Following a new tradition, I would like to introduce you to my top 5 favourite fragrances of the past year. I have therefore worked my way through the Duft-Tagebuch archive and my samples and would now like to present my Best of 2023 to you below: Five fragrances from the past year that have inspired me and some of which have actually made their way into my private collection as a bottle.
I will never tire of emphasizing that the order of the five selected creations is purely random and not subject to any further evaluation on my part. I would like to present you with my personal list of the Best of 2023, and I can assure you that it wasn’t easy for me to choose, because there were an incredible number of great new launches last year. But I wanted to concentrate on a handful of perfumes for a very specific reason. This article is also accompanied by the Best of 2023 sample set, which you can easily order using the button below. As always, the same applies here: Only while stocks last.
Suncrest – Ulrich Lang
Suncrest by Ulrich Lang grabbed me from the first sniff and never let go. This olfactory peach dream really stands out from the crowd of trendy fruit fragrances. In September 2023, the eau de parfum was added to the Aus Liebe zum Duft range and Uli Lang kindly made himself available to me for an interview, which I published before the fragrance review of Suncrest (read here and here).
Peach, blackcurrant, lemon, jasmine, lily of the valley, sandalwood, cedarwood and Ambroxan are the ingredients of this creation that put me in a good mood from the first to the last sniff. Pure olfactory optimism in its most beautiful form. If you are looking for a summery and sunny peach fragrance, you should definitely try this eau de parfum. You will be thrilled! 🍑
Lucid, light and radiant, with a soft and velvety peach sweetness, Suncrest opens. Very authentic and incredibly delicious, the creation appears from the first sniff. Delicate citrus notes add a touch of freshness to the lovely fruity nuances of ripe, juicy peach, while black currant also provides depth. But the focus is on the peach, which is actually depicted in its most beautiful and natural form in the composition. Jasmine and lily of the valley give the wonderful peach fruitiness fine-creamy and light-floral accents, always remaining in the background and playing more of an underlining role. In the finish, warm, light and ethereal woods offer the velvety stone fruit a cosy, cuddly bed on which the peach is too happy to settle down to rest.
Ingenious Ginger – Goldfield & Banks
In my eyes, the Australian niche fragrance brand Goldfield & Banks is almost a guarantee for exceptionally beautiful fragrances and with Ingenious Ginger, the label has once again confirmed this. In June last year, I had the pleasure of presenting the eau de parfum to you and was blown away. For me, this is a creation that fits perfectly into the warmer months of the year and is beautifully and finely balanced.
Ingenious Ginger was created by the well-known perfumer Hamid Merati-Kashani from the fragrance notes ginger, bergamot, lemon, magnolia, jasmine, rose, mandarin, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, musk, cashmeran and ambergris. Like all of Goldfield & Banks’ compositions, it is a tribute to the lush flora of Australia and in this case in particular to the Australian redback ginger(Alpinia caerulea), which originates from Atherton in the tropical north of Australia.
To what extent might Australian ginger smell like the spice rhizome we know? When I spray it on, I perceive creamy-soft and delicately citrusy nuances that are at the same time incredibly soft and also refreshing. The citrus, especially the orange-golden and fruity-tart notes of tangerine, clearly show. I subtly perceive a subtle spiciness (the ginger?), which is surrounded by wonderfully comforting, warm and cozy accents. The florals are tightly interwoven with the lovely spicy sweetness of vanilla and the cottony and velvety melange of cashmeran, amber and sandalwood, which further bathe the creation in a golden light. How delightful is the press material once again matched to the eau de parfum? Patchouli brings a touch of creamy earthiness to the fragrance, accompanied by soft musky powder.
Erotikon – Pigmentarium
The Pigmentarium brand offers a number of fragrant delicacies, but Erotikon is the one that sticks in my mind the most. The eau de parfum is inspired by a Czech silent film of the same name by Czech director Gustav Machatý, which caused quite a stir in its day due to its lasciviously offensive subject matter.
The scent of the movie certainly does not cause displeasure and is not offensive or lewd. The ingredients chocolate, ginger, pink pepper, vanilla, tonka bean, ambergris, musk, patchouli and sandalwood create a wonderfully gourmand, creamy and sensual fragrance.
Dark and marked by a dry pepper spiciness, is the opening of Erotikon. Ginger brings a touch of citrusy-fresh notes to the composition, which breathes some brightness and lightness into the rather dark-chocolate top note. This eau de parfum also appears very transparent and airy. A well-dosed melange of pungent spices and tart cocoa, accompanied by vanilla-green tonka bean, powdery musk and the velvety-amber warmth of sandalwood. Patchouli provides earthy-creamy and woody moments that give the finish that certain something. A quiet and subtle fragrance for the cooler season.
Naki – pernoire
Naki is the result of a collaboration between the Swiss niche fragrance brand pernoire and the young, successful figure skater Kimmy Repond. It is a fragrance that revolves around purity, light-heartedness and youthfulness, and so Naki is a creation that reflects precisely these qualities.
The Swiss perfumer Andreas Wilhelm was responsible for the olfactory realization of Naki and combined the ingredients aldehydes, peach, almond blossom, passion fruit (passion fruit), fig leaves, sandalwood, white flowers, osmanthus, white musk, vanilla and maritime notes for the composition.
Fruity aldehydes meet greenish fig, a velvety-tropical combination of peach and passion fruit, accompanied by a wonderful white floral creaminess accentuated with the finest musk powder and lovely vanilla sprinkles. For me, Naki smells wonderfully of spring and summer, radiating a rousing light-heartedness and nonchalance that immediately puts me in a good mood. Gradually, maritime, salty notes creep into the composition like a cool breeze blowing in from the sea. A beautiful, airy and transparent summer fragrance with great fruity and floral accents that is best worn on any occasion during the warm season.
Trajan – Electimuss
Trajan, the last fragrance in the group, has not yet found its way into the Duft-Tagebuch, but three of its fragrance brothers from Electimuss have (read about them here). Nevertheless, I was immediately captivated by the extrait de parfum when I sniffed through my sample box. Trajan was created by perfumer Marco Genovese and is reminiscent of the Silk Road with all its precious spices and treasures.
Starting from the Mediterranean and heading east, you pass numerous fields of citrus fruits, lavender and sage, cedar forests and much more, according to Electimuss. All this is also reflected in the fragrance notes: mandarin, lemon, bergamot, blood orange, lavender, sage, saffron, cedarwood, oakmoss and ambergris are Electimuss’ and Marco Genovese’s ingredients for this olfactory journey to the Orient.
The citrus fruits give Trajan a fine, fresh and sparkling note at the start, which is soon accompanied by sweet, balsamic ambergris and spicy, deep saffron. Lavender brings herbaceous nuances to the composition before the wonderful caramel-vanilla nuances of roasted sugar and delicate, light woods spread throughout the extrait de parfum. Creamy, flowing and beautiful, warm and cozy and enchantingly spicy, Trajan reveals a fascinating and incredibly atmospheric fragrance character that absolutely thrills me. The creation remains incredibly bright and transparent throughout and appears friendly, optimistic, wonderfully comforting and familiar. A fragrance that definitely needs more attention, which may well remind us of Baccarat Rouge in the opening, but is of course a very harmonious and beautiful creation in its own right. Absolute test recommendation on my part!