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Perfumes & Colognes Reviews

Dark Academia Perfumes

So what is the dark academia scent? Think libraries, museums, autumn… Let’s turn to the origins of the aesthetic and remember Donna Tartt’s novel “The secret history”: an atmosphere of an elite England college where a group of students study classics. It smells like old leather-bound books, dusty paper, tweed jackets and hot coffee. Amber, oud, balsamic, patchouli, tobacco, and gourmand accords would also be good options as these will bring that dark and warm mood.

We’ve selected 10 dark academia vibe perfumes for you to try:

Whispers in the Library by Maison Martin Margiela

The ultimate library scent: as dark academia as it could be. Wearing it feels like you’re sitting in a rustic cafe/antique bookstore, drinking your coffee and reading a book or studying. The opening is spicy and peppery and then it dries down to cozy vanilla and wood.

English Oak & Hazelnut by Jo Malone

Fells like it’s an autumn day in the English countryside and you’re taking a walk in a forest. A smooth and creamy combination of hazelnut, oak and wood.

Shalimar by Guerlain

This one is a good choice if you’re looking for something more classy and timeless: a rich and complex amber-vanilla scent. It’s romantic and hypnotising, dark and mysterious, so it perfectly matches the dark academia aesthetics. Best suitable for cold weather as it’s warm and very strong.

L’orpheline by Serge Lutens

Incency, smoky and musky, meditative and calm. It recreates the atmosphere of an old Catholic Church with a hint of incense in the air. There’re also some herbal, almost medical notes in the background.

Brit by Burberry

An elegant, sophisticated and classy gourmand fragrance with woody and spicy undertones.

Bibliotheque by Byredo

Imagine the atmosphere of an old library: dark wood shelves filled with dusty leather-bound books. There’s also a sweet fruity plum note and a smoky cigarette smell. A very deep and mysterious scent that would be a perfect choice for cold weather and a night out.

Snake OIL by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

The dark academia feel: it’s rich and warm, spicy and resinous, dark and sophisticated.

Paperback by Demeter

The old dusty yellowed pages book scent. Woody, also musty and sweet – like a second hand book.

Bonfire by Demeter

Cozy, smoky, spicy and woody: it depicts the smell of burning maple leaves on a bonfire.

Old Books and Fresh Flowers by Alkemia

As the title says: it is old leather-bound books and fresh flowers (neroli, orange blossom and heliotrope). This one is not a library but a bookstore.

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  1. Rachel C

    Thank you!