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10 Best Winter Fragrances and Colognes for Men

The best winter colognes for men perfectly blend wood, spice, and a handful of vetiver, cocoa, coffee, and bourbon to create a warm and musky smell. While our winters are relatively mild here in Australia, we’ve selected fragrances that work for most climates around the world. These colognes deliver heavier scents that last longer compared to fresh and citrusy counterparts better suited for spring and summer. That being said, some of our selections are versatile enough to do you right in any season, while others might work best when you’re trying to heat things up on a cold winter day. Let’s check out our favourites!

Best Winter Fragrances for Men at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following:

Now that you’ve read our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATEDThese are the best colognes for men overall.

Bad boy in hand
Bad Boy Extreme by Carolina Herrera | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

1. Bad Boy Extreme by Carolina Herrera

Price: from $140 AUD

  • Pros: Everything we look for in a great winter fragrance for men. Layers of vanilla are balanced by fresh ginger and vetiver, as safe of a blind buy as we’ve tested in compiling this list. Longevity of more than 4 hours at this price point makes it great value for money too.
  • Cons: While it possesses a lovely smell, it’s not particularly niche and won’t stand out to a collector that already has Moncler Pour Homme, Santal 33, etc. in their collection.

When in Winter, go spicy. We were blown away by the hits of fresh ginger and the warmth of vetiver des sables found on the nose of Bad Boy Extreme by Carolina Herrera. A layered fragrance, you’ll soon notice the two-fold expression with high notes of citrus obtained through a process of ‘flash distillation’ that allows the perfumer to find the “truest sense of the plant with a much lower carbon footprint than when using traditional methods,” according to the nose of the operation Quentin Bisch.

Beyond the industry jibberish and lingo, we loved the scent of patchouli that adds long-lasting performance to this winter fragrance for men and we managed more than 4-6 hours on the skin before it faded to a skin scent. Of course, top-ups will be mandatory if you want this one to last a full day, but that’s to be expected at this price point, even for a parfum.

Priced at well under $200 it’s one of the best value-for-money winter fragrances we’ve tested and we’d happily recommend it to a person who loves seductive aromatics, but also nutty chocolates with plenty of cacao and coffee through the middle and base. There’s some Le Labo Santal 33 going on here, but this is more suitable for colder weather because of these chocolate undertones.

Top notes: Ginger, Sage
Middle notes: Vetiver, Cocoa
Base notes: Patchouli, Tonka Bean

Invictus Victory Elixir by Paco Rabanne | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

2. Invictus Victory Elixir by Paco Rabanne

Price: from $195 AUD

  • Pros: We love the aromatic lavender and green cardamom opening that quickly transitions to a beautiful blend of vanilla and patchouli. It’s suitable for formal occasions in winter, but you could also wear it in spring and autumn.
  • Cons: Longevity is only OK at around 6 hours on the skin and slightly more on clothes. Expect to top-up during the day if you plan of attending a night event.

We already loved Invictus Victory by Paco Rabanne but ‘Exlier’ turns things up a notch with a tangy vanilla flavour and plenty of coconut, wood, and even a hint of spiced amber. We often find ourselves recommending this to a younger man as they tend to prefer this cream vanilla scent, whereas older gentlemen opt for spicy ambers and pepper scents e.g. Free d’Homme CoSTUME NATIONAL.

Still, Invictus Victory Elixir is perfect for the colder months. One of three co-authors of the fragrance, Anne Flipo says that keeping the essence of Invictus at the forefront of the process, but he wanted to offer an irresistible darker facet too. To achieve such a taste he added Indonesian patchouli, the secret ingredient that brings that spicy excellence on the dry down. Again, it’s not an intense spice, but it’s enough to differentiate this one from the original and make it perfect for winter. Of course, the opening notes of aromatic lavender and green cardamom issue playfulness.

Performance-wise, this is another great scent from the brand and our testing shows you should expect anything from 4-6 hours on the skin and maybe even a little more on clothes. Projection is outstanding and you only have to spray 4-6 times on the wrists and neck to get the most out of this one.

