In-between Monday: Scenting off-season temps

temps hadrien 2Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate it! My son is too old/grown-up now to trick or treat, but he will enjoy handing out candy now to the little ones. I have to admit it: I do miss it; it feels a little bittersweet not to be running around helping him get his costume all set and then out the door to troll the neighborhood. But there’s also something else missing this year: The chilly temps . It just doesn’t feel like Halloween (or the tail end of October) without a shiver-y cool night to add to the atmosphere. We’re in one of those dreaded see-saw spells, with highs this week forecast for the mid-80s and lows only dropping into the 60s. Bummer! (I really shouldn’t complain, as soon enough we’ll all be grumbling about the freezing weather, but still …)

So here I was, happily pulling out all my autumn favorites, and now they’re all a bit too cozy for the upcoming warm days and not–so-cool nights. But yet it doesn’t feel right to be wearing light, bright, summer-weight scents either, or spring flings, so I’m going back to the drawing board. Hoping to find something that might work well for this week.

OK, here’s what I’ve come up with: First off, Annick Goutal’s Nuit Etoilee, which I’ve enjoyed before when experiencing these same see-saw temps a few years back. This is what I wrote then, and it holds true today: “Its gently minty, slightly herbal- sweet citrus opening was refreshing without being too fresh, and it soothed and settled me, easing my restlessness, much as a cup of mint green tea might do. When the Etoilee’s [opening and middle] subsides, the pine and balsam fir move in to ground the scent even further with a softly resinous, incense-y woodiness that was perfect as evening descended and the temps finally began to drop.”

Speaking of Annick Goutal, the Etoilee’s lovely cousin, Les Nuits d’Hadrien, also fits the bill with its just-right herbal-tinged brightness and warm-ish base notes. Others that might help me survive the week: Galop d’Hermes, Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia, Jo Malone’s Blackberry and Bay, and Tom Ford’s Orchid Soleil. And perhaps a crisp, not-too-heavy chypre or two, as those always feel classic, timeless and ageless.

What about you? What do you wear for see-saw temps like these, when it’s too hot for fall favorites and your warm-weather go-to scents just feel downright wrong? Or the opposite for you all in the Southern Hemisphere?

  • Marie says:

    You have already mentioned some of my favourites (AG Nuit Etoilée, Nuits d’Hadrien, Blackberry and Bay) and I also like the new Galop (minus the price, ouch!). More off-season scents that I like to wear are Slumberhouse Pear + Olive and Le Parfum de Therese.

    • Ann says:

      Ah, Marie, we could be scent twins! If you like the Galop, Surrender to Chance has decants, or if you’re near an Hermes store, they’re usually pretty nice about samples (or at least they used to be).

  • Amateur Dilettante says:

    I’m itching to wear my big ambers but it’s just too warm! So instead it’s Dzongkha and Azureé and Mitsouko and such. Yeah, incense, leathers, chypres, and some roses sprinkled in.
    Every morning requires that I check the weather then choose a scent accordingly – will it be 40 or 70 today? Will the furnace or the air conditioner be on at work?

    • Ann says:

      Exactly!! It’s a challenge, isn’t it? As for the office temps, I keep a little fan and a light sweater in my cubicle, so I’m prepared for either extreme. Here’s hoping we get the real fall deal to stay soon!

  • HeidiC says:

    I need to retry my Tabac Tabou, too — in my memory, it was lovely, but pretty linear. I was thinking about layering it with a leather, maybe Boxeuses or Cuir Mauresque?

    It’s solidly in late-fall territory in Minnesota, so I haven’t been wearing many transitional scents, but when the weather was all flip-floppy, I found myself wearing Premier Figuier a lot — the coconut notes met with the rich figgy notes to make a nice bridge between summer and fall.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Heidi! Look at you, layering queen — you go, girl! 🙂 Sounds like you’ve found the perfect transitional scent there. I’d join you on it, but fig does not like my skin. Enjoy!

  • Sapphire says:

    I need to re-try Tabac Tabou. I wore Lys Soleia on Sunday to a neighborhood Halloween party because it was warm and sunny out and it just seemed to fit. What do you think of it vs Orchid Soleil? They seem similar to me in many ways. Just got a bottle of Lys Soleia in a swap. Trying to decide if OS would be redundant. Might have to get my husband to weigh in, but he is probably going to compare it to black shoes!

    • Ann says:

      Sapphire, I just spritzed a bit of the Lys Soleia on for comparison, and darned if I can put my hands on the Tom Ford vial now! Arrrghhh. 🙂 But will let you know when I do. I say enjoy the LS while you’ve got it, and when it’s gone, then re-sample/test and see what you think. I think Surrender to Chance has samples of both, or at least the TF.

  • rickyrebarco says:

    I love Nuit ‘Etoilee also and I’m wearing aldehydes, too. Chanel Eau Premiere layered with No. 5 L’Eau is great especially with a spritz of Tresor Lumineuse. Light roses also work great with this weather.

    • Ann says:

      Yay — another Etoilee fan!! I like the sound of your layering combo (although I’ve not sniffed that iteration of Tresor). Eau Premiere was really the only No. 5 i even remotely liked, but the L’Eau just might be winning me over.

  • The weather here in the PacNW is solidly ensconced in Autumn-to-winter, the cold weather coats are out and we’re firing up the woodstove every night now. This week was all about Lilac Love for the few sunny days, Zoologist’s not-yet-released Civet by Shelly Waddington, which is flat-out vintage gorgeous, and MLK’s Grand Soir, my new instant love! -Robert H.

    • Ann says:

      Lucky you, Robert! At least you can settle into your weather and be fairly certain that it won’t change drastically. So glad you’re finding great scents to wear. And I’m SO excited to see another fan of Lilac Love — it’s wonderful, isn’t it? I’m going to write about it very soon, because despite the spring-like name, I think it’ll be nice in almost any season.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Ditto re the weather. Because I feel restless in this in between season I’ve been sampling new things and revisiting samples I bought earlier this year. Lots of misses and one huge hit: Parfum d’Empire Tabac Tabou. Wow! Mikasminion ‘s comment reminds me I’ve got a decant of Azemour, which I’ll try tomorrow.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, Suzy Q, this see-saw weather does tend to make you restless (not to mention dithering about in the closet trying to decide what to wear, ha!). That Tabac Tabou sounds nice; must try soon.

  • MikasMinion says:

    We have the same weather and I’ve been wearing the heck out of incense scents, Azemour, and my two easy bargains, Fresh Cream and Stash.

    • Ann says:

      Hi! I’ve not tried Azemour or Fresh Cream. Who is that by? It sounds interesting, so please do tell us more about it. I did enjoy the Stash, but really need to try it again in colder temps, think it might suit me better then. Thanks!