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Find: Scentsa at Sephora

A magic perfume-finding machine



For nearly two decades, I wore Fendi perfume. It was made by the same company that makes the high-priced handbags and silky, spendy scarves--and it smelled exquisitely expensive. Heady notes of amber, musk and spice sat well on my skin, and I often received "you smell nice" compliments. So it was a dark day when I discovered that Fendi, the scent, had been discontinued.

Sadly, I couldn't find a replacement. Staring down the wall of fragrances in department stores was overwhelming. Every time a pop star puts out a new single, she also puts out a fragrance. I'm sure they're nice ladies, but I don't want to smell like Britney Spears, Beyonce, Shakira or any Kardashian. Then I found the Scentsa machine at Sephora.

Scentsa is a fragrance finder. A touch screen takes you through a list of options to search for a scent based on notes, ingredients (vanilla, myrrh, floral, etc.), lifestyle or, for someone like me, another scent. Stefanie O'Neill, a manager of the Boise Towne Square Mall Sephora store, said in the year-and-a-half the store has had the machine, hundreds of people have discovered the perfect smell--whether it's a $135 bottle of Prada parfum or a $15 bottle by Philosophy.

I found something called Boyfriend by Kate Walsh. It's less spicy on the nose than Fendi and not a perfect replacement, but it's close enough. When it runs out, I'll go back in to see if I can find something that smells even more like me.


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