10 Fall Perfumes With a Retro Accent

Retro, vintage, old-fashioned. These terms, with various nuances, suggest fragrances that smell of another time. Elisa explores some of her favorite perfume examples.  What’s dated to one person is a retro classic to another.

What smells old-fashioned or,  more positively, “classic” or “retro” to any given nose is bound to change over time. In the near future, I suspect, the berry-and-peony fruity-florals and fruitchoulis that were ubiquitous in the late ‘90s and aughts will smell nostalgically old-fashioned to some, dated to others. Hillary Clinton reportedly wears Angel, and I recently heard a young YouTube star describe Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle as her most “mature” smelling perfume!

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The perfumes I’ve been reaching for most this fall aren’t the all-time classics – the Shalimars, the Mitsoukos, the Chanel No. 5’s. But these scents, mostly born in the ‘70s and ‘80s, remind me of the grande dames of my youth, who weren’t in the least intimidated by unforgivingly sharp green chypres, loud and complicated florals, or deeply powdery orientals, all with massive sillage. To me, these are the new retro classics.

Chanel Coco 

When I first encountered Coco on a perfume counter many years ago, I found it confusing. What exactly was this mess, which couldn’t decide whether to be sweet or not? But now it smells complex and incredibly luxurious, especially in the parfum – all spicy, rosy florals and amber with a dry, animalic leather note cutting through. I’ve come to think of Coco as the quintessential, night-at-the-opera floriental.

Dior Poison 

A fellow perfume lover recently sent me some vintage Poison, and it’s a treat: honey, powder, fruity tuberose, super-raspy jasmine, and something that reminds me of burnt marshmallow. It was in the air, of course, during my childhood, but I never knew anyone who wore it, so I can wear it now with no real associative baggage, and I quite enjoy its drama.

Yves Saint Laurent Opium 

Opium is another scent that passed me by when it originally launched (I was too young; my mom didn’t wear perfume). I never sought it out, but I couldn’t resist picking up the parfum in a supremely classy (if not especially functional) tassel bottle when I recently saw it at a consignment shop. Now I find it very beautiful, saved from the suffocating heaviness you’d expect when you look at the list of notes by a dose of aldehydes (which were seemingly unavoidable in that era, the late ‘70s). Probably more than any other perfume material, aldehydes to me smell like perfume, and Opium smells like perfume and smoke (in Italian parfumare means “to smoke through”) and very expensive tea.

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Estée Lauder Cinnabar

It’s probably not as good as Opium and certainly comes in less glamorous packaging, but if I’m honest with myself I think I like Cinnabar just as much – it’s a brighter and more floral version of the same idea, with more cinnamon than clove; like Opium-flavored bubblegum.

Hermès 24 Faubourg

The Hermès scents don’t usually call out to me – they’re a little too sheer, a little too refined for my tastes. Maurice Roucel, on the other hand, I love for his excess. In 24 Faubourg, they’ve fought each other’s worst tendencies, creating a perfectly refined but still lush white floral. My favorite thing about it is the merest whisper of galbanum, like an air kiss from a chypre.

Yves Saint Laurent Paris

Sophia Grojsman’s Paris is yet another classic that I didn’t really get until I smelled an older version. Now I think it’s the perfect honey-rose. There’s violet, and powder, but somehow the impression I get is of a wet rose, like a rose bush dripping after a rain.

Estée Lauder Knowing

More than most perfumes in my collection, Knowing has a changeable character – I always recognize it, but its mood and shape can vary by the day. Lately it smells greener than ever, and bitter in a way that reminds me of classic leather chypres as much as rose.

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

The name is seemingly a reference to a Paul Verlaine poem: “A vast and tender serenity, seems to descend from the firmament that glows with the light of the moon . . It is the exquisite hour.” I love this name, because Heure Exquise’s combination of green notes, iris, hyacinth, and vanilla comes across as achingly poignant, romantic and yet innocent. (And I just realized this was in my Winter top 10, too – clearly one of my favorites for the year.)

Parfums de Nicolaï Odalisque

Once a more classical chypre, I believe the current version of Odalisque has been stripped of some of its oakmoss. But it’s still a gorgeous powdery floral, poised between green and white, with a chilliness that reads to me as tuberose.

Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose

Tea Rose is truly dated, the diametrical opposite of cool, and yet, I love it. It’s half fresh pink roses and half potpourri – I always, always think of antique shops when I wear it. Bonuses: The dirt-cheap bottle is huge and doubles as room spray, and layers well with almost anything containing rose.

