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  1. #1

    Red face Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    So here's the problem: As a young girl I already had like 20 bottles of perfume and always made sure I got samples everywhere. But my mom got migranes and she couldn't stand my favorite smell back then so she made me not wear perfume. When I was 15 I came home from shopping with Lacoste pour femme on my arm and to my surprise she said it smelled great on me. I liked Lacoste a lot, bought the ETP and it has been my one and only perfume almost every day for the last 5 years.

    Now I moved out off the house, my last bottle of Lacoste pour femme is almost empty and all of a sudden I want a few bottles of new perfume that are more like what I want, and what I want to be now. But thats not so easy, it seems.

    [ --long story about my first encounters with saleswomen and ending up with the wrong perfume, you can skip it-- With my first try, I walk into a store, mention lacoste and the saleswoman starts to bring on these very flowery fragrances. That is just too much for me, and not like LPF at all. She realized the same thing but didn't really know what would suit me then, so I went home with Hugo Boss woman on my arm, which I like, but its not good for my age.

    At home I searched the internet for perfumes with similar ingredients as LPF, printed the list and a few days later I went to a perfumery in the city. The saleswoman there described LPF as 'floral and fruity' and seemed highly offended when I disagreed with her. Or maybe it was that, and the list. Anyway, she started rambling about her 15 years experience and how stupid it was to think I could outsmart her. I didn't mean to, so I told her to do it her way.

    First things she gives me: Diesel Fuel for life and Lancome Hypnose. Both smelled nice but waaaay too flowery. To me that smells as if lots of flowers are attacking me while making high-pitched noises. I would like something earthier and lighter, but saleswoman wasn't giving in, so I left saying I would like Hypnose to develop for a bit.

    Two hours, next store and 7 perfumes later I really didn't want to go home empty-handed and also didn't want to say no to the nice lady helping me, so I bought the last perfume she offered. Costume National Scent Gloss 30ml for €59.-. Next day I spray that on me and I instantly know I made a big mistake. Scent Gloss smells like roses, but still too many of them and there's some almost sour smell in the background, that still sings too high-pitched, I can't explain it. Unfortunatelly it also gives me a mild headache, so I already know I won't wear it. Plus: that smell is absolutely not 'me'. I feel very bad about buying something I didn't want. I can't remember the last time I did that, and I really want to have forgotten about this one before I ever do it again.

    So please, I really need some help here. How do I go around in Perfumery's without offending the saleswomen? How do I leave a store without feeling guilty I didn't buy anything while the saleswoman spent almost 10 minutes on me? And how do I find a smell that really fits me?

    If someone wants to offer an opinion, you are more than welcome!

    The fragrance I'm looking for has to be a bit like Lacoste pour femme. I like the warm, soft, clean smell of it. I'm actually starting to hate overly flowery scents, so not too flowery. I'm 20 years old, a student, I love wearing high heels, (pencil)skirts/dresses, dark jeans, blouses, and waistbelts. I really adore things that are stylish and elegant. On the other hand, people describe me as 'different' (positive ánd negative), I'm not a people's person, even though I like to make people laugh. I offend people often because I have the urge to (politely) tell them how it is, when others maybe choose to shut up. My favorite music is without a doubt English (hard)rock and I listen often to bands like Muse. So there's no reason to wear an inoffensive perfume, since I am clearly not. (Or maybe it would compensate) Any ideas?

    Thanks a lot!!!

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    I don't know any perfumes to recommend as I am not familiar with the Lacoste one, but I think you need to worry less about offending sales people. If the salesperson is not showing you perfumes that suit you, you can simply say, "None of these are what I was looking for. Thank you for your time, but I won't be buying any of these today."

    Or if that is too difficult for you, say "I want to walk around a bit and see how this scent develops on my skin." Then leave. Personally I think it's always better to let a fragrance develop before buying anyway. I avoid buying immediately-- it isn't possible to judge the fragrance fully until all the notes have developed. You can always return to purchase later if you like it.

    Don't part with your money if you aren't happy with what you are buying!

  3. #3
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta

    Default Re: Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    Don't feel bad about buying something that you find you don't really like. I'm sure many of us have been persuaded by a SA, only to regret it later.
    Looking at Lacoste pour Femme, I see that it has pepper in the top and woody incense in the base. You may be enjoying those elements, which balance the floral notes.
    I can't give any advice on specific women's scents, because I don't know many. But I can say something about a shopping strategy. You did well to do research ahead of time, and to try and figure out what you might like.
    Sales associates will always try and push the latest scent. You need to tell them, "Thank you, I am interested in trying X, Y, and Z."
    Also, in any shopping trip, limit your sniffing of paper strips to no more than 6, and skin tests to 2. Any more and you will get confused and tired.
    Finally, you also are doing well to leave the store, saying that you want the scent to develop a bit. Wear it all day, and think about if you like it. Go back and do it again, if you like it. You may like a scent one day and then not like it the second time. You rarely need to buy a scent on the spot.

