2015 has been a year that required equal parts of tenacity and optimism from those of us who are led by our noses. I kept sniffing and acquiring samples. I also kept kvetching and spending my money on vintage bottles. Because in a sea of derivative and redundant new perfumes, fallen idols, and general vulgarization of the market, true pleasures were painfully few. But they did happen, sometimes in unexpected places. The names missing from my top ten list are as telling as those who made an appearances. The world moves on and nothing stays the same. Not even Uncle serge.
From Last Year:
- Masque Milano- Russian Tea. Leather and smoky tea, elegant and satisfying. This smallish Italian brand is one to keep watching.
- Memo- Irish Leather. Actually from 2013, but I spent most of the quality time with it this year. Irish Leather is the husband's choice for the year and I stand 100% behind it. Green leather, need I say more? (I'll get to the newer African Leather in a year or two at this pace)
- My department store experience this year was somewhere between a horror show and an outrageous comedy. Mainstream perfumes have been as bland as the laundry musk in their base. But years after giving up on Bulgari's tea series comes Eau Parfumée Au Thé Bleu and brings us something new and interesting. Iris, tea, and lavender in a blend that has me craving the entire product range.
- Aftelier- Bergamoss. Mandy Aftel released her furry chypre Bergamoss first in a solid form and recently as a limited edition eau de parfum that I must review soon. The liquid Bergamoss is shockingly dirty, yet modern in its interpretation of oakmoss. Also must be included: Aftleier Vanilla Smoke. Because vanilla. And smoke. And quality.
- Chanel- Misia. Chanel has out-Chaneled itself with this crisp and clear iris.
- Neela Vermeire- Pichola. The best tuberose of the year for this crazy tuberose person.
- Bruno Fazzolari- Seyrig. This was the second Fazzolari release of the year. The first, Room 237, is a brilliant achievement yet causes me real panic attacks. I don't know if there's enough Xanax in the world do make me actually review it, but Seyrig is a glass of champagne, a fur coat, and a proof that modern perfumery can still relate and connect to the great ones of the past without imitating them.
- Stephane Humert Lucas- Mortal Skin. A departure from Lucas' recent Middle-Eastern style, Mortal Skin is an unsettling spicy musk and skin, clean and dirty at the same time, very intimate and definitely not a crowd pleaser. The bottle representing a snake molting its skin is a perfect fit: disturbing and beautiful.
- Papillon Artisan Perfumery- Salome. This one was a gift to all of us who collect vintage perfumes and weep over their mostly-dead bodies. Rich, animalic, floral, and mossy, this beauty pushed me to rediscover the rest of the Papillon line and fall in love.
- Arquiste- Nanban. Full-bodied and spirited, East-meets-West and takes it on a breath-taking tour.
- Atelier des Ors- Larmes du Desert. Someone had to make a perfect incense fragrance this year and newcomer Atelier des Ors delivered. Dry, golden, and wrapped in myrrh this is a real treat.
Please visit my friends at Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Now Smell This, and Perfume Posse for more top ten and year in review posts. What were your perfume standouts in 2015?
Image via myvintagevogue.com: Carmen Dell'Orefice for Tri-Colore by Michel Cosmetics 1960