Friday, November 21, 2008

The ‘Scent-sual’ Subtleties of Finding a Fragrance Gift

Tech toys, gift cards and trendy attire will likely be headline-grabbing gifts of choice again this holiday season, as they have been for the past few years. But one classic gift has consistently been popular with both gift givers and receivers for millennia – perfume.

“It’s timeless, it’s classic and it’s appropriate for virtually everyone on your holiday shopping list,” says Vanita Sabnani, vice president of marketing for Puig Beauty USA, purveyors of fine fragrances. “Perfume is consistently on the list of items most often given as holiday gifts. And even though perfume has been around for thousands of years, fragrances have evolved to meet our modern concepts of beauty and social consciousness.”

Contemporary gift-givers have far more choices than the ancient people who began giving perfume as a gift about 3,500 years ago. Since perfume is a highly personal gift that will be worn on the skin, it’s important to put some thought into the selection process. Here is some “scent-sable” advice for choosing perfumes for everyone on your holiday list:

Look for Gifts that Do More

For many people, social consciousness is an important part of giving and receiving a gift. Americans love gifts that both please the recipient and give something back to the community. When you’re scent-shopping, look for fragrances that fit the recipient’s personality and will give her (or him) something to feel good about.

For example, the new fragrance Blue Seduction for Women by Antonio Banderas offers seductive floral fragrance and the opportunity to support a worthy cause. Throughout the holidays, Antonio Banderas Seductive Fragrances will donate $1 to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for every Blue Seduction for Women gift set sold. The nonprofit organization supports social service programs that provide treatment and services for people affected by HIV and AIDS. Visit to learn more

Learn the Basics

There are six basic categories of perfume, and within those categories it’s possible to find a fragrance that will appeal to virtually any personality and preference. Categories include floral, oriental, woody, citrus, green and water (sometimes called “oceanic”). Each perfume has a unique profile that incorporates multiple scents to make up its overall fragrance.

Often, a perfume will draw aromas from more than one category; Blue Seduction for Women blends top notes (the initial scent you encounter when you first sniff) of violet leaves and water-based fruits and heart (the scents you detect on subsequent sniffs) of rose, jasmine and raspberry.

You’ll need to do a little “leg work” to learn the personality and preferences of the person you’ll be gifting with a fragrance. For example, if she’s traditional, feminine and romantic, a floral perfume might suit her personality. If he’s an outdoors guy who likes sports, a green or woody scent might best compliment his athleticism.  For your significant other, an exotic oriental can convey your passion and depth of feeling.

Take Your Time

“The fragrance an individual wears is a very personal statement of who she is,” Ms. Sabnani says. “The scent should be chosen to match that individual’s personality, and not based on the preferences of the gift-giver or the trend of the moment.”

Once you have an idea of the type of fragrance right for the perfume-lover on your holiday list, the best way to make a selection is to hit the stores and sample, sniff and test. Fragrance counter sales people are often versed in the finer points of the perfumes for sale in their department. Ask for their help in identifying perfumes that fit into the basic category in which you’re interested.

Always test a perfume on a paper test strip – usually available at the fragrance counter. Never test it on your own skin. If you test multiple scents on your own skin, you’ll quickly find them competing with each other and you won’t be able to really discern the individual aroma of each. Also, because everyone’s body chemistry is different, how the scent smells on your skin is not necessarily how it will smell on someone else.

“Perfume has been a cherished gift for hundreds of years and it’s likely to remain a favorite for thoughtful gift-givers,” says Ms. Sabnani. “With a little knowledge and inspiration, it’s possible to find scents that will please everyone on your holiday shopping list.”

To learn more about PUIG USA’s Blue Seduction for Women by Antonio Banderas, go to

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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