This year, a passing interest in perfume bloomed into an obsession. I quickly discovered decants, niche perfumery and a community of friendly perfume bloggers. In lieu of a best and worst list, I’ve decided to share a few highlights from the first year of my love affair with perfume.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

I began writing this blog in August. Krista at Scent of the Day commented on my first post and I was thrilled someone had cast their eyes on my blog! Since then, Krista and I have blogged together in two joint projects and through those projects I met some wonderful people.Thank you Krista, for welcoming me to the world of perfume blogging.

I totally dismissed Estee Lauder after my inexperienced nose encountered Youth Dew. Months later, I discovered her dazzling bright Private Collection and promptly stuck my foot in my mouth. I’m keen to sample her Azuree if I can get my hands on not-messed-with-by-Tom-Ford Azuree. Estee, forgive me!

Just a regular Monday morning at my house

 Along with Coco de Chanel (the fragrance of my bitter late teen years) I welcomed a few smells back into my life, such as nutmeg, with the help of Gabriel’s Aunt Paramour; cloves, thanks to Diptyque L’Eau de L’Eau; and leather with the assistance of AcousticJus I-C-U (and James Spader!). Now I am slowly working vanilla back into my life with Guerlain Shalimar and DSH Cimabue.

Reunited and it feels so good

I discovered many new notes through samples, like galbanum, found in Soivohle Sinti and DSH Antiu, narcissus in Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete, and saffron in AbdesSalaam Attar Zafferano. I also discovered I don’t want to smell exactly like a rose, a lily, a carnation, etc..

I fell in love with “dirty” jasmine and orange blossom after initially being more than a little “taken aback” (horrified, really) by their indolic properties.

The fragrance I wore most this year was Soivohle Bottleneck Blues by Liz Zorn. I described it on Carrie Meredith’s blog, Eyeliner On a Cat as “grassy, floral and a little animalic – smooth and gorgeous”. If you haven’t tried Bottleneck Blues yet, make 2011 the year you do.

Happy New Year everyone!

*Estee Lauder Private Collection Advertisment. Photo by Skrebneski. Source: Images de Parfums
*Coco de Chanel EdT Bottle. Source: Amazon