December 28, 2010
Was 2010 a good year for fragrance? In the words of Charles Dickens, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". We mourn the loss of Takashimaya NY but welcome MiN New York. The line between commercial and niche fragrances blurred, a win for the consumer; perfumistas are learning that exclusivity and price does not define a fine fragrance.
The growing ban on perfume in public and government buildings in the USA and Canada is frightening, reaching epidemic proportions, (the Industry's reaction— too many "I have smelled this before' aquatics and non-offensive scents hit the shelves). While some Companies played it safe, a few took risks, creating new and note-worthy fragrance lines during one of the worst economic climates in recent years.
Natural perfumery came into its own this year, but too many entries by untrained perfumers into the market may lead to oversaturation. Celebrity fragrances? Not only were there too many, but many didn't even qualify as 'celebrities' (will The Situation eau de cologne debut in 2011?)
This is the year that was at a glance; 2010– the best, the worst and future scented memories.
THE BEST OF
Perfumer of the Year
MICHELYN: Bertrand Duchaufour
He has dusted off Penhaligon’s
Re-invigorated L’Artisan Parfumeur
“Location can be a pretext or I can get a concept before picking a location. I can work both ways, first of all idea to choose a few words or a concept… for example one of duality.” – Bertrand Duchaufour
IDA: *Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir *
Folks know how often I wear this; what you DON’T know, is how many back-up bottles I’ve got ;-0
East meets West… my pick for “best”
The Fragrance I loved
IDA: *Amouage Opus I* – opulent and over-the-top.
Probably the least favorite of the masses 😉
A work of olfactive ‘art’… I call it Mango Mattisse
Best Limited Edition
IDA: *Guerlain Shalimar Ode á la Vanille*
Luxurious without breaking the bank.
MICHELYN: Mata Hari by DSHPerfumes
MICHELYN: Escentric 03 by Geza Schoen
Best Celebrity Scent
IDA: *Pretty Woman,* by Barbara Orbison, would have to be my choice.
*^I have a tie…^*
The Perfume with an IQ: Geza Schoen’s The Beautiful Mind Series Vol.1 Intelligence & Fantasy
How do you Create a Celebuscent? Tilda Swinton quoting Rumi Like This by Etat Libre D'Orange
IDA: /*_Pierre Guillaume striking out on his own with his Huitième Art Parfums
As Ida wrote, “It seems inconceivable that there can exist so many gifted natural perfumers, of whom one has never heard”.
Best Fragrance Ad Campaign
IDA: /*_Marc Jacobs Bang.
/*_He looks terrific- tats and all!
/*_Wet men are just fine ..;-)
/*_I love the whole image.
MICHELYN: Bleu de Chanel
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese, starred the handsome Gaspard Ulliel and the Rolling Stones ( the soundtrack was “She Said Yeah” from “December’s Children”) in a moody, evocative short film aka television commercial.
IDA: /*_DSH Mata Hari, hands down
Utterly reminiscent of all that’s eternal in Art Nouveau.
MICHELYN : Lalique de Lalique, 2010
The Legacy lives on
Best Natural Fragrance
IDA: /*_La Via del Profumo – Chocolate Amber by Abdes Salaam (aka Dominique Dubrana)
/*_My friend Donna Hathaway regaled us with her devotion on PST- and I ordered unsniffed.
/*_No regrets! I <
/*_I only wish it lasted longer.
MICHELYN: Aftelier Perfumes Honey Blossom EDP
Mandy Aftel’s addition of isolates created a honey of a scent, with above average longevity
Best Name of a New Fragrance Company
IDA: /*_Konvickt /*
MICHELYN: Cherry Bomb Killer
IDA: /*_Belle d’Opium by Yves St. Laurent
/*_This was truly pleasurable, all on its own
MICHELYN: Eau de Kiki by vero.profumo
In 2010, Vero created three new fragrances, eau de parfum interpretations of the originals: Kiki, Onda, Rubj…all with the addition of passion fruit. Vero Kern said “I replaced the animalic notes with the unique scent of the passion fruit, I personally love it very much and think that it lends a sensual and erotic lightness to the composition”. –Vero Kern
Each was brilliant, but Eau de Kiki was the standout.
Best New Fragrance Concept
IDA: /*_Smaller bottles!
