Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Making Sense of Scents: Fragrance tips for savvy shoppers

The fall-winter season is upon us. The chill in the air signifies that it is time for a change in wardrobe choices. We put away our lightweight linen trousers, tank tops and flip-flops and opt for chunkier sweaters, skinny jeans and boots.

Of course, no outfit is truly complete without its main companion — a great scent.

According to the maven of all things fashionable, Coco Chanel, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”

Though this is not a foregone conclusion, why take the chance?

Visiting a department store’s fragrance counter can be as daunting as climbing Kilimanjaro.
We are faced with images of designer-clad sex-symbols who want us to believe that all need to be like Charlize Theron in a Dior J’Adore ad is a spritz of scented magic. Forget the personal trainer, dieting and team of stylists and makeup artists that help bring this image to fruition.

When Helaine Gottschalk went shopping for a fragrance other than her beloved Eternity by Calvin Klein, she did so by teaming with fragrance experts Amanda Dabney, Lynda Sims and Manisha Argawal at Belk in Cordova Mall.

Gottschalk is a savvy shopper and had an idea of what she was looking for — a fragrance that allowed her to transition from her everyday routine to special events without much fanfare.

“I really don’t give any consideration to time of day, occasion, etc. Probably because I don’t like the heavy, overpowering ‘night time’ fragrances. My choices are lighter ‘go everywhere’ scents,’’ said Gottschalk, a Long Term Care Insurance Specialist.

She also knew that she wanted something that was either, floral, green or “spicy.”


The Sense of Olfactory (smell) is a very powerful one because it can transport one back to a certain time and place and create nostalgia, evoke a specific feeling or conjure a memory.

For Gottschalk, this is especially true.

“I know that I lean toward the floral, green, warm spicy scents because my mother wore that combination,” she says. This combination reminds her of the Shocking, by Schiaparelli, a fragrance her mother favored.

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