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  1. #1
    BlackCat's Avatar
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    Default Silly SA sayings

    (O.K., so I was feeling alliterative.)

    What are the some of the silly or wrong things you've heard from fragrance sales associates?

    NB, this is not to slam all sales associates--some are lovely, knowledgeable, and helpful (like our dear Chaya). But some seem to have no idea what they're talking about or make things up as they go along.

    Today, a Macy's SA was telling a customer that the reason she didn't have allergy problems with Guerlain frags is because Guerlain uses only natural ingredients. I'm pretty sure that while Guerlain has a higher percentage of naturals than others, they're not all natural.

    Not to mention the Barney's SA who didn't want me to try Carnal Flower because she didn't like it. I actually had to insist that she let me spray it.

    What are your favorites?
    For sale: JL Scherrer parfum (reduced price) and more!

    "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ~ Jane Austen

    “Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume” ~ Jean de Boufflers

  2. #2


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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    At Sephora Sunday evening and I asked an SA if she could make me a small decant sample of Guerlain, Vetiver. "Wait, wait, sir what are you saying? What is a decant?" This is not that bad at all but was suprised she had not heard of a decant.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    The silliest things SAs do is deny that a fragrance has a particular note. Last month I was trying a number of recent releases that I hadn't bothered to try before (I don't genearally like the recent releases from Lancôme, for example). One had a distinct patchouli basenote, and the SA insisted it didn't have patchouli because it wasn't on her card describing the notes! It's really sad that they don't have enough respect for their profession to at least train their noses to recognize the most prominant notes.

  4. #4
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    The silliest things I hear are when they deny a new fragrance has been released, even though it is on the corporate web site. The ones at Sephora near me are good at recovering from this one--they say "we only know if we'll have it when the inventory list is released at the beginning of the month".

  5. #5
    ubuandibeme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    One SA at Macy's kept describing every scent as "it's really FRESH" ~ drove me nuts enough to head for the nearest exit, going toward Carsons & Sephora's!!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    I hear more nonsense from SAs with cosmetics and skincare than I do with fragrances, but I do remember someone telling me that perfume is better for my skin than edt and edp because the alcohol in the edt and edp is too drying!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    I was actively discouraged by more than one SA at Saks that I needn't bother smelling more than 3 fragrances since the nose scientifically cannot distinguish scents after smelling 3. You'd think that they would encourage more sniffing for a higher likeliness of buying one of those scents.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    "You seem like an Eternity kind of person"
    "That D&G PH smells gourgeous on you"
    "I can't during work hours"
    "Are you getting maried?"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    I had a chuckle when a well-meaning SA made an effort at describing Molecule 01. She was obviously straining to remember what she'd been told in her briefing, mumbling something about the "fragrance DNA" and "deconstruct" and "purity of ingredients". To help the poor thing along and in an effort to save her dignity I hinted about it being a single component, Iso... Iso... now what was it? She didn't catch on, though.

  10. #10
    tdi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    I can't tell you how many SA's have told me the fragrance they are selling has "all natural" ingredients. I also have had someone argue with me about the fragrance notes in the fragrance they were trying to sell me. I actually had a Chanel SA several years ago tell me there was no such Chanel fragrance as Bois des Iles and she had no idea WHAT I was talking about. The SA's we have in our department stores here do not seem to know squat about what they are selling, they just want to sell it to you not dialogue about it. It's so refreshing when you do run across and SA who is knowledgeable.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Some of these statements by SAs are scandalous! What's more, they appear to speak of bad training on the part of the companies that employ them -- which is pretty unforgiveable, really.

    I think it's fair to say that SAs can exercise a whole lot of poetic license when trying to secure a sale. So I rarely pay much attention in this respect. However, one of the comments I really hate is when you are trying on a scent and expressing a tentative interest, and the SA gushes: 'Oh! This scent is so popular / selling so well! It's been flying off the shelves!'

    For those (like me) who want to feel that their scent is an expression of their individuality, then this is all it takes for me to put down the bottle and walk away. Why on earth would I want to smell like a million other suckers?!
    This week, 'Chanel Cuir de Russie: Skin Scent' at http://thescentimentalist.blogspot.com/

  12. #12

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Not SAs, but perfume shop owners (!)

