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  1. #1

    Question Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    I should start by saying that I'm 21. I'm finding lots of perfume reviews that come with an age 'recommendation' - either 'younger', or more often, 'for women, not girls', 'not for 20-somethings', '40 and up', etc. The other day a SA seemed shocked that I liked the whiff I took of 24, Faubourg, and actually laughed at me when I asked for a sample of Shalimar. I sort of understand this concept; for instance, I couldn't imagine my gorgeous, classy grandmother wearing something syrupy-sweet and/or fruity. Nor do I feel comfortable in the Shalimar the SA grudgingly gave me (but that's probably because my GREAT-grandmother wore it, so it really does feel 'too old' for me, though the fragrance itself is beautiful, and the memories it evokes are nice). And I know that certain notes or properties tend to get the 'old lady' comments, esp. from people who don't particularly appreciate perfumes (aldehydes, particularly powdery frags, etc.). But overall, I think I disagree that my age alone could make a perfume seem inappropriate on me. In fact, I do believe I'm going to march back into Nordstrom tomorrow and try the 24 on my skin, then quite probably buy some! Sorry, just noticed how long-winded I am tonight... well the point of this thread was just to get some other opinions about this idea... am I being a precocious brat, or...?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    No, you are not being a precocious brat!!!! When I was younger than you I loved Mitsouko and made a special trip to a Chicago Gold Coast perfume store to get the bath oil (Even Marshall Field did not sell it). The sales lady tried to talk me out of it and sell me Calandre, which was fairly new at the time.
    Needless to say, I was not to be swayed. If it smells good on you, go for it and you will be rewarded.
    Gotta tell you though, I was working my way through Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu at the time...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    I think it's ridiculous for people to stereotype like that. I guess that salespeople are trained to sell the newest, latest, and greatest, but I'd take their advice with a grain of salt. I'm a firm believer that people should wear what they like, conventions and the status quo be damned!

    Head back to the shops and try the fragrances that YOU want to try. Don't let their silliness get you down. Have fun sampling scents!

    I'm a little envious...I can't wait to be in a large city where I can get samples and smell stuff IRL instead of ordering samples online and waiting for them to arrive in the post. That's life in the Alaskan bush, though. I should be grateful that I even have internet!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Quote Originally Posted by linnea
    I think it's ridiculous for people to stereotype like that. I guess that salespeople are trained to sell the newest, latest, and greatest, but I'd take their advice with a grain of salt. I'm a firm believer that people should wear what they like, conventions and the status quo be damned!
    I agree.

    I'm the gal who wore Rive Gauche at thirteen, Opium at sixteen and Coco at eighteen...
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Chacun a son gout :-)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    This is something that bugs me too! I see no reason why a younger person should not wear a sophisticated, heavy scent, if it is something they are attracted to then they surely have the ability to carry it well. Likewise an older woman who wants to wear something sugary and fluffy is probably young at heart so there's no reason why it would seem wrong on her. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by Lalage; 9th December 2006 at 08:21 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    The other thing that is "off" about age-based recommendations is that they are a moving target -- they don't refer to absolute age so much as age at which your fragrance sensibilities were formed, what was popular at the time, what your mother and grandmother wore, etc. So even for people who do fall into a general demographic trend, the "20s" "30s" "40s" references are aren't constants.

  8. #8

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvergirl
    ... am I being a precocious brat, or...?
    Of course you are precocious. :bounce: Enough to start being unconvinced by the opinions of others - 'cause that's all they are - opinions.

    You go girl! With your moxie you can handle 24!!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  9. #9

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Hi. Since I am new to retail and working in the fragrance area (which I am pretty new to as well), I can tell you that no one told/trained me which scents are for what age groups. Sometimes I wish they did because customers keep asking me "what's a good fragrance for an 80 year old lady?" and "what should I get my 12 year old who loves perfume?". I just try to help them by what type of smell they are looking for. Was it sales people who were saying their was an age range or do the makers advertise that way? Just curious. - Miluce

  10. #10
    Lean in closer, dear
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    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Say, "Oh, thank you for thinking I'm so young! I'm 39. I can give you the name of my plastic surgeon. She could do wonders for those thighs of yours."
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    [QUOTE=tigrushka]I agree.

