Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2009

Autumn Leaves

As it is for many people, fall is my favorite time of year. Perhaps this is because around here it is the most fragrant season: the cool, damp leaves send up a sweet, cidery rot, I could swear there is always a tinge of woodsmoke in the air, and the evergreens seem sharper and straighter as the deciduous competition flames out. Early every morning, after bumping around and out of my pitch-dark apartment, I take a deep draw of cool air and wonder if this smell is a regular olfactory hallucination, since I live in an urban neighborhood with bylaws against bonfires and no apple orchards for miles. Whether I am susceptible to seasonal scent suggestion disorder or not, I love the colors and skies of autumn, and the weather is often invigorating enough for me to look fondly upon the hooting, rowdy herds of schoolkids that suddenly appear on every sidewalk. Even if fall doesn't make you feel this disgustingly cheerful, you can still spend your season of mists and mellow fruitfulness in gorgeous perfumes. Please comment with your own fall favorites and let me know if you've sampled the new Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles. I haven't tried it yet, and am wondering whether it will be added to my current autumn Lutens rotation of Chêne, Santal Blanc and El Attarine.

Etro Shaal Nur: Rather like a more contemplative, citrus-tinged Habanita, this is an airy, incense-smoke version of Molinard's classic vetiver-vanilla. While not being particularly strong —  it's better sprayed than dabbed — Shaal Nur has impressive projection. The vanilla lends richness, but not too much sweetness. While dry, it is quite bright for an incense fragrance and there is an odd raspy floral note I've always assumed is karo karounde, an ingredient found in the equally radiant and autumnal L'Artisan Timbuktu. Created by Jacques Flori, the nose behind other Etro favorites like Anice and Messe de Minuit, Shaal Nur smells both exotic and comfortable, and despite supposedly being named after an Indian princess*, it feels unisex and very, very French.

Donna Karan Fuel For Men: Perhaps I wear thoughtful, quiet, melancholy men's fragrances in the fall to mute the flapping, over-latted energy I seem to have at this time of year. Starting with a tingle of warm ginger and spices, this elegant re-issue has a smooth restraint that I find very pleasing. There is a touch of gasoline-ish bloom to it, rather like the oud haze in YSL M7, but the base is talc-powdery and soft, as Kevin noted in his review. Like many sweeter feminine fragrances, Fuel for Men has a note that is labeled "leather", but that my nose reads as "stationery paper".

Parfums de Nicolaï Nicolaï Pour Homme:  I last raved about this one here. A strange and perfect blend of many of my favorite notes, it is ideally worn at harvest time, when the graceful and sad beauty of the scent matches Nature's sweet, abundant peak before the descent into winter. It inspires very purple prose in me, but I get such rare enjoyment from wearing it that I never feel my love letters do it justice.

B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful Breath of God: We're going to ignore the name. Fall is the season when weird, phantasmagorical creatures stalk the earth, when movies about wild things and Tim Burton pumpkin-heads and Michael Jackson should be released. The time is right for Breath of God, a truly bizarre fragrance, sweet and dry in equal measure, full of decay and salt and smoke and roots and fur and grape cough syrup. Sadly, the B brand is closing after Christmas, so try this marvelous oddity while you can.

Chanel Sycomore: I used to have a gray-golden-green shirt that exactly matched my hazel eyes. Sycomore seems to sit at a similar intersection, a kind of Venn diagram of smell, with overlap between green minty freshness, the gray of smoky vetiver and something like iris, and a sandalwood as golden as walnut flesh. Like the shirt, Sycomore was a gift my husband chose for me and wearing it reminds me that he knows me better than he sometimes lets on.

L'Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!: One of the places I haunt is my local used bookstore. Last month, I found a copy of Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner, the story of middle-aged, dutiful and smothered maiden "Aunt Lolly" who surprises her brother's family by escaping to the countryside and trading her soul to the devil to remain a free and lonely feminist witch. At home with a black cat in my lap, I sat surrounded by piles of mouldering, yellowed books, uneasily reading about Lolly's yearly autumn restlessness, her love of fragrant teas and tinctures, her instinctive, fixating imagination. Every so often I gave a superstitious little sniff of my wrist, where I'd sprayed a bit of Dzing! Smoky, dusty and sweet as hay, the scent just fit.

Lolita Lempicka: With its pop of lime, sweet anise and woody violet heart, Lolita Lempicka feels like a perfume Guerlain should have made. Ten years after its release, the house that Jacques built got their act together and came out with Quand Vient la Pluie, a beautiful update on Lolita Lempicka with a little less snap, a delicious dry down and a preposterous price tag. For bargain-hunters, there's the perfectly poised anise-violet-vanilla of Caron's Aimez Moi, which Robin recommended last fall.

CB I Hate Perfume Violet Empire: Whenever I try to think of atmospheric fragrances, I come immediately to Christopher Brosius' thoughtful creations. Violet Empire is one of my favorite abstract scents from this line and one of my favorite violets in general. I love the delicate green touches at the beginning, the smoky hints of black looseleaf that remind me of Brosius' lovely, simple Cedarwood Tea and the polished dry down of rosewood and leather.

Estee Lauder Alliage: In her review of Alliage in Perfumes: The Guide, Tania Sanchez notes that galbanum resin "smells chalky and bittersweet,with a poisonous, cold, shadowed character, reminiscent sometimes of dark chocolate, sometimes of old wood." If that description does not bring a web of autumnal associations to your mind, I can say nothing about this galbanum-vetiver fragrance that will remedy the situation.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde: I do not wear this very often, and I tried several times to leave it off the list, being completely unable to equal the descriptions Robin and others have already written. It is quite simply one of the most singular, striking and beautifully self-sufficient perfumes of all time. It doesn't care if you don't feel up to putting it on today... you'll be back.

* I can find no information on Princess Shaal Nur. Whoever she was, in addition to perfume marketers, she has inspired many yacht owners.

For more wonderful fall fragrances, see Bois de Jasmin :: Grain de Musc :: Perfume Posse :: Perfume Smellin' Things.

Note: image is Autumn Leaves 1 [cropped] by Brenda Starr at flickr; some rights reserved.

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331 Comments

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  1. MelissaJane says:

    No Tolu? It’s my perfume sweater for cool, damp rainy days like today.

    • Erin says:

      It’s a lovely fragrance, but I have weird relationship with it. Look for my post coming soon “5 perfumes from the purgatory basket”! :)

  2. mals86 says:

    A lovely list, Erin. I’ve noticed that our tastes don’t often overlap (the world still spins, so maybe the old saw about all kinds is true), but I enjoy reading your reviews. And I too find fall a relatively high-energy yet nostalgic time for me.

    I do like Ormonde Woman. And Shaal Nur was almost perfect – alllllmost. I thought that the patchouli hijacked what should have been the loveliest rose-incense-woods I’d ever smelled. (I seem to be sensitive to patchouli; it stands out to my nose.) Gres Cabaret turned out to be pretty terrific, replacing that dusty patch with a pillowy musk while still hitting the rose-incense combo.

    I’m wearing TFBO Voile de Fleur, Ta’if, Cabaret, and Lyric, with occasional hits of Magie Noire and 31 Rue Cambon. Might be time soon to break out that bottle of Bal a Versailles extrait…

    • Erin says:

      Thanks! The old saw is definitely true – I’m sure if we met over beverages and food of our own choosing and brought out the baggies of atomizers, we’d be fast friends in no time. Lovely choices you have there. 31 Rue Cambon is my anytime scent, Lyric Woman is high-watt gorgeous and perfect for the season, and nice to see Voile de Fleur there. An oft-forgotten Tom Ford, and in my opinion, one of the best of his.

    • Haunani says:

      Mals86, you are inspiring me to wear Gres Cabaret soon. For me, it’s one of the most versatile, seasonless fragrances ever!

      • Erin says:

        I’ll have to check it out.

        • Haunani says:

          Erin, I think you’d like it! I’d describe Cabaret as an incense-y rose. It has a salty flavor that I just love!

          • Erin says:

            Hmmm, sounds very similar to Rochas Byzance, which is a fave of mine. Will try!

  3. alltheprettythings says:

    Lovely review, Erin!

    I try to avoid niche fragrances because of the price tag and work involved in getting them (being both lazy and overworked), so my pics are a little different…

    Gucci by Gucci
    Kenzo Amour
    EL Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang
    Chanel Allure Sensuelle edp
    Givenchy Organza Indecence
    SL Chypre Rouge (okay, so I do have a couple SL’s, gifted from a friend who works for the US division.)
    Hermes 24 Faubourg
    AG Vanille Exquise

    • Erin says:

      Which just shows you can come up with a great list from mainstream lines! I love the Amour, Givenchy OI and 24 Fauborg – all faves. If you live in the US, the Alliage is readily available and inexpensive, too. You just have to get them to pull it out from behind the counter, from some drawer…

      • ScentScelf says:

        Or, if you don’t enjoy the intrigue of the drawer, Ulta stores carry the EL line. I was just walking around with an Azuree in my hand the other day… :)

        • Erin says:

          The intrigue of the drawer! I love it.

        • dvstuyvesant says:

          I have a 19 y/o that LIVES in Azuree. I told her to spray it on a cotton ball and rub it onto her pulse points or her friends will take her to a B&BW to do a perfume intervention.

      • AnnS says:

        Erin: Yes! The mystery drawer is often a great thrill. I had a remarkable experience finding an original “ugly” bottle of Magie Noire at an older department store at the end of summer. I almost died. Needless to say – you never know what old gem you find if you just ask!

        And ScentSelf – 24 Faubourg is such a sensational fragrance. I had a bottle many years ago, and I still often think I should pick up another. It is really rich and classy. I think it has one of the best oriental drydowns of any of those great fragrances – so rich and warm and ambery. IMHO it is in the same fabulous circle as Boucheron and Montaigne.

  4. Andrey says:

    Good autumn afternoon everyone! Usually I just read here andd do not write much but hell, it’s AUTUMN! So quick to the favourites.
    No numbers, no preferences, they all just fit (so listen to your mood and to what you want your day to turn into) : Idole (Lubin), Timbuktu, Mechant Loupe, Tubereuse and Dzongkha (L’Artisan), Egoiste and Pour Monseur (Chanel), Rien (Etat Libre d’Orange), Bandit (Piguet) and Amouages marvels Homage, Gold (men) and Dia(men). Of course there ade many more of them – dence, thick, demi-sweet dimly smouldering potions for a perfect autumn day… the ones above just calls louder :)
    Oh! And Erin, to mention B brand : their LUSH makes Tramp shower gel, give it a try for autumn (mosses and pachouly and i believe something that sounds like bergamote to my nose) :)
    Ah! Forgot! I forgot Mitsouko. How could I. (Sobbing) Bye

    • Erin says:

      Thanks for commenting. You have the same devil-may-care seasonal attitude as me! Idole I almost added to my list, but couldn’t find my sample. Timbuktu and Egoiste are faves of mine, but I’ve listed them a few times before and I try to avoid repeating myself a lot in posts (futile when I get to my faves, really). Need to try out Tramp! I like many Lush scents, but their soaps seem to dry my skin out – shower gel should be fine though.

