Favorite Fragrances For Winter Days

Although winter in Florida is often sharp with sun and steamy with humidity, each year I envision a cooler northern climate dressed in icy snow as white as a glacier and brushed with evergreen boughs and red berries.  In this fantasy landscape I smell pine and fir and chestnuts; moonlight takes on a brief hint of peppermint and pale winter sunshine smells of lemon slices in water. Overlapping shadows of trees and animals moving among them leave traces of fur, civet, and bark. The smoke from a neighbor’s chimney trails wisps of oak through the night air. Winter murmurs rather than shouts in my imagination.  It is a more delicate time of year than is summer, when things are so enormous, hot and huge, that they crowd one another out.  My winter perfumes are my favorite ones and are often more environmental than are the scents I wear at other times of the year.

winter

Here is my top ten for winter, in no particular order of preference:

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles:  Pine is my favorite note, in or out of a perfume.  My home is decorated with pine cones I have collected in the great forests of North America and I burn pine candles year round. Serge Lutens melds his pine to an un-iced gingerbread house that wafts incense smoke from its chimney.  The opening reminds me of rubbing pine sap between my fingers and inhaling the fresh, wintry aroma.

Frédéric Malle Noir Epices: A dry and occasionally pungent hit of spices and gummy orange that is mildly bitter and resinous.  Don’t expect to find a universally appealing spice here; this Frédéric Malle scent is sexy-ugly par excellence.  Geranium leaf adds the bitterness to the dusty cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and pepper.

Donna Karan Black Cashmere:  On the opposite end of the spice spectrum, Donna Karan’s darker “textile” scent is a long-time favorite of mine and one that involves sweeter spices than the Malle.  Black Cashmere is an incense scent accented with clove, saffron, and pepper.  At one point you could buy parfum, shower gel, body cream, body lotion, and powder.  The powder had silver sparkles that glittered like tinsel on snow. How I wish this product would reappear!

Neela Vermeire Creations Trayee:  Mohur’s incense scent speaks volumes to me, in hushed tones of smoke, balsams, and leather. Despite a long list of notes, Trayee feels spare the way the best couture is spare, cut along knife-sharp lines where others are overcrowded with detail. Trayee is one of the few fragrances with oud where I really understand and appreciate the note.

Comme des Garçons Zagorsk:  From Comme des Garçons Series 3: Incense, Zagorsk has a touch of Russian melancholy that calls to my mind a white birch set against a snowy landscape in the deepest, darkest of winters.  It’s a cold fragrance but not an unwelcoming one with its notes of pine, pepper, iris, and cedar swirled in a gray fog of incense.  This is the most meditative fragrance on my list.

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble:  Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s sandalwood scent gets sweetness from amber and dry nuance from coffee and spices. The overall impression is of a sandalwood cake—I mean the type you eat.  Santal Noble skirts the edge of gourmand without being toppled by the foodie notes.  It’s a good entry-level, uncomplicated sandalwood.

DSH Perfumes Winter White (Holiday No. 4):  A white musk gourmand from DSH Perfumes featuring vanilla, heliotrope, red berries, white chocolate, and white musk.  Winter White is a cozy and playful fragrance that has me imagining myself in a cozy and playful fantasy of Sweden.  Hot chocolate awaits inside my snow fort, of course.

biehl parfumkunstwerke eo01: biehl parfumkunstwerke’s subtle and disarming first cousin to Organza Indécence with tangerine and blood orange squeezed over hot spices and a gentle orchid-iris-lily bouquet.  Where OI never settled on my skin, eo01 does, in a soft blanket of creamy florals and vanilla. Basenotes of cedar, vetiver, and patchouli keep it from turning into custard.

Arcana The Ulda:  White almond, bayberry, pink pepper, and cardamom star in this oil from Arcana. I read about this on a perfume board a few years ago and ordered it unsniffed.  The Ulda are fairy-folk from Lappland who live under the Earth and who get around by means of reindeer sleighs.  This is a straightforward fragrance blend recalling the use of cardamom in Scandinavian Christmas baking that I enjoy at night as a comfort scent and also for scenting my home.  A very inexpensive pleasure!

Lubin Idole de Lubin: My preferred winter nip of rum and bitter orange peel, with a mysterious smoky background.  The rum sweetness is adequately tempered by a distinct note of smoked ebony that is as dry as bleached-out wood.  I prefer the original eau de toilette to the creamier eau de parfum.  The lack of longevity in the EdT is a plus for me, since I prefer reapplication to something that fatigues my nose.

For other winter themed lists, please visit Grain de MuscNow Smell This, and Perfume Posse.

