Sweaty Scents for Sweater Weather

NOTE ON POSSE COMMENTS: we’ve got a new comments widget I’m playing with, you can edit your comments, woohoo!  Also, they thread, and they post newest first.  The only fail so far is the emojis.  Sadface.  Anyway, let me know what you think.

OK, back to business….

It has finally cooled off in my neck of the woods, and I couldn’t be happier.  I spent some time this past weekend pulling my wool and flannel clothes out of storage, part of my seasonal rotation.  I love fall.  In the US mid-Atlantic in a good year we can get two+ months of cool, crisp weather before it gets truly cold enough for a coat.  This year hasn’t been great, with the wretchedly hot, dry September, but that’s only made me appreciate this late burst of fall even more.  This is also my favorite time of year for sweaty, cumin-y scents that fill me with joy, like a pile of autumn leaves.  Let’s jump in, shall we?

Worth Courtesan I was responsible for the tiny bump in sales of this unknown fragrance after I fell in love with it on a trip to the UK.  Its spicy, raspy opening isn’t really sweaty, but it kind of gives that effect before drying down to a fruitchouli.  I don’t care what anyone else says, I looooOOOOOooooOOOOOve it.  Wearing it right now.  Sweat Level:  0.5 if you squint.

Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger is one of my all-time faves from the line.  The orange part of FdO is an absolute stunning mélange of orange blossom, white florals and musk.  However, you’re probably going to start off with a cumin-y element (not everybody does) that fades away in 20-30 minutes.  I personally love that sweaty top note and have been known to reapply just to experience it all over again.  Sweat Level: 3.

Serge Lutens El Attarine – another favorite from Uncle Serge that I wish were sold over here, although I’m sure there are plenty of folks thrilled that it isn’t.  An acquired taste (smell?), El Attarine is the full Lutenesque armpit of sweet-spicy weirdness, with honey and stewed fruit and eye of newt and whatnot.  Sweat Level: 6.

I can think of a few others that smell more cumin-y than anything else, which is fun but not interesting to me once the novelty wears off.  Off the top of my head: Alexander McQueen Kingdom, the modern Rochas Femme, Vero Kern Rubj…. I know I’m forgetting some.  What do you think of sweaty frags?  Any favorites?

Today’s giveaway: the 5ml atomizer of SL Arabie I bought from Surrender to Chance thinking I was ordering El Attarine; when the decant showed up and I sniffed it I thought, man, this doesn’t smell like I remember!  Sheesh, what a dope.  Well, my loss is someone’s gain, leave a comment mentioning the Arabie if you want it; to my nose it’s El Attarine’s cleaner, (marginally) less weird cousin.

21 Comments
Musette October 16, 2019

just jumping in to HOLLA!  No Arabie for me - I can barely stand that one that you and Erin like so much, it's now d/c'd but it was in a dark purplish bottle, vaguely fem........wait!  Fem du Bois?  Is that it?  That is SUPER ARMPIT to my nose - and I am NOT here for it.  Closest I come to 'sweat' is that teeny little sweat note in Jub25.  Y'all are weird. xoxoxo

Jennifer S October 15, 2019

Not familiar with any ‘sweaty’ perfumes per se but love and own several Lutens. I’ve been hearing a lot about Arabie lately and I’d be delighted to give it a go!

Heather Raine October 15, 2019

I feel you on the reveling in the crisp, cool weather! September, and even part of October, were too warm for my taste. I'd love to try the Arabie, if I win! Thanks!

FeralJasmine October 15, 2019

Fleurs d’Oranger is a favorite of mine. For some reason I start wearing it in late January and then revel in it the rest of the winter, but now that you  reminded me, it sounds just right for today. Would love to try Arabie.

Kathleen October 15, 2019

I've never sniffed SL Arabia. I am a sweaty fragrance fan, and also am enjoying the cooler air after a unusually hot September. I'm going to suggest Papillon Salome and Bogue Maai.

Portia October 15, 2019


WOO HOO! Courtesan! I love it so much too. VERY sweaty after the pineapple burns off. Like a working ballerinas buttcrack. 
Do you remember Kenzo Jungle elephant? It's a sweaty Betty if ever there was one.
Porttia xx

cinnamon October 15, 2019

Love Arabie (think I've got a bottle and a half between purchase and being gifted it by a dear friend) -- and definitely get some 'sweaty' from it (so, don't enter me in giveaway ?). Another Lutens that fits with this description is Rose de Nuit (maybe the apricot note?) and Hiram Green Slowdive, which reeks of artisanal honey, definitely has that wonderful pong to it. 

Eldarwen22 October 15, 2019

Arabie was the first Serge that I bought a full bottle of. I really do love it but don't wear it that often. It's a pity that it has been discontinued.

Claudia October 15, 2019

I had a small decant of Arabie 6 years ago. It was a warm lovely scent. Would love to try again!

Rosemary October 15, 2019

The Arabie is interesting to me...I'm in a conundrum, last night I showered and put on some Nag Champa lotion to soothe my soul. This morning I showered, put on a tiny sample of Byredo "Rose of No Man's Land" and was in heaven all day, mostly Byredo, but wafts of Nag Champa (don't know how?), and now I want the Byredo, but not sure if it will ever replicate? ?