Mary Davin, an international trade specialist at the Department of Commerce, said, “I think fragrances are too expensive, which is why I’ve never in my life bought one. I always use just samples I pick up at department stores.”

Jija Davis, a full-time mother, said, “I use Chanel No. 5 or [Chanel’s] Coco. I do think fragrances are too expensive, but I don’t use that much because I have a baby. I usually just use lotion or powder because perfume is too strong, but when I go out I use perfume.”

Susan Pettee, a lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission, said, “I love Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant and also Byblos. I just love things that smell good. I grew up on Chanel No. 5 and Dior; my father used to bring it back for me from Paris. Yes, I think fragrances are too expensive, but I just like them. Drugstore things on the whole I find a little vulgar.”

Brenda Crawford, an organizational development consultant, said, “I use White Linen by Estee Lauder. I also like [Giorgio’s] Red and Caroline Herrera. I don’t mind spending a little something on a fragrance. I haven’t tried Sunflowers.”

Theresa Conaty, a program manager, said, “I usually wear [Liz Claiborne’s] Vivid when I go out to dinner and Realities by Liz Claiborne when it’s more casual. I also like [Calvin Klein’s] Obsession and Beautiful by Estee Lauder. Usually I buy when I can get a bonus, in a set, so it’s not too expensive.”

Anne Pena, a secretary, said, “Beautiful is my favorite. I got it for Christmas two years ago and have been using the same bottle ever since. I didn’t use too much before that. I won’t buy perfume because it’s too expensive, but I will buy cologne. Sometimes I’m interested in a fragrance from a magazine sample, but I’ve never bought one based on that.”

Julie Mulhern, a recruiting coordinator for a law firm, said, “I wear mainly patchouli and Ralph Lauren. I also really like the Elizabeth Arden Spa products. I wear the Elizabeth Arden in the summer because it’s nice and light. I don’t really pay attention to the price — I buy what I like. I buy perfumes one or two times a year, but body mists and things like that I go through pretty regularly.”

Joyce Niedner, a manager of a research department for a law firm, said, “I only wear The Body Shop’s White Musk; everything else gives me a headache. I absolutely love Cristalle by Chanel, but even Chanel gives me a headache. I don’t think fragrances are too expensive; if I could find one that doesn’t give me a headache, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.”

Carol Card, a bank loan processor, said, “I like Estee Lauder’s Beautiful, I like White Linen and Obsession. Fragrances are too expensive; I don’t buy them unless there’s a promotion going on. Sometimes I’ll use a lotion that has a light, delicate fragrance like Jergens, but cheap store brands aren’t really nice.”

Minerva Ramirez said, “I wear Obsession and [Lancome’s] Tresor and I also like [Calvin Klein’s] Eternity. When I’m looking for a fragrance, I look for it to stay on long. I think fragrances are a little bit too expensive, so I go to the Cosmetic Center.