Perfumes For Autumnal Moods and the Art of Japanese Garden

I came back from the south of France to a golden and grey Brussels and whatever summer memories that weren’t blown away by a mistral in Marseille faded into the damp fog of my Belgian city. I have a battery of perfumes evoking summer, but I wondered, what if I approached the theme of an autumnal perfume from a different angle? Instead of selecting a fragrance to fantasize about summer, why not let autumn be my guide? To do that, I relied on the principle of borrowed scenery, shakkei, from Japanese garden design. In my latest FT column, Autumn: The Scents of the Season, I explain how I do it and describe my choices: Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge, Bulgari Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge, Chanel Bel Respiro, Etro Messe de Minuit and others.

kyoto-garden-temple

One of the most interesting principles in Japanese garden design is the idea of borrowed scenery (shakkei). Using existing landscape elements – distant mountains, ponds and neighbouring structures – a creator plans the garden in such a way as to incorporate the surroundings into her composition and create her personal vision of nature. Perfumery is generally more about artifice and fantasy, but as summer fades, I too become inspired to borrow autumnal scenery for my fragrant accompaniment. My perfume choices become led by the scents of fall. To continue reading, please click here.

If you were to match autumn, its scents or its moods, to a perfume, what would you select?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, Kyoto

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143 Comments

  • Megan in OKC: Fall to me is as much tast as scent and sight, everything is a little more mellow, mixed and blended, lacking the crispness of springs greens and blossoms, or the full individual presence of summer fruits. Botrytis by Ginestet seems to fit week for me, especially when it gets chilly. Warm honey drizzled over dried fruits and soft bread, I guess I associate it with the bakeing of this time of year. And perhaps, Penhaligon’s Tralala, its mix of decadent boosey saffron and violet and something slightly musty fits the glorious color of fall and there decay. Of course I can’t hear/see the name Tralala without thinking of David Bowie’s character the Goblin King from the Labyrinth! Lol. Again, decadent decay. October 31, 2016 at 8:48am Reply

    • Victoria: Funny, I was just thinking that I want to watch the Labyrinth again! November 2, 2016 at 12:04pm Reply

      • Megan in OKC: Lol. Good timing then. 😊 November 2, 2016 at 11:44pm Reply

      • MrsDalloway: I recently watched it for the first time: it’s BRILLIANT. I was wondering what scent would suit him. Something leathery but feathery… November 3, 2016 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Megan in OKC: Arg, please don’t mind my typos. ☺️Auto correct doesn’t like me. October 31, 2016 at 8:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Don’t worry about it. 🙂 November 2, 2016 at 12:04pm Reply

  • marymary: Mitsouko. The oakmoss gives it a foresty vibe. So I’m with you on the chypres.
    I have messe de minuit. I never wear it. To me, it doesn’t belong on the body. October 31, 2016 at 9:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes! Even the modern oakmoss-free chypres give me that autumnal sensation. November 2, 2016 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Stacey: I also find Messe de Minuit perfect for fall and recently emptied my decant. I have held off on purchasing a bottle because I have seen others complain of reformulation after Etro changed their bottles. Can anyone speak to this? As long as it is just a small change, I will still take the plunge on a purchase. Thanks! October 31, 2016 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t smelled it since the bottles were changed, so I’m curious to hear what others think. November 2, 2016 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Hayley: Diptyque Kimonanthe maybe. I have been testing it & falling in love. The notes are given as candied apricots, camphor, cloves, spices, sandalwood, leather. I also get incense in the early stages. To me it’s evocative of fall baking, dressing in cozy scarfs and boots, and taking a walk among fallen leaves. October 31, 2016 at 10:29am Reply

    • Victoria: Your description is absolutely irresistible. November 2, 2016 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Gretchen: Ormonde Jayne Woman, Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure and Forest Walk, and a new one, Fiele Fragrances Myrrha. Not quite time to break out the ambers, as fall this year has been freakishly warm. However, fall to me smells of woods, and smokiness, and gentle sunlit warmth so the ambers and Guerlains always get used! October 31, 2016 at 10:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Guerlain classics evoke the fall so well for me, while Carons are more of the winter walk perfumes. November 2, 2016 at 12:07pm Reply

  • Alicia: Since I am about to move soon to my house in Northern California, a town by the sea with moderate temperatures, I haven’t settled on my autumn perfumes yet. Here in Upstate NY, where we already had the first snow, I live in an oak and pine forest. Completely different atmosphere from the marine California breezes.
    At the moment I am wearing Prada Infusion d’iris, SL Feminité du Bois, Guerlain Mitsouko, Chanel Bois des Iles an Number 19. E. Lauder Knowing and Rose de Paestum for my needed rose fix. Yesterday night,though, I enjoyed wonderful Bandit. October 31, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

    • Notturno7: Alicia, are you moving close to the Bay Area? If yes, it’d be great to meet you for tea and talk ‘infused’ by music and perfumes. If yes, please get my info from V. I’m still enjoying the vintage Caleche perfume you suggested I get on eBay. Perfect for fall. October 31, 2016 at 2:30pm Reply

      • Alicia: Dear Notturno, yes, my house is in the Berkeley hills. It would be delightful to meet you! Contact me by email [] October 31, 2016 at 5:31pm Reply

        • Notturno7: Wonderful! November 1, 2016 at 4:26am Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds like a nice change, and being near the sea would be such a treat. Do you have a garden there too?