      • Andrey says:

        Don’t be afraid of that Tramp. It seems to go along ok with my rather sensitive and slightly dry skin. Well BE afraid but at least try :) In fact because of this gel i remembered Mitsouko – to my nose they share the same (what would it be I wonder: not the base notes, not feelin, not general impression, not ..) I think it’ll be “him precious heart” (as Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Carribean used to say). Heart of light and moss (Okay, Tramp is way too strong but what’s then? and besides we all know how to dilute :) )

        • Erin says:

          A lovely description of “him precious heart”: light and moss! I like their figgy, feminine soap and it doesn’t make me go all flaky. It seems to me that Tramp is one of their most popular scents – is there a liquid LE perfume version of it?

          • Andrey says:

            Unfortunately there isn’t. And I think the thigs are perfect the way they are now: were it a “Le Parfum” is would be too much (kind of Nasomatto or anythig else of similar strength). So I should have said “Fortunately there isn’t” :))

          • Erin says:

            Well, it’s good to know when you have too much of a good thing.

  5. lovethescents says:

    Hi Erin and thanks for the list. What I’ve been reaching for most these days are:

    Tauer’s l’Air du Desert
    Chanel Bois des Iles
    OJ Woman
    SL Chergui
    SL Gris Clair
    OJ Woman
    TF Tobacco Vanille
    Ambre Narguile
    Patou’s Que Sais-Je
    Guerlain Quand Vient la Pluie (in tiny amounts only, unfortunately!)

    I did try SL Filles en Aiguilles. The opening is an interesting blend of sweet saps and resins with cedar and pine. As it dries down, the sweetness dissipates and the pine roars in. I didn’t like it on my skin as it reminded me of a perfect closet freshener…..but that’s just me. I hope I haven’t offended anyone.

    • Erin says:

      I’m totally sure you haven’t offended anyone. Thanks for the quick review! Have you tried the PdE Wazamba to compare? (I’m greedy for news!) You have an incredible, covetable list there, so many of my faves. In fact, the only one I don’t wear a lot that you mention is Gris Clair.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Oh boy! This is a first for me, the one who revels in 80 year old perfume to comment on something new! LOL! But…. as I type I am wearing Wazamba. Sample arrived in today’s mail from Helg of Perfume Shrine fame. And I LOVE IT! I wasn’t sure how the pine would act on my skin, but when I put this on, it made me so absurdly happy (okay, I think I stole that line from March) that I giggled. Right now I’m getting a soft, resinous pine and maybe a bit of lemon (?). Can’t really pick anything else out yet as it seems to be very well blended.

        • lovethescents says:

          I don’t discriminate based on age. If I like something, I’ll love it and wear it :-)

          • Erin says:

            Very true! Down with ageism…

        • Erin says:

          Sounds great, thanks for the review. For some reason, the listed note of apple intrigued me in conjunction with the fir/pine. Lemon sounds delish, too, though.

        • Daisy says:

          WAAAH! Wazamba was HORRIBLE on me! It was heavy and sweaty and the pine wanted to be “pissy” ….. and you get pine and lemon …..you lucky girl.

          • lovethescents says:

            “pissy” is another excellent adjective for this fragrance ;-)

          • Rappleyea says:

            I get Christmas tree – in a good way. :-)

          • Daisy says:

            awww…I want christmas tree too!!

          • Erin says:

            This sounds just up my alley. Pissy Christmas Tree. It’s the next Etat Libre D’Orange fragrance!

          • Rappleyea says:

            ROTFL!

      • lovethescents says:

        Thank you for the lovely compliment. I really wish I had more than a couple of little samples of Quand Vient la Pluie. I love it so much. Iris Ganache isn’t a bad replacement though (equally stunning, imo)

        I have tried Wazamba and am afraid it was also not for me. Again, ’twas very resin-heavy as well for me and intermittently reminded me of a dollop of Aziyade, a splash of PG Aomassai, and a smidge of pine and cedar-y hamster cage.

        Do retest Gris Clair. I know it’s full of lavender but I get lots of warm nutmeg and grilled tonka. Have no idea if any of those are in there, it’s just what my odd, little nose has decided upon ;-)

        • Erin says:

          I really love lavender, actually (I know, I’m a freak.) I remember a hot tungsten note from Gris Clair that felt slightly buzzy to me, but it’s been a while since I tried it. And what a strangely effective description of Wazamba – I can kind of “smell” that. I’m rationing my Quand Vient la Pluie samples, too.

          • lovethescents says:

            How interesting about the tungsten?! It’s all about associations and the past…hmmmmm….next time I wear it, I’ll ‘look’ for the tungsten :-)

            I’m glad you found the Wazamba description effective. We’ve all been around a hamster cage at some point!

            Poor us having to ration those QVlP samples. Swapping is a perfumista’s life-line here.

          • Daisy says:

            Erin, that is EXACTLY what I get from Gris Clair….lavendar and hot tungsten! (well, I actually said hot metal…but close enough!)

          • Daisy says:

            except I don’t like lavendar at all in perfume…

          • Erin says:

            So the hot tungsten part was the upside of the fragrance….

          • Daisy says:

            yup, pretty much

          • Tama says:

            Then we can be freaks together – I love lavender, and will be getting Reverie au Jardin soon.

          • boojum says:

            Where I like lavender only in certain fragrances. Speaking of which, Tama: if you were at all interested in splitting off some of that Reverie…

  6. hvs says:

    We have a gray Fall here, sadly. Am liking the new L’Occitane Labdanum (bought the cute and pointless suitcase set of minis) and Nasomatto Absinth (may smell like an exquisite pot brownie, not that I know from personal experience – very intoxicating). I tried Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, being a pine-nut, but found it heaaaavy. Maybe I’ll give it another go.

    • Erin says:

      I had an instant vision of you as a tasty, toasted little pinenut. My brain always jumps immediately to food, sorry. (And no, it wasn’t me who ate the brownies….) It’s been a very cold fall here, but it suddenly warmed up last week. Everybody needs a little, useless suitcase of set of scent.

  7. OperaFan says:

    Here’s my random list – another one that changes by the day…
    1. SSS Vintage Rose (the plummy rose makes me think of a glass of port/madeira)
    2. SSS Jour Ensoleille/Campagne de Bois/Tabac Aurea (sorry – tI’m counting them as 1)
    3. Cocoa Edp (Vint. ’92 – purchased on board trans-Pacific flt)
    4. Tauer L’Air
    5. Jicky (great for ALL seasons!)
    6. Nahema/Mahora (not sacrilege – they’re both warm, spicy and beautiful to me)
    7. Amoreuse
    8. Eau du Soir (Sisley)
    9. SSS Ambre Noir
    10. AG Gardenia Passion (my yellow cashmere sweater scent…)

    • Erin says:

      Port! You guys are killing me today! I’m just sitting here drinking crappy coffee, dreaming of my liquor cabinet… And my perfume cabinet. Jicky, my bff. Was it Chanel Coco and you sprayed it on on the flight? Imagine that (beautiful) blast! I wonder if they confiscate Coco on flights as a weapon now….

      • OperaFan says:

        Now it makes me think of port, but that doesn’t mean I’m drinking it….LoL!
        Actually, I didn’t open the Coco until well after I arrived home. Rarely wear fragrances on flts due to motion sickness. They sell them duty-free on-board international flts. My 50ml edp stoppered bottle cost around $60 back then. It was the most “mature” and pricy purchase I’d made to date.

        • Erin says:

          And good for wearing to the opera, I bet, so full-bodied and soaring. Oh motion sickness, bleck. Flights are one of the very rare times I go scent-less, out of courtesy to everyone who is trapped with me in that recycled air environment.

          • SmokeyToes says:

            Hi Erin,
            Great list! It is a crisp sunny Sf day, I’m wearing the original Fendi, just a little dab.
            I agree on flight etiquette, last year, a woman sitting next to me liberally sprayed Hermes Eau des Merveilles (extrait). I like it but overwhelming in a closed space!

          • Erin says:

            I learned my lesson when some teenager liberally applied a creamsicle body mist a few rows behind me. I don’t get airsick, but I was mighty close. Have been careful since then.

  8. aleta says:

    I love L de Lolita Lempicka – on me it’s all salty bitter orange, dusty incense, and ambery vanilla. The sillage is perfect, and the lasting power is excellent. I can’t imagine cold weather without it.

    • Erin says:

      The lasting power/half-life is incredible and the sillage STRONG. I like it on my bolder days, but can’t help wishing there was a little more salt in it. Very cold weather, for sure.

  9. Dagmar says:

    Funny, but Aliage is my forever signature go-to fragrance (and my husband’s all-time favorite) but I always associate it with summertime, It’s unrelenting iciness, fresh stemmy greens, and utter and complete lack of sweetness or warm in any form is the perfect antidote for the long long searing Texas summers. But I see your point. For fall/winter, I like something with a tad more warmth, spice, and/or incense. I’ve been wearing Jil Sander for Men (spearmint/cedar/incense) and it fits the bill perfectly. Also working with OJ’s Tulu but not sure what I’m smelling, exactly. Like it, but not sure why. Also, the original Shiseido Zen in the black bottle is the perfect wood-smoked powdery rose for grey black sweater days.

    • Erin says:

      Ah, the grey black sweater days, I love them so. Alliage/Aliage was originally intended as a sports fragrance – and how the many modern “sports fragrances” pale before it! – so summertime makes complete sense. I just got a black box Zen sample (thanks Shelley!) so I shall try it tonight…

      • ggperfume says:

        I agree with Dagmar: Aliage is the best fragrance ever for screaming-hot summer weather. I’ve survived summers in California’s Central Valley, so believe me I know heat!

        • Erin says:

          HA! That’s funny, it’s just like us Canadians talk about cold. You know whereof you speak, I am sure.

          • ggperfume says:

            I should specify, however, that I only know DRY heat. Humid summers are alien to me– I don’t think I could survive east of the Rockies.

  10. bergere says:

    I have enjoyed wearing Bulgari Omnia and OJ Tolu recently, and I love OJ Woman, but OJ Orris Noir is a really nice, spicy floral for a contemplative day. Armani Mania is also not bad for fall or winter. I think if I were to take a cemetery walk on a grey fall day (think pensive and romantic, not morbid), I’d put on Avignon, probably the only day in the year I would actually wear it. I’ve tried some of the DSH spicy frags recently, too; there is much to like in Sienna and Cathedral, and the medicinal edge they sometimes have I tend to appreciate more on a rainy autumn day.

