Autumn’s best scents that hit all the right notes

As Joburg days grow a little chillier and crisp Sunday afternoon autumn walks become our new favourite pastime, we’re seeking out deliciously comforting fragrances that wrap us up like a cashmere sweater. We’re moving away from sunny citrus notes and fully towards scents that emulate the best part of the colder seasons – fires, chunky knits and leaves crunching beneath you as you walk around, pumpkin spice latte in hand. No matter if you prefer creamy vanillas or warm leathers, our autumnal edit will make sure you smell heavenly straight through winter. 

Editor’s pick: Giorgio Armani My Way 

Giorgio Armani is taking a sustainable approach to scent with the launch of My Way, an eco-friendly sparkling floral fragrance that reflects the brand’s five-year commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by 25% and achieving carbon neutrality for all products by 2025. If you’re in the mood for something light and fresh, this classically feminine perfume, presented in a sleek flacon fabricated with recycled and recyclable materials, is here to fulfill your wishes. Like a sweet kiss on the forehead, the pink-tinted juice composed of sustainably sourced ingredients is an intoxicating and dreamy mix of white flowers like jasmine and tuberose, orange blossom and vanilla. As it takes you on an olfactive journey through a blossoming garden with a juicy splash of fruits, it will make your heart flutter! Plus, we love that the contrasting pink and navy bottle with rose gold detail is refillable. Further details to be released soon. 

R1,240 for 30ml, R1,700 for 50ml, R2,320 for 90ml or R3,080 for 150ml from select Woolworths, Edgars, Foschini and Truworths stores 

Chanel Le Lion de Chanel 

Seduction takes centre stage with Le Lion, a nod to deeply superstitious Gabrielle Chanel’s zodiac sign, the lion – an emblem of strength and wisdom. Just like so many elements of autumn, this unisex fragrance is somehow both powerful yet comforting, and it smells just as delicious on you as it does on your husband, wife, sister, brother, mom … you name it. If you naturally gravitate towards woodsy, aromatic scents but want something deeper and more complex for the colder months, you’ll love this masterful amber fragrance that articulates beautifully against other scents. With a twist of bergamot and lemon in the opening and a deeply cosy vanilla and musk base, a little goes a long way – this fragrance that will last you all day with just a spritz. Captivating from beginning to end, it’s perfect for newcomers to the fragrance territory, but an experienced connoisseur would love it just the same. 

R3,590 for 75ml or R6,560 for 200ml from Chanel counters in select Woolworths and Edgars stores 

Louis Vuitton Étoile Filante 

We wouldn’t blame you if you purchased Étoile Filante just for the bottle alone. It’s a work of art, just like the warm and creamy scent inside. This new fragrance from Louis Vuitton, centred around the Osmanthus flower with its naturally fruity nuances of peach and cassis, was inspired by the flora of the Far East. Made from a unique and comforting blend of sun-ripened strawberries balanced by Grasse jasmine and magnolia, we wouldn’t necessarily categorise this as an autumn staple because it’s perfect for taking you from autumn all the way to spring. After the initial notes settle down, it finishes off with white musk that graces the skin with delicate lustre. This fragrance is a complete scent explosion within a bottle; far from what the notes suggest and something that you can’t anticipate. It sits at the perfect intersection of fruity and floral yet light and airy, and reigns supreme in our fragrance collection. 

R4,000 from Louis Vuitton 

Kate Spade New York Kate Spade 

You know that stretch of time in April when it feels like the weather can’t decide if it’s still summer or ready to welcome autumn? That’s the feeling captured by this bountiful blend that lends depth as well as floral femininity, wrapped up in a beautiful curvy bottle with a pop of bright pink in the cap. Sweet and sexy, like floral candy with the smoothest aftertaste, Kate Spade’s latest offering is every bit as glamorous as you’d expect. It meets the skin with notes of wild strawberry, bergamot and citruses, which creates a delicious fruit and floral cocktail. The scent is later amplified by the bright floral bouquet of freesia and rose, grounded by a sophisticated, autumn-friendly anchor with a base of enticing hints of velvety cashmeran and ambrox. Easy to wear and love, even the cloudiest autumn days feel brighter under a misting of this indulgent future classic that needn’t be reserved solely for warm weather. 

R899 for 40ml, R1,099 for 60ml or R1,399 for 100ml from Edgars, Foschini and Truworths 

Berdoues Collection Grands Crus Péng Lái 

This is the perfume to buy, wear and Instagram this autumn. After all, if you don’t post an artfully composed #shelfie, did you even buy a new perfume? When you open the Berdoues Collection Grands Crus Péng Lái package, you’re greeted by an exquisite bottle design that represents the flower-covered mountain on the mythical island of Peng Lai – a clear indicator of the fragrance’s soft and delicate oriental notes that are built around the most delightful scent of all, the Chinese Osmanthus. This fragrance opens with mandarin orange, bergamot and lemon notes that evoke mystery, exoticism and sensuality, but quickly dries down to a tonka bean and white musk scent. Over time, aromas of peach, rose, orange blossom and benzoin slowly unfold. Like a warm hug, but still bright and fun, it’s the ultimate everyday perfume that will render the rest of your collection redundant … and less alluring.  

R1,595 for 100ml from select Foschini and Truworths stores 

Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy 

Fragrance has the power to lift the spirits, and right now we could all do with a mood-boosting scent. As the name suggests, Sweet Like Candy smells … well, sweet like candy. A luscious burst of sugar-frosted blackberry and juicy Italian bergamot with velvety layers of crème de cassis, fluffy marshmallow and vanilla, to be exact. Inspired by Ariana Grande’s seductively sweet, fun and sexy personality, this olfactory dessert is perfect for casual days of frivolous, girly fun. Although this perfume comes in a pretty, matte light pink bottle with a fluffy pom-pom, don’t take it lightly – powdery but unmistakably sweet, this head-turner will have you smelling deliciously distinct in the crowd. Notes of jasmine sambac, frangipani and honeysuckle add extra sweetness to the candied fragrance, while a base of cashmere woods helps balance the sweetness and makes it surprisingly very wearable. Yum! 

R999 for 100ml from Clicks, Dis-Chem and Truworths 

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Pear Blossom 

The perfect transitional fragrance is here! If you love notes of green tea and know how they thrive in an autumn scent, prepare to adore Elizabeth Arden’s light and refreshing Green Tea Pear Blossom eau de toilette. Fruity-meets-floral has never felt so sophisticated: The pear blossom, jasmine sambac and mate middle notes are even more uplifted by pear, Sicilian lemon and bergamot top notes, with a base of musk, moss and amber that stays subtly delectable throughout the day. Although this can’t-get-enough-whiffs blend is invitingly bright and starts off smelling like the last days of summer, it eventually dries down to a luscious, dewy scent. It has a balance that’s wearable all year round and lets you hold onto summer a little longer – not to mention invigorates your senses and lightens up your mood. Bonus: The blossom-bedecked green bottle works as an evergreen bouquet on your dresser or vanity. 

R480 for 100ml from Woolworths, Edgars and Foschini 

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