The Best Of 2013

To abuse a cliché everyone over the age of thirty or so uses this time of the year – the time flew by. This year really went by in a blink, and when I seemingly just the other day wrote about the highlights of 2012, it is this time of the year again when we look back and take stock.

The Boys salute you!

The Boys salute you!

Perfume-wise this was a very interesting year for me in the sense that I experienced an entirely new relationship with scent. The wild ride of testing, testing, testing lay behind me and the plethora of perfumes I knew, wrote about or owned left me exhausted and craving stability. So I gave in to this impulse and wore what I wanted and nothing else.

It turned out that what I wanted was to have two or three, four perfumes at the outside, that I rotated depending on my mood.

I realized that there is a huge difference between admiring, valueing and respecting a perfume and wanting to wear it on a daily basis. The huge majority of the residents of my perfume cabinet remained safely in there this year, only to be brought out and sniffed at from time to time, but rarely being worn. They are treasures, and like such, like expensive jewellery, like ball gowns, like high heeled shoes, I did not want to wear them daily, but I loved to look at them, admire them, smell them and put them back.

For the first time in many years I did not feel the need, the craving, the urge to smell new things. On the contrary, I was very reluctant to do so, because I enjoyed my new-found distance to perfume. I did not want to be drawn into the frenzied search, the mad dash for everything new again. The addicitve side of our hobby was a bit scary, so I enjoyed some peace and quiet with what I have, with the status quo, without needing more.

As you all know, this is not an ideal state of mind for perfume blogging, and this was the only thing that bugged me, not being able to write as many reviews as I used to. But I wrote different things, the interview series was well received I believe, and fortunately I can still think of things to ask you on Mondays. Thanks to my faithful contributors (Thank you again Tara, Sandra and Jordan!) things never came to a halt here on OT.

The few fragrances that did make an impression, that did cross my “no perfume, please!” barrier, were truly outstanding though. For me to get excited over a new perfume this year was a rare occasion and therefore I treasure these all the more.

So here come the new releases of the past year that made me happy, that I admired deeply and that are worthy of our attention.

Best New Perfumes Of 2013

bottles neela

Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka: I am not alone in saying that the best new thing on the horizon the last few years was definitely NVC. All her perfumes made a splash and rightly so. The fourth release, the one to follow the huge successes of the first three, had big shoes to fill and great expectations to meet. In my opinion, Ashoka was the perfect follow-up to the India trio. Still with the theme (Neela’s India), but entirely different, it did not compete with its predecessors, but stands entirely on its own, incomparable, unique and touchingly beautiful. (Read Neela’s interview here.)

hedonist

Viktoria Minya Hedonist: Hedonist was a surprise out of nowhere. I think it was a fabulous start for this lovely young perfumer from Hungary (read her interview here). I am very curious to smell whatever comes next from her, and seeing my rather reluctant state of perfume curiosity, that is saying something.

hiram-green

Hiram Green Moonbloom: Another white floral that stole my heart this year, Moonbloom is a natural perfume with outstanding longevity and an inspiring beauty that touches me every time I return to it. That it has a devastatingly well designed bottle does not hurt at all. (Read the lovely Hiram’s interview here.)

Aftelier perfumes

Aftelier Cuir de Gardénia: This perfume is the one that came out the latest of the four on my list. It fell victim to my unfortunate writer’s block (or whatever it is that keeps me from just getting to it!), but only in the sense that I do not have a full review for it yet. I do intend to make it the first review I write in 2014, because it so deserves it. Mandy Aftel’s creations always have a deep impact on me (please read Mandy’s interview here). They definitely do not belong in the wear daily group of perfumes, but are rare gems to be treasured and enjoyed in tiny doses. Usually Mandy makes me hear music, be it Eminem or Astor Piazzolla. This perfume spoke in rhymes to my arid soul, momentarily depleted of creativity. The poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke offered itself up for a metaphor to explain the particular beauty of Cuir de Gardénia. O süßes Lied. If those two, Mandy and Rilke, will not get me wrtiting again, nothing will… Watch this space.

