In the same way that you wouldn’t wear shorts and flip-flops on a winter walk, it’s equally important to make sure you’re wearing the right fragrance for the weather.
So, choosing the best cologne for winter should be a priority for every man trying to make a lasting impression in the colder months.
For me, Spicebomb Infrared wins in winter. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy that’s bright enough to energize, but with enough masculinity in the base to exude confidence.
Born in Roma Yellow Dream
Bleu de Chanel
Shortly followed by the inimitable unique, musky spicy Bleu de Chanel and Valentino’s gingerbread-infused Born in Roma Yellow Dream.
All the fragrances in this guide receive rave reviews wherever I wear them and have all been selected with masculinity and winter warmth in mind.
So let’s get into it!
Best Winter Colognes for Men in 2022
Spicebomb Infrared: Our Best Winter Cologne Overall
Valentino Born in Roma Yellow Dream: Best Sweet Winter Cologne
Bleu de Chanel: Best Musky Winter Scent
Tom Ford Ombre Leather: Best Leather Cologne for Winter
Armani Stronger With You: Best Vanilla Cologne for a Cold Winter Day
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille: Best Vanilla Winter Fragrance
Paco Rabanne Black XS: Best Cologne for Winter Date Nights
Dior Sauvage Elixir: Longest Lasting Winter Fragrance for Men
Spicebomb Infrared – Best Cologne for Winter Overall
When people think “winter fragrance”, Spicebomb is normally one of the first names to come up. The original version is a tingling combo of cinnamon and pink pepper resting on a hearty base of tobacco, leather, and vetiver.
And yes, it’s wonderful. But for me, the real “must try” is their 2021 flanker Spicebomb Infrared.
It takes the familiar Spicebomb warmth, smooths out some of the rough edges, and replaces them with a tart berry sweetness that feels upbeat and playful. It’s more seductive and alluring and lends itself better to getting cozy on a winter date night.
Longevity, as you’ll find across the Spicebomb range, is superb, matching the 10 hours on offer by competitors like Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille and Creeds Royal Oud. This long lasting scent is significantly cheaper than both of those, so it’s a solid performance from Viktor and Ralf.
If you already have Spicebomb, you might not need Infrared. They are fairly similar, but for me, there’s plenty of fun in picking out the nuances and getting super specific about what I’m looking for.
|Top Notes||Red Fruits, Pink Pepper and Saffron|
|Heart Notes||Cinnamon and Red Pepper|
|Base Notes||Tobacco and Benzoin|
Valentino Born in Roma Yellow Dream – Best Sweet Cologne for Winter
Here is one of my best-kept secrets. Valentino’s Born in Roma Yellow Dream is a sweet fragrance that combines juicy pineapple and mandarin with a touch of warming spice perfect for the winter season
The spice here isn’t as strong as something like Spicebomb. It’s more subtle, close to freshly baked gingerbread or Christmas cake. There’s also a vanilla aspect that grows across the first few hours, adding to this gourmand, “good enough to eat” impression.
This cozy sweetness mellows out after 15 minutes or so, making some space for more traditionally masculine accords like woodsy cedar. It’s perfect for a winter occasion where you want to express confidence, but also show that you don’t take yourself annoyingly seriously.
I’d recommend it to an affable Gent who’s known as a smiley character. Yellow Dream smells like good times and good vibes for the holidays.
|Top Notes||Pineapple and Mandarin Orange Blossom|
|Heart Notes||Ginger and Spices|
|Base Notes||Vanilla and Cedar|
Bleu de Chanel Eau de Parfum – Best Musky Winter Scent
This one is a modern classic. Bleu de Chanel is an intriguing concoction that manages to pull off the trick of being simultaneously warm and spicy, as well as fresh and musky.
An energizing opening of grapefruit, incense, and ginger is followed by a healthy serving of vetiver that feels sleek in this mature scent. The balance between the woodsy notes and the fruitier elements is pretty unique and really has to be smelt to be believed.
