Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Fragrance Connoisseur

August 30, 2009 2 comments

Givenchy Blue LabelOver the course of the past few weeks and especially the past few days, I have become somewhat of a cologne collector and thus a self proclaimed fragrance connoisseur.  In total, I have purchased a total of seven different fragrances in the course of 15 days or so.  Most of them are the full sized bottles, the 100mL +.  There is a small story behind this that I am all too willing to share.  Given that I am a student and money is always low, I consider this to be one of the greatest triumphs in my shopping career.

About two weeks ago or so, a friend and I were taking a late night drive.  He had wanted to go to a Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up some milk for his mom.  So we went to one near his house, which was open til 12am.  While he went to go grab his milk, I had noticed the cosmetics section of the store was still open and began to browse around the fragrance section.

Only a few seconds after browsing, this very nice woman working at the cosmetics counter asked me if I needed some help.  I asked her if she had any cologne that was priced for under $30 dollars.  She nodded her head and mentioned that she has a whole range of fragrances that are on for 50% off.  She handed me a page with two columns of perfumes and colognes that were on sale.  I asked her why they the prices were cut in half.  She said that her manager had ordered a whole bunch of stuff that he/she shouldn’t have by accident and they simply didn’t have the room to store it.  So they needed to get rid of their excess stock as quickly as they could.

That night, I ended up buying a 125mL bottle of Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Pour Homme cologne, retailing for just under $90, for $44 dollars and some change.  I was ecstatic that night.  D&G colognes never go on sale.  And to find a mark down of 50% on something as high end as D&G, I tell you, I was the proudest shopper in the entire global market that night.  And it was at that night that my cologne connoisseuring began.

After that day, I went back periodically and bought six more bottles for a total of seven altogether:

D&G Light BlueDolce & Gabbana Light Blue 125mL ($44)

Dolce and Gabbana Pour HommeDolce and Gabanna Pour Homme Classic 125mL ($44)

Givenchy Blue Label Givenchy Blue Label 100 mL ($31)

hugoHugo Boss Hugo 100mL ($28)

polo_explorerRalph Lauren Polo Explorer 40 mL ($19)

fcuk connectFrench Connection UK Connect 100 mL ($19)

Nina Ricci NinaNina Ricci Nina 50mL ($39…for my aunt).

Not bad huh?  My favourite fragrance by far is Givenchy’s Blue Label.  It has this amazing, fresh scent to it. It smells like you just got out of the shower.  I absolutely love it.

I had to buy a going away gift for my aunt and I thought perfume was a nice gift to buy and so I bought her Nina by Nina Ricci.  This is also another scent that is amazing.  Ladies, I highly suggest you buy this fragrance.  It has this sweet fruity scent to it that makes it stand out among the others.  And it’s not one of those corny smells, it’s actually quite an elegant and luxurious fragrance.  The bottle is very unique as well, shaped like an apple.

Nina by Nina RicciI looked up all of these fragrances online, just to get a glimpse of how these scents were advertised and I must say Nina by Nina Ricci by far has the most amazing and creative marketing campaign for its perfume.

If you go to the website, you will discover a fairytale surrounding the perfume.  The Tale of Nina is a short narration about a fairy, Nina, who is on a quest to search for femininity in the form of a perfume.  She finds it in the form of a bottle shaped like an apple hanging off a silver tree in a castle chamber.

They have a whole movie that you can follow along with the story (it takes 30 seconds to get through).  The amount of work that they have put into shaping the whole image and feel of the perfume simply rocks my world.  They have actually created this fantasy world around their fragrance and it actually makes you want to buy it and be part of this fairytale world.  If I were a girl, I would definitely be buying Nina on a regular basis.   This is how marketing is supposed to be.

Go to the site, watch the movie, download the ringtone (which also serves as the soundtrack to the fragrance) and become part of the Nina world.

All in all, I think I scored some pretty good deals with these colognes.  I probably won’t have to buy another bottle of cologne for some time now, which is good.  In the long run, I have saved a lot of money which is never a bad thing.  Hopefully, this will be my last episode of splurge shopping.

