Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Picking the Perfect Perfume

Last night made me happy. Aimee is one of my few friends who is remotely interested in makeup and understands the fun of checking out products, so I highly value our occasional late-night trip to a drugstore in search of beauty sales. Yesterday was no exception.

I was happy and smelled vaguely like bad cologne + fresh flowers + cotton candy. Yes, it was a scent-sampling night! (Though most wore out overnight, thank goodness....ugh, but onto my bed.)

Aimee used to work at Sephora and is fairly familiar with perfumes. She first had me whiff "True Star Gold" by Tommy Hilfiger -- a fresh, light-floral scent promoted by Beyonce that Aimee picked up for $8 at Target on clearance and happened to have in her bag. Then, I (foolishly) spritzed myself with Estee Lauder "Mustang" for men....wow, it smelled horrible. A little bit woodsy and spicy, which was nice, but I swear there was also the lingering under note of tire rubber. Fitting. There is probably a real explanation to that smell, but let's face it, if your nose doesn't like a smell it doesn't matter if it's got a fancy name that's not 'tire rubber.' The bottle was cool looking, though.

A few more samples later, Aimee finally turned her attention to Britney Spears' "Fantasy," which has a mild, cotton candy-ish scent. (The linked review describes it with more depth.) Aimee doesn't love it but said she likes it enough -- I tried to convince her to wait for something she totally adores -- but for $13 she felt it was the right decision.

I was surprised what a selection CVS has. Lots of celebrity scents, for sure, but also more high-end products, like Burberry "Brit," Calvin Klein "Eternity" (my mom's staple) and Dolce & Gabbana "Light Blue." Bizarrely, the sticker under the D&G bottle said it cost $49.99 but a promo sticker -- one of the yellow ones CVS puts under the regular tag to highlight an every day bargain -- had the price as $54.99.

I rarely wear perfume. My only real holding in the category are some mini-bottles of Kenzo Flower, which I love, love, love. It was a gift, and a perfect gift for me. It's soft and sweet and fresh but not too sugary-sweet or dowdy.

So my question is, how do you pick the perfect perfume? Do you go to Sephora and sniff everything all at once, or to a department store, or take some different approach? Is one scent good enough or would a few options be ideal -- one for going out, one for daytime, etc.? (That's Aimee's preference.) Can you base if you like it off the initial smell, or do you wait to see how it sits on your skin for a while?

I tend to run into Sephora, sniff a few things until I can't take the intensity of it all and must quickly flee. Maybe you have a better method. I'd love to know you're secrets. And I'll let you know what happens once I get into the market for a new fragrance.


Mrs. Lynne, MakeupFix.net said...

Hi Emilita!

Thank you kindly my dear for stopping by my blog :D

How ironic! I was just at Sephora over the weekend with my good friend that used to work for Sephora as well. I was going to pick up the Ferragamo Salvator trio set but due to crying children I made a mad dash for the exit instead, lol.

I really like the blog design you have going on hun. Keep up the good job, ok?

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope you'll stop by more often and that we get a chance to know each other more :)

Take care!

(g)ezebel said...

hi, emilita! thanks for dropping by my blog. i confess that i don't talk all that much about makeup. actually, i talk a whole lot about nothing!

don't reporters carry those big-ass cameras with the stalkerazzi zoom lens? how would that fit in a bra? *giggles*

i shop for perfumes by first knowing its notes. i like a lot of fruity, floral, candy notes. my faves are Givenchy's Irresistible; Aquolina's Pink Sugar; Benefit's Maybe Baby; Vera Wang's Princess. if it smells like cotton candy or peaches, i love it!

mayaari said...

If I'm just browsing for a perfume I tend to go to Sephora/a dept store and sniff a few bottles before testing a spot on me; body chemistry can change a nice scent into something totally different after it warms on your skin and the top notes burn off. My all-time favorite scent is sadly discontinued, but I try to look for perfumes with similar notes like bergamot...I like clean scents like Banana Republic's Classic, and lately I've been using Armani Code.

And the little containers of coffee beans that Sephora keeps near their perfumes helps to clear your sensory overload :)

susan booth said...

I love Flower by Kenzo, it is expensive but it is just the best. Such a simplistic smell and just what I love, i just got mine from perfume point but love the aroma of musk, and violet when i where this!