Are there regional preferences in perfume in the US? The thought occurred to me just the other day because a fellow blogger, Olenska at Parfumieren, has started a blog about perfume and all things fragrant in New Jersey.
It got me thinking – do we have different fragrance sale patterns in different States?
There certainly are differences in what is considered fashionable clothing. My observations here (by the way) come courtesy my memory of my sister-in-law’s time at Saks, where management stressed the point that Saks buyers stock very diversely depending on which city a Saks branch is in. They recognize that what is fashion in Florida is puzzling to shoppers in Seattle.
The break down roughly (we’re talking maybe ten years ago) was New England: no fashions, just sweaters, jeans and classics. The South liked green and pink, Lily Pulitzer, cotton, headbands and lady-like dresses. The Chicago store stocked few hats. California liked the haute hippie look and the Northwest liked sports clothes (literally) and did not care about fashion per se. (That being the land of Venture Capitalists, start ups, and Bill Gates, they don’t sweat the small stuff).
As for Jersey, it likes what California likes, only with grommets and preferably in leopard. We like our leopard. Even my daughter wears it. (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a line-up of chubby little girls in leopard print dresses singing “Getting to Know You” to an audience of entranced Jersey parents at a school concert.)
I’ve smelled some regional variations myself. There do seem to be LA perfumes and they appear to be distinct from the ones worn in the rest of the country. Child perfume, for instance. That appears to be a cult LA thing. Child is a white floral, heavy on the jasmine, actually, I’d say heavy on the jasmone, and the likely inspiration for Jennifer Aniston’s scent. LA is also the land of Gendarme and of Carriere, neither one of them much mentioned in perfume blogs. Perfumistas, it would appear, simply don’t wear Child or Carriere, for that matter.
Similarly, I never go south of the Mason Dixon line without smelling Fracas somewhere. I can more or less count on smelling gardenia scents (as opposed to the real thing, which I always seem to miss) somewhere on the air around me at restaurants, or museums, or cocktail bars. I’m guessing that private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is popular there too. Chicago, where I visited last summer, seemed to be full of vanilla scents, Prada Candy had just come out and was being worn- a lot. I suppose that figures too, it gets cold in Chicago.
And here, well, Jersey spritzes the expected amount of Coco Mademoiselle but still goes big time for big fragrances. Alien frequently surrounds you at the Mall, and also Badgely Mischka’s perfume, smelling like someone detonated a huge fruit cocktail somewhere in the vicinity. I always expect it to start raining maraschino cherries when I smell it.
New Yorkers are sophisticated and I’ve smelled some expensive stuff on the air in the city and on trains. I once sat behind a very chic young lady who was wafting Peche Cardinal, quite unmistakably, at the hefty price of $US 250.00 for 60 mls. and there was another wearing Spiritueuse Double Vanille for the same price and I think only 50 mls. I hope they were just samples, otherwise who could hope to pay off her college loans?
How about other parts of the US? Does everyone wear Coco Mademoiselle or are there differences? I’d love to know.