The Art Of Picking A Winter Perfume

With every season comes change. In the fall/winter this means leaves change color, days get shorter, temperatures drop, and sweaters take over our wardrobes. While I have no problem with this change — winter happens to be my favorite season — there is one necessary beauty swap that is all too often overlooked, fragrance. Yes, summery fragrances are beautiful and I wish I could wear them year round, but when the temperature drops and the air dries the light top notes in summer scents tend to read thin and or non-existent. Cue the necessary winter fragrance. A winter fragrance is a warmer perfume; it has strong base notes and a potent scent that can withstand some of the harshest weather conditions. This means by the time our good friends out east hop off the subway and head to work, their fragrance, regardless of the weather, will still be intact. Since picking out a new fragrance can be a bit tricky, I’ve broken it down for you. Scroll down to find your signature scent!


Fragrances have three levels — top notes, middle notes, and base notes — these levels are categorized by the amount of time it takes to recognize them. For instance, top notes are almost immediately perceived at the time of application, middle notes are sensed within minutes to hours after application, and base notes are not perceived until after the middle notes have faded.

Heavy top note scents are commonly found in summer perfumes because they are light and airy. Unfortunately, top notes are what evaporate quickest, making top note heavy fragrances a “no” for winter. On the other hand, heavy base note fragrances can withstand colder temperatures, and last much longer.


It depends on your fragrance of choice; however, most winter scents are of the warmer variety. They are commonly composed of exotic spices, musk, or gourmand scents — vanilla, caramel, chocolate, etc.


Perfumes do not diffuse well in the chillier months. With that in mind, you should look for fragrances with heavier concentrations and stay clear of eau de toilettes.


Since top notes give the first impression, it is essential to wear a new fragrance for a couple of hours. You want to be satisfied with the whole experience from the smell of first application to the final base note before deciding if it’s the right perfume for you.

Now that you’ve been schooled in the necessities of a winter fragrance, go forth and find your signature scent. Keep scrolling to see some of my favorites!

Spicy Scent:

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Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille ($220)

Woodsy Scent:

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Bella Freud 1970 Eau De Parfum ($150) 

Unisex Scent:

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Le Labo Santal 33 ($150)

Floral Scent:

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Valentino Valentina Assoluto Eau De Parfum ($90)

Citrus Scent:

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Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne ($65)

Title Image: Burberry

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