When Every Leaf Is A Flower – My Top Perfume Picks For Fall

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus

I love the fall season.

That is a relatively recent development though. In previous, unenlightened (read: pre-perfumania) times, I didn’t particularly care for the sadness of nature’s involution, my naturally pessimistic disposition chose to focus on the depressing aspects of fall – decline, decay, decrepitude, deterioration, dissolution, death.

I was quite the cheerful gal! 😉

Perfume allowed me to see the other side more clearly. Crisp air, agreeable temperatures after the summer’s oppressive heat (see, I’m just not one to derive much happiness from the weather), beautiful colors, nature going down with a fanfare. And most importantly of all – the chance to wear wonderful perfumes, to go all out, to choose from the whole palette.

Fall is perfume time, anything goes and it is the time to rediscover old favorites in your collection once again and with a fresh nose.

Guerlain Tonka Impériale: my security blanket, warm and cuddly and ravishingly pretty, this works every time, anywhere.

Ginestet Botryitis: a honey perfume, a grown-up gourmand, Botrytis is golden fall sunlight in a bottle, which is as unusual and beautiful like the perfume itself.

Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois: a walk in the multi-colored woods, shoving fallen leaves away with your feet and loving the sound and feel of it. (Chanel Bois des Iles is also in that category for me.)

Amouage Memoir Woman: Dark, mysterious, ever changing and unlike anything else, Memoir is unique and the ultimate heart-wrenching fall beauty that doesn’t close its eyes to the darker side of things.

Cuir de Lancome: pure elegance and sophistication that prefers cool temperatures to really shine.

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur: an on-again, off-again heated love affair of mine, always on that thin red line between love and hate. Cuddly and repulsive at once. I hate you, don’t leave me…

Puredistance M: my husband’s signature scent. M smells like him, but on cold fall days that is exactly what I need, the next best thing to an embrace when circumstances make the real thing impossible.

Dior Privée Patchouli Impérial: like a best friend among perfumes, Patchouli Impérial is dependable, reliable and fun. It’s great to spend time with it and its color matches the trees outside.

Chanel Coromandel: earthy elegance and polished poise, Coromandel manages to unite warmth and sophistication. It shows you need not be distant and aloof, to be elegant and refined.

Ormonde Jayne Woman: an enchanted forest, a fairy-tale, an enigmatic companion on your journey though the day, it raises heads and questions, but despite its mysterious allures, it essentially keeps you safe and sound.

Take a look at the fall favorites lists of my collaborating bloggers Persolaise, Eyeliner on a cat and Fragrant Moments.

What are your fall favorites?


About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Amber, Amouage, Dior, Dior La Collection Privée, Fragrance Reviews, Frederic Malle, Gourmand, Guerlain, Honey, Lancome, Leather, Musk, Oriental, Ormonde Jayne, Patchouli, Puredistance, Sonoma Scent Studio, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to When Every Leaf Is A Flower – My Top Perfume Picks For Fall

  1. Civava says:

    Let’s just say I can drag Mr. Serge L. from the back of my drawer together with some heavy winter clothes. Mysterious, colourful and dark at the same time. I consider these kind of perfume like some additional layer of clothes as they give me some special warmth. Many of the Andy Tauer perfumes will also get a chance to see the daylight ;-).

  2. Persolaise says:

    What a wonderful list, thank you. And guess what: I nearly included Lancome’s Cuir on mine. It’s heavenly stuff.

    I see we both went for an Amouage. Surprise surprise 😉

  3. Sandra says:

    I love fall and enjoyed reading your list. I love warm and cuddly perfumes in the cool months. Some new perfumes in my closet that will be in heavy rotation this fall are: Guerlain Gourmand Coquin, Guerlain Shanghai, A Lab on Fire What we do in Paris is Secret and list could go on. Now I just need some warm tea, a fire and a good book…

  4. Safran says:

    Great list, thank you! Now I need to revisit Memoir Woman and get my hands on a sample of Champagne de Bois, they both sound lovely! Autumn used to be a time of scents with leather, amber, spices and incense for me. That has slightly changed, or better, enhanced, my sweet tooth is very dominant lately. So I am looking forward to wearing Iris Ganache, Arquiste’s Anima Dulcis, Gourmand Coquin, Mona di Orio’s Oud and Vanilla and the cozy powdery Hilde Soliani Io. Also, I am eagerly awaiting a decant of Une Voix Noire, a blind buy, which sounds very much like an autumn-y scent to me. Almost forgot, my favourite “autumn” roses, Incense rose by Andy Tauer and Lyric Woman by Amouage. The new Andy Tauer – Loretta, is another one, I am looking forward to trying (hopefully) soon, it sounds like the perfect autumn tuberose to me! ;o)


    • Olfactoria says:

      Sorry, your comment landed in the spam folder (wordpress acting up).

