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  1. #1

    Default an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    what is the sound of one hand clapping?

    no not really, what i really want to know is if a fragrance smells great with good lasting power does it matter if it's fake or not? obviously it matters ethically, this is beyond doubt. but what i am wondering is does it matter in any other way?

    OK some context then. so in what i would guess every shopping mall in hungary there is at least one counter that has these generic jugs of fragrance with generic labels, you can get about 10 ml for about 4 or 5 USD of some fairly nice designer fragrances, i have gone ahead and so far bought "amarige" and "kenzo" "Jungle l'elephant" the thing is although it seems very suspicious selling fragrances in this way and most people just assume the fragrances are fake, they smell so good and authentic i really have no way of knowing if it's fake or not. so really, does it even matter? that's all. i don't even know if it's a real question, because i think my mind is already made up that it's not. of course i would never knowingly buy fake fragrance because i do believe it's ethically wrong, but in this case i'm not even sure it's fake or if they just somehow buy the perfume in bulk and selling it in small decants for these prices is just very profitable. the perfume smells great. btw i LOVE jungle. wowie zowie.

  2. #2
    DON'T DRINK AND DRESS

    kbe's Avatar
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    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneFish
    what is the sound of one hand clapping?

    no not really, what i really want to know is if a fragrance smells great with good lasting power does it matter if it's fake or not? obviously it matters ethically, this is beyond doubt. but what i am wondering is does it matter in any other way?

    OK some context then. so in what i would guess every shopping mall in hungary there is at least one counter that has these generic jugs of fragrance with generic labels, you can get about 10 ml for about 4 or 5 USD of some fairly nice designer fragrances, i have gone ahead and so far bought "amarige" and "kenzo" "Jungle l'elephant" the thing is although it seems very suspicious selling fragrances in this way and most people just assume the fragrances are fake, they smell so good and authentic i really have no way of knowing if it's fake or not. so really, does it even matter? that's all. i don't even know if it's a real question, because i think my mind is already made up that it's not. of course i would never knowingly buy fake fragrance because i do believe it's ethically wrong, but in this case i'm not even sure it's fake or if they just somehow buy the perfume in bulk and selling it in small decants for these prices is just very profitable. the perfume smells great. btw i LOVE jungle. wowie zowie.
    Moral and legal considerations aside, if you like it, use it.


    ...and perhaps the 'Sound of One Hand Clapping' is simply...THIS!! ::gassho::
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  3. #3

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    If you like it and it smells nice, then I don't think it matters. Heck, it sounds like a bargain. Nothing wrong with that!

    In college a girl that I knew always smelled amazing...and when we were on a trip for a convention together, she left her toiletries kit out, and she had those cheezy "designer impostors" sprays that they sell in drugstores! I was surprised. Then again, my cardinal rule of fragrance is to wear what you like. Nobody has to know that it's fake.



  4. #4

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    I had won a HUGE bottle of Chanel No. 5 edp that I'm 99.9% sure was a complete fake but it lasted longer & had better sillage than my store bought No 5.
    I would buy another fake bottle from that seller to be honest!!

  5. #5

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    I agree with you, that it doesn't matter. You like it, wear it!

  6. #6

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    I bought a bunch of fakes, with mixed results, many good, some not. It was a fun experiment. I don't have the ethical problem with them, because they were not represented as real, but as good imitations. If someone claimed that their fakes were real, I'd have more of an objection.

    Tinker's experience is interesting... of the fakes I have, there are some quite nice ones, certainly good enough to wear, but I've never had one that actually outdid the real stuff in any way.

    You pose interesting questions - to paraphrase and alter one of them slightly, if something smells good, does it matter if it's "real" or not? I tend to think not.

    Having said that, around here, with so many serious scent aficionados, I think someone would be criticized for being an advocate of fakes, or at least would be thought to be uncool.

  7. #7

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Cognoscento
    If someone claimed that their fakes were real, I'd have more of an objection.
    Quoted for truth!
    I agree. I also don't have any fakes or imitations in my wardrobe at all, because I agree that they're more than likely going to be a pale imitation of the real thing. But hey, if someone likes it and is aware that they're using an imitation/impression/not the real thing, then who am I to interfere? Obviously forgery and fraud are terrible (just read any of the Fake Creed threads on here to figure out what an awful problem it is)...but for someone to buy a few decants of "designer impostors" fragrances...well, I just don't see the harm in that.



  8. #8

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    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    You've already got them. So why not wear them? :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  9. #9

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    You all raise interesting points. As far as the ethical question goes, it certainly is a pretty complicated one that a lot of people would probably disagree on. I suppose what my point of view is that since knock-offs are legal and make no pretense to being the real thing morally there's nothing wrong with buying them. The issue becomes shadier when one looks at fragrances that try to pass them off as the real thing. It seems that most people would agree that it's wrong for whoever is making these fake fragrances to make them, since it constitutes stealing of someone else's trademark and creative property, but is it wrong to knowingly buy one of these? I suppose it's a pretty grey issue, although I wouldn't feel too comfortable buying something I knew was a fake, but if someone buys something like this in good faith obviously they haven't done anything wrong but in this case most people would say a wrong had committed against them. But I guess this last point is the one I feel most conflicted about, because obviously it's wrong to deceive a consumer but if there is no real difference between the fake and the original, then the person who purchased the fake believing it to be an original may as well have purchased an original. Does this make any sense?

    I started wondering about this because as mentioned by linnea there is always some sort of thread or another on the male frag discussion board about fake creeds, and people wondering if their creed is a fake. But again you can't help but wonder that if there is no discernable difference between the two then the whole question of whether it's fake or not seems moot, or rather the concern over what is fake/real at this point doesn't really hinge on smell anymore, as much as something even more intangible, like status or authenticity

  10. #10

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    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    Key to my feelings is the difference between a fake and a dupe. Fakes are fraud, dupes are the sincerest form of flattery.

