fragrance

EauMG’s 2015 List – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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 perfumes of 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.

 

Chanel Misia

 

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.

best 2015 mainstream perfumes

Best Mainstream

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

Best Natural

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 perfume brands 2015

Best New House

Pekji

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.

Apoteker Tepe

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

 

Best Collection

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.

 

Roja Dove Tutti Aoud Collection

 

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.

Disappointments of 2015

 

Biggest Disappointments

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.

 

Hiram Green Voyage

 

Best Limited Edition

Hiram Green Voyage

This is an all-natural perfume that serves up multi-layered elegance. It’s a spicy oriental that reminds me of silk and velvet. It’s glamorous. Review here. 

 

best perfume concepts of 2015

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.

2015 good surprises

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 Ostara

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.

Slumberhouse Kiste

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.

2015 perfumes

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 launchedI 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. 

worst bottles of 2015

 

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.

 

Miu Miu

 

The Best Bottle

Miu Miu

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.

 

Moschino Fresh Couture

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.

best perfume names

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.

worst perfume names

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.

 

terrible perfumes of 2015

 

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:

perfume trends of 2015

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!


 

*Pics are from the brand or Fragrantica.

19 thoughts on “EauMG’s 2015 List – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  1. Thank you for your very “compete” year end wrap up. I thoroughly enjoyed all the categories. Just to chime in, I haven’t sampled all of the Memo Line, but I liked Lalibela, which was kind of tropical with roses. I didn’t love Quartier Latin, but it was definitely interesting- maybe I should try it again.You have so many new lines like Pekji perfumes that sound very intriguing. I’ve checked out their website and the EauMer and Ruh sound good! I was hoping someone like Indiescents might carry them, but I haven’t found a retailer for them online.
    thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried many Memo perfumes even though they are easier to find in the US now. I absolutely adore Shams, which is a sweeter oud. I think the next time I’m out, I’m going to go on a Memo-Sniffa-Thon.

      I would love more than anything if someone like IndieScents, Twisted Lily, Luckyscent (are you guys listening?), someone in the US to carry the Pekji line. It’s sort of like Slumberhouse but with that East/West Turkish charm. Those are the two that are my favorite 🙂 The others have their market – animalic, leathery, woodsy. Those aren’t “me” scents but I appreciate them.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Oh man, I really loved that Room 237 scent, it smelled like weird soapy bath water. Which doesn’t sound great, I know. And I still desperately want to try the Aftelier Vanilla Smoke, but I know I am going to love it and it is going to cost a million bucks. Which I have just convinced myself is ok because I turn 40 this year and all bets are off. And sure, sure, that’s not until May but I can rationalize anything and that’s why it’s in my cart right now.

    1. I know that doesn’t sound great but that’s what it is and for some reason I’m all about that. It has that humidity too it.

      I could see you really loving Vanilla Smoke, not that I’m trying to enable you or anything. Maybe a good compromise is to start with a sample and then celebrate with a full-size closer to your birthday 🙂 I forgot that your birthday is in May too. All the cook kids were born in May 😉

  3. Thank you so much for this incredible honor. I am so grateful. Plus I LOVED your writing in this entire piece — especially your wit and humor and my favorite was your inclusion of Little Richard. Absolutely brilliant!!!

    1. You created a lot of great things this year!

      I actually could see Little Richard wearing those! I’m sure he has the suits to match the bottles 🙂

  4. Brilliant run down of 2015, so deserving of the Best Blog Post about 2015. You have inspired me to riff on your post.
    Best Description: “This looks like a silicon breast implant wearing a Halloween costume.”
    My Best Reason for Tutti Frutti Aouds: “Mmommm, I want my own $1000 bottle of perfume.”
    Best Category Name: Best Luxury/Niche Designer/Whatever the Heck We Call This.
    Agree on Best Bottle to which I will add:
    Best Magazine Ad: Miu Miu for having fully-clothed model in 60’s retro shift, hairstyle and cat’s eye liner and no writhing. Additional points for kitten.
    Best Recognition of Horrible Trend: “Sport” everything (which was preceded by “Noir” everything).
    Most Disgusting Perfume (to me): Donald Trump Empire (good luck America!). He,certainly, is not “veiled beneath elegance and structure” as one can tell by his bizarre comb-over. Even worse is that he has absolutely no “all-enveloping warmth and charm” as one can tell by his disgusting campaign statements. Sorry to get political — rant over.
    Congratulations on a great wrap-up.

