Tonight we come to the end of the "naughties" and usher in a brand new year with a full moon - something we are not likely to experience again until 2028. As we step across this invisible threshold, I am puzzled as to what this new decade will be referred to as: the "tens" perhaps, or maybe "teens"? More so, I ponder the current trajectory of the perfuming arts, and wonder where it will have taken us ten years from now. Much like orbiting celestial bodies, I expect we might come full-circle again, doubling-back on ourselves in a similar fashion as we have in decades gone by.
The naughties saw us shift away from the androgynous, unembellished unisex styles of the 90's and return to excess and 'maximalism' in perfumery - a harkening back to the powerhouse styles of the 80's complete with overindulgent packaging and lavish bottle designs. Again, perfume followed trend as style-sultan Tom Ford and others reintroduced Hollywood glam and 80's immoderation to fashion. The naughties was a decade where we looked over our shoulders to reinterpret and reinvent the past. In addition, echoes of the roaring 20's and art deco themes resonated with the prolific reintroduction of chypre-style perfumes. In the last ten years, a marked return to traditional values and time-honoured muses prevailed. Perhaps the decade to come will see us oppose this inclination once again and veer off in favour of a more neutral, epicene approach to perfumery.
It has become increasingly clear to me that innovation in this industry is a difficult thing to achieve. Few have managed to accomplish it and contribute something that severs the time-space 'loop' that sees us parrot ourselves every twenty or thirty years. Perhaps we are teetering on the edge of such a breakthrough. I guess only time will tell.