  11. #11

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    Totally agree with Shycat!
    I once ordered what I thought were three genuine perfumes off e-bay
    only to receive rollerballs with labels saying "Romance-like" perfume inside!!
    Needless to say I didn't use that perticular seller again.

  12. #12

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    Well put, Shycat. I agree.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    But fakes are robbery.

    I have never lost my heart to a duplicate fragrance, but that is because I smell the ones that represent fragrances I know. I compare them, and the balance of the notes is different from the original.

    However, if I were to judge them by themselves, I'm sure there are many lovely ones, and the money savings are considerable.
    As the old song goes, "It's your thing, do what you want to do..."

  13. #13

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    I was wondering this very same question!

    Yesterday, and the day before, I did some shopping at 2 different malls. In the department stores, I strip tested several scents I had heard about and wanted to smell. I walked around with the strips for a while, and wandered outside to a Kiosk selling 'authetic' perfumes for 1/2 the prices of the department stores... in the same bottles even. So I got some strips from the kiosk too... and for the SAME scents (Angel, Cool Water), the smell was different. Not dramatically different, but slightly different, and 'cheaper' smelling, noticeably 'off'.

    I have an original Ombre Rose sample vial from the year Ombre Rose first came out. It is heavenly. That was one of the scents I wanted to buy. The department stores didn't carry it at all, but I found it in the Kiosk. I have read that Ombre Rose was reformulated... but WHOA! This was unbelievably disgusting. Because I was sure I knew what it would smell like, I sprayed the sample on my arm. It was not remotely the same. There was no trace of rose, it was completely powdery and just gross.

    I find it hard to believe that the scent could have changed to something completely different in every single note. The bottle it was sprayed from was the same frosted floral bottle you see in photos online (except the photo on my vial card showed a black bottle and not the frosted clear one). I don't know that every perfume/fragrance store sells fakes, but this one sure did, in 'real' bottles that are completely indistinguishable from the ones in department stores.

    It made me puzzle about some of the reviews I had seen about Beyond Paradise (I left a review, but it's still under 'review'), where most of the reviews were negative. I tried this at Bloomingdale's and was completely amazed at the scent. I really hate Estee Lauder fragrances as a whole. Youth Dew is the exception, but mostly because it reminds me of coke syrup, and I love coca cola.

    Here's what Luca Turin had to say about Beyond Paradise in his blogspot article titled, "The Perfect Floral" (June 5, 2005):
    "The fact is that perfumes, like species, usually evolve in incremental steps. When closely related, they can even interbreed to produce rare and splendid hybrids. Estée Lauder's latest, Beyond Paradise, is one such marvel. If
    it had a coat of arms, it would be a four-generation mosaic of fleur-de-lys.

    This is the matchmaker's dream come true, a perfect heir to several princely houses of fragrance. Its lineage is second to none: in the beginning there was Diorella, the first fragrance to break free from the notion that flowers were wholesome, with an overripe note that urged one not to delay tasting the forbidden. Then it's creator Edmond Roudnitska apparently took a contrary tack and worked with Jacques Polge on the pallid and haughty Cristalle, a floral form bathed in the cold light of a sculptor's studio.

    _A few years later, Calice Becker's Tommy Girl proved that a tea base could make a floral shine as brightly as the inside of an alien spaceship. She went on to compose the wonderfully seamless J'Adore, where this brightness is dimmed to the glow of a sunset on snow. At this point it would have been legitimate to suppose that the idea was exhausted. Wrong ! Beyond Paradise begins with the most breathtaking floral chord ever, a hundred close-miked voices singing in unison.

    That alone would suffice, but what happens next is even more remarkable. A great artist at the peak of her powers, Becker has taken the bone structure from Cristalle, the tempting flesh from Diorella, the flattering hue of J'Adore and the radiance of Tommy Girl, and fused them all into a seraphic being we foolishly thought would never come: the Perfect Floral."

    After smelling it, I couldn't agree more, I have never smelled anything like it in perfumery, and had to have some.

    I'm dying of curiosity to see this come out in one of these perfume stores or kiosks now to compare (the one I visited did not have it).

    If a fake is sold as a fake, that's fine, but it seems that fakes are being sold as real these days, and in some cases the differences in nuance are enormous. Perhaps Beyond Paradise has been subject to the same treatment as Ombre Rose, the accountants got a hold of it and substituted some ingredients for cost savings. But at Bloomingdale's, the scent was exactly as Turin described, and just incredible.

    So I think the question really is... can you dare buy perfume outside of the licensed department stores and ever be assured of getting the real thing?

  14. #14

    Default Re: an existential/zen question about fake fragrance

    hm, i smelled beyond paradise in a department store and i am positive it was the real deal but i did not like it at all, regardless,o well everyone has their own tastes right. i am amazed that you say this perfume kiosk was selling fake perfumes right in the shopping mall. this is one reason why i was not sure about the frag i bought in hungary, because it was sold in a shopping mall and i would guess that the authorities would not approve of this sort of thing, and it seems to me it would be the same in the usa, i mean i know there are lots of areas where fake all sorts of things can be bought but i always assumed it was only out on the street and that a shopping mall would never allow contraband in its walls.

    anyhow, it's an interesting point because i have never actually smelled kenzo jungle except for the one i got at the kiosk, and it would be interesting to compare this one to one that i can be positive is real to see if there is a difference at all, but the version i bought sounds just like the descriptions i have read online. but i do have a little bit of amarige, that i mentioned, that i also bought from a sketchy kiosk but it smells just as good (if not better) (can't speak for similarity since it has been awhile since i sampled the real deal) as the bonafide amarige. really, who knows.

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