The heat has finally broken in Tennessee and it’s time for me to break out my fall scents, so I thought I’d compile a list of my top 10 fall scents for 2019. In the summers, I tend towards fresh citrus florals (Creed Royal Water, John Varvatos Artisan and Artisan Pure, Valentino Donna Rosa Verde are favourites), but come autumn my tastes veer towards amber, tobacco, leather, rose, and aoud. So, in this list of my top 10 fall scents for 2019, those are going to feature quite heavily! Of course, there will be a few surprises here, too. Let’s begin!
Honourable mention: English Laundry Windsor
Like most English Laundry scents, sillage and longevity are not quite good enough with this one to make it onto the official list. But the smell! English Laundry Windsor sports tobacco, nutmeg, oud, and cinnamon, and makes for a perfect scent when spending time with loved ones around the holidays. It’s safe, spicy, warm, and mass appealing and will very effectively wear amongst the smells of the season: campfire smoke, traditional Thanksgiving feasts, pine trees, falling leaves, damp earth on fall hikes, etc. And if you can pick this up (like I did) for $25 for a 3.4oz bottle, it’s a total steal. An easy no-brainer to add to your collection.
Top fall scent #10: Rasasi La Yuqawam Tobacco Blaze
Rasasi has been knocking it out of the park in the past decade with their La Yuqawam line. The original La Yuqawam Pour Homme, impressively inspired by Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather, has a permanent home in my collection and gets broken out for the coldest of the cold winter days and nights. But Tobacco Blaze was a wonderful surprise, a decidedly different take on leather and tobacco. Spicy, woody, with an apricot note that lights the whole package up, this scent has fantastic longevity and sillage and makes for a perfect complement to crisp fall days for masculine-leaning folks ages 25 and up. It’s definitely deserving of a spot on this Top 10 Falls Scents for 2019 list!
Top fall scent #9: Mancera Cedrat Boise
Anyone who tells you that Mancera’s Cedrat Boise is just a simple dupe for Creed’s Aventus needs to get their nose checked. Certainly, the two share a basic DNA, but Mancera’s offering here adds in a leather note and amps up the vanilla to complement that addition. The result is arguably classier than Aventus, and a splendid choice for those late summer or early fall days when the memory of the heat still lingers but I’m preparing for the colder months ahead. Citrussy, woody, and with a lovely juicy pineapple note that’s more ripe and sweet than that of Aventus, Cedrat Boise is a no-brainer, crowd-pleaser, and overall strong choice for the fall.
Top fall scent #8: Lalique Encre Noire
The first entry in Lalique’s “vetiver holy trinity,” Encre Noire is an iso-e-super and vetiver bomb, an allegory for a dark, damp forest floor after the rain as leaves have dropped and are beginning to decompose. This stunning fragrance always makes it onto my top fall scents list for its uniqueness, longevity, and very attractive price point. My wife loves it, I get compliments galore, and the scent lingers on me all day, calling back to mid-autumn hikes even when I’m sitting in the office in front of a screen. There’s nothing quite like this scent, and for the price, it’s a must in all but the most anti-vetiver fraghead’s collection.
Top fall scent #7: Aramis Tobacco Reserve
When the house of Aramis is thrown around in fragrance circles, we tend to think of that classic Fougere that is more suited to those in their 50’s and 60’s than most of the designer scents on the market today. But Aramis has produced a true modern gem with their Tobacco Reserve, which blends a rich, spicy tobacco with sweet tonka and vanilla notes that project wonderfully and fill the room with a sweet but not-too-sweet fall and winter aura. Projection and sillage are excellent, and the price point is very agreeable. The tobacco note here is so well blended that by the time the scent has dried down, you can’t really tell where the tobacco ends and the vanilla-tonka notes begin. Very impressive!
