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  1. #1

    Default High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    Does anyone know if Creed, Chanel, Guerlain or any of the other high end fragrance houses sell an inferior product to people in Saudi Arabia that is different than they'd sell anywhere else? Someone in Europe told me that, but I find it hard to believe. Just curious if any of you have heard that, thanks!

    (The discussion was about Creed, but he was speaking in general.)
    Last edited by beachroses; 29th December 2008 at 09:27 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    i have lived in kuwait.... and we had there ssame perfumes as u can get in europe.
    i dont think it is wise thing to send infirior products to those people. Gulf people are really luxurry lovers.

  3. #3

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    That's what I thought, too, moreda. I can't say, since I've never been there, but I have a bottle that had an Arabic insert and it smelled very high quality and authentic to me. Thanks.

  4. #4

    Question Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    I have thought about this myself several times.
    I have 2 creeds that were designated for Arabian market. 1 from 2005, 1 from 2006.
    They both smell every bit as good, as my 2007 "western market designated" backup bottles of the same scents.....after the first 3-4minutes.

    During the first 3-4 minutes, BOTH of the arabian-designated creeds smell noticably more bitter.
    I am wondering if this is temperature decay across the atlantic (on slow route) "souring" the delicate citrus?
    Or perhaps temperature decay sitting at the top of a load of containers, baking in the gulf ?
    Or if Creed is using 40-b instead of 39-c, either due to projection/climate/good motive...or using up old 40-b/bad motive ?

    I'm not sure, but the pronounced bitterness is certainly there for a few minutes. After that everything is beautiful as usual.
    Last edited by DULLAH; 29th December 2008 at 09:49 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    I thought about heat and storage, too, good point. I don't believe my bottle ever made it there, but it could explain why some others notice a difference, perhaps?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    I can't imagine any of the high end Houses selling anything but the best anywhere. In fashion quality is the name of the game.

  7. #7

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    Quote Originally Posted by beachroses View Post
    Does anyone know if Creed, Chanel, Guerlain or any of the other high end fragrance houses sell an inferior product to people in Saudi Arabia that is different than they'd sell anywhere else? Someone in Europe told me that, but I find it hard to believe. Just curious if any of you have heard that, thanks!

    (The discussion was about Creed, but he was speaking in general.)
    What an odd comment by that "Someone in Europe...". Exactly what evidence to they base that statement on ?

  8. #8

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    I think only on the eastern market they sell lighter versions and then it's mostly the designer houses non?
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  9. #9

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    That is highly unlikely that they would. As previously mentioned, people in arabic countries that can afford such products are highly knowledgable in quality. A good example is the unfortunatly now defunct house Crown Perfumery. Their colognes: "Crown of Gold" that was made for an Arabian Princess, "Spiced Limes" that was made for Lawrence of Arabia and "Sumare" that was made for King Fuad I of Egypt.

  10. #10

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    What an odd comment by that "Someone in Europe...". Exactly what evidence to they base that statement on ?
    He said he has had trouble finding perfume on ebay that wasn't made for Saudi Arabia and what they send there is of inferior quality. He can smell the difference when he wears them, that's why they're so cheap. I don't know, I never heard that and couldn't find any other comments to that effect. The heat and storage factor makes sense, if it was handled improperly, but I have only one bottle with an Arabic insert out of all the ones I've purchased there or on discount sites and it's perfectly fine. I got it online, not an auction. I think it's bull, unless someone here tells me differently who knows. Thanks.

  11. #11

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    I've lived in Saudi Arabia for the past eight years and have bought hundreds of bottles of fragrances since I've been here.

    As far as I can tell, no, the major perfume houses do not sell inferior products in Saudi Arabia. These are the same quality products that are sold elsewhere.

    They do sometimes have a small amount of Arabic writing on the box, usually a couple of lines, or some kind of insert in Arabic, which is perfectly normal since Arabic is the national language here. It is well known that Creed does this. But the fragrances are the real deal.

    I don't mean to say that fakes aren't available, because they are. These products appear to target lower income ex-patriot workers from the Philippines and India, many of whom are supporting families back home and do not have the discretionary income to buy higher priced products. The knock-offs here aren't being sold for the same prices as the originals, but at much lower cost. People usually know they are fakes, which are usually easily identifiable by their packaging, but want to get something close to the smell of the original product without spending the money.

    Some companies, like Ajmal based in Dubai, even make copies of famous fragrances and sell them in their shops. They concoct their own versions of J'Adore, Aqua di Gio, you name it, and sell them as alternatives to the more expensive original items. But these aren't being promoted as originals, and are acknowledged as copies which are sold in bottles and atomizers without labels.

    Saudis like perfume and are generally more knowledgeable about it than your average American. I say this because I'm American and have a feel for this. The products sold here are the genuine articles. The buying public wouldn't have it any other way.

