Autumn is probably my favourite season. It is a sweet transition between the often unbearably hot summer weather and the usually severe cold, wintery conditions. This transition is best depictured in the Ancient Greek myth of goddess Demetra and her daughter Persephone.
According to the myth, Hades, god of Underworld and the dead, “steals” Persephone from her mother Demetra, marries her and anoints her Queen of the Underworld. Then, Hades proceeds to an agreement with Demetra, according to which Persephone will spend 6 months of a year in her mother’s arms on Earth and 6 months by her husband’s side in Underworld eternally.
The rape of Persephone. Joseph Heintz. 1595. Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany.
Breaking down the myth, Demetra and Persephone symbolize vegetation, crops and Hades death, absence. The myth basically narrates the end of cultivation and growing season for 6 months, during which Persephone has descended to the Underworld. This is Autumn’s starting point!
As we are getting ready for the opulent warmth of furs, spicier meals, fireplaces, excessive consumption of chocolate and other sources of warmth and coziness, the scents of neroli, tuberose and sparkling citruses, feel more and more irrelevant.
Today, I present you some carefully selected scents that would dress perfectly your days and nights for the following months.
MAGNETIC SCENT- UNTITLED 2 (2012)
Have you ever drunk Karak tea or Masala chai? Do you remember the sugared- creamy spices that instantly carried you away? This is what happens in Untitled 2 case too… Warm and spicy in a moment, sweet and mellow in another; I cannot think of any better scent to accompany the first rainy afternoons with.
Spyros Drosopoulos, the captain behind Magnetic Scents’ wheel, loved masala chai that much, that decided to create a wearable recipe! The perfume belongs to the “Untitled” collection of the brand, leaving its aura to imply more than a name would.
Masala Chai, Cacao, Rose, Milk, Vanilla.
Untitled 2 comes as Eau de Parfum in 50ml for 110Euro.
SERGE LUTENS- ROUSSE (2007)
If Rousse was a sweet, it would be an apple pie. If it was a material, it would be brick from clay and if it was a colour, it would be copper. Rousse smells sweet spices and specifically sweet cinnamon and cloves. It is intense yet refreshing and I liked mostly wearing its after numerous cold morning showers. Downside is its average longevity.
Rousse is a Christopher Sheldrake creation. I had bought Rousse a year after its launch in a 50ml regular Serge Lutens bottle. Overtime, Rousse did not have the expected feedback and centrals decided to withdraw its version from market and pour it in Bell Jar bottles from Luten’s Palais Royal Exclusive line, ever since.
Cinnamon, cloves, resin, amber, cedar, mandarin.
Rousse is available as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 140 Euro.
THIERRY MUGLER- MIROIR DES VOLUPTES (2010)
Miroir des Voluptes is a perfume with double identity, as if you deal with a person you knew for quite a while but having not seen that other side of him. Behind the big picture, there is a small surprise hiding. Miroir de Voluptes has a complex yet mainstream scent with an impressive alteration in it that changes everything: a sparkling oud. In my opinion, it could be crafted in a better way and with less synthetic ingredients. However, I included it in my list because of the choice of notes, the less -than other perfumes of its league- vulgar oud and its strong trail. Among the awful trend of “plastic” oud perfumes that have filled up perfumery, I find Miroir des Voluptes a decent oud perfume despite all its flaws.
Miroir des Voluptes is the 6th entry in Mugler’s exclusive Mirror Mirror Collection and was created by Nathalie Lorson and Daphne Bugey.
This Mugler fragrance is almost exclusive to the Middle Eastern- Gulf market. It can be found in almost all Gulf beauty shops and airports. For international buyers, try out Thierry Mugler’s online boutique.
Top notes: Bulgarian Rose, African orange flower.
Middle Notes: Oud, Tobacco.
Heart Notes: Tonka bean, patchouli, amber, musk, sandalwood.
Miroir des Voluptes is available as Eau de Parfum in 50ml for Dhs550 or $150 in Mugler’s online store.
