2015 was a year of so many changes for me. I mean, I moved across the country. This takes some adjustment. We live in a different region. We have different jobs. Even our possessions are different because we got rid of mostly everything before the big ‘ole transcontinental move. This year has been such a blur. I can’t remember what happened or didn’t happen because so much happened.
Regarding the blog and perfume, I’ve been lazy. I’ve been more interested in wearing and enjoying the perfumes that I already own. I have been behind on new launches. There are too many to keep up with anyway. I have samples of perfumes launched in 2015 that I haven’t tried yet. Some of the samples and perfumes, I’ve worn many times. But, haven’t reviewed them. I’ve focused on life outside of perfume and settling into life on the East Coast and traveling. I haven’t tried many of the perfumes launched this year. With thousands of launches a year, who can keep up?
As always, when I put together this list, I can only go by what I know. Maybe I’ll get around to trying 2015 releases later. In the future, I may fall in love with something that I haven’t tried yet. But, here’s what I’ve tried this year that was new that left an impression on me. This is all I can go by.
Here’s my thoughts on perfumes launched in 2015:
Best Indie/Best Niche
Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow
Christopher Street is still one of my favorite perfumes. Asphalt Rose differs from Christopher Street. It tells a story, oddly, where Christopher Street left off. It’s a modern rose, a metallic a floral with notes of spray paint and mineral asphalt. It’s weirdly beautiful.
Bruno Fazzolari Seyrig
It’s a subversive, aldehydic floral that reminds me of a punk in a polo shirt. And this is why it was one of my favorite perfumes of 2015. Full review.
Neela Vermeire Creations Pichola
This is a huge tuberose with spice. I rarely say this, but Pichola smells romantic. It’s a romantic perfume.
Best Luxury/Niche Designer/Whatever the Heck We Call This
Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia
This is a powdery rose and violet that stole my heart. I ended up buying a bottle after its launch. It’s been my most worn perfume of the year. It’s like Chanel pushed all my buttons in the right way with this one, making the perfect Chanel perfume for those of us that love Chanel perfumes.
Bvlgari Eau Parfumée de Thé Bleu
The Bvlgari Thés have always been some of my favorites, no matter how nostalgic they may seem now. Thé Bleu is like an ozonic lavender. It’s extremely Prada-esque as well (same perfumer). These are the sort of fragrances that I get the most wear out of. They are inoffensive without being boring. These are the perfumes of society, of engaging in this world.
Azzedine Alaïa Alaïa Paris
This is one of those modern florals that I tend to fall for. As far as the general population and perfume lovers, I have no idea how it’ll be perceived. I just know that I really enjoy wearing it. The fragrance also compliments the brand perfectly. And from a technical perspective, this thing is brilliant. Oddly enough, every perfume that I find technically brilliant, most casual sniffers find “boring”. Oh, well. The bottle is gorgeous too.
Aftelier Vanilla Smoke
Aftelier launched Bergamoss, a balsamic mossy fragrance, that is rightfully getting a lot of love. However, I prefer Vanilla Smoke. It’s another one of those perfumes that is technically brilliant. It wears like a ghost of Guerlain Shalimar and a bonfire. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and smoky. To date, this is my favorite from the house. Full review.
Best New House
Pekji is an indie line in Istanbul that makes the sort of stuff that people deep down the rabbit hole should be wearing. It’s a solid line for anyone that loves indie perfume. Plus, if you wear it now, you can say that you’ve been wearing since before it was cool.
I don’t know when Apoteker Tepe officially started. However, it’s new-to-me in 2015 after I sniffed it at Twisted Lily. I like the ethereal feel of the fragrances that I’ve tried.
Ephemera by Unsound
Geza Shoen created a collection of perfumes for Unsound Festival, a multi-media music festival originating in Poland. The scents themselves accompany pieces of music and do wear like their sounds. Noise is my favorite because it’s so synthetic and noisy. My second favorite is Drone, which is softer and more “approachable”. However, I’ve learned that out of context, “Drone” is an offensive name. So if someone asks me what I’m wearing when I’m wearing it, I say “Ephemera by Unsound” and that makes me sound hip and like I go to Polish music and art festivals.
Most Disappointing Collection
Roja Dove Tutti Frutti Aouds
Yes folks, we’ve succumbed to this. This happened. This is real. I don’t know if I should say it’s really a “disappointing collection” as much as it is just like “look at what a disappointing industry this is”. Behind my initial disgust, I’m slightly amused. I’m happy, in a sick happy sort of way, that someone just like went there. I sure hope that everyone had a good sense of humor when making these things. And I hope they got Little Richard in on these.
