Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas '09 Gift Ideas: Sample your Way into Oblivion!

In the pursuit of finding the perfect gift Sephora had the perfect idea: Why not cater your loved ones to the Deluxe Fragrance Sampler? It 12 fragrance samples (one masculine and one feminine set each), an atomizer, a fragrance guide, and a gift certificate. The recipient can redeem the certificate for a full bottle of whichever fragrance caught her or his fancy. talk about solving the dilemma of finding what one would like! (Full responsibility is on their shoulders!). Successfully introduced last year, this year's Sephora Deluxe Fragrance Sampler is available for 50$ (free shipping for the following fragrances:

The women's set includes:

- Aquolina Pink Sugar
- Donna Karan Cashmere Mist
- Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy
- Prada Infusion D'Iris
- Dior Addict 2
- Emilio Pucci Vivara Variazioni Acqua 330
- Kenzo Flower byKenzo
- Stella McCartney Stella Nude
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
- Harajuku Lovers G
- Michael Kors Very Hollywood
- Versace Bright Crystal

The men's set includes:

- 1.0 oz Anthony Logistics For Men Shave Cream
- Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme
- Diesel Fuel For Life Men
- Juicy Couture Dirty English
- Ralph Lauren Polo Blue
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme
- Givenchy Play
- Lacoste Challenge
- Versace Man Eau Fraiche
- Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
- Giorgio Armani Code Men
- Prada Amber Pour Homme
- L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent

Available at Sephora stores and online at


  1. But for Le Male, I wouldn't want any for free. Harajuku Lovers G is the ghastliest coconut brew that saw the light and as such, it's a must for every aspiring perfumista (in the sense of Don't go this way, pretty please) and well, most are plain boring.

  2. I think this is a very nice idea for folks like me who get overwhelmed in a hot minute at the perfume counter. I noticed Sephora also has the Best Sellers For Her set ($50) done the same way with the coupon, as well as the his/hers Collection's Editions, which have the samples in sweet little mini bottles.

    I agree with Liisa that most of these titles aren't my style (they're, for lack of a better term, young,) but thoughtful giftys for the under-25 set.

  3. L,

    LOL!!! I haven't smelled any of the Harajukus I'm afraid (nor am I inclined to): they're completely antithetical to everything I stand for, for better or for worse. ;-)
    But I trust your judgement.
    I think these sets are made to include best-sellers and new releases, so a priori rather boring... Still a good idea for a gift for someone who isn't really into fragrance (yet) but would like to sample all the same.

  4. R,

    I think it's a splendid concept, only I would prefer it if the samples would be possibly chosen by the buyer through the whole catalogue of Sephora: that way, they might be an excellent means of sampling at leisure and coming up with a winning purchase. Now why didn't anyone come up with [that suggestion! {chanting] *do it, do it, do it*[/end of chanthing]

    The info on the minis is also very welcome, thank you!!

  5. Usually it's the manufacturers that are paying for the card, packaging, printing, etc.

    I could be wrong, but my guess is that Sephora put this out to bid and these were the suppliers that responded. It's a win-win thing for both sides, as it exposes new scents (mostly mainstream, but that's Sephora's business now, apparently) and also drives traffic into the store or catalog.

  6. Olfacta, you may be quite right. However... the Aquolina fragrances were around 15 euros apiece in a department store I used to frequent. Some $23-24. If the others are in similar price range as such, then I'd call it helluva expensive sampler.

  7. Elena-- YESSSSSS! Your idea-- Now!!!! Then we can skip the Gwen Stefani's and the flankers and get straight to the good stuff.

  8. P,

    you could be very right, you know. It would be interesting to see whether they are from a couple of distributors only or not.
    Or else they just bunch up what sells most (I have seen those placats No.1 bestseller, No.2 bestseller...etc on their shelves which personally I find so offputing regarding said fragrances, but anyway).

    Do many people prefer to buy off the catalogue? (I have absolutely no idea myself)

  9. L,

    I think the Aquolinas were cheaper in Italy than everywhere else. (typical "no one's a prophet in their homeland" mentality I guess besides the practical reasons).
    The price doesn't seem far-fetched because it is implied you will refund it through a whole bottle. IF you find something to consider for a full bottle of course...

  10. R,

    glad it found admirers. Now if only the good people at Sephora headquarters could listen to our discussion on the blog!

  11. My brother got one of these sets for me last year. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like anything in it, but actually, I discovered a new love for Bulgari Omnia Crystalline. Which, if I ran out of, I would buy again immediately.

    I think they're a great idea ... I'd love to see a similar sort of offering from LuckyScent or any of the other stores which carry niche lines.

  12. LOVE this idea but already have bottles of or have sampled many of those in the women's set. Wonder if Sephora will start allowing people to pick and choose their samples? That would be a winner with me for sure!


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