The UK’s top ten favourite winter scents

In our quest to capture the essence of the festive season, from a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings to the aroma of gingerbread, sprouts, and a box of Quality Streets, we surveyed 2,000 Brits to discover the UK’s favourite winter scent¹.

In the whisky world, nosing is a crucial aspect of appreciating and understanding the spirit, and it plays a significant role in the overall tasting experience. With this in mind, our curiosity led us to explore Brits’ winter smell preferences to understand which scents resonate most during the winter season.


Our new study reveals the top ten favourite winter scents in the UK: 

  1. Mince pies (57%) 
  2. Christmas dinner with all the trimming (54%) 
  3. Gingerbread (51%) 
  4. Cinnamon sticks and fir/pine trees (48% each) 
  5. Log fires (47%) 
  6. Freshly fallen snow (crisp, clean air) and roast turkey/beef (41% each)
  7. Roasted chestnuts (34%)
  8. Sprouts and a box of quality street chocolate (31% each)        
  9. Hot chocolate with marshmallows (30%)        
  10. Clove-studded oranges (21%)

    mince pie

Let’s break it down: 

 A festive favourite, Mince pies claim the top spot with 57% of the vote. Filled with dried fruits like raisins and currants and the festive spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, these aromas remind  Brits of winter the most. Mince pie enthusiast hotspots include Preston (85%), Wolverhampton (75%), Carlisle (73%), and Lincoln (71%). Closely following in second place is the scent of Christmas dinner with all the trimmings (54%). 

Gingerbread secures the third spot in our ranking (51%), a preferred pick for 18-24-year-olds at 62%, with Canterbury residents particularly fond (83%). Cinnamon sticks and Fir/pine trees are fourth at 48% each, highlighting the appeal of comforting and fresh scents.

Nearly half of Brits (47%) enjoy the warmth of log fires, showing that cosy winter evenings are a favourite. Also, 41% like the smell of freshly fallen snow, indicating a shared love for bundling up and going outside in the fresh, crisp air. In the North East, especially, 54% enjoy heading out in the cold for a walk.

Other winter smells that made it into the top ten include roast turkey/beef (41%), roasted chestnuts (34%), sprouts  and a box of quality street chocolate (31% each), hot chocolate with marshmallows (30%), and clove-studded oranges (21%). 

Our study doesn’t just stop at the favourites; it also unveils the least favoured winter scents among Brits, with Vix/Olbas oil, bread and butter pudding, doughnuts, rain, and jacket potatoes ranking as the less preferred aromas.

roast turkey


The scent of whisky at Christmas 

Our new survey reveals that whisky is a hit among the 25-34 age group, showcasing a rising trend among younger enthusiasts. In Inverness (49%) and Aberdeen (43%), Scots especially enjoy nosing whisky during the winter. The love for whisky isn’t confined to Scotland, though, it spans the UK! Places like Cambridge (43%) and Oxford (35%) associate whisky most with the festive season. 

The love for whisky spreads far and wide, reaching different ages and places. If you’re still looking for a Christmas present, why not consider the gift of whisky?

As whisky experts, we understand how important our senses are in creating special memories. Just like how smelling a Scotch whisky can take us back to certain moments, the winter scents we discovered in our survey really capture the festive spirit. This exploration not only helps us better grasp winter smells but also shows how the world of whisky connects with the broader range of fragrances that define the season. It’s about appreciating the simple joys and the smells that make the holidays memorable.

To browse Christmas whisky gifts, please visit:  


  1. The survey conducted in December 2023 by Tri Carragh, titled ‘UK’s Favourite Winter Scents,’ gathered insights from 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents, utilising the survey provider SurveyGoo.

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