10 Perfumes for Cheating Winter

There is no reason to keep citrus, white florals and other effervescent blends only for the summer month. As Elisa explains, they’re as perfect for the winter as they are year-round.

I’ve written the top 10 list for the past three winters, and both last year and the year before, I focused on traditionally seasonal perfumes – rich orientals and boozy ambers and gourmands. It’s true that in winter, I reach for my heavier perfumes about 5 days out of 7. But at least once or twice a week, I’ll get a craving for something that’s not very wintery at all, and on “cheat days” my out-of-season perfumes feel like a special treat by contrast to the usual fare.

bird cherry

Below are ten of my favorite perfumes to wear when I feel like cheating on winter.

Clarins Par Amour Toujours – We usually associate citrus with summer, but December is actually peak grapefruit season! Par Amour Toujours looks cute and harmless in the bottle, and there is some pink rose in there, but more pronounced is the invigorating grapefruit, bolstered by a blackcurrant note so green it’s almost piney.

Pinrose Treehouse Royal – There’s nothing like blackcurrant to cut through the fog of winter. Its pungent sweetness serves as a kind of palate cleanser after too many days of heavy, smoky orientals. Treehouse Royal is a great find – similar to Byredo Pulp, but much more affordable, it’s a bright mix of currant and fig, with a clean drydown like musky soap.

Lolita Lempicka L’Eau Blanc – In my mind and probably yours, cool iris by rights belongs to spring. But this soft, powdery iris with a vanilla marshmallow backdrop is wintery in a simulacrum kind of way – like playing in artificial snow on a film set.

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise – I associate galbanum with transitional periods – tender green chypres in damp spring, golden-green Ralph Lauren Safari in fall. But this winter, I’ve been loving the gentle bite of Heure Exquise, which turns normally chilly, “blue” ingredients like iris and hyacinth into something warm and soft – almost a vanilla chypre. My husband fondly remembers that when he was a little boy, his mother would return home late from parties and give him a kiss goodnight in her lingering perfume and fur coat. Heure Exquise feels to me like that borrowed memory.

Donna Karan Gold – Here’s another spring floral (lily) that I love to wear in winter. What makes Gold such an amazing lily fragrance is that it’s not a pure soliflore like, say, Frédéric Malle Lys Mediterannée, which has a watery feel that makes it cooling. Instead, Gold unexpectedly pairs lily with a salty, deep golden amber.

Givenchy Amarige – There’s a certain kind of white floral I can’t abide that smells like wan bananas. I don’t particularly like bananas and don’t usually want them mucking up my white florals. But for whatever reason, I love Amarige, which has an intense bananas-foster-like sweetness on top of a fumey (like petrol) gardenia and tuberose accord. Dated, maybe, but makes me nostalgic for an era when I was too young to wear it.


Juicy Couture – For a minute, the original Juicy Couture feels a little too sharp, a little too sweet, a little too “mall perfume.” But it turns into such a pretty, soft tuberose with a vanillic woody drydown. It’s become one of my comfort scents.

Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette – A good, slightly raunchy jasmine is always a nice vacation for the nose in flowerless winter. Jasmin et Cigarette adapts nicely to cold weather thanks to all the chewy, gingerbread-esque tobacco.

Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma – Winter perfumes can get a bit brown, can’t they? Rossy de Palma reminds me of that gleaming Ford paint color, often found on Mustangs, called Candy Apple Red. Usually described as a dark rose (due to its patchouli), I find it incredibly bright and crisp, like those high notes without vibrato in the Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute.

Tauerville Rose Flash – The top notes of Rose Flash always make me think of beer – at first I thought it was an idiosyncrasy of either my batch or my nose, but then I read a review on Fragrantica that compared the opening to “smelling fresh sticky beer dried on a bar”! Even so, this simple rose has really grown on me – it’s very jammy, but with a tart, verging-on-sour lemoniness very true to a living bloom.

How do you cheat winter? Or for those of you in the southern hemisphere, what perfumes are you wearing these days?

Also, please take a look at these lists by Grain de Musc :: Now Smell This :: The Non-Blonde

Photography by Bois de Jasmin (image 1) and by Elisa (image 2).



  • marymary: I get oysters from amarige.
    I don’t cheat winter, I go with it. Big spicy scents and wooly sweaters. But sometimes
    I spray around an organic neroli water I picked up in HK. It lasts about five seconds but it’s a terrific five seconds. January 22, 2016 at 7:23am Reply

    • Nora Szekely: I war my thick wooly sweaters and spay on some light scent so I still feel warm but springy too 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 8:25am Reply

      • Nora Szekely: Not war but wear of course! 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 8:25am Reply

    • Elisa: Oysters! Well, that could be festive I guess? January 22, 2016 at 8:59am Reply

  • Kat: I’m cheating winter with YSL Paris and with Caudalie’s Rose de Vigne. Apparently Roses are the key ingredient to cheat the season 😉 January 22, 2016 at 7:42am Reply

    • Elisa: I wear roses year round, but Paris does seem like an especially springy one! What’s the Caudalie like? January 22, 2016 at 9:00am Reply

      • Kat: It’s what I call a good mood scent. Starts a tad too sweet and fruity for days when I look for something crisp and refined but the dry down is lovely and soft (rose and amber). January 22, 2016 at 9:10am Reply

        • Elisa: That sounds nice! January 22, 2016 at 9:19am Reply

  • Marsha: I don’t have much of a choice because my nose is very picky and sometimes I can’t wear certain things. However, spring fall, winter or summer, rain or shine, my most versatile perfume is 10 Corso Como. I know it won’t make me nauseous or give me a migraine. January 22, 2016 at 8:01am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s good to have one of those! January 22, 2016 at 9:01am Reply

