There were tons of fragrance launches in 2010, both in the mainstream and from niche houses, and I sampled (or bought) very few–comparatively speaking. I smelled lots of things that didn’t move me. I smelled some things that I liked. And, I met a few new loves that I hope will always be part of my fragrance wardrobe.
Perfumes that moved me:
To list each of the fragrances that I tested from Sonoma Scent Studio is a waste of finger strength—Laurie Erickson’s work moves me; even her tuberose. While they weren’t new in 2010, SSS was new to me, and made a huge impact on how I view perfume, and deserves the top spot on this list.
From L’Artisan Parfumeur, four releases in a row rocked my world: Havana Vanille (technically 2009, I think), Al Oudh, Nuit de Tubereuse, and Traversée du Bosphore. Each different, each beautiful, each a new love. Each affirming my Bertrand Duchaufour fan-girl status.
Perfumes that surprised me:
Parfumes DelRae Coup de Foudre, with it’s delicate, perfect feminine beauty, is a surprise every time I wear it.
Tilda Swinton for Etat Libre d’Orange, Like This: surprisingly pretty, and not the weird, avant-garde piece I expected.
Perfumes that grew on me:
Via del Profumo’s Balsamo della Mecca* (also technically 2009), which at first brought back too many negative associations, became my gateway scent to appreciating… “headier” notes in perfumes.
Guerlain Shalimar Ode a la Vanille: I expected to love this, and I was surprised that I didn’t—at least at first. I expected a chewiness and sweetness to rival or exceed the beloved classic, and it took a while for me to appreciate Ode as an entity unto itself. It’s my grocery-shopping Shalimar (a limited-edition boutique exclusive, of course).
There were many more companions on my 2010 perfume journey, new to me, but not new to the world at large. Exploring fragrances as they launch is exciting, but no more so than exploring the glorious back-log of wonderful scents still available from years past. I’m looking forward to 2011!
Image: John William Godward The New Perfume
*edit: I listed this as Il Profumo, but it’ Via del Profumo! Yikes. Please excuse 😉