Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres





During my trip to Southern California in April 2017, we had an opportunity to check out two Premium Outlet Centres, one in Camarillo on the way to Santa Barbara, and Desert Hills which is just outside of Palm Springs. If you’re ever heading to one of these massive shopping areas, my top tips are:

* Take water, snacks and lunch. Yes there’s food there but you’ll need actual sustenance to get through the shopping day.
* Time evaporates there. If you think you’ll be 2 hours, basically just double it. We had multiple text messages between us saying “1/2 hour more? 1 hour more?”.
* Do you research before-hand of what is top of your hit list, and roughly the RRP. Then grab a centre map and plan your shop visits. This will save you heaps of time and possibly money. Don’t forget that tax is variable and added on at the register.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

Of course I went straight to the fragrance stores. As these are outlets / seconds, the content of the shops varied from place to place. I found the shops such as Perfumania and the Fragrance Outlet very similar to Chemist Warehouse back in Aus. The prices weren’t what I would call a bargain – for example I found Bvlgari Black at $34US, before tax and conversion this is not cheaper than what I can pick it up for at home. One shop (I think Perfumania in Desert Hills) had a whole section dedicated to Paris Hilton fragrances, and a similar display for Britney Spears.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 a

I did get to try Ivanka Trump’s fragrance which was OK, actually. It was a fruity floral, of course, but it had a coolness about it which I think was brought on by a decent apple accord, keeping the sweetness in check. After I picked this up the sales assistant kept coming over with some horrendous options for me to “try as you might like this”. After the third sniff to be ‘polite’ I had to say no – just – No, you need to stop doing that please! My nose was full of pink gunk smells by that stage and I had to literally run out, much to the SA’s surprise.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 b

After trying the dedicated fragrance stores I looked at branded stores for fragrances & interest. Barneys and Etro were clothes-only. Aww. I came across a Porche Design store in Desert Hills, which I’d never heard of before. WOW!!!! They’ve got some great gear, the mens shoes were amazing and the handbags sleek and functional. I had a lot of fun chatting with the sales assistant who was beyond helpful, was a great experience and I’m glad I dropped in.

My visit to SoCal did have fragrant leanings but would you believe all I brought home with me were three small samples from Lucky Scent in LA. I think that’s a first. I did get some jeans, jacket, shoes and an iron. But that’s another story.

What about you – do you hit up the fragrance stores hard when you travel, or is it more of a reconnaissance like my US trip?

Till next time,
Tina G xx

15 thoughts on “Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

  1. I hit hard. I spent four hours in the perfume department of Harrod’s when I went to London. I didn’t have time to see the rest of the store. I came home with four bottles and bought two more online that I had sniffed. Sigh!


    • Haha! Sounds good to me, Gina. I bought up big in Europe last year, multi-bottles plus bags of samples & decants (purchased and gifted). This trip was unusual in that I didn’t hit hard. But that’s ok too. I think. 🙂

      xx Tina G


  2. Wow, well done for only coming home with three samples! Much better than buying something for the sake of it and you bought a few things in Europe last year.
    Too funny how the SA thought she had you pegged after the Ivanka Trump frag!
    I can only imagine hitting the perfume shops hard on holiday if/when I get to Paris and probably New York. I hope to hear more about your awesome trip.


    • Hi Tara!
      I did buy up pretty big in Europe last year – that fab Lyn Harris frag (which I wore today, actually) and Borneo 1834 and … um, maybe some duty free (both going in and out) and, um… other stuff…. oops. hehe
      The Ivanka Trump fragrance was ok and much better than some of the other things she started throwing at me. Interesting that is where her head went.
      I did have a few things on my to-try list, just no purchases. Lucky Scent were super generous giving me some samples.
      Tina G xx


  3. Good advice re outlet malls – my friend and I went to Desert Hills too and it was good to have provisions. Outlet perfume stores are usually full of celebrity syrup, although I did once find Black Orchid Voile de Fleur by Tom Ford.

