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  1. #1

    Default That Perfume Sales Person




    Does She Really Know What Is Best For You

    How many times have we strolled by a fragrance counter just to window shop ...see what's new or just kill some time? Only to be zoned in on by the "Perfume Sales Person" she so happy to be your personal guide and take you through the world of men's fragrances. While you are being handed a card sprayed with Claiborne Curve for men - she release such nuggets of wisdom as cologne is not to be applied to your face after you shave only from the chest down.

    With a twinkle in her eye she replies, "Oh you don't like Curve - let me show you the brand new men's fragrances". The "Perfume Sales Person" goes on how it is her favorite from all the fragrances she sells and suggests you'll be part of niche crowd if you wear this one. You have no choice but to follow her to the next counter maybe even a little excited that this may be a scent that went under the radar at Basenotes....

    With a big smile she pulls out a big bottle of Dolce & Gabanna Pour Homme to match that smile and leads into a statement that it holds the highest about of oils that makes it last and take from her being a women and in "the industry" LADIES LOVE THIS STUFF!

    She tells you will purchase a nice gift set where you get the 4.2 oz Eau de Toilette and that crazy Dolce they included a .02oz shower gel to go with it. What a deal the 4.2 is double that amount for only a mere $35.00 more - with a quick flirt wink she says - "follow me to the next register and I will ring this up for you...do you have store charge? We can open one and save you 10%...

    *Sigh* - She really does know what is best...for her.

  2. #2

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    They're sales people not experts by any means, many times I have asked for a fragrance and they don't even know what it is. 2 recent ones I remember were Guerlain Vetiver and L'Homme. There were 2 ladies when I asked for GV and they both had no idea what it was, until 15 second when one thought she knew what I was asking for and she finally found it. That was at a Macy's. The L'Homme was at Perfumania I believe, with a 24 year old guy. I had to point out multiple times where it was on the shelf and he finally picks it up and bam, he drops it on the ground, luckily it didn't break. He inspects the bottle reading the name and continues to spray numerous times all over himself in rapid fashion telling me that it smells great. These are just 2 experiences, almost every time I have to say the name numerous times and point out on the shelf where it is.

    Then there were the exceptions, E'toile I think thats the name, in the Houston Galleria, has a very knowledgeable SA that can get anything at an instant and can also recommend frags based on what other frags the customer has or likes. I'm sure there are a few fragrance enthusiast SAs that work at department stores, I don't want to give the wrong impression. I feel so much better with these people because once you call out an uncommon gem they know where you stand, they wont go pushing the latest Hugo Boss or Diesel Only the Brave on you.

    Lets face it they are paid to sell, they see what frag alot of people like and they recommend that to everyone. To the common nose, almost every fragrance smells good. And there is the fact that people buy frags based on the Brand, bottle, and color of the juice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Sales people are marketers. All they really need to sell a perfume is training on how to move a product. Unfortunately, extensive knowledge of a product isn't always necessary. I'd love to see any one of you guys walk up to a counter and throw them for a loop.

  4. #4

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Right. I've always wanted to work as a fragrance sales associate at like Sephora or something. Bringing a little class to the business.

  5. #5

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by aura View Post
    Sales people are marketers. All they really need to sell a perfume is training on how to move a product. Unfortunately, extensive knowledge of a product isn't always necessary. I'd love to see any one of you guys walk up to a counter and throw them for a loop.
    Thanks for this post!

    Sales people are...sales people. Some do not even market. They don't want to be bothered into even ringing up a sale and have no interest in the item (in this case, fragrance) they are selling.

    Seller: "Like, I dunno?" (Smiles.) "I think it's, like, for, like, men. See? Hmm...what does 'homes" mean?" LOL!

    I have seen this numerous times in department stores where they employ young teens to sell in all departments: apparel, handbags, etc. Gum chewing is the worst. Wasn't there a thread on the worst service for perfume sales?

