Monday Question – Do You Ever Choose Perfume For Somebody Else?

Do you assign a perfume to the important people in your life?

Have you been asked to choose a scent for somebody else?

Would you like to introduce people you know to certain fragrances, because you think they would be a perfect match?

What should your nearest and dearest smell like, if it were up to you?

My Answer:

I don’t really choose a perfume for my husband, but I’ve been known to steer him into a certain direction. He may choose his scent himself, from a selection I provided. (How generous am I, huh? 😉 )

This question came to me though, because I have an acquaintance, who I would love to introduce to a certain fragrance, because I think it would suit her so well. I have not said anything yet, but I hope some day the discussion will turn in that direction.

My friend is a very beautiful woman, tall, slim, improbably long lashes, long dark hair, the prettiest smile. If I were a teenager I’d probably hate her. 😉 But since we know each other through our children, competition is a non-issue.

I look at her and always think how great she would smell in Guerlain Cuir Beluga. Somehow in my mind they fit perfectly.

Maybe she reads this and recognizes herself, I’d love to provide a sample…


About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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39 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Ever Choose Perfume For Somebody Else?

  1. Axum says:

    I want to give one of my close friends some perfume as a wedding present. The dice are slightly loaded – I left several Amouage samples lying around her house last time I visited and watched her reactions to them. Memoir W elicited the most excitement, and I must say, it is the one I imagined her in!

  2. lady jane grey says:

    If I’d be asked for advice, I’d try to provide it, but I know how difficoult it is finding the right scent for somebody else (hey it’s difficoult enough to find it for myself and I can’t stop searching…)

  3. Georgy says:

    If everyone smelled the way you think they should, the world would certainly be a better, more peaceful place! One step towards worldpeace indeed

  4. Sandra says:

    I have been asked to pick out a perfume for my sister and truth be told, I am having the hardest time choosing something. I was not given any guidelines nor notes that she prefers. Perhaps if she was with me and I could see her reaction to a few perfumes then I could provide advice.

  5. I often give people samples of things I think they would like saying it came with a pack, which it usually did, but isn’t me. They get a guilt free thrill and don’t have to pretend they like it because I’ve already dissed it. However, should they like it I have Xmas sorted.
    Portia xx

  6. Philipp says:

    I have never gifted someone a perfume based solely on my judgment, because I found out people often buy fragrances not for their real self, but for the person/image of self they would like to be. So the scent I would choose would often be diametrically opposite to what these people are looking for, insulting the person in the end.

  7. Tara says:

    Oh, I hope your friend is reading this! Otherwise you really should just give her a sample, I’m sure she’d appreciate it even if she didn’t buy a bottle in the end.

    I do this all the time. I buy perfumes for my mother and sister a lot. Most recently Cinema for my mother and Bulgari Black for my sister. I gave a sample of Apres L’Ondee to one friend because it is so HER but I don’t think she likes to spend money on perfume. Another friends loves the smell of spring flowers, especially freesias so I got her a sample of Ofresia by Diptyque. She said she loved it but also thought it was a bit pricey. A while later she excitedly emailed me to say she had fallen madly for a perfume worn by a co-worker and had just bought it for herself. It was D&G’s Light Blue.

    You win some, you lose some…

    • Philipp says:

      You mentioned something very important. While for us perfume lovers it is not a biggie to spend a lot of money on a coveted fragrance, most people are not prepared to spend that much. This applies mainly to niche and luxury fragrances, which usually start around 110 USD for 50 ml (in Europe).

    • Olfactoria says:

      You really are a frangrant fairy Godmother, Tara! Your friends are lucky to have you!

      Your recommendations are always spot on, as I know from experience. 🙂

    • deeHowe says:

      Tara, you are uncannily good at matching people to perfumes.

      Sometimes people share things just for the sake of sharing, so that we can be exposed to things we hadn’t previously, but I feel like every care package from you is carefully curated: some great loves have come from your selections for me! I frequently wonder if you’re psychic… 😉

  8. Nina says:

    Actually, I am considering gifting a bottle to an old friend. I know it’s something she already likes, she’s mentioned it. But it was awhile ago, and I hope her memory serves her right. In 2005, a group of us went to Las Vegas for a bachelorette party (one of my least favorite places on earth, truth be told). When at the airport, I bought a bottle of C’est Si Bonne. It has a bottle shaped like the Eiffel Tower, and is a cheap thrill – kinda loud and floral. I found out recently, and to my surprise, that my friend remembered that perfume and liked it. I am considering getting her a bottle for her birthday in May.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m sure at the very least it evokes a nice memory for your friend of your shared time in Las Vegas.

      What I love most about LV are the perfume shopping opportunities. 😉

  9. arline says:

    I have given my boyfriend several 4 ml samples of Tom Fords private blends (which are pricey in themselves). He loves Oud Wood, and really smells wonderful in it. The FB is something that I would have to buy for him, because he would not spend that much on a fragrance. He smells great to me no matter what, but I do love when he wears a scent.