    If your friend is buying products in which the boxes and bottles appear to be the same as the European ones, except for perhaps some Arabic writing, then I'd say the odds of them being genuine are very high. The products are the same as those sold elsewhere, but are specifically packaged to be sold in the Middle East, sometimes at lower cost than in Europe. The manufacturers probably did not intend for these products to be sold outside this region, but they do find their way elsewhere.

    noggs
    Last edited by noggs; 30th December 2008 at 02:59 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    There are many very wealthy people in this part of the world and I doubt they'd accept inferior products. Not to mention the fact that they have a long and rich history in perfumery.

  13. #13

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    Quote Originally Posted by beachroses View Post
    He said he has had trouble finding perfume on ebay that wasn't made for Saudi Arabia ....
    I find that really hard to believe, sorry if I am coming off as rude. Not that I think you are lying, but that your guy friend is ( or just imagining things, at the least). I'm assuming when you use the term "bull" , you are referring to the idea of sending inferior quality perfumes ? Also, I do not know how he thinks some fragrance is intended for a certain country ( Saudi Arabia) on eBay.

    One more thing to add, the two bottles of Burberry I have purchased from shops here have Arabic writing on it. Clearly they are doing well in those markets. And it makes sense, why not have the same bottle packaging and just use 3 or 4 languages to not have the hassle of having a different packaging for a different region.

    Anyways, at least noggs is here to clear things up.

  14. #14

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    if you gonna purchase a fragrance from a well known shop in one of the chic & modern shopping malls, then there will be no problems...
    shops like Gazzaz, Al-Swani, Faces & others more in these malls are trusted names to buy from & Sephora was just open couple of monthes ago...

    & by the way there is Saks 5th Av. & Harvey Nichols in Ryiadh that provide more niche options.

  15. #15

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    Quote Originally Posted by noggs View Post

    Saudis like perfume and are generally more knowledgeable about it than your average American. I say this because I'm American and have a feel for this. The products sold here are the genuine articles. The buying public wouldn't have it any other way.

    noggs
    True that - Saudis and other middle easterners (UAE, Oman, etc.) as well. If anything, Saudis would actually want a "special" higher quality oil content version for their market (doesn't Montale already do this?).
    -

  16. #16

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    I could throw in two cents.
    I found in Moscow some small shops named like `Customs confiscated goods` - almost near every Metro stations. And there are a lot of perfume bottles of popular brandnames in them.
    Very same bottles, very same boxes and colours. When you cannot compare this bottle to genuine - no difference!
    CK MAN, Gucci by Gucci, Chanel Chance, etc, you name it.
    Prices were around 500-600 roubles (~20 bucks, quite cheap) per item.
    Well, I tried CK Man on my hand - it just reminded the genuine juice that still in my collection.
    So I asked the SA - is it original perfume?
    - No - she replied - it`s counterfeit items, made in Syria, and confiscated by Russian Customs.
    - And Customs Officers did not destroy it?
    - No - she replied - we all know that it`s counterfeit. But some people buy it instead of genuine items.

    OK - that`s the real crime in the name of Customs!

    And some other strange info.
    Some years ago there were so-called gray market schemes for european perfumes to come into Russia. It was something like embargo-avoiding scheme in times of Iron Curtain: perfumes from France or USA were imported in Emirates (also some Swiss companies were involved) for selling there, but instead it went to Soviet Union (after - Russia). Russians were (and are) greedy for the good smells!
    When French brands settled in Moscow, this gray market was found with scandals! But still - some gray schemes still working (do not know the details, so investigate for yourselves).
    Maybe it is the reason?

    Also the root of the misunderstanding could be in perfume production factories in the area. They massively were buying some licenses from Guy Laroche, and some other French brands - to produce licensed perfumes with changes in formulas.
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  17. #17

    Default Re: High end fragrance houses and Saudi Arabia

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    I'm assuming when you use the term "bull" , you are referring to the idea of sending inferior quality perfumes?
    Correct. We were talking about *my* bottle of a Creed fragrance which had an Arabic insert, that is how the subject came up. I figured it was meant to be sold there, originally, but it was perfectly fresh and original. He refused to believe it, so I thought I'd ask here, since I have never been to Saudi Arabia. Thank you noggs for all the great info!

    I'm aware of Russians love of fragrances, too, and also know about the grey market and dishonest customs agents stealing perfumes in different countries, they even steal brownies, but they probably eat them. lol! I sent a friend a box of mix so she could bake them herself in Germany, because every time a friend sent her some already baked, they were heisted. Cost me $16 to ship the darned thing, but it got through, and she sent me some great Italian perfume samples in return!
    Last edited by beachroses; 30th December 2008 at 01:58 PM.

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