Tag Archives: best Autumn perfume

My Top Ten Autumn Fragrances 2017

Photo of the Forest of Dean Gloucestershire, taken by me.

It’s with reluctance that I put away my eau fraiche bottles and my sandals and my sunglasses. They didn’t get used much this “summer”, which I believe fell on a Tuesday here in Wales.

Being pale and slightly on the gingery side, I far prefer the cool weather to the hot, so I’m very comfortable in Autumn and the colours of the changing trees have me in raptures.

Photo of my home town Cwmbran, taken by me

When it comes to choosing Autumn fragrance, I don’t just like to go for the warm spices, I like to go for the aldehydes, deep vanillas and the chypres too.  I love the fact that the cold air brings out the best in some fragrances that might just be a bit much in the heat.  In fact, I thought it was high time I did a list of the fragrances I like best in Autumn.

My list below is in no particular order because putting them in order of preference would be impossible. I would happily go through gallons of all ten of these and would find it impossible to choose a favourite.

4160 Tuesdays Eau My Soul

My most recent review and a real treat.  This is the first ever truly democratic fragrance with each note being voted for by members of Facebook group Eau My Soul and used in accordance with its popularity.  It does help of course if the person making it is genius perfumer Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays. This is a sandalwood, incense-y, citrussy, floral delight.  But don’t take my word for it. Order your Sample now.

Photo by Thomas Dunckley for Papillon Perfumery

 Papillon Dryad

Papillon Dryad is the creation of the uber talented Liz Moores and was born in the heart of New Forest among trees. It is THE mossy green chypre I have been searching for. You may think a scent as green as this belongs in spring, but trust me when I tell you chypres are sensational in cool weather. You can buy Papillon Dryad from here and read my review here.

 

Le Jardin Retrouvé Cuir Russie

Le Jardin Retrouvé is a wonderful brand with a touching backstory. The perfumer Yuri Gutsatz sadly passed away in 2005, having created a collection of wonderful niche fragrances.  His son Michel has revided the brand and carried the family torch into the Twenteens and thank goodness he did. Although I had smelled and enjoyed a sample of Cuir Russie, it wasn’t until I entered a room in which  perfume writer Stephan Matthews was wearing it that I realised how many nuances this beautiful leather scent has. All the fragrances in the collection are excellent and the dreamy ethereal artwork by artist Clara Feder adds a unique whimsy and beauty. You can buy it from here and read my review of the whole collection here.

First by Van Cleef and Arpels

First is the nearest thing I have to a signature scent. It’s a long-lasting floral aldehyde created in 1977 that unfurls its notes in layerss as you wear it.  I’m completely smitten and have nearly emptied my 60ml EDP bottle. Can’t live without this one. You can read my review here and buy it from here. 

Firedance by Ruth Mastenbroek

You may recall my recent review of perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek’s fourth fragrance, Firedance. With big notes of rose, leather and oud, Firedance is a beautifully blended Damask rose scent that has incredible longevity and is perfect for Autumn.  Wearing these feels both cosy and celebratory,  like being wrapped in a warm blanket whilst fireworks go off.  I love it. You can buy it from here.

SJP Stash

Sarah Jessica Parker is the range I point people towards if they ever tell me they don’t “do” celebrity scents. With the enthusiasm of a true fume head, SJP knows her perfume like Carrie Bradshaw knew shoes. Stash is a unisex, woody, sandalwood, incense fragrance that is mature and audacious. You can buy it from Superdrug. 

DSH Chinchilla

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has this knack of creating modern perfume that make you think you have just prized the lid off an unopened chypre from 1920. How she gets them to smell vintage is beyond me, but she does it beautifully. Chinchilla evokes fur stoles, glamour, cigarette holders, and opera gloves. It is a superb example of a classic chypre. You can buy DSH fragrances from the website here and read my review of Chinchilla here.

Marina Barcenilla India

The multi-talented Marina Barcenilla is a gifted natural perfumer who has won not one, but two coveted Fragrance Foundation Awards (or Fifis).  India has sandalwood and tuberose and roses all in one stunning Autumnal scent that radiates from skin and gives a good eleven hours longevity.  I also have the rollerball skin oil, which also makes your skin smell incredible, as well as leaving it silky soft. You can buy MB Parfums from the website here and read my review of India here.

Tauerville Amber Flash

The  delightful Andy Tauer has branched out into a wider reaching and more affordable range of fragrances under the umbrella name of the Tauerville Flash series.  Not that his usual scents are overpriced- they’re worth every penny.  I loved Amber Flash and reviewed it here. It is as it sounds, but so much more too. It gives off a cosy warmth and a heat that is just perfect in cold weather (and of course, unisex). You can buyTauerville scents here.

