Staff Winter Fragrance Picks

Staff Winter Fragrance Picks

With the warmer weather finally retreating, it is time to put away the fresh and cool fragrances and try to find something that will push us through the winter months. While I can’t say I’m a fan of dry lips, itchy jumpers and cold toes, I do like winter fragrances. To combat the dreary weather, winter fragrances are warm, full of spice and wood and often a touch of vanilla, some of my favourite notes. To help you find something to get you through the cold days, I have put together a list of winter fragrances for this year. Some new, some more classic with a little something for everyone.

For ladies, we may as well start with a classic: Si by Giorgio Armani. Si has been popular since it hit the market in 2013, and with actress Cate Blanchett as its face, I feel a bit of national pride about this one. It is also fantastic for the Australian autumn and winter, as well as day and night. A touch sweet, it is the woody and vanilla notes of the base that stand out, as well as patchouli and the dusky May Rose of the middle notes. There is also freesia and cassis, contributing to a nice fresh twist that carries this fragrance through the day and into the night.

Like Si is Ralph Lauren’s Woman, though where Si veered towards sweet, Woman is fruity and floral. The fragrance opens with the pear, rhubarb and black current of the top notes, creating a fruity and slightly sweet scent. It very quickly settles into the middle and base notes of tuberose, Turkish rose, and sandalwood and other woody notes. It is these notes that stand out the most- while the fruity opening keeps the fragrance from becoming overpowering, the floral and woody notes are the body behind this perfume; subtle, classic, and warm. There is also hazelnut, however, which gives the fragrance a nutty hint and settles it as a fragrance for the cooler months. I find this perfume comforting, and it is well blended and balanced. My personal favourite of this list, and definitely worth a try.

Roberto Cavalli is for someone who wants a bit more oomph from their winter fragrance. The Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum is an intense oriental, channelling Italian femininity, sensuality and extravagance. With base notes of tonka beans, balsamic Benzoin resin and vanilla, paired with a top note of pink pepper gives this fragrance a deep, slightly sweet base, with a firm kick of spice to cement it as an oriental fragrance. The middle note of African orange flower helps to mellow out the fragrance and keep it from becoming overdone, but the fragrance remains rich and spicy with a touch of heady sweetness.

A similar sweetness to Jean Paul Gaultier’s Scandal. Much of Gaultier’s vast collection is sweet and for colder months, but to me Scandal stands out for how it uses its sweeter notes. Rather than vanilla or sugar, Scandal relies on honey, caramel, and licorice to create a sweetness that is not too sugary. Instead, it is deeper and intoxicating, which is complemented by the heavier florals of patchouli, gardenia and jasmine. However, Scandal also utilizes orange blossom, peach, blood orange and mandarin to keep from becoming too sickly or overpowering. The fruit notes are not strong, at least not to my nose, and it is definitely the caramel and licorice that set the tone for this perfume, but the lighter notes definitely help keep this perfume balanced and delicious. Good enough to eat, I think, and a great fragrance for colder months, particularly night events.

The last ladies fragrance is a bit of a wild card, but I like it so much I just had to include it: Salvatore Ferragamo’s Signorina Misteriosa. Blackberry and vanilla are all you need to know about this fragrance. Sure, there is the milk mousse that adds to the sweet scent without getting sugary, as well as patchouli, tuberose, orange blossom and neroli gives a sophisticated touch that helps to keep the fragrance from climbing from intoxicating to sickly, but it is the black vanilla husk and blackberry and the stars of the show. Almost like a cocktail, Misteriosa is fruity sweet and definitely great at night.

I find this fragrance, like the Woman, comforting, and I also find it to be incredibly long-lasting. Admittedly this fragrance is not for everyone; some are going to find it too sweet, too fruity, perhaps a bit sickly. But for many, this is a well-loved fragrance that catches you on the first whiff, pulling you into its embracing sweetness and not letting you go. Also, the bottle is really cute. That helps too.

