Saturday, June 25, 2011


Decision making has always come easy to me. No dithering, no confusion. However selecting gifts for friends and relatives leaves me puzzled.
For years, books have been my best bet. I am known for gifting books. It’s a friend’s birthday next week. Now this friend is more into make-up than books. After much brainstorming I decided to buy a perfume. At the end of the day I did buy a perfume but the confidence in my decision taking abilities was badly shaken.

You see, I have a heightened sense of sound but a subdued sense of smell. And when options are numerous, then my olfactory prowess gets further anesthetized.

For some reason the young sales girl was interested in selling a deodorant. “It is better than a perfume maam. It has been recently launched. Haven’t you seen Bipasha In the advertisement?” The girl had a nose for selling.
“No deodorant or anti-perspirant please. I want a perfume, one which is applied on pulse points and not the one sprayed on hairy arm pits.”
I mean I did not exactly say that, but you get the drift.Ok, what I meant was show me perfumes and nothing else.
The girl continued. “Floral, woody or oriental?”
“Okay mam, is your friend male or female?” she said with a suggestive smile. 

“Then do not go for woody, spicy or citrusy ones. They are for men. Go for floral ones….” She placed an array of exotically packed boxes from an aromatherapy range. “Is it for the summer or winters?” “Summer." 
“What would your friend like? Lavender, Rose or Sandalwood?”
“Well, I don't know.”
“ Isn't she your friend?”

Now I was steadily losing it. My patience that is. I was behaving like an indecisive confused woman.
I asked her for some known brands. A few moments later my pulse points were emanating a dozen fragrances, and my olfactory confusion reached its zenith. Decision time!! I closed my eyes and picked a known brand that snuggled in my budget.
“Don’t go by a budget maam. If you sniff the test spot after an hour and still like it, only then you should go for it.” And how do I spend that hour Mona Lisa incarnate?

The enthusiastic girl dispensed some extra gyan. “Mam, fragrances are like notes. They have top, middle and base notes. A top note is what you smell first. As the day progresses the other notes take over. The lighter notes evaporate first and the last ones to evaporate are the heavier oils.” A big smile.  This girl should get the ‘sales girl’ of the year award or something.

By the time I emerged from the counter, I smelled like a bouquet of jasmine, rose, lavender and sandalwood. The cocktail effect was not quite heaven-scent. Forget any ‘Axe type’ effect, people heaved a sigh of relief as I moved away from them and entered a coffee shop.

A hot cuppa would surely calm my smelly senses. The waiter came smiling. “What would you like to have, maam?”
“One hot coffee please.”
Latte, Cappuccino, CafĂ© Breva, Americano, Flavoured or Espresso?”

Did I say decision making came easy to me?Duh!

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  1. and then you ask your readers' reaction, funny/interesting/cool or maybe comment?!

    spoilt for choices!!

  2. super cute...wish i could take decisions s easily...loved the statements in bold-Monalisa incarnate...hehe:-)

    Lovely read Alks, keep them coming:-)

  3. @Deepak....ha, ha how apt. Perfeccct.


  4. “What would your friend like? Lavender, Rose or Sandalwood?”
    “How do I know?”

    This was actually rude. :P
    My friend too undergo quite a similar tantrum when he got a perfume for his friend. Unfortunately I was with him.

  5. Buhahahaha.. This is funny. But. I have a major thing for perfumes and have spent quite a lot of time and money at such shops. She was right, for most part. :-) I am terrible with decisions. I want everything.. :-)

  6. lol.. :) and that's why I just never waste time in seeing all the brands. I just do all such shopping in 5 minutes :D

  7. @AS...:)

    @SM...:)Thanks for reading.

    @Rachit... some parts are fictionalized. That's not exactly what happened.

    @Zeba...:) You have a nose for scents then.

    @Rachit...Thats the way to go about it.

  8. Oh Yes, the sales girls literally pounce on you the moment you stop and give a lil attention to their products. For them, its attack time :). But i am sure your friend will like the end product. Women and perfumes gel well :)

  9. Tell me where and I will avoid it like plague. Loved your play of words.

  10. ROFL :D what an experience... the sales girls these days are really convincing :P
    enjoyed reading.

  11. The girl knew how to do her job. I am impressed, and confused altogether. And coffee? It was once that me and my brother (elder) decided to go to the Barista and try something new from the cappecino we are used to (with cream). So we singled out, 'Machitao' or something like that. Hell we did not even know how to pronounce it right so just pointed it out to the counter guy.
    Only that the guy was a little sympathetic towards our sense of adventure he told us that it is different and most people don't like it.
    Result, we drank cappecino :)

    Nice post.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  12. @Abha...They sure do.