  • Marsha: I finished reading the rest of yours after I entered my post and you took me back to my teenage years! My first car was a ’67 Mustang. However, it wasn’t candy apple red, it was dark green. My brother had a friend who had one that was red. I did love that stupid car. January 22, 2016 at 8:03am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh how cool! My dad used to kind of “collect” (and restore) old MG’s — he had one that was “British racing green” that has since been sold, but he still has a bright red one. It’s adorable. January 22, 2016 at 9:02am Reply

  • LaDomna: I generally only feel like pretty florals in the spring and citrus only in the summer… All my favorites are of the autumn/winter variety so I cheat summer and spring all the time and wear some winter favorites then too, but I never really feel the need to cheat winter. I always enjoy heavy white florals though, especially animalic ones… Stuff like HdP Tuberose 3 Animale, Mona di Orio Nuit Noire, Olympic Orchids Tropic of Capricorn, and so on. January 22, 2016 at 8:09am Reply

    • Elisa: I wear winter perfumes in the summer too. Sometimes amber or incense smells so good on hot skin. I love the heaviness of NR for Her on a hot day. January 22, 2016 at 9:05am Reply

      • Surbhi: I would think so. Amber, incense, woods etc are a big part of indian and south asian region. And those parts are not exactly cold. January 22, 2016 at 9:02pm Reply

  • Nick: Rose flash is opulence. It feels like a hot rose with a sharpness. It seems like the antithesis to Une Rose, to me. Would you say that the materials used for both roses are different in terms of species, origins, and extraction methods? January 22, 2016 at 8:16am Reply

    • Elisa: “A hot rose,” I love that! It’s been a while since I smelled Une Rose, but I think it gets its character in part from synthetics, whereas the character of Rose Flash seems quite natural to me. If I was going to go Chandler Burr and use an art metaphor, Une Rose to me feels sharply in focus like photorealism and Rose Flash feels much more impressionistic (but the impression is still very real). January 22, 2016 at 9:08am Reply

      • Nick: Somehow I just get these vibes when I think of the name: Rose FLASH.

        Oh, yes! Photorealistic, indeed. I was kind of looking for a word to describe the impression. Une Rose is perpetual. It is captured in the red velvet moment of its prime. January 22, 2016 at 10:51am Reply

        • Elisa: Yes, one thinks of a rose caught in the brightness of a flash photo! Of course Andy is doing other flashes too but it particularly fits the rose one, whereas the incense for example is not flashy at all. January 22, 2016 at 10:58am Reply

          • Nick: After Encre Noire earlier today, I switched to Pamplelune– the kind of searing, sulphurous fumes of grapefruit to cheat winter.

            Or, Mediterraneo to remind me that summer is not far away. January 22, 2016 at 2:31pm Reply

            • Elisa: Ah, Pamplelune! it’s so marvelous. January 22, 2016 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Nora Szekely: HI Victoria, Elisa and perfume lovers,

    My top 5 choices are :

    1. La chasse aux papillons by L’Artisan : even looking at the bottle cheers me up, let alone the delicate floral scent that reminds me of springtime
    2. Stella Nude by Stella McCartney : a sheer rosy scent that feels like walking in a garden in summer
    3. Eau de Magnolia by Frederic Malle : this one I wear because it reminds me of the lovely summer day last year when I first tried it
    4. L’heure bleue by Guerlain: to me its all year round scent, with its fragile smell it fits a snowy, melancholic day and lifts my spirits January 22, 2016 at 8:23am Reply

    • Elisa: Eau de Magnolia was one of my summer favorites last year!

      La Chasse is so pretty and I’ve noticed that they have it in a rollerball at Sephora now. Tempting… January 22, 2016 at 9:09am Reply

    • Victoria: A lovely list, and I agree on Eau de Magnolia, because it feels especially right on cold, icy days. January 22, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

  • audrey: I have been cheating winter left and right this year because it’s been awful. My cheaters this year: Jasmin 17, Terracotta 2014, Quelques Fleurs parfum, Aqua Universalis, and Bel Respiro. It’s definitely been helping to remind me that this isn’t forever. I’ve had 6 inches + of snow in my yard since november 20. we’re finally hitting a thaw…..i think my summer fragrances worked as some kind of sun dance. January 22, 2016 at 8:58am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m sorry it’s been so awful where you are! It’s been pretty mild here in Denver.

      I finished a decant of Terracotta in the fall and I already miss it. January 22, 2016 at 9:13am Reply

    • Surbhi: We are in for big storm this weekend. I will try summer scents Jasmine from arabian oud (I don’t remember the name) and Eau de Magnolia always works. January 22, 2016 at 9:06pm Reply

  • jirish: I love roses in the winter, so I’m right with you in the Rose Flash. Also love Un Fille de Berlin in wintertime. But for my real cheating winter perfume, I wear Jour d’Hermes. January 22, 2016 at 9:05am Reply

    • Nora Szekely: Jour is like subshine in a bottle, don’t you think, jirish?
      Any kind of rose scent is welcome by me during winter. January 22, 2016 at 9:14am Reply

    • Elisa: Jour d’Hermes is a good cheat! And I also love Fille de Berlin in winter — I got some for Christmas one year so I kind of associate it with cold weather anyway. January 22, 2016 at 9:17am Reply

    • kpaint: Jour is so unapologetically buoyant and happy – it’s like the optimism of youth in liquid form. I wore it a lot last winter. January 23, 2016 at 7:07pm Reply

  • Patricia: I like grapefruit in winter, too, and often turn to Jour d’Hermes for a refreshing blast of citrus.

    What a wonderful memory of that perfumed fur coat goodnight kiss. My mother also smelled of cigarettes and whatever cocktail she had at the party! (Jasmin et Cigarette?) January 22, 2016 at 9:41am Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, I can picture it so clearly it’s like it’s my own memory!