Top notes: Lavender, Cardamom and Black Pepper
Middle notes: Incense, Patchouli
Base notes: Vanilla Pod, Tonka Bean

Free dhomme costume national
Free d’Homme CoSTUME NATIONAL | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

3. Free d’Homme by CoSTUME NATIONAL

Price: from AU$209

  • Pros: Super spicy! Brought to you by one of the great perfumers in the business of intense incense scents, this one blows your socks off with smoky, waxy pine. Very long-lasting.
  • Cons: Not something to wear to the office, not something for younger gentlemen, this is strictly a special occasion cologne for wearing in winter.

If there’s a spicy winter cologne for men that you have to get your hands on, it’s Free d’Homme by CoSTUME NATIONAL and perfumer Julien Rasquinet. We’ve been lucky enough to try The Moon by Frederic Malle on multiple occasions and this might be the best alternative. It’s extremely unique, so be warned if you’re looking for a safe blind buy. Expect to be smacked across the face with cinnamon and fresh spice upon first spray, but the dry-down sees waxy pine, smoky labdanum, and plenty of incense.

Performance is outstanding, as to be expected for such a spicy fragrance, and we managed to get more than 6 hours on the skin. Projection is very strong and it glues itself to clothes so be warned not to spray too much (2-4 sprays is enough).

We’ve worn it in the office, but there are better options on the market for daily wear. Save this one for events, dinners, cocktail parties, and the like. As for age groups, we’d recommend this one to an older gentleman.

Top notes: Lime and Lemon
Middle notes: Cypriol Oil or Nagarmotha and Saffron
Base notes: Incense and Labdanum

Gentleman society eau de parfum extreme by givenchy
Gentleman Society Eau de Parfum Extreme by Givenchy | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

4. Gentleman Society Eau de Parfum Extreme by Givenchy

Price: from $210 AUD

  • Pros: Masculine as it gets after dry down! Long-lasting and perfect for cocktail dinners where suits are expected. Suitable for young and old.
  • Cons: Projection is very strong and somewhat overpowering. The balance is achieved after the scent dries down, but you have to give it 20 minutes or more before it figures itself out.

Gentleman Society Eau de Parfum Extreme by Givenchy is proof that you shouldn’t judge a fragrance until it dries down on your skin. There’s a very strong black coffee note that dominates the scent, but as the fragrance evolves it shows a burnt wood that’s matched by three types of vetiver: Madagascar vetiver, Haitian vetiver and just plain old vetiver.

Performance is outstanding and we’ve experienced more than 8 hours of solid projection from this scent during our testing. Spray 4-6 times on the wrist and neck and you’ll be set for a full day in the office.

We recommend this winter cologne for men between the ages of 24 and 60 as it’s a very masculine scent and better suits a professional office worker, sole trader, or similar.

Top notes: Peppermint, Nutmeg and Clary Sage
Middle notes: Coffee, Orris Root, French Narcissus, Madagascar Vetiver, Haitian Vetiver and Vetiver
Base notes: Vanilla, Australian Sandalwood and Himalayan Cedar

Bleu noir for him by narciso rodriguez
Bleu Noir for Him by Narciso Rodriguez | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

5. Bleu Noir Parfum by Narciso Rodriguez

Price: from AU$196

  • Pros: One of the most wearable options on our list, this is a certified blind buy that works for all ages. Projection and longevity are both great for the price point.
  • Cons: The opening is a little soft and we were hoping for more zest from the mandarin and orange, expecting to see Eau Givree levels, which this doesn’t provide.

This is another great fragrance from Narciso Rodriguez that you can wear every day and remains suitable for many different occasions: casual get-togethers, the office, and even dinner parties. We’ve included it here on our winter fragrances round-up, but it’s equally suitable for autumn and spring with a cool iris that’s expertly balanced by cream, musk, and powder. This is a blind buy and compares to Valentino Uomo Intense.

