Against Niggardliness in Modern Perfumery. Plaint 2. Part A.

    Against Niggardliness in Modern Perfumery. Plaint 2. Part A.

    post #1 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Please, sir, may I sniff before I buy?

    Although I have plenty of high SPF products at home, I have been known to squirt on some sunscreen from a tester bottle at CVS while shuffling through that store en route to some other destination. (I walk nearly everywhere I go.) Frequent travelers abroad may similarly avail themselves of the tester bottles out on display in the duty-free shops readily accessible at every international airport. The post-9/11 implementation of restrictions on what passengers may carry on their person while travelling has caused many a perfumista a modicum of strife. I know that before boarding a long flight, I myself have often taken advantage of the ready-at-hand Chanel bottlesespecially Allure edp, which tends to calm my nerves and seems affable enough not to offend my fellow travelers. Well, at least I can say that no one has ever complained. (Luca Turin has obviously never been on any of my planes...)

    I imagine that there are a few people out there who in fact only don perfume as they cruise through their local department store on the way to work, or after work, when they may stop by a counter to spritz something on before going out for the night. There is nothing wrong with using testers for one's own idiosyncratic reasons, though it is obvious that they exist only in order to lure in new buyers. But surely the people who apply perfume only from the tester bottles at counters, with no intention ever to buy, form a tiny minority.

    The vast majority of people who care enough about perfume to want to put some on, are also consumers of the product. They purchase bottles which they may proudly display in their boudoir. Consumers of perfume may also give and receive gifts of perfume. They know that not all perfumes are good for all wearers, which is why they rarely make a blind buyunless they happen to have a competing penchant for gambling, as some most certainly do, a proposition decisively demonstrated by the existence of me.

    All of this makes it puzzling, to say the least, that it should be so very difficult to get our noses on a sample of some houses' new perfumes. Why would a perfumer want an unhappy customer, who would steer clear of their shop having once made a bad buy based on mere conjecture, having been seduced by the effusive verbiage poured out in marketing campaigns to make the big sell? Hello: earth to perfumers? No one is trying to rip you off by requesting a 1ml sample of a perfume which they might, if they like it, end up buying a 100ml bottle of, leaving you with a profit on 99/100ml.

    True, the consumer may not buy that particular perfume, but even if you provide him or her with 5 separate samples of 5 different perfumes, you'll still end up ahead with the profit on 95ml of perfume. To be honest, I'm not even keen on persuading you to give me the 5 ml for free. Please, just permit usI beg, beseech, entreat, and implore youto buy the damned samples at cost so that we can make informed judgments about which perfumes to acquire.

    Despite the obvious potential for profit should perfume houses lure new customers in through allowing them to sniff their wares, I have personally encountered some who do not do samples, as they put it so unceremoniously. One invited me to stop by the next time I'm in Parisas though I might purchase a bottle on the spot having grasped the top notes? Thanks, but no thanks. Another perfume house generously sent me strips of paper on which they had sprayed a selection of their perfumes. That magnanimous gesture would be helpful indeed, were my skin made of dead trees. Alas, it is not.

    I am not in the habit of and do not delight in public shaming (well, except perhaps every now and then of those who revel in the same...), so I'll not name any names, but another house advertised on the internet that they would send out a sample of their new perfume to all those signed up. What did I receive in the mail? A postcard with the powdered substance used to produce samples in fashion magazines.

    The very fact that these pseudo-samples continue to appear in paper publicationswhich for some unknown reason continue to exist, though that's another storyclearly reveals that they have been determined by perfume marketers to be effective strategies for making the big sell. And I have no problem with people who buy perfumes based on such re-creations. My question is: why not give those of us who do not (because we cannot) take those pseudo-samples seriously what we need to make informed decisions on which perfumes to buy?

    Newsflash, Niggardly Perfume Houses: your refusal to step up to the plate and provide your customers with what they need has resulted in the creation of an entirely new manufactured profession. Yes, your abject negligence has spawned a veritable industry of persons whose primary source of income is none other than YOU! So you see, it's really true: what goes around comes around, or so it seems...

