I love Sunday evenings on my little street. The sky, which often roars with Heathrow-bound air traffic, is relatively quiet, the sirens are few and far between and my neighbour fills his fire with oak logs which, in turn, fills the air with the aroma which Diptyque refer to as ‘Feu de Bois.’ One whiff and you are transported to the countryside, to a fireside idyll in the woods with crunchy leaves underfoot. After beatific smiles and exhalations of satisfaction, I wanted to bottle the smell and lather it on me. It was the definitive autumn smell.
I like smells that define the season. Cypress for the spring, oranges, grapefruit and lemon in the summer; in my opinion, fragrance is about more than selecting a year-round scent. When you wear your light linen and espadrilles to a soiree at the yacht club on a warm evening, you should add something that complements your clothing, the season and the occasion; a deep, woody number with spice notes would be a mistake. Here are some season-friendly suggestions for the remainder of 2011.
The Autumn Scent
Comme des Garcons ‘2 Man’ smells like church pews, old ships and forest fires. It is mossy and woody and has conspicuously intense notes that smell like incense. In the splendid words of one admirer, David Hunter; “…it is intoxicating and a masterpiece. Strike a match and light a waxed saddle on fire, throw in a tumble weed, cedar, sandalwood, frankincense, and what the hell, add a gallon of gasoline. Then grab a Single Malt Scotch and get drunk on the smoke. By the time you pass out, you’ll find yourself inside of a Byzantine Mosque. Believe me.” The rusticity of the scent and distinct smell of incineration make this the ideal scent for the autumn season; team with a peanut-butter coloured cord jacket, paisley tie, dark denim and brown brogues.
The Winter Scent
Admittedly this scent isn’t an all-winter scent, but it is perfect for the festive season. In the cold of December, when the snow covers the ground, and you mush through the naked trees in your favourite overcoat with your gloved hands shoved deep in your pockets, you catch a whiff of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine from a nearby stall; that is the effect of Dolce & Gabbana’s ‘The One Gentleman’. The original scent, ‘The One’, was pleasant with base notes of tobacco and ambergris and sweet top notes of grapefruit and basil but it was more of an all-rounder; ‘The One Gentleman’ is spicier and more oriental with pepper, cardamom and patchouli. It smells like Christmas should smell; that warm glow in the darkness. Team with a burgundy velvet jacket, tartan tie, black trousers and patent shoes for the party season.