      All such beautiful choices. I need to add Paestum Rose to my rotation for fall. November 2, 2016 at 12:09pm Reply

      • Alicia: Yes, Victoria, there I have a rose garden, enclosed by what i call my Andalusian courtyard, with a fountain in the middle, and arches all around. I had to build it because deer ate all the flowers, they were chocolate to them. Mine are mostly “antique” roses, seasonal, like rose de mai and Souvenir de Malmaison. From my house I can see the bay and in clear days the towers of San Francisco. It is on a hill, in a quiet place, and not far from the great library of Berkeley, with its great collection of Renaissance manuscripts, including incunabula. I work there most mornings, and then write in my silent hill. November 2, 2016 at 4:25pm Reply

        • Victoria: Sounds like heaven! November 3, 2016 at 12:59pm Reply

  • AndreaR: At the moment, in the rainy Pacific northwest, Bandit keeps calling my name. October 31, 2016 at 12:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: A good call to heed. 🙂 November 2, 2016 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Surbhi: My favorite fall scent is musc ravageur. I got some good suggestions on the october recommend me thread and I will try those as I get chance and will be following this thread as well to make my list to try. October 31, 2016 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do let us know what you end up trying. I love following such explorations. November 2, 2016 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Liliane: At this moment from the jear.
    I wear # parfums :classis Salvador Dali, Jubilation 25 Amouage. , Chene, fruits de bois Serge Lutens, Ambra Aurea profumo di roma, Incens rose Andy Tauer , noir epices F. Malle and fille de berlin. ..
    These are Someone from my list.
    Wegen it’s really cold than I take crimineel Chanel. October 31, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Liliane: When it’s cold than I take Coromandel Chanel.
    So that is much more clear. October 31, 2016 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Notturno7: Glad you clarified that Liliane, lol 😋. I was wondering what new Chanel I haven’t heard of yet! Ha! October 31, 2016 at 2:41pm Reply

    • Alicia: Coromandel is marvelous. I wear it in winter with great pleasure. Then in early spring, Sycomore. November 1, 2016 at 5:30am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 November 2, 2016 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Notturno7: It’s really fun to crave different perfumes when seasons change. Here in Northern California it was summer till few weeks ago. Now with rains coming I grabbed my Après l’Ondee, Coco and Coco Noir Extraits and my recent find, a vintage Narcisse Noir extrait.
    It’s divine and there is a note in it during first few hours that reminds me of something in L’Heure Bleue extrait. They are both so old that it looks like that they share some stuff from that era. October 31, 2016 at 2:39pm Reply

    • Alicia: Notion, you are talking to my heart. Narcisse Noir was my mother’s favorite; I always keep a vial of it in her memory. L’Heure Bleue is my intimate love. Coco with Cuir de Russie are always at hand for the colder seasons, as vintage Ysatis used to be. It seems that we have twin noses. October 31, 2016 at 5:39pm Reply

      • Alicia: My goodness, your name was changed automatically to Notion. Notturno being so beautiful. Excuses from the machine are due. October 31, 2016 at 5:43pm Reply

        • Notturno7: 😊 The same happens to me with my phone!
          I love Cuir de Russie too, have a big bottle of EdT and just bought an Extrait on my trip to London. The dry, smoky note is even more pronounced. It’s interesting how Extraits seem different then other versions. I like it but am so used to the EDT.
          I wonder is Nuit de Noel extrait is much different and more beautiful then EDT.
          I’m craving the spice note in cooler weather, too. November 1, 2016 at 4:36am Reply

          • carole macleod: Hi, Notturno7,
            Victoria will be able to talk to you in greater detail about Nuit de Noel, but the extrait is the ultimate in this scent. right now all I have is the EDT and it’s frustrating-it’s just a whisper of the full scent-enough to drive me nuts! I hope you get to try the extrait.
            Best regards,
            Carole November 1, 2016 at 6:08pm Reply

            • Notturno7: Thank you for letting me know. I only have EdT and had no idea! November 2, 2016 at 4:50am Reply

              • Mia: I like, sorry, love, both formulations. Sometimes I crave even more the edt with its stronger projection. But cannot deny the absolute beauty of the extrait. It is warmer and deeper. Any Nuit de Noel is better than nothing! November 2, 2016 at 3:57pm Reply

                • Notturno7: Thank you, Mia! I though of you tonight, when I got to try the extrait. You are right!! November 3, 2016 at 4:26am Reply

                  • Mia: Oh, happy to hear that =)! November 3, 2016 at 6:07am Reply

          • Alicia: Oh, Notturno. my dear, I wouldn’t know since I only have the vintage Extrait, and never tried any other concentration. I love it. I’ll try to remember to bring it with me to Berkeley, for you to smell it and compare. November 2, 2016 at 10:07pm Reply

