Top Ten Shopping_Tips
- Try terms like coffret, EDP and tester in your search terms (see our glossary of perfume terms ).
- Decide what strength perfume you want. Eau de parfum (EDP) is the most popular perfume type.
- Know if you are bidding for 5 ml or 50ml. Buying larger sizes is generally a cheaper way of buying perfume per ml than smaller quantities.
- If buying US products, 1.7fl oz is equivalent to 50ml, 3.4fl oz is 100ml etc (isn't metric better!).
- If you are buying perfume as a gift, choose a fragrance your partner already wears or bid for something from the same perfume group. Women's fragrances divide into four groups: fresh fragrances that are zesty, oriental fragrances with warm and spicy tones; woody fragrances with earthy notes like cedar or sandalwood and floral fragrances, the largest group. Men's colognes are divided into fresh, aromatic and woody types. Sellers will tell you what type a fragrance is.
- Know how much you would pay if you bought a perfume in the shops.
- Know whether perfumes advertised as new really are up to the minute. Ralph Lauren's Pure Turquoise is so new you'll have to buy it from an international seller this side of Christmas. Britney Spears' latest perfume is Fantasy; Curious is last season's.
- Sprays are considered the best way to apply a perfume to the body, but they are not the most flexible dispenser. For example, if you want to add scent to the water in your steam iron, a splash bottle is better.
- Body lotions, washes and soaps have the lowest concentration of perfume essence.
- Perfume manufacturers send tester bottles and small samples in vials to retailers for you to try before you buy. These often come up for sale on ebay. Tester bottles may be marked Not for Resale or have different packaging so may not be best for a gift. Samples in vials are given away free in the shops.
- Aftershave - weaker scent than eau de cologne, a lightly scented lotion, gel or balm applied after shaving to soothe and smooth the skin
- Coffret - gift sets usually sold at Christmas time that generally offer better value for a set of items than buying them individually
- Cologne - the French name for the German city of Koln where the first modern perfume, called Eau de Cologne, was produced. The word is used today for men's fragrances
- Eau de Cologne (EDC) - also called cologne, a dilted fragrance with 3 - 5% perfume essence. Lasts for at least two hours
- Eau de Parfum (EDP) - lighter than perfume, EDP has 8 - 15% perfume essence and typically lasts for at least six hours
- Eau de Toilette (EDT) - delicate fragrance with 4 - 8% perfume essence. Lasts for at least three hours
- Fragrance - a perfume's scent
- Notes - the name given to scents present in a perfume. Most perfumes have three notes, a top, middle and bottom note that evaporate one by one
- Perfume (Parfum) - the strongest fragrance available with 15 - 30% perfume essence. Last at least eight hours
- Perfumed soaps, body lotions, body washes etc - products that contain the weakest concentration of perfume essence.
If you are unsure what to buy, here are some suggestions based on perfumes that scored the highest number of compliments in our tests and which also rated highly for packaging and lasting power. Figures in brackets are what you would typically pay in the shops for 50ml of EDP, unless stated otherwise.
- Fresh perfumes: Donna Karen Be Delicious (£35.00)
- Floral perfumes: Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely by Coty (£29.95), The Fragrance by Vera Wang (£33.58) and Christian Dior's Miss Dior Cherie (£38.95)
- Oriental perfumes: Britney Spears' Fantasy (£28.40), Thierry Mugler Angel (£45.15), Calvin Klein Euphoria (£37.50)and Pink Sugar by Aquolina (£28.22 100ml EDT)
- Woody perfumes: Prada by Prada (£33.80) and Ralph Lauren's Pure Turquoise (£31.00)
- Fresh colognes: Issey Miyake L'Eau Issey for men (£30.00 75ml EDT)
- Aromatic colognes: Paul Smith Extreme for men (£22.50 50ml EDT)
- Woody colognes: Ralph Lauren Polo Black (£34.00 75ml EDT) and Thierry Mugler Angel B for men (£27.65 50ml EDT)
Shopping -tips is an independent consumer reports group. Products mentioned in our reports may or may not be available on ebay. We hope our tips are useful. Thanks for reading. If you found this guide helpful please vote below: