Most Likely To Succeed: Prada Candy
Candy manages to be both a delicious caramel fragrance that appeals to the masses and a sophisticated benzoin scent that captures the interest of more hardcore perfume lovers. Even Robin of Now Smell This, who generally shows little interest in such sweet gourmand fare, has stated that she “might end up buying” some Candy. Despite its stupid propeller bottle, I predict that Prada Candy will be the biggest financial and creative success of 2011.
Most Improved: Thierry Mugler Womanity The Taste of Fragrance
The original Thierry Mugler Womanity was more of a concept than a perfume. An interesting concept- an aquatic fig fragrance- but still not quite ready for prime time. Womanity The Taste of Fragrance dials back the aquatic note, resulting in a richer, figgier fragrance. This new version of Womanity is far more wearable and womanly than the original.
Most Likely To Convert Floral-Phobics: Three-way tie between Ineke Floral Curiosities Angel’s Trumpet, Cartier Baiser Vole, and Tom Ford Violet Blonde.
Angel’s Trumpet is a cheerful, light-hearted orange blossom fragrance. Orange blossom notes often feel syrupy to me, so I appreciate perfumer Ineke Rühland’s clever use of aquatic notes to lighten the fragrance. I can’t think of a perfume better suited to springtime.
When I first reviewed Baiser Vole, I wrote: “Baiser Vole starts out as a gorgeously ethereal lily scent, so photorealistic that you can almost feel the orange fur of the stamens. Unfortunately, after half an hour or so, Baiser Vole takes on a more artificial, scented-feminine-products vibe… Despite this eventual descent into Tampax territory, Baiser Vole is one of the nicer mainstream lily fragrances.” I stand by these words. But damned if that first half-hour with Baiser Vole is not the loveliest lily scent that I’ve ever encountered.
In Violet Blonde, Tom Ford tames the often-overwhelming jasmine note and makes it smooth and seductive. Violet Blonde is a beautiful, sophisticated scent and was a serious contender for the “Most Likely To Succeed” category.
No Mean Feat: Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita
I did not care for Si Lolita when it was first released, finding it too spicy. However, a semester of having a Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea-wearing seat mate in Organic Chemistry has taught me that creating a sophisticated sweet pea fragrance is no mean feat. The sweet pea note in Si Lolita provides no sweetness, only a warming effect. Si Lolita is still a little spicy for my tastes, but I now consider it to be an energetic and vibrant fragrance.
Best Celebrity Fragrance: Kate Walsh Boyfriend
This one was a no-brainer. Boyfriend, an instantly appealing combination of vanilla and benzoin, far surpassed the other celebrity fragrances of 2011. Bravo to its creator, Kate Walsh, who appears to have been far more involved in the development of her celebrity fragrance than most other celebrities.
Most Likely To Convince Me To Overcome My Totally Irrational Phobia Of Buying Things Online: Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée
Most incense fragrances range from very sweet to chokingly so. Vanille Insensée is a rare curiosity: a refreshing incense fragrance. Its bracing lime note takes Vanille Insensée miles away from any associations with headshop incense. Since the Atelier Cologne line is not available in the Baltimore area (surprise, surprise!), I might just risk an online purchase for this one.
Best Men’s Fragrance: Bond No. 9 I Love New York For All
Okay, I totally cheated. Bond No. 9 I Love NY For All is a unisex fragrance. However, I have personally seen at least three women in the Nordstrom’s fragrance department declare it “too manly”. Bond No. 9 I Love NY For All is a tasty gourmand that smells like Apple Jacks with milk. The black bottle means that it will be more acceptable to the kind of men who are worried about that sort of thing.
Most Original: Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau
Jeux de Peau is an ultra-sweet gourmand done in the characteristic Uncle Serge style. It smells of burnt toast and apricot jam. Jeux de Peau smells delicious, intelligent, and best of all, fun. It is everything that a perfume can and should be.
Let the debates begin! Which perfumes did I wrongfully omit, and which did I wrongfully include? Please share your own top 1o lists with us! By the way, the appearance of this list does NOT mean that I am finished posting for the year. Except for New Year’s Day, it will be business as usual here at Scents of Self!