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  1. #1

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    To those I haven't already shared my woeful tale with, I ordered a 100ml bottle of Frederic Malle's Bois d'Orage (9%) from eBay.

    My two favorite FM fragrances are Vetiver Extraordinaire and Bois d'Orage, with Musc Ravageur in there somewhere. I paid retail for VE but didn't want to shell out the cash for Bd'O.

    Anyhow, I received a letter from Canada Customs Border Services notifying me that the contents of my package were "un-mailable" and "prohibited" - and as such, they would be sent to Canada Post to be disposed of.

    I called Canada Post to ask if they could retrieve the seized package and return it to the sender, who graciously refunded me the entire amount, including shipping. Today I'm going to call again to see if they were able to do it, but I really doubt it. I was told "no promises, but we'll try".

    I know this is just one more horror story on top of a list of others, but man was I ever pissed off. Possibly more disappointed than pissed off, but still. I guess it's an unfortunate reminder that these things get scrutinized - especially by Canada Customs.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    This is seriously the first time I've ever heard of Canada customs destroying a fragrance

    Now I'm worried, heh, considering how much stuff I buy from the US

  3. #3

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    It is well and truly infuriating that people these days aren't allowed to make a rational decision either. The fear that has been put into people by terrorism etc is unbelieveable.

    "Oh no, it's a liquid package from another country..... it HAS TO BE a bomb/anthrax/plague" etc

    Surely, for one split second, your postman/postal service could have looked at the package and have uttered some stupid words like "oh man, its just aftershave. cool."

    No no no, that involves free thought.......

    I shant go on.

    P.S. Im not missing something like any legality with buying items like this into Canada am I?
    Last edited by Andyjreid; 13th July 2009 at 10:58 AM.
    For good, anatomic reasons, scent fosters memory more readily than any other sense.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I'm sorry to hear this. I know how frustrated you feel. If fragrance is really considered as dangerous goods how could stores in many countries import fragrance made in France or Italy? Or those weren't shipped by air? Someone please shed some light on me. I'm way too curious of how they transfer fragrance to different countries.

    P.S. I'm not trying to hijack this thread

    P.S. 2 - Thai customs never seized or destroyed fragrance but took it as theirs sometimes! (I didn't use the word 'steal'.)
    Current Top 5

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

  5. #5

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    About 4 or 5 years ago on another board we where doing a bottle split. The buyer of the bottle lived in Canada and ordered from Germany. Creed Angelique Encens which was on a great deal even with the exchange rate of euro to Canadian dollar. It arrived at Canadian customers and was destoryed by them.

    The buyer and the rest of us where very upset and the blame was laid on the German online store who did not follow the shipping guidelines for perfume to Canada. Most online stores just pack it up and ship, but Canadian customs are very very very very strict and will destory if not followed and all the i's dotted and ts crossed. They want it sent by ship and not airmail for a start.
    Last edited by donna255; 13th July 2009 at 11:16 AM.
    DONNA

  6. #6

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I've posted to Canada from Scotland before and the customs slip was a lot more detailed than the US one. The package took a full 2 weeks to arrive in Canada but we wewre both releived when it got there.
    For good, anatomic reasons, scent fosters memory more readily than any other sense.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    i have shipped to Canada before without any hassles. in this case..my only doubt is that the Malle bottle would've had the customs perplxed...9% conc, those Labels like laboratory stickers etc etc... just a wild guess coz i know the bottes i sent across were frisked by the customs and were let thru...only in cases where they arent sure about the product they might do some like it....

    btw AnthonyDG - you are one lucky guy...it was really kind of the seller to refund the entire sum back...

  8. #8
    Basenotes Plus
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I wonder why such mixed results shipping to Canada?
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  9. #9

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I have never had a problem shipping fragrance to Canada. I send them First Class Mail and they cost about the same as mailing Priority Mail within the U.S. and takes a week to arrive. I've sent dozens without a problem. It seems to me that more attention is paid to packages that are sent by more expensive means and when a higher dollar is declared on them.

    The only package that I have had mailed to me that was ever inspected was sent from a German store who insisted on mailing it air mail ($30 for shipping!). The package was x rayed and opened and thoroughly gone through. It took an extra two weeks to arrive (3 weeks total time). However, every First Class, inexpensive shipment, that I have mailed to Germany or to anywhere in the EU or Canada has gone through without ever a second look or any delay.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    No problems in shipping to Canada here either, touchwood. There was a delay once, but no such incident of the frag getting destroyed so far.


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  11. #11

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    That is a very cool ebay seller to refund the price, but unfortunately that's why some sellers don't ship outside the US. I've heard of stories like this before with Canada. The key is to declare (and have the shipper declare) cosmetics or even 'collectible glass bottle' on the customs form. Some sellers will not lie on customs forms and that is their absolute right, but even Strawberrynet.com declares 'cosmetics.' The key is to work with the seller to make sure they're cool with fudging the customs form.

