Crank the heat: Warm-up scents to keep the cold at bay

I know, I know, most everyone’s cold right about now (save for those lucky souls in sunny climes like California, Arizona, Hawaii, and those in the Southern Hemisphere). And some poor folks have had snow up to their eyeballs. And so I say this with all due knowledge that warm-up scentsothers have it far worse than me, but — dagnabit, I am cold through and through!!

Partly my own fault , as I have the thermostat turned down to 62 (I can always pile on more clothes but no way can I get two more jobs to pay the mounting heating bill, ha!). I’m wondering right about now how well those heated hand warmers and slippers might work? My DH comes home from work and chuckles to see me in the den with my scarf, coat and sometimes a hat on, with a big steaming cup of tea. But that’s OK; a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to keep the goose bumps away. But he feels it, too, I think, as he’s commented several times that he can’t take the cold like he used to in his younger days.

Which leads me to wonder if the older you get, the less tolerance you have for cold. And since we are both past the half-century mark, I’m considering that this might be plausible. A hot flash or two right about now might be almost welcome (my apologies to those who are struggling with them, however).

So I’ve gone into “better living through chemistry” mode to help me shake the chill. L’Artisan’s Tea for Two, Chanel Coromandel, Christian Dior’s Mitzah and Arquiste’s Anima Dulcis are among the portable heaters to which I’m turning. One day I sprayed myself and my scarf to make sure I got double benefits from my warm-up scents.

I also considered Amouage Interlude Woman, and although she can be a hot-blooded thing, she’s a little too changeable and fickle to do the trick. I’m frantically digging through the perfume stash to find other suitable warm-up scents as well, and have SL’s Fumerie Turque and Chergui, Must de Cartier parfum, among others, on my radar.

When you are cold to the bone, what’s your go-to warm and toasty scent companion? I have my pen at the ready, eager to take notes and wondering where in the heck are those fingerless gloves …

This is interesting too!

73 Comments

  1. I don’t use scents to warm up; however, today I discovered the HOTTEST perfume – Neela Vermeire Trayee. You must try it. I’ve now have it on for 12 hours! And it is still HOT HOT HOT. A FB is definitely worth it to save on the heating bills.

    • Perfect! I actually have a bit of this and it never occurred to me to try it. Maybe I can lower the thermostat to 60 with it 😉 Thanks so much for the reminder.

  2. Bornéo 1834 is also warm, cozy and comforting, in addition to Chergui.

    • Thanks, Kelly. I think I have a sample around here and need to try it again.

  3. Ann – good luck staying warm. Trite to say it, but I feel your pain. I’m just longing for sunshine, green grass, blue sky – and just color. In January and February up north it’s as though the whole is black, white and sepia tones. I’d also love to leave the house without spending 10 minutes bundling up.

    For solace I’ve been enjoying SL Five O’Clock au Gingembre for a warm, comforting scent. But, I also tried a little sample of Amouage’s Memoir for Women and that packed a toasty wallop.

    Good luck and stay warm – spring will come.

    • Thanks! You are so right; the winter days can be so bland — spring will be most welcome this year. I never used to mind the cold so much, and after last summer where some of us here in the U.S. had a week or so of 100+ degree days, I swore I would never complain about being cold again. I had to empty the vegetable drawers of my fridge to store my most precious scents because the A/C could barely keep the upstairs temps at 80. Glad you got a toasty wallop from Memoir (I like it, too), but have not tried Serge’s Five O’Clock — on my sampling list it goes! Thanks!

  4. ELDO’s Tilda Swinton’s Like This makes me feel cozy. Also, I hate to say it, Angel (which I’m currently wearing). It’s like sleeping inside a giant melty pastry…

    • This is the perfect time of year to wear Angel, and especially to sleep in. But I’m a little worried it would send me scurrying to the bakery for some goodies, ha!

  5. Two of my favorite warm-me-up scents are Cuir Beluga (warm and cuddly) and Amouage Epic Woman (hot and spicy). I have a great memory of walking on a freezing cold winter day with Epic wafting up out of my scarf. The contrast between the chill of the air and the heat of the fragrance was delicious.