            • Notturno7: Sounds fantastic!!
              I must have a ‘good karma for perfumes’, haha! I just ordered Amouage Gold (thanks to Karen A, you sent me that sample of it, and there was no stopping back) and the package just arrived today.
              I couldn’t believe my eyes but as a gift, the seller added a real extrait of Nuit de Noel. A small mini bottle. And you guys are right 💖💖. I dabbed a bit on and after the developing phase, it’s one of best things I’ve ever put my nose on. Almost needed a plastic surgery to peel my nose off my wrists. November 3, 2016 at 4:24am Reply

            • Notturno7: Dear Alicia, I would love that! 😍 November 3, 2016 at 4:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Your descriptions are so beautiful, they make me wish for the cold–even colder–days to enjoy all of these lush scents. But of course, they’re perfect anytime. November 2, 2016 at 12:37pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: Today I am wearing Mona di Orio’s Vanille which fits the yellow autumn leaves in my garden. I have been wearing Andy Tauer’s Une Rose Chypree often, and it reminds me of the stunning red leaves on my Japanese maple tree. October 31, 2016 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Is Vanille very sweet or more on the smoky side for you? November 2, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

      • Hamamelis: Vanille is not sweet. It is buttery in the dry down but on the way there it is dry and somewhat smokey, but foremost vetivery (if that is a word 😉 ) and woody. I thought I did not care for vanille in perfume, but this scent made me change my mind. I find it very beautiful. November 2, 2016 at 1:16pm Reply

        • Victoria: That does sound splendid. I will be sure to give it a try. One of my favorite vanillas still remains L’Artisan’s Vanille, and I don’t understand why they had to discontinue it. November 3, 2016 at 12:57pm Reply

          • Hamamelis: I am more than happy to send you one of my 3 rollerballs, as a thank you for all your work here on BdJ. If you don’t like it you could add it to an upcoming Medicine sans Frontiere give-away. November 3, 2016 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Austenfan: The mistral is something else isn’t it? I found it useful at the time, because my washing would dry in less than a day. Other than that it wasn’t my favourite aspect of living in Provence.
    The forests around where I live are very fragrant at this moment, just lovely.
    I wore L’Heure Bleue the other day. It fits the mood of autumn, as I find it rather wistful. October 31, 2016 at 3:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: After a few hours of it, I started to understand the saying that even dogs go mad during the mistral. It did mean that the days were bright and clear, a small solace.

      I think I need to visit Hallerbos, which must be beautiful at this time of year. November 2, 2016 at 12:40pm Reply

      • Austenfan: This time of year and early spring are my favourite times to spend walking in the forests. Everything is a deep golden yellow. November 2, 2016 at 2:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: The light is also so beautiful. November 3, 2016 at 12:58pm Reply

      • Austenfan: “Mistral, Parlement et Durance, sont les trois fléaux de Provence” November 2, 2016 at 4:40pm Reply

  • kpaint: Where I live autumn is really winter lite (grey, rain, cold, wind, damp) and fantasizing about summer would just add to the misery. The only upside to cooler weather is moving into heavier, richer perfumes.

    When fall hits I usually crave dried fruit, nuts, tobacco, hay, and leather. This season I’ve been wearing Botrytis, YSL Cinema, ELdO Bijou Romantique, Narciso EDP, Chergui, Chanel Coromandel, and doing a lot of testing.

    In late evening/bedtime I’ve been reveling in Villoresi Teint de Neige (a new love) and vintage Chanel No 5 spray cologne (and old favorite.) October 31, 2016 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds pretty much like the Belgian fall/winter season. It doesn’t snow much and it rarely gets particularly cold, but it can stay grey, rainy and overcast for weeks.

      Teint de Neige seems like a perfect nightgown. November 2, 2016 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Klaas: I’ve been wearing Keiko Mecheri’s Vetiver Velours the past few weeks in glorious autumnal Amsterdam. We’ve been enjoying clear blue skies and loads of golden sunlight streaming through the bright yellows, greens and reds on the trees. A real treat! Just like this fragrance, by the way. It has a wet, foresty feel to it, but it shimmers with a Shalimar-like oriental undertone…..I love it! October 31, 2016 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: Beautiful! Both your description of Amsterdam in autumn and Vetiver Velours. November 2, 2016 at 12:43pm Reply

  • kekasmais: La Liturgie des Heures manages to capture my evening walks with my dog in the fall, when my neighbors start to light their fireplaces and the whole street smells of chimney smoke. Smoky but crisp and utterly delightful. I also love the medley of macerated fruits in scents like Sacrebleu Intense and Arabie durine this time of year.

    I’d love to find something that calls to mind resting against the trunk of a tree during a hike and staring up at the swaying golden canopies. Damp, somewhat crisp with just a touch of blazing light. That’s autumn in a moment right there for me. October 31, 2016 at 4:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also like the smoky scent in the evening air. Even in the city, you notice it, while in the countryside you also get the scent of bonfires. Nothing like it. November 2, 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Karen A: Love and utilize borrowed vistas, so appreciated the opening of your article,! The weather here (DC region) has been all over the map lately, with temperatures in the low 80’s and down in the 50’s. So ready for cooler days! As for autumnal fragrances, I’ve been enjoying Fille en Anguilles, which reminds me of dense pine forests on the edge of a field (thanks to a generous decant from Limegreen!)