What perfumes have you been wearing most this fall?

Also, please take a look at these lists by Grain de Musc :: Now Smell This :: The Non-Blonde :: Perfume Posse

Image 1 by Victoria. Image 2 by Elisa.

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112 Comments

  • Gabriela: Its been raining a lot here in Barcelona so Im reaching out for Bois de Violette a lot these days.
    Was thinking of blind buying Cabaret as I love roses but not sure its worth it, does it work well in Autumn? October 14, 2016 at 7:14am Reply

    • Elisa: Cabaret is very nice, a dry, peppery rose with incense. Reminds me of a downmarket Lyric! However, on the downside, the bottle takes up a lot of space! October 14, 2016 at 9:22am Reply

      • Aimbl: I love cabaret, but I think no its distinct from lyric woman, maybe closer to lyric man. But, maybe its my skin chemistry that emphasizes a kind of herbal Pepper I think its pink peppercorn maybe) that makes it somehow thinner, less lush. IMO, its not a ‘dark’ rose in the modern sense, which i mean as a compliment to Caberet October 14, 2016 at 10:02am Reply

        • Elisa: Oh yes, definitely less lush! But I put them in the same rough category. October 14, 2016 at 10:03am Reply

  • Caroline: Ha, think you might be my evil scent twin, as most of these raise my hackles! But in complete agreement about Faubourg, Heure Exquise and Odalisque. It’s funny, those grew on me rather than being instant loves. October 14, 2016 at 8:04am Reply

    • Elisa: Hi, evil scent twin! 🙂 Many of the scents above actually took years to grow on me. I’m not sure what happened! October 14, 2016 at 9:23am Reply

    • rainboweyes: The same here, ha ha 🙂
      So Odalisque was reformulated, really? I need a new bottle, should probably get a sample of the new version first.
      My autumn staples include Parfums d’Empire Equistrius and Cuir Ottoman, Atelier Cologne Silver Iris, Odalisque and Iris Silver Mist. Heure Exquise gets the most wearing in early spring… October 14, 2016 at 9:31am Reply

      • Aimbl: Interesting as i think of Iris Silvrer Mist as spring. Your post makes me want to revisit for autumn, thank you! October 14, 2016 at 10:03am Reply

      • Elisa: Yes, and the reform gets mixed reviews — some think it still captures the essence, others not so much, so try to sample before you buy. October 15, 2016 at 10:25am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Wonderful perfumes indeed, Elisa. Guerlain is missing…was there no Guerlain at the time, one could ask.
    Yes, there was! Parure. Such a pity that we don’t have that one anymore.
    I love all the perfumes you named, most of all Poison. Another favourite: Rive Gauche. October 14, 2016 at 8:16am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Answering your question: this fall is for Cuir Améthyste. October 14, 2016 at 8:18am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: And Nahema of course! How could I forget my beloved Nahema. October 14, 2016 at 8:52am Reply

      • zephyr: Completely agree with you, Cornelia – Parure is my all-time favorite scent, and Nahema is right up there for special occasions. Now that cooler weather is here, I’m especially missing Parure. I have a tiny precious bit left and am (carefully!) hoarding it. I wonder if it’s even still available in the Paris boutique; I should set up a special savings account just for a purchase next time I’m there! October 14, 2016 at 10:10am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Zephyr!
          Parure was absolutely unique, but I found a perfume which could be an echo of it: Profumo by Acqua di Parma. Not a substitute of course but to me it gives more or less the same feeling.
          Such a shame that the Nahéma extrait is gone! was so much richer and softer than the edt.
          (Fortunately i own a bottle!). November 4, 2016 at 6:15am Reply

          • zephyr: Thank you, Cornelia, I’ll check out Profumo! This past summer I sprayed EL Private Collection on a test strip and carried it around with me for days, lol. I liked it; it also gave me the same feeling as Parure. Next is to get a sample of it for myself – and a sample of Profumo. On the skin is the real test!

            Just occurred to me – I’ll be in Rome in a week. I wonder if Acqua di Parma is carried in the stores there. I’ll look that up. I’ll be busy and not have a lot of free time on my hands, but maybe I can snag a sample there. Or even buy some if I fall in love with it. That’d be a nice souvenir.

