Look down. Are you wearing a scarf? Not just any scarf, but a scarf artfully swathed around your neck. Paired with a cozy sweater? And are you the proud owner of a sizeable cashmere collection? Do you possess (and actually wear) a cape?
If you cheered that first truly cold day and nearly wept with joy when reunited with your boot collection after a long summer, then these are the fragrances for you. Wallow in their heady richness, their cozy vibe.
cozy sweater-weather picks
katy perry's indi
Finding a great drugstore fragrance reminds me that drugstores were my first beauty love. Katy Perry's Indi ($38 CAD at beautyboutique.ca and $24.99 USD at walgreens.com) a floral, woody musk is a super steal. With cedar, amber and eleven (!!) kinds of musk from clean ‘"laundry" musks to earthy "dirtier" ones along with white flowers for background creaminess, it’s a true "skin scent" that becomes a part of you. It'll read as “cozy” with an oversized at-home sweater and messed up hair or as “sexy and earthy” with a sparkly party dress and a red lip.
guerlain la petite robe noir black perfecto
Fashion-word builder: In France, leather jackets are "perfectos," the name given to the very first biker jackets created by American brand Schott in the 1920s and subsequently made famous by Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones in 1953.
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto (from $39 CAD at sephora.com and $95 USD at strawberrynet.com) takes the most elegant, velvety May rose and pairs it with patchouli, tonka bean and a darkly plush black leather note for a ladylike eau de parfum that says "lets stay up really late, wear our fanciest clothes to a diner and then watch the sun rise." Ergo, perfect for your little black dress with a leather jacket.
even more about leather jackets and perfume When Cher launched her fragrance, Uninhibited, in 1987, she told the press that she would spray the lining of her boyfriend’s leather jacket with her perfume before leaving on tour so he would always think of her. (I've never tried that, even though I was, and probably still am, highly susceptible to celebrity beauty tips.)
To promote the fragrance she also appeared in a amusingly stilted tv commercial (see above) with the then-president of The Bay, our leading Canadian department store. Please enjoy.
When I really love a fragrance I always think does it come in a candle? Commodity Vetiver (from $36 CAD and $30 USD at sephora.com) an elegantly resinous but still cozy scent, is not available in a burnable wax form, although Commodity sells other candles, so maybe it will be eventually? Either way, it's exactly what I want to wrap myself in to help me through the coming cold, dark days.
With Haitian vetiver, grassy and not as smoky as the vetiver from Java (#themoreyouknow), jasmine for brightness and just enough patchouli so you know it's patchouli (but not so much that you radiate "unwashed hippie"), it’s sultry and just moody enough without being a full-on vetiver.
clean warm cashmere
New Clean Warm Cashmere ($54 CAD at Murale and $40 USD at sephora.com) lets you know right in the name what team it’s on, making sure you understand the importance of a cozy and luxe winter wardrobe. It really does stay true to the whole Clean franchise (which began as one soap-inspired cologne) by keeping it green and floral, but warmed up with cedar and musk . Not too sticky, not too heady, but very soft and enveloping.
michael kors sexy ruby
Ignore the Victoria’s Secret-esque name and instead enjoy Michael Kors Sexy Ruby ($110 CAD at thebay.com and from $30 USD at sephora.com), a modern chypre that plays fruits like raspberry and apricot off against jasmine and rose, then goes aromatic and woodsy with moss crystal, cashmere woods and vanilla.
chanel les exclusifs sycomore
We can’t talk about fall fragrances without including Chanel Les Exclusifs Sycomore ($410 CAD at Chanel counters and $350 USD at chanel.com), an essential for vetiver junkies and an historical favourite. Born in 2008, it's resinous and earthy, warmed with sandalwood, but still crazy elegant thanks to some almost undetectable violet, and it’s utterly genderless (it's heavenly on men.)
And if you need enough to see you through any crisis – say, this coming winter or a zombie apocalypse – there's now a limited-edition 400 ml with a refillable purse spray and funnel available for an eye-popping $815 CAD. But it’s so, so beautiful. Can you imagine having that much of your favourite fragrance?
This almost absurdly large bottle also comes in other best-sellers: Coromandel (worn to excellent effect by our friend Deborah Fulsang), Gardénia and Beige.
Because I am a terrible person, I write fragrance gift guides assuming that you'll buy these scents for yourself. But sure, you could buy them as gifts for someone else. Just get yourself something as well. Christmas is coming after all. And Winter is long.
P.S. Our lighter fragrance choices, coming soon, are for everyone who loathes pumpkin spice anything, sniffs sunscreen all winter long like it’s a drug, and proudly maintains a deliberately seasonless wardrobe, even in the face of icy winds.