15 Best Winter Perfumes for 2023 (Tested & Reviewed) - Cosmopolitan
If there's even a slight chance of snow, you better believe I'm spritzin' on By the Fireplace.
Winter is my least favorite time of year. I’m a summer girlie through and through, but I will admit that the colder months definitely have one perk, and that's a leg up in the fragrance department. Winter perfumes—I'm talkin' scents with warm woody notes, toasty spices, and even full-blown vanilla perfumes—have a mystifying ability to make me feel hella cozy (something summer perfumes can’t come close to achieving).
But with a seemingly endless supply of winter-esque fragrances on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are the best and worthy of your hard-earned $$. So in order to find the most unique, long-lasting winter perfumes, I spritzed and sprayed over 60 (!!) options. (Yes, my nose is exhausted, but somebody had to do the work!) Ultimately, I narrowed the list down to 15 delectable scents that are completely ~irresistible~. Keep scrolling to find your next signature winter perfume.
Whatever fragrance type you gravitate towards, there’s a wintry perfume that will enhance your mood—so long seasonal depression!—and keep you snug all winter long.
Best Natural Winter Perfume
Vahy Ember Haze Perfume
If you're all about clean beauty, you absolutely need to try Ember Haze by Vahy this winter. It's filled with quintessential winter notes, like amber, vanilla, and wood, but does so without phthalates, denatured alcohol, synthetic fragrance, sulfates, and more. Every time I spritz it, I get a quick serotonin boost, because the scent smells so nostalgic to the holiday season for me.
Plus, despite the strong notes, the scent is far from overpowering—it lays lightly on the skin like the soft glow of dying embers. And although natural fragrances usually lack lasting power for me, this one lingers all day long.
- Type: Natural perfume (per the brand)
- Scent family: Warm woods
- Size: 1.7 oz
Glowing customer review: “This is my fourth bottle of ember haze and I just adore it! It's so luxe, the amber is deep and smooth. I always get people asking what I am wearing when I have this on!”
How to choose the best winter perfume:
Consider scent families you’re drawn to.
There’s not a single defining scent family that categorizes a perfume as wintery. There are a variety of fragrance types, ranging from warm and spicy to floral and fruity that evoke a feeling of comfort during the colder months. To find something that you truly love and speaks to your vibes, think about the perfumes you already own and what scents you’re drawn to. For example, if you’re not a fan of florals, you probably won’t like our pick for the best floral winter perfume. But if you regularly wear gourmands and enjoy smelling like cupcakes and cookies, you’ll probably love something like Boy Smells Vanilla Era.
Think about the longevity.
Fragrances are crafted with different intensities, which can be identified by the perfume type. Eau de parfums (EDP) have a higher concentration of perfume oils than eau de toilettes (EDT), making them typically linger a bit longer on your skin. Generally, you’ll still be able to catch faint whiffs of EDPs up to eight hours after applying, whereas you’ll probably only be able to smell EDTs for about four to seven hours. TBH, most of my picks above are EDPs, but regardless, lots of them come in travel-friendly mini bottles so you can keep them in your purse for whenever you need a re-up.
Take the bottle size into account.
It’s no secret that perfume can be expensive, but you need to consider the price for the bottle size. Typically the bigger the bottle, the better the deal. So if you’re looking for a new signature that you plan to spritz on daily this winter, it might be a good idea to go with the larger size. Usually, perfumes are offered in standard 1.7 or 3 oz sizes, although YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum also comes in a mega 5 oz container for those who really love the scent.
Of course, those heftier bottles aren’t the most convenient for traveling. Almost every perfume on our list comes in a handy travel size option at 0.33 oz. These smaller vessels are also ideal for those who like to switch up their scent to match their mood or a special occasion—what can I say, we like options!
Why trust ‘Cosmopolitan’?
Mary Honkus is a contributor for Cosmopolitan with five years of experience researching, writing, and editing beauty stories, including reviewing every Sol de Janeiro perfume. She’s an authority in all beauty categories, but an expert when it comes to fragrance—her scent wardrobe is ever-expanding and she regularly rotates through a collection of over 20 perfumes (including a few of the options in this article). For this story, she spritzed and sniffed over 60 perfumes to find the coziest scents perfect for winter. From there she narrowed down the best 15 and ranked them based on scent profile, longevity, and the feelings they evoked.
Read the full article here.