            Agree with you on Nahéma extrait – much better than the edt! At the time in my life when I purchased it, my nose was not educated at all. But even then I could sense the difference and bought the extrait. Lucky you, having a bottle! November 4, 2016 at 2:03pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Lucky me who has Nahema, lucky you to be in Rome!
              Acqua di parma Profumo: € 135 (50 ml), ± € 220 (100 ml).
              Not cheap, but less expensive than Parure from the Boutique… November 4, 2016 at 4:17pm Reply

    • Madtowngirl: Yes, Samsara came out in the late 80’s a few years after Poison and Coco. It’s a wonderful fall scent also, more so if you can find it in “vintage”! October 14, 2016 at 9:14am Reply

      • Elisa: Another good one I missed was Tuscany per Donna. October 14, 2016 at 9:32am Reply

        • Triciajo: Oh yes! Tuscany per Donna was my October wedding perfume in 1994. I wish the Aramis version was still around. October 14, 2016 at 11:09am Reply

          • Elisa: Great choice since it’s such a romantic perfume! Is it not around anymore? I was able to buy a bottle a few years ago though it wasn’t prominently displayed at the Estee Lauder counter. October 14, 2016 at 12:34pm Reply

            • Triciajo: To my nose, Estee Lauder changed it after they took it over from Aramis. You can still get the EL version, and I have a bottle. October 15, 2016 at 9:01am Reply

              • Elisa: Ah, yes, I’m sure they did. I don’t enjoy Calyx so much since Clinique took it over, either. October 15, 2016 at 10:25am Reply

    • Elisa: Ah, Guerlain! I had Samsara on my “long list” but ended up reaching 10 before I got to it — I do like it in fall but haven’t really reached for it this year. October 14, 2016 at 9:31am Reply

  • Sandra: I don’t really seem to switch perfumes based on the season, I wear everything all year round, when I’m in the mood. I really love your list some oldies but goodies.

    Today I am wearing Alahine, some people prefer the sent in cooler weather but I love it all year round October 14, 2016 at 8:32am Reply

    • Elisa: You know, I usually wear Alahine in late fall/winter but I wore just a touch in summer once recently and it smelled wonderful! Amber really blooms in heat. October 14, 2016 at 9:40am Reply

  • Sandra: Shalimar would be in my list, The vanille flanker Madagascar version. lots of smoky vanilla October 14, 2016 at 8:33am Reply

    • Mara: Sandra, if you like Shalimar, you should definitely try “Fleur Oriental” Eau de Parfum, by Miller Harris! October 14, 2016 at 9:57am Reply

      • Sandra: Well..if you going to twist my arm..lol..i will try it October 14, 2016 at 11:37am Reply

        • Sandra: Do you know where I can sample this line? I am based in the USA October 14, 2016 at 11:40am Reply

      • mayfly: Yes!, FO is a really nice! October 14, 2016 at 4:03pm Reply

  • Tara C: Wearing Coco today – definitely a great fall scent! October 14, 2016 at 8:40am Reply

    • Elisa: Great choice! 🙂 October 14, 2016 at 9:41am Reply

  • kekasmais: I’m so grateful you mentioned Coco as a night-at-the-opera scent; some friends of mine surprised me with tickets to see La Bohème at the Met Opera next month and I’ve been having more anxiety over which perfume to pick for such an occasion than over what I’m going to wear. Something warm and opulent and, with a gentle hand, won’t smother the poor soul sitting next to me. I suppose there’s no shame on leaning on an old friend like Coco for such help.

    I’m tickled that Odalisque made it on here too. It really is a knock out. October 14, 2016 at 9:23am Reply

    • Elisa: Coco will be perfect!

      Really quite a few Nicolais have that retro flair. I also love Sacrebleu. October 14, 2016 at 9:42am Reply

  • Madtowngirl: Love this list Elisa! I have wonderful associations with both Opium- my mom wore this in the late 70’s when I was a young girl, and Posion- my college roommate and still dear friend of 30 years wore this. Coco is in my fall rotation and 24 Faubourg is on my want list. Well done! October 14, 2016 at 9:42am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you! Opium and Poison both seem like scents that could really come alive on the right personality. And worthy signature scents. October 14, 2016 at 9:45am Reply

  • Mara: Thank you for this pleasurable list!

    My personal perfume choices for this fall are

    (i) “L’Air de Rien” by Miller Harris (I am now finishing the bottle!)

    (ii) “Fleur Oriental” by Miller Harris again, (just ordered and awaiting delivery)

    and

    (iii) “ORLANDO” by Jardins D’Écrivains (which will be my next delight!).

