My Favorite Comforting Winter Perfumes

Merry Christmas! This winter I crave comfort even more than I normally do. My workload has been extremely heavy, in addition to various activities in which I participated to support Ukraine at this difficult time. Also, winter arrived so suddenly that it caught me unawares, and it seemed as if one day I woke up to long stretches of cold weather and Belgian December rains. Normally, I would cope with it by reading and cooking, but making time for myself has been challenging lately. Perfumes came to the rescue and a few favorites in particular comforted me even when my schedule was grueling.

Below I will share several perfumes that embodied comfort for me this winter. I also recorded a video describing them, in case you prefer to listen (scroll to the end of the article.) In my video, I focused on five favorites, but in this article I will add two additional choices from the new 2022 launches. As always, I look forward to hearing about your own comforting, inviting scents.

Hermès Eau de Narcisse Bleu

Eau de Narcisse might be an unusual choice for winter because this is an airy, green perfume that feels like organza on skin. And don’t we crave cashmere and wool on cold days? However, it’s so uplifting and bright that it boosts you during the winter doldrums. Narcissus is not a floral note in perfume, and here it displays its green, leather character to advantage. A lush dose of green notes makes the composition sparkle. Eau de Narcisse Bleu is suitable for both men and women.

Chanel Bois des Iles

I prefer the extrait de parfum for its soft, close-to-the-skin sillage, but the Eau de Parfum is also beautiful, even if less shimmering. This iconic fragrance blends sandalwood with the champagne glitter of aldehydes and gingerbread spices. It envelops you in soft layers that linger gently.

Neela Vermeire Niral

Opulent is the defining trait of all Neela Vermeire’s perfumes and Niral is the most lush iris you can find. It balances out its richness with bright tea notes and leather. An elegant woody backdrop keeps the composition polished and harmonious. Imagine the scent of violet petals, rosewood and vintage leather–and add an earthy chill of iris.

Sege Lutens Ambre Sultan

A gold standard amber, Ambre Sultan glows. Its voluptuous warmth is balanced out by herbal notes and a refined woody accord. A drop of Ambre Sultan on the scarf–and I’m ready to step outside, whatever the weather. It’s been my warm winter staple and my comforting favorite.

Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose

The embodiment of glamour, Lipstick Rose is probably the most feminine fragrance on my list. It’s the scent of vintage lipstick at its finest. The perfume is sweet and powdery, but a salty vetiver note makes it balanced and luminous. The drydown of the composition is my favorite part, because it smells like rose petals and vintage face powder, with a surprising twist of driftwood.

Diptyque Eau Capitale

Created in the modern style of chypre, mossy-woody perfumes, Eau Capitale is bold, lush, and layered. The brightness of the top notes composed of peppery bergamot and violet-like pink pepper is juxtaposed with the ravishing warmth of ambers and woods. Moss is subtle, while the earthy darkness of patchouli fills in the blank spaces in between roses and white flowers. Cinnamon keeps the heat lingering well into the drydown, while cumin prevents the composition from behaving too well. An elegant and comforting choice.

Parfum d’Empire Immortelle Corse

Immortelle Corse is full of surprises. The opening accords smell of soft suede, but as the fragrance develops, the spicy burnt orange and curried woods unfold. The edge is taken off somewhat by dry woods, but Immortelle Corse retains its warm, smoldering character–and it does so for the entire day. A new discovery that’s likely to end up in the permanent collection.

“My Favorite Winter Perfumes” Video

What are your winter choices this year?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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56 Comments

  • OnWingsofSaffron: Dear Victoria, I wish you all the very best: a hopefully happier new year, more sanity and kindness and beauty in the world.
    When I read your post it seemed you‘re on a highway to burn-out. Please take care of yourself. Therefore, to you and to all BdJ readers: all the very best for 2023! December 26, 2022 at 7:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Same to you! Wishing you wonderful holidays and a great start to 2023.
      Yes, things have been hectic, but keeping busy was also for the best. I will have time to rest and recharge this week. December 26, 2022 at 7:46am Reply

  • Elizabeth: Thank you, Victoria, for your lovely and informative website. I often save my visits to it for a special treat of the day. I hope the holidays bring you cheer and energy and good health in the New Year. December 26, 2022 at 9:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Elizabeth. I always enjoy taking a look at your artworks. December 30, 2022 at 4:07am Reply

  • carole: I’ve been reading your blog since you first started blogging-you’ve introduced me to so many beautiful things. I appreciate your kindness and I love how you’ve created a community. I hope 2023 is a much more gentle and stable year for all of us-but especially for you, Victoria.

