Yes, it's that time again, where we talk about our favorites of fall, new or old.
Even in such a disordered perfumery life as mine one could find traces of patterns. Une Fleur de Cassie – those yellow flowers on black – I usually wear from February till May, if May is cold enough. Une Fleur de Cassie is a spring, demanding mohair scarf, it's a soul queering for warms and flowers. Une Fleur de Cassie is inappropriate in autumn, as a blooming of colchicum. But this autumn is a bit like a spring to me, and I dive into aldehydic vortex of Une Fleur de Cassie.
I don't know what it is about me and Tom Ford. He simply cannot create anything that I don't love to wear and I've fallen madly in love with his Jardin Noir Collection. All four of them are wonderful..purely sensual and as the copy goes " "Revealing the forbidden side of four flowers" . By now all of you know that the word "forbidden" would draw me like bees to honey so of course I tried all four and can blissfully say that I love them all and although I am way more broke than I was a month ago I don't regret it one little bit. The Jardin Noir Collection are Cafe Rose, an exotic sort of rose with saffron , incense and black pepper, Jonquille de Nuit,a honeyed, narcissus and rain soaked beauty, Lys Fume which is reminiscen of a spicy rum soaked raisin and Ombre de Hyacinth which is exactly as it sounds, filled with Hyacinths, green leaves and just a bit of glorious wet dirt. Each is mysterious, masterfully blended and terrifically different and there is always one suitable for my ever-changing moods. I adore them all, but my favorite is Lys Fume with it's rich and spicy amber and vanilla. No surprise as last years favorite was Tom Ford's Luscious Tobacco Vanille. I just can't get enough of anything made by this man. It's become a bit of an obsession with me.
In the fall, I welcome the return to richer fragrances to accompany the cooler days. This includes chypres and Oriental scents; I have really been enjoying the 2010 limited edition Shalimar Ode de la Vanille very much, and I hope to try the 2012 version soon. A simple Italian fragrance called Te Nero e Vaniglia from Monotheme has been a delight with its strong black tea note playing against a smoky vanilla. Most of all, I love chypres in autumn. Miss Dior is a perennial go-to, and this is also when I reach for my Houbigant Apercu, vintage Rochas Femme, and of course my beloved Jean-Louis Scherrer. Nothing beats the dark bite of oakmoss on a brisk October day!
For everyday wear my favorite oud oil for autumn is Agar Aura’s Royal Kampuchea. Ripe with the sweetness of dried fruits, plum jam, brown sugar, vanilla and tawny port, this oil smells lusciously succulent, lavish and sensual- a golden richness that is a satiny, smooth, enticingly warm, and glowing. Resinous notes of hay, blond tobacco and amber add thickness and texture to the midrange, while a deliciously bitter note of roasted coffee beans adds sophistication and interest to this opulent feast. The drydown is a riveting combination of smoke and woods, an unexpected twist that adds a sultry and smoldering ending to this alluringly provocative, glamorous and plush fragrance.
My top luxury oud for fall is Ensar Oud’s “Oud Sultani”. The opening is an unusual mixture of transparency, light and creamy smoothness, its ethereal greeting as uplifting and carefree as a mountain breeze. Notes of vanilla and caramel sweeten the midrange of the scent; the drydown is layers of warm woods, myrrh, powder and balsam. Distilling the oil from resin-heavy chips and ageing it since 2001 helps to explain the mellowness and complexity of Sultani’s enchanting bouquet. It is elegant, sensuous and eminently tasteful. Although many ouds have become available in recent years, I’m not sure there are many of which Coco Chanel would approve. Oud Sultani, I think, is one of them.
I've been wearing Shalimar Eau Legere every single day for the past 5 or so month, so it actually counts as my best of summer too. It is perfect, sensual but not distractingly so, warm but not cloying, elegant but not too much even for a casual Friday or a stroll on a boardwalk...It is delicious, but in the most abstract way...the list of its wonderful qualities can go on. I wish I knew which year's limited edition it was, but I can't remember. When I ran out of it, having for the first time in my life finished a bottle of perfume, I might cry, also for the first time, over perfume. Keep fingers crossed for me that I find some more
In addition to my choice on the Posse I think I was looking forward most to bringing out some of the somewhat heavier and more challenging scents, but then I ran across Etat Libre "Like This
" and realized that this is the perfect scent for October: it's not challenging in any way; it's as comfortable as an old cashmere sweater and I had practically the same reaction to seeing it as I do when I can take the sweaters out of the cedar- pure bliss.
The "challenge" will come from my smoky friend Chene
. One can't burn leaves anymore (not that we get them falling here until January) and they tell you that wood fires are bad for the environment. So I can happily spritz on this woody, smoky wonder and feel comforted and cossetted. Best of all, it's still available as an export.
So there more or less are our top ten of fall. Won't you share with us the scents you're excited to be wearing this Autumn in the comments? Please also remember to stop by these other blogs for their top ten picks: Perfume Posse
, Now Smell This
, Bois de Jasmin
, and Grain de Musc
Image: Wikipedia Commons