    I highly recommend these warm, deep perfumes -at least, get to know their story and concept by reading on them at the internet! They definitely worth it! October 14, 2016 at 9:55am Reply

    • Elisa: I like the Miller Harris perfumes I’ve tried — my favorite is Geranium Bourbon which I’ve included on my fall list in the past! October 14, 2016 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Bela: All the perfumes mentioned in the article came out when I was already an adult. Seeing them being called ‘old-fashioned, vintage, retro’, makes me feel really ancient. Boo.

    Elisa, I’m surprised you found Coco a ‘mess’. I bought it the day it came out in London – with my last salary as an employee of a large publishing house. It was love at first sniff. October 14, 2016 at 10:16am Reply

    • Elisa: Ah, well, I certainly didn’t want to make anyone feel old! (Though most things make me feel old these days.) In any case, I disown my initial reaction to Coco because now I love it. October 14, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

      • Bela: No worries, Elisa. 🙂 October 14, 2016 at 5:50pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I love posts with lists! I wear most of my large collection year round, with the exception of a few I think of as summer scents. I do think of Shalimar, L’Heure Bleu, Chanel No. 5, Cuir de Russie and Cuir Ottoman more when it’s Autumn. October 14, 2016 at 11:09am Reply

    • Elisa: I also wear Shalimar most in fall. My vintage EDC is especially leathery. October 14, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Trudy: Great post for this October morning. I was a young adult when some of these came out . They are all beautiful fragrances. I remember wearing Knowing and feeling very womanly. I think I only had one bottle but still remember the fragrance very well. Paris….I wore for a few years and I loved it. I still love it although I don’t currently own a bottle. I sometimes spritz it from a tester and remember how much I really loved that perfume. Coco, too, was a favorite and made me feel oh so sophisticated. These days Knowing does feel dated to me. Coco, too, although I realize it is a classic so maybe I will revisit. One fragrance I’ve always loved although it came out much later (2007 I believe) is Gucci by Gucci for Women in the brown bottle. It never seemed to take off so I don’t think it will ever be considered a classic. It does feel like a fall fragrance to me and a “going out” fragrance. Question…is Coco Noir considered an updated version of Coco…or is it a stand alone? This morning I sprayed on Gucci Rush. Love all the comments. I get so many good suggestions from this blog. October 14, 2016 at 11:16am Reply

    • spe: Great question about Coco and Coco Noir. This is going to sound weird, but I smell hints of Coco Noir in the new No. 5 l’eau. October 14, 2016 at 11:48am Reply

    • Sandra: I prefer the coco noir parfum to the EDP, just my opinion! October 14, 2016 at 11:54am Reply

      • Notturno7: Yes Sandra, I prefer the Coco Noir perfume, too. It’s a real treat. October 14, 2016 at 2:48pm Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: Sandra, I agree with you–the Coco Noir parfum is really beautiful. October 14, 2016 at 2:57pm Reply

    • Elisa: I love Gucci Rush! It was my college perfume so I rarely wear it these days, but I still have a bottle.

      I think of Coco Noir as more of a patchouli fragrance, almost closer to Coco Mademoiselle than Coco. But I haven’t sniffed it in a while. October 14, 2016 at 12:40pm Reply

  • spe: Trudy – Gucci in the brown rectangular bottle was great! It was so different (and still is). I wish they would re-release it.

    Elisa, I really enjoy your list. For me, two retro fall scents are Chamade (most people think spring with Chamade, but it gets a little deep and spicy on me, so…) and Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus. That was a beautiful rendition of Mitsouko. I love it in the fall. Mitsouko with a touch of floral smells exquisite to me. I wish Guerlain would stop with the Shalimar flankers and do something interesting with Mitsouko! Blasphemy, I know!
    Thank you for the fun topic! October 14, 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    • Trudy: I’ve never tried or heard of Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus. It sounds beautiful. I will have to scout it out. October 14, 2016 at 12:15pm Reply

      • Elisa: I never have either, but I LOVE the idea of Mitsouko flankers! I still haven’t found my way into the original after a number of tries, but maybe one little tweak would do it. October 14, 2016 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Susiebelle: Great list! I’ve been wearing Cinnabar for over thirty years. I have a vintage bottle and a new bottle too. It’s changed a little bit. Love Opium! Got on the Coco train a few years ago. Many perfumes do not smell good on me – these smell extra good! October 14, 2016 at 11:51am Reply

