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