By harnessing traditional masculine accords in a way that feels zippy and youthful, Bleu de Chanel sort of defies categorization. What I can say is that it’s one of the most popular colognes on the planet, and a go-to winter fragrance for when I’m trying to remain professional while expressing some personality.
Performance is top tier, with Bleu de Chanel kicking out fragrance long into the evening. In my experience, you’ll get up to 10 hours of meaningful wear out of a few morning sprays. It doesn’t get much better than that.
|Top Notes:||Grapefruit, Lemon, Mint, and Pink Pepper|
|Heart Notes:||Ginger, Nutmeg, Jasmine, and Iso E Super|
|Base Notes:||Incense, Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Labdanum, and White Musk.|
Tom Ford Ombré Leather – Best Leather Cologne for Winter
This is the first of two Tom Ford inclusion on this list, but he seriously knows what he’s doing when it comes to producing outstanding winter colognes.
Ombré Leather is one of the fragrances I hear rave reviews about on the most regular basis – when people try it, they seem to fall in love with it.
It’s inspired by “landscapes of the American Southwest”, as has everything you could conceivably want in a high-class men’s fragrance. Again, this is a streamlined fragrance that doubles down on presenting a core ingredient in the best light rather than overcomplicating things.
The leather is deep, dark and mysterious. While it’s certainly the main event, there are also touches of wood and spice that prevent it from being a complete one-trick pony. While leather-leading colognes can sometimes suffer from coming across as a little rugged or dirty, Tom Ford’s offering is notably clean and breezy.
Ombré leather is an alluring scent perfect for a cold winter day. If you’ve never tried it out, make a point to get around to it. After a spritz, you’ll never have felt so beautiful and desired – it’s like a cheat code to feeling infinite confidence.
If I have one quibble, it could be a touch cheaper – but sometimes, you get what you pay for.
|Top notes||Cardamom and Vanilla|
|Heart notes||Leather and Jasmine Sambac|
|Base notes||Amber, Moss, and Patchouli|
Stronger With You – Best Vanilla Cologne for a Cold Winter Day
Along with Tobacco Vanille, Stronger with You is one of my favorite Vanilla fragrances.
This fragrance is comfort in a bottle. Sweet warming notes of cardamom and vanilla rest on top of woodsy notes of cedar and chestnut. It swerves aggressive notes and instead represents refined, gentlemanly masculinity.
- Price: Available on Amazon
I’d bracket Stronger With You as a sweet scent, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. There’s lots of vanilla and fruits in the opening that keep things bright, but it’s neatly moderated by warm spices that emerge throughout the lifetime of the fragrance.
The way the cardamom and vanilla combine is wonderfully cozy and comfortable. It feels powdery, teetering on gourmand notes. It smells more expensive than it is, that much is for sure.
The lighter sweet notes take center stage for the first few hours, before making way for a woodier, nuttier denouement. The projection here is reduced, but it’s a gorgeous, amber-heavy skin scent up close. A solid contender for your next signature scent for the winter season.
|Top Notes||Cardamom, Pink Pepper, Violet Leaf, and Mint|
|Heart Notes||Pineapple, Cinnamon, Melon, Sage, and Lavender|
|Base Notes||Vanilla, Chestnut, Amberwood, Cedar, and Guaiac Wood|
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille – Best Premium Winter Fragrance
This could easily be one of my favorite colognes of all time, not just a top winter fragrance.
With Tobacco Vanille, Tom Ford has delivered an example of how to achieve minimalist perfection. This uncluttered, sophisticated fragrance serves to let the two stars of the show, tobacco and vanilla, shine unimpeded.
The pleasantly sweet, smokey vanilla is balanced out perfectly by warm and spicy flickers of golden tobacco. There really isn’t that much else going on beyond some touches of dried fruit and tonka bean, but believe me – in this case, less is more.
I love it in the same way I love Aston Martins more than Ferraris. There’s something to be said for a refined approach that doesn’t desperately try to be cool, it just is.
This isn’t for you if you’re looking for a complicated cacophony of notes. But if you’re a particular fan of vanilla fragrances and are looking for a high-quality expression, you have reached your destination.
