Perfume Story: July 2012 Archives

July 2012 Archives

Perfume lover Interview: A lovely Shanghai lady

Guest relations manager

Today's interview is with the guest relations manager at a Shanghai five-star hotel. My first impression of her, when I met her in the hotel lobby, is that she was tall and she had a unique way of walking. It was like bouncing or floating, as if her center of balance was in her upper body, maybe because she had long legs. She has a good presence, just as you would expect from a manager of a five-star hotel. She was also warm and had a reliable personality; she seemed like she was willing to solve any problem for you. She is not quite common among people I had met. My guess is that she is trained to be observant and understands the requests from others, but she doesn't show it.

At her home

Together, we walked to her house, which was located in the center of Shanghai City. It was about a 20-minute walk by foot. In the neighborhood, there were government buildings, health clubs, social clubs, department stores, and high-rise apartments. If you walk on the side streets, you can see traditional Chinese-style tenement houses. Shanghai's new and old coexist here.
She lives in a high-rise apartment on the corner of the main street. A sign indicating the apartment as a "private residence" was posted on its outside. The apartment has doormen at the entrance and there is a large parking lot inside. The building's architecture is imposing. The inside of the building was quiet despite the noise from the outside. It was a good apartment complex. She lives on the 6th floor. There are TV's in the lobby and two in the elevator which were showing commercials. She purchased her home in 2002. Before that, she lived in a single-family home nearby but was forced out because of a new housing development. She said that the price of this apartment went up sharply after she moved in. As we entered, the shiny wooden floor caught my attention. She must clean and polish it very well. When I took off shoes and walked in, an elegant old lady in simple clothes, her mother, was there.
Surprisingly, she was eighty-eight years old, I was told. How young she looks! She could walk steadily. Everyday she does Tai Chi for ninety minutes. Her father passed away two years ago.
In the living room there were flowerpots, contributing to the relaxing atmosphere. There was a Panasonic TV as well. In Korea, too, affluent households usually have Panasonic TV's. In front of the mirror, there was a clock; three other clocks were visible throughout the room. Decorations, pictures of her traveling over the world, and other small articles were placed properly.

She owns a lot of perfumes.

At home, she dressed in more fashionable clothing than her work uniform, though I doubt it was expensive designer brands. She put a light violet shawl on her neck and a black-striped shirt. In general, tall people tend to avoid stripes since they make them look bigger. However, she looks thinner in her popular short skirt and black tights. She wasn't overdressed; the clothes fit her gracefully. It is a good contrast from her uniform.
She has two boxes of full of perfumes. She considers her unopened perfumes her "collection" because she does not wear them to work. Since some customers are sensitive to the scents, she avoids wearing them. When she uses perfume, she tries to put on mild one.
She mostly wears Chanel perfume, when she goes out or visits parties. Her favorite brands are BVLGARI, Nina Ricci, and Elizabeth Arden. She prefers sweet and lighter scents such as jasmine.


She started wearing perfumes when she was around twenty. Back then, toilet perfume was most popular. It was probably around the late 1990's when the Chinese started wearing perfumes. She chooses perfumes mainly from the design of the bottle and its scent.
She also owns many bags and shoes. She was a dancer when she was 20, which explains her floating walking style. She said she walks on her tiptoes. She studied classical, modern and folk dances, touring many places. She also studied in the USA, so her English was excellent.

Simple and clear way of life

When asked about her life philosophy, she answered immediately that she wants to do everything she likes. I firmly agreed. She added that she works for her pleasure, not for the money. She said the job is very important part of her life. I agreed with her again.
Guests at her hotel are usually experienced and successful people. She wants to offer hospitality of the same high quality. In that way, she can understand them and enhance their experience together.
Since she is in charge of VIP guests, she meets politicians and celebrities. But she does not become nervous and treats them naturally. She has been trained how to treat such customers properly. She keeps records of her customers, including information about their preferences. As she keeps her records, she classifies her customers into categories. Her categorization method works very well.
She uses her past experience of classifying and analyzing customers to help her future categorizations. The memories should not be just reminiscences but a useful tool for the future.
She tells her mother that since she is 88 years old, her way of living should be fine and there is no need to change it. Her life philosophy was based on her past learning, including her dance study, and self-learned psychology.

Don't try to do too much.

Sometime it's great to have breaks. She enjoys traveling and history. She is interested in Western design and architectures. She thinks her life has a good balance. She thinks she is an emotional person by nature but she is also experienced and wise. She feels that she is trusted by the whole accounting department at work, which gives her more drive to work hard. She enjoys her job so much that she would not change her job. She has been working there since 1995.
The job is not stressful since she does not try to do something she cannot handle. When she does everything she wants to do, that will give her satisfaction and make her clients happy too. She does not feel tired or stressed even when she is busy. All she wishes for is enough money to live comfortably.

Beautiful symmetrical smile

As she was talking I noticed that her face's symmetry was totally balanced. It was almost like Buddha's face. When I told her she is beautiful, she smiled a beautiful, symmetric smile.
In China, more mature women like her should become successful in the future. The perfume market will gradually grow as well.

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