Most Worn Perfumes 2013

So finally we come to my most worn perfumes of the past year. I really wore these, as the photo will show.

photo (44)

First up my beloved J.-C. Ellena creation Number One: Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles. I am on my third, this one finally being the large size, bottle. I don’t know why, but I do not tire of this perfume, it just fits me like a glove and I not once have I regretted putting it on in the morning (or at night, at that).

Hermès Rose Ikebana, another J.-C. Ellena creation, is an old favorite that got back into regular use this year. I bought a bottle in January 2013 and finished that bottle in November. I have been missing it since. I was overjoyed to find it under the Christmas tree the other day and have been wearing it the past two days with extreme pleasure. Thankfully this is a scent my family unanimously adores and I keep getting compliments from friends and strangers on it, so I guess this is a keeper just like its stable mate above.

The house of Chanel always means luxury and elegance to me, and while I have been shunning N°5 completely this year, I found an extremely  trustworthy partner for days when everything else feels too much in Chanel Eau de Cologne. What Karl wears is definitely good enough for me…

Chanel 28 La Pausa was my first love from Les Exclusifs and my first favorite iris perfume. For years I procrastinated, thinking it was too fleeting, but in the end. beauty is just that. So why fight it? On a lovely shopping trip with Sandra and Val the Cookie Queen, I bought a bottle this December and I absolutely love it. It has immediately secured its place on my daily rotation tray and I am seriously thinking of stockpiling a big bottle, since discontinuation is rumoured (the Viennese SA thought it might not be discontinued in all countries?! If you know anything, please chime in!).

And finally there was one more perfume I wore a lot this year and I even used up the (albeit small) bottle: Jo Malone Blackberry&Bay. Unassuming, uncomplicated, happy and simply pretty, this is a very easy perfume to wear, but it still is unusual enough to stand out, and not only in the sea of mediocre Jo Malone fruity-florals, but in general. A very good perfume. Eventually I will return to it again, probably when the summer comes.

Phew, if you are still with me, I congratulate you and thank you for staying with me for 1250 words.

Uncharacteristically for me, I am writing this on the eve of publication, while normally the anal-retentive side of me commands that I write posts at least a week in advance. I actually enjoyed this laid back approach of just sitting down and writing (having no other choice, because I committed to this group posting). The pressure was on, but not in a bad way and I am happy that it felt easy again after a long time of finding no words.

You all know my wish for myself for 2014: for my muse, my drive, my joy to come back, for words to start pouring out again. I know I have to take it slow and these 1500 words felt like a good start.

I look forward to seeing you again next year. Thank you so much for your readership, you don’t know how much I appreciate it. Many hugs to you all.

Thank-You

But now to you! What did you love in 2013? What did you hate? What did you get for Christmas?

And finally, please take a look at the “Best of” lists of my fellow bloggers today:

Persolaise :: The Candy Perfume Boy :: Eyeliner On A Cat :: Fragrant Moments :: PerfumeShrine :: The Fragrant Man :: I Smell Therefore I Am :: Smelly Blog

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This entry was posted in Amber, Chanel, Fragrance Reviews, Hermès, Jo Malone, Neela Vermeire Creations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to The Best Of 2013

  1. cookie queen says:

    Hey B! This is a wonderful post. As I mentioned sometime this year, it is said in Russia, that a woman needs no more than seven perfumes to rotate throughout the year. I feel that is absolutely true. I have only worn 5 regularly this year. ( I will have to add a sixth because I cannot get enough of Bois de Iles. I too purchased this on a wickedly fun shopping trip. :) ) No pressure with writing. My gosh. Taking on the challenge of posting every day blows me away. I manage twice a month and that already gives me a head fit along with everything else I have to do!!! (That I thrive on head fits is another story!) Happy New Year to you and your boys. And thank you. Bussis.

    • Olfactoria says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Val! Less is more, I admire that you never fell into the mad stage of perfume addiction, but went straight to conoisseur.
      Happy new year to you and your family! See you in 2014.

