Tag Archives: Bottle Awards

Spotlight – personal best of fragrance in 2015

2015 is almost over which naturally makes me want to stop for a few minutes and take a look back at what happened over the course of past 12 months. A year of 2015 has been very intensive and very busy for me. After being assigned at work to look over all fragrance projects in Central & Eastern Europe I had more things to do and much more responsibility to take for my actions. But I think I passed this test and that I gave it all my best. Due to working full-time my family and I decided I should move to Poznań, instead of spending 3 hours on a train on my way between lab and family home; Since February I live by myself in a singular apartment that I’m renting. Of course there are good and bad sides of that fact, biggest disadvantage being the fact that I don’t have too many friends in Poznań after we graduated and everyone went their own way.

This year we had the hottest and most dry summer that I can remember and during that season I was in worst mental condition in my entire life. I wasn’t depressed but I was going through a phase of lacking the right purpose to continue to go on day after day. Once the summer was close to an end and the heat wave was gone I finally recovered my peace of mind. It was also thanks to my long-awaited vacations. For those were summer holidays of a lifetime – during 13 days I visited Berlin, Paris, Rome and Florence. This year I also managed to go to Esxence and Pitti.

Perfume-wise, after spending some time going through my blog archives I conclude that 2015 hasn’t been as good as 2014 when it comes to new launches and innovative concepts. Even if 2015 was slightly worse for fragrance industry doesn’t mean it was a bad year. Just this morning WordPress has sent me “my year in blogging” with some statistics – according to it I wrote 77 posts this year meaning there were perfumes worth writing about! Of course I only managed to cover a small part of this year’s novelties. I wrote even less because of our super hot summer.

Following a tradition that started in previous years I would like to share with you a list of the best perfumes in 2015. Of course it’s a subjective list, created according to my taste. But I think it’s the best way to do it because each perfume blogger can highlight different creations and bring our attention to things we didn’t manage to discover. And we cannot forget that this year over 1600 perfumes were launched. I wonder how many did I try. I might try to count next year!

Many fragrances seemed to catch my interest in 2015 but in the end many of them were becoming less significant to me as I spent some time smelling them peacefully at home after all the fragrance fair excitement was gone. Some of the perfumes had a wonderful start but a disappointing drydown or vice versa when you had to wait until drydown to feel the charm. Luckily there were also perfumes that kept me sniffing from the opening until the very end. In 2015 only two perfumes joined my wardrobe at my own desire. Those are Prada Infusion d’Oeillet which is my number 1 this year for being a multifaceted spicy, floral and oriental composition at once. The other one I bought this year was Diptyque Oud Palao – it caught me by surprise as not being an oud fan I found that when combined with rose and spices – it really suits me.

Roses and irises were still nicely present in this year releases. Among my favorites you will find such beauties as opulent, dark, oriental and liquory rose in Jul et Mad Nin-Shar, chic, elegant and sophisticated Puredistance White where precious rose is surrounded by tonka, sandalwood and vanilla. Another fantastic one was Rose Omeyyade by Atelier des Ors, a brand debuting this year. Among iris creation Huitieme Art Parfums Shermine was the one that stood out for sure. Other ones that were worth noticing included Naomi Goodsir Iris Cendre or even Ambre Cashmere from Parfums de Nicolai with its buttery facet.

In 2015 many white flowers bloomed on the field of niche perfumery. There was a theatrical Jardins d’Ecrivains Marlowe, Neela Vermeire presented Pichola – an intoxicating tuberose inspired by India. Also Andy Tauer made a tuberose in his Sotto La Luna collection. There were some more but these three are the ones I rememeber the most. This year was also rich in leather creations. Le Galion launched Cuir and Aesthete, Atelier des Ors presented Cuir Sacre and we also had Memo African Leather.

2015 in my opinion can be considered a great year for independent fragrance creators from Indie houses. Tanja Bochnig of April Aromatics successfully launched Tempted Muse and Purple Reign. Giovanni Sammarco introduced Ariel while Mandy Aftel composed Bergamoss and Vanilla Smoke. I think my favorite indie this year is Hiram Green Voyage.

