Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Celebrating 2009

Perfumeshrine has kindly organized a little blogfest so we can collectively celebrate stuff that pleased us in 2009. The only rules are that we must write about things we first encountered in the past year, and we can't leave out perfume (as if that would ever happen). Since I'm the critical type who can't seem to adore very many things at once, my list is short--just a couple of books and fragrances. Be sure to click on the links below to see where other people are spreading the love.

Best New Perfume: Moondance from Anya's Garden, of course. This gorgeous white floral proves that a natural perfume can be easy to love and satisfyingly complex. It also confirms that Anya is an extremely versatile perfumer. It's amazing that the same woman who created Temple and Fairchild also produced the ethereal Moondance. You can read my full review of Moondance here.

Best Vintage Perfume: I rarely meet an oldie I can't like, but my encounter with Voeu de Noël, a long lost Caron, was the best perfume experience I've had in a decade. It's a good thing I had only a small sample, because if I owned more I'd just hoard it like an idiot, thus staining my pleasure with guilt. Who needs that? I wrote a few words on Voeu de Noël here.

I can't bear to use "best" in reference to a book, so I'll just say that these are books that delighted me in the past year. It's an odd little list, but I'm an odd little reader:

The Last Witch of Langenburg: Murder in a German Village by Thomas Robisheaux--This account of a 17th century witch trial is fascinating and deftly written. I wrote a brief review of it here. The Literate Housewife has an interesting interview with Robisheaux that will probably do a better job of convincing you to seek out this book than I can.

Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer--Palmer was a wonderful writer and a brilliant critic. Anyone who cares about music will find something to love in this collection of his work. You can read my review of it here.

Doctor Sleep by Madison Smartt Bell--I've been meaning to write a real post about this novel, and I may yet do that, but for now I'll just say it's a wonderful book and deserves lots of readers. It's a clever thriller, often quite funny, but it's also a story of spiritual torment and revelation. The perfect seamlessness of the narrative is stunning, and Bell's prose is always beautiful. I'm tempted to start blathering about the ideas Bell explores in Doctor Sleep, but I'll spare you that and just encourage you to get a copy and enjoy.

My fellow Best of 2009 bloggers:

Perfume in Progress


1000 Fragrances

Ayala's Smelly Blog

Notes on Shoes, Cake & Perfume

Suzanne's perfume journal at Eiderdown Press

Scent Hive


Illuminated Perfume

A Rose Beyond the Thames

The Non-Blonde

Under the Cupola

Perfume Shrine

Savvy Thinker

All I Am - A Redhead

Notes from the Ledge

I Smell Therefore I Am


Scent Hive said...

I've been saving my Moondance and Star Flower samples for something special. I think I need to bust them out now!

Best to you in 2010!


Rose said...

the vintage caron sounds incredible! Did you write a review? I would love to know more about it. I'm a big Nuit de Noel fan- are they related do you think?

Nice to be part of the project with you- and I agree it's very hard to have a best anything but especially books and films

BitterGrace said...

Yes, Scent Hive, you need to experience Anya's new babies--they're both terrific.

Rose, there's a link in the post to a very brief review I wrote. VdeN and NdeN are not much alike, but there are some similarities. VdeN is much gentler. I never could find a list of notes anywhere.

Anya said...

Picking myself up the floor, I'll mist some MoonDance on to help me recover. There. I'm better. Swoons again.

See what you've done? I can't stay upright on my feet!

:-) Anya

BitterGrace said...

You're just getting the love you deserve, Anya--I'm so glad the word is getting out about your great work.

Ines said...

I think this year it is finally time for me to try Anya's creations - everyone speaks so highly of them.
All the best in 2010! :)