One of my most embarrassing gifts received ever

Today, one of my Korean friends invited me for a dinner out. I accepted his invitation and we met in a mall in Makati around 4 PM. We dined in Kimpura, a fine dining Japanese restaurant. While eating, he presented me with a gift. “What’s the occassion?”, I asked him with a frown on my face while attacking my tempura. “You’re welcome. Can’t I give a gift without a special reason?”, he answered with his Korean accent. I left it at that. Then curiosity kicked in and I opened the paperbag only to be surprised with what I saw.




In my country, one must think through if he/she will have a perfume as a gift. Some are so sensitive as to be offended receiving that as a present. Questions like “Do I really need this?” and “Do I stink?” appear to mind. As for me, it is okay if someone will give me a perfume as long as it does not smell strongly. I love powdery scent and my favorite is D&G in light blue. Currently, I’m using my nth bottle of that along with Very Irresistable Givenchy. If receiving a perfume is acceptable, then why am I embarrassed? First, the signature line of the perfume. Sex and the City. I haven’t read nor watch the series and don’t have plan to remedy that in the future. Not my cup of tea. Not to mention the scent.

Lust, seriously? If you are a man, will you give it to a female friend? Even if we are dating or already a couple, I’ll still feel uncomfortable receiving that perfume. I know what you’re thinking: “She’s so ungrateful! What’s there to complain about?”. You may call me a conservative old hag, but I really think that the gift is inappropriate. If only I don’t respect my Korean friend’s feeling, I might have returned the present to him. Sorry for this rant, folks. I just want to share this with you. I would appreciate it if you could let me know your opinions, too. For what its worth, Lust smells powdery. ^_^

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49 thoughts on “One of my most embarrassing gifts received ever

  1. It sounds like your friend made you a bit angry with him but you maintained your composure. It is inappropriate in this instance, and very suggestive, making you feel uncomfortable.

  2. Girl I love that perfume first of all it smells really really good. I can understand the confusion, but I feel like maybe you shouldn’t over think it. I honestly do not think he meant it to offend you. **I will take it from you if you don’t like it wink wink LOL** I feel like maybe you should tell him how you feel about the present. Do not leave him in the dark I can speak from experience that if you do not tell a friend what bothers you it may happen again lol. Good luck girl! I think you handled the situation properly.

    1. Haha! I used it this morning going to work and I like the scent, actually. I like powdery scent and this has a similar smell though it is a wee bit fruity, too. Sorry I can’t ship it to you *winks* Apparently, he did not know the meaning of Lust in Korean language so he thought nothing of it. Haha!

      1. haha guys are silly… my hubby wouldn’t know what to do in a perfume shop. He always tells me my perfume smells like old ladies no matter how many people complement it lmao. He is a goof.

    1. Thanks for understanding me and my feelings. I did just that and got flustered when I explained to him why I was embarrassed. Did you know that he does not know the meaning of Lust? It’s not everyday he encountered that English word so it was no biggie when he bought that perfume.

  3. Hmm. Definitely food for thought regarding this gesture. Are you supposed to return him the favour with another gift?

    I was once gifted the Very Irresistable perfume, too, by my girlfriends. Found it way too strong though 🙁

    1. Uh, no. IDK. Most of my Korean male friends get offended/embarrassed when I gave them gifts and such. I think it is their culture that girls give presents only to their boyfriends.

      Hmm, you don’t like that Givenchy perfume? At least you did not rant like me! 🙂

    1. You are so correct with that! Apparently, he does not know the meaning of the perfume scent. He told me he already had a hard time talking in the Duty Free in English so he did not put much thinking with the selection of the scent’s name.

      Oh, jeez. I was never a Victoria Secret girl.

  4. I understand it makes you uncomfortable, but he might not be aware of that. Or you never know, he could have received it as a free gift from a store or something like that. I’m glad it turned out to be a scent you like, though! 🙂 I wear Sarah Jessica Parker’s Covet.

  5. Hmm, do you have any Korean friends you can ask about it? Maybe it is just a cultural thing?

    I wouldn’t worry about thinking you smell or anything like that. I tend to think of perfumes, lotions, body wash, scented sprays & the like as default gifts for girls. If you want to give a gift & you don’t know what they’d like, any of those type of girly items are usually a good idea. And no one pays attention to the names of the perfumes – they’re all ridiculous. It’s the scent that’s important. Unless it’s an expensive perfume, and then I’d be more focused on the inappropriateness of an expensive gift.

    And it might not be just a cultural thing but a generational thing, too? I’m pretty sure 20 years ago, it would have implied to me that maybe he liked you whereas now, it might mean that or it might just be a gift. Something he found on sale or was given and thought of passing it on to you?

    1. I asked him myself, actually. He confessed that he didn’t bother with the name of the scent he bought it in Duty Free. He just agreed with the scent and the fact that the packaging is in purple. I don’t think it’s expensive. Prices range from $18-35 in the web.

      If someone will ask me what gift I’d prefer, I’ll choose books over perfume and jewelry!