      My mother very, very rarely went to parties, but she did have a fur coat in the 80s (which she didn’t really in Texas…) and it fascinated me as a child. I’d just sit there petting her. January 22, 2016 at 9:43am Reply

      • JoDee: My mother had a fur coat in the 80s and I would do the same thing! I would snuggle close to the fur and pretend like it was a big, furry dog. 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 7:35pm Reply

  • Michaela: Good idea! I use to think my winter perfumes are the sweet, warm or spicy. But sometimes I pass them and I reach for a cologne (Hermes or Bulgari), or Silences, or First; Encre Noire, too, for a dry uplifting vetiver. Eau des Merveilles feels good for me during frost days, with its bright cooling saltiness.
    Now that we talk about it, I think I could give greens a try: Private Collection, Mito, Le Temps d’Une Fete. These may bring a spring feeling to a sunny snowy day.

    As I don’t know any of the perfumes you write about, except Amarige, I am grateful for your helpful descriptions. January 22, 2016 at 9:53am Reply

    • Elisa: I like both greens and aldehydes in winter! I used to have a bottle of First, but I swapped it when I realized that when I wanted something like that, I always reached for White Linen instead. I still really like it though. January 22, 2016 at 9:57am Reply

      • Michaela: Good choice! With White Linen you get roses, too 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 10:24am Reply

        • Elisa: Yes! In fact I never appreciated the roses in White Linen until I smelled it next to First. January 22, 2016 at 10:32am Reply

        • Raquel: Dear Michaela, thank you again for your recommendation Al Haramain’s Attar Al Kaaba oil, I love it!! January 22, 2016 at 3:41pm Reply

          • Michaela: I’m so glad you like it! Opulent without being overwhelming.
            I forgot, this lush and spicy rose is another one that I like to wear to ‘cheat’ winter 🙂 January 25, 2016 at 4:32am Reply

    • Mals86: I wear Le Temps d’une Fete all year, but I notice that the woods and patchouli seem more prominent to me in cold weather. January 22, 2016 at 10:53am Reply

  • Aurora: Hello Elisa: an interesting topic and a great list.

    My cheating florals are Mary Greenwell Plum, I like this white floral quite a bit, vintage L’Air du Temps, it holds its carnation goodness in the cold, and Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum. January 22, 2016 at 10:27am Reply

    • Elisa: I think of Plum as the upscale version of Juicy Couture! January 22, 2016 at 10:32am Reply

    • Mals86: Oh, I agree on MG Plum – and it holds up quite well in cold weather. (The top of Juicy Couture parfum smells very similar, but I find the edp way way past too watermelony. I have been layering the JC body butter with Plum lately.) January 22, 2016 at 11:00am Reply

      • Elisa: I saw that on your blog! I like the EDP but the parfum is definitely better. January 22, 2016 at 11:13am Reply

      • Aurora: So glad we agree Mals, Plum is a minor masterpiece imo and interested by what both Elisa and you say about Juicy Couture. January 22, 2016 at 11:58am Reply

  • Robin: Great list, and love that you stuck to 1 topic! And now I need to go look for the beer in the Tauerville. I definitely get plastic up front (not uncommon in rose) but had never noticed beer. January 22, 2016 at 10:51am Reply

    • Elisa: Maybe beer and plastic are related! I always thought the original Miss Dior Cherie had a beer note too. But more like, cheap light beer in a can with that one. (I’ve grown to like that one too.) January 22, 2016 at 10:55am Reply

  • limegreen: Jo Loves Pomelo and also the Thai Lime Mango. And sometimes En Passant does the trick, but lately, Sa Majeste la Rose has been a favorite. Discovered that it has less of that “bug spray citronella” rose thingy in the cooler weather. January 22, 2016 at 10:59am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m really curious about that Thai one. I love a lime note in perfume. January 22, 2016 at 11:01am Reply

  • Victoria: I’m cheating winter today with a bunch of mimosa, a box of chocolate almonds and a splash of Guerlain Mahora. 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 11:23am Reply

    • Elisa: Someone this week on NST was wearing the limited edition Amarige Mimosa — did you ever try it? It was so good! I wish I had some right now. January 22, 2016 at 11:25am Reply

      • Victoria: I only smelled it once, but I also remember it as an even better version of Amarige, not so much because there was a lot of mimosa but because it was more radiant and softer. January 22, 2016 at 11:30am Reply

        • Elisa: Yes, it was like Amarige somehow made delicate. January 22, 2016 at 11:55am Reply

      • Sorrel: The Diptyque limited edition mimosa from last year (Essences Insensees) is beautiful. I just found a bottle on eBay. May well have seen it recommended on here originally. January 23, 2016 at 9:40am Reply

  • Ann: So versatile is an interesting aspiration. I guess it translates to “when you’re not sure, what perfumes still usually work regardless of weather, etc.” Mine are:

    Baiser Vole
    Infusion d’Iris
    Mitsouko extrait
    Encre Noir (homme) January 22, 2016 at 11:43am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m guessing this comment was meant for Victoria’s poll located here! https://boisdejasmin.com/2016/01/most-versatile-perfumes-poll.html 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 12:12pm Reply

      • Ann: Errrrr… yes. Hmmm. Sorry. I must have had both open at the same time. Better get another cup of coffee!!! January 22, 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Jackie: But since Ann posted here, I just want to remark on the number of mentions of Encre Noir in that thread, which I’ve never tried but now is on the top of my list.

      Interestingly, I often see it compared to one of my top go-to’s, Le Labo Vetiver 46 (which was really just a ruse to mention it again!) 😉

      Here in Vancouver, BC, our winter challenge is not snow or even cold really, but rain, rain, rain, endless rain, grey sky, and a damp chill.