    "You know, the name of the perfume is 1000 because there are 1000 different kinds of flowers in there" (Patou's 1000)

    "No, we don't have 50 ml (1.7 oz) because the house philosophy is to produce only 100 ml (3.4 oz) bottles" (the house was Montale)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    In my life of playing roles, I get to do the both sides of the counter.

    As a shopper I am annoyed at SAs not understanding my French or some descriptions like "resinous", "aldehydes", "patchouli", etc. and the general condescension (most of them do not know that my sort of modest/classic purse and my scarf are by Hermes either). Shiseido Zen is met with big round eyes. Always.

    As an SA I am amuzed how "Givenchy" is pronounced by many a shopper -- I heard it all from "Ghee-VEN-cha" to "Da Vinci". Throw in variations on another "foreign" word "Ysatis" and you get he complete picture. Oh yeah, now that the high-spirited and elated word "euphoric" was pronounced so many times on TV (after the election!), some people are still having trouble with "Ee-thou-REAH".

  14. #14
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Lets see, there's the woman who told me that Fleur du Male was an intentionally "bad joke" on Gaultier's behalf - only after she asked me about it and I said I hated it.

    Then there was a lady who told me that by rubbing your wrists together, you can "reactivate" Mugler Cologne, and that this was the only fragrance designed to be able to do this.

    You're basically guaranteed to get something ridiculous said to you if you go to Macy's! Those women would sell their souls to sell their bottles.
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  15. #15

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    I was told by a Chanel SA in one of the London boutiques that I couldn't possibly have tried 31 rue Cambon, as it was only available in their stores. I said I had bought a decant on the Internet from a decant site. She said it must be fake. I said, no, the people who run these sites buy a big bottle of the stuff and "decant" it into smaller containers. Not possible, said the SA, as you couldn't get the perfume out of the bottle - it only comes out as a spray and it would be impossible for anyone to remove the nozzle.

    Well, I thought to myself, ignorant of the actual procedure involved, either - like the best burglars - they have really good jemmies for flipping off nozzles, or they spray the stuff endlessly at a wall, wait till it trickles down and catch it in a vat at the bottom, like a rain butt. I don't know how they manage it, but manage it they do!

    The SA said she would lodge a complaint with the Paris office about product "leaking" out of their carefully controlled retail environments, but I am not aware of any trade embargos having been instigated at this point.
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Lean in closer, dear
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Pronunciation: I don't mind if it's incorrect, but one SA was intentionally messing up a name and insisted she had created this "hybridized" pronunciation so average consumers could understand her (it may have been Heure Exquise, but I'm not sure). I took French for umpteen years, and while I've forgotten most of it, I'm still pretty darn fine at purring out the words when they're printed in front of me. So, I gave her a French pronunciation (throat-spitting my R to perfection) and then a simple American phonetic interpretation. She refused to accept the use of either and said something I couldn't understand at all except I recognized she was trilling her R better than singer Rita Moreno in West Side Story.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    It's not so much what they say, as their firm belief that having a tub of somewhat rancid coffee beans thrust under my nose every couple of minutes is an essential part of the process. I may be new to smelling perfume, but I've been smelling food and drink for long enough to know when something's been hanging around far too long.
    Last edited by Ailuros; 7th November 2008 at 01:53 PM.

  18. #18
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Yeah that whole business about burning out your nose after smelling a few fragrances is nonsense. The coffee beans do help and are refreshing IF they're fresh, but that is a rarity.

    I regularly sit down with a box of 400 samples and just go to town opening and sniffing them. The only time I ever have a problem is if I've already got a stuffy nose to begin with.
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    i remember my wife and me were once at Lord & Taylor's....she tried out Narciso For Women...when it first came out..

    and the SA said: "you know you love it! let's get it!" while she grabbed the gift set.

    my wife and i both laughed at her, gave her a weird look, and walked away. completely absurd and totally cheesy.

  20. #20
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    ...and the SA said: "you know you love it! let's get it!" while she grabbed the gift set.
    OH man that is too awesome. I'm still laughing my ass off at this!