    Let's face it they are paid to sell, they see what frag alot of people like and they recommend that to everyone. To the common nose, almost every fragrance smells good. And there is the fact that people buy frags based on the Brand, bottle, and color of the juice.
    ...or which celebrity du jour is the spokesperson.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  6. #6
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Most SAs hardly know what they are selling. From past experience, one did not realize that Tabac EdT was different from Tabac EdC. Another one did not know that Givenchy Gentleman was reformulated and that the tester should be replaced, or that Versace L'Homme could be a good alternative to Dunhill 1934, or that Cabochard is a female version of Aramis... and so forth.

    As far as I know, they are there to sell the last brands big companies launched. This is even more obvious in big stores, key dates (Christmas, Father's and Mother's days, etc) and when big advertisement campaignes are being aired: you get into a store asking for, say, Guerlain Vetiver and there she / he is offering you Dior Homme Sport, just the same time you are seeing the ad everywhere.

    BTW, I love wearing vintage scents, getting into a big store and asking, "have you got something like this"? Believe me, I do enjoy looking at their (startled) face and hearing "Sorry, but what is that you are wearing?".

  7. #7

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    So true. The exception to the rule are the specialty shops. The SAs at The Scent Bar are quite knowledgeable. Same goes with Santa Maria Novella and Le Labo. And Gendarmerie - well, you get to chat at length with the fragrance designer himself.

    On the other side of the coin are the SAs at a certain outdoor perfume cart. No matter what you want to see or inquire about, they're always trying to push their Aqua Di Gio knock off and a scrubber called "Destiny" or something like that.
    Last edited by adonis; 23rd June 2009 at 04:08 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Goodness, the lady in the pix looks uncannily like my SA right down to the curly hair. My SA is Asian though- and bright and knows her stuff well. lol.

  9. #9

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    lol, nice read scentimus. Many of us feel you!
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  10. #10

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    The problem for me when the SA imposes herself on me even if i tell her that i just want to take a look around ..... i try to put it very politly that i am looking for certain fragrances that i just need to test .... she says "Ok feel free" but keep walking with you ...... and yes, i never found an SA with solid experience im my area that can really help ......
    Last edited by ausamamira; 23rd June 2009 at 05:48 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    So far I've ran into [B}two[/B] sales assistants that know their stuff out of the 50-odd that have served me since joining Basenotes. The other 48 I can safely say that I knew more about the Mens (and in some cases Ladies) fragrances I was looking at than them.

    Take the other day; I asked for a 'woody' fragrance similar to Gucci pour Homme, the sales assistant sprayed Armani Code on a card, when there was Tumulte, CdG 2 Man, Azzaro Visit and others she could have sprayed.

    I think it should be mandatory for full-time sales assistants to spend an hour on Basenotes a day
    Looking for: Andy Tauer - L'air du Desert Morocain & Incense Extreme

    Check out my NEW Aussie sale / trade thread here -
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...76#post1801576

  12. #12

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    Seller: "Like, I dunno?" (Smiles.) "I think it's, like, for, like, men. See? Hmm...what does 'homes" mean?" LOL!
    .
    LOL. If an SA asked me, "Oh, you want to try the Bulgari Pour Homes?" I'll tell them, "No, sorry, I actually meant Bulgari Pour 'ese-s"*

    *: Those who live in LA or know a lot about Mexican-American culture would know what 'homes' or 'ese" mean...

  13. #13

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony87 View Post
    I think it should be mandatory for full-time sales assistants to spend an hour on Basenotes a day
    Honestly, I've learned more about fragrance through BN than I have at training conferences and whatnot with the companies. They want you to focus on emotional selling and the marketing - history of the company and things like that, when I've always thought it was the scent that was more important. Your nose tells you what smells good. And if someone comes in and asks for "fresh", I just want to give up there and then
    Of course there are always some silver linings with the training, such as smelling notes in isolation or in the case of Guerlain (for Homme last year), allowing you to smell the accords seperately, which was fascinating.