      On those days, Tocca Cleopatra (which I actually just on sprayed lavishly) brings a little sunshine. January 22, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

      • Jackie: Anyone have suggestions for a fragrance that would counter that kind of grey wet winter? Something very dry perhaps. January 22, 2016 at 12:41pm Reply

        • Jackie: Ah, I see Michaela also mentions Encre Noir above, and refers to it as “dry”! January 22, 2016 at 12:45pm Reply

          • Elisa: It was actually too dry for me! I had a sample that I passed on to my husband, I enjoyed it on him.

            For some reason I always crave licorice when it’s wet out but that’s more like matching the weather than counteracting it. January 22, 2016 at 12:47pm Reply

            • Jackie: LOL! Licorice does seem to match wet weather somehow! I’m suddenly craving a piece of soft black licorice!

              Licorice is actually one of the prevalent notes in Cleopatra but what I love is the way it’s balanced out by citrus and other notes.

              However!! It also has a predominant green note, which feels damp!

              Encre Noir “too dry”? Will definitely have to try it then! I may dash out to find a sample today! January 22, 2016 at 1:07pm Reply

        • Ann: Yes! Dzonkha! We are having (thankfully) a very wet winter in the SF Bay Area… Dzonkha, dry as a bone and beautiful!

          I am a total Encre Noir pusher! But make sure you try the pour homme. I once tried the one for women but it did not even register! It is a totally different, and in my opinion, unremarkable scent. January 22, 2016 at 12:55pm Reply

          • Ann: Oh dear dear dear me. That would be Dzongkha with a G, as in Bhutan…. January 22, 2016 at 12:56pm Reply

            • Jackie: Ah, great idea, Ann! I love Dzongkha (my only blind buy, thanks to all the love it gets on this blog). Yes, very dry: heading upstairs to find!!

              OK, now I _really_ have to zip out to find a sample of EN, you pusher!

              So glad to hear California’s getting rain!!! January 22, 2016 at 1:11pm Reply

        • SilverMoon: Hello Jackie,
          my suggestion for countering wet wet rainy winters is not to go for the opposite (dry), but rather to add another aspect related to rainy weather that has pleasant/cheering rather than dismal associations: I think, soft, delicate spring floral perfumes do this best. At least here in the UK, spring typically is also rainy, but has such a vibrant feel to the wetness. So, maybe perfumes with daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells, mimosa, lilac, etc would be a great antidote to the grim cold winter rain.

          This echoes Elisa’s lovely idea of perfumes to cheat winter. I do exactly like Elisa in reaching for these soft/bright/cheerful perfumes every now and then as a change from the more typical wintery warm, comforting and spicy ones. January 22, 2016 at 5:36pm Reply

          • Elisa: I like this “hack” to make the rain feel like it’s more about wet flowers than mud! January 22, 2016 at 5:39pm Reply

            • SilverMoon: Elisa, its more like fooling myself into thinking that spring is around the corner! And somehow the damp air goes very well with spring flowers. January 22, 2016 at 5:44pm Reply

              • kpaint: I’ve been doing this, too, but really thinking spring *is* around the corner with the mild, wet, springy days we’ve had in the PacNW. Cartier Baiser Volé, Rosine Glam Rose, Ormonde Jayne Sampquita, Chanel Beige and No 19, and Balenciaga Paris have all fit the bill. January 23, 2016 at 7:29pm Reply

                • Elisa: Glam Rose sounds like my kinda scent, I should get a sample of that. January 23, 2016 at 9:08pm Reply

                  • kpaint: It’s frivolous and fun, without a hint of sentimentality that often crops up in the genre.

                    Your post reminded me to finally try Heure Exquise, which I bought a decant of in late summer but didn’t appeal to me at that time of year.

                    It’s lovely – warm and creamy with a wisp of cool iris. It recalls the original Oscar de la Renta, but where Oscar (in extrait) reads golden to me, Heure Exquise has a frosty silver edge. I’m wishing I’d bought a bigger decant. January 24, 2016 at 2:41am Reply

                    • Elisa: I only have a decant of HE myself, but would love more if I run across it some day. January 24, 2016 at 11:26am

          • Karen (A): Very good idea! Ostara would be a good one. January 23, 2016 at 5:31am Reply

            • Jackie: Hi Karen, all signs are pointing in the direction of Ostara. Didn’t V say it was on sale somewhere? January 23, 2016 at 1:35pm Reply

              • Notturno7: I love that Victoria! Mimosa, chocolate and some nice perfume. That sounds like my ‘recipe’ for gloomy weather. I’d include for good girlfriends and hey, it makes any weather look manageable ? January 23, 2016 at 9:53pm Reply

              • Karen (A): Yes! It is (hopefully not was) on sale on their US web site, which I’m assuming is the one you would use? January 24, 2016 at 6:39am Reply

          • Jackie: Hi SilverMoon. Thank you! That is a wonderful suggestion. Our weather here on Canada’s “wet coast” is similar to yours. I love your description of a kind of vibrancy to the rain in spring! (though we get a lot of sun in spring; fall and winter are our monsoons seasons.) A cheerful spring floral sounds like just the ticket for hurrying spring along! Here, snowdrops are blooming, daffodils are starting, and even our camellia is starting to bud, so things are looking up. I bought pink tulips yesterday to get in the mood too.

            I am a woods/leather/incense lover; for florals I love iris and rose, but the more “cheerful” florals is the direction I want to explore next actually (I’m about a year into this perfume world). I sampled Chanel 5 eau Premiere the other day (seeing how often it was mentioned on Victoria’s “versatile” poll!) and really enjoyed it. Would that be considered a spring floral of the kind you mention?

            Which fragrances fit that bill for you? January 23, 2016 at 1:33pm Reply

            • SilverMoon: hi Jackie, the best example I can think off is Diorissimo. Others would be Jo Malone Orange Blossom (it is also great in summer), Penhaligon’s Ostara (recently reviewed by Victoria) and Lily of the Valley.

