Yes, Your Perfume Smells Different In The Winter — Here’s How To Fix It

We asked an expert.
The best winter perfumes.Getty

When the cold weather arrives, we automatically reach for the heavy duty moisturisers and skin care products—but what about our fragrances? Well, it turns out that cold weather can affect how our favourite perfumes operate as well. 

Before you worry about running out to buy a brand new fragrance, we spoke to Recreation Beauty Founder, Nedahl Stelio, about how to get the most out of our perfumes in the colder months. 

Why does our perfume smell different in winter? (Credit: Marie Claire Australia)

Why Does Our Perfume Smell Different In the Winter? 

 The molecules in our perfume react to different temperatures, and like a lot of us, they are happier in warmer climates. Who can blame them? 

“Perfume loves the heat of your body to radiate the fragrance, that’s why we spray on pulse points. While the top and middle notes can linger for longer in winter, if it’s cold your body is less likely to send scent around your body because there is less body heat, so there’s naturally less “throw” of the scent,” Nedahl tells marie claire Australia. 

While this doesn’t mean that our perfume won’t work in the winter, it does mean that the smell will be less noticeable—and what’s the point of that? 

How Can We Make Our Perfume Last Longer In Winter? 

Before you put your perfumes into hibernation, there are ways of making your scents stand out in the winter. 

When you apply a perfume in the colder weather, Nedhal recommends reaching for the moisturiser first. 

“Your skin is a lot drier in winter and perfume lasts longer when skin has body oil or moisturiser on it, so when your skin is dry in winter, it’s less likely to stick to your skin,” Nedhal explains. 

“Perfume loves oily skin so we suggest a matching body oil before you spray so your perfume can last longer. Always spray on pulse points and try spraying a few times below the neck: on heart chakra, solar plexus and wrists.”

You might need to change your perfume routine in winter. (Credit: Getty)

What Should We Look For In A Winter Fragrance? 

While you’re free to use your favourite perfume all year long, there’s something to be said for selecting a seasonal scent

When it comes to winter perfumes, Nedhal recommends opting for warm, deep fragrances. 

“We naturally are inclined to warm our body and smell is one of our five senses, so just like we want warmer food in winter, we also naturally lean towards warmer notes—anything spicy works beautifully to make you feel warm.” 

An added bonus of wearing these warmer scents is that they often last a lot longer than our lighter, more summery scents do. 

“Woody notes are particularly long lasting so anything with sandalwood and cedarwood and also things like amber, vetiver, ambrette seed, vanilla and musk. They naturally last longer in winter.” 

But if you really want to smell good all day and night, then Nedhal says to make sure you select an eau de parfum over an eau de toilette. This is because an eau de parfum contains a higher concentration of perfume oils, and will last longer on your skin. 

The Best Winter Perfumes To Buy In 2024 

At Night We Dance

Recreation Beauty At Night We Dance Eau De Parfum

$112.00 from Recreation Beauty

Warming layers of spicy musk are untamed by splashes of Brazilian orange and deep undertones of magnolia, vetiver and woods. 

Midnight in milan

Glasshouse Fragrances Midnight In Milan

$139 from Glasshouse Fragrances

Luxurious and inspired, it’s dynamic and sultry with voluptuous rose, buttery saffron and a twist of aromatic moss.


Who Is Elijah Nightcap

$135 from Adore Beauty

A woody, leathery and earthy scent for all genders, with notes of pear, sandalwood, cedar and vetiver.

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