What are your favorite cold weather fragrances? What perfumes do you reach for when you want to beat winter blues?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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104 Comments

  • Debbie: Winter fragrances are my favorite ones; I’m drawn to the depth and warmth of them. My favorites this winter are two vintages: Zadig parfum and Nuit de Noel. So comforting, full and warm! January 25, 2013 at 9:18am Reply

    • Suzanna: I don’t know Zadig, but NdN has that marvelous balsamic base that is so right this time of year. January 25, 2013 at 9:57am Reply

  • Anne Sheffield: I definitely feel it is in winter that I appreciate the most my perfume. It gets so hot here, in the south of France, that in the summer perfume to me is limited to Nuxe body oil. But in the winter I love feeling comforted by a scent. This winter I have enjoyed guerlain parfum initial, and strangely enough ( as it is generally more associate as a warm weather perfume), I have loved wearing crystalle EDT by Chanel. I found its green crispness very ” in tunes” with the sub- zero temperatures. Is that weird? January 25, 2013 at 9:42am Reply

    • Suzanna: No, it’s fascinating and I think I will try it if it gets cold here (ever). I have the same climatic challenge in Florida that you do in the south of France, and I also have that Nuxe oil! January 25, 2013 at 9:58am Reply

      • solanace: I must get this Nuxe oil! Although this year we are having the weiderst of summers, it was really hot (over 35 C) a few weeks ago, but now it’s been around 15 C for a while, which is pretty unusual for Brazilian summer. I’m having a blast with Rose Anonyme in the meanwhile! January 27, 2013 at 7:26am Reply

        • Suzanna: Yes, you must get that Nuxe oil! Absolutely!

          Rose Anonyme-I could go on about rose frags, but will not. There are too many good ones to begin to address on a large scale. January 29, 2013 at 11:18pm Reply

    • mariablogrom: I’m so happy to have discovered your comment. I adore SHalimar PI in winter, I soak in it. And for some reason it doesn’t work anymore when it’s more than 10 Celsius degree. January 29, 2013 at 11:01am Reply

      • Suzanna: I can’t wear Shalimar the original at all–too oily and powdery at the same time for me, plus gasoline fumes. I do like PI quite a bit and agree that warmer weather does it no favors. In general, I have issues with Guerlain in hot weather and can only wear their dry and woodsy scents then. January 29, 2013 at 11:20pm Reply

  • rosarita: We share many of the same perfume loves, Suzanna, esp. Black Cashmere, Trayee and Noir Epices, of which I need to get a decant. Cold weather perfumes are my favorite by far. I’ll add Barbara Bui and both Imperial Opoponax and Patchouli Antique by Les Nereides to that list. I need to hunt down Arcana The Ulda, it sounds delicious. January 25, 2013 at 10:19am Reply

    • Suzanna: You can find The Ulda on eBay, being sold by a store in Omaha. Shouldn’t run you much!

      I had the other three you mention but I veered away from powdery/vanillic, although I think they are lovely frags and certainly wonderful for wintertime. January 25, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Deborah Lane McGuire: Vintage Nuit de Noel is first on my list of winter favorites. Lush, comforting, and warming.
    Other favorites are L’Ambre de Merveilles, La Perla, and Voile D’Ambre. January 25, 2013 at 10:26am Reply

    • Suzanna: It is getting harder to find that vintage NdN. The base in it is incredible, isn’t it?

      Thanks for mentioning the others, and they rarely get discussed so they are terrific to add to this list. January 25, 2013 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Laura: After swimming in Hypnotic Poison for years as my only fragrance, I feel a little lost. When you feel one fragrance IS you, it is difficult to lose that feeling. I know most people here use many fragrances, as I do in summer, but just because I haven’t found anything that IS me – in fact not since Tom Ford’s Azuree Soleil disappeared.

    There are so many aspects of winter: Christmas, snow, apples baking slowly, cinnamon, pine, incense, mulled wine, wind.

    Right now I alternate my Dolce Vita with Christian Lacroix Tumulte, a musky Turkish rose jam that would be oppressive in warmer weather. And I love Guerlain L’Instant magic, like returning late at night from the opera, nestled in a fur coat in a smooth gliding car under a shower of snow flakes the size of Japanese cherry blossoms.

    I tried Ambre de Merveilles and Elixir de Merveilles but they don’t share the lightness and saltiness of the original Eau de Merveilles.

    Anyone knows of a quince fragrance? I love the smell of quince fruit, have a couple at home now, the most amazing smell like pear, rose and lychees. Don’t understand why it’s not used more. January 25, 2013 at 10:39am Reply

    • Nikki: Quince is a wonderful scent and the fruit is so beautiful! My winter scents are Shalimar Extrait, lots of it, Tocade, Comme des Garcons Avignon, Habanita and Spellbound. January 25, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

    • Suzanna: We will see what comes up with that question, Laura. I certainly don’t know one. Perhaps Victoria does.

      I agree about the Merveilles flankers. The lightness of the original is what made it great.