              You mention you like Iris and rose, so maybe Terre d’Iris (Miller Harris) or Iris Poudre (Fredric Malle), and earthy or fresh roses like Une Rose (FM) or Red Roses (JM) respectively. Les Parfums de Rosine have all kinds of rose combinations. One interestingly fresh one is Roseberry (roses and raspberry leaves).

              Hope you like some of these. Also, amazed to hear you already have spring flowers appearing. At this point, I have seen the daffodil stalks/leaves come out, but don’t expect to see any flowers before later in February if we are lucky. January 23, 2016 at 4:55pm Reply

              • Karen (A): What great suggestions! January 24, 2016 at 6:40am Reply

                • Nora Szekely: Hi Jackie,
                  It’s so good to be on a quest and sampling many new scents, right? 🙂
                  I suggest you try L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain that does the trick for me on a rainy day. I use EDT but it might worth to try the others too to see which concentration you like.
                  As iris lover, I also suggest Shalimar Parfum Initial which is sadly discontinued but still available in some shops and online.
                  On the other hand, the driest scent I ever smelled (with incense so it should be a bonus for you) must be Sahara noir by Tom Ford. It is the opposite of complimenting the rain , it will transport you to the driest desert. I only have decants I ordered online, but the scent is so intense that my 2 ml should last at least 15 usage.
                  A last note, a nice incensy scent is Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan perfumeur that is a little gem. January 25, 2016 at 6:59am Reply

        • Surbhi: Musc Ravageur works for me. But that scent works for me all the time. So I say tread with caution as people have love hate relationship with it. January 22, 2016 at 9:13pm Reply

      • Elisa: I never paid much attention to Tocca until last year when I came into a bottle of Margaux. It’s so nice and easy, I reach for it a lot. January 22, 2016 at 12:45pm Reply

        • Jackie: I hadn’t paid them much attention either (dismissed them even :/), until Karen A sent me a generous mini of Cleopatra last year, which I would also describe as “easy” though that’s not to say “simple.”

          Will have to try Margaux. January 22, 2016 at 12:53pm Reply

  • OperaFan: Funny you should mention Safari – I rediscovered it in recent years and enjoy it now more than back in its initial release. Since it’s meant to evoke the great African landscape, it’s the perfect winter (escape) scent for me.
    I also like Mahora and Amaranthine (the latter seems to have gone missing in the Penhaligons catalog) for their rich tropical flower notes. January 22, 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    • Elisa: Safari is so rich and opulent. I wore it just the other day. January 22, 2016 at 11:57am Reply

    • Mals86: I’ve become addicted to Safari over the last couple of years. It’s so wonderful!

      I think Amaranthine is d/c now. Pity. January 24, 2016 at 10:14am Reply

      • OperaFan: Pity indeed…. January 24, 2016 at 9:27pm Reply

  • Karen (A): Fun post – and with a blizzard forecasted to arrive in a few hours, I’m all for any kind of escape. Started the day with a small spritz of Shalimar, but inspired by your list and comments posted, went and tried some warm weather fragrances to see which felt right. So, road testing Eau de Magnolia, Tubereuse Criminelle, A la Nuit and Rose Flash – will see which wins! Now, a cup of cocoa and (re)reading Gorky Park while waiting for the snow to begin falling. January 22, 2016 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Elisa: Wearing 5 or 6 different out of season fragrances sounds like a GREAT way to spend a snow day! January 22, 2016 at 12:31pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Will see how it goes! Although I have a feeling Shalimar may be back on in a few hours…… January 22, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

    • Mals86: Gosh, it’s been years since I read Gorky Park. LOVE Martin Cruz Smith. January 22, 2016 at 12:33pm Reply

      • Karen (A): It sounded like a perfect read during a snow storm! Plus, got two other books by him from the library – really looking forward to Tatiana. Great interview with him on the Diane Rehm show a few years ago. January 22, 2016 at 12:51pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Have you read Tatiana? Got me through the first day and night of the blizzard. January 24, 2016 at 6:42am Reply

        • Mals86: I’ve read that one – it was good. Haven’t gotten my mitts on #6 or 7 in the Renko series, though. Maybe I’ll get them for my Kindle… #5 (Wolves Eat Dogs) made me cry.

          I also loved Rose, which is a standalone and very different from the Arkady books. January 24, 2016 at 10:12am Reply

          • Karen (A): Definitely going to check out some others in the series. January 24, 2016 at 9:41pm Reply

    • Jackie: That sounds like a heavenly day, Karen! January 22, 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

    • JoDee: I actually wore Carnal Flower yesterday to counteract the cold weather. It worked remarkably well. This past summer it is what I wore on my vacation to the beach so it reminded me of relaxation and warmer days. January 22, 2016 at 7:42pm Reply

    • Surbhi: Do you mind sharing more of your fragrance wardrobe ?? You listed some of my favorites again. So I was thinking what other gems can I discover ! Just curious ! January 22, 2016 at 9:16pm Reply

      • Karen (A): We probably have many of the same fragrances! Arpege is what started me down the perfume-world rabbit hole, and although I don’t wear it often now I always have a bottle. Guerlains seem to work well for me, Mitsouko and L’heure Bleu, L’hB layers well with Bois des Iles (which is a beauty), Chamade is my current crush. Warm weather Rose Nacree du Désert – tried it in the cold, but realized it works better in spring/summer. Flora Rosa in warm weather. Nahema -sparkly rose, pure parfum now discontinued. Shalimar cause it’s Shalimar.

        I’ve got large samples of the following which I like a lot, but given the price don’t know if I’d buy a bottle – Cuir Beluga (very very rich – works well mixed in to unscented lotion), Oriental Brûlant, Boisé Torride, Gourmand Coquin, French Kiss.