  14. #14

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    I think it should be mandatory for customers to get their shit together and demand better service. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we (customers as a whole, not BN'ers) have only ourselves to blame for the crappy service we're receiving from perfume SA's: if all customers were more knowledgeable and not as eager to part with our money on stuff we hardly know, companies would instantly see the need to better educate their SA's. It's just the way the market works, stores will put in exactly the amount of effort that is needed to persuade us to purchase their offerings.
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & RÍve 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/

  15. #15

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    LOL @ perfect pic.
    Non-Issue. Tell them no, and let them know what they can fetch you samples of.
    Then thank them.
    Simple.
    No need to make fun of these MF, as bad as some of them can be.
    Sometimes I feel bad for the nervous ones who know nothing, and try to comfort them with easy-to-tag-along humor.

  16. #16

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    I think it should be mandatory for customers to get their shit together and demand better service. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we (customers as a whole, not BN'ers) have only ourselves to blame for the crappy service we're receiving from perfume SA's: if all customers were more knowledgeable and not as eager to part with our money on stuff we hardly know, companies would instantly see the need to better educate their SA's. It's just the way the market works, stores will put in exactly the amount of effort that is needed to persuade us to purchase their offerings.
    Agreed. Especially in department stores where fragrance isn't their only product, why should they train their sales team to know the difference between a citrus note and a vetiver note? Most people shopping for frags at the Macy's counter are looking for a Birthday/Chrismas/other holiday present for a loved one. Besides, most people just want "smells nice" and nothing more.

    For people like us, there are specialty shops.

  17. #17

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    This story reminds me of a time when a saleswoman tried to convince me to buy Penhaligon's "Endymion" at all cost, only because she thinks that men who wear it are irresistible.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by aura View Post
    I'd love to see any one of you guys walk up to a counter and throw them for a loop.
    Interestingly enough, this is only fun once.

    The rest of the time it just becomes frustrating or annoying, especially when you just want to spray something and let it sit for a few hours while you continue with your other shopping.

    On that rare occasion that you actually find an SA that actually knows his / her stuff, it's like you become instant friends. The rest of the time, I'd rather just order samples and test at my leisure.

  19. #19

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    I agree, the department stores here in the DC area are typically staffed in the manner you describe. Most of the time I have a pretty good idea of what scents I am interested in wearing and evaluating (vs buying based only its performance on a piece of paper). So, as they start into their blurb, often prefaced with "We have everything here" I will feign delight, then ask them for a Czech & Speake, Penhaligons, etc. Of course 99% of the time they have not even heard of the brand, let alone stock it. This will normally silence them just long enough so I can make my specific requests.
    On a happier note, I have had great success at a local Sephora store located in the Columbia (MD) mall. Granted, the selection may be a bit limited but the SAs are friendly, not pushy, and can lead you to what you are seeking if you give them some clues about what you currently wear, the genre you are seeking, etc. And, they are quite generous with samples; if they do not have any from the company, they will decant a 3ml or so sample from the tester.

  20. #20

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Semi-Constant Gardener View Post
    And, they are quite generous with samples; if they do not have any from the company, they will decant a 3ml or so sample from the tester.
    I think that'd be one of the best things SAs can do. It would let people to fully wear the scent to determine if it's something to purchase.

  21. #21
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    This story reminds me of a time when a saleswoman tried to convince me to buy Penhaligon's "Endymion" at all cost, only because she thinks that men who wear it are irresistible.
    Well, it was a Penhaligon's, at least. Could have been a very popular fragrance under the argument that all mean wearing that are irresistible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    I think it should be mandatory for customers to get their shit together and demand better service. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we (customers as a whole, not BN'ers) have only ourselves to blame for the crappy service we're receiving from perfume SA's: if all customers were more knowledgeable and not as eager to part with our money on stuff we hardly know, companies would instantly see the need to better educate their SA's. It's just the way the market works, stores will put in exactly the amount of effort that is needed to persuade us to purchase their offerings.
    Your are saying someting that is right, but unfortunately, things are not that way. Customers buy fragrances without any knowledge whatsoever, and companies resort to manipulation for selling, the SA being just a part of this. Moreover, managers tend to make decisions based on past experience as a mean to avoid risks. This meaning that creativity as well as good sales and post sales services will be in the hand of a chosen few.
    Last edited by Pollux; 23rd June 2009 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Addition

  22. #22

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    LOL. If an SA asked me, "Oh, you want to try the Bulgari Pour Homes?" I'll tell them, "No, sorry, I actually meant Bulgari Pour 'ese-s"*

