Everyone has scents in their fragrance wardrobe that are more suited to certain times of the year: fresh and fruity in the summer, perhaps a little more floral in the autumn, and then downright decadent with woods and spices in the winter. If you’re anything like me, you might be looking for something more overtly ‘festive’ to set you in good spirits for the Christmas season.
Look for notes like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and frankincense to experience a wave of yuletide nostaglia with every spray. Alternatively, candied fruits or verdant pine needles might transport you to your ideal Christmas scene. I’ve chosen my perfect festive aromas for men and women below – let me know yours!
Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes Encens Flamboyant Eau de Parfum
For those who prefer a deeper, darker signature during the winter months, this eau de parfum from Annick Goutal should tick all of the boxes. With its resonant notes of frankincense, nutmeg, incense and balsam fir, it evokes memories of midnight mass and lingers for hours on the skin. A decadent unisex scent that is equally appealing to men and women.
Etat Libre d’Orange Noel Au Balcon Eau de Parfum
This eau de parfum from avant garde fragrance house Etat Libre d’Orange is like a bowl of candied, festive fruit. Glazed tangerine and apricot, together with syrupy honey and vanilla, make for a sweet treat, while pinches of cinnamon and nigella warm the fragrance up nicely. A fun-filled scent for women who like their gourmand scents to be a little more complex.
Guerlain L’Instant De Guerlain Pour Homme Eau de Toilette
This classic fragrance for men is described as a one that “skates between fire and ice”, and that is a very apt summary. Fresh and crisp notes of citrus crystals illuminate the overtly sensual notes of patchouli, star anise and cocoa, making for a memorable sparkling woody/spicy scent. A great winter choice for men that is full of wearable contrasts.
CB I Hate Perfume Walking In The Air
Each one of the scents featured in this round-up are resonant and spicy – apart from this fanciful offering from niche fragrance house CB I Hate Perfume. Christopher Brosius drew inspiration from sources as diverse as Narnia and the Nutcracker to recreate the elusive scent of pristine, newly fallen snow.
Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre Eau de Parfum
Ginger has a very specific warm, comforting and enveloping quality that is just perfect for this time of year. This classic fragrance is made even more special with addictive notes of pepper, cinnamon and cocoa, together with a drizzle of sweet honey and a base of heady patchouli and amber. A delicious scent from the master of perfumery.
Burberry Brit Women Limited Edition Eau de Parfum
This limited edition women’s fragrance from Burberry introduces a festive twist on the original Brit scent. Marrying the warmth of cinnamon with the creaminess of almond and tonka beans, the composition is freshened with a dash of festive mandarin essence. A warm and enveloping fragrance with a touch of sweetness that is universally appealing.
Michael Kors Men Eau de Toilette
The eponymous Michael Kors scent for men revolves around the classic patchouli note, which always reminds me of winter (all of my personal signature winter scents are full of it). This wintriness is transformed into something altogether more festive thanks to notes of cinnamon and star anise, together with the dried fruit accord in the base.
Comme Des Garcons Wonderwood Eau de Parfum
This is a fragrance that showcases the depth and breadth of wood notes, from the softness of cashmeran and smoky gaiacwood, to verdant vetiver and the sensuality of oud. Wonderwood reminds me of the best bits of winter, as paradoxical as they might be: sitting in the warmth next to wood stoves, and frosty walks in the forest..