    • I tried Cuir Beluga for the first time just a few days ago, and while I have read a lot of critical reviews, I really liked it. It was so soft and cuddly! I am glad to see someone else likes it.

      • Those two do sound wonderful for the cold. I don’t think I’ve ever tried the Beluga, so must do that soon. I have a sample of the Epic body cream — think I’ll go put that on right now. Thanks!

        • I overdosed on Epic this morning, in anticipation of the snow that didn’t come (YAY!). Shower gel, body cream and………4 spritzes of the edp. Aaack! Just a leeeeetle bit much. Not Epic’s fault – mine.
          xoA

          • Hooray for no snow!! You’ve already had waaay more than your share, sweetie. I know you smelled mighty fine today in Epic — I am grooving on just the body cream, ha!

  6. I’m only 30, and I am already sick of winter already. It seems like Shalimar, CdR, and a couple of my winter standbys are not cutting it. I thought Interlude Woman would fit but it is way too fickle.

    • Hi, lady. I hear you on the Interlude Woman — much as I love it, in this cold you need a scent that can deliver steady warmth and comfort.

  7. I recently made my escape from Southern CA after 25 long years of unrelenting sunshine, and I am SO relieved! I hated it. My ancestry is mostly Scandinavian and British, so I think I am predisposed to like the cold. I keep my house at 55, and drink iced mocha, iced tea or Red Bulls all day.

    Needless to say I never think of using scent to warm myself up, but if I did, my first choice would be Poivre (Caron), I think.

    • Tammy, sounds like this weather is tailor-made for you. I’m with you on the “unrelenting sunshine” though; I grew up in Florida and couldn’t wait to get to chillier climes where there were actual seasons and even (gasp!) occasional snow!

      • LOL! I shrieked like a 3rd grade girl when I had to leave CA. The rainy season, with the mudslides, etc, is winter enough for me!

  8. It is so true that some fragrances warm the cockles of your heart…
    I second Epic, it warms up my nose so well!
    Also warm in a more floral way is Miriam, it reminds me of the aldehydic notes in Chanel 5, but feels so cozy. MFK Cologne pour le Soir is too.
    These are all lurking in my winter drawer, to be taken out again when the weather cools down.

    • Hi, Jackie! You’ve got some nice warmers there. I don’t get on much with No. 5 but find I can wear Miriam, so that’s nice. I also like the Pour le Soir, and in a very similar vein, Costes No. 2. Very cozy and comfy!

  9. Versace Crystal Noir keeps me really warm: it transports me to a sweet, exotic beach in just seconds.
    Rose Absolue both by Annick Goutal and by Yves Rocher seem to do the trick, too. I don’t know how it is in other countries, but here in Poland we have this lovely tradition of “Fat Thursday” – in winter, on the last Thursday before lent, Catholic or not we eat tons of rose petal jam-filled doughnuts… The Rose Absolues (especially the one by Yves Rocher) make me think of these delicious doughnuts, served freshed and warm at grandma’s.
    L de Lolita Lempicka smells like warm vanilla cookies and Jesus del Pozo Ambar like mulled wine, without the wine. 😉
    L’Artisan’s Tea for Two is another one I’d pick, too.

    I got those heated hand warmers for a friend last Christmas, she claims they saved her life during cold winter mornings at the bus stop. They may be worth giving a try then, I guess. 🙂

    • Oh, Magdalena, what a lovely memory from your grandmother’s house! Those doughnuts do sound divine.
      I’ve not sampled several of those you mention, but I do like the L and had kind of forgotten about it. And I’d love to be transported to an exotic beach right about now, so Versace, take me away! Thanks, too, for sharing about the hand warmers.

  10. Just got back to Sydney summer from warmer climes Ann. I found Premier Figiuer by L’Artisan, Sun by Jil Sander and Jaipur PH by Boucheron to be particularly effective anti freeze frags.
    Portia xx

    • Howdy, Portia, and welcome back! Hope you had a fabulous trip. Do share your favorite memories from it on the Posse sometime. You’ve got me curious now about the Jil Sander scent you mentioned. Is it a new scent or one of their older ones?