        Frederic Malle – PoaL, Une Fleur de Cassie (was surprised to see it on several versitile comments, I love it but think twice before wearing casually), Carnal Flower, Lipstick Rose, Eau de Magnolia, En Passant, and Dries Van Noten. Bigarade Concentree and French Lover are two that I wouldn’t normally think of as me, but I enjoy them.

        Coco parfum and EDP, 31 Rue Chambon, Sycomore, (and #5) all get lots of wear. Coromandel would if it didn’t cause a reaction on me.

        Tom Ford – Fleur de Chine and Shanghai Lily. I forget if you’ve mentioned SL – give it a try if you haven’t. Sahara Noir, large sample that’s lasted a while.

        Lutens – La Fille, Tuberuese Criminelle and A la Nuit. Love La Myrrhe (have a decant, not sure I’d use a bottle in my lifetime) and Ambre Sultan. I was really surprised that Rose de Nuit did nothing for me, thought it would be wonderful, unless my decant was off.

        Enjoy Rose Flash, initially loved Une Rose Chypre but it seems a bit bitter on me now.

        Diptique’s Aoud Palao sampling and loving.

        ELdO – sampling and loving Like This and Bijou Romantique

        Would never want to be without Fracas or Velevet Rose and Oud.

        Jumped on the La Panthère craze, but don’t wear it often. But do think I will be wearing Ostara a lot!
        Plan on buying a bottle this spring of Van Cleef & Arpel’s Gardenia Petale.
        Avon’s Haiku is a very very pretty cherry blossom, nice in early spring. I mentioned Cavalli’s Oro as an incredibly rich Amber at an absurdly low price. My Angel sample makes me want to buy a bottle, and I have wonderful memories of Lolita Lempicka.

        Nothing really out-there or possibly offensive. Not really any greens or teas, or “dry” fragrances. Enough samples and decants that I should think a lot before buying a bottle of anything, but…… Hoping to soon have a bottle of Ruh by Pekji, a new line by a Turkish perfumer – will let you know how it is!

        Your turn! January 23, 2016 at 6:35am Reply

        • Elisa: Oro is an underrated gem! January 23, 2016 at 10:43am Reply

          • Karen (A): Isn’t it? Price is absurd – like one of those late night commercials – Prices so low you can buy 10 bottles for the cost of 1!! January 24, 2016 at 6:50am Reply

            • Elisa: The bottle is truly ugly which is perhaps the price we must pay for it 🙂 January 24, 2016 at 11:24am Reply

              • Karen (A): I know – it’s so goofy and easily tips over. Be a great perfume to decant in to a beautiful atomizer. January 24, 2016 at 9:42pm Reply

        • Surbhi: Woke up in the morning and read the post. It put a smile on my face. Will put together mine in a bit ! Thank you so much. January 23, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

        • Surbhi: I am new to appreciating the perfumes and perfume as a hobby. But I grew up smelling flowers ( a lot of them all the time).

          I used to wear esteem lauder pleasures and D&G light blue almost every day as I had to wear something smelling nice and safe every day. They are gone now.

          In trying to find a new perfect scent that would be mood uplifting, I came across Musc Ravageur and that was it. It is going to a crazy level now.

          I own quite a few rose ones:
          La Fille de berlin, Sa majaste la rose, ja malone rose / oud , Lumiere Noir pour femme by MFK, a bulgarian rose attar from arabian oud (I don’t know its name) I love all of them equally. I Am wearing Sa majesty la rose today. Its snow and mess outside. Just perfect !

          I also have few samples of Creed’s. I would love to buy them but for their price.
          Fleur de the Rose Bulgare – I am not sure if there is any better rose than this. This sample is treasured.
          Fleurissimo – White florals, very very elegant. Some day maybe.

          Jasmine and white florals: Couple of Jasmine attars from arabian oud, A la suit, La tulipe

          I have the mini of all the FM perfumes. Depending on the day one becomes my favorite over other. I might not like all of them but I like smelling them here and there. Currently in love with Carnal Flower, Dries van noten

          I never really appreciate Eau de Magnolia as I should. I Wear it so often that my large bottle is 2/3 gone. When in doubt I put it on.

          From my samples and decants: Le lab oud 27, diptyique essences Insensses, YSL majestic rose, odin no 7 and no 12, odin milieu rose, poaL, velvet oud by Maison Francis Kurkdijan, Tom Ford oud wood (works great with Jasmine)

          I have few other samples that I haven’t tried at yet. Also, waiting for ostara. I have read so much about tubrsose crimille and fracas in last few days here that I want to try those as well. I also got Jadore as a gift. I don’t feel like trying it.

          No Channel on my list. From the perfumes that I tried none worked on my skin or for my nose.

          I am going to try a few from your list. Sounds interesting to me.
          If I have to recommend one from my list I will say try Sa majesty la rose. (I sprayed it today after few months). It is a beauty. January 23, 2016 at 9:50pm Reply

          • Karen (A): Thank you so much for sharing your list! Sa majesty goes on my must-try list. FM perfumes really lend themselves to addiction, don’t they? Musc Ravageur is stunning – complex with a lot of depth.

            Are you also on the east coast? If so, I hope you go through the blizzard safely – it will be days before our driveway is plowed out but (knocking on wood furiously) power has stayed on. January 24, 2016 at 6:58am Reply

            • Surbhi: FM – Hats of to him and his team. I wish I would have known earlier.

              Yes, east coast. But we are not hit that bad. Less than 10 inches. Good luck to you and stay safe. May all your rose bring the cheer while you are snowed in!

              I put on Rose atar and jasmine pearl tea and then dug my car out. January 24, 2016 at 4:17pm Reply

    • SilverMoon: Hi Karen, hope the snow bound perfume testing was successful? Who won? Mine would have been Tuberose Criminelle among those you tested.

