Top 10 Best Perfumes of Autumn

Top 10 Best Perfumes of Autumn

It’s that time of year again, when we review our Top 10 Best Perfumes of Autumn!  Lee has other responsibilities that are going to keep him off the Posse for a little bit (he’ll be back!) so it’s me, Patty, March and Nava, giving you your 10 Scents Worth  (oh, c’mon!  you knew I couldn’t resist!).   All 4 of us are in slightly different climes –  wonder  if where we are influences our choices?  ps.  I’m the one on the right – pretend it’s a Big Black Heavy Horse. — Anita.

Anita’s Choices:  This is one of the most quietly beautiful times of the year, along the rivers in Central IL, even moreso now as we are having our first real autumn in ages.  Autumn here isn’t flashy – yes, we have some lovely maples but nothing to compare to the East.  No, what is most beautiful here is the smoky, subtle profusion of browns, yellows and fading greens and rusting orange – and that smoky purple-silver you get when the ash trees and smoke bushes start turning.  Who knew brown could be so enthralling?  Some farmers still till their fields here and the gorgeous black earth interspersed with the spikes of pale-gold corn stover, the sun glinting off the shards like palladium…..a mundane sight that has caught the breath in my throat more than once.  Because of this, perhaps, my choices are a bit more muted than you might expect:

Cuir de Lancome.  a quiet, creamy, green- honeyed leather, with a touch of vanilla that always startles me – I like it!  It’s perfect in this sunny autumn weather.  I keep wishing for a vintage golden tan melton swing coat to wear with this – but my brown Carhartt jacket will do in a pinch.

Vintage Parure – at least ‘older’ – I don’t know what constitutes vintage in this fragrance and neither of my lovely little decants are dated.  But both of them are dazzling, like the sun on that corn stover.  Rosy-plummy bergamot……and our late, lamented friend, Oakmoss.    There is an incredible yellow diamond line bracelet – I won’t bore you with the details – this fragrance is that bracelet, as are the ash trees along the banks of the Illinois River.    How could I have missed this one, back in the day?  Don’t get between me and a bottle of this.

Vintage Miss Dior edt.  Again, I have no idea how ‘vintage’ this is – but it’s absolutely perfect for this weather (I wore it while busting sod – by hand- for 3 days straight.  Kept me from killing myself).   Another chypre,with warm, bright honeyed notes – but there’s this bergamot-y/melancholy fading-‘green’ note that is like those storm clouds gathering in the west, presaging the coming winter.  I could never wear this with a pink sweater.  This is coffee/olive/toffee.  In this I can imagine myself in a New Look suit…and my new, New Look figure to go with it!

March: Nothing says fall quite like … cumin.  For the record – “cumin”-y scents don’t really smell of the actual seasoning to me – sniff for yourself.  I suppose it’s the closest thing we can name, but we could just as well be calling it dried mustard, IMO.  “Cumin” in a fragrance can be a signifier for spice/edible, as it is in the current Rochas Femme, or more like actual sweat (e.g., Eau d’Hermes), and how much cumin is perceived in a scent seems to vary significantly from person to person.  Anyhoodle, now’s the time to break out the new Rochas Femme in all its sweaty glory, or L’Artisan’s wonderful cumin/coffee Navigateur, or even Uncle Serge’s Santal de Mysore if you like your perfume curried.  Over my personal cumin line:  Dinner by Bobo and Theo Fennell –  like the Renaissance Faire threw up on me — but YMMV.  I also love that cumin-y note at the start of Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger, I’ve been wearing the heck out of it the last couple of weeks (yup, finally bought a bottle, having worked through two vials and a decant.)  Then there’s Isabela Capeto, Amouage Jubilation 25, Cartier Declaration, Worth Courtesan and … oh, a million others, see Angela’s recent post on cumin and the comments for what is probably the definitive list.

Nava: To me, nothing says “right now” more than the four goofy horsemen pictured above. More about that in my next post.  The sniffers are all haywire again because life has gone all screwy. But, if they were functioning normally, I’d be wearing Donna Karan Chaos, Serge Fumerie Turque, Hermessence Ambre Narguilé, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille and Purple Patchouli, plus the occasional spritzes of Chanel Coromandel and Cuir de Russie to keep things interesting. Speaking of interesting, tune in next week…

Patty: Fall is warm woods, incense, vanilla, leaves, velvet and baking bread. So that’s CB  Burning Leaves, Baccarat Sacre Le Larmes de Thebes (or some variation of that), Guerlain Bois d’Armenie and Spiriteuse Double Vanille, Le Labo Patchouli 24 and Vanille somenumberothanother, Hermessence Vetiver Tonka (last weeks’ discussion has me hooked on this again) and L’Artisan Bois Farine.  I do smell great in the fall.  Off in the distance, you hear my Carons warming up for winter.

