Young folk of today are getting older much faster than we fortysomethings ever did back in the 70s. At the age of eleven, I was still playing with Sindy dolls. Eleven year olds today have their own phones and Snapchat accounts. I have a ten year old son so I see children of his age group regularly and as a general rule, they are a lovely bunch of interesting people with the world at their feet. But my Goodness, have you seen their Christmas lists? I used to be happy with new felt pens and some bubble bath! ( still am).
Teens and Tweens today are influenced by the media more than any other generation that has ever lived and this has given them a penchant for labels, names and fitting in. So how do you please the hard-to-please? Well, as sensible adults the last thing we want is for our youngsters to smell provocative. We’re not looking for sexy. That is completely off the menu here. In general, you’ll be looking at gourmands and fruity florals or florals, and side stepping anything with civet or big patchouli notes. I wouldn’t start with Angel or Coco Mademoiselle, for example.
With that in mind, I have compiled a little list of what I consider to be suitable fragrance gifts for the teen or tween in your life. I’ve tried not to give any ideas that are “square” or “uncool” so you should be all right. I’ve also kept it fairly reasonable in price, with just a couple of higher prices ideas for your little diva or divo.
I’m no snob- I’ll wear anything- and my proclamation about celeb scents goes something like this
“all celebrity scents are made by professional perfumers from respected houses and fragrance companies. Most celebrity scents are cheaper than other scents by big brand names. Ergo- celebrity scents are A Good Thing. Here endeth the lesson.” For the youngster, I recommend JLo Glow ( a clean hair scent) or Britney Spears Curious. It was Britney’s first and its a light, non-sexy fruity floral that pleases even my fussy nose. Also in the running is Taylor Swift Incredible Things with its interesting suede notes. I also recommend the One Direction scents, if only for the packaging. One Direction That Moment has been reviewed here and is an inoffensive fruity floral. My son seems happy with David Beckham and I have to say I have yet to find any of them unpleasant or too overly sexy. They seem to be generic, but that’s not a bad start for a ten year old setting out on a lifelong scent journey. Try David Beckham Classic Blue for a light sport scent.
Have you guessed I’m a fan yet? The nice thing about Avon is that they are affordable and they launch new scent to fit in with fast moving market demands. Avon Cherish and Cherish The Moment are ideal for young scent wearers. Cherish is similar to Lancome La Vie est Belle with a strong caramel note over the florals. Cherish The Moment is even sweeter! Both can be obtained from Avon UK for around £12.
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer does a great job of producing affordable perfumes in crowd pleasing varieties that are packaged in very attractive bottles. One of the most appealing to the age group we’re looking at today is Marks and Spencer Butterfly. With calone notes of melon and cucumber, this gives the pricier DKNY Be Delicious a run for its money. The bottle reminds me of the Marc Jacobs bottles which, I understand, are much coveted by this age group! Which brings me nicely to…
The High Street Beauty Counters
If you’re looking for something special, then Marc Jacobs has the bottle you want. If I were you, I’d keep Decadence and its rich sexiness for yourself and go instead for the delightful Marc Jacobs Daisy, Daisy Eau so Fraiche or Daisy Dream ( see photo- right). All are light florals that pass the office/school test by not being too in-yer-face or come-hither. Stella McCartney is another good bet. Cool enough to please even the most bored looking teen, yet good perfume that varies from the deliciously airy floral of STELLA to the tuberose/sandalwood of Stella McCartney POP.
If money is no object, or you’re buying for a tween with expensive taste ( so that’s quite a few of them from where I’m standing), then Chanel Chance makes a delightfully airy introduction to Chanel and the good stuff in general
For boys (and whilst I reject gender stereotypes, my boy does not, sadly), you can’t go wrong with Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein Eternity For Him. I would avoid Paco Rabanne One Million at this age because it will floor any asthmatic within a fifty foot radius. Waaay too strong. I recently bought Davidoff Champion for my nephew and was very impressed with its light green freshness. Davidoff Cool Water is another scent cool enough to please them and cheap enough to buy. A light, ozonic classic, this can be had for well under £15.
Library of Fragrance
Library of Fragrance is a great starting point that will help your budding perfumista get used to different notes and layering scent. They can experiment with several bottles without breaking the bank. I especially like Moonbeam, Mango, and Vanilla Ice Cream, but the world is your lobster! Library of Fragrance is the perfect way to begin a fragrance wardrobe. The website is here and you can usually find special offers and wonderful exclusive colognes.
For Under Tens, Go Contintental
Perfume for “les enfants” is more usual among our European friends. One of my favourite French brands, Yves Rocher, does a range of beautifully simple and wholesome scents for children that find their inspiration from innocent facts of nature. For the younger child asking for perfume, you can buy Peach, Strawberry or blackberry in a little vapo spray for just a few pounds. Personally, I think children smell lovely as they are, but if young people really want perfume, then peaches and blackberries play it safe and sweet.