  11. This winter has felt unending & personally, I’m considering taking a contract out on Puxatony Phil for alleging we are having an early Spring!

    • Too funny! Yes, I think Phil and the other “predicting” groundhogs ought to be getting pink slips right about now. What makes me chuckle is that some years they all contradict each other, so who knows when spring will get here in any given year?

  12. Any vanilla-packed Oriental — Mona di Orio’s Vanille comes to mind, or vintage Shalimar. I also love Miller Harris’s Fleur Oriental for the way it’s powdery essence lingers on sweaters and scarves until they’re washed.

    • Hi, lady! So nice to see you here. Hope you’re doing well. I thought of you the other day when I dabbed on a bit of my vintage Cartier Must parfum. I really like the Mona, too — it is just so lovely. Can’t do Shalimar, but need to try the Miller Harris soon as it sounds right up my street. Take care …

    • I have a Samlpe of Mona di Orio Vanille and loved it but it seemed so familiar…thats when I realized ot bears a striking resemblance to Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant, at least to my nose. And the beautiful l’Elephant is much more cost effective for my pocket book!

      • That’s too funny, Ramona. I’ve been dying to try the Elephant for awhile now and your note will definitely give me the push I need to get it. I’m all about saving money, too, so thanks!

  13. We’re having an extremely cold morning for Florida (low 40s with 25mph winds), and by funny coincidence, I put on Chergui this morning. It really helps! At least at night, my hot flashes don’t bother me a bit during this cold snap, unlike during the summer….

    • Ouch, that IS cold for you guys. As a former Florida girl myself, I feel your pain. Our house didn’t even have heat; if it got too chilly, we had to pull out a couple of space heaters (probably lucky we didn’t set the house on fire). I had Chergui on yesterday, too, and it was oh-so nice.

  14. I can top that- I was so chilly last night at bedtime, I wore the Chocolate Angel! (Taste of Perfume Series)- So I got to sleep in a choco melty pastry….I actually dreamed about bakeries.

    • What a hoot! I had just commented earlier that I was afraid to wear Angel to bed because I’d be making a beeline for the nearest bakery in the morning. Now you’ve got me curious about the chocolate Angel, though …

  15. When it is really cold, I wear Ambre Russe. If I want to warm up, I might wear 5 O’Clock au Gingembre. I also prefer to wear Youth Dew on cold days.

    The coldest winter in recent years, the heat at work gave out. They passed out handwarmer packets, which do not work well. I have a heavy throw/blanket of a synthetic material that is almost like fur. That kept my lap warm at work (interior temperature 49 F) and works equally well at home.

    • Oh, no, poor baby! It’s a shame they couldn’t just send you home to keep warm. Glad you had that heavy throw — what a life-saver. Yum … Ambre Russe — gotta go dig out my sample of it. And I must agree, this weather is ideal for Youth Dew. Take care and stay warm …

  16. Today I’m wearing Safran Troublant by L’Artisan, and it is perfect for work: low sillage, but creamy and comforting to my nose. I’m finishing up a large decant and see a full bottle on the horizon.

    • Oooh, Safran Troublant — how lovely! It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. Thanks for the reminder about this gem. Now where is that sample …

  17. Here in New Mexico we are having wildly changing days, from winter to a sunny 68 degrees and back again. During the day I’m enjoying the discreet warmth of Safran Troublant and Barbara Bui. On chilly nights by the fire, MKK or little dabs of vintage Opium are cheering me up. I’m also enjoying Casmir, an oldie that I hadn’t come across until recently, and Mona di Orio’s Vanille is lovely in unpredictable weather and doesn’t overpower.

    • Ah, another ST fan! And I’m with you on the Barbara Bui — a wonderful scent that too often gets overlooked. I remember having a full bottle of Casmir when it first came out. Think I need to revisit that one. Love the Mona, too. Thanks!

  18. BTW, is anyone else enjoying Barbara Bui? I bought this six months ago and found it pretty uninteresting, then recently dug it out again and thought it was as nice a low-sillage amber as I could imagine.

