Miller Harris Myrica Musk

Fall is a time of shifts. We shift into a new season with new holidays, back to school or work and into more layers and heavier clothes. For some, fall is also a time to switch their fragrance — to leave behind the sweet lightness of summer and deepen into a more sensual or warm autumnal aroma. But what exactly makes a fragrance feel more like fall?

We consulted with fragrance experts to help navigate the massive fragrance marketplace and discovered 18 of their favorite fall scents along the way.

What fragrances are good for fall?

If you’re in the mood to adopt a different fragrance for fall, there are some fragrance families you can peruse for a richer scent. “For fall, I always think about two things: I think about texture and I think about spice,” says Bee Shapiro, founder of Ellis Brooklyn Fragrances. “I think we’re so used to just thinking about spicier drinks come fall or colder weather.”

The tie between fall food and fragrance is not coincidental. Many scents typically considered more fall-like belong to the gourmand fragrance family. Gourmand scents are usually familiar notes that create a sense of coziness; like stepping into a house with fresh baked goods or sipping on a spiced chai latte.

“It’s typically like vanilla and cocoa and chocolate,” says Tami Katz, a fragrance consultant at Serendipitee NYC, which she co-founded with fellow “nose for hire” Kathryn Balcerski. “It could be savory like bacon, cookies, anything lickable, edible, kind of delicious.”

Gourmand scents tend to be better suited for cooler weather as well since they’re generally more decadent and heavier, usually making them a little overwhelming for summer. But they’re not the only fragrance family for fall; you could also go for more woody or smoky scents or something in the warm amber realm. More textural notes like cashmere and leather also pop up in fall scents since they help create that feeling of being bundled up in layers of jackets and scarves.

Also keep in mind that air temperature greatly affects how a fragrance holds, so your location can be important when choosing a new scent. “When it is colder, your fragrance doesn’t disperse as much, so you kind of need a stronger scent for you to make the same scent impact,” says Shapiro. “When you’re in hotter weather, your fragrance wears widely and then dissipates quickly.”

If you live in a place that tends to be warm year-round, you might not feel the need to don a heavier scent. Though living in an area with a seasonal climate doesn’t mean you have to switch your fragrance with the season, it does mean you may want to be aware of how scents might change with the weather. We picked out some experts’ favorite fall fragrances as well as a few of our own.

Fall fragrance ideas

$144 at Sephora

Maison Margiela By the Fireplace
Maison Margiela’s Replica line is all about creating fragrances that evoke vivid scenes and memories. By the Fireplace has smoky and woody notes that sit atop comforting vanilla. Intended to transport you to a cozy evening curled up by the fire, this scent is perfect to add some warmth to chilly fall days and nights.

From $83 at Ulta

 YSL Black Opium
“Black Opium by YSL has a beautiful coffee note that I think is beautiful for the fall,” says Katz. Coupled with vanilla and white flower, Black Opium is a seductive fragrance that Katz says is “a little bit deeper and a little bit darker.”

From $90 at Nordstrom

Le Labo Santal 33
Santal 33 is a unisex scent that has amassed a following in recent years. Described by Katz as an “elegant woody fragrance,” Santal 33 includes notes of cardamom, iris, Australian sandalwood, cedarwood and leather.

From $85 at Sephora

Kayali Vanilla 28
Looking for a sweet, gourmand fragrance? Madagascan vanilla orchid, Brazilian tonka, jasmine and brown sugar come together in Kayali’s Vanilla 28 to create a decadent scent that’s also great for layering with other scents.

From $175 at Ulta

Tom Ford White Suede
Tom Ford’s White Suede is a musk-inspired fragrance with notes of leather and suede that are mellowed by saffron, thyme, rose and warm amber. “It's very smoky and spicy and ambery at the same time,” says Katz.

From $96 at Sephora

Prada Candy
Another gourmand pick, Prada’s Candy has a sweet caramel top note that dries down into benzoin and white musk.

$105 at Ulta

Ellis Brooklyn Myth
Myth from Ellis Brooklyn is a white musk scent that can be used year-round but also makes a great base for layering scents in cooler months. If you’re looking for something to send you deeper into winter with a more masculine edge, the brand’s Après fragrance is a boozy-woody scent that’s “literally like a day after skiing,” says Shapiro, with notes of bourbon and sandalwood topped with juniper berries.

$185 at Miller Harris

Miller Harris Myrica Musk
If you like to match your fragrance to your mood, Myrica Musk is perfect for when you're feeling more sensual. Ripe with fragrant red fruits, boozy rum and creamy vanilla, this confident scent might just remind you of kicking back with your favorite cocktail in hand.

From $85 at Sephora

Kayali Lovefest Burning Cherry
Mixing cherries, raspberries and caramelized pralines sounds like the start to a delicious dessert, but also a delicious fragrance. Lovefest Burning Cherry is great for those with a tendency toward fruitier scents but who still want a smoky, spicy finish to get them in the fall mood.

$188 at Neiman Marcus

Bulgari Magnifying Myrrh
Layering with a sweet amber scent is a great way to warm up the fragrances you already love wearing from your collection. This Bulgari Magnifying Myrrh fragrance adds a bright and smoky richness. Plus, it pairs especially well if you’re already regularly donning a Bulgari fragrance.

$105 at Sephora

Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber
“Super Amber is literally just a textural scent, and it's been very much focused on cashmere and a bit barer skin,” says Shapiro. Super Amber is another great layer that can help warm up muskier scents. But if you’re looking for something even more decadent and sexy for fall, you can also give the brand’s Vanilla Milk scent a go.

From £65.00 at Ruth Mastenbroek

Ruth Mastenbroek Gaia
Fancy cozying up with a cup of tea in the fall? English chamomile sits at the heart of Ruth Mastenbroek’s Gaia to dunk you in all the tranquility that accompanies the first sip bliss.

From £240.00 at Electimuss

Electimuss Vici Leather
Masculine leather and feminine tuberose are at play in Electimuss’ Vici Leather. This unisex fragrance is a powerful balance between elegance and charisma that is sure to make you feel bathed in luxury.

From $145 at Jo Malone

Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense
Jo Malone has tons of fragrances for whatever scent profile you like best. This unisex Myrrh & Tonka cologne opens with a fresh lavender note that settles in warm almond, vanilla and tonka for an intoxicating aroma. If you're still struggling to pin down a fragrance you like or you're looking for one to gift, Lorna McKay at The Perfume Society recommends consulting algorithms like Find-A Fragrance to help narrow down your search.

$98 at Boy Smells

Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme
An alternative to the gourmand route, spiced earthy scents can also give you a deeper, more robust fragrance for cooler weather. Inspired by Japanese hinoki wood, Hinoki Fantome from Boy Smells combines tobacco, oakmoss and smoked leather with a warm amber to help wrap you in a meditative and woodsy warmth.

From $125 at Elorea

Elorea Earth
Another woody, green scent, Earth by Elorea opens with warm notes of cardamom and vanilla before deepening into a floral and cyprus aroma, reminiscent of a trek through a dewy forest.

$395 at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's

Parfums de Marly Haltane Eau de Parfum
This fragrance has middle notes of saffron, cedarwood and oud that are spicy and warm, balanced with top notes of bergamot, lavender and clary sage. It’s masculine and seductive, perfect for when the sun sets sooner and nights are longer.

$165 at Eauso Vert

fall fragrance Eauso Vert Boozy Patchouli
A woody spicy scent with base notes of patchouli, amber and turkish rose, this genderless fragrance entices as it blends top notes of Italian bergamot and pink pepper.