  2. Pingback: The Candies 2013: The Very Best and Very Worst Perfumes of 2013 | The Candy Perfume Boy

  3. Tatiana says:

    As always, your boys are absolutely precious! And growing up quickly! I loved reading this post because I am beginning to feel perfume fatigue myself. Can’t say I narrowed down my wearing as far as you have, but there are quite a few bottles in my closet I haven’t looked at this past year. My Chanel’s continue to get much love, so do my many iris themed scents. Of course, I can’t thank you enough for writing about Hermes L’Ambre des Merveilles, as it has become a huge comfort scent for me. My bottle is getting very low, but luckily a replacement can be found very easily and rather affordably, too. No perfume under the tree this year. In fact, no tree at all since the Dear Husband has brought us all to Tokyo as a gift to our family.
    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

    • Olfactoria says:

      It makes me extremely happy that you love L’Ambre des Merveilles as much as I do and it is indeed lovely that it is easily available and affordable – for once a perfume that fits every criteria for me.

      Tokyo – wow! Have a fabulous time!

  4. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  5. Pingback: Perfume: Best of 2013 – The Jatamansi Awards | The Fragrant Man

  6. Undina says:

    Very interesting mini-collection. While I slowed down with my testing this year as well (at least I feel that way though I haven’t done the numbers yet), I still want to wear something different every day. I’m curious to see my year stats because just by thinking about it I can’t figureout which perfumes I worethe most.
    I really hope your muse gets some rest and you both come back to us: your blog is one of the small islands of stability for me and it’s comforting to know that there will be the next post. And the next. And…

  7. Jordan River says:

    Your words are flowing Birgit. That was a veritable waterfall of words! Great round-up with your perfumed lasso. Keen to try that moon-blooming Moon Bloom.

  8. This year has for me been quite lemming-free when it comes to fragrances. I’ve mostly used Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Absolue pour le Soir and APOM pour Homme, together with Arquiste Alexandr.

    The only ones I fell head-over-heels in love with were Amouage Opus IV, Nasomatto Black Afgano and Histoires de Parfums 1740. Out of these I still own none. Haven’t felt compelled to get them either, at least not yet.

    Parts of my collection has been sold, even fragrances I love, for almost the same reasons as you stated above: I have so many and even though I enjoy nearly all of them, I seem to stick to a handful when it comes to actually wearing them. I don’t like hoarding and life is too short for not using those expensive fragrances. I’ve also finished more fragrance bottles this year than ever before. I feel a weird satisfaction finishing the last drops and throwing a bottle away. It is almost cathartic.

    ———-

    Last but not least, I want to thank you for keeping one of my absolute favourite blogs alive and thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping it so personal. Most blogs when they grow big, tend to shave off what first attracted me and what actually made them so great. It doesn’t seem to happen here and it makes me very happy.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is a wonderful comment and it made my day, thank you, Martin!!!

      I am thinking about selling a whole bunch as well, did you sell via Forum, FB, ebay…?

      • This time I sold on FB, in a closed group with other fragrance aficionados in Sthlm. I met up with them and handed over the goods. It felt like an easy and secure way.

        Selling internationally seems like a bit of a hassle, with getting the packaging right etc. Didn’t you do this in the past? I remember buying Bois d’Encens from you.

        • Olfactoria says:

          Yes, and it was a hassle (not with our transaction!), and it is getting worse with all the shipping restrictions and high costs.
          I wish Austria was not that small… :(

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  10. Vanessa says:

    Hi B,

    I think that ‘go slower’ phase is entirely normal – I feel it myself – so just sniff as little or as much as you want and write when and what the spirit moves you to. I am still formulating my own thoughts on the best scents of the year, though Ashoka and BLACK will be amongst them. Though I have tried so little of the new launches relative to past years that my view will be very lopsided and personal. Oh, and I thoroughly enjoyed the people in Perfume Land series – it was a definite highlight in the blogosphere this year and of course once you have developed the format, it can just run and run, and write itself as it were. Not that I detect any problem on your part with creative flow in this post! Happy New Year and hopefully see you soon. ;)

  11. Alice says:

    A wonderful post, many thanks! I enjoy just as much hearing your thoughts about your current collection, as reviews about new ones – in fact more.

