2014 In Review: 30 Personal Favorites

Source: designzzz.com

Source: designzzz.com

My list of favorite fragrances that I’ve tried this year is quite different from yesterday’s list of the best new releases of 2014. The latter centered largely on scents that I thought were good, very elegant or interesting representations of their genre, regardless of whether they were my personal cup of tea, and they were only things that debuted in 2014. Today’s list is purely about what I really enjoyed and does not consider the date in release at all. So, this time around, there are very few qualifications and caveats, and the vast majority of these fragrances are things that I bought for myself, am thinking about buying, or would love to buy were their price not a consideration.

You will notice that a good number of the fragrances are not complex masterpieces at all, but quite simple in nature. One reason for that is that I love cozy, comfort scents, and they are generally not very nuanced or multifaceted to begin with. Plus, mindlessly simple but really well-done fragrances that combine richness with soothing warmth are, in all honesty, a huge relief to me after a long day where I do nothing but analyse every nuance and change in a scent for hours (upon hours) on end.

Ferdinand Leeke,  "The Last Farewell of Wotan and Brunhilde," (1875). Source: Wikipedia.com

Ferdinand Leeke, “The Last Farewell of Wotan and Brunhilde,” (1875). Source: Wikipedia.com

A few other points. As always, I have to repeat my mantra regarding the subjective, personal nature of reviewing in general, and how a list like this is even doubly so. With regard to the rankings, it’s always an utter nightmare, but the Top Ten chosen here are generally quite firm in order. There is a bit more leeway with the next 10 names, as a tiny handful could go up or down one to two places of where they are at the present time. I’m most undecided about the placement of the last 10 which are the most subject to fluctuations in order. One reason why is because perfumistas are a fickle bunch who can change their mind from one month to the next, and I’m no exception. The other reason is that I’ve gone back and forth on a few scents, switching their places repeatedly until I just gave up in the end. So, for now, this is where things are, for the most part. Finally, you will notice that some of my summary descriptions are verbatim from my list of best, new releases of 2014 or from my mid-2014 best or favorites list. My apologies in advance. Covering almost 60 fragrances in two days is rather an exhausting process, so I hope you will forgive me.

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Indult Tihota: Delicious Vanilla, Cookies & Cream

Source: Indult website

Source: Indult website

Tihota is one of those perfumes that comes with a legend: “The Holy Grail of vanilla fragrances!” or “The best vanilla ever!” It’s always the first name that comes up when people talk about vanilla fragrances, and people rave about it with the sort of adoration usually reserved for the great olfactory masterpieces.

I was highly skeptical. I’ve found few things with that sort of hype to really measure up. More to the point, I’m not really a gourmand lover and I have a low threshold for sweetness, so my experiences with other beloved fragrances in the genre haven’t been very successful. At best, I was unenthused. At worst, I was utterly traumatized by tidal waves of burnt saccharine sweetness that left me with an urgent need to scrub. Still, I’ve been on a perpetual hunt for the perfect vanilla scent, so I ordered a sample of Indult‘s famous creation, and kept my expectations low.

Colour me shocked: Tihota is excellent! Positively delicious, in fact, and it only becomes more appealing with each wearing. I don’t think I would describe it as the “perfect” vanilla, particularly in light of its price, but I completely understand the fuss now, and think that Tihota deserves a good chunk of its acclaim. Continue reading