Nov 17

winter fragrance advice from the expert

Thanks for stopping by! Today’s post is brought to you by the fabulous Arielle – yep, she’s behind Arielle Shoshana. Read on to discover all her tips & tricks for winter fragrance!


You don’t need this blog post. You already know the drill. Winter perfume advice is pretty much the same thing every year. How many times can you hear “switch out your lighter scents for warmer, stronger fragrances”? 

Unless, of course, this winter just so happens to be on track to become the hottest in recorded history. Then you might need this blog post after all. 

Full disclosure: I’m a DMV girl, born and bred. I’ve spent 23 of my 24 winters in Maryland, and they were all really, really cold. My experience with sixty degree winters is limited/very limited/nonexistent. So this is pretty much the blind leading the blind. But I know we’ll get through this together. Follow me, my metaphorically blind friends! 

So our winter-fragrances-for-when-it-doesn’t-actually-feel-like-winter strategy is fragrances with traditionally wintery notes (like amber, vanilla, patchouli), but in lighter concentrations. That means eau de colognes or eau de toilettes instead of more concentrated eau de parfums. Think of the fragrant equivalent of a wool cardigan. It’s got warm materials, but it’s not thick enough to make you overheat like a puffy down jacket. 

Allow me to present a cardigan metaphor-free example. Maison Francis Kurkdjian offers two versions of his scrumptious Pour Le Soir fragrance: a Cologne and an Absolue. With powerhouse notes like honey and incense, the Absolue is luxuriously plush when the temperature drops, but a little heavy-hitting for milder weather. The Cologne, a lighter veil of the same notes, is a safer bet for weather that could go either way. 

Another good option is CB I Hate Perfume, one of the few brands that opts for water-based fragrances instead of the usual alcohol base. This lighter formula makes even the autumn fire pit that is Burning Leaves subtle enough for any season. 

Finally, there’s always the total denial approach! Whether January is above or below freezing, a beachy, sunscreen-y scent like Smell Bent St. Tropez Dispenser says, “I’m just going to skip ahead to June.”