keeperaThe world of perfume blogging dearly loves a list.  Who knows why we are so very fond of these sequential processions of names and titles, but I do know that nobody who loves perfume can resist them.  I thought it was time to compose a list of the best of the last ten years, a list of the perfumes that have struck me as lasting presences on the scene, keepers, potential classics, if you like.

A list like that should have kept me deliberating for days, but actually only kept me busy for one afternoon. Why?  Well, despite the enormous numbers of releases these days, not much really strikes me as all that durable.

So here is a list that includes perfumes I don’t necessarily like myself, but which I think are classics or potential classics in the making. Just because I don’t care for it personally, doesn’t mean it isn’t in the running.

1)      Puredistance Antonia, Puredistance – This one struck me right away as being that most rare of things these days, a potential signature scent for a woman.  Most things just aren’t well enough sussed out, but Antonia is; my only complaint is a dry down built on a synthetic, but the rest of this floral is elegant and luxurious.

2)      Anima Dulcis, Arquiste – Something new here, a gourmand that is also an incense fragrance.  Delicate and sensual at the same time, enjoyed by men and women, a really interesting idea, and a beautiful perfume to wear.

3)      Bottega Veneta, Bottega Veneta – Considering the numbers of people who really love leather perfumes, not so many new ones have been produced with enough care and subtlety to warrant serious allegiance. This is one of them, flawlessly chic.

4)      Encens Mythique, Guerlain – When I heard that Guerlain had done a series aimed at the Middle Eastern customer, I was worried. But I should have had more confidence in the old firm’s abilities – this is lovely, a wonderful incense scent that avoids the aura of the souk, but alludes to the great silk road fragrances of the past while preserving its French heritage.  Wearable at Versailles before the revolution.

5)      Back to Black, By Killian – By Killian has hazarded a good deal on the skills of Calice Becker and here she did not let them down.  A new oriental classic.

6)      31 Rue Cambon, Chanel – Much written about as a new Chypre, but a genuinely interesting twisting turning perfume, although I wish it were louder;  some of Jean Claude Ellena’s work treads on its heels qualitatively.

7)      Le Temps d’un Fete, Parfums de Nicola i- Not my favorite, but the only green perfume to become a genuine hit in perfumista circles in an age.  It has great lift and diffusion and great green-ness.  It has probably also been reformulated, which is a pity.

8)      Prada Infusion d’Iris, Prada – This, rather than No. 19 Eau Poudree is the true successor of No 19. The Prada is very delicate and wearable, and very elegant. One of the best iris scents of recent years

9)      L’Air de Rien, Miller Harris– Subtle, sensual, controversial, the heir to Bal a Versailles’s glorious animalic title, L’Air de Rien is threatened by the restrictions placed on oakmoss.  Buy it while you still can.

10)   Vamp a New York, Honore des Pres – This scent, one of the works of Olivia Giacobetti is not only natural, but also organic, and it is complicated, sophisticated, a fragrance for the Nina Garcias of this world.  The combination of tuberose and benzoin is wonderful and perennially stylish.

So what’s on your list?  What were the keepers from the last ten years that you think will stand the test of time?

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6 thoughts on “Keepers

  1. I’m not sure if I like lists in general (especially when I’m “forced” to choose something as important as my-deserted-island or my-after-apocalypse five perfumes) but I liked your list: out of your 10 I like (and wear) 6, liked when I tried another 3 and one I either didn’t try yet or do not remember (Anima Dulcis, Arquiste). So your list made me feel good.

    1. Glad you liked it, my list was all the perfumes that really might continue to be wearable, not just this year or next, but for some time, ones that might last. Didn’t know you liked six out of my ten! The only one I remembered you writing about at all was Prada Infusion d’Iris.

        1. Ah, now I have read both your reviews, and really like the one you did on Antonia, it’s sincere and direct, which not so many perfume reviews are. Also kudos to you for working in a language that is not your native one.
          Encens Mythique sounds like your first Guerlain. It surprised me by how very good it was, the best of the Thierry Wassers so far. In reading your review I was also a bit flabbergasted that more people didn’t really love it. What gives? Apparently the big seller of the trio is the Songe d’un Bois d’Ete. Can you believe it? The most masculine one of the three.

          Also loved it that you picked up a bottle of Chamade at the suggestion of readers. So far I’ve bought three this way, it’s an occupational hazard.

          1. I thought that Songe d’un Bois d’Ete was too masculine. It was very nice on my vSO but I didn’t like it on me (and he didn’t love it enough to ask for a bottle).

            Encens Mythique was my third Guerlain purchase (within a year!). First was Cruel Gardenia, then Chamade.

          2. So you’ve begun to get a taste for Guerlains. It’s an expensive habit.

            Have to smell Cruel Gardenia again but as I’m going into NYC I’ll get to do that tomorrow! Yay!!

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