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  1. #1

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    Default Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    I have never been so riled up in my life before. Okay, not so much angry but exasperated.
    Okay, so I go to one of the Douglas fragrance shops (Sephora equivalent in France) today and this lady comes to help me. I go in with a list of fragrances that I wanted to check out. I pointed out whether or not they had the Meteorites fragrance by Guerlain (I didn't know it was discontinued until doing research now). I asked for the fragrance. She was like, "oh you mean the make up right? I said no no, the fragrance." She said, "It doesn't exist." I said, "I'm pretty sure it does. I heard much about it in the past." She said, "it never existed." She grabbed an older women and asked her, "does Meteorites, the perfume exist?" The woman said, "certainly not."

    The first woman tells me, "we have every Guerlain fragrance ever made." This was a red flag for me. I was like, "have you heard of Djedi? Or Guet-Apens?" The woman responded, "they don't exist." I responded calmly, "they do. I'm sure of it. Thank you have a nice day." As I was walking away, she retorted, "I'm very certain that they do not."

    So it's childish. I should have cut the thread to this conversation long time ago. I'm genuinely a nice, peaceful guy. I've never picked a fight in my life. For some reason, I felt I had to. I knew I was going to lose because of my broken French. No matter how it turned out, I'm going to be a laughing stock when I leave the store.

    I told her, "I'm not here to be challenging. But one shouldn't say something doesn't exist if one is not completely sure." (I should have formulated this statement differently, like "One should have some flexibility and some uncertainty on the things that one has learned.) She said, "But I am completely sure that those three fragrances do not exist." She grabbed the older lady and the older lady says, "I've worked in this industry for 22 years and I've studied the house of Guerlain. They do not exist." I said, "I've studied a good deal of the history of fragrances too, and I believe that they do." She said to the woman, "He's a foreigner. (turns to me) Where did you get these names?" I said, "From reading, like books on fragrances. (In the back of my head... I lost an ebay.fr auction of Guet-Apens yesterday. And I did my research on that one. I knew at least that one for sure exists.)" She said, "Oh, well Guerlain is an important French brand and well, you're a foreigner. Probably all of the information is twisted and manipulated in your country." At this point, I'm thinking "oh my gosh, she did not just say that." She continues, "both me and my colleague have studied in the fragrance industry, we know what we are talking about." She peers me up and down (I'm 22, wearing a beanie, sweater, jeans, and Converses), giving me a what do you know kind of look... who do you think you are?

    I asked them, "How about I give you guys proof?" The older woman nodded. I got the older woman's name. I asked for the younger woman's. She responded in a haughty voice, "Frankly, I want to see your proof. Claire." I walked out kinda pissed off about how arrogant these women were. At the same time, I was disappointed that I couldn't articulately and peacefully communicate what I wanted to say. Everything would not have gone down so childishly if it were in English. But their frustration of not getting me to back down only added fuel to the fire, as we duked it out. But at the same time, it wasn't really combative from my end, but I felt like they were attacking me the entire time. I couldn't help but feel exasperated.

    They had absolutely no flexibility. Everything turned around after I walked through the Dior boutique, L'artisan boutique, and the newly opened Jo Malone store and talked up a storm, scoring cool samples and great contact information.

    Nonetheless, I think French people are really awesome. What drives me crazy sometimes is that (I speak really broadly) many French people are so confident in themselves that their being wrong is impossible.

    And correct me if I'm wrong. Djedi, Guet-Apens, and Meteorites exist. No? I'm 95% sure that they do, leaving some room for error.

    [Addendum] The conversations are a bit watered down, but these women used strong definitives "I never heard of them. They never existed. You are wrong. I am 100% sure. I am right. I am very certain."
    Last edited by scentophile; 16th November 2007 at 09:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    I'm not surprised that you were angry because you were 100% correct. Djedi was a classic from about 1927, Meteorites fragrance from about 2000 and Guet Apens, I would say mid to late 90s.

