How To Find A Fall Perfume That Doesn’t Smell Like Your Mom’s Potpourri

Our sense of smell can often dictate how we’re feeling. If there’s a pile of dirty laundry in your bathroom, the smell of mildew will probably make you feel like a disgusting pig. If there are cookies baking in the oven, you will probably be inexplicably filled with the naive belief that life has meaning and the world is full of goodness.

Similarly, the type of fragrance or perfume we choose to wear heavily informs how we’re meshing with our surroundings. If you’ve ever worn a guilty-pleasure tropical fragrance to a dark, swanky cocktail bar, then you’ll know what I mean. It’s important to surround ourselves with smells that make us feel our best in our given surroundings.

Since summer is slowly transitioning to fall, it’s probably time to give you personal perfume arsenal an update. What made you feel happy in the summer won’t necessarily be what makes you feel happiest in the fall or winter. Here are some specific ways to transition your fragrance profile and preferences into the new season:

Related-ish: What Your Favorite ’90s Perfume Says About You Then—and Now


Floral

When transitioning from summer into autumn, florals can be updated for the cooler weather by leaning into slightly muskier buds. Rose, for example, can be an excellent fall and winter fragrance — as long as it isn’t excessively powdery or elderly. When picking an autumnal floral, you want to think more along the lines of Gothic Princess, as opposed to Grandma’s Teatime.  These fragrances are the perfect mix of classically delicate florals, with a rich, warming undertone. Coco Noir focuses on that deeper rose fragrance, while Pure Poison is a bit more gardenia-influenced. My Burberry has top notes of geranium and sweet pea, with deeper undertones of patchouli.

Coco Noir by Chanel Paris

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Pure Poison by Dior

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My Burberry by Burberry

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Fresh

When you think of a “fresh” fragrance, there’s a pretty decent chance a summery citrus scent comes to mind. However, “fresh” can remain in fashion all the way through winter, if chosen correctly. During cooler months, it’s nice to choose crisp, clean fragrances that lean more heavily on water-inspired scents, as well as cotton and linens. The Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Fico Di Amalfi fragrance has some heady citrus notes, but manages to make them a bit more muted with the help of some fig wood and cedarwood. Iris Meadow, by Aerin, and Clean Reserve Terra Woods also combine lighter, fresh notes with more forested, woody influences (perfect for traipsing through the fall foliage).

Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Fico Di Amalfi

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Iris Meadow by Aerin

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Clean Reserve Terra Woods

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Fruity

While it may be time to bid adieu to the more tropical fruity scents of summer, the slightly more refined fruits of fall and winter have a lot to offer our olfactory senses. DKNY’s Be Tempted combined the classic fall apple scent with more musky oriental fragrances, creating a bit of a reinvented Snow White fantasy. Fan di Fendi combines playful citrus with sexier jasmine notes, resulting in a fragrance that is both fruity and warm.

DKNY Be Tempted

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Fan di Fendi

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Spicy

Warmer, spicy scents always do well during the months of fall, especially when they lean into more complex fragrance combinations (unlike the stereotypical vanilla perfumes). It’s nice to have a warm fragrance which is actually reminiscent of those seasonal moments, like sitting around the fire, or sipping a hot toddy. Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille and Velvet Orchid both bring an unparalleled richness to the typical musky fragrances, adding notes of smoke and spice. Nirvana Black by Elizabeth and James has a slightly less spicy fragrance than the Tom Ford options, but has a very unique mellow sweetness, courtesy of sandalwood and violet.

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

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Tom Ford Velvet Orchid

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Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black

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Woody

If you enjoy warm fragrances, but tend to shy away from anything to sweet, your perfect autumnal perfume with combine the fragrances of wood and incense, along with some lighter, more outdoorsy notes. Maison Margiela’s By The Fireplace has a true warmth and smokiness which is reminiscent of an outdoor marshmallow roast. Atelier’s Figuier Ardent combines sweeter fig notes with more forest-inspired fragrances, such as cedarwood and pepper. Nirvana Bourbon by Elizabeth and James serves up an addictive bouquet of (obviously) vanilla and bourbon with some oakwood and tuberose, so you can feel like an autumnal witch in the woods.

Maison Margiela “Replica” By The Fireplace

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 Atelier Collection Azul – Figuier Ardent

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Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon

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Related-ish: 10 Sexy Scents To Help You Get It On

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