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Friday, October 26, 2007

Top 10 of Autumn

Depressing as this season can be (the summer is over, the winter is coming...), Fall deserves its own Top 10 list. Today some of us, perfume bloggers, teamed up to post our Top Tens of Autumn.

Marina's Ten

Not much has changed since I announced my Top 10 of Summer back in July. Which simply goes to prove that, as I always suspected, the seasonality in perfume, as far as my fragrance-wearing habits are concerned, is overrated. Or perhaps I am in a perfume rut, perhaps, I am stagnating...No, that can't be it. I feel that I am "in a happy place" in relation to my perfume life right now...I am eager to keep sampling and learning and discovering, but I am content to keep coming back to what I have and I what I truly love. Perfume nirvana? Is apparently achievable.

(Moving from the usual suspects to new additions on the list)

A Maze by People of the Labyrinths

Aoud Roses Petals by Montale

Chanel No 22

Diorama by Christian Dior

Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle

Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle

Black Orchid Voile de Fleur by Tom Ford. My weapon of choice when I want to feel lethal (my own brand of what Tyra Banks calls fierce).

Une Rose by Frederic Malle. Roses have seemingly taken over my perfume wardrobe. Dark, wicked, witchy roses, to be precise. Roses blended with woods, with earth, roses with thorns. Roses Fatale.

Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan. Seriously, taken over my wardrobe! From being a rose-hater to being a rose-lover is but a tiny, unnoticeable step.

White Aoud by Montale. Sensual and comforting, chic and cozy, White Aoud is just what the doctor ordered on a bleak day or a freezing autumn night.

Tom's Ten

Fall can be tricky in Los Angeles, going from chilly on-shore flow to killer Santa Anas in the space of a day. As I type this (October 22nd) Southern California is being ravaged by wildfires. So you will forgive some of the choices- the smoky scents that I favor in fall may seem a crass choice in light of the news.

Chene is one of the first things I reach for when the fall temps start to dip, it's silky, smoky oak is pervasive and as comforting as a wood fire, its earthy base like a secret forest floor. Rumor has it that this will be the special guest appearance in the export range, and I plan on stocking up.

Borneo 1834 also starts to peep it's little cocoa'd head out in fall. The dry, almost burnt cocoa and patchouli with the barest trace of camphor is one that is warming on the cool fall evenings but also works when the Santa Anas are blasting down the canyon.

L'homme sage is a new find that has rocketed to near the top of the list for fall favorites: woody goodness with cardamom and sage. The lovely girl at ScentBar called it when she said "this is the way you want men to smell". I'd add that I think that it's a perfect way for a lady to smell as well.

Cuir Ottoman is also a delight in the fall: I feel as if I should be zipping down a back-country lane in an MG with the roof down, off to a farm to buy some Macouns and Shropshire for a picnic by the river. Since that happens less often that one would like, I spritz and dream on.

Dzing! as you know from yesterdays post is so fresh in my arsenal of fall scents that I've barely had it a week; elegant leather and woods, but not as definite as say, Tabac Blond or Cuir Mauresque. In other words, it's office friendlier, but still has that olfactory freak-flag thing going that I adore.

Bond No 9 West Broadway is one that I find myself reaching for when the Southern California fall turns savage with Santa Ana winds: as Chandler who wrote referring to their unrelenting bone-dry roar: “meek little wives finger the edge of the butcher knife and eye their husband’s neck”. Personally I find it rather bracing, but I am odd. West Broadway's mate and woods have on me just a touch of lime peel and musk that doesn't overwhelm, or cause someone to eye my neck.

Piper Nigrum is also one that is perfect on those days; the cooling mint plays perfectly with the warm pepper and spices. I wish it were a little less fleeting, but beauty is transient, and there is always the opportunity to respritz.

Bond No 9 New Haarlem is perfect for the evenings when the winds abate somewhat, it's combination of coffee, vanilla and patchouli is mesmerizing. Having typed that, I should mention that it's pretty mesmerizing in the heat of the day as well.

For the time when the temps drop back into reasonable (next week I am told) I am having a serious hankering for two scents on completely different ends of the scale by Parfumerie Generale: Querelle and Aomassai.

I don't have the same reaction to Querelle as Marina does: I find it's supremely odd mixture of spices and rather milky myrrh incredibly empowering, like a well cut suit. The spicy earthiness of its vetiver and ambergris hold no darkness for me; it's chic in a "don't f&*k with me fellas" kind of way, but on some crisp fall days that's exactly how I feel.

