best of the year list: 4 posts

Best Perfumes of 2022

I’m glad 2022 is drawing to a close. The war in Ukraine, the revolution in Iran, the floods in Pakistan, not to mention conflicts in Ethiopia, Yemen, the Sahel, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Haiti, Colombia, and Myanmar, made this year devastating for many people around the world. For me personally it has been a difficult year with moments when it seemed that I wouldn’t be able to pull through. But it’s now December, and I’m here writing and feeling thankful for the blessings I can count.  My family and friends in Ukraine are safe. My Iranian friends and colleagues are likewise doing well, considering the circumstances. As my book, The Rooster House, was published in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Spain, I had a chance to travel around Europe, speak about Ukraine and its culture and get involved with causes to support my country during this difficult time. I was also happy to meet several Bois de Jasmin readers during these travels and discover more about the people who visit this page. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It made all the difference this year.

When it comes to summing up this year in terms of scents, at first I had a difficult time. I haven’t had a chance to try as many fragrances as I normally do. While the few that I tried were memorable, I wondered if I missed something interesting. Then a perfume-loving friend came to visit and brought me a large selection of new launch samples. It was fun to immerse myself into scents and escape into the world of incense and violets. This exercise reminded me of my great-grandmother Asya’s love of scents and her belief in the necessity to recharge, no matter how frivolous it might seem at the time.

What impressed me about my scent journey through 2022 was the diversity of the offerings. Some fragrances clearly stayed within the usual tropes–ambers and incense for niche and fruity-florals for prestige, but there were also many unusual compositions across all styles. I’ve highlighted such fragrances in my list below and added those that I instantly gravitated to. My best of the year lists are always highly personal and 2022 is no exception.

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Reflections on 2020

I don’t like the phrase “new normal,” especially since there is nothing normal about the situation that 2020 forced us to accept–staying away from others, fearing human touch, human presence, human breath. 2020 was not normal, and my way of coping had its ups and downs.  Not being able to see my family for almost a year was the hardest part. Nevertheless, there were some bright moments this year, and in this post, I wanted to highlight them.

You

One of the best parts of this year was the Bois de Jasmin community. Your comments, enthusiasm, and support have boosted my mood on more occasions than I can mention. Your support ensured that even on the most difficult weeks I looked forward to sitting down and writing, that even on the most difficult days I still discovered something interesting to share with you. I’ve been writing Bois de Jasmin for almost 16 years, and I already knew how generous and kind this community was. 2020 once again proved it.

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Best of 2019 in Perfume

When it comes to  fragrances, 2019 has been a good year. There have been the usual commercial releases, but innovative launches were also numerous. I particularly liked the collection by L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803 created in collaboration with the Louvre that gave scent to some of the museum’s famous works. Carine Roitfeld’s line was likewise interesting, with a number of memorable perfumes.

As always, my list is personal and idiosyncratic. I didn’t aim to include everything, but rather the perfumes that caught my attention the most this year and the ones I wore. These are the fragrances that will accompany me into 2020. I look forward to hearing about your 2019 favorites.

Carine Roitfeld Parfums George

Carine Roitfeld Parfums was created by the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. The line includes seven unisex fragrances, AurélienGeorgeKar-WaiLawrenceOrsonSebastian and Vladimir, inspired by fictional love stories. I ended up with a travel set, which I found excellent given that the premise of the collection is travel. Each lover takes his paramour to a different city, from Paris to Hong Kong. My choice was George, effervescent but with a suave finish. I also liked Lawrence, who comes bearing jasmine garlands.

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Best of 2017 in Scents and Discoveries

For my Best of 2017 list I wanted to highlight the perfumes that moved me and that accompanied me throughout the year. Some are from big brands, others are from tiny artisanal outfits. The main leitmotif to my list is the pleasure and excitement of discovery. Patricia and Elisa will share their treasures and loves as well.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year and lots of joy and beauty. Thank you for your support and for sharing your thoughts and discoveries with me.

Victoria’s List

Three Jasmines

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