      The Tumulte men’s scent was also quite special. January 25, 2013 at 1:55pm Reply

      • Laura: Tumulte Man was even better than Tumulte Woman unfortunately on me it developed that “men’s fragrance”note that made it unwearable. Pity. But I 100% agree with you.

        Since noses keep looking for untried and untested (at least some do) – here’s an untried and untested note: quince! Love it :-D January 25, 2013 at 2:38pm Reply

        • Suzanna: Laura, I wish I knew what that note was. I also dislike it and agree that it develops, esp. in mainstream scents. It doesn’t appear that much in the genderless arena that occurs in niche, so I wonder what signifier is necessary to announce that a scent is “all male.” January 25, 2013 at 8:25pm Reply

    • Jo: Chanel Chance eau Tendre is a great quince fragrance and Mark Buxton Sleeping with Ghosts is good too, even if it does get a big overwhelmed by vanilla in the dry-down.

      My favourites in winter are SL Un Bois Vanille & Five O’Clock Au Gingembre, Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud and Odin 03 Century. I’m dying to try Zagorsk, I love the smell of pine :) January 27, 2013 at 8:47am Reply

  • Denyse Beaulieu: Such perfect choices for the season… I’ll have to pull out Idole, which I keep forgetting since it’s been around so long. Here in Paris we’ve had quite a bit of snow, in fact it’s snowing again, unusually… Guess I’ll pull out Filles en Aiguilles too! January 25, 2013 at 10:52am Reply

    • Suzanna: That comment about something being around so long that it gets overlooked also applies to my own stash. Really must rectify that! January 25, 2013 at 8:28pm Reply

  • Angela: I like simply skimming the titles of your winter favorites all together. They bring a warm, spicy, woody halo of fragrance to mind. It must smell good at your house! January 25, 2013 at 10:57am Reply

    • Suzanna: I am still burning Goutal Noel candles, so indeed it does! January 25, 2013 at 8:36pm Reply

  • Natalia: Thank you for sharing! Very beautiful images.

    I live in this kind of the nothern cool climate with the snow “white as a glacier” and the evergreen forests.
    Would like to share my favourite winter fragrances, too, if you don’t mind))

    Nahema (works best for the windy, gloomy, snowy weather)
    Angel (for the sun and crispy snow, my “skating” perfume)))
    31, Rue Cambon (for winter rain)
    Diorissimo (for the dry snowy weather: there is nothing lije those crystall lily-of-the-valleys jingling in the cool air around you)
    Chanel Coco (a theater evening fragrance)
    Kelly Caleche (love wearing it in February when the first breath of spring is heard in the air)
    Philtre d’Amour (my most uplifting fragrance for winter celebrations: New Year’s Eve, Christmas, my birthday)))
    Aromatics Elixir (it’s perfect for a cozy evening at home when I am alone with my favourite things – films, books and a glass of wine… well, actually, cognac since it’s winter))) January 25, 2013 at 10:58am Reply

    • Suzanna: What a wonderful list, Natalia! Thanks for going into detail. I can really envision what you mean with your descriptions of when/where you wear them. “Skating” perfume–love it! January 25, 2013 at 1:56pm Reply

    • solanace: I love your list. It conjured beautiful images of a Northern winter. January 27, 2013 at 7:58am Reply

  • iodine: I’m always complaining that my winters (Northern Italy) aren’t cold enough, lately, as I love to wrap myself in warming fragrances!
    Anyway, this winter’s favourite have been for me: Leathers- Etro Gomma and Cuir Ottomanmostly; my old, reliable Bornéo and other patchoulis; resinous Avignon and Huitième Art Myrrhiad; cozy and sweet Heliotrope by Etro; rich, deep citrussy Azemour Les Orangers. Except for a few days at the beginning of December it hasn’t been freezing enough to bathe in ambers, yet…
    I love pine scent too, but haven’t found one I like wearing, yet! January 25, 2013 at 11:09am Reply

    • Nikki: Oh Heliotrope is great! If you like Pine and Forest, Bois du Paradis is something you may want to try (Parfums Delrae). My winters near Torino were always full of fog…quite amazing actually, so thick like clouds! January 25, 2013 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Iodine, I am always on the lookout for pine/balsam scents. I do love the Lutens!