For more Top 10 Best Perfumes of Autumn, please visit:  Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Now Smell This and Perfume-Smellin- Things.

image: Four Goofy Horsemen of Apocalypse from March’s old image files.

  • AnnieA says:

    L’eau Rare Matale by Parfumerie Generale is great for soggy, West Coast autumn days.

  • vidalicious says:

    Oh wow, flashback to Chicago, March’s arm loaded up with CUMIN serge-style, in my face! ew! :-&
    Miss you gals!

  • Tamara*J says:

    Uuhh why the hell does how I talk in real life look so odd on here?!
    You know what I meant- ahaha!

  • Tamara*J says:

    Anita, my perfume Ho!
    I love CdL and vtg. Parure AND my vtg.Miss Dior parfum also! Gaaaawd those are so good!

    You are a kindred spirit indeed my dear :)
    Happy Hallow’s Eve everyone!

    • Musette says:

      Holy Moles! Uh, when you look in the mirror…do you see big black Percherons? if so….uh, I think we might’ve been sepped at birth!

      I’m off to the showers, to wash the horse pee off before my lungs shut down completely!

      xo >-)

      • Tamara*J says:

        Bahahahahahahaha! Yup I only have to start loving mean ol’ Mitsy and I think then we will be united.
        Kisses to your smelly arse my dear! Muuuuah! :D

  • mi-cuit says:

    eep! I hope my (unsniffed) bottle of Cuir de Lancome arrives today, and I won’t have to wait until Monday. I was already anxious to try, but after all that love, I’m positively frantic.

    My one-scent challenge week ends tomorrow (wearing Patchouli Patch, and I’m actually not tired of it), but if Cuir gets here, I might end it early… :D

    • March says:

      But wait — you could just wear Patchouli Patch tomorrow and be done with it!

      Man, I hope you like Cuir. It’s a very soft glove leather — like the inside of a handbag, or suede. Not a big birchtar production. I love it.

  • mariekel says:

    Much as I loathe certain aspects of Autumn –coming winter, birthday tomorrow (which I call my “wee-bitching hour” since my yearly gift to myself is to complain all day about how getting older is NOT getting better), I do love the perfumes that come out of hibernation. And also the chance to wear boots and velvet blazers.

    On my dance card right now: Le Labo Poivre 23, DSH Cafe Noir, PG Coze, Fath de Fath, Asja, Bois de Violette, L’Air du Desert Marocain, The fabulous Orris by Andy Tauer (very sparingly), Tabac Blond parfum.

    Now, who wants to get me a bottle of one of those for my birthday tomorrow?

  • Victoria says:

    “Uncle Serge” made me laugh out loud! Yep, that uncle has a number of great autumnal choices. I was torn between Rose de Nuit and Santal de Mysore. Both are great for the colder weather. Now, of course, I want to go and put on SdM!

    • March says:

      If I ever meet the man I’m going to pretend I’m somebody else … not that he’d know me from Adam.

      I keep retrying SdM and La Myrrhe, figuring eventually it will be love.

  • Jen says:

    I’m hoping my order from TPC comes in so that can be my scent for the week, but if not I’m going with either B&BW pomegranite or VS Dream Angels Divine. Mostly to use them up. I like them, but those full size bottles are mocking me every time I think about splurging on a FB of something “real”. Yes, my name is Jen and I’m a total perfume noob. :D

    • March says:

      Oh, love those orders from TPC! I grab at the mail and say mine, mine, mine! I have tried so many different scents trying to pick the “signature” you would laugh.

      • Jen says:

        I know right? That’s how I became interested in perfume this year – trying to pick a signature

  • Teri says:

    It finally got ‘autumnish’ here – dropping from 80 degree days to 40 degree days in one big thump. I was visiting the Grand Junction vineyards a week ago in shorts and a tee. This week, it’s sweaters, jackets and gloves in the mornings and the ski resorts have opened.

    Scents I like in the autumn: Micallef “Autumne”; CK “Euphoria”; Ginestet “Botrytis”; “Tabu” the Terrible; MPG “Ambre Precieux”; CdG “Avignon”; Mazzolari “Ambra”; “Aqaba”; L’Artisan “Voleur de Roses”; Lubin “Idole”.

    I’ve picked my scent for ‘one scent one week’, or more properly, I let it pick me. I decided it would be the first ebay score that arrived after the challenge was issued, and one arrived in the mail yesterday.

    • March says:

      Tabu hehe. I’m somehow more Youth Dew and less Tabu. But I admire it. And I’m surprised to have seen Euphoria several times now.

      Idole I finally sprung for a bottle of.

      • Teri says:

        It’s funny about Youth Dew – the original version has a sharp edge to my nose and I’ve never cared for it. But the Amber Nude version is lovely and I wear that occasionally.

