Fall Fragrance Wardrobe : Your Perfumes for Cooler Days Ahead


What fragrances do you anticipate wearing often this fall? Old favorites, new discoveries, anticipated launches?

The weather is still hot and humid on the East Coast, but I already notice the signs of arriving autumn–an early morning fog, a dazzle of crimson and ochre among the still verdant foliage, a scent of ripe apples and bonfires. Though the sunshine may fool me into thinking that summer will never end, autumn’s breath lends the air its fragrant of chestnut shells and wet earth. A perfect time to contemplate one’s fall fragrance wardrobe…

Photo credit: Richard via flickr.com, some rights reserved.



  • Suzanna: Even here in swampy Florida, there has been a change towards a grayer sky and a slightly less muggy weather. I’ve been thinking about a perfume that smells of apples but not of a cheap candle and I’ve come up empty-handed.

    Fall favorites moving forward in the perfume cabinet are:

    Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee–this has remarkable lasting power, and, with PdN Vanille Intense makes for an autumnal vanille reminscent of the outdoors, with hints of earth, spice, and smoke.

    Ginestet Botrytis–a long-time favorite recalling pipe tobacco and mead. As alternates, Escada Collection and Micallef Note Vanille (it’s amazing how close these three are).

    Spiritueuse Double Vanille–I am still wrestling with this one, but, like the SL Bois Vanille, I expect it to perform better in cooler weather.

    Black Cashmere makes a return annual appearance around this time. It’s smooth as silk and the powder is divine.

    Ambre Sultan comes back as the days lengthen and we have the only cool weather of the year.

    The weather is turning, but so are some of my ‘fumes. I need to use them up or re-up! September 9, 2011 at 9:33am Reply

  • Emma: Honore des Pres I Love Les Carottes, a joyful earthy iris.
    Serge Lutens, Encens et Lavande, I’m obsessed with this lavender right now!! September 9, 2011 at 9:35am Reply

  • [email protected]: In this rainy, gloomy weather I reached for Chergui and felt consoled, but also mysterious. I’ve been craving ambers and resins, so much so that I found myself sniffing my Prada (which I hadn’t worn in years) and looking up new niche perfumes on luckyscent that might satisfy my craving…Any suggestions? I don’t like anything too sweet, but I’m not too much a fan of Unisex either. I see myself dabbing on some YSL NU when it gets colder out. But I don’t know if anything I have right now is really meeting the standard of what I want to smell like in my imagination! A perfume crisis! September 9, 2011 at 9:37am Reply

  • Patty: This summer was devoted to lighter fragrances with lots of aldehydes, citrus, and flowers. For the fall, out will come my classic Guerlains (L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, and Shalimar), leathers (Bandit, Bal a Versailles, and Habanita), and tobaccos (Tabac Blond and Tabac Aurea). September 9, 2011 at 11:07am Reply

  • brigitte: I’ve discovered Sonoma Scent Studio, a great niche line, and have started wearing several scents to usher in the fall season: Lieu de Reves (a beautiful take on violets which to me is reminiscent of L’Heure Bleue, a fall scent worn by me in the past), Sienna Musk (a mandarin/spice musk that is lovely as the weather gets colder), Champagne de Bois (on my skin it evokes apricot and amber notes) and Winter Woods (amber/vanilla/musk with a touch of woodsy notes great for the transition from late fall into winter). I also purchased from the Ineke line Field Notes from Paris to wear in the fall but my 14 year old daughter has already laid claim to my bottle! September 9, 2011 at 11:46am Reply

  • Elizabeth: I just bought a bottle of 31 Rue Cambon for fall, and I think I will be wearing it a lot! I have also taken Ormonde Woman, Bandit, and Baghari out of their summer hibernation. For me, fall is the season of chypres and amber. I’m using Yves Saint Laurent Y as a bridge scent between warmer and cooler weather. September 9, 2011 at 11:59am Reply

  • behemot: Cannot wait ro wear Shalimar ode a la Vanille, Il Profumo Patchuli Noir and Elixir de Merveilles…. September 9, 2011 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Carla: Chinatown is too sweet for the heat, but cheers up gray days. September 9, 2011 at 12:55pm Reply

  • Rebecca: I’m getting excited about:
    1) Mitsouko (I know, right? Such a predictable choice!)
    2) Ineke Field Notes from Paris (this one is gorgeous)
    3) Diorissimo (because it’s a little incongrous, but I like it best in the dead of winter)
    4) Guerlain Attrape-Coeurs (I lucked into a large sample of this at Saks recently, and am all kinds of smitten) September 9, 2011 at 1:07pm Reply

  • Luca14: I just bought Carnal Flower so I will wear it very often. D&G is another fall favorite since it is such a warm scent.Gucci Rush is for all seasons. I might also wear Narciso Rodriguez Eau de musc. September 9, 2011 at 9:36am Reply