 

Aftelier Amber Tapestry

Somewhere in Berkeley California, Mandy Aftel mixes and measures until her natural fragrances are just right.  Amber Tapestry is the perfect name for this.  The fragrance opens with orange flower and gets warmer and more resinous as it unfurls its layers on your skin. Ending with a long lasting base of resinous, leathery vanilla, Amber Tapestry is just what I want to wrap myself in when its dark outside. You can buy Amber Tapestry from Aftelier.com and read my review here.

Over to you

How about you? What do you reach for in Autumn? ambers? vanilla? chypres? or something completely unexpected? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

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Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie: Not Just For Halloween

pumpkin-pie-30_grandeIt’s Halloween and I’m up to my elbows in dismembered jelly fingers for trick or treaters. So what does a perfume lover wear on such a day? Well, if you ask me, there’s one go-to brand that really does have a scent for every occasion and Halloween is no exception. It has to be the wonderful Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie.

Now despite the playful image, Library of Fragrance scents are taken very seriously indeed by me. I have yet to come across one that was poor or that didn’t do what it says on the tin (or bottle). My earlier review of Library of Fragrance Play Doh compared it to Dior Hypnotic Poison and I make no apologies for it. Pumpkin Pie is of a similar calibre and after today I won’t just be saving it for Halloween.

dentynePumpkin Pie opens with clove and cinnamon. I was wearing it today and as my skin warmed it up, I was wondering what it was that I was reminded of. It was a happy childhood memory that I couldn’t place…and then it came to me- Dentyne chewing gum in cinnamon flavour! I apologise if I’m not making this sound attractive. It may have reminded me of this gum, but with the addition of spicy clove and warm, toasty vanilla, this also evokes a kitchen flooded with the aroma of home baking. It has some similarities with Library of Fragrance Gingerbread, and shares the same cosy warmth.  The cinnamon and clove join forces with a wonderfully rich vanilla and they all hold hands to give a familiar and comforting pumpkin spice accord. It gets very addictive and you may want to wear it long after Halloween has been and gone.

What I like about Pumpkin Pie is that the vanilla is rich and buttery without being sweet or cheap smelling. This is a proper rsz_pumpkinfreshly baked slice of something Nanna just made. The Pumpkin Spice accord is huge in the states, especially pre Thanksgiving time,  and it’s catching on over here. I’m glad about this because I love a bit of spice and I love a good cosy scent around this time of year.

When I’m wearing my witches’ hat later and traipsing about in the cold, I can at least be sure that I will smell far less threatening than the very fierce six year old vampire who will be next to me.

Happy Halloween!

Stockists

You can buy Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie from The Library of Fragrance website. Branches of Boots also carry a selection of Library of Fragrance scents.

With thanks to Vanessa Musson of the wonderful Bonkers About Perfume blog for my bottle. It was a very kind gift gratefully received.

 

Tauerville Amber Flash: Review

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Today I am working my way through my little collection of Tauerville samples and have fallen hard for Amber Flash.

amber1Amber Flash is everything I like in an Autumn scent: there’s beautiful sandalwood, rich, warm amber (which is a composite scent rather than the actual smell of amber), and plenty of patchouli. There’s the leathery resins, and just the tiniest soupcon of vanilla to soften the edges almost infinitesimally. There are similarities to Andy’s cult classic L’Air du Desert Marocain, yet  at the same time there are enough differences to make this stand-alone more than worthwhile. There’s also that hint of creosote that you get in Lonestar Memories. Creosote is no bad thing in a fragrance and often sounds worse than it is: Think the roughness of cough mixture mixed with the scent of a wet fence on a hot day- I love it.

What I love most though, apart from the superb longevity, is that this reminds me of that scent of old infused church pews. That scent of centuries old wood infused with incense- not dissimilar to the reason I love Comme Des Garcons Avignon so much. Oh, and there’s leather belts. There are lots of leather belts here too. This is a stunning fragrance for an excellent price and can, like all Tauers, be worn by a man or a woman.

Stockists

You can buy the Tauerville range from Les Senteurs in the UK, Lucky Scent in the USA, or, of course, the Tauerville website.

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Photos– top photo Fragrantica, Amber photo- Pinterest,  Bottom photo-howtogeek.com
 

 

 

The Perfume Society Secret Scentsations Discovery Box.

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I can’t help it. I’ve ordered another one. I think I’ve got them all now ( and one on the way) except the Prada one. Yes I’m talking about those tempting treasure troves of perfume samples and goodies- The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes. This time I’m writing about the Secret Scentsations Box.

