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  1. #1

    Default Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Hey!

    I've been wondering this for a while; both on this forum and especially on YouTube views perfume reviewers talk about the tremendous amounts of compliments they got on scents and there are various top ten lists etc

    However, aside from people I know, I've never received a compliment from a stranger [someone I didn't really know at uni lecture once complimented but I wouldn't really classify them as someone I did not know at all].

    So this got me thinking, is this perhaps a British thing to be a bit reserved and keep yourself to yourself. I'll admit there have certainly been occasions I have stopped myself complimenting and asking someone what they are wearing at the risk of being viewed as odd. Whereas Americans / Canadians etc are more forthcoming and happy to spark up a conversation with a complete stranger in a lift etc

    I thought it'd be perhaps interesting to hear from Americans / Canadians / all others - as well as other Brits and compare experiences?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Most of my complements come from people who I am already engaged with, or who are engaged with my social group. rarey does anyone grab my arm as I pass by and complement me. Also, in certain areas/situations it is awkward to interrupt someone in that fashion. If you are having a night out on the otherhand, socializing with strangers is normal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also feel like some people tend to exaggerate quite a bit for one motive or another... "two girls jumped on my lap and different people complemented [whatever] cologne tonight" just seems highly unlikely.

  3. #3
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    JON RODGERS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Pretty much agree with your observations overall - I have certainly had compliments aplenty over the years, but virtually all have been from family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc etc. Unsolicited comments from complete strangers here in the UK are extremely rare, while the attitude across the pond appears to be generally more outgoing and relaxed.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Nothing against people from the UK (I love the UK and try to visit once a year), however, interaction with strangers is not a particularly strong characteristic of their people (unless complaining about Weather/Transit Service)

    I do remember being in Harrods and complimenting a lady who was working on her wearing Alien, smelled amazing and she was a stunner.
    The hunt for a Signature Fragrance is not an easy one! I see the light at the end of the tunnel! Edit: 2015... I've given up and given in
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I'd say it's just more subtle, a glance, a smile. No need to point out the obvious, that perfume smells good.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    In the UK, the further north you are, the more sociable people are.

    I live in the Midlands and can quite easily pass the time of day with complete strangers.... but whenever I visit London, most people seem to even avoid eye contact with each other!

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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Not really a Croatian thing either, thus you could say it's not an European thing in general. Most compliments I got were from girls I dated, close friends of both genders, almost never strangers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by HDD8 View Post
    In the UK, the further north you are, the more sociable people are.
    Aye!


  9. #9

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    It is similar here in Italy: not only do strangers NOT comment on your scent, even friends and acquaintances rarely do that. They have to be really into it or very sensitive people to pick up on something like that and mention it. Moreover, scent is never frowned upon but hardly anyone wears it. A rare whiff of an occasional department store 'big hit', seriously, maybe twice a year!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    It's really a mixed bag here in the USA. I have received compliments from complete strangers many times, most recently on Aventus. Hotel clerks, sandwich makers, drug store checkout people, it could be anyone. That being said, it happens maybe once or twice a year. Most times it is from my wife or work colleagues. At my former church, people would compliment my cologne, at my current one, they are more reserved and some claim a (wussy) sensitivity. Whatever.
    Currently wearing: Royal Mayfair by Creed

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by dianabi View Post
    It is similar here in Italy: not only do strangers NOT comment on your scent, even friends and acquaintances rarely do that. They have to be really into it or very sensitive people to pick up on something like that and mention it. Moreover, scent is never frowned upon but hardly anyone wears it. A rare whiff of an occasional department store 'big hit', seriously, maybe twice a year!
    damnnnnn Italy? wow i'm shocked to hear something like this

  12. #12

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    No idea about the UK, but where I live, it is customary to know a person at least for a few minutes, before ant unsolicited compliments, thus hardly any unsolicited compliments from strangers.

