Best Perfumes of 2011

Today I’m participating in a group blogging event with DSH Notebook, EauMG, Perfume Shrine, Scent Hive, Smelly Blog, and The Non-Blonde. We are all blogging about the best perfumes of 2011. You should know that I restricted myself to perfumes that were released this year. And, what fun are lists like this if they are not highly opinionated and subjective? None. Please take the list in good fun.

Best Perfume of 2011

Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille by Annick Goutal. It is innovative, but also something I love to wear. Other favorites were Angel Eau de Toilette and Bottega Veneta.

Worst Perfume of 2011

L’esprit de Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. I found this to be sour, mildewed, bitter, and generally vile.

Best Perfume Marketing of 2011

Miriam, Tableau de Parfums collaboration between Andy Tauer and Brian Pera has a wonderful aesthetic (see photo above). So much attention to detail, great idea to use cameos, and such beautiful curves to the bottle. miriam

Worst Perfume Marketing of 2011

Dita von Teese perfume. The press release created confusion about whether the perfume is called ‘Dita von Teese’ or ‘Femme Totale’, and it went downhill from there. A bunch of buzz, write-ups in stateside media, and then no clear launch date for the U.S. Then conflicting information about online sales, inconsistent use of social media (almost worse than not using it at all), and the sudden dearth of talk that not surprisingly follows when consumer expectations are created and not met.

Best Perfumed Body Product

Fig Tree Shea Butter by Sonoma Scent Studios. The texture is luxurious, it is super emollient, and it smells phenomenal. (My review of the perfume here)

Most Underrated Perfume of 2011

Thierry Mugler Taste of Fragrance flankers. I liked the concept behind these flankers, bringing together food and fragrance, and every one of them was interesting and unique.

Most Overrated Perfume of 2011

Elie Saab Le Parfum and Prada Candy (tie). Although these both got lots of love from other bloggers and from consumers, I found them boring as heck.

Idea Whose Time has Come

Eau Pear Tingle by Opus Oils. This perfume for anosmics is such a wonderful, generous idea. Those of us who aren’t anosmic can enjoy the smell, anosmics can enjoy the sensation, and we can all enjoy the packaging.

Epic Fail of the Year

Dior, for renaming Miss Dior as ‘Miss Dior Original’ and Miss Dior Cherie as ‘Miss Dior’, and for changing the Miss Dior Cherie juice without doing a single thing to the packaging or bottle to make it distinguishable. As a fan of both Miss Dior and Miss Dior Cherie (the pre-reformulation version), I think I am on the more tolerant end of the spectrum on this issue, but it left a bad taste even in my mouth. It’s just so unnecessary. What about you? What bests and worsts did 2011 bring, in your opinion?

Image courtesy Fragrantica.

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40 responses

  1. I love that you added a marketing category and I’m full agreement with your choices. It’s amazing how the Dita VT project went from an excited buzz to “whatever”. At least there were enough good smelly things to occupy us.

    Happy New Year!

    P.S. Someone ought to gather all the angry posts about Dior and send them to their headquarters.

  2. I am so honored that Plume was included here among such talented company! Thank you for all you do to promote the beauty of perfumery — from the big, well-established talents to the small, indie perfumers. I love the new look of the blog, by the way!! Have a wonderful New Year!
    Warmest Regards,

  3. Pingback: Best of 2011 - Perfume Blogging Event | EauMG

  4. I thought Candy was boring too! Tried it on a blotter a couple of times and wasn’t even moved to wear it on skin. So many of the Prada perfumes just feel like instant drydown to me. Maybe there’s some material in them I’m anosmic to.

  5. Terrific list Natalie! Love that we both fell for SSS Fig Tree and were bored by Prada Candy. Nice to have one’s opinions validated on a respected blog :-)

    And thank you for the reminder that I still need to try Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille! I am so curious about that one.

    Lots of happiness to you in the new year!


  6. I had fun reading your list – have just twigged to the joint blogging projects on this subject – I thought there were a lot of Best Of round ups appearing today! : – )

    In view of your bad reaction to Esprit D’Oscar, I am not surprised you wanted to put thousands of miles between you and your vial, and I am delighted to give it a home!

    And who would have thought “lace benzoin tears” were an actual ingredient. Thanks for sharing that titbit, and sorry you weren’t that struck on Candy.

    • Thanks, Vanessa! I’m glad you are enjoying Oscar. He clearly did not want to be a member of our household, and made himself unwelcome as a consequence. I’m sure at your place, he is happier and smells delightful. :)

  7. Pingback: Some thoughts as the year ends « Perfume in Progress

    • Thank you, Birgit! Perhaps with time something will change with MPC, but at least for now you have many other gorgeous discoveries from the year to enjoy. (And maybe soon a new full bottle of Angelique Noire ;) ).

  8. I enjoyed reading your list, Natalie! I didn’t love Prada Candy either – lace benzoin tears made me laugh and it is even funnier that it is an actual ingredient (though I have heard ‘tears’ being used to describe raw materials that are available as ‘pearl-like drops’. ). I really need to try Fig Tree (and Miriam) – have heard too many good things about them.