    And I am working my way through a stash of Guerlains samples and loving their richness – Tonka Imperial, Oriental Brûlant, Boise Tortoise. Also loving a variety of Amber’s, from the elegant EL Amber Mystique to the sumptuous Lutens’ Ambre Sultan. October 31, 2016 at 4:59pm Reply

    • Notturno7: And I’ve been wearing La Panthere, thanks to your generosity. You’re so kind, Karen!! Hugs 💖 November 2, 2016 at 4:54am Reply

      • Karen A: Well for me a part of enjoying perfume is sharing! And it’s been wonderful connecting with you and other BdJ people!! November 2, 2016 at 8:40am Reply

    • Victoria: If you like smoky black teas, try wearing Fille en Anguilles and drinking a cup of lapsang souchong. It’s such a heady combo. November 2, 2016 at 12:47pm Reply

      • Karen A: Very fun, will give that a try in the next few days. It’s interesting, Fille en Anguilles is the first perfume I “actively” missed – when we were hiking in a pine forest in Scotland, it started snowing (in April!) and I thought, I wish I was wearing Fille! Interesting because I can’t think of another time when that has happened. November 2, 2016 at 4:21pm Reply

        • Notturno7: Dear Karen, I ordered Amouage Gold on Friday and it arrived today. Thank you for sending me that sample (along with others 🌺💖). It really is marvelous. November 3, 2016 at 4:41am Reply

        • Victoria: I can see why! It would be a perfect case of borrowed scenery/scent. November 3, 2016 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Tati: Moving from the Southern California desert, high 80s, which is cool for us! Wearing L’Ambre des Merveilles, Infusion d’Iris Absolue, and Fleur de Cassie. Going to Central Coast, cool and sunny, where I’ll switch to Fendi Theorema, Iris Nazarena, and Masque Milano Tango. October 31, 2016 at 6:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: I was talking to a friend in Indonesia, who mentioned that it’s rather cold these days. Yes, only 75F. 🙂 November 2, 2016 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Sarah.: I live on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It is still hot. Too hot. I am looking forward to switching scents; Caleche, Shalimar, Spice Bomb and my husband’s Jaipur will be used once it gets below 80F. Send some rainy, cool weather to me, please!! October 31, 2016 at 9:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: You can take some of our rain. We sure have plenty of it. 🙂 November 2, 2016 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Merry Rower: In Los Angeles, it’s just begun to be a bit cooler, with a sprinkle of welcome rain. With that, I rotated in some Fall favorites. Hermes L’Ambres des Merveilles, Helmut Lange EDP, Lutens Chergui, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale and vintage Shalimar. They have the richness and depth I crave now. Soon though, I’ll be adding in some smoke (CDG Kyoto) and vanilla (Diptyque Eau Duelle). And at 6 am, Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere and Narciso EDP seem to work best for carpool. November 1, 2016 at 2:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m currently a little bit obsessed with Narciso EDP. It’s so versatile, comforting and yet elegant. November 2, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Nora Szekely: 1000 EDP by Jean Patou. Pure gold. November 1, 2016 at 2:36am Reply

  • Penelope: For me autumn isn’t just autumn leaves and cashmere sweaters. I think also of city streets, opening nights, tweed, tailoring and leather gloves. Chanel 31, Rue Cambon, my favourite of the Exclusifs, with its elegant, melancholy iris and wood notes is perfect for this mood. I also love Hermes Cuir d’Anges though it has poor longevity on me. November 1, 2016 at 6:40am Reply

    • kpaint: I love your autumnal associations. November 1, 2016 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Definitely! Some of my favorite walks around Brussels on these days of fall when it’s still not too cold in the evening. It gets dark quickly, so you can peak inside the cafes and bistros and see life taking place inside. November 2, 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I love the idea of borrowed scenery – both in gardening and perfumery! Actually, I’ve always been trying to integrate the scents of the season in my perfume choices.
    My all-time autumn favourite is Iris Silver Mist. No other scent evokes the atmosphere of a foggy and chilly autumn morning better. The earthy, rooty notes make me think of an autumnal forest.
    Other staples are Heeley Iris de Nuit – as gloomy as the grey, rainy days of autumn, Iris Nazarena with its fine notes of incense and Equistrius, the scent of a cosy afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate. November 1, 2016 at 6:41am Reply

    • Victoria: I share your love for Iris Silver Mist. That’s what I’m wearing tonight! November 2, 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Anglofilia: In Northern Scandinavia, where I live, we enjoy satisfactory cool autumns, so I dig out all my fave scents like Messe de Minuit, Bois des Iles, Nuit de Noel extrait, Parfume Sacre and Micallef Hiver. Temperatures drop below zero now and then, but it will still continue to grow colder and darker as the days pass. A most wonderful time of the year. And ladies, I truly enjoy all your comments and reflections. November 1, 2016 at 8:30am Reply

    • Victoria: I love reading all of these comments, so many interesting perfumes, places, observations. Parfum Sacre extrait is waiting for tomorrow for me. November 2, 2016 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Notturno7: Lovely post, Anglofilia! So nice to hear from ladies all over the world. Parfum sacre sounds wonderful. Hope I try it one day. Stay warm 😊🌸 November 6, 2016 at 3:03pm Reply

