Whatever your budget, whatever your fragrance preference we’ve found the best new scents that will bring some serious joy to the winter months
You of course don’t have to switch up your perfume with the change of the season, otherwise what would be the point of classic fragrances. However there does seem to be something quite cathartic in swapping out your lighter, fresher summer perfumes and even your transitional autumn scents for something more fitting for the darkest, coldest - and dare we say it - longest season. Welcome to our pick of the best winter perfumes.
Traditionally winter perfumes tend to lean towards heavier, darker, richer notes - ouds, amber, sandalwood and tobacco all being main ingredient players - but, of course, the joy of perfume is that everyone likes different things so in our edit below there are also fresh, green and botanical options as well as zesty, fruity and floral juices in the mix too. Most are eau de parfums, which mean they have higher concentration of oils and therefore linger and last for longer compared with eau de toilettes, however we’ve managed to find a gorgeous eau de toilette for the edit too. So, all that is left is for you to read all about them, screen grab the ones that intrigue you most and go and have a sniff of them.
The luxe one: Akro East EDP, £220 for 100ml
Akro scents tend to have very singular names and they really live up to them. For example, we featured Akro Bake in our round up of the best summer perfumes and like the name would suggest the scent smelt like a cupcake shop in a bottle. Now for winter we have East. Inspired by travels across the Middle East, this new scent from perfumer Olivier Crisp - co-founder of Akro and the nose behind iconic scents such as D&G’s Light Blue - transports you to the land of oud and amber immediately. It’s heavy without being too much and very sexy.
The Harry Styles one: Pleasing Rivulets EDP, £135 for 100ml
Meet one of the three new fragrances from Harry Styles’ beauty and lifestyle brand, Pleasing. As well as the three scents there are three coordinating candles. Each has its charm but this was the standout in our opinion. It has an ingredient called ambroxan at the base which not only gives longevity but is akin to amber and adds a wintery warmth and musk to it. There’s a fresh linen note paired with lemon and black pepper so hitting the clean, zesty and spicy boxes in one go and very much how we imagine Harry Styles would smell. All three scents have been created with fragrance house Robertet who are renowned for leading the way when it comes to making fragrances as sustainable and environmentally and consciously friendly as possible. This uses sustainably farmed ambrette seeds which add to the muskiness and the bottles are fully recyclable.
The unisex one: Molton Brown Wild Mint & Lavandin EDP, £120 for 100ml
A unisex scent but one that definitely errs more on the masculine side thanks to orris root, which is quite a warm note that’s often found in traditional men’s fragrances. But once it dries down you do get moments of zingy and refreshing wild mint that prevent it from being a scent you might associate with your Dad. But almost because of that there’s something very comforting and reassuring about it that makes it a wonderful scent to smell on your cosy knits on a cold day.
The smoky one: Victoria Beckham Suite 302 EDP, £170 for 50ml
Launched towards the end of 2023, this is one of the three fine fragrances from the Victoria Beckham perfume collection that she created with Jérôme Épinette (the nose behind nearly all of the Byredo scents). The juice is inspired by Victoria and David’s time spent at The Ritz in Paris (the name nods to their favourite room) and is a mix of leather, tobacco, black cherry and rose. It’s heavy, musky and quite unlike anything else.
The new classic one: Van Cleef & Arpels Thé Amara, £145 for 75ml
Inspired by walking through a tea plantation first thing in the morning, this gorgeously constructed fragrance is the perfect blend of being a little musky, slightly green and fresh with the inclusion of peppermint and bergamot and there’s just a hint of spice from pink peppercorn. It’s comforting and familiar as well as being totally innovative and new at the same time.
The show-stopper: Dolce & Gabbana Devotion EDP, £65 for 30ml
Subtle and understated are not words that are in the D&G vernacular and why should they be when you can be bold and vibrant? Step in, Devotion - the latest fragrance from the fashion house that is all those things. Created by perfumer extraordinaire, Olivier Crisp (who created East featured in this edit as well D&G’s iconic Light Blue) it is a celebration of Italian panettone and once you know that, you can smell it. The vanilla, rum, candied lemon and orange blossom wrap round you and linger for hours. Delicious.
The one that smells like holiday: Jimmy Choo Rose Passion EDP, £50 for 40ml
If dark, musky scents are not your thing in the winter months and you favour something lighter and more sparkly then this is the perfect addition to your perfume wardrobe. The base is creamy vanilla and sandalwood to give it staying power but the top notes are a mix of tropical coconut water, jasmine and frangipani flower. Winter sunshine in a bottle.