    I'm the gal who wore Rive Gauche at thirteen, Opium at sixteen and Coco at eighteen... [/QUOT

    I also agree . I think limiting yourself to something you feel is age appropriate is crazy! I wore Chanel No. 5 when I was 14. I also wore YSL Rive Gauche when I was 14...my friends were all wearing Loves Baby Soft which made me want to gag and still does to this day.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Definite silliness, that.

    I fell in love with the original Cabochard (described by Luca Turin as "Cabochard-not the piss sold under the name today, the real stuff that you can't get anymore-you have to be into soiled underwear for that. It is a fucking wonderful fragrance. Not for Americans." http://www.chandlerburr.com/emperor/excerpts/5/) when I was about nine (and, at least on paper, American)

    I'd bet that an old woman who cannot be imagined wearing sugary concoctions now probably was more or less the same when she was young!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    When I was in my teens and twenties, there did not seem to be such strict categorization. Well, only between feminine and masculine - but we didn't classify scents with all this terminology and crisis of age-identity. There were fragrances that we liked or did not like. In my teens I wore Miss Dior, Chanel No. 19, Chamade. I also sometimes wore men's fragrances if I liked them. They were fairly sophisticated scents for my age, I suppose. But I didn't think in those terms. I also wore drug store scents (Love's Lemon, Love's Jasimine-Musk, stuff like that). I say just wear whatever you like in good health, and don't allow yourself to be squeezed into someone's definitions of what you should and should not like or wear. I rarely find a department store fragrance counter SA who is of any help, other than handing me what I request and ringing it up, though they are often very pleasant about it. No offense to those SA's who are super and knowledgeable, I know they're out there somewhere, but I haven't had the good fortune to meet them yet. Enjoy your 24 Faubourg, it's a beautiful fragrance.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    24, Faubourg is fabulous. You have good taste.
    Salespeople are market-oriented, which means they go for trends. Unfortunately, in sales, volume rules. Popular taste is not necessarily good taste.
    Right now, fruity florals are what "most" young women wear. So, they will steer you toward them. Don't be afraid to be different.
    As Coco Chanel once said, "The opposite of luxury is not poverty. The opposite of luxury is vulgarity." 24, Faubourg is luxurious.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry
    Say, "Oh, thank you for thinking I'm so young! I'm 39. I can give you the name of my plastic surgeon. She could do wonders for those thighs of yours."
    BWAHAHAHAH! That's perfect. I love it!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Never ever listen to people that tell you a perfume isn't you because its suppose to be for older women, or men, or people who are casual styled or people who do this and that.

    If you like the way it smells on you then it's for you.

    As a note, my boyfriend think everything makes me smell like an old woman but that is because he isn't used to me with perfume.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    So many awesome responses, thanks ladies. I know better than to lose my own opinions in the face of different ones, but now that I feel so... *supported*, I'm especially determined to wear whatever the bleep I want... 24, Faubourg is in in my immediate future (read: going to the mall right when I finish typing this post)!

    BTW, Quarry, truly LMAO!

    And Miluce, though I've encountered at least a few SAs who were obviously making recommendations based on my age, I'm was mostly just refering to a general attitude I thought I saw, esp. in consumer fragrance reviews. So I'm quite glad to know that this attitude isn't a widely held one, at least among BN-ers.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lian
    As a note, my boyfriend think everything makes me smell like an old woman but that is because he isn't used to me with perfume.
    Mine too! He's learning to live with it though. Recently he's even humored me with, "You smell nice". :-)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    I have clients coming into my perfume store that defy age and "what they are supposed to wear". They spray on the edt with the bay rum and citrus and decide they want to buy it. They say it smells fresh...Go figure. I had created that scent for men.

    Also I find some older women who we would think would like soft florals do not..they want the Divine Essence 3 that is all about resins...frankincense, elemi, champa etc.