Tobacco Vanille gives me tailored suits in a cigar lounge vibes. It lends an impressive, “quietly confident” CEO energy rather than brute force – which is just the way a true Gent should be.
And despite the hefty price tag, the value is actually not that bad when you consider how strong it is. Just 1 or 2 sprays, you’ll project a few feet of fragrance for 6 or 7 hours, before things settle down to a more intimate skin scent for another 5 or 6.
Up to 12 hours of total projection is pretty unparalleled, even by some of the most expensive colognes.
If it’s a little out of your budget, check out our guide to the best Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille dupes.
|Top Notes||Spicy Notes, Smoke and Tobacco|
|Heart Notes||Tonka Bean, Tobacco Flower, Vanilla and Cocoa|
|Base Notes||Woody Notes and Dry Fruit|
Paco Rabanne Black XS – Best Winter Cologne to Attract Women
I call this one Goth Chocolate Strawberry. Black XS is deliciously sweet and sultry, with a boozy liquor-like quality that is utterly intoxicating.
By the way, girls absolutely love Black XS. It’s easily one of my most complimented fragrances, and women adore it. Not why I wear it, but I’m also not complaining.
- Price: Available on Amazon
The dark chocolate and strawberry feel carefree and youthful, with a rich and fruity opulence that will make you walk an inch taller. You’d better have the attitude to match the party-banger swagger of this one.
Black XS also packs enough of a punch to easily cut through the cold winter night. You’ll get up to 9 hours of fruity fragrance to carry you through the day. Just make sure you stay clear in the summer. With the heat, the sweetness would become cloying and sickly.
|Top Notes||Sage and Lemon|
|Heart Notes||Praline, Cardamom, and Cinnamon|
|Base Notes||Rosewood, Amber, and Patchouli|
Dior Sauvage Elixir Eau de Parfum – Longest Lasting Winter Fragrance for Men
Sauvage Elixir is a great pick for winter fragrance as far as I’m concerned. It’s universally admired – and it’s popular for good reason. A fresh, spicy, and woody fragrance – the holy trinity!
On the initial sniff, you’re instantly hit with a smokey campfire smell of smoldering embers. After a few minutes, notes of grapefruit and organic lavender arrive alongside a sensual blend of nutmeg and cinnamon.
The base is held together by rich and aromatic woodiness and the signature Dior amber fragrance notes.
It’s definitely on the sweeter side, with the lavender, cardamom, and cinnamon- but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a sweet scent.
It’s astonishingly strong, with every note exploding out with a top-tier projection. You’ll be kicking out long-lasting scent for the entire day, which is always useful for increasing the longevity of an expensive bottle.
This makes it a great pick if you’re a little limited in your budget, but still want a signature scent that will impress.
Check out our Dior Sauvage vs Bleu de Chanel article to find out which winter scent is right for you
|Top notes||Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, and Grapefruit|
|Heart notes||Lavender, Smoke|
|Base notes||Liquorice, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, and Haitian Vetiver.|
Calvin Klein Dark Obsession – Best Cologne for Winter Nights
Dark Obsession is a seductive and citrusy fragrance packed full of wood and musk. It smells ‘thick’, with accords of espresso, chocolate, rugged leather, and a little smokiness in the base.
This is rounded out by rich Madagascar vanilla bean, which reminds me of Tom Ford’s Tobacco and Vanille. It’s as though the fragrances are long-lost siblings, despite the Calvin Klein fragrance costing just a fraction as much.
- Price: Available on Amazon
Unfortunately, longevity could use a little work. However, the smell and the price point more than compensate for that.
If you’re looking for a moody, brooding scent that’s perfect for fall or winter, look no further.
It’s perfect for lurking at the dive bar. This fragrance lingers in the shadows with a quiet sophistication that’s hard to come by in summertime.
|Top notes:||Guarana, Wormwood, and Green Mandarin|
|Heart notes:||Balsam Fir, Clary Sage, and Vetiver|
|Base notes:||Madagascar Vanilla, Suede, and Labdanum|
Victor and Rolf Spicebomb Extreme – Spiciest Cologne for a Winter Occasion
Spicebomb Extreme is a smoky-sweet incense whirlwind that was born to be a winter fragrance. It’s an intense explosion of heat and spice that takes the original winning Spicebomb formula and dials it up to eleven.