      • Anglofilia: Thank you kindly, Notturno7! Tonight temperatures will drop to minus 7 C, but that isn’t overly cold for here. And it just makes it all the cozier to wrap oneself in cashmere and big scarves and fur lined boots. And with a cloud of Chergui, I think. Hope you get to try Parfum Sacre soon! November 7, 2016 at 3:14am Reply

        • Notturno7: Wow, Anglofilia!! Minus 7 C!! You’d laugh cause I’m sitting right by the fireplace to warm up cause it’s only 16 C tonight outside. You guys are brave. I’m going to bed with a dab of Narcisse Noir on my wrists. It’s in that incense stage and I love it!
          Victoria, I feel like a moron but if you read this, could you pleas tell me again, what was the name of that tape I can get to prevent these extraits to evaporate. This vintage N Noir sealed bottle was almost impossible to open, the stopper was stuck but now I feel like I’m loosing the perfume cause its evaporating. It smells heavenly and I’d like to preserve it as best as I can. November 14, 2016 at 5:34am Reply

  • spe: Rainy days and darkness have descended upon the U.S. Northwest. Chamade EDT is a slightly warm, spicy green for me, so it’s a fall favorite. Dioressence is also one I enjoy this time of year (new reformulation). Other Guerlains work well for me now, too (L’Heure de Nuit, Mon Precioux Nectar, Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus) because that Guerlain sweetness isn’t prominent. For me, most Chanels are seasonless (my favorite house). This fall I am wearing the new l’eau to work because I don’t want to wear any favorites fragrances there so as to prevent bad associations. It is quite an odd fragrance on me and one I won’t mind giving it up entirely once I change jobs. One scent that I enjoy in the fall that is inspired by green, wet landscapes is Eau de Soir by Sisley. November 1, 2016 at 9:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Eau du Soir sometimes seems unfairly neglected, because it’s such a beauty. Anyone who loves chypres or mossy-woody scents should give it a try. November 2, 2016 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Lilly M.: I love the fall – the quiet, the softness, and the sadness too. For me the mysterious and earthy Mitsouko is the ultimate fall scent, but so is Ambre Sultan, which I wear when I feel the need to turn inwards. Coromandel is another fall favorite with its delicious earthiness and spiciness. Meanwhile your article inspired me wear my sample of De Profundis today. It’s so lovely and bittersweet – and what could be a more perfect day for it? November 1, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: You captured so well all of the reasons why I love the autumnal season.

      Have you ever tried cooking chrysanthemum greens? They’re sold at the Korean and Japanese stores (but probably most Asian markets carry these), and they taste the way chrysanthemum smell. Delicious with a tahini based dressing. November 2, 2016 at 12:59pm Reply

      • Lilly M.: Wow, sounds great. I’ll give it a try when I can. November 2, 2016 at 6:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s sometimes sold under its Japanese name shungiku. November 3, 2016 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Lynn LaMar: Somewhere in old comments, possibly change of season as well, I read an interesting comment from someone who recommended, of all the perfumes in the world, Jessica Simpson’s Fancy Nights. “You gotta be kiddin’ me!!,” I thought. Well, I found a bottle on ebay for $14.00 and said, what the heck? I’m curious!! I stashed it away after one quick investigation of scent and put it on the back burner to try it when our S.Florida cooler fall and winter showed up. That happened last week and two light spritzes from the pretty bottle and fall came crashing in!! Strong in silage but dries down to a powdery spicy, oriental,woodsy, cool fall day in the deep damp woods up North. Amazing. Would I buy it again? Probably not but this 3.4 oz will last for quite a while anyway. I’m curious to see how it unravels further as I go to see my children in Brooklyn for some time this winter… November 1, 2016 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Lynn LaMar: I found the comments on “Fancy Nights.” They were from back in March of 2014. It gets the love from Perfumistas for a ‘cheap thrill!!’ Right up my alley!!! lol November 1, 2016 at 1:22pm Reply

      • Karen A: Cheap thrills are great! Oro by Roberto Cavallivis a wonderful spicy, sweet amber. Created by Maurice Roucel (Music Ravager and Dans Yes Bras, 24 Faubourg, Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist among many others), can be found for under $15.00 through online discounters. November 2, 2016 at 8:47am Reply

        • Lynn LaMar: Thank you Karen for your recommendations! I am going to try all on your list. Already saw that Fragrance Net has a 1.3 edp Oro. First up!!!! November 2, 2016 at 9:04am Reply

          • Karen A: Taking a quick break from a new weaving project, and saw your follow-up. Got inspired and just layered Oro over Lutens’ Ambre Sultan, wow is it stunning! I lovelovelove amber, but didn’t want a full on amber this morning.

            I think you can have a lot of fun playing around with layering -especially the cheap thrill ones since you don’t have to worry that you are wasting a precious drop.

