Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!





A friend asked me for advice – she’d been finding her favourite fragrance was not smelling the same in her skin. She was looking for something new. Did I know anything that was similar which she could try?

So firstly we chatted about her signature scent. My friend has been using Dolce & Gabbana – Rose the One, which obviously is rose-centric but balanced out with lychee and peony. Instead of asking what she liked, we started with what she didn’t – this being any fragrance that was overly floral or sweet. But there’s only one way to find out – go shopping!

Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

So off we went on a perfume safari. We went to Myer / Mecca in Sydney city. Myer is open till 8:00pm which was perfect for dropping in after work. This excercise was also helping her to learn how to test & what to watch out for. When we got there I directed her to the Bottega Venetta and Narciso Rodrigues displays where I grabbed a handful of mouilettes. If I’m bulk testing, I’ll put a spray or two on paper & pop the end under the display bottle to let it dry a bit & keep track of what’s what. My nose lasts much longer (ie doesn’t get blown out / insensitive) if I’m sniffing dry paper, not wet.

Narciso Poudree Narciso Rodriguez FragranticaFragrantica

So then we sniffed everything in those two ranges over about 15 minutes – chatting & learning about first impressions as we went. We chose Narciso Pourdée Eau de Parfum to try on skin, and found immediately that my friends skin amps fragrances in a sour direction. Good to know.

She was super quick to learn about top notes, dry down, what she liked and within 1/2 an hour we split up & she worked her way around Myer, the Libertine section, and Mecca with some wonderful sales assistants. I felt a bit proud when I over-heard her saying ‘my skin amps sour’ to the nods of an SA. Yay!

Gypsy Water Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

We had loads of fun in our adventure. I unfortunately fell in love with Gypsy Water by Byredo while she was off gallavanting…. maybe I should have kept my hands behind my back.

Other fragrances she tried on skin were Lady Vengence by Juliette has a Gun, Arcana Rosa by L’Artisan Perfumer – Natura Fabularis collection, Lys 41 by Le Labo, and Gris Clair… by Serge Lutens. Both the JHAG and Le Labo were fantastic and the SAs generously gave her small vials to give a proper run through at home.

Lady Vengeance Juliette Has A Gun FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Lavender
Heart: Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose, Patchouli, Hedione, ISO-E-Super
Base: Ambroxan, Vanilla, White musk

The next Monday she came back to me to say she loved Lady Vengence so much she went back & picked up a bottle of it. It’s a rose & patchouli scent and the quirky JHAG branding suits her so well. A win!

Have you ever had a friend find a new fragrance love through your recommendations?

Till next time,
Tina G xx

13 thoughts on “Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

  1. Hey TinaG,
    Yes, I love taking friends to the mall and having a sniff with them. I also like to have them over and go through my wardrobe.
    We found Phil Declaration by Cartier that way.
    Portia xx


    • Hi Portia, it’s a great way of spending a few hours, huh? I can imagine Phil loved Declaration, what a great scent. You may notice that the trip did skew towards my preferences, and there’s no mention of budget. I could have easily done the same trip to Chemist Warehouse (which you know I’m a huge fan of!) and found a few things for her – maybe Eau de Gaga, I think Stash might be a bit strong for her. Actually…. maybe we will have round 2 like that.
      Love you.
      Tina G xx


      • OMG! The Chem WH trip would be super fun too. It’s nice to start at the middle so you have somewhere to go both ways though.
        Portia xx


    • That sniffathon was so much fun, Portia, and I learned a few things from you. Next time I come to Sydney I’d love to see your vast collection. It must be like Aladdin’s cave. Even photos would be great.


      • Next time you’re in town Ingrid we’ll have a lunch here and you can get lost among the hordes.
        Portia xx


  2. I was able to use my collection to make small samples and bring them in for a coworker based on her likes and dislikes.
    She ended up buying Chanel Beige EDT and Byredo La Tulipe Oil.

    I find that fun 🙂


    • Hi Tena,
      Oh, nice choices! I did that with my Mum at Christmas. Her signature scent is Beautiful by Estée Lauder, but wanted to see if she could find a new signature. I made up about 20 vials of different samples, but also gave her a spreadsheet for notes so she could track what she liked and didn’t like. Unfortunately nothing was a clear winner so it’s still a work in progress.
      xx Tina G


    • Hi Tara,
      It’s really fun to go through your collection with friends, hey? There’s a story in every bottle. 🙂 I’ve been meaning to set up a sniff-date with some non-perfume friends, thanks for the reminder.
      Tina G xx


  3. Absolutely great post. I like the ordentlich way you did things. I need to stop shoving wet strips up civilian noses whilst babbling unintelligible perfumista phrases. 😁❤️


    • Hey Val! ha! I’m sure they enjoy the unintelligible babble too. 🙂 hehe. Any perfume shopping trip is sure to have a touch of whirlwind about it – there’s so many pretty bottles and never enough time, usually until a nose can take no more sniffs. Time to retreat for a snack and coffee which is just as fun.
      Miss you. I need to plan another holiday…
      xx Tina G


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