Cloves and cinnamon sing a Christmassy tune, while tobacco leaf and bourbon offer an earthy stage to perform on. There’s also subtle fruitiness in the form of grapefruit and pimento berries that provides a little sweetness to prevent all the spice from becoming unpalatable.
Notes of bourbon and warm vanilla are contrasted with amber wood, implying sensual masculinity that will draw compliments from the opposite sex. It’s a good date night scent for the holidays, and perfect for getting up close under the mistletoe.
|Top notes||Grapefruit, Pimento Berries & Black Pepper|
|Heart notes||Cumin, Cinnamon & Saffron|
|Base notes||Tobacco, Vanilla, Bourbon & Amber Wood|
Creed Royal Oud- Best Creed Cologne for Winter
Royal Oud is the best wood predominant fragrance that I’ve come across in my years as a fragrance enthusiast- and trust me, I’ve been looking!
It lives up to its name. It smells like the interior of a grand Persian palace, packed full of wealth and majesty.
It lends itself to formal occasions when you need to dress to impress. Paired with the right suit or leather jacket, Royal Oud will take you from a 9 to a 10.
First, you’ll notice a smokey cedarwood and pepper combo that I’d describe as spiced grass. It’s exceptional, and not something I’ve been able to find in other Oud fragrances.
Then, you’ll begin to pick out zesty bergamot touched with a twist of lemon. The base is musky sandalwood and the key primary accord is a dollop of agarwood.
Quick disclaimer: If you’re a die-hard oud fan, you might be a little disappointed in the subtlety of the woodiness. It’s a smooth and woodsy cologne, rather than a whack round the head with a plank of agarwood. Creed produces classy and “cleaned up” versions of classic fragrances, after all.
Royal Oud is subtle enough to not be obnoxious, but people do notice it. I pick up plenty of unsolicited compliments when I wear it, but still feel comfortable. This isn’t a fragrance that’s too experimental and screams “look at me, look at me” whenever I walk into a room.
You’ll get a solid 8 hours of meaningful projection, and if you spray directly onto your clothes you’ll get a hit every time you open your wardrobe for the whole week.
Whether you’re exploring on holiday or just running errands in town, Creed will hang in there for the full day- ready for whatever life throws at you.
If you’re looking for a top-tier oud that’s not overdone, you’ve found it. Royal Oud is a great choice for the oud-obsessed and rookies alike. While a little on the expensive side, it’s a fragrance everyone should try at least once.
|Top Notes||Lemon, Bergamot, and Pink Pepper|
|Heart notes||Galbanum and Cedar|
|Base Notes||Agarwood (Oud), Musk, and Sandalwood|
What’s the Difference Between Summer scents and Winter Colognes?
In the winter months, summer scents won’t last more than a couple of hours, making the whole exercise a little futile. Winter colognes will generally incorporate heavier scents of spice and woodiness that will bind to drier skin in the cold weather. Warm notes of musk, tobacco, and leather are going to persist more effectively than traditional floral and citrus notes.
How Much Do Winter Colognes Cost?
There’s no real difference in price point between summer and winter colognes – just the palate.
Like summer colognes, you’ll look to pay slightly more than your bottom-of-the-barrel, $20 cologne. Generally speaking, prices start at around $50 for a decent beginner’s cologne that you’d be happy to wear- and can rise as high as $300 for the best winter colognes.
What to Look for in the Best Winter Colognes?
The best winter colognes are powerful, as it’s difficult to radiate scent in cooler weather. When reading reviews, look out for fragrances with good projection (how far the scent travels) and longevity (how long it lasts).
FAQ – Best Winter Colognes
What to do next:
It’s important to use the right tool for the job, and your fragrance choice is no different. The best winter colognes will project in even the harshest cold, and are a crucial element of any winter outfit. Get started with one of our top picks today!
Interested in more men’s cologne tips? Check out these guides: