It's mid-September, and I've been flipping through various beauty-and-fashion magazines to keep up with things. I've been particularly struck by all the "New Season, New Scent" headlines. I know, I know — this is how the fragrance business stays in existence, yet this autumn I'm craving comfort and familiarity far more than novelty.
Looking back five years (!), I'd still wear most of my picks from my Top Ten Fall Fragrances of 2010, but I've also made a few "new" favorites since then. Here are my very personal picks for the months ahead.
I'm looking forward to an off-season seashore getaway soon, and I'll be packing Diptyque Florabellio. It will be perfect for sipping a morning cup of coffee on the front porch of a bed-and-breakfast and then taking a breezy boardwalk stroll.
I love violet fragrances all year 'round, but Atelier Cologne Sous le Toit de Paris feels especially fitting for transitional weather: it's a modern homage to classic violet perfumes, brightened with citrus and fennel. Another contemporary violet that I'm about to pull out is Balenciaga Paris. It always seems slightly humorless and overdressed to me if I sniff it in the spring or summer, and then fall rolls around and it's just right again.
How about some autumn-appropriate roses? Two that I'll be wearing this fall are Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin, a sophisticated winey-spicy rose bouquet, and the haute-bohemian Byredo Rose Noir, a summer birthday gift that already feels like a signature scent to me.
I mentioned "comfort" above, and autumn really is the perfect time to bring out some cozy gourmands. I already own choices at various price points, from the salty vanilla-amber of Calvin Klein Reveal to the exotic confiserie of Jul et Mad Néa (just a decant of the latter, but a little goes a long way!).
This is also the time of year when I refresh my stash of affordable black wool cardigans, and I've found an olfactory equivalent for that wardrobe staple: Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black, which I received as a travel-sized roll-on from Sephora this summer and have been keeping in reserve for cooler weather. And, speaking of affordable little treats from the mall: The Body Shop Smoky Poppy is a baby cousin to Opium and Cinnabar, and you should grab some if you still can.
Lastly, there's no time like fall to revisit the classics. I may have overdosed a bit on Guerlain Shalimar in my past, but I've been reuniting with it lately and remembering why it still holds a special place in my heart.
What are your fall favorites for 2015 — whether time-tested, new-to-you, or somewhere in-between?