Friday, January 6, 2012

Open Poll: Fragrances to Get you Warm in the Cold

Today it's a holiday and I'm in a rush to exploit the time to finish a few magazine articles I need to submit shortly. As I stay inside hearing the wind howling outside my window panes, the trees making a sweeping sound, and the logs in the fire crackle, I warm my hands against the cup of steaming jasmine tea, thinking to myself  how fragrance has the potential to not only create a mental mood, but to actually produce a physical reaction beyond the wishful. I positively feel elated and caressed in a warm hug by my scent of the day choice of Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau, a delicious, milky-spicy-golden scent that radiates all around, like the purr of a fat kitty lazy in front of the fire.

So, in the interests of providing more scent options:
Which are your favourite warming fragrances when it's all cold outside?

Let us know in the comments! (and if you stumbled on this piece, read on what people vote for)


  1. I like tropical smells. I wear them some times 'cause they make me feel at my ease. Big, lush florals, the smell of exotic fruits, some times in combination. It's like life continues inspite of the restricting cold. "Bronze Godess" is an example, which i use in body oil (splendid). Tom Ford's "White Patchouli" i consider an exotic gourmand. Michael Cors's "Michael" which i love wearing all year round. I am open to suggestions. I wish you a happy, prosperous, creative new year.

  2. Bois des Iles by Chanel

  3. I find Arpege, Habinita, and Chamade particularly warming. And I'm wearing Chamade right now.

  4. Although I like it just about anytime of the year, during the cold months, I particularly enjoy Tauer's Eau d'Epices (which I won a bottle of thanks to you!). The spices have a warm crispness that eventually reveal Andy's classic amber base--I can't stop sniffing at my wrist all day long!

  5. PBlaha17:15

    El Attarine by Serge Lutens, cozy and warm! And Acqua Viva by Profumum, which reminds me of summer.

  6. Anonymous17:35

    I am rocking some Balmain by Balmain today, and I think this is perfect for the cold crisp weather we're having - it has a green edge to it, but it isn't soft like spring or summer, and it has an authority like an icicle! :-) It reminds me of warmth rather than pretending it is warm.

  7. Morticia17:47

    Every night I spray on Narcisse or Boucheron (thanks to You :)). Then I slide down my cool sheets, under my down comforter and drift off to sleep. The ever land and literally float away. Ahhhhhh

  8. Anonymous17:49

    Jo Malone's Nutmeg & Ginger.

  9. Although I'm not sure if I remember what cold weather feels like (Southern California has been having a "heatwave" the past few weeks!!!), when it does get cold I pull out Costume National 21, CD Mitzah, and Calamity Jane. Rest assured, I don't always wait for cooler weather to wear these - Mitzah sings on my skin in warmer weather.

    Hope you are surviving the cold....I envy those who actually HAVE seasonal changes!

  10. Eliam19:45

    I'd see myself pickup up L'Heure Bleue, Nuit de Noel, or a similar powdery, spicy, sweet scent. Plain ole Vanilla Absolute and Tonka Bean work too.

  11. Efi,

    there's something in what you suggest, an escapist mode if you will! Winter time is the only time I indulge in body oils myself (beyond the beach I mean), so your rec is welcome music to my ears (I too find that Bronze Goddess and the Azuree Soleil were magnificent in their genre).
    May I suggest you try Juste un Reve by Patricia de Nicolai? Her online site ships to most European countries.

  12. W,

    a most excellent choice, especially in extrait de parfum!

  13. P,

    I had always thought of Chamade as a spring sprite, but now you have given me pause for thought. Off to test your suggestion!
    The rest are just as beautiful.

  14. Matt,

    as you say, exactly right!
    I find all Tauer scents are magnificent in cold weather, so enveloping, so evocative of warm places. Could it be that he's working from snow capped Switzerland? Perhaps...

  15. P,

    ah...among my favourite Lutens! Underrated and glowing like a topaz from all angles.
    The Profumum I mustn't have tried or I'm forgetting right now. I should seek a sample.

  16. Unseen,

    beautiful, classic, unusual choice. The Balmain scents (same as the Balenciaga ones) deserve better recognition among perfume collectors.