    The rationale, I believe, is not terrorism related but rther that alcohol is flammable and thus dangerous on planes. Yes, totally far fetched but that's what it is.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    AnthonyDG, I hear you. I was the same boat last year when I got a bottle of French Lover off eBay UK. It was "intercepted" by customs and subsequently destroyed. Of course, the seller declared it as cologne despite my numerous requests not to do so. Canada customs has specific restrictions in handling flammable substances (fragrance included). FedEx and UPS will do it provided that you declare it as hazmat "hazardous material", but it would cost more to ship. Canada customs handle around thousands of packages every day. As a suggestion only, the way to go around it is to use cosmetics and/or body lotion in the declaration form. You are quite lucky to get your refund. Frankly, the minute the item has left the shipper's hand, his/her duty as a seller is completed. I got half of my money back in my transaction. Better luck next time!

  13. #13
    Surfacing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    To those I haven't already shared my woeful tale with, I ordered a 100ml bottle of Frederic Malle's Bois d'Orage (9%) from eBay.

    My two favorite FM fragrances are Vetiver Extraordinaire and Bois d'Orage, with Musc Ravageur in there somewhere. I paid retail for VE but didn't want to shell out the cash for Bd'O.

    Anyhow, I received a letter from Canada Customs Border Services notifying me that the contents of my package were "un-mailable" and "prohibited" - and as such, they would be sent to Canada Post to be disposed of.

    I called Canada Post to ask if they could retrieve the seized package and return it to the sender, who graciously refunded me the entire amount, including shipping. Today I'm going to call again to see if they were able to do it, but I really doubt it. I was told "no promises, but we'll try".

    I know this is just one more horror story on top of a list of others, but man was I ever pissed off. Possibly more disappointed than pissed off, but still. I guess it's an unfortunate reminder that these things get scrutinized - especially by Canada Customs.
    Perhaps the guy at customs reads Basenotes and destroyed it on purpose due to the ongoing bashing of designer fragrances in favour of niche. Think so ?

    No seriously Anthony, I do feel bad for you. That's a good line of fragrances ( Malle) and they are not cheap. I am very concerned about having packages shipped into Canada , although I have been "lucky". In the future try to have the sender label the package as something more vague.

    Quote Originally Posted by alacious View Post
    This is seriously the first time I've ever heard of Canada customs destroying a fragrance

    Now I'm worried, heh, considering how much stuff I buy from the US
    It is against Canada custom laws to have fragrances shipped into and out of the country my the average customer. Unfortunatly . Puts Canadians at a big disadvantage.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I'm still waiting on the vintage Guerlain Shalimar (1oz) Extrait that was sent to me from the United Statese (June 1st).

    This is the last week I'm waiting, the seller has already agreed to give me a refund, but we're waiting this week out to see if maybe it will arrive. (crosses fingers).

    I can't understand though if it doesn't arrive, where it is now, I mean, they aren't going to destroy vintage Guerlain?!?! Strangest thing is that the USPS can't give a clear answer as to where the package is!

  15. #15
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    If you declare it Haz Mat it costs at least $30. Which is insane because, what is that, a fine? Special handling fee? Bomb squad? What do they do with it that costs so much? It's a racket. An excuse to gouge and they wonder why people don't travel as much. I avoid it like the plague.

    I got smtg from Ayala Moriel (Canada) marked 'aroma therapy', but those are sample sized vials. Probably a big bottle with a heavy black cap looks suspicious in a pckg. Think of the Flower Bomb that looks like a hand grenade !!! except the juice is pink.
    Last edited by kumquat; 13th July 2009 at 08:57 PM.
    Currently wearing: Azurée by Estée Lauder

  16. #16
    gupts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Sorry to hear about that mate...I know though you've got a full refund it still hurts a bit since you don't want the money but the fragrance...Apart from that it is a setback for all your future purchases as you may not be lucky with a refund if something goes wrong in the future.

    I have shipped around 6-7 packages to Canada and so far *touchwood* I have had no issues. The buyers in Canada though are extremely cautious and are a worried lot until the package is delivered. I remember once I did a swap here with an 'old' member in Canada. He gave out a date to me on which he supposedly shipped his bottle to me...I had shipped mine too, around that date...He received my package in about 10 days and when his package didn't arrive with me, I started worrying a bit...I got in touch with him and he asked me to be 'patient'....Yeah right the package arrived after another 10 days or so...Why? coz this basenoter shipped it after his part, after he received the package that I had sent...I could see the shipping date on the package very clearly ...I never really pursued it with him..I thought it wasn't worth it...

    but this just shows that buyers in Canada are always quite unsure until their stuff arrives.

  17. #17

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Thanks for the compassion everyone

    I should have mentioned that I've never had this happen in the many years I've been sending and receiving fragrances throughout the world.