    Barry

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    This kind of thing would get me REALLY fired up. Maybe to the point where I swear or raise my voice. Not like me, but when I know I'm right, and some ignorant idiot is blatantly talking sh*t, it makes me want to do more than swear at them.

    If this went on like that (with their absolute "inflexibility", as you've called it) I really might have said something intentionally offensive. I'm getting all fired up just over this post! Time to quit
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    I laughed at this.. but for what it's worth, while you are right.. don't let a person working in a frag store make you mad.. just have a laugh about the whole thing {because you are correct).. they will never know or realize you were right.. and the comment about "in your country, information is manipulated.. " as if the White House has a scheme to hide fragrance information from the public masses.. right. idiotic comments like the latter don't warrant your attention. Just feel comfortable they are working in a retail store with perfumes (nothing wrong with this).. and have the audacity to question what YOU do.. I had a good laugh at this one, thanks (not at your expense, it was just pathetically funny.. the story).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    Why continuing the argument with SA who offers her help but does not know that the frag you want exist? I mean, it is clear that she can't help you. Look around at Guerlain shelf, and explore it by yourself. That's what I would do.
    Yet, your experience would make me very angry. And therefore I try to not deal with SAs as much as I can.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boal View Post
    Why continuing the argument with SA who offers her help but does not know that the frag you want exist? I mean, it is clear that she can't help you. Look around at Guerlain shelf, and explore it by yourself. That's what I would do.
    Yet, your experience would make me very angry. And therefore I try to not deal with SAs as much as I can.
    Good point. Well, I do this in order to make conversation with the great grand goal to practice my French. I never deal with sales associates in general (when I lived in America), but I'm always open to finding someone who is truly knowledgeable - I mean all these sales associates do go through perfume (not design) school to be where they are.
    Last edited by scentophile; 16th November 2007 at 09:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    Actually what you should do is send a note to the Guerlain people, mentioning that perhaps this dump isn't quite the right place for their storied house to be sold, since they don't know the name of scents from the house, two of which were available in this decade and one of which is a famous re-issue (in 1996, only 1000 units in a Lalique bottle) which fetch record prices on eBay.

    Dumb bimboes...

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmp00 View Post
    Actually what you should do is send a note to the Guerlain people, mentioning that perhaps this dump isn't quite the right place for their storied house to be sold, since they don't know the name of scents from the house, two of which were available in this decade and one of which is a famous re-issue (in 1996, only 1000 units in a Lalique bottle) which fetch record prices on eBay.

    Dumb bimboes...
    In retrospect, you are more than absolutely correct (I got your comment to its entirety - sharp). Again, I was more ruffled by their inflexibility.
    Last edited by scentophile; 16th November 2007 at 09:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant (French) salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    (I got your comment to its entirety)
    Did you think it was a low blow towards you? I hope not, it was meant with absolute seriousness. I would write to Guerlain and let them know that this store and in particular these two women were not doing either their employer of the house of Guerlain any favors.

    Also, your youth is no excuse for their arrogance. You are 22 now and clearly know about perfume. At 32 you'll have more disposable income and remember to bypass that dump and shop someplace like l'Artisan where you are treated well.

    When you reach my age you'll have no problem looking that sales person straight in the eye and saying, "Madame, vous êtes un idiot!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    "both me and my colleague have studied in the fragrance industry"
    As if this information can only be known by them - those who graduate from the tier one, ivy league institution.
    UofB
    University of Biotches
    Last edited by laroche; 16th November 2007 at 11:49 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Oh, I run into this all the time as I have this perverse need to seek out the unfamiliar. Of course you are correct that those frags exist; I've sniffed them with my very own nose! Their knowledge is just limited and some people have difficulty admitting that "they don't know". They sound childish and immature. Glad that your day turned around!!

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmp00 View Post
    Actually what you should do is send a note to the Guerlain people, mentioning that perhaps this dump isn't quite the right place for their storied house to be sold, since they don't know the name of scents from the house, two of which were available in this decade and one of which is a famous re-issue (in 1996, only 1000 units in a Lalique bottle) which fetch record prices on eBay.

