Oriental fragrances, with their rich spines of spice, often come out during the fall months, when the temperature drops a few degrees and the layered clothing options become your go-to’s when leaving the house.

But it doesn’t have to play that way if you know a little bit more about the style. There are plenty of Oriental perfumes which are light enough to wear any time of year, even in Spring when green-tinged scents might catch your eye first. What to look for are scents that emphasize spice over sweetness, so save those gourmand vanilla-based Orientals for another time.

We’ve chosen three perfumes we think fit the bill for showcasing spices outside of the fall season, all of which are hypnotic, dramatic and mesmerizing in their own way, which is exactly what you want for this kind of scent.

Night by Judith Leiber

Night is a rustic and sheer Oriental with a gorgeous opening of cinnamon and bergamot. The two notes blend and smooth out their individual sharpness so well in this scent you almost don’t care what comes next. But the floral heart floats up out of the heat of the cinnamon spice and extends the sheer, smooth texture of the scent.

The contrast of the white floral notes with the crisp bergamot and cinnamon is cleverly inserted into the heart of this perfume, as the drydown shifts the focus back to a spicier feel with incense and patchouli finishing things off.

Night’s gliding energy makes all the spice pop in this fragrance, and it’s a treat to wear on long casual strolls in the early evening.

Carner Barcelona – Rima XI

Rima XI, or Rhyme Eleven, is inspired by the Spanish poet Gustavo AdolphoBesquer, to symbolize the “destructive power beneath innocence.”  And there’s plenty of power on display in this fragrance – cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, saffron and black pepper all make an appearance. Rima XI is ablaze in hot spices, with only a touch of mint in the top notes and jasmine in the heart to temper the flames.

The cedar and benzoin in the base arrive with the scent of roasted embers in their wake, as the destructive power in Rima XI finally exhausts itself. This is not a perfume – it’s a conflagration of emotional scents that’s only for the boldest wearer.

La Force 11 by Dolce & Gabbana

La Force 11 by Dolce & Gabbana take the traditional Oriental style of warm spices with sweet vanilla and sets it on its head by adding cypress notes in the heart and a sharp note of carroway seeds in the base. The result is a cool, breathtakingly crisp, and crackling scent. Each phase in its development has a unique feel – the pimento in the top notes adds a swarthiness to the cardamom and cinnamon, while the cypress mentholates the heart. The caraway seeds snap under your nose like sparklers at a 4th of July parade.

La Force 11 is a unique and unexpected take on the Oriental style, so if you think you’ve smelled them all before, or want to check out how perfume genres can stretch their boundaries in the right perfumer’s hands, this is a must-try fragrance.

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