Don’t get me wrong. I am a summer baby through and through. I like the heat, I like floaty clothes, I like sun-kissed strands, I like freckled noses, and I really like the pared-backed beauty routine that so often comes with summer months. For the most part, I’m willing to say that I sort of loathe waving goodbye to summer.
Except, that is, when it comes to my fragrance collection. It sounds like an odd thing to say, I know, but the one thing that gets me really excited for autumn is surrounding myself with the seasonal scents. I’m an inherently cosy (read: lazy) person, and something about being snuggled up warm inside, enveloped by creamy, spicy scents makes my typically sun-drenched heart feel a little bit giddy.
Because for me, fragrance is life. I surround myself with scents everywhere I go, and I like them strong. When I spray perfume, I want everyone to tell me I smell great. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that being remembered for smelling good is somewhat of a life goal for me. And autumn is when my fragrance game really comes into its own.
There are few things better than nuzzling your nose into a great autumn scent, whether it's warm vanilla, creamy musk, smoky wood or earthy floral. And so, as the late-evening sun sets on the zingy citruses and fresh florals of summer, it’s time to swaddle ourselves in knitted jumpers and cosy up with the aromas of autumn.
Not sure where to start? Keep scrolling for the very best autumn fragrances out there.
1. Miller Harris Oud Éclat
This bottle of sheer beauty is without question the most exquisite perfume I have ever come across. In all of my years as a beauty journalist, I have never smelled a fragrance as unique and beautiful as this. Even if you don’t like warm, oud-y fragrances, I refuse to accept any notion that disputes Oud Eclat’s perfection. It’s creamy, musky and earthy with a hint of spicy sweetness that has you melting into your wrist with every sniff.
2. Ex Nihilo Honoré Delights Spray
Like warm bread and just-baked pain au raisins, Honoré Delights embodies all of the chic luxury of stepping foot into a Parisian boulangerie or pâtisserie without any of the sickly sweetness. It’s sophisticated, mature and unarguably crowd-pleasing. I’m yet to find a soul who doesn’t go back to this one for second sniff.
3. Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Cologne
While the zingy fruitiness of pear might traditionally be considered a lightweight note fit for spring, Jo Malone’s classic English Pear and Freesia has a way of calling out to you on crisp autumn days. It’s fresh, yes, but the woody base gives it a quintessential Englishness that makes it fit for cold October mornings.
4. Escentric Molecules Molecule + Iris Eau de Toilette
If you are yet to experience the joy of smelling iris, I urge you to give it a go. It’s renowned as one of the most expensive notes in perfumery and is incredibly hard to extract and formulate with. However, when you find a perfume that gets it right, it’s impossible to ignore. It’s soapy but comforting, crisp but deep and leaves the nose asking a multitude of questions. This EDT combines the distinctive joys of iris with the iconic velvety notes of Molecule 01—like a garden full of blooms experiencing the first morning dew of the year.
5. Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum
You might think you’re already familiar with Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, but you’d be wrong. The iconic Miss Dior franchise has a new addition, and it’s a classic in the making. It’s floral and undeniably fresh, but deep powdery notes and hints of woodiness make it the perfect autumnal spritz.
6. Aesop Miraceti Eau de Parfum
Deep, woody and spicy, this new scent from Aesop is like autumn in a bottle. Even if you’re not a particular fan of powerful and warm fragrances, this juice has a zingy hint of pepper and musk that gives it a freshness like few others. It’s a feast for the senses.
7. Aerin Ambrette de Noir Eau de Parfum
Ambrette, tonka absolute, vanilla bourbon and jasmine twirl together to create one of the most deliciously warm and comforting scents I have ever experienced. It’s head-turning and not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re a fan of statement fragrances, consider this small bottle of beauty a lifelong friend.
8. Molton Brown Neon Amber Eau de Parfum
If you ask me, no scents embody autumn quite like amber and tonka. Deep, rich, creamy and warm, they linger on the skin like a comforting hug. However, combined with the zesty freshness of bergamot and citrus, this scent meets virtually everyone’s autumn fragrance needs.
9. Maison Margiela By the Fireplace Eau de Toilette
While you might not have the fire on just yet, this woody perfume has a citrusy sweetness to it that makes it crisp and light enough to wear before winter really kicks in. It’s fresh, nostalgic and encompasses everything great about autumn days.
10. Byredo Mixed Emotions Eau de Parfum
11. Penhaligon's Heartless Helen
The floral but powdery smell of tuberose hits you first with Heartless Helen, but the dry-down is orangey and woody. It’s fresh and light without having that creamy sweetness that summer scents typically embody. Instead, I reach for this on cold, crisp days when the sun is beating down on the just-turning trees.
12. The Nue Co. Forest Lungs
13. Diptyque Orphéon Eau de Parfum
14. Beauty Pie Mandarin Leaf, White Cedar & Freesia
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Musk is one of my all-time favourite notes for autumn, and this stuff has totally reinvented the wheel. It’s fresh and clean in the way traditionally masculine scents are but has an earthy tone to it that is reminiscent of autumnal downpours.
15. Jo Loves Red Truffle 21
With fig, juniper and pine, the fragrance combines all of the cool, earthy notes of autumn and blends them together to create a delectably warm, morish scent.