    • Erin says:

      Hey, great minds think alike! :) That first link is to my very first list for NST, where I extol the somber, graveyard slendor of Avignon. and I like the duskiness and patch of Orris Noir, too. A OJ SA in London told me it’s one of their big sellers….

      • Rappleyea says:

        I’m jealous! I love Orris Noir, but get no duskiness or patch. It’s a very pretty floral on me, much more of a spring summer scent.

        • Erin says:

          Really?!? That’s very interesting. Heavy, almost oily patch on me. Lovely, though. The OJs are so fascinating…

        • mals86 says:

          I don’t smell any patchouli in Orris Noir either… shocking, somebody OTHER than me smells patchouli in a fragrance… :o

          • Erin says:

            Your patch radar is good, eh? :)

      • bergere says:

        Ha! I looked up your earlier article after I made the comment; looks like we inhabit the same world! :-)

  11. bergere says:

    Oh, and Guerlain Terracotta for one of those brilliant, blue-sky fall days!

    • Erin says:

      Haven’t tried that one!

    • Haunani says:

      Bergere, I’ve really been enjoying Terracotta for the warmer, early fall days. And in summer too. A lovely fragrance!

  12. Nina says:

    We’re having a beautiful Indian summer here in the UK, which is a consolation for the poorness of the weather from June to September. Your description of Autumn / Fall is perfect, Erin – I too get that woodsmoke / cider thing, and assume it’s psychosomatic! Right now, I’m feverishly rotating the new VC&A Bois d’Iris, Havana Vanille and Ambre Fetiche. (Isn’t it anguishing when you’re in hopeless love with more than one scent at a time?) The SL Fille en Aiguilles surprised me by how much I liked it, but the pine / turpentine effect is too close to CdG Monocle Hinoki to own both. (FeN is medicinal in a weirdly attractive way, a bit like Tub. Crim.)

    • boojum says:

      We had the same miserable June to September, without the consolation of Indian summer. It’s been unseasonably cold here, with lots of rain (and worse, already a full week of SNOW!). Very envious of the HV, which still hasn’t made its way here even in samples…I lost patience for it weeks ago already, lol.

    • Erin says:

      Indian Summer is such an achingly lovely time – and you deserve it, after your “hot” season. ” Anguishing” – overdramatic and so, so true! I’m almost dreading my Vc & A samples, but am glad you’re loving your Bois d’Iris. I also have auditory hallicunations, I’m sure, mostly in the shower. I swear I hear the voices then… (saying “buy Hinoki, buy Hinoki, buy Hinoki…) (not Tick! Tick! Tick! – did you see the hysterical ad copy for SL Filles?)

      • miss kitty v. says:

        Anyone writing for the Prix Eau Faux is going to have a hard time topping that one. :)

        • Erin says:

          Up until now the Humiecki & Graef ad copy was my favorite. (Great scents, though – top-of-the-line!) But that one did take the cake….

  13. I am wearing Dzing! today. :-)

    • Erin says:

      You shmell awshome. :)

  14. Zazie says:

    Hi Erin.
    I share your feelings for autumn: this time of year always makes me feel relentlessy happy!
    Cobalt skies framing the fiery colors of autumn leaves, grey and cold sunday afternoons and evenings spent on a cozy couch reading.. or warmed up under the golden lights and crimson velvets of theaters…I just love it. Not to mention pumkins and marron glacées…hummm!!
    Perfume wise I keep my heavy hitters summer favorites: Amoureuse, une rose chypré, Beyond Love, with the recent additions of some quickly draining samples: Havana Vanilla, which is really growing on me, VC&A bois d’iris and Chergui.

    • Erin says:

      Une Rose Chypre! Great new ‘fume. And blast! Marron glacé. You commenters are going to make me three hundred pounds… Awesome descriptions.

      • Zazie says:

        I love them sparkled with those real candied violets… :D
        lov’em when thery are sticky and tender, almost melting, but not too sugary…
        Ok, now I want some!!!

        • Erin says:

          **curled up in the fetal position**

  15. bombshellbetsy says:

    I really love Serge Lutens Bois de Violette for fall. Of course I can’t exactly afford a whole bottle…but I’ll keep nursing this sample!

    • Erin says:

      I’m a terrible nurser of both perfume samples and beer. Let’s see how thin we can stretch this out…

  16. Daisy says:

    Lovely review Erin…I love fall as well. Sometimes I want to dash out the door throw my head back. arms wide and shout “this world is amazing!” sometimes (like today, maybe cuz it’s rainy and dark) it makes me melancholy, reminding me that I’ve lost some of my favorite people in the world during this season; but that’s a different story.
    I love fall perfumes. ALL my faves are fall scents—Lyric, Guerlain SDV, Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko,Attrape Coeur, Ambre Narguile, bois de Paradis, 31Rue Cambon, Frapin1270, Champagne de Bois, Theorema, need I go on?
    What I don’t get is Shaal Nur…..seriously: I think Aedes mislabeled the sample they sent me! All I got was sweet flowers and BABY POWDER…ack! Nothing at all like I’m hearing about today!

    • Erin says:

      Thanks! Fall can be a very melancholy time, too – my sympathies about your loved ones! We’ve got grey drizzle here today, and even I’m feeling a little moody. About Shaal Nur, the first time I got a sample I *could not smell it*. Nada, zip, nothing. I’ve had this problem with Habinata, too, weirdly. I must spray both lavishly to get a full effect. ‘Course, you don’t want to spray lavishly if all you get is baby powder. Blech.

    • Zazie says:

      Daisy, may I steal some of your favorites?
      I totally second VDN and 31 RC!
      Your tempting me with SDV; I wasn’t a vanilla girl, but L’AP HV is slowly but absolutely converting me…
      Do you know how the two compare?

      P.S. I’m sure that with your sunny personality you will dissipate all of today’s rain and dark :) !!

      • Erin says:

        Even with her “name” (real?) which is so sunny…

        • Daisy says:

          nah, Daisy is my little striped cat who happened to be laying all over the keyboard when I signed up and logged on the very first time at NST….the box asked for a user name at the same moment I was prying said cat off the keys grumbling “Daaaaazeeee ” in frustrated tones….I gave up and typed in “Daisy” with my hands under her furry belly on the keyboard……I am upbeat though, I can’t even begin to tell you how many teachers in school called me “Sunshine”…it was annoying then, but now I realize it was a compliment. :-)

          • Erin says:

            Yes, I know what you mean. I used to get called “perky”. I mind it less than I used to.

      • boojum says:

        I’m not positive, but I think Daisy made a comparison in the comments to Robin’s review of HV.

      • Daisy says:

        Zazie—move to my neighborhood and I will happily share my collection with you! Come over every morning and we’ll have tea and sniff and spritz the mornings away!
        None of my local friends “get” my obsession with perfume! oh sure, they oh and ahh at all the appropriate times, nod appreciatively when I show them things like some vintage extrait I’d wrangled….then they happily return to their department store fragrances…. sigh…

        • vickyjane says:

          Oh, man… can I join you guys too? I also suffer from a terrible lack of friends who “get it”. I can sense the eyes rolling if I bring up the subject of perfume, which I rarely do as people seem to think of it as being frivolous and even wasteful. Whereas we here know that to live a beautiful life, perfume is simply necessary…

          • Daisy says:

            Absolutely!! Come on over! The eye rolling…yes I’m sure they all do it the minute we’re not in the same room. Most of my local friends have one frag. that they wear whenever they wear fragrance…personally I couldn’t LIVE with ONLY ONE fragrance!!! And I rarely have a day when I don’t wear some scent…..makes me feel all nakey!

          • AnnS says:

            I don’t bother either with friends and family as they often just kind of raise their collective eyebrows at me. It’s even hard to ask for gift certs to desirable online vendors. Another bottle? I stopped giving out my little unwanted mass market samples too. Now it is like how do you keep getting all these?

            I think I mentioned once to Daisy that it would be fun to have “tupperware” style parties to swap and sniff! How much fun would all that be. Bring the wine, cheese & chocolate and it would be fantastic! Maybe perfume fanatics need a secret handshake!

          • Rappleyea says:

            Put me on the guest list, please Ann and send me the directions for the secret handshake. :-)

          • ggperfume says:

            I’m definitely up for a sniff-and-swap party! I’ll bring the makeup samples and gwps too.

      • Daisy says:

        I almost forgot your question….HV has a few tense moments in the top notes, but was all vanilla and rum in the dry down. it’s a little sweet and not too foody . SDV has a touch more of a floral note that peeks out now and then but is sweeter, boozier, a lot more tobacco-y than HV. SDV is more gourmand than HV. I LOVE SDV, and I liked the HV sample quite a lot (I will have some if it ever makes it to the US) BUT if I had to choose ONE ONLY…I’d choose SDV in a second.

        • Rappleyea says:

          It makes me do a happy dance that you love my precioussssss so much!

          • Daisy says:

            on the count of three….let us do the happy dance together….
            1……..2…….3!!!!! ***dancing*** :-D

          • Rappleyea says:

            How’d the judges score us? :-)

          • Daisy says:

            hmmm in all the excitement the judges apparently forgot to score me…..they liked my dance so much that they were screaming “my eyes! my eyes!” and ran away……probably rushing to try out my dance steps in the privacy of their own homes…

          • Rappleyea says:

            They’re just afraid you’re going to win their mirror ball trophy! ;-)

          • vickyjane says:

            I think you’re going to have to fight Donny Osmond for that!

            Maybe DWTS will follow in the footsteps of American Idol and launch its own fragrance in a mirror ball inspired bottle… :)

        • Rappleyea says:

          You’re killing me VJ! LOL!

        • Zazie says:

          Thank you for the comparison!
          Now I’m definetively intrigued! Too bad that the SDV is so hard to test.
          Sometimes I wonder, do companies really snob selling their stuff?

          Oh, and I would love the sniff’-and-tea morning sessions :D!
          I think most of us share the issue of having nice perfume-tolerant friends that secretely think we are cazy spending time and money after perfumes…
          But they don’t know how much fun it is, and how nice it is to exchange thoughts with all the lovely perfumistas around the world!!

          • Erin says:

            My friends are incredulous, but pretty tolerant of my obsession. They’ll go shopping with me, and marvel at my freakishness (although they usually find something they like, too.) It’s my family who get impatient, cuz they’re exposed to it more.

