The fragrances to wear this autumn, according to perfumers

Update your scent wardrobe with woodier, warmer notes this season

Louise Whitbread
Thursday 10 September 2020 16:29
As the temperatures cool, delve into rich, more intense notes in a new fragrance, from patchouli to leather
As the temperatures cool, delve into rich, more intense notes in a new fragrance, from patchouli to leather

As the season’s change and Autumn arrives, we often make changes in our routine to accommodate, not least because temperatures can sharply plummet.

Whether that’s getting throws and bedspreads out of storage, buying a new candle and slippers for cosy nights in or, switching up your perfume game.

Roja Dove, a renowned British perfumer that spent 20 years at the helm of Guerlain and went on to set up his eponymous brand, explained to The Independent why we seek to make a change.

“The seasons have a profound effect on us, from how we feel to what we do. We like to be in synergy with our environment so we often seek different sensations and facets from the fragrances we wear.”

He reveals that it’s a natural transition to seek out scents that are cocooning and enveloping as the air cools down, from the fresh and reviving notes seen in summer perfumes.  

Dove recommends going for a rich palette of spices, leathers and the warmth of woods to satisfy your olfactory senses, citing the earthy quality of patchouli as a winner for autumn.

Likewise, Emma South, Jo Malone London’s fragrance and lifestyle expert, suggests approaching your perfume in the same way you would your clothing.

“Your fragrance wardrobe is as important as your fashion wardrobe – your scent, like your clothes, should always reflect your style and personality. We change according to our moods, aspirations and naturally with the season,” she says.

Whether you’ve long been loyal to your favourite bottle, or like to switch between scents throughout the year, ahead we have all the inspiration you need, with the finest aromas for autumn.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Tom Daxon cologne absolute, 50ml: £105, Tom Daxon

Rich, intense and warm, this is a long-lasting scent well worth the price tag

This heady fragrance is a blend of neroli, bergamot, jasmine and patchouli that creates a scent that will last from the early morning to late at night. 

Woody and earthy, with floral notes, this unisex perfume is instantly noticeable but not overwhelming for the wearer and will make the perfect staple to any fragrance wardrobe.

Buy now

Jo Malone London fig and lotus flower cologne, 100ml: £100, Jo Malone

The latest launch from Jo Malone London is a fresh, fig-based fragrance

This luscious bottle is a dreamy choice if you’re still clinging onto those last few days of summer and long daylight hours. Light and floral, but not at all sickly sweet, it’s a blend of fig, lotus flower and vetiver, which combine give it a grassy, citrus twist to get you excited for the new season. 

It’s like a crisp Autumn morning in a fragrance. Not only that, but the beautiful bottle will also make a pretty dresser decoration.

Buy now

All Saints leather skies, 100ml: £49, All Saints

As the seasons change, headier scents such as leather are the perfect fit

If you’re on the hunt for leather fragrance, it needn’t cost a fortune and All Saints’s line-up of fragrances are well worth a look. Loved for its leather jackets, it makes sense for the brand to have the perfect leather-based perfume too. 

A heady blend of black pepper, leather and the citrus flower makes for a smoky, woody scent that will turn heads.

Buy now

Maison Francis Kurkdjian l’homme a la rose eau de parfum, 70ml: £180, Harvey Nichols

Rose reimagined, this bottle is a modern take on a classic note

Rose is often a fragrance note that’s overlooked or dismissed, as we tend to associate it with scents favoured by our grandparents. 

This latest launch from Maison Francis Kurkdjian however, is the grown-up way to wear it, blended with a grapefruit accord and amber to give it a woody finish that’s not stuffy. While it would make a beautiful gift, we’ll be keeping this all to ourselves.

Buy now

Jo by Jo Loves ,50ml: £70, Jo Loves

If you’re still wistfully thinking of warmer days, this grapefruit fragrance is the next best thing

This eponymous fragrance from perfumer Jo Malone was inspired by her love of grapefruit notes and is perfect if you enjoy lighter, sweeter scents. 

With one spritz of the bitter orange, lime, cedarwood and vetiver blend, you’ll instantly be transported to sandy beaches for a holiday that was perhaps cancelled this year. The finishing touch of black pepper adds a kick to see you through the autumn months.  

Buy now

Massimo Dutti Sunday breeze eau de parfum, 100ml: £49.95, Massimo Dutti

Treat yourself to this budget-friendly bottle

Created in Grasse, the centre of the French perfume industry, this affordable bottle is a luxurious scent worth adding to your shopping basket. 

While you may not associate the work of master perfumers with high street stores, this blend of citrus fruits, bergamot, pink pepper, amber and patchouli is just as long-lasting and richly scented as counterparts three times the price.

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Sunspel oak wood eau de parfum, 100ml: £90, Sunspe

Sweet, but not sickly, and warm but not overwhelming, this is perfect for Autumn

Lyn Harris is a British perfumer that is the nose behind fragrance brands Miller Harris and Perfumer H, and her latest work is this modern and clean scent that’s fast become our go-to for the season. 

Combining bergamot, neroli, sandalwood, oakmoss and frankincense, it’s fresher than the ingredients list would suggest but still retains a woody feel throughout its notes.

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YSL libre intense eau de parfum, 50ml: £84, Boots

Rich and enveloping, this is ideal for colder days when the leaves start to fall

Many of YSL’s iconic fragrances made decades ago, such as rive gauche or the original opium, still have loyal fans today, proving their timeless appeal, and the newest addition to the line-up, libre intense, is sure to be equally as popular. 

It’s a full-bodied fragrance featuring notes of tangerine, bergamot, tonka bean and amber gris that give it a rich, warming finish that’s the perfume equivalent of being wrapped up in a cashmere scarf. Bring on winter we say.

Buy now

To bring the warming scents into your home, read our review of the best reed diffusers

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