So, we’re in 2022. I think, by now we all learned to be rather cautious than optimistic about the year to unfold. But at the same time, in the beginning of something new (even though in this case it’s quite arbitrary, just a number accepted by a majority as an identifier for the span of time we find ourselves in), it is both customary and easy(ier?) to let yourself to be hopeful. So, let’s hope that the next 12 months will be kinder to those who had it hard in 2021 and at least not worse for those who didn’t suffer from that year much.
That was about life in general. Perfume-wise, in my opinion, 2021 wasn’t that bad. Yes, on the downside, some perfume events had been cancelled, and many of us had less opportunities to sniff something new both locally and while traveling. But at the same time, it felt like we finally got our wish: in 2021, not everyone and their uncle has launched a new perfume brand; and existing brands seemingly slowed down with new releases. And while we still had a lot more new releases than it’s feasible to test and review, somehow it felt less overwhelming (or maybe I just got used to it?).
So, I thought it might be interesting to share our “best of 2021” perfume finds.
Saturday Question #97:
What Are Your Top 5 Perfumes of 2021?
If you tried enough 2021 releases to come up with 5 that you liked, please share those. But if no, you do not have to limit yourself with just new launches: your top 5 might be of new for you perfumes that you tried in 2021 for the first time and liked. Or it can be 5 perfumes that you finally got into your collection in 2021. And if none of these apply (if you were on a strict “no buy” or just didn’t like anything), just give us your top 5 favorites that you wore in 2021.
I plan to look into all of my 2021 numbers soon for my traditional Entertaining Statistics post, but I already looked it up and know that I tested 38 perfumes released in 2021 from 29 brands. And among those that I tested, there are enough perfumes that fit this week’s question. And I can even rank them.
#5: Chanel Paris – Edimbourg
While I don’t think I’ll buy Paris – Edimbourg for myself, I liked it, especially on my vSO. So, one day, after he finishes the samples I passed on him, he might get a bottle of it under a Christmas Tree.
#4: Eris Parfums Green Spell
What can I say? I love green perfumes. I’ll finish the sample I’ve got and then will probably get a 10 ml travel spray.
#3: Teo Cabanel Rendez Vous
Randez Vous was my favorite from the Teo Cabanel’s new line. I can see a small bottle in my future.
#2: Serge Lutens La Dompteuse Encagée
Since I reviewed La Dompteuse Encagee, I had a chance to test it in Hawaii and confirmed that I enjoy it in hot/tropical weather. But since, at least under those conditions, it is less tenacious than I would like it to be, it seems that I will “need” a bottle of it.
#1: Puredistance No. 12
I consider Puredistance to be “my brand”: I had a couple of “loves” from them over the years, and most of the rest perfumes were strong “likes.” But each of their last three releases, Gold, Rubikona and now No. 12 (why haven’t I wrote about it yet?!), was making it almost impossible for me to choose my #1 perfume from this brand. But for 2021, No. 12 is my uncontested No. 1.
My top five of 2021 would be Guerlain Shalimar Millesime’, Puredistance 12, Dusita Anamcara, ELDO Ghost in the Shell and Dior Vanilla Diorama. I have the Shalimar Millesime and the ELDO and I’ll be buying a Purdistance 12 travel bottle later on this year. The others I may just get a small decant.
I liked Shalimar Millésime as well (not to get a bottle, but it was pleasant) and Vanilla Diorama. I haven’t tried Anamcara yet, but I’m curious.
The ULG August post about seeking the discontinued size of Cruel Gardenia led to one of my top five for the year! Reading your post and thinking about my nearly-drained decant of Iris Torrefie, I quickly searched Saks online, where IT was in stock (with gifts, too!). In order (and there are some close runners-up):
a vintage Teatro Alla Scala
a vintage Escada Tender Light
Alien Fusion (this may be just a passing crush, but I did sample it several times first)
Escada Tendre Light?? No one ever mentions that one!! I love it too.
*Clicks bottles* I am a fan of the original Escada Margarethe Ley, which now sells for crazy prices. I found TL on E-you-know-wherebay, <$50 for 50ml, NIB. It smells so good.
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I have empties of the original and TL, three Escada Collection and every single summer LE from 1993 to 2020..I am a fan too…the bottles are gorgeous to me…
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I posted photos for you on fragram ;)
I like Iris Torrefie (congratulations on your bottle!), but I don’t think I tried the other four from your list.
I had a nice year, perfume wise. I blind bought Le Lion, last January, when it was released in canada in time for my birthday, and loved it. I really indulged my love of Annick Goutal and bought Vanille Absolue, which I loved. I owned Vanilla Excise but the two vanilla scents are different enough to justify. It was a funny purchase for me because I don’t gravitate to vanilla scents. And I love the special bottle that VA came in :) I bought Louve, and that’s another departure for me, because I don’t normally like anything remotely gourmand. In the after Christmas sales I made my last purchase: a big 60 hour L’artisan candle, called tea et pain epices, which is supposed to be the candle version f tea for two. Wish I knew L’artisan was discontinuing so many of their fragrances-there were one or two I would have liked to buy. I think Dzing is my favourite and I have a large bottle of it.
