Thursday, 30 December 2010

A Scented Year - 2010

Image: Roxana Villa
The year's almost over, which means it must be time for another list. Today, I'm very pleased to be able to take part in an inter-blog roundup of the Best Of 2010. I've decided to branch away from mentioning just perfumes and include any memorable fragrance-related experiences, so without further ado - and in no particular order - here's my selection:

Attending The Perfume Diaries At Harrods - Unquestionably one of the best perfumery exhibitions ever staged in Britain. Apart from displaying an astonishing range of classic flacons, it also showcased several excellent events, from an audience with Jean-Paul Guerlain and Thierry Wasser, to a presentation by the chief archivist at Baccarat.

Meeting Andy Tauer - I realise these pages have often run the risk of turning into the headquarters of the unofficial Tauer Fan Club, but I make no apology for that. I love the man's work and I especially enjoy reading his blog, which is why I was thrilled to be able to spend some time in his company at the London launch of Orange Star.

Popping Into Les Senteurs - It's hard to believe that this time last year, I hadn't yet set foot in one of the UK's leading independent perfume shops. It's a magical, must-see place in which the minutes always fly by in a delightfully scented haze.

Wandering Around Muhammed Ali Road - Sitting at my laptop in a house that's surrounded by ice, it's odd to think that a few months ago, Madame Persolaise and I were doing daily battle with the relentless onslaught of Mumbai's monsoon. Despite the weather, we managed to enjoy quite a few trips to the city's fascinating perfume shops and we even got to sample a drink made of vetivert!

Writing For Basenotes - The combination of perfume and writing is a match made in heaven as far as I'm concerned, so it's no surprise that I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities I was given this year to put together several articles for one of the world's top perfume sites.

Surrendering To Paris - I know, I know, I haven't shared any details yet - and I promise I will soon - but for the moment, suffice it to say that last week's strolls around the Seine were sheer bliss for this particular perfume lover. Montale, Guerlain, Le Bon Marché, a hot chocolate at Angelina's, a raclette in the Latin Quarter AND uninterrupted time with Madame Persolaise... what more could I ask for?

Spending far too many of my hard-earned pennies on train tickets to London - Why? Just read this article.

And finally...

Smelling Perfumes - This list wouldn't be complete without a mention of the bottled delights which keep making us poke our heads into the blogosphere day after day. My favourites of the perfumes I finally got around to trying in 2010 are:

Portrait Of A Lady from Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle - a dry, bewitching rose, perfect for both men and women

Une Rose Vermeille from Tauer Perfumes - proof, if more were needed, that a fragrance can be both naughty and innocent

Onda edp from Vero Profumo - an uncompromising, implacable vetivert

Phul-Nana from Grossmith - elegantly composed old-world refinement in a bottle

Al Oudh from L'Artisan Parfumeur - a sweet, curiously feline take on everyone's favourite rotting wood note

Orange Blossom from Gorilla Perfumes - a wonderfully animalic, distinctive floral

Carillon Pour Un Ange from Tauer Perfumes - the murkiest blacks marry the most celestial whites in this bold, unusual composition (please note this won't be on general release until 2011... which means I might be able to include it on next year's list too!)

Hajj from SoOud - with its emphasis on a sugary, sheesha-inspired minty apple, this provides welcome evidence that Arabic-style perfumes can be bright and fresh too

Leather Oud from Christian Dior - stylish and chic, it provides exactly what it promises on the label

Absolue Pour Le Soir from Maison Francis Kurkdjian - provocative, shocking and downright rude... in ever such a good way!

[More detailed reviews of the last three perfumes should appear on within the next few weeks.]

Before I point you in the direction of all the other sites playing our little game today, I'd just like to thank every single person who's taken the time to read this blog since it appeared in March. I'm genuinely grateful for your support and I hope you'll stick around in 2011. Speaking of which, make sure you stop by on New Year's Day for a chance to win a sample of Amouage's new Opus IV.

And now, here are the other participating blogs. Please spare a few moments to visit them, if you haven't already done so. Happy New Year everybody!

Although the blogs below aren't 'officially' taking part in this particular 'Best Of' project, they've published their own lists which are also well worth your time:



  1. P,

    I loved reading about all of your fragrant adventures. What a full year you have had. Thanks for this wonderful post and have a happy new year!


  2. T, thanks very much... and yes, I guess it has been a pretty full year... and that's without considering the day job! No wonder I always think I'm too busy!

    Happy new year to you too.

  3. Oh dear... how could I have forgotten the Perfume Diaries exhibition- I think all that eating and drinking at Christmas has affected my brain! they were indeed a highlight- lets hope perfume gets far more attention and exhibitions from now on- I also love the idea of events like scratch and sniff and the increasing number of perfume books coming out

    Happy New Year!

  4. I love your post. This year seems to have been full of perfume related happenings.
    Looking forward to your reviews and a chance to try Opus IV.
    Now, I just have to find a way to sample most of the perfumes that made it to your list. :)
    Happy New Year!

  5. What a luscious list! And you got to meet Andy, you lucky thing! Someday I hope to be able to do that, he is such a wonderful person, and his perfumes are so incredible.

    I can't wait to try all those new Diors!

  6. I am watching a wonderful documentary series on PBS at the moment called "Paris", well, about the history of Paris, and I couldn't help but think of you and Madame P. I don't think I've ever had a *real* hot chocolate, but it sounds mighty appealing right now!

    I am glad to hear that you like Dior's Leather Oud, because I've got a decant on the way (unsniffed). I figure, even if it's not great, the notes will guarantee some use.

    I smiled when you mentioned feeling like an unofficial billboard for Andy Tauer, I know what that's like. I speak endlessly of Le Labo, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and Liz Zorn. I am a "fan", I guess? That's okay, because I can consume and promote to my heart's desire, and that, I will. Some people's work (whether perfume, music, art, etc.) touch us in very significant ways, so perhaps we should shout to the heavens how wonderful they are.

    I say this so often, but I can't wait for the opportunity to try all of the So Oud scents. I hope it's soon, my heart can't take it!

  7. Vintage Lady, thanks very much indeed. All the best to you for the new year.

  8. Rose, a very happy new year to you too. And yes, more perfume-related events would certainly be very welcome.

  9. Flora, I hope to write something about the new Diors before too long and as for Andy, yes, he is utterly charming.

  10. Ines, a very happy new year to you too. Let me know what you think of the perfumes when you get around to trying them.

  11. Carrie, thanks very much for your comment.

    I hope to post a detailed review of Leather Oud very soon (I'm wearing it right now) but I'll also be very interested to find out what you think of it.

    As for the SoOud range, yes, I absolutely MUST get my act together and write about them soon. I may even be able to sort out a sample give-away...

    If you're ever in Britain and you'd like a genuinely thick, dark hot chocolate, I can recommend the brew at the Harrods branch of Laduree.

    Have a wonderful new year.


Thanks very much for reading my site and taking the time to leave a comment.

Please note that whilst the full range of views is welcome on, comments containing expletives and/or abusive language may not be published.

If you're using Safari on an Apple device, you may experience some difficulties with submitting comments. Please consider using Google's Chrome browser on your Apple device; this may make it easier to leave your comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...