      One thing I was reading about was a series of colognes based on forests/woods, and apparently limited edition. The trouble here is in the choice, and there are liquid and bar soaps, too :–)

      http://www.juniperridge.com/category/shop-by-product/backpackers_cologne_products/ January 25, 2013 at 1:59pm Reply

  • fleurdelys: We must be scent twins, Suzanne – I love pine, spices, and incense in the winter too. It must be hard for perfumers to come up with an evergreen fragrance that doesn’t smell like you dabbed on some Pine-Sol! I’ll have to give Fille en Aiguilles a more serious test. January 25, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Laura: L’Occitane has a wonderful wintergreen home fragrance January 25, 2013 at 1:10pm Reply

    • Suzanna: fleurdelys, see above link! January 25, 2013 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Vishishta: Dune is one of my Winter fragrances. I have a large collection of cashmere sweaters, which I prefer to wear instead of a big coat (I live in California). I scent them according to color–the red ones absorb Dune beautifully. Today I have an orchid one on that has some floral on it that I tried at the perfume counter (and unfortunately did not write down!) that smells of lilies and gardenias! Alas, I have to get more disciplined about recording impulsive experiments!! January 25, 2013 at 12:35pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Vishista, I wish I knew what scent it was, too! Sounds lovely! January 25, 2013 at 2:00pm Reply

    • Annikky: I love your scented sweaters! January 26, 2013 at 5:02am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: The picture is priceless again, could be a winterview of one of our famous Dutch painters.
    Since winter is my favourite season, I don’t have the winterblues; I have the summerblues!
    I love the sharp, bright winterlight here in the Netherlands, and want my perfumes in harmony with it: Eau de Rochas, Sous Le Vent, Eau du Coq, Bois d’Encens (sometimes made a little bit friendlier with a touch of Lys Soleia). In the snow: Fahrenheit 32.
    Fille en Aiguilles is one of my favourites too, and (strange enough) Fracas is fresh to my nose in wintertime. January 25, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Cornelia, I can see what you mean about Fracas being fresh. Funny–I was just wearing it the other day and thought it smelled very clear in the (relatively) cooler weather.

      Don’t know Eau de Rochas. Will have to try! January 25, 2013 at 2:01pm Reply

    • Annikky: Cornelia, I very much agree with you on Fracas. But you probably know it by now :) January 26, 2013 at 5:03am Reply

    • Aukje: Cornelia, nice to see another perfumista from NL! I thought I was the only one… I’m a newby, but I have to say I’ve recently fallen in love with Dune. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just poses such a nice warm counter to the sharp light of winter. I’ve never smelled most of the perfumes you mentioned, but they’re on my must smell list now! January 27, 2013 at 4:03pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Aukje! We are not the only Dutch ones: Austenfan is also Dutch. I sometimes envy the newbies: everything is new, so much to discover!
        I agree about Dune, a great perfume. January 28, 2013 at 6:31am Reply

  • Nicole: If you like pine, Victoria, have you tried Enchanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince (the couple behind Fragrantica)?

    It did not work for me but it sounds like you might enjoy the notes! January 25, 2013 at 3:08pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I saw that on Luckyscent and was curious! Perhaps next sample order! January 25, 2013 at 8:25pm Reply

  • Daisy: I love you winter weather picks! Fille en aiguilles is perfect. That and Tubereuse Criminelle (which has been my SOTD all week) are some of my favorites when the weather takes a bitter turn.

    Other winter favorites are Coromandel and Musc Ravageur. The latter feels like an olfactory fur coat. They must put LSD in there too because I actually feel warmer when I wear it, even though that is unlikely! January 25, 2013 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Oh, yes, Musc Ravageur, which I have upstairs here and should wear immediately. The sizzling spice and lavender always knocks me out!

      Coromandel I oddly crave in summer. Isn’t that peculiar! I agree it is a great winter scent. January 25, 2013 at 8:27pm Reply

      • Daisy: I like it in the summer too! It feels completely different to me in the heat. I thought it would be overwhelming, but instead it turns sultry and seductive. So interesting, right? January 26, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

  • silverdust: Thanks to everyone for their lists. Glad to see that I’m not the only one drawn to pine, cedar, incense and leathers! I’m not a fruity floral or sweet-perfume woman. Guess that makes me earthy, eh? (lol)

    You all have added immeasurably to my bucket list! January 25, 2013 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Yes, earthy, and so am I! I dislike sweet frags and powdery frags immensely. Earthy it is! January 25, 2013 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Jan Last: Loved reading these picks!

    Slumberhouse Grev has that clove which is not sharp and alarming, but is wonderful for hanging around in your footed jammies on a really cold and grey day.
    They also have Norn, which is an attack by the forest!

    Also, DSH has Three Kings, a warming, lovely thing it is.

    I will lways reach for AG’s Nuit Etoilee, we have an understanding. January 25, 2013 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I have avoided that line because of the price and feeling I might like something, and now I have to try what you so beguilingly describe as “attack by the forest.” Hmmm.

      Have not tried that DSH, and am headed there right now to review.

      Nuit Etoilee I found great in summer! January 25, 2013 at 8:30pm Reply

  • Ida: For incense the original Giorgio Armani Mania.
    I also very much enjoy the spice and creamy aspects to Chanel Allure Sensuelle. I’ve also grown fond of the cinnamon notes in Balmain Ambre Gris. January 25, 2013 at 6:19pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Ida, I could not wear Allure Sensuelle at all and wanted to. Never settled on me and kind of scratched around for hours. I love the idea of it.

