Monday Question – What Is The Most Uplifting Perfume You Know?

Winter is here. Everything is grey in grey (at least in the northern hemisphere). When it is cold and dreary outside, which perfumes lift your mood?

Which scents make you happy? What perfume acts as the perfect antidote to the winter blahs for you?

Which perfume brings color into your life at a time when nature deprives us of it?

question-markMy Answer:

The best “anti-depressant” in the scented world for me is grapefruit. Sharp, bright, juicy, perfectly balanced between sweet and bitter, grapefruit is the note I turn to in times of those heavy “too much winter for too long” feelings.

Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rosé, Guerlain Pamplelune, Jo Loves Pomelo or Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus work beautifully to get me out of hibernation and bring new energy when it is needed.

How about your secret happiness weapons?


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127 Responses to Monday Question – What Is The Most Uplifting Perfume You Know?

  1. Jordan River says:

    There is an Amouage that makes me jublilate into a 25 year old. Perfume Prozac.
    Pomelo – great idea.

  2. Cookie Queen says:

    Well, at the moment it is probably Bombay Bling. Today at least. 😉

  3. Sandra says:

    I am not a fan of winter’s cold and grey days. On such days I reach for a perfume that is warm with lots of vanilla or gourmand notes. On sunny winter days, which are few here, I have reached for Jour d’Hermes or recently Shiseido Feminite du Bois.

  4. Madeleine says:

    Hi B,

    I’d have to say that it would be: Carnal Flower, Parfum de Therese or Heeley Ophelia. Also adding Antonia by Puredistance but lately the only one that has put a smile on my face is Lady Vengeance.



  5. Asali says:

    Easy: Vega and Arpege, real moodlifters. So trying to save for that FB of Vega…

  6. Ines says:

    Hmm, I’m always looking for mood lifters and they usually come as orangey-flowers but unfortunately those don’t feel appropriate in winter. So I just go with something to keep me comfortable, vanillas and ambers.

  7. Undina says:

    In addition to not having that type of weather that you’ve described, I do not use pefumes as mood modifiers of any kind (for lifting up, coming down, feeling pretty or courageous,etc.) so I just don’t know what to answer to your question… I was thinking about it for a while and I came to a conclusion that while everything’s more or less fine in my life I do not need perfumes to doanything for me other than bring joy. But if anything goes really wrong I don’t think a perfume will help at all.

    But my theoretical (see “no such weather” disclaimer above) knee-jerk response to your question was Bombay Bling!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Your answer made me laugh out loud (thank you!). I agree, if something went really wrong, perfume won’t help much, but it might ease things a little bit – that I do believe.

  8. Alexandra says:

    I normally embrace winter and cover myself in big blankets of Orientals, but when I need a blast of sunshine it’s SL Fleurs d’Oranger all the way!

  9. Tara says:

    Great question!

    Unlike Undina, I constantly self-medicate with perfume. For an uplift at this time of year I go for Seville a l’aube, Sous le Vent or maybe vintage Diorella. I really need a fizzy fruit perfume though. Too bad grapefruit doesn’t work for me.

  10. brie says:

    Even on days when perfume wearing is “verboten” in my house (or at work for that matter) one sniff straight out of the bottle of SSS Jour Ensolielle creates instant euphoria. There is something about that perfume that hits an emotional nerve (in a positive way 🙂 !!) Second runner up would be 1000 Flowers Reglisse Noire.

  11. Sassa says:

    Chanel 19 – makes me feel like the woman that I want to be. Confident, competent wise and of course elegant. Just finished rereading ‘The Pavillion of Women’, which I last read when I was a teenager. Chanel 19 makes me feel like Madame Wu.

  12. Dubaiscents says:

    I usually go with a nice big tuberose if I want an instant mood lift. Beyond Love by Kilian is one of my favorites. If it is just dreary weather (not that this happens so much here) I love a little Bronze Goddess to remind me of fun in the sun!

