Post by APJ Crew
The end of the year hurtles towards us faster than I was ready for. A year filled with fun and adventure, a year fraught with political upheaval, a year of fragrance, travel, friends and families. For many 2016 has been the year of war, displacement, challenge, heartache and despair. Most of us have had a year of good and bad, a year of work, home and regular life with its ups and downs, drama and spots of magic that make it all worthwhile.
Here’s what the crew at APJ loved the most in 2016. Not all of it fragrant. I hope you enjoy a little look into what we rated high. The order is the order the pieces came into my inbox.
APJ Crew: What We Loved In 2016
Honestly? Apart from perfume, the biggest discovery in 2016 was how brilliant Tretinoin is. Northing I’ve ever used before has had such an effect on my skin – small wrinkles minimized, pores reduced, overall skin texture improved. I love the stuff. I can’t find a doctor to prescribe it to me here, so I will have to source it out on the Internet – always a crapshoot, no? But still, it’s great and I will take the chance. For 2017, I am also excited about exploring a more extensive, Korean-style skincare regime. Next year will be all about getting that chok chok, or Korean glow. We’ll see. I just turned 40 and I think that Irish skin might have a finite stock of chok chok and that perhaps I used mine all up in 1997. Call me in 2018 to see how that works out for me.
Hey APJ! Wishing ya’ll a very happy and safe holiday season and hoping that 2016 was a good year. 2016 has been tumultuous for me but we survived and we are currently setting up our house in Rotterdam. My favorites for 2016 are not necessarily new but new experiences for me.
Perfumes: Rahele by NVC, Galop and Muguet Porcelaine both by Hermes, discovering the pure decadence of Shalimar in all its variations and last but not least finally getting my hands on the gorgeous Dior Privee Bois d’Argent.
Movies: watching A Christmas Story with my son and hearing his squeals of laughter.
TV shows: I enjoyed Narcos and The Crown (I know – two wildly different shows!). Flowers: finally smelling a vanilla orchid.
Books: all the Robert Galbraith crime novels and rereading Roald Dahl books with my son.
Bring on 2017! Sandra xoxo
Phew. 2016. What a tumultuous year it was and all I can say is “Buh-bye 2016! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! A year of highs and lows, and what got me through much of it was perfume. Always there at my beck and call…
In 2016 there were in excess of 1100 new releases averaging out to almost 100 a month. Did I try even 10% of them? Possibly, but not likely. There were some standouts that I ended up loving. So in no particular order, here’s what was new to me in 2016….
Boy by Chanel, a VERY unisex Fougere Cologne. Addictive.
Amouage Lilac Love, a truly gorgeous non-lilac lilac.
Amouage Opus X, “The Red Violin” in a bottle. A weird and wonderful rose.
Aroma M Voluptuous Nostalgia and Camillia Extrait, two of the finest contemporary but vintage-style perfumes. Gorgeous!
En Voyage Rainmaker, like walking through the Pacific Northwest rain forest. Amazing.
Dusita Infini, One of the finest oudh’s. Really. Even if you’re not an Oudh fan, try this, it’s stunning!
MFK’s Grand Soir, my new cold weather go-to. Gourmand heaven.
Zoologist Civet (releasing Dec.31st) exquisite. I can’t even.
I had fun in 2016 exploring Cuban culture. I can’t remember what brought this on, but somehow I got interested in Cuban food, music, literature and of course, Cuban-inspired perfume. It’s easy to get carried away by a romantic idea of old Havana so the quite gritty novels of Cuban writer Leonardo Padura Fuentes brought me down to earth with a thump. Still, I taught myself to make mojitos, discovered the Lecuona Cuban Boys, and bought a Cuban cookbook (more read than cooked from, I have to admit). Of course bottles of Guerlain Pour Homme and Aramis Havana were obligatory!
Val the Cookie Queen
Seeing MUSE on the Drones Tour. After having attended hundreds of gigs in my lifetime, including so many in the mid seventies punk era, to see MUSE at aged 56 and be absolutely blown away was the definitive highlight of 2016.
Celebrating my grandmother-in-law`s 100th birthday gathering was a great privilege. She can still tell a joke to turn your hair white. We have had a close relationship for nearly 25 years. I love her.
Fragrance wise would be receiving a bottle of Hermès Doblis as a gift. The humorous side to this was having to Google it to see exactly what I had. It is the prize possession in my small ( but not as small as it used to be!) fragrance collection.
2016 was the 10th anniversary of my favorite perfume house, NAVA (Nocturne Alchemy). They are poised to revamp their website and packaging over an extended winter hiatus, and like most fans I went on an ordering spree in December! My favorite 2016 NAVA release was the now Sold Out limited edition Icons II: Inferno, a luxuriously smooth and resonant amber oudh that is in a league all its own.
This year, the novel City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin was finally released, completing a long-anticipated trilogy. His writing is infused with vivid poetry and complex character development, elevating a storyline that could otherwise be classified as Sci-Fi. Deeply moving literary fiction, highly recommended!
My travels this year took me to the Islay Festival, or Feis Ile, a whisky festival on the Scottish island of the same name. I fell in love with Islay, not only because of the wonderful people and magnificent whisky, but for the wild island itself. My cottage was 9 kms from Port Ellen along a windy single track road which took my past Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg distilleries (for those who know their whisky) and then along little beaches & craggy coves. One of my favourite things to do on my way home was to pull in at one secluded beach, and sit for a while watching the local seals. It was ridiculously cool to hear them slapping the water, blowing bubbles, and chasing each other around. Just me & them, chilling out enjoying the last few rays of the golden evenings. Magical.
Tina’s Ireland cottage
Three distilleries near thecottage
What did I love this year? I particularly loved everyone who took time to read and comment here on APJ. Thank you. Loved all our contributors, I know how hard you all work to continually pull interesting posts out of the hat. BRAVO!
Perfume: The things I purchased most of this year in mls are Granville and vintage Miss Dior by DIOR, vintage Mitsouko by Guerlain and BOY + Misia by CHANEL. New niche faves for me have been Morn To Dusk by Eau d’Italie and Rahele by Neela Vermeire.
Travel: Jin & I had a great time in Japan, we also loved seeing Venice with Tara of A Bottled Rose and our friend Anna-Maria. Unforgettable times.
Books: The Herland Trilogy by Charlotte Perkins Gilman blew my mind, can’t stop thinking about it. Erin Watt’s Royal Trilogy is non-stop pot-boiling reading, could not put this terrible trash down and did nothing except read them for a week. When It Rains and How To Get There are two books by Australian writer Maggie MacKeller on her dealing with grief and moving on, all set against the backdrop of the Australia that I know & love.
What did you love about 2016?