2015 was an interesting year for perfume, and for me personally as I delved deeper into this fragrant world. I’ve swiftly moved through various stages of perfume obsession. Initially I wanted to buy everything I came across. I read every book I could lay my hands on and spent a LOT of time perusing perfume blogs to further my knowledge. I even thought about starting my own. Now I’m more circumspect about acquisitions. I buy far less and only the perfumes that truly move me. My excitement waxes and wanes yet it’s an interest and passion that continues to exert a hold over me. I’ve met great people in real time and online through this interest, and it’s one of the best things about the perfume passion. Everyone is just as hooked as you are, and it’s a binding force.
Megan In Sainte Maxime has now been around for a year, yet the anniversary completely passed me by. I will remedy this and do a grab bag giveaway shortly as a thank you to those who spend some moments here.
My Top 15 Favourite New Releases of 2015
These are my picks from the new releases I tried in 2015. This list of course comes with the caveat that I have by no means tried everything out there (hats off to anyone who has) and with the increasing number of new releases I will never be able to keep up with everything that comes out. Hiding in that barrage of new fragrances are some real gems, although it may be more difficult to find them these days.
We all have different tastes, and as I’m a tad tardy with my list, I have read many of the Best Ofs already and it’s great that there is a healthy variation out there. Plus there are definitely a few perfumes that I am now keen to get my nose on.
I’ve already written about many of my favourites but there are a few releases that I haven’t yet reviewed that I will get around to in the New Year. I found it too difficult this year to name just one or two perfumes, so instead I’ve opted for a list of my favourite 15. It actually took a while to whittle the list down to get to that magic number. I’ve forced myself to do a Top 3 but that is as good as I get. You can scroll to the bottom to find out which of the 15 they are.
Right let’s get this list started! Without further ado and In alphabetical order.
Frida : En Voyage Perfumes : Shelley Waddington : A freaky and fabulous fragrant paean to Frida Kahlo that pulses with lush tropical garden flowers and fruits. An intriguing and unusual perfume that smells unlike anything I’ve tried before. Shelley Waddington is making beautiful perfumes. Fiore de Bellagio from En Voyage also made my Best Of list in 2014.
I Miss Violet : The Different Company : Bertrand Duchaufour : The Different Company celebrated their 15th year in the business and one of their 2015 releases was I Miss Violet. I really fell for this smooth as silk leather, violet and osmanthus infused perfume created by scent magician Bertrand Duchaufour.
Iris Cendré : Naomi Goodsir : Julien Rasquinet : A cool iris with green cat eyes winking out of the bloom. Not quite as robotic as my beloved Iris Silver Mist (Serge Lutens) but Iris Cendré does have an acerbic ashy facet that had me at first sniff. It doesn’t last as long as I hoped it would on skin but nevertheless this is one of my big favourites of the year. Have to say I’m a sucker for the aesthetics of this brand too.
Lace Garden : Teo Cabanel : Jean – François Latty : I have a soft spot for this line of French scents. Lace Garden is a graceful white floral that elevated my mood and easily charmed. One of the best in the line. There are interesting things to come in 2016 from this brand on the move. Watch this space.
Liquo : Angela Ciampagna : I stumbled upon this Italian artisanal brand at Pitti Fragranze and was intrigued by the range. Liquo was the perfume that stood out for me, although the rose oud combination Hatria was another excellent fragrance and a cut above others in this genre. Liquo is an exquisite liquorice scented bundle of hay with a rustic magical moonlight feel. Definitely one to seek out if you love both of these notes.
Lune Féline : Atelier Des Ors : Marie Salamagne : Lune Féline is one of the most decadent perfumes I’ve ever worn on skin. It’s a sweet treacled gourmand with flourishes of spice. It’s what I’d call a loved up vanilla that shoots straight for the stars. All of this in a glimmering gold bottle.
Nanban : Arquiste : Rodrigo Flores-Roux : An oriental perfume majestically sailing through stormy waters laden with spice, incense, leather and mystery. Not only does it smell addictively intoxicating but the attention to detail with the back story is fascinating. Of the scores of perfumes I tested at Pitti Fragranze, Nanban was the one still keeping me warm at evening’s close.
Pichola : Neela Vermeire Creations : Bertrand Duchaufour : Another winner for Neela Vermeire‘s luxurious Indian inspired brand. Pichola is a beautiful shimmering white floral, and a well crafted addition to her fabulously curated collection. Of all the brands that make use of Bertrand Duchaufour’s talents, Vermeire is able to consistently elicit his best work.
Romanza : Masque : Cristiano Canali : Inspired by Oscar Wilde‘s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Romanza is a mesmerising ode to narcissus with some animalics thrown in for good measure. It could be a heavy, lumbering perfume but somehow manages to shine. Another strong offer from Italian brand Masque who are masterminding formidably impressive perfumes.