    Dumb bimboes...
    Oh, I totally misread the tone of your post as sarcasm! For some reason, I thought you were saying that I proposed some names that were too difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by laroche View Post
    As if this information can only be known by those who graduate from this tier one, ivy league institution.
    UofB
    University of Biotches
    Frankly, I think basenotes is really a wonderful "institution". On is able to learn so much from the melange of everyone's contributions.

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    Frankly, I think basenotes is really a wonderful "institution". On is able to learn so much from the melange of everyone's contributions.
    I didnt mean basenotes.
    You stated in your post that the SA's studied fragrances - as though they attended "scent-school" and had more knowledge than you, when obviously they did not. I've encountered SA's like that too.
    I meant to say that they seemed snotty and that the only place they studied at was UofB (University of Biatches)
    Last edited by laroche; 16th November 2007 at 11:41 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    I HATE HATE HATE Douglas. It is purely the WORST store I have ever been into. The sales ladies are bitches, they're snotty, they're uninformed, and rude. On top of that, their Creeds in the one here are so old they've turned. I'll never go back in that crap store.

    I see I'm not the only one who has had a horrible experience in this horrible store. Worthless.
    I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by laroche View Post
    I didnt mean basenotes.
    You stated in your post that the SA's studied fragrances - as though they attended "scent-school" and had more knowledge than you, when obviously they did not. I've encountered SA's like that too.
    I meant to say that they seemed snotty and that the only place they studied at was UofB (University of Biatches)
    No, I got you! On the side, I was just saying how great basenotes is.

  16. #16
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    Smile Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Scentophile. Just wanted to add that in general when people act like that it says more about them and thier personal problems than it does about you and what you are trying to accomplish by being there in the first place. It also says something about thier preconcieved notions of what a foreigner is supposed to act like. You didn't bring the worst out in them they brought the worst out in themselves. There are some people in the retail industry that should have jobs where they interact with computers or machinary not people.


    Hard not to get your dander up though. I'll bet you didn't make a purchase from them which is supposed to be the whole reason they are being paid to be there isn't it?

    Best to you Sir

    Rick

    Rick
    For sale post

    [url]http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=190169[/url]

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Scentophile,
    Put those wretched harpies in their place and return to the store with printouts of bottles and packaging of these scents (hell, my wife has a boxed bottle of Meteorites on her dresser right here!). Simply walk up to the old duck, hand her the printouts and exclaim "Apology Accepted" before heading for the door.

    I HATE people like this!!!
    PS: A screencapture and printout from a french website with these scents would also be a winner!
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 17th November 2007 at 06:58 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    I had a similar incident when I was on my hunt for Xeryus Rouge. Lady said " It does not exsist because SHE has never heard of ANY perfume ever consisting of Cactus accords and still being sweet created by Givenchy...." She insisted I was misinformed. A similar occurance recently also when I was searching for Roma UOMO. Basically samething you went through except I sat there like -_-..... Went home and purchased it online for 20 bucks. Sad thing is, these were fragrances much less exclusive than the ones you were seeking..


    Also.. Good luck on finding your fragrances..


    - Jay
    I'm so fo sho' it's no facade/ Stay out of trouble momma said as momma sighed/ For her fear her youngest son be a victim of homicide/ But I gotta get you out of here momma.. Or I'm gonna die..Inside...So either eay you lose me momma/ So let loose of me!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    Scentophile,
    Put those wretched harpies in their place and return to the store with printouts of bottles and packaging of these scents (hell, my wife has a boxed bottle of Meteorites on her dresser right here!). Simply walk up to the old duck, hand her the printouts and exclaim "Apology Accepted" before heading for the door.

