I Tried These All These New Women's Fall Fragrances So You Don't Have To

Every fall, all of the major cosmetic companies drop a new fragrance or push the hell out of their most recent release just in time for a holiday season.
Publish date:
December 23, 2014

I was going to name this article “Fragrances To Buy For Your Mom This Holiday Season,” but then I realized that that’s like, a really shitty title.

I was onto something with the concept, though. Every fall, all of the major cosmetic companies drop a new fragrance or push the hell out of their most recent release just in time for a holiday season. We’re bombarded by huge ad campaigns with pretty white girls holding pretty amber bottles and it’s all so ruthlessly boring that it sucks all of the fun right out of buying fragrances.

So, here, I’ll write you this article telling you about the scents that you should check up on, to make shopping a little bit easier for you, and hopefully give me some good Internet karma or something along those lines. Lord knows I could use it.

If you’re buying a fragrance as a gift this holiday, then you are one brave girl. Buying fragrances for others is such a risky move because fragrances are complex, and so are people! A certain scent could have one note that you love, but completely ruins it for someone else. One might wear beautifully on you, but have no stay power on your friend, or worse, smell terrible when paired with their body chemistry.

I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m just saying that it’s an art. Personally, I think I’m great at picking out scents for my friends, but I also have a suspicion that none of my friends tell me the truth about anything because I’m very emotionally unstable.

It's anyone's guess.

Anyway, the fragrance that inspired me to write this article/masterpiece was Si by Giorgio Armani, $70.

The fall ad campaign for Si was the first indicator that it was time to gird our loins for the onslaught of fall fragrances, and I have to say that it’s my favorite of the season.

Si is a modern chypre, a type of fragrance that is usually characterized by citrusy top notes and woody, musky base notes. Si is a gorgeous, unusual scent through and through, and maintains its beauty during the entirety of its wear.

It opens with citrus notes paired with blackcurrant, which isn't nearly as sweet as it sounds. More so, it makes for a tangy starter that is both bright and wearable, a welcome change from the typical citrus notes that are simply just sweet. In the middle, you’ll find light floral notes like freesia and rose, anchored at the base by blonde woods, musk, and vanilla.

The first word that comes to mind for Si is “wet.” It smelled damp and dewy and sexy on me all day long, which is not to say that it made me sexy, because it's a fragrance, not a miracle worker. It’s lively enough for day wear but surprisingly sensual, so it transitions well into night. It’s sort of like having sex in the morning and then going to work, which, don’t get shy now, because you’ve all talked about that in the comments before so I know we’re all on the same page here. Also, sorry that my use of the word “sensual” is always immediately followed by likening said fragrance to having sex in some unusually specific place, usually outdoors.

Anyway, Si is great. Smell it and tell me what you think.

Next up is the new My Burberry, $72.

This scent was inspired by the timelessness of the Burberry trench, and is supposed to be reminiscent of “a London garden after the rain.”

My Burberry is very floral. What sets this scent apart is that it has a depth that most florals usually lack, making it palatable for people who usually hate florals, namely me.

If you’re paying attention, notes of citrusy bergamot at the top lure you into the scent, an added sweetness that’s very welcome on top of so many flowers. Before long, gardenia and freesia hurl you face first into this “London garden,” tempered only by quince to complement the bergamot up top. Roses make a very apparent base, complemented by patchouli, which always pairs nicely with rose (see Chanel’s Coco Noir) and helps all those florals work together without being overpowering.

I wouldn’t call it a heavy scent, but it does a nice job of staying with you all day without fading away to nothing, as some flowery scents tend to do. One of my favorite parts of My Burberry is the tortoiseshell cap, which has nothing to do with the fragrance, but is a nice ode to the buttons on the trench that helped inspire the scent. Burberry set out to create a new classic with this one and I’d say that’s exactly what they did.

Finally, we've got Fan Di Fendi Blossom, $71.

Fan Di Fendi Blossom is that girl in your Bible study group who might be stripping on the side. It’s light, approachable, a little mysterious, and just a tiny bit trashy in all the right ways.

Really, what it is, is a very cool fragrance. Fan Di Fendi Blossom is built around the cherry blossom, BUT, is not an entirely floral fragrance. This is my favorite type of scent, one that is build around a concept and complements and builds on it in creative ways, instead of being a literal interpretation of it.

Blossom starts out with pear and raspberries, which warm up to the cherry blossom at the heart of the fragrance. While the top notes are about as sweet as they sound, they’re a perfect accent to the cherry blossom, bringing it to the forefront of the scent without throwing it in your face. At the base, vanilla and powder hold it down without overdoing it on the sweetness. The powder note adds an especially nice airiness to the fragrance, an unexpected addition to the fruity florals.

This scent is much more about deconstructing the cherry blossom and serving it up in new and interesting ways, rather than just being a one-note cherry blossom scent. Plus, I’m obsessed with that bottle.

It’s another fragrance that I’d consider buying just to have it hanging out on my bathroom sink. Don’t think I wouldn’t.

So those are just some of the fragrances that I’m down for this season. What about you? Do you buy fragrances as gifts? Have you ever received a scent that was particularly lovely or repulsive? Tell me down below!

Tynan still smells like a girl on Twitter @TynanBuck.