lancomeJason Zemmel, perfume expert and founder of discount health and beauty e-tailer discusses how to shop safely online for beauty products and advises how to choose the right perfume for you.As the popularity of internet shopping has increased unfortunately so has online fraud. A report by CNN online reported that online crime increased by 33 percent last year. Although there are still plenty of genuine designer beauty bargains to be had shoppers must become web wise to avoid disappointment.

Security tips for online shoppers

More and more bargain hunters are buying products online because it’s convenient, cost effective and takes the time and trauma out of shopping on the high street. Online shopping is safe and stress-free but you need to be aware of potential security risks. You can become web savvy by following these tips:

• Only use sites with secure order forms. A normal website address begins http but when you are entering sensitive details, the address should be preceded with https. The ‘s’ stands for secure which means your details will be encrypted for safety. There should also be a closed padlock symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the browser window.
• Stick with what you know when it comes to the web. Shop with companies you are familiar with or which have been recommended by a trusted source.
• Make sure you have active contact details for the retailer and take note of the charges which will be applied additionally for example postage and packaging and delivery.
• Check out the return and delivery policies and get a printout of your order confirmation. You need to know where you stand if there are any problems and you may need to prove you made the purchase.
• Never reveal your PIN number. A reputable site would not ask for this information.

Choosing a perfume
Smell is one of the five senses and is a large part of non-verbal communication. Put simply what scent you wear communicates much more than the label you’re wearing. Perfume has the power to affect your confidence levels, how you perform at work and how attractive you feel.

There are many things to consider when choosing a new perfume. Key ingredients help release certain feelings in people when they smell them. Spicier fragrances like musk are said to arouse sexual feelings and vanilla is also believed to be an aphrodisiac. In contrast, fruit and floral scents are seen as calming, fresh and sensual. Never assume that because a perfume smells good on your friend it will smell exactly the same on you. Everyone’s skin reacts differently and therefore produces different smells.

Always spray a new perfume onto your skin rather than just sniffing the bottle, as again it changes when it meets your skin. Leave it to develop for about 10 minutes before deciding if you like it. Don’t test more than three – four fragrances at once. Your sense of smell will become confused and they will blend together.

Fresh, floral and fruity fragrances are more appropriate in the summer, whereas spicier and warmer scents are more suited to the colder months.

Perfume is best applied to pulse points: the inner wrists, behind the ears, and lower neck. Spray a bit on your hair from arm’s length, and the scent will float into the air every time you move your head. Once you apply a perfume, if you can’t smell you have any on after about half an hour, but other people can… this means it suits you.

Different types of scent
Many people are confused about all the different types of perfume on offer. Perfumes are essential oils that are diluted with up to 78 – 95 per cent denatured ethyl alcohol and the strength of the scent varies with the percentage of the dilution. Fragrances are sold in different strengths – perfume, Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette – and prices differ accordingly.

Perfume is made up of about 22 per cent essential oils, is the most expensive scent and is great for special occasions. Eau de Parfum lasts for five – seven hours and is great for a day to night event. Finally Eau de Toilette is the cheapest scent and is made up of eight – ten percent essential oils and lasts for four – six hours. Male fragrances or Eau de Colognes are much lighter than perfumes and only consist of 4 per cent essential oils.

How long do perfumes last for?
Once opened, fragrances only have a shelf life of a year at the most. After this, the alcohol evaporates leaving behind a vapid liquid. If it’s not stored in a dark, cool place this process is even quicker.

Once you’ve decided which fragrance you want, if you follow the online security tips, there’s no reason you can’t bag a bargain. offers leading brands including Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Elizabeth Arden and Givenchy at discounts of up to 70 per cent.