Malle Cologne Indélébile
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “eau de cologne”. I also love a bitter neroli.I also love the Malle line. It’s just that well, that’s all there was with this. If it were marked down to 75% off maybe I’d be happier with this. Yes, I think it’s excellent but I had really high expectations. I’m a jerk.
Any of the Tom Fords in blue bottles
Same theme as above. Just as expensive. However, there is one difference – they don’t smell as good.
Best Limited Edition
Hiram Green Voyage
This is an all-natural perfume that serves up multi-layered elegance. It’s a spicy amber that reminds me of silk and velvet. It’s glamorous. Review here.
The Most Awesome Concept
Bruno Fazzolari Room 237
It’s a perfume inspired by a spooky scene in the film version of “The Shining”. It’s an intentionally creepy perfume. It has a plastic shower liner accord. This is why we support indies.
Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow
It’s a perfume inspired by global street art. It’s asphalt, roses and spray paint. Charenton Macerations is such a thoughtful brand that is all about the details. I love that.
Surprise! EauMG Liked It!
Juliette Has a Gun Gentlewoman
Frankly, the perfume sounded boring. And this sort of marketing always irks me. But, I liked the scent a lot. The green almond adds so much to the bitter citrus blossoms. Full review here.
Penhaligon’s is a very hit or miss brand for me. After reading the notes and inspiration, I expected for this to be a screechy wreck. It’s not. It’s an aldehydic floral that does remind me of sunshine and bright yellow daffodils. I can’t be grumpy when I wear this. It’s impossible.
It’s sticky sweet honey, peaches and tobacco inspired by a region that I graciously fled. I like it even though I don’t usually like things like this. It’s exactly the sort of Southern Gothic fragrance that I was hoping it would be.
Surprise! EauMG Didn’t Like It!
Hermès Un Jardin di Monsieur Li
There’s a certain loneliness that I feel in PerfumeWorld. I feel like I’m the only fan of Un Jardins. When this was launched, I had extremely high expectations for this. When I wore it, it was a cool grapefruit thing. I felt no attraction. We didn’t kick it off. There probably won’t be a second date either.
Stephane Hubert Lucas 777 Mortal Skin
All the perfume people that I love have raved about this. Peer pressure made me try it. My fate with it ended similarly to a character in a terrible after school special. I couldn’t wait to get this dry, balsamic amber off of my skin.
Byredo for Olivier Peoples
I can’t say that I expected to love this so maybe this isn’t the right category for it. I usually like Byredo. I was shocked when I tried this. It reminds me so much of Mugler Angel. And I can’t stand an Angel for people too snobby to just wear Angel.
The Worst Bottle
Carmen Electra Rrrr!
This looks like a silicone breast implant wearing a Halloween costume.
Marc Jacobs Decadence
This perfume bottle looks like something that wouldn’t even be sold as a knock-off on Canal St. It is a eyesore that only wishes that it’s gold chain, pleather and tassels actually translated into “decadence”. This is just one of those bottles that will absolutely not age gracefully. It should take some advice from Johnny Depp and bury these extra accessories in the desert. Also, don’t touch it because I have a sneaking suspicion it will turn your hand green like only the finest from the Jewelry District.
The Best Bottle
I confess that I have not tried this perfume. But, I’ve seen the bottle and love it. It’s so Miu Miu. I love it’s retro 60’s vibe.
The Best Worst Bottle
Moschino Fresh Couture
I adore the Cynical Couture aesthetic of Moschino. And I feel like this packaging is the best sartorial statement regarding the current state of mass market fragrances. Someone please buy me this.
The Best Name
Imaginary Authors An Air of Despair
It’s a fragrance inspired by summertime sadness. Of course, I’m going to endorse this.
Juliette Has a Gun Another Oud
I love the humor in naming something after exactly what all of us are thinking. Gah, I love this. Plus, they already have an oud perfume. Another Oud is a perfect name.
The Worst Name/s
Bond No. 9 B9
At least it isn’t malignant!
By Kilian Lemon in Zest
Read it. Say it aloud. I just can not with this. Can not.
The Tackiest of the Tacky or The “Why Did It Have to Go There?” Category
Donald Trump Empire by Donald Trump
Earlier this year, this guy launched another perfume to add to his already failed attempts of creating a perfume empire. Sorry Donald, but your spoiled brat competition, Paris Hilton, is annihilating you in this department! Later in the year, the guy tries to run for president. And this is what presidency is supposed to smell like? At least consult with Creed, bro. And look at the language used in the copy (via NST):
“EMPIRE’s confident stride begins with crisp notes of peppermint, rich chai accord and a hint of juicy apple. It’s [sic] addictive aroma continues to unfold into the heart of the fragrance with a masculine blend of orange flower and jasmine that mingles with exotic tonka bean. Veiled beneath the elegance and structure, is an all-enveloping warmth and charm accentuated by elements of rich amber and seductive musks.”