Aomassai's candied yumminess served in a hearty wooden box is perfect for those days when it's getting colder and the first lick is in the air that there really is going to be a drab winter coming. It's woody, nutty rounded and slightly fatty feeling is immensely comforting, like drinking a hot chocolate wearing a cashmere blanket.

What are your Top 10 Scents of Autumn? Please share! And please remember to read other Top 10s:

Aromascope :: Bois de Jasmin ::Now Smell This :: Perfume Posse :: Perfume-Smellin' Things :: Scentzilla

First image is courtesy of Katie (Scentzilla), second and third are from


Blogger elle said...

Love your lists! I'm afraid my top 10 changes week to week, but, I agree w/ Marina - what I wear doesn't change much w/ the seasons. There are a few scents that really seem custom made for the winter holidays, but for fall, I basically wear what I do the rest of the year. In July and August as we were baking in a record breaking heat, I was happily wearing Fumerie Turque and Chene on a regular basis. I actually wear citrus scents more in winter than in summer because I so desperately want to be reminded that hot weather *will* return. However, my guess is that my top 10 for this fall will include Montale Aoud Flowers, Tabac Blond, MDCI FK 3 (I've yet to adopt the longer names), SMN Acqua di Cuba, RD Enslaved, RD Unspoken, Chanel Cuir de Russie, Diorling, Fumerie Turque and Chene.

10:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Let's see...

Santal de Mysore
Casual Friday
Primier Figuier

My favorites don't seem to have changes much...

10:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

What a fabulous list! And I agree, citruses are indispensable in winter.

10:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

At least half of your list are my favorites too.

10:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Gaia said...

I don't think I can pick just 10: It seems that my fragrance wardrobe is very autumny in nature: all those deep dark Serges, incense, leather and smoke. Today I wore Cuir Ottoman and it felt perfect. Tomorrow might be a New Haarlem day. And, funny enough, I was just contemplating buying a full bottle of Aomassai. I've been craving it lately.
Other favorites, not a top ten, just in general: Black Orchid, Tam Dao, Rousse, Louve, Cedre (ok, every non-flowery Serge), Ambre Russe, Sonia Rykiel Le Parfum, Musc Maori...
I'll shut up now.

10:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I have to admit that my loves of winter, summer and spring do make appearances as well at will. No matter what the weather outdoors (and that doesn't shift much here) my office is 65 degrees. I notice that I reach for the woods more for fall, perhaps to feel like it is fall.

12:18 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Love your list, but it's still near to 100 degrees in LA and I think I could actually kill someone with my beloved Sables or Yatagan. Chergui I might have to go for. Heck, I have a meeting I want to get out of, maybe I'll dab on MKK and glare at someone like they did it....

12:21 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


On two coasts, we are in synch. The only reason I'd ask you to shut up is that I'd have to move into your garage to afford the recommendations!

Glad you gave some Louve love; I wore it today and it was so comforting. She-wolf protectress against the big bad conflagration: milky almond succor and clean musk protectress. Rahat comes out when the temps dip below 70, but Louve is a love for this difficult season. It just missed the list by a hair.

12:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up with TEN?

My fav is to dump three bottles of Encre Noire along with a bottle of Fumidus and a large refill of Sables into a big empty Hendrick's jug! Now that's tough stuff for fall.

Dare to splash...

Cheers !

2:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with most all your choices of fragrances you like but I will have to part ways with you on your assessment of the depression that autumn seems to bring to you. I on the hand love this time of year, not so much as my birthday is October 22 but autumn is colorful maybe a more mature part of the year… and then winter, in an ideal world, cozy fireplaces – well you know what I mean.
So, fragrances – Ambers, in particular Ambre Russe, one you do not like but works well on me – Chergui, Arabie, Knize Ten, Cuir Ottoman, Kolnishch Juchten, Eau des Iles, Santal Noble, Musc Ravageur, Egoiste, Eau Noire…I should stop but I would not call this a top ten but ten I use.
Thank you.

3:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That is definitely stuff for fall! Sounds wonderful.

6:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Happy Belated Birthday!
I love your list: Juchten, Egoiste, Eau Noire!

6:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love lists ! I love your lists !
My autumn top 10 are (in no particular order): Ormonde Woman / Une Rose / MDCI FK1 (Rose de Siwa) / Paestum Rose / Voleur de Roses / Tea for Two / Bois Farine / Diorling / Montale Aoud Queen Rose / Daim Blond
Am so glad Voleur de Roses gets some good press, I also adore it. As you can see from the above, I am a rose girl...

6:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Mademoiselle said...

