It was through gothic arches and a carpet of leaves I strode; past withered branches, long handled brooms and mossy stone. The autumn scent of a distant pyre was lively in the early evening air; the ‘glorious death’ had come. It wasn’t until I had scrambled my house key from my pocket, stomped my way across the threshold and unwrapped my silk scarf from my neck that I fully appreciated the fragrance I had chosen for this particularly autumnal day. There were notes of fresh leek soup, ripe berries, spiced orange, cognac and the slightest hint of a burning match. I felt completely in tune with Nature’s turn. My next move was to ‘hibernate’ all those fragrances I had reserved or considered for their similarity to a summer’s day; too flimsy are they for this time of year. It is too late in the year to puff grapefruit and lemon. This is a time that calls for spice, leather, amber and nutmeg, berries, cumin and cardamom.
The other consideration is not to purchase a fragrance that everyone else wears or, in other words, one that you might buy, rather desperately, before entering the departure lounges at the airport. Fragrances are frivolous and entirely unnecessary (if one washes correctly) but that does not mean that a fragrance should be purchased willy nilly without consideration of personality or statement. If you go to the trouble of scenting yourself, go to the trouble of doing it properly. Heavy marketing, assistants trained in aggressive attack and a shiny box do not a fragrance make.
Endymion by Penhaligon’s
This marvellous concoction from Penhaligon’s, named after an astronomer from Greek mythology who was in love with Selene, a lunar deity, is full of sage and lavender at first, and then coffee, vetiver and nutmeg power through. It’s a particularly oriental scent with an abundance of spice and a pleasant leather finish. It also happens to be far less popular than the lighter, citrus based Blenheim Bouquet which, while excellent, is more redolent of summer days spent lounging in the orchard.
Le Nomade by Parfums D’Orsay
From the perfumery founded by the Comte D’Orsay, Le Nomade is a wistful, vetiver scent that has interesting top notes, redolent of the East (coriander, cardamom) and incense touches of bergamot, hints of majestic cedar. It is an extremely cosy fragrance that speaks of the luxurious amber glow of an autumn fire, the spiced wine of a cold November evening and the trails of incense that linger in the colonnades of a foreign city.
Eucris by Geo F Trumper
Eucris is an old formula. It was created in 1912 and, according to those in the know, has changed very little since this time. A hardy but enigmatic brew, top notes of blackcurrant and cumin with a satisfying base of a warm wood, the whiff of Eucris is distinctive. Jasmine offers a feminine, dandyish touch to a particularly aristocratic creation that is appropriate at all times, day or night.