Before having any kind of color applied to your hair, select a salon with a certified color professional. Not every hairdresser is an expert in color. Find a salon that specializes in color and ask about the qualifications of their staff. Usually a high end colorist will charge more, but it's worth it. Considering you are looking for something for the holidays, think of this as a gift to you.
Seems those that bring you hair color in a box have gotten the message. You'll notice more fruity scents rather than something that smells like a toxic waste dump when using them. Apparently all part of an effort to make the time spent coloring your hair seem more like putting on make_up rather than doing something that requires you don a hazmat suit.