Popular Young Fragrances

The following is a list of popular recommendations for young women interested in popular perfumes and wondering what everyone else is smelling like. In no particular order:

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  • Britney Spears Fantasy
  • Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy
  • Britney Spears Curious
  • Juicy Couture, Viva la Juicy
  • Juicy Couture, Juicy Couture
  • Harajuku Lovers Collection
  • Aquolina, Pink Sugar
  • Jennifer Lopez, Glow
  • Jennifer Lopez, Live
  • Jennifer Lopez, Live Luxe
  • Dolce and Gabbana, Light Blue
  • Miss Dior Cherie
  • Dior J’Adore
  • Vera Wang, Princess
  • DKNY, Be Delicious
  • Paris Hilton, Heiress
  • Paris Hilton, Paris Hilton
  • Paris Hilton, Can Can
  • Calvin Klein, ck One
  • Calvin Klein, Euphoria
  • Marc Jacobs, Daisy
  • Marc Jacobs, Lola
  • Ed Hardy, Woman
  • Ed Hardy, Love & Luck
  • Ralph Lauren, Hot
  • Ralph Lauren, Ralph Rocks
  • Burberry, The Beat
  • Burberry, Brit
  • Gucci, Envy Me
  • Gucci, Flora
  • Chloe, Chloe
  • Escada, Marine Groove
  • Escada, Ocean Lounge
  • Escada, Sunset Heat
  • Thierry Mugler, Angel
  • Clinique, Happy
  • Hollister, August
  • Victoria’s Secret PINK Collection
  • Victoria’s Secret, Love Spell
  • Victoria’s Secret, Appletini
  • Victoria’s Secret, Juiced Berry
  • Victoria’s Secret, Sexy Little Things
  • Victoria’s Secret, Sexy Little Things Noir
  • Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Collection
  • Bath and Body Works, Warm Vanilla Sugar
  • Bath and Body Works, Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • Bath and Body Works, Moonlight Path
  • Bath and Body Works, Coconut Lime Verbena
  • Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy Girl
  • Marc Jacobs, Daisy
  • Marc Jacobs, Lola
  • Viktor and Rolf, Flowerbomb
  • Anna Sui Dolly Girl
  • Anna Sui Secret Wish
  • Michael Kors, Hollywood

Notice any trends? First of all, fruity florals are quite well represented in the above list. So is sweetness and candy, and benign fresh and citrus scents. Which explains practically 80% of the things the perfume industry has put out in recent years.

Know something that should be on this list? Please leave a comment. I’m positive I’ve missed something!

The Grey Market and How it Works

Most fragrance consumers are content with buying their perfumes at drugstores, Sephora, or department stores. But the more adventurous or avid fragrance junkie will soon discover that their perfume habit is getting a bit expensive. Perhaps a little too expensive. So they turn to the grey market or online perfume retailers.

When it comes to perfumes, what you pay and what you get in return isn’t always a 1:1 ratio. Given what I mentioned in an earlier article revealing an underwhelming research and development budget of 3% per perfume with the rest of said budget getting dumped into packaging, advertising, celebrity endorsements, and taxes.

Adding to that mess is the fact that perfumes are luxury items. We can safely assume that any luxury item will be sold at inflated prices. True, you pay a certain percentage toward the quality of the item but the rest of the cost is just being funneled into the idea of owning something with a famous designer’s name on it. Therefore, we can agree that chasing Chanel, Guerlain, Creed, Yves Saint Laurent and the other big name houses is going to get expensive.

It’s natural for consumers to see online discounters selling normally expensive perfume brands at 25% to 75% off as enticing. However, remember the age old problem with counterfeits and the very human reaction to something perceived to be “too good to be true”. I bet that will put a damper on anyone’s parade.

Thankfully, you can rest easy, perfume discounters are–by and large–legitimate businesses that sell legitimate brand name fragrances. So you can purchase from places like beautyencounter.com knowing that you are getting the real deal–most of the time.

