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  1. #1

    Default Terrible Experience

    I had the most horrible experience today... funnily enough it was buying perfume. It's enough to put me off buying perfume locally. Shame buying off luckyscent etc. is so tricky for me... but anyway;

    I went in the afternoon - the best time of the day - and right after an exam to cheer me up.

    The shop was almost empty - just the manager and an assistant who had just finsihed her shift and was packing up.

    If anyone remembers well, I had a thread on looking for a summer scent. Well I went in with a list; out of all that list - he had none - except the Bvlgari. I even dared ask for Floris, and Acqua di Parma - nothing - just a blank face. Then I asked for Guerlain - they don't stock. Dior - neither.

    Then I saw Chanel's Egoiste - I tried it - and loved it - second time round it smelt nicer, richer and so beautful. I smelt the Bvlgari's Eau Parfumee; the The Rouge and The Blanc - none floated my boat. Givenchy Gentleman smelt like rot to me.

    The assistant seemed keen to push Armani "Code" - which I thought smelt cheap and suggested Cartier "Declaration Bois Bleu" as something fresh - I found it acquatic, but yet cloying and headache inducing.

    At the end of the day I went for the Egoiste.

    Now, it's normal customary procedure to offer samples; not this time! Only after hinting and looking at the drawer did he notice that a sample would have been nice... he gave me "Touch Grigioperla" and "Byblos" - never heard of them and one is a woman's fragrance. Basically it seemed he wanted to just shut me up.

    The moral of this shopping trip - never set foot in that shop again. Shame it's the only good perfumery locally

    I felt so sad that such a beautiful art and such a beautiful commodity is in the hands of ignorant, un knowledgeable, discourteous and rude people (he corrected my French - which is quite good thank-you-very-much).
    A

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    Looking for; http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=210771
    and
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=214089

  2. #2

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by mlt.perfume View Post
    Now, it's normal customary procedure to offer samples; not this time! Only after hinting and looking at the drawer did he notice that a sample would have been nice... he gave me "Touch Grigioperla" and "Byblos" - never heard of them and one is a woman's fragrance. Basically it seemed he wanted to just shut me up.
    That's what I call closet cleaning!

    Quote Originally Posted by mlt.perfume View Post
    The moral of this shopping trip - never set foot in that shop again. Shame it's the only good perfumery locally

    No Guerlains nor Diors and correcting your perfect "erre parisienne" and that's the only good local perfume shop?!?
    Last edited by Magnifiscent; 5th June 2008 at 03:37 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Yeah, I agree with Mag. No Guerlain or Dior? Mlt, you're much more of a scent expert than those guys. If they give you blank looks about those houses I think they don't really care about fragrances.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Well, sounds like the one good thing that came out of this experience is that you found a fragrance, new to you, that you like. Enjoy your Egoiste.

    (I like it, too.)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    The SA at Mist1000 shop here in Bangkok used to correct my French when I pronounced Caron incorrectly. But she was quite polite when she was correcting me, smiling and humble.
    Current Top 5

    1. Creed Aventus
    2. A*Men Pure Malt
    3. L'instant Extreme
    4. Nasomatto Duro
    5. CDG - Kyoto

  6. #6

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    First of all; enjoy your Égoïste, secondly enjoy this video;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ5a2JH_BVE

    Now a little information for you. We here appreciate fragrance as an art, unfortunately it is not considered such in the world. It is a business, a HUGE larger than life business. I know this because I worked in the field of cosmetics/fragrances for 20 years now. What I have come to realize, albeit quite sadly is; if companies could sell horse piss, and have it be profitable, they would. If they could hire trained chimpanzees to run the check-out, and customer relations aspect, they would. Most fragrance/cosmetic people are the equivalents of McDonald's workers; does the person flipping burgers at McD's need to know about Foie Gras, or a good Sancerre? no, they just need to do what is necessary to serve a fast food burger. Now if you want better fragrance knowledge, and this is not always guaranteed, the boutique for the brand is a better option; i.e. Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, Caron...
    But as I stated, you could find a 'missing link' working there also. Even in the better stores such as; Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Nordstrom, it is not always possible to find knowledgeable, professional help; always possible to find some pretentious attitude, along with a healthy dose of arrogance, but not always knowledge.
    I once interviewed for a nice boutique in the area I lived in, metro Boston area, and was asked overall if I could sell. I stated I had extensive cosmetic, fragrance and skincare knowledge, so selling is just an off-shoot of product knowledge. The owner replied "I want sales people, I do not care what, or who, you know, I just want someone who can sell anything I tell them to sell." Enlightening is it not? the hell with the volumes of knowledge I have on hundreds of companies, thousands of products, art, authors, historical figures, and whatever else. It all means nothing, today all that is cared about is the ability to sell/move product, even if it is horse piss.
    As far as correcting your french. I once had someone correct 'my' french, I proceeded to ask her what part of France she came from, in french of course, and she replied "I don't understand you." I asked in english to which she replied, "I am not French, and I do not speak it." Aha, but you wanted to correct my french, and I am from France, mmm très intéressant. I gave her a bit of a dressing down, and said nicely afterward she should be more pleasant to customers.