  • Cybele: Attrape-Coeurs, B. Acampora Musc, Homage, Sycomore, Rien ELO September 9, 2011 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Cybele: and I would love to try wearing Coromandel a little bit later on gray November days. September 9, 2011 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Victoria: How about Tauer L'Air du Desert Marocain? Wearing it now and enjoying its dark resinous amber.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile September 9, 2011 at 10:57am Reply

  • nulla tabella: Vintage Guerlain “Chamade” is a classic scent, everything i need all year round but especially this period is definitely appropriate. September 9, 2011 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Musette: We have much cooler weather in the Midwest right now – it’s gray and misty – I’m in a hoodie and very comfy, thank you! 🙂 Wearing a lot of chypres – Liz Zorn’s Centennial just arrived – I’m testing it against its perfume sister, Historial Chypre. Both beautiful. Also wearing tons of vintage Mitsouko (always) and Roja Dove’s Diaghilev. Current Femme for bedtimw (it’s a little much for day, imo – and I’m pretty fearless! LOL!)

    xoxo September 9, 2011 at 11:50am Reply

  • Elisa: Also looking forward to Tabac Aurea! Though I admit I already wore it on a day I was going to the mountains, where it’s cooler.

    Also Tauers and other incense/ambers, DSH Mahjoun and other big gourmands. September 9, 2011 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Elisa: I actually loved wearing Chinatown this summer (mmm, hot patchouli!), but I may be crazy. September 9, 2011 at 1:07pm Reply

  • Debbie: Here in Scotland it’s already pretty chilly and certainly rainy. I’ve been wearing Chanel No.9, Hermes Kelly Caleche EDT and YSL Dune which are perfect transitional scents from (a not very hot) summer to drizzly autumn. These will segue into Shalimar Initial and TF Amber Absolute, with original Prada and perhaps a classic Caron as winter approaches. September 9, 2011 at 5:33pm Reply

  • Debbie: Ooops, Chanel No.19 of course. Sorry 🙂 September 9, 2011 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Bulldoggirl: I start looking forward to wearing what I call my “cashmere scents”: Theorema, Ambre Narguile, Coco EDP, Angel Liqueur de Parfum, and the highly underrated (IMHO) Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang. September 9, 2011 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Ann C.: I’ve already felt a nip in the air a few times. It’s warm today, but I know days like this will soon disappear.

    I’m looking forward to wearing Coromandel, Shalimar Ode a la Vanille, and Safran Troublant. I have a decant of the new Annick Goutal on the way, and recently caved and bought a bottle of Shalimar Initial, which I expect to wear a lot in the months ahead. I’m also seriously considering a FB of Iris Oriental. It’s quite lovely and versatile, and still reasonably priced. September 9, 2011 at 6:27pm Reply

  • MaysaAlaqil: I’ve finally got my hands on some Fendi Theorema, that my mum had kept all those years (mum isn’t a big fan of strong fragrances, and this was a gift from dad) so it’s definitely gonna be my fall fragrance this year, can’t wait. September 9, 2011 at 2:50pm Reply

  • MJ: Very windy and delightfully in the 70’s this week in Chicago. I have rediscovered my bottle of Tresor in honor of the few roses on my ancient rosebush that are growing leggy reaching for the abandoning sun. September 10, 2011 at 12:31am Reply

  • Cristine: I love seeing what everyone is going to be wearing this fall & winter! I just ordered a bottle of 31 Rue Cambon and will be obsessively checking the mail until it gets here. I’ve also moved l’Air Du Desert Morocain forward on my perfume shelf, as well as Traversee du Bosphore, Bois de Vanille, Chergui and a spanking new bottle of Tea For Two for the holidays because it smells like Gingerbread–yum! Oh, and Shalimar, of course…. September 10, 2011 at 2:16am Reply

  • green jean: thank you for asking this question. i live in central ohio and start feeling the start of fall in late august. then i scour the internet looking for leads and ordering so many samples from the perfumed court that i will probably never decide. bet you can’t pick just one! so as i read the replies i see my judgement confirmed with some suggestions and new leads for a new order. i also feel as though i have been on a tour around the world. i thank you for your comments—new leads and pleasure now just imagining…. September 10, 2011 at 8:45am Reply

  • caro78: Fall is the time for RL Safari, EL Intuition, Alchimie, John Varvatos, Liason Dangereuses, Back to Black, YR Voile d’ ambre and…. BBW Cinnamon pumpkin! September 10, 2011 at 10:13am Reply

  • Alnysie: I’m looking forward to wearing those scents I discovered this summer (I don’t yet have old favorites!): SL Un Bois Vanille, ELD’O Like This, PG PralinĂ© de Santal, Jacomo #08, L’Artisan TraversĂ©e du Bosphore… September 10, 2011 at 10:43am Reply