The Perfume Society Secret Scentsations Discovery Box contains the following items. Here’s what’s in it:

  • Agonist No 10 White Oud spray 2ml
  • Pierre Bourdon La Dame en Rose spray 2ml
  • Annick Goutal Vent de Folie spray 2ml
  • Living Lalique EDP spary 2ml
  • Neela Vermeire Pichola splash 2ml
  • Comme des Garcons Floriental EDP 9ml
  • Connock London Kukui EDP 1.5ml
  • Beaufort London 1805 EDP 1.2ml spray
  • Sisley Eau du Soir splash EDP 2ml
  • Ormonde Jayne Vanille D’Iris 2ml
  • Atkinsons Rose in Wonderland 2ml
  • L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis 2ml
  • Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster

It’s an incredibly generous haul and these samples would be almost impossible to find on the High Street.  The goodies arrive in a trademark Perfume Society white box. Postage is free and my box cost me £12.50, which is the subscriber price. VIP/subscriber memberships costs £25 a year and gets you all sorts of perks, not least discounted Discovery Boxes.

Now with one of my youngsters turning six this week, I am up to my eyes in cakes, invitations and wrapping paper, but I can disclose my first impressions of those I have tried in the fleeting minutes I had to myself recently.

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Living Lalique– My favourite by far. I have looked up the price of full bottles despite my groaning dressing table. Airy and crystalline at first, it beds down into such delightful nuances of orris butter and woods that the blending seems seamless. A dream of a scent.

Eau du Sisley– as a fan of hesperides this cute mini bottle won me over instantly.  This is another one I would buy a full bottle of without hesitation. This opens like a cologne and ends like a chypre.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis– If you’re looking for Christmas in a bottle, stop here and buy one. With chestnuts, coffee and booze, cosy winters are yours.

Annick Goutal Vent de Folie– lighthearted and playful: this is raspberries and sweetpeas and roses. Another gorgeous hit from Annick Goutal

Neela Vermeire Pichola: This one I wasn’t so keen on. The tuberose absolu went all celery on me and the spices smelled off centre. I’m interested in smelling more from the brand though- this was my first. Never say never.

Pierre Bourdon La Dame en Rose –Like a grown up version of Yves Saint Laurent Paris, this opens with roses and violets and then goes all sophisticated. Playful by day, seriously gorgeous at night, like moi.

Comme des Garcons Floriental: Smoky and dark, this was more oriental than floral, but I was too busy sniffing with my eyes closed saying “Ahhh!” to do a Venn diagram about it. A great winter unisex scent.

Okay so that’s as far as I got. There are six more scents to write mini reviews about, but I ran out of arm space so I’m going to sleep in one and try as many as I can tomorrow.

Do come back fro Part Two, dear readers.

Stockists

The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes are available on the website to members and non members, although members get discounts and first dibs. They make great presents and thank you gifts too.

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Yves Rocher So Elixir Bois Sensuel

so elixir bois

I’m jolly fond of Yves Rocher.  Their fragrances are good quality and affordable and they keep sending tempting little emails offering me free stuff and discounts to keep me loyal.  It works!

The latest launch from Yves Rocher is So Elixir Bois Sensuel and it is indeed both sensual and woody.

Over on Fragrantica several Fragrantica visitors are comparing it to Thierry Mugler Angel, and the rich vanilla and heavy patchouli certainly will have some bearing on this.  I find the original So Elixir very similar to Chanel Coco Mademoiselle too.  Certainly fans of those two mega sellers will find something to enjoy here.

On my skin Bois Sensual has vanilla and woods immediately, with a rich autumnal heat that I could have sworn was amber.  This smells very similar to Parfums Gres Ambre de Cabochard.

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In fact there is no amber, and don’t let the fact that I have just compared it to three other scents give the impression that this is generic.  It’s a crowd pleaser yes, but I find it both rich and contemporary .

Oddly enough, this rich warm scent claims to have only three notes: Iris, vanilla and patchouli, but I found woods and amber framing everything right from the start. The iris was harder to find, but iris and I have a chequered relationship anyway.

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The full bottle price is reasonable at £18.90 for 30ml but it was a blind buy so I just bought the purse spray for £8.  I love it when brands make purse sprays- it’s better than a sample and cheaper than a full bottle. I think it’s a smart move on the part of Yves Rocher since they have no shops in this country for you to go and have a sniff.

So: Yves Rocher So Elixir Bois Sensuel– hit or miss?  Very much a hit in my book and just right for these colder days.  Sillage is big and longevity around five hours.

Stockists

Yves Rocher So Elixir Bois Sensuel is available from Yves Rocher UK or Yves Rocher France

Clinique Aromatics in White

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I have almost, but not quite, given up on new releases on the High Street.  Whilst not blinding myself with prejudices, too many disappointments have rendered me cautious and jaded.