So appropriate but gosh, so sad. AT LEAST get someone to proofread this, bro.
Caron Pour Un Homme de Caron Sport
File this under “Can’t Leave Good Enough Alone”. Why and the bloody hell would you launch a sport flanker of a fragrance launched 81 years ago???? Why??? Just in case you already didn’t know, the world is going to shit. Sorry that you had to hear it from me.
Fruity Oud Collection by Roja Dove
See above. Yeah, Roja went there.
And to the Trends:
COLOGNES: Malle Cologne Indélébile, Juliette Has a Gun Gentlewoman, Parfums Rosine La Cologne de Rosine, The Different Company Le 15, Etat Libre Cologne
Colognes where the biggest trend that I noticed this year. It seemed that everyone was launching a “classic eau de cologne…but with a twist”. There was so much citrus, so much neroli. I think this is some backlash to the more opulent, dense niche perfume trends we’ve been seeing that heavily feature oud and amber. Anyway, I’m boring and I liked trying new “colognes”.
Saying that, oud is still a big trend, especially in the mainstream world. But, it seems that niche is playing around with airier notes. I noticed this last year with the resurgence of “White/Blanc” perfumes.
AFRICA: African collection by Roads, Memo African Leather, Nishane Afrika Olifant, Carolina Herrera CH Africa, Frazer Parfum
I really didn’t expect this one. And I really can’t explain it. I was expecting more Cuban inspired perfumes but maybe that’ll happen in 2016. Anyway, I do think that the perfume industry has imperialistic tendencies. Like they have this way of overusing “resources”/themes, flooding the industry with said trend and then moving on. It happens a lot with materials. Years ago, Haitian vetiver was trendy. Then sandalwood. Now it’s oud. Regarding culture, we’ve seen a lot of countries and cultures used as muses for big designers and niche perfumes (like India and Brazil). There’s the current obsession with the Middle East (both the market and selling this “image” to folks outside of the Middle Eastern market). And now, it looks like the industry is focusing on the huge continent of Africa. Personally, I want more African perfumes. I want more indie and niche African perfume brands in my life. I want perfumes from African perfumers. I want perfumes that honor the region and its beauty. I don’t want a bunch of safari/colonial inspired bullshit. Maybe PerfumeWorld will surprise me. I do hear that Memo African Leather is amazing and I haven’t tried it yet.
I’m also trying my best to not be cynical. But, I’m jaded, especially when it comes to consumer products. I can’t help but to wonder if these are occurring to penetrate emerging economic markets in Africa, specifically Nigeria. Whatever, it’s business. Plus, I don’t think Xerjoff has made a line specifically for billionaires in Nigeria yet, so yeah.
EXCLUSIVE DESIGNER LINES: Perry Ellis Collection, Carolina Herrera, Maison Martin Margiela Replica, Prada Olfactories, Elie Saab Essences, Armani Privé, Yves Saint Laurent Les Vestiaire des Parfums,
This is an ongoing trend, so I can’t say it’s really “new”. In 2015 it was like everyone that wasn’t already on board, now has their own “exclusive, luxury” line with many retailing for $200+ a bottle. If an exclusive line already exists, they have launched new perfumes this year. This signifies that this trend is not slowing down. It’s obvious that selling things as “exclusive” really works. I mean $200 is still a lot cheaper than a Prada bag! There’s money to be made here and the luxury market has been suffering for years. This is their way to “down market” without actually diluting the brand. Hermès even opened up a shop in lower Manhattan that just sells fragrances.
Victoria’s Must Tries of 2015
With so many launches, it’s impossible to keep up. I’ve tried to narrow it down to the perfumes that one should at least try from 2015. I think these are the perfumes that stood out or represent the trends of perfumes launched in 2015. If you don’t know where to start, this may help.
1. Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow (modern rose/floral)
2. Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia (powdery violet/rose with a vintage makeup feel).
3.. Bruno Fazzolari Room 237 (“Keep Indie Weird”)
4. Papillon Artisan Perfume Salome (animalic, vintage perfume-perfume)
5. Pekji Ruh (an authentic coffee rose without any of the big industry bullshit *cough**Tom Ford*)
It’s really difficult to narrow a lot of launches into a list of five. It’s even more difficult when you haven’t tried all the launches. Oh, well.
Happy New Year! Hope to see you around in 2016!
Here’s my roundup from 2014. You can see that some of these trends are still going strong!