With vanillas, ambers and musks galore, winter fragrances tend to be on the warmer and heavier side of the scent grid—and for good reason. There's nothing cozier in dipping temperatures than aromas that evoke the indoors and that can layer perfectly with plush sweaters, wool coats and knee-high boots. So now's the time to pack up your Eau de Apricot in favor of these top comforting scents that are sure to please you through the colder months.
Viktor & Rolf Eau de Parfum Extrême ($75-$105) is a balmy floriental scent with notes of amber, benzoin and vanilla. White flowers and jasmine temper the more explosive, heady heart, making this scent both feminine and flirty at the same time.
Diptyque Eau Duelle Eau de Toilette ($88-$120) marries creamy vanilla with exotic spices for a scent that is totally intoxicating. Although it opens with a vibrant blast of peppery sweetness, the dry down is much more quiet and transparent. Still, much to our delight, this fragrance lasts for hours on end.
Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir Eau de Parfum ($25-$105) may host jasmine as its centerpiece, but its halo notes of cedar and sambac produce a more woodsy play on the elegant flower. It’s light enough to wear during the day, but the woods and soft musks in the base provide a depth of contrast that's also appropriate for evening.
Hermès Santal Massoïa Eau de Toilette ($235) combines sandalwood with rose and sweet fig, resulting in a soft milky fragrance with just a hint of coconut lingering in there somewhere. The overall impression is freshly offbeat but inviting, and leaves a lasting impression.
Giorgio Armani Armani Code Eau de Parfum ($39.50-$78) plays a symphony between sweet and spicy notes, making this scent prove that opposites attract. The fragrance starts out with fruity accords of blood orange, ginger and pear sorbet, but over time a more sensual blend of sambac jasmine, lavender honey and sandalwood take center stage.
YSL Opium Eau de Toilette ($50-$92) is a sophisticated, true oriental with an opulent combination of mandarin, jasmine and myrhh. Opium may open with a hint of zesty citrus, but it's the musky amber dry down that provides layers of warmth. This fragrance is perfect for a woman who's as mysterious as she is refined.
Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends Vanilla & Cedarwood ($40-$75) reminds us of the smoothest vanilla-flavored tobacco. The Ugandan vanilla in this fragrance mellows smoky cedarwood, while a kiss of iris brings a fresh hit to this unique woodsy blend.
Tom Ford Black Orchid ($70-$150) is pure seduction in a bottle. (What else would you expect from Mr. Ford?) This statement fragrance has personality to spare, with heady floral notes and sugary fruits giving way to dark and earthy undertones. The daring scent is so robust it should be reserved for the evening, especially when you're feeling dangerous enough to venture out in the cold sans stockings.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir ($185.00) is another scent that should be withheld only for a night on the town. Exotic notes of benzoin, rose honey, incense and cumin come together to create a fragrance that's so seductive it's almost animalistic.
L.I.L.Y by Stella McCartney ($25-$100) evokes a British countryside garden brimming with vivid lily of the valley. Although this fragrance may seem like a delicate flower in the bottle, once sprayed, the blooms are in such abundance that it's more powerful than prudish. The addition of musks and peppers in the base give this scent its extra spark.
Photo: Courtesy of the brands