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.
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.
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.
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