    *: Those who live in LA or know a lot about Mexican-American culture would know what 'homes' or 'ese" mean...
    *THAT* would be priceless! Delivered in my best pachuco accent. roflmao!
    Last edited by xhepera; 23rd June 2009 at 02:53 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    I think it should be mandatory for customers to get their shit together and demand better service. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we (customers as a whole, not BN'ers) have only ourselves to blame for the crappy service we're receiving from perfume SA's: if all customers were more knowledgeable and not as eager to part with our money on stuff we hardly know, companies would instantly see the need to better educate their SA's. It's just the way the market works, stores will put in exactly the amount of effort that is needed to persuade us to purchase their offerings.
    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    LOL @ perfect pic.
    Non-Issue. Tell them no, and let them know what they can fetch you samples of.
    Then thank them.
    Simple.
    No need to make fun of these MF, as bad as some of them can be.
    Sometimes I feel bad for the nervous ones who know nothing, and try to comfort them with easy-to-tag-along humor.
    Good comments from the two of you. It's a bit of a non-issue with me, although if anything I blame the consumer. Then again, Pollux makes a great point about consumer buying habits....ahhh!! I don't know what to think

  24. #24

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    With all the Basenotes knowledge and education it does get interesting and sometimes funny with some SA's. It's easier not to get led down the garden path. I remember this fiesty SA at Macys in Herald Square.....well I won't tell the story.

    Best,

    Otto
    Giving Life My All And Improving Every Day

  25. #25
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    I really like the SA at my dept store here. It's the only one that has any fumes to offer (I won't name it here). My favorite is an older woman, we've talked before and she's always given me samples. She really threw me for a loop the other day when I went to try men's cologne. I had a good idea which I wanted to try, 3-4 that they had. The first one she takes out of my hand and starts waving it in the air over my head, drenching me in a mist. Great, so I'm done for the day! WTH is this? Some goofy old notion this is the best way to wear perfume. Yeah yeah, I've heard of this, if you're going to the prom maybe.

  26. #26

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    We use to spray people at Bloomingdale's if they liked it or not - it was fun like a squirt gun and still ducks as targets!

    That was until some customer took a very bad reaction to a fragrance sprayed on at some Bloomingdale's and the company had to settle

    So began the dawn of the fragrance card!
    Last edited by scentimus; 24th June 2009 at 02:46 AM.

  27. #27
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    I'm not trying to sound derogatory, but I haven't met a knowledgeable SA yet. However, I reside in Montana, which isn't exactly a bastion of perfumery. Still, stores should hire experience or train correctly.

    The worst ones I've encountered are the managers who supervise the SA's. Unqualified is an understatement.

  28. #28

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    I'm not trying to sound derogatory, but I haven't met a knowledgeable SA yet. However, I reside in Montana, which isn't exactly a bastion of perfumery. Still, stores should hire experience or train correctly.

    The worst ones I've encountered are the managers who supervise the SA's. Unqualified is an understatement.
    You said "should hire," but I think they only hire someone to move the product. I have seen teenagers with enthusiastic (yet vacant) smiles peddling higher end scent. The best thing to do is arm yourself with knowledge.

    Then go and enjoy shopping: spray, sniff, savour--then perhaps purchase...after you have allowed the drydown. The worst thing is to spray and immediately fall in love with a scent--although to each his own.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  29. #29

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto View Post
    With all the Basenotes knowledge and education it does get interesting and sometimes funny with some SA's. It's easier not to get led down the garden path. I remember this fiesty SA at Macys in Herald Square.....well I won't tell the story.

    Best,

    Otto
    Tell it! Tell it!

  30. #30

    Default Re: That Perfume Sales Person

    Quote Originally Posted by scentimus View Post
    We use to spray people at Bloomingdale's if they liked it or not - it was fun like a squirt gun and still ducks as targets!
    I hope that, in retrospect, you understand how annoying your behaviour was? If you'd pulled such a thing on me I would've run for the nearest bottle of Kouros and *accidentally dropped* it on the floor in front of you.
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & RÍve 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/

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