13 December 2012


This will be the first time in 18 years that I will not be working on Christmas Eve,
however after saying this, I will miss all the fun that working on that day brings.
Over the years I have seen this same scene many, many times over and it 
never really changes and I am sure it never will, yet it's always a source of great amusement....

Typical Fragrance Department

All to often the uninitiated male enters the cosmetic department on Christmas Eve hoping to quickly rush in and pick up a bottle of perfume for his girlfriend or wife as a gift. Invariably he enters with a smile on his face,until he is met with a department full of products, bottles,colours,shoppers,assistants and aromas and the look soon changes from one of Christmas cheer to "horror" and "dread" as the realisation of the task ahead seems to have well and truly slapped him in the face. 
It isn't long before he is spotted by an eager consultant as "easy prey" in they swoops with a few standard probing questions:
Consultant "Hello Sir how can we help you today"?
Customer "I am looking for a perfume for my wife"
Consultant "What does she normally like to wear"?
Customer "I'm not sure, but it smells of flowers"
Consultant "That makes it rather difficult Sir, but can I show you some of the latest fragrances, as she most probably won't have any of these, as they have only just been launched"?
Costumer "I'm sure I'll recognise the bottle of her favourite fragrance"
Consultant "No problem Sir lets walk along the department and see if you recognise a name,bottle or the colour of the packaging.
Consultant "Any luck Sir"?
Customer "No! what were those new perfumes you spoke of"

Let me tell you now! 
that this method of "elimination" buying can vary in time depending on the character of the man...
a few minutes if he realises that this is way beyond his realm of detective capabilities or easily an hour if he believes he is Inspector Clouseau and won't be beaten by thousands of fragrances glistening back at him from the shelves....

Not all men are like the example above and many do know exactly what their partner wears and the type of fragrance she enjoys.....so guys if YOU are the customer in my story, then do yourself a favour and investigate before hand!

Here are few tips to hopefully help you navigate the daunting fragrance department at Christmas time!

  1. Be prepared and take notice of what fragrance she has on her dressing table or in the bathroom.
  2. Many women wear several fragrances , so write down all the names of the fragrances she uses or better still take a quick pic on your cell phone.
  3. Often the one that has been used the most is the one that she likes the best.
  4. If this doesn't help then you can always ask her sister or friend for advice.
  5. Don't expect to just rush in and choose a fragrance in 10 minutes,so give yourself time to shop.
  6. Do not leave the buying of the gift until Christmas Eve, as the best offers and gift sets have already been sold and you could end up "panic buying" which can end up costing you more.
  7. Understand that casual staff  are sent in by the individual companies to spray and promote fragrances and are therefore pushing a particular brand, so don't be easily swayed if you have had definite instructions on what to buy and what not to buy.
  8. If you require more in depth fragrance knowledge and more neutral advice, then ask to speak to the permanent fragrance consultant and not the temporary staff.
  9. Firstly ask to see any gift sets that maybe available in the particular fragrance you decide on,some brands bring out beautiful Christmas sets filled with the fragrance and the matching body products.
  10. If you want to surprise her with something new then try and keep to the same classification of fragrance. In other words if she loves Opium by Yves Saint Laurent then the chances are that she will not like Ck one by Calvin Klein, as the one is a spicy and heavy and the other is a fresher more lighter wearing type of fragrance. A good fragrance consultant will be able to advise you on this.
  11. Do not test the fragrances on yourself  or the consultant, as it will not smell the same on your partner.Fragrance is very personal and develops differently on everyone.
  12. Make use of the spray blotters (strips of blotting paper that you spray the fragrance onto) that all stores have.This enables you to get an idea of what the fragrance smells like without using every inch of your body to test.
  13. If you are buying for someone and have no idea of their "likes" or "dislikes" then ask for a sample of the fragrance that you have decided on and gift it at the same time. This means she can try the sample rather than open and use the gift fragrance, thus allowing it to be returned and exchanged if necessary.
  14. Always ask for a gift receipt,so she can do an easy exchange if you get it wrong (as long as the cellophane or seal is intact)
  15. Make life easier for yourself and get the store to beautifully gift wrap ,which is generally free of charge.

I hope these tips help you

 Happy Shopping!

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