    I’ve been interested in perfumes for 20+ years, and there have definitely been phases where my interest in new releases waned considerably. These were good for letting the perfume collection ‘settle’ and the real favourites to emerge naturally.

    Successes of 2013: a stand out new purchase was Patricia de Nicolai Musc Intense, so versatile, apparently simple but very cleverly arranged. I was also impressed by Lys 41, and Miller Harris La Pluie, but I’ve not yet bought either.

    Not so good: both of my By Kilian purchases (re-fills, thankfully; Liaisons Dangereuses and City of Sin) – I really can’t work out why I don’t wear them much, but I don’t.

    And a lovely discovery over Christmas. I suddenly smelled a lovely waft of tuberose coming from… me! A few hours earlier I had applied Tabac Blond (I have a full bottle, but don’t often wear it). I had never noticed tuberose before, and a quick internet search showed nobody listing it as a note until I got to Les Senteurs on line store, which said: tobacco, tuberose, vanilla, musk. Triumph! And very cheering to realise there are still surprises to be had from my own cabinet, no need to look any further.

    All the best to you and your family for 2014!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, Musc Intense, a truly lovely scent, I will try to finally write about this one next year, it really deserves some attention from Perfumeland’s inhabitants.
      Lovely story about the surprises in your own collections, so true and I’m glad you find joy in what your have. (Never found tuberose in Tabac Blond either, will try to sniff it out, thanks! :) )
      Happy new year!

  12. lucasai says:

    Great love Birgit and I totally agree with some of your choices. My list of favorites is yet to come, I will publish it after this weekend.

  13. Things I loved this year definitely include YOU Birgit. loads of other stuff too but you, being true to you and keeping us all in the loop was excellent.
    Thank You.
    Portia xx

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are wondeful, dear Portia! 2013 started well when I met you last January, so glad 2014 will be off to the same good start. :)

        • arline says:

          I have to chime in, and say that I agree!!!

          I believe it is important to explore, and define who we are, while staying fluid and open for expansion.

          I have enjoyed and appreciated this blog, and have loved the additions you have made. Your reviews are beautiful, but as you have said, the writing is what is so captivating, Your power of influence comes from your passion and that is why your words inspire others.

          Perfume, dance, writing, visual art, and any other means of creativity are beautiful ways to express who we are, and connect with others.

          I hope you stay inspired to maintain this blog for a long time. The interviews are really nice ( I hope to see one of Portia soon, although she may need do a video :) ) Did you hear that Portia????

          Also the reviews of your guests are nice as well. Collaboration is a wonderful way to expand and enrich what we love.

          HAPPY NEW YEAR (almost) To all of you!!!!!

          XOXOXOXXOOXXO

  14. Persolaise says:

    Birgit, thank you for your list… and I’m so pleased that we both love Ashoka :-)

    As for the issue of slowing down the pace of things… pardon me for offering unsolicited advice (please feel free to ignore the next few lines) but all I’d say is that one of the beauties of blogging is that there are no rules. It was your passion that made you start the blog in the first place, and I guess it should be your passion that guides you through the development of the blog. So if something inside you said, ‘Slow down’, I’d say you ought to listen to that voice.

    On which note: warmest wishes to you and yours for 2014 :-D

  15. Suzanne says:

    Birgit, maybe because it’s my own interest in seeking out new perfumes has slowed down considerably, but I thought that 2013 at Olfactoria’s Travels was the absolute best. Your voice was still beautifully represented and we got to see your other interests: your Hermes scarves, your interview series, your search for everyday beauty – and we got to hear other lovely voices here, too. (Tara, Sandra, Jordan and your other guest posters). It’s no exaggeration to say that you have a well-rounded blog that is a joy to read. As to your best of 2013 list, I join you in putting Hedonist on the list. Loved it, bought a bottle, and am so glad I did!