Performance is top-notch for a powdery fragrance and we’ve easily managed 4-6 hours of projection on skin and just as much on clothes. Projection is a little soft and we’d recommend 6 sprays across your wrists and neck to get the most out of it. We also experienced a little nose blindness with this, but after revisiting it’s come back.

This is suitable for all ages, but we think it would perfectly suit an office worker, stay-at-home dad, and younger gents who partake in cocurricular school activities like band, chess, and debating. It’s classy.

Top notes: Cardamom, Cypress, Bergamot and Mandarin Orange
Middle notes: Musk and Suede
Base notes: Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Leather, Vetiver and Atlas Cedar

Bonne chauffe by frapin
Bonne Chauffe by Frapin | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

6. Bonne Chauffe by Frapin

Price: from AU$349

  • Pros: Photorealistic, like sticking your head into a French oak barrel that just had bourbon poured out of it. Super spicy, masculine, and a great statement fragrance.
  • Cons: Performance is only OK and we’d like a little more longevity considering the price tag and the notes which typically lend themselves to a long-lasting option.

Picture (and smell) the moment you pop the closure off a bottle of cask-strength whiskey and you have the base of Bonne Chauffe by Frapin. Layer in plenty of spice, cinnamon, plum, patchouli, and leather, and you have the make-up of this masculine scent. To get it out of the way early, this isn’t suitable for a younger chap and should be strictly reserved for an older gentleman who loves all things watches, whisky, and cigars.

No fragrance on our list projects such photorealistic boozy, cognac, and whisky notes. It also has the performance to match and we managed more than 6 hours of projection on skin. Sillage is also outstanding and you’ll only need 2-4 sprays on the wrists and neck to get the most out of it.

Save this one for special occasions during the winter. Think cocktail parties when you dust off the tuxedo and need something just as striking to match or networking opportunities with important clients.

Top notes: Pepper Oil and Davana
Middle notes: Plum, Bran and Oak
Base notes: Benzoin, Vetiver, Patchouli and Cedarwood

Montblanc explorer platinum
Montblanc Explorer Platinum | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

7. Explorer Platinum by Montblanc

Price: from AU$170

  • Pros: This is a great value-for-money winter fragrance that lasted a long time in our testing. We managed to get nearly 8 hours of full projection out of this scent with only 6 sprays and 2 top-up sprays during the middle of the day. Remarkable!
  • Cons: Smell-wise, it’s nothing special, and is far from the most unique option on our list. If you’re looking for something to stand out, this probably isn’t it.

Explorer Platinum by Montblanc also snuck into our list of top spring fragrances because of its cream, wood, and sharp coconut opening that dries down to near perfection. We also think it’s a great choice for those warmer winter days towards the end of the season when you put away the trench coat and pull out the hoodies and shirt jackets.

Performance is a hallmark of this winter cologne and we managed to get 6-8 hours of longevity during colder days and up to 6 hours when the weather got warmer. There’s plenty of projection, 4-6 sprays on the wrist and neck are plenty.

This is perfectly suited to everyday wear and most occasions. It’s not particularly unique or niche-smelling which is why we’d consider it a safe blind buy. However, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and find something non-generic we recommend you look elsewhere. Still, if you’re between the ages of 20-50 this is a great option and a true alternative to some of the most expensive options on the market e.g. Santal 33.

Top notes: Violet Leaves
Middle notes: Clary Sage
Base notes: Cedarwood

Althair by parfums de marly 2
Althaïr by Parfums de Marly | Image: Parfums de Marly

8. Althaïr by Parfums de Marly

Price: from AU$498

  • Pros: We love the vanilla and wood combination, which is our eyes, the ultimate combo for winter. There’s enough spice and musk built into the base notes that it rounds out and dries down to perfection. Ignore the naysayers who get turned off by the price!
  • Cons: The most expensive winter fragrance on our list doesn’t perform as well as scents half its price. However, we’d still buy it for the smell.

