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Winter Nights – woody and aromatic and warm

It’s not yet the Ides of March, more like the Ides of Winter. Baby, it’s cold outside. It’s too cold even to walk the dog!  Cabin fever takes on real meaning, and I seek out remedies to ease anxiety and soothe the senses. Books, music, cozy sweaters and throws, hot tea…and meditative scents.  This winter I’ve found the balm for my soul, an extraordinary scent experience aptly named Winter Nights.

Winter Nights is from Dasein Fragrance, a small L.A. based indie brand started by self-taught perfumer, Sam Radar. This walk-in-the-forest-on–a-cold-night scent was a limited-run 2016 flanker to Dasein’s original release, Winter, and was created by Sam in partnership with Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors - Bull’s Blood, Cape Heartache. Winter Nights was a wild success and sold out immediately. 2017 and 2018 editions also sold out but this past Christmas, I was one of the lucky ones and scored a bottle.

The note list of "coastal forest, driftwood bonfire, cardamom tea, lavender flowers and wild musk" conjure a snowy forest, the waft of wood smoke from a fireplace drifting in the freezing air, thoughts of tea waiting in the warmth of the cabin, a potpourri of softly sweet dry scent from incense and lavender flowers and musks greeting frozen noses as the door swings open. We're home from a walk in the woods on a cold winter's night.

Winter Nights EdP is intensely aromatic in the first few minutes, pine resin and sap, spruce and fir needles, cedarwood, form a fragrant forest accord so real and natural I can almost hear the snow crunch underfoot. After ten to fifteen minutes, the woody resins soften, and a dry wood-smoke smoulders in the background as spicy/earthy notes of cardamom and tea form an incense-like accord, adding depth and weight to the woody resins. Finally as Winter Nights dries down into the base, a dusting of fresh lavender blooms and animalic musks add warmth and a quiet sweet quality to the scent, the perfect balance to the spicy woody resins. The aromas stay quietly on skin for hours, so that the scent becomes meditative.

Winter Nights is direct and uncomplicated, but it’s also impressive. Strong and resinous at first, it mellows into the heart becoming warm and smooth, then sweeter and more langorous through the long dry-down. Smelling natural and authentic, never synthetic, its character reminds me of Norne by Slumberhouse, but Winter Nights is less dark and intense, more golden and inviting than Norne’s North-West giant forests. The fragrance’s woody accord also has similarities to the Frasier Fir candle from Thymes, still my all-time most-favourite Christmas scent. It’s non-gendered, so anyone who likes woody aromatic scents will love Winter Nights, and also free of phthalates, parabens and glycol, nor animal-tested. 

Turin and Sanchez give Winter Nights Three Stars in their latest book of perfume reviews. Maybe if they tested Winter Nights this winter, in this cold-freeze, they’d reconsider. I give it Five Stars.

Winter Nights is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.

Image 1- Wikimedia Commons - Quiet Winter Night, Great Sand Dunes NationalPark, July 16, 2014, NPS/Patrick Myers 

Image 2 - "Winter Nights" bottle