    • Elisa: Good to see a Cinnabar lover since it’s not mentioned too much anymore! I think Youth Dew Amber Nude feels somewhat like an updated Cinnabar but of course it’s been discontinued. I’m glad I got a bottle before it was too late. October 14, 2016 at 12:42pm Reply

      • Susiebelle: Never had the chance to smell the Youth Dew Amber Nude. My younger son has a crazy good nose and he likes the updated Cinnabar better so I’m all good! October 14, 2016 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Debby: Some great choices there. I have quite a few of your list, and wouldn’t be without them.
    Poison is a must for autumn/winter, though it’s been quite a journey finding a formulation that is really good on me. The current one is horrible to me, so sweet and sickly. I got a tiny vial of an early formulation which is exquisite at first, but sadly develops an unpleasant old soap smell in dry down. This happens a lot on my skin, or maybe I’m overly musk sensitive, not sure. But an early 2000s version is just great for me, though I’m very sad that I can’t wear it as it should be as it really is an absolute marvel. October 14, 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks, Debby — with many of the above, there are so many different versions floating around it can be tricky to find the right one! Sometimes it’s worth the risk to try an older bottle from eBay since they’re often not too expensive. The first bottle of vintage Knowing I ordered was turned, but I’ve got a great version now. October 14, 2016 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Eric: I love vintage Opium! I’ve been eyeing the same style of bottle in an antique store but it’s always been just slightly out of my reach monetarily (though certainly still a bargain!)

    On the brand-spanking-new side, I’m in love with Stash. SJP did good! Other than that, Mitsouko and 31 rue Cambon and Cuir d’Ange make a lovely set for fall. October 14, 2016 at 12:46pm Reply

    • Elisa: I was just able to smell Stash on a friend last week — it smelled amazing on her! I need to get my hands on some myself. October 14, 2016 at 12:48pm Reply

      • zephyr: A few weeks late on this – I rubbed Stash (from a magazine insert) on my arm the other night and was really surprised. Not bad! I’m so used to the sickly-sweet sameness of most new releases that Stash really took me aback. Woody and leathery on me, which I don’t mind at all. Another one to explore. November 4, 2016 at 2:11pm Reply

  • Alicia: Elisa, practically all your favorites are mine, except for Cinnabar (which I haven’t tried), and Teas Rose, which I wear all the year long.=, not only in autumn. I will only add Guerlain Samsara, Chanel Coromandel, 31 Rue Cambon and Cuir de Russie, Scherrer 1, and Knize Ten. The old Opium was a staple of mine, as was Ysatis. Now it is Prada, Infusion d’Iris Absolu, and Bulgari Black. October 14, 2016 at 1:09pm Reply

    • Elisa: I love your additions! I have been wanting to get my hands on some older Ysatis. October 14, 2016 at 1:11pm Reply

    • Notturno7: I love your list, Alicia. My favorites, too. I haven’t tried Knize Ten yet.
      I think you were the one who recommended a vintage Hermes Caleche perfume about a year ago. I got it on eBay, 2 Oz Extrait and you were right. 💖 October 14, 2016 at 3:11pm Reply

      • Alicia: I am delighted you liked it, Notturno. Knize Ten is very classic leather (I believe it was created for men many years ago).Perhaps you might enjoy it. October 14, 2016 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Notturno7: Lovely post, Elisa! I love your list and have 7 out of 10 fragrances, few of them in many concentrations including body creams. I have to be careful as this year I bought so many fragrances, including Coco, Coco Noir and Cuir de Russie Extraits and just yesterday I purchased vintage Narcisse Noir Extrait. Can’t wait to try it 😍.
    Few days ago, I reached for my splash bottle vintage Paris which I haven’t tried in ages, and although at the first sniff it felt too much,an hour later and for the rest of the day it was just heavenly.
    I adore Opium and sometimes just wear the body cream instead of perfume and 24 Faubourg is also one of my favorites. I have been asked many times what I’d been wearing with that one. Shalimar, Samsara extrait, Aromatic Elixir and Youth Dew ( the body cream is so well priced and so true to the fragrance)…. Rive Gauche is amazing but I end up reaching for it more in summer.
    To many more come to my mind but I have to cut this list. In last few days I’ve been enjoying Hermes Galop, the Rose leather really hits the spot for me💖. October 14, 2016 at 3:07pm Reply

    • Elisa: Ah, you know, I think the time has come for me to get into Aromatics Elixir and Rive Gauche. I know I will love them but just haven’t spent the time on them yet! October 15, 2016 at 10:09am Reply