Truth be told, Althaïr by Parfums de Marly might be our favourite winter cologne, but the preventative price tag of nearly $500 makes this a deep-pocketed option. It’s a particularly attractive option if you’re into vanilla and wood, and we think it’s like sticking your nose into the finest French oak barrel before it’s filled with bourbon whiskey. Seriously, we cannot get enough of this fragrance and we’d ignore anyone who says it’s a basic niche alternative to the likes of Hugo Boss Bottled. We also don’t think it’s “too sweet” as some reviewers online have stated.

Performance is good, but not amazing for a fragrance at this price point at 4-6 hours on the skin and slightly more on clothes. On the other hand, projection is very good and 4-6 sprays is enough to keep this one going for at least half a working day.

Ultimately, this is a very expensive fragrance and while it may not be the knock-out niche scent that you might be hoping for, it’s luxurious enough to impress even the most seasoned nose. Savour it for special occasions and wear it with confidence.

Top notes: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Orange Blossom and Bergamot
Middle notes: Bourbon Vanilla and Elemi
Base notes: Praline, Musk, Ambroxan and Guaiac Wood

Jean paul gaultier scandal in hand
Scandal Les Parfums by Jean Paul Gaultier | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

9. Scandal Les Parfums by Jean Paul Gaultier

Price: from $190 AUD

  • Pros: Top-tier performance and the longest-lasting winter fragrance we’ve ever tested at more than 8 hours on the skin and more on clothes.
  • Cons: Can be too sweet for some noses and we’d love to get a little more woody balance to the fragrance overall.

There’s another great seductive winter fragrance on offer from Jean Paul Gaultier and it goes by the name Scandal Les Parfums. From the self-described king of sex appeal, we first fell in love with this cologne because of its velvet box and striking bottle design. However, it also has a great-smelling scent on the skin and dries down to a lovely fruit-led mandarin, geranium, and jasmine before salted caramel kicks in from the bottom.

It’s also a top performer with outstanding longevity on the skin at more than 8 hours in our testing. That’s backed up with great projection and you’ll only need 4 sprays to extract the maximum from this fragrance.

We recommend this one to a younger crowd because of its underlying sweetness, but those aged 16-40 shouldn’t hesitate to blind buy this one and test it out for themselves. Perfectly suited for a late night in winter, we wouldn’t recommend this one for warmer weather.

Top notes: Geranium
Middle notes: Tonka Bean
Base notes: Sandalwood

Bad boy dazzling garden by carolina herrera
Bad Boy Dazzling Garden by Carolina Herrera | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

10. Bad Boy Dazzling Garden by Carolina Herrera

Price: from AU$168

  • Pros: Ultimate wearability is the hallmark of this winter cologne and we think it’s a great alternative to the spicy options on our list. Thankfully, it doesn’t stray too far into the world of wood and/ or sweetness, choosing to channel sage and vetiver which is preferable.
  • Cons: Longevity is sub-par at barely 4 hours on the skin. It’s not a particularly unique scent and you shouldn’t expect too much in the way of compliments from strangers.

We had to throw another Carolina Herrera favourite onto our list of the best winter fragrances because we were so impressed by ‘Extreme’. Dazzling Garden contrasts the spicy ginger with vetiver which adds to this cologne’s wearability, but it’s quite purple in its smell. The scent wears similar to the original Bay Boy but loses the pepper and Bergamot which we love. Sage also gives it a great boost after dry down.

Performance is only OK and you shouldn’t expect more than 4 hours of longevity with good projection after 4-6 sprays.

Top notes: White Pepper and Grapefruit
Middle notes: Clary Sage and Vetiver
Base notes: Cacao and Tonka Bean

Alternatives to These Winter Fragrances for Men

The winter fragrances for men that we’ve recommended above have been chosen through extensive hands-on research with a minimum of one week of testing. However, it would be wrong for us to dismiss the great fragrances we’ve worn for shorter periods, including those that gave us a great first impression when tried on in-store and from the brands themselves in smaller ‘tester’ sizes. As such, when we’re able to test the following fragrances in-depth to judge their performance and scent, we’ll more than likely move them up our list. Now, let’s take a quick look at some great alternatives.

