The Best Sexy Fragrances of Fall 2009

Spicy and woody.
Michelle Villett
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Spicy and woody.

I’m generally not a lover of cooler weather—but there are a couple of things I DO like about the autumn season.

One: the opportunity to wear new boots and coats. And two: being able to debut a new, fall-ish fragrance (after months of summery notes like lemon verbena and lavender).

And that's where this week's fragrance series comes in. As usual, we're spoiled for choice this season, so I've decided to present to you our choices in three parts. Today, I've got your guide to the latest spicy, woody scents (think notes like amber, vanilla, musk, sandalwood and patchouli). These are the ones to wear for hot dates, big nights out or cosy, roaring-fireplace snuggle time. Mmmmmm...

(More of a classic floral girl? Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow.)

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Prada L’Eau Ambrée

What it is: Woody floral

Notes: Sicilian citrus, rose, amber, patchouli, vanilla

My take: This will win you over, even if (like me) you're not usually drawn to ambery scents. This is slightly powdery, which makes it more fresh than mysterious. Elegant, classic and not at all overpowering.

Eau de Parfum Spray, $95 for 50 mL / $120 for 80 mL. At department stores across Canada.

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Guerlain Idylle

What it is: Floral chypre

Notes: freesia, lilac, peony, jasmine, lily of the valley, white musk, patchouli, Bulgarian rose

My take: As I mentioned in this post, I LOVE this one. It's like sticking your head in a big, beautiful bouquet of freshly-cut flowers. Gorgeously feminine—but as with all great fragrances, it has the hint of masculinity in the patchouli and musk. I'm convinced this will be a Guerlain classic.

Eau de Parfum Spray, $82 for 35 mL / $104 for 50 mL / $148 for 100 mL. At The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and independent prestige retailers across Canada in October.

Couture Couture by Juicy Couture

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What it is: Oriental floral

Notes: pink grapes, orange flower, mandarin, plum, honeysuckle, jasmine, sandalwood, amber, vanilla

My take: According to a recent ELLE story, this scent (Juicy Couture's third) was inspired by essential oils. Maybe that's why I like this—it's not your run-of-the-mill floral. Feminine with an unexpected undercurrent of earthiness.

Parfum, $350 for 30 mL; Eau de Parfum Spray, $76 for 50 mL / $99 for 100 mL. At department stores across Canada.

Idole d’Armani


What it is: Spicy floral

Notes: bitter orange, pear, ginger, rose loukoum, jasmine, saffron absolute, patchouli, vetiver

My take: Again, not your typical floral—the saffron and patchouli give it some interesting depth. There's something quite sexy and strong about it. And how do I put this?—it's the kind of scent that doesn't hit you over the melts into the skin and leaves you wanting more.

Eau de Parfum, $60 for 30 mL / $85 for 50 mL / $110 for 75 mL. At department stores and drugstores across Canada.

Van Cleef & Arpels Féérie

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What it is: Woody floral

Notes: wild raspberries, violet, rose absolute, jasmine, musk, sandalwood

My take: Sorry guys—I didn't receive a sample of this, so haven't actually smelled it yet. Gorgeous bottle—but Now Smell This calls it a "wearable if not dreadfully interesting department store entry." Hmmmm...

Natural Spray Eau de Parfum, $145 for 50 mL / $195 for 100 mL; Eau de Toilette Spray, $117 for 50 mL / $155 for 100 mL. At The Bay and Holt Renfrew stores across Canada in October.