P.S Here is the English version of the Nina commercial.  The longer, french version can be found here.  You may recognise the model in this campaign as Ruslana Korshunova, the Kazakhstani model who died at the age of 20 after allegedly comitting suicide by jumping off her ninth-floor appartment building in the financial district of Manhattan.


Boxing Day/Week a Student’s Dream

January 15, 2009 2 comments

Boxing DayEveryone knows how low on cash students are.  Most students rely on student loans and/or a part time job to help them get through their university careers.  The way the economy is going right now, students are ever more in need to stretch their dollars as far as they will possibly good.

Lo, Boxing Day.

Boxing Day in Canada is marked on December 26, the day after Christmas.  The equivalent of Black Friday in the United States, Boxing Day is most probably one of, if not the best time of the year to shop.  Especially if one wants to buy large electronics such as televisions, computers, notebooks, etc.  It is the day where stores drastically mark down their prices from what they were a few days prior.  It is main tool stores use to get rid of their old inventory to make room for new things.  People literally start lining up at stores at 12am and stand there until the stores open early in the mornings.

I recall once about 5 or so years ago.  I desperately needed a notebook for school.  I happened to pick up a Future Shop flyer that was sitting on the table on late Christmas Evening.  They had a laptop on sale for $999.  I literally made my decision to buy the laptop right there and then.  An hour or two later, I got myself dressed (wearing layers) and went to the Future Shop Across town and stood in line in -25C weather for 8 hours.  And yes, I did get the Laptop.  It lasted me 4 years before I finally had to purchase a new one.

Boxing Day is the perfect opportunity for a student to capitalise on savings and stock up on such things as a new laptop, ipods/mp3 players, backpacks, clothes and more.  Whereas before Boxing Day would last only one day of the year, Boxing Week is the new trend where the savings are extended over into the new year.  In fact, there are still boxing week blowouts in the malls I have recently visited.  This is prime time for students to venture out and grab what they need at a decent price.

salesMy Boxing Day/Week experience has been positive for the most part.  Just as an example, on the very last day of exams the strap on my school bag snapped (in front of everyone in the Student Centre) and because they don’t sell individual bag straps, my school bag was rendered useless.  So I went to Bentley’s and picked up a messenger/laptop bag at an amazing price.  The original price of the bag was $100 dollars.  When I brought it to the til, I ended up paying $44 dollars including tax.

Old Navy is another place where I scored big.  I picked up this zip up sweater that could have easily been in the $60-70 dollar range.  I payed $11.99 for it.  I also bought a few pairs of jeans from there for $30 dollars each as well as a pull over fleece top for a whopping $9.99!  I didn’t want to blow too much money at Old Navy but they had some amazing deals there.  They were selling t-shirts for $10 dollars, heavy wool winter overcoats for $60 dollars, sweaters for anywhere between $12-20 dollars, hoodies for $15 dollars…etc.  Some prices were marked down to 70% off.

The Bay is another place I scored some wicked deals at.  I bought two spring jackets, one of which was a Tommy Hilfiger Jacket for half price, paying only $70 dollars for both.  I got Tommy dress shirt for $30 dollars, and two Mantles dress shirts for $10 dollars each.

I happened to drop by the Sears Outlet store where I got 40% off sweaters.  The Tip Top Outlet store provided me with a dress scarf for 40% off as well.

Perhaps the best deal however, was the one I scored at H&M.  I got an H&M wool dress overcoat that was originally $150 dollars and payed a mere $70 dollars for it.  The most amazing thing was that when I went to go pay for the other things I had bought, the lady in front of me had already picked up the coat.  But when she went to go pay for it, she (for some weird reason) didn’t want it.  So I went up the cashier and asked what size it was.  Lo and behold it was my size.  I bought it right there on the spot.  My friends have similar jackets that they bought and they’ve paid no less than $175.

If you are a student with not a lot of money, Boxing Day/Week is the best time of year to do your shopping.  You are going to get quality stuff for great deals.  You may spend a bit more in the short term but the things you buy will pay themselves off later on not only with the savings but with the quality of the stuff you buy.