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6 spots you didn’t know you could apply winter scents (that aren’t on your body)

Your cologne can go lots of other places besides your wrists and neck

When we think of a fragrance, we often imagine applying it directly to skin, but have you ever noticed some of your favorite scents fading from your skin too quickly? We spend a lot of time wondering where to apply cologne, but at the end of the day, scent is all about chemistry. Cologne naturally locks onto fabrics and leather and generally stays longer than when it’s applied to skin. Scenting, or aromatizing, an item is a great way to maximize the potency and longevity of a fragrance you love without going overboard.

Scented accessories are also excellent for settings and occasions that call for care and caution where fragrances are concerned, such as in-office work, long car rides, and events in small spaces. Many people have allergies and sensitivities to scent, and strong applications are not always appropriate. Carrying just one carefully aromatized item, however, allows you to turn the volume down, not off, on your feel-good scent. Consider lightly aromatizing one small accessory of yours; it can turn a humdrum object into a source of delight.

Dents Henley Leather and Wool Gloves


The Occasion: Scented gloves are hardly a new concept; they were introduced to England from Spain and Venice in the 16th century, when it was in fashion to give them as gifts. Channel your inner Renaissance man by reviving the courtly custom and scenting your winter gloves. You’ll appreciate their subtle fragrance and warmth each time you wear them, whether you’re taking the dog for a walk, driving, or taking less-than-fragrant public transport.

The Fragrance: As fragrance holds on tightly to leather and gloves are not generally easy to wash, make sure to aromatize yours with an established favorite. If you’re working with fabric gloves with washing instructions, you can try out something new and hit the reset button later. Warmer scents with notes of spices and amber are a natural choice for cold weather accessories, as are woody scents that recall snowy forests, but any winter favorite will work.

The Method: Concentrate on spritzing or dabbing a droplet of scent on the lining of the gloves only to avoid any discoloration of the leather. Hold each glove upside-down by the edge of the wrist in one hand and hold your fragrance in the other. Spritz from about 11 inches up, directing downwards into the glove. Allow the scent to dry before wearing out. The warmth from your hands will activate the fragrance in the lining and make your next winter sojourn a sweetly fragrant one.

michael bastian pink ribbon pocket square folded
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A pocket square

The Occasion: As Tom Ford once said, “Dressing well is a form of good manners”, and there is nothing so well-mannered as a perfectly fitting suit with just the right pocket square. Whether your pocket square is bright and eye-catching or a crisply perfect white, a light veil of fragrance can enhance it even more. This method is a wonderful option for making a subtle but confident impression at a meeting or formal event and will add the final touch to your power outfit.

The Fragrance: This method works for your favorite fragrance that gives you a boost, but also consider trying it with a bolder scent that you’re still experimenting with or are concerned might be strong for the occasion. This is a low-commitment option; if you change your mind, you can simply wait for the fragrance to fade from the square, or, depending on the care instructions, give it a gentle wash in cold water.

The Method: Unfold the pocket square, hold it in one hand, and use your dominant hand to spritz the air. Wave the square into the mist lightly. Wait a few minutes before tucking it into place. The majority of the fragrance will be on the fabric tucked away in your breast pocket, but the heat from your body will give it a bit of power to radiate and develop. The aim is to give you a subtle edge that no one can quite put their finger on.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

A leather watch band

The Occasion: Your watch is your versatile little personal assistant. It can be old school, new school. or a mix of both as long as it helps you move smoothly through your day. Show it some attention with a light application of your most loved scent. There’s a reason that the wrist is the traditional place to try out a new fragrance; you bring your wrist close to your face more often than you may realize, and your pulse heats up the scent (or scented object) and encourages it to expand and develop.

The Fragrance: The same rules apply here as they do for scenting leather gloves, but with even more caution. If you’re looking to scent your favorite everyday watch, you’ll want to choose only your absolute favorite scent, the bottle you reach for time and time again. Because watches have no season, let love — and your nose — be your guide.

The Method:  Focus on the inside of the watch band only to avoid aforementioned issues with discoloration. You may choose to apply a droplet from a vial or your own finger along the inside of the band, or you may spritz it gently from a few inches away to diffuse the scent. It’s your call. This method is all about your own enjoyment, but take note that if you care for children in your daily life, their keen little noses will likely notice your scented accessory. It may even motivate them to ask to borrow it.

