The Best Winter Colognes – How to Keep your Cool and Pick a Fragrance to Heat Things up

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 a fragrance that suits your intentions. 

So, choosing the best cologne for winter should be a priority for every man trying to make an impression in the colder months.

In this guide, I’ve put together a selection of some of the best winter colognes on the market. These fragrances receive rave reviews wherever I wear them and have all been selected with masculinity and winter warmth in mind. 

The 7Gents Guide to the Best Winter Colognes

Best for the Adventurer – Royal Creed Oud

Royal Creed Oud is winter opulence in a bottle. Inspired by marble and gold Persian palaces, it conjures a sense of high society through a luxurious combination of accords. 

Royal Creed Oud, best winter cologne

An opulent base of Oud is the leading characteristic here, with this defining woodiness compounded by the addition of Lebanese cedar and sandalwood. 

The dry down mellows these notes out into a buttery bliss, like a woodshop that’s rebranded as a popcorn factory. 

It’s the best wood predominant fragrance that I’ve come across in my years as a fragrance enthusiast- and trust me, I’ve been looking!

Beyond the trees, you’ll find cinnamon and other spices, melding with a clean musk and bright tobacco leather. It combines perfectly to create a scent that is self-indulgent but also emphatically masculine. 

Performance is solid, too. 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.

Best for: Eastern luxury while on a romantic getaway. Get lost in winding side streets of wood and amber

Top notes:Pink Pepper, Lemon, and Sicilian Bergamot
Middle notes:Cedar, Angelica, and Galbanum
Base notes:Sandalwood, Agarwood (Oud), and Musk

Best for the Purist – Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille 

For fans of the two title ingredients, this is going to be the best scent you’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing. 

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

The vanilla is sweet and a little smokey, and synergizes INCREDIBLY well with shimmering golden tobacco flower. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille should be referred to as THE case study of minimalist purity in fragrance. 

However, if you’re not a fan of tobacco and vanilla, there’s every chance you might find yourself a little bored. You might find it lacks a little in terms of passion or heat, to the point where some could make a case for it being a little bland. But that’s more a matter of taste than a comment on the quality. 

Tobacco Vanille is one of the best performers I’ve ever come across in terms of projection and longevity. You’ll have a room-filling scent for 4 or 5 hours and still be turning nearby heads after 12. 

With that in mind, Tobacco Vanille is probably not the best choice for work- it’s too loud for a boardroom meeting, for example. The vanilla is sweet rather than deep, and I just don’t think it says “professional”. 

Instead, this fragrance would be far better suited to dates or formal events where you’re looking to make a powerful impression. 

Best for: Refined minimalism at the ‘opening night’. Tobacco Vanille will let you make an entrance, but without overwhelming your guests.

Top notes:Tobacco, Spices
Middle notes:Tonka, Tobacco flower, Vanilla, Cocoa
Base notes:Dry Fruit, Woods

Best for Confidence – Tom Ford Ombré Leather 

I know this is the second Tom Ford inclusion on this list, but he seriously knows what he’s doing when it comes to producing outstanding winter colognes. 

Tom Ford ombré leather

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, mysterious, and alluring. 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 a little rugged or dirty, Tom Ford’s offering is notably clean and breezy. 

Ombré leather is a compliment machine. If you’re 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. 

Best for: Collecting compliments from strangers. It’s all about making new friends – or more.

Top notes:Cardamom and Vanilla
Middle notes:Leather and Jasmine Sambac
Base notes:Amber, Moss, and Patchouli

Best for Heat – Victor and Rolf Spicebomb Extreme

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. 

Victor and Rolf Spicebomb Extreme

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.  

Balsamic notes of bourbon and vanilla are contrasted with amber wood, implying sensual masculinity that will draw compliments from the opposite sex. It’s a good date scent for the holidays, and perfect for getting up close under the mistletoe.

Best for: Festive celebrations. Sugar spice and all things nice – Victor and Rolf have managed to capture the holidays in a bottle. 

Top notes:Grapefruit, Pimento Berries & Black Pepper
Middle notes:Cumin, Cinnamon & Saffron
Base notes:Tobacco, Vanilla, Bourbon & Amber Wood

Best for Nightlife – Calvin Klein Dark Obsession

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. 

Calvin Klein Dark Obsession

This is rounded out by rich Madagascar vanilla beans, which reminds me of Tom Ford’s Tobacco and Vanille. It’s as though the fragrances are long-lost siblings, despite the Calvin Klein offer being just a fraction of the price.

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.

Best 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
Middle notes:Balsam Fir, Clary Sage, and Vetiver
Base notes:Madagascar Vanilla, Suede, and Labdanum

Best for Sophistication- Dior Sauvage Elixir 

Sauvage Elixir is the top pick for winter fragrance as far as I’m concerned. It’s universally admired – and it’s popular for good reason. Woody, fresh and spicy – the holy trinity!

Dior Sauvage Elixir 

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 sensual warmth from nutmeg and cinnamon. 

The base is held together by rich and aromatic woodiness and the signature Sauvage amber accord.

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 the 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 something top shelf that will impress.

Best for: The perfectionist. This is a scent you’ve got to experience at least once, but be warned- you might not be able to go back. 

Top notes:Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, and Grapefruit
Middle notes:Lavender, Smoke
Base notes:Liquorice, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, and Haitian Vetiver.


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 tips? Check out these guides:

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