      Thanks for adding to this list! January 25, 2013 at 8:31pm Reply

      • Monika: I’m sorry, but what people mean when they say that the perfume “doesn’t settle”? It doesn’t blend with your skin, stands out? January 26, 2013 at 1:24pm Reply

        • Suzanna: Yes, for instance, Allure Sensuelle and Organza Indecence are quite high pitched and sharp, not creamy, sort of scratchy if that makes sense, and don’t fade out. Instead, they remain very potent and overwhelming. January 26, 2013 at 3:34pm Reply

          • Monika: Thank you for the explanation :). Now I’m trying to think what perfumes have this effect on me, and it’s hard, I probably just don’t give them a second chance and forget.

            I can think however of somewhat opposite effect – when the perfume “just sit there”, dull and flat, the notes not developing but forming uninspired medley. That’s Epices Noires for me, alas. But I believe it can be beautiful on someone else. January 28, 2013 at 2:25am Reply

            • Monika: Ouch… I meant Noir Epices, of course. January 28, 2013 at 10:55am Reply

  • Ralu: I too have biehl eo1 and like it but wish it had the sillage of the original organza indecence. Recently i started to like angel and find it very suitable in the cold weather.
    Thank u for the lovely post, Suzanna! :) January 25, 2013 at 6:28pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Oh, I should have mentioned that kind of low projection, and I didn’t bec. that is something I like a lot of the time, especially in scents like this.

      Angel is great in the cold. January 25, 2013 at 8:32pm Reply

      • Raluca: Suzanna, I see what you mean about the low projection. Perfume is a personal experience which means that not everyone around you has to smell it. Sometimes I think that if I’m going to spend so much money on a perfume, everyone better know it. :) LOL I am making progress in terms of leaving that mindset behind.
        This one is great for the office. I’ve been wearing it for the past 3 or 4 days. January 27, 2013 at 11:18am Reply

        • Suzanna: I was at an event last night, photographing the arriving guests for a magazine. Suddenly there was a cloud of a chypre billowing around–I remarked about it and a lady stepped forward to say it was her Soir de Lune. Her escort puffed up to say that he kept her in this magnificent scent.

          The entire venue was soon scented with Soir de Lune. I smelled it on the stage, in the aisles, in the mezzanine, in the box seats. Up it wafted, tinting to my mind the entire scene a golden green.

          When I left, a haze of it was hanging in the night air.

          I thought you might enjoy this story. January 27, 2013 at 8:42pm Reply

          • Raluca: I love the story, Suzanna, and the way you tell. :) Ropion’s fragrances have such a monster sillage! January 29, 2013 at 10:10pm Reply

  • Julie S: I just want to wrap myself up in these fragrance descriptions and/or drink them in a hot mug. You write so well, very evocatively… even if I do not have the same experience at all when I sniff some of the things you’ve reviewed :) I live in the southern California semi-desert and today it is rainy – bliss! Something approaching winter! I have been wearing Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille a lot lately and wondering why I don’t have more of these deep, rich, complex fragrances. I blame the weather: it so seldom suits wintry perfumes. January 25, 2013 at 6:49pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Thank you, Julie! And I know your climate–it always makes me want a fruity (oh, the horror!) perfume and a date shake.

      Although your weather might not suit the deeper perfumes, I assure you my stagnant weather also does not and I wear them anyway, drop by drop. January 25, 2013 at 8:34pm Reply

      • solanace: Our summers are so hot, and so long, that ignoring the temperature and wearing anything is the only thing I can do… January 27, 2013 at 8:21am Reply

  • Sibylle: My favourite winter scents:
    Coromandel, Borneo 1843, Bulgari Black, Féminité du Bois, Five o’clock aux Gingembre.
    And on cloudless days when the winter sun sparkles on the snow, I simply MUST wear some ‘heavy’ orange blossom (SL Fleurs d’Oranger, By Kilian Sweet Redemption)
    When the temperature drops below -15C, I’ll wear Chopard Casmir. I find it too cloying otherwise, but when the cold gets really nasty, it seems to provide an extra layer of warm clothing.
    I really enjoy all those lists, and they reminded me to finally buy an FB of Fille en Anguilles before the planned tightening of EU scent restrictions hits! January 25, 2013 at 6:52pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Right, the EU restrictions. We must stock up now.

      Chopard Casmir is a secret pleasure of mine. It smells metallic to me, and it can be blinding in the wrong weathers. I do wear it quite often and then forget that I wear it. It is one of few vanillas I like. Thanks for mentioning it and the others! January 25, 2013 at 8:35pm Reply

  • Mihaela Kristal: I’m minority since nice is not my nr 1 piority. Winter in my country cam mean anything from +10 C to – 30 C so it depends a lot on how capricious the weather is. I have hound Hypnotic Poison ( a very popular perfume in Romania) to be winter appropriate which I also use in summer and spring, just with a ligher hand.