Other fragrances that I enjoyed wearing this year include Arquiste Nanban, Carner Barcelona Palo Santo, Altaia Yu Son, Atelier Cologne Oud Saphir & Mandarine Glaciale, Gabriella Chieffo AcquasalaOf course there are more from this or earlier years but it’s hard to remember it all.

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At the end I would like to say that I hope that you enjoyed these 12 months of little fragrance journey by my side. I wish all of you a wonderful and happy New Year’s Eve as well as fabulous time in 2016. If you wish, please share your own favorites of the year, I’ll be glad to know what you liked to wear.

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My own red carpet – Bottle Awards 2014 ceremony

My dearest ones, the year of 2014 is inevitably coming to an end and tomorrow at midnight it will have its grand finale, when everyone will be popping the bottle of champagne and watching the colorful fireworks in the sky, to commemorate the passing 2014 and to welcome brand new 2015. When I look back at the last twelve months one reaction comes to my mind – “oh what a year this has been.” This year has been filled with good and bad events. Some brought smile to our faces, some poured tears into our eyes. But at the end of the year we all try to remember what was best.

2014 was a big year for me. In March I had a chance to attend Esxence perfume fair, it was the first time I got to participate in such event and to meet all these wonderful creators and perfumers I knew only from emails. May was the month of my university graduation and in early June I received my master’s degree when my thesis was approved. September brough another trip to Italy, this time to Florence, where I took part in 2nd biggest niche fragrance fair, Pitti Fragranze. I was also lucky to get a part-time and then full-time job soon after I graduated. It was all exciting but also scary. With the same feelings of excitement and fear, I’ll be waiting for what 2015 brings to me.

Today is also a good time to have a look at what happened in the following year in the perfume industry. We have witnessed numerous perfume launches. Parfumo database lists over 2500 and I’m sure there were many more. Some of these perfumes left us indifferent. Some were simply meh and we wanted to forget about them as fast as possible. But there were also perfumes that impressed us, that we fell in love with. Those fragrances deserve Bottle Award 2014 statuette. Please step onto this red carpet and follow me to the Grand Hall, where the ceremony is held.

In 2013 I presented to you the Bottle Awards for different categories, naming just one, maybe two perfumes that in my opinion deserved to receive it. This year I decided to change it a little bit and the statuettes will be given in more broad categories. This will allow me to share more of my favorite perfume of the year with you. However each perfume receives the award for  a different reason.

Bottle Awards – Best of the best in 2014

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  • Bottle Award for the most satisfying purchase goes to Le Galion Iris. Why? Because this perfume has been in my mind since I tried it in March at Esxence. When I revisited it in September at Pitti, I knew we have to be together. Finally buying it felt fantastic. The bottle is gorgeous, so is the scent and quality of the content. And it’s a more masculine iris.
  • Bottle Award for the happiest perfume is fully deserved by Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius. The combination of juicy citrus, aromatic and aquatic tones, white flowers as well as more substantial ingredients such as amber and labdanum resulted in a fantastic scent that will definitely put a smile on your face. It’s like a sunny spot on a cloudy day.
  • Maria Candida Gentile Leuco takes the Bottle Award for the most contemplative perfume. Smoky labdanum which shimmer like a silver surface, blended with resins, spices and rich floral notes of lily and tuberose make for a wonderful perfume that is peaceful and quiet. Ideal when you want to relax, think and kind of separate from surrounding things.
  • This year I give the Bottle Award for the guilty pleasure perfume to Carner Barcelona El Born. I’m not very much into gourmand compositions and this one is not a typical gourmand. To me it smells of chocolate praline and sweet liquor. It’s hard to believe those impressions were created with various balsams, spices and vanilla. Sweet lovers beware!
  • New prize this year. A Bottle Award for the most sophisticated perfume goes to Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin. I’m often scared to wear woody-dominated perfumes as they tend to be rather strong. Santal Carmin is strong too, but at the same time it has a gentle smell. Its sandalwood accord is one of the smoothest and creamiest I know, making me think that this perfume is suitable for any occasion, jeans, t-shirt or suit.