    Contemporary Western society has many manufactured professions, by which I mean vocations invented in order to address a problem that arose through negligence or deficiency of one sort or another. Take tax consultants. We have a tax code, and it applies to each of us, but it is so lengthy and complicated that an entire profession arose so that the rest of us could remain gainfully employed doing whatever it is that we do, rather than spending all of our waking hours poring over thousands of pages of legalese so that we might be able competently to file our annual tax returns. Should anyone with complex economic circumstances naïvely attempt to prepare their forms without the (paid) aid of experts, they may rest assured that another profession, that of tax attorneys, has been invented to make it possible to defend themselves from the tax man when he comes knocking on the door, shotgun in tow.

    Another good example: real estate agents. Buying and selling houses is complicated. You have to know a lot of information which most of us would be perfectly happy to skip, preferring to let such trivial details wash over our minds so that we can get back to whatever it was that we were doing before we were so rudely interrupted by such utter, ignoble mundanities. (As the recent mortgage foreclosure debacle in the United States reveals, most people do not even read the terms of the contracts which they sign.)

    A profession has arisen to address this situation. Real estate agents find out everything that needs to be done and how to get it done, and with their silver tongues they even persuade people to buy houses, thus allowing homeowners themselves to spend their leisure time doing whatever they like to do rather than becoming experts on matters that may be of no intrinsic interest to them and, most importantly of all, without being required to acquire the skills of a proficient peddler.

    Which profession has been engendered by the withholding of samples from potential purchasers of perfume? The dreaded decanters, whose income is totally and utterly parasitic on the work of others. Decanters do not create, and they do not add any value to the products which they dispense. Far from it, in fact.

    Who would have thought that entire companies might one day arise whose sole purpose would be to provide people genuinely and sincerely interested in perfume with samples withheld by the perfume makers themselves? Now, I am acutely aware that the decanters have their fans, but I steer clear of them, not only because Mistakes were made when I used them in the past, but also, on a more principled ground: because this is just plain wrong.
    post #2 of 13
    Ah,yes,I too received the "powdered substance" from the unnamed house.At least it was enough to let me know that when I did finally encounter a tester,I needed only to keep walking!

    This cheapness on behalf of perfume houses is particularly hard to take after practically growing up at the perfume counter.I remember the days when one could walk out of the dept. stores with a small shopping bag stuffed full with samples without having bought anything.Customer service,just for the asking.Granted,no niche samples but who needed them back then?This was the pre-watered down era!
    post #3 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PerfumedLady;bt5447

    This cheapness on behalf of perfume houses is particularly hard to take after practically growing up at the perfume counter.I remember the days when one could walk out of the dept. stores with a small shopping bag stuffed full with samples without having bought anything.Customer service,just for the asking.Granted,no niche samples but who needed them back then?This was the pre-watered down era!

    Welcome, PerfumedLady!

    Ah yes, those were the days... Not only do most department store sales associates now refuse to give samples to nearly anyone---and certainly not to anyone who is not making a purchase on that very day---I've even heard stories of of SAs actually hiding tester bottles behind the counter so that people cannot use them "unsupervised"---or, I suppose, without first being sized up as a "qualified" prospective buyer. Another sad example of how niggardliness spreads like a nefarious virus...

    post #4 of 13
    See, if this all were not the case -- we wouldn't need to use decanters.
    Decanters exist because we don't all have all bottles our friends care about... and because the state of industry is just the way you had described it. I had a maddening conversation with a representative of a perfume house that shall remain unnamed for the sake of uniformity here. They offered me to drive out of state to obtain their samples rather than shipping them to me and ensuring my life-time loyalty (I love the house's offerings). Well... I might as well stretch their bottles (and my gas money) further if this is the case and use the decanters.
    post #5 of 13
    Thanks for the welcome,sherapop!I'm enjoying your blogging very much.I've actually seen the hidden testers at the dept.store(since we're all being ladies,won't name them,either!)-had to practically beg on bended knee for a spray.So,yes,they are definitely hiding them at times.