Top fall scent #6: Issey Miyake L’eau Bleue D’Issey
While this woody aromatic scent from Issey Miyake has sadly been officially discontinued, it’s still easily purchasable from grey market sellers online and from reputable sellers on eBay. And what a tragedy it is that this won’t be available forever! Juniper, cypress, rosemary, and patchouli make this herbal fragrance an absolute delight for fans of woody aromatics. Projection is good and sillage is also acceptable, and this scent seems to be able to last all day on my skin. Not quite as dark and mysterious as Lalique’s Encre Noire, this herbal bomb recalls the scents of the garden as the weather cools and your herbs make that last push for growth before winter gets its way.
Top fall scent #5: Burberry Brit for Men
An affordable classic, Burberry’s smooth, slightly powdery ginger and rose fragrance still works amazing well for cooler weather, especially on rainy days when you want a scent to fit the pleasant gloom. The ginger and rose here are very well-blended, lending the rose a spicy quality that prevents it from entering “flowery” territory — so, it’s safe for those who might otherwise be turned off by rosy florals! And don’t be frightened off by the idea of wearing a “powdery” scent, either, since the overall vibe here is one of incredible smoothness rather than baby powder. This is available at most brick and mortar discounters (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross) for a very good price, so this is another top fall scent that will definitely not break the bank!
Top fall scent #4: L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu
One of the most inexpensive niche fragrances on the market, Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur blends a magnificent ripe mango note with an earthy, slightly-animalic vetiver and incense accord that pops off the skin and wafts through the air. It’s got a freshness that recalls the warm summer months without feeling out of place, balanced as it is by the earthy vetiver. There’s something here that recalls Terre D’Hermes, but it’s deeper and more adventurous — that mango note really adds a layer of depth and sweetness that most vetiver/incense combinations typically lack. This is definitely on the more divisive side of scents, so consider buying a sample or a decant before opting for a full bottle! However divisive, though, I love it, and it’s #4 of my list of top 10 fall scents of 2019.
Top fall scent #3: Tiziana Terenzi Maremma
“Just another Black Orchid clone,” or so people say. But this masterful niche fragrance from Tiziana Terenzi, Maremma, ups the ante with added depth and spice. I’m so excited to add this to my list of top 10 fall scents for 2019! Perfect for autumn, the mild sweetness of cocoa mixes with patchouli and incense to create a long-lasting and dazzling aroma. Presented in a beautiful matte black bottle with a burned wood title card, this is a luxurious, opulent fragrance for taking in all of the beauty of the cooler months of autumn. While the price is a bit higher than other fragrances on this list, it’s worth every penny. As you hike down your favourite country path, you’ll get whiffs of honey, persimmon, amber, and sandalwood that complement the beautiful cocoa notes. Everything feels utterly natural here, which is a nice departure from the sometimes-synthetic smell of Black Orchid.
Top fall scent #2: Hermes Terre d’Hermes pure parfum
Full disclosure: I am a Jean-Claude Ellena fanboy, and unapologetically so. He’s created some of the most timeless and beautiful scents of the past three decades, and perhaps the crown jewel of his portfolio is Terre d’Hermes. While I’d argue that you can pull off this scent any time of year at all save the darkest depths of winter, there’s a special place for the smell of Terre d’Hermes come autumn. The beautiful earthy orange vetiver is perfectly spiced and incredibly pleasant, making for a mass-appealing scent that lasts for a decent amount of time and is wearable outdoors, in the office, at home, or on your travels. This is a must in every fragrance enthusiast’s collection and a modern classic that will be on shelves for decades to come.
Top fall scent #1: Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient
What’s the best of my top 10 fall scents for 2019? I promise that I’m not employing hyperbole when I tell you that this is the single most magnificent ambergris fragrance ever made. I swear that this is natural ambergris! Buttery, smooth, with a hint of glorious oceanic splendor, the ambergris in Encens Mythique d’Orient perfectly complements the smooth rose and pleasant incense. Opening with sparkling but modern-smelling aldehydes, this is a distinctly unisex gem. Unique, smooth, comfortable and soft, this is a perfect scent for curling up by the fire with a loved one or sitting on your deck watching vibrant leaves fall with a campfire in the distance. The current crown-jewel of my collection, and a singular scent for any autumn month!