There are lots of reasons to celebrate the arrival of fall: gorgeous foliage, pumpkin spice-flavored everything, and of course cute fall clothes. Most of all, however, I've recently been enjoying trying out new fall perfumes. Fall has always been my favorite time of year to seek out a new signature scent. Perhaps because the temperature is at the perfect balancing point for determining if a scent will work year-round: warm days devolve into chilly nights, giving a fragrance the chance to audition for different seasons.
I personally prefer my perfumes to have a bit of kick to them, to have some warmth and spiciness — like a hot winter drink with a few drops of booze added. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the occasional white floral or citrus fragrance, but it has to have a velvety base or a touch of musk to ground it. And what better time to wear a cozy perfume like that than autumn, as the air gets crisp and the leaves begin to fall?
Luckily there are several amazing new fragrances that have been released recently, and they’re all great choices if you happen to be looking for a new fall scent. Whether you like light, feminine fragrances or sultry, musky scents, and whether you're interested in the latest celebrity fragrance or you want a luxurious niche fragrance that no one else will be wearing, you're sure to find something you love in this list.
1. If You Want A Fun Twist On A Classic
If you're a fan of DKNY Be Delicious then you need to try this new fragrance for fall. DKNY Be Tempted has top notes of black currant, lemon, devil licorice accord, and red fruit; mid-notes of rose essential oil, violet, and orange blossom; and base notes of Indonesian patchouli oil, vanilla cream, and oriental myrrh resin.
This scent is for the girl who wants a sweet, juicy fragrance with a twist. The licorice note gives it an interesting kick, while the combination of vanilla, red berries, and green apple keep things on the sweet side. The patchouli creates a warm base that makes this fragrance great for fall weather.
2. If You're Girly But Also A Little Quirky
Stella McCartney Pop is a floral-woody fragrance described as “a mindset that captures the free spirit of the women who wear it.” It's mostly comprised of two notes: the synthetic molecules of tuberose and sandalwood.
This is mostly a sweet white floral scent but it has just enough subtle complexity to keep things interesting. After the first white floral notes of tuberose, you can detect the green sharpness of tomato leaf and a base of warm sandalwood. It's young and fresh and light and a little quirky; picture a pink-haired Grimes, who starred in possibly the coolest perfume commercial ever for Pop. If you like sweet, white floral fragrances but want something a little more sophisticated and intriguing then this is for you.
3. If You're Tired Of Run Of The Mill Celebrity Fragrances
Stash SJP, $85, Ulta
The thing about Stash SJP is that it's a celebrity fragrance for the type of woman (or man) who probably wouldn't normally buy a celebrity fragrance. In other words, it's a niche fragrance for an affordable price. Sarah Jessica Parker said that she wanted to make this fragrance for years, so it was very much a labor of love. It has top notes of fresh grapefruit, black pepper, and aromatic sage; mid-notes of Atlas cedar, patchouli, ginger lily, and pistachios; and base notes of olibanum, massoia wood, vetiver, and musk.
This is a unisex fragrance that leans rather masculine but is definitely wearable for both men and women. The warm, earthy notes of cedar and vetiver are foremost with an undercurrent of black pepper and patchouli, plus just a hint of something sweet — perhaps the ginger lily. It smells like a church full of burning incense, or like a wood-paneled study full of old books and leather armchairs. The beautiful amber color of the liquid and the minimal design of the bottle perfectly match this scent. This is the perfect fall fragrance for anyone who wants to smell sexy in a head-turning, unconventional way.
4. If You Want People To Think You're Good At Adulting
Oscar de la Renta Velvet, $78, Macys
Oscar de la Renta Velvet was inspired by a woman's velvet burgundy evening dress. It is comprised of quite a few notes: fruity top notes of black currant, dewberry, lychee, red lotus, pear, and plum blossom; floral mid-notes of jasmine, magnolia, calla lilies, and orange flowers; and base notes of white amber, black orchid, blue iris, tonka bean, vanilla, and patchouli.