    And please don't smack me but I do have to confess to using and loving TPC!Your piece pretty much explains why-no samples from the damned manufacturers themselves!I have myself convinced it's o.k. as I believe that at least at TPC,those ladies have the same passion for perfumes that we all have.You're right,though-it stinks,it's not fair,we shouldn't have to go to these extremes to find fragrances that ultimately,we will be buying with our hard-earned dollars.
    post #6 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PerfumedLady;bt5457

    And please don't smack me but I do have to confess to using and loving TPC!Your piece pretty much explains why-no samples from the damned manufacturers themselves!

    Not to worry, Perfumed Lady, I won't be smacking anyone for disagreeing with me!
    Ever! Experienced that myself once, actually, as a young child...
    Well, as is plain to see: I stepped right into line after that!
    post #7 of 13
    Every time I walk by a Jo Malone display, I want to ask for a small sample vial. The SAs then are happy to spray a mouilette and wave it in front of my nose, or spray my wrist.

    No thanks. As a result, I don't own a Jo Malone. It's too much trouble to sample to decide if I want to buy. There are far too many companies out there who will make a small 2 ml sample or give carded samples.

    Companies need to understand that samples generate sales. A company passing out pieces of cinnamon rolls in a mall understands this. A hungry shopper delighted with a sample will take home what is being sold.
    post #8 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Primrose;bt5478

    Every time I walk by a Jo Malone display, I want to ask for a small sample vial. The SAs then are happy to spray a mouilette and wave it in front of my nose, or spray my wrist.

    No thanks. As a result, I don't own a Jo Malone. It's too much trouble to sample to decide if I want to buy. There are far too many companies out there who will make a small 2 ml sample or give carded samples.

    Companies need to understand that samples generate sales. A company passing out pieces of cinnamon rolls in a mall understands this. A hungry shopper delighted with a sample will take home what is being sold.

    Greetings, Primrose! So Jo Malone withholds samples? Now that's a good one, and particularly risible in view of the fact that they just happen to number among the most flagrant of diluters! Bottling cologne at edp prices? I can only scoff.
    post #9 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Warum;bt5454

    See, if this all were not the case -- we wouldn't need to use decanters.
    Decanters exist because we don't all have all bottles our friends care about... and because the state of industry is just the way you had described it. I had a maddening conversation with a representative of a perfume house that shall remain unnamed for the sake of uniformity here. They offered me to drive out of state to obtain their samples rather than shipping them to me and ensuring my life-time loyalty (I love the house's offerings). Well... I might as well stretch their bottles (and my gas money) further if this is the case and use the decanters.

    Welcome Warum! Wow--what a story! How perplexing. How preposterous. How...ridiculously irrational can a house be? C'est de l'absurde!
    post #10 of 13
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sherapop;bt5481

    Greetings, Primrose! So Jo Malone withholds samples?

    ?? Last time I was in San Diego, at the Fashion Valley Mall, I stopped by the Neiman Marcus. The saleslady there practically pelted me with Jo Malone samples! She gave me 4 spray vials! Which I tried, and promptly dispersed among my relatives. I guess it depends on where you go?
    post #11 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aiona;bt5521

    ?? Last time I was in San Diego, at the Fashion Valley Mall, I stopped by the Neiman Marcus. The saleslady there practically pelted me with Jo Malone samples! She gave me 4 spray vials! Which I tried, and promptly dispersed among my relatives. I guess it depends on where you go?

    Thanks, Aiona, for sharing your happy encounter with a sales associate at a Jo Malone counter! Are you by chance a frequent shopper at Neiman Marcus? I ask because I think that often the way we are treated may have a lot to do with the basis for believing that we might actually reach for our wallet--either today or in the near future...

    I also think that the level of customer service and general civility is much higher at high-end stores such as NM than at stores which are overrun by hordes of people who probably never will buy any perfume there. In my experience, at any rate, NM has always been among the best. I think that there is less pettiness because it's simply not a major event for a regular NM shopper (especially holders of an NM credit card) to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars during one trip.

