A winter fragrance is a great way to complete your outfit and to boost your mood and confidence throughout the long, cold and dark months of the year. From woody and musky to spicy, sweet and complex, winter fragrances have luxurious masculine aromatic tones that really entice your senses on those dull days. An indulgent treat for yourself or an ideal perfume gift set for that man in your life.
From cologne to Eau de parfum by top designers such as Dior, Armani and Jo Malone to more wallet friendly choices from The Body Shop, we've prepared this buying guide to help you find a perfume that suits you for the winter months alongside from the best online retailers including John Lewis, Amazon and Boots.
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When you buy a new winter scent, what you're getting is a carefully curated blend of aromatic oils held together in a base usually made up of alcohol and water. Eau de cologne has a low perfume concentrate of around 5% fragrance per ml of base liquid.
Eau de cologne will last about two hours, but won't linger on your body and clothes as more concentrated fragrances will. Colognes are about capturing a moment and evoking a mood, but unfortunately in colder weather, a brief, light burst of scent isn't always enough to cut through the frost, so we've included fewer on our list.
Eau de toilette falls somewhere in the middle range of perfumes and contains around 10% to 15% volume of aromatic oils suspended in a base liquid. On average, this type of perfume has a medium to high intensity and should linger about your person for around 4 hours.
Eau de toilette will typically cost a bit more than a cologne, but should provide great value for money as it won't leave you bereft when it begins to fade away. This is the ideal balance if you prefer a subtle cloud of fragrance that lasts, without knocking your friends and loved ones out cold.
Eau de parfum will usually sit at the higher end of the price range. For your money, you'll get a bold 10% to 20% volume of aromatic oils suspended in a holding liquid, which should have a hardy endurance of up between 5 hours and 6.
A higher concentration of fragrant oils means an eau de parfum will stand a better chance of lasting when the air is cold and dry. It will create a strong imprint of scent on your clothing and skin, making it the best option when you are selecting a masculine fragrance for scarf season.
The creation of a luxurious and long-lasting perfume is based around the mixture of base, mid and top fragrant notes that complement each other for that desired scent. When choosing your winter perfume there are certain base, mid and top fragrant notes to look for that will cut through the cold, complete your outfit and boost your confidence.
For a fresh and energising winter fragrance to liven up the short cold days in readiness for Spring look for a perfume based around the grassy scent of vetiver with floral aromas and citrusy top notes. Masculine floral aromas include geranium, hibiscus, iris, jasmine and violet.
If you are looking for an all year round perfume read our article on the Best Fragrances For Men.
Probably the quickest and most convenient way to apply perfume is using an atomiser spray pump, which takes minimal finger action to dispel a fabulous pop of fragrance. However, a possible downside is that we can end up getting a little finger-happy and start pumping out gallons of our new scent, when a single pump would suffice.
For more considered, targeted scent application, a decanter will work best, as you carefully dab scent on the parts you want to smell dreamy. It takes a bit longer and can be somewhat of a faff, but stops you wasting precious scent droplets. It's really your call - both options are widely sold and don't make much difference to the price.
Perfumes have a lifespan of between 3 and 5 years, so you don't need to worry too much about them running out. However, it's always good to be realistic about your budget, and the frequency with which you'll use your new winter scent - especially if you deem it unsuitable to wear in Summer or Spring.
The majority of perfumes are sold in 100 ml bottles, but many can also be purchased in 50 ml or 30 ml bottles. If you like to keep perfume for a special occasion or are an expert at savouring precious things, consider seeking out smaller sized bottles. That way you'll save money and still get plenty of joy from your bottle!
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Statement Blend of Sandalwood, Cyprus and Myrtle
Comme des Garcons
A Dark, Woody and Complex Winter Fragrance
The Body Shop
Arber Eau de Toilette
Cruelty-Free Fragrance With Woody and Earthy Notes
Gentleman Eau de Parfum Boisée
A Sensual, Floral-Spiced Fragrance With Cocoa and Black Pepper
Eau D'Orange Verte
Chilly Citrus Fragrance Blending Winter Into Spring
Myrrh and Tonka Intense Cologne
Evocative Wintry Scent With Dark, Celebratory Notes
Seductive Scent With a Masculine Character and Woody Notes
Sweet, Dark Fragrance With Vanilla and Tobacco
Bold and Iconic Fragrance for Men
Eau D'Aromes Eau de Toilette
Fiery Fragrance With Bergamot, Chilli and Sage
This fragrance is simply divine! Diptyque perfumiers have a knack for making classy, sophisticated fragrances that seem to conjure fond memories of heartaches and adventures we never even had! Tam Dao is a unisex eau de parfum that's strong enough to add a bolt of attitude, even when you're shivering in the snow.
