Basenotes Reader Awards 2014

Winners for the 2014 Basenotes Awards are below.


Best Celebrity Fragrance for Women

Adam Levine for Men
Adam Levine

Imagine a bunch of grapefruit freshly sliced in a cedar chest. There you have it. Quite nice actually-it grows on you.
Review by distortech

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House of the Year


Perfumer of the Year

Bertrand Duchaufour

Best New Fragrance for Men

Bottega Veneta pour Homme
Bottega Veneta (2013)

This is a lovely men's scent. The cirtus opening leads right to a medley of pine and fir notes underscored by a favorite note of mine--clary sage. The base is highlighted by a wonderful leather and the whole thing lightened by a crisp, medicinal and gin-like juniper. I do not get patchouli in the basenotes as much as I get a subtle--yet sexy-musk. If the creative brief is to be believed--a walk through the Dolomites--then this was brilliantly executed as it is all that while also paying homage to the house's legacy of fine leather goods. I can easily see wearing this on any occasion. It is totally office safe, good for formal and informal settings. Does it shout for attention and break new ground? No, but again, this is perfectly in line with the low key, quality profile of Bottega Veneta.
Review by Oviatt

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Best Niche / Artisanal fragrance

Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (2013)

I have many favourites from the Malle line and Une Fleur de Cassie is one of my top three perfumes.Life shouldn't be always serious,so I have a soft spot for gourmands,too.
I needed to try this as soon as possible even though I had no idea who Dries van Noten was.
However this is not a real gourmand fragrance. It is too woody to be "edible". I would describe it as a woody oriental with some sweetness and spice.The top notes are the only fleeting gourmand moments about it with a little touch of peanut,spice and vanilla.The heart and drydown are centering around woody notes with the late drydown becoming very woody and cedary.

Dries van Noten is a grown-up gourmand which is comforting but sophisticated and can be worn to any occasion for business or private.
It's a unique fragrance and I can't say it smells like any other perfume I have smelled.

5 stars from me and of course, it's full bottle worthy !
Review by lanvinelle

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Men's Hall of Fame

Égoïste / L'Égoïste
Chanel (1990)

Just one word "Classic"...ladies love this scent...just one works in the evening and winter time very very nice reminds me of first love...
Review by P-Natra

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Best Fragrance Packaging

Fate Woman
Amouage (2013)

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Best New Fragrance for Women

Fate Woman
Amouage (2013)

Another symphonic creation from Amouage (some have called it bombastic) where layer upon layer of fragrant notes are ingeniously swirled together to propel a rush of heightened being, the senses alive and tingling. Radiantly spiced, with a balmy, balsamic aspect (a kind of rose-and-myrrh, vanilla and old furniture accord), this certainly is a step up for Dorothée Piot after the soda pop maximalism of Memoir Woman. The spices are cool, shimmering, almost like some face powders, instead of being raided from the kitchen. There is a solid fundament of heavy hitters – leather, incense, moss, patchouli – underlying the dancing notes of the top and heart, but it remains almost hidden, providing body not a blow to the head.
Confident, assured, perhaps somewhat aloof for the first few hours, Fate Woman is one of those rare perfumes that just keep getting better over the course of the wear. Softening, getting warmer and richer, and just that much more memorable, until one is convinced one is in the presence of greatness. The florals, particularly the lovely buttery jonquil, rise up in the mix, and the luxuriant complexity of the labdanum and benzoin makes the entire thing bask in a benevolent opulence that seems open to all. It would be remiss not to point out an attractive sourish aspect, not at all sharp, but silken like the most accomplished of desserts, keeping the whole thing on its toes from start to finish. A triumph for Amouage, Fate Woman may well turn out to be one of the presiding deities of 21st century orientals.
Review by gimmegreen

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Best Perfumery

Les Senteurs


Women's Hall of Fame

Mitsouko Eau de Parfum
Guerlain (1919)

The first time I smelt Mitsouko I was so excited. I'd read Luca Turin going on about it and was expecting some sort of divine revelation.

I went into a department store and smelt some on a smelling strip. My first reaction was - Wax Crayons?

However, I'd been told that you needed to try this on your skin and keep going back to it (I've also learnt that the first time I smell something complex my brain defaults to a smell it already knows).

So I kept on trying but it still wasn't opening up for me. Then on the seventh(!) try, I'd sprayed it on and had gone into another shop (I still remember it vividly). Suddenly it opened up around me. It felt like I was at the centre of a 3D scent mandala whose constituents were constantly shifting and revolving around me. I was totally lost in the enchantment of it.

Ah Mitsouko, what are you? Hyper-synthetic peach layered with rich florals, or bright citrus with deep dank moss? Sometimes you feel like a misty morning, others like a bright clean summer's day, or musty dark green undergrowth in the rain, or a candy violet treat, or......... Whatever you are smelling like though you really hit the sweet spot in my brain and smell just darn GOOD!

Mitsouko's genius, I believe, lies (like the language of Shakespeare) in indeterminacy. By remaining complex and open, generations of people are able to project their own interpretations into its structure. True Art.

It wasn't quite divine but I definitely got my revelation!

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Best Flanker

Womanity : Liqueur de Parfum
Thierry Mugler (2013)

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