Before heading out to the mall, here are some tips to make fragrance shopping a little easier:
- Plan on how much you will spend. Having a price range in mind will help limit your choices. A bottle of Intense by Prada can costs around $135. While Estee Lauder's Beautiful retails for closer to $30.
- Figure out what you’re looking to buy. Not all fragrances last the same amount of time. Colognes and eau de toilettes might last two to four hours. An eau de parfum will last longer at four to eight hours.
- Know their favorites. Younger women might trend toward scents from Juicy Couture or Paris Hilton. While more mature women might go for White Diamonds or Chanel.
- Shop with someone you know. Sample only one or two fragrances on each trip. Apply them to your pulse points and wait five minutes. Your body chemistry can change the scent. Honest feedback from a friend might be helpful.
- Look for a gift set. Susan Gombert, general manager at The Bon-Ton at the York Galleria, recommends purchasing a gift set. Many perfume manufacturers offer sets that include the fragrance, a body lotion and a shower gel.
These sets are often priced for less than $50.
Because regular soap leaves a deodorizer on your skin that takes away the scent, these sets will help get the most out of your perfume purchase, she said.
Fashion names at the fragrance counter
Some scents come from familiar fashion houses.
If you like their clothes, you might like their scents.
- Michael Kors Very Pretty. A scent inspired by the “camera candy” of old-school, Hitchcock-era Hollywood starlets. Citrus garden, white florals and sandalwood.
- Vera Wang Look. One of Wang’s fashion signatures is layering, and she does that with seemingly disparate fragrance notes that come together as one. Mandarin, freesia, skin musk.
- Legacy by Coach. This scent uses a top of citrus notes to create an aura of youthfulness that’s not too young and sophistication that’s not too subtle. Mandarin zest, orange flower and honeysuckle.
- Dream Angels Wish by Victoria’s Secret. This is the bright addition to the successful Dream Angels collection. Pink peppercorn, papaya flower, vanilla cream.
- Banana Republic Classic. To celebrate its 30 years as a brand, Banana Republic updated its first fragrance to make it more sensual and feminine than the citrus-heavy original. Grapefruit zest, lavender, teakwood.
— Associated Press
What does it mean?
- Perfume (aka parfum): The most potent and usually most expensive fragrance. It has a higher concentration of oil. A little goes a long way, so it lasts longer.
- Eau de parfum: It’s not quite a perfume, but it goes the extra mile.
- Eau de toilette and eau de cologne: Weaker and more watered down. Both are usually available in spray bottles.
- Body splash: Has the lowest concentration of scented oil and offers a lighter scent.
Scents for “Smart” women:
Some “Smart” women shared their scent preferences:
- Karen Sawyer (aka Skeeta the Clown), 42, Springettsbury Township, owner of Changing Faces 4 Fun
Her scent: Christian Dior Jadore and lontime favorite, Red Door by Elizabeth Arden
- Christine Mercer-Vernon, 37, Hellam Township, art therapist, freelance graphic and Web designer and fitness instructor.
Her scents: Lucky You and her all-time favorite, Lancome’s Tresor. “I have people stop me all the time and ask what I am wearing.”
- Sayward E.G. Lippincott, 27, pastor of First Moravian Church in York:
Her scents: Victoria's Secret's Dream Angel Divine. “However, I love the whole Dream Angel Fragrance Collection, and I rotate through Divine, Desire, Heavenly, Dream and Wish.”
- Heather Burns, 36, college professor and academic counselor at Harrisburg Area Community College:
Her scent: Natural. “I don't wear perfume. Occasionally, I'll use a body spray from Bath and Body Works.”
Photo credit Bil Bowden
- Just because someone is allergic to one fragrance does not mean that they are allergic to every scent.
- If you’re in a hurry, stop at a coffee shop on the way to the mall. The aroma of your steaming java will cleanse your nose for the next perfume sample.