Earthy Fall Fragrances
text by Julia Savacool photos courtesy of Barneys New York

Cooler temps inspire richer scents, and Barney New York’s fall roundup has plenty to choose from. Don’t expect to find a heavy perfume though—these green-themed fragrances dance on the skin, teasing with their hint of herbs, woods, and end-of-summer gardens. Each fragrance is notable for the intensity of its earthy notes, a major trend for Fall 2019. Find the one that works best for you.

The scent: Tom Ford Lavender Extreme

Top notes: French lavender, Italian bergamot

A closer look: Originating in the sunny, mountainous regions of the Mediterranean, the lavender plant is one of the most widely used ingredients in fragrances and aromatherapy. Its deep, sweet scent has been shown to induce calmness and reduces stress in scientific studies. Believed to have been named after the Latin word lavare (to wash), lavender was frequently added to soaking baths by the Romans.

Extra credit: Designer and newly-crowned CFDA President Tom Ford launched his first perfume in 2006, aiming to bring the bold sensuality of his ready-to-wear looks to the world of fragrance.

The scent: Heretic Dirty Grass

Top notes: Cilantro, pink pepper, vetiver, hemp

A closer look: One of the world’s oldest-known herbs, cilantro’s origins can be traced back at least to 5000 B.C. when it was used by the Egyptians, and later the Greeks, as an aphrodisiac. The fragrance also includes vetiver, which amplifies the notes of fresh-cut grass.

Extra credit: Known for its experimental approach to olfactory creation, Heretic infuses Dirty Grass with hemp-derived CBD oil, lending a deep, earthy aroma to the mix.

The scent: Byredo Gypsy Water

Top notes: Pine needles, bergamot, pepper, orris

A closer look: Believed to have evolved in the Northern hemisphere 153 million years ago, pine trees are prized for their ability to grow in some of the most inhospitable climes, including deserts, high altitude, sub-zero temperatures, and acidic soils. The hardy tree’s needles, when crushed, emit a crisply sweet scent that evokes memories of childhood summer camps and the outdoor life.

Extra credit: Inspired by a romanticized vision of the Romany lifestyle, Byredo’s founder Ben Gorham sought to capture the essence of deep forests and campfires in Gypsy Water.

The scent: Ormaie Le Passant

Top notes: Marigold, bergamot, lavender

A closer look: Used in vegetable gardens to keep insects at bay, the musky, pungent scent of marigolds (also known as tagetes) adds depth without weight to a fragrance. Native to North and South America, the herbaceous species plays a central role in Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, a ceremonial day in which the scent of marigolds is believed to guide spirits of the deceased back to their families.

Extra credit: Launched by mother-son team Marie Lise Jonak and Baptiste Bouygues in 2018, Le Passant is Ormaie’s signature take on masculinity. Bouygues found inspiration for this ruggedly romantic fragrance in a cologne once worn by his father.

The scent: Diptyque Eau De Minthe

Top notes: Mint, nutmeg, rose, geranium, patchouli

A closer look: There’s a reason toothpaste is flavored with mint: The leaves of this garden plant instantly override any unpleasant odors with their zippy, fresh fragrance and antimicrobial compounds that kill bacteria. Light and powerful, mint is an essential component to colognes with cooler overtones.

Extra credit: Eau de Minthe is the innovative French house’s answer to traditional fougère fragrances: earthy, fern-based compositions at the heart of many popular men’s colognes.

The scent: 19-69 Chronic

Top notes: Moss, musk, patchouli, vetiver, cashmere wood

A closer look: Moss conjures images of dark, damp forests and fallen leaves with its vaguely inky and slightly bitter scent. Random fact: There are actually 12,000 different species of moss, some of which can hold up to 22 times their weight in water, making them twice as absorptive as cotton. For this reason, moss is used as an ad-hoc surgical dressing for wounds by the military.

Extra credit: Founded by Swedish photographer Jonah Bergelin, 19-69 focuses on fragrances inspired by cultural moments and eras. Chronic’s earthy notes are intended to recall Southern California’s cannabis lifestyle in the ’90s.