Ah, first jobs. You might have babysat three screaming children, steamed designer clothing or blended McFlurries for $6 an hour. First jobs are far from glamourous for most people, but they offer more money than the tooth fairy ever gave you (usually). They also make up who we are today and are part of our journey to where we are now.
This time, Michelle shares about her first gig as a professional perfume spritzer, and all the amazing perks that came with the job.
After the typical baby-sitting gigs when I was 12 and 13 years old, my aunt got me THE BEST first real job – being a fragrance sales associate for L’Oréal! I had this job from ages 16 to 18, and worked anywhere from 10 to 30 hours a week at the counter at The Bay in the lovely Yorkdale Mall. I represented and sold Ralph Lauren, Armani, Lanvin and Cacharel perfumes and colognes.
My favourite part of selling fragrance was that I always went home smelling wonderful. Actually, it was probably a bit overwhelming, smelling like a mix of 10 different scents, but I thought it was amazing. I am not sure everyone felt that way.
Another part of that job I loved was getting to know the other sales associates in the beauty department – everyone was so friendly, girly and beautiful. It really was its own little community. I had so much fun there.
Part of this job also involved working a ton of in-store promotional events (which I obviously adored doing). One event that stands out for me was for Ralph by Ralph Lauren. I had to get on stage and do a choreographed dance to the Britney Spears rendition of I Love Rock’n’Roll (about a million times in a row) and speak on a microphone to get people to come up for a free sample of the new perfume. Oh, and I distinctly remember wearing a fake clip-on pony tail. (Eeekkk!)
This was a dream job for me in high school. I got paid $16 an hour to dress up nicely, work fun events, talk to tons of interesting people, sell beautiful fragrances and hang out in a mall.
As with any job, there were some negatives. A big drawback was standing all day long. My feet would ache by the end of a six-hour shift. And of course, the chaos of the holiday season – finding parking in December at Yorkdale was an absolute nightmare. I was often late because I was circling the parking lot, looking for a spot.
To this day, I still love walking through a fragrance department and experiencing all the glorious scents. Honestly, I don’t think people wear enough fragrance. Or maybe my nose has just been desensitized.
P.S. The best perk was selling men’s cologne. A perfect excuse to talk to all the cute guys that walked by.
P.P.S. I never spritzed anyone who didn’t want it. 🙂 (Remember this episode of Friends?)