So what’s the catch? Sometimes you will encounter a fake. However, legitimate fragrance discounters should accept returns (with restocking fees that range from 10% to 20%). So if you do encounter a fake, you can return it or get a refund without losing hundreds of dollars.

Now that begs the question; how do these places make any money?

Let’s use a bottle of Creed’s Green Irish Tweed (GIT) for example purposes in this article. You can expect to drop $120USD on a 50ml bottle of GIT at Neiman Marcus. How can beautyencounter.com afford to sell a legitimate bottle for $76USD? Are they taking a loss? Is it old stock? What’s going on here?

Let’s put aside the discussion about counterfeits cycling around in the grey market for a moment and just focus on how all of this works.

But first, if you didn’t know by now, perfume discounters are referred to as the grey market. How they got their name is through the means of how they acquired their stock and what their stock consists of.

How do grey market perfume sellers acquire their stock?

Put quite simply, grey market sellers acquire their stock from other countries where the perfume is being sold for less. Or, as ReferenceforBusiness.com eloquently puts it:

The gray market refers to those goods that are legitimately imported from abroad, carry a recognizable trademark or brand name, and are sold at significant discounts outside of the manufacturer’s normal channels of distribution.

Let’s pretend there’s a business out there called Joe’s Cheap Perfume, an online grey market perfume discounter. Joe frequently stocks Creed’s Green Irish Tweed. Joe usually gets his stock by importing it from–oh, I don’t know–Mustacheana, the country of unkempt mustaches. Creed Mustacheana, themselves, sell Green Irish Tweed at a reasonable price given the country’s economic climate and other forms of international economic mumbo-jumbo that my economist fiance would be able to explain but I can’t. Anyway, in very simple terms, Green Irish Tweed usually retails for $250USD in America. Whereas in Mustacheana (whose currency is called the beardie) the exact same bottle only sells for the equivalent of $50USD. Grey market sellers simply import this stock of Green Irish Tweed at a steal of a deal by buying it from foreign distributors who also make a small profit from selling it to the grey market. After Joe gets his stock he then marks it up to whatever price he feels would still net him a decent profit in America. Usually this price undercuts those that Creed intended for the American market.

So is it illegal?

No. Grey market products, how the grey market operates, and you buying from the grey market is not illegal. It is frowned upon by the original distributors and licensed importers because it goes beyond their intended channels of distribution. You can’t really blame them. Distributors make money off these products, importers make money when people buy these products from them. When a distributor sends a product to Mustacheana intending to sell it for $5oUSD, they obviously don’t want Joe to come in, buy that up and resell it in his own store for a profit. A profit he didn’t really help to distribute, create, or pay for a license to sell. Currently in the US and Canada, it is not illegal to import and sell gray market goods. in the EU it is a little more complicated, thanks ReferenceforBusiness.com:

While gray marketing is not illegal in the United States and Canada, the European Union (EU) has banned gray market goods, or parallel imports, into the EU from non-EU countries.

This is not an illegal practice because it isn’t illegal to import legal goods from one country to another. Don’t mix up grey market with black market. The grey market is grey because it goes outside of an original manufacturer’s intended avenues of sale but the products are totally legal and not restricted in terms of importing and reselling. The black market is illegal because it trades and sells illegal or restricted products.

Is it okay to buy from the grey market?

I know that fragrance houses and distributors try very hard to restrain the grey market citing things like how the grey market cuts into their profits, introduces and encourages counterfeits, puts consumers at risk when it sells merchandise that may be fake, and lowers the esteem of brand names by selling them for discount prices. Again, I’ll let ReferenceforBusiness.com field this one:

Manufacturers argue that gray marketing undermines and discourages investment in legitimate distribution channels, especially in developing nations. They also believe that gray market goods have a negative impact on the value of established brand names—brands the manufacturers have invested a lot of money in to develop.