      • Notturno7: Elisa, twice I asked women I didn’t know, what they were wearing. I just had to, the silage was great and it had personality! Both times it was AE. I was surprised because I have it but didn’t recognize it. The only other time I asked a stranger about a fragrance, it also ended up being something I have and love,- 24 Faubourg!
        Did you ever stop anyone on the street to ask about their perfume? That’d make an interesting list here, I think. October 16, 2016 at 4:59am Reply

        • Elisa: I’ve heard many tales of AE’s legendary sillage! People always say the trail smells better than it does on the skin. October 16, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

          • Notturno7: Now I get it! I never thought of that. A friend borrowed my AE and Youth Dew and when we’d meet for coffee and she was sitting across the table, I felt like I was in scent heaven. The trail was so good! October 16, 2016 at 5:05pm Reply

        • Karen A: Love this idea! October 17, 2016 at 5:56am Reply

  • Claire: Paris is my summer fragrance; like you, I find it the scent of a wet, fresh rose. During the (slightly) cooler months in Texas, I spend most of my time with various Guerlains, anything amber and oriental. Last winter I found myself drawn to Calvin Klein’s Obsession, of all things. I never wore it when it first came out, but it somehow seems right to me now. I would love some of the vintage fragrance, since the one I bought last year seems a pale version of its former self. I’ve had Opium on my mind as well, so I would like to pick up a bit of that somewhere, if for no other reason than that lovely packaging. October 14, 2016 at 4:12pm Reply

    • kpaint: I love Obsession, too, and it wears more comfortably on me now than when I wore it as a teenager when it came out (I eventually switched it out for Obsession for Men, which suited me better at the time.) I have some of the vintage and a small bottle of the latest formulation, and I actually quite like what they’re selling now. I find the vintage quieter and softer (if you can believe that 🙂 ) but it may have mellowed with age (literally, that is.)

      Opium is gorgeous as well, and I tend to put in the same category as Obsession. I usually wear both in deep winter but I might have to spritz a bit of each this weekend! October 14, 2016 at 4:39pm Reply

    • Elisa: I had a decant of Obsession from a friend and ended up passing it on a couple of years ago — but now I’m sorry I did! It’s right in the family of perfumes that I’m excited about now. October 15, 2016 at 10:10am Reply

  • kpaint: I wear a lot of perfumes from the 70-80s, the era which coincides with my childhood and teens, with Paris, Opium, and Poison in regular rotation. I also love Heure Exquise and didn’t realize until reading this post that it was an older fragrance (1984.)

    I actually wore Paris quite a bit this summer (why not?). And crazy as this may sound, it’s also my favorite season to wear Poison. The development is so dramatic and enveloping in the heat, and each stage is breathtaking.

    I’ve been thinking about Coco lately and your post spurred me to put some on. I’m glad to hear you didn’t initially take to it either. I’m still in that phase. I have some of the EDP and it has never really spoken to me, so I recently got samples of the EDT, Noir, and Mademoiselle to see if I could find a version I like. I don’t dislike any of them, but none provoke an emotional response. Maybe some day!

    This fall I’ve been enjoying YSL Cinema, Ginestet Botrytis, ELdO Bijou Romantique, Narciso EDP, Shalimar Souffle, and testing lots of new stuff. October 14, 2016 at 4:32pm Reply

    • Elisa: For Coco — see if you can get your hands on a bit of the parfum! Makes all the difference.

      I also love Narciso — it’s one of the few new releases from the past couple of years that has me tempted to buy a full bottle, since I just don’t buy full bottles that much anymore. October 15, 2016 at 10:12am Reply

      • Notturno7: New Narciso is lovely. I got a FB, too. October 16, 2016 at 4:39am Reply

      • Karen A: Going to add my vote to trying the parfum. The small bottle was a sort-of blind buy. Had tried and enjoyed the EdP, but have always loved #5 parfum, so got Coco parfum. The sweet SA made up. 10ml (!!) travel size of the EdP, so best of both worlds.

