December 27, 2017
Robert Herrmann and Ida Meister, Senior Editors' 2017 Best Fragrances
Some folks really adore compiling these lists; I KNOW everyone enjoys reading them, including me. You’ve probably guessed that this sort of thing is a personal nightmare because I appreciate all the efforts perfumers make. Some are given very specific briefs which they are obligated to fulfill; others are starting out and in the infancy of honing their craft/art. Still others are busily exploring olfactory terra incognita. Here’s my caveat: I’m listing ten wonderful perfumes IN NO SPECIFIC ORDER OF PREFERENCE. I refuse to be accused of favoritism, toadyism, or any other form of ISM. That’s my promise to you, much-loved readers – and the equally dear perfumers.
Here are my 2017 Best Fragrances:
*Aftelier Velvet Tuberose (Mandy Aftel): for its voluptuous, heady floral veracity (and MITTI!!!) and sensuous texture upon flesh. A dear friend purchased this as a gift; I’ll treasure every anointment.
*Ineke Idyllwild (Ineke Ruhland): it brings us the wild outdoors in a gorgeous flacon. I’ve decanted mine like mad already for so many beloveds.
DSH Perfumes Foxy (*Dawn Spencer Hurwitz): call me any name you like; friendship has nowt to do with it. It’s a second skin which I purchased on a very limited income in oil, perfume, cream, and EDP. That alone reveals how sexy and marvelous it is.
Sonoma Scent Studio Bee’s Bliss (Laurie Erickson): so wistful, wearable, dreamy...a Perfume of Hope and belief in all good things.
Ida and John Biebel
January Scent Project Eiderantler*(John Biebel): nuzzle the forest, the fields of lavender and be comforted. A completely original rendering of the fougère which makes it everyone’s darling.
Fitzgerald and Guislain La Fôret de Fontainbleau (Ian Fitzgerald and Alexander Chesebro): If only some vintages were this fine! Smoky, floral, woody, divine – and then there’s the gorgeous presentation, longevity. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
*April Aromatics Pink Wood (Tanja Bochnig): sweet satori for a rose/wood perfume-lover like myself. You needn’t choose: it’s all there in every drop of exquisite contemplative perfume.
Maison Mona Di Orio Suède de Suède (Frederic Dalman):how could I possibly resist this Scandinavian call-of-the-wild, complete with furry reindeer pelts and cloudberry? Subtle, fabulous, ingenious. Let’s spend the winter in Sweden.
Tom Ford Noir Anthracite (Honorine Blanc): surprise, surprise! One sniff in Sephora, and I murmured (to myself, since no one else gives a damn. Hot Diggity! Here’s a throwback, a variant of Jolie Madame marketed to guys! Next time, I’m buying myself a bottle. Give a good long sniff, THEN get back to me…
*Shalini Jardin Nocturne (Maurice Roucel): what??? You think you’ve figured out Maurice Roucel? Think again: this sultry floral oud is aptly named, deftly burnished and arrestingly Arabic in feel. I’m grateful for the few drops I was given – it’s the real deal.
–Ida Meister, Senior Editor
2017 Best Fragrances
In 2016 alone there were in excess of 2300 new perfume releases, and 2017 which hasn’t ended yet has already exceeded that number. Phew. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. Fortunately I tend to keep good notes, and there were so many wonderful releases this year it was very difficult to choose, but here they are, the 10 perfumes of 2017 that for whatever reason I loved and reach for the most. In alphabetical order…
Amouage Figment Man (Annick Menardo and Christopher Chong): Christopher Chong’s figment of his imagination regarding a dreamlike Bhutan, is a stunning olfactive story in a bottle that transported me over the cold blustery Himalayas into the legendary paradise of Shangri-La, replete with beautiful gardens, swaths of florals running riot all firmly planted in an earthy and fecund gardenscape. Scented storytelling at its finest.
Atelier Cologne Café Tuberosa (Jérôme Epinette): 2017 was clearly the “War Of The (tuber)Roses, and Café Tuberosa was one of the standouts for me. An unforgettable white floral and buttery tuberose made gourmand with a hefty dose of coffee, vanilla, cacao, and cardamon.
DSH Perfumes Il Marinaio Da Capri (Dawn Spencer Hurwitz): No surprise that Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is on my list. She is so prolific, with so many outstanding perfumes year after year, but Il Marinaio Da Capri (The sailor from Capri) spoke straight to my heart. A perfumed tribute to my parents favorite island, this is a perfume that captures all that is essential to Capri, from the seawater lapping against the dock, to the tumbling geraniums filling the flower boxes on a dry sun-parched stone wall.
Filigree Perfumes Unequal (James Elliot): It’s no secret that I love BWF’s (Big White Florals) and Seattle Indie perfumer James Elliot spared no expense in sourcing the finest ingredients for Unequal, his beautiful interpretation of sound-artist Holly Herndon’s music. Jonquils, lilies, and lilacs fill the air in this one-of-a-kind extraordinary 100% all natural and vegan perfume.
