Nov 16, 2023 | 2 min Read

Mysterious, Magnetic Scents to Make You Feel Like a Dark Academia Character

Dark academia is an aesthetic primarily defined by, well, academia, specifically boarding school and college. Think mahogany furniture, worn-out rugs, quiet libraries and an underlying aura of mystery and intrigue. The dark academia fashion trend is all about midi skirts, sweaters, socks and loafers, vests and tweed blazers, like a serious student or a young professor. It’s easy to dress the part, but you can also smell like the hero or heroine of your own personal dark academia book. Here are a few of our favorite mysterious, magnetic dark academia scents.

Try Noir Patchouli by Histoire de Parfums if you enjoy dark academia novels

Try Histoires de Parfums if you enjoy reading dark academia

This smoky, spicy and earthy patchouli with intriguing notes of leather, musk, juniper and vanilla would be right at home in a dark academia setting. It instantly conjures visions of late nights in the library and potential romantic entanglements, and smells even better on your favorite wool topcoat.

Key notes: Patchouli, leather, amber, cardamom

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

Creed Green Irish Tweed

The dean of students or the classics professor would absolutely wear this classic men’s scent, a fresh and peppery mix of violet, iris, sandalwood and ambergris. It’s preppy and sporty with an edge — could said professor be hiding some big, life-changing secrets under that chipper tweed suit and tie?

Key notes: Violet, iris, ambergris

 Black Orchid by Tom Ford

The gorgeous anti-heroine in most dark academia novels has a past, smokes cigarettes, drinks endless coffee and is never seen without her trademark red lip. She’s definitely cloaked in a rich, intoxicating cloud of this plush perfume. Black Orchid opens with a rich floral bouquet that warms into a craveable mix of truffle, patchouli and a hint of chocolate. This is the scent for a good girl with a bad side.

Key notes: Jasmine, orchid, patchouli

Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker Stash

Earthy, spicy and a little bit dirty and sexy, Stash is perfect for the who enjoy dark academia. An enigmatic elixir, at first, it’s an herbal patchouli scent with hints of zesty citrus and ginger, but as it settles on the skin, it develops an irresistible, sensual funk of vetiver and musk — similar to spending a day hidden away in bed with your secret lover.

Key notes: Sage, citrus, patchouli, vetiver

Safari by Ralph Lauren

Safari For Men Ralph Lauren

You can’t cultivate a preppy aesthetic with a dark side without mentioning Ralph Lauren. Safari, introduced in 1992, starts off clean and fresh — think the big man on campus — but deepens into a rich, classically masculine amber and leather scent that feels perfectly at home in a lecture hall. The bottle, too, would fit right in at a boarding school.

Key notes: Aldehydes, leather, amber

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Nasomatto Black Afgano

The villain with a soft side absolutely wears Black Afgano, perfect for dark academia, a warm, smoky mix of coffee, tobacco, incense and oud. This is the kind of scent that begs you to come closer — but not too close, or you’ll risk being swept under their dark allure. And who knows what will happen then!

Key notes: Coffee, tobacco, incense

In Conclusion

Have you recently read Donna Tartt’s The Secret History or perhaps inspired by film noir novels? If so, you’re probably all about the dark academia aesthetic. Head on over to FragranceX.com and choose your favorite. Shop our best sellers

image of Kara Nesvig
Kara Nesvig

Kara Nesvig is a freelance writer based in St. Paul, MN. She’s been obsessed with fragrance since she was four years old and has a (constantly growing) collection of more than 75 scents. Kara writes for a variety of brands and publications including Allure, Teen Vogue, Byrdie and People.

More Articles from this Author
image of Kara Nesvig
Kara Nesvig

Kara Nesvig is a freelance writer based in St. Paul, MN. She’s been obsessed with fragrance since she was four years old and has a (constantly growing) collection of more than 75 scents. Kara writes for a variety of brands and publications including Allure, Teen Vogue, Byrdie and People.

More Articles from this Author

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