  17. L,

    I'm thrilled! Beautiful mental picture you gave me. Enjoy!!

  18. Anon,

    a spicy one! Yes. (I also like Amber & Lavender from the JM brand for some reason; it makes the lavender really warm and non medicinal, but not too sweet either)

  19. M,

    I'm lucky to live in a European country with mild winters and much sunshine, which is ever so welcome, especially when the temps drop; but seasonal changes we do get. It's cold outside today. But I'm not complaining, I love the change of seasons and the moods to accompany it.

    Mitzah does sing best in the cooler weather, I agree, it's rather subdued for an "oriental", but at the same time definitely there. The rest are just as nice.
    Enjoy your heatwave while the rest of the country freezes its butt :-O

  20. E,

    how can I possibly argue with those? LHB is that elusive thing which I only managed to love in Parfum de Toilette and this is no longer available. :-(
    Thankfully Nuit de Noel hasn't been ruined.
    Tonka bean and coumarin are among my favourite notes. I especially love Tonka Imperiale by Guerlain.

  21. Anonymous20:18

    What a lovely photo!

    I seem to crave tuberose in chilly weather. If that doesn't do the trick (I usually crack open one of my many many tuberose samples first, to make sure it will hit the spot), then something snuggly like Organza Indecence or Alahine will usually suit. Or Une Rose Chypre.

  22. Mitsouko is my cold weather scent.

  23. Egoiste with a big sweater, or Cinema. Or straight orange blossom oil, to remind me of sunlight...

  24. If I am going out during the holidays, I always wear the original Salvidore Dali. When I first smelled it in the mid 80's I started crying because a memory of my mother came back. On her dresser was Mitsukuo, the Christmas tree was real and filled the house, and I wear jewelry with stones like Christmas Lights that my mother gave me in 1966, by Monet.
    If I have a sweater on, and am at home, I wear L'Heure Bleau same as I did since the late sixties. For a house fragrance, I use "Christmas Traditions" an Huile aromatiee by Greenleaf, which is a French Tradidtional palette, instead of the usual 'English' stuff available in Virginia.

  25. My favourite is Back to Black from Kilian, when wearing a blazer and APOM from Francis Kurkdjian for a nice big sweater ;)


  26. Bois 1920 La Vaniglia is a new favorite and I'm adoring it when it's cold. Also Vanille Intense by PdN. If I'm not feeling vanilla-y I enjoy CdG Red Carnation. Oh, and Fille en Aiguilles. All work well in our cold desert winter climate......something about a nice, warm sweet fragrance on your scarf when you're out in the cold and dry juniper just makes me feel happy.

  27. Anonymous01:20

    JOY parfum (vintage)
    No.5 parfum (vintage)
    Cristalle eau de toilette
    Jeux de Peau, Serge Lutens

    Emma ;))

  28. Eleonore09:07

    Hi E,
    In winter I can wear fragrances which are "heavier" ("capiteux" as we say in French) such as Allure Sensuelle or Coco by Chanel,just a little drop of Fracas, Jeux de Peau too, Montaigne by Caron (very classical but it was the last gift from my mother and it's sentimental!) Chamade which for me is a fragrance heralding spring which I only wear in Winter!!!..At the moment, though, I'm wearing Bas de soie which is not particularly winter but I've just discovered it and like it on my skin!
    Like you, I love seeing the seasons change, even if the contrasts are not as strong as when I was a child, each one has so much to offer: I feel privileged:-) A lovely winter week-end to everyone!

  29. Here we do have very distinct seasons, although it's only been -10C so far this winter.
    A favorite winter scent is Ambre Narguile, I've also used my samples of Amouage Epic and Mona di Orio Oud a lot. OJ Woman and Tolu are another favorites.

  30. M,

    tuberose is such a star of itself that it plies itself to any season.
    I'm totally smitten with getting some Vamp a NY lately or the Kilian one: these two I don't have bottles of in my collection yet.
    OI and Alahine are snuggly indeed...mmmm! As to URC, I firmly believe that one alongside UADDM will become THE classics in the Tauer range in a few years' time; they have a most devoted following. I love it!