            Honestly, I keep thinking my next purchase is going to be Jovan Musk at Target. Keep thinking it will make a great base for some of my roses. It’s easy to get caught up in the gotta pay a lot for a good fragrance, then you stumble on a gem like Oro created by a true master. It’s fun looking to see what overlooked perfumes have been created by well known perfumers. (And none of this takes away from the high quality ingredients and masterpieces found consistently in certain brands) November 2, 2016 at 10:00am Reply

            • Lynn LaMar: You are so right, Karen. I love to layer and some scents that others might describe as ‘trash,’ layer so well. I cannot afford Bergdorf’s counter, nor do I perceive that I ever will be able to so I’m always experimenting with what I CAN afford. Have gotten some stunning results and am looking forward to receiving “Oro” since I’ve already ordered it!! I’m with you on Jovan’s Musk. Loved it back in the day and I have a Balmain Ivoire that’s so summer clean that I think a shot of musk might wake it up for fall!!! November 2, 2016 at 11:52am Reply

              • Notturno7: Hi Lynn,
                I have some samples for you if you want to get my info from Victoria and email me!
                Just email me what you like 💜 November 6, 2016 at 2:38am Reply

                • Lynn LaMar: How wonderfully generous of you N-7!! I would absolutely love and cherish that kindness!! At 65, I am a ‘newbie’ perfumista but I adore scent and have had some treasures in my arsenal in the past. And, now that I’m ‘retired,’ I am able to research and learn about all things I’ve always loved but was too ‘busy’ to pursue. I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and probably would’ve made a great ‘nose.’ As it is, I am a soapmaker and use quite a different array of Essential oils and fine fixative oils. Maybe I could send you some soap in exchange?? November 6, 2016 at 8:12am Reply

                  • Notturno7: I’d love that!! ❤️❤️ Thank you! I didn’t expect this 😍 November 6, 2016 at 2:55pm Reply

                  • Notturno7: Hi Lynn, please get my contact info from Victoria. I’ll look for your email. November 14, 2016 at 5:18am Reply

        • Lynn LaMar: Karen…Oro is amazing…And when I layer it with a walk through spritz of Fancy nights, it’s downright hypnotic. One down. So many more to go!!! Thank you Karen!! November 10, 2016 at 10:12am Reply

          • Karen A: I am so very happy that you like it! It is a wonderful fragrance on its own, and perfect for layering. Lots of fun – and at such an unbelievable bargain rate! November 14, 2016 at 3:47pm Reply

      • Victoria: Yes, we do love our cheap thrills. 🙂 November 2, 2016 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a good perfume. Celebrity fragrances get a bad rep, but there are some nice things out there. Eau de Gaga, for instance, is a terrific green tea perfume, and the price is reasonable. November 2, 2016 at 1:00pm Reply

  • Marie: When it’s a “golden” fall day (sunny, clear, leaves in golden red colours), I like to wear Bois des Iles or Ambre Sultan. For “grey” fall days, I like to rely on NR For Her, Iris Poudre, or Infusion d’Iris. November 1, 2016 at 8:32pm Reply

    • Michaela: I love this fall description. Golden and gray. Totally different faces of Autumn. I associate, too, golden with amber and gray with iris. I also feel cool vetiver like Encre Noir well fit for a cloudy, dry, and very cold autumn day. November 2, 2016 at 8:08am Reply

    • Victoria: Lovely! November 2, 2016 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Aurora: I have conflicting feelings about fall (le deuil de la Nature) and your article captures its different moods. I dread it and welcome it and perfume definitely help me face it. I love your choice of Eau Parfumee au The Rouge to hang on to summer and I long to try De Profundis. I’ve been wearing Jil Sander No 4, Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile (which is really a tuberose scent and the first one I can stand with that note), Yves Rocher Voile d’Ambre, and Timbuktu. November 2, 2016 at 9:00am Reply

    • Victoria: The transition is always a bit difficult, even for me, who doesn’t like summer. It’s that sense of “vacation is over” that I dread, although ironically, my proper vacations happen in the fall/winter. November 2, 2016 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Inma: Un matin d’orage is my favourite for the humid days in autumm here in Sevilla. Not many days like that right now, so it is an even greater pleasure when I wear it.

    I also want to congratulate you for this web. I am learning and enjoying a lot with it. Thank you November 2, 2016 at 9:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Inma! Un Matin d’Orage is one of my favorite perfumes. It’s so instantly uplifting. November 2, 2016 at 1:04pm Reply

      • Alicia: Does it last on you? On me less than 4 hours. I love it, but that frustrates me; not so L’Heure Exquise which goes for at least 6 hours. That is a problem with some Goutal fragrances (not so with Sables which perdures forever), and often with my beloved Hermes (alas, beautiful, fleeting Osmanthus Yunnan!). November 2, 2016 at 6:53pm Reply

        • Sandra: I had the same problem with that one as well, I gave the bottle away and thought it was my scent eating skin. Glad to hear another has the same issue with un matin d’orage November 3, 2016 at 11:04am Reply

          • Alicia: Sandra, I have a principle regarding perfumes: if they last less than 6 hours I would not buy a bottle. Except for colognes, of course. There are too many wonderful and lasting fragrances on the market to suffer such frustration. I am not going to interrupt a three hours seminar to reapply the scent I sprayed in the morning. Besides, they are a bad investment. No matter how much it delights me, I am not paying over $100 for something that is gone all too soon. I always mosturize my skin in the morning, sometimes even perfume a scarf or a lapel, so there is no skin to blame. It’s not your skin, Sandra: Un Matin d’Orage does not last. November 3, 2016 at 11:46am Reply

            • Sandra: Good to know I am not alone!

