Awards night is always a tad emotional…
2011 has been a big year for the perfume industry, it has seen a total of 1200  new perfume releases and as expected with such a high volume of perfumes being unleashed onto the market, it was a mixed bag – some were great, some were good and some were downright terrible. Sifting through the plethora of perfume releases this year has been great fun and for this end of year round-up I have picked out those fragrances that I feel are the very best of 2011, my ‘best picks’ if you will. These fragrances are the ones that deserve to be celebrated for their artistic merit, flair and quality, oh and because they smell good too!
There are a four main categories; Best Feminine, Best Masculine, Best Niche and Best Flanker, each with a winner, and because there were quite a high amount of fragrances worth celebrating this year I have also included a number of runners up for most categories. In addition to the first four categories I have included an extra one entitled ‘The Candy Perfume Boy’s Best Discoveries of 2011’ which celebrates three fragrances that I have discovered and fallen in love with this year.
Before moving on to my ‘Best Picks of 2011’ I would like to thank each and every one of you who reads and supports this blog. As The Candy Perfume Boy is just about to reach 50,000 hits in the next day or so, I must take a moment to reflect on how great this experience has been so far. I truly value everyone who visits and interacts with me on this blog and my absolute highlight of this year has been the interactions and friendships I have formed through The Candy Perfume Boy and Twitter (you all know who you are!). They are as important, if not more so, than the perfumes that have brought us all together.
So without any further ado, I present to you The Candy Perfume Boy’s Best Picks of 2011…
I always knew that Amouage would do great things with a big, no-holds-barred white floral and they certainly delivered with Honour Woman. This white floral wins ‘Best Feminine’ because it is euphoric in its beauty and exceptional in its quality. Honour Woman is one of those perfumes that surrounds you with an aura that is beautiful, melancholic and self-assured. If you are a fan of beautiful white florals then Honour Woman is an absolute must try, I would also recommend it to those who think that they don’t like the genre, it has been known to convert a few ‘non-believers’.
Although Kokorico won’t make it over the Channel into England until the beginning of 2012 it most definitely has to take the crown of ‘Best Masculine’. Picking 2011’s best masculine was tricky for me, I tend to wear mainly feminine fragrances and it would be fair to say that very few masculine releases wowed me this year and none impressed me more so than Kokorico. Kokorico is a warm, woody fragrance with accents of cocoa, anise and fig that does what all fragrances should do – it smells great.
Mona di Orio’s fragrances, and Oud in particular, seem to be topping a lot of people’s ‘Best Of’ lists this year, and deservedly so. To me, Oud is an absolute triumph of perfumery, it is by far the most outstanding use of oud in any fragrance and it wipes the floor with the colossal amount of mediocre oud releases we have seen recently. Oud, with its signature blend of oud from Laos and osmanthus, feels like the hot breath of a lover and has the shimmer and sparkle of a glorious sunset. A truly beautiful perfume, what more is there to say?
Jeux du Peau
Le Goût du Parfum
(The Taste of Fragrance)
This year Thierry Mugler presented foody variations of four of his fragrances; Angel, Alien, Womanity and A*Men. Each version was shaken up with the addition of a taste enhancer such as bitter cocoa powder, salted butter caramel, fig chutney and red pepper paste – very yummy indeed. This series of four flankers turned out to not only be the best of the year but I would go as far as saying that they are also the most inventive and well put together series of flankers to be seen in a long while. Each foody version was a fascinating essay on the original perfume and in Womanity’s case it demonstrated how a degree of fine-tuning can offer an improvement on the original composition. As always, Thierry Mugler shows us how it should be done – flankers that offer something new, a variation on the original perfumes theme rather than just a variation on the name!
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Best Discoveries of 2011
These three perfumes may not have been released in 2011 but they have made a big impression on me this year.
Gold Woman has become one of my all time favourite perfumes and when I tried it for the first time I could not believe that I hadn’t tried it before, it’s perfect for me – a huge diva of a floral, what more could I ask for?! I am lucky enough to now own a bottle and I shall wear it proudly with abundance.
Orange Star is a very recent discovery of mine, but boy what a discovery! Who thought that a citrus fragrance could be so damn comforting?! Orange Star showcases Andy Tauer’s flair for creating something unusual yet distinctly familiar and when I wear it, I lay back into its warm, comfortable arms, revel in its beauty and float away.
A Taste of Heaven wasn’t just a big love for me, it was part of a revelation. Before trying A Taste of Heaven I found lavender to be a tricky note and had only fallen for one lavender perfume (Antiheros by Etat Libre d’Orange). But A Taste of Heaven came along and was the catalyst that sparked my love for one of perfumery’s most complex notes and for that reason I am very glad that I fell in love with it.
Join the Discussion!
That’s it for 2011, but here’s to a wonderfully fragrant 2012! I hope the new year brings you all that you wish for. But for now I would like to hear your thoughts:
What were your best picks of 2011?
Do you agree with the fragrances I have picked? What would you have included?
What was the highlight of your year?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below!
Image 1 tfl-clan.de
Image 2 exparfum.ru
Image 3 & 8 vonmaur.com
Image 4 larosadeiventiprofumi.com
Image 5 lenoma.ru
Image 6 perfume-bg.eu
Image 7 fragrancesandcosmetics.co.nz
Image 9 shop.lorenzovilloresi.it
Image 10 harveynichols.com
Image 11 monadiorio.com
Image 13 nkdman.co.uk
Image 14 vittoriaprofumi.com
Image 15 polyvore.com
Image 16 luxuryactivist.com
Image 19 apropos-store.com