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 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.


13 thoughts on “My Top Ten Autumn Fragrances 2017”

  1. I reach for Yves Rocher’s So Elixr Bois Sensual, and Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. In the winter I like my perfumes to be sweet and smoky. Then, around Christmas, I take out my Shalimar and wear it, because it’s so expensive (the parfum) I use it sparingly.

  2. I too am sad to see the Green’s go, so I’m still enjoying cristalle a bit and was hoping to check out Yardley’s jade as per your blog post.
    In line with the season I have been wearing a bit of library of fragrance chai tea, which offers spice but isn’t cloying like a jacomo #08 or body shop’s red musk because it isn’t winter yet, but apparently library of fragrance are pulling out of the UK so it could be a lot trickier to find very soon.
    So a hunt for autumn perfume continues while I splash about in the ends of summer and the end of my chai tea. Do you know of any lightweight spicy green that might work? I’m tempted by the dryad recommendation.

    1. Hi Rachel,

      So sorry for the late reply. Always lovely to hear from you. I thought I’d already replied! Please don’t think I’m neglecting you. I’ve tried LOF Chai Tea and really liked it. It’s like a spicy scent for people who don’t like them too overwhelming. It’s also very cosy and perfect for this time of year. It’s very sad Library of Fragrance is closing. I loved that brand and will be sorry to see it go.

      As for a lightweight spicy green- I totally recommend Dryad and I’m wearing it today. I also like Bronnley Wild Green, Fidji and Lancome Magie Noire. I love greens, so you’re a woman after my own heart!


    1. Hi Rich! thanks so much for dropping by. I’m not sure if you’re lucky to have such mild season changes or not. Is it warm all year there? Are you near the coast? Do you wear summer scent all year or winter stuff all year? xx

  3. Loved reading this Sam, and your autumnal photographs are wonderful! I have made a mental note to retry First now that the weather is cooling. I am in a spicy floral mood at the mo and have put away all my white florals and citrus till next year. I’ve dug out Lubin Black Jade, JM Mimosa and Cardamon, Robert Piguet Calypso, Penhaligons Lily and Spice, Fragonard Santal Cardamon and YSL Cinema among others x

    1. Hi Lorna, always lovely to hear from you. Those are some great choices, plus there are some I am now inspired to try! I am way behind on my JM knowledge. My nearest branch is Cardiff so I will have a good look when I go there in Nov. I haven’t tried Calypso either. What’s that one like? xx

      1. It’s a lovely autumnal rose with a bit of leather and geranium. I think it’s fab and am surprised it isn’t written about much x

  4. Hi Sam,
    Beautiful images you’ve used. As the weather cools here – not that it’s ever hot – I seem to get into the white florals to cheer myself up a bit. I think they work beautifully in the cold. A good blast of Fracas is like a tonic. I love the old standards too, though, like Coco and Shalimar, and indeed First. Glad to see you’ve included Stash in your list, I think this ranks as one of the best so-called celebrity scents. In a blind sniff test this would surely place with some of the top niche output. This year, I’ve got my Papillon samples to try out with gusto. I’ve had them for a few months now, but I was very sparing with them as I didn’t want any poor soul to be knocked out by their killer sillage. So if you get the scent of something very dark green/black in the air, you’ll know it’s me.

    1. Hi Cassie, always a joy! I’m on the white floral path too. Avon Rare Platinum is my go-to (at seven quid a bottle!) Also, you can’t beat Coco and Shalimar in the cold. they really come into their own, don’t they? As for Papillon, I am absolutely smitten with Dryad. Do you have a sample of that one? It’s THE mossy green chypre I have been searching for. If you like Shalimar, you’ll love Anubis too. xxx

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