    Kenzo Jungle and Gucci by Gucci in edp are also among my winter favorites, along with the delicious Lempicka Black Midnight Collection (2011). This Lempicka limited edition has winter written all over it, it would be hard to wear it in extreme Romanian summer that goes frequenrlt to a + 40 C !! But for colder days it’s absolutely perfect! Florals and creamy, light vanillas are generally my go to fragrances all over the year, but in winter pure florals somehow loose their power and they diffuse less. Spicy, almondy and warm fragrances somehow suit better winter times, and I go for them as long as they are not too woody or masculine.

    As a curiosity: I hate citruses in warm time ( they smell to me like a lemonade hot soup in summer) and rather I crave them in freezing days, when I perceive the citrus notes as merry, happy and enchanting, so sometimes I just wear sparkling citruses colognes in winter. L’eau de Chloe fits perfectly, with its crisp rose water-lemon combo! odd, I know, but that’s just how I feel! :) January 26, 2013 at 4:38am Reply

    • Suzanna: How interesting your observation about citruses is! I will have to pull out some of mine to try! January 27, 2013 at 10:09am Reply

  • Annikky: Suzanna, this is a lovely list – some of my favourites are included (I couldn’t agree more about Trayee!) and there are a few new ones for me to try.

    For several years now, we have had proper winters here, with -5/-10C the norm and an occasional -20C thrown in, although there are warmer days too, of course. I have been surprised that I don’t really crave very warm ambers and orientals in the winter, although I am perfectly capable of enjoying them. If it makes any sense, I seem to be drawn to things that work with the cold, rather than fight it. Zagorsk from your list is an excellent example of that, it just fits the cold. The same goes for Arquiste Aleksandr and many other elegant leathers. And as I have mentioned elsewhere, white flowers can have this streak of coldness in them that works beautifully in winter. I am missing my bottle of Envy from the distant past, as I think its metallic quality would be perfect in the cold. And even lush white florals (like abovementioned Fracas) often turn more restrained and send out a wonderful puff of scent when you come inside and open your coat.

    I have also been very happy with my Bibliotheque candle from Byredo. Again, it is not a traditional warming winter scent, but I like the name, the packaging and the violet-fruit-leather fragrance. And come to think of it, I am clearly too easily influeneced by concepts – just refer to libraries, dead poets or Russia (preferably all at once) and I’m sold. January 26, 2013 at 6:02am Reply

    • Suzanna: Annikky, I am a huge candle connoisseur, and as the price of candles approaches or exceeds what we used to pay for a bottle of frag, I am also horrified. And then enabled by comments like yours. Have to go check that one out!

      Have not tried any of the Arquiste scents. January 26, 2013 at 8:45am Reply

      • Annikky: I used to be very condecending towards scented candles and have now been, very fittingly, punished by a growing addiction. It is difficult for me to judge Byredo, as I haven’t tried many candles at the same price point. It is definitely much better than Annick Goutal’s Violette which was unfortunately a complete dissapointment. I can also say that I have been burning Bibliotheque for days and am not half-way through yet. You probably need to appreciate clean lines to like the design, but it is less austere than Byredo fragrance bottles – to me the candle looks elegant and luxurious.

        I would be very curious to know which brands/specific candles are your favourites? January 26, 2013 at 1:56pm Reply

        • Daisy: It’s kind of an obvious choice, but I have always been partial to Diptyque’s candles. Also, as mentioned in another blog post, the CdG Incense candles are very nice too. January 26, 2013 at 1:58pm Reply

          • Suzanna: They are certainly lovely and I have had them in a variety of scents. January 26, 2013 at 3:27pm Reply

          • Annikky: Thanks, Daisy. Good to know that they are actually good, not just well marketed. January 26, 2013 at 3:59pm Reply

            • Daisy: They’re good :-) And I like that they burn clean, clean, clean. No weird soot everywhere! January 26, 2013 at 4:02pm Reply

        • Suzanna: Diptyque as mentioned by Daisy, and Agraria, Cire Trudon, Mizensir (you see I am giving the too expensive ones first); Herve Gambs Bois de Cashmere; by Trapp I love Bob’s Flower Shoppe; by Archipelago the eucalyptus…and good old Rigaud the green. Anything, really. January 26, 2013 at 3:32pm Reply

          • Annikky: Thanks, Suzanna, I really appreciate it. Several Mizensirs are on sale now on First in Fragrance, any particular recommendations? For you, the shipping probably makes it less of a deal… And apologies for pushing you for info like that, I’ll shut up now. January 26, 2013 at 3:57pm Reply

            • Suzanna: Sapin de Noel is my favorite! January 27, 2013 at 10:08am Reply

              • Annikky: Thanks! January 27, 2013 at 12:51pm Reply

  • figuier: Great list – & I’m adding my name to the list of those planning to purchase Filles en Aiguilles sometime soon :)

    My winter favourites are Coromandel, Attrape-Coeur and PG Indochine. January 26, 2013 at 8:25am Reply

    • Suzanna: I have not tried PG Indochine, and I wish that line received more attention since there are some great finds in there!