        • March says:

          I have this crackpot theory that you are either Youth Dew OR Tabu (or neither) and either Opium OR Cinnabar.

          Now someone will jump on here and tell me I’m wrong.

        • Teri says:

          Good theory. I’m certainly proof of it. I wore Opium for years until I couldn’t stand it anymore, and the Tabu comes out when I want to be an olfactory tour-de-force.

          I like the old school EL fragrances, but they will forever be associated with blue-haired, fur-wearing, diamond-bedecked charitable ladies of a certain age. And of course as I …err….mature, that ‘certain age’ gets higher and higher. lol. If I live to be 100, those EL scents will always be too old for me in my mind. :-\”

          • March says:

            But I love those old-school Estees! Azuree and Cinnabar — so great! Never did really love Private Collection though.

          • Musette says:

            I LOVED PC!

            hey, meant to tell you – back at the Malle Candle Thingy I spritzed some Opium on a scentstrip (on a SCENTSTRIP!!!) and walked from Saks to Barneys, with folks leaping out of my way! That stuff was so strong I actually had to wash my hands to get it off me!

            Then I had to wash them again.

            Then some alcohol.

            All that from a SCENTSTRIP!

            what the hell did they put in that stuff? Napalm?

            xo >-)

          • maidenbliss says:

            When I pass by an EL counter I wouldn’t dream of spritzing PC–too green, although
            I wore it for years in another non-perfumista life. That was during my Tea Rose
            stage which now gags me. But I will always love Azuree. I think.

            Karen, as long as you don’t layer all those scents….:)

  • maidenbliss says:

    Musette, your autumnal prose is haunting me. I can just picture the words coming to life.

    Autumn is lingering, sweet and smoky, favorite time of year. I couldn’t wear one scent for a week. I’m weak.
    I’m wearing Hermessence Vetiver Tonka, gorgeous, woody/sweet earthy.
    Guerlain Tonka Imperiale, Eau d’ Italy, Scherrer 2–how did I not know about this one until
    Bal a Versailles, Cabochard Gres and the usual Chanel suspects, CdR, BdI, Sycomore, Coromandel
    and Coco.

    • Musette says:


      thank you!

      You know, I’ve got a little sample of VTonka somewhere…:-? I don’t think I’ve ever even opened it! After this weekend and the 7Day Challenge I’mo have to try it! woody/sweet earthy sounds lovely!

      xoxo >-)

      • maidenbliss says:

        A minor correction – it’s actually Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose. TPC says it best. Gorgeous.
        I can wear this year round.

  • Isa says:

    I envy all of you who have real autumns.
    Here in the East of Spain I know it’s autumn because calendar says so, but it’s more like a mild summer. One day, suddenly, winter will arrive. It’s always like that.

    Anyway, as I wear long sleeves t-shirts and boots, it’s officially autumn :)
    I’m enjoying fragrances like Opium Poésie de Chine, Sarah Horowitz Perfect Veil, L’Erbolario Iris, Tam Dao…

    • March says:

      Boy, I would miss fall so much. It would be very difficult to live in a place without the defined seasons, even though I’m not such a huge fan of winter. One month and then I’m ready to move on.

      I found an old decant of Tam Dao. It used to be better when it was cheap sandalwood. 🙁

  • Mals86 says:

    I Do Not Get that guy in green… is he *blindfolded?!* But I want that red guy’s hat.

    I too am committed to the Challenge starting Monday, but these are what I’ve been wearing over the last month:
    Tabac Aurea
    Champagne de Bois
    Le Temps d’une Fete
    Smell Bent One (note to self: must get more, it’s LE and disappears Nov.1)
    Cuir de Lancome
    Mariella Burani
    Shalimar Light
    Anything violet I can get my hands on.

    • March says:

      Alahine. Le Sigh. I considered it for my scent challenge but don’t think I could wear it every day. Cuir’s getting a lot of love.

      • Mals86 says:

        I should have been more clear: when I’m wearing Alahine, it’s about half a spritz to the inner elbow, just before going to sleep. NOT wearin’ that thing in 70-degree temps, you think I’m crazy? :)

  • Kate says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting what I think will be a new fall HG for me: CB I Hate Perfume In the Library. I do something nice to this one. Can I do a shout out to MiN in New York who kindly let me order with Sniffapalooza discount and gift bag when I got home? This store rocks by the way. MiN is on Crosby Street in Soho.

    No wear one fragrance for a week. I can do it but I didn’t happily fall down this rabbit hole to climb back out to fragrance monogamy.

  • karin says:

    I’ve only recently started wearing fall scents. For some reason, September was all about fruity florals (?!). I wanted light and fun. But lately I’ve been wearing:

    – Attrape Coeur (I think this is my HG of HGs)
    – The One and a recently discovered similar scent – Roberto Cavalli Oro (FRUIT BOMB!)
    – Dzing! (Ahhh….)
    – Traversee du Bosphore (LOVE!)
    – 31 Rue Cambon (AC is seeming to trump this one, but I still like it!)