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER- GAULTIER² (2005)
Gaultier² is a smart composition with a very sexy scent. Though belonging to the mass production and its ingredients are more or less over worn, Gaultier² is nicely done and constructed in a way like being almost exclusive. Deep amber and bitter vanilla courtship endlessly in this long lasting, sensual fragrance.
Created by Francis Kurkdjian, Gaultier² is a unisex-marketed perfume that truly appeals to all.
Vanilla, Amber, Musk
Gaultier² is available as Eau de Parfum in 40ml and 120ml. The range involves shower gel and body lotion as well.
HERMÈS- TERRE D’ HERMÈS (2006)
Terre is undoubtedly a men’s perfume with personality and both its legs on the ground. It is very earthy, fresh, lightweight scent that matches all occasions; from office to first dates. It has a sweet-spicy vetiver hint that reminds me a better Tom Ford’s “Grey Vetiver” version. What I mostly sniff from this beauty is: orange, vetiver and cedar. For a detailed review, check this video by fellow blogger and perfume specialist Pelle Suringa, aka Geurenland heer.
Jean-Claude Ellena, who has been the exclusive In-house perfumer for Hermès since 2004, crafted Terre in 2006.
Top notes: Grapefruit, Orange.
Middle Notes: Pepper, Pelargonium.
Heart Notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedar, Benzoin.
Terre is available as Parfum in 80ml for $120 and 200ml for $215, and as Eau de Toilette in 50ml for $79, in 100ml for $110 and 200ml for $178. The complete range involves shampoo, shaving Foam, after-shave balsam, after-shave lotion and deodorant stick.
ROUGE BYNNY ROUGE- EMBERS (2013)
I sniff a success story here! Embers will be popular for its richness and how well it “cooked”. All the notes compliment each other perfectly and leave one want more… Initially you get spices shock with cloves and nutmeg that transforms into a balsamic and soothing trail. Personally, my favourite out of all Rouge Bunny Rouge creations.
Embers belongs to the second line of unisex perfumes launched by Rouge Bunny Rouge, called “Provenance Tales”, including also perfumes Cynefin and Silvan. The “nose” behind he entire collection is Alexandra De Montfort, creator of the brand. “Provenance Tales” debuts in October 2013.
Top notes: Cloves, Nutmeg, Pink Pepper.
Middle Notes: Labdanum, Jasmine, Freesia, Incense.
Heart Notes: Styrax, Peru balsam, Woody notes.
Embers comes as Eau de Parfum in 50ml for 97Euro.
CHANEL- ÉGOÏSTE (1990)
Simply irresistible, it is a scent that separates men from the boys! Égoïste is a timeless perfume that enchants nevertheless. It is a character full of various light woods, showered in tobacco and spices throughout its longevity. It would be perfect for rainy evenings in all occasions.
Égoïste was created on 1990 by Jacques Polge, head perfumer at Chanel since 1978.
Top notes: Coriander, Brazilian rosewood, Mahogany, Sicilian mandarin.
Middle Notes: Damask rose, Cinnamon, Carnation.
Heart Notes: Amber, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Tobacco, Leather.
Égoïste comes as Eau de Toilette in 100ml for $84.
CHRISTIAN DIOR- HYPNOTIC POISON (1998)
Confession: Hypnotic Poison was my very first fragrance in full bottle ever since it was launched (yes I was too young) and my signature scent for years! It didn’t happen to me not to get a compliment about it every time I was wearing it and I have classified it as men’s “trap”. It has fruity opening and a prominent creamy plummy note -classifying it as Fall scent- that plays around with vanilla and sandalwood and gives a long lasting and very seductive result. Highly recommended for sensual situations…
This mythical creation, by Annick Menardo in 1998 was the 3rd addition to Dior’s “Poison” collection. Hypnotic Poison turned out though to be the most successful “Poison” of all.
Top notes: Plum, Coconut, Apricot.
Middle Notes: Brazilian rosewood, jasmine, caraway, tuberose, rose, lily-of the valley.
Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk, Almond.
Hypnotic Poison comes as Extrait in 7,5 ml for 107 Euro and as Eau de Toilette in 30ml for 47Euro, in 50ml for 66Euro and in100ml for 94Euro and in a couple of Eau versions. The range also includes shower gel and moisturizing lotion and deodorant spray.
PRADA- AMBER WOMEN (2004)
Amber for women is a perfume true to its name: filled with amber. A sweet, balsamic amber that is perfect for Fall. The scent is light and wearable throughout the day. It opens boldly with green, bergamot and amber but gets smoother soon after, when musk and vanilla get more prominent. As with all Prada perfumes Amber is also not very long lasting.
Amber is Prada’s first attempt to penetrate into international boudoirs. Up to that point Prada had launched only three perfumes exclusively though its boutiques. Amber was launched in 2004 and was created by Carlos Benaim, Max Gavarry and Clement Gavarry.
Top notes: Green notes, Tarragon, Fruity notes, Bergamot.
Middle Notes: Rose, Ylang-ylang, Carnation, Honey, Jasmine.
Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Benzoin, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Musk, Vanilla.
Prada Amber comes as Eau de Parfum in 30ml for 48,50 Euro, 50ml for 78,50 Euro and 80ml for 102,50 Euro. There also are bath gel, body lotion and soaps.
PRADA- AMBER MEN (2006)
Such an original and enchanting scent! Absolutely a head turning perfume, which fits nicely the cool and warm days of Autumn. Amber for men is aromatic with a hint of spice from saffron and a beautiful balsamic-soapy trail mostly due to the musk-vanilla-leather-myrrh mix. Tonka bean and vetiver play also their part in the creation, but from backstage. Amber as a name is misleading as there is none in the ingredients.
Launched in 2006, there is an oxymoron fact about Amber pour Homme: it was created by two women! Successful perfumer Daniela Roche Andrier and Prada’s CEO Miuccia Prada, played around accords, they decided what they wanted to smell like if they were men and they crafted Amber, as Miuccia confessed.
Top notes: Neroli, Mandarin, Bergamot, Cardamom.
Middle Notes: Myrrh, Geranium, Vetiver, Musk, Orange blossom.
Heart Notes: Saffron, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Labdanum, Leather, Tonka bean.
Prada Amber comes as Eau de Toilette in 50ml for 60,50 Euro and 100ml for 81,90 Euro. There are also available travel sized flacons in a special packaging of 3 in 10ml each. The range also includes shower gel and after-shave balm.
HUGO BOSS- BOSS BOTTLED (1998)
I decided to include Boss Bottled in this list of perfumes because it is the rare case of a mass production perfume that succeeded to impress me with its aroma. It is very refreshing and smells mostly of vanilla and woods. It is super easy to wear all day long, though its longevity is weak and suits pretty much all ages.
Boss Bottled is another beautiful creation by Annick Menardo, also launched in 1998.
Top notes: Plum, Geranium, Lemon, Bergamot, Apple, Oakmoss.
Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Carnation, Mahogany.
Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Cedar, Vanilla, Vetiver, Olive tree.
Boss Bottled is available as Eau de Toilette in 30ml for 35 Euro, 50ml for 47 Euro, 100ml for 62 Euro and 200ml for 71 Euro and in two more versions: Night and Sport. The range includes after-shave lotion in two sizes, after-shave balm, shower gel, deodorant stick and deodorant spray.
NASOMATTO- DURO (2011)
There is nothing feminine about Duro. Duro is a man whose aura tames before his presence. It deserved to be worn by men with confidence and “fist”. The fragrance has great longevity and is full of woods, mostly agarwood that stands out, even if not mentioned in the ingredients’ list.
Duro is a fragrance made by Alessandro Gualtieri, the maestro behind all Nasomatto fragrances.
Leather, Spices, Woody notes.
Duro comes as Extrait de Parfum in 30 ml for 108 Euro or in a 4 ml roller bottle for 38 Euro.