    How....pathetic?
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  21. #21

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    I can understand SAs having rather limited knowledge of scents and such when they work at the big department stores. I certainly do not expect that they have even a small percentage of the knowledge base that most BN'ers have here. They have many products to sell, and most of them are part-timers, who take on the job to make a little bit of extra cash -- and not for the love of fragrances.

    What I don't understand is the SAs who work at the little boutique stores -- these people work solely on one product line and should know about the line they represent. I'm talking about the ones who think that they know their product well (when they obviously don't) and insist that you are in the wrong.

    I'm talking about sayings such as:

    "oh, Jicky doesn't come in parfum formulation, if it did, we would have it, we have everything in this store".

    "I never heard of "XX" before, are you sure you're not thinking about something else?"

    "No, don't try that one, it's designed for someone younger than you are. You don't fit the demographics for it. Try this one instead"

    Yikes!
    Last edited by dimples; 7th November 2008 at 02:32 PM.
    I'm simplifying my life. For Sale Thread (some niche, some designer):
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=222407

  22. #22

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Again, at Saks, I inquired about Lancome's Cuiron. Not only did they say they didn't have it, they assured me I was completely wrong and it didn't exist, leading me to their newest release. They looked at me like I was insane. There is a comical level of self-indignation of the SA's knowledge at this particular Saks.

    I could get into the overt lying about being issued samples by the Bond representatives at this Saks too, but that could get ugly. One says they have something, the other says they are not issued any samples.

    But I love the SA's at Barneys and ScentBar: It's like coming home. Although no one would admit to a cumin note in Lutens' Fleurs d'Oranger. I don't think I'm wrong about this, but I admitted defeat.

    I so wish I could pronounce things in proper French. I always preface my poor pronunciation with "I'm going to butcher the pronunciation here, please excuse me, but do you have _____" Now I wish I took French in college instead of Italian.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Quote Originally Posted by lushsoup View Post
    I so wish I could pronounce things in proper French. I always preface my poor pronunciation with "I'm going to butcher the pronunciation here, please excuse me, but do you have _____" Now I wish I took French in college instead of Italian.
    Lushsoup, I say the exact same thing. Uncanny.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    My pronunciation in French tends to be spot on, even if my general proficiency is appalling - but some fragrance names are just impossible. I'm looking at you, Rose Poivrée. >

  25. #25
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    The Chanel rep at our only decent sized Dept store (Von Maur) looked me right in the eye when telling me about 'Les Exclusives' It's ok to fall in love with something new because..
    "Chanel has never discontinued anything!"
    Currently wearing: Cuir de Russie by Chanel

  26. #26
    BlackCat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Some of these are hysterical--thanks for passing them along.

    I agree that I don't hold department store employees up to a high standard, given the number of lines that are there. I wouldn't mind an "I'm not sure" from them--it's just when they assert nonsense like it's the truth that it catches my attention.
    For sale: JL Scherrer parfum (reduced price) and more!

    "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ~ Jane Austen

    “Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume” ~ Jean de Boufflers

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentronic View Post
    Lets see, there's the woman who told me that Fleur du Male was an intentionally "bad joke" on Gaultier's behalf - only after she asked me about it and I said I hated it.
    Well, if she was referring to Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal she was probably right!
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & Rêve en Cuir
    Chant d'Aromes extrait
    Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)


    Selling/swapping:
    Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
    ---

    "The Sunshine bores the daylights outta me!"
    http://polderposh.blogspot.com/

  28. #28

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    "It's clean and fresh....not strong....smells like You just got out of the shower."
    Gary

  29. #29

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    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    There is an SA at the Guerlain boutique at Bergdorf's who insists that she recommends based on customers' complexions!! The day that she accosted me, I was in a hurry, shrugged my shoulders, and asked for Liu.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Silly SA sayings

    At Macy's they always correct my pronounciation: "you mean eww de toilet?" .
    And whenever I ask about something they don't have, they try to convince me it does not exist. If I insist, they eventually concede that it might exist in my country-France! I sound (and probably look) foreign for sure, but definitely NOT French!

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