With a winter season comes change. We transition our clothes, our skincare regime and our make-up but what about our fragrance? In the same way light and barely there clothes become unsuitable for the cold months, the same goes for your fragrance. During the winter months, our skin is much cooler than the summer and, therefore, need something stronger and more impactful. I talk to the Trudi Loren, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development, Aramis and Designer Fragrances, The Estee Lauder Companies, about choosing a winter scent.
WHY SHOULD YOU SWITCH FROM A SPRING/SUMMER FRAGRANCE TO A WINTER ONE?
Well, I think what happens in the winter time you tend to wear a lot more clothing. A lot more layers, having a scent that is a bit stronger wears well. When you wear a stronger scent in the summertime, because of the heat and humidity, it can become over whelming. But in the wintertime when it’s cooler and drier you can appreciate a stronger scent at that point.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD WINTER FRAGRANCE?
In a good winter fragrance, you usually find notes that are warmer, more comforting, more cocooning.
WHAT NOTES CREATE A SENSE OF WARMTH AND COMFORT?
Warmth and comfort are the resins, the balsams, which are with the amber family, they always work well. Some of the creamier, darker woody notes such as Sandalwood and Patchouli always works very well in the winter. Then you have the spices and I think warmer spices such as the cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, etc. as opposed to fresh spices like coriander, pepper, etc. Then of course within the fruit family, the richer, creamier fruits, so a deep dark plum, a black cherry and apricot. These are succulent fruits that work well in winter as opposed to the lighter fruits, which are more summery such as your red currant or your strawberry, blueberry and blackberry.
WHAT ALSO SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A SEASONAL SCENT?
You want something more substantive, bigger volume, fuller bodied.
SHOULD YOU SWITCH FROM EAU DE TOILETTE TO AN EAU DE PARFUM?
With winter fragrances sometimes you’ll see a more concentrated version of your signature scent or in many cases a lot of brands come out with intense versions or extreme versions. You usually see the extreme, more in the men’s category, intense you see in the women’s category or even the parfum version, which is a higher concentration. These all work very well for winter fragrances.
I also think in the winter you can then start experimenting with the other products that are within a line, so the body lotions and having that layering effect. So as we all need more moisturization for our skin during the cold winter, layering with the lotion or body cream, body butter of that scent always works really well. And then spraying the scent on top of that you also get retention, and it’s much longer.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR SELECTING A WINTER SCENT?
I think in choosing a winter scent, obviously like all fragrances anytime of the year, you need to try it on your skin. Make sure it really works with your own body chemistry. Because we all know we might smell something on someone else and love it, then try it on ourselves, and we are like oh no, this doesn’t work.
I think then it’s a matter of where you like to wear your fragrance during the winter. I personally feel it’s always wonderful to spray your fragrance on a scarf that you then are putting around your neck because it’s a much more intimate experience. You can then smell your scarf throughout the day, and I think that is always comforting and soothing.
Here are some winter fragrances for you to try…
Bobbi Brown Bobbi’s Party, Eau de Parfum, $74
Bobbi Brown’s strongest scent in her collection is aptly named ‘Party’. And it’s called that for a reason. With a delicious burst of violet leaves and rose petals mixed with touches of sandalwood, it’s warm and fun –perfect for a night out.
Chanel No 5,Eau de Parfum, $100
It’s a timeless classic but because of its complex composition of notes it’s a powerful scent that’s too intense in the summer heat. However, it's perfect in the wintertime.
Diana Vreeland Extravagance Russe, Eau de Parfum, $185
This intensely warm and smoky scent makes me think of a Turkish bazaar —with its exotic flowers, spices and leather. Which make sense as this Amber base is layered with sweet vanilla bourbon, resins and balsams.
Unlike her other colognes that are light and crisp, Pomegranate Noir is more like a moody and complex parfum, carefully combining creamy fruits with warm spices. There’s a real holiday festive feel to it.
Narciso Rodriguez Narciso, Eau de Parfum, $96
With its strikingly white and chic minimal bottle design, Narciso is already a standout. The white musk at its heart and woody accords of vetiver and cedar at its base create a sexy yet creamy and clean scent.
Tom Ford Oud Fluer, Eau de Parfum, $220
There’s subtleness to this middle-eastern style scent. Along with the Oud, there’s a delicate relationship between oriental spices and exotic flowers.
Maison Martin Margiela Replica By The Fireplace, Eau de Toilette, $125
If ever there was a song that perfectly described a perfume it would be Nat King Cole’s Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Maison Martin Margiela Replica scents are all about evoking familiar places and times. Their newest scent, By The Fireplace, is set in a 1971 Chamonix ski lodge.
And here’s my winter fragrance picks for a recent piece in The Chicago Tribune.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Diptyque, Limited Edition, Essences Insensées Eau de Parfum, $175 for 2.5oz, nordstrom.com. YSL, Black Opium Eau de Parfum, $90, sephora.com. Krigler, Sierra Vista Eau de Parfum Spray, $230, mcssl.com. Donna Karan, Liquid Cashmere Black Eau de Parfum, $62, donnakaran.com. Marc Jacobs, Decadence Eau de Parfum, $70, Sephora.com.