This past year was HUGE for me - I scarcely know where to begin or end. As far as acquainting myself with like-minded people, 2005 was a banner year for which I will ALWAYS be grateful. Likewise, it was a year for finding perfumes/scents, both new and older, that resonated with my soul. And it was a year for unprecedented self-exploration that included and yet far surpassed the scope of my senses...
For the purposes of this joint effort (of which I'm thrilled to be a part of!), I'm listing my overall top 10 here...
1. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb (unleaded and Extreme)
- "official" notes: tea, bergamot, jasmine, orange tree, catleya orchid, freesia, rose, amber, musk, and patchouli
- My notes: on me the original is a creamy sugar, with just the barest hint of patchouli; the Extreme is rounder, sweeter, and deeper, with even less patch, and much more long-lasting. Chris says it "smells like flowers", but that's his usual response to perfume. I get no flowers from either the original or the Extreme, and am glad of it. These are/this is the closest fragrance to a "signature scent" I have yet to find. It's definitely the one I wore the most for the past year, and I adore it!
2. Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum
- "official" notes: almond, crushed cherry pits, hawthorn, heliotrope, Turkish rose, balsam, tonka, aldehydes, honey, musk and vanilla
- My notes: I'm sure all these notes are in there somewhere, but I don't smell them so distinctly. On my skin, the opening is a gorgeous, delicious maraschino cherry. It soon develops into a spicy vanillic almond that smells divinely edible. It's the only perfume I have (that he's smelled so far!) that Chris *actively* likes. There are many fragrances out there designed to smell like Turkish Delight (which I've never seen, smelled, or tasted in real life), but this is my favorite, hands-down.
3. Ormonde Jayne Tolu
- "official" notes: juniper berry, orange blossom, clary sage, orchid, rose, muguet, tolu, tonka bean, frankincense and amber
- My notes: I wish I could adequately express how wonderful this stuff is on me! All I can say is that it's tart, warm, and somehow natural on me. Yum!
4. Barbara Bui Le Parfum
- "official" notes: spices [whatever that means], incense, jasmine, white musk, sandalwood, heliotrope, cedar and amber
- My notes: On me, this is a soft, warm, light incense. Every single time I wear it, I wonder why I bother with any other perfume. It's not overly-sophisticated for this around-the-house chica, but it's not overly sloppy or heavy or sweet either.
5. Guerlain Guet-Apens (now renamed Attrape-Coeur)
- "official" notes: iris, rose, woods, vanilla, and amber
- My notes: I do NOT understand how this was released as a Limited Edition! If any fragrance could be considered "universal", I'd say it would have to be this one. I get Guerlinade without the floral aspect - just woods and amber, dry and light and serene. There's the barest tangy aspect to it, but it's NOT foody. I honestly can't see ANYONE disliking this scent. It's not "inoffensive", but there is nothing *offensive* about it. This is one of those unique, ineffable, timeless perfumes that defies description.
6. Burberry Brit Gold
- "official" notes: magnolia, neroli, black currant, bergamot, iris, amber, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood
- My notes: I love ALL of the Burberry Brit incarnations, and until this fall/winter, I thought Brit Red was as good as could be. Not so. With Brit Gold I get iris, amber, vanilla, and sandalwood. It's softer, less sweet, and more ambery and woodsy than Brit and Brit Red. More sophisticated (I hate that word, but it fits) and easy-to-wear. Warmer and drier.
7. Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
- "official" notes: coriander, oregano, bay leaf, myrtle, angelica root, sandalwood, patchouli, amber, benzoin, vanilla
- My notes: I love amber fragrances. LOVE. This is the best amber I've tried to date. It starts with an herbal tinge (which apparently I favor, though I wasn't aware of it before this year) and develops into a warm, not-too-sweet (who knew this concept even applied to me???) amber that lasts WELL over 24 hours. Yes, I'm enough of a dirty girl to have tested and proved this... What of it? As far as I'm concerned, this is the amber to end all ambers, even though I'm constantly checking others out. I'm so inconstant...
8. Annick Goutal Sables
- "official" notes: helichrysum (aka Imortelle), cinnamon, vanilla and sandalwood
- My notes: My skin makes this fragrance all woods and cinnamon. By this, I mean the true, dry cinnamon of the curled-up sticks you can buy in the grocery store. NOT the sweet cinnamon of Red-Hots candies and the like. I know a lot of people smell maple syrup in this one (and I've wished I WAS one of them in the past), but I do not, and in the end I think I'm happier for it.
9. Guerlain L'Heure Bleue
- "official" notes: anise, rose, iris, carnation, neroli, and vanilla
- My notes: This is almost a spiritual perfume for me. It's cool and calm, sweet and spicy, and somehow *me*. Maybe I resonate on some level wth Guerlains (as many seem to), but this fragrance is nearly indescribable. As with Guet-Apens and Guerlinade (which didn't make the Top Ten list), it's a stunning perfume that I'm helpless to classify. Something about it speaks to me, and rises above the ordinary to make it somehow special and vital to my soul. Despite the notes it shares with other Guerlains, it is unique unto intself, and I cannot separate it from its sister/cousin scents.
10. LORAC Gloss stick in Sheer Berry
- "official" description (from sephora.com): "Each sheer shade is enriched with all natural sunflower seed and Hawaiian macadamia seed oils for a healthy, moist look and feel, and the natural vanilla flavor makes these must-have glosses taste as good as they look."
- My description: This is my new HG (Holy Grail) lippie, and I am SO glad I found it! It goes on super-sheer and builds/layers wonderfully. It's very moisturizing, and (on me) really isn't "berry" at all - it's a lovely, neutral red (more blue than yellow) that complements my skin no matter how thickly I apply it. The Creamsicle scent and totally neutral flavor are just added bonuses.
There were/are SO many other notable beauty developments in 2005, but I must adhere to the stipulation of 10 top discoveries…
Other Best of 2005 lists worthy of consideration (please check back later if their lists aren't up yet):
- An Alabaster Brow
- Beauty Addict
- Blogdorf Goodman
- Bois de Jasmin
- Brain Trapped in Girl's Body
- c'est chic
- Crazy Jay Blue
- The Great She Elephant
- Koneko's *Mostly* Beauty Diary
- Make a Mental Note
- Monkey Posh
- Mother Hen's Place
- my life my words my mind
- no one knows why the wolf laughs
- Now Smell This
- Peppermint Patty
- Perfume-Smellin' Things
- She'll be feverish after so much thinking
- Slap of the Day
- Victoria's Own
Thanks so much to Annie (Blogdorf Goodman), Robin (Now Smell This), and Katie (Scentzilla!) for getting this all together! Now I just have to figure out how to get you guys to pay for all the lemmings this project has spawned...