I think that I might be the last of the bloggers to come to some consensus of my bests for the year 2010. It was a whirlwind of amazing projects and new adventures for me (the beginning of this blog included!), so much so that it’s been difficult to quiet my mind and focus enough to put something into words. Before I begin my own quirky little list I’d like to thank so many who have made a huge impression on me this year; who have supported my work and others who are producing wonderful works of art and love. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and to have be able to share them. So, here goes:
*best perfume experience of the year: lots of enthusiastic children coming to the studio to explore their sense of smell! Having the ESSENSE STUDIO open for two years now has led to lots of folks bringing their children in to “smell smells” with me. I love to watch them love and hate each aroma with perfect honesty and full on emotional impact. I can immediately tell that they are being brought in touch with sheer joy at their humanity as they revel in the experience of their fifth sense. It brings me pleasure without end to see their faces even when their tongues are *hanging out in disgust. (*moss and civet do this pretty often).
*the most fun I had this year with fragrance: Sniffapolooza! There is no other event that brings me in contact with dear friends, amazing clients that I would most likely never get to meet, perfumistas from all over, and some of the most creative and down right fabulous people you will ever meet… all this wrapped in a frenzy of perfume sniffing, perfume speaking and perfume thinking. I love it. (* Highlight of Spring Fling: Mark Behnke’s piggy back ride. * Highlight of Fall Ball: (there’s three): Meeting Monica Miller, Ida’s lipstick-napkin-art and the gasp of delight when I announced Cuir et Champignon at the Sunday luncheon.
*most fascinating accord of the year: Galbanum & Bitter Almond while researching ancient Egyptian perfume formulae. We all (Mary, Amber and I) thought this combination could be a train wreck but boy were we wrong. It seemed like it might be a heavyweight fist fight for who would dominate but it is a wonderfully unusual dynamic that works beautifully in the most surprising way. The galbanum brings out a green almost wheat-like nuance from the almond and the spike of the almond mirrors the sharp bite of galbanum but it’s undertone sweetens in just the right way. All I can say is, who knew? It was love at first sniff.
*best department store perfume I smelled this year: Kalimantin by Chantecaille. (I hope I am spelling that correctly). Kalimantin is to me like being in a cozy cashmere sweater eating softly spiced rice pudding. Could there be a more elegantly comfort-filled experience? This true comfort perfume is lovely and beautifully balanced; nothing is out-of-place or jagged and with just the right amount of sweetness. It’s really well done.
*best natural perfume I smelled this year: Cannabis by dupetit. Although Cannabis has been around for quite a while, this Autumn’s Outlaw Perfume project brought a sample my way. Each of us at the Studio loved this wildly unrepentant ‘pot’ perfume that is superbly balanced in lively citrus and evergreen freshness that made it a terrific scent to splash around in.
*perfume I wish I’d had the chance to sniff but didn’t in 2010: Un Carillon Pour Un Ange by Tauer. I did have the good fortune to test Andy’s lily perfume when it was still known under it’s working title “Gabriel” but I haven’t gotten to the finished product. Of course, I have heard wonderful things and suspect that the addition of the leather and more ambergris has changed it greatly. I know many who have swooned over it and I, too, would like to fly on the wings of angels.
*best raw material discovery of the year: Spanish Lavender Absolute. Sweet, chewy and deliciously earthy and rich. Fruity nuances, too. I can’t wait to get you alone, my pretty. I think we will make beautiful music together… (Who knew that lavender could be luscious?)
*vintage perfume discovery of the year: La Jacée c.1925 from Francois Coty. I am fortunate enough to have smelled many BEAUTIFUL masterpieces of perfumery since historical perfume is a HUGE fascination for me (to the point that I am in the process of creating a small perfume museum of my own) but this gem is virtually unknown and truly unlike any other perfume I have tried. La Jacée is a light, almost ‘eau de cologne’ style perfume based on heliotrope and jasmine with lilac, lily, an iris/ violet complex and benzoin. It is as modern as a Brancusi sculpture and shiny like a new art deco automobile.
*best fragrant flash-back moment: Bitter Orange bath bar by Agraria. The spicy-bitter orange-moss scent was a revelation and as close to the scent of a long-lost (and loved) calvin klein potpourri from the ‘80’s that I have ever come. It has just the right balance of green, herbaceous, mossy, earthy, woody, smoky, spicy and orange. It is a smell that I cherish and am thrilled to have found again in a wonderful everyday item like a soap.
*best new line of perfumes I found in 2010: (my pick and everyone else’s it seems): Atelier. In particular, the Trefle Pur is outstanding and my go to scent when I need an antidote to the inevitable fragrance overload at Sniffapalooza. I make a beeline to it each and every time I am at Bergdorfs and I find it soothing and refreshing without fail. It is fabulous!
Thank you Trish at Scent Hive for organizing this blog event and inviting me to take part. I am glad to be welcomed into the community of perfume bloggers such as my compatriots in this (my first) joint blogging adventure:
Roxana Illuminated Perfume
I Smell Therefore I Am
A Rose Beyond the Thames
All I Am a Redhead
Sorcery of Scent
I hope that 2011 will be an exciting, creative, prosperous and health-filled year for everyone! I am looking forward! oxoxo
Image courtesy of Roxana Villa