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Picking perfect perfume presents
Christmas Gift Ideas for Women
Member Name: koshkha
Christmas Gift Ideas for Women
Advantages: Plenty to choose from
Disadvantages: Plenty of potential pitfalls
With Christmas looming closer every day, there are no doubt many men thinking that they can impress their wives, girlfriends or mothers with a nice bottle of perfume. The problem is that buying perfume might seem like an easy option but can be a minefield for the unwary. Get the wrong thing and at best you've wasted your money, at worst you've offended the person you love. Before you venture into the risky world of choosing perfume for someone else, here are a few tips on how to avoid finding yourself in the dog house on the big day.
Some women are easy to offend and many of us are very particular about what we like. It wouldn't matter how wonderful the contents of the bottle smelled, if you gave me anything that carried the name of a tacky celebrity or a tarty singer I wouldn't thank you for it. The most sophisticated scent delivered in a box with a Playboy bunny or a D-list celebrity on the outside wouldn't get you any favours. Even with the big names you need to be careful and unless you absolutely KNOW with 100% certainty that someone adores Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopes or Katie Price, please don't give them one of their perfumes.
The easiest way to get the right perfume is to just ASK. That might sound obvious and much too easy but for some women a direct question will do the job - just ask her which perfume she'd like to have. This is the dead easy way with a guaranteed success so long as you can afford what she asks for - that's the only risk. But perhaps you feel that's too easy or not romantic enough or maybe your woman's just not going to be satisified by you getting off so lightly. Some may consider the choice of their gift to be a major mission, a hunt for a holy grail, and only the brave perfume-hunting knight can win that fair lady. You'll have to be a bit more underhand to please her.
Next option is to ask someone who knows her well - a friend, sister or her mum or daughter should all be able to help but make sure they not only know her well but also they LIKE her (and you). For others you might have to try some circuitous routes to bringing up the subject. Comment on how your friend messed up and bought absolutely the wrong perfume for someone and see if she drops you some hints. And speaking of hints, if she really wants some perfume, she'll make sure that you know - it's just a matter of listening to the clues.
If the lady of your dreams is of the awkward type who likes a 'surprise' and won't just tell you then you'll have to be a bit more sneaky. If she always smells the same, tell her she smells lovely and ask her what it is. Result! If you fancy a more secret squirrel approach, check our her perfume collection for some hints. Does she have lots of different perfumes? If so she's probably experimental in her tastes and you can be experimental too. Check out which of the bottles are at least half empty - chances are those are the ones she likes. Make a note of the names so you can ask a shop assistant or go on-line to a site like scentmap.com to look for a recommendation of something that's similar to the ones she likes. If she has only a few bottles, chances are she's a loyal perfume user and would rather have another bottle of one that she already likes or perhaps a gift set with body lotion, shower gel or soaps in the same fragrance.
One thing to watch out for is the 'polite' perfume user - someone who can't stand what she's been given but equally doesn't want to offend the giver by giving or throwing it away. Don't worry too much about the polite users - if she hates what you got, she'll probably not tell you and you'll never know.
It's worth being aware that you're unlikely to be able to return a perfume for a refund - never if it's been opened. Also keep in mind that just because someone likes one of the perfumes from a particular perfume house, there's no guarantee that others from the same company will suit especially if a different person created them. I adore the original Jean Louis Scherrer perfume but JLS II and Nuit Indiennes, the two that followed are not to my taste. Someone who loves Chanel No. 5 won't necessarily like Chance or No. 19 for example.
If you have identified a perfume that you've been assured will be perfect, then the advanced buyer will check whether she wants the Eau de Toilette or the Eau de Parfum. EdT perfumes are less expensive but lighter and less concentrated than the EdP. Sometimes the two can smell quite different. Check out the different sizes - generally the bigger the bottle, the better the bargain at a price per ml level but only buy a big bottle (e.g. 100 ml) if you're absolutely sure it's the right thing. There's nothing worse than a bucket of the wrong pong. Watch out for gift sets where you can often get an extra item such as a body lotion or shower gel for not much more than the perfume alone.
If you can't afford her favourite perfume, don't ever buy a counterfeit. It's not only illegal but you could well be supporting organised crime and you're giving a pretty shabby message about how much you care. A bottle of 'Channel No 5' is not going to win you any favours. Better to buy the smallest bottle of the right thing or to opt for another scented product. I love Clinique Aromatics but if the perfume was too expensive, I'd be just as touched to receive the teeniest bottle or the fabulous Body Smoother cream instead.
Since it's very easy to buy the wrong perfume you'll find lots of unwanted gifts on eBay, especially after Christmas when people are trying to pass on the gifts that didn't quite suit. So long as the box is still sealed, most people will be none the wiser but if you are an honest sould and don't want to hide where you got it, then you can get a great deal on a bottle with the box or the cellophane missing and save a few quid to put towards dinner or a bunch of roses.
Summary: Tips on navigating the perfume buying mine-field