The Fall Fragrance Report


I know I don't take the time to review fragrance very often—every once and a while, we'll sit back and let the recommendations roll in—but that doesn't mean I don't have a disproportiately heightened interest in perfume. Mainly because it's easy. I don't need to commit myself to a twice a day, double cleansing routine to see results; nor do I have to worry about whether or not it works for my skin type or tone. Sure, I occasionally have to sell one of my organs on the black market to afford a bottle, but hey! I heard that savings accounts were gauche anyway.

That's the thing about perfume: It's expensive and experiential—two things that don't always make for the most engaging written content. (Unless you're Alex Beggs.) So instead, I'll offer you a quarterly review. It's here for you when the seasons change and you're looking for something new to set the tone. Nothing too citrusy or oud-y; everything is nice and even-keeled. Also eye candy. Thanks for that, Tom Newton. Choose your adventure below...

If you want to smell like what I found in Paris: Juliette Has A Gun White Spirit
I found this at Nose Paris, an amazing little shop that has customers fill out a survey about every perfume they've ever worn in their lives and then predicts their new favorite. Well, it worked. After several rounds of sniffing, I landed on this one from Juliette's Luxury Collection. It's equal parts woody and floral—with tuberose and jasmine balanced out by amber and sandalwood. Heady, sexy, and warm. Perfect.

If you're a man, or like smelling like one: Phlur Olmsted and Vaux
OK, maybe not a man because the whole concept behind Phlur is that all their fragrances are unisex. But as I am writing this, everyone in Glossier HQ keeps walking up to my desk, sniffing this, and proclaiming it masculine. I don't know if I'd call it mannish—but it's certainly not girly. (Not that gender is a dichotomy.) It's probably best described as a brisk walk in the park when it's a little chilly and dewy, but still comfortable.

If you don't want to give up your Tom Ford Neroli Portofino for the season: Musc et Madame Neroli Daim
Also relevant to Tom Newton's interests. The bottle is small and classic, along the lines of our other new favorite line, Maison Marie Louis. The smell has that bitter orange tinge, but without dripping sex appeal. It's got powder notes, too, but it doesn't give off the same baby vibes as a Bonpoint fragrance. Because you're more mature than that.

If you're looking for the next Byredo: DS and Durga Radio Bombay
DS and Durga recently released their fall line into the world and it's rebranded and fabulous. For the full experience, I recommend an appointment at their Bed Stuy studio if you've got the time to spare. The standout from the new additions is Radio Bombay. Brennan has converted to wearing it all over all the time. It's all musk, cedar, and sandalwood. Pairs nicely with a sweater and a fall trip to the coast.

If you love the Olsens: Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose
When they first launched over two years ago, I was skeptical of the whole Olsen fragrance thing. Then everyone I knew aligned themselves along the Nirvana Black or Nirvana White lines. Then I got really addicted to the dry shampoo. (In Black, to be clear.) Now there are two more colors to add to the mix. You can read about Bourbon elsewhere because I'm here solely for Rose. The sweetness you'd expect is in there, but with vetiver for grounding. It's fun and (pretty) affordable. Something to tide you over until The Row tries its hand at fragrance...

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Now that you've found your fall scent, here's how to keep it a secret.