  13. andreawilko says:

    I would say without doubt Bombay Bling is my happy perfume. Rubj always makes me feel like I am in warmer climes (my son described it as a holiday perfume and the notion has stuck ever since) I would also say carnal flower is an uplifting perfume with a bit of kick ass thrown in for good measure. 😉

  14. Miss Woolf says:

    The sun is shining in Cologne and although it’s only about 5c there is a promise of spring in the air. Normally I would reach for Neroli Portofino, Seville a l’Aube or Bombay Bling on days like this. But today my sweet little dog is having surgery (he broke his leg when he was hit by a car on Saturday) and so I need Mona di Orio’s Vanille, my rescue remedy.

    • FeralJasmine says:

      So sorry about your dog. I hope he comes through well. Mona’s Vanille is beautiful, isn’t it? All the exotics and the familiar vanilla, comfort in uncertain times.

      • Miss Woolf says:

        Thank you for your kind words FeralJasmine. I couldn’t agree more. I never thought a vanilla would become one of my favourites though, I never thought it was “me”.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Your poor dog!!! I saw the photos of his cast, the poor thing!
      I wore Vanille when I had an operation on my hand last year, it worked wonders! All the best for you both. xo

  15. annina says:

    Birgit, does this post mean you’ve reached back into the rest of your non-Hermes collection? 😉

    SSS Jour Ensolielle is just the perfume to move me into the sunlight! It’s very cold and dark here!

  16. anatu13 says:

    Another vote for Bombay Bling and Seville a l’Aube here!

  17. Safran says:

    For me, all year round happiness-in-a-bottle scents are MDCI Rivage des Syrtes, Carnal Flower and Oeillet by Scent Systems. If I am in a dark mood in winter, sandalwood is what comforts me the most. Like in MPG’s Santal Noble or Loggia dei Mercanti by La Collina Toscana – and lately April Aromatics Precious Woods.

  18. FeralJasmine says:

    I’m so delighted to hear people mention Jour Ensolielle. Of all the scents that I own, this may be the most purely happy. It’s a stroll through a blooming orange grove and out into a grassy meadow with wild flowers and bees working the blooms. Right now I’m away from home visiting my beloved father, who has had a severe stroke (enjoy your bodies and the freedom they give you while you can, ladies) and when I get back to my room I bathe and spray on JE, and take a quiet mental walk through the Sonoma Valley. Doesn’t change the situation but it certainly does help my attitude.

  19. IsabelleMi says:

    “Beauty is the moment in which you rise up … It is the moment when you pick up your head, stride through your own ruins and climb up the mountain.” – Serge Lutens. La fille de Berlin has helped me lately.

  20. ringthing says:

    I’m with Sassa – Chanel 19 is my late winter/early but not early enough spring lift. I confess, though, that I mostly embrace the cold and the gray and revel in my darkest and most brooding heavy hitting orientals and incenses with deep pleasure as I love the cold and the hot summer will be here soon enough. All the comments make me realize how much I need to try SSS Jour Ensolielle; it’s been on my list for a while.

  21. lucasai says:

    I think it’s Limone di Sicilia by I Profumo Di Firenze, such an uplifting shot of citrus. But Jo Loves Green Orange & Coriander also has something energetic to it.

  22. Farouche says:

    Because of your wonderful Chanel post last week, I put all my Chanels (even the decants) on a mirrored tray and vowed to enjoy them for a week straight. It’s like having a whole new collection grouping them together like that. Today is 31 Rue Cambon, which is so lovely, comforting and can stand up to the frigid temperatures today in the Northeast US.

  23. Mrs. Scents says:

    For me, it’s got to be Marry Me by Lanvin. The name is atrocious, but it’s meant to portray the excitement and happiness that one feels when they get engaged/married, which the fragrance definitely does! The juice is such a bright, citrus white floral, it definitely brings a bit of sunshine to horrible winter days! 🙂

  24. For an uplifting Winter perfume, I might pick By Kilian A Taste Of Heaven. I’ve read of the calming characteristics of lavender and it’s one of my favourite notes. But this one feels more appropriate for cold weather than, say, Caron Pour un Homme.