        Coco is forever linked to a wonderful birthday dinner (my daughter’s, at a local French restaurant), where everything was just perfect – including my perfume! October 17, 2016 at 6:03am Reply

    • Notturno7: Yes, kpaint, I agree with Elisa. Coco perfume is totally worth it. For me too, it took a while to appreciate Coco and also Coco Mademoiselle, which I originally found too sporty for me.
      I also love the Coco Mademoiselle pure perfume, it feels so much richer then EdP. October 16, 2016 at 4:38am Reply

      • Elisa: CM has grown on me too. I originally found it too sweet. October 16, 2016 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Figuier: What a great retro list! My mum wore many of these when I was growing up, so I find them incredibly nostalgic. That said, I struggle to wear them as such; I passed on Opium parfum when it was going cheap c 2009, and ended up ebaying my bottles of vintage Poison and Byzance – gorgeous but somehow I never found the right occasions to wear them. And so of course now I often find myself wishing I still had them all…

    So far this autumn I’ve been wearing Parfumerie Generale Bois Blonds and will soon be ready for PG Indochine as well; Goutal’s Mon Parfum Cherie is retro in spirit and wonderfully autumnal; and to balance out the class I intersperse the sugary, trashy-but-clever Ma Petite Robe Noire Couture. October 14, 2016 at 5:06pm Reply

    • Elisa: I think there is some kind of rule that if you ever let go of a bottle of perfume … within a few years you will still start desperately missing it! It’s happened to me several times. October 15, 2016 at 10:13am Reply

  • Klaas: I have a few drops left of the Shiseido version of Feminite du Bois…..purrrrrrrrfect for autumn! Vetiver Velours by Keiko Mecheri is also a fall favorite; moist and foresty at first, but underneath it crackles with warmth and coziness. I love it! October 14, 2016 at 5:08pm Reply

    • Elisa: Love FdB! All those dusky, plummy Lutenses are great this time of year. October 15, 2016 at 10:21am Reply

  • Tiffanie: My heart skips whenever I see a 24 Faubourg bottle, so pretty. And yours is extra lovely.

    Thank you for the reminder that the calendar is moving along, and I have Heure Exquise on my must-try list. It makes me think of the Verlaine poem too.

    And woot woot! for PW Tea Rose. I think it should be in everyone’s collection. Room spray, car interior spray, boot spray, linen spray, whatever NEEDS to smell like roses CAN smell like roses. 🙂 October 14, 2016 at 8:14pm Reply

    • Elisa: Girl after my own heart, using Tea Rose to its full potential! 🙂 October 15, 2016 at 10:22am Reply

  • Yanet: I am enjoying Paris YSL right now, in these rainy days in La Habana. Absolutely love this blog!Much love from Cuba! October 14, 2016 at 9:32pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you for visiting Yanet! October 15, 2016 at 10:22am Reply

  • Tati: My first favorite perfumes were the original Must de Cartier, both the EDP and EDT, and the SAs insisted they be sprayed together to create a third! No wonder modern perfumes seem weak in comparison. Loved the original Fendi perfume and even fell for Fendi’s Asja for special occasions. October 15, 2016 at 3:30am Reply

    • Elisa: I also love the original Fendi — I think I had to fall for that first and it helped me understand Coco.

      I actually love the idea of creating your own concentration by layering EDT and EDP! I’ll have to try that. October 15, 2016 at 10:23am Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Oh, Coco. A lasting love of mine ever since I tried it 5 years ago. First I had the EDT, then I was lucky enough to buy a vintage parfum version(simply sublime) and nowadays I also wear the EDP and body cream.
    However, the versions released since 2014 are just weaker to my nose and I read the same reactions from fellow perfumistas. So please test before you buy or go for vintage if possible. October 15, 2016 at 11:50am Reply

    • Elisa: Probably everything in my list is better in the vintage versions if you can find them! October 15, 2016 at 1:04pm Reply

  • Patricia: Coco was my signature scent in the 80s, and though I seldom wear it now, I will always own a bottle of it.

    Thanks for the glance backwards, Elisa! October 15, 2016 at 11:51am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Patricia! I think it’s nice to keep past sig-scents around even if we don’t wear them as often. They hold so many memories. October 15, 2016 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Madaris: Autumn has barely made an appearance here in central NC (i am still sporting shorts & have yet to need a jacket), but i have my Fall fragrances lined up. Cinnabar’s spicy cloves, the exotic plums of MJ’s Decadence, and the giant sillage of my vintage Albert Nipon be soon wafting. Also Aromatics Elixir shouts Autumn to me, but my daughter has a horrid reaction to it. I have a full bottle i need to send away. October 15, 2016 at 4:31pm Reply

    • Elisa: It got cold and fall like in Denver … and then hot again! This weekend it’s in the 80s. At least the leaves are falling, though October 16, 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Madaris: I meant, “will soon be wafting”. October 15, 2016 at 4:33pm Reply

  • john: Very nice to see retro pairing up with autumn…
    How about a list for men/anyone who likes wearing masculines? If I begin a list will others add on?

