I'm writing this review from my favorite beach or, more accurately, the beachside inn where I'm taking a short breather from the city and soaking up some of the last warm temperatures of the season. It's been an unpredictable month or so, both in the weather forecast and in my day-to-day activities, and I needed this sunshiny break even more than I realized at first. I also brought along a few fragrances that I've been wearing regularly over the past few weeks, since they seem to bridge the various moods of this summer-into-autumn moment.
I bought the Lush Garden box of travel sprays back in August, and initially I was focused on Rose Jam and V, since I already love the Rose Jam shower gel and the discontinued (and similar to V!) Don't Rain on My Parade shower gel. Lately, though, I've been gravitating towards Pansy. Lush describes Pansy as "a warm hug of a fragrance" that evokes "a sun-soaked stroll through a Mediterranean orchard" with notes of bergamot, orange blossom, oakmoss, rosemary, labdanum and musk. Actual pansies don't have a fragrance, but this Pansy is a bright, comfortable blend of juicy clementine orange and cottony white musk. Yet again, there's a parallel with a shower gel from Lush — I don't have any Olive Branch on hand, but I'm pretty sure the scent is close to Pansy. Available as 30 ml ($45) and 100 ml ($90) parfum at the Lush website.
I can't pull off the original Thierry Mugler Alien, but I took a shine to Alien Goddess (developed for Mugler by perfumers Marie Salamagne and Nathalie Lorson) when I tried it in a department store last month. Alien Goddess's "incandescent and generous solar embrace" includes notes of bergamot, coconut water, jasmine, heliotrope, cashmeran and vanilla. I happen to like "fancy suntan oil" perfumes, like Guerlain Terracotta, and that's what this is: coconut milk, flashes of buttery white florals (just as much frangipani as jasmine) and sheer, sharp-ish musk. Alien Goddess might also appeal to fans of Tom Ford Soleil Blanc, and it's priced much more reasonably. Available as 10 ml ($34), 30 ml ($87), 60 ml ($123) and 89 ml ($170) Eau de Parfum.
Nomenclature Minted was one of my most-worn perfumes of Summer 2022 and now I'm digging out my sample vial of Neo Rose, Nomenclature's olfactory sketch of "a rose pressed between the sheets of a suede-bound book." If you're a rose-and-patchouli fan (remember L'Artisan Voleur de Roses?) you might want to try Neo Rose's blend of black tea, rose and patchouli (with additional notes of jasmine, freesia, bergamot, pink pepper and white wood). It's very "contemporary niche" — smooth and dark and very all-gender, with plenty of sillage. Available as 20 ml ($90) or 75 ml ($175) Eau de Parfum at Aedes.
For an October evening out when there's a hint of a chill in the air, I'm spraying on some Liquides Imaginaires Fleur de Sable, "a treasure born from a breath of burning sand wind." Fleur de Sable was developed for Liquides Imaginaires by perfumer Amélie Bourgeois and features notes of "wind," eglantine and orris. (It It reminds me slightly of my old love Lalique Perles de Lalique, due to its notes of dusky rose, black pepper and cedar wood, but it's less translucent and more intense than Perles. It makes me feel like a 1930s Hollywood movie star (wearing an evening gown, of course) in some black-and-white film set near the Arabian desert. Available as 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($200).
To close with a fragrance inspired by the autumn landscape: Pourpre D'Automne (not shown), one of the historically inspired fragrances offered by the relaunched Maison Violet, is a "chypre in an autumnal atmosphere." I've never smelled the original Violet version of Pourpre D'Automne from 1923, but I like this fragrance (developed by perfumer Nathalie Lorson) —it's a fruity (even "jammy") blend of rose and violet, with a plummy iris note at its heart and some soft, sepia-toned incense in its base. Pourpre d'Automne doesn't feel exactly "vintage," nor strictly contemporary — it's a gentle floral chypre that reminds me more of certain fragrances from the 1970s and 1980s, which is just fine with me. Available as 75 ml Eau de Parfum ($175) at Indigo Perfumery.
How about you? How has your fall been going, and what have you been wearing that feels particularly autumnal, if anything? Feel free to share in the comments!