Goodbye! Fairwell! Auf Wiedersehen! Arrivederci!
Here's to a splendid new year, and a big hello to 2012.
I wanted to write one of those 'best of' lists, and maybe toss in a few 'worst of' holla's for some of the perfume-political rottenness that went on this year (same as it ever was), but I was late in gathering it all up, and honestly, my heart just wasn't in it. But I will say this -- the past 12 months have seen an advance in popularity within the niche, indie and natural botanical perfumery genre, pushing it further than it's gone since the early 2000's when NBP first began its upward march into popular culture. Bloggers who only blogged on commercial and designer perfumes really stepped up to the plate, reviewing indie and niche brands that included more than a few notable natural botanical perfumes in the mix, bringing the 'word' to the masses like never before. It's been exciting watching what I love so dearly grow into something more readily acceptable and even heartily embraced by groups of people who had never even heard of natural botanical perfumes, or knew that this small, dedicated group of folks were out there, blazing trails and creating a fervor; folks consumed by a passion for their art creating modern masterpieces in the confines of a small home studio or tiny shopfront in some obscure anywhere town.
But I think what I've noticed most this past year, and what seems to have really pushed NBP into the mainstream, has been the quality of work coming out of the perfumers. The bar has been raised again, and this time to a much higher level than in years past. And though it might seem a daunting notion to someone new in the field, and even to some who've been plugging away in NBP for years, it serves all of us in a positive way -- it forces us to be the best perfumers we can be, and that's what we want, all of us, to the best we can be. It's the rare perfumer, and the best, in my opinion, who sees their greatest competition in their last best creation.
I also wanted to mention all the projects that came together in 2011 -- A Midsummer Night's Dream with its whimsy and dreamy quality; the PLAP! project hosted by Monica Miller, which heralded in some of the year's very best perfumes based on patchouli, and also brought together a diverse group of people from perfumer to performer, and the Clarimonde Project hosted by Lucy Raubertas. These projects have proven once again that this NBP, niche, indie-thing isn't just a bunch of untrained know-nothings tossing together a few essential oils and calling it perfume. No, on the contrary, these projects have proven that the NBP, niche and indie perfumers are a force to be reckoned with. I'm also really excited about the 2012 line-up of projects, most notably the Primordial Scents 2012 project commencing in June 2012.
2012 may very well be the year we blow the lid off this thing.
So here's to us, the perfumers, for a year filled with blessings and new discoveries.