Salome : Papillon Artisan Perfumes : Liz Moores : Moores is a talent to behold and makes seriously deriously debauched perfumes. Salome is her filthiest yet. It’s alive with Africa Stone and other naughties but has a wonderful floralcy that simply blooms. From various testings with friends I would advise this perfume as one for practised perfume lovers only. Novices may find this a difficult sniff. For those who like vintage scents that skew to the dark side, this is one to put on the list. My advice is to go all out and get naked with this one.
Tabac Tabou : Parfum d’Empire : Marc Corticchiato : Tabac Tabou is another unique beauty from one of my favourite perfume ranges. Imagine you’re on horseback in the green leafy woods, rather than in front of a smoky fire. Mesmerising and truly beautiful.
Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme : Tom Ford : Sonia Constant : I already liked the men’s version and then this came along and had me from first sniff. The aesthetics of Tom Ford‘s flashily gleaming main line generally appeal to me, (often more so than his Private Blends), and Noir Pour Femme makes me feel like a million dollars. Embrace this vanilla, ambered gourmand scent with kulfi (Indian ice cream) and spray lavishly.
Vanille d’Iris : Ormonde Jayne : Geza Schoen : Creamy, elegant and sophisticated, this delicate iris and vanilla scent easily seduced me. Wearing this perfume makes me feel like the woman who I am most definitely not, but it’s great to have the fantasy. It’s my dress up pretending to be posh perfume.
Voyage : Hiram Green : Purveyor of a classy natural line, Hiram Green makes superior synthetic free perfume. Voyage smells absolutely divine as it travels from citrus shores to an ambered vanilla. Plus it’s a limited edition so hurry and get your bottle pronto.
White : Puredistance : Antoine Lie : This little fluffy cloud of scent reeled me in with its comforting orris and tonka, enveloped in puffs of musks. Exquisite. I’ll be reviewing this in the coming week.
Ok if I’m really pushed, I can single out my Top 3 from this list (again in alphabetical order). They are Iris Cendré, Nanban and Salome!
On the honorary list of perfumes I enjoyed and would include if I made a Top 20 : Ambre Cashmere from Nicolai : Fundamental from Rubini : Panorama from Olfactive Studio : Nin-Shar from Jul et Mad : Metal Hurlant from Pierre Guillaume.
More Best Ofs :
Best Bottle: Miu Miu : I adore Miu Miu’s quirky sensibility (more from afar than on my body unfortunately). It’s the fun loving younger sister to her more intellectual Prada sibling. This brightly coloured bottle seemed to fit the sentiment perfectly. Can’t say I liked the Daniela Andrier signed perfume as much though.
Best TVC : Sauvage : Dior : Well really there wasn’t much competition here. I know not many perfume geeks adored the perfume, but I quite liked seeing Johnny Depp across the screen. Not nearly as rubbish as Chanel‘s use of Brad Pitt.
Best Concept : Panorama : Olfactive Studio : This French house, helmed by Celine Verleure uses photographic inspiration for its perfumes. In a world full of small brands attempting to stand out, this is a concept easily explained to potential buyers and consumers. Some may not like this approach at all and find it the antithesis to everything they love about perfume. Perhaps I have even been guilty of this too. However the photo of the Sheats house in Los Angeles by photographer Miguel Sandinha struck a note and Clement Gavarry‘s Panorama is a great match for that green vista. With its swift hit of wasabi, it’s a rather innovative perfume to boot.
Best Perfume Publication : ODOU : This is a glorious magazine dedicated to scent, perfume and anything olfactory related. Produced in the UK, it’s bursting with wide ranging texts from contributors around the globe. A truly wonderful endeavour from Liam Moore. Please everyone get your hands on this and support a great venture.
PS the magazine also contains the writings of The Silver Fox aka Alex Musgrave. If you haven’t read his perfume prose please go to A Scent Of Elegance and enter a haunting world of fragrant ecstasy.
Most Anticipated Perfumes In 2016
There are three perfumes that I’m excited about.
Vero Profumo‘s tobacco perfume is one of them. For lovers of her intoxicating fragrances, you just know this is going to be in a league of its own.
Papillon Artisan Perfumes White Moth, originally scheduled for 2015 will now be available this year or in 2017.
Nuit de Bakélite from Naomi Goodsir by Isabelle Doyen. Although I believe this has been a long time coming.
Do tell me what your favourite perfumes of 2015 were, even if they aren’t new releases. And here’s to more heady perfume exploration in 2016. x Megan
Notes : All mine except for : I Miss Violet, Lace Garden, Lune Feline, Salome, Tabac Tabou, Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, White, Miu Miu, Sauvage, Panorama, ODOU.