*Frederic Malle/ Alber Ebaz Superstitious (Dominique Ropion): Fill my house with roses, and I am a very happy camper indeed, and Malle’s release of Superstitious does exactly that. Armfuls of roses, exquisitely blended as only Dominique Ropion can provide, in this modern interpretation of a very classic 1950’s perfume. Tons of aldehydes, shots of jasmine and peach all resting comfortably on a boudoir pillow of labdanum, patchouli and sandalwood.
Robert H's Bottle of Twilly d'Hermes
Hermes Twilly (Christine Nagel): Another entry in the “Tuber-race” of 2017”, and one that fits me to a tee. I have a very soft spot for anything Hermes, and this cheerful and bright perfume in the squat bottle topped with a derby cap made me grin from ear to ear. With only 3 listed notes (tuberose, ginger, sandalwood) Twilly turns out to be floral, creamy, and zingy at the same time; an absolute joy to wear.
*Parfums M. Micallef Ananda Tchaï (Jean-Claude Astier & Geoffrey Nejman): A marvelous floral tea and spice infused perfume, and it was the ONLY full bottle I asked the Holiday gods & goddesses for. If I had to say any perfume for 2017 was (in Tom Fords words…) “Fu#@&%g Fabulous” this would be it. Its beauty is quite simply jaw-dropping.
2017 Best Fragrances
Solstice Scents Guardian (Angela St. John): Solstice Scents followers are legion, and her perfumes are often sold out within an hour of going on sale. Guardian created in collaboration with Cafleurebon’s 2017 Talisman Project, is an ambered chypre photorealistic trip to the High Sonoran Desert of the Southwest, full of sage, piñon, and tumbleweed. This is a mystical and enchanted perfume, an olfactive genie-in-a-bottle that you will return to again and again.
Tauer Perfumes L’Eau (Andy Tauer): I always feel as if I’m living my best life when the sun is shining, and Andy Tauer’s latest interpretation on a classic Eau De Cologne, was my favorite warm weather scent this year by a long shot! Full of juicy lemon and orange, with lemon blossom floralcy, hints of Iris, and a skin scent vibe of ambergris, this is a cooling breeze at the end of a beautiful warm day.
Photo by Robert H of MUGLER Aura
*Mugler Aura (Daphne Bugey, Amandine Clerc-Marie, Christophe Reynaud, Marie Salamagne): Although not available for sale in the USA until February 2018, I was fortunate enough to receive a bottle from a friend in the EUA where it was released this year. Mugler Aura is pure magic to my nose, the most accessible to date, with a great opening rhubarb note, and two heretofore rarely seen Firmenich ingredients; Tiger Liana© and Wolf Wood©, which provide intriguing asian medicinal and animalic woody notes. And that bottle… the green heart of Elphaba from “Wicked”, full of seemingly poisonous ingredients which will lull you into an enchanted fugue-state.
Zoologist Camel (Christian Carbonnel): Last but certainly not least, Camel by Zoologist Perfumes is this year’s Civet; a fragrance so great I just couldn’t wait to write about it back in October, (and pestered Creative Director Victor Wong to no end for a sample). And it is worth the wait. A dried-fruit laden spiced wonder with a soft furry purr, Camel is a contemporary homage to classics like Arpege and My Sin and you will wonder how you lived without it, it’s just that good. –Robert Herrmann, Sr. Editor
E-I-C’s Note *appear before the 9 perfumes and or perfumers that made Michelyn’s and Ermano’s 2017 Best of Scent. There are 13 perfumes in our 2017 Best Fragrances Draw open to all ÇaFleureBon registered readers be sure to register or your comment won’t count.
WORLDWIDE: April Aromatics Pink Wood (if you entered yesterday, your vote will count twice as there is only one winner)
WORLDWIDE: M. Micallef 100 ml of Ananda Tchai
WORLDWIDE 75 ml of Maison Mona Di Orio Suède de Suède
WORLDWIDE: 30 ml of January Scent Project Eiderantler
WORLDWIDE: Your choice of wither DSH Perfumes Foxy or Il Marinaio Da Capri 10 ml roller pulse pen
WORLDWIDE: 5 ml of Solstice Scent Guardian
WORLDWIDE: SHALINI Jardin Nocturne $225 (if you entered yesterday your comment will count twice but there is only one winner)
WORLDWIDE: 11ml travel spray of Zoologist Camel
USA ONLY: 75 ml of Ineke Idyllwild
USA ONLY: 17 ml of Sonoma Scent Bee’s Bliss
USA ONLY: 100 ml of Amouage Figment Man (courtesy of Europerfumes)
To be eligible, please leave a comment with what you thought of Ida and Robert’s choices for 2017 Best Fragrances. (Gail, Lauryn and Danu will be posting their lists in the next 2 days). What were some of your favorites and least favorites from our list, where you live and as many of the 13 that are being offered. Remember there is still time to enter 2017 Best Fragrances Part 1’s draw here. Draw closes January 1, 2018