Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Favorite Perfume Releases of 2016 + Ring In 2017 GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Well another year has come and gone. 2016 has certainly has been a roller coaster of a year! The presidential election took a toll on many, myself included. We had the loss of many beloved musical artists. Prince, David Bowie, Maurice White, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frey, Pete Burns and George Michael on Christmas Day. There were many celebrity deaths as well. Florence Henderson, Garry Shandling, Doris Roberts, Muhammad Ali, Garry Marshall, Gene Wilder, Alan Thicke, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher among others.

Some of my personal high points were meeting my brother and sisters who I never knew I had until one of them found me on Facebook. It was a wonderful time I spent with them in Florida this past July. Another special moment was the completion of The Godspell Project. Cast members from a 1978 production we did in Junior High School reunited and recorded five songs from the show. I was the musical director and producer, played piano, organ and percussion, as well as reprise my role as Jesus. One more high point for me was reaching 7K subscribers on my BFL YouTube Channel. I thank you all very much for the support. It truly means a lot.

Through all the ups and downs, perfume has kept me sane. I am happy to share my favorite releases of 2016. I wish I could say that I smelled every single release, but that wasn't the case, and of course would be very hard to do. Okay, lets go!

Filippo Sorcinelli, photo by Yuri Kolesnikow

SAUF is a brand founded by Filippo Sorcinelli. There are 3 perfumes in the collection, all of which were inspired by the grand organ of The Cathedral of Notre Dame. All 3 are well done, but it was Contre Bombarde 32 that spoke to me. A gorgeous church incense, with sweet Oriental undertones that was a joy to wear. You can watch my review here.

Nasomatto Baraonda came out early in the year, but I never got around to testing it. I finally had a chance to try it at Barney's last Sunday, and I knew immediately that it was going to make my year end list. This boozy, floral, woody, creamy caramelized concoction created by house perfumer Alessandro Gaultieri completely blew me away. Bravo. You can watch my review here.


L'Attesa composed by perfumer Luca Maffei for Italian niche house Masque, is one of the best iris based perfumes I've ever worn. Orris butter heaven which is a powerhouse on skin. Not every perfume gets the eyes roll back in my head reaction, but this one certainly did. You can watch an interview I did earlier this year with Masque founders Riccardo Tedeschi and Alessandro Brun here and my review of L'Attesa here.

Fan Your Flames by Nishane. Boozy, smoky, incense, tobacco, and a little coconut thrown into the mix. This Extrait de Parfum has everything I love in a fragrance, and I can't even begin to express how much I love it.


The Kemi collection is the brainchild of Sergio Momo. The premier 8 perfumes were very bold and daring. Aurum was one of the 2016 additions along with Aqua Regia and Hermetic, an exclusive for Harrod's. Aurum is a gorgeous fragrance that is not as oud heavy as others in the collection. It does contain oud, but it is uniquely blended with incense and gourmand notes. Labdanum, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, heliotrope are among the notes in this absolutely delicious potion. You can watch my chat with Sergio Momo from last year, here.

Arquiste released two fantastic his and her perfumes, El and Ella. Creative director Carlos Huber and perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux were inspired by the stories that Carlos' parents told him of the 1970's disco nightlife at Armando's Le Club in Acapulco. El, a fougere, and Ella, a chypre, are both bold and sensual in the best "Shake Your Groove Thing" way possible. You can watch my review with Krista and Carla at Twisted Lily, here.

Dusita Parfums is a line launched in 2015, but didn't arrive in the states until 2016, so I am adding it to this year's list. The whole collection is magical, but Issara was my absolute favorite. A modern fougere that is phenomenal. I think every man should smell like this. Check out my review of the line here.


There were several perfumes centered around osmanthus that I really loved this year.


Eric Buterbaugh Florals launched in 2015 with 8 perfumes in the collection. In 2016, two more additions joined the collection, Kingston Osmanthus and Thorn Roses. Both were excellent, but it was Kingston Osmanthus, composed by Alberto Morillas, that put a huge smile on my face. Bright, fresh, fruity, and completely uplifting.


It's no secret that I am a big fan of the Neela Vermeire Creations line. Rahele is the seventh perfume in the collection, all of which were created in collaboration with Bertrand Duchaufour. Although Rahele went in a bit of a different direction than the rest of the line, it is still a solid perfume that maintains the quality of the rest of the collection. Rahele contains notes of osmanthus, woody and floral notes, spices, patchouli, and leather.


Diptyque launched Kimonanthe, a new perfume in the La Collection 34 series. It was composed by Fabrice Pellegrin and was inspired by Japanese powdered incense (zukoh). Osmanthus and incense perfection.

 Niche Perfume

Aroma M Perfumes launched Vanilla Hinoki. Founder and perfumer Maria McElroy created this perfume inspired by her many years spent in Japan, and her love of the Japanese bathing ritual in Hinoki baths. Vanilla Hinoki, is a gorgeous addition to her collection, which includes sparkling bergamot, spices, and woody notes, as well as a smoky vanilla which she sourced from Morocco. You can watch my interview with Maria here.

