When writers turn their thoughts to winter, they produce texts about silence and secrets, dark days and cold nights, melancholia and hope. When perfumers do the same, the result is somewhat more joyful. Sensuousness and femininity are the focus of winter fragrances just as this is a season of telling stories and harking back to traditions. Attentive readers may well be thinking how that makes sense: winter is, after all, a time of retreat, a time for family, a time for comfort and relaxation. When the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, our taste in perfume changes. Suddenly, fresh citrus scents and floral notes no longer seem attractive to us as we stroll through a rainbow carpet of leaves. We are drawn to warm fragrances that will wrap us up and give us a snug sense of winter idyll.
Wear aromatic oil as a sensory ritual
On the one hand, the big names of the fragrance industry solve this problem with rose extracts – such as Viktor&Rolf’s “Flowerbomb”, Bottega Veneta’s “Knot Eau Florale” (roses with peony and musk) and Yves Saint Laurent’s “Rebel” (rose with a note of deep red tomato leaves). But rose is floral and so a summery scent, you could argue. The counterargument is that a rose in full bloom is harmonious and intense. Some people say it is almost intoxicating. Creating sensuality and warmth with wooden scents, on the other hand, is a perennial classic – found this year in the perfumes “Want” by Dsquared (mandarin, vanilla, violet wood) and “La Vierge de Fer” by Serge Lutens (lily, pear, sandalwood). A combination of fragrances and oil is the basis of Jo Malone’s “Cologne Intense Collection” and Giorgio Armani’s “Si Huile de Parfum”. The revival of a time-honoured tradition – wearing aromatic oils has been a sensory ritual since ancient times to protect the skin from external influences.
Moschino is strikingly different (quelle surprise!) with its “Fresh Couture”. Their perfume flacon was inspired by a plain old household detergent. Atmospheric looks different, somehow. Nevertheless: bergamot, mandarin, white patchouli and ylang ylang provide beguilingly sensory ingredients. The editor’s final tip: the collector’s box by Frédéric Malle, which has just been released to mark the fragrance company’s 15th anniversary. 22 scents by twelve unusual perfume designers – delivered with a pocket-sized Bakelite atomizer so your favourite scent is always at hand.