      Oh, I love the things you list here and I’m excited about your Lutens blind buy, I very nearly did the same. Un Voix Noire sounds very, very interesting. Can’t wait to try it…

  5. Ooh, major swoon for Tonka Imperiale! It’s one of my favorite tobacco-ish gourmands. And OJ Woman is so perfect for fall as well. Lovely post, Birgit!

  6. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Oh, my sister in pessimism – I know what you mean… And while I love autumn until it’s like today – a lovely crisp day with weak sunshine and mild temperature, and that inimitable light (faded, but mesmerizing), one only can have in fall – I dread those November days with wind and rain and cold.
    Well, for those days I’ll dig up my Vetiver Oriental from Serge Lutens, and my Vetiver Sacre from L’Artisan Parfumeur, and another vetiver, which will be launched on 1st of October first (;-) ) – those are my warming Vetivers.

  7. Pingback: Seven Fragrances You Should Know This Fall |

  8. lucasai says:

    I feel ashamed because I don’t know a single one from your autumn faves.
    I think that this fall I will be wearing a lot of my new Rose Anonyme, probably Prada Amber Pour Homme will be sprayed quite often (I love it every season)
    Maybe I’ll use up my samples of Black and White Aoud from Montale…
    And I will be using Eau de Gloire when I buy it in November.

  9. Tara says:

    I’m so glad perfume has enabled you to see the joys of autumn. I feel exactly the same.

    Your list is gorgeous. There’s something so appealing about the leathery, honeyed, incensey, woody, leafy perfumes that go so well with the season.

    My favourites are all on your list – Bois des Iles, Cuir de Lancome, Botrytis and Ormonde Woman. OJ’s Ta’if is a nice autumn rose too. If I was lucky enough to own them, I’d also add Bois d’Armenie and Bois d’Encens.

  10. Dubaiscents says:

    In thinking about this, I realize I have a ton of fall appropriate scents for someone who lives in a place with no autumn season! I have to go with Interlude Man for my number one (the smoke reminds me of the wood stove at my parents house and how we would always have the first fires in the fall) and then pretty much any of the Serge Lutens I own and Ambre Orient from Armani Prive. Memoir Woman is on my wish list too!

  11. Birgit I love the title of this post. I tried to come up with something but I had nothing 😉 I think we feel the same way about Musc Ravageur. I used to love that one but recently, it didn’t move me. I guess that happens with time. Great list. I must get my hands on Sonoma Scent. I have yet to experience it.

  12. shylotus says:

    I love the leathers this time of year. Cuir de Lancome (hands down my favorite) and Cuir de Russie. Bois des Iles – it is scent of such beauty but with some loss lurking in the background (for me). Thanks for a lovely autumn post, Birgit!

  13. Alexandra says:

    What a glorious list, there is absolutely no doubt that this is my favourite season. Plus Ginestet Botryitis jumps straight to the top of my ‘To Try’ list!

  14. Suzanne says:

    I’m right there with you on Puredistance M, Coromandel and Memoir Woman (if I had a bottle of Memoir Woman … oy, my lust for Amouage perfumes never ends). I’d add to that list Amouage Epic Woman, Amouage Opus VI, Caron Tabac Blond extrait, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, Serge Lutens Arabie, Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, Serge Lutens Boxeuses … hmm, I’ll stop. Civava is right – Serge Lutens has so many that are perfect for fall.

  15. arline says:

    I guess I need to smell Cuir de lancome, and probably own it, I want Ormonde Jayne Woman, and a few others. At the moment, it is Bois du Champagne (love) 🙂

    I love these lists, and seeing where to focus on the fragrance spectrum, as it relates to the seasons.

  16. Suzy Q says:

    In the past fall meant getting out all those perfumes that were on hold for the summer until…
    Last fall I discovered two of my decants smell especially perfect in the fall: Vanille Insensee and L’Heure Fougueuse.
    I recently got Memoir in a swap, so I’ll soon know if it will take it’s place in my list as well. (Lists rock!)

  17. Ellia says:

    My fall favourites:
    Montale – Patchouli Leaves, Red Aoud
    Serge Lutens – Chergui, Feminite du Bois
    Teo Cabanel – Alahine
    Amouage – Lyric Woman, Memoir Woman
    Guerlain – Shalimar
    Hermes – Hermessense Vetiver Tonka, Ambre Narguille
    Mona di Orio – Les Nombres d’Or Musc and Vanille
    Chanel – Coromandel
    Oh, God, I love them all!!!)))

