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Sunday, April 30, 2006

The 'perfume wardrobe' con

Every now and again, The Bargain Queen encounters the idea of a 'perfume wardrobe' in a magazine or on a fashion web site. The idea goes a little like this: instead of having a signature scent you wear all the time, you should have a 'wardrobe' of perfumes and choose one to suit your mood each day.

While perfume is always a lovely thing to have, The Bargain Queen is unconvinced about the perfume wardrobe idea and suspects it might be a marketing ploy to increase perfume sales. She has two reasons for this.

Firstly, perfume has a very limited shelf life. Usually it's estimated at about a year; in The Bargain Queen's experience it's a little more if you protect it from heat and direct sunlight. So what happens when perfume goes off? It doesn't look any different or have mould growing on it, but the stale perfume smell is pretty distinctive and really not attractive. If you don't know the smell, check Grandma's dressing table - older people are usually a reliable source of beauty products that have been hoarded too long.

While perfume's shelf life wouldn't be an issue if we used it quickly, The Bargain Queen finds it hard to use a whole bottle of perfume before it starts to deteriorate, even though she wears 2-3 squirts of her signature scent most days. So having more perfumes is likely to result in either throwing out expensive scent that's past its prime, or continuing to wear it until it smells like cat urine. Ew!

Secondly, The Bargain Queen doesn't think wearing a different scent each day makes sense from an affective point of view. Smells are tightly connected to our feelings and have long been used to shape our perceptions and influence our behaviour (e.g. that irresistable bakery smell, aromatherapy, Cleopatra's barge of rose petals on the fetid Nile). Perfume is a way to unconsciously help people associate you with lovely things like flowers, spices and delicious food smells. Maybe there's some logic in smelling like a different lovely thing each day, but it also makes it more noticeable that it's not you that smells great, just the bottled stuff you splash on. Plus wearing a different scent each day means you never build up 'your smell' in anyone's mind, so you lose perfume's evocative effect where people think of you when they smell that fragrance.

So The Bargain Queen's unconvinced about buying a wardrobe of perfumes. If having a few fragrances works for you, fantastic... just try to buy smaller bottles or keep them in the fridge so you don't end up smelling like Eau de Stale Cat. But unless you're a perfume afficionado, The Bargain Queen thinks that one perfume at a time is probably enough.


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4 Comments:

  • At 12:27 pm, Blogger TheBeautyBrains said…

    Excellent point about the short shelf life of fragrances. The light and temperature will spoil them quickly. Keeping them in the freezer will help them last even longer but who wants to have to go to the freezer everytime they want to wear a fragrance? For more info about cosmetics, the science, and the straight dope about whether more expensive ones are worth it, check out The Beauty Brains blog.

    We answer questions about ingredients and how personal care products work. If you think your readers would be interested in learning more about cosmetics, feel free to link to us as The Beauty Brains Thanks and keep up the great blogging!

     
  • At 1:15 am, Anonymous perfume creed said…

    Choosing the right perfume can be difficult and because it is also considered an intimate gift buying the wrong perfume

    can backfire on you and get you the opposite result of that which you hoped for.

    The first thing you need to do is do some homework, meaning research. Look at your lady's perfume bottles, the ones that

    are nearly empty will be her favorites. If there is one there that is nearly full chances are she doesn't wear it often

    or doesn't like it. Hint around and ask her what types of fragrances she likes and dislikes.

    Humans are very sensory oriented and our sense of smell is no different. Certain perfumes can elicit strong reactions in

    both the wearer and the person reacting to the scent. Perfumes are made not only to attract but to also relax someone. If

    you aren't totally sure what kind of perfume to buy you can always play it safe and get something in the aromatherapy

    line. If you go this route, bear in mind that vanilla scents are considered to relax and a peppermint or lemon scent will

    be more stimulating.

     
  • At 6:49 am, Anonymous obsession-perfume said…

    The history of perfume oils dates back to ancient Egypt when these fine scented oils were presented to royalty as gifts. In modern times, however, when the word "perfume" is said, most people think of department store fragrances, which consist mainly of the concentrated oil and alcohol solution. Nevertheless, as more and more people are finding out about them, perfume oils are experiencing great popularity. Here are some interesting facts about perfume oils:

     
  • At 9:17 am, Blogger bhattathiri said…

    Half hour meditation is equal to drinking 1 litre water.


    Your website is beautiful, informative and Excellent.

    Article by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief Technical Examiner , to The Govt. of Kerala. Humble request that it may be published in your website and magazine after editing if necessary.











    Future war will be for water

    In the coming century, new challenges are emerging. We are confronted with both old and new threats to international scarsity of many commodities especially good air and water causing security of population; resulting widespread poverty. It has to be recognized by world leaders as the most daunting of all the problems facing the world in the new century; and fundamental values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility now form common values through which achievements in all the fother categories can be realized. In each of these key areas environment and resources play a central role. Threats to common security now include so-called ‘soft threats': environmental degradation, resource depletion, contagious diseases and corruption, to name just a few. It is now recognized that environmental degradation and both scarcity and abundance of natural resources are potential sources of conflict – and cooperation – and need to be more systematically addressed in this context. Access to fresh water and sanitation services are a precondition to achieving the other internationally accepted goals in the Millennium Declaration.
    Scarcity of water is a function of supply and demand. Demand is increasing at an alarming rate in some regions, through population growth and increasing per capita use. In many water-scarce oil rich Gulf countries,saline water purification may be temperoryaffordable method.But we have to find out pemanent solutions by preserving the eco sysytem. The second crisis is deteriorating water quality. Agriculture is the biggest polluter: increased use of fertilizer and pesticides has contaminated both groundwater and surface water supplies. Domestic and industrial pollution is also increasing, and the problem affects mailny in developed and partially in developing countries.


    All nations should coperate to understand the importance of an integrated approach to water resource management at both international and local levels. Equity and rights, cultural and ethical issues are essential to be addressed when dealing with limited water resources. Imbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, intersectoral competition, interregional and international disputes, all center around the question of how to cope with scarce water resources.


    http://www.irinnews.org/webspecials/runningdry/default.asp

    nature.com

    www,teri.org

    http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/en/.

     

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