    1. Haha, thank you for reading!

      Weren’t those Miu Miu adds amazing? One would think that by now perfume companies would realize that we want to see more cats, less abs.

      I’m still waiting for some sort of Guerlain Homme Sport Noir.

      Ugh, if only he were as good as the fragrance description, typos and all! I tried not to get political about it either but even without the presidential stuff, before all of that, I thought he was the biggest bully. I remember like 10 years ago he launched his first fragrance and it was an epic flop of cucumbers in a Estee Lauder rip-off bottle. I also have noticed that Macys no longer carries this fragrance so I don’t know who the heck carries “Empire”.

      And as always, thanks for reading!

  5. So much to savour and enjoy – and laugh at! – in this post, especially ‘The best worst bottle’. Priceless! And all those ghastly cumbersome names. And the Tutti Frutti Ouds are wrong on so many levels.

    I am with you in not caring for Un Jardin de Monsieur Li, and was similarly surprised I didn’t, as it has been generally well received, and Hermes is usually a safe bet. That said, I also didn’t care for a big floral number that was new back in the summer and which I can’t even remember what it was, haha. That’s how ‘off track’ my perfume ‘j***ney’ has gone of late.

    I was underwhelmend by the FM cologne too – it was just another overpriced neroli scent to me. And I agree that it would have to be cheap to make me spring for it.

    Where I also depart from the trend is in being bemused by Alaia – yep, I am that ‘casual sniffer’ soldier, though I did persist with it three times! – and also Misia. I did not like Misia at all. I can’t remember why – did it have any lavender or heliotrope? Those two notes usually derail me.

    1. It’s hard not to get, what do I say? Jaded? I don’t know. I feel like I’ve seen it all…but apparently I haven’t!

      This year was an “off” one for me. I focused on stuff that I wanted to sniff, not just every new thing. And even then, I wasn’t really focused. I wore stuff that I own.

      The FM Cologne is nice. It’s well put together. But, I can’t really get behind it. I love neroli and “colognes”. And I have some that fulfill that craving for much less.

      I can totally see how someone wouldn’t like Misia or Alaia. Misia was like Chanel peeped into my little perfumed soul and made me something all rose-y and powdery. It does have a heliotrope-ness to it, and I love heliotrope. Something is happening to me. I used to hate lavender and now I’m like “Oh, Jersey, what a gorgeous fragrance!” If this continues, perhaps I should volunteer for a scan 😉

  6. Brilliant post! The topic had me laughing! It really is about the good, the bad and the ugly! 😀 I have been a bit lazy too about trying new launches, but I have tried a few things.

    Asphalt Rainbow was interesting but I hate rose so it was not for me… I mostly tried it because it sounded intriguing, and I loved the name, I knew it wouldn’t be my thing. I also tried Room 237 for the same reason. I was blown away by the realism of that vinyl note! To me it smelled exactly like those gray plastic tubes, drain pipe sort of plastic tubes. When you rub at them they gather a lot of static electricity and then a lot of dust. So yeah, dusty static drain pipe! I was totally transported, but it’s not something I would wear. Lol!

    I enjoyed Kiste. Not my favorite Slumberhouse but it was nice enough. I also loved Feve Delicieuse. It was a lot more interesting than I was expecting, lots of smoke on me! In the spring/summer I was on a white floral bender and really loved Kerosene Unforsaken and April Aromatics Tempted Muse. In early autumn I blind bought the new limited edition versions of the previously discontinued Slumberhouse Rume and Grev. Best decision this year! I immediately bought a back-up of Rume and it’s my new signature.

    An Air of Despair is definitely the best perfume name of the year! And that Miu Miu bottle is so pretty!

    The Tutti Frutti Aouds really made me loose respect for Roja Dove. I wouldn’t be cought dead with even a sample of Sweetie Aoud even though I love anything sweet… Horrible!

    Now I really want to try Salome, Vanilla Smoke and Voyage!

    1. Well, this went to spam…

      Thank you so much for reading!

      I love rose so I’m partial to Asphalt Rainbow.

      Room 237 is such a trippy one! Because it has that vinyl/plastic thing going on that’s so vivid. I put up a new shower liner last month and I was like “this smells like perfume”, lol.

      Kiste is good, really good. I didn’t expect to like it. I haven’t tried Unforsaken but I really like Tempted Muse.

      I feel like Roja was joking with us but I can’t tell or not. They’re probably serious and I’m being too generous.

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