One pump from this handy palm-sized spray bottle will last up to six hours, and is ideal for keeping in your bag or pocket for a second application while you're on the go. Think sandalwood shrines in Indian temples, blended with the lush green leaves from the forests of China. It's bestselling, long-lasting, edgy and chic.
What we find particularly appealing about this perfume is the sheer volume of woods within the list of aromatic oils used. From the wood of the guaiac tree to the evocative South Asian oud, with the more common cedarwood and sandalwood notes, this scent is rooted in a musky, bark-like intensity, haunted by the heady kick of incense.
It makes a statement without being overpowering. This rustic masculine perfume, which manages to smell both dry and mulchy, will set you back ninety pounds. Luckily, it's a powerful eau de parfum so a minimal spray should disperse maximum scent.
This mossy, earthy perfume doesn't lean into the classic fragrance notes associated with either of the traditional gender roles, meaning anyone can wear this wood-based, fruit-rich scent without feeling pigeon-holed. It's a medium longevity eau de toilette for under twenty quid; goals.
This is another scent packed with orange, but also contains lighter, more summery notes like watermelon and mint. However, we believe it boasts more than enough hearty, woody base notes including sandalwood and tonka bean, to be warming and reassuring even on frosty mornings.
What stands out about Givenchy's new twist on their classic 'Gentleman' scent has to be the chocolatey mid notes of cocoa, speckled with the tangy top notes of coriander and black pepper. The dark woody base notes of sandalwood and oriental accord give it some extra drama.
The 100 ml spray bottle makes it convenient to douse yourself liberally in this spicy scent, and the high concentration of aromatic oils mean it clings to your skin for hours, fighting against even the frostiest winter air. Givenchy claim this men's fragrance entwines the powerful with the sensitive, the strong with the gentle, and we can't help but agree.
Some may argue that orange is a summer scent. To those people we want to respectfully remind you of the clementine at the bottom of your stocking. What about a Quality Street Orange Crunch? What about a Christingle? Point proved! This sweet, fruity fragrance draws all the seasons into one bottle, packing all the punch of a slice of candied peel, while getting us excited for the fresh waft of orange trees through our Sardinian hotel window.
This eau de toilette pairs orange and patchouli with cedar wood, drawing us from the dark winter days into the light. It has a powerful intensity and medium longevity, making its price tag seem fair.
If myrrh was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us. Jo Malone fragrances are tough on the budget, but tender on the nostrils, so we have put this sumptuous scent in the lower echelons of our top ten. It's more aspirational than affordable for many of us, but honestly, just knowing something can smell this good is strangely pleasing.
For those who are lucky enough to have more than a hundred quid at their disposal, this unisex eau de cologne is evocative and intoxicating. Combining hand-harvested sap from the myrrh trees of Namibia, it has a proud, dreamlike essence mixed with a nuttier base of almond and tonka bean.
At the more affordable end of the price bracket falls Hugo Boss's 'Bottled Night'. For just over forty pounds you can enjoy 100 ml of this musky men's scent. Its base notes of sandalwood and vanilla perfectly showcase overtones of cardamom, African violet and fragrant jasmine.
The fragrance won't endure as long as an eau de parfum, but for the price it will still linger for a good few hours. That said, the blend of soft flowers with hot, wet woods is the optimum antidote to the winter blues.
The height of luxury! We can't get enough of Tom Ford's sensuous tobacco and vanilla eau de parfum! It has a unisex potential that we deem totally divine, and the earthy darkness of tobacco mixed with the wince-inducing sweetness of vanilla are just right for winter.
Made using a high concentrate of aromatic oils, just a couple of pumps will be more than enough to have friends asking what fragrance you're wearing. The extortionate price tag is the biggest drawback, but this dramatic, heady fragrance should last between 5 and 6 hours per application.
Dior knows what's what when it comes to striking scents. This utterly elegant blend of woods and flowers is totally memorable and gloriously masculine. This highly concentrated eau de parfum has excellent longevity, so will linger with you through the cold and keep you smelling dazzling for hours.
The richness of the iris mid-notes, teamed with the sexy musk of hibiscus and grassy vetiver, settle over dark, resinous cedar wood. This scent is bold, mood-lifting and comes in a spray bottle, making even application as quick as a flick of the wrist.
According to Armani, the Eau d’Arômes man 'exudes casual elegance'. This playful fragrance hits you first with the light, fresh top notes of fruit, leaves and juicy ginger. The body of the perfume gives a hot, fiery hit and the base notes which linger and woody and dark.
The inclusion of citrus and lighter notes can brighten a wintry day, but make it less pungent than deeper, more sensuous perfumes. It may not power through cold weather like others on our list, but its warmth and panache are undeniable.
Written and researched by Annie Hopkins
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