    I HATE people like this!!!
    PS: A screencapture and printout from a french website with these scents would also be a winner!
    I agree with Dimitri. You now have an obligation to all us "foreigners" who might visit Douglas in the future (although it seems unlikely now), to show those SAs that we're not all uninformed idiots. If you don't show them the error of their ways, they'll continue to believe in their own certainty. Everyone needs to have a little doubt sown in their minds once in a while - it's good for the soul.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Well, I've had my fair share of arrogant salespeople in the past.

    On one end of the scale, an SA at the Elder-Beerman in Anderson, Indiana (which I liked visiting for fun back during my Anderson University days, nevermind that the store and mall it was in was total crap) kept pushing Joop! on me, even though I always have and always will hate it.

    On the other end, there is the arrogance and snobbiness that is Neiman Marcus. Unless you're dressed in the season's latest ready-to-wear, they won't touch you with a 39 1/2-foot pole. Heck, their arrogance even extends to which kinds of plastic they accept in their stores (only their store card and American Express cards... hey, this ain't Costco, for pity sakes!).

    Otherwise, I've had very good luck with the SAs at Nordstrom, Sephora, Saks, Von Maur, and even the local Macy's.
    I am not afraid to keep on living - I am not afraid to walk this world alone.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Keep in mind that you actually don't care what some random salespeople in a random shop do or don't think they know about products that they aren't in a position to sell you anyway.

    Also keep in mind that even people in client-service businesses don't react well to generalized admonitions about what they should and shouldn't do. And, in English, anyway, you can't use constructions like "one really shouldn't do X" in a one-on-one conversation without coming across as haughty, presumptuous and condescending.
    “They aren't connected . . . they aren't mafia. Not with names like Tuner Watson” - Jim Rockford

  22. #22

    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Well, you had a painfull meeting with what I call the "perfume divas".

    Just because they wax their *ss they think they know it all.
    One diva even told me that Armani fragrances have good longevity.

    Give me a break!

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    I have never been so riled up in my life before. Okay, not so much angry but exasperated. Okay, so I go to one of the Douglas fragrance shops (Sephora equivalent in France) today and this lady comes to help me.
    Scentophile, there are a couple of things I would love to comment on. I will limit it to the absolutely necessary:
    - There are so many nuances in how things can be said and understood, that communication failures happen. As your mother tongue isn't French, please make an allowance for either understanding them the wrong way or communicating in a way these ladies didn't understand immediately.
    - Douglas is a newer European chain selling the most current perfumes only. It's poorly managed, pays lowest salaries, but will gift wrap things for you. I dislike that store, and had similar fights there about more current items, just because they do not carry them. Your big French department stores have much better fragrance counters, I am sure. I forgot where you are at - Lyon? Try and find Sephora meme, which are much better, and should be perfect in their home country, France! They belong to LVMH as you probably know. That's where I found things that cannot be bought easily, like Jules (Dior), Xerius (Black), or Ungaro.
    - Try and visit independent little perfume shops if you can find them. They are usually owned by an individual, or a family. That's where talking to the sales person or owners can become a lesson in French perfumes and their history for you, and a language lesson at the same time. Have fun, even though it might cost you a little extra! (They may offer a little discount the second time around.)
    Last edited by narcus; 17th November 2007 at 05:51 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Yeah, folks, please try but don't buy at Douglas. They are a huge German chain, the Wal-Mart of perfumeries, which has systematically gobbled up or destroyed independently owned perfumeries in towns all over Germany. As narcus said, they are a typical global player who carry mainly the mainstream junk and employ miserably trained and probably very badly paid SAs. And they are not even cheaper or anything. Musks for the Masses, to misquote Depeche Mode.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Scentophile, there are a couple of things I would love to comment on. I will limit it to the absolutely necessary:
    - There are so many nuances in how things can be said and understood, that communication failures happen. As your mother tongue isn't French, please make an allowance for either understanding them the wrong way or communicating in a way these ladies didn't understand immediately.
    - Douglas is a newer European chain selling the most current perfumes only. It's poorly managed, pays lowest salaries, but will gift wrap things for you. I dislike that store, and had similar fights there about more current items, just because they do not carry them. Your big French department stores have much better fragrance counters, I am sure. I forgot where you are at - Lyon? Try and find Sephora meme, which are much better, and should be perfect in their home country, France! They belong to LVMH as you probably know. That's where I found things that cannot be bought easily, like Jules (Dior), Xerius (Black), or Ungaro.
    - Try and visit independent little perfume shops if you can find them. They are usually owned by an individual, or a family. That's where talking to the sales person or owners can become a lesson in French perfumes and their history for you, and a language lesson at the same time. Have fun, even though it might cost you a little extra! (They may offer a little discount the second time around.)
    Narcus,

    Excellent points.
    -In hindsight, I think everything was more or less well communicated. I understood pretty much every word that they said and I'm pretty sure they of me. And with proper nouns, I was able to reaffirm everything on the notebook that I had with me. But one is able to detect the haughty attitudes from the get-go. Tuner_Watson is also right, my later critique of the woman didn't help the situation. And perhaps, based on the sharper American tonality/rhythm, I might have come off more combative than peaceful.
    -As for your points about Sephora and visiting independent perfume shops, I absolutely agree. Sephora is indeed the better alternative, and I am a fan of Galleries Lafayette (a big department store), the older women there are more knowledgeable. The Printemps (another big department store) has excellent, warm customer service. I've scoped out several of the independent perfume shops and befriended the owners. These owners are the gems because they are always in contact with niche fragrance houses.

    I'm over all this. In the future, I'm going to continue seeking the private fragrance shops, and if I need anything mainstream, I'm sticking with the shops with the better track records in my books.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    - Douglas is a newer European chain selling the most current perfumes only.
    I dont necessarily agree with this statement. I have found rarities amongst their scents that are not commonly available on the open market. Heres a list of brands with links to their stock.
    http://www.douglas.de/special/markenuebersicht.tem
    One example: Givenchy's "Classic" womens line is tricky to source online or in retail outlets. There are many others here that I would definitely call "non-current". Including Narcus' "Xeryus".

    So this asserts Douglas as a good outlet for fragrance, even if their SA's know sh*t.
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 18th November 2007 at 08:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Wow, being young I'm rather used to arrogant, snobbish sales assistants but I have never had that happen. Bad luck mate!

    So are you going to return with proof? Or just forget about it? Tell us what happens.

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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    I dont necessarily agree with this statement. I have found rarities amongst their scents that are not commonly available on the open market. Heres a list of brands with links to their stock.
    http://www.douglas.de/special/markenuebersicht.tem
    One example: Givenchy's "Classic" womens line is tricky to source online or in retail outlets. There are many others here that I would definitely call "non-current". Including Narcus' "Xeryus".
    Now this is one of the situations where I would be glad to have erred! Thanks, Dimitri. The re-edited Givenchys are perhaps not so good an example as they seem to be all over the place now. Ten months ago, the situation was different, and it had exactly been Xerius (black) I had been asking for at Douglas. While in there, I also asked for Eau Noire . Reply: "Dior makes nothing called Eau Noire, you mean Eau Sauvage, it comes in a black bottle." I was certainly did not mean ES, but it was the first time I ever asked about EN, and could not exclude the possibility that my memory had left me concerning the e x a c t name of the juice.
    TGL
    is certainly right in that chain stores have monopolized the trade by pushing the small boutiques off the market and replacing quality service with standard offers at standard prices. Some of the the adventure and fun connected with perfume is gone away !

    @ scentophile: so glad you found your way to the better stores in Lyon meanwhile!
    Last edited by narcus; 25th November 2007 at 07:48 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Arg. Arrogant salespeople.

    ::to the arrogant saleslady::

    Ah! Yes, of course. I had both forgotten where I was and DeGaul's warning. Too many cheeses invites arrogance.
    Last edited by kbe; 25th November 2007 at 10:53 PM.
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