Every Christmas it has become my tradition to work in Fragrance. Some of the stores I have worked include Boots, Debenhams, Tesco (we had Tom Ford I'll have you know!), House of Fraser and The Perfume Shop. The brands this encompasses are endless but every year I notice a similar trend as to what is popular, and what I manage to persuade people to buy when I think something that little bit different is actually better suited than the number one seller.
Here I will let you know the most popular fragrances and aftershaves I sell, as well as letting you in on some of my more unusual favourites not to be overlooked!
For this first post however we are concentrating on the men!
Paco Rabanne 1 Million
Regardless of what you think of this extremely popular Mens fragrance (also Lady Million is equally as popular!) there is no getting away from the fact that every year my customers are frantically calling the store to check if I have any left in the cabinet before making there way in after visiting every other store in the county who have sold out. When they make their way in it's like looking at the finish line of the London marathon. Infact I even point them in the direction of the free mince pies to get their blood sugars back to normal, after their breathless Yoda-like voice calls out "Did I make it in time?!" - Yes, it's that bad!
Now, where was I... Well, 1 million is warm and spicy with notes of citrus and leather. Of course it's also gold which is pretty much fool proof for anyone at Christmas! Just be aware if you buy it, it's extremely popular which can be a double edged sword if every bloke at work smells exactly the same. Unless you are copping off with one of them behind his back? In which case um let's swiftly move on!
Paco Rabanne Invictus
There is equally no escaping Invictus which is the one people buy when they are either fed up of the above or another relative has got in there first - and believe me I witness the squabbles every year!
Invictus is a little more sophisticated from the glaring gold of 1 million, and is more of a woody scent with notes of grapefruit and patchouli. Ideal for men in their early 20's-30's in particular those are just starting to get into aftershave after leaving their Lynx phase behind them.
Hugo Boss Bottled
Don't think I'm meant to say this but I'm just gonna put it out there - I got really fed up of re-stocking this when I worked at House of Fraser Belfast.
It just sells with pretty much no effort. It's one of those that people buy year on year without even questioning changing up. The bottled is extremely popular and has notes of apple and citrus fruits with bass notes of sandalwood and cedarwood. You can't really argue with something which gives me backache year on year, can you?!
Versace Pour Homme
Now whilst I can't promise you any encounters with a blonde who must surely be freezing after leaving her dress at home for the office Christmas party, I can guarantee you a scent which is clean and manly and rather unexpected.
The Versace fragrances don't have the glitzy tv ads and they don't scream and shout with bright packaging, however they are really divine and yet so often overlooked. I was selling this last Christmas and we went from having too much stock to selling out very quickly, just for spraying it on a tester card alongside firm favourites and getting people to smell it.
Pour Homme was also very popular with our store manager who kept coming for a top up on his wrist everytime he did a loop of our section! I highly recommend if you want something a little less mainstream but equally gorgeous.
Tom Ford Black Orchid
How can any fragrance guide be complete without a bit of Tom Ford?! Black Orchid is generally considered a Unisex fragrance. It's quite strong, powerful and imposing which I guess is exactly what you'd want from paying for such a luxury item.
It's notes include Black Truffle, Black Orchid, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord and Patchouli. I once owned this myself and found it lasted very long on scarves which is one of my favourite ways to wear winter fragrances.