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Fanciful Fragrances For Fall

It’s not quite “Baby, it’s cold outside” time, but the leaves are starting to change colors and those cardigans and shawls are slowly but surely regaining their spots at the center of your closet. And, as you move into a new season, you’re probably on the hunt for a new scent — maybe it’s a new release like Miss Pucci or a slightly older scent like Bond No. 9’s High Line, which will make every fall day feel like a trip to a secret garden.

Whether you want a burlesque-flavored experience, a confident and gender-bending fragrance, a mysterious woody treat, or a youthful floral bouquet, heres’s a look at some great options for fall!

1. Pucci Miss Pucci

Pucci Miss Pucci Eau de Parfum, $74 for 1.7 oz. and $89 for 3.4 oz. Available at Sephora.com

Kaleidoscopic, swirling ribbons of magenta pink, lilac purple and soft  coral along the Miss Pucci fragrance’s rounded core speak to the vibrant patterns we’ve come to associate with the Pucci brand — and, the way those retro patterns interplay with the sleek, futuristic, silver-colored bottle shape mirror the manner in which Pucci has adapted to modern times, constantly reinventing its image while remaining true to its roots.

Similarly, the Miss Pucci fragrance seeks to blend together the femininity of florals with the mysterious quality of woody and musky notes. Poised magnolia is matched with Sicilian winter lemon for a sparkling but elegant opening, leading the way for the Turkish rose and ylang-ylang heart, which is grounded by base notes of Texas cedar, iris, and white musk.

Though far from original or distinctive, Miss Pucci does pack plenty of commercial appeal — particularly given the spicy floral Turkish rose ad ylang-ylang heart, which most women will find accessible.

2. Bond No. 9 High Line

Bond No. 9 High Line Eau de Parfum, $145 for 50ml and $220 for 100ml. Available at BondNo9.com

We call New York an urban jungle, but the truth is that, aside from Central Park, there are few areas where Manhattanites can encounter expanses of greenery, set up a picnic, or just stretch out under a tree. Fortunately, the Friends of the High Line conservancy has been toiling away to erect something way more useful to us, more beneficial to our way of life, than the billboards, skyscrapers, and multiplexes consistently sprouting up. More than one tree is growing up in NYC: in fact, it’s a one a mile-and-a-half long, elevated park stretching along Manhattan’s West Side Highway.

In homage to the High Line park, Bond No. 9 released a grassy fragrance this spring that it literally has an evergreen option (no pun intended). Though it has a heart of red leaf rose, Lady Jane tulips and grape hyacinth, the top notes of purple love grass (a dry weed that grows mainly in the Southeast), Indian rhubarb (which grows along riverbanks), along with the base bur oak note, create a fresh, green scent reminiscent of fresh-cut grass. If you like the smell of a freshly planted garden, you’ll love this offering.


3. Stella McCartney Stella Sheer


Stella McCartney Parfums Stella Sheer Eau de Toilette Spray, $62 for 3.3 oz. Available at Sephora.com

In 2003, designer Stella McCartney launched her eponymous debut scent Stella, an ode to the beauty and lushness of the rose. The following year, she unveiled a lighter, slightly more powdery version of the scent, Stella Sheer, for those customers who found the original scent a bit too strong or severe. Every year since, a new, limited edition rendition of the Stella Sheer scent has been unveiled, each with slightly different notes and compositions.

Though my favorite Stella Sheer fragrance continues to be the 2006 edition (the first to introduce juicy green apple and lemon top notes), the 2010 version of Stella Sheer does have some noteworthy qualities. For one, the fragrance is yet another example of McCartney’s environmental commitment — she reportedly purchased an entire organic rose harvest in order to produce the scent.

In terms of notes, the Stella Sheer 2010 also opens with green apple, frosted lemon and Bulgarian rose, but aside from the signature heart of celestial rose and rose absolute, consumers will detect that new Iranian organic rose note, which lends the scent a fresh-from-the-earth type of feel that’s quite distinct— and, of course, an amber note continues to ground the floral scent. This year’s bottle, a watercolor-esque rendition of a gray and light peach rose bloom, was designed by British painted Philip Jones.


4. Chloé Eau de Fleurs Neroli


Chloé Eau De Fleurs Neroli Eau de Toilette, $135. Available at Bloomingdales.com

Developed by perfumer Aliénor Massenet, Chloé Eau de Fleurs Néroli is part of Chloé’s Eau de Fleurs scent trilogy, released earlier this summer. It’s also the apex of the olfactory trilogy, the most sublime release in the collection. Like its sister scents, Chloé Eau de Fleurs Néroli seeks to redefine the manner in which we interpret florals, adding unexpected notes that give fragrances a slightly androgynous, naughty, and boundary-pushing edge.

