Great New Release Winter Perfumes

One of my picks for great new release winter perfumes may have been around a bit, but they are new to me this winter.  Aftelier Vanilla Smoke, AJ Arabia V and Cartier Musc & Oud are my winter picks of great new release winter perfumes for 2015 that I want to curl up around a fire with.

Aftelier Vanilla Smoke is the smokiest vanilla I’ve ever fell in love with.  It huff and puffs hot tea smoke over a vanilla base that is enchanting.  Notes of yellow mandarin, Siam wood, saffron absolute, vanillin, vanilla absolute, Lapsang Souchong, ambergris and coumarin.  Brilliantly balanced by the supporting notes so both the smoke and the vanilla never stomp on or smother each other. It’s a cozy and warm and is gorgeous when you sniff it on your clothes the next day.  I tested both the parfum and EDP of these (provided by Mandy Aftel).  I preferred the parfum just because it had that extra strength and power, but the EDP was amazing as well.  The drydown has the perfect soft saffroned vanilla with just enough smoke remaining to make it interesting and not too gourmand or sweet.  A must-try if you are a fan of smokey fragrances or vanilla fragrances and lose control of your wallet over smokey vanillas.

AJ Arabia V was my first try of the AJ Arabia line.  Um, why didn’t someone tell me what I was missing?  Okay, someone probably did, which led me to hunting one of these down. This is a great oud-centric line that doesn’t feel too oud’ish.  Notes of lemon, peach, cinnamon, tuberose, orange blossom, solar accord, cedar, caramel and vanilla. It’s not that gourmand, I promise.  The peach, caramel and vanilla take a lot of the bitterness out of the oud on the open, and the cinnamon and cedar add interest and depth.  The brilliance of this is the tuberose and orange blossom heart.  This stuff is really gorgeous and warm and cuddly and makes the world seem warmer in the depths of winter.  I’m now a big AJ Arabia fan and need to check out the rest of the line.

Musette talked about Cartier Oud & Musc, part of the L’heure series from Mathilde Laurent.  I love that series, but I’d just skipped past the oud ones because, well, isn’t oud over yet?

Aftelier Vanilla Smoke, AJ Arabia V, Cartier Oud & Musc

Not when Cartier Oud & Musc smells like this.  I don’t have any note list beyond, well, oud and musc, but it does smell amazing.  It’s smooth, just enough medicinal oud so you don’t think it’s not oud, but the musc is a little naughty and velvety plush, which makes an amazing bed for oud.  I’m like Musette, I didn’t think that much one way or the other when I first smelled it, but the drydown is long and perfection in only the way a beautiful perfume can be.

All of these are unisex, yeah!  With all three of these on, I smell the best I have ever smelled in my life.  Okay, maybe that’s too dramatic.  The best I’ve smelled this year.

Let’s do a giveaway. I’m not sure I have enough of the Aftelier Vanilla Smoke, but I think I can put together a small sample.  So I’ll do sets of all three to two lucky commenters picked at random.  If Santa would put any perfume in your stocking this year – any, discontinued, ridiculously priced, everything is available to perfume Santa – what would it be for you?

48 Comments

  1. vintage Diorissimo – I lost my mother recently and this was her perfume when I was growing up. It just doesn’t smell the same anymore and I would love a bottle for the occasional scent memory of my mother 🙂

    • Hey Kim, I hope it is okay to say this here but Victoria F, is raffling off vintage Diorissimo on Bois de Jasmin today. No guarantees that you’ll win of course. She’s raising money for a worthy cause.

  2. These sound wonderful! If I could have just ONE perfume at this time, I would want Xerjoff Lira. This is one of my favorites of all time! Happy Holidays 🙂

  3. Guerlain Le Parfum du 68. Rediculously priced I’m sure, but it’s beautiful.

  4. I have yearned for MFK’s Absolue Pour Le Soir. I would love for Santa to put that in my stocking, because my family certainly will not. The giveaway sounds fabulous. Thank you.

