Originally Published On http://www.cafleurebon.com
Robert H’s 10 Best of 2018
As I look back at the fragrances released in 2018, there is clearly a common thread with many of the perfumes I loved. I call it “Contemporary Vintage”; scents which take a page from history and add modern riffs for the 21st century. Out of the hundreds I test every year these are the 10 that left the greatest impression. So, in alphabetical order…..
4160Tuesdays Truth Beauty Freedom Love (Sarah McCartney)
Sarah McCartney with her prodigious output of annual fragrances, always makes my list! The problem is choosing just one, but for 2018 Truth Beauty Freedom Love led the pack. Named for the rallying cry of the 19th Century Bohemian movement of artists, writers and free thinkers, TBFL is a soft-focused Merchant Ivory film in a perfume bottle; a picture-perfect throwback floral with modern sensibilities.
Aedes de Venustas Musc Encensé (Ralf Schwieger) Finding a fragrance with incense that I can and love to wear is a minor miracle. When I first got a whiff of this in Milan last April, I knew it would fit me just so. The name Encensé is not just a play on the French encens (incense) and insensé (crazy). The french verb Encenser means both “to scent with incense” and “to praise to the skies.” And I give this perfume very high praise indeed!
Aroma M Botan (Maria McElroy) It’s been a stellar year perfume-wise, for Aroma M’s Maria Mcelroy. Having just released the stunning Desert Flower, 2018 also saw the release of Botan, her jaw-dropping paen to the Japanese Peony. I hope you get to try it, it really is one of her finest.
Guerlain Iris Ganache 2018 (Thierry Wasser) Iris Ganache 2007 reinterpreted for 2018, maintains much of what makes the original so glorious; iris & white chocolate with a healthy dose of the classic “Guerlainade”. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Houbigant Essence Rare (Jean Claude Ellena) M. Ellena revisits his very first perfume creation from the 1970’s, adding depth and dialing back the growl to a soft purr. The result is as beautiful as anything I’ve ever smelled.
Jacques Fath L’Iris De Fath (Patrice Revillard and Yohan Cervi) The third of the 3 re-interpreted vintage perfumes I fell in love with this year, this new iteration of the classic and iconic Iris Gris, proves once again, that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing RIGHT, and L’Iris De Fath is spot-on.
L’Artisan Champs De Fleur (Anne Flipo) What makes Champs De Fleur such a hit in my book, is that it delivers what it sets out to be; a perfect warm-weather white floral reinterpreted as a cologne. The “Millennial Pink” color of the jus is the perfect representation of a cologne that I reached for over and over again last summer. And garnered compliments galore!
Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto Di Calabria (Luca Maffei & Gian Luc Perris) One of the greatest surprises was finding this textbook perfect extrait that lets the extraordinary “sponge bergamot” shine in all its nuanced and complex beauty. The epitome of a long-lasting citrus cologne.
St. Clair Scents Gardner’s Glove (Diane St. Clair) From some of the best artisanal butter in the USA to some of the best new perfumes of 2018, Diane’s initial release of 3 perfumes rocked the indie perfume world. Gardner’s Glove is a photo-realistic summer garden, floral, earthy, with snippets of tomato leaf and well worn leather glove. Like standing in a tomato patch at the height of August. Addictive and enticing.
Tauer Perfumes Les Années 25 (Andy Tauer) A tribute to the Parisian Art Deco Exposition of 1925, Andy Tauer perfectly captures the 1920’s zeitgeist and infuses it with his own contemporary vibe. An unforgettable fragrance.
All photos ©️Robert Herrmann/Fragrant Wanderer 2018
except for Gardeners Glove ©️St. Clair Scents 2018