Best Scents for Fall

autumn  Wow! I can’t believe it’s here!  Summer was just yesterday.  But yesterday’s gone.  So ..Autumn it is.  and, don’t tell anybody, okay? (but I kind of like it) Autumn brings with it some intriguing options for scent.  Like Baby Bear’s bowl of porridge, it’s neither too hot nor too cold, so a lot of weather-challenged  scents work really well .

Musette:  I’m just beginning to think of Autumn, though the weather here is pushing me hard – we’re sleeping under a light comforter these evenings and when I take the boys out for that last night’s potty, I feel a little comfier if I’m wearing a second layer.  On those nights I’m loving I Profumi di Firenze’s Ambre Grisea, with that salty, Brittany tang.  I really love to wear this during the first nippy-ish days when I can wear a cableknit car coat, preferably in cream.

Two Guerlains are perfect for Autumn (well, they’re all perfect, period.. but you already knew that, didn’t you?) Old School, one New.  I used to wear  both current & vintage Mitsouko all the time, then something happened and suddenly it was too weird in Summer and too bitey in Winter.  Autumn brings out the lush peach notes of the vintage and softens the slicey gasoline punch of the current, making it the perfect accompaniment to a tailored wool jacket.  A lusher Guerlain for Autumn is Encens Mythique d’Orient, spicy and slightly overblown (but not hefty enough for hot Summer days), it really opens up when you come in from a brisk walk into a warm room.  Add a small fire in the fireplace and you have a lovely olfactory Autumn experience.

Portia’s Best Fall Scents: These are the ones I was reaching for during Australia’s autumn this year:
Mona di Orio: Vanille has been on high rotation for its wonderfully boozy, spicy and citrus fresh take on the warmth of vanilla. It’s so comfortable you can wear it with sweats and so elegant it will also go with your invitation only DIOR Couture gown.
Parfums DelRae: Amoureuse was also seeing a lot of skin time. Lily, big fat raunchy lily and herbaceous spices backed by an extremely animalic honey note that growls its sensual intention quietly behind the pretty floral offerings. For a minute I thought I’d found my HG and with the amount of spritzing I’m doing it will be a finished bottle by the end of 2013.
Guerlain: L’Heure Bleue EdP (modern) is a wonderfully soft and fluffy haze of mystery that works best on my skin during the cooler temps and the current formulation doesn’t seem to have the dirty growl of yesteryear, which makes it perfectly safe for everything.
Mancera: The Aoud was a gift from one of my BFF last year bought during her trip to Selfridges in Oxford St London. It is a wonderful statement fragrance full of the dark, fecal and some of the medicinal swagger of oudh but washed over by a patina of flowers, saffron and sandalwood. These guys are just getting started so look out for them.
CHANEL: Coco Parfum so here is a mildly amusing tale. I was recently on eBay and found someone selling a Coco Parfum, nobody but me bid on it and I got it for a song. When it arrived I hardly even looked at the bottle but spritzed down my top and off I went. After about 10 minutes I was like, OMG! This isn’t CHANEL No 5!! I’ve been ripped off!! But it smelled so amazing that I have been coming back to use it quite regularly over the real CHANEL No 5s. So now when I was going to write a story about falling head over heels for a fake (again) I just noticed it’s because it’s a frickin’ Coco. Ha Ha ha What an idiot.
La Via Del Profumo: Milano Caffe has also been getting more than it’s share of the love since it arrived, excellent coffee, smoke, leather and humanity with a twist of chocolate to sweeten the deal.

Ann’s picks:

Si Lolita de Lempicka: This lovely has been around for a while now, but it seems perfect to usher in the end of summer and the start of fall. Its understated florals settle softly on a gently spiced cushion of pink peppercorn, elemi, tonka bean and patchouli, perfectly mirroring the change of seasons. I just wish it lasted a bit longer. But bonus points for an adorable bottle, with its cute, four-leaf clover shape sporting a jaunty polka-dot scarf.

