What I love about perfume is the variety you can give yourself. One day I can smell like a flower garden and the next I can be a spice garden. Despite spending my teenage years with a bright pink bottle from the market of ‘like’ YSL Baby Doll, I have always had a delight for the woody and spice colognes and autumn and winter is a perfect time for these.
It was my mum who, when i was little, taught me to look at the ‘mens’ perfumes as she had done. In the 70’s there was probably much more distinction between what was women’s perfume and mens aftershave, whereas these days it’s often just down to the marketing and scents are much more interchangeable (I remember buying my first bottle of unisex CK One and feeling very grown up). Anything with the following words will always catch my eye, sandalwood, pachouli, oud, wood etc.
Here are a few utterly gorgeous woody spicy incensey scents
Tom Ford – Sahara Noir
Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Violet, Ginger, Basil. Heart Notes: Grapefruit blossom, Orange blossom, Tobacco, Black pepper. Base notes: Amber, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Oak moss, Leather (source)
Floris – Mahon Leather
Top notes: citrus, jasmine. Heart notes: iris, leather, saffron, vetiver. Base notes: amber, labdanum, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, tonka bean
Creed – Original Santal and Royal Oud
Santal – Top notes: Orange tree absolute, Jamaican ginger. Heart notes: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Juniper berry. Base notes: Absolute vanilla, Sandal wood from Mysore, Virginian cedar, Benzoin from Thailand, Ambergris, Tonkin musk
Crabtree & Evelyn – Indian Sandalwood
Top Notes: bergamot, cypress, elemi. Heart Notes: lavender, ylang ylang, cinnamon. Base Notes: vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood
There are some new ones ‘Persian The’ and ‘Oud Assam’ but alas my local shop closed and so I haven’t been able to sample them (bigger problem – where will i get the worlds greatest lipbalm!)
Unfortunately I do have rather expensive tastes in perfume. However in the case of Tom Ford, a little really does go a long way; you only need one squirt of Black Orchid (i’ve had this for years and it only comes out on occasions) and it lasts all day (and if you get it on your clothes all week!). This is one of the reasons I will always go for eau de cologne or parfum as you really are investing in quality (although I do have some everyday Yardley EDT)