    Recently tried Like This again. Also tried Theorema from a sample. Am I crazy that I’m noticing similarities between the two? Don’t think I can stomach Like This – it’s potpourri to me – a bit too, too. But Theorema is nice. Not nice enough to scour the web in search of an overpriced bottle, though!

    Ah…I love fall. The colors are SO GORGEOUS this year!!!

    • Mals86 says:

      I really like the amber in AC and in 31RC – it seems like the same material to me, warm and rich and somehow full of light.

    • March says:

      It’s so pretty here right now I can’t stand it, and finally feel like it’s fall because the temp isn’t in the 70s any longer.

      Like This doesn’t blow my skirt up — too amber/immortelle, makes me a bit queasy. Theorema is less diffusely sugary on me, sweet without being cloying, I think it’s a much stronger hit of orange. And I got my bottles before they got as ridiculous as they are now.

    • Elisa says:

      I think RC Oro smells like Theorema actually. The vanilla, spice and orange in both remind me of eggnog!

      • karin says:

        Interesting! Now I’ll have to compare all three! :-)

      • March says:

        I have a sample of that which I clearly need to go find.

        • Ann N. says:

          Ooh, March, as another Theorema fangirl here, please do comment when you try it. Would love to know how it stacks up. I’m in pre-challenge trials, sitting here with Theorema on one wrist, darling Niki on the other and Chanel Bois des Iles extrait on an inner elbow. But don’t know if I can bear to use up so much of my Theorema decant over the course of a week, beautiful though she is.

  • Olfacta says:

    Cuir de Lancome for early, Lyric for Women for late/cold nights, Ambre Sultan for cold days, vanillas for sleeping (Organza, Barbara Bui, Oro, etc) and that’s all I can think of right now. I came back from Sniffa with a shoebox full of stuff, so can’t do the one-scent challenge right now, but if I could, it would be the Cuir de Lancome.

    • Musette says:

      Well, I’ll do Cuir for you, if only for the next 4 days. In prep for the Challenge I have decided to take ONLY ONE scent to the WPC. That’s Cuir de Lancome. If my boys don’t like it, I’m……

      well, I’m probably gonna be covered in horse snot!

      xo >-)

  • Melissa says:

    not doing the one-scent challenge… NOT DOING THE ONE SCENT CHALLENGE! Yeeeps! How did I grow so bold in just one short sentence’s time? I can post as many fall favorites as I want! I’m having major gourmand/amber/oriental cravings, but the weather isn’t cooperating. I want to wear Un Bois Vanille, Memo Manoa (opop overdose), Cuir Beluga, TF Amber Absolute etc. I think that once I complete about a two week binge, I’ll be okay and I’ll be ready for more refinement, but that’s just where I am right now.

    After that? I imagine that I’ll do a sharp turnaround back to vintage goodies, like Cuir de Russie, Miss Dior parfum (I’m with ya Anita) and Apres L’Ondee. I’m so happy that the temp is staying under 70F today!

  • Francesca says:

    Annnnd…..the emoticons aren’t working.

  • Francesca says:

    Whoa, lost a whole bunch of deathless prose from some computer oddness…I haven’t even heard of, much less tried, a lot of the fragrances mentioned above, but thanks for the reminder to look for the decants of Bois d’Armenie^:)^ and Vetiver Tonka. Of course I am lashed to one particular scent til Nov 8, but it’s one that’s OK or more with me (especially if the weather leaves this bizarre July-like thing we are having in New Yawk City). Still, this post makes me want to root through the tiny drawers of my decants boxes to find that Bois d’Armenie, dammit!

    • March says:

      Sorry you had a comment FAIL! It’s happened to me, fwiw… Bois d’Armenie sounds kind of perfect now that it’s clouding over outside and the wind is picking up. I know I have some of the Papier d’Armenie here as well… somewhere …

  • Fiordiligi says:

    I’m on day two of The Challenge myself, but spotted some well-loved beauties above (and some well-loved scents too, haha).

    I’m saving them all up for when I finish this one week thingy, but then I have major decisions to make as I’m off to the US for a couple of weeks and need to decide What to Pack…..for two weeks in the Pacific NorthWest. What scent to take to an area that is even wetter than the good old UK?!

  • Joe says:

    la-la-la-la-la-la…. I can’t hear you! I’m not reading!!!

    I’m on the third day of my “Wear One Scent” challenge thingie, so I am NOT reading all these luscious recommendations, because it will make me want to just rush to the Wall O’ Decants and start spraying with mad, wild, psychotic abandon.

    In skimming, I saw some lovely choices. But I’m NOT READING!!!!

    Happy Autumn!