Yes, I know that is an appallingly tabloid-esque headline, but as I am very late to the party with my 2009 scent round up, I figured I needed to go with an attention-grabbing headline. There again, regular readers of Bonkers about Perfume will know full well by now that they are not automatically going to get a considered and impeccably researched review of the latest releases, whether at the time of the launch or indeed ever. What they can count on is a lucky dip, a potluck supper - albeit one made with a packet sauce. For I am arguably the convenience food equivalent of the perfume blogs, the redtop newspaper - with apologies to Ines and her "All I Am - A Redhead" blog!
Right, so where was I? Hopefully off the hook now for posting this on 18th January. Nor is it probably necessary to go into much detail about most of the scents I have chosen, for they have been extensively covered by people with better noses and a more felicitous turn of phrase than me. So here goes, and I reserve the right to toss in a few sub-categories along the way as the mood takes me.
OVERALL TOP SNIFF OF 2009
I am probably the last to include Amaranthine in my top ten of last year, though I was one of its "early adopters" back in August when I first smelt it, and I have been doing my darndest to spread the word ever since! A lush tropical floral which manages to be simultaneously green and sheer; comfortingly milky, but with a dark side.
TOP TEN SNIFFS OF 2009 (in approximate order of preference)
Hermessence Vanille Galante
Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise
Tom Ford White Suede
Prada L'Eau Ambree
Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Magnolia
Miller Harris Fleurs de Bois
Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire: Muguet Blanc
Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire: Bois d'Iris
Natori EDP by Natori
Issey Miyake A Scent
Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile
Eau de Sisley (2 & 3)
Helena Rubinstein Wanted (surprise, slightly naff pick!)
Well, what do the scents in these winning categories reveal about my taste, I wondered to myself? With the exception of Amaranthine, they are all pretty polite fragrances, I suppose - several I would even go so far as to describe as "skin scents". I would also observe that I seem to like vanilla and musk notes, also lilies, ylang ylang and magnolia. Citrus should be light and not too astringent. And I like my amber to be a quiet purr at most.
OUTRIGHT NASTY NIFFS OF 2009
Boss Orange (furry orange squash/cordial)
Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger (as above)
Gucci Flora (this should have been light and inoffensive throughout, but the whole thing got hijacked by an unpleasant earthy patchouli note about half way through)
Comme des Garcons Daphne (an unpleasant woody spicy accord)
Armani Idole (headache-inducing pear drop note!)
Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega (as above)
Marc Jacobs Lola ("not good", but my mind has blocked out the reasons why, suggesting it really wasn't very nice at all)
RELEASES I DID NOT CARE FOR PARTICULARLY
Here are some of the (mostly niche) releases from 2009 that were too "difficult" or just not my style. The list also includes a number of scents which I expected to like but didn't, on each of which I have included an explanatory note.
Amouage Epic Woman
Amouage Ubar (re-release)
SL Fille en Aiguilles
AG Mandragore Pourpre
Parfums d'Empire Wazamba
Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose
Hermes Eau de Gentiane Blanche (flat, cold, depressing, blue-grey musk)
EL PC Jasmine White Moss (I think I am fundamentally not a moss lover, Cristalle aside, though I had high hopes of this one)
AG Un Matin d'Orage (spoilt by the indolic ending, otherwise it would have had my name on it)
Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte (way too sharp and acidic)
Miss Dior Cherie L'Eau (green colour gave me heart, but it too was overly shrill and tart)
YSL Parisienne (disgruntled purple talc)
SCENTS I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE TRIED BUT DIDN'T
Ormonde Jayne Tiare (current top sniff list lemming! This sounds like my sort of thing...)
Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire (ie the others in the line)
L'Artisan Havana Vanille (mainly because it is by BD!)
Maison Kurkdjian range (especially APOM and Lumiere Noire pour femme, because of good reports from the Basenotes event with FK that I missed)
Ineke Field Notes From Paris (because of Robin's recommendation on NST)
The Different Company Oriental Lounge (because of the name really : - ) )
I am quite pleased that the "missed" list is as short as it is. This is either because my frenetic interest in sampling is finally starting to plateau or because of a faulty memory, or a bit of both.