The new men’s fragrance, from VB. Yes, the same VB- Victoria Bitter- that makes beer. Don’t discount it yet though- while Thirst admittedly sounds like a practical joke, even caused me a good chuckle, I think it is a well-developed fragrance that deserves credit and consideration. While it includes VB’s own hops in the notes, this fragrance does not leave you smelling like VB. Instead, the crisp notes of bitter citrus, along with the spicy floral heart, are what define this fragrance- the freshness of the first crack of the cap, followed by the bitter snap of the first taste. I don’t like beer, but I like this fragrance, and the spice floral and earthy hops base give this fragrance the perfect weight for autumn and winter, with the fresh notes that could push it year-round. A great fragrance for a great price and the bottle will give you a good chuckle.

Incredibly popular, and for good reason, Paco Rabanne's 1 Million also makes the list for a good winter fragrance. If you have spent any time in the perfume section of a department store, you are probably familiar with this gold bar bottle; it has been one f the bestselling men’s fragrances every year since its release in 2008 and is forever popular for gifts or personal use. While I have smelt it year-round, its warm-spicy, cinnamon smell make it great for winter. The fragrance has base notes of amber, leather, wood and patchouli to lay the groundwork for a deep and masculine fragrance, while the middle notes of cinnamon, spice and a touch of rose add personality interest. The top notes of mandarin, grapefruit, and mint add an interesting opening flourish that keeps the fragrance from becoming too monotone. There is a refinement to this fragrance, and it is generally long-lasting, making this fragrance perfect for dreary winter days.

For someone who is after the warmth of 1 Million without the spice, Dark Obsession by Clavin Klein would be a great pick. Modelled after the original CK Obsession (which would also make a great winter fragrance, for someone after a classic fragrance with a heavier spice), this scent is woody and dark. The suede, vanilla and labdanum in the base of this fragrance set its tone as sweet without sickly, earthy and masculine. The suede in particular stands out and gives this fragrance a comforting element. The middle notes of balsam fir pine, sage and vetiver keep the fragrance woody while adding a touch of herb smell, which continues in the top notes of wormwood and guarana. Finished with a slight touch of green mandarin for depth, this fragrance is earthy, comforting and a touch sweet. Great for a family man day-to-day or even around the house, Dark Obsession is for someone who wants something fragrant, long-lasting, but not too showy.

If you do want something a little bit showier, however, Robert Cavalli’s Uomo may be the winter fragrance for you. This fragrance is interesting, layered with many different smells that each nose and skin differently and help you to develop your own, signature scent. With a base of tonka bean, cedar and patchouli, a base of honey and lavender with opening top notes of saffron and black violet, this fragrance has a bit of everything. To my nose, the tonka bean, cedar and honey are my main players; Uomo is woody and a touch sweet, an interesting and uncommon base for a masculine fragrance. The black violent and saffron are also prominent, adding both a dewy floral and bittersweet note, followed by the herby smell of the lavender. It is an interesting fragrance that is worth a try, and one of my favourite men’s fragrances for the cooler months.

Finally, we have Hugo Boss’s Private Accord for men. This one is fairly new, being released in 2018 and was recently added to our stock list. I was excited to try it, as I love the women’s version of this scent, and I was not disappointed. This fragrance is well-developed and layered, with many notes working together to create a balanced and intoxicating fragrance, but upfront I want to say that the star of this show is the cacao. Men’s fragrances often do not over cacao, and not this prominently; the chocolate smell of this fragrance pulls you in, and mixes with the wood, Maninka, coffee and ginger included in this fragrance to create a deep pull of beautiful scents. It is also paired with lighter bergamot, vanilla, benzoin resin and a small bit of pineapple to balance the fragrance, as well as pepper and patchouli to add to the slight spice from the ginger. The cacao sets this fragrance apart, but the other notes bring it in line with current trends, creating something new and wearable that would be great for this winter.

Written by Adriana