Switching scents with the seasons

Just as chilly weather tends to inspire sudden and urgent cravings for warming, soul-bolstering things like golden syrup dumplings and lamb shanks, it can also spark a desire for a new fragrance.

While summer is the time for fresh, zippy, floral scents made for drinking rosé in the sunshine, winter is all about warm, smoky, sophisticated ones with a little more heft.

“More earthy, woody scents can make the wearer feel like they’ve been wrapped up in a blanket.”Credit:Sabine Villiard/Trunk Archive/Snapper Images

Michael Marzano, national education manager at Agence de Parfum, says it’s a good idea to switch your perfume with the seasons.

“Warmer weather increases levels of perspiration and oils on the skin, which makes fresh, lightweight fragrances the best choice,” he says.

“Cold weather, on the other hand, causes our blood vessels to contract and recede deeper into our skin, the objective being to keep the internal organs warm. Therefore heavier, richer and more sophisticated fragrances are required to create a fragranced impression.”

From top: Amouage Portrayal Woman, $449 (100ml). Juliette Has a Gun Vanilla Vibes, $209 (100ml). Maison Margiela Replica – By the Fireplace, $170 (100ml).Credit:Jennifer Soo

Marzano recommends citrus or aquatic fragrances in hot weather, and oriental or woody scents when it cools down. His favourite winter scents? Clive Christian’s X Masculine for men and X Feminine for women. “They’re both rich, robust, long-lasting and sophisticated fragrances, and ultimately they can carry from day into night.”

Jacob Stanley, head of education at Mecca, doesn’t see the change of seasons as a prompt to switch scents. “We believe in having a different fragrance to suit every mood,” he says.

However, he does agree that the cooler months can trigger certain cravings. “In the winter months we often crave the feeling of warmth and cosiness, so we often find we gravitate to more earthy, woody, ‘cashmere-y’ scents that make the wearer feel like they’ve been wrapped up in a blanket. That often means we wear the woodier, earthier, smokier scents in our collection,” he says, adding that fragrances like Comme des Garçons Wonderwood and Le Labo Patchouli 24 fit this brief.

Stanley also recommends the rich and intense Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle – Musc Ravageur and the warming Diptyque Tam Dao. His reasoning is that winter is also the time to opt for “powerful, bombastic and spicy scents that might feel overpowering in the summer months”.

Perfect perfumes

Amouage Portrayal Woman

Luxury fragrance house Amouage has a scent for him and her this winter. Portrayal Woman has a base of elemi, a heart of tobacco and vanilla, and top notes of jasmine. The men’s version is equally covetable.

Juliette Has a Gun Vanilla Vibes

This new scent from Romano Ricci (great-grandson of fashion designer Nina Ricci) is vanilla – but not as you know it. With a twist of sea salt and notes of sandalwood, tonka bean and musk, it’s warm and sensual.

Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace

It doesn’t come much more wintry than a scent that reminds you of cuddling up on the couch in front of a roaring fire. With notes of pink pepper, vanilla, cashmeran, orange flower petals and Peru balsam, it’s an enveloping, woody fragrance.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale August 4.

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