    • Oh, yes! As I mentioned above, it’s such a lovely but underrated beauty. I’m heading to the perfume stash to get mine now.

    • Count me in as another Barbara Bui fan! I think that for the snowstorm we’re supposed to get mid-week here I’ll need something stronger, though. Maybe Ambre Fetiche?

      • Yay! But I agree — you might need a slightly heavier hitter when the snow hits …

      • Haven’t tried Ambre Fetiche. Probably I need to. By the way, if you can recommend a fairly strongly vanillic amber, I’m starting to lean that way.

  19. Hi Ann,
    It has been chilly lately here in North Carolina and I have been wearing Mona di Orio’s Vanille and Ambre a lot. Today I am wearing Vanille.

    • Hi, lady, so nice to see you here! We have similar weather, and actually had a few snow flurries this weekend (a rarity for us). I am wearing a lot of the Mona Vanille these days but only have a sample of her Ambre — must remedy this. Stay warm!

  20. I spritzed Chanel Coco on last night and one spritz lasted beautifully in the sharp cold air.. Very warm and spicy cozy comfort without being suffocating. It was perfect. And the dry down was really lovely; smelled like spices at Christmas.

    • Hear, hear! Coco is just beyond lovely, isn’t it? I should have put it on my list but kind of forgot about it (so many scents out there it’s hard to remember them all). But as we have more freezing temps this week, I will put Madame Coco into the rotation. Thanks!

  21. One of my favorite cold weather cashmere blanket scents is Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. It’s so cozy! I also love his Amber Absolute on especially cold days.

    At temps below 40, I become rather inactive (I’m cold intolerant), so I think I’d need more than perfume to get me going! Like, Baileys & coffee, maybe….

    • Good thinking — I like the idea of coffee and perhaps a little something “extra” to warm you up from the inside out.
      Lucky you to be able to wear the TF Tobacco Vanille. Not sure what it is, but there’s something in that scent that just doesn’t agree with me, which bums me out because it is so nice. But I do like the AA and will give that a go this week too.

  22. Donna Karan Black Cashmere is my personal cuddle blanket!

    • Excellent choice, Shaney!! See, I knew you guys here on the Posse would have some great scent suggestions. Thanks!

  23. These cold days have had me running back to Slumberhouse Grev, which, IMHO, is not just a male scent. Also, for the toasty comfort factor, Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant and, of course, my fav for winter, 1000 Flowers Reglisse Noir.

    • Jan, I’ve not tried any of these so I’m jotting them down on my to-try list. Especially since I keep hearing about Kenzo’s Elephant.

  24. I feel your pain! I’m in West Michigan and the cold dreary days are wearing thin. Who was it that said it best above?… the days are definitely sepia toned! And I agree, I’ve been reaching for warm blanket scents.

    I love Parfum Sacre, and my ByKilian Amber Oud decant is getting emptied pretty fast. I also agree with the Cologne Por Soir, Coromandel and Chergui. Seems like anything spicy (including my Cinnamon Tea Latte) is working for me lately. I’ll have to go through my vanilla scents too since those sound pretty cozy.

    • Hey, Beth, sounds like you could almost be my scent twin — love all those you’ve mentioned. Have fun breaking out the vanillas!

  25. Ann, I completely understand, as I just can’t stand being cold. Because I crave being outdoors so much, I actually do make it a point to get out and go for a run in this frosty air, but it’s really difficult on a day like today, when the frost west wind is blowing hard. Give me heat anytime … and I would love to live in a place of unrelenting sunshine.

    As for fragrances, you mentioned a number of my faves. I know you don’t care for it, but I find Amouage Interlude Man quite warm and toasty. Also, I would second those who suggested 5 O’Clock au Gingembre as one you should try: it’s a truly gorgeous form of warmth. If I were to pick a favorite warm fragrance for today, though, I’d go with the original (now discontinued) Gucci Pour Homme. It’s like being warm with someone really gorgeous sitting next to you by the fire. 😉

    • Hi, lady! I think it’s about time to go visiting in Florida, right? I keep hearing about Gucci Pour Homme; it sounds nice. But wish I could love Interlude Man all the way through. Something in the top notes of it (and Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille) really rub me the wrong way. So if I could just surgically slice off the top notes, I’d be lovin’ it right there with you. (Maybe I should get a wooden clothespin and wear it for the first 30 minutes, eh?)