TOM FORD- ARABIAN WOOD (2009)
I had underestimated Arabian Wood for years, until I tested it again few weeks ago, seeking for Autumn-y scents. This is such a chameleonic scent! It twists and alters its own skin several times throughout wearing it. I included it in Autumn potions because its nature is similar to the seasonal transitions, so you could wear it in a day that experiences both sun and rain.
Do not let the preconception dictating that all Arabic perfumes must contain oud or heavy woods to fool you. I have came across Arabic juices fresher than spring! Having said that Arabian Wood fills in the category with its light woody-mossy notes, which transform into powdery-flowery during the chameleonic hours. Longevity-wise is not perfect, as it fades after few hours, however the hour that stays on, definitely performs in its grandiosity.
Arabian Wood belongs to the Private Blend Collection and was launched as part of the second batch of perfumes for the collection in 2008 regionally, in the Middle East and internationally a year later.
Woody notes, Bulgarian Rose, May Rose, Jasmine, Freesia, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Bergamot, Orris, Orange blossom, Cedar, Oakmoss, Honey, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Amber, Tonka Bean, Lavender, Galbanum.
Arabian Wood comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 166 Euro and in 250ml for 400 Euro.
TOLA- MISQAAL (2013)
Aromatic, woody and spicy, Misqaal is such a rich scent with many layers and high quality ingredients, that not only will not disappoint but is highly intriguing.
Misqaal is a measurement system of weight that was used to measure gold and expensive goods such as spices, back in the days in the regions of Gulf and India. Misqaal is a fragrance made by Dhaher Bin Dhaher and comes from Dubai, UAE. Tola is a new and promising brand in Perfumery, focusing on good marketing tools and premium quality ingredients.
Top notes: Mandarine, Grapefruit, Plum, Pineapple, Raspberry, Pink pepper, Lemon, Bergamot, Nutmeg, Anise, Coriander, Fir, Honey.
Middle Notes: French orange flower, Heliotrope, Geranium, Orris, Cinnamon, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Juniper, Wormwood, Orchid.
Base Notes: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Labdanum, Leather, Tonka bean, Cypriol oil, Agarwood, Incense, Siam Benzoin, Castoreum, White musk, Ambergis.
Misqaal comes as Extrait de Parfum and Eau de Parfum in 45 ml for 235 Euro.
HIND AL OUD-WAQAT
This is a head turning scent that has accompanied me in many fun nights last year! I was always asked what was it, when I was wearing it, and was always receiving exclamation points when I was saying: it is downtown Arabic! During the opening, almonds and flowers take over, while its trail is similar to cream chocolate and rum. Balmy, lightly woody and powdery, this perfume is at least ethereal…
Waqat means time in Arabic. Waqat was created by Mohammed Hilal, the mastermind behind my favourite Arabic perfumes brand: Hind Al Oud.
Top notes: Cyclamen, Almond blossom.
Main notes: Jasmine, Peony.
Base notes: Ambergis, Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood.
Waqat comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for Dhs 550 or else 110 Euro.
AMOUAGE- DIA MAN (2002)
The first time I sniffed Dia for men I thought “Oh my! Whoever wears this, turns automatically a level of dangerousness up before I even see him…” and I crowned it as one of my favourite men’s scents of all time! Dia man smells basically like dry and spicy woods that get deeper, hour after hour and to me is a much simpler composition than the rest of Amouages. In addition to that, Dia man soaps make a spectacular gift for hosts and hostesses.
Dia for men is a Bertrand Duchaufour’s creation for Amouage, launched in 2002.
Top notes: Incense, Cardamom, Landanum, Bitter orange.
Main notes: Orris root, Plum, Ylang-ylang, Peony.
Base notes: Brazilian rosewood, Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Leather.
Dia for men comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 175 Euro and in 100ml for 220 Euro.