However, Clinique Aromatics in White caught me off guard.  I sniffed it, sprayed it, sniffed it again and went back the next day to spray it again and wheedle a sample or two from the nice sales assistant.

Don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it reminded me strongly of Chanel Les Exclusifs Coromandel.  Yes Coromandel- that Holy Grail that is so exclusive they even put exclusive in the name. You have to travel to a major city just to try them.

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I haven’t gone mad I can assure you.  Allow me to plead my case.  In my earlier review of Coromandel I said it reminded me of damp castle walls and a Milky Bar.  Clinique Aromatics in White has a distinct milkiness that stops short of being rich and creamy.  Coromandel has spiky patchouli and an underlying heat, as does Aromatics in White. Both have delicate watercolour roses radiating subtly throughout: enough to intrigue and just enough to stop these warm scents from going down the manly chest route, but  at the same time, both  have enough Benzoin to make them appealingly unisex.

I should point out at this stage that Aromatics in White is in no way a duplicate or even a copy of Coromandel, but they had enough qualities in common to remind me of each other.

As far as the original Aromatics Elixir goes, this is not similar, apart from a certain retro chypre feel to it that smacks of a classic already. If you like Aromatics Elixir, first of all, may I congratulate you on your great taste? And secondly, Aromatics in White may or may not be your thing, but I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a good go.  Launch time is usually when its easiest to get samples from the sales assistants so strike while the iron is hot.  It’s Limited Edition, which worries me, because I want it to stick around.

In a blind test I would have said Aromatics in White was either a Serge Lutens or an Eau Legere type thingy of Coromandel.  You can imagine how thrilled I am that I can bag something of such calibre on my High Street for around £55 for 50ml. Sniff and sigh.  Sniff and sigh…

Stockists

Clinique Aromatics in White is available from House of Fraser, Selfridges, the Clinique website and Amazon, to name but four.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage D’Enfer: Heavenly!

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 How I love a bit of incense at Christmas!  Being a fan of both Andy Tauer’s Incense Rose and Comme Des Garcons Avignon, I am always ready to try a good churchy incense fragrance and L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage D’Enfer was no disappointment.

 Passage d’Enfer was created by the legendary, and prolific, Olivia Giacobetti, who  also has Frederic Malle’s En Passant and Hermes Hiris under her belt, to name but two of many.

The notes are simple, and sometimes that is all I ask of a perfume.  I get soft Wood and church standard Incense.  I know what I’m talking about here as I have sat through many a High Anglican Mass complete with Latin, plainsong, and thuribles, and jolly nice it was too. There is nothing Hellish about Passage D’Enfer, this is a divine scent that smells of aged church pews. The Lily and Musk were off the day I tried this and I couldn’t find them anywhere, but I didn’t mind. Their colleagues more than made up for their absence.

My only tiny bugbear is that with a smell this good, I would like to crank up the sillage and longevity and really make it sing like a choir, but sadly, it close to skin and rather faint after less than half an hour.  I guess I love it so much my skin just gobbled it all up.

Passage D’Enfer can be bought for around £80 per 100ml.  If it lasts on you, you have a wonderful winter gem of a fragarcne.

Histoire d’Eau by Mauboussin

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The weather today is my all time favourite: chilly and breezy but with a sky that is bright blue and sunny. Everything feels as if it is in glorious Technicolour and the trees are starting to go gold.

Histoire d’Eau by Mauboussin is the perfect scent for today. It is rich with spice and wood and even a hint of tar. The Amber notes reflect the golden trees and the leathery finish is perfect for Autumn.

 Mauboussin is a prestigious French jeweller: right up there with Tiffany and Cartier. Since 1870 Mauboussin has been producing fine jewellery and watches, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that they stepped into the fragrance market.  And I am so glad they did.

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The notes for Histoire d’Eau are as follows:

Top notes: Mandarin and Ylang (both noticeable),

Middle notes: Nutmeg, Pepper and Cardoman,

Base notes: Leather, Myrtle, Amber and Musk.

The combination of these toasty Autumnal notes is spot on for a chill wind. The Amber and Spices give heat to the sexy Leather.  The Orange makes things Christmassy and the Musk is barely a whisper, preventing this from being too girly. It would be perfect as a masculine or a feminine and reminds me of burnt tar on a fence.  This is a good thing, since I also rather like the smell of creosote in perfume.

Despite the hot tar and the slight cough mixture accord, this is prettier than it sounds. This is almost what Serge Noire would have smelled like on me if our chemistry had been right.  Histoire d’Eau is smoky, spicy and just what the doctor ordered on this bright, cold day.

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