  • donix: I’ll come back to Smasara, Classique EDP, Kenzo Jungle Elephant and Alien. October is reserved for Lady Caron as it was that month when I visited Paris and bought it. Chamade and Insolence EDP will be for special occassions event though I found Insolence easier even in warmer months. Can’t wait to that better time for heavier weight stuff:-) September 10, 2011 at 11:31am Reply

  • green jean: ah! another envelope of samples. today i got: cartier must de cartier, shalimar parfum, coty ambre antique, comptoir sud pacifique eau gris, ag eau d’hadrien edp, sous le vent edt, original bandit edt, and balmain vent vert reissue. i have just tried ambre antique. didn’t like it initially, but it is modulating now. we’ll see. i wonder what i should try next…. September 10, 2011 at 3:42pm Reply

  • green jean: this time of year i go on a hunt for a fragrance like “mary mcfadden,” her first fragrance from 79 or 80. i don’t have the poetry or vocabulary to describe it, but i have wanted it for 30 years. it was rich, spicy, mouth watering. are any of you familiar with it, and do you have any suggestions of fragrance i should try? i have tried sl ambre sultan, hermes amber narguile, ysl nu, el amber nude. opium is just a no-go for me no matter how many times i try. there is something that keeps me coming back–i think the top notes–but the abundance of something grape-y is the spoiler. any ideas? please? September 10, 2011 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Cristine: Hello green Jean– I am not familiar with Mary McFadden personally, but I did read that CDG Kyoto is similar to it. Perhaps if it gets you close you could layer it with something else…. September 10, 2011 at 5:15pm Reply

  • Memoryofscent.wordpress.com: Living in a hot climate and not being a huge fresh scent fan I am actually looking forward to cooler days to wear practically all of my perfumes. Especially Vetiver Oriental, Ambre Precieux, Black Tourmaline, Black Aoud. September 10, 2011 at 3:39pm Reply

  • green jean: hi, christine. i just bought a sample of kyoto. although i like it for itself, to me it is not very like mary mcfadden. but your suggestion of layering is a good one. this will take some experimentation. and isn’t that fun?

    by the way, what do you use to remove a scent when you find that you can’t stand it? it used to be that water made it skunk-y. i wonder if there are any tricks. maybe regular alcohol would be good to take it off. September 10, 2011 at 8:06pm Reply

  • Nikki: Mauboussin, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and Feminite du Bois, Chantecaille Kalimantan, Caron Parfum Sacre (thanks to Victoria…), Shalimar extrait, Habanita, Delrae Bois du Paradis September 10, 2011 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Cristine: Green Jean– in the past I have used oil to help dissipate a scrubber. I like coconut oil, and if it’s really tenacious I’ve followed with another scented oil. Good luck! September 10, 2011 at 10:47pm Reply

  • hongkongmom: oh my..I am so behind. Haven’t even thought of autumn fragrances. Am still enjoying my summer frags. That being said, I have bought the new Bottega Veneta, which I wore through a busy Sabbath and it was pretty easy to wear. It has a butterlike creaminess that reminds me of of fracas(without the tuberose) and although thick, never felt cloying. The patchouli?leather adds a twist and makes it interesting. The bottle is a beautiful design of class, modesty and feminity, right down to the frosted glass bottom (very discreet)in the same weave design as the leather. Beautiful pink nude leather tie blending with the colour of the juice and the shape and weight of the glass bottle have very balanced and beautiful visuals. September 10, 2011 at 11:26pm Reply

  • Ubar: Patchouli24, Al Oudh, Memoir, Siephen Jones, Ormonde Man, Eau D’Hiver. I Love Fall!!!!! September 11, 2011 at 1:29am Reply

  • Ubar: Fiending for De Profundis, it will soon be mine. September 11, 2011 at 1:39am Reply

  • Sharryn Stormonth: Well our winter has just finished and we are in the first days of spring. My winter scents were:
    L’Air du Desert Marocain, Ambre Sultan, Ambra di Nepal, Patchouli 24, Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, Etat Libre d’Orange – Tom of Finland. September 11, 2011 at 3:50am Reply

  • Yelena: Great minds think alike…. my fall scents are coming out…. Bois Oriental first of all, then the old favorites- la Myrrhe, Cinema and the latest fall favorite Bois 1920 Venti di Fiori, truly autumn in a bottle. This may be the fall for vintage Poison and Lou Lou, as I am feeling retro and 80’s stripes are in. And an old bottle of Lacroix C’est la Vie because my mother bought me the bottle for the first day of 12th grade and I still have some left and this may be a good year to go back in time and wear it with my old leather jacket and a mini skirt I found from those days as well, sort of a why the he** not spirit for fall scents this year. The restrained rose chypres are not going to cut it this year, at least not on the weekend. September 11, 2011 at 2:02pm Reply

