Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Perfume for the Occasion: Harvest Moon

“Won’t you light the fire darling? I don’t think the summer is coming back...”

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:, Flickr by Surplusparts, Visualpanic and Spiralz,


Unknown said...

Divina let's swap weather! Were still getting the 80's and above and I want the cool autumnal weather you are getting. I am so itching to bring out my Autumn fragrances. Today I am putting on the gorgeous vanilla smokey orange delight of L de Lolita Lempicka and yesterday I wore the wonderful cidery wonder of Bois des Iles.

Divina said...

That's an offer I can't refuse!!! I love the change of seasons, but frankly I wasn't ready for autumn to start mid-august.

Anonymous said...

What a marvelous article, it really put me in the mood for my favourite time of the year.

The seasons have certainly changed over the last week in the UK.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Divina- beautifully written! I, like Jenavira, live in California where it seems like eternal summer- so your description of the autumn arriving really pulled at my heartstrings! I'm really anxious to try Bond no. 9 Lexington Avenue after that review as I adore almond-esque scents.

Divina said...

Prince Barry, Autumn to me is probably the most poetic season. Sensitive, thoughtprovoking... A time of change both in nature and in life. It makes my imagination flare. Seeing the summer go is always sad, but smelling the autumn in the air is also bliss!

Divina said...

Connoisseur, I have a feeling you're gonna love it! The almond in Lexington Avenue is really yummy and very distinctive.

Ines said...

Dear Divina
although I always look forward to autumn, I absolutely love harvest time and every year my boyfriend and I help our friends when it's vintage time (already looking very much forward to that) :-) - it's still summer here and I'm forced to wait a bit longer to wear more autumn scents. And now I even have new fragrances to try thanks to your post! :-)

Anonymous said...

This was so beautifully written Divina, a pleasure to read. You really made me feel the interplay between the melancholy and gladness of the season. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Divina,
Thank you so much for this glorious and evocative description of autumn, which to me is the most wistful of all the seasons. Today has been the best of days: real golden September, and the fragrances you mention are so absolutely right for this month! Tomorrow I'm off to buy the L'Occitane candle - definitely. And I don't know whether you would agree, but the EL Pleasures Delight seems to fit, with its warm berry note?
Hugs, and have a lovely weekend,

ScentScelf said...

What a nice way to approach fall...I think I will be breaking out the Organza Indecence to see if it strikes me as happy a comfort as it did last winter...I'll probably steer clear of fruits, but will definitely use some Kenzo Amour for those days that beg a simple comfort...and I am eager to try the Black Cashmere and Nu that I have only experienced in summer.

Anonymous said...

here in Brazil we are almost in spring.
I was thinking about your article and I went back to my perfume bottles and the 1000s samples I have...
I love the scent of crisp green apple in Lovely (SJP).
I love the fruity note in petit cherrie (Annick Goutal).
I love the milky -almond scent of L'Occitane almond soap. The milky note in Summer (Kenzo).
And now I am in love with the pomegranate note in Euphoria.
And Gucci by Gucci (2007) - the pear is very nice...

So, Let's hope you will have a nice semester and check the news: I am writing in English too. My blog comes in Portuguese followed by an adapted version to English.

Divina said...

Ines for you I have yet another suggestion since you love the harvest of the grapes so much! You should try Botrytis, I think. I have not tried it myself, but Tom's review has left me wanting to try it very badly!

Divina said...

Christine, and you managed to say exactly what I was trying to write in my reply to Prince Barry in just a sentence! That's exactly what I meant! Thank you :)

Divina said...

Scentself, those are all such beautiful choices. Although I have to admit I cannot get Nu to work for me ;) Admittedly, I don't see it at all around here, but when I come across it while travelling I always give it another go, just to find the magic. I wonder if the problem has been that I always try it in the summertime? Hmmm..

Divina said...

Linda my dearest, indeed, Pleasures Delight will be so wonderful for these golden-copper days. The berry note and its chocolatey patchouli will be absolutely delicious!

Divina said...

Hello Maisqueperfume! I had read that you will be switching to english and that gave me such pleasure cause now I can read your words too! :) I was waiting till you were back from your holiday to change the listing to bilingual. I have now listed your blog as bilingual on my links and wish you much success :)

Anonymous said...

well, I kinda felt selfish.... ;-)
you know...I read yours, Andy's, Octavian's..and nobody reads mine because of the language... :-). Portuguese is not a common language.
I am glad that we will be able to share more.
I think your blog is a valuable on in the internet.
Sincere, interesting and you have a wonderful taste.
I am glad I can follow it!