Perfumes • heaven scent
A perfume is one of the most appreciated presents anyone can buy for their loved one • male or female. Not surprising then that fragrances make up the lions share of the perfume and cosmetics business at airports.
Next time you visit the duty-free shop take a good look around… the beauty department will almost always dwarf the others, and that includes what most people still consider as the duty-free staples: booze and cigarettes.
Fragrances tend to occupy the majority of the beauty area and have the biggest prominence in the store. So, what to buy when the choice is so great? This is often where men, who are buying for their partner or significant other, have problems. Because scents can be complex, made up of what perfumers call an olfactory pyramid of aromas that start with lighter top notes, then open out to a more substantial range of middle notes, and finally dry down to the heavier base notes that tend to linger.
This is already too much information for many male travellers! So to avoid confusion, the best advice is to firstly check out the favourite fragrance that sits on your partner’s dressing table, or subtly find out what he/she might have tested recently in the local department store. Write it down and then, armed with this information, either buy the exact same product, or if you want to show him or her that you were even more thoughtful, ask the beauty adviser in the store for scents that are similar to the ones you have written down.
For example, if she likes Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door, which is classified as a floral juice, an alternative to that could be the somewhat cheekier new Lola scent from Marc Jacobs, or for something more refined there is Jasmine Musk from the Tom Ford Private Blend range. These days the beauty advisers in-store are usually trained to a high level and should be able to give you more than one option to a specific scent you mention. The advantage of this is that instead of buying an old classic that your partner wears because it’s trusted, you can get something similar, but modern, that they should still like. For some ideas on alternative scents to buy, UK airport retailer World Duty Free has a good website that gives you some choices and allows you to experiment at: http://www.worlddutyfree.com/fragrance-search.html
In the airport, new scents are always being promoted either with gifts with purchase, straight price discounts or in-store competitions so it’s also worth having at look at those and even selecting something random that looks or smells good…a new prestige brand on the bathroom shelf is not normally shunned! Not that long ago Calvin Klein offered the unisex ck One and ck Be with a pre-packed gwp speaker that could plug into your iPod • perfect for sharing music on the beach or in your hotel room.
Limited editions are also increasingly offered in airports and sometimes you can also buy scents, or versions of a launch, that are only available in the airport/travel channel, so it will be something a little more unique and special. Recently Paco Rabanne was selling a special made-to-order version of its hugely successful men’s scent 1 Million fragrance that was plated in 18 carat gold and set with a 0.3 carat diamond for €45,000! But don’t panic, the standard bottle should set you back no more than €40!
When choosing, also consider the strength of these scents and what your partner prefers. Generally speaking strengths run in this order (strongest to weakest): parfum extreme, parfum, edp (eau de parfum), edt (eau de toilette) and eau de cologne. Often women will use strong scents for special evening occasions and an edt for general daywear, but some don’t like the strong scents at all.
If you want to spend less, or want something a bit different, summer fragrances are another option. They have become a key part of the perfume offer and are generally lighter and also cheaper versions of existing scents but with a fresh summer twist in their pyramidal mix. They are often targeted at a younger profile as well. And if you really can’t decide on one perfume why not buy a set of miniatures • called a coffret • which will certainly cut out any time wasted in the store if you are running to catch your flight!