What's that scent in the air? It's called change.
Autumn doesn't officially begin until Sept. 23, but the transition to new fragrances already has begun. Spring and summer's flowery effervescence is giving way to bigger, more seductive and glamorous scents for the new season, which continues through November's holiday launches.
Just as women change their wardrobes for fall, new scents are often adopted for the big changeover, said Karen DeLauro, Nordstrom's regional beauty director. The new scent wardrobe is full of surprises, she said.
"The fall is inspired by modern women -- women-empowered fragrances that are seductive, alluring and confident," DeLauro said. They're sophisticated and glamorous, she added, with "a lot of femininity and a lot of luxury."
They also take their cues from nature.
"If the fall landscape is all about golden trees, red-blazing leaves, crimson sunsets, glowing firelight and comfort food, the fragrance palette returns the feeling with warm, spicy, oriental notes often combined with gourmand touches such as vanilla, moving beyond the sugary sweet to a more modern interpretation," said Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation.
Look for men's notes such as woody, earthy and leather to cross over into the women's arena, blended with green and fruity florals. DeLauro said the new season will bring warm woods, ambers and violets with a tinge of spice.
Fragrance fans look forward to the new launches each year, Bloom said. "While fragrance trends are not as seasonal as fashion trends, there is the same feeling of change in the air."
Ready for the change? More than 50 new men's and women's fragrances launch this fall. Here are some of the top women's introductions coming this month and next:
Moss Is Boss
Thinking green is a concept we're all familiar with. But what about smelling green? If notes of moss, vetiver and woodlands sound beguiling to you, then you might like L'Essence by Balenciaga, the new fragrance from Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere. The traditional "male" greenness has been softened by violet leaves. Wake up to a new green day. $95 and $130 at Neiman Marcus; due in September.
Think of the new Calvin Klein fragrance as a flowery jolt. That's what CK One Shock goes for with its burst of passion flower, pink peony and poppy flower. The floral gathering (which also includes jasmine and narcisse flower) is mixed with blackberry, amber, vanilla and patchouli. Breathe deep the bloom. $40-$60 at Macy'sItalian Country.
Bottega Veneta customers expect expert craftsmanship and tailoring. They'll get that same level of workmanship in the Italian luxury house's first fragrance, Bottega Veneta, imagined as Venetian countryside dream. Think of fresh meadows laced with bergamot, patchouli and oakmoss married to leather notes infused with bergamot, pink peppercorns and patchouli. $65-$130 at Neiman Marcus; due in September.
Michael Kors' customers live the 24-karat life, and they can prove it with Michael Kors Gold. The designer's new scent -- marking the 30th anniversary of his fashion empire -- is all about the tuberose, with attendant notes of magnolia, freesia and orange blossom. Mix in a little wood, musk and tonka bean, and you're talking ultimate luxury. $75 at Sephora.
Coach customers can take another step into the poppy field with Poppy Flower, a light new fragrance built on bright fruits and soft florals. It mixes ivy, citrus, lychee and cassis with jasmine, water lily, peony and fruity notes of raspberry and apricot. A bit of musk and wood tones down the sweetness. $45-$85 at Coach and fine department stores.
Pure DKNY -- A drop of verbena is Donna Karan's latest immersion into scents with a conscience. Verbena basil (a citrus-scented herb) is at the heart of this fresh fragrance that's rounded out by light florals. It's housed in a recyclable glass bottle shaped like a raindrop. What's more pure than rain? $45-$85 at fine department stores; due in September.
Vera Wang was inspired by modern-day Juliets falling in love with their Romeos when she created Vera Wang Lovestruck. The designer mixed pink guava, angelica flower, lotus blossom and tuberose in a woodsy musk for her new fragrance. $48-$78 at Macy's.
Legendary designer Coco Chanel wafts back into the room with Chanel No. 19 Poudre, a new interpretation of one of her signature scents. No. 19 mixes crisp green woods with powdery florals, especially iris. $80 -- $115 exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue; due Aug. 19 (Chanel's birthday).
Shalimar is, without question, one of scentdom's most iconic masterpieces. So it's a huge deal that 85 years after its creation, the brand is offering a modern interpretation, Shalimar Parfum Initial, for a new generation. It features a floral heart rich with rose and iris touched by vanilla and tonka bean. $67-$119 at Neiman Marcus.
Fashion designer Elie Saab's first fragrance is a couture celebration of the orange blossom. The white flower is enriched with notes of jasmine, cedar, patchouli and rose honey. The couturier paid special attention to Elie Saab Le Parfum's bottle, a faceted cube that looks important and sophisticated. $60-$120 exclusively at Nordstrom.
Prada is ready to feed your sweet tooth with its new feminine fragrance, Prada Candy -- a sweet confection of caramel, white musk, vanilla, honey and sugary powder. It even looks good enough to eat with a bonbon-colored bottle of pink and gold. $80-$108 at Neiman Marcus; due in September.
For women who rule their own domain comes Empress Sean John, a crisp floral fragrance invested with starfruit, raspberries, passion flower and peony. And if you're one of those empresses who will never say "let them eat cake," the fragrance also has notes of Key lime pie. This is the second women's fragrance from Sean "Diddy" Combs. $57-$74 at Macy's.
Story of Oh
Lola Strikes again. Rather, Marc Jacobs strikes again. The new Oh, Lola! Marc Jacobs is a young, flirty version of original Lola, full of fizz raspberry, strawberry and pear mixed with peony and magnolia warmed by vanilla and sandalwood. If your Lola wants it, you better get it. $48-$88 at Sephora and Nordstrom.
Euphoria now has a younger interpretation -- Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria, designed to be innocently seductive. It's all in the mix: sparkling mandarin, peach blossom and iced raspberry merging with pink peony, tiger orchid and jasmine with a hint of patchouli and musk. For the young sophisticate. $62-$80 at Macy's and Sephora; due in September.