The retro one: Side Story 4pm Matinée, £160 for 100ml
There is something a little bit old-fashioned about this fragrance and that is meant in the best possible way. The bottle is the complete opposite of some of the super shiny, in-your-face designs that are prevalent, this feels more classic and like it could have existed 50 years ago. Plus the outer packaging is quite spectacular, it comes in a box that’s designed like a wardrobe around it with a poem written on the inside as inspiration for the scent. Then there's the juice. It’s a punchy floral but made modern with green and amber notes that prevent it from being cloying. It’s not going to be for everyone but if you want to wear something that nobody else will be, then this is a great option.
The romantic one: Coach Love EDP, £54 for 50ml
The combination of its name and notes - wild strawberry and red velvet rose - make this a surefire success for Valentine’s Day season, however it deserves more credit and appreciation than that. It’s fruity but not sickly and the base note of cedarwood gives it a sophisticated edge and makes it enough of a statement for wearing at night but not so overpowering that it feels out of place during the day.
The modern one: Roads Digital Daze EDP, £120 for 50ml
There’s no drying-down required with this fragrance as it has been designed to get to the point straight away - a reflection on how we interact with each other in a digital world. It’s very clean but not soapy and has a lovely lightness to it that makes it super wearable whatever the occasion. The bottle is slick and has a very satisfying lid that just seems to glide on and off and this won best new fragrance in our Get The Gloss Beauty Awards 2023.
The British one: Barbour Origins For Her EDP, £56 for 50ml
Not only is the bottle for this scent brilliant - it is a matte Barbour brown shade with a strip of classic Barbour print wrapped round it - but the the juice is intriguing too. It’s meant to conjure up crisp UK winter landscapes while wearing your Barbour jacket of course and it has that dewy, mossy green element to it alongside musky amber and vetivert.
The long-lasting one: Bossa Granado Rio EDT, £58 for 100ml
While this is an EDT, the alcohol used is in it is ‘extra neutral’ which means that the ingredients can sing out more and you get the effect of the a perfume but in an eau de toilette. This is inspired by the sunny city by the sea, Rio and contains notes that sum it up such as tropical tiaré and frangipani, zesty lemons and orange and petitgrain.
The energetic one: DKNY Be Delicious Orchard St. EDP, £37 for 50ml
If you want to be lulled out of any winter lethargy then this may just be the scent to do it. The latest version of the classic DKNY apples scents, this contains pink lady apple, black raspberry, pomegranate and pink pepper. It is fruity, fun and zingy. Our only word of warning is to spray with caution the first time as it comes out at quite a pace but you will then get used to it!
The teen one: Florence by Mills Wildly Me EDT, £43 for 100ml
Fragrance and the teenage market can be a tricky one to manouvere. They don’t want to smell like sweets and you don’t want them to smell grown-up. Meet the perfect offering. It helps that it’s from the brand created by actress, Millie Bobby Brown which gives it instant cool-factor but it’s also a lovely scent that's quite green and floral with notes of sage, iris and lavender in the mix.
The tween one: Ariana Grande Cloud Pink EDP, £33 for 30ml
Following on from the younger end of the perfume spectrum but going down an age bracket comes this sweet - in every context of the word - new fragrance from singer, Ariana Grande. It is the 14th from her Cloud range and is bound to be a sellout success like all the others. There’s coconut water, praline, pink pineapple and berry notes in the mix and it's on the sugary side but delightful for the young adult who is so desperate to be grown-up.
The sexy one: Gucci Guilty Elixir de Parfum, £126 for 60ml
As you might expect from the latest instalment in the Gucci Guilty franchise this is quite a sexy scent, but not in an over-breaking way which makes it arguably more appealing than some of the previous offerings. This has a heavy weight towards vanilla but then the delicate addition of wisteria and patchouli. Don’t judge it on very first sniff as this is one that needs to settle so that all the notes mingle together perfectly to give a more rounded version of itself.
The fruity one: Creed Carmina EDP, £165 for 30ml
Even if you think you can't distinguish between different perfume notes, we would defy you to not pick up on the fruity raspberry notes in this gorgeous scent immediately. Or maybe you would get there subliminally through the raspberry-hued bottle? It then mingles with a hint of rose and cashmere wood so it’s not too fruity and floral. Grown-up and sophisticated but not old-fashioned.