The best fall perfume


Not all perfumes smell the same on different people. Each perfume has a unique reaction to each person because skin varies. It’s important to try it on to know how it smells on your skin specifically.

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Which fall perfume is best?

Much like changing your wardrobe to include more sweaters, you also might think of swapping perfumes as a seasonal part of your beauty routine in the fall. Pumpkin spice enthusiast or not, these new fall fragrances play to all olfactory senses — from classic, sweet scents to more earthy, sensual blends in perfumes such as Yves Saint Laurent – Black Opium Eau de Parfum.

What to know before you buy fall perfumes

Scent preference and personality

The fragrance you wear should be an extension of you. Do you favor fresh, lighter scents that smell flowery or fruity, or do you like more intense and deeper scents with woody tones? When searching for perfumes, look for those words in the description. If you aren’t sure, spend some time learning about and experimenting with different scents to see what appeals to you.

Skin chemistry

Not all perfumes smell the same on different people. Perfume ingredients smell distinct when they blend with the natural smell of an individual. Those with dry skin will find that scent evaporates faster on them than on those with oily skin. To make sure you know how a fall perfume smells on you specifically, let the scent sit on your wrist for a couple of minutes after you apply it.


When choosing a fall perfume, think about the occasion and places you’ll be wearing the perfume. Will you be wearing it mostly at work, or only when you go out for social occasions? For example, if you plan to wear it at the gym, a light blend of citrusy and oceanic notes is a better choice than one with a strong spicy note.

What to look for in quality fall perfumes

Perfume concentration

When shopping for a fall perfume, you will come across words such as “eau de parfum,” “parfum,” “eau de toilette” and “body mist” listed on bottles. These different terms indicate the strength and longevity of a scent after you spray it. Manufacturers make perfumes by mixing perfume oil with alcohol; the higher the perfume oil content, the stronger it is and the longer it will stay on. Those fragrances with a higher concentration of perfume oil usually are more expensive. 

Every perfume comes in one of the following perfume oil concentrations:

  • Pure Parfum/Extrait de Parfum: 20-40%
  • Eau de Parfum: 15-20%
  • Eau de Toilette: 5-15%
  • Eau de Cologne: 2-4%
  • After Shave/Mist/Splash: 1-3%

Fragrance notes

Perfumes consist of three notes, or unique scents. The top note is what you smell immediately after spraying the perfume. Typical top notes include citrus, herbs and light fruits. After the top note fades out, you smell the “heart note,” or middle note, of the perfume with a stronger and longer influence. Popular middle-note fragrances include rose, geranium, lavender, nutmeg and jasmine. Eventually, when the heart notes disappear, all that remains is the base notes, which are the boldest and often considered to represent the true character of the perfume. Common perfume base notes are amber, sandalwood, vanilla and musk.

Fragrance family

Traditionally, there are four to seven fragrance families, and within each family, there are subfamilies. The four basic fragrance families are a good place to start in familiarizing yourself with the different perfume blends.

  • Floral: As the name suggests, floral perfumes smell like a bouquet that features many aspects of blooming aromas.
  • Woody: Woody fragrances have warm and rich compositions characterized by woody and forest-inspired notes.
  • Oriental: This is a popular fragrance family for the fall that has a warm and spicy scent. These long-lasting perfumes are ideal for special occasions in cooler months when they mix with the cold air and skin perfectly.
  • Fresh: These airy and fresh scents bring up a pleasant sensation of being at sea or relaxing on the beach.


As the weather changes, it’s better to switch perfumes to match the season. A good rule is to think about the flowers, fruits and vegetables that are in season, as these often translate well to perfumes. For instance, quintessentially fall smells are pumpkin, fig, cranberry or smells we associate with harvest, such as earthy and grass tones. This is practical because perfumes behave differently in every season. Perfumes take longer to evaporate in cooler weather and they intensify in hot summer months.

How much you can expect to spend on fall perfumes

A good-quality fall perfume can come with hefty price tags as high as $400. However, affordable perfumes can be just as long-lasting and pleasing as expensive scents and are available for as low as $10.

Fall perfumes FAQ

Do I have to change my perfume with the seasons?

A. Changing your perfume with the seasons is highly recommended because the temperature changes that happen throughout the year impact your natural scent. Another reason to switch perfumes is that some scents smell much more pleasant in some seasons than others. Summer is lighter and more floral, whereas winter is all about woody, spicy and heavy scents.

How do I find the right fall perfume for me?

A. To find the best fragrance for you, buy them in-store to try them out; it’s essential to know how it smells on your skin specifically. When trying on a perfume, spray it on a pulse point where it’s warm, such as your wrist, neck or elbow, so the scent will heat up and reveal itself. Avoid trying more than three fragrances at any one time as you’ll confuse your senses.

Are some fall perfumes better worn for daytime or evening?

A. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wearing specific fragrances for daytime and evening. While some perfumes have the name “nuit” or “night,” indicating they are best for evening wear, it ultimately depends on what you’re comfortable with. Some people like to wear a lighter concentration of their favorite perfume during the day and switch to a more intense version of it at night.


Without proper care, perfume color changes to a yellow tinge and the smell becomes unpleasant. Here are ways to prevent this from happening:

  1. Keep the perfume in its bottle to protect the quality of the bottle and the scent inside.
  2. Store the perfume in a cool, dry place because the chemicals in perfume react to heat and humidity.
  3. Avoid shaking the bottle because this may disrupt the delicate components in the perfume.
  4. Keep the fragrance away from direct sunlight because it causes the color and smell to change and can dissolve some components.

What is the best fall perfume to buy?

Top fall perfume

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum

What you need to know: This customer favorite is a warm and spicy fragrance ideal for fall.

What you’ll love: The perfume leaves a soft and earthy scent on the skin. Its opening notes have a blend of sweet vanilla and coffee that reclines into more delicate notes of white flowers.

What you should consider: Some users found the scent too strong and intense.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Ulta, Sephora and Macy’s.

Top fall perfume for the money

Ghost Dream Eau de Parfum

Ghost Dream Eau de Parfum

What you need to know: This is an amber floral fragrance made for wearers who embrace femininity and independence.

What you’ll love: A multifaceted and floral scent with subtle depth, it opens with top notes of Moroccan orange flower and rosy essential, then develops to reveal a base of woody notes, patchouli and ambroxan musks.

What you should consider: There were a few buyers who said the scent did not last very long on them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau De Parfum Spray

Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau De Parfum Spray

What you need to know: This is a warm, floral fragrance with musk, lavender and orange blossom. It is suitable for everyday wear as well as special occasions.

What you’ll love: This fragrance is a unique fusion of sweet, spicy, sophisticated and energizing scents. The top notes of lavender, mandarin orange, petitgrain and blackcurrant relax into middle notes of jasmine and orange blossom and finally end on base notes of musk, cedar, salty ambergris and Madagascar vanilla.

What you should consider: Some younger users found the scent too mature.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta, Sephora and Macy’s.

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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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