fall gif

(GIF: Giphy)

September is here, and with it comes all of the best things in life: back-to-school shopping, the thickest magazines of the year, sweater weather, and… pumpkins. Now, I love a good slice of pumpkin pie as much as the next red-blooded woman, but even the biggest pumpkin fan in the world has to admit that our collective obsession with the orange fruit vegetable food item has gotten a little OTT.

When I need a reprieve from pumpkin overload, I turn to my favorite fall fragrances, all of which are blissfully pumpkin-free. Below you’ll find a round-up of my 10 favorite autumn-appropriate perfumes, but I want to know yours, too. Leave me a note in the comments letting me know your favorite fall scents, your thoughts on pumpkin spice, and the perfumes you’re coveting this season.

Jo Malone Amber & Patchouli Cologne ($170, 3.4 ml)

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This fragrance is not for the faint of heart–it’s big, bold, and lingers all day. If you’re a fan of woodsy, warm, and slightly spicy scents, you’ll love Amber & Patchouli. Aside from the obvious, Amber & Patchouli also features notes of guaiac wood and something suede-like on the finish.

See by Chloé ($78, 1.7 oz)


See by Chloé has been my go-to fall fragrance for years. The first time I smelled it, I was hooked–it was unlike any floral and fruity scent I’d ever sampled. I think I’d chalk that up to the heavy-handed green apple note in See, which I think is a perfect addition to a fall fragrance. After all, fall is #ApplePickingWithMyBooooyyyyfrrrrriiiieennndddd!!! season on Instagram. Aside from apple, See features notes of bergamot, jasmine, and ylang-ylang.

Demeter Fragrance Library Mulled Cider, Maple Syrup, and Apple Pie (each $20, 1 oz)


According to Demeter’s website, Mulled Cider is “Autumn in a bottle,” and I’d have to agree. This scent is pure apples, cinnamon, and spices. As a Canadian, I’m probably biased, but I love Maple Syrup. The perfume isn’t a pure maple scent; they added a note of vanilla bean, which gives the fragrance a bit of complexity. And to my American friends, I present Apple Pie, a delicious blend of Granny Smith apples, pastry, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg.

Donna Karan Cashmere Mist ($88, 1.7 oz)

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If I were very rich, I’d set aside an afternoon in September for taking my cashmere sweaters out of storage in preparation for the winter. Because I am not a very rich person, I’ll have to settle for digging out my old samples of Cashmere Mist instead. Fortunately, Cashmere Mist is almost as good as the real thing. This perfume is super warm and light and features notes of suede, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, amber, cedarwood, musk, and vanilla.

Diptyque Eau Lente ($125, 3.4 oz)

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I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a Diptyque fragrance that didn’t blow me away. Eau Lente is a delicious blend of cinnamon, clove, and a hint of vanilla, with a base note of opoponax (which is a pretentious way of saying “myrrh”).

Burberry Brit ($78, 1.7 oz)

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Is there any pattern more fall-appropriate than the iconic Burberry tartan? Burberry Brit features notes of pear, almond, peony, mahogany, amber, vanilla, and a surprising twist of lime, which makes for a delicious (yet totally unexpected) fall fragrance.

Serge Lutens Five o’clock au gingembre ($110, 1.7 oz)


It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Serge Lutens fragrances, and Five o’clock au gingembre is no exception. First of all, how wonderful is that name? Love it. Secondly, this perfume smells like tea, cinnamon, woods, amber, honey, pepper, and ginger. Aside from, like, the smell of pumpkin guts, can you think of any scent more autumnal than that?

Dior Poison ($60, 1 oz)


No round-up of fall fragrances would be complete without Poison in at least one of its many incantations. Poison is an intoxicating, lingering scent, and it’s been a fan favorite since its launch in 1985. This unforgiving fragrance features notes of honey, coriander, tuberose, wildberries, and myrrh.