  16. ringthing says:

    Thanks for the lovely post and picture of the boys :-) I enjoy your blog whenever you feel like writing about whatever, Birgit, and because of the People in Perfumeland series I have discovered new blogs to read and enjoy. Your contributers are excellent writers, too! After years of swapping and the acquisition of many dozens of samples and decants, I’ve stopped the hunt for “more”. 2013 has been rough and I’ve been more interested in wearing my favorites as a source of grounding and comfort, especially vintage Shalimar, #19 and Opus IV. Here’s to a fresh start in the new year!

  17. trickyholly says:

    Love your short list, since it’s pretty much mine, though I also fell for gaiac 10 this year, so i’m especially grateful for your review, which reminded me to re-visit voyage d’hermes. Happy new year!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Happy New Year, trickyholly!
      Glad to hear we have so many perfume loves in common. Voyage and Gaiac 10 are both perfumes I still wear from time to time, they fit my profile of light and lovely. ;)

  18. Rose Strang says:

    I’ve only recently been reading your blog regularly, though I’ve tuned in to reviews over the past couple of years, all of it enjoyable! I like the idea of a more organic blogging style – writing as the mood moves you and wearing mostly the perfumes you love. Still, the voyage of discovery is so enjoyable and for me the sound of a perfume sample dropping through the letter box still fills me with excitement – but I’d never attempt a systematic approach as it would become too overwhelming, and expensive a hobby!
    This year I’ve made some happy discoveries, but still wore my favourites – Infusion d’iris, Philosykos, Feminite du Bois and Bois des Iles – I’ll always love the soft woody perfumes, but I’ve ventured further into floral territory and discovered a love for Baiser Vole’s light lily, which surprised me. Also I tried Portrait of a Lady for the first time this year, and enjoy its robustness from time to time,it gives me a feeling of strength, also I enjoyed the the Epic-ness and incense of Epic Woman. My favourite discovery has perhaps been Cimabue by DSH Perfumes – it’s been lovely over the Christmas period, and though this might sound odd, I enjoyed wearing it with a tiny touch of Shalimar!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Rose,
      that does not sound odd at all, I think that is a genius combination, I’m sure the two smell lovely together.
      Thank you for sharing your pefume journey, I’m glad you found some great perfumes to love this past year.

  19. Thanks Brigit for playing along! We do have cross-over in our lists. Those you mention were indeed very worthwhile (well, at least to me they were) and I have enjoyed playing with them very much indeed. As to getting bored with new releases, well, obviously. When there are thousands each year vying for our attention, half of them are flankers and the quarter of them about ouds, it goes without saying some ennui will set in ;-)

    Happy new year!

  20. Why do I always misspell your name? (Probably thinking of the Brigitte spelling) Sorry, Birgit!

  21. Dionne says:

    I can relate to the slowing down as well. Because I am a list-maker, and also because I tend to explore a note heavily before settling on my favorites, more and more of my collection feels “finished.” It’s a calm place to be. I’ve even started keeping a list of lemmings now, because they’re so few and far between. For example, you got mentioned today because I think I’m going to give Hedonist a try despite the price point (which made me grumpy at first.)

    Great blog piece, Birgit!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Dionne.
      It sounds good when you say it is a calm place to be, I feel the same.
      And thanks to your thorough note testing approach, you probably feel you don’t miss anything once you settle on your favorite.

  22. I loved reading this post, dear Birgit, as I have all year. Your paring down of fragrances you wore is very close to my routine. And the People in Perfumeland and group projects are some of my favourite posts of the year.

