Monday, November 23, 2009

Smell of It: Autumn in a Bottle

I was obsessed with capturing a scent that embodied my moniker, “Autumnforest.” I did some research and found a fantastic blog called I Smell therefore I am. The name of a perfume caught my eye, “Underworld.” No, not like the river Styx and Satan himself. Think “Middle Earth.” After reading this description, I had to find the fragrance: “To me, it smells of the imaginary middle earth, or perhaps the world described in J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Underworld actually smells quite familiar, like a smell I have always known, all my life, even though I don’t know what exactly it is… There are earthy seasonal smells that I enjoy when I’m out for a hike with the dogs. I love filling my lungs with that autumnal aroma in October/November of slowly decomposing leaves and cool crisp air mingled with chimney smoke. Or, in March/April I enjoy the aroma of the damp muddy earth, just beginning to bud and grow, the smell of early spring. Underworld seems like this sort of aroma to me, something that I’m familiar with but can’t quite place. The affect of Underworld is peaceful, calming and soothing. Underworld is such a natural smell, there is nothing artificial, harsh or obtrusive about it. All day long I keep smelling my wrists over and over because I just can’t get enough of this scent."

I so wanted to try this scent after the amazing description that fit me to a tee, I went online to buy it right out without having even smelled it. Yes, I’m crazy, aren’t I? This perfume is ridiculously expensive, but I found out folks sell “decanted” scents online. Basically, they buy large batches of the scents and pour them into smaller containers, simple and easy, and much much cheaper! I went to The Perfumed Court online and bought the fragrance and was unbelievably happy that it was EXACTLY as described. This is now my signature scent.

I also went on to find some other variations of scents that are much more economical for those who want to smell of autumn without breaking the bank. For scents for men and women both, I found Bath and Body Works to have a wonderful array of autumn scents.

For a daytime scent for regular wear (and less expensive than perfume every day), I purchased Bath and Body Works ”Twilight Woods.” This is described as a blend of apricot nectar, mimosa petals, and Tuscan cypress creates this hypnotic fragrance inspired by a romantic walk in enchanted woods.

Want to literally smell like pine woods? “Juniper Breeze” body splash spray. A fresh, invigorating fragrance capturing the refreshing essence of juniper floating through the air on a cool morning breeze. Mid Notes: Jasmine, Ylang.

Want to smell like a sweet cup of tea? Clean and yet herbal? “White tea and ginger” body splash spray. This warm and nurturing scent pairs the sweet, mild fragrance of white tea with slightly spicy ginger. Top Notes: Yuzu, Lemon, Green Tea, Bergamot. Fragrance Mid Notes: Geranium, Nutmeg, Rose, Earl Grey Tea. Fragrance Base Notes: Musk, Woods, Berries.

Want to smell like an autumn baked good? “Sweet cinnamon pumpkin” Body splash spray. This fragrance brings together all the sweet and spicy scents of fall – apple, cranberry, cinnamon, pumpkin and clove.

MEN: Yes, you can smell autumnal and drive women crazy! My favorite scent in the entire world is Cardamom. In fact, I love it so much, I open the container in my spice cabinet and sniff it often and get a strange rush of pure joy. I have no idea why this scent does it, but it makes me bonkers. They must have figured out how manly and how delicious it is because Bath and Body Works has “Cardamom Zest” body spray for men and they also carry another absolute favorite manly autumn scent “Amber Spice” Body Spray, as well as “Woodland” and “Mountain Forest.”

Warning: If you give him one of these scents with a flannel shirt, you might not be able to leave him alone.

To me, scent is one of those things that gives a person an ambiance, a theme that makes you immediately go, “I get him” or “I get her.” In fact, your sense of smell is the fastest to the emotional center in your brain. If you’ve ever had a whiff of magnolia on a summer afternoon when it’s humid after a rain, you might feel a sudden surge of sentimental pleasure (if you’re a southerner like me). Should someone wear that fragrance, I immediately feel a summer sentimentality and also a sense of her being a real southerner-hearted woman. That immediate combination of association and assumption can make or break you when meeting folks. I remember one time, a very tough tomboy type woman I knew who wore floral scents. It was so completely wrong, that I always felt there was something in-genuine about her. That's how important that little drifting scent can be.

Enjoy the season and the scents associated with it!


  1. Interesting Post, Autumn. I'm gonna get some of that Body Spray! Did not know there was such a thing.


  2. Hey Les;
    The cardamom man's one is very wonderful smelling, universally a gal favorite, but if you like woodsy smells, the Woodland one is great. If you like something mysterious and sexy, the amber spice one is good. You can't go wrong. They do a good job of mixing scents there.

  3. Love the smell of Autumn. I will have to check out some of those perfumes next time I'm at the mall.

  4. Julie;
    If you're like me, you'll walk into Bath and Body Works and not want to leave. Eventually, however, my poor nose just gives in and I've had too much, but while the sniffer is fresh--it's fun! The body splash sprays are like $6 each and so you can get a springtime scent and a fall-like scent and only spend $12. Not bad.

  5. there is a place in salem, mass. call the aromasanctum.
    she can match any scent exactly and she makes them into lotions, soaps, perfumes, etc.. i think her prices are reasonable. all you do is send her some of the perfume you like and she duplicates it. have a great turkey day. your pies sound extremely yummy!

  6. Joyce;
    Thanks! Sounds fantastic. I used to make my own scents including perfumes, candles, and soaps, but I ran out of room in my house to do anything. Looks like my son is moving out to an apartment very nearby in a few weeks and I'm turning his bedroom into my workout room (my equipment is in my dining room-yuck!) and then taking over his artist area in our breakfast room, so I might finally get back into these crafts. I miss mixing my own scents, but I like when someone else does it because, as much as I love scents, there's a real science to mixing them right. My favorite smells of all time:
    1. Cardamom
    2. Bergamot (think Earl Grey Tea)
    3. Ginger
    I think that makes me a spicy girl.

  7. There is nothing in the world to trigger beautiful memories like the smells of autumn!! that takes me back in time faster than looking at pictures!!
    I have been fortunate enough to be in the south also with the humidity after it rains and that heavenly smell from the magnolias -but I am so emotionally tied to Colorado for some reason where I grew up-if i am a ghost after i pass on i hope it is a Colorado ghost in the autumn season there!!
    all the best to you my friend -great post as always!!!

  8. autumnforest, this was a great post!! i didnt know this kind of place existed! but thank you for pointing us to it!!!