              I think I was so smitten with it I bought the full bottle, but I regret it. It has a good home and is with someone who likes light barley there fragrances. November 3, 2016 at 11:49am Reply

            • Victoria: On me it lasts the entire day. I suppose that the problem is less with one’s skin than an anosmia to musk. It’s a pity, though, since it’s a lovely perfume. November 3, 2016 at 12:42pm Reply

              • Alicia: That is quite possible, Victoria. I noticed that I can’t smell very musky perfumes, although I get along very well with N. Rodriguez’s. I loved Un Matin because of the flowers; in that sense my consolation in the Goutal line is Gardenia Passion (not sure about the name). I love gardenias fervently, but it is so rare to get a true gardenia fragrance. At the moment I have Isabey’s, and like it. My mother wore Jungle Gardenia, which was wonderful, but now it’s not quite the same. My grand mother grew them in her garden, and filled the house with little bouquets of them. E. Lauder Tuberose Gardenia (?) is lovely, and lasting, but more tuberose than gardenia. I wear it often. How I wish that uncle Serge would produce a gardenia as lasting as his Datura Noire… November 3, 2016 at 1:21pm Reply

                • Notturno7: Dear Alice, we are almost perfume twins! I have Goutal Gardenia and both EL’s Tuberose Gardenia and Fracas in pure perfume versions. 💖
                  Dear Victoria, thank you so much for this blog, this is so much fun! You mentioned Iris Silver Mist. I got a sample but never dared to spray it. I think I’ll need to do some adjusting and ‘be brave’.
                  Did you love it instantly or did it take some time?
                  And I’m not a wimp, I love a strong dark chypre. My girlfriends didn’t care for Miss Balmain extrait I was wearing few days ago and I even liked Tuberose Criminelle with that petrol-like note, at first sniff.
                  But somehow I’m scared to spray ISM and try it. Isn’t that bizarre?! November 3, 2016 at 6:01pm Reply

                  • Alicia: When you spray Iris Silver Mist there is a bit of a shock, although not comparable to the criminal tuberose’s. It is pungent, very rooty (does the word exist?), earthy and strong. Just wait a while. It becomes smooth, somewhat silky, utterly unique. It is not a crowd pleaser, of course. I was wrong when I thought that Lutens has not produced a gardenia. He has: Une Voix Noire, which I only smelled en passant on a friend. I don’t remember it now, although I think that I liked it. That would not happen with Iris Silver Mist: the scent is unforgettable, one way or the other. It is not an every day fragrance; for that I wear Prada Infusion d’Iris, easy an elegant. Silver Mist is a powerful flower, like the irises painted by Van Gogh. Try it and let me know. November 3, 2016 at 9:31pm Reply

                    • Notturno7: Dear Alicia,
                      I’ll try it, thank you. After reading your response, I decided to keep my samples of Iris Silver Mist and try it soon.
                      I love Lutens Une Voix Noire. I have a sample of that and was considering getting a bottle but things are getting out of hand. I got so many fragrances this summer and yesterday bought a Nuit de Noel extrait and L’Interdit, both vintage, on eBay.
                      I’ve been wearing Amouage Gold in last few days and loving it. It makes me feel like a princess. 🌹I love that ‘over the top’ bottle with the jewel on the cap! My husband who’s allergic to perfume, didn’t even notice it after I came home from work few hours later and I could still enjoy it. Lovely! November 6, 2016 at 3:04am

                  • Alicia: Dear Notturno, Iris Silver Mist is an iffy perfume:more than half of my friends don’t like it, a few admire it, and the rest dislike it intensely. Although I am one of the admirers, I don’t wear it often, so I am not going for another full bottle. Amouage Gold is extraordinary, and I am sorry your husband can’t smell it. I know that frustration well; my late husband was anosmic, completely anosmic. I bought all his fragrances, and frequently I wore them, in particular Eau Sauvage and Habit Rouge. I stlll do. I love several others Amouage, specially Jubilation 25, Ubar and Lyric. I haven’t tried their latest fragrances, but I know that Gold is forever. November 6, 2016 at 3:34pm Reply

                    • Notturno7: Dear Alicia, I love Habit Rouge, too. I happened to find extrait, few years ago, on some kind of a sale, and it is heavenly.
                      I was reading old posts and reviews, and saw the one of yours where you mention not being swayed by Mitsuko and Joy. I can’t wait to meet you, when you move to Northern California. I’ll bring my vintage Joy and Mitsuko extraits and I bet you’ll love them, especially the dry down. I can’t wait!
                      Hope your move is going smoothly! 😄 November 14, 2016 at 5:06am

                  • Victoria: Just go for it! If you don’t like it, you can always wash it off. Iris Silver Mist is one of my top 5 favorite perfumes, and I find everything beautiful about it–the opening, the languid progress, the tender, enveloping drydown. Despite being called “iris,” it’s not a floral scent (iris essence comes from the roots of the orris plant, so it smells green, rooty, cool.) It’s not at all sweet. It might take some getting used to, but I don’t think that there is another iris perfume that can compare. November 7, 2016 at 3:46am Reply