  31. M,

    but of course! :-)
    I love to wear it when it's rainy, the dampness in the air brings on its earthy foresty floor notes just beautifully.

    I hope you're very well and have had a most enjoyable Christmas season!

  32. Axum,

    Egoiste IS a big sweater :-)
    Cinema on the other hand has been sidetracked for no good reason; sure we might have expected something very explosive from YSL (back then, before they ruined the brand, I mean), and therefore didn't pay enough attention, but it was a very good perfume all the same.
    Orange blossom is so springlike to me, yeah, warm days ahead (I don't say sunny because our winters are sunny, which is delightful).

  33. Nadine,

    beautiful story, thanks for sharing! Isn't it just lovely how perfume has the power to remind us of so many things and so many people?
    I love wearing my L'HB parfum de toilette in winter-time as well. It just feels right, don't know...

  34. Juraj,

    great suggestions, and I especially love you matched them with actual clothes! :-)

  35. Audrey,

    the vanillas are indeed better in cold weather, in the summer they always seem to much to me (then again we get hot summers). Have you tried Vanille Tonka from PdN? That one is a star.

    Love your other choices as well and routinely spray my scarfs, especially with balsamic orientals (Tolu, Boucheron, Tonka Imperiale...); they retain the scent exquisitely.

  36. Emma,

    an impecable list as always.

    Question: Do you prefer the citrusier EDT of Cristalle because it's sharper and brings out that feeling of icicles down one's spine? (sounds worse than it is, LOL! I like that feel in warmer weather actually) Or some other reason?

  37. Eleonore,

    thanks for elaborating!

    Capiteux is among my favourite descriptors in French; I associate it with heady. Perhaps the etymology leads me there. But they can be heavy indeed, they usually involve those ancient resins and balsams which warm beautifully in the cold.
    Commenting on your frag choices, I have to say that Allure Sensuelle has remained unsung for very long (is it discontinued now? I don't see it on counters) and Montaigne is quite festive: I bet it was a Christmas gift?
    Bas de Soie I loved, it's quite graceful, very sleek, subtle and well-mannered but with a sexiness underneath. Delightful choice!

    Have a great weekend!

  38. Eva,

    brrrrr!!! I feel palpitations just reading about those temperatures! We have +10C here and I feel my feet cold (not a nice feeling).

    We overlap a great deal in our scent choices: the OJs especially and the Hermessence. Beautiful....

    Wishing you a great weekend!

  39. Cheryl15:03

    Yatagan, Sacre, Tocade, Habanita,
    Bal A Versaille, Noix de Tubereuse,
    L'Air de Rein, Arpege and L'Air du Desert Marocain fill the bill for me. Now if it would only snow beyond flurries...:-)

  40. "Le Baiser du Dragon" by Cartier...It really almost sizzles on the skin.

  41. Anonymous23:08

    Bvlgari Blu Notte -- the incense seems warming to me.

  42. I love my cold weather scents which I only to turn when it's chilly: Chergui, Vanille Orchidee, OJ Woman, OJ Ta'if, and newly discovered Seven Veils by Byredo. I find them all to be warming, enveloping scents.

  43. Eleonore08:14

    Hi Elena!
    Regarding Allure Sensuelle, it isn't discontinued (I tried it in the 1rst place beacause Allure just didn't last on me and I really like the fragrance in Winter).
    As for Montaigne, you are right: it was a Christmas gift: I had been saying the Caron perfumes were not that "good" and bim! Montaigne arrived under the Christmas tree!:-)

  44. andrea09:01

    I turn to by kilian back to black or Frapin 1270 or ormonde woman. So many to get through when its cold I almost wish it would stay cold.

  45. Anonymous14:56

    Hypnotic Poison- I love wearing this when it's super cold.

  46. Lauren21:59

    I will second the Le Baiser du Dragon, and add Black Cashmere, Carla Fraccu Gissele, and Feminite de Bois.

  47. Anonymous22:32

    Elena, as a good purist perfumista I never cared for the fruity florality of Cristalle eau de parfum.
    I don't find the current version of Cristalle eau de toilette as citrucy and chypre as it used to be but it's greener than ever. Luca Turin claims they now use the most high end quality galbanum possible, somehow it makes sense, probably a way to compensate for reformulation. I find it very beautiful in its current form, I don't miss the citrus at all which used to make it half eau de cologne half perfume, now it's all perfume. Cristalle edt is perfect choice when you want to take a break from rich orientals and for summertime as well of course.


