It's almost Hallowe'en, and we've been bombarded with autumn collections since August. Season creep + marketing schedules have not only warped seasonal patterns but also make me simultaneously exhausted and excited about seasons. I don't really care for Hallowe'en (THERE. I said it. Come at me.), but I do love vaguely spooky things, cozy things, and in the spirit of enjoying the things that I already own, have been heavily wearing some of my favourite scents. While fruity scents are my favourite, and the autumn obliges by having so many apple scents, I also start turning heavily to atmospheric scents, resinous scents, and anything that echoes the comfortable, cozy feeling that fall evokes in me. So make yourself a nice cup of autumnal tea (or winter, since the mornings are getting chilly these days), put on a sweater (or borrow one of my cardigans; I have many), and enjoy my list of delightful autumn scent favourites this year.
1. Arcana Holy Terror (original review)
There are utterly somber and fearsome spirits which are known to haunt certain long-deserted chapels, monasteries and abbeys. An unsettling, austere blend of burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles.
I'm still clutching onto my partial decant. I actually planned to buy a full bottle of Holy Terror this weekend from Canadian Arcana stockist, Pretty Indulgent, but it had gone out of stock since I last checked. The good thing about Holy Terror is that it's a general catalogue scent, so I can lie in wait for it to return to PI and hoard my decant.
It's steadily become one of my favourite colder weather scents. It's heavy, smouldering incense and beeswax. Dark and hot, and since I'm a lapsed Catholic, reminds me of Christmas Eve mass, when incense was still used in the service. It's a comforting memory. I put this down once summer started, but have picked it back up since the first sub-zero morning a few weeks ago.
2. Haus of Gloi Zazz
Tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, sparkling champagne, all shook up with crushed ginger.
I purchased and reviewed my bottle of Zazz in the summer of 2014, pre-blog. I've talked about it here and there, because I like to buy all the Zazz things (soap, hair oil, bubbling scrub, pumpkin butter) when they come around. Zazz is techincally a summer release, but here's the thing: it smells like cranberry gingerale, which is a solidly fall/winter product (or has been in the past. Now President's Choice has it out year-round, and I'm okay with this). So yes, Zazz is bright and bubbly, but it's also forever associated with colder weather for me, since fall is when all the gingerale makers start bringing out their cranberry gingerale. I've already consumed a case of Canada Dry's, and Schweppes has an intriguing cranberry-raspberry gingerale out. I've been trying to quit drinking pop, but cranberry gingerale is the last holdout, and Zazz reminds me of the delicious taste.
3. NAVA Black Vanilla Custard (original review)
Spooky Caramel Creme, Black Vanilla, Carmelized Sugar, a drop of French Maple-Vanilla, a plop of Rum, spooky Brown Sugar Dust, a captured breath from a Vanilla Ghost and a scare of Custard.
This remains my very favourite NAVA scent of the ones that I've tried over the last year. It's a rich, delicious, rum-soaked dessert, with loads of carmelized sugar, maple, and rich vanilla. It's delicious and warm and magnificent.
4. Solstice Scents Foxcroft (original review)
Ozone, Rustling Leaves, Rich Black Soil, Chimney Smoke & Woods
Foxcroft is literal autumn in a bottle. It is the end result of me chasing after the perfect atmospheric fall scent, and it won, hands down. It's damp soil and cold air and dead leaves and a wisp of smoke in the wind. It's like a walk in the woods on a slightly overcast fall day. This is possibly my favourite fall scent, or at least, my favourite scent that most speaks of fall.
5. Haus of Gloi Scarecrow (original review)
Dried corn husks, dust, straw, weathered wood and a ruffle of inky black feathers.
Strangely, Haus of Gloi has made it on here twice. I've fallen a bit out of love with HoG over the last year - I've tried most of their seasonal scents and general catalogue that interests me, and I crave more complex scents for the most part. But this is one of Haus of Gloi's more interesting autumn offerings, introduced last year, and I think it's totally underrated. This is a lighter scent that might be expected by the notes, and it's spooky and brings to mind an empty field, post-harvest, on a cold November day. I get damp grass, cool wind, dry dirt and dust, and something soft and fluffy. It really does smells slightly fluffy. I swear.
6. Firebird Woodsmoke & Vanilla
Spicy, smoky, resinous, warm and sweet- with notes of frankincense and myrrh, fir needles, balsam and cedar, on a soft base of vanilla and honey. Brings to mind firewood, incense, cold winter nights.
This was the very first indie perfume I ever bought, in November of 2012. It's actually been recently reformulated, so my bottle isn't going to smell exactly like one that is purchased now (also that four years of aging). This is a relatively simple scent, but I still love it. It's mainly woodsmoke on me, with a hint of fir, and a touch of vanilla to smooth it out. I love the scent of woodsmoke, and this remains my favourite interpretation of it.
Honourable mention to Haus of Gloi's Cozy Sweater, which is a year-round favourite, due to its soothing and clean scent, but even more appropriate now that I'm actually pulling out all of my sweaters.