Portia’s Best Of 2019




Heya APJ,

Obviously my Best Of will be the best of what I got my nose on. Seriously. I’m smelling ALL YEAR the newest stuff and still I’ve hardly scratched the surface. Some of these may have been released in 2018 but were new to me this year. Soz about that, just doing my best here.

I’ve also cut it down by making it things I wear a LOT because I have bottles or travels of them.

Portia’s Best Of 2019

Love Mimosa by Amouage

WINNER OF THE YEAR! What the frigging hell have they put in this bottle? As addictive as crack. A clean mimosa with only the merest hint of feral adventure. It is so beautiful. Thick ropey gouts of spring come gushing off me like a fairy tale. Bought from Libertine

Indian Study: Santal ++++ by Miller at Bertaux

Creamy sandalwood? YES PLEASE! Imagine if you took the DIVA out of Samsara, yeah?  Made it a little dryer, boyzier, more relatable in 2019. You got it. Gorgeous!

4711 Remix Cologne (2018)

Yeah, this cost almost nothing and gets more wear than any other cologne in my wardrobe except Granville. Oranges and stuff, wears for about an hour and then you need to reload. Bloody fabulous.

Rose Face Elixir by Aftelier Perfumes

I am not a skincare person. Doesn’t matter. The fragrance in Rose Face Elixir is so freaking amazing and the product makes my already pretty much perfect skin look even better. I have am inner glow and smell amazing. Who knew?


No idea why I love 1957 so much. Most of it is everything I think I hate in modern perfumery. It’s basically No 5 with all the interesting and perfumey bits removed and only the functional fragrance left. Still, I can’t stop wearing it and love it to pieces.

Rose & Cuir by Frederic Malle

A crisp, dark, bittersweet opening is underwritten by logs of freshly chopped wood. The geranium and peppery blackcurrant do give an extremely photorealistic waft of rose. Later in the heart and depths there is an addition of chilli-chocolate coated leather and torn grass stem. (I’ve ordered a travel, calm the farm)

I Am Trash by Etat Libre d’Orange

That initial apple burst is mesmerising, with an outdoor woodiness and a modern, cool metallic rose. An airiness that doesn’t feel ozonic and a dewiness that doesn’t feel aquatic, yet alluding to both of them. A plastic vibe runs through the heart, concurrently bringing a salty resinousness. (Spice Must Flow was a very close contender too). Press bottle from Gascoigne & King

Eau de Minthé by Diptyque

Minty goodness, like a herbal mint tea with some spices giving it an added heat. The opening zings. The greenery is given sheer earthy warmth from a modern patchouli. I love a fragrant shock of zingy mint and this delivers in buckets. GWP from First In Fragrance)

I by Costume National

I gets attention every time I wear it. Basically ambroxan with some amber and herbal bells & whistles but it’s a definite crowd pleaser. I also get happy when wafts blow up my nose. It’s an easy wear stunner. This was a Libertine Press bottle.

Vaninight by Hermetica

You want to be the most desirable amber/vanilla fragrance and like the idea of it smelling like it could be you, not a fragrance? Vaninight is a perfect choice. Rich, lustrous and elegant but also incredibly laid back. It should have been called The Chillest Amber Ever.

Gardénia Vitreux by DSH Perfumes

PINEAPPLE! with a springlike greenery bursting forth from its sweet embrace. Even though dry down is woods and musk focussed it still manages to be a clear, fresh, windswept depth. This is gardenia smelled through a luxury hotel waterfall in the lobby. (On the list to buy a shit load of)

Crème de Cuir by bdk Parfums

Fizzy, fruity opening that feels like it’s got a bunch of aldehydes perking it up. The hearts ozonics are warm and balmy, with a light creamy ylang/sandalwood sweetness. The cleanest leather ever. Vanilla and sandalwood help make it smell expensive and lavish. Another Libertine buy.


There are MORE! I can’t bloody remember them off the top of my head.

What did you love (or hate) in 2019?
Portia xx

39 thoughts on “Portia’s Best Of 2019

  1. This was great Portia and what a wonderful reflection of you and your tastes. I have also learnt the phrase ‘calm the farm’ 🙂

    Rose et Cuir was my favourite of this year. Not for everyone but such a stunner if it is.

    Did your Voyage 2019 split arrive yet?


