DRY DOWN X TWISTED LILY FALL JUICE BOX 2018
You can read our scent descriptions below, but you can also click over to the box here right now!
Traditionally, fall scents conform to a pretty well-known profile: They’re cozy, they’re spicy, they’re woodsy. They smell like a cabin, like a bonfire, like a mug of a comforting, scalding liquid. They smell like pumpkin pie, maybe, and maybe a little like the bracing cold wind and the heavy indoor smells of the oncoming winter. They’re what Mr. Autumn Man might wear, if he chose a perfume to go with his sweater-vest and scarf. Summer is for florals, for aquatics and fresh greens, the free and easy outdoor scent of a sweaty, half-naked season. In fall we turn inward, we wrap ourselves in something heavier to keep off the cold.
But just as with gender, with age, and with the whole idea of being loyal to one signature scent, rules for perfume-wearing are largely outdated. It is perhaps more interesting to defy these old standards, and to learn what we might want to smell like when we are free of them. So, for our second Dry Down x Twisted Lily Juice Box, we’ve chosen eight scents that perhaps depart from what one might expect out of an autumnal fragrance but still embody the season for us in unexpected and personal ways. You’ll find florals, greens, and even aquatics, mixed in with the decadent and comforting velvety scents you may already associate with fall. Come learn the new rules of autumn perfume with us, and maybe find your new favorite scent along the way.
The Dry Down x Twisted Lily Fall Juice Box is $30 for eight samples (with 10% off for Dry Down members), and contains eight perfume samples.
Fig Tea is a deceptively fruity floral, whose bright, abundant fig notes melt into the warmth of amber and gaiac wood. Jasmine also makes an appearance, giving the fragrance a decadent sense of mystery, like an expensive cashmere sweater and a hint of the body beneath it. It smells like a dinner party at an intimidating, impressive, and yet deeply kind friend’s house on a crisp fall evening, a room full of candlelight and polished wood and a table piled high, like one of those old Dutch Renaissance paintings where excessive, sinful collections of fruit and cut flowers bloom out of heavy, sleek shadows. - HF
The technical perfumery ingredients that go into Coven, if you are curious, are galbanum (the sticky green gum of the Persian Ferula bush), smoked cedarwood, an overdose of cloves and a glug of sweet vanilla. But in the end you don’t really have to remember any of that. All you need to know about Coven is that it is a mud perfume. As in: it smells like a bog, a puddle, that squish you feel under your boot when you walk through the park on the first wet, cold day of the year. This is not an unwelcome muddiness; it is not the sludge of pigs or raggedy, old snow. It is clean, damp dirt, a country road after a flash flood. This scent is the best replica I’ve found of the feeling of standing alone, in the middle of a forest thicket. It is a lonely smell, but not an unwelcome one. Sometimes, in the fall, the best thing to do is get lost. - RS
Like the way a fall day starts out fresh and then turns more quickly to encroaching dark down the afternoon than one ever expects it to, Digitalis starts out fresh and green, all cucumber and galbanum, then veers decidedly elsewhere. Like many of Parfums Quartana’s creations, it is full of a long and strange list of notes that seem like they should be dissonant with one another, and perhaps are, but in a peculiarly satisfying way. Foxglove, a beautiful flower that actually smells poisonous, chases violet and jasmine into pepper and coriander. It is a fragrance that gets stranger as it unfolds, in the same way autumn barrels toward the promising bleakness of winter. - HF
We don’t often think of roses for fall, at least not the puffy, pink Damascus roses that most people crave in perfumery, when they want to smell like the fresh, velvety buds in a chilled flower shop refrigerator. Those roses smell like spring, like chintz fabrics, like a chipped antique tea set. If you gravitate to roses in colder weather, it is likely that you veer toward the Bulgarian varietals -- buttery, dark roses, blood red, almost fermented. These are the kind of dizzying floral oils that haunt the center of Hollyrose, which is immediately cut with chalky cement. This perfume is meant to evoke a blossom poking up through the pavement. This scent is supposed to capture a flower in a place where it doesn’t belong, a bloom thriving in extreme conditions. In other words, it is a Goth rose. And what could be more autumnal than that? - RS