    I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best in the new year.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Jim. Yes, you are right, a small collection can be a lot more satisfying, I always admired your approach and now it looks like I landed there too. :)
      Happy New Year to you! <3

  23. Sandra says:

    Dear Birgit, you have a wonderful blog and many followers. 2014 will be wonderful. Hope you able to relax and enjoy the time off. Great writing today. See you in the new year. Xoxo

  24. aftelier says:

    I’m so grateful and honored to be chosen among your best this year Birgit! And even more special if Cuir de Gardenia helps get you writing again! Warmest Wishes for the Holidays and New Year!
    xo Mandy

  25. hildegunn says:

    The perfume I fell hardest for- and have worn the most over the past year-is Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue pour le Soir. So many call this one skanky, but on me it’s sexy, extremely comfy, makes me feel brilliant, in short, absolute perfection. Nuda by Nasomatto is also one of the great ones of this year, along with Mona di Orio- Vanille. And Onda. Must not forget Onda….At the moment I am planning absolutely zero new bottles, but am thinking about selling a few. It DOES feel good to let them go, purifying,in a way. No new bottles will be added to the collection without feeling like they express a side of my personality. Time to stop hoarding and enjoy what I already have. I also want to thank you -the blog doesn’t “feel” big, it’s just like a small gang og perfume-crazy people getting together and chatting about perfume and other important things.Love it! Happy New Year!

  26. amy says:

    I love coming to your blog, Birgit, no matter what form it takes, whether it’s guest bloggers, or special posts about People in Perfume-land. Know that you bring so much to our world and keep the blog in whatever form you wish it to be! Blessings for the New Year!

  27. Tara says:

    A massive “thank-you” right back to you, B. You are always so supportive with my posts and in life. It means a lot.

    I hope the way this post flowed has given you some reassurance that your well hasn’t run dry. Perhaps it was a case of the conditions being right and that’s something you can apply next year. A more relaxed, diary-like approach.

    Ashoka sounds so good and I look forward to your thoughts on Cuir de Gardenia which seems to be so well recieved.

    I think the slow down of testing is completely natural and though not ideal for blogging, as others have said, it’s all part of the journey. I have really enjoyed wearing my collection over the last two years. New to me perfumes this year were Nuxe Le Prodigieux Le Parfum, Dita von Teese and Tea for Two.

    Great pic of the boys. Niki seems to have grown a lot this year. Time really does fly!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Once more you put it so well: a different approach to blogging, less rigidly structuring myself and just talking to all of you. This is my most favorite part anyway, the personal side, the communications and connections.

      I feel very proud that I steered you towards Nuxe and Dita von Teese and you ended up loving them.

      Thanks for everything, my friend! <3

  28. brian says:

    That Hedonist was a stunner. Glad to see it on your list. I like how the distance to perfume you describe is in other ways arguably a more meaningful embrace of it. Every year, when thinking about a list, it’s very hard for me to focus on the past year’s releases, because if the year has been significant at all it returned me in new ways to the fragrances from years past, bringing them into sharper focus. Happy holidays.

  29. Lean S says:

    This reminds me.. It was your blog post which inspired me to get a bottle of Blackberry and Bay. I love it, I wore it so often this past summer!

  30. B, thank you for this honest post. When I looked back at 2013, I didn’t review many fragrances either. Many things stood in the way of my excitement to sample new fragrances and I also wish for it to return. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  31. annemariec says:

    I’m glad that both you and Elena on Perfumeshrine have mentioned the fragrances you wore this year apart from the new releases. There are so many new releases that, oddly enough perhaps, reading about what actually remains at the front of the dresser for leading perfume bloggers seems particularly interesting and significant. If I had enough energy, which I don’t, I would browse back through last year’s ‘best of’ posts to see what is still being discussed and what has fallen by the wayside.

    I made a resolution early this year to waste less money sampling niche releases and I have stuck to that. All I have tried are some new ones from Le Labo and Atelier, but none have been full bottle worthy, although I did upsize from a sample to a 5 ml decant of Vetiver Fatal.

    My discovery for 2013 is that 80s classic Roma, by Laura Biagiotti. A gorgeous balance between minty/citrusy notes over a sexy amber and sandalwood base. And I finally got to try last year’s L’Eau a la Folie when a generous perfumista re-homed her bottle with me.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I wore Roma as a teenager, I think it was one of my very first bottles (a gift).
      So nice to be reminded of it.