I can only say that as a consumer, I am willing to pay for the full treatment when I go to a department store where I expect to get good service and I am also willing to take my lumps when I go to a grey market seller where service is at a minimum but the product is often cheaper.

So let me get this straight, grey market fragrances aren’t counterfeits?

Grey market fragrances are not counterfeits. Just want to make that clear. They are the legitimate fragrances only imported from another country. However, due to the means of importing, the prestige of the brands, and the lowered attention to quality control you will encounter counterfeit fragrances in the grey market more often. If you purchase through a legitimate grey market seller, the chances of you getting a fake bottle is not high but it exists at a higher percentage than if you were to buy from a licensed importer and seller like Holt Renfrew or other department stores and boutiques.

I bought a bottle of perfume on the grey market/discounter and noticed its serial/lot numbers were filed off? What gives?

Most bottles of perfume with filed off serial numbers are grey market bottles. Relax, you are not holding a counterfeit–probably not anyway. If the bottle, fragrance and box are fine despite the filed off serial number, you are probably not holding a fake. The grey market seller likely filed off the serial number to prevent tracking.

I bought a bottle of perfume and noticed there’s Arabic words on it? What gives?

Those Arabic words are probably going to translate to something along the lines of, “This product may only be sold by a licensed distributor”, “for external use only”, or something equally as mundane. Not a counterfeit. It’s likely that bottle was just meant to be sold in a middle-eastern country and it’s a good indication that the bottle you’re holding is grey market.

Where do you typically encounter grey market fragrances?

In a lot more places than you might think. There’s been reports of grey market fragrances showing up in department stores, drug stores, and definitely online. If you had the lofty idea of avoiding all grey market stuff, you may find the task a bit difficult.

Summarize this whole post in one easy to understand paragraph.

Grey market fragrances are legitimate fragrances imported from different countries. These are not the same as fakes, knock-offs, or counterfeits. It is not illegal to trade, buy, or own grey market fragrances.  However, if you do want to buy grey market, you should be prepared to deal with the inevitable counterfeit that you may encounter. Otherwise, go nuts.

Thanks to:

Perfume Expiring? How to Preserve Perfumes

The bewildered look on someone’s face when you tell them perfume goes bad is one of those strange moments in a person’s life where they realize a few things:
1) Most people don’t realize fragrances expire.
2) Most people don’t know how to prolong or preserve their fragrances.
3) Most people just don’t really care that much, nor do they own so much that they should.

Here’s some food for thought, perfumes and fragrances in general have three enemies. They are, light, heat, and air. Let’s do a rundown of how these three components can work against your perfumes.

Light: Probably one of the biggest culprits that cause perfumes to go bad is light. Particularly sunlight. Most people with a bottle of perfume make the ultimate, but very common, mistake. They display the bottle on their vanity, or tabletop, and allow them to be exposed to the sun. This causes some of the more volatile components in perfumes to break down, or alter. Eventually, the fragrance will change on you and oftentimes, this is not for the better.

Now, can you really blame anybody for doing this? Some perfume bottles are downright beautiful and to not display them seems like a shame. But did you know that direct contact to sunlight can start deteriorating a perfume within a manner of hours? So while you’ve got a beautiful bottle on your vanity, that stuff inside of it isn’t doing so well.

Heat: Though heat is a big one, you shouldn’t allow your perfumes to get so cold it freezes either. Despite the logic that if heat is bad for fragrances then cold should be better. The truth is, your perfumes do best in cool temperatures and neither being too hot or too cold is good for it. One of the worst places people keep their fragrances (aside from the vanity) is in the bathroom.

The bathroom has a fluctuating temperature and humidity level. And if you’re like the average person you bathe or shower once a day. This means those perfumes in your bathroom are being exposed to rapid change in environmental temperature on a regular basis. Every time you take a shower or draw a bath, you are probably making the environment in that little room hotter and more humid. Heat can also deteriorate your fragrances like sunlight.

