Graduation goodies: To gift perfume or not

graduationNow that we are deep into graduation season, I’ve been thinking about good gifts for those who are donning caps and gowns this spring. I only have one graduate to think about this year, the son of a dear friend of mine. He’s not into scent at all, so methinks a check will be headed his way.

Of course, in these days of folks being scent-averse, it’s a good idea to do your homework to see if the graduate has issues in that area.

But what about those girls (and guys) who might be amenable to a scented gift? It’s fairly easy if you know what they like; just get them more of same, or perhaps some body products in the line.

If they don’t, what might be a good starting point for graduation? I know Sephora used to have that sampler thing that you can buy and then it gives you a discount if you buy a full-size fragrance. (Not exactly sure how it works, so if I’m mistaken, someone please correct me.)

If the graduate is a scent novice, you’d hope that your gift might help steer them down a higher fragrance path, so what easy-to-wear classics might you suggest?

At the lower price point, Prescriptives’ Calyx (Clinique now, of course) comes to mind, and at the higher end, several of the Hermessences. Those get extra credit because none of them is overpowering and you can get those cute smaller sprays, but they still come boxed in the impressive Hermes packaging. Of course, there are lots of great fragrances in between that would work.

Do you ever give scent for a graduation present? And if so, please share. Or what do you think would make a perfect scented gift? Or tell me if I am completely off-base here, and most graduates would really just prefer cash/checks/gift cards?

  • jen says:

    I got my first perfume as a graduation gift: Chantilly. Loved it and the giver, a sweet old lady who was also the tennis champion of Arizona, N. Mexico and the Mexican state of Sonora in her youth before statehood. I still love Chantilly.

    • Ann says:

      Wow, how cool is that, Jen?! Love it, and love that you still adore Chantilly. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I only WISH I had received fragrance as a graduation gift ! Noooo. I got some cheeaapy-Cheap stupid floral placemats ( very OBVIOUSLY from Walmart or Kmart ) I don’t remember if I donated, trashed or passed them on to my grandma much more her style ) . I also got a copy of Dr Seuss’s ” Oh The Places You’ll Go ” from my Mom who thought it cute and sentimental ( and put a message on the front inside cover ( non returnable) I keep the book for the message only- if it were not for that it would be gone . I’m not a big Seuss fan girl . My big grad gift was a cedar chest – which I like and is handy for woolen storage but was unfortunately ” country style stencil factory painted”. It would’ve been nicer plain, and maybe in darker wood .
    Sephora samplers are nice . I bought one with a gift card and if the one you want is out of stock or discontinued ( happened with DKNY Pure Verbena ) they let me choose a comparable price instore fragrance. I got Dior Addict .

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Jennifer! Sorry about the gift fails — fragrance really would have been so much nicer for you. Thanks for letting us know about the Sephora thing. At least you can get something you like that way.

  • hajusuuri says:

    I’ve never given perfume as a graduation present but have given cash / gift cards for them to pick their own. As for the Sephora sampler sets, you turn in the certificate for a full size of one of the featured perfumes. IMHO, it’s a good deal; if there is a set that has a perfume I want to buy, I will buy the sampler since I can give away the entire set and keep the FB.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks so much, dear, for the info on the Sephora deal. That’s a good way to do it; then the sample set becomes a gift itself, so double the pleasure.

  • Portia says:

    hey there Anne,
    I didn’t even know you were supposed to give Graduation gifts. I feel like a bit of a buffoon.
    I would probably give them a Gift Card now that you mention it. Then they could enjoy the fun of looking for their gift.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Portia! Not to worry; maybe it’s more of a U.S. thing and not so much elsewhere? Plus, it’s mainly family and people that you know pretty well, and also more high school than college around here. I agree that a gift card is a good choice, that way you’d be sure they liked what they got.

  • Nemo says:

    This is sort of general to gifting perfumes and not so much for graduation. In my limited experience, there are many Hermes perfumes that would work well for younger people (and appeal to a broad audience in general). I bought the set of four minatures including Voyage d’Hermes, Eau de Merveilles, Jardin sur le Nil and Jour d’Hermes Absolu for a christmas gift to my precocious younger teenager sibling this year. I think she liked it a lot! The packaging is absolutely lovely, and it was nice to give her multiple choices of a reasonable size. It also helped that she asked for perfume for Christmas, though she wasn’t exactly sure what kind she wanted (she actually was leaning toward Coco Mademoiselle, but it didn’t seem worth the price in my rather snobbish and judgmental opinion).

    I imagine it would be tricker for a young male giftee, however. I have no idea what kinds of scents are popular with younger men these days!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Nemo! That’s so cool that you got her the minis — what a great way to try some lovely scents, and of course, the packaging is always so nice. Maybe you’ve influenced her fragrance taste for the better; now the next time she wants to explore, maybe she’ll look to Hermes.