Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2016

Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple fall leaves

To give you a thoughtful top ten for fall, I went to the experts: Tracy and André at Fumerie. Both of them used to work at Portland’s Perfume House and amassed years of experience with the classics. Then, seven months ago, Tracy opened Fumerie to focus on niche fragrances, and André joined her.

To give you an idea of their tastes in fragrance, Tracy has a tattoo on her forearm of her favorite perfume notes: patchouli, hay, tobacco, cocoa, and leather. When she thinks of fall, she thinks of comforting scents that remind her of riding her horse as a teenager through the leaves, and the smells of Oregon’s crisp autumn air, sweet alfalfa, saddle leather, grain and the horse itself.

André loves vintage fragrances and has a nose for classically constructed perfumes…

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Tom Ford Orchid Soleil ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil

The latest fragrance release from designer Tom Ford is Orchid Soleil, a new addition to the designer’s Signature Collection of feminine fragrances and a flanker to 2006’s Black Orchid. I have to admit that I didn’t really care for Black Orchid, nor for Violet Blonde. Something about Tom Ford fragrances just doesn’t “fit” me. But I received a sample vial of Orchid Soleil with a recent makeup purchase, so why not give it a try, right?

Orchid Soleil’s composition of bitter orange, pink pepper, cypress, tuberose, black orchid, spider lily, vanilla, chestnut cream accord and patchouli supposedly “captures the seductive warmth and reflective bare skin of the Tom Ford woman.” Since I’m apparently not “the Tom Ford woman,” I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it more than its sister scents…

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Dame Perfumery Chocolate Man ~ fragrance review

Theobroma cacao

“Kevin, would you like to smell chocolaty?”

“Are you kidding? Besides onions, garlic and seafood, that’s the last thing I want to smell like! I hate candy perfumes.” (Insert head-toss)

It’s a short walk from baked goods (I like scents with bread and cake notes), spices, and sweet “fancy” dessert aromas of violet and rose to — chocolate bars, fudge and icing. I took the necessary steps by buying a sample of Chocolate Man from Arizona-based Dame Perfumery last summer. I finally tried Chocolate Man this week, three months later, and am eating my anti-chocolate-perfume words…

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5 perfumes: vetiver fragrances for fall

vetiver wreath

This is the second of my seasonal posts for vetiver (I’ve already done a list for summer), and as always, the line between the seasons is perhaps a bit arbitrary and/or personal: some of these fragrances wear just as well in summer or winter, and some of them work perfectly fine all the year round. But certainly any of the five would work just fine for autumn weather. As always, do add your own picks in the comments…

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Masque Milano Romanza & L’Attesa ~ fragrance reviews


Usually in autumn I’m drawn toward woodsy, smoky, leathery fragrances. Not this autumn. Go figure. Despite the rain and falling leaves, it’s the floral, “girly” perfumes that have pulled me in lately. When I came across a full set of Masque Milano testers last week, I had to ask for sample vials of the line’s floral scents, Romanza and L’Attesa.

First, a quick word on the Masque Milano line. The fragrances are grouped into four “acts” that make up the “opera of life.” The acts are: experiences, places, discoveries, and journeys (no, that’s not all four acts, just one); interior monologues, emotions, deep thoughts and inner reflections, lights and shadows of human nature; sentimental relationships, romance and love, affections and betrayals; and dreams. Romanza and L’Attesa are part of Act III, the one about sentimental relationships.

Perfumer Cristiano Canali developed Romanza, a complex narcissus…

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