881! According to Michael Edwards’s database, that is the number of new launches for 2011. Basically, if you were smelling a new perfume everyday this year, you still would not have covered it all. Not that such thing is to be recommended anyway. As the year winds to a close, it is tempting to offer some sort of recap. As I jotted down my favorites in two categories that I track, niche and prestige (department store), I noticed that I overwhelmingly preferred the department store launches. Most of the niche fragrances released this year seemed to me either overpriced or simply not compelling enough to become my favorites. This is a very personal list, and I do not pretend to have smelled even half of the 881 new launches but here is what caught my attention.
Best Niche Launches
If I had to name only two 2011 favorites, I would pick De Profundis and Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum. Serge Lutens creates an elegant, touching composition by combining the bitterness of green flowers and the resinous chill of incense. De Profundis maintains an exquisite balance between rich and airy, dark and effervescent.