Monday 20 December 2021

My Favourite Five From 2021

To say that it’s been a challenging twelve months would definitely be an understatement but, for the second year running, the fragrance industry has refused to give in. Even with partial restrictions and a decidedly uncertain future, companies have continued to do their very best to bring us some much needed scented escape. Some of the fragrances have been new, some have been classics, but all of them have kept us smiling. So, as we approach the end of 2021, I thought it would be a good moment to look back at twelve months of articles, once again channel my inner Blyton, and pick My Favourite Five.

One of the things that 2021 allowed us was the time to rediscover the joy of reading. So, when Sarah Baker launched Far From The Madding Crowd, inspired by Thomas Hardy’s famous novel, I couldn’t wait to experience some nineteenth century scented romance. The fragrance is a glorious snapshot of the meeting between the hero and the heroine, with the evocative recreation of swordplay, the countryside and the sensual scent of a soldier’s uniform. Expertly created by Miguel Matos, it effortlessly shared the immortal line from the book and “gleamed a sort of greeting, like a living thing”. Read the original article by clicking here.

Launching a new fragrance, let alone a new brand, was always going to be challenging during 2021. However, Adey Zookrow rose to the challenge with Choreograph’s first perfume. Inbetween was a multimedia release, and Adey presented it alongside an accompanying song that helped set the scene. He took a central magnolia accord, added in an intriguing aquatic quality and then payed subtle homage to the 1930s Parisian style. The scent still reminds me of “Soft jazz being played at a beach gig outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Nice as the sun sets.” Read the original article by clicking here.

Having the time to take a pause and look backwards meant that I discovered an incredible gem of a fragrance this year, Z-14 by Halston. This originally launched in 1976 and was an incredible success but, over the years, it slowly fell from bestseller to drugstore staple. The Netflix miniseries staring Ewan McGregor rekindled the interest in the company, and also in this fantastic fragrance. The cologne-like opening perfectly contrasts with the aromatic seventies leather and amber pairing in the base, and it’s this that hints at those late nights and hot bodies in New York’s Studio 54. Read the original article by clicking here.

The creativity shown by independent perfumers this year has been extraordinary, and shows how adversity can fuel creativity. Celie & Couch launched with an exciting trio of fragrances and its founder, Jordan Bryan, took inspiration from his Yorkshire roots. Scran On Th’ Garth was my favourite from the three, and this was mainly because he had unwittingly captured the aroma of the old Culpeper shops. He recreated the dried botanicals and creamy soap quality that was in every store, but the addition of the geranium and vetiver is what makes this fragrance truly irresistible. Read the original article by clicking here.

It’s rare for a fragrance launch to cause an internet meltdown, but that’s what happened when Liz Moores announced that the seventh fragrance in the Papillon Perfumery collection would be called Spell 125. Although it was originally inspired by Egyptology, my take on it went in a decidedly darker direction and brought in the “celebratory and ceremonial” acts of Hexennacht. This evening of dark arts was summed up with semi-forested heathland aromas, ritualistic frankincense and a “goat-like labdanum that hints that the horned Lucifer may be nearby”. Spell 125 is definitely the release of the year. Read the original article by clicking here.

So, that brings us to the end of My Favourite Five for 2021. I’m going to be taking a two week break now but I’ll be back on 4th January for more fragrant fun. Have a wonderful Christmas, a safe New Year, and thank you for all of your support over the past twelve months. [Far From The Madding Crowd, Inbetween and Spell 125 were originally provided by the companies. All other products were purchased.]

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