Tuesday, January 1, 2013
What you will find here is a list of fragrances categorized as florals, fruits, and gourmands. Many are crossovers. These 2012 introductions delighted me as we rolled through 2012. So did many others, but I cannot write a book this afternoon. How did I choose? These are the fragrances I wore the most. They are also fragrances that you can easily find and purchase.
Presented in no particular order, here were many of my successful purchases. I'll admit there will be many I forget to list. Mine to enjoy; yours to discover.
Jardin d'Amalfi and Fleurs de Gardenia. In your first moment with Jardin d'Amalfi, your senses fill with the characteristic scent of citrus - symbolic of the Amalfi coast - woods, apple, and rose in an artistic blend of fresh green, fruity perfection. The top notes are tangerine, bergamot, pink berries, and neroli. The heart of Jardin d'Amalfi was composed with Virginia cedar (an evergreen fragrance that is light and fresh), French apple, and Bulgarian rose. The base dries down with Haitian vetiver, white musk, and (oddly) cinnamon. Fleurs de Gardenia has top notes of pink berries, fresh, ripe blackcurrant, and engaging galbanum. The middle notes are First Love gardenias, Double Blush roses, lavender peonies, lily of the valley, and pink jasmine. The base notes are soft musk, pink patchouli (no, I cannot smell it at all), and Virginia cedar.
Mon Précieux Nectar made my year scrumptious. Mon Précieux Nectar opens with top notes of petit grain and "bitter" almond powder. The heart is composed with orange blossom and jasmine. The base notes are sandalwood, gaïac wood, vanilla, white musk, and barely detectible incense.
Forbidden Games is one of Kilian Hennessy's three In the Garden of Good and Evil fragrances introduced this fall. Created by Calice Becker, the notes are apple, peach, plum, cinnamon, Bulgarian rose, geranium bourbon, jasmine, vanilla, honey, and opoponax. Honorable mention goes to Kilian's Good Girl Gone Bad from the same collection and the two Asian Tales fragrances: Bamboo Harmony and Water Calligraphy.
Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum was the first fragrance introduced by the prestige leather brand (a new one is coming in 2013). There are four key notes in Bottega Veneta's Eau de Parfum: Sambac jasmine, Brazilian pink peppercorn, bergamot, and Indian patchouli (yes, patchouli, and I like it). Additionally, the fragrance includes plum, benzoin, and oak moss.
Private Blend Jardin Noir Collection. Three are gorgeous. Jonquille de Nuit is a gorgeous fragrance, characterized by its key notes of narcissus, violet absolute, mimosa, and orris. The key notes of Lys Fume are pink peppercorn (for pleasant and subtle spice), lily, ylang ylang (for zip), and vanilla absolute. Ravishing! Ombre de Hyacinth is a green floral with a reminder of spring's delicate, fragrant hyacinths. The key notes are hyacinth, violet leaf, jasmin absolute, and Persian galbanum resinoid.The fourth? I found Café Rose, the darling of perfume connoisseurs, a disgusting patchouli bomb.
Orangers en Fleurs. This beautifully sophisticated fragrance is centered around the warm head notes of orange blossom. A heart of Turkish rose and Egyptian jasmine is highlighted by a subtle combination of tuberose and orange leaf absolute. The accord is delicately balanced by the fresh floral note of ylang, slightly spiced with nutmeg.
Blackberry & Bay delighted me - and many others. An initial burst of sweet, fresh, juicy berries is tempered by citrus and bay, yielding a lovely, balanced treat. Once Blackberry & Bay dries down, vetiver keeps it fresh, while cedarwood grounds it. In my opinion, one of the best Jo Malone fragrances in years.
L'Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l'Aube created by the prolific Bertrand Duchaufour, offers notes of avender, pink pepper, lemon tree leaves, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia, beeswax, incense, Benzoin Siam, and Luiseiri lavender to remember an afternoon experienced by Denyse Beaulieu, author of The Perfume Lover. You can read the story at Fragrantica.
Monodie, a little-known Eau de Parfum by Ys Uzac, is a high-spirited play on mirabelle, a small yellow plum, whose taste is less tart than other plums, with a jammy undertone picked up by the drop of caramel in the base notes. A splash of summery colors adorn this sunny melody: pink grapefruit and red rose contrasting with the tart green of rhubarb and the deeper resinous tones of galbanum.
Un Bateau pour Capri was presented by Eau d'Italie to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Inspired by the glamorous women who have stayed at the hotel (hink Grace Kelly or Liz Taylor on a cool summer morning, head tied in a printed silk scarf, large dark sunglasses, boarding a wooden Riva speedboat headed to Capri), Un Bateau pour Capri has notes of peony, freesia, peach, Sambac jasmine, rosa centifolia, heliotrope, solar wood, cedarwood, and musk.
Unter den Linden by Tanja Bochnig is a natural perfume from April Aromatics that left me in a trance. Lindenblossom CO2 extract from Bulgaria and linden blossom absolute extract from France mixed with magnolia blossoms and a citrus note create this delicate fragrance with a beautiful, light, powdery, sweetly floral scent of honey. It smells like linden trees in full bloom.
i Profumi di Firenze Frangipane e Cocco offers flirty top notes of coconut and blood orange on an elegant, alluring base of frankincense take you away to an exotic reverie. The notes are frangipani, coconut, blood orange, and frankincense. I purchase almost every i Profumi di Firenze fragrance that is introduced, and this one left me yearning for an additional bottle.
ELECTRON, one of the A DOZEN ROSES fragrances. It opens with a dose of roses and violets, transporting me to a garden with the top notes. As the scent matures, I can smell the green tea, but I'll have to admit I don't know what cattleya orchids smell like - plus musk on dry-down.
Mito is one of them most fascinating fragrances I purchased. Vero Kern’s long-awaited composition was inspired by the magical gardens of the sixteenth century Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Italy. The myths the name conjures might be the gods and nymphs whose statues people the garden. The notes? Citrus blend, magnolia grandiflora, white magnolia champaca, jasmine, galbanum, hyacinth, cypress blend, and moss. Absolutely, totally gorgeous.
Essential Luxuries, and I love several of them. Perfumer Calice Becker created all of them - and it shows. The line was inspired by de la Renta's "most loved people, places and things.” Right now, I can't name my favorite among favorites. They are definitely worth your attention, as are the new fragrances in Christian Dior's Privée La Collection.
I discovered a few extraordinary vintage, niche, and must-have pre-2012 fragrances this year, with help from my friends at Peace, Love, Perfume, a Facebook group of perfumer lovers (whether perfumers, writers, YouTube reviewers, or just fans like me). I've found lasting friendship there, as my wallet slowly emptied in 2012. I'm sure they will tell me about a new fragrance I must have - probably as early as this week. One of them, Xerjoff Nio (shown below), would have been included in this feature if I could have found its date of introduction.
Update: I told you I'd forget favorites. Oh, how I miss my mind! I must add Ramon Monegal's Impossible Iris and Neela Vermiere's Bombay Bling. Because I just purchased Jour d'Hermès, it's not fair to say it's one of the fragrances I've worn the most this year, but by any other measure, it should be on the list. I also forgot to list NEST's Midnight Fleur, shown below in all its gorgeousness. My bad.
Photos courtesy of the brands