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The Best Fall Scents of 2020

That cool autumn breeze, bottled.

Studio DorosGetty Images

With the change in the seasons comes the inevitable closet swap-out. Throwing shorts, tanks, and sandals in storage makes room for leather jackets, joggers, and combat boots, and bright florals give way to maroons and shades of gray. But there's one less obvious wardrobe that deserves a tune-up with the autumnal drop in temperature: your scent wardrobe. 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 bit longer in your mind.

But to truly get yourself into the right headspace for a relaxing fall, it might be a good time to change up your scent regardless. That's why we've curated a list of the ten 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.

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For Sun Worshippers
Sol Cheirosa ’62
Sol de Janeiro sephora.com

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 A Woody Profile
Santal Carmin
Atelier Cologne nordstrom.com

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 Maximum Coziness
Milk Musk
Molton Brown moltonbrown.com

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
Mémoire d'une Odeur
Gucci sephora.com

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. 

For Francophiles
Gamine gaminenyc.com

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
Crystal Pistil
D.S. & Durga dsanddurga.com

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
Baie 19 Perfume Oil
Le Labo nordstrom.com

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
Moon Glory
The Harmonist neimanmarcus.com

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. 

For Bibliophiles
Whispers In The Library
Maison Margiela sephora.com

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
Molecule 05
Escentric Molocules luckyscent.com

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

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