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  1. #1

    Default New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    Hi everyone,

    I've been wearing fragrance on occassion for several years, but have not taken fragrances seriously until now. I realize there are a lot of resources on this site that I will start going through, but I wonder if anyone could help me with one of my biggest questions: the summer vs. winter distinction. Would it be accurate to say that flowery, fruity, lighter (more feminine?) scents are considered summer scents and "heavier", more masculine (musky?) scents are more appropriate for winter?

    My current "collection" none of which I purchased myself consists of Armani Acqua di Gio (I do know I would prefer a less common scent), Kenneth Cole Reaction, Geoffrey Beene Eau de Grey Flannel and Coty Raw Vanilla (which I think I was given in JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL). I wonder if I should just use these up or ditch some of them and start from scratch. One problem I have living in the Central US is that most of the year is winter, and correct me if I am wrong, but all of these scents (with the possible exception of Raw Vanilla) are very aquatic/summery.

    Any thoughts on summer/winter distinction would be helpful, the basic core attributes. Many thanks, happy to join here and learn a lot.
    Last edited by illinois; 24th November 2010 at 05:28 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    in general many people seem to gravitate towards 'fresh' in spring and summertime and 'warm/rich' in the winter.

    but what about, wear what you feel like wearing any day. that is far more sensible than dividing your collection like summer- and wintercoats.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    I agree with the wear what you want philosophy. However, in the winter you tend to wear more/thicker clothing. Scents more appropriate for the winter will often have greater sillage and projection, in order to penetrate your clothing.

    You might want to focus on something with greater longevity for winter as well. In the summer, your body will heat up more, re-activating your scent and increasing its projection, provided you're applied it to your pulse points. This way you can get away with lighter scents, and still get decent sillage from them. On the other hand, if you're wearing a scent with already good sillage when you heat up, it could get a little strong for those around you.

    In the end you wear what you want, but these are some simple guidelines I've picked up. Welcome to basenotes and enjoy!

  4. #4

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    Thanks Gido and Al!

  5. #5
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    but what about, wear what you feel like wearing any day. that is far more sensible than dividing your collection like summer- and wintercoats.
    Absolutely agree.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    In my opinion, the only close-to-mandatory rule about winter and summer scents is based on the fact that some winter scents are so heavy, animalic, or otherwise intense that heat and humidity might make them overwhelming. So some winter scents shoudn't be worn in some summer weather conditions.

    Everything else, IMO, is personal preference. It's just fine to wear most winter scents in summer, and I'd say that it's always fine to wear any summer scent in winter.

    In my case, I find that my personal preference shifts a lot with the seasons. In winter, I crave animalic notes, smoke, sticky gourmands, heavy or "dirty" white florals, certain spices, and, oddly, orange, but no other citrus. In summer, I crave green notes, clean florals, and some of the other citruses. Some notes, like rose and iris root, cross seasons. I can tolerate fruity scents in summer, but I never like aquatics (on myself) in any season.

    I'd recommend getting some traditionally "winter" scents, just so that you're exposed to that side of the fragrance palette, in case there's something that you love, that you've been missing. But if it turns out that you're a fresh aquatic guy in all seasons, there's nothing wrong with that; wear what you love.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    Thanks again, everyone. ChickenFreak, can you give some specific winter recommendations please. Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    Sure! My suggestions lean heavily toward niche fragrances. Most of these are hard to find in department stores, but you can order samples from various sources. Oh, and I'm sticking to unisex or masculines.

    Gourmands:
    Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere: Coconut and sandalwood
    Bond No. 9 New Haarlem: Coffee, but very sweet - more like coffee icing on a pastry than a dark bitter cup.
    Serge Lutens Chergui: Tobacco and honey and spices and it's hard to say what else. Everybody seems to love this one - though I must say that I'm only just now learning to agree with them.
    Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale: Sparkly gingery wintery tapdance. I love this one. It's almost the only gourmand that I've listed here that isn't a little sticky and pastry-like. While you're at it, every fragrance in the Bois 1920 line is worth trying.
    Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille: Tobacco and, well, vanilla. It's not magnificent enough to justify the price, but it's worth sampling - you might fall in love.
    L'Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two: Tea with a ginger cookie and a little woodsmoke. I can't imagine not owning this one.
    Le Labo Patchouli 24: Some people say it smells like birch tar. I think it smells like tea. The one thing that people seem to agree on is that it doesn't really small all that much like patchouli. But it's very good.

    Smoky/Incense:
    Serge Lutens Serge Noire: I love this one, but it doesn't even begin to show its charms until about the third hour of wearing. But it's worth it anyway.
    Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque: On some people this is pipesmoke in front of the fireplace. On some people it's a campfire surrounded by prowling tigers. Either way, it's lovely.
    Comme des Garcons Kyoto: My second favorite incense fragrance, after Serge Noire. Many people also love Comme des Garcons Avignon, but not me.

    Leathers/Animalic:
    Parfumerie Generale Cuir d'Iris. Weird, really weird, but I love it.
    Serge Lutens Muscs Khoublai Khan. Sweat. Yeah, I know, but if you come across it, try it.
    There are lots of others, but for some reason my mind's going blank today.

    Weird:
    L'Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!: It's supposed to smell like a circus. Cotton candy, sawdust, stale nuts, a little bit of stable smell. And that's all much better than you'd expect.
    People of the Labyrinth Luctor et Emergo: Cherries. Play doh. Weirdness.
    Bvlgari Black: A clean rubber tire soaked in vanilla. Fabulous. And this one, you probably can find at the department store.

  9. #9

    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    it's maybe a bit like fashion rules. no white after labor day (white does not look too good on pale white skin, light changes, it looks cool, etc) but white works great when there's snow. while i understand these rules, i am not afraid of breaking them, and i still wear whatever i feel like wearing on any day.

    similarly, you could wear a 'cold' scent in the middle of the winter, if it feels right.

    on recommendations for winter scents, search the forum. this question has been asked a couple of times before.
    Last edited by gido; 24th November 2010 at 10:29 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: New to Fragrances and trying to understand Winter/Summer distinctions

    In spring and summer summer more aromatic and Aquatics are more in vogue
    this is just in my opinion in summer it depends where you live if you a heavier
    scent with more incense and reisens in the middle of the day it will cloy and
    depends on your skin chemistry changes more soggy but if
    it's not a humid night i think you can pull it off

    I think perfect for fall and winter

    PG02 Coze by Parfumerie Generale

    Summer something fresher i prefer but
    it's your choice not mine

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