This winter, trade your crisp, aromatic scents for something deeper, something spicier, woodier, or muskier. These heavier notes complement the season by giving you the olfactive equivalent of a warm, weighted blanket. They shine brightest when the sun is sparse, and many of them moonlight year-round as nighttime scents.
Below are our seven favorite winter scents. Some have been heating things up for years, while others made their warm and welcome debuts in the last lap around the sun. Whether you’re looking for something sexy or subtle, there’s a surefire pick on this list.
Tom Ford Noir
Tom Ford named this spicy, powdery scent after the dark of night, which makes it perfect for the winter solstice, too. He created the scent for man’s duality: There is sophistication on the outside, but a more personal, private dimension that few people get to see. Consider the contrasting notes of pepper, resin, violet, iris and bergamot as proof of Noir’s complexity.
Zegna Indonesian Oud
While it possesses notes of bergamot, amber, patchouli, and rose, Zegna’s Indonesian Oud is very much all about the oud. Everything else places second fiddle to an enduring, endearing, and enveloping wooded warmth. This has a commanding presence, but it’s more platonic on the recipient — not so Alpha-male as some others on this list.
Byerdo’s latest launch is an ode to equestrians, and a perfect fit for winter. With notes of birch tree, tobacco leaves, oakmoss, leather, and black tea, it’s as beautiful as a stallion, and it has the confidence and presence of one, too: these highly concentrated notes are powerful, sensual and provocative. And once winter is over, you can still cozy up with Sellier for date nights and nightcaps; who says winter scents can’t be broken?
Celine Eau de Californie
Celine gave the fragrance world one of 2019’s biggest releases with a collection of scents from Hedi Slimane. And from that collection, it is this woody tribute to sunny California that we’ll be wearing in winter. Notes of tree moss, patchouli, white orris butter, palo santo and bergamot give this scent the gravity, earthiness, and crispness of California at any time of year, but moreover, they envelop you with the warmth and powdery freshness you would expect from the label.
Smoky, earthy, woody and spicy, Aesop’s Hwyl has the perfect wintry recipe. Cypress notes sprout from oakmoss, frankincense, vetiver, and thyme, and the result is a subtle warmth that doesn’t aggressively project itself halfway across the office. From this list, it’s one of the likelier picks for a perennial scent.
Margiela By the Fireplace
Clove, chestnut, and vanilla give wearers and recipients of “By the Fireplace” the sense that they’re, well, roasting chestnuts and chugging spiked eggnog… by the fireplace. It’s a perfect his-and-hers winter unisex scent, for the couple that wishes to share fragrance. (All the better excuse to cuddle up and stoke the flame.)
Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
There’s no hiding Frederic Malle’s intent with Musc Ravageur. “Savage sex appeal” is how the brand describes this scent. But don’t put daddy into a corner: Musc Ravageur has many dimensions, thanks to a complex blend of notes. These include lavender, mandarin, bergamot, amber, vanilla, sandalwood and, of course, musk. Yes, it’s a sexy scent, but an intellectual one. And intellect is as sexy.
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