I'm Picky and Only Wear Certain Scents in the Wintertime—Here's the Reveal

This year, I'm leaning into the cold weather more than ever before. Yes, that's right, I've decided I'm going to embrace winter. So in the spirit of that, I'm preparing for it in the best way I know how: by investing in beauty products that make me feel warm and cozy. My logic is that if I'm using and enjoying products that I don't normally use and enjoy year-round, it might give me a newfound appreciation for the short, dark, and cold days. 

A big part of that is fragrance, especially because cold-weather scents are my absolute favorite (really, though). There's just something about warm, deep, and woodsy fragrances that I love. I guess it's because they make me feel snug inside. Since this year I'm not messing around, I've stocked up on all of my favorites—14 of them to be exact. Keep scrolling to see them all. (But be warned. You'll want to keep these on rotation all season long.)

Woman standing in front of fireplace



1. Ellis Brooklyn Après

If there is one fragrance that makes me immediately think of winter, it's this one from Ellis Brooklyn. With notes of juniper berries, bourbon, and cedarwood, it's crisp yet cozy, like the feeling of hitting the slopes and then returning to the warm atmosphere of the ski lodge. (I don't ski, but you get the picture.) I mean, even the forest green bottle speaks winter to me. 

2. Valentino Donna Born in Roma

If Ellis Brooklyn's Après is the obvious winter fragrance, this one from Valentino is a little more understated (but just as good). Notes of jasmine flowers, blackcurrant, and bourbon vanilla give a warm and sweet effect, yet it's far from sugary or cloying. 

3. Maison Margiela Replica Coffee Break

I have to be honest. Before I smelled this fragrance, I was very unsure about it. While I consider coffee to be one of the best-smelling substances on the planet, I didn't think I'd want to wear it as perfume. And, of course, I was wrong, because it's not just coffee. It's also lavender and something called milk mousse accord. All in all, it's a blend of sweetness and subtle bitterness, like a hot latté on a cold day.

Woman sitting in front of mirror



4. Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace 

Another Maison Margiela fragrance, this one is a winter classic. Perhaps it's the winter classic. Not surprisingly, it was created to replicate the scent of a burning fireplace, so there's a subtle element of smoke along with a big dash of sweetness. It's thanks to notes of clove oil, chestnut, and vanilla accord. I'm going to go ahead and say this is the winter perfume I use the most. It's simply that good.

5. Byredo Eyes Closed

Classified as a woody scent, this perfume combines notes of patchouli, papyrus, ginger, carrot, and candied spices (cinnamon and cardamom). It's slightly spicy and extremely warming, which is exactly what I want out of a winter perfume. 

6. Ellis Brooklyn Vanilla Milk

Fans of vanilla perfumes will love this fragrance, which is also from Ellis Brooklyn. It combines bourbon vanilla bean extract (which, to me, smells sweeter and more comforting than regular vanilla) with cocoa shell and frangipani. I'm not one for sickly sweet scents, so you can trust me when I say you'll smell like a sugar cookie, but in the best way. 

7. Giorgio Armani Sì

This is one of the first designer fragrances I ever bought. It's also one of the only ones that I still continue to wear regularly (especially in the fall and winter). There's just something about the blend of notes that really speak to me. There's rose, blackcurrant nectar, mandarin, orange blossom, and warm vanilla. 

Woman sitting on couch



8. Tom Ford Ébène Fumé 

I owe my love for this fragrance to two people. First, there's Who What Wear's beauty director, Erin Jahns. Second, there's Who What Wear's beauty editor Katie Berohn. Both of them recommended it to me, and I must say, it's become a mainstay in my winter fragrance wardrobe. It's an intense fragrance that's classically woody; I'm talking about notes of palo santo wood accord and ebony wood accord, mixed with a fragrant floral note of rose. I'm kind of obsessed. 

9. Tom Ford Soleil Neige

This Tom Ford fragrance is sweeter and brighter than the last. That's probably because it combines notes of bergamot, jasmine, and lemon with a warming base of musk. It was meant to mimic the shimmer of the sun on snow if that gives you any indication of what it smells like. I'll say that it's been in my collection for a little over two years, and I wear it regularly throughout the winter months. 

10. Perfumehead Cosmic Cowboy

I first fell in love with this fragrance based on the description alone. You see, it's inspired by the "smoky, boozy debauchery" of nightclubs on the Sunset Strip in the '70s. (It's both incredibly specific and highly alluring.) As for the fragrance itself, it has notes of cinnamon bark, tobacco leaf, amber, and musk. So, yes, this one is pretty much the definition of warm and rich. 

11. Yves Saint Laurent Libre

Warm and spicy is the name of the game, and it doesn't stop with this fragrance from YSL. It gets its sweetness from orange flower and lavender. It gets its warmth and spiciness from saffron accord. To me, it smells elegant and sophisticated. 

Woman holding a drink in her hand



12. Phlur Missing Person

This is a more delicate take on winter perfume. As the brand puts it, "if nude were a perfume, this would be it." Notes of skin musk, bergamot nectar, and blonde wood make it warm and spicy yet also sheer. It's a fragrance I could wear every single day throughout the winter season and never get sick of (that's saying something). 

13. Killian Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi

This is the most cloying perfume in my collection, which is why I reserve it almost exclusively for winter wear. Even though it's admittedly heavier and more floral than I would normally go for, there's something about it that keeps me coming back to it. It's a radiating blend of (get ready) gardenia, ylang-ylang, tuberose, neroli, orange blossom, mandarin, sandalwood, and vanilla. 

14. Aesop Othertopias Eidesis 

Who What Wear beauty editor Katie Berohn also recommended this new fragrance to me. It's inspired by the myth of Narcissus, and it combines notes of black pepper, frankincense, cumin, cedar, and sandalwood for a scent that's grounding and earthy.