    Of course, people of extraordinary beauty, sense of style, fame etc. may get the odd unsolicited compliments from total strangers, but they are rather the exceptions who confirm the rule.
    Currently wearing: Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

  13. #13

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Funny, I just got two today from male colleagues about Tobacco Vanille. That has never ever happened before.

    I imagine it happens more in clubs than anything. It's a bit awkward elsewhere.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Nobody I don't know has ever commented on anything i'm wearing. But why does that matter? I think strangers giving somebody a compliment on how they smell would be quite rare wherever you are in the world.

    I agree with the interaction thing though. If you tried to strike up a conversation with a stranger on the street here, they'll probably look at you as if you're mental or fear you're going to stab them. In America (the parts i've been to anyway) I've always found it quite easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger at a set of traffic lights or whatever.

    I don't wear fragrances for compliments anyways - I think doing so is cringeworthy and juvenile, so I don't really give a s***.
    Last edited by QWERTYOP; 18th February 2014 at 11:02 PM.
    Currently wearing: Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I think it is very English to be reserved and not to compliment strangers, but also not to express disapproval, either. I also agree with the poster who said the further north you go in England, the friendlier people are.

    But I also think compliments have a lot to do with how much fragrance you wear. If you wear a lot, people are more likely to notice it, and you're more likely to receive compliments. I just say this because most of the time I think I'm wearing enough for people to smell if they're near me, but in fact they almost never can (we talk about these things at work). This isn't meant to try and encourage people to overspray, but I think that has something to do with it.
    Currently wearing: Shalimar by Guerlain

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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    oh i am lucky then
    i got compliments from nurses, from colleagues at work many times!, from friends, people in the gym ...and from total strangers, and once...in a train i was standing next to a girl and just when her friend came to her i took off my coat ,was hot and she said to her friend, i was in between them becasue i came first, oh you have some new perfume, you smell wonderful hahaha
    i have good nose i did not sense anything but my perfume, was so funny to me! the other girl reacted a bit weird but did not want to deny anything i was wearing odalisque!! and was so surprised she liked it!

    now since i started obsessing more with perfumes...and buying vintages....i got also a compliment from my family i smell like a grandfather haha, while i was wearing Shalimar EDC vintage....that makes me lough,and they can not understand what i like about it, i agree it really smells old fashioned
    Last edited by iivanita; 6th December 2012 at 09:34 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I have found compliments on this side of the Atlantic to be quite fleeting and rare in my case (not that I really care or give it much thought).

  18. #18

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by QWERTYOP View Post
    Nobody I don't know has every commented on anything i'm wearing. But why does that matter? I think strangers giving somebody a compliment on how they smell would be quite rare wherever you are in the world.
    Going by many YouTube reviews it appears to be extremely common, hence why I created this thread as I was also under the impression that fragrance compliments were rare. However if you have browse through YouTube it appears these people inundated with compliments.


    I don't wear fragrances for compliments anyways - I think doing so is cringeworthy and juvenile, so I don't really give a s***.
    I completely agree. I hope no one has misconstrued this thread as me complaining. Perfume is a personal thing, considering you're applying it on yourself and will have to smell it all day; wearing something solely for the purpose of trying to garner compliments is ludicrous.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I'm in the USA and have never been complimented from anyone much less a stranger. I'm like you, when I see these people claiming to get multiple compliments in one day I assume they are lying or soliciting.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Awakening950 View Post
    I'm in the USA and have never been complimented from anyone much less a stranger. I'm like you, when I see these people claiming to get multiple compliments in one day I assume they are lying or soliciting.
    I think this is mostly the case. I think most "compliments" mentioned on YouTube are actually sought out opinions from friends and loved ones. Anybody can do that and claim to have got multiple compliments a day on any fragrance.
    Currently wearing: Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    i cant wonder more when people claim they recognize perfume on someone passing by in the street or in public transport hehe, and i read that a lot here on basenotes:-) .....you must be an expert to recognize a perfume in such an instant of a second.....:-)

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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I don't think it's a UK thing. I live in the US and it's rare that I've gotten complimented by a complete stranger. I also don't think it's a perfume thing. Excluding flirting: in general, people don't tend to go around complimenting strangers.

