The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Shift: adapting fragrance habits for Fall

It's that time again, my favorite time of year. The weather cools- slowly but surely, and I start thinking more and more about rich and spicy home fragrances and also switching out the perfumes in heavy rotation on my bedside table. Yesterday, I moved out Esprit d'Oscar, Shalimar Parfum Initial and several other similarly sparkling scents on the lighter side of the spectrum and have dusted off the perennial (and more recent) favorites for cool weather.

[not my cat, but I wish she was]

Here's an updated list of what now occupies the prime real estate on my bedside table (full bottles and decants included):

Guerlain Iris Ganache
Vivienne Westwood Boudoir
Le Labo Oud 27 & Patchouli 24
Ormonde Jayne Woman
Amouage Opus V
Caron Tabac Blond (vintage)
Coty L'Origan (vintage)
Balmain Miss Balmain (vintage)
Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland
Soivohle Meerschaum
DSH Perfumes Sienna
Mona di Orio Vanille
Diptyque Tam Dao
L'Artisan Traversee du Bosphore


There is only one permanent artist-in-residence on the table, and that is Aftelier Perfumes. They are as necessary to me as oxygen, and I need them all at hand to satisfy my moody tendencies and to cure my mind of its mischievous ghosts. Particularly useful in this regard are Tango, Cacao and either the Jasmine solid or Candide. My newest daily treat is slathering on Aftelier Chocolate and Saffron Body Oil and layering Cacao perfume on top. I've always been a gourmand fragrance lover (and all year-round, too), but the Fall weather makes me practically insatiable.

Beyond the gourmands, I must have all manner of leathers, Orientals, woods, musks and rich vintage florals-- a little of everything. I've accepted that even if we have another surge of warm weather, my fragrance desires have shifted and they must be heeded.

The recent order I placed with Candles Off Main also reveals where my interests currently lie:
Belle Fleur Cacao Tabac
Votivo Smoke on the Water (I love the travel tins, I always get a couple)
Modern Alchemy Opium Den

And although my husband has pleaded with me to save our NEST Pumpkin Chai candle for closer to Halloween, I've already started burning it. He can buy the next one.

What about you? Have you made some switch-outs in your heavy-rotation perfume area (if you have one), and if so, name names! Include any preferences in home fragrance, as well.

[photo credit for Autumn kitty: animals.desktopnexus.com]

13 comments:

  1. Thou hast bankrupted me - Candles Off Main is a website I didn't know existed. OOPS! Now that I know about it, I am in trouble.

    =) My big Fall/Winter scent is Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant. Otherwise, I don't rotate scents in and out of my collection. I just wear what smells coziest to me on a given day. I am boring (or my collection just isn't that sizable yet).

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  2. Well, everything really -- food, hauling out the sweaters -- I'm a fan of Diptyque's Opopanax room spray, sweet and resin-y and very effective (we have two cats). A little on the curtains, sofa pillows, fabric lamp shades -- really transporting. Cuir de Lancome, Organza Indecence (vintage) and just about any good tobacco scent. I'm waiting on splits of MdO Vanille and Oud. I guess about 75% of my collection is the fall/winter stuff.

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  3. What a place of honor, this is such an incredible thing for me to read as an artist! I am completely moved to find that someone of your caliber is so taken with my work. You inspire me so much, thank you!

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  4. I've been burning Diptyque Feu de Bois candle and wearing YSL Nu, Like This, By Kilian Incense Oud, Ormone Jayne Woman, 10 Corso Como, vintage Bandit, Joy, Papyrus de Ciane.

    I want that Pumpkin Chai candle!

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  5. Hi Sweets,
    Since I live where we have countless words for snow, I live in my own fantasy world and perfume takes me there irrespective of the season. But I wanted to say that this is the time of year when the most blissful smell arrives in the woods. It's a crushed berry and decaying sweet fall leaf smell. I'm still unsure if it's alder? birch? mountain ash? or a combination. I've wanted a perfume like this for a while but to smell it I have only to walk under the trees. xoxo

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  6. Joey- Candles Off Main is the best candle place I've found. They don't have absolutely everything, but they have MOST everything, and they have sales and stuff too. The best customer service around.

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  7. Olfacta- I am a fan of practically everything Diptyque, but it's rare that I'll spend quite that much on home fragrance. I won a Diptyque Mimosa votive last Christmas from a Twitter contest, and when I first burned it, it was definitely a "wtfomg" moment. I decided that if and when I was ready to drop $80 on a candle, I'd at least know it was worth it.

    Oh, and *high five* on the Mona di Orio! Were you in on the Oud split with Birgit too? Still haven't gotten my decant yet, I'm just going to pretend I've forgotten about it so I can be surprised one day.

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  8. Mandy- you should see the little shrine to your work on my table, I've got almost a little of everything represented! I've got it set up so that I can reach for something in the dark and it will be the right thing, like an emergency chill pill. :)

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  9. kjanicki- you've got some wonderful things listed there! I can't recommend the Pumpkin Chai candle enough, it's perfection.

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  10. Dearest Cait- I must admit I cannot conjure the smell you've described, because I have no reference point- but I'd love to experience it. I know all types of woody and leafy smells in all stages of decay (or lack thereof), but not in conjunction with berries. However, if I ever think I may have found this in a perfume form, I will tell you about it.

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  11. This summer wasn't as hot as usual, so I wore a lot of fall and winter scents in the the summer..But I think I am definitely going to enjoy my tiny mini Shalimar parfum this fall - just discovered my love for it..:D

    I love warm woody home fragrances (sometimes floral) - I usually burn all-natural candles from Nikki (Gabriel's Aunt)..however, they aren't super potent, so YMMV.
    I am lemming Tocca Pushkin and Rodolpho and that Jubiliation 25 candle (which I will probably never be able to buy)

    I agree with you on Mandy's work - it is truly 'season-less' with magikal medicine qualities..:)

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  12. Lavanya- if it makes you feel any better, I can't afford the Jub 25 candle either. I got lucky. I have never actually tried a single Tocca candle, but I must get around to it.

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  13. I've been wearing Susanne Lang Cashmere a lot lately. True to the name, it makes me feel warm when the air is cold. Almost like I don't need a scarf. (Because it will just stifle the scent!)

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