    • Morning Tara,
      HA! Isn’t Calm The Farm hilarious? Meaningless but makes the point, idiom makes me happy.
      Yeah, Val was determined that I would hate it. My travel arrived. Pretty excited about that. Will give it a full wear tomorrow.
      Voyage arrived but I’ve been too busy to get the split organised. Or even open and smell it.
      Portia xx


  2. You discovered many gorgeous fragrances in 2019 Portia! The only one that I purchased this year from your list is Chanel 1957, and I agree it is amongst the best of 2019. I have acquired many new to me gorgeous and favorite bottles this year; however, my top contender for the best new 2019 fragrance besides 1957 is JD Duality.(Jeffrey Dame), warm and resinous, with a gorgeous not sweet floral, vanilla base.


      • You really need to get your nose on Duality Portia, I think you might enjoy it. Cool that you know Jeffrey Dame! I emailed him to ask if he had a studio in Scottsdale, AZ because I will be visiting my sister there over the Christmas holidays. Sadly he doesn’t have a studio for visitors, hopefully one day!


  3. I can never remember what was released when, but some obvious ones were Hiram Green Voyage 2019, Goldfield & Banks Velvet Splendour, 4160 Tuesdays Clouds, Papillon Bengale Rouge and Andy Tauer’s Les Années 25 BIS.


    • DAMNIT! Velvet Splendour was absolutely amazing. I didn’t buy it though so it kind of didn’t fir the profile, not even a decant. NOW I really want it. HA!
      I do have a bottle of Voyage 2019 here to make a split out of but it’s been so crazy I’ve not even made the DOC up for it, or opened the bottle. CER AY ZEE times.
      Portia xx


  4. Intriguing list, Portia! I’ve tried none but some of your choices have been in my “must-try” list for a while, Rose & Cuir being the first item in it.
    I could say that I’ve had a good year fragrant-wise: tried A LOT of great vintage and niche ‘fumes thanks to a new friend, bought quite a few bottles. The highlights would include Patou Collection Heritage (Colony, Deux Amours and l’Heure Attendue), Dusita Erawan and le Pavillon d’Or (gotta have the latter!), vintage Vol de Nuit EDC (sheer perfection) and Iris Silver Mist.


  5. From your list I’ve tried Rose & Cuir. It’s a bit of a strange little thing but I really like it. The other one is the Indian Study Santal, which I found to be quiet and contemplative, and of course being a bit of a sandalwood ho I liked that a lot, too. The only other brand new thing I’ve tried is Bengale Rouge. This is a big love. I could almost purr when I wear it. Your Créme de Cuir sounds amazing.


  6. So hard to remember what I liked this year but I think greatest discovery might have been Cartier Envol edp. I also learned to appreciate Givenchy Pi (vintage) for the first time though I smelled it first in early 2000s when it felt too sweet but not anymore, thanks to onslaught of crazily sweet gourmands now.


  7. Beautiful list, Portia! It reminds me of all the stuff I still need to try.
    From the new releases I liked Un Jardin sur Lagune because it reminded me of Cartier Declaration, only stronger. FM’s Rose and Cuir is also lovely….and then there are two more perfumes I’ve discovered in 2019 and bought a full bottle of: The Different Company’s Sublime Balkiss and Odin’s Petrana 04.


  8. Thank goodness, it looks like it’s our favourite perfumes in 2019, and *not* favourite 2019 perfumes, ‘cos for the latter I would have no idea. I believe these were both bought in 2019: Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidée Vanille and Bois d’Iris. While they are not wildly original, they are assured and reassuring, just the thing needed to help me get through the work day in a difficult year.


  9. I was sent a bottle of the 4711 Remix . I believe it will come in handy during the hot days ahead. I bought the Bvglari Man Neroli Wood On my want list is Dustia Erawan and Penhaligon’s Dorothea . and Chloe Nomade


  10. I’m dying to try the new Etat de Libre Oranges! Sadly no one stocks them in Melbourne. My best of would be.. Tom of Finland, Lush’s newly re-released Rose Jam perfume, the wonderful Guerlain L’Homme Ideal Cologne which we all bought multiple bottles of because it was 20 bucks and I LOVE IT, EDLO’s eau de Protection. Let’s toss in Dzongkha too, one I wanted for years and finally bought this year so it’s new to me 🙂 Every time I wear it I feel like I’m discovering a new fragrance.


  11. I’ve not got onto anything new new, but a few that are new to me in this year. Thanks to this super place and the people I got onto Andy Tauers’ Desert Marocain, and some of the Memo Paris “Leathers” sample sizes. Zoologist was another love this year Andy my first full size bottle of Camel. So beautiful in scent and packaging. I too fell hard for ELDO – like This, Rien and Yes I Do. Narth, we should swap emails as I might be able to share a few samples with you 😁


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