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Possum-Pie's making sense of scents

Fakes and counterfeits!!

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I wasn't going to do another Blog before the holidays, but this one kept screaming to be done. As you do your last minute shopping, you will be tempted to enter the dark mysterious world of the "grey market" What is that you ask innocently as you pack your goodies, put on your Riding Hood, and head to Grandma's? Grey Market is a collection of Testers, fakes, counterfeits, old shelf-lives, etc. Fragrances. A tester is a bottle that is legitimate but was produced without box or cap for "free sample spritzes" at fragrance counters. Some of these never make it to the counter, but are sold on the Grey Market...Ebay, Amazon, and legitimate selling sites. The wording may be in a mysterious Arabic script, the label may be coming off. The contents of these are legitimate and genuine. The thing you don't know is how long it sat...Often the Lot/Batch # will at least give you a year. The more deadly area is the realm of the Fakes and counterfeits. These are manufactured by unscrupulous people who fake the fragrance, fake the bottle, and fake the box. The only way you will avoid these wastes of money are to buy from legitimate retailers who assure you that if you are not happy that they will return your money.
Among the most counterfeited fragrances are the superstar fragrances by Creed. Creed is probably the most counterfeited niche fragrance around. They are not so common as people can spot errors in the packaging or bottle. Aventus and Green Irish Tweed both have more electronic ink spilled about them on Basenotes as to the legitimacy of panicked writer's bottles than every other fragrance combined. IF you are going to buy grey market, look first for a lot number. It should be somewhere on the bottle and the box. Look next for spelling errors, or other clues on the box itself. One batch of fake Green Irish Tweed actually had boxes that sported the logo "GREEN FRICH TWEED"!! It is a temptation to save a little money during the holidays, but also remember if the price is too good to be probably is!


  1. noirdrakkar's Avatar
    If the fragrance isn't a best-seller, or wasn't at any time, you don't have to worry. When it comes to niche, other than Creed, there aren't really a lot of counterfeits out there.
  2. Possum-Pie's Avatar
    Very true, thanks Noirdrakkar. Creed is probably the most counterfeited, niche or not, but there is also the concept that a tester or bottle which sat in a hot warehouse for a year then sold on the grey market is going to be weak in the top notes for sure! I think 90% of the whining on BN about bad batches of Aventus are because people get older bottles that were not stored properly. Aventus just seems more sensitive to that than other fragrances.
  3. silentrich's Avatar
    Compared to other products that are counterfeit, fragrances are very poor quality reproductions.


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