Every year, we come full circle to the same spot. It’s cold. You’ve been stuck inside. It gets dark at 5:00 now. You’d probably do some terrible things to just see a flower. The winter blues have made a full shift to grey.
However, all is not lost in winter, there's beauty in it too. Creating warmth, sun, emotion and comfort is literally what fragrances do best, and we’re about to teach you how to rock it - being a lone, sexy sunflower against a 20-degree wind chilled, blue-grey backdrop.
Our first order of business is to talk about the one thing that we all crave in winter: warmth. We probably don’t have to tell you that deeper scents are the go-to for the season, but what does that mean, really?
You can get warmth and depth from a few categories of scent:
While amber is more of a fantasy note, it’s probably the most popular one. Many amber-focused scents veer into a category called oriental perfumes, denoted by their focus on traditionally Eastern notes – ancient resins, spices, exotic florals, and sweet, woodsy bases. Oriental scents are very solid winter go-tos, but amber can appear in many note lists, in many forms, due to its interpretive quality. You can find one of our best amber scents here.
Resins : Amber perfumes are heavily based on resins - which are protective, sticky substances secreted by trees that give off a sweet, balsamic, woody quality – but resinous fragrances don’t necessarily need to drift to the oriental/amber realm. They can be smoky, earthy, or leathery (or all of the above), depending on the type of resin used. You can read a ton more about resins here and smell a phenomenal resin-based scent here.
This category is pretty self explanatory. Giving tenacity and warmth to some perfumes are various types of the actual wood materials, rather than resinous substances. Cedar, sandalwood, and the coveted hinoki wood are all good examples of materials that lend a deep, woody facet. Log cabin winter forest vacation, anyone? You can find one of our best, boldest woody scents here.
Leather fragrances are fantastic decisions for colder months, and a departure from the more common choices of woods and ambers. Leather scents do also tend to have a deep, comforting quality to many people, reminiscent of the very season you pull out your leather jacket and gloves. Leathers can smell a little powdery, a little animalistic, or a little smoky and tar-like, as leather is a fantasy note as well, made from a blend of natural and/or synthetic materials. The ultimate direction is up to the perfumer’s imagination. Curious? You can try a top-notch leather here.
Just like you can, and should, layer your clothes in winter, you can, and should, layer your fragrances too. But where do you start?
If you’re looking at bunch of vials or bottles, feeling a little intimidated about where to start, you’re definitely not alone. Whenever layering is mentioned, a silent, wide-eyed look is a very common response.
While we’d love to give you some hard-and-fast rules about layering, there are so many perfumes, so many notes, and so many factors, there truly are none. It’s a wild, fragrant West out there. You just have to be the outlaw you are. Draw, spray, and see what happens. It can actually be quite fun!
There may be no official guidebook for layering rules, but there are some great tips to start you out.
If you’re layering, be sure to not ultimately spray any more than you usually would if it were just one fragrance. If you typically use 3 sprays in your fragrance application, just because you’re using two, it doesn’t mean that you use 6, making everyone in the elevator hold their breath, counting Mississippis.
In starting, try to choose two fragrances with one or two similar notes, as that’s a really great key to guessing if two scents will blend well. If Scent A and Scent B both have vanilla, odds are, the rest of both fragrances will go well with vanilla, and therefore, each other.
Be bold. Is winter getting you down? Would you love to have some coconut and sunshine? Go ahead, throw down your favorite winter scent, and splash your favorite summer scent on top of it. As a matter of fact, a lot of extremely creative fragrances are based around this very concept of opposition, like our friends at ILK. Cue Layering Travel Duos here.
Have you ever thought about what else you could scent this winter? That’s right, there are more things that hold and project scent than, well... you. Some of these things even hold scent better, and longer, like:
Scarves are fantastic scent holders and projectors. Mist a light amount across your scarf, give it a moment to dry, and flip it around your neck, letting it waft its magic for most of the day. Silks, wools, and cottons are extremely absorbent, porous materials, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how long they hold a scent, and how well they project it. Not only is it a wardrobe layering piece, it can be a fragrance layering piece. Spray your scarf with a different, complimentary fragrance to the one you’re wearing on your body, and let their auras mingle in air. This is, truly, the classiest layering move ever.
Masks have become a way of life for us all, and there’s no reason they can’t get a little glow up too. Not only do they hold and project scent also, but there’s nothing like a little all-day aromatherapy. Here, however, since this is going directly on your face, we’d recommend spritzing your mask quite lightly, just on the outside, and giving it a few minutes longer dry time. While perfume smells fantastic, we can assure you that it doesn’t taste that way.
Blankets are everyone’s best friend in winter. Find your favorite cuddle-on-the-couch blanket, and mist it with your favorite perfume. If the idea of using a great bottle on a blanket is a little offensive to you, you’re going find it pretty astonishing how little you’ll have to use, and how many times you’ll be able to cocoon yourself in your most fabulous scent from a single application. Trust us.
There are many ways to use scent to give your dreary winter more smile and sun than you ever thought possible. Not sure where to start? Try our Cozy in Cold, Sweater Weather, and Snowbound Sample Packs for some of our favorites for winter.
Perfume was made to scent the world with stories and emotions, so look around, layer up, and start adding some cozy comfort all around you this year. Cheers to winter!
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