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Which winter perfume is best?

Once the warmer weather starts nearing the end and temperatures begin to drop for fall, it’s time to think about changing your fragrance for the winter season ahead. While summer fragrances tend to be light and fruity, winter perfumes are warmer and more sensual, offering a longer-lasting scent.

If you are looking for a special-occasion, warm and smoky fragrance, Christian Dior’s Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a winter perfume

The basics of winter scents

Every perfume consists of top, middle and base notes, but the layer you want to pay closest attention to for a winter perfume is the base. The top layer is the lightest part of the fragrance, and the base layer is the heaviest. As such, those notes will linger and most often consist of warm, woodsy or spicy scents. Some common and well-known base notes include sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, amber, cedar, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, leather, oak moss, saffron, bergamot and musk.

Choose an eau de parfum

You want to choose a stronger, bolder, more concentrated scent when it comes to winter perfume, so an eau de parfum is a better choice than eau de cologne or eau de toilette. The main difference is that an eau de parfum has a higher concentration of perfume, which means it will have a longer staying power than the others.

Know the scent categories

Winter perfume can be sweet, spicy, smoky or woodsy, so it’s best to first determine which angle you prefer. If you aren’t sure what will smell better on you, consider taking a fragrance quiz before you commit to buying a new winter perfume. Prospective buyers also should visit a local store that sells winter perfume and try a sample on your skin to be sure it works well with your body chemistry. The benefit of trying on a style of scent in person as part of the research process cannot be overstated.

What to look for in a quality winter perfume

Floral fragrances

A winter perfume can still offer the same floral scents you love wearing during the summer, but instead they will feature bolder, longer-lasting flowers like lilies, jasmine, peonies and roses.

Smoky fragrances

If you are looking for a smoky winter perfume, choose one that contains scents like amber, leather or musk.

Spicy fragrances

A little spice in your winter fragrance will be sure to warm you up with aromas like cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg and clove.

Woodsy fragrances

Cedar, sandalwood and oak moss are some of the most popular ingredients to keep an eye out for when choosing a woodsy fragrance.

How much you can expect to spend on winter perfume

Inexpensive winter perfumes can cost as low as $10, while middle-of-the-road fragrances tend to be in the $30-$50 range. When it comes to luxury fragrances, buyers can expect to pay over $100 for a higher-concentrated perfume.

Winter perfume FAQ

How do I apply perfume?

A. You should apply perfume at your pulse points, which include the inside of your wrists, inner elbows, behind your ears and knees, and below your belly button. Perfume should be applied with just a dab, allowing it to soak into your skin and mix with your skin’s natural oils. Perfume should not be rubbed into the skin — doing so will cause it to lose the top notes before having a chance to mix with your skin.

How long will my perfume last?

A. A bottle of perfume will typically last three to five years, depending on the ingredients. The good news is that winter fragrances with heavier base notes tend to last the longest. Perfume should always be stored in a cool, dark room with low moisture and a stable temperature. An ideal spot for storing your winter perfume would be either on top of a bureau or inside a drawer in your bedroom.

What’s the best winter perfume to buy?

Top winter perfume

Christian Dior’s Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette

Christian Dior’s Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette

What you need to know: This special-occasion fragrance is a top choice for its warm and smoky scent.

What you’ll love: There are three different spray sizes available, as well as a miniature rollerball size that is ideal for traveling. The warm and spicy fragrance is easy to apply and contains notes of jasmine, bitter almond and vanilla.

What you should consider: Some people have said they wished the scent lasted longer.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Top winter perfume for the money

Gloria Vanderbilt Jardin a New York

Gloria Vanderbilt Jardin a New York

What you need to know: This bargain pick is a good choice for its light fragrance and affordable price tag.

What you’ll love: The light floral fragrance contains notes of amber, peony, jasmine, neroli and cedar. The classic scent resembles a luxury fragrance, but does not come with the high-end cost.

What you should consider: Some buyers feel the woodsy base notes overpower the floral scent.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Avon Haiku Eau de Parfum Spray

Avon Haiku Eau de Parfum Spray

What you need to know: This light, fresh fragrance has a clean citrus scent, making it ideal for winter or spring.

What you’ll love: The floral combination of lilies and jasmine with the crisp citrus notes make for a clean character. The spray is easy to apply and offers a long-lasting scent.

What you should consider: The scent may be too light for buyers who prefer a bolder fragrance.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Kellie Speed writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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