I’m not often conflicted and I always try to realize the lines between my personal tastes and what is objectively well-done, but LiTA, by Antonio Gardoni for Bogue, a more temperate, restrained, femininized version of the pretty bowlderizing, over-the-top, wildly in-your-face T-Rex for Zoologist, made that difficult.
For perfumistas, reading about fragrances is fun but smelling what you’ve read about is even better. As most of you probably know, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez just published their Perfumes The Guide 2018, the first new version of the book in ten years. The authors sought to examine the changed perfume landscape since the original Guide was released and, consequently, there is a heightened focus on both niche and indie/artisan houses.
I haven’t done a giveaway in years and years, but this seemed like a good occasion to make an exception. One of the criticisms of the book, in some quarters at least, is that too many of the houses are small and unknown. That won’t be the case if you’ve been a regular reader of this blog because I’ve long emphasized niche and indie/artisanal houses over big designer ones. In fact, a good number of the brands that I’ve covered are reviewed in the book.
NOUN, the latest release from Bogue‘s Antonio Gardoni, is a limited-edition special that was created to celebrate the fifteen-year anniversary of Los Angeles’ Scent Bar, better known by its online division’s name, Luckyscent.
For me, the fragrance ended up being quite a surprise, though not for the reasons that I had anticipated. Given the nature of both my experiences and the scent itself, I’m going to take a very different approach to this review than my norm. Instead of breaking down the scent’s development over the hours, as I usually do, I will focus predominantly on the broad strokes and on NOUN’s notes. It will make more sense once you hear the story.
Welcome to the year in review, a look back at both the best new releases of 2017 and the noteworthy releases from prior years which I tried this year and enjoyed. Before I start, though, let me say first that I’m operating at a bit of a handicap because I took a long sabbatical for the first half of 2017. I spent the next six months after my return trying to catch up on, test, or review all the new fragrances that I had missed during my break as well as the ones released subsequently, but I’m sure I’ve missed a few great ones along the way. It’s not easy to put a dent in the tsunami of 2,300+ fragrances which are released each year even when one is reviewing nonstop, never mind when one takes a break from modern perfumery. Even so, I found a number of fragrances that either I loved immensely, that I thought were good representations of their genre, or that I thought were original and executed extremely well.