    So there you have it; shops may be nice, but they are becoming antiquated, and outdated in most places. Oh and the Byblos sample you received, wow! talk about artifact, I have not seen that scent in over 10 years. It was created by the Italian design house of Byblos in the late 80's early 90's.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  7. #7

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by KiatBkk View Post
    The SA at Mist1000 shop here in Bangkok used to correct my French when I pronounced Caron incorrectly. But she was quite polite when she was correcting me, smiling and humble.
    I find the Mist1000 SAs really nice, but my best perfume SA experience was mostly at the Chanel counter -- they really do hire great people! When I sprayed on Egoiste and Allure Blanche, she basically went through the entire top-mid-base notes with details on the scent as it progresses as well as differences on "sour/salty" sweat skin and seemed really enthusiastic about it and also gave sales statistics of what people bought over the past year. She said that over the last 3 months, she had not sold a single bottle of Egoiste and that people usually go for Allure Homme Sport. Nice to know.

    As for my worst, probably an Armani SA at Central's Dept Store. The scene went something like this:

    **I walk to the Armani counter, and they gave me a snobby unwelcoming look**
    SA: What would you like to try?
    Me: Everything masculine you have to offer please.
    SA: Why? What would you want it for?
    **SA starts spraying Code**
    Me: For smelling and trying. What else?
    **SA puts down the sprayed card on the counter and walks away**
    **I start spraying the bottles on to the scent strips myself**
    Me: Can I have some help here please?
    SA: .....*silent, but smiling very bitterly and trying to ignore me*
    *I shake my head and walk over to an adjacent counter, which she is also in charge of, but does not follow me and orders another SA to "take care" of me.*

    Well, so much for good service.

    For some reason, most of the worst SAs I've met are from the fragrance department -- not cosmetics, but fragrance.

    Oh, and congratualations on the Egoiste, it's on my wishlist but I'm not sure about it as it turns real sweet on my skin.
    Last edited by moltening; 5th June 2008 at 04:49 PM.

  8. #8

    Talking Re: Terrible Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    First of all; enjoy your Égoïste, secondly enjoy this video;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ5a2JH_BVE


    As far as correcting your french. I once had someone correct 'my' french, I proceeded to ask her what part of France she came from, in french of course, and she replied "I don't understand you." I asked in english to which she replied, "I am not French, and I do not speak it." Aha, but you wanted to correct my french, and I am from France, mmm très intéressant. I gave her a bit of a dressing down, and said nicely afterward she should be more pleasant to customers.
    .

    Thats just awesome. I'm glad you asserted yourself. Sometimes, myself and others I know are too "polite" to SA's ( of all shops) who need to be more pleasant to cutomers. Nice that you showed her who the real francophone was too : )

  9. #9
    Hoos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Well, I'm going to go a little against the grain here.

    Since it's the only "good perfumery locally", don't hold it against them too much. Especially if this was the first time you've encountered it. Maybe they were having a bad day or had just received bad news. If they are your only local good perfumery, you might really do well by fostering a relationship with them. Maybe you can teach them about some of the better lines that they should be carrying?

    Yes, bad experiences with fragrance sales people seems to rile up all of us (me included). But I tend to be more forgiving of smaller fragrance shops than of department store sales people (even the high end ones).

    In San Francisco, there's a small fragrance shop that's somewhat popular but the owner (or manager) that runs it can be notoriously gruff and pushy. Some people can overlook it (he has his fans). I might be able to if he offered anything I liked and I felt like fighting for it.

    Sounds like you did well, mlt. I've heard of Byblos (seen it around recently too), but have no experience with it. Haven't heard of the Touch.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  10. #10

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Come on it's not that terrible. You added a great fragrance to your collection.
    Fragrance shop with no Guerlain and no Dior? What exactly are they thinking?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    I was disappointed about Guerlain (I made the terirble mistake of pronouncing the "uer"). I know another shop has Habit Rouge - so maybe they have more of the range - but again this was the first time I took a good look around and what I mostly saw was generic and the most popular scents - nothing groundbreaking.

    Brielle87 - I LOVED that advert. It's so OTT, but yet memorable.

    Enlightening is it not? the hell with the volumes of knowledge I have on hundreds of companies, thousands of products, art, authors, historical figures, and whatever else. It all means nothing, today all that is cared about is the ability to sell/move product, even if it is horse piss.

    I agree 100% with that statement. Unfortunately it's the same in other stores. Books is another passion of mine, and once I had to spell "Hemingway" to a sales assistant who was checking on her database. To me that is blasphemous.

    Regarding people correcting my French and Italian; sometimes it hurts a bit. I'm quite self conscious about it - Givenchy is too tounge twisting for me to pronounce, my "r"'s are not very smooth, and I may confuse a verb here and there - but it's understandable I suppose. I'm not a native speaker, but generally people have been quite nice and polite about it.

