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The Best Perfumes To Cozy Up To This Winter

Find a fragrance that matches the spirit of the season.
February 24, 2021

There are plenty of things that need to be adjusted as the seasons shift. Your wardrobe and skin care routine may seem obvious, but swapping your summer scent for a winter perfume may not be at the top of your list. It turns out, the weather plays a major factor in what fragrance you should use. Aside from florals and fruity scents being synonymous with warmer temperatures, chilly weather can also impact how your perfume of choice wears. So to help you find the right cold-weather scent, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite perfumes for winter, plus tips to help you pick out your signature scent.

1. Gourmand

If you’re a fan of fragrances that smell good enough to eat then you’ll love a gourmand scent. Hints of chocolate, caramel, honey and other sweets that we enjoy this time of year (and year-round really) will be your top notes in these deliciously sexy perfumes. Spritz on your pulse points and anywhere you want the sugary scent to linger.  

Editor’s tip: Consider your base notes when picking your fragrance. Perfume consists of top (high) notes, middle notes, and base notes. While top notes are the first to fade away, base notes are the scents that linger. A with strong base notes is a must.

2. Bergamot 

Known for its citrusy smell, bergamot makes for the perfect cold weather scent. While it’s often associated with spring and summer because of the light, fresh aroma it has, its acidity and spicy undertone makes it a great start for a winter perfume. Often blended with woody notes, it helps offer balance to fragrances that could otherwise be considered abrasive. 

Editor’s tip: Opt for an eau de parfum when the temperatures dip. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between eau de parfum, eau de toilette, and eau de cologne, it’s not whether it’s a women’s fragrance or a men’s fragrance. It’s that the former has a higher percentage of perfume oil, which will help it last longer on the skin. This makes it a no-brainer for the winter season since you want a strong scent that can withstand the cold. 

So, be sure to scope out an eau de parfum that can tough out the chilliest winter. Save your lighter and softer scents for the spring and summer months since your skin is generally more hydrated, and moisture will help hold those more delicate fragrances.

3. Woody

The most popular, heavier base notes fall into the woody and musky categories. Woody fragrances typically contain strong base notes such as sandalwood, warm vanilla, amber and spice-like scents. If you prefer something with a fresher and sweeter aroma, opt for a perfume that has woody base notes with citrus or floral top notes (such as the aforementioned bergamot).

Editor’s tip: Keep your skin moisturized to give your fragrance some staying power. If you noticed that your fragrance becomes less noticeable in colder temperatures, you’re not going crazy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the level of moisture in the air outside drops sharply in the winter. And the artificial heat used indoors also sucks up all the moisture in the air, so your skin will definitely begin to feel the impact of dryness. Since dry skin has no moisture in it, scents won’t have anything to stick to. So whichever fragrance you choose will have to work harder to leave a lasting impression.

We recommend applying a moisturizer to your face and body as soon as you come out of the shower. This will help plug the spaces between your skin cells and seal in moisture while your skin is still damp. And make sure to moisturize the areas you’ll be spritzing your fragrance on, like the neck and pulse points.

4. Spice

If you like the idea of a dessert-inspired fragrance but don’t want to go for a sweet scent, consider taking cues from the spices — think cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It’s the perfect happy medium between gourmand and woody options. You can stick with the spices in the summer and spring too, just go for ones with floral, fresh, and fruity base notes when the weather warms up.

Editor’s tip: If you’re having a hard time figuring out what fragrance to choose, pay close attention to how you react to different scents. Once you’ve found the scents that you prefer, you can start to identify the notes you gravitate towards and narrow down your fragrance list from there. 

5. Leather

Everyone can confidently rock fragrances with notes of leather, tobacco and peppercorn. They remind you of cozying up by the fireplace in an oversized leather rocker, or enjoying mom’s egg nog in dad’s recliner during the holidays. 

Editor’s tip: Choosing the right winter perfume is only half the battle, though. Don’t forget to factor in other important details such as where you spray it, how you spray it, and where you store it for the best results. 

Next: How to Smell Good All Day Long

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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