  5. Oh gosh let me check my list… 🙂 I would like a nice new bottle of CDG Jaisalmer, and the original versions of J’adore & Ysatis, which I have elevated to mythic fabulousness in my mind.

  6. When I was on holiday this year I got to try MFK Satin Mood and had my hot grasping hand around the bottle until I saw the price! Oud adds something rich to fragrances, I love it!

  7. I just recently discovered the twin tuberose beauties FM Carnal Flower and SL Tubereuse Criminelle. So I’d ask Santa to bring me one of those lovelies. Does the TC come in a bell jar? That was my fav.

  8. would love to smell these : ) i want,with all my heart, the new anniversary coffret from frederic malle.i would feel like i was going one of their boutiques every day.best gift ever!!

  9. Right now, probably I would wish for Encens & Lavande or Chaos. Though I/m sure there’s on I have forgotten 🙂

  10. Due to a generous decant from Hajusuuri I am now obsessed with vintage M7. But I also would love vintage Shalimar.

    So glad for this review. I’ve heard great things about Aftelier Vanilla Smoke and have been meaning to try, especially since I’m a sucker for smoke and tar. I’ve never even heard of the other two, but they both sound lovely. Oud is a note I have started exploring in depth, so both are going on my “must sample” list. 🙂

  11. Mohur Extrait. And since I always asked for impossible gifts as a kid, please, Santa, I want Mohur ancillary products too: soap, shower gel, shampoo and that body butter in the burgundy glass jar. Oh, and I’ll take the NV Ayurvedic facial oil too, thank you.

  12. Can I have two?pin my stocking? Amouage Beloved and vintage l’Heure Bleue, many thanks!

  13. Apres l’Ondee, perfume, from the first produced batch- perfectly preserved. Thanks, Santa!

  14. Apres L’Ondee parfum, hands down. The NOT EDT, post-IFRA parfum and EDP are much richer, more glorious version of the pale shadow that – while I am thankful remains in inventory – only hints at its previous life.

  15. Of all the three of your favorites Vanilla Smoke sounds amazing to me. I think I could love it very much.
    Oh, and Santa please bring me the vintage Trussardi for Men 🙂

  16. Nice review. I love a good winter perfume. Changes of seasons always stirs up a need for something different. This is the rich powerful season I think. I’d put probably Jayne Ormonde Black Gold or something from a far away place I cannot get to. Perhaps a sampler of all the exclusives that Harrods sells. Thanks!

  17. I’ll take Apres l’Ondee”, Santa. And while you’re picking up my bottle, give my love and best wishes to Paris.

  18. Right now, Profumum Roma Patchouly. I can’t get it out of my head.

  19. Dear Santa: I have been a very good girl this year (mostly). I would be forever grateful if I found a bottle of Parfum de Therese or 31 Rue Cambon under the tree on Christmas morning. Love, Luna

  20. I tried a couple of the Orlov line last week at Bergdorf’s and I am now obsessed with Cross of Asia, an absolutely perfect ylang-ylang fragrance.

  21. oooh… I think probably Gobin-Daude Seve Exquise is at the very top. Backup bottles of Dark Passage and the original 1270.
    Plus a new Lutens, one of the ridiculously expensive ones (Cannibale, I think), plus a bunch of Amouages, an assortment of new samples from my to-try list including all the vanillas ever.
    All the OJ Woman products…
    Hey, this list is as much a fantasy as Santa Claus but a girl can dream ;D
    please do count me in, the Aftelier version of vanilla sounds heavenly!

  22. For the past two years I’ve been waiting for Santa to bring me by Killian’s Rose Oud, and I’m thinking of taking matters into my own hands!

  23. I would like the biggest possible bottles of vintage Chanel Coco perfume and No. 19 perfume, with all the ancillary body products. Ditto Shalimar. And Amouage Interlude Woman. And others, I am so greedy! Thanks for the giveaway Patty, the winter perfumes sound gorgeous.

