These Fall Fragrances Are The Perfect Cold-Weather Signature Scents

The scent of autumn is already in the air.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Model Gigi Hadid is seen arriving to the Marc Jacobs Fashion Show ...

Even if you’re well past back-to-school age, something about that first post-Labor Day week feels transformative and almost like an entirely new year altogether. Slowly but surely, cutoffs are replaced with their full-leg counterparts, thicker moisturizers come out of medicine cabinets as the air starts to turn chilly, and fragrance fans everywhere trade in their light, beachy scents for something decidedly bolder. Fall fragrances are typically marked by heaviness, a richer, warmer, and often muskier scent that clings to sweaters and leather jackets and tousled hair for an impression sure to last all season and beyond.

Even if you’ve already secured your perennial signature scent (and here’s how to find it if you’re still on the hunt), temporarily swapping that scent out for something autumn-specific is an incredibly easy way to shake up your look and aesthetic while ensuring the upcoming fall is truly unforgettable. Scent is the sense tied most closely with memory, meaning smelling your 2021 fall fragrance even several months from now is all but guaranteed to trigger an autumnal highlight reel. Of course, finding that perfect fall fragrance is the real challenge and to that end, scroll through this list of curated fall scents complete with descriptions and suggestions — all that’s left to do is give them a real-life whiff.

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As the smoky ombré bottle indicates, UAE-based Widian seems committed to creating some of the most decadent fragrances of all time — and it peaks with Black I, a warm and enveloping scent defined by notes of cinnamon, coffee, cardamom, and barely-there French vanilla. It’s the grown-up, sophisticated version of the sugary-sweet smells everyone adored in their teens but turned up to 11.

If the dark academia aesthetic had a signature scent, steeped in visions of cozy Thom Browne blazers and Ivy League libraries and long-hidden secrets, it would be this perfume by Ormaie. Topped by a smooth wooden wedge, the fragrance’s notes include bergamot, coffee, nutmeg, patchouli, Haitian vetiver, and ambrette for an olfactory equivalent to a hushed, heated conversation in the stacks.

It’s an immediate, visceral scent inspired by the lore of cowboys, rodeo, and the old West. One of Byredo’s most memorable and fall-feeling perfumes, Rodeo relies on warm notes of leather, suede, vetiver, and amber to transport wearers to a land of ten-gallon hats and towering saguaros.

Though much has been made of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s most famous scent, Baccarat Rouge 540, this oud-based scent was practically made for a chilly mid-October walk through the park. Made up of woody smells like saffron, cedar, and patchouli, it’s a midnight kiss in one very beautiful, gold-capped bottle.

Rich, complex, and pleasingly (but never overwhelmingly) heavy, Amouroud’s version of a dark orchid-lead fragrance is appropriately bewitching for the upcoming cooler weather. Stacked with scents like black gardenia, Sicilian bergamot, lotus wood, Indonesian patchouli, and sandalwood, it’s the sort of perfume you’d be all too happy to leave lingering on a pillow — either your own or someone else’s.

The beyond satisfying snap this compact makes when shut is only the third-best thing about it. The runner-up in the delicate illustration over the glossy black clamshell, but the true star of Diptyque’s eco-friendly, refillable solid perfume is — of course — the scent itself. A woody-smelling best-seller since ‘96, it perfectly captures the magic of early fall when the leaves are just starting to brown. Fig-centric top notes meet wood and cedar for a fresh, unforgettable scent experience.

Practically the definition of a signature scent, this Van Cleef & Arpels fragrance — comprised of galbanum, cardamom, bergamot, musk, and oakmoss — is the sort of arresting, heady perfume that makes every cab driver, coworker, and friend-of-a-friend demand to know what exactly you’re wearing.

As the leaves start to shift from green to gold, transitioning your own fragrances — though a relatively tiny change in a daily routine — can be enough of a move to make you feel like you’re turning over a new leaf of your own.