      Glad to see Attrape mentioned again. It has fallen off the radar somewhat after being such a hot item some years ago. January 26, 2013 at 8:43am Reply

      • Daisy: I love the PG line. On their official website, they sell 30ml bottles of almost the whole line. Perfect, no? January 26, 2013 at 1:56pm Reply

        • Suzanna: That’s so great for perfumaniacs like myself who have a rather…large…library. January 26, 2013 at 3:25pm Reply

          • Daisy: I know what you mean :-) You know you have a problem when you spend part of your Saturday morning looking at Ikea shelving systems for your bottles :-) January 26, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

            • Suzanna: Ha ha!

              My apt. has a built-in shelving. Sort of ugly, but functional.

              I used to live in a place that had glass-fronted cabinets in a large walk-in closet, and my perfumes were much happier there. Hmmph. January 27, 2013 at 10:07am Reply

      • figuier: Do try Indochine, it’s lovely for winter: cardamom and woods, simple but affecting. It’s quite linear, but has good longevity and is really quite powerful, in an unassuming way.

        Attrape is fantastic too, but being discontinued it makes sense that it’ll gradually fade from the blogosphere :( January 28, 2013 at 4:50am Reply

        • Suzanna: I will definitely try Indochine at my next sample order, thank you! January 28, 2013 at 10:17am Reply

  • Andy: I too love burning pine candles year round. At this point, I haven’t tried any high end pine candles, and I’m kind of hesitant to buy because some are so terribly expensive. Do you have any favorites you could reccomend?

    And this winter, I’ve really been enjoying Bulgari Thé Rouge after discovering it this fall in my local Marshalls for $15. It is light, so I can understand why many say it’s a fragrance that could work year round, but I can’t imagine wearing it any time but the winter, because it just somehow reminds me of snow and Christmas traditions, despite the fact that none of the notes strike me as outwardly reminiscent of wintertime. January 26, 2013 at 9:54am Reply

    • Suzanna: Are you in the US? If so, go to Target, there is a holiday candle on sale called MELT Holiday. It is evergreen and pine.

      There’s a Votivo candle called Icy Blue Pine that you can get in a travel tin.

      Yankee Candles Balsam and Cedar is fantastic. Not quite pine, but very forest-y.

      Trapp makes a White Fir that I enjoy.

      The high-end ones are real luxuries. Goutal Noel and the ultra-pricey but gorgeous Mizensir Sapin de Noel. January 26, 2013 at 11:21am Reply

      • Andy: Thanks for the reccomendations! I love Yankee Candle’s Balsam and Cedar candles because the scent diffuses so well, even in a large space. I’ll have to check and see if those MELT candles are on sale at my local Target. I saw them sometime in late November and would have purchased, but I wanted to wait until they’d be discounted (thanks for reminding me!). I’d love to try Goutal Noel, but the price makes me pause and realize that I probably wouldn’t enjoy the candle more than the Balsam and Cedar I usually use enough to justify the price. January 26, 2013 at 5:30pm Reply

        • Suzanna: The Noel candle is a luxury Christmas splurge. I normally use the Balsam and Cedar, which to my nose is the best mid-range candle. It is superior to any other holiday-themed candle from either Yankee or BBW, too.

          I always have NEST Holiday candle around, too. The MELT red candle is a copy of it, and then there was something called SPRIG from the same people who make NEST Holiday (found in TJ Maxx over Thanksgiving) that is another copy of Holiday…. January 28, 2013 at 10:20am Reply

  • Austenfan: Lovely list and reading it no one would know that you don’t actually get cold winters where you live.
    Noir Epices and Black Cashmere are especially good in winter. So is Bois de Paradis (Delrae). My scent of the day is Theorema Fendi. I have owned a bottle for quite a number of years and have always liked it. Today with all the snow outside it felt like smelling it for the first time. It’s wonderful in this cold and frosty weather. January 26, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Theorema, how great! I used to wear this alongside Rochas Absolu. I forgot about both, so what a great reminder! January 26, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

  • ojaddicte: The weather here has been punishingly cold this past week, reaching -27 degrees C with the windchill. This has led me to pull out Balenciaga Rhumba, OJ Tolu, OJ Orris Noir, EL Youth Dew, vintage YSL Nu, Clinique Aromatics Elixir, and Chopard Madness. I particularly love incense notes in cold weather, they have a calming and warming quality.
    Thank you for your list of winter favourites. There are many I have yet to sample! January 26, 2013 at 9:02pm Reply

    • Suzanna: You have now made me crave Tolu, which I haven’t had for years!

