While bright, airy, fruit-forward scents are ideal for withstanding the heat, the cool weather and activities that come with fall call for a shift in fragrance. I personally tend to lean towards spicy gourmands that intensify that cozy feeling of laying under a blanket or taking a brisk walk with crunchy red leaves beneath your boots. Comfort typically drives my choice in fragrance, and I like to mix and match depending on my mood and the weather. That said, there really are no rules for seasonal scents. Anything is fair game! Stick with tropical fruits if that sparks joy, or spritz on a sea-inspired scent to extend summer for a little longer.
Still, to truly get yourself into the right headspace for a relaxing fall, this might be a good time to change up your scent. That's why we've curated a list of the best scents for the new season, from rain-inspired mists to dark floral blends to warming, spicy oils that'll instantly lift your mood. Here, MC's autumnal edit, to make sure you smell heavenly straight through winter.
For Autumnal Obsessees
I mean, could it be any more on the nose? It's chilly, woodsy, and completely genderless. This stuff smells like Fall in Stars Hollow, but if Rory came back from Yale with a nose ring and an Acne leather jacket.
For Rihanna Fans
If Rihanna likes it, so do we, and if she made it, we're wearing it. Fenty Beauty's first fragrance is utterly unique and undeniably elegant. It's creamy, a bit spicy, and as much of an enigma as RiRi herself.
For Steamy Fall Days
Now that climate change is moving at an irrevocable clip and we all basically live in a subterranean climate now, it's staying hotter for longer. Heretic's newest is like a piña colada with a hint of pumpkin spice, but in the best way possible. Its big coconut note keeps it sunny, but warm woods anchor the scent and ground it enough for Autumn.
This creamy, dreamy new fragrance was inspired by Christian Dior's favorite dessert, vanilla cake. Rum and patchouli give it a warm, spicy tilt, and a dusting of cocoa and squeeze of orange make it as delectable as possible.
For Art Enthusiasts
Floral Street's take on Vincent Van Gogh's work smells like a hazy afternoon in the French sunflower fields, and that, to us, is high art.
For An Elegant Dinner
Lancôme's new twist on their mega-popular Idôle perfume is perfectly suited for autumn: its rose and jasmine notes are complemented by creamy salted vanilla that warms the scent right up.
For A Woody Profile
For sandalwood purists, this is the ultimate purchase: woody Australian sandalwood, giac wood, and bergamot come together to create a sweet, spicy mist that's flat-out intoxicating.
For Sun Worshippers
For those who dread the coming of Labor Day and its perceptible shift into autumn, this option offers eternal summer with one spritz. It smells like a bottled Brazilian beach, but its warming notes of pistachio, vanilla, and salted caramel are still cozy enough to wear in September and beyond.
For Maximum Coziness
This scent is the fragrance equivalent of a weighted blanket. With comforting notes like musk, vanilla, and tonka bean, you'll smell like your skin, but sweeter.
For Floral Enthusiasts
Elegant and green, a spritz of Gucci's chamomile and jasmine blend smells like a walk through an enchanted forest as the leaves begin to turn.
Imagine a stroll through Paris on an October afternoon. We can guarantee this option from Gamine would feel right at home in the fantasy: the heady blend of Cote D'Azur cypress, vetiver root, chocolat noir, and Indonesian patchouli is equal parts sultry and sophisticated.
For A Subtle Twist
While you can wear it on its own, this orange blossom and dew-driven juice juice is actually a fragrance enhancer, meant to be layered with your favorite perfumes to provide a floral shift.
For Oil Enthusiasts
Juniper berries, patchouli, and green leaves make for a pleasurable earthy scent—Rub this oil on your pulse points and even at the ends of your hair as an alternative to your classic eau de toilette.
For After Hours
You know that first brisk autumn night when you have to slip on your denim jacket for the first time in months? This dusk-inspired, Hawaiian Jasmine and Queen of the Night-driven scent captures that intoxicating feeling and atomizes it.
The only thing better than finishing a good novel is cracking one open to reveal that waxy new book smell, and Maison Margiela's spicy interpretation takes that to an elegant new level. Tonka bean warms the scent, while pepperwood and cedar call the woody scent of an old gothic library to mind.
For Subtle Warmth
Escentric Molecules makes the case for a one-trick pony. Cashmeran, the sole and laboratory-made note in Molecule 05, evokes a dry musky warmth that wears like a second, more sultry skin.
Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, wellness, and more. If you need her, she’s probably roasting a chicken, flying solo at the movies, or drinking a bad Negroni at JFK.
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