  25. kjanicki says:

    I also love grapefruit and Hemes EdPR. Have you tried Hermes Rose Ikebana? It’s very similar, a dry tart rose, but the note is rhubarb. It’s lovely on a hot day but it also reminds me of spring.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Rose Ikebana was one of my first niche discoveries, I bought a partial bottle a few years back and am currently nursing the last few drops, I can’t bear to use it up (since I can’t/won’t afford to replace it right now).

  26. Suzanne says:

    The most uplifting perfume for me this winter has been April Aromatics Jasmina, with its gorgeous pink grapefruit note coupled to jasmine (as well as ylang). It’s pure sunshine in a bottle for me. And April Aromatics Rose L’Orange makes me feel similarly, and is such a love take on rose.

    I’ve also been wearing Amouage Epic a lot lately. A different kind of uplifting … so gosh darn beautiful and it’s rich sillage makes me feel like I’m a countess swathed in uber-expensive fabrics.

  27. Ah, dear B., I wish I could complain about cold weather. It has been awfully -and I mean awfully- hot here.
    My ”happiness weapons” as you call them are Vero Profumo Rubj, Olivier Durbano Quartz Rose, Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling, Eau d’Italie Un Bateau pour Capri and Honoré des Pres Vamp a NY.
    Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant also warks wonders in colder weather.
    I wish you a happy week.


  28. Axum says:

    This past year, there were periods when I was so down that I simply couldn’t wear, or think about, perfume. But now that some time has passed, I’ve returned to perfume precisely because of its mood-changing potential.

    What cheers me up is not so much a particular perfume, but rather the thrill of smelling something new and interesting. When I’m in need of a boost, I head to a perfume counter with friendly (or simply laissez faire) staff. Recently, during a bout of self-doubt, I happened upon a Diptyque boutique. After an hour later, I emerged in a completely different state of mind!

    That is why I love perfume 🙂

  29. This definitely isn’t niche, and perhaps it’s the happy and nostalgic memories I associate with the scent, but CK One always makes me think of the optimism of a sunrise.

  30. susan says:

    Citruses and big white florals tend to be good pick-me-up scents for me in the late winter. Orange, grapefruit, orange blossom, tuberose… that kind of thing! Not that it’s very wintery in Austin, Texas today – it’s supposed to get up to 78 degrees Faranheit!

    Nonetheless, I am trying a new big white floral today… Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries Mi Corazon (quite a mouthful). It’s done by Calice Becker. I’m liking it a lot.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is quite a name, but I like the sound of it a lot.
      Did you try the entire De La Renta exclusive line? Any other recommendations?

      • susan says:

        I have a sample of Oriental Lace also, but I have not tried that one yet. Perhaps tomorrow. I’d like to get samples of all of them eventually. A kind fairy godmother from Perfume Posse sent me these two. 🙂

  31. Eva S says:

    My most uplifting perfume is Tauer’s Zeta, because to me it’s sunshine in a bottle! My latest buy Jour d’Hermes I think will serve the same purpose, as well as Iris Ukioke.

  32. Bhama says:

    I like to wear bright citruses to remind myself that even though its cold, spring/summer is on its way! Jo Malone orange blossom, atelier orange sanguine and memo perfumes Granada all hit the spot now. I also love wearing santal majuscule and shalimar for its warm and cozy feeling!

  33. Winter this year has been especially cold, long, grey and dreary, meh. Nothing says spring more than lily of the valley. I spotted some yesterday, bravely trying to get above the snow, which made me so happy, spring will come! When I want to get the same feeling out of a perfume bottle I spray some Carrillion pour un Ange by Andy Tauer.

  34. Dionne says:

    I’m very season-dependant on what lifts my mood. In Spring and Summer it’s Pulp that makes me grin, and I consider it the happiest perfume I own. But strangely enough, if I wear any of my spring or summer frags in the winter, my mood actually worsens because it’s such a jarring contrast, it’s like they whisper, “You know it’s going to be months before you see any flowers…..” Nasty little things. This is not a phenomenon you want to experience when you live somewhere it’s winter six months of the year.