      Hope you get to try some from this list soon–I tried to make it accessible. January 27, 2013 at 10:06am Reply

  • Anita T. Monroe: Body cream, especially Sensuous and Shalimar. Also, NU by YSL is very soothing in cold weather. In the heat it is not pleasant. January 26, 2013 at 10:23pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Anita, I agree about Nu in the heat. I’ve always had trouble wearing that one so this is a good point. Two others are Bois Vanille and Attrape Coeur.

      Body creams are scrumptious in the winter! January 27, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

  • Isabelle: Dear Suzanna,

    last night was suppposed to be the coldest night of the year here in Berlin and I decided to try an scented experiment with Songes / Annick Goutal.

    Songes (I have it in the edp concentration) is a perfume I love, yet I always had difficulties to find the right moment to wear it. I associate it with hot temperatures, summer, exotic islands, etc… but each time I have worn it in summer, it was just too much on my skin, too sweet.

    So yesterday I decided to give it a try, by the very, very cold weather we had here… I didn’t regret my decision: wonderful! In the cold, dark night, surrounded by snow, the scent of frangipani, soft vanilla, tiare flower, ylang ylang, jasmine was envelopping me in a warm cloud that did not turn into the sometimes too sweet perfume I had experienced in summer.

    It is the second time I notice how the weather and temperature can be important when we wear a perfume, and this in relationship with Annick Goutal’s creations.

    Last summer during a storm I discovered how her Tubéreuse fantastic is (this perfume I just liked became within 2 hours my favorite among the tuberose scents I know, it just became so alive on my skin, “reacting” somehow to the weather conditions. Incredible). And now I had the same kind of experience with Songes. On my skin such an incredible perfume to be surrounded by in winter!

    I wish you a wonderful Sunday, kind regards,

    Isabelle January 27, 2013 at 5:03am Reply

    • Suzanna: Isabelle, I am glad you wrote this, because I have had some difficulty with Songes and finally resorted to the body cream (I had all formulations) when everything else proved too thick. Now I will wait for one of our rare “cold” days to try it again. Thank you! January 27, 2013 at 10:04am Reply

    • Annikky: What a beautiful story, Isabelle. I’m a big advocate of white florals for winter and you have confirmed my beliefs. January 27, 2013 at 12:16pm Reply

  • Ninamar: Hi everyone, I just wanted to suggest my ever favourite winter perfum: Benjoin, Prada Exclusive Line. It’s seems slightly underrated, but I think it’s one of the most wonderful scent I’ve ever tried and perfect for winter time. One thing I love about it is the strange combination of sweetness and dryness and I adore the light burnt note that’s under the balsam. Lovers of Serge Lutens and Mona di Orio have to give it a try. As an alternative (also considering the price of Benjoin!) I especially like to wear Patricia de Nicolai perfumes like Sacrebleau, Vanilla Tonka or Maharanih, they all seem to be perfect for cold weather. White flowers fans, did you ever tried Mona’s Tubereuse in winter? I did it few days ago, lovely! Just consider though that I’m no expert on cold weather living between Rome and Tunisia! Have a nice day everyone! January 28, 2013 at 4:56am Reply

    • Suzanna: Thanks for this perfectly delicious description of Prada Benjoin, something I imagine many of us have not tried!

      Also, I hate to say but my Sacrebleu went bad after a couple of years so it is all thickened basenotes. It went bad bec. I had so many bottles of perfume! Vanille Tonka is still going strong and I agree that it is just wonderful! January 28, 2013 at 10:16am Reply

  • mtmama23: I ordered The Ulda from Arcana and I love it! I have been trying to figure out why this reminds me of when I used to live in Norway. I think it IS the cardamom. I’d say that Ulda smells like it feels in Norway in January. It’s a very sensual fragrance and I can’t get enough of it. BTW, in Norway, Ulda is “Huldra”. She was rather like a land mermaid in that she beguiled men. The huldres lived in the woods, were naked , beautiful and had tails. I didn’t know about the tails until I looked it up on the internet, but I DID know folk songs about huldrene and that they were enticing females w/ bad reputations. February 1, 2013 at 9:24pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Fabulous! Thanks for the info. And glad to hear that you love the fragrance. I am sure it is the cardamom that reminds you of Norway. Enjoy! February 2, 2013 at 8:01am Reply

  • mtmama23: Do you have more Arcana recommendations? February 1, 2013 at 9:24pm Reply

    • Suzanna: It’s really hit or miss, the way fragrance oils always are. I do like Comfort Me with Apples, which might have been limited edition. February 2, 2013 at 7:58am Reply

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