“Christmas Gift Guide 2013” + Mystery Samples Giveaway

NOTE: This is not a dig at my fellow bloggers, who have painstakingly compiled various Christmas Gift Guides.

The time of the year has come when the tills in the perfume department ring incessantly. Don’t know what to get someone for Christmas? Perfume has always been a risky bet since there’s always the chance that the recipient doesn’t like the gift. On the other hand, perfume does have great resale value on places like eBay or on various fragrance forums. Excessive commercialisation of Christmas aside, I do think giving gifts can be a meaningful way of demonstrating love for someone else, although I posit that it’s far better to treat your loved ones well all through the year rather than only on festive occasions.

I’ve compiled a list of Gift Guides that they have come up with here, if you wish to read them. I’ll also update this list as and when other bloggers post their Christmas Gift Guides. Some of them are fun ideas and suggestions and are delightful to read. That said, some do come across as simply PR for various perfume brands, but I’ll leave that up to your discerning judgment. Do drop me a comment or email if I’ve missed out on any so that I can include them here, thanks!

WARNING: This may cause you to obsessively click on online perfume sites and drool over pretty perfume bottles.

Persolaise: Christmas 2013 Perfume Gift Recommendations
Perfume Posse: Independent Christmas Gift?
The Fragrant Man: Christmas Gift Idea 1, Christmas Gift Idea 2, Christmas Gift Idea 3, Christmas Gift Idea 4
Undina: Entertaining Statistics (on giving perfumes as gifts)
Bois de Jasmin: Holiday Gift Ideas from French Magazines
Odiferess: The Lure of the Christmas Perfume Set (good, sound, practical advice)
Perfume Shrine: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Now Smell This: Holiday Fragrance Gifts Part 1
The Scented Hound: The 2013 Scented Hound Christmas Gift Guide
Chemist in the Bottle: Scented Candles, Travel Size Scents

Anyway, here’s my “Christmas Gift Guide” for 2013, which I hope is good, sensible shopping advice:

  1. STOP. Why don’t you wait till Boxing Day before grabbing that beautifully packaged gift set? If you think it’s cheap now, it’s only going to be cheaper later. It’s going to retail for 50% – 70% off the price you would pay for buying it in this period. Keep that gift set untouched, then give it away next Christmas, or during your loved one’s birthday. Ask yourself if the fragrance is likely to end up in the bargain bin in a few years’ time. If it will, and you can wait, why not wait till it’s available at discounters to purchase it? In fact, if you were planning on buying your loved ones perfume as a present, you should have sneakily tried to find out what they liked by either loading them with samples beforehand or taking them out on a sniffing trip earlier, so that your gift doesn’t end up on eBay. Either way, money saved.
  2. Buy perfumes from brands that otherwise never go on sale. These brands are usually indie brands who lovingly decide to spread some festive cheer by offering discounts on their perfumes. Introduce your loved one to niche perfumes and watch them disappear down the rabbit hole of no escape (at least they’ll stop nagging you about your perfume obsession!)
  3. Don’t know what your loved one likes? Why not make decants of what you think they’ll like? That way, they get a wide variety of perfumes to choose from, and the likelihood of them liking something increases. Oh, and decanting requires time and effort, and qualifies as ‘handmade’, I suppose, so you’ve demonstrated your thoughtfulness 🙂
  4. Scent your loved one’s favourite film and watch it with your loved one. Smell will add another dimension to the film and will be something novel.

Most importantly, be sure to spend quality time with your loved ones during this festive season. Gifts are lovely, but you can never buy true love/friendship.

Giveaway

In the spirit of giving, I’ll be giving away a handful of mystery samples from my own sample stash. To be entered in the draw, all you have to do is leave a comment on either of the following questions: Do you give perfumes as gifts? What are your thoughts on Christmas Gift Guides?

Draw closes 16 December 2013 (you’ve got 2 weeks!) at 12pm GMT and is open to everyone around the world. The winner will be drawn using Random.org and the results will be posted on this blog.

Have a lovely winter!

~ The Smelly Vagabond

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42 thoughts on ““Christmas Gift Guide 2013” + Mystery Samples Giveaway

  1. Hello mister Vagabond 🙂
    Yes, some of us recently done Christmas Gift Guides. I did one myself too. There will be a few parts. Today I talk about candles 😉
    I like your attitude. It will definitely allow someone to save some money, time and trouble finding a right thing.
    Yes, sometimes I give perfumes as gifts, usually an aftershave perfume splash for my dad.

  2. Sometimes I give perfumes as gifts, but only to my close family, because I know their taste quite well. Giving perfumes to someone you barely know isn’t great idea.
    Thank you for this draw 🙂

  3. I never gift perfume, but many times I tried to explain my passion using small decants of scents from my collection, I thought will ” catch” my friends
    nice advices in this post, thank you
    happy hollidays to all

  4. I do gift perfume but only as part of an experience. I take someone to a shop, introduce them to a SA and tell them both that nothing will be purchased on this trip. Then I leave them to explore and then send them back for a second visit. On the 3rd visit I gift a voucher to the person and they choose their perfume having gone through the process of exploration.
    With Christmas Gift Guides I have found that my readers have found gifts to buy for themselves rather than for other people.
    Great idea to have the Christmas Shopping index hosted here as I had yet caught up with the other Guides. Thank you for the link love.

