Seeing as how popular my previous Zara Perfume posts were (Cashmere Rose is almost always listed in the Top 10 Posts in the side-bar), I picked up a total of x19 Zara Fragrances for around KD 120 to review (but also because I’m kinda’ obsessed with fragrances now and also because I was hoping to find some “hidden gems”). For starters, just like their clothing, Zara regularly comes out with a lot of excellent duplicates or “dupes” of best-selling high-end and designer perfumes.
That said, keep in mind, as with most cheap-y fragrances with a high alcohol content, these do not last as long. As such, most of them were pretty inexpensive (the lowest ranging from KD 4/900 and the highest ranging to KD 10/900)! I’d also like to point out that although certain fragrances might still have the same name, Zara tends to reformulate them (completely switching up the scent) and change the packaging, from year to year. Lastly, these are just my “first impressions” and my opinion is subject to change (so please don’t be offended if you happen to love a certain scent and I don’t).
Others can blame drugs or alcohol… In my case, I’m naturally high (on life) and clinically drunk (lack of sleep) so I can only blame myself for this mistake lol
I’d purchased MAC “Velvet Teddy” ShadeScent Eau de Parfum earlier (haulage here) and was constantly being complimented by everyone (guys, girls, randos) whenever I wore it! Other people’s opinions aside, I had fallen in love with the scent… hard! Since I couldn’t find it locally (even if it’s still in production abroad, they randomly just stop bringing stuff over), I had to start rationing what little I had left.
As luck would have it, I spotted it on Nordstrom so I figured I could keep repurchasing it in twos; one for myself (assuming I was going to run out of it pretty regularly) and one to gift to whomever had asked for it at the time (younger brother, favorite cousin, bestie, etc…). It’s touted as a dupe for Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, but I love it because it’s different than anything I’ve ever owned up to this point. It just smells so good!
Nordstrom happened to have this promo where if you spent XYZ amount, you got a Skincare Sample Pack (some of them were one-time-use samples while others were deluxe samples), in addition to their usual Sample Pack (x5 pre-selected one-time-use samples, free with every order). Plus, if you spent XYZ amount on MAC stuff, you got a one-time use MAC Mascara (sample) and a MAC Lipstick (full size)!
More often than not, the Velvet Teddy Fragrance was usually out of stock, but once I noticed it was back in stock, even though I was on my way out (week-end), I hurriedly placed the order for what I thought was x2 Velvet Teddy Fragrances and moved a couple of random items from my wishlist (x2 Elizabeth and James Nirvana Dry Shampoo and a Voluspa Candle) to qualify for all the promos and such (I figured since I was going to be paying for shipping anyway, might as well pick up a handful of other stuff to make it worthwhile)… little did I know that they would ship the items separately lol
I was really happy with my previous haulage from Nordstrom (here) so when I noticed that they were having another really cool promo, I decided to place another order. Plus, it was mah birthday (not that I needed an excuse to shop, since we’ve already established that I’m clearly a shopaholic). Basically, the promo was if you spent $135 (around KD 40) on Fragrances (including Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Perfumes and even Scented Candles), you qualified for the Gift With Purchase, which happened to be a pack of Fragrance Samples (haulage here)! As you can see, the items arrived individually wrapped in packing paper, in a rather large (practically empty) cardboard box also stuffed with packing paper. It’s not pretty, but hey, it works (everything arrived safely and undamaged)!
– Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Gift Set ($155 Value) retails for $103 (KD 33/700)
-Trish McEvoy No. 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Refillable Pen Spray (.2 oz./6mL) (Limited Edition) retails for $32 (KD 10/500)
– beautyblender Sweet Surprise Set (Limited Edition) ($28 Value) retails for $20 (KD 6/500)
– Fragrance Samples Pack (gift with purchase) (haulage here)
–Samples Pack (free with every order)
Nordstrom was having yet another promo and just like it says on the sticker, with every $135 Fragrance Purchase (which converts to around KD 40) you qualified for the pack of fragrance samples (as shown)! Most of them were tiny spray samples, but there were several adorable mini perfume bottles and even an actual candle! Not only that, but they were all either from designer or niche brands! A lot of them were relatively new fragrances too! Best of all, included was a sample of Delina by Parfums de Marly (which I’ve been dying to try)!!!!
This particular promo could not have come at a better time, especially since as I’ve already demonstrated (haulage here), I was more than willing to spend my money on samples. Funny how only a few months prior, I would’ve barely glanced at this promo, but now that I’m obsessed with perfumes, I was giddy with excitement, practically salivating, at the prospect of playing around with all those perfume samples!
I was at Sephora shopping for a birthday present for someone who was extremely difficult to shop for. While there, I hunted down a few of the Perfumes on my list that I’ve been dying to sniff (mostly Lancome). On a whim, I decided to check out some of the “private” and “exclusive” luxury fragrances (Tom Ford and Armani Prive and Maison Lancome and Geurlain and so on) and accidentally stumbled upon Kilian! I don’t know if an invisibility spell was cast on the display, but somehow I’ve never ever noticed it before! As per usual, there were no sales assistants designated to any of the displays and customers were just left to their own devices. I searched for Back to Black (because frag-heads on YouTube rave about it all the time) but couldn’t find it. I did however find my new favorite Perfume of life, but more on that towards the end of this post…
So my obsession with Perfumes was at its peak. However, I didn’t want to purchase them locally because they’d be more expensive and I wouldn’t receive anything else with them (as a gift with purchase or loyalty points or whatever else) no matter how extortionate the price was, and and I wouldn’t know if I was getting an older batch (potentially expired) and worst of all, I wouldn’t know if they were fake or not, but mostly I was anxious about purchasing locally because of this (Perfume Fail). If I bought them online, they’d be new, less expensive and more often than not, I’d receive a gift with purchase or samples or something. However, I wouldn’t be able to give them a sniff beforehand, and based on previous experience, I’m not really the luckiest when it comes to blind-buys.
Even though I’d love to, I couldn’t sign up for those monthly subscription boxes (such as Scentbird and the like) because the cost of shipping to Kuwait via Aramex, would add up to something ridiculous. In comes MyPerfumeSamples.com which was exactly what it sounded like! You pick out the scents that you wanted and the sizes that you preferred (with the pricing varying from scent to scent) and they’d ship them over. Up on the website, each scent had the fragrance notes and the year it was released and so on, listed next to it. I purchased a handful, in varied sizes.
– Sample Vials: smallest size and cheapest, comes with a dip-stick applicator (I only got 1)
– Pocket Sprays: bit bigger, comes with a spray mechanism and a cap (I got 5)
– Travel Sprays: substantially larger, comes with a spray mechanism and a cap, wider spread (I purchased 6 but only 5 arrived)
Each sample came in a plastic sachet of it’s own, with the name of the scent printed on the actual sample (so handy!) and they were all packed together in a bubble-wrapped package within a package. Since looking at plain samples can get boring, I decided to add photos of the actual perfume bottles as well. Now on to the Perfumes (samples) that I’d ordered…