The best was saved for last!
Christmas shopping ideas.
Samples, gifts & discovery sets
photo credit: emma block
Ormonde Jayne Sample Programme - 2ml of each fragrance of the collection
Some perfume brands (niche or prestige) offer us the opportunity to buy small samples of their perfumes.
If you are buying on-line or trying a fragrance for the first time, this can be a very wise way to check if you really like the fragrance or not.
Ineke's deluxe sample collection - 1.5ml of each fragrance
The vials are small - usually 1ml to 15ml flacons, that is more than enough to spray a few times and see how it develops on the skin.
That prevents you from bad news. Buying a full bottle of an expensive perfume without knowing how it smells, and not liking it is always a problem. You cannot return perfumes once you open them!
Ormonde Jayne traveling kit
4 fragrances of 10mls
It is also very practical if the same brand does not have traveling bottles or miniatures of the perfumes you already wear. You can take the samples in the purse and they fit every where, even a pocket if you are not carrying a purse (example: in a night club, you can re spray over and over again!/before a meeting etc...).
Bond Nº9 samples - each flacon is sold in unique colorful foils
You will also find discovery sets. They usually have the entire collection of the fragrances, but in small vials. This is, in my opinion, a great gift for all occasions.
Not only you are giving someone the opportunity to discover new fragrances she or he never tried before, but also giving more than one fragrance at a time. So this person will have perfumes for all kind of occasions, and once it is finished, she or he can buy the one loved the most.
Parfumerie Generale - Organ
20 different sprays and smelling strips
Some discovery sets have single note of scents, for you to understand more about the raw materials mixed in the perfumes.
Joe Malone Holiday Cologne Collection
6 fragrances of 9ml per flacon
Also during the holidays, some brands (prestige) offer sets with fragrances, or combination of products such as body lotion, shower gels and fragrances. It is a good opportunity to buy products for layering, in a good price.
Sephora J'Adore Gift Set
I gave my mom this set and she loved it very much!
1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
1.7 oz Creamy Shower Gel
1.7 oz Perfumed Body Lotion & Gold clutch
You can also find sets of fragrance samples. In this case, the set will come with samples of assorted perfumes that are available in the market. This is also a good idea to start to understand about perfumes, but I think it is not a gift to give, unless the person is someone like me, who writes about perfumes. It looks cheap...
Shephora fragrance kit
This set contains:
- Aquolina Pink Sugar
- Donna Karan Cashmere Mist
- Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy
- Prada Infusion D'Iris
- Dior Addict 2
- Emilio Pucci Vivara Variazioni Acqua 330
- Kenzo FlowerByKenzo
- Stella McCartney Stella Nude
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
- Harajuku Lovers G
- Michael Kors Very Hollywood
- Versace Bright Crystal
- Fragrance guide
Miniature set of one brand's collection, such as the one attached here, is very handy when traveling. You can take them with you and wear one each time. They are small so they don't take a lot of space in the suitcase. You can also take just one fragrance, wear it till the end of the trip and buy a new one to bring home. I usually do that.
Buying for yourself or for someone fragrances can be tricky. The small vials are always a good idea. You can, for instance, give a sample before the holidays and check how the person responded to the perfume. If it was enjoyed, it is a 100% chance that you will put a smile on someone's face this year! You can buy the regular bottle without taking any risks!
The gift sets are good financial opportunities if you know the person already enjoys the fragrance of that specific brand, if not, sample first!
On line shopping is a wise idea if you don't want to face major traffic jams, also you don't feel like taking the risk of being caught in a place with 1000s of people wanting the same thing (to finish with their list of gifts to shop) or to waste time going out of the house when you can have it delivered at home. Sometimes you don't have a shop where you can find the specific brand you like, specially niche perfumes. All of them are sold directly from the brand's site or sites selling exclusive niche fragrances.
Just be aware of something very important: the delivery date! Don't wait for the last minute otherwise the gift will come after the holidays. Check the delivery date and conditions for overseas deliveries, and remember that postal services all over the world get really busy at this time of the year.