    • Hi Jordan,

      What you’re doing is great, because it teaches the other person the value of not blind-buying! I’m just curious which SAs are patient enough to wait three visits before finally sealing the deal… hopefully your friends end up falling in love with fragrance themselves!

      And yes, haha, I think I’ve accidentally stolen your job as the archiver of all things fragrant!

      Hope you have a fragrant holiday! 🙂

  5. Hi J! (I’m not sure if you’re using your name on the blog, so I’ll use just a letter)

    Please do not enter me into the draw: at this point I just can’t handle any mystery samples, I have too many untested perfumes as is. But I want to participate in commenting.

    I do give perfumes as gifts. Just a couple of days ago I gave Diptyque’s Eau Duelle to a friend for her birthday. But with the bottle I provided her with a sample of the same perfume (and a couple more from the same brand) and told her that she should treat that gift as a fancy form of a gift card (return it and get anything else, the store has a very generous return policy).

    I enjoy reading those Gift Ideas posts. Not as much to get an idea for what to give to others but to see what to buy for myself 🙂

    • Aha you’ve nearly uncovered my secret identity (it’s not that secret, but I don’t use it on the blog, because I’m really a secret spy working for a secret organisation seeking to uncover perfume secrets!).

      It sounds like a lovely company; most don’t accept returns on perfumes. But I think it’s a fab idea to provide samples of the same perfume along with the full bottle! I second your sentiment that I read the Gift Ideas posts for myself, too!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  6. thank you very much for the giveaway!

    re perfume gift-giving – never, ever, ever. lol. i just wouldn’t want to run the risk of getting someone a scent they despise, especially since i live in a place with no return policy. i do buy fragranced items like soaps and bath items as gifts though, since those are at least practical enough. and i do like gift guides, simply because it lets me know what to keep an eye out for during boxing day sales 😉

  7. Ah Joshua.. my credit card and computer should never join forces, I’ve joined in several ‘cyber mondays’ and ‘black fridays’ this year. No doubt I’ll be trawling the sales too.
    Thanks for the mention of my article and I’ll have a click through everyone else’s guides. It really is a tempting time of year.. What will you be buying?

  8. This year I will be giving small decants to friends of mine who aren’t really into fragrances, though I am slowly getting them there. I say small decants, because unless I know for a fact someone really likes a particular scent, I wouldn’t buy a fragrance as a gift. It is too personal to just buy someone something without them experiencing it first

  9. I did give perfume as a gift a few years ago, the CKin2u to my sister because I knew how obsessed she was with the scent. So I bought her the 150ml bottle and she still has some left till this very day 🙂 It’s her signature scent.

  10. Pingback: Christmas Gift Idea 4 – Tom Ford Mini-Flacons | The Fragrant Man

  11. Yes, i gave my mom perfume as a gift. She’s obssessed with perfumes & she feels rewarded after buying it. Thanks for your Christmas Gift Guide.

  12. I love to give fragrances as gifts. Family members always receive them for Christmas and birthdays, but I am careful to find out what they are wanting in advance, sometimes providing samples to give them ideas. No guessing! I usually review a few holiday gift guides each year just for ideas. Thanks for the draw!

  13. This year is the first time I give perfume as a gift, to both my parents. Normally I wouldn’t give perfume but as I learn more and more about different fragrances, I feel I have to share some of the beauty that is out there! I do like the idea of giving decants or samples based on a certain concept – it makes it all the more personal. I may do that next year after my scent repertoire has expanded.
    And yes, I love gift guides! Even if I don’t end up buying anything from these lists, they can often spur other gift ideas.

  14. Since I usually buy holiday fragrances for myself, I like your idea of waiting for the post Christmas discounts. I do like the fragrance sets that come out at this time of the year for the fragrance lovers on my list who usually let me decide what they will like! They have fallen for the theory that I must know what I am doing since I have so many perfumes 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. Perfumes is one of the best X’mas present – either to receive it or to give as a gift. ESPECIALLY for the young people. 🙂

      • For personal opinion and being observance to my surrounding(friends/colleagues/acquaintance&so on), perfume is one of the particular “thingy” that play part in build self confident to individual to look and smell good .. 🙂 young people like myself love to stay positive n smell good at all time! Cheers!

  16. Perfume as a Christmas gift is reserved for my wife because I know that I will not go wrong. I love Christmas gift guides on blogs beacuse they help me to find something for myself.

  17. I’d be very wary of giving perfumes as a gift unless the recipient has clearly stated they want a particular scent! Perfume is so personal, you know. However, Christmas or otherwise, I do agree with you that decants make for wonderful gifts! At least they won’t be stuck with 100ml of something they don’t fancy! Thanks Joshua!

  18. Such a wonderful idea of making decants for someone so they can have a smorgasbord of scents as opposed to a single bottle of perfume, such a personal touch. I also like Undina’s idea of giving a sample along with the bottle to test it out prior to opening the full bottle that they may not enjoy. They can then return the bottle and get what they really want from the store!

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