  9. I really liked your list. :)
    Although I must say I like Prada Candy, it hits my gourmandy spot, although am I the only one who thinks it smells a lot like L de Lolita Lempicka?
    Albeit not as fine as L.

  10. Great summation, you reminded me of the Dita thingie and the lace benzoin tears.

    To the latter I think I can provide an answer: it’s a misspelling of Gum Lacc.Benzoin which appears for the actual well-known benzoin in some literature (notably by the Royal Society of London). Because there’s a dot after the c, and it’s in Italic, people mistook it for e and reproduced it throughout the Net. ;-)

    Then there’s also “bois dentelle” (Lagetta of Jussieu), which is within the Thymelaeaceae family (in which we find aquillaria too). So there just might be a comma missing [i.e. lace (tree), benzoin tears]. That would also make sense.

    I don’t know if the Harajuku is using either, though, never smelled it. :/

    The Dior case is a travesty, I shudder at the thought that generations to come will associate the classic, classy and classified (obviously one for aliteration) archetype with the pinky swirl…

    Happy 2012!

    • Thank you, Elena! (Ah, mystery solved) I admit I thought it was more made-up PR prose — interesting that it originated from a misspelling. And a little terrifying. :) Oh, how I fear making such mistakes myself.

      Happy 2012 to you, too, and thank you for visiting!

  11. Nice list Natalie, with some interesting categories. Liked reading your take on the best and worst marketing. The whole Dior debacle is so depressing.

    Sadly agree about Prada Candy which was a one note wonder for me too and Elie Saab – sorry Vanessa! Have to try the Goutal and see how it works for me. So you must have liked it more than Bottega Veneta, then. I’m even more interested now.

    Have a great time celebrating tonight!

    • Thank you, Tara! You know, it’s funny: I have really gone back and forth on Bottega Veneta. I loved it for weeks, wore it tons, and then went through a phase where I was less excited about it. Now, I’m warming back up to it. MPC, on the other hand, has been consistent. It didn’t wow me right away like BV, but my appreciation grew. In terms of it being my choice for the “best”, I also feel like it has something stronger to say than the Bottega Veneta, and I like that strength. I can’t *wait* to hear what you think! :)

  12. Wonderful list! The one thing about the Le Gout de Parfum line, and the reason that I haven’t bought the Womanity 2.0 yet, is that there is only one size, and that size is somewhat expensive. If they had come in smaller bottles, I think that they could have been a lot more popular, because they are all excellent.

    • Thank you, Ari! You raise a good point about the Le Gout de Parfum line. Some of the bottles are quite large and others (like Angel) surprisingly small. Very odd.

  13. Your description of L’esprit de Oscar is hilarious! Wonder what kind of kitty litter they use at the morgue . . .

    You know it’s funny, that stale flower water smell can either work wonders for a scent, or drive it under the ground. Guess the latter outcome applies to LdO.

    Agree with Candy. It smells good and it could be worse, but eh. Nothing tremendous.

  14. Pingback: The madding crowd « The Unseen Censer

  15. A list sounding really promising to me!! I don’t know most of the perfumes listed, neither the stuff included in ‘What to Watch 2012′ so I wish I had more and more fragrance experiences and acquisition of new knowledge during this year!! :D

  16. I liked that even though it was a joint event each participant went with her/his own categories. And the way you presented your list gets the best response from me: I really enjoy how methodically you explained your choices. I do not disagree with anything you wrote (even MPCPC – even though it doesn’t work for me). I haven’t tried the perfume from your “worste” nomination and probably I’ll save some time and skin RE for other candidates.

    I’m hopelessly behind my own schedule for the year perfumes round-up so I hope you’ll forgive me not answering your question here now – you’ll read it as soon as I’m done (and after that I’ll go and read everybody else’s “best of” posts).

    • Thank you, Undina! I read the first part of your list last night (going back to comment after this), and I found it really interesting; I did not realize how much wear Une Rose Vermeille had gotten. And, I love your chart with the perfume bottles on it. Anyway, but I will comment over there where all of this properly belongs. :)

      • Since URV was on my short-list for the holiday shopping I wanted to make sure I really liked it before comitting to a FB (and the sample you shared with me allowed me to do that after my original one was gone – so thank you again). I still like it and a FB is still on my wishlist but other choices won for one reason or the other.

        • I just realized I don’t think I read which of the scents you were considering you ended up getting for the holidays. I also did not get an Andy Tauer for Christmas. Sigh. But soon!

  17. We agree on several! I find Prada Candy boring and far too foodie. Elie Saab is shrieky laundry detergent and I feel the same about the Oscar de la Renta (horrid). Sometimes its nice when others share your DISlikes! :) Happy New Year to you

  18. Pingback: New Year Resolutions, Part I: 2011 Round Up « Undina's Looking Glass

  19. well worked and researched post, I must say. Complete review of all the perfumes and fragrances of 2011 and also you have shared related blogs for further details. You have very clearly and methodologically explain all good and bad of perfumes.well thanks for great post and keep sharing

  20. Pingback: Is it rude to get my girlfriend perfume for her birthday? | perfumes and fragrances, cosmetics and skincare, perfume and cosmetics

  21. Pingback: Best & Worst of 2012: Perfume and Miscellany « another perfume blog

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