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Portland, OR

I exist to help dads learn to communicate and engage with their young adult daughters.  I provide resources from my vast amounts of research and experience with dads and daughters, and this is the place where you'll find the tools you need to become the hero you've always wanted to be.


Perfume Day: The Tradition Continues

Michelle Watson

By now most of you have heard me talk about one of my most favorite days of the year: PERFUME DAY! And once again, I just have to talk about it (in hopes that dads across America--and the world--will join in spoiling their daughters with this amazing tradition).

Just in case you haven’t read about it in my book or read a past blog, Perfume Day is a day my dad came up with 23 years ago where he takes his daughters on a date to buy perfume as part of our annual Christmas tradition.

Why do I love this day?

1. Because it’s unnecessary and extravagant, which makes it even more special because my dad doesn’t have to do this; he spends money on me because he loves me.

2. It feels like my dad is shouting from the rooftops that I am worth his investment.

3. Because he enters into the whole process with me and smells at least a dozen scents on my arms and hands as I try them on (since we all know that the only way to know if a scent really works is to see how it sits on one’s skin!).

4. He takes the time to enjoy me and isn’t rushing through it or checking it off his to-do list.

5. I can feel his happiness during the whole experience, which makes my heart smile too.

6. I know that the perfume will be something I’ll have on my counter as a reminder of our fun dad-daughter date for the next 365.

7. It’s something that I look forward to all year long and is something I have as a forever memory with my dad.

And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few pictures to give you the real flavor of the tradition (the hair is the best way to document the journey, don’t you think?!)

But before I wrap this up, I’d love to share two stories with you because maybe like Steve, you’ll find that your 14-year old daughter is now looking forward to her second annual perfume date. Here is how Steve told it to me last year:

"Maddie and I enjoyed our first 'perfume day' on Christmas Eve.  At first she was all, "That's weird.”  But then she said, "Dad, I'd really like to do that..."...and so we did and it was fun.  I think she was shocked that it didn't matter what it cost - $59 for a sense of value beyond a sticker price seems like a good value, why wouldn't any father do that..."

Or maybe you’ll be like Mark who jumped on the bandwagon five years ago with his two adult daughters.  Funny story: I ran into them at the mall two weeks ago on the night of their perfume date.  Of course I had to go in for a photobomb! (Look at the smiles on all of their faces that tell the real story.)

And if, by chance, you have a daughter who isn’t into Perfume Day, just know that this whole thing is about a dad dialing in to what his daughter loves and then spoiling her with a treat that serves as a reminder of his love for her. So if something from Home Depot would have that kind of meaning for your daughter, then by all means, let the dad-daughter date happen there! 

Take pictures, document the journey, and share your pictures with me.  Post them on my Facebook page at or on Twitter @mwatsonphd using the hashtag: #perfumeday.

So let the smell of sweet perfume fill the air!  Merry Christmas to you.  


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