      Great that you stuck to your resolution. Do you have any for 2014?

      • annemariec says:

        Now you mention it, no I don’t have a perfume-related resolution for 2014, other than to keep enjoying what I have.

        The Roma you wore would have been more mossy and civetty than the current formula. And that’s the other dilemma – do I chase vintage or not? In this case, probably not, I think.

  32. Johanob says:

    Hallo from South Africa Birgit!
    Yes,we down here also read(and love!!) this well written,informative blog!
    Thank you for keeping us updated,in the loop and excited about perfumes!
    I love your list:L’Ambre was a 2012 purchase,I treasure it and only wear it on hot summer nights,out on the town!LoveLoveLove!
    Very Curious about Hedonist,a friend visiting Paris will bring a sample back home!
    Niche/Hard-to-find perfumes are REALLY Niche/Hard-to-find in South Africa.So many wonderful perfumes we will never get over here,although there is HOPE.(Frederic Malle FINALLY arrived here about a year ago…:-))
    Finally:Thank you for the good reads,the shared hunts and all round fun of your blog!
    Happy 2014!From a distant Olfactoria fan!😄

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Johanob!
      How lovely to hear from you, thank you for commenting.
      I can imagine that South Africa is not quite the first stop of most niche firms distribution schedules.
      Glad you got Malle there now, my absolute favorite is L’Eau d’Hiver (and Carnal Flower). :)
      Thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoy the blog.

      • Johanob says:

        Yes,its a pity that we are the last stop for most Niche houses…would love to walk into a shop and smell and choose any Arquiste/Neela Vermeire/MPG’s to my hearts’ content!
        My favorite Malle is Portrait of a Lady,I treasure it sooo much!
        The good news is things are looking up re:Niche!Atelier,Byredo,the exclusive Tom Fords/Diptyque/Lutens are quite readily available,so,FOR NOW,I am happy!😄

  33. hajusuuri says:

    Hooray for perfumeland blogosphere…it’s how I met dear Daisy and we’re pretty much only a subway ride away from each other! On your lists, I have yet to try Moonbloom and have to re-try Ashoka as it didn’t work out so well for me. I can’t wait to read your Cuir Gardenia review; I ordered a bunch of samples from Mandy and have since upgraded to a 2 mL mini! As to my favorites (2013 as well as from previous years which I’ve tried this year), the list keeps changing as I’ve had no off button this year in terms of acquisition although I will try my best to be more selective next year. One “favorite” thing I did this year was “random acts of perfume kindness”; when I read comments where someone (Who lives in the U.S.) wants to try something and I have it enough to share or want to share, I find a way to contact that person and send them a sample.

    I’ll echo what many have said in their comments — no matter the topic, even perfume non-sequiturs, your blog is a joy to read.

    Here’s to a great 2014!

  34. Annina says:

    Happy holidays, Birgit! Great picks for the year. I adore Hedonist, and hope to get a bottle for my March birthday. I am inspired to try the others.

    Thanks to your review, I am also the proud owner of L’Ambre! It is in heavy rotation for me as well. You are spot-on, it always feels right.

    Like you, I have slowed down my testing and buying this year. (This is due in part to my current, and temporary, financial state.) I have been adoring my favorites, sampling very little, and stealing quick sniffs of the rest of my collection of “gems and ball gowns.” I have, however, been making long lists of perfumes I want to try.

    I have 6 that I wore the most this year. But three for more of the spring and summer, and 3 for fall and winter. Spring/Summer : Lumiere Noir Pour Femme, Jour Ensoleille, and Lauder’s Private Collection. Fall/Winter: Chanel 31RC, L’Ambre des Merveilles, Iris Poudre.

