I just had a really nice and unusual experience shopping for fragrances and I wanted to share it with you.
Today I woke up bored and decided I was going to go snag a bottle of Creed Original Santal I tried last week at a discount shop at the Mall. I've been to this discount shop a few times and have bought some stuff from them (Creed MI, Joop Rococo, Eau de Cartier, and Antaeus).
The shop is run by two guys who told me they were from Pakistan and with every visit to the store they have become nicer and nicer to me-- we always talk about fragrances and I love their store(s)--actually they have two stores at the mall and they stock a lot of hard to find and discontinued stuff.
So today, I walked in the store while these two guys were sitting in the back eating their lunch. They saw me come in and got up to help me. I told them they could continue to eat, as I was just going to take a few minutes to look at the selection.
Then I couldn't believe it... they offered me lunch! They were eating some spicy Indian dish that one of them had made, and they insisted that I come back behind the counter and eat with them. It took me by surprise, but I was kind of hungry and I do like spicy food. So I came back and they made me a plate. There were only two chairs and one of the guys insisted on giving me his chair.
So I sat and ate. It was really good and super spicy. Then the guy told me I was eating goat meat (Not something I'd eat normally, but I didn't want to be rude, so I ate it-- besides, it wasn't bad). And since the food was so spicy, the other guy went to a soda machine and bought a bottle of water for me! My mouth is still burning, but man it was tasty food.
Then they told me I was welcome to come behind the counter and take as much time as I needed and sample whatever I wanted. Sadly, they had sold the Original Santal already, but they had tons of stuff I wanted.
I saw a bottle of Helmut Lang EDC and they gave me a good price on it. I also had to jump on a bottle of the discontinued Versace Versus Uomo. And I got a good deal on a bottle of John Varvatos (some guy came into my bar wearing it the other night and it smelled great on him, so I had to get some for myself. Plus lately I've been trying to work on creating leathers, and it's a good example of a sweeter leather as opposed to a mossy leather.) These guys gave me a special price on all this stuff, and I really appreciated it.
So we talked a while and I hung out and observed people coming into the store. I got out a few samples of my own fragrances and let them all try them and I got good reactions (I try to examine a person's non-verbal expressions rather than what they tell me).
One of the guys at the store asked me where I worked and if I would consider coming to work at the stores as extra help during the busy Christmas season. I was really flattered and amazed at the hospitality they showered upon me. I do pretty well at my regular job, but still, if I worked at their store for a few weeks I could bone up on my knowledge of women's perfumes and maybe make samples of them all for reference. Plus, maybe they could just pay me in colognes. I'd go for it.
Also, I was walking out of the mall and I saw Jose Valentin, the NY Mets second baseman, shopping with his kids (damn Mets, they beat my Cardinals yesterday on our opening day!)
Well, anyway I've had some good experiences with SA's when shopping for fragrances but I think this was tops! It left me with a nice warm feeling all over--though maybe that warmth was from the spicy food!
Wow! Great story!
I've never seen hospitality quite like that but that certainly is top noch. It would be amazing to work in a store like that too. You are going to have to keep in touch with these guys...
Considering the way people tend to react to you, I can only conclude you must be a really really nice person :).
Another great story.
Those guys seem really nice! You let the shop owners sample your creations, or all the customers too? Haha, that would be hilarious if they payed you in cologne, 10mL/hour, do it!!
I had a friend from Pakistan in High School, thought he grew up mostly in England and had the accent and everything. I didn't have an opportunity to have dinner at his place, thought he and his family was extremely friendly and open people.
BTW..what do you think about the Versus Uomo...I really like the Versace line of perfumes even thought I don't wear them....Versus Uomo is by far my fav Versace scent...I tested it about 2 years ago and I've put off from buying a bottle...I need to get a bottle soon.
Score one for the Pakistanis! Why is it most of the perfume shops are owned by Pakistanis, Iranians, and Indians? Maybe I should open up a shop too. What city do you live in?
I was born and raised in the US but my parents immigrated in the 60s from Pakistan. I can cook some good meals for you. Interestingly back in 2000 way before I joined Basenotes or knew much about fragrances I went to a perfume shop in Pakistan and the guys there were really nice too and were drinking tea and they gave me a cup also. Of course back then I was looking for dumb stuff like Cool Water and Eternity oils I bought from them.
My thoughts exactly.
Originally Posted by the_good_life
I'm an American, but have lived in India and now live in Saudi Arabia, where there is a large community of people from India and Pakistan.
Based on my experiences, what you've seen isn't really that unusual. I've had so many people from South Asia go out of their way to be nice to me over the years. Most of them seem to really enjoy helping you out!
Of course it does help to respect them and be nice to them, too. Obviously, they have responded to your good nature and interest.
See my current thread A Bounty of Discontinued Frags for what Khalid, a Pakistani manager of a local shop, did for me in tracking down frags on my wanted list. I doubt that you'd get that kind of service from most shop managers :cool:
I have found that a lot of rude people are americans, globally speaking. Most of them live in LA. Hahahaha
Originally Posted by nsamadi
I just got home and put some of the Versus on and I really like it. It seems kind of light in terms of sillage. It does seem hard to describe. It seems a bit like maybe Antaeus mixed with Jicky and then a gumball smell when it goes on. Shortly afterward it dies down quite a bit to something like a vetiver note. I don't know what year it was discontinued in, so I don't know how old the bottle is.
Something funny that happened last year--it has something to do with the Versus box. Last year, we were walking to a baseball game and there were a bunch of motorcycle police standing around. But there was this one cop who was really "wink wink, nudge nudge" flamboyantly over the top. He was on the corner with spit-shined patent leather boots that went up to his knees. And he was standing with an extremely louche posture. He looked like somebody plucked from the Versus box cover. So I yelled, "Hey look! It's Officer Versace!" And my friends and also a bunch of strangers who were also walking started laughing. I don't know if the cop heard me or not, but it was funny.
But I am digging the Versus quite a bit. I've wanted to get some for a while, but it wasn't readily available to test. Still, Black Jeans is my favorite Versace ever, but Versus is extremely good IMO.