Five for Fall, 2009

Inspired by the Fall Picks posts on many perfume blogs this week, I’m doing my own. And I was going to make it Ten Picks, but since I’m hoping to be doing this again next year, I’ll keep the list short so I can explore different scents in 2010.

I love fall. Love it, love it. The temperature’s generally comfortable. The sunshine (when we get it) is a golden shade we never see in any other season. The wind is bracing rather than icy. The trees change colors; hickory nuts and black walnuts drop onto the drive. Squirrels and chipmunks are busybusybusy. Woodsmoke begins to fill the crisp air, and there’s frost on the ground in the mornings. More than that, autumn has always been for me a time of new beginnings. Feelings rise up in me and can’t be quashed – or forgotten.

For those warm golden days when the sun pours warm cider over distant tweed hills: Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea. To me, it smells of dry leaves, pipe tobacco, fresh hay, a worn leather bomber jacket, and the warm skin of one’s sweetheart, and an aromatic mossy forest floor, with spiced cider wafting by from somewhere in the distance.

For cold rainy days when you just want a sweater (and a good raincoat!), I want Givenchy Organza Indecence. This is spice cake eaten near a bonfire, so that you smell the spice and vanilla just as much as you smell the smoke and the wood. Cozy, it sticks fairly close to my skin and only wafts gently when I move. I like that.

For romantic evenings, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if casts a spell, with its peppery rose and saffron creaminess. It is delightful, sensual, and a bit dreamy, as if it can’t quite keep the memory of stars out of its head.

For dreary days, when the sun is slow to wake and the sky remains gray, I love Lanvin Arpege. I have a small bottle of the reformulated EdP, and also a tiny bottle of vintage extrait. I really, really wish there were some way to merge the top and heart notes of the reformulation with the drydown of the vintage – the new stuff just disappears when it gets past its harmonic floral heart, but the basenotes of the old are symphonic and jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with creamy sandalwood and crisp vetiver. The middle stage of development in the original is so rich it feels almost decayed. Of course, that effect still seems to fit with leaf mould on the ground and the richness of fruit that ripens in the fall.

For anytime I need a close-to-the-skin veil of loveliness, I would want to wear Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. I still haven’t smelled the original Black Orchid, but VdF has plenty of personality, and I think the original would, um, scare me. VdF races through plum and very smooth florals (ylang and gardenia, prominently) through cinnamon and woods to a very creamy, luxuriously feminine ending. It’s like a bowl of Feminite du Bois with milk poured over, and it doesn’t disappear on me like Feminite du Bois.

Others I’m enjoying: Lancome Magie Noire, Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, Amouage Lyric, Gres Cabaret, and Shalimar Light.  It might soon be cold enough to break out the Bal a Versailles, too.

Image is Fall in Forest from nancymeowdrew at flickr; it was taken in Virginia in 1991.  This is very much what fall looks like around here.


4 thoughts on “Five for Fall, 2009”

  1. You know, when samples of Tabac Aurea first became available–I snatched one up and all I got was a smoldering cigarette. So I passed my sample on to someone (you? or maybe Joe…can't remember, it's been months) . Now, my nose is so much "smarter" –after all; Mitsy and I have gone from trading dirty looks to being best friends! Jubilation25 has gone from whewie! to WOW! Previously SCARY things have become the most covetted! Add that phenomena to the continual ohhhing and ahhhing from everyone at NST…and well, I think I need to give it another go. The teenager has been lemming a bottle of Laurie's Egyptian Musk, so I guess I know what sample I'm going to request….it'd serve me right if Tabac Aurea became my newest love. As for the rest of your Fall Fave Five list—Ta'if is of course lovely, Organze Indecence has been taunting me from ebay but I've shown it! yes, I have: I preordered a bottle of Havana Vanille this morning! Taunt me no longer you shameless vanilla! Lanvin Arpege….have a sample…haven't gotten into it yet. Now I see I need to right away. TF Black Orchid VdF—haven't sampled that one eiither but I think I have a sample of the original hanging around here somewhere, and you are right to be scared. It's um…strong stuff. Thanks for the list Mals Happy Autumn!! 🙂

  2. And happy autumn right back atcha! Glorious scent weather, isn't it?Yes, you passed on that fabulous vial labeled "SSS Tabac Aurea tiny bit" to me. THANK YOU THOUSAND TIME. Ahhhh, Tabac Aurea. (Laurie is working with me on tweaking the formula just for meeeee, with less patchouli. I got ingredient samples today to test-and-report-back. Isn't she great?)

  3. Laurie is a dear…always goes the extra mile to help you figure out stuff and special formulations! She helped me to figure out to AVOID plum accordsHA! yes that sample was TINY …I remember now…because I tried to split it in half for you AND Joe…it ended up being 1/3 for you, 1/3 for Joe and 1/3 for my islandtop. The lesson learned—dont' try to split a 1ml sample by pouring! (those stirrer straws work well though…) This perfume thing sure is a learning type adventure! I just placed an order with Laurie—some Egyptian Musk for J for in her Christmas stocking….so shhhhhhh…. 😉

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