    Look upon trying scents as a way to learn about yourself. That is a great thing to do! And you are a complex person, so there will be many things to discover. No need to rush!

    Best wishes!

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  4. #4

    Default Re: Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    Hey, thanks for your replies, those were very helpfull, thank you.

    I've now started to search and buy samples, vials and miniature perfumes on the internet. I know I'm paying for things that others maybe got for free, but to me, being able to try one perfume a few times without the SA fuss is pretty much worth it. Plus, I live in a small town, and at the moment I unfortunatelly don't get to be in the city everyday. So now I'm going to wear another perfume every day, I'm so exited!

    I actually have another question, if someone reads this. In a packet with lots of miniatures was a perfume thats unknown to this database. Its from the well-received Yves Rocher Secrets d'Essences series. Its called 'Tendre Jasmin'. At first whiff, a quit pleasant smell actually and the bottle is qute.

    What to do when a perfume is not in the database, but the brand is? Can I add it?

    Thanks again!
    Extract me

  5. #5
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    If you go to the bottom of the Basenotes Community page you'll see the last link in the Miscellaneous category is the Missing Fragrances List, where you can post the details of fragrances that are missing from the directory.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    Hey, thanks a lot! I'll post the info there.
    Extract me

  7. #7

    Default Re: Perfumery disaster would love to get some tips/ personalitytied fragrance

    I also worry, perhaps excessively, about the feelings and attitude of the salesperson, but I generally manage to keep this from making me feel obligated to buy.

    Some details:

    I usually avoid a conversation at all, because I've come to sniff on my own. So there's nothing wrong with, "I'm just on a sniffing expedition today, thanks."

    Even if you ask a simple question ("Could you point me to the Guerlain counter?" "Do you have a tester of Vol de Nuit?") it's fine to then disengage. ("Thank you. Oh, that's a nice selection. I'll just wander and sniff for a while." "Great! I'll just wander off and see how this develops, thank you.")

    If I do have questions, or the salesperson is persistent in starting a conversation, I'll often work in a statement along the lines of, "Today I'm just sniffing and not allowing myself to buy anything." (I say this even if it's not necessdarily true.) And I don't tie them down with a detailed question immediately after that, because I want to leave them an escape.

    At that point, some of them make a polite remark and flee in pursuit of the next customer, and others stick around to chat and offer advice. But I consider that they were amply warned, so I don't feel guilty not buying anything.

    I also find that it can be helpful to state a specific goal, even if you could be interested in a number of things. For example, "I'm looking for something with a cedar note" is likely to cut out a lot of the fruity florals and get the conversation more focused. There's no rule that keeps you from chasing after a different note later.

    If a salesperson seems to be pressuring me to buy, or ignores my stated tastes, I'll leave the conversation. ("Thanks! I'll just see how this one develops, and look around a little more.")

    On the other hand, if they're helpful but not quite getting my tastes, I may need to repeat my preferences more than once. ("I generally dislike powder and florals." "It's very pretty, but I still read it as floral." "No, I'm afraid even this one is still too floral. I should mention that tend to prefer unisex or even men's fragrances.") If they don't get it at that point, then I assume that they (1) don't know their fragrances or (2) feel pressured to push certain fragrances irrespective of customer tastes, at which point I again politely end the conversation.

    If I dislike a fragrance that the salesperson is eagerly and happily presenting to me as a Delightful Thing, I'm often more comfortable finding a specific reason for rejecting it, such as "It's lovely, but tuberose just never works on me." or "I think that I'd love this in the summer, but it isn't working for me now." or "It's nice, but I'm already over quota on citrus fragrances." The reason may provide potentially useful information, but mainly, it enables me to reject a fragrance without feeling like I'm kicking a puppy.

    Even if the salesperson is helpful, they spend some time, and they find me what seems in the moment like the perfect thing, I'm likely to repeat, "I love it, but I never allow myself to buy anything the day I sniff it." If I'm fairly serious about the fragrance, I may ask for a sample. Either way I'll often ask for their card so that if I do return to buy, whether that fragrance or another one or even a non-fragrance item in their department, they can get the credit for the sale.

    I also really like the way that Sephora works. I can wander and sniff, everyone seems perfectly happy to leave me alone at the slightest hint, and I never feel that I have to lead up to a sample request with a lot of conversation - I walk up to a salesperson and ask, "Could I have a sample of <whatever>?" and they happily make one on the spot. They also don't appear to be on commission - when I buy, they just point me to the checkout. The only down side is that they mainly carry the designer stuff, so almost anything that I'd want to buy would be available at a deep discount online. So I bought exactly one full price bottle from them recently, just so that I can feel guilt-free about continuing to use them as a sample station for the past and coming several months.


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