    I love Narcisse Bleu-I even bought the soap, which is divine and scents the whole upstairs. I’ve been wearing Eau d’Hadrien because I good friend wore it and it reminds me of her, and also because I’ve worn it so many years now it’s like an old friend. Dans Yes Bras – the scent which smells most like me, has brought me comfort, and L’eau driver, too. And there are three SL scents I particularly love in the winter-A La Nuit, Filles en Aiguilles, and Daim Blond.

    I hope everyone is as well as possible, given their circumstances, and that 2023 is a better year. December 26, 2022 at 9:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, that soap sounds wonderful! December 30, 2022 at 4:08am Reply

  • Tara C: I love Immortelle Corse, but for me immortelle is a summer scent, the smell of warm sun-baked skin. My winter comfort scents are ambers, incenses and gourmands. Lately I’ve been wearing Grand Soir, Amouage Material, Encens Suave, Mortel and Dulcis in Fundo. December 26, 2022 at 9:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Encens Suave is so lovely, isn’t it? December 30, 2022 at 4:09am Reply

  • carole: oh my. L’eau d’Hiver. sorry 🙂 December 26, 2022 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Another one of my favorites. December 30, 2022 at 4:09am Reply

  • Annie Shapero: I love Niral as well! That particular smooth, round leather note is one of my favorites and it’s hard to find. I fell in love with Bottega Veneta for the same leather and sadly it’s being discontinued. So glad to have Neela’s scent in my back pocket. December 26, 2022 at 9:25am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s true, it’s just so suave. December 30, 2022 at 4:11am Reply

  • Sandra: I have been wearing lots of Jo Malone seasonal colognes, Orange Bitters , white moss and snow drop , Midnight musk and amber
    Sometimes layering with the rose December 26, 2022 at 9:55am Reply

    • Victoria: That layering sounds very nice. December 30, 2022 at 4:11am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I have several of the perfumes you mention in this video and will definitely check out the ones I do not have nor smelled. Thank you Victoria for this informative and interesting video and also for all the other ones you did throughout 2022. Enjoy the rest of the Holidays! December 26, 2022 at 10:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Phyllis! Happy holidays to you too. December 30, 2022 at 4:12am Reply

  • Albi: Le Lion de Chanel has kept me great company these last few very cold days. It is so smoky and yet sweet. I cannot get enough. December 26, 2022 at 10:29am Reply

    • Victoria: A very good company! December 30, 2022 at 4:12am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Thank you for this lovely post. I hope you have time to relax this week with your books and perfumes. I’m wearing my favorite winter comfort perfume today, Serge Lutens Chergui. It’s like a soft cashmere pashmina surrounding me. I also love Hermes Ambre Narguile, Jo Malone Ginger Biscuit, Frapin ‘If,’ Teo Cabanel Alahine, Shalimar Vanilla Planifolia and Guerlain’s Spiriteuse Double Vanilla for the colder months. December 26, 2022 at 10:39am Reply

    • Victoria: How is Ginger Biscuit? Is it very sweet? December 30, 2022 at 4:13am Reply

  • Silvermoon: What lovely suggestions, Victoria. Thank you for all your wonderful blog posts and videos. Also, please take care of yourself and enjoy some relaxing moments in the coming weeks.

    Winter scents are comforting and/or warm for me, but with an occasional fresh or floral perfume thrown in on some days. In the first group, I wear Ambre Sultan, Ambre Narguile, Noire Epices, Blue Amber (Montale), JM Myrrh and Tonka, Bois des Iles, Le Lion de Chanel, among others. The fresh or floral category for winter includes Cristalle, JM Jasmine Sambac and Marigold, Vetiver Tonka, Ostara and Iris Poudre.

    I got a wonderful gift of Memo’s Fläm for Christmas (their gift packaging was wonderful too). I think it is another ideal winter perfume.

    Victoria, I have a number of the Hermes ones, but never tried Eau de Narcisse Bleu. Will look for it next time. Sounds very much like a winter fresh to me. Also the Diptique you mention sounds intriguing. Will try to test that too.

    Finally, I hope 2023 will bring more peace to the world, and wishing everyone a better year ahead. December 26, 2022 at 11:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! Happy holidays to you too.
      Eau de Narcisse Bleu is one of the best fragrances from the collection, especially from the cologne collection. It’s not a heavy perfume, but it also lasts well. December 30, 2022 at 4:16am Reply

  • Alityke: Winter warmers are some of my most loved scents. Ambre Sultan is quite possibly my GOAT fragrance! The one that introduced me to niche. It’s medicinal quality sets it apart from all other ambers.
    My Scent of Christmas Day was the superlative Shalimar Millisime Tonka. The scent that I’ve reached for most often since DH started his chemo. I have even bought a back up, as I don’t ever wish to be without it.
    Today I am wearing the end of my first sample of Liz Moore’s Papillon Hera. Another newish release, Hera lends the wearer a golden glow which shimmers closely around them. Difficult to categorise, the notes suggest white floral, the texture buttery iris. Ignore both, Hera wears warmly, smoothly & smells only of itself.
    Peace & goodwill to all December 26, 2022 at 11:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Hera sounds beautiful. I haven’t yet tried it, but I will make a note to look for a sample. Thank you for recommending it. December 30, 2022 at 4:17am Reply

  • Akimon: Take care of yourself, Victoria. Wishing you all the best for holidays, and hope you find comfort and joy wherever you can.
    My hometown in Poland is close to the Ukrainian border and talking to my family about what’s going on and just thinking about this whole situation makes me sad but also very angry. I have been supporting several organizations that are helping people and animals on the ground, that’s the least I can do. Ukraine will win but the costs are mounting up.
    Perfumes are one of my ways of coping with stress. It’s very cold here in the Eastern US so my winter staples are coming out. I have a few unusual choices. One is Medina, from an all natural German house Florascent. It’s a bold mix of saffron, patchouli, vetiver and iris that smells unique and punchy, like warming and earthy winter spices. Another is Strange Invisible Perfumes L’Etrange, a mix of benzoin, spices including ginger, and seaweed. It smells cozy in a very original way, foody but without the vanilla cookie notes. And for holiday celebration, I wear Mitsouko, it’s been my Christmas staple for years. December 26, 2022 at 12:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: I know many people in Poland who are working with Ukrainian refugees, and it’s so impressive and moving to see how much support there is. Of course, you’re right about the costs. Rebuilding Ukraine will be yet another challenge. December 30, 2022 at 4:36am Reply

  • Amy: Oh what a lovely selection of scents for me to explore. Thank you, Victoria, for sharing—especially given your heavy schedule. Wintertime is the time I just love to embrace heavier scents and my faves are: Stepháne Humbert’s Black Gemstone, and Xerjoff Lira. They comfort me so🥰 December 26, 2022 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: So much fun to read comments with all of these great lists. December 30, 2022 at 4:37am Reply

  • Marianne: Thank you for the lovely connection and community that you’ve created and maintain with great success, Victoria. There’s a thread of kindness and generosity throughout Bois de Jasmin, ‘in its DNA’ as we say. I’ve been thinking deeply about the power of our values in guiding action, how vital they are as signposts and reminders, especially during life’s turbulent times. They offer me a state of inner peace and depth of conviction.
    Now to a couple of perfume discoveries here in the warm summertime, yet I expect them to be perfect for colder months …
    I can’t believe I’ve never tried Chanel Allure until last week! It sparkles and shimmers joyously at its opening, then develops a delicious vanilla note that warms and lingers. There’s a peach note that I assumed would be too sweet, yet this perfume is so perfectly balanced that nothing jars or dominates; even the vanilla, while being constant, remains in harmony. It reminds me of Guerlain: Chanel interpreting Guerlain.
    I’m also enjoying the Solis Rex candle by Cire Trudon. The scent reminds me of traditional Midnight Mass long ago. It’s delicate and refined yet perfumes the room. It’s a gift from me to me for getting through a rather challenging case of Covid last month.
    Thank you for sharing your presence, Victoria 🌟 December 26, 2022 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your kind words. Hope that you’re recovering well and quickly.
      Allure is a beautiful perfume and it’s like a classic by now. December 30, 2022 at 4:38am Reply