Air: Most people who own bottles of perfumes probably own the spray bottle type with a sprayer nozzle to distribute the scent. These types of bottles do a good job at reducing air exposure which can lead to perfume deterioration. However, if you own parfum extraits, oil pased perfumes, or splash bottles, you’re in a doozy of a time.

It is impossible to prevent air from contacting your perfume if you own a perfume bottle that requires you to open it. In addition, splash bottles tend to be more susceptible to in-bottle evaporation. Some of these types of perfumes hold up better than others. Older perfumes such as classic Carons may last for decades before losing their scent whereas a newer splash form perfume like Chanel Chance probably won’t have those kinds of–heh–chances. Bouquet Roses

Now that you know about the three major players leading to perfume deterioration, how do you know when your fragrances are going to expire? You don’t. And here’s the other kicker, you may never be able to find out because perfumes age according to how they were stored and what their chemical or natural compositions are.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s take Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils as an example. These are 5ml bottles of fragrance oils that are composed from a wide variety of different scents and compositions. All scents from BPAL will eventually age and change as they age. Some age for the better (Snake Oil), others go bad (Violet Ray). The beauty of the fragrance depends entirely on the individual but most people would probably agree that a dense vanilla-like fragrance from aged Snake Oil is more desirable than a bottle of flat, scentless Violet Ray.

It is important to keep in mind and note the top notes and compositions of fragrances because you can sometimes tell which notes will go first. Citrus notes are especially vulnerable to aging. Most of these are used as top notes and top notes are extremely delicate. Generally, the stuff you get at the bottom in the base note category should be more robust but with modern perfumery, it is still hard to tell what will and will not last. Or how long your fragrance is going to stay the same one you bought and love.

So without knowing a specific use by date, your best bet to perfume use is to ensure that you store your fragrances appropriately.

1) Get them out of the light. I know how awesome some of those bottles look but leaving them out in the open is deteriorating the juice inside. One of the most convenient containers for a bottle of perfume is the original box it came in. The box can provide the fragrance an extra layer of protection against the sun. For best results, keep your perfumes in a dark place. Put them in your closet, in a drawer, a dresser, under the bed. Whatever’s available and dark. I store my fragrances in their original boxes in a closet.

2) If you must display, use up the juice inside first. I k now some people like to collect perfume bottles because they look nice and want to display them. If you want to display your bottles of perfume, decant your scents into another bottle  first. This way you have a bottle to display and don’t have to worry about the stuff inside going bad. If you couldn’t care less about the stuff inside the bottle and just want a full looking bottle of perfume to display then have a blast, I suppose.

3) Reduce exposure to heat. I know it’s hard to keep perfumes in a steady, even and cool environment. Especially if you’re like me and your home doesn’t have air conditioning. For the average fragrance lover who uses their collection on a regular basis, storage at room temperature will do fine.  Some hard core fragrance collectors who own rare perfumes or have hundreds of bottles they don’t use regularly have refrigerators that are specifically set to preserve their fragrances. The ideal temperature for fragrances seems to be around12-14 degrees C with citrus heavy fragrances preferring lower temperatures around 4 degrees C. [Source]

4) Avoid freezing and the cold. Just like heat, cold can also damage your perfumes. If you were thinking about putting them in your regular refrigerator or even in the freezer, you can start drawing up plan B. The temperature for a regular refrigerator is too cold for most fragrances. The freezer option shouldn’t even be considered.

5) Get them out of the bathroom and off your vanity. I know the vanity is a great place for display. I know the bathroom is really convenient, but they aren’t doing your perfumes any good.

6) If you don’t plan on using the fragrance regularly or feel that you may take a while to completely use everything in the bottle, opt for a spray bottle (where possible) instead to avoid the air issue. If you do happen to own splash bottles and are concerned about preservation, start using up those fragrances or get yourself a fragrance fridge. You may never win the war against air with your splash bottles but you can at least minimize the impact by avoiding light and heat.

