These Are the 5 Trendiest Fragrance Notes For Fall 2016
Just as your wardrobe changes with the transition into Autumn, so too should your fragrance rotation. Warmer months lend themselves to lighter scents — think sweet, vibrant florals, crisp citrus, and soft powder — but come Fall and Winter, your nostrils are ready for an EDP with more depth and weight.
Perfumers around the globe plan their launches according to this palpable change in mood and weather, and we've rounded up the trendy fragrance notes that have earned the most attention so far this season. Expect notes such as sexy amber, unexpected leather, and fresh fern. We're also offering you some suggestions for newly released, gorgeous fragrances containing these of-the-moment scents.
It seems like every shelf you turn to, another perfume putting amber in the spotlight is staring right back at you. This note has syrupy and honey-like qualities, but its inherent sweetness is muted by a rich, earthy muskiness that instantly soothes your senses.
"We're seeing both the return of superclassic labdanum-and-vanilla creamy ambers like Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux — a bona fide niche classic — but also a surge in more dynamic, modern takes on amber that eschew the traditionally creamy labdanum and vanilla paradigm, like MPG's newer, more resinous Ambre Mythique," said Alex Gilman, fragrance expert at LuckyScent. "Amber is the widely liked but square straight-A student who's finally letting her hair down a bit."
By turning down the tonka and ramping up balsamic and smoky notes, these modern amber perfumes feel more mysterious, and perhaps even slightly masculine, Gilman says.
Forget sneezes — adding pepper into your fragrance unleashes a spicy zing that invigorates and empowers. When done correctly, pepper is elegant and clean and commands attention without being too bossy about it.
Take Altaia Ombú EDP ($210), for example, which was inspired by the Argentian ombu plant. There's no doubt about the pink pepper content in this one, which is married with cedar wood and what smells like freshly picked sage that's been pressed between your fingers. Base notes of amber and benzoin soften any potential prickliness.
Atelier Emeraude Agar ($250) tempers black pepper with earthy and woody notes of bergamot, geranium, and sandalwood. It almost smells like a bouquet of wilted roses that have been wrapped in leather and left to sit in a wet cedar forest.
Also try Rag & Bone Encens ($140), which is part of an eight-piece fragrance collection the brand just launched. Encens is equal parts spicy and green, with top notes of black pepper, elemi (a pine-like scent), and bergamot. It quietly fades into a velvety earthiness thanks to honeyed cistus, amber, and musk.
If you want just a touch of pepper, we recommend Alexander McQueen Eau de Parfum For Her ($115), the newest eponymous EDP by the brand. It combines black pepper with pink pepper, which may sound like too much, but any of that upfront spiciness is quickly candied by notes of sweet moonlight jasmine, tuberose, and ylang ylang.
If you are shopping for him or prefer a more masculine scent, one of the trendiest notes this Fall is fern, or fougères, which reads effortless, classic, and cool. Gilman says that even perfumeries that might not have ever created masculine scents before are coming out for a chance to play with fern.
"Amouage's Bracken Man ($325) and Dusita Issara ($295) demonstrate how wonderfully naturalistic and earthy high-end fougères can go, while still smelling drop-dead sexy," Gilman said, adding that "more traditional-feeling entries, like Parfums MDCI Le Barbier du Tangier ($250), prove that really, classically soapy barbershop versions are completely timeless."
Now for a break from the brooding, moody, and mysterious. Perfume makers clearly stepped into the briar patch to pluck some juicy berries for their most recent concoctions, as it's a recurring note in Fall 2016 launches. The following recommendations are perfect for those who prefer a sparkling, bright, and feminine fragrance.
We'll start with Acqua Di Parma Peonia Nobile ($126), which captures the scent of a robust, pink peony at the height of its bloom. Now imagine as if that bloom has been drizzled with freshly made raspberry syrup and dusted lightly with black pepper, and you'll have a good sense of what Peonia Nobile smells like.
For a floral-meets-fruity fragrance that's slightly more subdued, try Missioni's new EDT ($94), which is plush, juicy, woody, and fresh. One spritz and you're transported to a picnic in the middle of a citrus-lined garden, where the only food being served are plump pink berries.
Equally fresh and juicy, but somehow so very different, is Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming ($94). Vibrant notes of raspberry and pomegranate are punctuated with spicy black currant and pink pepper, and an undercurrent of rose and musk softens the perfume as it dries down.
What better scent to go with your Autumn boots than leather? It's not just that there are a lot of new, leathery perfumes popping up, Gilman says. It's that leather is being combined with the unexpected.
For starters, The Different Company Adjatay ($195) couples buttery leather with tuberose and juicy mandarin to create a fragrance that truly transcends the typical. Byredo's Rodeo Wooster, available exclusively at NYC's Wooster store, does something similar by pairing leather accord and suede with violet. It's appropriately named, too, because one whiff and you feel like you're standing on the sidelines of an authentic rodeo, complete with wafting cigarette smoke and the faintest scent of sugary violet from a passerby's own perfume.
Added Gilman, "One of the true standouts of the season, Parfumerie Generale's Arabian Horse ($260), uses a dynamic combination of saddle leather, fur, green notes, and wildflowers to perfectly evoke a horse galloping through a damp, earthen field, proving that leather scents can really be at the forefront of what we would call true olfactory art."