  • Fazal: Diptyque Eau Capitale is one I have been meaning to smell. What other fragrances it reminds you of? December 26, 2022 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I would say that Agent Provocateur is similar. December 30, 2022 at 4:39am Reply

      • Fazal: Good to know as I do have Agent Provocateur. To be honest, I could never have predicted this one from the list of notes and online reviews. December 30, 2022 at 5:16am Reply

  • MaryAnn Popper Hardy: I can’t wait for the cold mornings to arrive and I can bring the bottle of Miss Dior to the front of the pack. No, it’s not exactly the “same” as that first bottle given to me by the object of all my desires…my boyfriend. I was 15. It’s not the same but it’s a strong reminder of that beautiful, intoxicating fragrance. Dior, 1962, the end of childhood. Its warmth, depth, surprising herbs and woods told me that THIS is what a woman wears. It was the magic potion that parted a curtain that separated me and my tomboy life on a ranch from womanhood.

    Can a fragrance have such profound meaning? Am I making too much of this? I don’t think so. The periodical, “Scientific American” reported research that concluded: the most powerful stimuli to generate memory was fragrance. December 26, 2022 at 4:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree with you. I also find that scents have a powerful emotional effect. December 30, 2022 at 4:39am Reply

  • Michele Brown: A very happy new year to you Victoria and please rest, and have a whiskey with honey and lemon if you began to feel like you are taking a cold. It’s a southeastern old remedy here in the USofA. My mother and grandmother gave us teaspoons of it as a child for coughs and colds. I remember a thicker version for us children. Adults drank it in a stronger whiskey version.

    For winter I love Mandy Aftel’s Honey Blossom and my beloved Mitsuko. Never not wear Mitsuko as it’s my all time fragrance.

    Praying for Ukraine and Her people that this will end soon with all of Ukraine’s land back. It was a pleasure to hear Her president speak to our nation from Congress. The people of the USA are fully behind Ukraine and her people. God Bless and keep them in His hand. 🙏❤️ December 26, 2022 at 5:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for this remedy. I might have to try it. 🙂 December 30, 2022 at 4:40am Reply

  • Heather H: I am reading Wintering The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May. Highly recommended for cozy reading This winter. I have also been wearing Chanel Bois des Iles and finally love this perfume. December 26, 2022 at 11:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for the recommendation. December 30, 2022 at 4:41am Reply

  • Kari: Wishing you joy and comfort in a particularly dark year.

    Here’s what’s in my own rotation lately, in no particular order:

    • Serge Lutens Five o’Clock au Gingembre. A gorgeous spiced gingerbread and tea fragrance that’s delightful in winter.
    • House of Matriarch @houseofmatriarch Sacre Noir. It’s like freshly cut Christmas trees and candied sugarplums with some incense and earthy woody notes that Christi Meshell excels at.
    • Papillon @papillon_artisan_perfumes Bengale Rouge. Spices, rose, honey, myrhh. You can practically hear a happy cat purring in front of a warm fire. (Note: it’s a hard choice among Papillon’s excellent line but currently this is my #2 favorite just behind Hera.)
    • Caron Nuit De Noel. Amber floral with some animalic notes including beautiful mossy rose and jasmine, Amber, civet, musk, some incense…
    • Lush Lord of Misrule. A peppery and deep and cheeky vanilla-patchouli fragrance. (Really good blended with their Rose Jam perfume, too.)
    • Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant. Heavy spices and Amber. Really nice clove and cardamom notes among many others. (Victoria, your review here prompted me to blind buy it years ago, and I’ve never regretted it – instant love!)
    • Fendi Theorema. Discovered this one long after it was discontinued but have found some almost full used bottles over the years. Spicy notes again, but unlike L’Elephant, Theorema’s spices don’t jump out at you. There’s a lot of warmth and creaminess, a sense of cooking and blending, candied fruits (including citrus + oranges) that are spiced (particularly with nutmeg and cinnamon), glazed very lightly with honey and a little booze, and roasting in the oven. The woody notes really come out as it develops through the day. December 27, 2022 at 1:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Such a lovely list! Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant is one of my favorites for this season. December 30, 2022 at 4:41am Reply

  • Aurora: Thank you so much for a lovely, diverse list, I am so glad you will have time to relax this coming week, I wish you peace and light for the new year.