          • boojum says:

            Happily, my spouse and kids find it fun (if a little more time-consuming than they’d like). The rest of my family thinks I’m nuts.

    • mals86 says:

      I am saving my Attrape-Coeur for winter. It’s sooooo lush, I think I’m going to want it when it’s really cold out.

      • Erin says:

        Completely agree on AC.

  17. March says:

    Lovely, lovely post. A bit melancholy but in a good way. I tell you, I have to read that book! It sounds like perfect fall escapist fiction. And I could have put any number of your choices on my list.

    • boojum says:

      It does sound like a good read! And the description made me think of one of my favorites, Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita.

      • Erin says:

        Very interesting! Now that you mention it, it does remind me of M & M in terms of style.

      • Zazie says:

        Oh, it is one of my favorite books!
        The one that started my love for reading (and for Russia)…

        • Erin says:

          Well, M & M is a little “brainier”, but Lolly Willowes is worth checking out.

    • Erin says:

      I hope this will not ruin it for you, but I loved the realism of the book right to the last few pages, where it got a bit “philosophical”, supernatural and *explicit*. I like things to remain underground a bit, but it was still very, very good. Have had a lucky streak of reading lately; how about you?

  18. March says:

    OH Ps I think Fille is well worth trying for you? I struggle sometimes with things that wind up being … too Pine-Sol? More like floor cleaner and less like fragrance. Fille is in my mind a perfect balance between something woodsy and something incense-y. It smells of turpentine. I’m not sure it’s genius in terms of complexity of composition (how would I know?) but it smells darn good.

    • Erin says:

      Thanks, I think yours was one the reviews that intrigued me. For some reason, I wasn’t wildly excited about it when just the notes list was out.

  19. ScentScelf says:

    To crib from Jerry Maguire…”You intrigue me.” :) So many of these you list I have not tried…I think I need to consciously point myself in the direction of the men’s aisle. (There are some that I have tried and liked, but not one that screams Fall.)

    I’m going to have to pull out my vial of Breath of God and see if I want to inhale more deeply before they are gone. Don’t remember much from my two hits on it, and that was a while ago. Your description certainly does make it appropriate for the season…dang, I like salt…okay, like I said, I’ll try again.

    I’m a Wild Hunt violet myself, because I tend to like things that are down to earth. Literally.

    Hurrah for Alliage! A happy thing, that, for me. Galbanum almost always takes me there. Jacomo Silences would be another in galbanum mode that I like in the fall.

    There’s something kind of funny about having Ormonde appear in print so close to Fille en Aiguilles. Aiguilles was indeed prickly, but the piney pokes were stuck in a pine-tar thick syrup in a way that didn’t really work for me. Whereas Ormonde is so smooth in the way it brings green to you…in some ways, just as thick, but the delivery is so different…

    • Erin says:

      Dang, I like salt, too. And gotta try Wild Hunt. And Wazamba! I demand a short review from you… right now! Thanks very much for the Alliage, loving it, as you can tell, and also the Eau de Patou. (You clever woman, you.) I’m actually sort of afraid of galbanum myself, sometimes, but I’m having a little galb fest right now, with my Bel Respiro, too (very springy, that one.) Know what you mean about Ormonde…

      • ScentScelf says:

        Oh, ahhhh, Bel Respiro, so nice, so fresh…so gently surprises me into the drydown by making me realize that there’s creamy floral in there. And yet still haunted by the greeeeeen.

        Wazamba quick review: pine comfort nuzzles lightly wrapped with a midweight pashmina that was recently borrowed by somebody who just ate something with syrup on it. (???) Sophisticated, but comfortable.
        :-)

        • Erin says:

          While rarely ever eating anything with syrup in it, I like the idea of the smell. Thanks very much for the lowdown…

          • boojum says:

            Isn’t it…un-Canadian to not like syrup? We took a family vacation to Ottawa, Niagara Falls, and Montreal when I was 12 (the only “real” vacation we ever took), and it seemed like maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple candy was everywhere.

          • Erin says:

            Good point! I’m really letting down my country today.

  20. moon_grrl says:

    Great review, Erin! Funnily enough, I wore Aliage yesterday because it fits my mood after weeks of rainy, gray, and cold days.

    I need to try some of CB I Hate Perfume’s creations. You all make them sound so evocative. :-)

    • Erin says:

      Evocative! Dern, that was the word I was looking for. I think you would really like Violet Empire. It’s very grown-up and there’s something pleasantly flat in the musky drydown that reminds me of NR for her, and some of the patch-musk lovelies.

  21. Karin says:

    I’ve been gravitating toward floral orientals and fruity florals (I know, I know) like Flowerbomb, Lolita Lempicka, L de Lolita Lempicka, Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, Insolence EDP, Juicy Couture, and my new favorite, Loulou (OMG – if you love heavy hitting floral orientals, you MUST try this – blows all new releases out of the water – wonderful!). Wearing D&G’s The One today. (Yes, I’m somewhat of a mainstream kinda girl, though I do own a few L’Artisans and Nicolais.)

    Haven’t been able to get into the spicy fragrances just yet. They seem more winter than fall to me. Though I did wear L’air du desert marocain the other day, and it was delish!

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Ditto on the LouLou–I wore this in high school, and I only just rediscovered it last year.

      The rest of the list (in no particular order):
      Bois des Iles (good any time of year, I say)
      Bond No. 9 Broadway Nite (but not for day–they got the name right)
      Balenciage Le Dix
      Guerlain Liu (my new love–well, a good affair, anyway)
      Chanel No. 5 (call me boring, but it is my all-time fave)
      Une Rose Chypree
      Tom Ford Black Orchid
      Gris Clair (my major lemming right now…just ran out of my sample) :(
      and even though I never wear it anymore, I still get a hankering for Opium this time of year

      • miss kitty v. says:

        I forgot BK Cruel Intentions. Can’t cough up enough for a FB right now, but am scheming on how to make that work…

        • Rappleyea says:

          Great list Miss Kitty and I’m so happy that you’re loving the Liu. I’m the “other person” that the generous Boo is passing the Gris Clair sample on to. It has been recommended to me by more than one person who knows my tastes in perfume, and I saw your mention of a split last week so it all came together in perfect timing.

          • Erin says:

            Another match made in Perfumeland.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Ain’t perfume love grand???

          • miss kitty v. says:

            I’m REALLY loving the Liu! Thanks so much for helping me out with that one! Every day when I choose what I’m going to wear it’s always “Do I wear (fill in the blank) or Liu?” Liu wins most days.

      • boojum says:

        Trying to help you out on that Gris Clair front… I just passed my sample on to someone else, and mentioned that, ahem, you might be interested in a split if it worked out. :D

        • miss kitty v. says:

          Thanks. :) There are a couple of us on here that have an “if I don’t get what I want for Christmas” split planned, post-holidays.

          • Erin says:

            Good idea!

      • Erin says:

        It’s great to rediscover something cheap!

      • AnnS says:

        Miss Kitty – No 5 is always perfect. Period.

        • miss kitty v. says:

          Thank you for validating me. :) I always need reassurance.

    • Zazie says:

      I think sometimes “niche” copies mainstream…at a higher price!
      When I tried PDN’ Juste un rêve I couldn’t help but think it was Lou-Lou without the pretty bottle and at a double price!!

      • miss kitty v. says:

        I’ll have to try that one, just for comparison’s sake. LouLou has some odd notes in it, so I’d almost be impressed by something that smelled similar.

      • Erin says:

        You know, I don’t think those Nicolai bottles are quite so terrible as some people think. But they’re not as nice as LouLou (love the color combo.) Interesting smell-alike….

        • Zazie says:

          Oh, I don’t find those bottles ugly at all.
          But I always found LouLou packaging terrific!

          Once on Octavian’s blog I found a vintage ad of a very old perfume bottle: it was very similar to Lou-Lou…it probably inspired the people at chacharel!
          (the shape was a bit different though :D)

      • mals86 says:

        !!!!! I hated LouLou and loved Juste un Reve! Would never have occurred to me to compare the two (although I admit that I haven’t smelled LouLou in years). Probably it’s because I think they should have called it LoudLoud instead (eek).

        • miss kitty v. says:

          One spray is admittedly too much. It has to be worn with caution.

        • Zazie says:

          Well, it might have been my imagination :D!
          I tried it once on skin, and I immediately thought LouLou, but the nice thing about perfumes is that connections are so personal!!!
          I know PdN has a lot of followers among perfume lovers – maybe it is just me not understing the few fragrances I tested: we haven’t clicked”….. yet!

    • Erin says:

      Voile de Fleur again, very nice. I like Juicy Couture very much, too, though I hate Viva la Juicy. High five on the Nicolais!

  22. Suzanne941 says:

    Fall makes me sad because we don’t really get it here in Florida. The humidity drops (a true godsend) but I miss my mid-Atlantic fall days! Got a taste when I went to DC for work earlier this month and enjoyed my Bond Chinatown and Kenzo Amour when I could. Waiting for cooler weather to wear:
    Piguet Bandit (whew!)
    Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille
    Bois 1920 Come la Luna
    SOTD: Jolie Madame (it’s 90 today).
    Hugs!

    • Erin says:

      I would definitely miss fall, though I can’t particularly say the same for winter. (Feel like a very unpatriotic Canuck saying that…) Jolie Madame and Chinatown are very fall-ish and lovely. Hugs back!

    • Aparatchick says:

      Like Suzanne, I live in Florida where fall just isn’t the same. But I did have the chance to go home to the beautiful autumn of the Pacific NW a few weeks ago. I took a couple of Pacifica solids with me, and Tibetan Moutain Temple came out a winner.

      • Erin says:

        It’s certainly a winner. Love that one. The Pacific NW, too – used to live in Vancouver. What a nice place to call home.

      • Suzanne941 says:

        ooh, I want to try that one! Thanks for reminding me…always need more perfumes to buy/try :0!!!

      • boojum says:

        I’ve seen so much love for that one, I’ll have to try it again, but I didn’t really care for it. Something a little too…sweetish about it, or something.

        • Tama says:

          I don’t like it, either, Boo. I smelled too much like a candle.

          • Haunani says:

            I bought the Tibetan Mountain Temple body butter. It makes me smell like gingerbread! Not something I want often, but once in a while, it’s just right.

          • Erin says:

            I like it because at $8.95, it’s cheaper than a good candle.

  23. jirish says:

    Fall is my favorite time of year. Perhaps because I loved going back to school, for me this season is all about the joys of concentration. The scents I reach for now – Ambre Russe, Fireside Intense, Chergui, Cuir Mauresque, and I’m trying to decide whether I’m going to buy a full bottle of Avignon or Jaisalmer first.