Here is my top 10:

Rousse(always in my top 10)
Ambre Russe
Iris Poudre (always in my top 10)
Rosa Flamenca
Chanel No.18
Chanel 31 Rue Cambon
Velvet Gardenia
Sel de Vetiver
Tea for Two
Cuir Amethyste (I always change my mind about this one)

I think I like amber, vetiver, iris and rose notes for Autumn/ Winter.

6:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aha! My rose loving friend, I love your list! :-)

6:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

ooh, I see Velvet Gardenia! How wonderful...and it reminds me just how much I want a bottle of it :-)

6:55 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oh, yay! I just love lists! and I love both of yours! And I must say, with Tom, that Querelle and Aomassai are two of my favorite PGs (and scents, period). I always have a hard time deciding on these, so I will just list what I have been wearing (and contemplating wearing) lately:
Tabac Blond, Diorling, Chanel Cuir de Russie, Doblis Montale Aoud Rose Petals, Rose Poivree, Fumerie Turque, Chergui, Nostalgia, PG Cuir d'Iris. OK, I know that's 11--and it's pretty repetitive in terms of categories, too; but what can I say--that's where I am right now. I should mention though, that there's been a surprise contender lately: Bruno Acampora Musc. It, I don't know, GETS to me somehow. I only have a little, though; I will probably have to get more. . . And I am dying to try the RDs that Elle lists. Other contenders: SMN Acqua di Cuba, Poivre, Mitsouko, Le Labo Rose and Patchouli. I could go on. . .

7:35 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Great lists, you guys! Marina, you and Bryan are definitely on the same page, scent-wise. And Tom, I was with you all the way up until you wrote the word "Aomassai." :-P

8:04 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M - glad to read about your contentment. You've journeyed to a different destination to me, but I love waving at you over there (and occasionally trying to visit).

T - I was with you up until half-way, and then you mentioned Piper Nigrum (one of my ultimate shudder-in-horror scents! There's just something about those LVs that kills me dead.). And Querelle is a headache, and Aomassai sweaty bum jam...

Love half of em though! lol

8:27 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Great lists! M, we have 4 in common, and so glad to see L'Homme Sage on T's list -- it doesn't get enough attention.

And fall *is* depressing :-(

9:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love practically everything on your list!!

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That word sounds scary to me to know :-)

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Try to visit more often. White Florals and Aldehydes are not scary :-)

9:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am just off to look at your list!!

9:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina, yay for your happy place! I do change scent with the season. It's the same for me with color. Lipstick that looks right in Aug is too pale in Oct. I've never in my life craved fall's chill before but now that I'm into scent I do. I finally understand what all those women who can't wait to break out their cashmeres are talking about. It's hasn't really cooled off tho, so I'm still not entirely there yet. But, I have put away lighter floral things, dragged out heavier, smokier, woodier, amber, vanilla. Some things are always there: Cuir Ottoman, Bois D'Argent, Dzing!. Added in: CB Burning Leaves, Nelly Rodi Bois, Lutens Un Bois Vanille & Cuir Mauresque.

10:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I wear the same shade of lipstick year round *ashamed* I might be into diversity where perfume is concerned, but with makeup I boringly stick with the same stuff :-)

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I don't really find fall depressing per se, the fires here are depressing: all those homes lost.

I love the crisp air of fall in the East, and as long as I don't have to shovel, nothings better than a snowstorm anda cozy fire

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


great list! I was limited to 10 so a couple couldn't make the cut.

11:39 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I start getting ambered up in Winter, since Winter here is more like Fall anywhere else...

lovely list!

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I have to try that Bruno Acampora Musc..

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I forgot what it was that you called Aomassai that had me rolling on the floor, but I still love it. Hint oh buttcrack and all.

11:43 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


you and March with the bumjam! I promise I'll never wear it in the same zip code as either of you..

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I am off to look at your list too.

Fall is the time for big- figure-hiding sweaters. That's a celebration right there...

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I do a lot of carryover, but our SoCal seasons do that as well.

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger rosarita said...

I'm off work today, so I have been very leisurely reading bloglists between other important tasks, like perusing fashion magazines and listening to music. Fall is my very favorite time of the year here in the rural midwest and I love spicy, woody scents both outside and in. A few current favorites: Comme des Garcons (the first one); PdN New York; New Haarlem (this has developed into quite a crush); Mariella Burani's Messages; Ambre Russe; Bois des Iles; Cuir de Russe; Shaal Nur (another huge crush); Niki de Saint Phalle; Black Cashmere. Yum. I've learned a lot from both of you!

1:53 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


and I am loving your list!