I love the Saturday questions :)
Best wishes for a good new year for all-whatever good means to you ;)
Thank you, Carole.
Le Lion is great, congratulations on your bottle!
Since I was an Annick Goutal fan, I tried both vanillas at some point, but for whatever reason back then they didn’t work out for me (I’m also not a vanilla person). These days I would have re-tested them, but none of the stores around carry the brand any longer, which is a pity. Maybe one day, if we travel again :)
Paris–Édimbourg is my favorite from the Les Eaux line. I don’t think any of the perfumes I bought in 2021 were launched the same year, so going from memory of things I smelled and liked that were launched in 2021, that would be one of mine too. Others would be:
Amouage Epic 56 Woman
Maison Crivelli Lys Sølaberg
Tom Ford Ombré Leather Parfum
Frédéric Malle Synthetic Jungle
I’m worried by those numbers added to classical Amouage perfume names :( I’m afraid that they are changing the formulas.
I liked Tom Ford Ombré Leather Parfum a lot. I think my vSO “needs” it ;)
The numbers are the percentage concentrations of perfume in these special extrait versions. It was interesting to hear how it’s not just a matter of changing the concentration of the existing formula, but they have to formulate especially for an extrait.
I feel slightly better knowing this :)
Only 5? FBs only, in random order and launched in or before 2021 (obviously 🤣): Guerlain Shalimar MVP, Diptyque Kyoto, Love by Kilian don’t be shy Extreme, Les Indemodables Vanille Havane, Papillon Spell 125, Lazarus Douvos Rose 1845, and Puredistance No.12 (counts as a FB). 🤭 more than 5 but I am too lazy to delete several.
Nice list! I didn’t try By Kilian (since I wasn’t a fan of the original one, I wasn’t actively pursuing the flanker) and Vanille Havanne (not sure I know the brand), but I like the rest of your list.
Honestly, the last two years are one big blur….I can’t remember what I discovered in 2021. There are a few full bottles in my collection that I really like that may have come to me this past year or the year before…. Ganymede, Omnia Crystalize, Vacances, Iris de Syracuse, Au Couer du Desert, Parfumes de Couer Fresh White Musk, Patchouli Nobile(which I wore seven weeks straight)….
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Seven weeks? If it didn’t come from you, Brigitte, I would not have believed that it exists…but I remember that you had such periods before ;-)
Patchouli Nobile is from Acqua di Parma? I need to try it!
It’s from Nobile….the Patchouli….I was on a patchouli kick and it was an easy reach.
I recognize only Tauer’s one, and yes, it’s not from 2021, but it doesn’t matter.
7 weeks… The only scenario in which I can see myself doing that is if I don’t have access to any other perfumes :)
Undina, you forgot the summer I wore Berdoues Assam of India for seven weeks straight, counted the dwindling juice by the rows of elephants and earned 20+ enabler pins on NST. I still have one row of elephants left…never thunked it.
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I just realized I don’t think I’ve tried anything new in 2021. I haven’t even used perfume that often, as I work from home, the occasion when I used it the most no longer exists.
How life has changed…
It’s interesting: it looks like for you perfume is a part of the social interaction. Most perfumistas I heard from wore more perfumes while working from home.
I don’t think I’ve liked any of the new releases from 2021 enough to ever buy a full bottle. Of course this goes for the perfumes I’ve tried. I surely have missed many of them. I found one Byredo that I actually like a lot – Mixed Emotions. Then there is FM Synthetic Jungle, Derby by Milano Fragranze, Diptyque Orpheon. I’ve discovered some nice ones from 2020 though.
I have a travel spray of Orpheon, which I got as a part of GWP. I like it. Not sure if I smelled others from your list, but I plan to try both Byredo and FM.
I tried and liked Synthetic Jungle too
2021 was an “okay” year for releases with not a lot that thrilled me, but I did pick up quite a few things anyway. My favorites from the year:
Parfums Dusita Anamcara
Theodoros Kalotinis Alluring Fig
Eris Green Spell
Frederic Malle Synthetic Jungle
Tiffany Rose Gold
Ellis Brooklyn Bee
Other than Green Spell, everything else on your list didn’t come into my orbit yet.
Well, I am afraid I can’t answer your question in any of the various ways you suggest! I can very much agree with you about No 12 though, which was one of only a very few new perfumes I tried – from this year as it happens, but I hardly tried anything “new to me” either. And I don’t know what the top wears from my collection would be as I don’t keep a record. Sorry – not much of a reply I know, but like Ines above, my life has changed a lot.
Well, it still counts! :)