Bottle Awards – Honorable mentions of 2014

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  • Sometimes a background of the fragrance is just as important as the perfume. That’s why I decided to mention here Arquiste The Architects Club as the winner of the Bottle Award for the best background story. It takes us back to a secret society, hiding in mysterious smoking room. Old velvet seats, wood, cigar smoke. It’s exactly how this perfume smells like. Perfect match between the story and the scent.
  • Bottle Award for the most creative perfume goes to D.S & Durga HYLNDS Foxglove. I know many people consider this specific line or the whole house as a bit hipster, but it doesn’t change the fact for me that Foxglove is a really well done perfume created with some unusual ingredients such as Queen Anne’s lace. I was really fond of this blend created with rosewood, suede, iris and peach, so you can’t deny the creative mind behind this scent
  • Olivier Durbano Promethee receives a Bottle Award for the pleasant surprise perfume. I’m not a huge fan of this maison de parfum due to the fact that every perfume is heavy on the incense and that 100ml is the only available size (and I really like Pink Quartz!). I didn’t have any high expectations for Promethee when it turned out to be quite a nice perfume I would be happy to wear once in a while. Please be noted that this prize would’ve been given to By Kilian Light my Fire if it had better longevity on my skin.

Bottle Awards – Best of natural perfumery in 2014

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  • In the following year we witnessed quite many perfumes from natural perfumers. Three names that especially stayed in my memory are Laurie Erickson of Sonona Scent Studio, who created fantastic Yin & Ylang, Tanja Bochnig of April Aromatics who presented this year Ray of Light, Erdenstern and Rose of San Francisco, a special perfume to support a fellow perfumista Tama Blough in her fight with cancer. Finally – Mandy Aftel, who cast a spell of Palimpsest on many of us. Dear ladies, please accept the Bottle Award for ace of natural perfumery. I believe Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Scent of Hope also deserves it, but I didn’t try it.

Bottle Awards – Best of Iris in 2014

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  • The year of 2014 was rich in compositions containing the precious aroma-material such as iris. Many perfumers and brands decided to revisit this noble ingredient which at the same time is difficult to handle. Each of the iris perfume I tried this year was different, some didn’t suit me despite being very nice. 1st Bottle Award for the best iris perfume goes to Le Galion Iris, which was also my most satisfying purchase. Another favorite of mine was Lye by Gabriella Chieffo. Two other that are worth mentioning are Jardins d’Ecrivains Junky, a smoky composition of iris, hemp and rosewood and Viktoria Minya Hedonist Iris, presenting a feminine iris with gourmand vibe to it. These awards are the most precious to me.

Bottle Awards – Best of Rose in 2014

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  • Rose in perfumery has been doing really well in the past months and I have tried many really good rose-centered compositions while exploring the new releases. Among them there are a couple that were especially good. Those, who deserve Bottle Award for the best rose perfume are: Ann Gerard Rose Cut for creating this slightly metallic rose with aldehydes and rum, Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale for a fantastic interpretation of “rose on fire”, Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur Extrait because it’s even deeper and richer than Mohur and Terry de Gunzburg Rouge Nocturne, a simplified but pretty perfume.

Bottle Awards – special category

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  • There are three special awards I would like to give at the end of Bottle Awards 2014 gala.
  • Bottle Award for the most-wanted perfumer goes to Cecile Zarokian. Cecile has been a really busy perfumer this year and she created many fabulous compositions that were well-received in the perfume industry. To name just a few: Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius, Laboratorio Olfattivo Patchouliful, Hayari Only for Him.
  • Bottle Award for the best debuting maison de parfum goes ex aequo to Le Galion and Maison Gabiella Chieffo. Both of these brands presented great pieces of perfume art-work in the year of their debut. People at Le Galion remastered old classic formulas and adapted them to current standards while Gabriella Chieffo gave soul to her perfumes.
  • Finally, Bottle Award for the perfume news of the year goes to the announcement that Estee Lauder concern has acquired Le Labo and Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. Is it a good or a bad thing, we’ll find out soon…

This closes the gala of Chemist in the Bottle awards for best perfumes in 2014. Hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite fragrances of the year. I thank you very much for coming to my red carpet but most of all, thank you for being here with me for the past year. I hope you will be following my work in 2015 as well. I wish you all a happy New Year’s Eve, have a great night tomorrow and “see you next year.” Here’s to hope it will be even better and more exciting than this one.

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