Best and Worst of 2015

Mark my words, y’all: 2015 will get a sizable paragraph in the perfume history books. Not because it was a particularly exceptional year for fragrance releases (it really, really wasn’t), but because of the behind-the-scenes developments. Three top niche brands- Frederic Malle, Le Labo, and Serge Lutens- were all bought out by The Big Guys (Estee Lauder and Shiseido, respectively). As we wonder what the next year holds (and frantically buy up Rose 31 juuuuust in case), let’s look back on the best and worst of 2015!

Best Niche Fragrance 2015

best 2015

Best Niche Fragrance

Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia. As far as I’m concerned, Misia is the pinnacle of the candied violet fragrance genre. No further candied violets are necessary.

Honorable Mentions

Olfactive Studio Panorama. A thrillingly unique celebration of wasabi’s green bitterness. You’ll never look at that lump of green paste the same way again!

L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis. I thought very, very carefully about whether to include a fragrance that Arielle Shoshana carries on this list. But every time I smell that sugary immortelle, I crave it a little more.

 

Worst Niche Fragrance 2015

worst 2015

Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot. You really should have put this one in your mainstream line, Tom. Then I could have called it “standard vetiver” instead of “offensively overpriced”.

 

Best Mainstream Fragrance 2015

best mainstream 2015

Best Mainstream Fragrance

Azzedine Alaïa Alaïa. Best Mainstream was a lot harder than Best Niche this year. Alaia is a lovely suede, but Bottega Veneta did it even better four years ago. I like the Bottega bottle better, too.

Honorable Mentions

Norell Norell New York. This started so promisingly! A classic green floral with lots of galbanum and depth. Sadly, it flattens and sweetens almost immediately.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme. Noir Pour Femme smells like the remnants of Black Orchid after you tried to scrub it off. Which is not something I’ve ever particularly longed for, but if you find Black Orchid a little too dramatic, give it a try!

 

Worst Mainstream Fragrance 2015

worst mainstream

Marc Jacobs Decadence. I hated this one SO MUCH, you guys. One of those red fruit punch fragrances that can’t go out of style fast enough. Shame on you, Marc Jacobs.

 

Best Bottle 2015

best bottle

Miu Miu Eau de Parfum. Such a shame that this anemic, watery floral didn’t live up to its delightfully retro bottle.

Worst Bottle 2015

ariana grande

Ari by Ariana Grande. Would look right at home on Dolores Umbridge’s dresser. Not Ari-approved, obviously.

Best Fragrance Ad 2015

best ad

Miu-Miu Eau de Parfum. Psst, perfume brands! Sticking a cat in your ads is the fastest way to win this (highly coveted) title.

Worst Perfume Ad 2015

worst ad

Chanel Chance Eau Vive. Why are we bowling, Chanel?? Perfume bottles are inherently breakable and ill-suited to bowling. And if we are bowling, why are we not wearing proper bowling attire? Those are CLEARLY not regulation bowling shoes. SO MANY QUESTIONS.

What are your picks for best and worst of 2015? Is Chanel’s bowling ad actually a work of misunderstood genius? Please let us know in the comments!

Disclaimers: As usual, this post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. Also as usual, there are probably hundreds of perfumes which deserve to be on this list that I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to try. 

Hermes Le Jardin de Monsieur Li

Despite the “Monsieur”, LJdML is by far the most feminine of the Hermes Jardin series. In direct contrast to its bracing, green ancestors, LJdML is a sweet, delicate floral. The star is a bright, fresh jasmine note, completely stripped of jasmine’s usual headiness. It’s a Baby’s First Jasmine jasmine, which just so happens to be the only kind of jasmine I can tolerate. Oh, Jean-Claude, you shouldn’t have! (In all seriousness, Jean-Claude Ellena is my Imaginary Perfume Bro. He spends half of Diary of A Nose talking about how much he loves Japan, so you just know he’d be totally down for a Studio Ghibli marathon. Let’s make it happen, JC.)

This face is CLEARLY saying, "Hey girl, it's Kiki's Delivery Service time."
This face is CLEARLY saying, “Hey girl, it’s Kiki’s Delivery Service time.”

I have no doubt that I would wear LJdML, especially on these gorgeous 70 degree days that we’ve just started having, but I don’t think I would actually buy a bottle. There are so many fresh jasmine fragrances out there, even if this is one of the prettiest.

The winner of last week’s Chanel Misia giveaway, as determined by random.org sequence generator, is commenter 14, Undina! Congratulations, Undina! Please email me to claim your prize!

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