    I walked through Saks the other day, and stopped momentarily at the Bond no 9 counter, just to gaze at the kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. The SAs were extremely friendly and ready to answer questions, spray paper doilies, etc., but they did not offer me any vials. They were definitely cordial, however, and I felt that the level of customer service was at least decent. Probably some of their behavior is determined by directives from the house. In other cases, especially at lower-end stores, the SAs just make the rules up as they go along. Well, that's my impression anyway!
    post #12 of 13
    I have even had poor service from the high end stores. One SA even scowled when I asked to see an item, as if she was determining if I would buy or not. Who was she to say whether I had the money or not? She was a very tall, slender woman who looked down her long nose at me and I fell like saying, "OK--your an aspiring model who didn't make the cut. Don't you dare take it out on me. This was at a NM.
    post #13 of 13
    Thread Starter 
    Yes, Primrose, I know what you're talking about. The entire situation is degenerating rapidly because of the crisis of the physical (brick and mortar) retail sector. Who among us does not check the prices online now before buying something at MSRP from a person whose job it is to convince us to purchase from them rather than at a significant savings online--and usually now with free shipping, too.

    I am reminded of my recent stroll through Saks, where upon my entrance I was greeted by a sales associate who was spraying sample paper strips with Prada Infusion D'iris edt and offering a generous promotion: a full-sized lotion free with the purchase of ANY SIZE edt! Well, that would have been a great deal, but I did not have the heart to reveal to him that I had only recently acquired a large bottle (6.7oz) online for about the MSRP of a 1.7oz.

    Why is this relevant? Because the sometimes surly SAs we encounter are under a huge amount of pressure to sell. That is their job, and if they cannot persuade us to buy, the blame falls on their shoulders, not on the internet, even though everyone knows, on some level, that the primary reason why people don't buy nearly as much in stores is simply the very existence of the internet ! So I do actually have some sympathy for these people and their plight: it's a losing battle. They are ultimately doomed. Now, should they be rude? No, of course not. But are they human beings, with the usual foibles? Yes, indeed.
    class="

    8/21/11 at 3:40pm

    sherapop said:



    Please, sir, may I sniff before I buy?

    Although I have plenty of high SPF products at home, I have been known to squirt on some sunscreen from a tester bottle at CVS while shuffling through that store en route to some other destination. (I walk nearly everywhere I go.) Frequent travelers abroad may similarly avail themselves of the tester bottles out on display in the duty-free shops readily accessible at every international airport. The post-9/11 implementation of restrictions on what passengers may carry on their person while travelling has caused many a perfumista a modicum of strife. I know that before boarding a long flight, I myself have often taken advantage of the ready-at-hand Chanel bottlesespecially Allure edp, which tends to calm my nerves and seems affable enough not to offend my fellow travelers. Well, at least I can say that no one has ever complained. (Luca Turin has obviously never been on any of my planes...)

    I imagine that there are a few people out there who in fact only don perfume as they cruise through their local department store on the way to work, or after work, when they may stop by a counter to spritz something on before going out for the night. There is nothing wrong with using testers for one's own idiosyncratic reasons, though it is obvious that they exist only in order to lure in new buyers. But surely the people who apply perfume only from the tester bottles at counters, with no intention ever to buy, form a tiny minority.

    The vast majority of people who care enough about perfume to want to put some on, are also consumers of the product. They purchase bottles which they may proudly display in their boudoir. Consumers of perfume may also give and receive gifts of perfume. They know that not all perfumes are good for all wearers, which is why they rarely make a blind buyunless they happen to have a competing penchant for gambling, as some most certainly do, a proposition decisively demonstrated by the existence of me.

    All of this makes it puzzling, to say the least, that it should be so very difficult to get our noses on a sample of some houses' new perfumes. Why would a perfumer want an unhappy customer, who would steer clear of their shop having once made a bad buy based on mere conjecture, having been seduced by the effusive verbiage poured out in marketing campaigns to make the big sell? Hello: earth to perfumers? No one is trying to rip you off by requesting a 1ml sample of a perfume which they might, if they like it, end up buying a 100ml bottle of, leaving you with a profit on 99/100ml.