                    • Notturno7: Thank you, Victoria. I will find my ISM sample and try it. I was curious about it ever since I read about it in Turin & Sanchez book. Oh, that book got me into buying many delicious Guerlain extraits but I realized I must have had a good nose for an average person cause lot of their favorites, were my favorites too, few years before that book came out. I hope you write a book too, I so enjoy your writing. 💖🌺 Lately, I’ve been starting my piano practice by doing scales and reading your old reviews. The art world of perfume feels magical and it is a wonderful escape in these days where I’m trying to stay tranquil and balanced in spite of crazy political world here in the U.S. Thank you for everything 🌹 November 14, 2016 at 4:56am

                  • Alicia: Dear Notturno, my moving is going very slowly. I am having trouble completing some writing that I have to do before departing. Misouko took me a time, but now my nose has become domesticated, and I enjoy it. Joy is a peculiar case: I wear the EDT and sometimes the ETP, but for unknown reasons I do not fall in love with it. I can see its merits without enjoying it. My friends, instead, often compliment me when I wear Joy.Perhaps the extrait might be different. Thank you so much, my friend. November 14, 2016 at 1:45pm Reply

                    • Notturno7: 😊❤️ I’m so looking forward to this! Thank you! November 21, 2016 at 3:59am

                • Anu: Alicia,I recently came across Dame Perfumery Soliflore “Gardenia” and I have to say, one of the best true to the flower smell that I have come across so far! Lovely! He has a postcard sample offer. Mail him a postcard requesting the sample you want to try and he sends it to you free. Of course, I am assuming you live in the US November 4, 2016 at 10:22am Reply

                  • Alicia: Anu, thank you so much! For me it is impossible to resist a gardenia. I will certainly follow your kind suggestion. November 4, 2016 at 12:05pm Reply

                • Victoria: Have you ever tried Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia? To me, it’s one of the best renditions. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued. November 6, 2016 at 6:37am Reply

                  • Alicia: Oh, yes, Victoria, indeed. It was, perhaps, the most faithful gardenia, after the long lost Jungle Gardenia. I was surprised when Ford discontinued it, because there must be many gardenia lovers. At that time I found Isabey’s, which is very good and somewhat expensive. Now I will try Une Voix Noire following Notturno’s recommendation, and I have already ordered the soliflore Anu brought to my attention. Tauer’s was rather disappointing. How I wish Ford resurrects his Velver Gardenia! November 6, 2016 at 3:15pm Reply

        • Victoria: Hermessence perfumes are the most fleeting, but Petite Cherie doesn’t last either. No complaints with Un Matin d’Orage either. November 3, 2016 at 1:00pm Reply

  • Kate: For me, Mitsouko is the autumn scent par excellence, although I realise I find it troubling. I have no idea why: it is one of those scent-emotion connections that seem subrational. It is not a joyous scent, but maybe that’s in keeping with its autumnal associations. I also relish the opportunity to wear patchouli-heavy perfumes like Coromandel or Prada Amber once the weather gets colder. And patchouli makes me think of leaves, which is what autumn is all about.

    Today, though, I’ve been enjoying YSL Yvresse, which is surprisingly good in autumn. It’s a golden scent, with fruity and powdery notes. I find it too much in summer, but on crisp days it’s just right. November 2, 2016 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yvresse definitely hits the spot on such days! November 3, 2016 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Patricia: The warmth and spiciness of Chanel Coco has always been an autumn favorite of mine. I’m wearing the EDP today. November 2, 2016 at 4:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: You smell wonderful. 🙂 November 3, 2016 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Kari: What a beautiful prompt.

    I made an autumn visit recently to Portland’s beautiful Lan Su Chinese Garden during a rainy day, and my visit was fragranced (from the garden and tea house) with rain on stone, wet leaves, lychee, tea, and red bean mooncakes. I would love to wear that in a fragrance.

    For my own autumn fragrance I would go with Mitsouko, which reminds me of the prettiest crisp fall days walking by the lake with sun streaming from behind red and orange maple leaves, with the most golden light on the moss-covered trees. November 4, 2016 at 11:02pm Reply

    • Kari: A couple others that will be in my fall rotation: Imaginary Authors Slow Explosions (such a cool, weird dance of apple, saffron, and Rose that seems to clash at first and then REALLY works after the initial burst of contrasting scents), and Serge Lutens Chergui (gorgeous, warm, toasty, earthy, spicy; it seems perfect for when its starting to cool down.) November 5, 2016 at 2:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Your description is so beautiful that I now wish for the same kind of perfume. And for a red bean mooncake, for starters. 🙂 November 6, 2016 at 6:46am Reply

  • Danica Radovanov: Habit Rouge Eau de Parfum smells like the autumn holidays to me. So festive and candied with the citruses and then patent leather and wood. It’s nostalgia in a bottle. November 6, 2016 at 1:37am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree with you, Habit Rouge would be a great perfume to add to the autumnal list. November 6, 2016 at 6:48am Reply

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