How To Choose The Perfect Winter Scent
Colognes aren’t just for gifting at this time of the year, they are for a man to enjoy and to make himself feel good. Because, like that perfectly stirred martini or the pair of cufflinks that add flourish to an evening shirt, scents are the final touch, particularly when winter calls for dress-up and you want to feel your finest as you walk into the cocktail party. And scents, like the seasons, should adapt. The fresh, light, airy notes of summer - the lemony citrus and mineral tones - should segue into something richer, darker and more seductive. Just like your breezy summer linens should translate into more substantial evening-wear in lustrous velvets and refined silks, so too should your scent options carry more pizzazz and depth.
So which ones should you opt for? Perhaps it’s best to start with options that contain the notes that are traditionally associated with all things winter, for example, woody tones that recall alpine forests and mossy earthiness, or perhaps scents that nod to the season’s food, such as orange, cinnamon, pepper or cocoa. There’s also leather, which brings to mind darkly lit panelled drawing rooms in gentleman’s clubs so characteristic of the St. James’s area, or indeed Truefitt & Hill’s own barbershop at 71 St. James’s Street.
While florals are deemed a lighter, more summery family of scents, there are also varieties that are more aromatic. Musk and amber, which is derived from the resin of the labdanum plant, for example, are more exotic and more likened to incense so perfect for the winter months. Luckily, Truefitt & Hill’s research and development team have been creating nuanced, carefully blended fragrances for over two decades, which means we’ve had time (214 years to be precise) to hone our craft.
Take the classic Sandalwood Cologne for example; often this can be an overpowering, one-note experience of impactful wood. Our blend, however, is a heady, peppery arrangement with touches of bergamot alongside cedarwood to add depth, and touches of tonka and musk to add a buttery warmth. Simply add a handsome black-tie ensemble.
Then there’s our historic 1805 Cologne, which was first created in the 1850s and was originally known as the Palmerston Bouquet as it was created for former Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. The freshness of this scent might allude to summer zestiness, but there’s a rich undertone to the cologne in the addition of bergamot, mandarin, cardamom and touches of wood and musk, making it a considered addition to your winter grooming regime. And the bottle, in its crimson, white and gold, is pleasingly festive too.
And if your scent preference veers towards the more traditionally masculine, the aromatic Spanish Leather, derived from a formulation that dates from 1814, blends peppery pimento with bergamot and orange, alongside cinnamon, amber and moss, all of which are as warming and inviting as a crackling log fire as the snow falls outside.
Once you’ve stepped out suitably scented, there’s something rather special about knowing that, in winters gone by, men of a certain standing were adding Truefitt & Hill’s colognes to their Christmas grooming routines just as they do today. The cocktails might be more experimental, the settings vastly differing and the fashions wildly opposing, but the gentlemanly refinement remains the same.