    True, the consumer may not buy that particular perfume, but even if you provide him or her with 5 separate samples of 5 different perfumes, you'll still end up ahead with the profit on 95ml of perfume. To be honest, I'm not even keen on persuading you to give me the 5 ml for free. Please, just permit usI beg, beseech, entreat, and implore youto buy the damned samples at cost so that we can make informed judgments about which perfumes to acquire.

    Despite the obvious potential for profit should perfume houses lure new customers in through allowing them to sniff their wares, I have personally encountered some who do not do samples, as they put it so unceremoniously. One invited me to stop by the next time I'm in Parisas though I might purchase a bottle on the spot having grasped the top notes? Thanks, but no thanks. Another perfume house generously sent me strips of paper on which they had sprayed a selection of their perfumes. That magnanimous gesture would be helpful indeed, were my skin made of dead trees. Alas, it is not.

    I am not in the habit of and do not delight in public shaming (well, except perhaps every now and then of those who revel in the same...), so I'll not name any names, but another house advertised on the internet that they would send out a sample of their new perfume to all those signed up. What did I receive in the mail? A postcard with the powdered substance used to produce samples in fashion magazines.

    The very fact that these pseudo-samples continue to appear in paper publicationswhich for some unknown reason continue to exist, though that's another storyclearly reveals that they have been determined by perfume marketers to be effective strategies for making the big sell. And I have no problem with people who buy perfumes based on such re-creations. My question is: why not give those of us who do not (because we cannot) take those pseudo-samples seriously what we need to make informed decisions on which perfumes to buy?

    Newsflash, Niggardly Perfume Houses: your refusal to step up to the plate and provide your customers with what they need has resulted in the creation of an entirely new manufactured profession. Yes, your abject negligence has spawned a veritable industry of persons whose primary source of income is none other than YOU! So you see, it's really true: what goes around comes around, or so it seems...

    Contemporary Western society has many manufactured professions, by which I mean vocations invented in order to address a problem that arose through negligence or deficiency of one sort or another. Take tax consultants. We have a tax code, and it applies to each of us, but it is so lengthy and complicated that an entire profession arose so that the rest of us could remain gainfully employed doing whatever it is that we do, rather than spending all of our waking hours poring over thousands of pages of legalese so that we might be able competently to file our annual tax returns. Should anyone with complex economic circumstances naïvely attempt to prepare their forms without the (paid) aid of experts, they may rest assured that another profession, that of tax attorneys, has been invented to make it possible to defend themselves from the tax man when he comes knocking on the door, shotgun in tow.

    Another good example: real estate agents. Buying and selling houses is complicated. You have to know a lot of information which most of us would be perfectly happy to skip, preferring to let such trivial details wash over our minds so that we can get back to whatever it was that we were doing before we were so rudely interrupted by such utter, ignoble mundanities. (As the recent mortgage foreclosure debacle in the United States reveals, most people do not even read the terms of the contracts which they sign.)

    A profession has arisen to address this situation. Real estate agents find out everything that needs to be done and how to get it done, and with their silver tongues they even persuade people to buy houses, thus allowing homeowners themselves to spend their leisure time doing whatever they like to do rather than becoming experts on matters that may be of no intrinsic interest to them and, most importantly of all, without being required to acquire the skills of a proficient peddler.

    Which profession has been engendered by the withholding of samples from potential purchasers of perfume? The dreaded decanters, whose income is totally and utterly parasitic on the work of others. Decanters do not create, and they do not add any value to the products which they dispense. Far from it, in fact.

    Who would have thought that entire companies might one day arise whose sole purpose would be to provide people genuinely and sincerely interested in perfume with samples withheld by the perfume makers themselves? Now, I am acutely aware that the decanters have their fans, but I steer clear of them, not only because Mistakes were made when I used them in the past, but also, on a more principled ground: because this is just plain wrong.

    8/22/11 at 11:48am

    PerfumedLady said:



    Ah,yes,I too received the "powdered substance" from the unnamed house.At least it was enough to let me know that when I did finally encounter a tester,I needed only to keep walking!