Amouage Beloved Woman: Here’s hoping Musette won’t shoot me, 😉 but I’ve been giving some love to one of her besties from a while back: Amouage Beloved Woman. When it debuted, I really thought it was well-done, but just wasn’t for me. But of late, something about it (the clary sage? its intricate layers?) has me longing for it. This is one beautiful but complicated lady. Its elegant yet earthy vibe seems just right for fall.  (Musette here:  why on earth would I shoot you?  I would rather sniff you! LOL!  Beloved is gorgeous!!! Glad you are enjoying it.  Perfect for Autumn!)

Serge Lutens’ de Profundis: I’m grooving on this scent’s offbeat florals cloaked in greeny-dark goodness. Although it might seem most suitable for spring, I find its chrysanthemum presence and its somewhat bittersweet aura ideal for autumn as well.

March sez:  Writing this a couple days before it posts — it’s been super-hot here, and today … it feels like fall!  YEAH BABY.  I am so over the mid-90’s heat and humidity, and I like summer.  This time of year makes me want to phone Uncle Serge for his plummy scents and rich spices.  Today I’m going to wear Fleurs d’Oranger.  It smells like gold and orange to me, and what could be more fall-ish than that?  Also I know it’s a cliche but no doubt I’ll get a head start on October with some CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves, with and without Gathering Apples.   Unsurprisingly, they are perfect together.  While I’m rummaging through the cliche department, I’m going to pull some cuddly vanillas off the rack.  If you like woodsmoke scents and vanillas, try wearing them at the same time!  It makes the vanilla less sweet and the smoke less stark.  Finally, like Musette I’ll be dusting off my bottles of Mitsouko.  There’s no wrong time for Mitsouko.  I love her even when she hates me for waking her up too early in the morning or dragging her to the mall for socks.  She is, and will always be, my queen, but she’s a bit much for me in the sultry summer.  Once it cools off she’s welcome any day of the week.

For more Fabulousity for Fall, head on over to:   Now Smell This; Grain de Musc; Bois de Jasmin


  • Diana says:

    I wait until the cooler weather to wear Cabochard. To me, it seems a perfect match to cooler (but not cold) weather.

  • dremybluz says:

    The only thing in my arsenal of fragrances that I can’t wear year round is Luten’s Miel de Bois. I only try it when the themometer is way lower than 45 degrees

    • Ann says:

      Hi! I’ve never sampled that one but have heard so much about it. I’m glad that you mentioned that you only wear it when it’s super-cold — now I’ll be sure not to try it on in the blistering July heat, as it sounds like it could be dangerous 🙂

  • Alexandra B says:

    Love Mona di Orio – a truly versatile scent. Saying that I love anything that has a hint of vanilla.

    Great post – I love recommendations when it comes to fragrance. Time to put away those summer scents and get ready for Fall!

  • Jan Last says:

    On a perfume topic, Sweden in the fall is pretty magnificent, and Agonist perfumes such as Arctic Jade and The Infidels, as well as Liquid Crystal, are blockbuster fall scents. And of course, it is time for me to bring out my beloved 1000 Flowers Reglisse Noir.
    And Ineke Evening Edged in Gold. And……lol

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Jan! All those scents sound wonderful, although I have only tried the RN and the Ineke. Enjoy your fall beauties!

  • I tend to gravitate toward the leathers, spices and tobaccos in the fall, like Chergui. I need to get more Idole and Volutes, speaking of. I used up my samples of both. Oh yeah, I’ll probably dig out the little bit of Musc Ravageur I have left too (I hope I have some left). It’s so yummy.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes, Jennifer, let’s hear it for Chergui! And I tried one of the Volutes and liked it but can’t recall if it was the EDP or the EDT. Fingers crossed for you on the MR, too.

  • Nadja Sand says:

    I love all things animalic, woody, warm, smoky and spicy in fall! I really wish I had a full bottle of Slumberhouse Jeke so that I could indulge my cravings for that scent more often. Slumberhouse Norne too for that matter. Both are perfect for fall I think!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Nadja! Do you have fall-ish temps there yet? If so, I am very envious. Here we will be in the mid-to-high 80s until at least early October. Enjoy those great Slumberhouse scents!

