O Patchouli, how I love thee, let me sing thy praises, let me revel in your beauty. There are many beautiful materials out there, but one of the most versatile, complex, heady, and instantaneously addictive to me is my beloved patchouli. What else can so perfectly enhance both a chypre’s oakmoss and an oriental’s amber, florals, vetiver, vanilla, florals, incense, or woods? With nuances ranging from boozy cognac to dark chocolate, smoke, spices, green leaves, dry woods, wet earth, ambered resins, camphor, menthol, and even oily turpentine and musky leatheriness, patchouli is the unsung hero in many compositions, elevating its individual components, amplifying them with even further richness and depth.
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! Regardless of whether you celebrate or what your faith may be, I hope you had a lovely end to the year, and The Hairy German and I wish you all the very best in 2017. May the new year bring you much joy, laughter, love, peace, good fortune, and good health.
Do you love your amber with a shot of booze, or straight up? Do you want it as dark as night, its toffee’d chewiness beset by either tobacco, leather or incense, or would you prefer it to be so golden that it evokes James Bond’s Goldfinger girl? Have you sought an “amber” fragrance layered with the creamiest and silkiest vanilla, or do you prefer it accompanied by some combination of dry woods, spices, salty caramel, bitter expresso, chocolate, jammy roses, or aromatic herbs instead? Whatever the combination or your particular preferences, my hope is that there will an “amber” on this list of 50 fragrances to tempt you to explore further.Continue reading