Hiram Green‘s latest release, Slowdive, is a rich, thick oriental whose warmth and sweetness are rather lovely on icy, frigid winter days. It’s described as a “tobacco-themed” fragrance and has additional notes of honey, resins, citrus, dried fruits, and florals. On my skin, however, it was primarily a honey fragrance, albeit one given great full-bodied, molten depth through finely painted brush-strokes of other elements.
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.
Happy holidays, everyone. His Highness, my Imperial Teutonic Overlord, and I wish you a holiday season filled with peace, joy, fangs, fur, fat paws, the best of memories, endless laughter, good food, great health, and much love. May your new year be filled with the same.
Have you all been crazily busy with holiday and family festivities, whether Hanukkah, Christmas, or something else? On my end, I’m working through the details for the year-end summation and “Best Of” list, the writing of which, honestly, feels as though it’s never going to end. Never.Ever.Going.To.End. Part of it is my difficulty in summarizing — succinctly — 20+ fragrances, some of it is due to my obsessive-compulsive need to re-test all the fragrances on the list to figure out their precise rankings, trying to juggle all that with holiday planning, and then dealing with His Highness’ ongoing illness as well.
Today, I wanted to take a look at two fragrance oils from Ensar Oud: Aroha Kyaku, an appealing, deep, dark, and velvety oil that smells primarily of vetiver, tobacco, leather, and smoked oud chips; and Sultan Leather, an utterly gorgeous and sumptuous attar that pairs the best Cuir de Russie leather that I’ve ever encountered with a plethora of chypre and oriental notes, including beautifully lush roses.