Today is the first day of fall, the beginning of my favorite perfume season. The air is getting cooler, my vibe is getting cozier, and I’m excited to revisit some old favorites and get more intimate with some new scents. After picking out these perfumes I realize they’re basically all gourmands. Any other gourmand enthusiasts out there? Anyone with favorite fall scents that are not gourmand?
Naomi GoodsirOr du Sérailis a voluptuous cornucopia of ripe red fruits dripping with honey, soaked in rum, and edged in tobacco. In other words, it’s a sexy Thanksgiving perfume. The nose behind it is Bertrand Duchaufour, who also created Olfactive StudioWoody Mood: delicious ginger and cocoa wood, with saffron spice, patchouli and sage. On my skin, a sweet campfire smoke note emerges and crackles underneath the ginger.
Chris CollinsSweet Taboo by nose Nathalie Feisthauer is cinnamon- and cardamom-spiced balsams with a slightly nutty coffee character.
Two of my favorite chocolate perfumes: Fzotic Ummagumma is chewy, leathery chocolate incense smoke. SlumberhouseOre is smoky woods and bitter cocoa, heavy forest cabin vibes.
NasomattoBaraonda is the classic image of a cozy (boozy 🥃) autumn evening: old books, antique wooden furniture, honeyed red fruits, and a few generous pours of whiskey, all rendered in such as way as to make them sheer.
And of course, my beloved Serge LutensBorneo 1834 by Christopher Sheldrake (2005 formulation). Velvety, vampy cocoa patchouli.
Sometimes smelling a raw material feels like discovering a Rosetta Stone—it unlocks a perfume that until then I couldn’t quite decipher.
Recently I had this flash of recognition with flouve absolute (see description below), which was entirely new to me, but upon smelling it I suddenly understood what’s going on in Oriza L. Legrand’s Chypre Mousse. Similarly, when I smelled a gorgeous fir absolute, it felt like I could more deeply understand Slumberhouse’s Norne and its dense, sweet, “jammy” forest character. I don’t know if this material is in the perfume, but when I smelled hydrocarboresine (made from the gummy resin of labdanum) my mind instantly went to Bruno Fazzolari’s Ummagumma, and the chewy quality of its smoky leather made more sense, like I could see the through-line from incense to chocolate.
Have you had this experience with any raw materials and perfumes?