    I have men liking my citrus floral Le Voyage edt...their wife buys it and they use it. The women have told me this. Same as the Reveiller edt. I originally created it for my boyfriend. It is an herbal, citrus, floral. Mostly green and citrusy.

    I have stopped categorizing scents. Old, young, male, female. Some people also layer the scents. Let people wear what they are attracted to and feel comfortable with.

    If you feel beautiful wearing Chanel 5 and you are 20 something so what. Look at the commercials...they are gearing the classic fragrances to the younger crowd.

    I love the classic fragrances. I have never been attracted to syrupy sweet- bubble gum stuff. Yuck...........

    I go from Opium to Chanel 5 to Beautiful. Throw out the rules!

    In high school women wore English Leather. Why not? I like Jungle Gardenia at the time and Blue Jeans...
    JoAnne Bassett, Perfumer
    http://www.JoAnneBassett.com

  20. #20

    CologneJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    I think the people (SA's specifically) who descriminate by age are probably the same ones that constantly tell me I'm shopping in the wrong department .

    Some have you have talked about "younger" women liking perfumes that are typically STEREOTYPED as older smells....but I've had a reverse experience. One time I was at a bar in the line to get a drink. The woman in front of me was strikingly beautiful, and she smelled AMAZING. She had to be in her lower to mid 40s. I asked her what perfume she was wearing & was totally shocked at her answer. She was wearing Lucky You!!!! I used to wear this (yes, the women's version, lol) in college & it smelled totally different on me than it did on her. She wore it VERY well.
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  21. #21

    Red face Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    I've passed menopause and I like the syrupy-sweet and fruity stuff. I also love woody orientals. Sometimes the sales people will get on my nerves. I will ask if they have such and such and they look at me like I'm nuts then squirt a card with the latest frag. Here, you "SHOULD" love this. So I repeat, "do you have such and such or not," a little more boldly and "please get that thing out of my face." They can be very arrogant sometimes and it's kind of funny when you consider what they make for a living. You'd think they owned the store. Anyway age discrimination comes in all ages, unfortunately.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    A few years ago, before I was a scentaholic, I went out to buy myself a perfume because the fella' I was with was really into it. I've always had this intense curiousity/respect for fragrances so I decided to do my homework and really find one that was right for me. I went to this froufrouchichi salon near my apartment that sold a good selection of nice fragrances and sniffed my way through the lot. The one that kept me coming back was something by Rochas. I don't even remember exactly which one, but I think it may have been Madame. When I asked the SA for a sample she refused to give it to me, saying "this is too 'mature', it is not for a young woman." I took the other samples and left and never bought anything there, and to this day cannot understand old/young in a fragrance. I understand that some scents evoke different eras, or even stages of life, but some of us are 'old' souls and some are 'young', and some crave that youthful vitality and some crave that older elagance... It's unbelievably silly to tell someone that a fragrance, a piece of music, a dress, the list goes on is too whatever for them. No one would say, "You can't enjoy cheesecake. It's for younger people."

  23. #23

    Default Re: Perfumes (or people) that discriminate by age?

    I once asked a SA to smell Joy. She told me that it was for old ladies and showed me something "more appropriate".

    IMHO I do find that many more mature women do wear certain fragrances. Both of my grandmothers and the older women in my family seemed to love wearing many of Estee Lauder's fragrances and also frags. like White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor.

    It's my theory that they didn't go out in search of fragrances, it sort of happened by accident. They all bought their makeup from the Estee Lauder counter and many times, they would receive samples of frags. and begin wearing them. They were also influenced by marketing campaigns, which were geared to their generation, like Elizabeth Taylor, etc.

    I do admit that I classify some fragrances (based on my life experiences) with older women, but I would never behave as that SA did and refuse a customer a sniff.

    I kind of feel the same way when I'm shopping for clothing and look around and see elderly women shopping for the same top or pants. I start to wonder if I'm in the right department and definintely don't want to show up at the party wearing the same outfit.

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