/*_Les Exclusifs de Chanel, for one…
/*_Ava Luxe, DSH, Liz Zorn and many others
MICHELYN: Atelier Cologne
Cologne with Sillage? No longer a contradiction …thanks to the vision of fragrance veterans Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel. The five ‘Cologne Absolues’ are all bottle worthy. Smaller bottles were added to the line, as well as a carefully edited group of candles and soaps. All presented in striking artisanal packaging.
The marketing was brilliant and the distribution strategically selective. The last time I ‘championed’ a new concept that gave me such a sense of future success, was the debut of By Kilian in 2007
I wasn’t wrong then. I don’t think I am wrong now.
Rising Star of 2010
IDA: /*_Charna Ethier of Providence Perfumes.
_ Her works are fascinating.
MICHELYN: Young Yann Vasnier of Givaudaun shined
Best Men's Fragrance Dept. Store
IDA: /*_Marc Jacob’s BANG.
/*_It’s just terrific
/*_Great scent, wondrous bottle, if you can call such a work of art a ‘bottle’.
MICHELYN: Bang a Gong…we agree
Best Shared (Niche)
IDA: /*_Andy Tauer’s Eau d’ Ėpices –soft, spicy, lastingly purring
MICHELYN: Panache by Parfums DelRae
Vivid, multifaceted, bold and sophisticated… a perfumed “plume” in Parfums DelRae’s cap. Cyrano de Bergerac could have penned less poetry, and won over Roxana without all the bother… had he just worn Panache
Best Women's Fragrance Dept. Store
IDA: /*_Peace Love and Juicy Couture…even pleasurable for those of us who weren’t hippies.
spare, clear, with a touch of sticky notes
Best Fragrance under $50 USD
MICHELYN: for a cheap thrill, try perfumes created by Mark and Simon Constantine from LUSH, aka the 'Gorilla Perfumers. Most are under fifty bucks and are surprisingly multi-dimensional considering the price. The solid sticks range from $6.95 to $15.95. My favorite is Imogen Rose for scentimental reasons.
I Would Have Liked to See More…
/.Boldness in design.
/Art for art’s sake.
MICHELYN: Fragrances authored by Michel Roudnitska..Hoping that in 2011 he shall return
Worst Fragrance Ad
IDA: /*Tom Ford For Men, the one with the male perineal view, all greasy.
/*I think I’ll pass on that one !
/*But I’ll defend- /to the death
/*His right to create that image.
/*I admire TF’s chutzpah- and his character
MICHELYN: We agree… When I think of the Tom Ford brand, I think of edgy yet elegant…NOT! The top ad was a spoof, the bottom no joke
Trend we can do without?
Everyone getting on the Iso E-Super-Ambroxan- Iris-Violet-Vetiver-Incense-Oud- Rose/ Patchouli- Orange Blossom Special .
MICHELYN: ANTI- PERFUMISM
As a movement, I call it intolerance. As a trend that even Masters like Serge Lutens adapted it one season , than wised up. Juliette has A Gun was the worst offender. Got a bullet? Romano, where art thou?
Most Ridiculous Celebrity for a Scent
IDA: Captain Kirk, of *Shirtless Kirk* by Star Trek.
It really exists…
MICHELYN: Bruce Willis
Die Hard with a Vengeance, please.
IDA: *Guerlain’s Attrape-Coeur.*
[They told me it was discontinued !
Is it really? ]
Apparently, discontinuation was preferable to scent castration
MICHELYN: Beth Terry Creative Universe
Vita, Mare, Te…. Worn by Elton John and Michael Jackson, perfumer and friend Beth Terry was a fragrance pioneer in the 1990s, establishing her indie brand before there was even a term named ‘niche’. Beth has moved on to other interesting endeavors… the best of luck. (you better stock up luckyscent.com still carries the brand)
– Ida Meister, Sr Editor and Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Now for our "BEST OF DRAW" *it really is*
Courtesy of L'Artisan Parfumeur and Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Enter a comment about any of our picks (or give your own) and you are eligible to win 1.7oz or Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir or L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore.
Please specify your scent of choice in your comment. Draw ends January 1, 2011 at 11 am EST.
It was a great first (almost) year for Ca Fleure Bon…we thank you for your support. Looking forward to a Fragant 2011