Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007: The Unsung (by Me, That Is)

Before I share my 2007 Fragrance Year in Review, which consists of perfumes I posted about here, I thought I would share with you some of my favorites this year that didn't make it into print. This list was no easier to put together than the other one, and I'm sure I've missed something, but here goes:

1. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. I bought this scent unsniffed. I could say it was the positive reviews that drove my purchase, but I read positive reviews of perfumes that sound intriguing on a weekly basis without feeling the need to buy them NOW. After it arrived I wore it a few times and put it away. I even remember thinking, "What am I going to do with it now?" A few months later, I was reading a post on another blog about regrettable perfume purchases, and I thought of Tuberose Gardenia...and for some reason was compelled to pull it out and try it again. I'm so glad I did, for it is as classic and crisp as a freshly laundered white cotton shirt, pure white and cool.

2. L'Artisan Dzing! I wore this as a sample for a few days, intending to write about it, but instead I just bought a bottle and went on my merry way. With notes of tonka beans, balsam, saffran and ginger, this unobtrusive and comforting scent has become a wardrobe staple for me. It's a dusty suede, refined and just sweet enough to feel very feminine...although it could be easily worn by either sex.

3. Miller Harris L'air de Rien. If I remember correctly (and I am too lazy to go back and check), this one made a number of top ten lists after its release last year. I thought for sure as I reviewed the year that Miller Harris Coeur d'Ete would be up near the top of my list (Oops! Did I just give something away?), but it was trumped by L'Air de Rien. With notes of French oak moss, Tunisian neroli, sweet musk, amber and vanilla, this really does have the most wonderful powdery, sensual, feminine feel, but it also reminds me of walking through used bookstores on rainy afternoons. If I'd posted about this one, it easily would have made my top ten.

4. Fendi Theorema. Theorema seemed to be all over the blogs this year, like a new word lately on everyone's lips. I tend to be stubborn when it comes to trying something everyone seems to be talking about, as though I can't hear--or smell, as it were--through all the noise. With notes of tangelo, jasmine, thai shamouti (orange), osmanthus, spices, cinnamon, pink pepper, sandalwood, guaiac wood, amber, macassar, sweet cream, and musk, Theorema is a wonderful spice. I find it close to two other perfumes I tried and enjoyed immensely this year, Rykiel Woman (Thanks Chaya!) and Organza Indecence (Thanks Sweetlife!). These three could almost be sisters: Organza Indecence is the oldest, the straight-A student and the belle of the ball, the one who gets to do everything first. Rykiel Woman is the youngest, soft spoken, warm and self-assured in its powdery, citrusy warmth. Theorema is the middle sister who likes to be a bit different, craves adventure, and would be most likely to head off to Europe with her backpack. Of course, they've discontinued it. I got mine from a reader (thanks Sybil!), and I'm using it sparingly.

5. Prada Infusion d'Iris. Iris is without a doubt the "it" flower for 2007, what with the release of Infusion d'Iris, Bond No. 9 Silver Factory, L'Artisan Iris Pallida, and Guerlain Iris Ganache. From my own experience, I can say for sure that two of these, the Prada and the Bond, knocked it out of the park. To me, this scent is to iris what PC Tuberose Gardenia is to white flowers: a clean, clear representation of the thing itself. The top is quite green, but the dry-down is a fresh floral, the iris in all its purple majesty.

6. L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillon. Technically I did sort of write about this one, as its the scent that knocked me out of my doldrums and got me back to sampling after my long absence last spring. I stand by what I said before: "'s the intricate lace of tiny, fragile blossoms in springtime. It's light and feminine, a non-headache-inducing white floral that's safe enough to wear to work and romantic enough to wear out on a date."