Most consumers are at a loss when it comes to choosing fragrances. Typically, they are seduced by the evocative, romantic images of advertising campaigns, or they follow in the footsteps of a friend whose scent they enjoy. Then, they wonder why the fragrance doesn’t work for them.
Mark Knitowski, vice president of fragrance for Victoria’s Secret Beauty, will be at the Ala Moana store between 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to help consumers pick a fragrance that works for them.
Too often, in his store visits across the country, he hears people say, "My friend wears this fragrance. Why doesn’t it smell the same on me?"
When eyeing the myriad choices available on store shelves, Knitowski said: "First, spray it in the air just to see if it’s something you’d want to wear, then put it on your skin to see how it reacts to your body chemistry. Then ask yourself, ‘Where does this take me?’
"The right fragrance should be part of an emotional journey, reflecting how a woman feels about herself and how she wants to project herself to the world."
A scent should reflect a wearer’s personality and aims, whether selecting a light fragrance for day wear that might be floral, spicy or sporty to suit one’s temperament, to a romantic scent for a date.
At Victoria’s Secret he tries to bring the customer into the development of fragrances.
"We’re always searching, always asking her where does she want us to take her? We’re very consumer-centric and customers are very honest," Knitowski said. "They’ll tell us when things are not VS. They’ll tell us when something is too soft or feels cheap."
For the most part, the fragrances mirror the brand’s image of ultrafemininity and sexiness.
"Dream Angels Heavenly" is Victoria’s Secret’s best seller, with its Asian-exotic notes of quince, cardamom, mandarin orange, lotus, peony, freesia, iris, violet, orchid, vanilla and musk.
Although scents are sometimes discontinued due to a drop in popularity, consumers have requested the company bring back retired scents once a year to allow them to stock up on "their" fragrance. And the company has been happy to oblige.