    This cheapness on behalf of perfume houses is particularly hard to take after practically growing up at the perfume counter.I remember the days when one could walk out of the dept. stores with a small shopping bag stuffed full with samples without having bought anything.Customer service,just for the asking.Granted,no niche samples but who needed them back then?This was the pre-watered down era!

    8/22/11 at 7:25pm

    sherapop said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PerfumedLady;bt5447

    This cheapness on behalf of perfume houses is particularly hard to take after practically growing up at the perfume counter.I remember the days when one could walk out of the dept. stores with a small shopping bag stuffed full with samples without having bought anything.Customer service,just for the asking.Granted,no niche samples but who needed them back then?This was the pre-watered down era!

    Welcome, PerfumedLady!

    Ah yes, those were the days... Not only do most department store sales associates now refuse to give samples to nearly anyone---and certainly not to anyone who is not making a purchase on that very day---I've even heard stories of of SAs actually hiding tester bottles behind the counter so that people cannot use them "unsupervised"---or, I suppose, without first being sized up as a "qualified" prospective buyer. Another sad example of how niggardliness spreads like a nefarious virus...

    8/22/11 at 10:15pm

    Warum said:



    See, if this all were not the case -- we wouldn't need to use decanters.
    Decanters exist because we don't all have all bottles our friends care about... and because the state of industry is just the way you had described it. I had a maddening conversation with a representative of a perfume house that shall remain unnamed for the sake of uniformity here. They offered me to drive out of state to obtain their samples rather than shipping them to me and ensuring my life-time loyalty (I love the house's offerings). Well... I might as well stretch their bottles (and my gas money) further if this is the case and use the decanters.

    8/23/11 at 5:53am

    PerfumedLady said:



    Thanks for the welcome,sherapop!I'm enjoying your blogging very much.I've actually seen the hidden testers at the dept.store(since we're all being ladies,won't name them,either!)-had to practically beg on bended knee for a spray.So,yes,they are definitely hiding them at times.

    And please don't smack me but I do have to confess to using and loving TPC!Your piece pretty much explains why-no samples from the damned manufacturers themselves!I have myself convinced it's o.k. as I believe that at least at TPC,those ladies have the same passion for perfumes that we all have.You're right,though-it stinks,it's not fair,we shouldn't have to go to these extremes to find fragrances that ultimately,we will be buying with our hard-earned dollars.

    8/24/11 at 11:01am

    sherapop said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PerfumedLady;bt5457

    And please don't smack me but I do have to confess to using and loving TPC!Your piece pretty much explains why-no samples from the damned manufacturers themselves!

    Not to worry, Perfumed Lady, I won't be smacking anyone for disagreeing with me!
    Ever! Experienced that myself once, actually, as a young child...
    Well, as is plain to see: I stepped right into line after that!

    8/24/11 at 2:16pm

    Primrose said:



    Every time I walk by a Jo Malone display, I want to ask for a small sample vial. The SAs then are happy to spray a mouilette and wave it in front of my nose, or spray my wrist.

    No thanks. As a result, I don't own a Jo Malone. It's too much trouble to sample to decide if I want to buy. There are far too many companies out there who will make a small 2 ml sample or give carded samples.

    Companies need to understand that samples generate sales. A company passing out pieces of cinnamon rolls in a mall understands this. A hungry shopper delighted with a sample will take home what is being sold.

    8/24/11 at 5:11pm

    sherapop said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Primrose;bt5478

    Every time I walk by a Jo Malone display, I want to ask for a small sample vial. The SAs then are happy to spray a mouilette and wave it in front of my nose, or spray my wrist.

    No thanks. As a result, I don't own a Jo Malone. It's too much trouble to sample to decide if I want to buy. There are far too many companies out there who will make a small 2 ml sample or give carded samples.

    Companies need to understand that samples generate sales. A company passing out pieces of cinnamon rolls in a mall understands this. A hungry shopper delighted with a sample will take home what is being sold.

    Greetings, Primrose! So Jo Malone withholds samples? Now that's a good one, and particularly risible in view of the fact that they just happen to number among the most flagrant of diluters! Bottling cologne at edp prices? I can only scoff.