In this case the mandarin and orange top notes are accompanied by a rosemary note that’s way more bitter and dry than what you’d expect to find in most “feminine” scents. It’s also part of what gives this EDT such a distinct, take-no-prisoners personality. At its heart, Chloé Eau de Fleurs Néroli combined neroli essential oils with peony petal and clary sage accords. The sage note is, of course, the backbone of the scent, adding a smokiness to the neroli heart that’s positively intoxicating. Base notes of tonka bean, musk, amber and cedar wood add an androgynous sensuality.

Since I tried this fragrance, I’ve been positively addicted — and, lucky for me, the smokiness of this floral scent is anything but toxic.

**Stay tuned for more fragrace picks after the jump!


5. Estée Lauder Pleasures Bloom


Estée Lauder Pleasures Bloom, $52 for 1.7 oz. and $74 for 3.4 oz. Available at EsteeLauder.com

Wanting to modernize its best-selling Pleasures fragrance, Estée Lauder incorporated some coquettish fruity notes to the beloved elixir; juicy grapefruit, raspberry and lychee notes, then, accompany the violet flowers that open the fragrance. Jasmine, pink peony and rose remain at the heart of the fragrance, but the black lily note is replaced with a dewy green lily note that gives the perfume a cleaner, younger, fresher vibe. Base notes of patchouli and vanilla add a touch of warmth and sensuality.


6. Paris Hilton Tease

Paris Hilton Tease Eau de Parfum, $45 for 1.7 oz. and $55 for 3.4 oz. Available at Macys.com

Admittedly, I groaned out loud when I heard Paris Hilton was releasing yet another fragrance (particularly since I’m always baffled by these so-called celebrities whose fame is derived from nothing even remotely resembling talent). But I wanted to make a fair assessment, untainted by my personal distaste for the infamous heiress. To my surprise, Paris Hilton Tease is a lovely, seductive, fruity floral scent, with top notes of Fuji apple, white peach nectar, bergamot, and a sea mist accord leading to a white floral heart containing frangipani, night blooming jasmine and tuberose. Base notes of amber, blonde woods and a warm sand accord round out the scent.

The jasmine and frangipani flowers lend the scent a Caribbean sultriness, as do the beachy sea mist and sand accords, while the peach and apple notes make the fragrance feel more succulent and robust and the white tuberose petals lend it a ladylike elegance. This perfume, then, fits its name, metaphorically winking at you, twirling its hair, and biting its lower leap, then retreating, standing up straight, and putting on its elbow-length gloves.

The gradient purple glass bottle, with its rounded square shape, nods to the enviable voluptuous figure of Marilyn Monroe, Hilton’s inspiration when developing the scent.


7. Histoires de Parfums Moulin Rouge 1989


Histoires de Parfums Moulin Rouge 1989, $185. Visit HistoiresDeParfums.com for retail locations.

Let your inner Dita Von Teese roar with this spicy floral scent, an olfactory ode to the Moulin Rouge cabaret. This exquisite Histoires de Parfums scent opens with warm cinnamon, mandarin and plum, though it’s that spicy cinnamon note that will really tickle your fancy. As the fragrance performs its strip tease, shedding the upper layers to get to the core of its burlesque performance, you’ll notice a rose of Damascus and absinthe heart that’s feminine and exotic, spicy and sensual. Base notes of iris, patchouli and musk ground the scent’s performance, underscoring the carnal, animalistic qualities of the fragrance. When you wear this fragrance, you’ll feel as fearless as Josephine Baker!

8. Avon Eternal Magic


Avon Eternal Magic Eau de Toilette Spray, $24. Available at Avon.com

As soon as you spritz on Avon’s Eternal Magic, you’ll be swept away by the magical scent of violets. Pink peppercorn and Sicilian bergamot add a bit of sparkle and spice, but the predominant note is that of flirty violets which flash and dim, varying in intensity as the hours go by. The heart consists of magnolia leaves, orris (otherwise known as the root of the iris plant), and Princess Monaco rose, a hybrid white tearose with pink edges that boasts a slightly fruity scent. The primal woodiness of the fragrance heart, then, adds a sense of mystery to the florals, producing a forest femme fantasy. Base notes consist of a creamy vanilla, a transparent woods note, and a fluffy cloud accord (still trying to wrap my head around what that means and how exactly one goes about replicating the scent of  cloud, but hey). Eternal Magic is at one romantic and intriguing, earthy but elegant.


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