The 15 Best Winter Perfumes That Beauty Editors Swear By

"For cold days where everything feels bleak, I reach for this scent."

Best Winter Perfumes collage including byredo, replica, and vanilla woods winter perfumes
(Image credit: Future)

My biggest beauty pet peeve? Smelling my own perfume on a stranger in the street. Nothing is more intimate than your smell, because it attaches itself to memories in a way nothing else can. And while many have one scent that they wear year–round, I prefer to swap mine out with the seasons. Sure, I have a few best-ever perfumes that I go back to in a hurry, but I also like to keep a roster of seasonal options, from relaxed summer fragrances to fresh spring perfumes, to break it up every now and then. With temperatures dropping, it’s officially time for me to swap out my favorite fruity scent for a new winter perfume—especially one that's sure to be long-lasting during a cold day spent at the office.

If you’re considering the new year the time to check out a new fragrance or two, consider this your official guide to finding the best one. Because all scents can smell similar in the store—especially after testing them all in succession—I turned to Frances Shoemack, the founder of natural fragrance brand Abel, for insight on what’s trending for this season, as well as a few tips on how to get the most out of your wintery pick. Fragrances can be pricey, so you’ll no doubt want to make each spritz last for as long as humanly possible. 

Winter Fragrance Notes

In the colder months, comfort is key—even when it comes down to your preferred fragrance. “Look for amber or wood-based scents with sweet warm notes such vanilla, tobacco or tonka, or warm spices such as cardamom and cinnamon,” says Shoemack. Choosing a warmer, richer scent might be well worth the investment, as Shoemack also notes that “for the past few years, whatever the weather, we’re seeing a trend towards smoky, warm scents for their sophisticated-meets-comfort factor. “ Put down the sweet summer perfume! 

Long-Lasting Fragrance

Another reason to invest in a new scent this season? Not only are warmer, traditionally cold-weather-appropriate scents trending year-round, but perfumes actually tend to last longer in the winter? “Typically heat, humidity and therefore sweat are a fragrances worst enemy, so it goes without saying that the colder months are kinder on the scent profile and longevity,” says Shoemack. Her tip to make them last even longer in the winter? Spray your perfume onto your sweater As well as spraying your skin, we recommend spritzing your scent on your softest cashmere sweater or woolen scarf where the natural fibers wear the fragrances so well,” she says. 

Ahead, shop Shoemack’s favorites plus all of team Marie Claire’s picks that will carry you through until warmer weather is on the horizon and you can shop for a new spring fragrance.

The Best Winter Perfumes

Meet The Expert

Frances Shoemack
Frances Shoemack

Former winemaker with a keen sense of smell, Frances was searching for a truly natural perfume and came up short. Soon after, the idea for Abel was born. Fellow New Zealander, Master Perfumer Isaac Sinclair became Shoemacks’ first ally in the quest to disrupt an industry that didn’t believe natural perfume could be chic, modern, or stand up alongside the world’s best. A decade has since passed, Abel, now based in Wellington New Zealand is sold in 25 countries globally, to much acclaim. The Abel team has grown and so too has the collection - albeit at an organic pace. Abel’s mission, while remaining steadfast, has also grown. No longer satisfied with making the world’s best natural perfume, they are driven to have a positive impact both on the environment and the community.