  26. Hi, Ann! Spices are very warming to me. Trayee and Commes des Garcon edt are both hot scents. I confess to loving cold weather; we’re about the same age and I am less tolerant of heat every year. Last summer about killed me, I hope we don’t go through that 100+ stuff again this year. I hate being cold inside, though. Wool socks, silk long underwear and lots of layers are standard around here. Oh, and lots of hot soup!

    • Howdy, dear A. I’m scrambling for my Trayee — that’ll surely give me a toasty glow! I’m hoping and praying also that we don’t have another heat wave this year like last — yikes!

  27. 7″ of snow and they are predicting more, come this evening. I am going to be in Epic for the foreseeable future, as it’s probably in my DNA now (I really OD’d on it) But my other warmups are Cuir de Russie parfum – perfect in the cold, Chanel No5 parfum (ditto), Daim Blonde and Jub25. xoxoA

    • Hey, sweets, here’s hoping the forecasters are wrong, wrong, wrong!! Enjoy that Epic, and all those other lovelies!

  28. When it’s REALLY cold, only patch will do, and PG Cozé is my fav. I also enjoy Ineke Field Notes from Paris in cold weather. It also has patch and smells to me like a cozy Parisian cafe.

    Technical layers are best for the cold – capilene, polartec, etc. – maybe you can find them on sale now, too. Enjoy now and stock up for next year!

    • Oooh, yes, patchouli! And Coze is a good one. Must try the Ineke again though. Thanks for the info about the layering fabrics; looks like I need to do some shopping.

  29. Hi Ann an all you poor things freezing your fingers off up there in the north 🙂 tonight at work is the first night in weeks I’ve worn long pants to work and not shorts, so I can’t say I’m really in my ‘I need to smell warmer’ phase… But. I did rearrange my perfume drawers today to get ready for cooler weather, and I can’t wait to wear some of my cozy faves again 🙂
    Most of my best warmers have been mentioned,
    but I will add Habanita, deliciously cozy AND
    cheap, and Divin Enfant by ELdO. I didn’t think
    I’d like this, but found I wore it many a winter
    night after a hot bath to snuggle up in.
    I hope you find some great new loves to get you through 🙂

    • Thanks, Lynley! Have had some great suggestions and love yours as well. I’ve got a dab of Habanita running around here somewhere so I need to get my hands on it, but I haven’t tried the EldO you mentioned. My to-try list just keeps growing and growing … 🙂

  30. I’m late to the party because my silly browser was just being silly again, but dear Ann, I’m so glad to see You mention many favourites of mine:)!! Tea for Two, Fumerie Turque, Chergui are all winter faves of mine, as are the portable-fireplace scents like Chéne or Laurie Erickson’s Fireside. Warm spices in Arabie and Kenzo Jungle help me forget the numb fingertips. My office is often underheated (hello typing in gloves:P!), so I wear ambers to work surprisingly often as well:) haha. I wanted to try Anima Dulcis for so long, thank You for reminding me. Good luck keeping warm until spring rolls in!
    Lovely article as always.

    • Thanks, Elvie! So nice to see you here on the Posse often! We do have a lot of favorites in common. And you’re the third or fourth person to mention the Elephant, so I think it really must be a winner! Stay warm and toasty, dear.

  31. I’m late to, but was intrigued about using Tea for Two as a warmer-upper because I usually wear this in the summer in the heat and humidity. Will have to try out it’s warming properties.

    My warm-up scents are Samsara, Rose de Rosine, and various incenses (Zagorsk, especially), and my favorite winter warmer, Black Cashmere.

    • Yum, Lauren — you’ve got me craving Samsara and Black Cashmere now! I hadn’t thought of wearing Tea for Two in the summer — must try that, too. Thanks …

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