I take advantage of the cold-weather months and pour on amber-rich, resinous, incense-y, musky, and powdery perfumes (known as “gasp-inducers” in hot weather) but I also use perfumes to help me forget winter woes — my flowerless garden, chill-induced headaches, spark-filled hair, and dry-as-bone skin (citrus and florals…come hither). My top-ten list of winter fragrances is, of course, personal, and far from definitive; these are simply perfumes I’m enjoying this winter.
I usually wear “sharp”/herbal amber fragrances such as Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and Tom Ford Amber Absolute, but it’s nice to have a classic amber scent handy as well. Enter Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114 (with notes of patchouli, cedar, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla, benzoin, and musk). Like many amber perfumes of its type, Ambre 114’s soft and sweet aromas transport me to a particular “scene” (a snowy twilight landscape viewed from inside a warm, dim room) and state of mind (contented…but nostalgic too). I suppose that means amber scents make me feel safe and comfortable and, perhaps, remind me of someone time has erased from my life.
Aesop Mystra is bold — and a bit severe. Mystra’s mastic, labdanum and frankincense notes smell “ancient” and ceremonious, like offerings to a deity. Since I’ve been accused by friends of acting in a, a-hem, “divine” manner at times, I offer up Mystra to myself.
Bois 1920 Vetiver Ambrato is simple and “pure”: vetiver and amber combined in an interesting way. Whenever I wear it, I always attract attention — from men, women, children and animals. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it (and if I did, I’d probably think: “defective nose”).
Chanel Pour Monsieur was one of the first scents I wore — in high school. I still like the perfume, even after its many reformulations. Pour Monsieur wears well in any season, but in winter its moss and citrus give me a mental boost during long, wet, cold, gray spells.
Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Pour Homme is a wonderful fougère fragrance, not too sleek or modern for its own good. Rive Gauche is a pleasing all-around/all-situation scent with notes of rosemary, rose geranium, lavender and patchouli. Though stamped with an Yves Saint Laurent logo, Rive Gauche qualifies as a “cheap thrill” at $46 for 75 ml. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!
I like to wear powdery fragrances in winter. Two that I love now are the lime-rich i Profumi di Firenze Agrumi di Sicilia and Serge Lutens Chergui (honey, tobacco, hay!) Powder’s not for everyone, I know, but here at Now Smell This, Ms. Angela Alamut and Mr. Kevin Habanita-Chergui cavort on a cloudy-with-powder conga line, joined by our favorite Perfume Power-Powders.
Santa Maria Novella Marescialla reminds many people of furniture polish with its resinous-lemon-y fragrance. I fondly remember the lemon-scented furniture wax used in my home when I was little. Though I hated many chores (cutting grass, doing dishes) I loved, and LOVE, waxing furniture. Marescialla makes me feel clean and lustrous.
Boadicea the Victorious produces an army of perfumes (currently: 35). Of the handful of Boadicea the Victorious perfumes I’ve tried so far, Invigorating is my favorite and makes me think of summer with its rich notes of syrupy orange and yuzu, rock rose, jasmine, and rose geranium.
I reviewed Comme des Garçons Monocle Scent Two: Laurel just last week. Its notes vary between spring (green laurel leaf), summer (marigold) and autumn/winter (smoky frankincense); Laurel is like a haiku poem that can’t decide which season to celebrate.
Thanks to a tip from NST commenter Carlos, I got my hands on a full bottle of long-discontinued Comptoir Sud Pacifique Thé Eau de Parfum — perhaps, my favorite perfume EV-ER. Apart from smelling of mellow sandalwood, black tea, lotus and Southeast Asian incense, Thé conjures up happy years for me, and, in particular, a sensational trip to Thailand where I doused myself with Thé daily.
Okay; I highlighted eleven fragrances since beloved Comptoir Sud Pacifique Thé is no longer with us. Enjoy the season!
Note: top image is Pine Trees via Wikimedia Commons.