  • Blackpepper by Comme des Garcons (from AU$140): Blackpepper is a unisex stunner that employs patchouli, oud, black pepper and tonka bean to deliver a nose strikingly similar to its spicy namesake. Like most winter fragrances, expect a woody accord that serves as the perfect accompaniment to those chestnuts roasting on the open fire. Comme des Garcons serves up some of the best fragrances in the industry and Blackpepper follows the lineage accordingly.
  • Sauvage EDP by Christian Dior (from AU$160): Inspired by the clear blue sky and rocky mountains, Christian Dior’s Sauvage will certainly serve you well in the winter, but the versatile fragrance also gets the job done no matter what the season. Fresh is the word thanks to raw notes of bergamot and pepper while a mild woody base provides some redolent heat.
  • Gucci Guilty Absolute by Gucci (from AU$220): Launched only a few years ago Gucci Guilty Absolute is so hot it’s guaranteed to warm up your winter. Like the Michael Kors addition, we absolutely love the bottle design and warmly coloured fragrance, but it’s the scent that will instantly draw you in. Gucci Guilty features a leather accord bolstered by exotic, woody notes while the inclusion of vetiver gives it a grassy touch. A winner in any handsome man’s eyes, and nostrils.
  • Nuit d’Issey Parfum by Issey Miyake (from AU$182): Fashion brand Issey Miyake took cues from the deepest of the night when crafting Nuit d’Issey. Inside the sleek, black bottle is a spicy cologne of considerable magnitude. At the top are notes of bergamot and grapefruit while the heart is pure leather. A base of wood, patchouli and tonka bean rounds out the warm, mysterious glow of this top winter fragrance for men.
  • Armani Code by Giorgio Armani EDT (from AU$130): Inside the sleekest of bottles is one of the most popular and best winter colognes that money can buy. Armani Code touts a spicy, oriental fragrance that’s rife with citrus, wood, leather and tobacco. May it fulfil your desires all winter long, as it has done to so many before you.
  • Bleu De Chanel by Chanel (from AU$240): Smoky, woody, citrusy and classic, Bleu De Chanel blends notes of nutmeg, ginger, sandalwood, grapefruit, pink pepper, jasmine and cedar to aromatic perfection. Give it a winter blast.
  • Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris (from AU$288): Feuilles de Tabac debuted in 2000 and has been enchanting libidos ever since. Running underneath balanced waves of sage and grassy pine are addictive base notes of tobacco and warm patchouli.
How we chose this list of woody fragrances
The latest winter fragrances we’ve tested in compiling this list | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

Why You Should Trust Our List

Trust is the backbone of our independent publication and unlike most of the lists you’ve read online, we’re only recommending products that we’ve had a chance to independently test ourselves. We’re not claiming to do so either, providing original photography to demonstrate that we’ve gone hands-on with these products before providing an opinion and sharing our expertise on each. This opinion is a conclusion decided upon by our editorial team that takes into account the smell, price, and availability of each inclusion.

How You Should Choose from Our List

The Winter scents that we’ve selected are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. We’ve sought out colognes that perfectly balance amber, citrus, wood, spice, smoke, and more to bring out the best of you in the colder months. Of course, we put an extra emphasis on finding options that will work for all ages as these notes can be very over-powering if they aren’t balanced correctly.

We’ve also focused on fragrances that we’d happily recommend as a blind buy, that is, a scent that we think you’d be happy wearing without ever smelling it in person. To help you make an informed decision we’ve included notes, described the longevity, and compared and contrasted each scent to other popular options on the market.

If you need further help selecting, we recommend reading our guide on finding your own signature scent and how to apply your new cologne once you’ve chosen your favourite.

More Great Fragrance Stories

Interested in more fragrance and cologne stories? Here are a few stories to get you started:

Colognes & Fragrances For Other Seasons

Your FAQs Answered

When is the best time to start wearing winter fragrances?

If you’re in Australia, the best time to start wearing winter fragrances at the start of June when winter begins.

What should you look for in a winter cologne for men?

Winter fragrances are generally woody, spicy, warm, and musky. They tend to deliver heavier scents that last longer.