AMOUAGE- JUBILATION 25 WOMAN (2007)
Such a beloved perfume! Jubilation could be “Dia’s” first cousin, who is coming from Indian Ocean’s side of the Middle East, while Dia is from the Versailles. They both have the same floral lightness but Jubilation is way deeper, having all the three: incense, myrrh and amber working hard throughout its longevity and making it balsamic and autumn-y. I suggest you layering it with its fabulous bath products that add extra balsamic notes.
Celebrating Amouage’s 25 years of creations, Jubilation 25 for women was created by Lucas Sieuzac and was launched in 2007 along with its male counterpart, not only to commemorate its Home’s birthday but also to stigmatize the beginning of a successful route with Christopher Chong at the wheel, as Creative Director.
Top notes: Lemon, Tarragon, Rose, Ylang-ylang.
Main notes: Rose, Labdanum, Artemisia, Incense.
Base notes: Myrrh, Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Musk.
Jubilation 25 for women comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 205 Euro and in 100ml for 240 Euro.
AMOUAGE- FATE WOMAN (2013)
This is how luxury smells like! Fate for woman is bold but not aggressive at all. I can smell most of the ingredients in just one application and to me is a genderless perfume. It has a “Jicky” effect on me, or else an effect like a chewing gum with sparkling spice in it, yet sweet taste. Fate woman is full of transitions. For me, labdanum, peppers, vanilla and benzoin backed up with few florals stand out in Fate. Smells very original and unique, out of what exists in the market.
Dorothee Piot is the “Nose” behind Fate woman that was launched this year.
Top notes: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Red chili pepper, Pepper.
Main notes: Rose, Labdanum, Narcissus, Jasmine, Incense.
Base notes: Benzoin, Patchouli, Vanilla, Castoreum, Incense, Leather, Oakmoss.
Fate woman comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 240 Euro and in 100ml for 290 Euro.
AMOUAGE- TRIBUTE (2009)
If anyone knows a scent identical to Tribute, in eau de parfum spray form and is willing to share the knowledge, I would highly appreciate it… It is a dark perfume with prominent smokey, leathery and lightly woody notes but neither heavy not flooding; definitely, one of Amouage’s best perfumes. Long lasting, sensual and warm, Tribute is from its opening to its end an interesting perfume to let it stand out alone or layer it under vanilla-ish and rose scents for a sweet effect or under incenses for bolder situations.
Tribute belongs to Amouage’s Attar collection. Fellow blogger Kafkaesque explains in depth, what Attar is to perfumery in here.
Top notes: Spices, Taifi Rose, Saffron.
Main notes: Rose, French Labdanum, Amber, Jasmine, Incense.
Base notes: Cedarwood, Juniper, Vetiver, Patchouli, Leather, Tobacco.
Tribute comes as oil in 12ml and 30ml, starting from 270 Euro in European markets and from 192 Euro in Omani markets.
GUERLAIN- L’INSTANT MAGIC (2007)
If I had to pick one, and I say one perfume only, from Guerlain that represents Autumn, this would be L’Instant Magique. The almonds, vanilla and musk, create such a cashmere like, powdery and warming up sense that makes it perfect for every occasion and every mood throughout Fall. I recommend trying it with the whole body range to prolong the somehow poor longevity.
L’instant Magic was created by Sylvaine Delacourte and Randa Hammami.
Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Anise.
Main notes: Rose, Freesia, Carnation, Mimose, Violet.
Base notes: White musk, Almond, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Iris, Cedar.
L’Instant Magic comes as Extrait de Parfum in 7.5ml for 112 Euro and as Eau de Parfum in 30ml for 60 Euro, in 50ml for 85 Euro and 80ml for 104 Euro. The range includes bath gel, body lotion and body cream.
GUERLAIN- SHALIMAR (1925)
Who hasn’t had a dose or hasn’t heard of Shalimar? And even if you haven’t, get ready to be bombardized by Guerlain’s new marketing campaign the following months. Though Shalimar is a 92 years old perfume, it is timeless and for all ages. Bergamot, Vanilla, powdery notes, all star in this legendary creation, which is perfect for those late afternoons in a friend’s house for cocooning or in your favourite café drinking hot chocolate and watching the rain falling….