    I have been wearing Caron Parfum Sacré with its dense aura, Téo Cabanel Alahine, Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, Akro Dark, even though after a cold snap we’re having very mild sunny weather for the holidays. December 27, 2022 at 2:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Parfum Sacré is the ultimately winter scent. I like that it’s spicy and yet not sweet, which is not so common. December 30, 2022 at 4:43am Reply

  • My1stGradeTeacher: This winter has been challenging indeed. Thank you for the great list. I will look into them to see if they could be a match for my 1st grade teacher’s but my smell is 50% not there and can’t even smell the important notes of my beloved Aliage:-/ December 27, 2022 at 4:02am Reply

    • Connie: Good luck on your search! Sorry I can’t be more of help. December 30, 2022 at 3:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Please recover quickly! December 30, 2022 at 4:43am Reply

  • Iolanda Alfonzi: I discover Eau de narcisse bleu thanks to you and now It’s my confort perfum. I wear it in the heat and also in the cold winter days. My last purchase is Encens mythique and I’m very happy to have it for my Christmas days. I’m really inspired by immortelle corse and Niral. I’ll try to get some samples. December 27, 2022 at 4:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Please let me know what you think once you try them. December 30, 2022 at 4:44am Reply

  • Neva: Dear Victoria, I’m wishing you joy, health, peace and love for the holiday season and beyond. Thank you for your beautiful blog and YouTube channel.
    Dyptique’s Eau Capitale is on my to-buy-list ever since I’ve first tried it in 2020. It’s a modern classic, feminine and elegant, wearable through all seasons and daytimes. A bit later I’ve tried Orpheon which shares the same DNA but it is a bit spicier and may even be a better choice for winter. I still cannot decide which one I should buy.
    My usual winter choices include Dzing, Bottega Veneta (+Eau de Velours), Gucci Rush, Biehl Parfumkunstwerke mb02 Galop d’Hermes…and when I need a summer break, I take some of my herbal aquatics for a change. December 27, 2022 at 6:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much, Neva. Best wishes to you too!
      Eau Capitale has been one of my most worn perfumes this year. December 30, 2022 at 4:47am Reply

  • Hollis Sherman: Bois des Iles is a favorite for me. I haven’t tried the others you mentioned (except for a small sample of Lipstick Rose, which I liked…).

    My winter go-tos for pure comfort and cheer are Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant and Winter Woods from Sonoma Scent Studio. December 27, 2022 at 9:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Winter Woods is a beautiful choice for winter. December 30, 2022 at 4:48am Reply

  • Klaas: Dear Victoria, I wish you the very best for the new year. I hope 2023 brings peace, love, joy and prosperity to you, and to this wonderful online community.

    I am a great fan of the Hermes colognes, and my winter favorites are Eau de Néroli Doré and Mandarine Ambré. Sunshine in a bottle and the perfect antidote to the grey and the cold. I also like Etat Libre d’Orange Fat Electrician for winter, a lovely, mineral vetiver with a swig of Bourbon for comfort. Yo Ho Hoooo! December 27, 2022 at 12:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, dear Klaas! I wish you much health and happiness in the new year.
      Do you know something, I don’t remember that ELdO at all. I need to try it again. December 30, 2022 at 4:52am Reply

  • Marian taylor: Thank You, Victoria for your wonderful blog. Hope your New Year is peaceful and full of happiness.
    Over the holidays I have worn…..
    Spiriteuse Double Vanilla
    Myrrh and Tonka
    Chergui

    2 cheapies
    Adam Levine
    Spiced Pear and warm Amber December 27, 2022 at 3:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy these warm scents during these cold days! December 30, 2022 at 4:50am Reply

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