So how long can you keep perfumes if you store them properly? Years and years. Decades. Maybe even centuries. Some fragrances are incredibly robust as there are bottles of Chanel No.5 from the 30s and 40s that still smell the same as they did all those years ago. Likewise there are bottles of classic Carons and Guerlains that smell just as wonderful now as they did when they were first made. Heck, there was that perfume residue discovered in a bottle people think belonged to Hatshepsut that could still be analyzed and probably recomposed.

Don’t underestimate perfume’s ability to stick around, but don’t overestimate it either. Take the necessary precautions to ensure your fragrances last and you can enjoy them for many years.

In short, the best place to keep your perfumes is in a cool, dark place.

Thanks to:

Victoria’s Secret Love Spell

If popularity made a fragrance iconic then Love Spell should be the staple of teenage girls. This is a familiar fragrance to me, partly because of its fruity floral composition but also because so many women and girls wear Love Spell, its perfume form, body mist, lotion and what have you. It is a simple fragrance, a little low on the complexity meter but what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in wearability. Love Spell

In Bottle: Sweet, sweet, sweet. The first smell I get from Love Spell is a sparkling peach and jasmine fragrance. It’s like high school exploded in my nose and all I can smell is the trademark sugary peppiness that I was so familiar with. I remember when every other girl smelled like fruit or candy. I was the odd one out with nothing but a stick of deodorant between me and nothing. Now that I can experience all the fragrances I couldn’t wear when I was younger, I have to admit, I do see why this was popular. But its very essence, to me, screams of high school.

Applied: Simple and inoffensive, that first whiff of bright fruits and florals is quick to start dissolving on the skin. It morphs away from brightness and into a near sparkly plastic-like fragrance for a few moments. I’m sitting there wondering if these flowers and this strange slippery plastic smell is going to stick around for a while. It kind of reminds me of a banana peel, slippery, fruity. I can almost taste that strange note which is funny. The banana fades the more I smell this as something aromatic that resembles culantro comes up and dominates the scene. Culantro, not to be confused with cilantro, is an herb. Unfortunately for the culantro and the florals, they evaporate very quickly and re-application is necessary. And with reapplication comes that sparkly banana again. I like the opener. I like the drydown. The culantro scent is an interesting touch that I don’t mind. I could probably do without that strange moment in the middle with the banana.

Extra: Love Spell has that aura about it that screams of high school. There are fragrances out there that just seem to speak volumes about the culture that might surround them. Sweet, fruity, floral perfumes for example are usually in the category of young. Whereas deeper, denser more powder fragrances tend to be lumped in with the old. Me, personally, I don’t much care if I smell young or old. If you like a fragrance, just wear it.

Design: Simple but not ugly. I’ve got no qualms with fragrances that stick to simple packaging. Especially ones that are more affordable like Love Spell is. The EDT will run you around $8-10 depending upon the sale going on at the moment. This fragrance comes in a purple box. Inside is a glass atomizer bottle with a cap over it. On the bottle is the name of the fragrance and a purple flower design.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Apple, peach, cherry blossom, lilac, jasmine.

I still remember the big fragrance going around the school locker room when I was younger. It was Hawaiian Ginger by Calgon. It seemed literally every girl was wearing this as everywhere I stepped in the school, in wafted Hawaiian Ginger. Turns out it was only a couple of people who wore this fragrance and evidently they were battling it out for Hawaiian Ginger supremacy because the fragrance permeated the entire school.

Reviewed in This Post: Love Spell, 2010, Eau de Toilette.

What’s That Smell?

That Smell is a fragrance review and variety blog. This is just a fun hobby. I love fragrances. I love all manner of fragrances, even the ones I don’t like, because I feel a fragrance should be appreciated whether it is of my tastes or not. You will, without a doubt, get my opinions on whether something is olfactory heaven or a stinky assault, but make no mistake that I do my best to not turn up my nose at a chance to smell perfume be it an artful classic from the 1800s or the fanciful mix from an artisan’s start-up house.