  18. Dionne says:

    Reading over your list, I’m noticing that some of your fall favorites are my winter favorites, like Coromandel and Champagne de Bois; basically, all the snugglies. I think I set those aside for winter because it’s so long here (a good 5 or 6 months), and the comfort aspect is important. Autumn in the Canadian Rockies is an interesting season: mornings so cold you need gloves, mid-day temperatures still as hot as summer, not a lot of change in tree color because of the predominance of spruce and pine, and the season only lasts a month or two.

    Because I’m about to face a long winter, this is the time I find myself craving scents that evoke that marvellous golden sun: Jour Ensolleilé is top of my list, and a newly acquired Golden Cattleya hits the spot too. My incenses seem to get a lot of rotation as well, since there’s something about September that has me contemplative and examining what I want to change, far more than January does.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Five or six months of winter is indeed very long, oh my.
      I can see how comfort is incredibly important, you have a few excellent ones in there to do the job.

      Thanks for reminding me of Jour Ensoleillée, it’s golden beauty should be worn now.

    • Melis says:

      Dionne, we must live in the same area, lol! I’m in the city, 3 hours from the mountains. But the weather is much the same. The winter is so long and can get bitterly cold. I’ve never tried the scents you’ve mentioned, off to read more about them. 🙂

  19. Asali says:

    So many good suggestions here,both yours Birgit, and in the comments. I completely agree that Autumn time is Serge time; I think Douce Amere and Rousse, and on the really cold days Fumerie Turque, and on the melancholic ones; De Profundis. Also Cuir Noir does it for me, then there is Wazamba, and Idole. Iris Ganache and Songe d’un Bois d’Ete (thanks to a special perfume fairy ❤ ) Ooh, and if I had a bottle of Tabac Blond, I'd surely bathe in it 🙂 That was 10! Scary, what about all the others?

  20. Melis says:

    My fall picks would be warm, heavy, blanket-y fragrances like Boucheron and Habanita. I love how these smell while rising from warm flesh and diffusing into the crisp fall air. The contrast of warmth and coolness.

  21. Melis says:

    I wish I could feel the love for Amouage like yourself and others. Bought the discovery set recently but there is something common between the fragrances, except for Reflection, that doesn’t work well with my skin. I think I have it pinned down to the combination of rose and oakmoss. I am sad as I had hoped to adore them. I may have to plan a giveaway in the very near future!

  22. I love fall too! Coromandel and Musc Ravageur makes it on my list. So does Serge Lutens’ Chergui and Tubereuse Criminelle.

  23. Figuier says:

    Lovely quote! Autumn has long been my favourite season – and in the UK and Ireland it lasts a long time, with foliage taking its time about falling from the trees. I love the crisp weather, the smell of gently decomposing apples and plums, and the rediscovery of my cold-weather wardrobe – winter coat, cashmere jumper, proper boots and black opaque tights. And then of course the perfumes:

    Chanel Coromandel (tho I do wear this in summer)
    Cuir de Lancome
    Fracas parfum

    Since the weather suddenly turned chilly last week I’ve also rediscovered last autumn’s lemmings: By Kilian Rose Oud and PG Indochine. And Sycomore is great in this weather too – so I’m v keen to try out Vetiver Tonka, which sounds like an even cuddlier, more autumnal vetiver.

  24. Undina says:

    When I lived in the country where we had winters (often nasty ones, I should add) I didn’t like autumns. But since I moved to North California where most seasons are very mild Fall is one of the best times of the year: I can wear my cooler weather perfumes AND holidays are coming.

    I plan to start wearing all those beautiful amber perfumes that felt slightly wrong even in cold summer days. I’m testing more Guerlain perfumes. I’ll get out several leather perfumes that require more attention. It’s still really warm here but I’m looking forward to cooler weather and planning my Fall perfume wardrobe.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Northern California has a lovely climate, I wouldn’t want to live in LA, but the Bay Area or wine country… sigh, I think I’d love it there.
      Some perfumes are just made for fall, aren’t they?

  25. Judith says:

    I bought a bottle of Cuir de Lancome a few years back and I get it out every autumn. This week I got some Alien Essence Absolou body cream and I now realise that they have something in common in the dry down. It’s not about sweetness, and I don’t like amber on the whole, but these both have a bit of scowl on.

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