  35. Hi Birgit! I totally understand and share your recent fragrance proclivities– I’ve felt the frenzied consumption fall away over the past year. Now, I always write our group posts the night before! I find it strangely therapeutic to create something out of literally nothing but some scribbled notes in a book and a pile of favorite vials or bottles from the year in front of me. Intellectualizing perfume is actually fun for me, but writing from emotion, from that place that fragrance actually touches– I’ve found that for me, it must be spontaneous. I’m a Virgo, and a planner, so that is not always second nature. :)

    I’m SO HAPPY to see Cuir de Gardenia and Ashoka on your list– and I’ve got a few new ones I need to try! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friend!
    PS- I want to squeeze your kids! They are too cute for words.

  36. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Oh well, it seems to be common – getting wiser and slowing down after a period of breathless parfum chase. I loved that quiet(er) approach of parfum this year – and loved Victoria Minya’s Hedonist. And then there are the inhabitants of Parfumland, like you and Tara (and lots of others) – you make it precious and interesting and I thank you for that, dear B. So, let us go forward, up to new heights in 2014 !

  37. Pingback: Bottle Awards ceremony – the best of 2013 | Chemist in the Bottle

  38. Farouche says:

    Great article! My visiting 20-something daughter tried my L’Ambre while visiting and went home with a decant. Nice to see the younger generation wearing something other than fruity-florals. Happy 2014!

  39. What a terrific post. It seems that 2013 was a year for many of us to slow down, choose favorites and be a bit more careful with spending. My choices have also narrowed and it is a peaceful, secure feeling knowing that everything I wear is just right for me: Shalimar for sleep; L’Amber des Merveilles for active periods; Jicky for reading; and Patou’s 1000 for formal occasions. I haven’t yet decided on a fragrance for music practice, but Jicky might work for that as well. I have enjoyed your blog even though I don’t comment often and send best wishes and many thanks
    to you for the New Year.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You always comment when it counts, dear Anita, and I treasure each and every one of your kind words. Thank you.

      You made some beautiful perfume choices this year, and I am particularly happy to see L’Ambre des Merveilles among them.

      Happy 2014!

  40. teamgloria says:

    what a glorious and fragrant spot to visit! (http://beautycalypse.com/2013/11/01/the-perfume-of-a-philosopher-queen/ – sent us)

    we vacillate (happily) between a bottle of vintage Chloe (circa 1984 – tracked down in a old chemist in manhattan that still had an original bottle) and the perennial Chanel no. 5 (and we still *swoon* every time).

    we shall return! *clicks_follow*

  41. Nemo says:

    Maybe it is because I am still pretty new to perfume, but for now I am still enjoying very much every encounter with something new. I recently tried Eau de Merveilles EDT in an airport, and now I am very excited to try the flankers :) I think more than trying new perfumes, I have enjoyed “meeting” new people through my hobby (whether in person or through the interwebs). Of course, that includes your blog! Thank you for sharing :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Nemo,
      lovely to meet you!
      The time when everything is new and exciting is so wonderful, enjoy it and have fun! But you already discovered the most beautiful thing about our hobby: the community!

  42. Anka says:

    Liebe Birgit,
    thank you for the time you spent to keep Olfactoria’s travel going! Your blog is an oasis to visit every day. This year I was in “the wild ride of testing, testing, testing” but I can imagine that’ll change sooner or later. I had to laugh about your anal-retentive phrase, you Viennese know your Freud…
    Since I got a samll bottle of PdN’s “Musc Intense” for Christmas I will soon put it on to celebrate New Year’s Eve. And can’t wait to read your review on it in 2014.
    Happy New Year to you, all the contributers and readers of your fabulous blog!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Liebe Anke,
      vielen Dank for your lovely words, they are very much appreciated.
      I’m glad you are in the midst of the testing phase, it is so much fun to discover something new every day.
      Happy New Year to you! You smell great in Musc Intense! :)

  43. Pingback: A New Day has come… | The Fragrant Man

  44. Mare says:

    Just a quick thank you for your wonderful blog. I always enjoy your beautiful photos and thoughtful reviews, interviews and stories.

    For Christmas this year I received a bottle of Illuminum Tomato Leaf, and I simply can’t get enough of this scent. It is love. I see myself wearing it a lot in 2014.

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