Starry Starry Night from PK Perfumes. Founder and perfumer Paul Kiler created the perfume as a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, his vision, and his art. The perfume has many nuances. Floral, green, resinous, and woodsy, harmoniously blended.


My favorites this year from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes were Chinchilla and Kaleidoscope. Chinchilla, a retro honeyed animalic powerhouse, and Kaleidoscope, a tart and zesty citrus, with subtle floral undertones, and a smooth woody base.

Zoologist Perfumes added 3 new perfumes this year, both of which are some of the best of the entire collection to date. Founder and creative director Victor Wong enlisted perfumers Ellen Covey for Bat, Sarah McCartney for Macaque, and Tomoo Inaba for Nightingale. The initial collection from 2014, although great, were perhaps for some, challenging to wear. In 2015, Hummingbird composed by Shelley Waddington was released, and I found that one completely beautiful and certainly more approachable.  The 3 perfumes released in 2016, maintained the aesthetic and Victor Wong's vision for the line, but are much more wearer friendly. You can check out my review of the award winning Bat here. Look for another release on December 31, 2016 called Civet.

Hans Hendley of Hendley Perfumes released his 8th perfume this year called Amora. He is a Brooklyn based artisan perfumer. Amora is a fruity floral fragrance with some tobacco and resins, that warms on the skin beautifully. If you think you don't like fruity floral fragrances, I suggest you try Amora, you  just may change your mind. I had the pleasure of interviewing Hans. You can watch it here.

Dasein Winter Nights was a collaboration between Sam Rader and Josh Meyer. This was another love at first sniff. You can check out my mini review at Twisted Lily here

Secrets du Paradis Rouge continues telling the story of founders and creative directors of Jul et Mad Paris, Julien Blanchard and Madalina Stoica-Blanchard. This time it's the story of their honeymoon in Marrakech. It was composed by Italian perfumer Luca Maffei, who has quickly become one of my favorite young noses. Secrets du Paradis Rouge is a stunning fragrance with notes that include Damask rose, orange blossom, honey, benzoin, and an absolutely delicious vanilla dry down.

I've long been a fan of Parfums de Marly. Layton was their 2016 release, composed by  perfumer Hamid Merati-Kashani. It is one of the most commercial from the line, and is definitely a crowd pleaser. You can check out my review with Steven of Redolessence here.

Au Coeur du Desert is the follow up to  Tauer Perfumes L'air Du Desert Marocain, which happens to be one of my favorite fragrances EVER. This version is just as good, with more incense. Another love at first sniff. You can check out my mini review at Twisted Lily here.

Adjatay, 27th perfume in The Different Company collection. A tuberose and leather perfume that is not to be missed.

New Collections

Under the artistic direction of Nicolas Chabot, perfumers Amélie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel created the five fragrances that make up the Aether Parfums collection. The line is a tribute to synthetic molecules and chemistry. The whole collection is strong, but Carboneum was the big standout for me. You can check out my review of the line with Krista and Carla at Twisted Lily here.

Phlur is a new house founded by Eric Korman in collaboration with perfumers David Apel, Nathalie Benareau, and Ralf Schweiger. A line of six niche quality fragrances at very affordable prices. There isn't a dud in the collection, although I liked some more than others. Hanami was one of the standouts for me. They are all very well done. Former New York Times critic Chandler Burr, was brought in as an adviser with industry experience. A 50ml bottle will run you $85 and can be purchased at


ERIS Parfums was founded by Barbara Herman. She is a vintage perfume expert, blogger, and book writer. She created the line with perfumer Antoine Lie. A trio of femme fatale perfumes, that are va va voom and naughty. If you're a fan of perfumes from the past that were daring and erotic, this house is for you. My favorite on my skin was Night Flower. I experienced the line with dab samples, and they were all very diffusive, and I can only imagine how beast mode they would have worn had they been sprayed.

The 9 Les Potions Fatales by Parfums Quartana based on poisonous flowers. Excellent concept and very well executed fragrances. My favorite was Wolfsbane. You can check out my review here.

Aedes De Venustas

Aedes de Venustas is an iconic NYC perfume shop founded by Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner in 1995. Their perfume collection premiered in 2012, in collaboration with world renowned noses, and I absolutely adore the line. Two new additions were added in 2016, Cierge de Lune and Grenadille D'Afrique. Both are outstanding, but Cierge de Lune was my favorite. You can check out my review here.

Tom Ford

It's no secret that Tom Ford is one of my favorite perfume lines.  As much as I would love to rave about all of his releases, that was not the case in 2016. My disappointments were Ombre Leather 16  (my review is here) and Soleil Blanc (my review is here). Highlights for me were Orchid Soleil, (what Soleil Blanc should have been, my review is here), Neroli Portofino Forte (my review is here), and I absolutely loved the Vert Collection. My review of Vert D'Encens is here, but ultimately it was Vert Des Bois that was my favorite.