    8/24/11 at 5:29pm

    sherapop said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Warum;bt5454

    See, if this all were not the case -- we wouldn't need to use decanters.
    Decanters exist because we don't all have all bottles our friends care about... and because the state of industry is just the way you had described it. I had a maddening conversation with a representative of a perfume house that shall remain unnamed for the sake of uniformity here. They offered me to drive out of state to obtain their samples rather than shipping them to me and ensuring my life-time loyalty (I love the house's offerings). Well... I might as well stretch their bottles (and my gas money) further if this is the case and use the decanters.

    Welcome Warum! Wow--what a story! How perplexing. How preposterous. How...ridiculously irrational can a house be? C'est de l'absurde!

    8/30/11 at 5:04am

    Aiona said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sherapop;bt5481

    Greetings, Primrose! So Jo Malone withholds samples?

    ?? Last time I was in San Diego, at the Fashion Valley Mall, I stopped by the Neiman Marcus. The saleslady there practically pelted me with Jo Malone samples! She gave me 4 spray vials! Which I tried, and promptly dispersed among my relatives. I guess it depends on where you go?

    8/30/11 at 7:48am

    sherapop said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aiona;bt5521

    ?? Last time I was in San Diego, at the Fashion Valley Mall, I stopped by the Neiman Marcus. The saleslady there practically pelted me with Jo Malone samples! She gave me 4 spray vials! Which I tried, and promptly dispersed among my relatives. I guess it depends on where you go?

    Thanks, Aiona, for sharing your happy encounter with a sales associate at a Jo Malone counter! Are you by chance a frequent shopper at Neiman Marcus? I ask because I think that often the way we are treated may have a lot to do with the basis for believing that we might actually reach for our wallet--either today or in the near future...

    I also think that the level of customer service and general civility is much higher at high-end stores such as NM than at stores which are overrun by hordes of people who probably never will buy any perfume there. In my experience, at any rate, NM has always been among the best. I think that there is less pettiness because it's simply not a major event for a regular NM shopper (especially holders of an NM credit card) to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars during one trip.

    I walked through Saks the other day, and stopped momentarily at the Bond no 9 counter, just to gaze at the kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. The SAs were extremely friendly and ready to answer questions, spray paper doilies, etc., but they did not offer me any vials. They were definitely cordial, however, and I felt that the level of customer service was at least decent. Probably some of their behavior is determined by directives from the house. In other cases, especially at lower-end stores, the SAs just make the rules up as they go along. Well, that's my impression anyway!

    8/30/11 at 9:01am

    Primrose said:



    I have even had poor service from the high end stores. One SA even scowled when I asked to see an item, as if she was determining if I would buy or not. Who was she to say whether I had the money or not? She was a very tall, slender woman who looked down her long nose at me and I fell like saying, "OK--your an aspiring model who didn't make the cut. Don't you dare take it out on me. This was at a NM.

    8/31/11 at 6:49am

    sherapop said:



    Yes, Primrose, I know what you're talking about. The entire situation is degenerating rapidly because of the crisis of the physical (brick and mortar) retail sector. Who among us does not check the prices online now before buying something at MSRP from a person whose job it is to convince us to purchase from them rather than at a significant savings online--and usually now with free shipping, too.

    I am reminded of my recent stroll through Saks, where upon my entrance I was greeted by a sales associate who was spraying sample paper strips with Prada Infusion D'iris edt and offering a generous promotion: a full-sized lotion free with the purchase of ANY SIZE edt! Well, that would have been a great deal, but I did not have the heart to reveal to him that I had only recently acquired a large bottle (6.7oz) online for about the MSRP of a 1.7oz.

    Why is this relevant? Because the sometimes surly SAs we encounter are under a huge amount of pressure to sell. That is their job, and if they cannot persuade us to buy, the blame falls on their shoulders, not on the internet, even though everyone knows, on some level, that the primary reason why people don't buy nearly as much in stores is simply the very existence of the internet ! So I do actually have some sympathy for these people and their plight: it's a losing battle. They are ultimately doomed. Now, should they be rude? No, of course not. But are they human beings, with the usual foibles? Yes, indeed.





Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000