How to Choose a Perfume for Autumn by James Craven

How to Choose a Perfume for Autumn by James Craven

Golden October is a lovely month, bitter-sweet and often irradiated by a few days of sunny warmth around the 18th - the Feast of the Beloved Physician and hence sometimes known as St Luke’s Little Summer. 

Luke is also the patron of painters. And it occurs to us that choosing a perfume is something akin to mixing a palette.

Look within yourself.

It helps to have some inner vision of the self portrait you are intending to create; the mood and character that you are conveying. Some shrewd and perceptive artist once observed that a portrait is essentially that of the artist, rather than of the sitter. We reveal an awful lot of ourselves in our choice of fragrances, both intentionally and unawares. We present an olfactory image which may be an enhanced vision of our true selves, an idealised mask behind which to conceal our perceived deficiencies or an idealised confection of unbridled fantasy. 

So now, poised between the very last of summer and the knell of winter struck by the changing of the clocks you have much to consider. 

Be patient. Take your time.

This will be a very exciting adventure and the journey can be as interesting and rewarding as the arrival. So never rush. Don’t force things.  Begin with a little self examination when you feel your body clock is set right. 

Take a holistic approach.

For instance. How does autumn make you feel

Are you exhilarated by cooler crisper weather? Excited by the thought of sharp frosts, pumpkins, fireworks and early Christmas preparations? Do you revel in cosy dark evenings or do you dread the failing of the light? Is it warmth and comfort that you crave or entertainment and excitement? 

And how does perfume make you feel

Take your cue from your emotional reaction to autumn:  perfume is all about feelings and our instinctive animal nature. Relax and follow your intuition!

You might choose a perfume to celebrate or a scent to cheer you. Raise your spirits with a seasonal Festival of Lights!  - shall it be a blazing wheel of fire or the gentle lulling glow of candle light? How much can you carry off? 

Maybe you thrive on the challenge of a vivid boisterous fragrance that you have work with and live up to. Try the celebratory splendour of AQUA ALBA: the aromas of the finest Scottish whisky skilfully blended with smoky notes of oudh and guaic wood.

Or you might be the more contemplative and introspective type requiring something soft and classic, warm and subtle. Something like SANDALWOOD or LAVENDER & AMBER from our Artillery collection.

Try seeing perfume in colour; and listen to how it sounds...

Using colour can be immensely handy. People who love perfume are usually strongly influenced by - and receptive to - colour. You may be synesthesic without knowing it: “hearing” a fragrance as melodious or metallic; or “seeing” it personified in any shade of the spectrum.

What colours come to mind when you picture an autumn day? 

Traditional autumn tints of crimson, russet and gold - falling leaves and spectacular sunsets - could lead you in the direction of sumptuous chypres and opulent orientals: accords of aromatic patchouli, amber and precious woods. TOPAZ glows like a jewel.

Or you might be more stirred by misty greys, faded pinks and washed blue skies which evoke transparent musks, wistful florals, delicate wreaths of moisture steam and smoke. Not everyone dislikes rain: some find it intensely romantic, even erotic. Inhale the refined elegance of EARL GREY or the fresh airy top notes of sophisticated CASPIAN. 

Remember the vagaries of the weather...

Autumn weather can veer off in alarming extremes. Just like our autumn moods. So keep an accomodating perfume to hand that meets all eventualities. An embraceable & expansive citrus like MELISSA is perfect for difficult days when all the seasons seem to collide and you simply can’t decide what to wear.

What are your favourite fabrics? 

Do you long to be swathed in a cocoon of merino, cashmere and alpaca? To snuggle down in soft wool and smooth suede? Then you’ll probably love transparent musks, powdery iris,  patchouli, blond woods and pale leather fragrances. Wrap yourself in CASHMERE NOIR & PARCHMENT. Or do you resist the dying of the light and brave it out to the end in cotton, silks and linen enhanced with a rich rose or a floral bouquet with a heady kick? A scent like BOUQUET D’AMOUR  is simultaneously comforting and intensely glamorous: packed white flowers like early snow with a gorgeous balsamic base. 

Consult the experts!

We’re always so happy to help, inform and advise you. Whether it’s analysing your needs, identifying oils or suggesting exciting accords come to us for disinterested and considered guidance. Fragrance is so deliciously complex and emotional that it often clears your mind to have a chat with an impartial expert whom you can trust. A guide to take you by the hand and lead you to the hearts desire. 

And lastly....

Do always try a fragrance on your skin before you buy. Come to the boutique for a one to one consultation and experience the scent on your skin in store; or you can order a sample from us. Live with the perfume for a while, see how it develops and expands. Like shoes or clothes, it must fit perfectly. Once again, it’s all about patience and exploration: getting to know and understand the scent - and then experiencing the wonderful effect it has on you and your life.

Our Spitalfields boutique is open for consultations in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere with skilled advice on hand from Wednesday to Friday each week 11am to 6pm.