Winter is all about setting the mood — dreamy cashmere, cozy socks, flickering candles, and a warm beverage all come to mind. But IMHO, nothing sets the mood quite like the right perfume. Our fragrance memories — the scents that we associate with certain events or phases of life — can be extremely powerful. Think about the comforting feeling you might associate with your grandfather’s cologne or your mother’s famous pie recipe.
The same theory can be applied to your perfume. Perhaps you associate a certain Bath & Body Works fragrance with opening up your gym locker in high school or your first sophisticated perfume with your first internship. The point is, fragrances help us feel and remember the moment.
So the question remains, how do you want to feel this winter? Whether you’re looking for something clean and cozy or velvety and sophisticated, there’s a fragrance for everyone to help set the scene this season. So ahead, discover the best fragrances for winter 2021/22.
Best Splurge: Tom Ford Lost Cherry
If you’re looking to splurge on a luxury fragrance, it’s tough to beat Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry. This scent is absolutely decadent — dripping with notes of rich black cherry, sweet almond, and spicy tonka bean. It’s warm, smells like an expensive dessert, and comes in that iconic Tom Ford bottle. Trust me when I say a spritz or two of this will last you forever — I can still smell it on my wrist even after I’ve showered.
Best Body Spray: Lush Twilight Body Spray
If the winter season brings to mind images of cozying up under a blanket, doing a face mask, and relaxing with a cup of hot tea, then this calming body spray from Lush is an excellent option to get you through the colder months. Featuring top notes of lavender and hydrating ingredients like glycerin, you can spray generously whenever you want to surround yourself with a peaceful scent. And like all Lush products, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and uses natural ingredients you can feel good about.
Best Woodsy Scent: Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace
You know that feeling when you’ve come in from an hour in the snow and put on a pair of fresh, cozy socks to sit by the fire? That’s exactly what this Maison Margiela fragrance smells like. Aptly named “By the Fireplace,” this scent from the Replica collection features warm and spicy top notes of chestnut, clove, and orange flower. It’s cozy and wintery without feeling overly Christmasy, so you can wear it for the full season (or all year long if you choose).
Best Classic: YSL Black Opium
This can be a polarizing fragrance — some people love it, others can’t stand it. But if you enjoy smelling like a rich, powerful executive that just downed a black espresso, you’ll enjoy this. Black Opium features top notes like coffee, vanilla, and white flower for a tense, seductive portfolio that you can’t miss. And as for the packaging, that glittering, black bottle with the peachy pink YSL emblem makes a statement on any vanity.
Best Vanilla Scent: Kayali Utopia
This isn’t your average vanilla perfume. Utopia from Kayali is one of those deep, complex vanilla perfumes that can feel seasonal practically any time of year (but I particularly love the warm vanilla bourbon top note for winter). It also features scents like floral jasmine and milky coconut for a playful, buildable portfolio. That, and the packaging is to die for. Featuring a mirrored, rose gold votive with a diamond-mimicking cap, this perfume looks (and smells) way more expensive than it actually is.
Best Under $50: Philosophy Fresh Cream Warm Cashmere
What’s cozier than the thought of warm cashmere? Nothing comes to mind, TBH. Try pairing this Philosophy fragrance infused with the note with your favorite cashmere turtleneck (with sweatpants on the bottom, obviously) to add a little elegance to those comfy nights in with a rom com and your favorite cocktail. In addition to key notes like cashmere and tangerine, Fresh Cream also includes middle notes of orchid and creamy sandalwood for a balanced portfolio you can wear anywhere.
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