    • Erin says:

      I couldn’t concentrate wearing Firseide Intense, I’d be worrying about my pot roast burning…. (ha.) Yay fer Ambre Russe!

  24. Nlb says:

    I noticed that you associate violet with Autumn (or, you love the note so much, it finds it’s way into every season). Violet is such a chameleon, it’s weird how it can make the journey from crisp, early spring fragrance, to one for balmy, summer nights, smoky autumn afternoons and magical, snowy evenings. It’s something I never think of about violet. It really has no season of reference. I know you didn’t ask for it, but has that ever stopped us from offering our lists :)? :

    1. “Bois des Isles” (first suggested on here by Robin, I believe. It only took a couple of wearings of this while hiking in a local park–one that had an outdoor stone lodge with a roaring fire, no less–during a couple of crisp, Fall days, to secure BdI in my seasonal olfactive memories forever.)
    2. “Luctor et Emergo’ (I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about LeE. Something about it reminds me of early Autumn nights and childhood school days. I think it reminds me of wooden, school auditorium stages, benzoin-scented floor cleaners and the ink that was used in printing worksheets and report cards.)
    3. “Serge Noir” ( An ashy, full moon night in late October)
    5. “Gris Clair” (A quiet, grey day in late November)
    6. “The Unicorn Spell” (My violet pick for fall. Like a hazy, Autumn morning near a bubbling brook.)
    7. “Arpege” (grey afternoons at tucked-away museums.)

    • Erin says:

      I *did* ask for your lists, no worries. Very interesting and very true about the violets. I was going to put up a mild objection to violets in winter and summer, and then I realized you’re absolutely right. Hmm. Love that forest feel of Unicorn Spell and considered it for the list.

  25. boojum says:

    Erin – thanks for a perfectly timed post. It sounds like a few things need to be added to that ever-growing “must sample” list. It’s gray and pouring rain here today, and cold (only 35*), but something about that weather makes the fall colors stand out so differently from the sunny days. And it screams for Idole, Timbuktu, Tam Dao, Zagorsk, Une Rose Chypree, or any number of other warm, spicy, incensey faves. (Not to mention a good book and a nice glass of…….something. Though I’d settle for a good coffee, if only my stomach could take it.)

    • boojum says:

      Errr, scratch that, the rain has just turned to…more snow. :O

    • Erin says:

      Right with you on the book and glass of….something. (Or a few things!)

  26. Dawnkana says:

    Hi Erin,

    Love the descriptions of your fave fall fragrances.

    Even though So. California is basically the same flipping weather throughout the year, I did manage to come up with some of my faves to wear when we do experience Fall like weather. They are:

    Panthere de Cartier
    Halston Women (the new reformulated one)
    JHAG Citizen Queen
    Kenzo Amour Le Parfum

    That’s it.

    Have a good weekend everyone!

    ~Dawn

    • Erin says:

      One of my fave books describes the sun in a desert country as some sort of “demented metronome”, the weather is so regular. It makes people a bit nuts, I think, but not as much as a long, dark, frozen Scandanavian winter :)

      • Rappleyea says:

        That is the perfect description of a string of relentlessly hot summer days where the sky is milky white and not a breath of air stirs.

        • Erin says:

          A great description there, too.

      • ggperfume says:

        “Demented metronome”! Sounds like Fresno in summer.

        • Haunani says:

          Ha! Don’t I know about that! Give me a coolish, overcast fall day any time.

          • ggperfume says:

            I grew up in the fog belt (SF and Pacifica) and still prefer that climate to any other!

  27. monkeytoe says:

    Lovely post. As a(nother) Floridian, our fall is just a milder summer, but these are getting more play when the temps dip a little (apparently I like patch and oud in the fall):

    Montale Black Oud
    Guerlain Plus Que Jamais
    Chanel Coromandel
    CdG Tar
    Caron En Avion
    Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline
    Parfumerie Generale Cuir Venenum
    YSL M7
    Pascal Morabito Or Black

    • Erin says:

      Hey monkeytoe, many of these are favorites of mine. Interesting to see Plus Que Jamias here. That one doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but it’s very lovely and smart.

  28. norjunma1 says:

    Thanks for the list of goodies Erin! Here’s what I have in rotation these rainy Midwestern fall days:

    Tabac Blond (I’ve noticed a few other tobacco reference above. It must be that fall burning leaves/campfire inspiration)
    Mitsouko
    SL Bois de Violette
    TF Oud Wood

    I’ve been on the hunt for an incensey frag to round out the list and had totally forgotten that Shaal Nur was on my “try” list. Thanks for the reminder!

    • boojum says:

      Tobacco! How could I forget Bois d’Ombrie!?

      • Erin says:

        A great one, but it almost seems best as a room spray (sacrilege!)

    • Erin says:

      Thanks for your list, and hey, we’re always here to remind people of things to try. It’s what we perfumistas do. My wallet sometimes wishes we were not so vigilant :)

    • Rappleyea says:

      As someone living in central Ky., the association with Fall and tobacco is also because that’s when the leaves are stored in the tobacco barns for drying before going to market. While I’m very anti-smoking, I LOVE the smell of the tobacco curing in the Fall.

      • Erin says:

        I would love to smell that, too.

        • Rappleyea says:

          I had a tobacco farmer once make me a rose – and it looked exactly like a long stemmed rose – out of a tobacco leaf. It was beautiful in its monochrome way and smelled wonderful!

  29. sacre bleu says:

    For a cheap thrill: Demeter Mulled Cider, layered with your fav vanilla.

    • Erin says:

      Demeter has a Pumpkin Pie scent, I think, that I wanted to try before posting. Alas, too late…

  30. prism says:

    come fall, i dig out Marc Jacobs’ Amber, mix it with Amre Narguile. gorgeously warm.

    or Joop Jump when i want a bit more…. “manly”…. “mainstream”.

    • Erin says:

      Joop! Jump? As ScentScelf said above: You intrigue me…..

      • prism says:

        it IS a frag with a lot of mass appeal, but it has a gorgeously sweet Tonka bean at the bottom, with the topnote being very…. *cold*. not fresh, no citrus, but *cold*. reminds me of a chill when you just leave the house, but there’s the warmth underneath, it’s rather cozy. i originally bought it cause it reminded me of Chanel’s Allure Homme Sport, but Jump is less straight forward.

        matter of fact, it’s one of the few frags i gotten compliments for! nothing for Bulgaris, nothing for any of my Hermes’….

        • Erin says:

          I like cold scents much better than cold weather.

  31. Abyss says:

    Erin, I totally agree with you about Ormonde Woman. I tried for the first time this summer and my first thought was “this is nice but it would be absolutely perfect for a crisp autumn day”. Which means that I should go and dig out that sample again.

    For the last few years my cold weather staples have been the ole NR For Her and Hermes Ambre Narguile. I’m trying Felanilla today which also feels wonderfully cosy.

    • Erin says:

      Get thee to your sample closet! Hee. Felanilla I would have died for had it but had a smidge more banana. I feel odd saying that. But I found the vanilla a little too straightforward. Definitely cozy. Wondering if Demeter does a decent unripe banana I could layer it with?

      • miss kitty v. says:

        Does anyone do a banana anything?? For some reason that has sounded really good to me lately. And I don’t even like to eat bananas. Weird.

        • boojum says:

          CSP does, I think…

          • Erin says:

            Interesting! If I know CSP, though, it will be a bananilla. Oh well, that’s what I was looking for in the first place :)

          • miss kitty v. says:

            So they do:
            http://www.comptoirsudpacifique.us/2009/04/15/vanille-banane/
            There’s a lot going on in that one, might need to sample before blowing $85.

    • Haunani says:

      I love Felaniila. It’s on my FB wish list. I agree that it would be even more perfect with more banana.

      • Erin says:

        Start the petition to PG!

        • boojum says:

          Yes, they could do an “intense” version that amps up the banana. Can’t help but find it funny people are looking for more banana in their frags though. :D (But haven’t smelled the frag in question, so…)

          • Haunani says:

            It’s interesting. Maybe some of us suffer potassium deficiency, LOL. I think Felanilla is wonderful, but what would make it even better for me is something that balances the sweetness a tiny bit more. As Erin suggested, amping up the banana — but a green, unripe banana – might do the trick!

  32. ScentRed says:

    Here are my current fall favs:

    Chanel Bois des Iles – I am now officially addicted
    Fendi Theorema – anxiously awaiting some new little minis
    Chanel Cuir de Russie – not BdI, but mighty fine)
    OJ Woman – is there a season this isn’t wonderful?

    Based on my passion for these fragrances, If anyone has any suggestions for others I can’t miss, I’d welcome them.

    • Erin says:

      Not exactly in league of such classics, but have you tried MPG Ambre Precieux? Similarly opaque and creamy like the Fendi. Hmm… Givenchy Organza Indecence?

      • ScentRed says:

        No on both counts. But I’ll be sure to seek them out. Thanks!

        • Erin says:

          With pleasure.

          • ScentRed says:

            OK so I’m all hot and bothered to try Ambre Precieux but can’t find it anywhere. Beauty Encounter carries it, but are out of stock. Even good old ebay turned up nothing but lotions and potions. Any suggestions?

      • Tama says:

        MPG is getting hard to find – I think they folded. I was lucky to get my Rose Muskissime and Secrete Datura on sale, but they were gone almost as soon as I bought them, at least the Rose was.

        • boojum says:

          I wondered…but all I could find was that one of their 2 locations was closing and they were scaling back. Such a pity, one of their scents was on my short list, and I didn’t get to it in time. :( Might have to grab a quick decant from TPC.

        • Erin says:

          Oh, this is sad! There are all sorts of conflicting reports and worry on Basenotes threads. Apparently, the international distribution has stopped (forever or temporarily), though you can still order from Paris. ScentRed, I’m sorry to lead you on a wild goose chase…

          • boojum says:

            I tried emailing them just last week about a scent I couldn’t find anywhere…but didn’t hear back. Not taking that as a good sign. :(

          • ScentRed says:

            No worries, the chase is half the fun :-)

  33. Jill says:

    Love your list, and your wonderful writing about fall. You’ve got me really curious about Breath of God! I like that you included Lolita Lempicka, by now an old favorite of mine. My current fall favorites are Bond No. 9 Chinatown, JM Pomegranate Noir, EL Cinnabar, L’Artisan L’Eau du Navigateur, Les Nez Let Me Play the Lion (reminds me of a bonfire), and Laurence Dumont Tendre Madeleine.

    • boojum says:

      In case you’re running low on LL, I’ll mention I just saw a bunch of it at my Marshall’s for $20.

      • Jill says:

        Thanks! It so happens I am a bit low on LL.

