My Favorite Fall + Winter Fragrances.

My Favorite Fall and Winter Fragrances

Despite being a huge perfume person (I’ve talked about this before but the first 8 years of my career were spent in the fragrance business – first as an assistant buyer and then in brand management) I don’t talk about fragrances here THAT much because it’s so personal. But I’ve smelled some really wonderful fall and winter fragrances recently so wanted to share them today (For more fragrance recs check out my favorite Spring + Summer fragrances!)

Fragrance is just so magical. It can completely change your mood… it can bring back memories (or start new ones – I love taking a new fragrance along on vacation so that I think of that trip when I wear the perfume). It’s so incredible how that works.

During the summer I tend to like something lighter. I favor orange blossom anything. During the cooler months, I want something a little warmer, maybe even sultry or smoky. Most of these fragrances are actually unisex!

I’ve always been a big fan of Le Labo Santal 33. It’s still one of my absolute holy grail favorite fragrances but it’s a little bit annoying because absolutely EVERYONE has it now! So you walk down the streets of Manhattan (especially downtown, haha) and everyone just smells the same. It’s actually kind of hilarious. So yes, it will always be one of my favs but it’s nice to mix things up a bit!

My Favorite Fall and Winter Fragrances

Fall and Winter Fragrances

Byredo Slow Dance

This fragrance smells like… a warm, soft hug. Like you’d imagine velour would smell, if it had a scent. Which makes the name so perfect… slow dance. It was actually inspired by prom! This is unisex but to me it smells very feminine. Violet and vanilla and patchouli!

Le Labo Santal 33

This fragrance is so special. You really have to smell it on yourself to understand but it just smells so good. Like a sexy fireplace. But with a creamy finish? It’s positively addicting. The notes I notice most are leather + sandalwood. It’s spicy and woody, with a soft dry down.

Egyptian Musk Oil

This is the most inexpensive fancy perfume you’ll ever wear! It was also Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s fav, which of course I love. It’s really hard to explain this one (it’s extremely subtle and soft) but it’s so lovely. I also like layering it with Santal 33 (or actually any of these) to warm it up and make it a little more musky. It’s an oil so just dab a drop on your pulse points.

My Favorite Fall and Winter Fragrances

Nars Audacious Fragrance

When I put this one on my instagram story, I described this as one of the sexiest fragrances I have EVER smelled. And I stand behind that. This one has that same spicy wood notes but also notes of frangipani which make it really feminine and pretty. I love the juxtaposition of floral with cedar, musk, and spiced woodl. It’s addictive and has become an instant favorite.

Byredo Eleventh Hour

This one is also hard to describe but it’s WONDERFUL. (I mean honestly, everything Byredo makes is just… beyond.) The perfumer’s description is a bit somber: the smell of things ending. But to me it smells like a cashmere sweater. It’s a little spicy (are you seeing a trend here? they all are!) but it’s also sweet and soft (wild fig and tonka beans help with that).

The Nue Co Functional Fragrance

I saved my newest fav for last! First of all, this perfume was designed by the same perfumer who created Santal 33, so I figured I’d like it. But what fascinates me about The Nue Co is that all of their products have a functional benefit. Besides smelling amazing (it’s similar to Santal and very spicy!) it’s also designed to help you de-stress and reset. It’s woody, spicy, and smoky… and actually helps to calm the nervous system. How brilliant is that!?

Photography by Carter Fish.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. JC:

    I also love perfume but I find that I go nose-blind to it almost immediately 🙁 When I wear my favorite scents, I smell them for a little bit in the morning but after that, nothing. Is this normal? I assume other people can still smell it, but I want to smell it too!

    11.19.19 Reply
    • I know, I hate that, and that’s why I always mix up my fragrances so that I can smell them!

      11.19.19 Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing your favourite fragrances! Will check them out in person! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    11.19.19 Reply
  3. I will have to try out some of these, especially interested in the Byredo.
    Have you tried Gaiac 10? It’s the Tokyo city edition by Le Labo and my all time favorite dry down- I’ve worn it for almost a decade now. It costs double though, ugh. I’ve also loved Egyptian musks since the 90s but my favorite is the Auric Blends Egyptian Goddess which is a little softer and closer to the skin. For me, the ultimate sultry perfume is my hs era Gucci Rush in the red rectangle bottle (nostalgia?), and Serge Lutens Chergui. I’m a big fragrance person and when I lived in NYC I’d spend hours at places like Aedes in the West Village, Twisted Lily in BK, and Bergdorf’s perfume floor. For clean/bright but a little different, I remember liking Untitled by Margiela but it’s been years.
    I could talk fragrance for hours- I used to work in fashion but now I make scented slime and get to mix fragrance oils every single day! I never would have expected that for me, but looking back at my obsession, it all makes sense. 🙂

    11.19.19 Reply
  4. Dana Mannarino:

    I like that you described the first scent as a HUG. Like, immediately SOLD. I’ve never been a fragrance gal, I just throw on whatever….but I feel like I need to find a signature scent ASAP.

    Dana | The Champagne Edit 

    11.19.19 Reply
  5. Helen:

    I love Nue’s fragrance. Now I want to try Nars because if I don’t always feel sexy then I can at least smell sexy!

    11.19.19 Reply
  6. I love a good musky perfume—I wore the Burberry classic forever and ever.

    11.19.19 Reply
  7. Love these picks! I’m also very into perfume, as you can maybe tell by my username, and I used to have a perfume blog before I expanded into lifestyle 😀 I love richer and denser fragrances for autumn – especially my Serge Lutens collection.

    Dee ~ Vanilla Papers

    11.20.19 Reply
  8. Jessica Camerata:

    I never think to change up my fragrance. I’ve been wearing Dolce & Gabanna’s Dolce for years, it’s my signature. May need to try something new!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

    11.20.19 Reply
  9. anonimo:

    Unfortunately, Abdul Kareem does not arrive in Spain, of course, in Spain we are banned, and if he arrives in the UK. I love oils, I’ve had a couple of unpleasant experiences with perfumes, now I don’t use anything but oils anymore.

    4.1.23 Reply
  10. Marsha:

    I know it has been a while since you posted this and I actually have never read your fragrance reviews until today!! This past winter I splurged on a fragrance from Maison Francis Kurkdjion, Grand Soir. Neiman’s was sold out and I finally found it at Cos Bar. It is a very warm, sexy fragrance and I find it so addicting. A little goes along way, but at the same time it is soft. It reminds me of all the best of winter, yet it is sweltering in Texas and I have to sneak some every now and then. Thank you for reminding me of Annick Goutal in your spring review. I have worn Petit Cherie in the past and also loved eau d’Hadrien, a light and refreshing citrus perfume.

    7.13.23 Reply