Gray winter hat

Your winter hat

The Occasion: True fans of winter weather and winter sports know that when temperatures drop, you cannot do without a hat. It’s the perfect example of a utilitarian object that can be enjoyed in a whole new way. A subtly scented hat will accompany you into snow and ice, doing double duty as a protector and a disperser of warming fragrance. The warmth from your head will coax notes of incense, smoke, and wintry cedar into the frosty air. Nothing brings out the subtleties of brisk, fresh air like a well-blended mix of woods and sweet resins.

The Fragrance: As long as your hat is washable, you may choose whatever scent catches your fancy before hitting the slopes or heading out for a white-blanketed walk. However, since the heat from your head and the intensity of your activity will magnify the scent quite a bit, we suggest aromatic woody fragrances, or resinous ones with smoke or incense. These elements are associated with the outdoors and harmonize well with physical activity. You may want to avoid food-based notes such as vanilla, coffee, or cinnamon unless you’re aiming for the feel of an athletic gingerbread man.

The Method: A no-frills application for a no-frills accessory. All you’ll need to do is hold your hat out and lightly spritz it once from 8–12 inches away, put it on, and head out into the great outdoors, allowing your subtle fragrance to display its many facets in beautifully crisp and ever-changing weather.

Brown leather wallet
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Your wallet

The Occasion: Here it is: The all-season accessory you can’t live without. There’s no need to stress your wallet’s importance because there’s hardly a day in which you don’t use it. Considering its importance and constant presence in your life, shouldn’t it also bring you an extra little burst of cheer? If your wallet is made of leather or another natural material, it can be aromatized. As you open your wallet again and again throughout a busy day, you may catch a hint of the bright lemongrass or juicy herbs and citrus inside. A mundane moment can become one of singular joy, bringing you back to your calm and happy center.

The Fragrance: Start by asking yourself what scents you associate with prosperity and abundance. An easy choice would be any lively scent that brings bounty to mind — for example, a scent with many notes and elements and a great deal of zinging citrus. Any fragrance that you feel brings fire, excitement, and confidence is an easy choice to bring a touch of good luck to your wallet. As with all leather goods, this must be a fragrance you’re sure you truly enjoy.

The Method: A light hand is often beneficial when it comes to spending; the same is true in scenting. As always, avoid spraying any leather directly, and direct your efforts to the interior or lining of the wallet. Do this from several inches away, or consider spritzing the air and merely waving your open wallet through the mist. Once you’ve scented your spending, you’ll be amazed at how good fragrances and good luck travel hand in hand.

A Hickey Freeman merino wool scarf is soft and warm close to the face.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A scarf

The Occasion: The ultimate friend and guardian in cold or rainy weather, a scarf brings polish and interest to your outfit and comfort to the wearer. Win-win. A wintery fragrance applied to a scarf can only bring another layer of contentment to wearing this simplest of accessories. While bundled and warm in your scarf, you can venture out and enjoy protection from the wind and chill while appreciating the way the crisp air brings out the best notes of your favorite scent.

The Fragrance: In the world of scarves, there is no commitment needed. Choose just one scent per scarf, and choose whichever feels the most toasty and snug. You have room here to experiment. Spicy notes, nuts, amber, tobacco, and vanilla all play well in chilly weather. When venturing outdoors with your cozily aromatized accessory, don’t be surprised if someone asks to borrow it.

The Method: If you’re dealing with a fabric scarf, spritz directly once or twice on the scarf in whatever place makes the most sense to you. However, if you’re lucky enough to own a cashmere scarf, be judicious — these are often dry clean only. The scent will usually fade from a scarf within a few days, depending, of course, on the fragrance itself and how much was applied. Still, you may find the merest hints of cologne lingering after the snow has melted.

Winter brings us many wonderful things: Cozy fires, crystalline ice, warm gatherings and special traditions. It’s also in this chilly air that many scents truly come alive. What better way to enjoy this most breathtaking of seasons than by bringing beautiful perfumes with us in new ways? By lightly scenting everyday objects, we can surprise and delight ourselves and others, express ourselves more, and make space for a joyous new year.

Claudia Savin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Claudia is a fragrance enthusiast based in the Pacific Northwest. She has a passion for exploring unexpected and overlooked…
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