    In the winter-time, my go-to fragrance for dealing with the weather blahs is Ambre Fétiche, and it’s not so much that it’s happy-making, but that it calms and centers me, gives me the strength to be patient. I predict I’ll be wearing it a lot when March comes around and most bloggers will be posting stuff like “Yay! Spring is here! Let’s talk about daisies and young leaves and bunnies!” and I’m still facing a couple of months of brown. I just breathe deep, wear my AF and know I’ll be joining all y’all in tip-toeing through the tulips in just a little while.

  35. When I first tried “In Love Again” I learned to like grapefruit as a fragrance. It’s not my favorite for this kind of therapy though. For an all-purpose scent to cheer up myself AND my book group when they come to my house once a month is Guerlain’s “Eau De Cologne Imperiale”. Everyone likes it and usually comment about how uplifting it is.

  36. AnneD says:

    We have had very little winter in Texas this year, so my spring summer fragrances stayed on display. My favorite uplifting fragrance is Jo Malones’ Grapefruit followed by JM Orange Blossom. It’s funny about the Grapefruit fragrance as it is one I would never think of as a favorite, but I wear it more than any other light fragrance. I also just purchased JM Earl Grey and Cucumber and it feels refreshing and uplifting as well. Gray days bring out the orientals and my fave Ambre Sultan. When I am really in a funk or depressed, I reach for the rich vanillas such as Havana Vanille or my latest purchase by Laura Mercier, Amber Vanille body cream. If a sophisticated fragrance is needed, I love Chamade EDT. My next purchase may be Jicky, as I am craving a bit of lavender for spring this year.

  37. Nathalie Grainger Bradbury says:

    Scents that always bring sunshine and lift into my day are the wonderfully rich and woody Un Jardin en Mediterranne by Hermes, the warm hug of Serge Lutens’ Daim Blond, the promise of spring in Mimosa pour Moi by L’Artisan Parfumeur, the sparkling and musky Lux by a much missed friend Mona di Orio, the delicate and nostalgic Apres L’Ondee eau de toilette by Guerlain and sunshine in a bottle Bombay Bling imagined by my friend Neela Vermeire and created by the inimitable Bertrand Duchaufour.

  38. Vanessa says:

    At the moment I am finding a winter pick me up in what I can best describe as “fizzy pudding” scents, featuring a nice mix of aldehydes and creamy comforting notes. Today it was Cristobal and Esprit d’Oscar together (because I just ran out of Cristobal). I also enjoy sprightly spicy numbers in this weather such as Safran Troublant, and like Tara I am enjoying Seville a L’Aube in this weather. However, it is too early for me to break out into straight up pretty florals.

  39. laniersmith says:

    I would have to say a classic Eau de Cologne can get me brightened up in the dead of winter. I do love my orientals but just after a hot bath or shower I reach for a short-lived pick me up in the form of a Eau de Cologne. I adore Guerlain’s Eau de Cologne Imperial. 4711 is essential as is Aqua Classica de Parma Borsari. Right now I am exporing a newer take on the Eau de Cologne Gianfranco Ferre Bergomotto Marino. I just love it after the bath.

  40. Pretty much all of my perfumes make me happy, but for an instant mood lifter, I can’t beat Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine. If I owned bottles of No. 19 and Bombay Bling, I would say those straight away too!

    I have been finding myself reaching for the new Hermès as a way to brighten my day lately. It is really quite lovely!

  41. Nana says:

    I also self medicate with perfume…best mood lifters to me are Hermess Concentré de pamplemousse rose, Annick Goutal nympheo meo and Visa by piguet

  42. fleurdelys says:

    My “happy” perfume is Replique. I know this has gone through several iterations, but my vintage bottle contains a fragrance of sparkling aldehydes and cheerful flowers. It’s perfect for a rainy day, or in late winter when you despair of spring ever returning.

  43. Alice says:

    At this time of year, with changeable weather, I’d pick a warm floral – Iris Poudre is a favourite. Cozy orientals can seem a bit much when the skies are blue (as yesterday) but lighter spring perfumes don’t do the trick when it turns grey and cold.