    I do like Tom Ford, but I think he is a little proud of his perfumes, and that is reflected in his prices. The more I explore however, I realize that there are many more amazing fragrances out there, that I could find for him, which could be better, but I would need some assistance from my perfumista friends.

    For myself, am still finding out what I love, and have become overwhelmed by the possibilities.
    Knowing me, I will probably not a acquire a vast collection, but I will definitely be pleased with several.

    Personally I would appreciate if someone who loves fragrance gave me a sample of something, they thought would suite me, even if I did not adore it in the end.

    I say give your friend a sample, and spread the joy!!!!!1

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’ll give it to her, although I don’t want her to think I’m patronizing her.

      Tom Ford has some nice fragrances, but they are for the most part overpriced unfortunately. 😦

      • arline says:

        If she does not know your passion for fragrance, then you can explain it briefly, and just tell her your thoughts plain and simple. I am sure she will be happy, and not at all, as if you are patronizing her.

        TF is definitely nice but, overpriced for sure!!!!! I would welcome suggestions for the boyfriend. I know that is hard, but I do trust your nose!!!!

        • Olfactoria says:

          It is hard, not knowing your boyfriend at all. But I’ll do what I think every man should know about and try: explore Guerlain! Vetiver and Habit Rouge are great starting points, the new Guerlain Homme L’Eau Boisée is lovely as well, and the price point is a lot more realistic than Tom Ford’s.

  10. deeHowe says:

    Oh yes, I am always choosing perfumes for others! It started will a well-selected Yves Rocher Rose Absolue for my mom a couple years ago… And I’ve been mad for matching ever since (I always match up people in my mind too— I just like to pair stuff, it would seem).

    Sometimes these pairings are just in my mind, sometimes in actuality. In my mind, I paired my bestie with an elegant, ultra-feminie scent, a scent that always makes me think of her when I smell it. Thank god she likes it! 😉

    At work, I’ve had some successful pairings recently: I matched one co-worker up with Vamp a NY, another with Bronze Goddess, yet another with Wonderwood. I’m on a roll, Tara style! It’s really exciting to imagine someone loving something, and for them to fall in love with it for themselves.

    I’m busy matching Matt up with his “perfect” scent; although he’ll never be monogamous with one perfume, he’ll hopefully have his own version of the Signature by his upcoming birthday. The search is going well, I think. 🙂

  11. Alexis says:

    I have matched woody scents to my husband just because of the obvious carpentry history and all the woodwork he does. It smells wonderful on him. I introduced him to Musc Ravageur and surprisingly he liked it on himself – I just have to buy the travel set for us to share! My sister, K and I have the same tastes in scents for the most parts. I introduced her to Liasons Dangeruese and I even bought her the travel refil set for her birthday. But I also came to point where I’m trying to keep my scents a secrets from my friends but I always end up spilling the beans because I get giddy talking about cosmetics and fragrances. When it comes down to it – I think I’m pretty good at matching my sisters with scents.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, Musc Ravageur! That is so wonderful, I miss it, I must finally get around to invest in a bottle (or travel set rather). I’m sure it smells wonderful on both you and your husband, Alexis!

  12. annemariec says:

    I’ve been impressed recently that TPC has been selling its 8 ml decants in a new sort of bottle, much more elegant than those tubular shaped bottles than look like something from a science lab. It’s a rectangulr bottle with a tall round cap that slides on and off beautifully. These could make buying a generous decant for a friend a bit more viable – it would look more like a proper gift than a sample. The trouble is, especially with the recent changes at TPC, that you might not know if you are going to get one of the nice new bottles or one of the plain old ones.

    Still, it’s an idea. If you can give a nice looking sample or decant to someone – perhaps decanted into stylish little bottle you have bought yourself – you will not overwhelm or embarrass them with an expensive gift that they may not like.

  13. Undina says:

    All perfumes my vSO uses for the last… forever were chosen by me and just confirmed by him. I do not remember any disagreements on masculine perfumes (though he might not like some of those that I test for myself).

    Other than that, from time to time I’m trying to do a suggestive samples sharing with some friends and co-workers but usually it doesn’t go beyond a sample.

  14. Civava says:

    I suggest my man something from what I would like for him. Finally he makes his choice.
    Othervise I can see what perfume might suit someone but I avoid suggesting, uless I know a person really very well.

  15. Angie Cox says:

    I choose Jeff’s every day or he wouldn’t wear it. If he’d agree he’d have Memory for men, Bois D’Encens and Une Rose . Holly can’t afford them but I bought her “Fantasia de Fleurs” because the Royal it was made for fascinates her .

  16. Laurinha says:

    Happily, my better half has been contaminated by my love of fine fragrance and would now hardly leave the house unperfumed, bless him! Even better, we have similar tastes so his shelf and mine (plural) make up for a spacious wardrobe indeed ^_^

    Introducing a person to a scent does feel risky, though exciting, but, so far, my matching attempts have been crowned with success. That, or the recipient was too polite to disappoint!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Laurinha,
      how great that you and your husband share that hobby/passion for perfume!
      It is alwaays nice to be able to buy a bottle “for him”. 😉

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