The 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?