I have exactly seventeen free minutes. I’ve decided to use my time, wisely, to blog this story. I hope I get it finished.

Months ago, maybe six months or more, I ordered a scent kit from Sephora. For $50 I got 10 samples of perfume, and a free refillable rollerball. The gift pack also came with a certificate for a free bottle of perfume. Full size bottle, of one of the ten samples. Since these are designer perfumes (Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, to name a few) most of these perfumes cost $50 alone, so it is very much worth it.

If you didn’t know this about me, I’m kind of obsessed with scent. I own more Bath and Body Works product than most people would deem humanly possible. Seriously, you could shop in my collection. I own about 10 different perfumes. Then, I have a “sample drawer” of perfumes as well. (Also, other samples, because I’m obsessed with samples of cosmetics and hair products, but that’s another story).

So, this kind of gift pack was right up my alley. What I didn’t anticipate; the difficulty in choosing one scent from ten. I will mention that I had a standout favorite, right away. Michael Kors’ Very Hollywood. But, every time I wore it it was layered over different scented lotions and/or body sprays, which changes the way it smelled. I tried to wear different ones every day, in order to figure out my favorite. However, since I didn’t write anything down or figure out a way to keep track, it soon became a jumble of scents and I had no idea which ones I liked at all. I started just randomly pulling them from the drawer to wear.

Fortunately, the certificate to get the full-size bottle doesn’t expire, but it does have to be redeemed in person at a Sephora store.

Meanwhile, a while back, I ordered lip gloss from and, one of my favorite things about them is that they give you three free samples with every order. I often break orders into two or three in order to get extra samples. Yes, I’m nutty, get over it.

During my lip gloss shipment,  I received a free sample of Kate Spade’s Twirl. As soon as I tried that one, I loved it. Enough I would consider buying it, but I need to purchase another bottle of perfume like I need a hole in the head, especially given that I still have that free bottle coming.

Then, my mom tells me she needs a trip to Sephora. Woo-hoo! I got all excited, because it is flat out fun to go to Sephora. We made the trip out to MOA last night. Knowing that I was going there sped up my decision making process. Michael Kors was my gut instinct, but I wasn’t sold. I was also considering Coach’s Poppy and Marc Jacobs’ Daisy. I felt fortunate to have narrowed it down to three.

But I couldn’t decide. So, yesterday at work, I wore all three. Yep, nutty. Different parts of my body were sprayed with the different scents, so I could try to decide. Didn’t work. I know, you’re shocked.

I finally got with my mom and had her smell them. She liked Marc Jacobs.

When we arrived at Sephora, I went over to the perfume rack and we started sniffing and investigating. Pretty soon, I was covered with about ten different scents. I couldn’t remember what I sprayed where. I smelled like I imagine a streetwalker smells. It was not pretty. I wanted to shower.

I wanted Kate Spade.

I had my mom smell it and she agreed it was great. And so me.

But, it wasn’t on my list and for $65 (the smallest size) it wasn’t in the cards. I actually said to my mom, “wouldn’t it be great if they let me buy that and just make up the difference?” But life doesn’t work that way, and Lord knows, retail doesn’t.

So, we kept looking. After what seemed like eons in front of the perfume display (and two free samples later), I decided to just go with my instinct and get the Michael Kors. Decision made, mom and I decided to enjoy the rest of Sephora. We learned that my new Sephora lip gloss, purchased online, which I have said is the best lip gloss ever, is now discontinued. Go figure.

My mom found a lip gloss that she loved, only to learn it was only sold in a kit…so for $34 she’d be getting what she wanted with a bunch of crap she didn’t. Annoying.

I found a new shade of Buxom lipgloss that I really liked. I’ve used Buxom for years and always in the same shade. Since it is $18 for one tube of lip gloss, you have to love it. Finally found a new one and…sold out.

Sephora was quickly starting to lose its luster. Nothing seemed to be going our way. Then, we found the clearance rack. Score! I found a $3 lip gloss. A $3 hair clip. A $1 hair accessory. And a bunch of other things, but I restrained myself.

We were ready to head out, and I headed back to the dreaded perfume wall, to pick up my bottle of Michael Kors and get this out of the way.

It was sold out.


I wanted to cry. After agonizing over the decision and smelling like a hooker, they don’t have it? The sales girl told me that “they might have some on Wednesday, when the shipment comes in”. Which sounds like a guarantee to me. Plus, I was there now. I didn’t want to have to run all over town to get this “free” bottle of perfume. So, I asked this girl if I could get Kate Spade and pay the difference.

She said no.

Then, like a lightbulb went on in her head, she said I could return the certificate for store credit and then buy whatever I want. I said that I don’t have the whole thing, the used samples are at home, I only have the paper. She said that was fine. The samples are mine to keep. I couldn’t believe it!

So that is what I did. It took manager’s approval, three sales people, and a lot of waiting around, but I finally was able to return the certificate. Now, the samples and the rollerball refill were free and I got $50 to spend however I wanted.

That is how I got a full size bottle of Kate Spade’s Twirl, a lip gloss and two hair accessories for $25.

Talk about a bargain.

And my faith and love for Sephora are restored. All is right with the world. I was practically glowing when we left that store. That is how a customer should feel every time they leave a store.

*By the way, those 17 minutes expired four hours ago. I didn’t make it….


2 thoughts on “Sephora-Love

  1. I am so glad that it all worked out so well! I too, would be sad if we had to “hate” Sephora. ( I’m also very happy that I didn’t lose my little Sephora bag with my beauty treasures in it ) I had a great time with you at MOA…we should go more often:)

    • I’m glad to you didn’t lose your bag, too! That would have been terrible.

      And it WAS fun. We will def. do it again, soon.

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