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Perfume seems to make a great gift. But what do people like about it? It has that brand feel of something of quality and (unless its Kouros and its the 80's) should last for a long time.  The bottles are works of art in themselves. The adverts for perfumes are seductive and mysterious. We are all jealous (if we admit it) of the fantastic looking people on the adverts and the lifestyles they have. Wouldn't it be great to splash on some smelly water and instantly have a perfect physique and hip and happening friends (assuming you don't already). Or maybe if you choose the right perfume or aftershave for your partner they will look like the people in the ads?

We know its not going to happen but we know we're not going to win the lottery but most of us do it.

The adverts, god the adverts! They are quite good at first but they become a little like a scratched record. They start in about September and build and build until Christmas. They are now well and truly part of the festive season like Del Boy or Christmas Corrie. What will be the best advert this year I wonder? Calvin Klein's are always pretty weird, good but weird. Have you noticed some of the models the various brands use? They're not your usual perfect looking people, rather different looking but still strangely attractive, that'll be the perfume.....

If you are choosing a gift of perfume this Christmas for someone special (they don't have to be that special these days because the price of this Brand identity has come down a lot over the last few years (the price point). Its still quite a lot of money, usually over £15 but this once exclusive market has completely opened up for everybody to enjoy, and rightly so! We all seem to want to smell of a brand as well as clothe ourselves with a brand.

Enough of this waffling and lets get down to basics. What do you buy? Well choice number one is: do you go for your friends favourite fragrance (assuming you know them well enough to have seen their dressing table or asked what they're wearing underneath their clothes!)? Or do you buy something different. The second choice (assuming you're being adventurous and looking for something different) is do you go for an established fragrance or try the latest one, just out! Every Christmas the \brand owners push the boat out. They launch a new fragrance, market it like crazy, sell it at a slight premium and keep their fingers crossed. After all, they have shareholders to please. There are some great new smells around this Christmas, Lacoste Inspiration For Women and Hugo Boss Selection For Men to name just two.

Size is important! 30ml is usually the smallest and the cheapest purchase. Its not the best value though, as you can buy up and get more ml for your money, usually a 50ml or 100ml and occassionally a 125ml or even 200ml. I've always tried to get the balance right and personally go for a 50ml. A 30ml, well if your friend likes it, won't last very long. 100ml just looks too much and they'll have it for 20 years if they don't use it regularly. A 50ml seems to be about right. Groovy Things sells all different sizes so don't let me put you off buying a 100ml if you want to!

Do you know what the difference is between a EDT (eau de toilette), aftershave and EDP (eau de parfum)? Well, without going into weights and measures, an EDP is the most concentrated and usually the most expensive. The theory being that you need to put less on to have the same effect as a EDT. An aftershave is the weakest, so men just 'splash it on all aver' (hey now thats catchy, we could use that in an advert, maybe use a footballer or boxer, anyway I digress).

If all this is too confusing you could always buy flowers?........

...................Kenzo Flowers?



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