My gifts have become one-dimensional of late – figuratively and literally. They generally consists of a card and a voucher, which is not very visceral, right? Although not lacking in thought, a gift lacking this sensorially does seem to be lacking in heart.
So, I’ve decided to pick up my gift giving game and perfume seems the perfect place to start.
But buying scent for someone else can bend the brain. How do you know which scent the one you love will really, well, love?
I asked Mary Hayward, National Sales Training Manager for fragrance behemoth, Coty, what the failsafe fragrance buying rules are.
“Fragrance is a gift that immediately sends a message to the person receiving the fragrance that they are seen as special, thought of, desirable, feminine or masculine, appealing and sexy,” she says. “It says ‘I appreciate you and want you to enjoy a piece of luxury!’”
It certainly helps in your decision making if you have got some understanding of what fragrances your loved one currently wear. Compliment them on their scent – and clandestinely make a note of it – suggests Mary. “What you often discover is that they enjoy wearing fragrances with a similar theme,” she says, using Floral or Oriental fragrances as a prime example. Once you have this information you will be better equipped to fine-tune your fragrance options. Make note of their favourite fashion brands, colours and style choices too and decipher how far they may stray – or want to stay loyal to – these with their perfume.
Marriage, birthdays or simply ‘I Love You’ moments are perfect occasions for gifting perfume but only if you are guaranteed to be gifting to a real fragrance lover, notes Mary. “Knowing that the person you are giving to is not a fragrance wearer or suffers from allergies may appear insensitive,” she says. “It is difficult to enforce your love of fragrance wearing on someone who is not interested, may not have a strong sense of smell or becomes easily irritated by scents,” she warns.
- In a long relationship? Keep it personal with something you know your partner really loves like the actual fragrance they wear or haven’t been able to get themselves, a particular flower in the fragrance, the designer of the fragrance, even a favorite color that may be on the bottle or packaging or hold precious, private symbolism between you both.
- If it’s a brief flirtation we’re talking about, get something a little sexy but not as obvious an inappropriate lingerie set may be! Sexy fashion labels – think Dolce and Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Roberto Cavalli – do a beautiful bite-size feel of their fashion, which always makes a fun gift.
- Celebrity scents are a foolproof option when buying fragrance for a friend as they offer the very latest reflections of seasons and trends. “They are also more short term, disposable and affordable,” says Mary.
- For parents, mentors and the like, classic fragrances really represent sentimentality. Their appeal has – and will – continue to last a lifetime and it can really be the ‘scent’ to define the relationship and insight you have with someone cherish deeply.
Fragrance wearing is one of the most personal decisions we make and the scents we choose tell others who come into our personal space a lot about our personality, says Mary. “Giving a fragrance that doesn’t match the receivers style and image can mean that it is never worn and goes to the back of the cupboard which is such a waste!” she says.
Maybe those vouchers aren’t such a bad idea sometimes?