    It’s nice to visit a proper perfume store when travelling, as a purchase can then double as a souvenir. Looking forward to Portland for July not just for a friend’s wedding but also a stop-in at Perfume House and Fumerie.


    • Hi AnnieA,
      I found that both Desert Hills and Camarillo had different selections of fragrance in the same branded stores – I was hunting for those rare gems that sometimes get overlooked – sounds like you found one! Yay!
      Hope you have s fab trip to Portland – sounds lovely. I’ll have to look both of those stores up & check them out!
      Thanks for dropping in.
      Tina G xx


  4. Desert Hills is certainly massive, and the perfumes are hit or miss, like anything else it requires checking back to see new stock because ONCE in a while….. but I find prices better and the selection more varied with the online discounters. The best deals I’ve ever found were at the AX clearance store, there is always a line to get in! xoxo


    • Hey Robert!
      Desert Hills is big but I liked the layout. It was good to see both sides of the shopping strip. Camarillo is more spread out.
      I think to be able to grab a bargain you need to know your pricing fairly well, and be able to pounce quickly when you spot something! The range of flankers for some fragrances were like nothing I’ve seen before… Estée Lauder Beautiful, for example, had flankers I’d never come across, which was fun.
      Tina G xx


  5. I don’t really hunt for the perfume boutiques in places I travel, however ,if I come across one in a shopping centre I will go in. Sadly , I’m often under pressure not to spend too much time {and especially money!!!} in them from hubby.
    I must say I’m surprised by the bottle of Ivanka Trump… somehow I thought it would be a ‘little glittzier’. not crass, really ,like her father, because generally her style is quite conservative, but because it is Ivanka Trump.
    {hope I made sense}


    • Saffyishere – maybe just sneak off by yourself & do a bit of uninterrupted fragrance shopping…. hehe.
      I realised that I don’t show the lid for Ivanka Trump for Women – it’s a clear see-through flat topped cap in line with the sleek styling of the bottle. It was interesting to try.
      xx Tina G


  6. Hey there TinaG,
    I LOVE the huge discount malls in the USA. Jin and I wander them aimlessly for hours. It’s a fun day. A few years ago we ended up at the Las Vegas ones with Lee, Kath & Alice. It was hilarious.
    We’ve also done them in LA with frag guys Andrew & Tom, I think we even went to this one.
    Portia xx


    • Hey Portia,
      As I walked up to our first one, I had flashbacks to the one we went to in South Korea – you, me, Jin, Kath & Matt cruising around. You got some fab Ferragamo shoes as I recall. I didn’t mention in the article that I got some great Easter Sale deals on clothes – Levis particularly and you’d love the Nine West shoes I picked up – a style which hasn’t reached our shores yet. All brilliant pricing. Happy girl.
      xx Tina G


      • OMG! YES! We had a ball in South Korea. I love the Ralph Lauren and GAP sale stores because they make to my size. Whenever I’m in them I buy my years supply.
        Can’t wait to see your new shoes.
        Portia xxx


  7. Morning from here Tina. I do not like outlet centres at all. The architecture, the lack of oxygen (despite many being outdoors) the Stepford Wives vibe. I have no idea where they get all the stuff they sell, it it’s weird. I didn’t hunt any fragrance stores on my last US visit. I had three on my list, Lucky Scent (I met Jtd Jtd) in The coffeeshop next door, Tiger Lily and Twisted Lily. That was it. They opened an outlet centre in Salzburg about five years ago. It is just as horrible as the American ones. However, I would go with you to one if we had a decent coffee first. ❤


    • Morning Val! Or evening now. xx
      I think if we were to do coffee & shopping, let’s avoid the malls! Why would I want to inflict that on you?!? 🙂 xxx I can’t imagine an outlet mall at Salzburg – the little quirky shops & old alleys are so beautiful.
      This trip was so rushed that I didn’t take time to organise perfumista meet ups. Next time. And there will be s next time, I loved my SoCal trip.
      xx Tina G


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