  44. Veni from Prague says:

    I agree with you – Guerlain Pamplelune is really refreshing thing. From my own, very limited perfume sources, I will add also YSL Paris 🙂

  45. Pingback: What perfume makes you feel [insert an adjective here]? | Undina's Looking Glass

  46. Penelope says:

    This whole comment thread is just so funny and gleeful to me!!! I’m a 46-year old woman who has lived in NYC, Philadelphia, and Boston; travelled all over the USA and to Europe and Africa; and considers herself fairly hip and sophisticated – yet I had NO IDEA that there were so many perfumes in the world. I grew up with a mom who wore one scent and one scent only (Estee by Estee Lauder) and I thought that’s how you did it. Owning and wearing more than one perfume???!!!

    This blog has opened me up to a whole new world and I truly have butterflies in my stomach from being so excited. I’m not kidding. This is SO great!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Penelope,
      what a lovely comment! I’m very glad you found the door to this secret world we like to call Perfumeland. 🙂
      It’s wonderful here, lots of lovely people and everyone smells great. 🙂
      Have fun exploring and enjoy the ride!

  47. Penelope says:

    Where do I start? I am asking you, Olfactoria, to start me down this wonderful new path. I would like one high-quality perfume to start with and then I’ll work my way through the list of recommendations that I got from this comment thread (Bombay Bling; Chanel No. 19; SL Fleurs d’Oranger; Carnal Flower; Orange Sanguine; Iris Poudre; Mona Di Orio’s Vanille; Chanel 28 La Pausa; Geisha Noire perfume oil).

    I currently know only a few scents:

    Jovan Musk (I know that you’re LYAO at that one) – loved it in high school on my boyfriend
    Estee – can only be worn by one woman: my mom
    Jo Malone Fig & Cassis – very nice on a friend of mine, but not a “must-have” for me
    Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir – my man loves this and I bought it, tried it for a while, and hated it
    Musk – from my local co-op or Whole Foods; the kind in the little bottle that costs about 8 bucks

    I would like to find a perfume that my man would really love, but that I would love too. We were at a museum the other day and a Japanese woman went by who he said smelled wonderful and so, I did some research, and found AromaM perfumes… that’s ultimately how I found you.

    So, back to my original question: where do I start?! Do you have time to lead a newbie by the hand? : )

    • Olfactoria says:

      Well, the best way to start without spending too much money on potential mistakes, is to go forth and smell.
      I don’t know where you are based, but if there is a niche perfume store near you, go there and just start getting acquainted with the inventory. If not, try the sampling programs at online stores like Luckyscent in the US or Les Senteurs in the UK.
      Soon you should have an idea which type of scent, or which note you’d like to explore further, or which house interests you based on the visual presentation (that is important too!).
      I can’t really recommend a single perfume for you to start with, but maybe I can recommend a brand: Hermès perfumes are mostly easily accessible, all very well made and really approachable also for “newbies”. And since you and your husband seem to like Japanese/Asian aesthetics, this house seems like a perfect starting point to me, because Jean-Claude Ellena, the perfumer of the house of Hermès works with a very streamlined, minimalist and elegant approach.
      And one more thing: read blogs! Perfume blogs are a great resource and great company on your journey.
      I hope to hear about your progress, Penelope!
      Best wishes,

  48. Penelope says:

    Oh, thank you so much! I will enjoy my weekend here in snowy & cold Massachusetts, USA going forth into Perfumeland.

    All the best to you,


  49. Penelope says:

    Dear B – I just ordered the sample pack from 1000 Flowers! This was based on your review of Reglisse Noire. I linked from your site and hope that you get credit for that. I’m SO excited.

    Joys to you,

  50. Pingback: Perfume Review – Bombay Bling by Neela Vermeire Créations: Dance, Dance, Dance! | Kafkaesque

  51. For me it is definively L’interdit by Givenchy! It lighten my day and make me feel confortable and warm and beautiful!!!!

  52. Pingback: Perfume Review - Bombay Bling by Neela Vermeire Créations: Dance, Dance, Dance! - Kafkaesque

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