        • boojum says:

          Give a holler over on MUA if it’s not at yours…always happy to pick something up for someone. And since I seem to overlap w/your taste a good bit as well as Erin’s…maybe I need to grab a bottle myself. (Can you believe it would be unsniffed? Not sure how I managed to avoid that one…but I’ve never smelled Angel (knowingly) either.)

          • Jill says:

            Thanks Boojum! Do give it a try sometime — it’s kind of a “big” scent, especially after I’ve been wearing more subtle stuff, but I still love it.

      • Erin says:

        A bargain at twice the price.

    • Erin says:

      Thanks very much for your kind words. Breath of God is soooooo weird. It’s the sort of scent that inspires complete confusion in people who are not obsessed with perfume. My dad said: “But I thought these things were supposed to smell good?” I love it, though. Love that Chinatown, too.

      • Jill says:

        Breath of God definitely sounds good-weird to me! I’m going to check it out before it’s gone.

  34. RusticDove says:

    The only drawback to Fall is that it’s followed by Winter. But Fall has so much going for it – my favorite colors, cozy sweaters [well the clothing in general - so smart], sitting by the fireplace for the first time in a while, pumpkins, mums, Halloween, Thanksgiving – the list goes on forever. And this truly is the time to enjoy the fragrances I prefer. I’ve only tried about half of the fragrances on your list and those were my kind of scents. Ones I would add to your wonderful list have been mentioned already – Mitsouko [though I wear that all year], Dzongha, TFBO Voile de Fleur, Lyric, etc. I’m wearing Azuree today. It’s rainy and gloomy [again] – so I suppose that’s sort of a weird choice? I’ve been revisiting that scent and I can’t seem to get enough of it! But I don’t think it’s very Fall-like? No matter – it’s divine and i can’t stop smelling myself. ;-)

    • Erin says:

      Mums! I like mums. And I think the wonderful Azuree is oddly suited to fall. Must be what Angela rightly calls the “brown sugar” note at the beginning, and the part that smells like garden gloves.

      • boojum says:

        They’re so cheerful, like giant marigolds. And who doesn’t remember planting marigold seeds in a Dixie cup as a kid? :)

  35. Dolly says:

    Erin- I have not smelled Serge’s Santal Blanc. It sounds like it has sandalwood to it. Am I right? As for fall fragrance, I like Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist Luxe Edition and it came just in time for fall. Viva la sandalwood!

    • Erin says:

      It is indeed sandalwood, though a synthetic one. It’s creamy and light and lightly sweet, though – one of the best calming, soothing scents I know.

  36. Dolly says:

    Yes, I would appreciate some Halston circa 1982. That was a good autumn scent.

    • Erin says:

      Hey, Halston Z14 is a great fall chypre and so cheap. As for the vintage edition, we could browse garage sales I guess.

      • AnnS says:

        Z14 is great stuff! My younger sister used to wear that in High School back in the 80s….

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Daisy, check Parfum 1. I honestly don’t know what the vintage is on it, but they definitely have the original Halston.

      • Dolly says:

        Thanks for the lead Miss Kitty- will check it out.

        • miss kitty v. says:

          Thanks for being polite and not drawing attention to the fact that I called you Daisy instead of Dolly. My favorite person ever is Dolly Parton, so you’d think I could get that one right.

          • Daisy says:

            LOL yeah, but I dashed over to parfum1 just to see what I might be missing…. ;-) (even though I knew you weren’t talking to me)

          • miss kitty v. says:

            Did you find anything worthwhile? :)

          • Daisy says:

            not there….but in my scouring the world for perfume I’ve found some great deals on Chamade and Jicky…..

  37. Gilty says:

    Lots of great suggestions from everyone … and a timely reminder–thanks, Erin!–to move the gorgeous Shaal Nur into the rotation. And to try Santal Blanc. And LouLou…And to revisit Coco…

    My Fall faves are:
    FM Une Rose
    Lubin Idole
    PdE Fougere Bengal
    Safran Troublant
    OJ Woman and Tolu
    Bandit
    Lancome Cuir
    MH Fleurs de Sel
    Vol de Nuit
    Coromandel
    L’Air du Desert
    Patchouli 24
    Aromatics Elixir
    SL Douce Amere

    I’m jonesing for some heavy duty patchouli and am eyeing either Borneo or (the more affordable) Les Nereides Patchouli Antique. I don’t even want to try the CdG Patchouli because it’s so pricey…

    • Erin says:

      What a scumptious list! Right on! I vote Patchouli Antique, even though Borneo is fascinating. The Les Neriedes is so chilly and yet so sweet. It’s almost the patch for non-patch lovers and yet I think it would still offend a lot of sensibilities. Not ‘me’ at all, but absolutely interesting.

      • Gilty says:

        Thanks for the vote for the Les Nereides! I’m liking the sample a lot but never get a very good read on most fragrances without being able to spray. That’s a excellent test…if it’s offensive to a lot of sensibilities, it’s the uncleaned-up patch. Not that we go out of our way to offend unsuspecting perfume civilians… :)

        • Erin says:

          Hey, I do! (Kidding.) I can’t imagine doing more than a dab, to be honest, but maybe that’s because I’m not a patchouli “soliflore” lover.

    • Rappleyea says:

      Gilty – if you’re jonesing “heavy duty patchouli” then don’t worry about trying the CdG Patchouli Luxe. I got no patch at all, just the very dry scent of fallen leaves.

      • Gilty says:

        Fallen leaves, eh? Good to know, Rappleyea, thanks!

        • Erin says:

          Oh yeah, I forgot, sorry. The Luxe patchouli is lovely and smells like immortelle. Completely overpriced, but quite striking, I like it.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Good description Erin, although a diluted immortelle at that.

    • Haunani says:

      Fleurs de Sel is an interesting choice for autumn. I haven’t worn mine since early summer. Thanks for the recommendation — this might be the very best time for that earthy/salty wonder!

      • Erin says:

        Seconding this comment…

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Ooh, I like your list, Gilty! Excellent taste!

  38. Joe says:

    Wow! I love that these polls/posts bring out so many comments and I can’t wait to go back and read them.

    Fall is a great time of year, but can be iffy here in Central California — we go from chilly to hot in the span of a single day, alternate rainy spells with heatwaves, and it can make it hard to pick something that can do duty for the entire day. Thus, I want a warm-weather frag during the day and something for fall in the evening. There’s also not much distinction between “fall” and “winter” in these parts. That being said, some old and new favorites for cool weather include:
    - L’A Timbuktu
    - L’A Vanilia (are they really discontinuing this?)
    - Lutens Borneo 1834 (my new love), Cèdre, and Chêne
    – PdN Maharanih (I need a bottle or decant)
    - Amouage Epic Woman
    - CdG Kyoto

    One I want very badly is Ava Luxe Kretek — Serena is selling perfume oils again and I’m hoping she has more of that available soon. It’s an amazing clove/tobacco leaf/wood fragrance.

    Glancing up above, I’d also love some Fougere Bengale. There are SO many great scents for cool weather that the list could go on for miles. Shaal, Sycomore, and Aimez-Moi from your list are so nice. Adding to your violet, I realized another I’d love to have is Soivohle Purple Love Smoke. Maybe that and Kretek need to be my November purchases.

    • RusticDove says:

      Ooh – I’m so glad you mentioned Purple Love Smoke! I have a sample I tried a couple of months back and was looking forward to using it in cooler weather. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

    • Erin says:

      I remember reading the note list for Kretek and being interested just as she shut down (temporarily I guess). I’m not a fan of many etailers, but I do like many of Liz Zorn’s scents. Her Blood Orange & Vetiver is lovely, but more of a winter scent. I like Violets & Rainwater, which is fall-ish. Would love to try her new Oud as well as the PLS.

    • Rappleyea says:

      Great list Joe! As a patch lover, I’m thinking I really need to try some Borneo. I keep seeing it listed here today.

    • AnnS says:

      Ack. We are having the most miserable cold and rainy weather up here… In honor of you, Joe, I’m wearing my sample of Noir Epices… And now in the cold I can totally smell the wonderful rush of aldehydes, honey, rose, spices and patchouli…. it is thoroughly cheering me up today! (When I tested it in warmer weather I just got the spices and patchouli.) Now it reminds me of something akin to both Bal a Versailles and Nahema rolled up together… I think another lemming was just born!

    • Aparatchick says:

      Joe, public service announcement: I was just looking at Serena’s Etsy store and she’s got Kretek back in stock. Not affiliated, etc.

  39. Na says:

    Thanks for the list!
    I’ve been reaching for lolita lempika and chanel coco mademoiselle-
    I love dzing too, but I wish it came in a smaller size. =(

    • boojum says:

      *Everything* should come in a smaller size. Well, at least there are decants and splits to be had.

    • Erin says:

      I would like a 30 mler. Of everything.

  40. SmokeyToes says:

    My fave fall list is, original Fendi, Lancome’s Magie Noire, Balmain Jolie Madame, Guerlain’s Sous la Vent or Mitsuoko, SSS Champagne de Bois, Mandini’s Ambargris or Olive Flowers, Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir, Serge Luten’s Daim Blonde. Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez, and Cinnabar by EL.
    I love the fall–wish I could go for a ride, that’d be perfect! Crisp air, fall leaves, mixed with the smell of horses and leather. *Sigh*

    • Erin says:

      Sigh indeed. Why am in love even with the name of Mandini Olive Flower? Description, please.

      • SmokeyToes says:

        Hi Erin,
        Olive Flower is an amber-resin-frankincense & opoponax scent.It is heavenly! Their Ambargris oil is great too, one or two drops last forever on skin.

        • Erin says:

          So it doesn’t really smell like olive flower particularly? Interesting. Also want to try BNTBTBB Ladyboy, which sounds similarly smoky-resiny-olivegreen. Thanks!

          • SmokeyToes says:

            Yes, it’s not floral, more oriental, like Shalimar in it’s powdery/balsam effect.

  41. BTW…Love Love Love the new SL Fille en Aigilles!! The best part for me is the final dry down. :-)

    • boojum says:

      Why is it that, even though scarcely any of the SLs I’ve tried have worked on my skin, I *still* want to keep trying the new ones? You’d think I’d have written him off by now…but no. And I love evergreens…

      • I found it really well blended…the resin, the pine needles..def NOT “pine sol’ish” at all. And it lasts and lasts and lasts. Serge is def in my TOP TEN lines. :-)

      • Erin says:

        The triumph of hope over experience. I am the same way with some lines (though not SL).

    • Erin says:

      Serge’s is one of those rare lines where the drydown is sometimes more interesting than the topnotes.

