My Favorite Winter Fragrances

I’ve made posts so far on my favorite Spring, Summer and Fall fragrances, now for the Winter post. With Christmas this week it made me start thinking of Winter, especially with Winter officially beginning today. Though here in Texas it hardly feels like Winter. Being from Colorado and Montana this is my first Christmas with no snow.

I tend to be a Summer and Fall fragrance girl so I don’t have a ton of heavier ‘Winter’ fragrances, but these are my favorites. As I’ve talked about in previous fragrance posts just because something seems to fit in Summer doesn’t mean you can’t wear it in the Winter. I wear whatever I feel like regardless of the season, but there are some times where a nice deep scent in the Winter feels right. I think of Winter scents as warm, deep, spicy and sometimes smoky. I’ve talked about UK niche brands Miller Harris and Ormonde Jayne before, sorry to have them be the only brands in this post as they’re more expensive and harder to get, but they are my favorites. Their scents are so complex and unique. I wore all of these again over the last week while writing this and the Miller Harris scents are the strongest, deepest and have the best sillage and longevity of the two brands and scents.

Miller Harris La Fumee Ottoman is a unisex Oriental Woody scent. “An ode to Constantinople, the crossroads of East and West, where incense and Turkish rose softly mingle in contrast with exotic woods. A modern tribute to the Incense Road of Antiquity. These meandering trade routes transported precious Arabian frankincense and myrrh, Indian spices and exotic woods to Mediterranean ports. The fragrance is presented in a glass bottle bearing the signature Miller Harris botanical design printed in 23 carat liquid gold.” Top notes: cardamom, rose, cumin. Middle notes: incense, cedar Maroc, patchouli. Base notes: rose Maroc, sandalwood, vanilla bourbon, tonka bean. This is a smoky, incense, spicy scent with some rose. I like it much better than the original La Fumee which was way too dry, masculine and almost flat smoke. This is a more feminine well rounded version. It’s ridiculously priced, even for the normally pricey brand, probably from the gold used on the bottle which I could do without.

Ormonde Jayne Black Gold is a unisex Oriental Floral scent. “The first indelible impression of Black Gold is both an elegant and sensual perfume. Black Gold is intensely constructed, a masterpiece of sultry refined and cultivated nuances. Its immediate appeal is entirely devoted to being fearless, cool and provocative enough to tempt one into forbidden waters. ‘The most important aspect of creating the perfume was searching for the most absolute ‘absolue’ oils. Finding a quality of sandalwood 20 classes better than other sandalwoods, and that voyage was the lengthiest but the most enjoyable aspect in the creation of Black Gold. Each ingredient was extensively researched and the final perfume was a labour of love.’ ” Top Notes: bergamot, lemon, mandarine, clary sage, juniper berry. Middle Notes: orchids, rose, water lilies, jasmine, carnation absolute. Base Notes: oudh, schinus molle, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, labdanum, moss, musk, cedar, ambrette seed, amber. This one is ridiculously expensive $720 for 120ml. The only way I could get it was a 10ml spray special for $72. It’s warm, not too sweet, nor too dry or spicy. I definitely get musk and sandalwood, but not that sweet sandalwood I don’t like, it’s rounded out with the floral, oudh and other notes without being too floral or smoky. I’m not a huge oudh fan in strong concentrations, but in this one it just rounds it out. If you feel like trying a great oriental that’s unique, hard to find and expensive than this might be for you.

Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir is a Floral Oriental. “Orris Noir – so haunting, it almost defies description.
The Black Iris flower is the Royal symbol of the Kings of Jordan and thrives in a landscape of ample sun. This dark, spicy Oriental scent with notes of pimento, bay and patchouli is for those who want to leave their mark. A spellbinding perfume, Orris Noir is a rich, seductive aria of unmistakable individuality, not for shrinking violets.” Top Notes: Davana, Pink Pepper, Coriander Seed, Bergamot. Middle Notes: Iris, Sambac Absolute, Pimento Berries, Bay. Base Notes: Incense, Myrrh, Patchouli, Chinese Cedar, Gaiac. This is a deep floral. Kind of reminds me of a lighter Tom Ford Black Orchid.

Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac is a unisex Woody Chypre. “Rich woods, tobacco leaves and spices give an addictive quality making it a sensuous choice for men. Cuban cascarilla oil and pimento berries contrast with a cooling heart of pine needles and velvet sage whilst creamy tonka bean and Malay patchouli complete this evocative fragrance.” Top notes: bergamot Italy, sage France, pine needle Siberia. Middle notes: cascarilla oil Cuba, pimento berries. Base notes: patchouli Indonesia, tonka bean, tobacco leaf France. This is a deep, slightly spicy, velvety incense for me.

Ormonde Jayne Tsarina is part of the Four Corners of the Earth Collection, it’s a Floral Oriental. “Tsarina captures opulence and passion. It demands fur, leather, brocade, heavy silks in sweeping dresses and fabulous jewels to go with her haughty heritage. To call it a floral oriental is to misunderstand its rich complexity, it is more baroque. The perfume is profound, blending leather notes, rich Madagascan vanilla, amber and orris butter.’ This is a powerhouse perfume, ravishing and regal, distinctive and synonymous with the glamorous world of luxe.” Top Notes: Mandarine, Bergamot, Coriander, Cassis. Middle Notes: Hedione, Freesia, Jasmine, Sambac, Iris, Suede. Base Notes: Sandalwood, Cedar, Vanilla Bean Base, Labdanum, Musk. On me it’s a slightly powdery, musky, woody scent. I hate really powdery, the kind that gives you a headache, yet this one isn’t bad it’s a touch. It does make me think of opulence. It’s listed as a unisex scent, but I feel it’s really more feminine.

Ormonde Jayne Nawab of Oudh is also part of the Four Corners Collection, it’s a Spicy Floral scent. “Nawab (Ruler) of Oudh is a province of central India. Our perfume is inspired by the Nawabs who once ruled over it. It is a potent blend of amber and rose with a soft oudh edge. Yet surprisingly not one ingredient stands out from the others. It achieves a perfume synergy that defies traditional analysis, releasing a pulsating pungency, brooding and hauntingly beautiful, a rich tapestry of fascinating depths, a jewelled veil to conceal its emotional complexity and extravagance.” Top Notes: Green Notes, Bergamot, Orange Abs, Cardamom, Aldehyde. Middle Notes: Rose, Magnolia, Orchid, Pimento, Bay, Cinnamon, Hedione. Base Notes: Ambergris, Musk, Vetiver, Labdanum, Oudh. This is a nice soft warm rose. I definitely feel the rose, amber and oudh without being too sweet. Some amber fragrances are too sweet for me, this is a nice version. The slight oudh brings it back to an Earthy area.

Ormonde Jayne Montabaco is also part of the Four Corners Collection, it’s a Musky Woody scent. “Montabaco is a perfume to capture the essence of Latin America: leather, suede, wood and tobacco leaf repeated over and over again creating a suggestive sensuality and Latino temperament. It sits above the rich floral presence of magnolia, jasmine and rose. It is all unashamedly seductive yet profoundly simpatico.” Top Notes: Air note, Orange Absolute, Bergamot, Juniper, Clary Sage, Cardamom. Middle Notes: Magnolia, Hedione, Rose, Violet, Tea Notes. Base Notes: Tobacco Leaf, Iso E, Suede, Sandalwood, Moss, Tonka, Ambergris. This one is a light wood musk scent with a dry element from the hint of leather and tobacco. It’s not a big deep scent so it could be a Fall scent too. It’s deeper than what I usually wear right now which is why I put it in Winter. It’s not a sweet leather, yet it’s more rounded than some straight leather scents with the floral and air elements.

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