Happy almost 2012! New Year’s Day is one of my favorite holidays (if not my very favorite). I’ll be posting perfumed resolutions for the new year tomorrow, but today is dedicated to looking back at 2011. I’m excited to be participating in a group blogging event of the best of 2011, with DSH Notebook, EauMG, Perfume Shrine, Scent Hive, Smelly Blog, and The Non-Blonde. I hope you can check out all of the lists; I know I can’t wait to read them!
For my personal list, I restricted myself to perfumes that were released this year. Since I didn’t try every perfume, of course this list is also limited to those perfumes that I did try. And, I also had a hard time determining the exact launch date of some perfumes, particularly independent perfumes, so some of those that I might have included are not on the list. Last but not least, what fun is a best of list if it’s not highly opinionated and subjective? None, I say. So please take the list in good fun and with the requisite grains of salt.
Best Perfume of 2011
Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille by Annick Goutal. (My review here) Why? Because it’s innovative but also something I love to wear. Other personal favorites included: Angel Eau de Toilette, Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude, and Bottega Veneta.
Worst Perfume of 2011
L’esprit de Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. Why? Because on me it smells absolutely vile. Mildewing, sour water from a vase of dying flowers left next to a cat litter box in a morgue. In its defense, I managed to wear it once and find it “pleasant” and it gets lots of love from other people. So it could just be me.
Best Perfumed Body Product
Fig Tree Shea Butter by Sonoma Scent Studios. Why? This shea butter has single-handedly changed my mind about perfumed body products. The texture is luxurious, it moisturizes my very dry skin for hours, and it smells phenomenal. (My review of the perfume here)
Most Underrated Perfume of 2011
Thierry Mugler Taste of Fragrance flankers. Why? Although these got a fair amount of attention from bloggers, they seemed pretty under the radar otherwise, and I thought they were all worth trying. Innovative, fun, and true flankers. Sadly, SAs I met were often not aware that these were different juice than the originals; they thought they were just limited edition bottles. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned for Mugler regarding its frequent use of limited edition bottles (i.e., it’s kinda confusing, yo).
Most Overrated Perfume of 2011
Elie Saab Le Parfum and Prada Candy (tie). Why? With Le Parfum, it’s just that … it … Wait, what!? Oh, sorry, I was falling asleep thinking about it. And Prada Candy, that one-note wonder, bores me to lace benzoin tears.*
Idea Whose Time has Come
Eau Pear Tingle by Opus Oils. Why? Because anosmics can enjoy it along with the rest of us. And because I love the packaging.
Best Perfume Marketing of 2011
Miriam, Tableau de Parfums collaboration between Andy Tauer and Brian Pera. Why? The launch and marketing were authentic, substantive, and well organized. Aesthetics and packaging are stellar. I quite like Miriam the perfume, although I suspect it may not be for everyone. But with time, and possibly the release of the entire film series and collection of Tableau de Parfums, I would not be surprised if there was even more more acclaim for this collaboration.
An honorable mention goes to two more traditional advertisements, for Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude and Louis Vuitton (yes, I’m jumping the gun, as Vuitton hasn’t launched its perfume yet, but not surprising that this ‘journey’ ad hooked me, embodying the best of Louis Vuitton’s heritage and minimizing the worst).
Worst Perfume Marketing of 2011
Dita von Teese perfume. Why? Well, 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.
An honorable mention goes to the Old Spice campaign, once genius but now failing to move beyond gimmick into substantive advertisement.
Best Perfume Writing (Mainstream)
The Los Angeles Times. Why? The LA Times regularly covers fragrance, and they usually get good writers to do it. It’s that easy, and it’s that hard.
Epic Fail of the Year
Dior, for renaming Miss Dior as ‘Miss Dior Original’, for tagging 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. This was one seriously messed up game of musical chairs. As a fan of both Miss Dior and Miss Dior Cherie (the pre-reformulation version), I think I would be on the more tolerant end of the consumer spectrum on this issue, but it left a bad taste even in my mouth. It’s just so unnecessary. Transparency is our friend, folks.
What to Watch 2012
My usual suspects are Guerlain (set to release new flankers in 2012), Ormonde Jayne, Parfumerie Generale and Huitieme Art, and Andy Tauer. I have fingers crossed for new offerings from all of them. I’m also excited to explore more within a few lines I first tried and was delighted with this year: 1000 Flowers, Neela Vermeire (
who really needs a website! who kindly emailed me with a link to her beautifully designed website) Sonoma Scent Studio, Opus Oils, Aftelier, and Plume Perfumes.
What about you? What bests and worsts did 2011 bring, in your opinion?
*Lace benzoin tears are, inexplicably, an ingredient in Gwen Stephani’s Harajuku Lovers Jingle G fragrance.
Image created by Roxana of Illuminated Perfume. Many thanks to Tricia of Scent Hive for organizing this event and inviting me to participate!