The combination of the statuesque bottle and the long list of notes may make it seem intimidating, as if it's for an older woman who knows what she's doing, but this fragrance is actually surprisingly accessible for women of any age. Velvet is sweet and juicy right off the bat, but the the white floral notes combined with the velvety base of amber and patchouli make it grown-up and sophisticated.
5. If You Like Flirty, Juicy Florals
Miss Dior Blooming just launched this past August. It has fruity top notes of tarte raspberry, pomegranate, blackberry currant, and pink pepper; mid notes of rose and peony; and a base of white musk. Francois Demachy (the in-house perfumer) said this fragrance is intended for cheerful women who love life.
Miss Dior Blooming is what you would call a "floral gourmand." It's fruity and floral, with a creamy white musk base that helps make it ideal for fall. The fruity top notes and floral mid notes are prominent for most of this perfume's journey and they project well into the air (so you'll have everyone turning their heads as you walk by), but after several hours the white musk sticks around for a warm, cozy finish on your skin.
6. If You Love Old Hollywood Style
Charlotte Tilbury's first perfume Scent Of A Dream combines top notes of lemon, peach, mandarin, bergamot, saffron, and black pepper with floral notes of tuberose, violet, jasmine, patchouli, and incense. The base notes are ambroxan, hedione, and ISO-E Super molecules.
The list of notes may seem overwhelming but the fragrance itself is very clean and feminine. The lemon, white floral, and amber notes keep things sweet and light while the patchouli and incense notes add a hint of intrigue. This is a sophisticated and classy fragrance that brings to mind Old Hollywood glamour, and the gorgeous bottle reflects that.
7. If You Want A Sultry, Grown-Up Vanilla Perfume
Aerin Tangier Vanille is an oriental woman’s fragrance with notes of vanilla, amber, musk, rose, sandalwood, and bergamot.
As you may have surmised from the sophisticated bottle, Tangier Vanille is a very grown-up vanilla fragrance. It’s not a gourmand or overly sugary vanilla. The vanilla and rose notes are sweet and feminine, the amber is warm and powdery, and the musk and sandalwood provide a sexy base. This is a cozy, sexy fragrance that is perfect for snuggling someone while wearing your favorite sweater this fall.
8. If You Want A Romantic White Floral Scent
McQueen Eau de Parfum, just released in early September, is meant to be a lighter (and more affordable) version of the new McQueen fragrance. The top notes are tuberose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang; the mid notes are clove and black and pink pepper; and the base note is vetiver.
McQueen has a very sweet, heady white floral opening of tuberose and jasmine, followed by a pinch of cloves and pepper and ending with a woodsy, vetiver base. This is a sophisticated and bold white floral that you could probably wear year-round, but it definitely has enough warmth and spice to make it your new favorite fall perfume. This is the kind of perfume you reach for when you want to feel romantic, sexy, and alluring.
9. If You Want A Unique, Niche Floral Fragrance
Modest Mimosa is the latest offering from Vilhelm Parfumerie, the home of truly beautiful niche fragrances that are expertly crafted and packaged in the signature Vilhelm bottle. This new scent has top notes of neroli and carrot; middle notes of mimosa and violet; and base notes of musk and leather.
Modest Mimosa is a unisex fragrance but it definitely leans feminine. The floral notes of neroli, mimosa, and violet create a strong, sweet opening, and then it quickly settles into a warm base of a musky floral with just a hint of leather. It’s strong but not overpowering, and quite addictive; you’ll keep sniffing your wrist. It’s essentially a powdery floral with an undercurrent of musk, but that doesn’t quite do this unique scent justice. It smells clean and warm and comforting, like hugging your favorite person while they’re wearing a cashmere sweater.
And there you have it: nine unique and gorgeous fragrances, one of which is sure to be the perfect addition to your vanity this fall. Pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters are great, but it's not really autumn until you can wrap yourself up in a cozy new scent.
Images: Kelly Dougher