Fall is, for better or for worse, the most easily romanticized season, a few precious months offering numerous opportunities to take a good picture: a $6 latte here, a nubby sweater there, an apple-picking excursion-turned-impromptu Instagram photoshoot if you’re really feeling it.
So yes, while fall is still a season, as a concept, it’s also a cliche — and so is the idea of the consummate “fall fragrance,” a warm, cozy scent that’s like a cashmere cardigan for the senses. If you’ve smelled one, you’ve smelled them all. But there are only so many piles of leaves to step in, cups of Earl Grey to burn your tongue on, and attempts at staving off the first warning signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder before fall starts to lose its basic appeal — in which case, stepping outside your prescribed comfort zone of traditionally autumnal scents is essential.
An unusual, unexpected fragrance will change your entire mindset, taking you from pumpkin-spice zombie to, well, the kind of person who wears a perfume that smells like gunmetal and bright red roses in the middle of November. Ahead, the best fall scents you won’t smell on anyone else this year — especially not while you’re waiting in a seemingly endless line at Starbucks.