Shalimar was created in 1921 by Jacques Guerlain, inspired by the legendary Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire, who built Taj Mahal mausoleum to honour the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Despite having received an award in France, Shalimar became a success story not later than 1925, when Madame Raymond Guerlain (Raymond had designed the fan-like Shalimar bottle) wore it during a transatlantic trip to New York and allured everyone! In a blink of an eye, the rumour of Shalimar was spread from mouth to mouth and from the boat to New York City. As a result everybody wanted a bottle of Shalimar. To know more on this legendary creation read House’s connoisseur and fellow blogger Monsieur Guerlain here.
Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Citruses, Cedarwood, Mandarin.
Main notes: Rose, Vetiver, Jasmine, Patchouli, Iris.
Base notes: Leather, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Incense, Vanilla, Opoponax, Musk, Civet.
Shalimar comes as Extrait in 7.5ml for 112 Euro, in 15ml for 166 Euro and in 30ml for 270 Euro. It also comes as Eau de Parfum in 30ml for 60 Euro, in 50ml for 85 Euro and 90ml for 114 Euro and as Eau de Toilette in 30ml for 52 Euro, in 50ml for 72 Euro and 90ml for 98 Euro. The range includes bath gel, body lotion, body cream, soap, deodorant and powder.
GUERLAIN- IRIS GANACHE (2007)
My well-educated readers will already know that Iris Ganache is a discontinued perfume since last year. You will then ask me “Why did you include it?” I did so because, for me, Iris Ganache along with L’Instant Magic are the epitome of Autumn. Iris exhales warmth, as powdery iris and sweet chocolate take over throughout longevity. I consider it worth trying and worth looking for it in online perfume shops and small corner stores that might still carry few last pieces.
Iris Ganache was a Thierry Wasser creation, launched in 2007 and was the 5th addition to the exclusive collection: L’Art et La Matière.
Top notes: Cinnamon, Bergamot, White Chocolate.
Main notes: Iris, Patchouli, Cedar wood.
Base notes: White musk, Vanilla, Amber.
Iris Ganache came as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 180 Euro.
GUERLAIN- CUIR BELUGA (2005)
Cuir Beluga is an irresistible amber and vanilla composition that is perfect for Autumn! Its dry-down smells something like flowers and creamy leather, very smooth and powdery too, as every Guerlain perfume that respects its origins. Here you will find an insightful review for Cuir Beluga by fellow blogger Olfactoria.
Cuir Beluga is an Olivier Polge creation and was launched in 2005, along with Rose Barbare and Angélique Noire. Coinciding the opening of the renovated at that time “La Maison Guerlain” boutique at 68 Avenue des Champs-Elysée, Guerlain launched these three perfumes in collaboration with three celebrated perfumers, as part of the L’Art et La Matière range.
Top notes: Tangerine, Aldehydes.
Main notes: Patchouli, Immortelle.
Base notes: Vanilla, Amber, Suede, Heliotrope.
Cuir Beluga comes as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 180 Euro.
GUERLAIN- MYRRHE & DÉLIRES (2012)
Even if some would classify it as a scent for Spring, I will keep it in this list for its delicious and cozy myrrh. Myrrh is the indisputable protagonist in this perfume, with frankincense, licorice and faint florals completing the mise-en scène. Myrrhe & Délires is an unisex and kind of “joker” scent that can be worn from day to night, in every occasion and can support numerous combinations when layered.
Myrrhe & Délires is a Thierry Wasser creation and was launched in 2012. It is the 8th and most recent release for L’Art et La Matière range.
Top notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit.
Main notes: Violet Leaf, Rose, Jasmine, Osmanthus.
Base notes: Patchouli, Incense, Tonka Bean, Myrrh, Vanilla, Licorice.
Myrrhe & Délires comes as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 180 Euro.
Disclaimer: All the pictures of perfumes are extracted by the Perfume Houses’ websites.