  6. Do you like ‘Sex In The City’ ? I think gifting anything to a girl means going through iterations of possibilities of what she may or may not think. So buying that, is dangerous, but then again, if he gifted you ‘The Simpsons’ it would still be stupid 🙂

    1. No, I do not like that series/book. If he assumed that I like that series, he’s definitely not my friend. He explained to me that he liked the scent and thought that I’d like it. Honestly, I do. But he also admitted that he did not bother about the signature line and perfume scent name – he didn’t even know what Lust means.

  7. I agree that perfume should be reserved for when you’re in a “relationship.” Plus, scents are very personal. Unless he knew you liked it, maybe it would not appeal to you.

    1. True. My family and closest friends are the only ones “allowed” to give me such. He did not know I like that signature line nor the scent, but I’m surprised that after my first spray, I liked it immediately.

  8. I personally LOVE perfumes and when gifted to me, I accept wholeheartedly. I kinda think you are assuming a lot, Nica. You don’t have to. I am sure he didn’t ‘suggest ‘ anything with the signature line. He probably wanted you to have a branded perfume!. But I gotta say this – if a male friend of mine who is very close to me gifts me this, I would probably joke about the name. But if I am not too close with that guy, I would feel uncomfortable but I wouldn’t think of returning the present. In my eyes, returning a present is pure insult.

    1. Haha it was really funny. He admitted that he bought it at a Duty Free when he arrived back here in the Philippines. He tried smelling the perfume and thought that I’d like it since according to him, it smells like some of my perfume. He also purchased it because of the purple packaging and bottle. However, he did not bother knowing the Korean translation of the perfume scent so he was also red when I explained to him why I was embarrassed. Haha!

  9. I understand that it upset you and I think if he’s just a casual friend, it might be a little too much, but I really don’t get the feeling that he meant anything else but giving you some joy. Perfumes are often considered a sort of default gift for girls, although I’d say it depends on the price… Is it not very expensive and more of a joke, or a gesture to make you smile? Or is it expensive?
    Also, about not like the series… Maybe he’s not aware that you don’t? So many people seem to watch it, so maybe he honestly thought he’d do something nice for you.
    My advice is to sleep about it a night and see what you feel tomorrow and if you still feel uncomfortable, maybe, as some of the others have suggested, talk to him, if you can without making him uncomfortable in return. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the advice. I did just like that 🙂 I called him in the morning and explained my shyness during dinner. Then he explained. He bought it at a Duty Free store, liked the scent, thought of me, then bought it without even knowing the scent’s name. He’s a Korean so some English words are still beyond him and that’s when it all clicked. Language barrier! It was funny. I think it’s just a casual gesture. I googled the perfume and saw that it is not very expensive so I feel better about it.

  10. I need to get educated about proper protocol, Miss Diplomat. If he gave you flowers would you think he thinks you not pretty? If he gave you candy, would he think you not sweet? if he gave you jewelry, would he think you not a gem? In my culture, perfume would be okay, except I do agree the brand he chose was not very diplomatic. If you were to accept a date with me, I would give you glasses because I would think you blind.
    Well, I hope at least you had nice dinner.

    1. Point well made, Gpop. He explained it to me that the main reason was language barrier. There’s no Korean translation for the package so how could he know? Good thing I enjoyed dinner. I love Japanese food 🙂

        1. He explained that he bought it in a Duty Free shop and after smelling the scent, decided to purchase it right away. He did not look over the scent and signature line much; he couldn’t even understand the scent name. He’s Korean.

  11. I literally laughed out loud reading this! :] In my opinion perfume is a rather personal gift…..especially one named “LUST” from “SEX IN THE CITY”. Makes one wonder what is really on his mind! :]
    I would have been offended and probably would have said so….but that’s just me.

  12. I wouldn’t say that a boy giving perfume to a girl who he is friends with it not proper, but that brand is certainly a bit awkward. I would have happily accepted it, but I would probably joke/ teas him about it a little 😛

  13. While I am not of your culture and am a thousand years older than you, I believe fragrances are a very personal gift. I wouldn’t expect a fragrance gift from anyone that I wasn’t intimate with. Sure, there are exceptions. When I was a young girl, my grandmother introduced me to such things as lightly scented body powder and a very light scent fragrance in preparation for becoming a woman — but we also discussed such things as to whom it was appropriate to receive and give gifts of fragrances. IMO this young man was out of line.

    1. I understand. My parents also discussed to me when I was younger that such things like perfume are intimate gifts which can only be given to people you are really close with. However, in time the world shifts and we do things we haven’t approved of before.

  14. Free stuff is always good, although there are so many books that you NEED to read that your friend should have played safe with one (or more) of those instead.

  15. I’m really late to the conversation. From what I’ve read and some of the comments I can see why you were uncomfortable. And I can also appreciate that he didn’t understand the word. It’s good that you talked about it and worked it out. Miscommunication and cultural differences can happen more than we think. I’m learning that now that I live in a different country.

Share your thoughts, I would love to read them!