  24. Dear Santa, I would like a lifetime supply of Bois des Iles parfum. If you could just arrange for the bottle to keep refilling itself, that would be fine (and a Christmas miracle, too).

  25. If Santa was going to come to such a naughty girl, I would ask for Chanel Cuir Parfum ( pre-LE) or some Apres l’Ondee parfum.
    Thanks for the draw – hope your birthday was wonderful.

  26. Vanilla smoke does sound great! I would have santa give me some mohur!

  27. Ive been searching for a whiff of Payards Pistachio Ganache for some time now. It’s not very niche, but I adore the smell of Pistachio cakes cooking and chocolate!

  28. I would love MFK’s APOM or Mazzolari’s Alessandro.

    And Vanilla Smoke sounds right up my alley.

  29. Santa, I’d like a bottle of Lyric to replace my quickly dwindling supply. I’ve heard it’s been reformulated so I’d like the old version, please!

    Patty, I agree with everything you said about Vanilla Smoke—I also tried both the parfum and EdP and liked it so much that I just bought the parfum—and I’d love to try the other two, they sound amazing.

  30. I’d love Santa to bring a bottle of MFK’s Ciel de Gum, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t been anywhere near good enough! Vanilla Smoke sounds heavenly for winter….

  31. I’d be so happy if Santa put some Quand Vient La Pluie into my stocking, either in EdP or Extrait. I’d really love that!

  32. Santa, I’d love a lifetime supply of Bois Des Iles also, and just about any Chanel Parfum.The Vanilla Smoke sounds wonderful. I love to try it. Please enter me in draw…Thanks.

  33. Thanks so much Patty, it meant a lot to me to read your very kind words about Vanilla Smoke! Happy Holidays to everyone at The Posse!
    Mandy Aftel

  34. I wish Santa would leave a bell jar of SL Rose de Nuit under my Xmas tree!

  35. Santa Baby, could you hurry down my chimney with a bottle of FM Carnal Flower or vintage Mitsouko?

  36. Hiya – i think it would have to be Opus III by Amouage please Santa baby 🙂
    Have a wonderful scent filled Christmas,

  37. Vintage Guerlain Jicky will make me sooooo happy…
    I adore vanilla.
    Please enter me in the draw, thank you.

  38. Vintage Shalimar would be awesome to unwrap on Christmas morning. There are so many other beautiful scents out there, it’s enough to drive a girl crazy with longing.

  39. It’s unsniffed, but Vanilla Smoke sounds perfect for my stocking. If I were talking sniffed, it would be a toss-up between Bombay Bling, Trayee and Felanilla. Thanks for the drawing!

  40. Happy birthday Patty! I love the seasonal reviews. If Santa thought money was no object, I’d love a bottle of Mohur Extrait. Otherwise, I would be equally happy with Bois des Iles, Tihota or Black Jade. Thanks for the draw!

  41. Yes, please enter me in this draw. I’ve been wanting to try the AJ Arabia V and I love that Cartier series. In fact, if Santa could bring me anything (perfume-wise), I’d ask for small bottles of each of the Cartier Les Heures series for my stocking. Thanks.

  42. I would ask Santa for BK’s Sweet Redemption. I have gone through several samples and would love a FB. I’m excited about the Vanilla Smoke and hope to try it soon. Thanks for the opportunity!

  43. Vintage L’air du Temps is perpetually at the top of my fragrant dreams wishlist. Guerlain Les Parisiennes Mon Precieux Nectar Eau de Parfum is my current spare-no-cost favorite. Plus, bee bottle!

  44. The Vanilla Smoke sounds AMAZING…I would absolutely love to try it. If Santa is reading, please bring me a bottle of Jacinthe des Bois! I’ve got a partial bottle, but I’d love a backup.

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