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 2017 but were new to me this year. Soz about that, just doing my best here.
Portia’s Best Of 2018
Kolonya by Rasei Fort
Seriously folks. If you don’t get your nose on this you are missing out. You know I whinge and bitch about people releasing cologne for large sums of money that could easily be replaced by a $20 bottle and the difference is minimal. Kolonya is a game changer for me, pieces of so many fragrances all put together in a way so unexpected and surprising that i smile from ear to ear when I wear it. There is so much in this fragrance and every time I wear it the ride is different, like it’s temperature, weather or venue specific. All the fun of cologne with all the bells and whistles of finest fragrance. SNIFF THIS IMMEDIATELY!
Niral by Neela Vermeire Creations
An homage to British silk maker Sir Thomas Wardle. Niral is a rosy iris backed by dry tea and leather. Wears like the sussurus of silk as you walk down stairs, quiet, expensive and attention grabbing. I drained my press sample and recently purchased a full bottle. Quite distinct from the rest of the NVC catalogue and an interesting new direction.
Memory Motel by Une Nuit à Montauk
We were all blown away by this strangely gorgeous BarBQ sauce and leather fragrance opening that had a smoothness we thought might be elemi or even labdanum. On second smelling I got none of the BarBQ and loads more of the patchouli with tobacco, vanilla and frankincense. Another MUST TRY! I don’t know why the internet hasn’t blown up about these guys.
Taj Garden by DSH Perfumes
Taj Garden’s is lightly floral, like peonies and hyacinths as the sun just hits them and starts to warm the day, a green floral, delicate and calming. It has the spirit of warm water without feeling particularly wet and sunshine seems to be captured perfectly, that feeling of it hitting the back of your neck on a cool morning with incense burning not very nearby.
Le Participe Passé by Serge Lutens
A return to the Serge that we know and love. Fruit mince drizzled in caramel, sweaty cumin and resins with a lovely green overlay that gives a considered counterpoint and surprise. I bought a 100ml bottle it and am glad I did. MMMMMMMMM
Nomade by Chloe
This has not yet been a purchase but when Nomade was released early this year the Duty Free in airports were full of squirt bitches (men and women) trying to douse us. I was initially reluctant and asked for a card. I was back in 15 minutes to get some on my skin and loved it sick for the next couple of hours. A mossy, fruity floral that wears like expensive leather goods on my skin.
Les Eaux de CHANEL
Biarritz, Deauville and Venise are so much better than they ever needed to be. Cologne plus. Loved the new bottles, that soft touch packaging and the carefree vibe of them all. I couldn’t help myself and purchased them all.
Cloud by Ariana Grande
I know! It’s a budget, screechy Baccarat Rouge 540 but still. That freaking bottle is hilarious and the scent is not the worst thing I’ve smelled this year. For almost zero dollars I think it’s cool.
Belgravia Chypre by Penhaligon’s
This series of Penhaligon’s Hidden London doesn’t seem to have been a big hit for them, in Australia anyway. From the moment I tried Belgravia Chypre (doesn’t really feel like a chypre at all to be honest) I fell madly in love. My bottle gets fairly regular outings, but not in the crazy heat of summer and I think it is a very 21st century niche offering, bordering on bro woods. It smells amazing while walking around art galleries and I can so imagine it being the choice of the suit brigade if ever they tried it.
Antique Ambergris by Aftelier Perfumes
Animalic, chocolatey, earthy and rich yet light as a feather. This will fully fit the animalic cravers yet anyone who is terrified of that won’t be overwhelmed. There’s a lot more going on here than the animalics. Lightly salted chocolate covered caramel, woodiness, resins and amber all combine like a sheer gourmand.
UR ± Silk 19 by UER MI
This woody, white floral and fruity concoction has grabbed my heart. It’s so pretty and easily worn yet weird enough to maintain my interest all day. The brand Uer Mi is cool but kinda try hard. I love their scent aesthetic though, good stuff and not ridiculously pricey either.
Hermessence Cèdre Sambac by Hermès
Infinitely more than the sum of its parts, Hermessence Cèdre Sambac is so wearable and yet still a little bit Hermès weird. Christine Nagle has stamped her signature hard but managed to remain well within the oeuvre. I can’t believe how many people, and from such different taste ranges, have fallen hard for this sheer hefty beauty. My 15ml travel is about 30% empty.
Iris Rebelle by Atelier Cologne
I spent about 3 hours wandering Selfridge & Co perfume halls solo earlier in the year. I must have sniffed 50+ blotters and the one that stayed in my hand and at my nose the whole time was Iris Rebelle. A peppery, patchouli/oudh iris and is both creamy and gritty. So unusual. YUM!
Savannah’s Heart by Olibere Parfums
Another one I tried and then HAD TO HAVE in my collection. Coffee, woods, oudh and musks with a sheer veneer of green over the top. It’s fairly standard niche fare but done with a happy, enticing twist. I love it but know that if Val the Cookie Queen smelled it she’d wrinkle her nose. Hot sand, coffee and woods is how it smells on me. Fabulous!
Maison Christian Dior Collection
In 2018 the old Prive collection got a review. Everything is now grouped into the Maison Collection. I’m thinking that means there are some quiet reformulations and the addition of about 700 new fragrances, all of them light, bright and tight. The Asian market and the office seem to be the focus. Lightweight, wearable, pretty and durable scents that will not announce your arrival but will be nice to be next to. My personal faves of the new line up, and now bottles gracing my collection, are Sakura, Purple Oud and Santal Noir.
There are MORE! I can’t bloody remember them off the top of my head.
What did you love (or hate) in 2018?