    – Eau Sauvage Parfum (in my mind, this always becomes a pun for ‘by smoke’)
    – YSL Opium for women (stealing this one)
    – Caron Yatagan (for me, because I get a pronounced frankincense accord out of this, a Christmas-only scent, but others seem to like it for fall)
    – Terre d’Hermes (not sure why, but for me the vague umami note that lurks in the cedar/benzoin mix is distinctly autumnal)
    – L’Occitane Eau des Baux
    -Chanel Egoïste
    – Serge Luten Chergui… October 15, 2016 at 5:30pm Reply

    • Troy: Haha John I wear women’s Opium too. Sometimes I layer it with Opium for men.
      I wear vintage Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT and I love it. Makes me feel grown up.
      I have amazing memories of beautiful women in my life wearing Tea Rose so it’s beautiful to me. Same with EL Cinnabar.
      I need more vintage mens stuff. Suggestions welcome October 15, 2016 at 8:53pm Reply

      • john: Yes, Habit Rouge! How on earth did I forget that?
        For ‘vintage’, I have to admit, I’m a little blocked: every vintage bottling of something I’ve ever acquired leaves me feeling that I must not use it up, so they tend to become museum pieces (one exception: I actually went through a phase of wearing vintage Old Spice for awhile — it’s surprisingly good). As a result, I try to find scents that are very old whose current formulations I find wearable: Caron Pour un Homme (wonderful almost any time of year in a mild climate) & 3rd Man (feels much more vintage than it actually is!), and good old Eau Sauvage (the original EDT, that is), which is best in summer, but pretty damned wearable in early autumn and late spring, formal occasions or really anytime a solid boost or moral support is needed. October 16, 2016 at 1:15am Reply

        • Elisa: Third Man is sooo good. October 16, 2016 at 12:56pm Reply

          • john: Also on this list: Antaeus! I wish someone on this blog (Victoria?) would write about it, since they tend to avoid the chest-thumping school of fragrance reviewing and seem to take a constructive approach to reformulations… I think that Antaeus deserves a nuanced review because of all the things that make it a treasured anomaly in today’s fragrance world. October 17, 2016 at 1:08am Reply

            • Elisa: I must admit I’ve never tried it. I do try to review masculines from time to time though! October 17, 2016 at 9:35am Reply

    • Elisa: Some masculines from the same era (ish) that I love: Paco Rabanne Pour Homme and Aramis! October 16, 2016 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Jacquie: Ah, what about the glorious Jean Patou Joy?
    Its heavenly…… October 15, 2016 at 7:32pm Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, I love Joy! I have some vintage Eau de Joy and it’s really special. October 16, 2016 at 12:53pm Reply

  • suzanne: You should try layering opium and poison. Its drydown is beautiful. October 15, 2016 at 8:28pm Reply

    • Elisa: I will 100% try this, sounds inspired. October 16, 2016 at 12:53pm Reply

  • marymary: I tried poison again recently, it seems toned down and not as dramatic but that may just be my sense of smell. I have coco parfum from years ago. I thought it had gone off but now I think it’s supposed to smell like that. It’s borderline offensive which I rather enjoy. October 16, 2016 at 8:00am Reply

    • Elisa: I cracked up at “borderline offensive.” I enjoy that too. October 16, 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

  • mj: I wore Coco in my fall wedding some 25 years ago.
    These days is Kenzo Jungle (L’elephant) and EL Spellbound, as Gabriella noted we had a lot of rain lately in Barcelona and the temperatures have fallen a bit, so the spiceness of both scents goes well with the present weather. October 17, 2016 at 3:33am Reply

    • Elisa: I love the idea of Coco for a fall wedding! October 17, 2016 at 9:36am Reply

  • JulienFromDijon: Both “Odalisque” and “Bois de violette” were commented by Luca Turin as having a lilac top note in their first formulation. (In the 100 classics booklet, if I’m not mistaken)

    Lilac is like a shellac, a transparent top note that you forget to detect but gives an inflexion to the rest of the fragrance. I think it made “Bois de violette” less raspy, and “Odalisque” more smiling.

    So, for Odalisque, I think lilas makes more difference that the restriction on oakmoss. Odalisque remains worth every penny. It’s a conforting, mohair shirt of a scent, and an odd one. November 30, 2016 at 7:01pm Reply

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