Lots of autumn fragrances out there, and I couldn't be happier. Let's go over what I saw over the weekend:
Bath & Body Works: They have(/had) their Perfect Autumn line out now; I can't remember if it was out last year. It contains Pumpkin, Apple, Plum and Caramel scents in candles, sprays, 'scented stones' and oils. They're all pleasant enough--I don't expect transcendently beautiful scents from BBW (but I do from Henri Bendel, who does one of the candle lines they sell). I was very disappointed by the fact that they were sold out of all their oils (the second store I went to was; I don't know about the one in Manhattan in the 20s on 5th--no one was providing customer service for me there), but I was more disappointed when they told me at the store that they were taking this line down today (It's not even October! It's really not even autumn!). HUGE disappointment in Bath & Body Works.
Speaking of Bath & Body Works, they also had a couple new scents in their Tutti Dolci line, an amaretto and a tiramisu-type scent. The amaretto-type also has notes of coconut macaroons. It's intensely wonderful. The tiramisu scent is also luxurious and decadent, but the amaretto one takes the cake. It could be the best one they've done. Clarification: I'm referring to the Body Moisturizing Soufflés. The eaux de toilette don't cut it--they don't last and they change quickly in the drydown. They can't hold a candle to the creams--don't buy them.
The Body Shop: They have a few seasonal home-fragrance oils out now, including Vanilla Spice, Spicy Berry, Sweet Maple, Blackberry Apple, Candied Citrus and Pumpkin Nectarine. I've written about Pumpkin Nectarine and Spicy Berry before. As for the others: Sweet Maple is lovely if you're looking for something that basically smells like pancake syrup (and there's nothing wrong with that); Vanilla Spice is pleasant enough, but it doesn't really convey the title all that much--actually, there's an orangey note that's very prominent in the blend--it could easily be called Orange Anise with hints of synthetic Vanilla; Blackberry Apple I regretfully didn't get to sample; Candied Citrus is pleasant but apparently not especially memorable, since that's all I can remember to say about it.
Pier 1 Imports: Pier 1 has some nice autumnal scents this year. Harvest Spice, which was renamed Harvest Pumpkin Spice last year, has been rechristened Pumpkin Bread for this year. (I think that etymology is correct.) New this year are Spice Cake, which smells pleasant but isn't anything to make a fuss about; Mulled Cider, same as Spice Cake; and Sugared Pecan, which smells wonderful and almondlike. Of course you must buy the Pumpkin Bread scent, since this is the scent from Pier 1 and it's a required purchase every autumn; but Sugared Pecan is also an excellent choice for a fall/winter scent. I recommend them both; and I should point out that they're both available as spray air fresheners as well as candles.
Yankee Candle: Gotta mention Yankee Candle, because I noticed that this year they have plug-in and spray versions of Bayberry and (drum roll, please) Christmas Wreath!!! I actually wrote them last year inquiring why Christmas Wreath wasn't available as a spray! So I'm very, very glad to see this development. But I have something unfortunate to report: last year I bought the refresher oil for their Mistletoe scent, and it was very disppointing--it had the green notes that the candle does, but they were far overshadowed by a bizarre sweet fruity note that I don't detect in the wax version. I think it's the oil vector--I think it just contributes this note by virtue of the different formulation. Unfortunately it totally changes the character of the scent. And doubly unfortunately, it seems that the plug-in oil for Christmas Wreath seems to share this deficiency. It doesn't smell like the candle. However, I've yet to actually plug it in, so maybe in December I'll be pleasantly surprised. But my experience in this department leads me to believe I won't. The news isn't all bad, however: I didn't smell the Christmas Wreath spray, but I did buy the Mistletoe spray a couple years ago, and it smelled just like the candle; so I have every reason to believe that the Christmas Wreath spray will as well. I hope I get to go home for Christmas this year--I can finally have a spray that actually smells like a Christmas tree!! ...And since I mentioneded the plug-in scents, I got their plug-in Golden Spiced Pear, and it's performing wonderfully.
And that's the fragrance beep for now! Ed Shepp