Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2014

Hill and Ploughed Field near Dresden

There are almost 200 perfumes on my “want-to-sniff” list. The majority of them were released in the last four years and a large percentage of them never were sold in the U.S. (Ever seen Trussardi My Land, Mäurer & Wirtz Pink Pepper & Grapefruit, Molinard Habanita L’Esprit or Charriol Royal White at your favorite American fragrance counter?) There’s just too much ‘product’ out there!

So, how can I write about the “top 10 winter fragrances” with any authority? I can’t. My “top 10″ is comprised of perfumes I’ve recently encountered, worn, enjoyed, and that fit my mood of the moment. I’m not including fragrances I’ve reviewed in the past. I’m not including lots of classic/rich “winter” fragrances because, frankly, by mid-January in Seattle, I’m sick of cold, wet weather and dark heavy perfumes. I need some sparkle in my life…some light, citrus and flowers. And let’s not forget it is SUMMER in the southern hemisphere — this post is dedicated to readers in that part of the world; I wish I could visit you all, from Argentina and Brazil on over to South Africa and Australia and the balmy lands of Asia and the South Pacific.

Ava Lux Honey presents the warm scents of hot summertime, with its floral, nutty (almond) aromas…

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Luckyscent Parfums Raffy

Simply fewer smells

One reason is that odor molecules move much more slowly as the air temperature drops, said Pamela Dalton, an olfactory scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. That means that there are simply fewer smells to smell on a cold, crisp day than there are on a hot and humid one.

— Read more at Why Cold Air Smells Different at Discovery.

Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2013

Suisse Hiver postersports-mont-blanc

Over the years I’ve built a stable of favorite cold-weather fragrances and have only added and dropped off a few each year. To spare you a recap of perfumes I mention all the time, I’m grouping ten perfumes I like into ten winter-activity categories. I hope you’ll chime in with your own favorites, and be sure to check out more winter favorites at Bois de Jasmin :: Grain de Musc :: Perfume Posse :: Perfume Smellin’ Things.

Après-ski

This category is kind of a joke since I don’t know how to ski, and, frankly, the whole deal sounds like a good excuse for a broken collar bone. But après ski? Sign me up. When I picture après ski, I think of an early 1960s lodge in Gstaad — like the one in the Pink Panther movie — with women in sweaters and bulbous mink hats and men in turtlenecks and dark glasses. Everyone drinks from brandy snifters and speaks several languages. It’s glamorously ridiculous. Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore is my après-ski perfume choice. It’s boozy, woody, and warm, and would be a terrific accompaniment to a shoulder-high fireplace and a copy of Valley of the Dolls

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Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2012

Snow in New York City

This winter has been an unpredictable one, so far, in the Mid-Atlantic region: no snow, mild temperatures, weirdly fluctuating humidity. It happens to suit my current state of mind: for me, the year opened on several notes of personal and professional disappointment, when nothing turned out quite as I expected it to.

However, wearing (and writing about!) perfume is always a reassurance to me. And over the past week or two, the temperature has finally dropped (and stayed low); we even received a light (if fleeting) layer of snow one night. Maybe something, even if it’s just the weather, will get back on track. Here, then, is my highly subjective list of ten fragrances that have been keeping me company during this season.

In the past I’ve thought of Guerlain Après l’Ondée as a springtime fragrance, but this year I realized that it’s also a good fit for where-is-winter days that alternate between chilly rain and pale sunlight…

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