Daily Life


Smells like teen spirit

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Has your taste in perfume changed over the years? Fragrance sales have been pretty ordinary in Australia in the first half of the year but the mass market fragrances - those sweet fruity ones with a celebrity attached - have continued to do well. It's young women who are buying these, who love the light fruity notes, but will they still be drawn to them in a decade's time?

Like their wearers, these fragrances are not sophisticated, nor are they complicated. In fact they are scented with the same formulae used in shampoos and deodorant body sprays, according to perfume evaluator Erica Moore of Michael Edwards Fragrances of the World. ''They're immensely popular and very successful,'' she says. ''They're affordable. They've brought fine fragrance to a market that is not sophisticated.'' Moore says young women find their fragrance style by experimenting with these types of perfumes.

But they also want a bargain. ''Parallel market'' fragrances are flourishing, according to beauty market analyst Jo-Anne Mason. ''It's dumped stock and coming in really cheap,'' she says. ''It's a grey market. It is legal. They're buying it out of Dubai. It could have been sitting there in a hot, unairconditioned warehouse for a year. (Cosumers) don't know; they don't think about it - they just look at the price.'' These fragrances are usually found online.

So fruity sweet - tick; cheap - tick; named for a young female celebrity - bonus. Is it a young girl thing? How many women over 35 or even 25 have these criteria? Maybe this the sort of fragrance you've liked at some point - have you moved on? How have your tastes changed or developed? What are you wearing now? Or maybe you are one of the chic and lucky few who find their signature fragrance early on and never waver.