We may associate fresh, flirty floral perfumes with spring and summer, but fall runways were awash with petal-covered prints. We saw retro floral patterns at Prada and Louis Vuitton, floral splashes at Erdem, darling daisies at Jil Sander and whimsical dandelions adorned dresses at Miu Miu. But fall florals aren’t just for fashion – this season’s bountiful blooms are also invading scent with floral perfumes. It’s time to trade your light, airy fragrances for something a little darker. Floral perfumes for fall are
dark, moody and rich to reflect the shorter days, longer nights and rapidly dropping temperatures.

We asked Jan Moran, fragrance expert and author of
Fabulous Fragrances II: A Guide to Prestige Fragrances for Women and Men, for more insight into the allure of dark, floral scents this season. “The trend for dark, rich floral fragrances is more pronounced in fall and winter, but today’s trend toward darker florals is also influenced by runway fashion trends,” she explains.

Floral fragrances: Cold weather florals

Florals in fashion don’t seem to be going away as we head into fall and winter – with good reason. They offer versatility and understated elegance that seems to transcend the seasons. The same can be said of florals in fragrance. Dark floral scents are warm and rich, making them a good option for pairing with cooler weather wear in autumn and winter. “Rich, full-bodied fragrances have longer staying power in cold winter months, when fragrances dissipate more quickly,” Moran explains. In general, she suggests using warmer scents in winter and lighter scents in summer. “Dark floral fragrances are excellent for women who adore light floral perfumes in spring and summer, and want to wear warmer, darker compositions in autumn and winter to match their wardrobe.”

Floral fragrances: The pull of the petal

The fact that floral perfumes are moving beyond warmer months comes as no surprise to Moran. Floral notes are one of the main building blocks of perfumery, and are the most
popular fragrance category, so why relegate them to one or two short seasons? “Floral fragrances offer great diversity,” she explains. They can range from single floral to multi-floral bouquets with a variety of ingredients including jasmine, gardenia, violet, rose, and hundreds more. “When warm woods and rich spices are added to these compositions, the result is rich, feminine, and mysterious.”

Our top floral fragrances picks you should own this fall on the next page…

MLSJ-04-EQ-mai-150-EQ264edit.jpgSome good examples of this current trend toward rich floral fragrances include:

Givenchy Dahlia Noir: Dahlia Noir is named for a fake flower, and is the first Givenchy fragrance created under the direction of Ricardo Tisci. It is a powdery floral chypre; the notes include pink pepper, mandarin, mimosa, rose, iris, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla and tonka bean.

Tom Ford Private Blend Jasmine Rouge: This alluring scent includes notes of jasmine, sage, bergamot, cinnamon, leather, amber and wood. It’s housed in a deep red bottle that evokes sensuality.

Burberry Body: A seductive floral scent, with notes of woody amber laced within, creates a perfect trail of intrigue on whoever wears it.

Lancôme, Trésor Midnight Rose: This sweet floral scent is a remake of the original Trésor fragrance. Fused with notes of raspberry, pink pepper, and musk, this sophisticated fragrance masters the balance between femininity and seductiveness.

Fendi Fan di Fendi: This electrifying scent will deliver an aroma of warmth on the coldest of nights. It diffuses hints of luxurious floral, with its soft rose and yellow jasmine accents. The pairing of blackcurrant and pink peppercorn help accentuate the fragrance’s dark side.

Stella McCartney Print Collection. Stella McCartney reinvents her original Stella scent in three new printed bottles adorned with the botanical pattern from her spring/summer 2011 collection. As always, Stella is a memorable blend of the softness of rose, infused with dark sensuality of amber.

Choosing a floral fragrance for fall
While you may not think much about switching up what you spritz from season to season, Moran recommends taking stock of your signature scent as the cold air moves in. “Make seasonal changes to your fragrance wardrobe just as you do in your clothing wardrobe,” she says. “A rich, dark fragrance is psychologically more warming, and enhances a person’s mood in cold weather.”

If you’re not sure where to start, your best option is to shop around. “The only way to know whether a fragrance is right for you is to experiment,” Moran explains. Consult a fragrance expert for guidance, or if you find yourself in Sephora, you can use the Scentsa fragrance finder, (a touch screen system to help make searching for a scent easier), and search for “Floral Orientals” and “Classic Florals.”

When you’re on your own, look for fragrances that have notes of orchid, iris, jasmine, and rose, which are often used in dark floral fragrance compositions. These notes pair well with amber, patchouli, myrrh, and other heady background notes found in dark floral fragrances.

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