At first I thought that Tardes smelled like the end of summer, but really what it smells like is change. Tardes smells like sadness, but in a soothing way, like the far edge of a long cry in a hot shower, how grief stirs us into newness. It’s a perfume that sits at the edge of the thin boundary between one thing and another; between summer and fall, between fall and winter, between daytime and nighttime. It smells like the snap of cold on the first clear blue day when summer’s heat never arrives and the morning offers a bright challenge in the air instead. It smells like the hour between afternoon and nighttime, when the light edges from blue into purple, refusing to give up darkness entirely. If you live in a big city and have ever taken a subway over a bridge at dusk, or a cab home past the skyline at the end of the night, in the liminal space between your couch and a party, it smells like that too. Maybe this feeling of change has to do with the contrast of the notes, delicate flowers like rose and geranium skidding over top of surprisingly vegetal celery and plum to finally rest on a musky, tonka bean heart. Like the arrival of fall, it is at once bracingly surprising, and comfortingly familiar. It is a strangeness that feels like something you’ve always known. - HF
Every now and then, you get a truly hot fall day. You only notice it because it tends to insert itself right in between two frigid ones, and you suddenly find yourself outside wearing absolutely too much clothing. What you notice, more than the heat, is is the mismatch: it was not supposed to be beautiful, and so the beauty throws you. It might even annoy you: now I have to lug this faux fur fifty blocks in summer weather, now I have to sweat into my woolens on the train. And yet these surprise warm fronts are also nature’s bonus prizes, because they feel like last chances -- the last good day, the last long day, the last outdoor seating, the last comfortable stroll through a park. Golden Neroli is a perfume that feels like this last temperate day of the year: it’s full of hazy light and orange shadows. More specifically, it is a not-too-sweet bowl of matcha tea and white florals, drizzled with fatty ylang ylang oil. When I first started wearing it, I thought it might be seasonally inappropriate. But the more I wore it, the more I clung to it, and it hit me: this is the scent of wanting to hold on to abundance for as long as you can. - RS
The thing about fall is coats, and mornings. Ormonde Man smells like both. As the name indicates, it’s meant to a be a classically masculine cologne, a scent that smells like a jawline, but all that means is that it leans on notes traditionally used in famous and popular scents for men (which, now and always, have been worn by people of all genders, because scent is merely a way to play dress up, to choose how to see yourself, and how you wish to be seen, and the ways to see ourselves are myriad and far greater than the few boxes offered by traditional gender presentation). Ormonde Man opens with the jolting freshness of juniper and bergamot, like the breath of cold air in the morning when you step out of your house wrapped in a scarf. These are followed by pink pepper, cardamom, and coriander, the kind of pungent, welcoming spices that this season tends to urge many of us to cook with, filling the house with warm smells as a way to ward off the cold outside. It then falls into vetiver and sandalwood, cedar and musk, the gentlest possible landing in a huge old leather chair. The elegance of all these grand, old-fashioned, well-known notes together smells like a perfect winter coat, worn for the first time on a cold day, providing not just warmth but style, a protective casing of glamour against the elements. - HF
Over the years, I have recommended Field Notes From Paris to more people than I can remember -- it is one of those perfumes that works on absolutely everyone while still feeling special enough to make its wearer feel smart, like they’ve been let in on a fantastic secret. I feel this way about almost everything that Ineke Ruhland makes. She has been making perfume in San Francisco for over thirty years now -- a real matriarch of the industry and someone whose creations should be honored and considered modern classics. Field Notes, which she concocted nine years ago now, is my constant go-to for fall -- when I pull it out, that’s how I know I’m ready to shift gears again. This is a tobacco perfume, but it won’t be tobacco like you know it -- it’s not sticky and burnt. This is fresh tobacco, right off the stems, and so it is very green, and a bit feral. This funk is tamed by a big squeeze of lemon and a gloss of beeswax, which together make this perfume smell much like the Sleepytime Tea I loved as a child. Field Notes is a big, steamy cup of herbal goodness -- whatever feels congested in your life, be it your chest or a mental block, I’ve always found this scent to be curative. - RS