Every year fall rolls around and every year I lose step with everyone else in the perfume world. It seems as though the majority of people like to check their cool weather wardrobes and plan ahead happily for the ambers, orientals, gourmands, and woody scents they will shortly be dabbing and spritzing. There is a rush to find the Bois des Isles, the Ambre Sultans and for the bolder sexier sorts, their animalics and leathers. You get a sense of busy bustle as folks find their old friends again, and then there’s always a flood of new releases hoping to gain a little traction in the scent market before the holidays. In short, there is a lot to choose from, probably more than at any other time of the year.
Not here. Nope. I mosey* over to the cabinet and the refrigerator to peer inside and consider what might possibly do for fall. Well, there are always some samples, but mostly I give these away. After long thought I usually find my bottles of Tabac Blond and Farnesiana and Pois de Senteur and this year also Nuit de Noel (all Caron) and pull them for wear. Um… OK I guess that’s me done. If I were rich I might have Krigler’s Established Cognac and if I had been faster off the draw, I might have had the good sense to buy Neil Morris’ Izmir or Aftelier’s Sepia. But I didn’t get around to any of those tasks.
These are things I do in Fall: Get September Vogue. Not buy anything in September Vogue. Sew two things I really want instead. Decide I am too fat. Go on a Nori diet with the cat (Jersey Girl) and realize I don’t like fall perfumes and don’t own any except for a mini Jean Patou Que Sais Je? ( apricots, nuts, and vanilla wrapped up in a bit of peach leather).
The trouble really is that although I enjoy a gourmand here or there I seldom wear any for long, don’t like ambers much, wear wood notes in the summer already, and really wish there were such a thing as a fall floral. But there isn’t. I do odd things to satisfy this perceived gap in the market. I mix Chris Brosius’ Gathering Apples with L’Origan. (No really it’s a stunning combination, and is almost a fall floral.) But neither one of those perfumes lasts very long so you get stunning for an hour and then a whimper of departing perfume defeated by time, and atmosphere, and my no doubt inhospitable skin.
I consider my options and alternatives. The nice people at Hermes gave me a sample of Osmanthe Yunnan, and I like that fine, but it’s a cologne and gone in 35 minutes on me. I love tobacco perfumes but let’s face it I already know what I love best (Tabac Blond and Established Cognac) and what I want is a nice fall scent that smells like hay and wine and sunny rocks and flowers and possibly opoponax, departing summer leaving a trail of warmth behind. But nobody makes such a perfume and the nearest I can come to it is Farnesiana which smells like autumn sunlight. Then there’s Pois de Senteur which is a sweet pea perfume that smells nothing like sweet peas except for the first fifteen minutes. Then it smells like grass and hyacinths and wood and amber (and is not particularly fall appropriate but is mellow).
I’ve tried an endless number of scents to find this non existent perfume and the nearest approximation to it was Parfumerie Generales’s Bois Blond, but like Osmanthe Yunnan, the fragrance was weak and didn’t stick around for long.
Oh well, there’s always winter and I fill that with roses and pepper and En Avion and Le Troisieme Homme. I guess everyone has to have an awkward season. Fall is mine.
* To Mosey is a form of locomotion perceived as pointless by those born below the Mason Dixon Line but necessary; the Southern version of the shuffle but more aimless.