    Most of the compliments I've gotten have been from friends or women I date. The compliments are unsolicited, but my friends already know I like to smell good, and they notice in the same way friends would notice if you own lots of different pairs of glasses. It becomes a thing to pay attention to. I should also note that most of the compliments I get from friends are from my female friends.

    As for dates, I try to never ever mention perfume unless my date brings it up because I think it's really fun to keep track of which of my scents gets noticed and what sort of reaction they get. I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating. I own several scents under $30 that get me more compliments - not to mention more ENTHUSIASTIC compliments - than the more expensive scents I own. But, again, those compliments usually come from friends and especially dates.

    Honestly, if you want compliments, dating is the easiest way to get them. In my experience, women notice because they enjoy a well groomed man. Aim for dressy without being overdressed and smell good without wearing too much. You'll get compliments from dates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Awakening950 View Post
    I'm in the USA and have never been complimented from anyone much less a stranger. I'm like you, when I see these people claiming to get multiple compliments in one day I assume they are lying or soliciting.
    I assume they're over-applying. Everyone I've known that wears too much fragrance has gotten lots of comments, often compliments, to their face but mocked behind their back. I'll never understand why people do that. Then again, there is truth to those compliments. One guy I used to work with always smelled good. It's just that he smelled WAY too much.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  23. #23

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Never from strangers too, just from closer friends and relatives.

    But also I never commented on how good a stranger was smelling, or dressed or something.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I work at a large court house in NYC. I often receive compliments while at work from strangers conducting business inside the court house. Usually this happens while I am inside of an elevator, or having just walked past someone.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    My experiences living in the "conservative" midwest US is that people tend to be a bit more reserved when it comes to these types of things, especially with strangers. Personally, I'm fairly shy around people I don't know yet, and could never really picture myself going up to a stranger to compliment them on their fragrance. Then again, I can't say it's really happened where I've been so enamored by someone's scent that I've felt compelled to do so. I truly believe as well that so much of it depends on the situation, environment, culture and how approachable/accessible someone is. My guess is that it's generally people with very outgoing and social personalities - who also where enough fragrance for it to be noticed in the first place - that tend to get these types of compliments or comments more regularly.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I live in San Francisco and we are a very friendly sociable bunch. I live a mile from work and I walk to work every day. There are lots of "good morning"s and nods from complete strangers along the way each day. But never once has one stopped me to complement me on my fragrance. Maybe I am walking too fast! However that being said, in the area I work there are people I see every day, acquaintances, and I do get complements and questions from them all the time.
    "Passion I see is catching."

  27. #27

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    never happened to me in Italy! only from ladies I work with

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dianabi View Post
    but hardly anyone wears it. A rare whiff of an occasional department store 'big hit', seriously, maybe twice a year!
    damn right, people here rarely wear perfume!
    ...burning out while fading away....
    Currently wearing: Antaeus by Chanel

  28. #28

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    I smelled perfume all the time when I visited Italy several times. Even in Bologna.

    I guess it depends on the venue in which you frequent.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    I smelled perfume all the time when I visited Italy several times. Even in Bologna.

    I guess it depends on the venue in which you frequent.
    maybe before the euro crisis??
    ...burning out while fading away....
    Currently wearing: Antaeus by Chanel

  30. #30

    Default Re: Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?

    In my experience, strangers will only comment (or provide some acknowledgement that you’re wearing something) if the perfume isn’t to their liking. Apart from that, as others have already said, it’s mainly friends, family and acquaintances who will compliment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cosgrove View Post
    I imagine it happens more in clubs than anything. It's a bit awkward elsewhere.
    It helps being inebriated, with a pint close to hand, as people tend to lose their inhibitions. Sad but true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    I think it is very English to be reserved and not to compliment strangers, but also not to express disapproval, either. I also agree with the poster who said the further north you go in England, the friendlier people are.
    I also think it's very English to be uptight...

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