If you don't change up your fragrance with every passing season, you're missing out on one of life's greatest small pleasures. As excited as I get about fall fashion, nothing makes me look forward to autumn more than thinking about trying out a new fall fragrance. It might partly be because I've never been very into floral, summery perfumes. I love perfumes that have a dark heart, whether they're spicy or musky or woodsy.
Now that October is finally here, I've been rediscovering my old favorite fall perfumes as well as trying out a few new ones. If there's one thing that I've noticed about my autumn fragrances, it's that each and every single one calls for snuggling up with someone while you're wearing it, whether you're outside in the crisp fall air or inside by the fire.
To that end, I made this list of my favorite fall fragrances (some old, some new, and some new-to-me) and suggestions for the perfect fall date to go with each fragrance. Whether you love a rich, masculine fragrance or you want a more delicate, feminine scent, there's sure to be one in this list for you.
This is the perfume that I wear when I need to break out the big guns. I only wear it in the fall and winter, though, because it's too much in the heat of the summer. It's an interesting fragrance; people tend to love it or hate it. Personally I think it's incredibly sexy, but I can understand how some might find it too strong or abrasive.
Black Orchid contains notes of jasmine, sandalwood, incense, patchouli, amber, chocolate and vanilla somehow, and a few other florals and spices. You can see how it's an extremely complex fragrance that can be overwhelming. It's definitely very sexy, but in a dark and slightly dirty way. Personally Black Orchid always makes me think of New York on a winter night, so I suggest wearing it for a fancy evening date in the city: drinks, dinner, and then (inevitably) more drinks at their place.
I love the unique, interesting fragrances by TokyoMilk but this one has long been my favorite. Despite the slightly cheesy name, this fragrance really is sexy. It has notes of vanilla, wood, and white orchid. It's a very warm, spicy scent so this is another one that I wait impatiently until fall to wear.
It's not quite as strong as Black Orchid so you can wear this for a day or evening date. I vote for wearing it to see a movie with your crush. This scent is addicting (but not overpowering) so it's all they'll be able to think about while sitting next to you.
This fragrance is, without a doubt, very masculine. That said, women can wear it too. It's warm and soft, with notes of leather, green tomato leaf, and vanilla. I find that just a spritz on each wrist helps to make a cozy sweater smell even more inviting. Wear this for cuddling up next to a blazing fire on a cold night.
This is such a pretty sandalwood scent, and it also has a strong note of roses that helps to balance out the masculine with the feminine. Rather than sexy, I would call this fragrance romantic. Wear it for a walk through the park, a stroll through a museum, and a candlelit dinner because this gorgeous perfume deserves roses and great art and fine wine.
This is another fragrance that can be very divisive. Obviously you'll need to like musky perfumes to enjoy this one, since it has strong base notes of musk and patchouli; however it also has notes of orange blossom, lily, and neroli. I suggest wearing this down-to-earth fragrance for taking your honey to the local dive bar to drink beer and play old classics on the jukebox while pretending to let them beat you at pool.
Cashmere, like all of CLEAN's fragrances, smells soft, simple, and... well, clean. It has notes of bergamot, lime, cedar leaf, and sandalwood. It's a very relaxing, unobtrusive scent that really does make you think of a freshly laundered cashmere sweater. Wear this while snuggling on the couch watching your favorite fall movies with your favorite person, and even if you haven't done laundry in weeks it will feel like all is right with the world.
7. Demeter Fall Scents
Demeter is known for taking all of your favorite scents, no matter how out-there, and bottling them. They have everything from cotton candy to paint. Of course, they have tons of fall scents. My favorites are Cinnamon Bun, Mulled Cider, Pumpkin Pie, Sandalwood, and Cardamom. They all smell exactly like you'd think, and for me they really invoke strong childhood memories of fall.
I suggest wearing one of the gourmand fragrances (like Cinnamon Bun or Mulled Cider) for an outdoor date, like going on a hay ride. This way you'll smell deliciously like fall, without it interfering with any actual food that you may want to eat. The Sandalwood and Cardamom scents, on the other hand, are perfect for wearing indoors when you just want to curl up next to each other with a good book and some tea.
I know what you're thinking, but I promise this fragrance doesn't really smell like cannabis. Described as "a classic scent for men," I would say that this scent is actually unisex. It has strong patchouli notes along with magnolia, chocolate, and vanilla musk. I've been sniffing it every time I visited Sephora and now I'm really happy to finally own it just in time for fall — because it really is the ideal fall fragrance. Wear this fragrance for an outdoor picnic in the park to smell as fresh and pretty as the autumnal foliage around you.
Images: Kelly Dougher