    @Purba...Ambience Mall...Thanks.


    @Anshul...Ha, ha...spoilt for choices aren't we? Its best to stick to the tried and tested ones unless you are the adventurous types. Cappuccino works for me too.

  13. Alka, I can just visualize you walking past the shop with men of all ages swooning when they catch a drift of your heady fragrances.
    Something like the female Axe Effect ;)

    I had a sales guy trying to sell me some educational books for a 1000 k each, his logic was "I heard you talking to your friend, I am sure the restaurant you are going to, will be charging you that much.So, why don't you buy my books."

  14. Alka,

    LOL. Did the people not start following you as shown in so many ads these days? And to top it, you even had to make decision about coffee. This reminds me of an old incident. A friend of mine came into dinning hall for breakfast and waiter asked " Sir,egg KAISA KHAAYENGE, boiled, fried or omelette?" My friend " YEH KYAA SUBAH SE HI decision LENAA PAREGAA."

    Take care

  15. years ago i wanted to gift a prospective gf something on her birthday...and bought an expensive perfume...and days later came to know she was hitched...

    wish i gifted it to my mom or sis!!

  16. The sales girl knew exactly what was she doing.
    The waiter knew exactly what was he doing.
    Perhaps, extra choices have upset your decision makig process.

  17. didnt happen that way. They can be very irritating at times.

    @Jack...Ha, ha..Thats funny.
    This coffee thing always puzzles me. I go for my regular Espresso or Cappuccino.

    @Jon...Ohhh...what a waste!

    @BKC..Yes, they were doing their job diligently confusing me in the process.

  18. hehe dats cute. i hav jus 2 brands fr men n women n dats all i evr pick. hate to go thru dis whole drama n frankly beyond a point evrythin smells d same to me, let alone wats bettr or worse.
    wen in doubt- cool water :)

    i hope ur frn liked wat u eventually got for her.

  19. he he he...So true. We are spoilt for choice these days. :)

  20. The comparison of fragrances to notes had me bowled clean!

  21. Hahaha. Very funny.

    You need to ask me how to pick perfume. I picked up for my friend's wife too.. Hahaha:))

    Simply Speaking "A" Simple Blogger

  22. @Sadiya....She says she did. Thanks for reading.

    @Juxtaposition....:)Thanks for reading.


    @A......Let us have a post on it. Love your photography though.

  23. hehe I am also thoroughly confused when shopping for perfumes. I leave it to my husband :). I do love spicy, musky or citrusy ones better than the sickening-sweet floral ones. Bah to the salesgirl ;-). Coffee that is easier to decide. Like you, I also decide real quick LOL.

  24. Hey Alka, I just love the titles of your posts, they bring a smile to my face each time :).

  25. @Rachna.... thanks. Your appreciation means a lot. Hope you keep smiling always.

  26. LOl there are too many choices and only one poor me :)Like when I just had 4 saris, I was a happy woman and now that I have ten times that number, I am zapped.

  27. Alka..I usually end up ..making a fool of myself here in US,so many choices and questions ...its hard an explosion of products and brands,,,
    post very accurate in every word!

  28. @Zephyr... I dont mind being zapped with several

    @Harman.... I am sure you are spoilt for choices.

  29. U are spoilt for choices and you are complaining...

    Anyday choices and the confusion rather than having no choices for me..

  30. I once bought perfume for wifey from a duty free shop in Singapore. She asked me a few question as your SA did. Then in the most professional way, she took out a perfume that smelled awesome. I guess she knew what she was doing. My wife liked it as well.
    If SA know their jobs, then there is no selling required and no bipasha needed to help them.

    As for coffee, my choice is always Mocha. I do not even wait to hear other options heheh!!!
    Have a great time

  31. @perception....I am not complaining but laughing at my confusion and the situation.

    @Ashwini....Thanks for reading Ashwini. The girl surely knew what works. I haven't tried Mocha....will do now.

  32. landed here from Jack's page..n i see a great blog here.

    U've spoilt me for choices - which post should i read first?

    decision making as an idea is easy but deciding one thing from many is tough. Well written post - i could imagine the bouquet u were smelling of!

  33. @old fox.... Thanks it means a lot.