Autumn/Winter Scent Wardrobe
There's an expression that Glasgow (where I live) often experiences four seasons in one day. To anyone living outside of the city, that sounds like a joke but, to we Glaswegians, it's reality. I've seen myself wake to blazing sunshine and throw on a pretty cotton frock - only to be drenched by lunchtime and completely frozen by four. Seriously. That's why seasonal dressing doesn't strictly work in Scotland because we could just as easily be wearing multi layers in June or July as in January. That's not to say some months aren't colder than others - they are - but Mother Nature does like to keep you on your toes (and in thermal tights) around these parts. That means my clothing wardrobe tends to blend fluidly though the year. I emphasis 'clothing' as I do have one wardrobe that does move with the seasons - my fragrance wardrobe and autumn/winter is by far my favourite time when it comes to scents.
That's because when it comes to the smelly stuff, I'm drawn mostly to the Oriental, Chypre or Aldehyde families, loving rich, smoky, oud laden perfumes. When I spray my favourite fragrances, I immediately get this feeling of warmth, a bit like being wrapped in a super soft blanket, and because of that comforting richness, some don't feel 'right' to wear in summer. They feel too woody, too musky, too sensual even for summer and as for spring, forget it.
So autumn and winter is my seasons for really enjoying my scents and I thought it might be worth, given we are moving into autumn/winter and the fact we're still getting to know each other, me revealing my five all time favourite fragrances (although with a new find) and finding out about yours. Who knows maybe we'll be tempted to try the others recommendations and launch ourselves on a whole new olfactory adventure. Too much? Yeah, thought so, so before I embarrass myself further, let's swiftly move on to my favourite autumn/winter fragrances well worth sniffing out. Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Feminite du bois from Serge Lutens
I first discovered this when working at BBC Pebble Mill on Good Morning with Anne & Nick, when the resident beauty expert, Liz Simpson gifted it to me after an item on Christmas beauty gifts. At that time this was a Shiseido fragrance and I instantly fell in love with it. It's spicy and woody and my hubby says it smells like Christmas(check out the ingredients) - and as he loves Christmas I take it as a compliment.
Top Notes: Cedar, Cinnamon, Plum
Heart Notes: Clove, Ylang Ylang, Ginger
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Benzoin, Vanilla
Soir d'Orient by Sisley
I once had to describe this scent for a magazine and what I came up with was 'a crisp white shirt, worn with suede leggings and a cashmere sweater tied nonchalantly around the shoulders' and to this day I can't better that description. There's a slight freshness (the white shirt) in this scent that isn't in the others I've mentioned here, but there's the same richness (the suede leggings) and warmth (the cashmere sweater) shared by the others, although this is the lighter - to my nose anyway and thanks to the bergamot - of my favourite fragrances. I don't find it as long wearing as some of my others but the sillage (the trail a scent leaves behind) is good (while it lasts) and I like that although it's easily found in department stores, it's still a bit of a scent secret.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Saffron, Iran Galbanum
Heart Notes: Turkish Rose, Black Pepper, Geranium
Base Notes: Insense, Sandalwood, Patchouli
Superstitious by Alber Elbaz for Frederic Malle
This fragrance receives more compliments and comments than any other I have worn - and I have worn a lot of perfumes though the years. It's quite an unusual mix, a talker as they say, and there's a real carnal element to this scent. It's definitely a scent for a woman rather than a girl, and one that definitely draws people to you. It's got great staying power and sillage, so it's my number one choice on date night.
Top Notes: Turkish Rose Oil, Egyptian Jasmine, Peach
Heart Notes: Frankincense, Amber, Haitian Vetiver
Base Notes: Aldehydes, Patchouli
Myrrh & Tonka by Jo Malone London
Now this is not only the cashmere blanket of all fragrances, it's the socks, gloves and ear warmers too. This is such a beautiful warm rich fragrance, that just one spray heats up even the coldest day. As its a Cologne Intense fragrance, its lasts and lasts on the skin and I love spraying it on my huge winter scarves which seem to hold the fragrance forever.
Top Notes: Lavender
Heart Notes: Omumbiri Myrrh
Base Notes: Tonka Bean
Noir de Noir by Tom Ford
This was actually my wedding fragrance (so I obviously have worn some of these fragrances in spring as I married in April, so hands up, I slipped up) and it's very heady but with a lovely creaminess to it too. I remember going to buy it and the assistant asked if it was for a special occasion. I explained it was for my wedding only for her to tell me it wasn't a bridal fragrance! My response was 'surely that depends on the bride?' Needless to say, she didn't get the sale but I did wear this down the aisle and continue to do so on every anniversary. Love, love, love it.
Top Notes: Rose, Saffron, Black Truffle
Heart Notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss
Base Notes: Vanilla, Oud
So what are your favourite winter scents? And you do you too, change fragrance by the season? Any you'd recommend I try?
One final thing. It would be a bit amiss of me not to mention that oud usually becomes a bit of a buzz word around fragrances when the colder months come calling and one I’m really loving at the moment is Atkinsons Oud Save The Queen, as seen below.
It’s unmistakably an oud but with a powdery, uber feminine edge and yes, it does guarantee a bit of an entrance (in the scent sense) with a definite regal air to it. It’s also got great sillage and the only reason it wasn’t photographed with the others was because I hadn’t yet discovered it when I took the original group shots. Despite being one of the oldest perfume houses in the world (est. 1799), Atkinsons is still a name known mostly to fragrance connoisseurs and if it continues to add stunning scents like this to the collection, this 200 year old plus player shows no signs of retiring from the fragrance game yet.
Photography by Susie Cormack Bruce