      • boojum says:

        I wish that were the case for me. I usually get an interesting blast of topnotes that last maybe 15 minutes…and then the drydowns all melt into the same sweet ambery vanilla mess. :( *Although*, I retested a couple the other day and got something completely different. Beginning to suspect sinus issues.

  42. cazaubon says:

    I love Fille en Aiguilles – lovely pine resin scent on me, and I love Wazamba too! My other fall favorites this year are Back to Black, Tobacco Vanille, Ambre Russe, Timbuktu, Oud Wood, Tuscan Leather, and Encens Flamboyant. This is my favorite season and I have tons of great fall fragrances.

    • I LOVE your list Caz! Wazamba I purchased “unsniffed” and wish I would have waited til I sniffed the Fille. They are similar, but I like the Serge way better. :-)

    • Erin says:

      The Back to Black release was perfectly time, wasn’t it? I bet it’s selling like hotcakes.

      • Erin says:

        Uh, “timed”, sorry…

  43. bohoteacher says:

    B Never Too Busy…closing? Oh no! Breath of God has been my perk-me-up fragrance since school started this year. I must stock up, but also must try Dzing & L. Lempicka AND the book you were reading.

    • Erin says:

      I’m madly trying to think of somebody I know who lives in London, so they can get there before B closes after Christmas and get me Breath of God, Om, Superworldunknown and Ladyboy.

  44. Every time the seasons change from warm to cold or back, my nose changes completely, and there seems to be no guarantee that what I liked last year, I’ll still like this year. This is worrying, when it comes to full bottle purchases.

    The surprises this year are:

    – 1: Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss. This has no characteristics of a fall fragrance for me. But I’m loving it in the fall. Which is reassuring, because I got a bottle.
    – 2: Parfumerie Generale Tubereuse Couture. I don’t like white flowers. Really. Not one bit. And I especially don’t like tuberose. But I keep wearing my decant.
    – 3: Un Lys. _Un Lys_?!! I don’t like white flowers! I don’t like florals! I don’t like sillage! I don’t I don’t I don’t! But my sample is getting low and I’m pricing a large decant of this. And seriously considering buying it a pretty dabber bottle. Y’know, to make it feel welcome?
    – ?: Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc. I don’t own it. I don’t have a decant. I don’t even have a sample. I tried it for about four minutes in a department-store sniff-fest. I don’t like white florals. I didn’t think I liked it much when I tried it. But I absolutely cannot stop thinking about it.
    – ??: Tea for Two in reverse: After a flurry of wearings in August and September, I’ve stopped wearing Tea for Two. I don’t get it; this is prime Tea for Two time. It’s worryingly possible that Sushi Imperiale has taken Tea for Two’s seat in the Musical Chairs Of My Nose.
    – 4-10: Unsurprising new favorites, because they fit my pattern, are Le Labo Patchouli 24 and Parfumerie Generale Harmatan Noir. Sadly, the Significant Other hates Patchouli 24 with a fiery passion, so I can’t wear it on the weekend, when smokey autumn scents should be worn. Then there are old favorites Daim Blond, Serge Noire, Sushi Imperiale, Cedre Sandaraque, and Cadjmere.

    Today is Harmatan Noir, from an ittybitty decant, and I want a bottle. But that would be Wrong, or so I keep telling myself.

    (Nervously eyeing this and wondering if it’s too long, but Post Commenting anyway,)

    Chicken

    • Rappleyea says:

      Chicken – I’m laughing at your great descriptions!

    • Gilty says:

      The white flowers have staged a four sided attack and appear to be winning…

      • Rappleyea says:

        They’re like cats – they won’t let up on a person who doesn’t like them!

    • lilydale aka Natalie says:

      “Musical chairs of my nose” is fabulous, not least for the very interesting imagery it conjures…

      • Erin says:

        You see molceules sitting on each other and trying to squish others out of place…

    • Jill says:

      You’ve reminded me that I completely forgot about Tea for Two, usually one of my fall staples! I’ll have to get it out.

      • RusticDove says:

        What an entertaining post Chicken – I was grinning from ear to ear while reading it. :-D

    • Joe says:

      You’ve gone and made me think about Tubereuse Couture, which I can’t stop thinking about every time I sample it. Hrmmm… PG sells 30ml bottles now too. Drat.

      • boojum says:

        Oh no…you HAD to post that right out in the open, didn’t you?! Sigh. Rearranging my “to buy” list…. all PGs moving up several notches…

      • Erin says:

        30 mlers of PG? I’m poised between hurrah and drat. Like the smaller sizes, but my credit cards smoke when I get near a smaller bottle.

    • Tama says:

      That was funny! It is surprising when a note you “absolutely don’t like” keeps appearing in your favorites.

    • Erin says:

      I had the same problem you’re describing about Muguet Blanc with Thierry Mugler’s A Travers le Miroir. And I also like Un Lys, while not liking white flowers generally. We tolerate lengthy lists around here – just look at mine! :)

      • Cool! (On long lists being OK.) Because I’ve never been concise. :) And thank you to everyone for making me feel welcome. (I’ve been lurking forever, but rarely post.)

        It looks like white flowers are going to elbow their way in, at least in the form of substantial decants.

  45. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    Shaal Nur is syrupy and oppressive on me, and Wazamba is nasty and oppressive ratcheted up to the nth degree, making me think I’ll probably hate Fille en Aguilles, but I do love some of the others on your list… Breath of God is a hoot; not really something I want to smell LIKE, but I’m happy to pull it out for a sniff once in a while, so my sample should do me for… well, forever.

    My current faves include L’Air du Desert Marocain, Bandit (OK, those two never get rest year-round!), Black Tourmaline (sample rapidly dwindling), and Alpona, which I tried last summer and liked but didn’t love… Somehow autumn has brought out its spicy, delightfully skanky side — somewhat akin to Bal a Versailles — but of course I’ve only realized this now that it’s been discontinued! Bleh…

    • Erin says:

      I LOVE the ‘old’ Alpona, so thanks for mentioning it. But I don’t like the current version as much, and while real Alpona is beautiful for fall, I didn’t want to post in case I influenced someone to buy a sample or bottle that smells nothing like I was describing.

      • lilydale aka Natalie says:

        I keep hearing about the old Alpona, and while I wish I weren’t susceptible to such influences, the idea that it used to be better in the old days makes me hesitant to buy it — silly, since if I like the current version, who cares? But there you go. What do you find different about the new one?

        • Erin says:

          Well, the last sample I tried was much more lemony. The base was also weird and a bit papery, like paper hot off the photocopier or maybe even bandaids. The old Alpona smelled more like marmalade, with the richer, almost oily Caron base.

  46. Rappleyea says:

    Erin – lovely post and reviews, and I got a good laugh out of your even looking fondly on the rowdy kids!

    For me, it’s not so much that I’ve pulled out anything, but more just put away the summer scents. I’ve been wearing Jardins de Bagatelle (I know, I know it’s a summer white floral – but somehow it’s been feeling right), Champagne de Bois (which I’ve worn on and off all summer), Voleur de Roses, Mitsouko (vintage extrait, which I also enjoy the moss in the heat), and Vol de Nuit (the last two no surprise for a self proclaimed Guerlie Girl!).

    • Erin says:

      Thanks! I can’t believe I forgot about Voleur de Roses – so fall! And those Guerlains are not a surprise, either. Love Vol de Nuit when the weather is cool.

      • Rappleyea says:

        I only meant no surprise that *I’d* list them. I agree, they’re great for fall! Although I tried VdN extrait on a blistering hot summer day once, and the florals in the middle, which are usually pretty muted, really bloomed.

  47. AmandaJayne says:

    Can anybody please help out? I am dying to get a perfume with a STRONG musc smell, that lasts and lasts for hours. Thanks
    Amanda

    • Erin says:

      Hmm, can anyone help out? I can only think of my favorite very strong, lasting musk, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan, which may be skankier or sweatier than Amanda is looking for.

  48. AnnS says:

    Early fall scents are so different from cold late fall scents! I always love a good chypre in early fall as I think it has that dried meadow/leaves smell , esp. No 19 parfum or Mitsouko. Today it is miserably cold & raining, so I am wearing a new sample of Reminiscence Patchouli, which I am very happy with at this moment – very soft, warm, and ambery-patch. But my fav fall frags are Coco, Donna Karan (Signature), SSS Rose Musc & Tabac Aurea, Bal a Versailles, Mauboussin, Magie Noire, Badgley Mischka, and Tauer’s L’Air…. But there are so many good warm orientals! I could probably go on forever as my fragrances mostly favor rich orientals!

    • Erin says:

      Ann, very true! I love a great chypre at any time and am enjoying the many great frags you list. DK Signature is great (would have included it, but I already had the DK Fuel for Men) and love the Magie Noire and L’air.

  49. Tama says:

    I have to come back and read everything when I get home. I like autumn for perfume. SF is usually just crisp – we don’t get a lot of that apple-y air. But it is cool enough to wear slightly heavier scents.

    I just got MPG Rose Muskissime and I think it will be in heavy rotation this fall, along with l’Air. My wants for fall are Farmacia ss Annunziata Aurora, PdN Balkis, SSS Wood Violet and Tabac Aurea, and maybe some of those CBs. I am wanting a good autumn vetiver – Fat Electrician is pretty great, as are the Malle and the Le Labo, so hard to decide!!

    • Aparatchick says:

      Ooooh, I sampled Tabac Aurea for the first time yesterday, and it was wonderful!

      Glad to see that a lot of posters are feeling the love for Ambre Russe and Coromandel, two favorites of mine. Ava Luxe Feu de Bois is also on my fall list, but she has stopped making it, so I’m rationing what I have.

    • Erin says:

      It is hard to decide! I’m not a huge vetiver fan, but even I have been impressed with the selection that’s come out the last couple years. The ones I tend to wear rather than just sample are the Sycomore, the good ol’ Guerlain and Givenchy vetivers, and the nutty Etro version.

  50. aimiliona says:

    I’m going to a Halloween party tomorrow in a gold sari and Safran Troublant.

    • Jill says:

      Perfect!

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Oh, Halloween fragrances…there’s a whole other thread! What to wear with what costume…

    • Erin says:

      I covet the sari more than the perfume. ST I find a little excessively creamy. Sometimes it seems lovely, but its one that turns on me and just feels wrong occasionally. I bet it will feel right on you tonight – have fun!