Designer Fragrances For Women

La Femme Prada
2. Elizabeth and James Bourbon
3. Hermes Galop d'Hermes
4. Thierry Mugler Angel Muse

Designer Fragrance For Men

1. Salvatore Ferregamo Uomo
(My review is here)
2. Thierry Mugler Pure Tonka
3. Giorgio Armani Code Profumo
4. Prada L'Homme Prada
5. John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider
6. Carven L'Eau Intense
(My review is here)
7. Valentino Uomo Intense
8. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Essence de Parfum

Cecile Zarokian Parfumeur

Ms. Zarokian has had a stellar year, ending in being named Perfumer of The Year by Colognoisseur. I could not agree more. Since 2009 she has created 33 perfumes for many houses, including Amouage, Jovoy Paris, Masque Milano and many more. There were 2 perfumes created by her in 2016 that I absolutely adored.

Jacques Fath Green Water from 1947 was modernized by Cecile Zarokian. A wonderful old school cologne with a mega does of neroli, that is completely refreshing to wear.  She also created 3 new perfumes for Fath's Essentials that are all well done. You can watch my review here.

Sheiduna for Puredistance. A very modern and luxurious Oriental Spicy perfume, that is just glorious. Spices and incense that envelop the wearer with a dry and long lasting scent cloud. Definitively one of my favorite releases of the year.

I had the honor of interviewing Ms. Zarokian. You can watch it here.

Biggest Surprise

Men's grooming company 18.21 Man Made released their first fragrance called Sweet Tobacco Spirits. It was absolutely amazing! Booze and tobacco that is niche quality for under $100. You can check out my review with guests Redolessence, Cascade Scents, and Simply Put Scents here.

In Closing

Boy from Les Exclusifs de Chanel, was not a love at first sniff. It took up to 4 different trials for it to finally grow on me. It's not that it wasn't a good fragrance, it just didn't knock my socks off. When you smell so many different fragrances, this can happen at times. Has it ever happened to you? Check out my review with Steven of Redolessence here.

2016 Honorable Mentions: Memo Paris Russian Leather, Guerlain Ambre Eternel (my review here), Amouage Bracken Man (my review here), Amouage Lilac Love (my review here), Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir, Serge Lutens Baptume du Feu, Heeley Eau Sacree (my review here) Sospiro Ouverture (my review here), and Loewe 001 Man. I will be reviewing some of these in 2017.

Well that's all I have for 2016. I hope you enjoyed. Remember, perfume is subjective, so wear what you love and works for YOU.

Ring In 2017 GIVEAWAY

1. Courtesy of  Nishane

50 ml bottle of Fan Your Flames (worldwide)

2. Courtesy of  Aroma M Perfumes

Vanilla Hinoki 10ml roll-on (US only)

3. Courtesy of  Arquiste

2 sample sets (5ml each) of El & Ella (US only)

4. Courtesy of Neela Vermeire Creations

2 sample sets of Rahele with a Limoges ceramic logo (2 winners)

5. Courtesy of Eric Buterbaugh Florals

100ml bottle of Kingston Osmanthus (US only)

6. Courtesy of Kemi

100ml bottle of Aurum (worldwide)

7. Courtesy of DSH Perfumes

Dram minis of  Chinchilla and Kaleidoscope (1 winner worldwide)

8, Courtesy of Aedes De Venustas

Grenadille D'Afrique 100ml bottle (US only)

9. Courtesy of PK Perfumes

1 oz bottle of Starry Starry Night (worldwide)

10. Courtesy of Zoologist Perfumes

Civet 60ml bottle (North America only)

11. Courtesy of The Different Company

Adjatay 10ml travel spray (US only)

12. Courtesy of SAUF

Contre Bombarde 32 50ml bottle (US and Europe only)

13. Courtesy of Hendley Perfumes

Amora 7ml travel spray (worldwide)

14. Courtesy of Twisted Lily

$30 Twisted Lily gift card. (must be used on an order of $60 or more, cannot be applied towards shipping or tax, or combined with any other offers)

15. Courtesy of Phlur

Winners choice of any 50ml bottle from their collection (US only)

16. Courtesy of Jul et Mad

Secrets du Paradis Rouge 7ml  Nomad Spray

17. Courtesy of Parfums Quartana

2 Les Potions Fatales full line samples sets

To enter this giveaway you will have to subscribe to BFL on YouTube here, and then leave ONLY ONE comment down below of YOUR favorite perfume release of 2016 and you MUST comment where you reside. Second chance to enter is to LIKE BFL on Facebook here, and extra entry by leaving a holiday or festive pic of yourself on the Ring in 2017 Giveaway thread on my Facebook page. Winners will be chosen by Good Luck!

My love to all of you and hoping you have a happy, healthy, and of course fragrant 2017.