      The BBC had quite some coverage about the blizzard in the DC area. Hope all is fine and you are cozy at home? January 23, 2016 at 5:27pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Thank you Silvermoon! Yes, snug and warm – failed sewing project and making cinnamon rolls got me through yesterday! Decided to stick with thewarmth of Shalimar – the strong winds made me feel unsettled enough that I just wanted comfort in the storm. But, of all I spritzed, TC was the one that I liked best in the cold (but I didn’t give Carnal Flower a try and I can see it being beautiful on a cold day as JoDee writes above) Will wear it to celebrate once we are plowed out (hopefully by Tuesday!!) January 24, 2016 at 7:07am Reply

  • Christina L.: What a great article! I was giddy to read on your list, Donna Karan Gold. This has been my go-to winter scent whenever I wanted a break from my richer, oriental scents (e.g., Tom Ford Shanghai Lily). There’s something about this perfume that makes me want to wear it with a cozy sweater. January 22, 2016 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Elisa: Yay, another DK Gold fan! I love the contrast of the warm amber with the freshness of the lily. January 22, 2016 at 12:34pm Reply

      • Christina L.: Yes, I really love the contrast of lily and amber. *swoon* January 22, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

      • Notturno7: I have to try DK Gold. It sounds wonderful and I love lillies ❤️ January 24, 2016 at 5:14am Reply

    • Mals86: Gold is good stuff. (Shanghai Lily always seems to me like it’s the offspring of Gold and Black Cashmere!) January 22, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

      • Elisa: I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about Shanghai Lily. I expected love at first sniff, but it actually came across as too rich to me. I need to retest. January 22, 2016 at 12:39pm Reply

        • Christina L.: I would be curious to know your thoughts on Shanghai Lily when you retest. I don’t think this scent is everyone’s cup of tea. It is very rich indeed, so a little bit goes a long way. January 22, 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

      • Christina L.: Interesting! I need to sample Black Cashmere. January 22, 2016 at 12:53pm Reply

  • Ann: Given my track record this morning, I hope this winds up in the correct place!

    My cheating winter scents tend to be jasmines–Joy edt, Kilian’s Imperial Tea, even La Chasse aux Papillons, if I feel I can defy gravity. January 22, 2016 at 12:51pm Reply

    • Elisa: I think you’re good!

      Oh, you have me craving Joy big time. I haven’t worn it in forever — my bottle is in storage, I had decanted some to a smaller purse spray but that’s been empty for a while. Might crack that out today. January 22, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Kaat: when the wind is chill and freezing cold, i use
    Amouage Lyric, very comforting and it is hugging me in a nice way, removes the cold a bit, i wear it all year around, but prefer wintertime
    Amouage interlude, love the incenses and the wafts this scent makes me happy
    Chanel coco noir, also warm comfort scent
    Mitsouko extract always doing wel on me in colder day’s or extremely hot day’s
    Aqua Allegoria Figue – Iris when im in a soft mood
    Atelier cologne Silver iris. comforting and pleasing me,
    Chanel nr 19 first perfect on cold rain on my skin gifs me spring is coming up.
    Rania Rasasi floral woody warm and exotic it lingers very close to the skin and let me feel good,
    i choose warm fragrances for this time of the year, also pretty heavy scents for the most, but i feel them like a silk scarf around me, when its chill,

    those are the ones i use the most when it is very cold. we have a chill factor here with icy wind, so ill take the balance to bring some warmt by having the wafts of the scents all day 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 5:06pm Reply

    • Elisa: When I lived in Boston I rarely strayed from warmer heavier scents in winter because it was SO COLD there! In Colorado you can get away with wearing almost anything in winter, but I still find that perfumes feel different in different seasons. I see you also enjoy iris in winter! January 22, 2016 at 5:09pm Reply

      • Kaat: yes the Iris is doing great in all seasons on me, its cozy warm dark, and not maintain, its special 🙂 January 22, 2016 at 5:14pm Reply

  • Johanob: Winter cheats?All my “beachy” scents come out to play in Winter!Terracotta,Bronze Goddess,Comptoir sud Pacifique’s Vanille Abricot and of course Mahora! January 22, 2016 at 5:43pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’ve been using jasmine shower gel and coconut body cream this winter, feeling very beachy in the shower! January 23, 2016 at 10:34am Reply

  • Old Herbaceous: Two Penhaligon’s scents have been my “cheats” this winter so far, with its alternating days of unseasonal warmth and sudden frosts. They are Blasted Bloom, and Ostara. Ostara in particular, with its notes of narcissus, feels right on those January days of thaw and sun when the bulbs are almost fooled into thinking spring has come. January 22, 2016 at 7:33pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’ve got to order a sample of Ostara! January 23, 2016 at 10:34am Reply

  • Ann: I wore Aqua Sextius today and felt summery even in the cold and snow. So refreshing!

    Another one I wear to put me in a light mood is Hedonist Cassis- it starts off with a cool grapefruit… January 22, 2016 at 8:29pm Reply

    • Elisa: Hedonist Cassis sounds right up my alley. I love that kind of scent. January 23, 2016 at 10:36am Reply

  • Jo: I’m glad to see this kind of winter list, as I’ve been determinedly ignoring winter myself with my rotation! I’ve been reaching for California Reverie and Caligna more than is reasonable during these sunless months, with a good amount of effervescent No. 5 too. Wearing them has been so uplifting! January 22, 2016 at 9:02pm Reply

    • Elisa: I love California Reverie! I reviewed it a while back — it was one of my favorites last year. January 23, 2016 at 10:36am Reply

  • Chin C.: The winter cheaters for me are the big white florals. Wearing Do Son Edp on this very cold day. It’s sunshine in a bottle. January 23, 2016 at 7:03am Reply