      • Nadja Sand says:

        It’s a bit cool in the shade now but summer temperatures in the sun.. Nights are cold (about 5 degrees Celsius, fahrenheit is a mystery to me) but no frost yet. First frost usually happens around this time of the year but we are having a bit of an indian summer right now. First frost is uaualy the typical autumn sign here. I usually don’t look forward to autumn very much… I like September when I can start wearing all my favorite clothes and perfume again! But October and November are miserable, two solid grey months. I remember one November where we didn’t see the sun for the whole month. i guess those two months just have to be suffered through to get to the beautiful winter! I adore my Slumberhouse scents though, so I can cheer myself up with them… and a lot of other gorgeous scents!

  • rosarita says:

    I alway love these posts and enjoy reading everyone’s lists. Many of my favorites have been named already and this year I’m obsessed with Imaginary Author’s Memoirs of a Trespasser, too. It’s definitely got the vanilla campfire scent like March was talking about. Don’t you love it when you get to a point with a perfume that you just crave the smell of it? Happy fall, everyone!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! That one sounds very nice — must try it soon. Alas, I have yet to explore any of that line yet. So far behind 😉

  • elvie says:

    Oh my, I’ve just looked through the earlier comments, and saw almost all my fall faves already listed. Oops.:)
    It seems, fall makes us crave quite similar scents even though we all live spread so wide around the planet:). Strange huh?:)

  • elvie says:

    Hey Everyone!
    Youguys have compiled a wonderful list! I also have my fall staples for this extraordinarily lovely season (in our climate fall is like the colour of gold, getting deeper and deeper into the browns, just incredible. Tose smells. Those lights.)
    Tea for Two, Burning Leaves, Botrytis, Organza Indecence, Padparadscha, to name a few. It is not yet time for the Ambers for me, but Ambre Extreme gets a few takes around October as well. And then… Brandy. KM Umé. Opium. Cinnabar.

    And Mitsouko. Oftentimes:)… March, I LOVE what You said about Mitsouko. Such a lively metaphor:). I can just see Her, the cranky Auntie, shushing You away from the perfume closet in the early hours of the day:). Thanks for the smile!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Elvie! I bet autumn in Hungary is just beautiful! In my neck of the woods, we won’t really hit fall until at least October, but at least it’s in sight. Love your choices too!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Fall is the time where I start to crave no 5 and Frapin 1270 or anything heavy. Lyric Woman and Epic are great choices too. Memoir is an odd one because I really can’t fit it into any particular season and as much as I like it, I gotta be in a certain mood for it.

    • Musette says:

      I agree with you on all of those (though I don’t find Lyric ‘heavy’) – Epic starts to take on a whole ‘other’ vibe in Autumn! Memoir is best in the early Spring, imo! I love No 5 in Autumn. YUM!!

  • leathermountain says:

    Smoke and vanilla, I am all over it. No, it’s all over me. In the form of Patchouli 24. Which has been impatiently waiting for this sparkling sweater weather.

  • Sherri says:

    I just love these best of season posts! Fall…wow! It’s still so hot here I’m wearing things like Frangipane e Coco and Lys Mediterannee (which I have fallen totally in love with!)!

    Love all your suggestions and I’ll add Ginestet Botrytis and Guerlain Cuir Beluga as my favorites.

    • Musette says:

      that Lys is gorgeous, innit? I get whomped! by the musk in the drydown – but until then, I Is In LUUURVE! xoxoA

      • Ann says:

        Hey, Sherri! Have not tried that Frangipane but remember loving the LM as well. Must go see if there’s any left in my sample. And yummo on the Cuir Beluga, too!

  • FeralJasmine says:

    It’s still pretty hot during the day here, but soft woods with touches of spice and vanilla like Etro Sandalo and my beloved vintage Organza Indecence are starting to smell just right.

  • Lynley says:

    It’s glorious spring here! But I haven’t rotated my collection yet, so on my dresser: Ambre des Merveilles, Jungle l’Elephant, La Fille de Berlin, Tea for Two, Gucci edp, Cuir de Lancome, MdO Vanille and Rose, L’air de Rein, Armani Prive Ambre Orient, Nasomatto Absinth, Sweet Redemption, Patch 24, and the Keiko Mecheri bespoke coffret- these are all great in cooler weather. Hmm, just a couple there :-/

  • kelly cross says:

    Bornéo 1834 — perfect for fall!