Can you believe that 2013 is coming to a close already? I certainly can’t! It only feels like yesterday that I was sat at my laptop, tapping away at the first reviews of the year and looking forward to the exciting new smells that next 365 days would bring. It has, all-in-all, been a very good year, with lots of interesting new perfumes launched, and on a more personal note too, as this year I took on the exciting role of Fragrance Expert for Escentual.com.
The perfumes have come thick and fast over the year, and once again the industry has seen an increase in the overall number of perfumes launched. Over the year we’ve seen our fair share of masterpieces, duds, flankers and celebrity money makers in, and as with any other year it has been a roller coaster ride of an experience sifting through just a tiny portion of what has been released.
In this post – my annual perfume awards (‘The Candies’) – I’m taking a look at my fragrant highlights of the year and those perfumes that have impressed, moved and surprised me. I’m also highlighting the specific scents that have failed to meet the mark this year and are disappointing enough to warrant naming and shaming. So sit back, don your red carpet gown (or suit), pop the champagne and enjoy The Candies 2013.
Celebrity fragrances (or ‘celebuscents’ as I like to call them) are so often the scorn of the perfume industry. Mainly because most are simply extra vehicles for our dear ‘celebrities’, a term which must be used loosely for a lot of the stars releasing perfumes these days, to make extra cash. After all, what’s easier than putting your name on a bottle of something you’ve had little involvement in creating?
But not all celebrities are in it for a quick buck and over the years we’ve seen a number of good celebuscents join the foray. Etat Libre d’Orange’s collaborations with the weird and wonderful Tilda Swinton and Rossy de Palma are notable examples, Madonna’s Truth or Dare was nicely done and even Britney Spears’ Fantasy has a degree of merit to it (I dare you to disagree that it is the perfect fruity floral cupcake scent). And then of course there is Dita Von Teese – the antidote to the world of naff celebrity scents and Dr. C. Perfume Boy is prescribing two big doses today.
Dita came to the rescue with her first perfume ‘Dita Von Teese‘ (sometimes referred to as ‘Femme Totale’) in 2012, a perfectly decent floral-patchouli affair that puts most of its contemporaries to shame. We shouldn’t be surprised though, as Dita is known for exuding glamour and style, and her perfumes certainly follow suit. This year sees the launch of Dita’s third and fourth perfumes – FleurTeese and Erotique, both of which show the Queen of Burlesque’s passion for fragrance
I can’t believe it but it’s the end of 2012 already, which means that it’s time for us perfume bloggers to put together our lists of the very best and very worst perfumes of the year, honestly, where did the time go?! This year I’m affectionately entitling my awards ‘The Candies’ as a short, punchy alternative to The Candy Perfume Boy Awards. Neat huh?
Across all genres there have been many interesting, exciting and unique perfumes unleashed on to the market along with the usual amount of celebrity dreck, dud flankers and down-right-bizarre niche offerings. All-in-all it’s been a busy year with over 1,300 launches. Impressive but exhausting!
Below you will find my awards for Best Masculine, Best Feminine and Best Unisex Fragrances for both niche and mainstream houses. In addition to this I’ve also included awards for Best Flanker, Best Celebrity Fragrance and Best Ad Campaign. But we’re not just celebrating the very best of perfumery in 2012 here, no sir, we’re also highlighting the very worst with the Sour Candy Award, reserved solely for the naffest perfume of the year.
So I hope you’re wearing your very best frock (or tux for the boys, or frock if you prefer, it’s up to you really) and sipping on some fine Champagne as The Candies 2012 are underway…
I have a list in my head of celebrities that I think should release a fragrance. I know that I really shouldn’t be encouraging the stars to explore the world of perfume, after all the majority of their fragrant output is utterly dreadful, but I do believe that there are a good few schlebs out there who would invest enough time and artistic integrity to make an exceptional fragrance.
One such celebrity sitting on my mental celebrity fragrance list was Dita Von Teese (along with others such as Björk and Kate Bush FYI) and it seems that she may have read my mind having decided to take the plunge into the world of celebrity perfume. As expected the result is a perfume that perfectly captures the style and personality of the celebrity for which it represents.
Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum officially launched in 2011 but we didn’t see it in the UK until May 2012. It is described as a “timeless” perfume and it very much draws on the old school glamorous florals of the past, specifically those of brands such as Houbigant and Caron. Dita is reputed to have been very involved with the creation of her Eau de Parfum and for an entire year spent almost every day working with perfumer Nathalie Lorson in the lab.
“I wanted it to be a perfume that smelled exactly how I imagined it. A scent needs to reflect all the different facets of my personality. It had to be elegant, glamorous, sophisticated, sexy, dark and mysterious.”
Dita Von Teese
Written inside the perfume’s box is a quote from Dita that reads; “Perfume sets the mood…and I am in the mood for glamour.” and that very much sets the tone for a scent chock full of glamour, style and classic beauty. With Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum, the world’s favourite burlesque star presents a perfume that the “femme totale”, a woman in full form.