maybe the paper ate the melon, I'll try it on skin next time,maybe the capless tester unit gone bad. I would like to ask about those capless tester unit perfume from online perfume store, how to take care of it so it doesn't turn bad? so tempted to get some creed, huge discount on that. thanks : )
Gosh, it would be very odd for a tester to go off that quickly. Maybe try it on skin next time!
Personally, I don't think caps make such a huge difference…keeping the bottle safe from heat & light is more important.
I didn't like Mousson either, it's the most disappointing of the three. Nil is fantastic. If ever I need to wear something as refreshing as a cold shower on a hot humid day, I'll wear Nil. It's a wonderfully unisex scent and smells just as good on men as on women, but slightly different due to skin chemistry.
Mousson just smells like damp vegetables to my nose.
I genuinely don't understand the love of Infusion D'Homme which I thought was one of the most disappointing fragrances of last year.
Nil is still one of my summer favorites too
Oh, the Mousson ist so so nice! Not any vegetals… Today I wear Nil and I love it – no summer in sight but it smells at least like…