Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perfume Pharmer Announces 2011 Niche Perfume Award Winners!

Yesterday Perfume Pharmer released its list of the top 20 Niche Perfume Awards for new releases in 2011, and it goes like this:

Pandora by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes

Transcendental Musc by Liz Zorn

Secret Garden by Mandy Aftel

Bohemian Spice by Tanya Bochnig, April Aromatics

Orcas by Ayala Moriel

Avalon by Ambrosia Jones of Perfume by Nature

Immortal Mine by Alexis Karl and Maria McElroy

Star F&@#*% by Kedra Hart of Opus Oils

Wild Child by Kedra Hart of Opus Oils (good goin' Kedra!)

Royal Water by Rodney Hughes of Therapeutate

Dreams and Visions by Jane Cate of Wing and A Prayer

Pentachord Verdant by Andy Tauer

Fleur #1 by Jessica September Buchanan of 1000 Flowers

Vanille Botanique by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (go girl!)

Nectars des Ils by Juan Perez, Vents Ardents by Shelley Waddington -- collaboration duo for EnVoyage Perfumes

Sharif by Abdes Salaam Attar of La Via del Profumo

Au Pear Tingle by Kedra Hart of Opus Oils (xo)

Paradise Lost by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes (xo)

Best Incense ~ Kyphi 2010 by Katlyn Breene of Mermade Magickal Arts

Best Perfumer ~ Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Lifetime Achievement Award ~ Jeanne Rose

I have to say that I agree with quite a few on this list (since I helped choose some of them!), for example, some of my favorites this year were Pandora by DSH, Wild Child by Kedra Hart and Royal Water by Rodney Hughes/Therapeutate.

And I also wholeheartedly agree with the final award, the Lifetime Achievement award to Jeanne Rose. I just don't think Ms. Rose gets enough credit for her lifelong, and continuing, contributions to perfumery. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Rose in her home in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, and I'll admit it here to you, but please don't tell anyone -- I was petrified to meet her! First of all I got lost and was late for our appointment by almost an hour, then when I did show up I could see that Ms. Rose was sizing me up -- this odd lady from the inland come to talk with Grande Dame of San Francisco -- but it wasn't long before my nervousness settled down (just a bit, mind you, I was still pretty shaky by the time I left). It was quite the experience sitting alone with Ms. Rose in her home, going through boxes of very old oils and resins. I even got to hear with my own ears her famous, "Waft! Don't draft!" protestation while sniffing a very old bottle of benzoin resin. It was like being in the company of a mystic, the oils treated reverentially and with love as we wafted and slipped into conversation about how much had changed since she'd first begun in aromatherapy, how the oils now are different from the oils then, how much has been lost to poor distillation processes and scam artists and over harvesting. As I said, it was quite the experience and one I will treasure forever.

So congratulations to all the winners of this year's Perfume Pharmer Niche Perfumer Awards!


  1. Everytime I think of that meeting I cackle with glee! We need to catch-up m'dear!

  2. Yes, you would :)

    I still have all the notes from that meeting written down in my big pink notebook. I look back on them from time to time. There's a good 500 to 1000 page article lost in those notes. Perhaps now would be a good time to write it up, eh?

  3. Oops, not page -- word -- 500 to 1000 WORD article -- hahaha!



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