The Best of Target


I’ve always believed that perfume is a pretty silly thing to be snobbish about. Everyone deserves access to good perfume, regardless of socioeconomic or geographic status! It improves all of our lives and morning commutes. In that spirit, I’ve decided to do a best-of series for a wide variety of perfume vendors, including the ones that I’m occasionally guilty of overlooking in favor of Scent Bar or Bergdorf’s. Today’s topic: Tar-jay!

At first glance (okay, maybe the second glance too), Target doesn’t appear to have much to offer the average perfumista. There are over 900 perfumes on the Target website, but the in-store selection is dominated by celebrity perfumes that even Macy’s is too proud to carry (Shania Twain Starlight, anyone?) and reformulated (some might say butchered) classics. But there are still a few goodies if you know where to look!

Pacifica Rollerballs in Indian Coconut Nectar, Tuscan Blood Orange, and Hawaiian Ruby Guava. Sephora used to carry the Pacifica line, but now they don’t because I don’t even know. Sephora is like that friend who keeps making questionable decisions and you want to be like “Why are you dating that compulsive gambler who dresses like Gandalf?” but you love her so much that you just try to support her in whatever way you can. Pacifica perfumes are generally simple but enjoyable fruity scents. (They do have some more complex scents, like Tibetian Mountain Temple, but Target doesn’t carry them.) The Blood Orange is the most popular, but I really like Indian Coconut Nectar for a basic, not-overwhelmingly-sweet coconut. $10.79-11.99

Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum. This is a really good price, y’all! Sephora sells the exact same product for $52. The original Juicy Couture is a playful, transparent watermelon tuberose scent. This is the only perfume I know with that particular combination of notes, and it’s especially good in the summertime. $34.89

Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl. Luca Turin’s most controversial five-star perfume. I must admit that I’ve never smelled it, but if you share Luca’s enthusiasm, this price is right on par with Fragrance Net’s. $23.59

Madonna Truth or Dare. Truth or Dare was my favorite celebrity perfume of last year, unless Kate Walsh Boyfriend also came out last year, in which case it is my second-favorite. This is a modernized (read: less buttery) Fracas, which is sacrilege to some but suits me just fine. $24.99

Ralph Lauren Remembrance. I’ve never heard of this perfume, but it’s $5.99 for 3.4 oz. The only logical explanation for such an insanely low price is that it must be horrific. Somebody buy it and report back. $5.99

Warning: Target is not the place to buy nostalgic classics such as Evyan White Shoulders or Jovan Musk. These will be the current versions, which means that there is a very high chance that they have been reformulated since the last time you tried them. Spare yourself the money and heartbreak.

28 thoughts on “The Best of Target

  1. Bought a small bottle of Tommy Girl at Walmart for $14.99 based on Luca’s glowing review. . Cheap thrill tea-based floral? No-total horrorshow scrubber on me. Did this teach me not to buy unsniffed? Of course not!

    1. LOL! Thank you for the warning, Barbara. I really think Luca should have had Ms. Sanchez write the reviews of Calice Becker-created scents, to reduce the appearance and/or presence of personal bias.

      1. I did the same thing Barbara did, only I got my bottle for $9.95 at Marshall’s. It now sits in the sell/give away bag.

    1. I have a mini of CKOne that I stole (with his knowledge!) from my ex. A really nice, refreshing grapefruit scent for the summer!

  2. “[C]elebrity perfumes that even Macy’s is too proud to carry”? “Why are you dating that compulsive gambler who dresses like Gandalf?” I am dying laughing, Ari 🙂

    Thanks for the morning chuckles. Chandler Burr also loves Juicy Couture and Tommy Girl — but I can’t see myself wearing either. That Remembrance on the other hand . . . 😉

    1. Someone has to buy Remembrance!!! There is NOTHING about it online. No reviews, no press releases, nothing! The curiosity is killing me!

    1. I don’t think my high school had a scent! Middle school, however, was extremely heavily scented- clouds of Axe and B&BW in every hallway!

    2. What was all over MY high school was Sand & Sable for the drill squad girls (I’d have been wearing it if my mother had allowed, but she said it was “too old” for me), Opium for the smoker girls, Giorgio for the popular girls, and Exclamation for everybody else.

      I like Tommy Girl (blush).

    1. Really?? I still haven’t tried Plum- I was discouraged after hearing that it didn’t actually smell like, well, plums!

    2. I like the watermelon in Juicy Couture! I think I’d take it over Plum. Plum is nice but it smells like Chanel Cristalle EDP + purple to me.

        1. Oh, but I love Cristalle EDP and own a full bottle! Plum is really not bad, it’s nice, but I don’t love it, either. Of course I have you to thank for my sample – thank you!

  3. I love that you are finding the hidden gems at Target! I am always one to hunt out the good bargains (along with those $300 bottles of course!). Tommy Girl was a blind buy for me awhile ago, based on the glowing review by LT, and while it was nice I hardly ever wore it. I started spraying it on my daughter (3.5 years) since she always wanted “fume” like mom. She has gone through almost half a bottle now and it is definitely her signature scent. And after a year of her wearing it, I kind of see why Luca loves it so much. To give my daughter some credit, she does alternate Tommy Girl with her Amouage samples (they give them to “her” at the store and good luck if I want them). 🙂
    I miss Target, it is one of the few American chains we don’t have here in Dubai yet….

    1. The idea of a 3.5 year old with her own signature scent (and a few Amouages!) is BEYOND adorable. When I was her age, I hadn’t figured out how to spray perfume anywhere other than my eyeballs!!

  4. Sadly our one and only Target in San Francisco is so small and boutique like that they don’t carry perfume!!! Thanks for the heads up for my next trip out to the “Berbs”.

    1. How bizarre! I would think that a major city like San Francisco would have an equally major Target. What do y’all have instead??

      1. San Francisco is very snooty about what stores get to be here. We didn’t have a MacDonalds until 1978! We have no Walmart for instance. It took a lot to get Target in here. What we do have are the big department stores like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s. They just opened a Marshall’s on Market Street that is really nice.

  5. I had one of those friends who WAS the Gandalf-dressing compulsive gambler. Actually, he’s still a friend. Now runs an improv theater in our hometown and limits his risktaking behavior to that (I can’t imagine he makes any money).

    And have commented on several of those scents in reply to other people’s comments, because I am a piggybacker! Might have to wear that Juicy Couture parfum today… honestly would not be caught dead in the edp WATERMELON BUBBLICIOUS POP POP POP CAN YOU SAY SIXTH GRADE ADDICTION??, but the parfum is really good. I suspect that it’s the parfum reviewed in PTG.

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