  • columbine: i just bought that sample for my boyfriend to try, that and Lonesome star memories…i will let you know if he likes it… September 11, 2011 at 4:16pm Reply

  • silverdust: Vintage Rive Gauche, vintage No. 19, Agent Provocateur, Narciso Rodriguez for her. My area is like a rainforest jungle all summer. I can’t wait for fall to break out the above scents! There were a few days the past couple weeks where I just couldn’t help myself and wore them anyway! September 11, 2011 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Paeonia9: Hello Victoria!

    I remember occasional conversations with you on Makeup Alley’s perfume board. In fact, you acquired a bottle of L’Artisan’s Tubereuse from me!
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and I just had to comment on the even handedness of your reviews. The care and thoughtfulness you put into them does not go unnoticed!

    As for Fall scents, I tend to revisit vintage fragrances (although most of mine are reformulations, unfortunately). I have a tiny sample of Gres Cabochard parfum I indulge in. I also break out the Caron Tabac Blond and Guerlain Apres l’ondee (I know most prefer this for Spring, but it smells like wet autumn leaves and moss on me). Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir is another love. And, despite the ridiculous Kirsten Dunst ads and scathing reviews I’m quite enjoying Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir. The drydown is an almost masculine woody musk on me with the just the barest hint of jasmine. Like having George Clooney swaddle me in a cashmere throw, fix me a mug of lightly sweetened warm milk stirred with a vanilla bean, then giving me the best foot rub I’ve ever had! September 11, 2011 at 7:29pm Reply

  • Olfacta: Fall fume-porn: yum! I’m looking forward to everything leathery, amber, vanillic. Eagerly awaiting splits of Mona di Orio Vanille and the new Oud from her. MH Fleurs Oriental and Fleurs di Tabac. Teatro alla Scala, my old Shalimar and Mitsouko perfumes — just anything that doesn’t work in our hot humid summers. September 11, 2011 at 7:23pm Reply

  • Cajsa: Living in a cold climate (Sweden) I now prefer warm perfumes like Profumum Roma’s “Vanitas” and my old time favourite Armani “She” (Floral Oriental). September 12, 2011 at 4:40am Reply

  • Ann C: My decant of Annick Goutal’s new one (Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille) arrived and I love it. Victoria’s review is spot on. I’ll use up my decant; I I still love it, I’ll add it to my “to-buy” list. September 12, 2011 at 6:45am Reply

  • sunsetsong: Was looking forward to Shalimar Ode a La Vanille – in fact it is now at the front of the perfume shelf, and I am wearing it on this stormy day. Will also bring forward my No 5 extrait, Tauer’s Une Rose Chypree, Prada Eau Ambree and L’Occitane Feu D’Orange. As it gets colder EL Amber Ylang Ylang, SSS Femme Jolie and Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir will also get some airtime. Based on what Paeonia says above I must sample Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir!! September 12, 2011 at 3:04pm Reply

  • CrĂĽella: I’m wearing Kenzo Jungle Elephant today in an attempt to lure fall to SoCal… September 12, 2011 at 7:21pm Reply

  • Paeonia9: Don’t let that slightly harsh burst of jasmine at the top fool you! You may also get a hint of lily of the valley in the middle, but in about 10-15 minutes it settles down into the musky woody thing. You do need to give it some time to develop. I absolutely would’ve passed on this if I’d gone on just an initial sniff from the bottle.

    I am so curious about these Tauers. Une Rose Chypree is one I’ve been looking at…. September 12, 2011 at 7:50pm Reply

  • Victoria: BTW, I still have that bottle of Tubereuse! 🙂 It is still amazing. Can’t believe that it has lasted this long.

    Thank you very much for your comment and for your kind words about my blog! This means a lot to me. September 12, 2011 at 8:46pm Reply

  • jen: I’m grabbing all of my ambers, orientals, and spicy scents. And white florals. Those are never out of season! September 14, 2011 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Jennifer: For a non-cheap-candle apple scent you may want to try Turbulences .It is mostly a apple cobbler sort of scent (on me at least). September 15, 2011 at 11:55am Reply

  • Olga Bodnar Talyn: Of course my Mitsouko comes out now. Also Royal Bain De Caron and L’Artisan’s Premier Figuer. Soon time for Nahema. Does anyone remember being young in the 60’s and wearing Golden Autumn, Kiku, Tosca, Maja, Crepe de Chine, Tigress, Antilope, original L’Eccusson? These are all scent memories I have of Autumn college days and my early twenties. September 15, 2011 at 2:13pm Reply

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