2:26 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmm...that's what I have to say about your lists. Even the ones I can't wear I wish I could (like Aomassi -- I should love that one--maybe I will, later).

I'll add my new appreciation for Anne Pliska -- that spiced-orange-into-amber is nice in winter but perfect for blue sky October. At night, Chanel Coco in parfum. Delicious. Was surprised by Safran Troublant this morning, which was gorgeous in the chill. Somehow the last time I wore it when it was cold it felt thin. Not complaining! Craving other saffron, coriander, cardamom scents and am on the look out for them... Ambre Russe is waiting in the wings after an unsuccessful trial run (still gets well into the 70's here in the afternoon.)

4:44 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Tom - ach, I ALMOST picked Borneo, simply because of its anachronistic approach to patchouli (even in light of its cocoa usage.) All that mothbally old school camphor (on me it's not a trace, it's THERE with no apology) makes it seem like the equivalent of a Restoration Hardware lighting fixture... Which, cheeseball that I am, I find I enjoy to an untoward degree. I'm so glad someone singled it out on their list.

Marina - hee, you're all rose crazy for fall! You should see my poor roses rusting on the vine because of all the wet that comes with a Pacific NW fall. I keep holding out hope I can make 'em bloom until November, which is a silly thing indeed, so you list really makes me smile in appreciation. You want the blooms to persist, too, in bottled form ;P

6:15 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Anne Pliska is one of those fragrances that is very much overlooked, in my opinion. It's lovely and I love smelling it on others

7:08 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Borneo is an all-time favorite. One that on paper I should have hated, but it was instant "gimme"

7:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great lists, everyone. I only have three favorites for fall so far: Mitsouko, Cumming, and Madness. I've been wearing Cumming everywhere, waiting for someone to ask "who's smoking a cigar?"


7:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Burani Messages? That one is unknown to me. I have a feeling I am missing something wonderful.

8:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh my gosh, Coco on a cold autumn or winter night is amazing. Such elegance, such sexiness, such warmth. :-)

8:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I guess you are right, I am clutching on to the summer in any way I possibly can.

8:31 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I've never smelled Cumming, and I hang my head typing that, since I am such a fan of his I'd like to sample the source (oooh, bad Pansy!)

12:37 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

You guys hit on all my favorites-
And my tastes DO tend to run from the eclectic to the schizophrenic.

Marinochka- YOU are flowermad this autumn !
But I bet you're delicious to be near.
SO sad I didn't meet you last w/e-
but we WILL meet, soon I hope.

7:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You have a very chic, very autumnal list! And you know, every time I see your nickname, I feel a pang of envy that I haven't thought of it first :-D

9:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Please, please, next time you are in NYC, come visit me!

9:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I expected your list to be wonderful. And of course, it is. I almost added Diorama on my list, but at the last moment decided that Carons have to have their "zvezdnyj chas." They are rarely mentioned.

Vika / Boisdejasmin

1:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Well, you take care of Caron, I will of Dior and this way everything that deserves a mention is mentioned :-)

1:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom: I am so surprised you have not tried Cumming, since you like so many things CB. I'd love to know what you think of it. Perfumed Court has it, so you can try it without a big commitment.
Columbina: You're very kind to say so. As far as the nickname, I'd gladly share with you, although it would be confusing for all concerned. :)


6:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Bryan said...

We are so related. I also adore no. 22, but that is pretty much thanks to you and your fabulous blog. I haven't commented much, but it's something I cherish reading every day.

5:46 AM EDT  
Blogger M1A said...

Daim Blond
Musc Ravageur
Lipstick Rose
Mechant Loup
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

11:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate winter. I'd like autumn, when it's just a tad chilly, though still sunny with all that colourful foliage - but we don't have that sort of fall this year. Weather changed into windy, rainy cold awfulness right in September. The only positive thing in this situation that I can unpack my Cashmere from Fissore again. I almost forgot it during summer, but now I'm happy I have it - and I still love it, enjoying its familiar coziness.
And I'm looking forward to the warming, earthy feel of Dzongkha.
And White Oud, the feeling of fluffy, warm, white fur...

3:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Stella Absolute I became a roselover myself. I cannot help it.

7:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

oh no, you wear it so well, let it be just yours!

7:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is so wonderful knowing that you are reading us!

7:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Elnett Myrtle,
What a gorgeous list you have!

7:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sure that I hate autumn exactly because I know the winter is coming right after it. The same way I dislike Sundays...because Monday is the next day :-)

7:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

So lovely to see you here!

7:39 PM EDT  

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