    • Elisa: There’s something fabulous about white florals in winter. Especially tuberose since they have a cool green aspect that sort of matches the weather. January 23, 2016 at 10:40am Reply

  • Mendokuse: I’ve been cheating this particular winter with Geranium Pour Monsieur. January 23, 2016 at 7:14am Reply

    • Elisa: An elegant cheat scent! January 23, 2016 at 10:40am Reply

  • Elisa P: My winter escape has been white floral bath products. Nothing like steam and a BWF (Lush Godiva shampoo bar and Fracas shower cream).
    Cacharel Lou Lou is a recent discovery for me that feels tropical and cheerful but has such a cozy drydown. How did I miss this one?
    Rossy is year round for me. A favorite. I also love Jasmin et Cigarette. If I had it, I’d be wearing it.
    Cristalle edp feels both sparkling and warm and I’ve been craving it on cold days. January 23, 2016 at 10:50am Reply

    • Elisa: Loulou is one of my favorites! It’s wonderful in winter and the name and the bottle make me happy.

      Fracas shower cream sounds extremely luxurious. January 23, 2016 at 11:52am Reply

    • Notturno7: Thanks for the reminder. Elisa P.
      I have the bottle of Lou Lou stashed away and will take it out and use. A need a tropical feel to get me through the winter days. I haven’t used it in few years. Yay! I feel like I just got a new perfume.
      Victoria thanks for Ostara review. I can’t wait for the package to come and it was a blind purchase but I can’t wait.
      I use Fleur de Cassie, Carnal Flower, Angel, No 22, Hanae Mori to lighten and brighten the days, but rely on my heavier perfumes for the winter, like Coco (sitting in a happy Coco ‘cloud’ right now), Opium, Vol de Nuit, Shalimar or Aromatic Elixir
      By the way, they told me Ostara isn’t on sale any more but I managed to still get it cause I left them few!! messages last week in NY right before they closed for the weekend. January 23, 2016 at 10:05pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Ohhh, Hanae Mori – years ago it was all I wore, and I remember going through three bottles of it! January 24, 2016 at 7:11am Reply

        • Elisa: I love Hanae Mori, one of my absolute favorite comfort scents. January 24, 2016 at 11:23am Reply

        • Notturno7: Nice, Karen A?
          I love using the body cream (I got the whole tester gratis from the sales assistant in Nordstrom because I have been buying so many fragrances from her) with Hanae Mori perfume. You used 3 bottles!!! That’s quite a feat ? January 25, 2016 at 3:23am Reply

  • Julie L: The subject of “hot roses” caught my eye earlier today. Looking to try a rosy fragrance which is not too rosy…but maybe deeper and hot??? January 23, 2016 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Elisa: I will have to do some thinking on “hot roses”! I immediately thought of Broadway Nite because in my mind it is hot pink.

      I wouldn’t call it hot but if you want a deep rose fragrance that is not TOO rosy you might try something like Geranium Bourbon (from Miller Harris) — it is rosy but very rich and dark and not pretty/girly like a tea rose. January 23, 2016 at 4:25pm Reply

  • Melinda: I’m glad to see you mention Lolita Lempicka L’Eau Blanc. I’ve been wearing it a lot this winter. It goes great with a cashmere sweater! January 23, 2016 at 10:18pm Reply

    • Elisa: It’s my favorite kind of iris, with vanilla and a soft suede-like feel. I’m glad I discovered it. January 24, 2016 at 11:22am Reply

  • Andreas Attarwala: hey I would like to know what those white flowers are called in the picture. I have a very similar plant in my garden and no one I know knows what kind of plant it is. Would be very helpful. January 25, 2016 at 12:29am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s called bird cherry. January 25, 2016 at 1:45am Reply

      • Andreas Attarwala: Thank you very much January 25, 2016 at 2:20am Reply

  • Solanace: It’s summer here, but since it is always hot or kinda warm in this place, I just don’t care and use anything, from Shalimar to Chergui and the Amouage girls. Sounds gross, I know, but it could be worse. Went on a wonderful camping trip all last week, and though during the days I wanted to smell the Ocean and the forest, nights were full of Tonka Imperiale and Rose Praline. Tonka Imperiale was truly wonderful and now I want a FB, darn it. Also would like to share with you, kindest of people, what happened: the camping site in the National park was closed after a heavy rain fall, but the guy in charge knew us from previous years and let us stay because ‘we are good people and our kids are no trouble’. So we stayed there alone, 4 km of beautiful beach all for our lazy selves. January 25, 2016 at 11:41am Reply

    • Elisa: I am actually wearing Tonka Imperiale today — the very last of my decant! I don’t think I need a full bottle of this, though I like it very much — I get a similar vibe from Midnight in Paris which is equally about leather and tonka bean (and much more affordable)

      Your beach camping trip sounds wonderful! January 25, 2016 at 11:47am Reply

      • solanace: I’ll surely try Midnigjt in Paeis, then, thank you. January 25, 2016 at 1:10pm Reply

  • kpaint: Elisa, have you tried the Sparkling EDT version of DK Gold? I got the original in the mail the other day and it’s lovely. I wouldn’t mind a lighter/sheerer/greener/summery version if that’s how the EDT is (both are basically free on ebay right now.)

    I’ve got Lolita Lempicka L’Eau en Blanc on the back of my hand right now and it’s delightful. I can’t help but find the minis of her scents irresistible 😉 and have thus far been pleasantly surprised by what’s inside.

    So far I’ve bought these 2 plus Kenzo Flower and Fils de Dieu on your recommendation and you are batting 1,000 🙂 January 30, 2016 at 7:58pm Reply

    • Elisa: I haven’t tried that one! I’ve heard that the EDT has a cucumber top note, which is hard to imagine.

      Very glad to hear that my recommendations have worked out for you 🙂 January 31, 2016 at 3:58pm Reply

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