These 13 Winter Fragrances Are So Good We Don't Want to Give Them Away

If you’re asking us, we’d say winter is the best season to invest in a new fragrance. Not just because it’s Christmas and perfumes make for the best gifts, but because it’s during the winter months that you really get the most out of them. For starters, we tend to be out and about a lot at festive soirées and get-togethers, meaning we’re never short of reasons to pull out our favourite scents. On top of that, unlike lightweight summer spritzes that evaporate in a matter of minutes, the cold weather means your perfume is much more likely to stay put all day long.

And sure, while warm, heady perfumes tend to reign supreme in winter, that’s not to say there isn’t a winter fragrance for every perfume taste. Whether you like heavy woody notessweet gourmands or even fresh earthy scents, there’s a winter-appropriate perfume out there for you.


(Image credit: @LUCYWILLIAMS02)

However, fragrance is no doubt a personal thing, which makes buying perfumes as a gift a particularly tricky thing to navigate. The good news is here at Who What Wear, we get to try hundreds of perfumes every year, meaning we get a pretty good sense of which ones make the best fail-safe gifts.

While there are plenty of fragrances that would make lovely gifts, we think it’s most responsible for us to share only the crème de la crème of winter scents—because no one wants to get it wrong. The biggest benefit of getting to try every perfume out there is that come gifting season, we have a whole stash of beautiful scents to give to loved ones as festive treats.

But the truth is the real teller of the best winter fragrances around are the ones that we end up keeping for ourselves. We’re talking about the perfumes that are so good we couldn’t face parting with them, even though we know they’d make for the ultimate gift. So without further ado, these are the very best winter fragrances that money can buy.

1. Parfums de Marly Oriana

2. Yves Saint Laurent Libre

3. Initio Parfums Oud for Happines

4. Jo Malone London Starlit Mandarin & Honey

5. Byredo Mumbai Noise

6. Sunspel Oakwood

7. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540

8. Aerin Cedar Violet

9. Maison Margiela By the Fireplace

10. Malin + Goetz Dark Rum

11. Tom Ford Oud Minérale

12. Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza

13. Miller Harris Oud Éclat

Next up, short-lived perfume is the worst, so I found 18 that last all day.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.

Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.

While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.

When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.