    There is one other perfumery - and it'll actually get my custom from now on. Byblos seems to be reformulated (fragrance directory helps). I've seen the notes and it seems quite pleasant.

    As to Egoiste - I can't wait for a special occassion to give it a first wearing. And the adverts are just brilliant.
    Last edited by mlt.perfume; 5th June 2008 at 08:14 PM.
    A

    * * * * * * * *
    Newbie discovering the wonderful world of perfume

    * * * * * * * *

    Looking for; http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=210771
    and
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=214089

  12. #12

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Was this one of those shops that sell at a discount? Usually their perfumes have their serial numbers all marked off on the boxes and bottles. I've noticed from the dozen or so discount shops I've been to NEVER have any Guerlain or Dior and other houses like Hermes because it's harder for these to be gotten in the gray market.
    Last edited by SirSlarty; 5th June 2008 at 07:53 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    No discount unfortunately; it's a regular perfumery - although it's owned by a company which imports and distributes fragrances. I'm assuming that that is why Guerlain and Dior weren't available since they're imported by the competition.

    Shame, they once had this really nice guy who had helped me choose a fragrance, and included some shower gel, and samples in the final package.

    Oh well, one less customer for them.
    A

    * * * * * * * *
    Newbie discovering the wonderful world of perfume

    * * * * * * * *

    Looking for; http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=210771
    and
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=214089

  14. #14

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by mlt.perfume View Post
    No discount unfortunately; it's a regular perfumery - although it's owned by a company which imports and distributes fragrances. I'm assuming that that is why Guerlain and Dior weren't available since they're imported by the competition.

    Shame, they once had this really nice guy who had helped me choose a fragrance, and included some shower gel, and samples in the final package.

    Oh well, one less customer for them.
    Well that's stupid to put it bluntly. Sounded like they had abad day or they just didn't quite care to be in the business anymore.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by mlt.perfume View Post
    As to Égoïste - I can't wait for a special occasion to give it a first wearing.
    My dear, let today be that special occasion. The days of wearing scent only for 'occasions' should be out of your thoughts. Enjoy it today, never trust in tomorrow.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  16. #16
    DON'T DRINK AND DRESS

    kbe's Avatar
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    Default

    Unfortunately, as Gunnar Myrdal indicated in his 1944 book An American Delimma: *Every man is a king (woman a queen) as long as he (she) has someone to look down on*.

    This was originally a statement aimed at white American bigotry, but it seems to be one of the less desirable human traits that pops up often, particularly when one person in 'authority' deals with another perceived to be an inferior position.
    Last edited by kbe; 5th June 2008 at 10:50 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Yes, good that you trusted yourself with a marvelous fragrance. Wear it for warmth or a sizzle or a cuddle. I just love Egoiste.
    I don't look to SAs for assistance; I depend on my fellow Basenoters for edification. SAs are there to facilitate the sale for me. Once I was at the Guerlain boutique in Bergdorfs here in NY. The SA announced that she would match my complexion to a fragrance. What a coincidence! The match was to whatever fragrance was most prominently displayed. I bought Liu. It didn't match my complexion, c'est dommage, but I love it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Where I live, even getting samples is like pulling teeth. I wrote about this before when my alias was Ailric:
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=172185
    I KNOW they get boxes of samples and believe they hoard them for friends and family. When I ask for a sample, I usually get a puzzled look like "what is a SAMPLE"? "Oh yeah, I forgot".

    Poor service has lead me to do my shopping on the internet.

  19. #19
    Moderator

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    Default Re: Terrible Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    Was this one of those shops that sell at a discount? Usually their perfumes have their serial numbers all marked off on the boxes and bottles. I've noticed from the dozen or so discount shops I've been to NEVER have any Guerlain or Dior and other houses like Hermes because it's harder for these to be gotten in the gray market.
    Slarty, Sir - you're the man for this question. My wife and I ran into a seedy kiosk store in a mall with a great SA (knowledgeable) but they were pushing strange off-brands on the counter. Under the counter, they had a great selection of top-shelf frags. I bought Diorissimo EDT for the wife, and noticed that (1) the box had one line of Arabic on the bottom, amidst the English and French, and (2) there was a ground spot in the glass on the bottom. I was afraid it was counterfeit after we got home, but found that it's a perfect match for the latest bottle variant on the Dior website (both American and International lineups).

    Do you suspect that this was gray market stuff?

    Back on topic, I loved the vid, Brielle. Egoiste is now on my wish list. As for knowledgeable SAs, I will just say that I have lucked out. We have many great fragrance specialists at my local Saks, including 2 wonderful ones at the Creed/Bond/Hermès counter, and they are obviously looked up to by the less experienced ones. One (an American) helped me pronounce Angélique Encens with such professional demeanor that I felt like she was my tutor. The other helped me find "my" Creed. Neither made me feel the least bit inferior, despite my humble dress, backwoods accent, and beginner knowledge. And they loaded me down with top-notch samples. The Chanel counter was ready for me to stop there, too, had I not been in so much of a hurry. I will not hesitate to go back. Great service is still out there.

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