The air has got a chill, the leaves are falling and pumpkin spice is everywhere, which can only mean one thing: it’s autumn 2023!
During the autumnal months, the best notes to look for (and what you’ll find in almost every coffee shop or homeware store) is smoke and spice. Moving into autumn is a big step away from the light and citrusy scents of the summer, and instead, welcomes dark, warming sensual scents, with notes like cinnamon, pumpkin and wood fires.
Whether you’re looking for the best women’s perfume or the best men’s cologne, I’ve found the best fragrances for autumn 2023, including old classics from Jo Malone Hugo Boss and Maison Margiela, and new releases from Tom Ford and Givenchy.
Best Autumn fragrances for women
For something exceptionally spicy, Yves Saint Laurent Libre is intense, fiery and sensual. This new version of the iconic Libre is made even more intense with its spicy saffron accord. Other notes include bergamot, vanilla bourbon, honey accord, lavender, ginger and mandarin, so it’s a mix of richness, florals and citrus.
Yves Saint Laurent Libre is available to buy at The Perfume Shop for £75.
If it’s autumnal scents you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the Maison Margiela Replica Autumn Vibes. Its name gives away what it captures, which is a deep woody autumn air and fresh walks through the lives. It’s rich with notes of peppercorn, cardamom, nutmeg, moss and cedarwood, so it’s a blend of woody and spicy scents.
Maison Margiela Replica Autumn Vibes is available to buy at John Lewis for £58.
One of the latest launches from Tom Ford is the Café Rose. If coffee shops are your favourite place during the autumn months, this fragrance is the one for you, with its notes of dark coffee. To lighten up the scent, the Café Rose perfume is enriched with ylang ylang, rose, patchouli and cardamom.
Tom Ford Café Rose is available to buy at The Perfume Shop for £106.
The Atelier Versace Santal Boise screams luxury with its sleek black and gold glass bottle. The perfume is a blend of sandalwood, oud, balsamic and cypriol herbs, making this scent woody, smokey and sensual.
Atelier Versace Santal Boise is available to buy at Harvey Nichols for £300.
A new launch from Givenchy, the L’Interdit Rouge Ultime is warm, sensual and tantalising. While it’s overly floral with its blend of orange blossom and jasmine, it’s given darker woody undertones with cocoa extract and cacao shells. If you still want to hold onto summer, this mix of floral and woody is a good transition perfume into autumn.
Givenchy L’Interdit Rouge Ultime is available to buy at The Perfume Shop for £67.50.
Released in 2021, Diptyque Orphéon celebrates the brand’s 60th anniversary and pays homage to the Orphéon bar at the intersection of Saint-Germain and Rue de Pontoise. Sensual and smoky, this scent has notes of tobacco smoke, wood, tonka bean, cedar and juniper berries for warmth and autumnal feels.
Diptyque Orpheon is available to buy at John Lewis for £148.
Best Autumn fragrances for men
The new Boss Bottled Elixir from Hugo Boss is described as ‘rich and vigorous’. A mix of amber and wood notes, this fragrance has hints of cardamom, cedarwood, patchouli and incense, making it warming yet refreshing. It’s the perfect companion for autumnal walks and evenings.
HUGO BOSS Boss Bottled Elixir is available to buy at The Perfume Shop for £73.
Described as sensual and mysterious, the L’Occitane Eau Des Baux is both fresh and woody. Its head notes include red peppercorn and cardamom that works together with cypress, tonka bean, vanilla and incense for warmth and richness.
L’Occitane Eau Des Baux is available to buy at Amazon for £52.
Similar to L’Interdit Rouge Ultime mentioned above, the Givenchy Gentleman Reserve Privee is a combination of floral and woody notes. Inspired by whisky, this cologne is made of iris, amber and wood notes which brings smoothness and aromatics to this fragrance.
Givenchy Gentleman Reserve Privee is available to buy at The Perfume Shop for £96.50.
A warm and earthy scent that’s suitable for men and women, the Malin + Goetz Leather is soft, subtle yet warming and lingering at the same time. It has notes of clove, orchid, lotus flower, pepper, leather, amber, incense, musk, sandalwood and cedarwood. It’s a nice blend of florals and woody notes which is great as a transitional perfume from summer to autumn.
Malin + Goetz Leather is available to buy at Space NK for £78.
For long autumn walks in the woods, the Burberry Hero evokes all of that for you. This woody scent is a blend of cedarwood, black pepper, juniper and bergamot. It’s fresh and bold, similar to a crisp fall morning.
Burberry Hero is available to buy at Boots for £65.
As part of Jo Malone’s Autumn/Winter collection, the Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense is a blend of freshness, florals and woody tones. The heart note, myrrh, is what gives this scent the autumnal feel with its balsamic amber smell which is accompanied by fresh lavender and sweet tonka bean.
Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense is available to buy at Jo Malone for £106.