Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2014

Cold Colours

We pick the dates for the seasonal top 10 posts far in advance, and sometimes that works out fine. This year, it feels odd to be writing about fall so early — we’ve had strange weather the past few months, so while it stopped feeling like a proper summer here sometime in late July, it still doesn’t feel anything like fall. Here are ten fragrances I might wear if it did feel like fall, or that you could wear if there’s already a chill in the air where you are. Do add your own fall favorites in the comments!

CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves: The perfect way to get into the mood for fall even if the weather won’t cooperate, and extra-nice if you live in a place (as I do) where all the leaves get composted (as they should be) instead of burned (I do miss the smell). The last time I wrote the Top 10 of Fall was back in 2008, and I included Burning Leaves on that post too. Some things never change…

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J. Crew + Arquiste No. 31 & No. 57 ~ fragrance reviews

J. Crew + Arquiste No. 31 & No. 57

I am not a J. Crew customer. Well, I used to be, back in the early 90s when the J. Crew catalogue still catered to college students and I was still wearing baggy sweaters and oversized men’s t-shirts, but nowadays I find most of the brand’s offerings too high-priced for my wallet and too trend-driven for my taste. It took perfume to get me through the door of a J. Crew boutique last week — specifically, J. Crew’s collaboration with the niche brand Arquiste.

For this project, Arquiste recruited perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier to “conjure up the Jan. 5, 1943, opening of ‘Exhibition by 31 Women,’ the first all-female modern art show in the U.S., curated by Peggy Guggenheim and displayed at her Art of This Century Gallery on East 57th Street in New York.” The two fragrances are No. 31, named for the number of artists in the show, and No. 57, named for the street where Art of This Century was located. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a back-story like that. To my relief, the fragrances turned out to be well-crafted, affordable, and very pleasing on my skin…

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Tim McGraw Silver ~ fragrance review

McGraw Silver cologne for men

Yesterday we reviewed Faith Hill True, and now it’s time to move on to her husband and Tim McGraw Silver. I liked McGraw by TimMcGraw and thought Silver was worth a try.

Silver is our only masculine offering of the week. What makes a particular fragrance “masculine” to you? For the most part, I ignore the distinction between feminine and masculine fragrances — except in the case of a fougère.1 Something about their in-your-face quality, how they’re so often over-applied, the short leap between many and Drakkar Noir moves a fougère far, far from a woman’s dressing room. Silver is an aromatic fougère…

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Faith Hill True ~ fragrance review

Faith Hill True

What does a “clean” fragrance mean to you? Answers usually fall into one of three categories: citrus, aquatic or laundry musk. Faith Hill True combines all three of these types, and, surprisingly, the result is a fresh, easy perfume that isn’t as Cleaning Lady as it sounds.

True was launched in 2010, and was the second Faith Hill fragrance. Its notes include yuzu, mimosa, lily, gardenia, woods, sandalwood and musk. I thought the original Faith Hill was a pretty, nicely made floral — a great find in the drugstore. Since I reviewed the very first celebrity fragrance, Elizabeth Taylor Passion, yesterday, it seemed fitting to review a more recent celebrity fragrance today…

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Elizabeth Taylor Passion ~ fragrance review

Elizabeth Taylor Passion

Here we have it, folks, the first celebrity fragrance: Elizabeth Taylor Passion. That’s right. In 1987, Elizabeth Taylor was the first big name, besides a couturier, to brand a perfume. And she went big. Unlike some celebrities who curiously say, “I don’t really like perfume, but I like this one” about their eponymous “clean smelling” scents, Taylor put together a glamorous whopper of a perfume.1

Passion’s notes include gardenia, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, lily of the valley, amber musk, patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood, incense, and moss. In 1988, the fragrance won a FiFi as the Women’s Fragrance of the Year, Nouveau Niche (Fendi won Fragrance of the Year, Luxe).

Jan Moran in Fabulous Fragrances quotes Taylor as saying about Passion, “It has a scent of mystery, slightly effusive, kind of smoky and sweet.” As to why she named the fragrance Passion…

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