The last two weeks of August hid behind a silvery curtain of rain, but still I held hope that the blissful warmth of summer would make a comeback, allowing me to get a little more wear out of my sandals and chiffon shifts. But even as the sun shone the last couple of days, painting the university campus with colorful dots of students studying, smoking and laughing outside the buildings, the wind had carried a chill that sent shivers down our spines. We wore boots instead of sandals, thick jackets instead of light fabrics. The leaves are falling, producing a satisfying crunch under our footsteps. The first mushrooms can already be seen growing next to the thick trunks of trees. It’s Fall.
September must truly be the prince of Fall, full of promise for the year to come, full of novelty for business, academics and a social life that is warming up again and starting to roll as friends come together again after their summer vacations. Swathed in autumn’s new, deeply hued fabrics, it’s out with the old and in with the new for fashion. And the riches keep coming in: September’s knee deep in grapes, making wine. The Harvest Moon brings with it an abundance of grains, nuts and mushrooms. It’s the time of plenty. All this richness has inspired me to suggest that this month we not only embrace, but also pay homage to the season’s prince with perfumes befitting his precious gifts.
Rice: My favorite rice-scented perfume is Kenzo’s Amour, which just induces me to keep sniffing my wrist whenever I have it on. Its opening might seem slightly off-putting to some, since there is a strange heliotrope-plastic accord there, but if you wait just a bit you will be rewarded with a beautiful milky rice-scented heart with all the goodness of rice pudding. YUM! Kenzoki Rice Steam (Sensuel), also by Kenzo, is a fragrant mist meant to be sprayed all over the body, which perfumes and moisturizes the skin at the same time. Its steamed rice accord smells warm, gentle and comforting. It slowly fades into a soft skin-scent smelling vaguely of musk and clean skin. Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca is a gorgeous creation that will perfectly complement this Fall’s richly hued floral dresses but will also comfort the senses with its fragrant, basmati rice accord.
Nuts: I love perfumes with a distinct nutty accord and to my pleasant surprise many recent releases seem to be taking full advantage of the nuts’ autumnal appeal. Bond No. 9’s newest, Lexington Avenue, reveals an intense, beautiful roasted almond paste scent in its opening that is absolutely delicious. Even though the scent thins to reveal a blooming heart as time progresses, this nutty aspect remains a constant in this gourmand’s development. Secret Obsession’s heart in turn, is filled with the earthy nuttiness of a freshly cracked walnut. This beautiful walnut note is rich, buttery and very sexy indeed. Lastly, Creed’s brand new Love in Black, includes the most delicious, mouthwatering blend of nuts whipped with iris butter and cacao. Mmmmm!
Fruit: Burberry is the line I most readily turn to for my dose of Fall fruit. Burberry Brit, with its crystalline note of pear is sure to bring cheerfulness to any dreary old day, and even though I must admit I favor it in warm weather, I’ve lately found that it is perfect for early fall. Burberry Classic on the other hand, is an excellent example of apple rendered perfectly in a dry sophisticated composition, instead of the usual cinnamon laden wintry offerings (nothing wrong with those), or in an awful saccharine juice (the latter however are very wrong indeed!). I love Burberry Classic, which transforms into one of the most glorious fuse-with-my-own-skin-scents I know of in its drydown. It never fails to garner compliments and I always feel wonderful when I wear it.
Celebration: Are you familiar with the Harvest Moon Festival? Why not wear I am a Dandelion by CB I Hate Perfume on the day of the full moon, in honor of the traditional dandelion leaf custom of the day?
...and one for the house: It has to be my beloved Pumpkin Chestnuts candle by L’Occitane of course. Don’t be fooled by the way! Pumpkin might be more associated with October, but the truth is they make their appearance in September, along with squash, waiting to be made into delicious soup. This candle smells deliciously buttery, earthy, nutty and vanillic and will make the room smell oh-so-delightfully cozy.
The end of summer is always difficult to accept, but I hope this month’s Perfume for the Occasion has not only given you many ideas, but has also inspired you to embrace September with a smile and of course, the appropriate scent.
Images: www.imageafter.com, Flickr by Surplusparts, Visualpanic and Spiralz, www.sxc.hu