By  on June 10, 1994

Mary Coxe, an art consultant, said, "Fragrances do seem to be getting too expensive these days. There are some new ones that I might have tried if they hadn't been so expensive. I think, too, that there are too many new fragrances. Add to that the high prices, and you find that people are discouraged from making purchases and are sticking with fragrances they had."

Jane Strayhan, a tennis player, said she doesn't often shop for fragrances, but "there are a few things in particular that I like, and while it may be a real luxury, it's something I just have to have. I probably buy something about every four months. I just bought Calyx by Prescriptives. It's a light citrus scent and wonderful for spring and summer."

Becky Gottsegen, a graphic designer, said she buys fragrances for herself "in spite of the expense."

"I find that when other people buy them for me, they buy the ones I don't like," Gottsegen said. "Perfume is very, very personal. It's a little like buying lingerie. When anyone has ever bought me lingerie, I have exchanged it because I'm so particular."

Allison Stewart, an artist, said, "I don't buy clothes very much because I'm in my studio all the time, but I will spend money on a particular perfume that I love. I won't buy just anything. I have worn L'Air du Temps for 20 years -- my mother wore it. Fragrance takes the edge off some of the paint and adhesive fixative odors in my studio.

"I don't want to go out and buy $50 worth of perfume and then be tired of it in two weeks," she added. "Just recently, I switched to perfumed oils for daily use. They cost less than $12 and last a long, long time."

Lisa Marse, a marketing executive, said, "I don't think fragrance is too expensive at all. I feel about perfume the same way I feel about designer clothing -- you get what you pay for. I like to put perfume on once a day, and when I pay more for a fragrance, I know I won't have to reapply."I am also buying Issey Miyake's new fragrance. I was surprised at how affordable it was. I thought that since it was his first time out with a new fragrance, the price would be higher."

Gloria O'Connor, an art gallery director, said, "Since the fragrances I have are due to someone else's largesse in the gift-giving department, I am not really familiar with the prices. A new favorite fragrance which I have just discovered, although I think it's been around, is Amarige de Givenchy."

Ellen Johnson, a media consultant, said fragrances are like cosmetics in that they are "expensive these days for a person buying for herself. As a gift, it's a good price point. Maybe that's why they are priced that way. My husband likes to buy perfume for his office staff and spends in the $35 to $45 range. It's a perfect gift, price-wise, and shows some thought went into the selection. I remember years ago when a gift like that was in the $15 to $25 range. Now it's in the $35 and above level. But it's worth it because perfume does makes a good gift."

Cathy Leger, a sales associate, said, "I'm kind of fickle about fragrances and I really like to try a lot of different ones. But at $50 for a bottle of cologne -- not even the perfume -- the price is too high for me to try as many different fragrances as I might want. So I've started to go for the body lotions."

Bonnie Warren, a writer, said, "I'm probably typical of many people in that I have my favorite fragrances that are expensive, but I consider them worthwhile indulgences. I like to have a collection of them for different occasions. I would never be without Chanel No. 5 for grand occasions. There's nothing like it. Others remind me of certain situations. Fragrances are exciting and fun -- some I use when I wear a beaded dress, another I'll use when I'm in jeans."

Toni Davis, a television executive, said she didn't buy fragrances until she was 30, and then "I met my then-to-be husband, who got me interested. He didn't say I smelled bad, he just thought fragrance was sexy, so I got started. When I buy fragrance, I don't think about the cost. I think of it as an essential accessory."But every time I find something I love, they quit making it. I think of fragrance as a person's unique signature, so once I find one I like, I want to keep it. I wore Sonya Rykiel's 7th Sense, then Halston's Couture, and I can't find either one, anymore. Now I think I'm going to settle on Halston's Catalyst."

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