  51. Haunani says:

    I love this article and all the comments. Fall is far and away my favorite season, and you all have my mouth watering with your lists and descriptions. Here in my part of Northern California, we have a distinct but mild fall. Some fragrances I’ve especially been enjoying lately:
    Shaal Nur (Erin, this is one of my top favorites for any season!)
    CdG Kyoto (this incense/coffee blend keeps me upright on those tough work days)
    Mauboussin (reminds me of shimmery dried fruit in all the fall colors)
    Parfumerie Generale Bois Blond, Felanilla, L’Oiseau de Nuit, and Iris Taizo (I am loving this house for fall)
    Frapin 1270 and a new love, Caravelle Epicee
    SSS Wood Violet and Keiko Mecheri Genie des Bois (for the violet fix!)
    Martine Micallef Note Ambree, Black Sea, and Gaiac (got the Ambree for my birthday, but the other two are on my FB wish list. So pricy, though!)
    Just reading back through my list gets me all excited (flashing embarrassed smile).

    I

    • Erin says:

      Thanks, and thanks to all of you for the really enjoyable comments. Kyoto, oh blast! How did I forget that one?!? I was trying to think of a nice roasted coffee one for the list, too, and forgot all about the CdG. (I love Yohji Homme, but feel strangely unmoved by New Haarlem, Navigateur and A*Men Pure Coffee, and the Jo Malone doesn’t last…)

  52. ggperfume says:

    As a native of northern California, I don’t much associate fall with burning or rotting leaves. The Mediterranean climate divides itself mainly into summer/fall (the dry season) and winter/spring (rainy season), so many of the scents you all have named here for fall are winter scents for me. On warmer fall days I still wear Chanel no22 (even though I’m beginning to want to rest it since I’ve been wearing it since earliest summer), or Parfums Delrae Eau Illuminee, or even some vintage Fidji parfum. On cooler, transitional-into-winter fall days I turn happily to Guerlain Plus que Jamais– I hope the weather clouds up again soon!

    • ggperfume says:

      Oh, I just spotted Haunani’s comment above! Now I can seek out more interesting choices for my own fall climate. Thanks!

      • Haunani says:

        Hi gg! I’m interested in your suggestions, too, except that I don’t care for No. 22. You are really right about the two season thing here. I live in the lower Sierra foothills, so there is a bit of fall flavor. Part of it is probably in my mind, though! I sort of break the season up into early fall/Indian summer and “real” fall. Guerlain’s Terracotta Voile d’Ete was perhaps my top choice for early fall. Now I’m really getting into the ambers, spices, and woods.

    • Erin says:

      Plus Que Jamais has been mentioned a few times! I’m so glad, I like that one and it doesn’t get mentioned a lot…

  53. monstabunny says:

    I’m grooving on TDC’s Bois D’Iris this fall: a moody dripping-eaves of a fragrance, cooler like the weather. Vetiver Tonka is another one, the smell of moist earth and roots under wet leaves. What are y’all wearing for Halloween? Thanksgiving?

    • Jill says:

      Vetiver Tonka really is a great fall scent! I just wore it the other day — it is VERY long-lasting on me.

    • Haunani says:

      Monstabunny, Bois d’Iris and Vetiver Tonka are both GREAT choices for fall, IMO! I’m realizing now that fall is not only my favorite season, it’s my favorite FRAGRANCE season!

      On Halloween, Basenotes is having a “scent synchronization day” for which everyone is going to wear a Serge Lutens fragrance. That is not a house that suits me well, but I think I will dig out my samples of Chergui and Arabie and wear one of those. I like those two.

      • boojum says:

        Chergui is one of the few that works for me too. I was considering buying it…now think I’ll just do a small decant, because I’ve found other fall frags that work so much better for me.

        • Erin says:

          I own Chergui and while the hay seems fall-ish, the amber base is so pervasive and strong I end up wearing it more in winter, I think.

    • Erin says:

      TDC Bois D’Iris would be perfect for this time of year, yes, probably the best iris for fall.

      Reading about the Basenotes sycronization below, I guess I’ll wear Arabie. I’m not going out in costume, but I’m chaperoning Sleeping Beauty (my daughter).

  54. Perfume Monkey says:

    I will go with the pure intelligence in Mother Nature (no synthetics for me) and the passionate power inside Roxana Illuminated Perfume’s “Q”. The truth behind this woody, amber Chypre resonates within you, and around you, not just in smell but in vibration too. There is a subtle but potent energy derived from the tinctured leaves of the noble oak. It can actually be felt if you are sensitive enough! I love it all year round but find it especially helpful during the introspective months of Fall.

    • Erin says:

      I’ve never heard of that one. Sounds nice…

  55. AmandaJayne says:

    Erin-thanks for your suggestion. Can anybody else please help me out?. I am looking for a STRONG and LASTING (key words) MUSC perfume. Please let me know your thoughts on all the musc perfumes out there. I love having the scent on me all day long without evaporating. I really appreciate this guys.
    Amanda

    • Daisy says:

      Hi Amanda, under the windex post I’ve attempted to help your search. I don’t know much about musks really, and still hope that a musk enthusiast will jump in with some great ideas. Luckyscent will also sort by note…..when you say “strong” do you mean “skanky” or just lots of longevity?

    • boojum says:

      Amanda – maybe you should apply for the Monday Mail feature (at the bottom of the page). Then your question won’t get lost in all the comments. Just a thought! Not a musk lover myself, so I’m not much help.

    • Jill says:

      I don’t know much about musk scents either, unfortunately, but see poppy field’s Musc Ravageur recommendation below — that’s a long-lasting one, on me anyway.

    • Blimunda says:

      Hi AmandaJayne,
      I recommend Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Kahn. It is being released into the export line this christmas, so will be easy to get hold of and cheaper than the exclusive line. It is very strong and skanky, and settles into something warm, luxurious and comforting. I hope you try it and like it!

  56. poppy field says:

    Just got back from a weekend in London to see some old friends – and my only ‘must do’ was a trip to Liberty’s perfume dept. Which should become a ‘must don’t’ as it’s impossible to leave empty handed!

    I am now steeped in Frederic Malle ‘Musc Ravageur’ – sweet, delicious, warm, sexy. A comfort scent as the weather gets colder. To the poster above – if you haven’t tried it, seek it out – it might be the answer to your prayers. Google for others far more eloquent thoughts on this one. I adore how it manages to be both dirty as hell and really comforting. Get the feeling my bf’s quite impressed too ;-D

    The salesgirl also gave me samples of the Etro perfume which I like and I already own NTBTBB ‘Breathe’ but have never been able to get on with it – might have to give it another go – sad to hear they’re closing :-(

    I also own OJ Woman and it is one of my all time favourites – I wear it all year round.

    I’ve also just dug out my precious bottle of DK Black Cashmere – might be more for true winter than autumn but, if the day’s cold enough, I’m a-spraying…

    • poppy field says:

      Oh, and L’Air du Desert… is just beautiful – have got a few precious drops left but can’t buy a new one just yet after the Malle mishap :-0

      I went to an Autumn wedding last week and took my sample of Montale’s Aoud Queen Rose – rich, vintage smelling woody rosey loveliness – perfect for a wood panelled, stone flagged country house celebration wearing a 50s style dress :-) Just add a bonfire and seeing your breath on the night air…

    • Erin says:

      Poppy, I’m jealous of your trip! London’s one of those places I must go fragrance shopping again. Thanks for your suggestion for Amanda…

  57. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    OK, everyone still reading this: If you want some fall scents that will knock your socks off, then RUN — nope, no walking! — and try Kilian Pure Aoud and Cartier XIIIeme Heure. I’m just back from a sniffing trip to NYC, and oooohhh baby…

    Oh, and by the by, does anyone have a spare $650?

    • Daisy says:

      I immediately went to check under the sofa cushions in hopes that there’d be surprise money….but all I came up with is 3 cat toys and half a pretzel stick…drat. sorry no help. ;-)

      • lilydale aka Natalie says:

        Sigh. Bergdorf’s wasn’t keen on my idea of bartering my 4-year-old for the Kilian, either…

        • Daisy says:

          how unreasonable of them! You have a perfectly nice 4 year old! Worth at least 2 or 3 by Kilians!

      • hongkongmom says:

        ha!!! reminds me when i was a kid and my dad had a leather armchair that used to recline…one day i discovered HEAPS of 20c south african coins (that was a lot of money in those days…i could buy 2 BIG sized chocolated for it) well i had a regular source of coins growing up…and dad and i laugh about it now!!!
        however under my sofa cushions…cheerios, cupcake crumps oh yes….sweet wrapper!!!

    • Erin says:

      Only $650? :)

  58. hongkongmom says:

    oh…i am so late for this post.can u believe my almost 18yr old got the chicken pox for the SECOND time???fall brings out the love for so many perfumes
    right now i am on a rotation of a vintage shalimar eau de toilette which has me marvelling and in awe of the smell all day
    shaal nur and
    attrape
    jubilation 25
    then i have my next to rotate list (daisy…see i am getting organized in my SOTD choices!!!)
    a new found love but no purchase yet..la myhrre AN orientalists
    plus que jamais
    31 RC and balmain ambre gris and
    bois de isle
    and all the serges i so love
    fumeri/borneo/daim blonde/fleurs de orangers (more orange and less cumini in the cooler temps)
    i think i also need to explore cuir de russie!!!
    and now i am going to stop for fear of falling from the slippery slopes of pure selfish indulgance, to Whatetever it worse than that!!
    happy autumm smelling all of you

    • Erin says:

      The same to you! You smell great, nice choices.

  59. lulielulie says:

    Great article! Fall has me hankering for Yohji Yamamoto’s women’s frangrance. It’s a bit fruity but heavy on the amber/vanilla/sandalwood. Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued and it’s going going for upwards of $200 on ebay! Could you recommend a similar perfume?

    • Erin says:

      Gack! Sorry, I can’t remember what the women’s fragrance smells like, I haven’t tried it in so long. I used to see it around a lot when I was looking for Yohji PH, though, so maybe some brick-and-mortar stores have it (and don’t know what they have!) Perhpas somebody who remembers it will jump in with a suggestion for something similar.

  60. lulielulie says:

    I hope so. I have the solid perfume but iIm looking for a spray since they seem a little more potent. Any recommendations for something similar would be great. no brand loyalty here–just love the scent!

  61. raluca says:

    I had a great October weekend among golden trees and crystal sky, all pampered by the Ava Luxe Olibanum. Perfect, marvellous, cozy and warm and sexy. Cannot find better for this bright autumn – too bad it is impossible to find this scent anymore.
    BTW, any idea of a similar scent able to replace the loss?

    • Erin says:

      Sorry, don’t know that one – anybody with suggestions?

  62. Na says:

    Erin,
    there are a couple that I never tried on your list.
    so i went and tried Estee Lauder Alliage in Macys today; it was so great!!!-
    I’ve never seen anything that matches Fall better than this one.
    for a reasonable price, too!

    • Erin says:

      Na, so glad it worked out! Yay! Happy story. Yes, I love those reasonable ELs, too. I’m so lucky they work for me.

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