Gucci Rush is ideal. It's a white floral with much patchouli and spice. It can also be described as an oriental with a good dose of vanilla. Created in 1999 the reference to cocaine ("rush") and the tape cassette case shape of the bottle are now a bit dated, but the scent remains a classic. I wore it all Christmas long in 2007 so for me it is particularly nostalgic this time of year, and if you are lucky it could end up that way for you too. If I were to be imaginative, I would say Rush reminds me of burning red pillar candles in a boudoir, a woman getting ready in her corset and hose, a gardenia tucked behind her ear.
Chanel Cuir de Russie is definitely one I turn to when the weather gets cold. The name means "Russian Leather" and the tang of fur pelts in a horse drawn sleigh is an image that immediately springs to mind. Significant jasmine and rose add to the romance of it all, and like many Chanel perfumes it contains some powdery notes too. Cuir was created in 1924 to celebrate the emancipation of women, allowing them to smoke in public with class. And this is certainly one classy perfume!
Cabochard by Perfumes De Gres is a lighter option - perfect for someone adverse to orientals. It is also perfect because you can get it for under $20 at Target or Amazon. At the time it was created in 1959, Madames Gres said it reminded her of her long and empty walks along the beaches of India. It doesn't smell super beachy to me but I do get echoes of loneliness/emptiness in it. It is very woody, a little bit floral (rose/jasmine/geranium), and an exemplary chypre. The reason I like it for winter is because of its duskiness and vintage couture vibe.
Lancome La Vie Est Belle is a sweet treat. And supposedly it is a perfume adored by French women - a national favorite apparently. I used to love it madly but these days I tend to just admire the beauty of the bottle on my dresser. You know how you go in phases. Still, I'm sure I will come back to it one day because it really is quite lovely. The powdery iris tampers the heavily gourmand notes of black current, pear, and praline. And of course the patchouli saves the day. It's a newbie (only created in 2012) but to me has the glamour of a 1950's bright young Hollywood starlet, not all that long off the train from her small town in Minnesota, ready and eager for her first starring film role.
Go vintage! You can find something precious on etsy, ebay, or a small decant or sample from websites like Surrender To Chance and The Perfumed Court can be a good way to start. If you are new to vintage and have no idea where to begin I suggest something from Lanvin. Vintage perfumes are very strong and intense so I say go with that vibe and get something flat out dirty-sexy. Lanvin has a few of such; Crescendo (1965) being my favorite because it is a complex floriental. However their most known vintage perfume is the musky/powdery/floral My Sin (1924). You can tell from the name alone it's going to be good!
Dior Pure Poison is my favorite of all the Poison perfumes. Now this was only created in 2004, but the original Poison was created in 1985 and Pure, while more modern, still retains a bit of that essence. It is orange, orange blossom and gardenia; sandalwood, cedar, and amber. Mmmmmm! But even saying that doesn't convey its uniqueness. It's intoxicating in an ice princess kind of way. I almost bought it for the holographic poisoned apple bottle alone!
For more Winter perfume ideas check out my recommended winter perfumes 2015.
all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. I am not financially compensated for my reviews