  48. Winter is for vanilla, incense, spice and amber for me. I love wearing my Fumerie Turque, Ambre Sultan, Un Bois Vanille, Cadjmere, Ambre Fetiche, Idole, Cinnabar, Lalique Le Parfum.

    Citruses and orange blossom are spring/summer scents to me.

  49. Cheryl,

    I like and wear personally quite a bit off your selected list!!
    Peaceful, heavy snow is so beautiful...

  50. NFS,

    that's a good one for winter; I feel the extrait de parfum is much superior to the other concentrations circulating (well, until lately).

  51. Anon,

    you get incense from Blu Notte? Are you referring to women's or men's? I wear the women's (like it a lot) and don't get incense, just iris and dark chocolate shreds. I hold judgement on the men's, haven't tried it in ages.

  52. Kym,

    ah....lovely. You added one on my to try list. Thanks!

  53. Eleonore,

    thanks, that's heartening to hear.

    Caron are quirky, not for everyone. I find that their extraits in the urns hide some of the best perfumes in existence (Alpona, Narcisse Noir, En Avion, Tabac Blond -at least last I checked, a few are altered now).

  54. Andrea,

    LOL, indeed! I take every chance I can get to rotate my scents in winter because come summer not everything can be tolerated in the heat.

  55. Beauty+science,

    it's a beautiful, enveloping perfume. Very sexy!

  56. L,

    those are excellent choices, and such a pity on Black Cashmere! :-(

  57. Emma,

    green is good! I can do green!
    As you say, too much citrus and you're better off with an eau de cologne; more honest, less pretence.

    I rather enhance the floral elements in the EDP, it seems: I get heaps of honeysuckle and little fruit (thankfully). Then again, whenever I want honeysuckle, this is not the first things that runs in my mind.

  58. CB,

    I think most people think like you. These are all very popular, cult scents for a reason!

  59. And I mean "most" as in the sagacity of the perfume lovers' majority, not the lowest common denominator. ;-)

  60. In the post-christmas sales I managed to nab a bottle of HDP 1740 Marquis de Sade from an unnamed department store on Oxford St and it is sooooo warming, like the most delicious cognac, that its making me wish that spring would come late rather than early this year! Otherwise, Habanita, Tocade, Dzing! and Interdit are my favorite winter frags.

  61. Q_L,

    that's probably my fav in the HdP line! (I also very much like their Patchouli -and the Ambre). Enjoy your treasure, looks like the hunt was successful!
    I find Interdit is a sprakling, underrated litte gem; it's playfully elegant. LOVE Dzing, so snuggly!
    Lovely choices all around :-)

  62. Anonymous07:51

    Bulgari Black when it's faded down has a lovely salty, driftwoody smoky vanilla that I find cosy - like a winter fire on the beach. I've been wearing that for about ten years now so it's an old favourite.

    I used to quite like Prada's L'infusion d'Iris which sounds unlikely but maybe it was the warm citrus top notes and the quiet woody and introverted feel in the base noes - I think there's quite a bit of resins involved in the base. Anyway it seems to suit winter which I always think of as a more introverted and thoughtful time.

    I've recently discovered Fireside Intense, and I find that the top notes, which are quite acrid and tarry, can depend on my mood, but the dry down is always very cosy - woody, peaty and very slightly buttery, like melted butter, and a nice single malt whisky - thes eare all very wintery cosy things and I'm really fond of this perfume now.

  63. Rosestrang,

    wintertime fire by the beach sounds ever so good! I love the sea and the beach in wintertime, it's lonely, but it has a sort of emotive force to it. You have a point on Black having that driftwoody vanilla to it, it's not the foody vanilla for sure, smokier by far.

    As to the Prada, it's the benzoin which bring on the resinous base and makes it feel warm and introverted. I don't find it much of an iris, more of a woody.

    And I like Laurie's work for SSS. your description of FI is very inviting. Enjoy!


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