Best of the Best for 2009 — some of my favorite things last year

I’d like to thank Elena of Perfume Shrine for organizing this group blog post and for including me. I like to think of the annual “best” lists as “favorites” lists by the writers because it is so subjective. So, here are some of my favorites from last year. We were allowed to include other categories besides fragrance so I’ve added a few non-scent categories as well.

Favorite New Introductions of 2009:
I’ve not tried all the new scents that debuted in 2009 (hard to keep up!), but of the new releases I tried these were some of my favorites, in no particular order. I linked to my previous posts where I discussed these, but sometimes you have to scroll down the post and look for the paragraph.
— Czech & Speake Dark Rose
— Van Cleef & Arpels Gardénia Pétale
— Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire Pour Femme
— L’Artisan Havana Vanilla
— Amouage Ubar
— Hermes Eau de Genetian Blanche

Favorite Reformulation for 2009:
Czech & Speake Dark Rose (this scent has been gone for several years and they did a nice job with the reformulation)

Favorite Vintage Finds:
Parfums of Caron Bellodgia, Chanel Coco, Caron Nuit de Noel, and Guerlain Mitsouko, and edp of Rochas Femme, and edc of Dior Miss Dior. I’ve liked some of these for a long time but finally acquired decants or minis or bottles. The Miss Dior was something I hadn’t tried before this year and a kind friend introduced me to it (thanks!).

Favorite Introductions To My Line in 2009:
Tabac Aurea, the Body Silk Lotion (this is becoming a staple for me), and the 5 ml purse sprays

Some Favorite New Ingredients of 2009:
— the new low-atranol oakmoss by Biolandes (a really good alternative because it is all-natural oakmoss with the atranol removed and smells like real moss, unlike so many synthetic moss replacement ingredients)
— my new labdanum and cistus oils from France (love using these in the base of ambery and incense fragrances)
— Cosmone musk (A Givaudan musk that had been captive but became available to the rest of us in 2009. A very pretty powdery musk that I’ve enjoyed using in a couple formulas, including the new Bouquet Blanche.)

Favorite Winter Cuddly Non-Scent Items:
— down slipper booties from REI (a Christmas gift last year)
— an Eddie Bauer down Yukon Classic jacket in a pretty plum color (This was a Christmas gift to me this year. I haven’t bought a new down jacket in over 20 years so this is exciting, lol, and it was even on sale. It is just a bit fitted, which is nice, and the sleeves are long enough! Nice warm fleece at collar and cuffs, and great pockets too.)

Favorite Skin Care Items 2009:
— red raspberry seed oil (have always loved this for facial care, very lightly applied in winter to combat dryness)
— Paula’s Choice Resist Facial Moisturizer (I can’t use anything rich in silicone on my face or it breaks out, so this light-weight silicone-free moisturizer with lots of antioxidants was a great find. It works for my sensitive facial skin.)

Favorite Star Performers In My Garden Last Year:
— Karl Foerster feather reed grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora (tireless and carefree all year, from first green shoots in spring to beautiful golden blooming plumes backlit by late summer sun, to dried golden plumage in the autumn frost before we cut it back in winter for another annual cycle)
— Souvenir de Claudius Denoyel red climbing rose (blooms much more for me than Mr Lincoln and has an exquisite deep, rich, red rose scent)
— Ambraham Darby rose (always a star with its big, heavily-scented, peachy-pink, many-petaled blooms)
— Provence Lavender (easy and long-blooming here in our summer heat, and very fragrant)
Mandevilla vine (fun for its white fragrant blooms and exotic looks)

Other Blogs in this Best of 2009 Post:
Be sure to check out other blogs participating in today’s Best of 2009 post, listed below. And chime in on your favorites of 2009 if you like! I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones.

PerfumeShrine, 1000fragrances, AyalaSmellyBlog, BittergraceNotes, Shoes,cake,perfume, EiderdownPressJournal, ScentHive, Olfactarama, Roxana’s Illuminated Journal, A Rose Beyond the Thames, The Non Blonde, Notes from the Ledge, I Smell Therefore I Am, Under the Cupola, All I am a Redhead, Perfume In Progress, Savvy Thinker, MossyLoomings

Also Now Smell This did its Best of 2009 post on Tuesday, which is a fun read.

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  1. Hey, it’s nice to meet another Ubar fan!

    I’m new to your blog, but have heard so many wonderful things about your fragrances. I look forward to placing an order in 2010, and to visiting here again soon. Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Suzanne! Welcome, and glad you stopped by!

    I was surprised that I liked Ubar because I don’t often like lily of the valley, but for me the lovely rose note is prominent and I’m a sucker for rose. Ubar feels rich and decadent to me.

    Happy New Year to you too!

  3. Hi Laurie!
    Looking forward to more smelly fun and adventures in 2010. I’m so glad to have made acquaintance with you and want to thank you for sharing your journey.

  4. Hi Trish,

    Red raspberry seed oil has great antioxidants for skin and has been shown to be protective against sun damage, though it certainly doesn’t replace sunscreen. It doesn’t cause my skin to break out as long as I use it lightly. It does have a slight odor to it because of the omega 3 oils, so it’s probably not a great one to use in a commercial serum. To keep the antioxidants at their best I keep it in the refrigerator and decant a bit at a time into a small container to keep at my sink.

    I used to make a facial moisturizer for myself with raspberry seed oil, water, glycerin, oat extract, white tea extract, and licorice root extract. It was nice and not hard to make, but it does require an emulsifier wax since it has both oil and water phases. I rarely get time to do it anymore so I just use the oil straight and that works too.

    Here’s a link to a source (Jennifer is great and can answer questions too):

    I liked your post too! You had a really nice line-up of natural products. I’ve been meaning to try some of the In Fiore products and the Velvet and Sweet Pea body products sound yummy too

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hi Ann,

    It’s been fun for me too, sharing this journey with blog readers. I’m glad we met here too, and I very much appreciate your ideas and feedback! Happy New Year! 🙂

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