    We're probably talking one package out of over 200 - so I guess I developed a false sense of security and just assumed it would arrive. Bummer... now I'm on the hunt for Bois d'Orage again, though I really doubt I'll be able to get such a good deal.

    Ah yes, off to call Canada Post now and see if they were kind enough to not "destroy" this bottle and return it to the sender! Let me put in a kind word for the eBay seller "thewholedamshow-2007".

  18. #18

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    I have received almost my entire wardrobe from around the world and never had any issues with receiving any items (fingers crossed).

    The form must be meticulously filled out by the sender and I always check with the seller beforehand if they can ensure that they can fill it out completely. If they can't ensure that the form is filled out correctly then I typically do not buy from them.

    For the very occasional deal that I can't pass up I use a border service in Niagara Falls.

    Fragrancenet ships to Canada with duties and taxes included and I have always received all of my items without any hassle or complication.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post

    I should have mentioned that I've never had this happen in the many years I've been sending and receiving fragrances throughout the world.

    We're probably talking one package out of over 200 - so I guess I developed a false sense of security and just assumed it would arrive. Bummer... now I'm on the hunt for Bois d'Orage again, though I really doubt I'll be able to get such a good deal.

    Ah yes, off to call Canada Post now and see if they were kind enough to not "destroy" this bottle and return it to the sender! Let me put in a kind word for the eBay seller "thewholedamshow-2007".
    Chances are they won't be able to tell you. I was told it was destroyed right away. What a waste! Bought it from thewholedamshow-2007 before as well, he seems to get a lot of FM scents.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Ha ha just remember they are only telling you that it's been destroyed. Some person could be making his or her self a very nice fragrance collection.

    About the fragrance though (called French Lover here in the UK) I had a sample of the older 7% version and although i really liked the opening I really didn't care for the drydown too much. Are there any noticable differences between the 7% version and the 9% version?
    For good, anatomic reasons, scent fosters memory more readily than any other sense.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I've bought from that seller many times - very professional.

  22. #22

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    You know, I've only tried the 7% and was a bit disappointed with its longevity. The 9% I've heard is much better, which is why I was really excited to hear they increased the concentration.

    And absolutely - there's some lucky guy at Canada Post wearing my Bois d'Orage. Maybe I'll look on the brighter side of things and wonder if he'll end up becoming a future BN'er

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyjreid View Post
    Ha ha just remember they are only telling you that it's been destroyed. Some person could be making his or her self a very nice fragrance collection.

    About the fragrance though (called French Lover here in the UK) I had a sample of the older 7% version and although i really liked the opening I really didn't care for the drydown too much. Are there any noticable differences between the 7% version and the 9% version?

  23. #23

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Indeed.. I called today and they told me that "regretfully, it has been 'destroyed' and there is nothing else we can do."

    The seller (Armando) is a really nice guy with perfect feedback. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him just based on the way he graciously handled my situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Chances are they won't be able to tell you. I was told it was destroyed right away. What a waste! Bought it from thewholedamshow-2007 before as well, he seems to get a lot of FM scents.

  24. #24

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Can you give me details about this border service? I refuse to use UPS with their outrageous "brokerage fees" - not to mention they ALWAYS collect taxes on the declared amount.

    As Kumquat said, it is $30-50 to use a courier to send a "hazardous material". A total money grab, but in the case where you get a great deal it might be worth going through the motions on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diverdown View Post
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    I have received almost my entire wardrobe from around the world and never had any issues with receiving any items (fingers crossed).

    The form must be meticulously filled out by the sender and I always check with the seller beforehand if they can ensure that they can fill it out completely. If they can't ensure that the form is filled out correctly then I typically do not buy from them.

    For the very occasional deal that I can't pass up I use a border service in Niagara Falls.

    Fragrancenet ships to Canada with duties and taxes included and I have always received all of my items without any hassle or complication.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Ask the seller to ship it regular mail without any tracking number or insurance. Write used cosmetics as the description and declare it with a low value (25 dollars or less), and you'll receive your package 100% of the time.

  26. #26
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    That's what I do, too. No red flags. Like 'Fragile', or even 'Liquid'. It's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Just use plenty of stretchy blue masking (painter's) tape to seal vials & bubble-wrap!

    Low value & mark it 'Gift'. 'Used' means it has been opened. Cosmetics could be a hundred diff things.
    Currently wearing: Azurée by Estée Lauder

  27. #27

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    I have had a bad experience with Canadian post and customs as well. I ordered some Oud and oil perfumes from paradise perfumes based in Canada way back in April, and didnt recieve them at all. Lucky for me I had paid by paypal and eventually got a refund. I have a feeling they were opened and kept by customs, either Canadian or Irish, probably because of their 'exotic' look. It is nearly four months now and no package. I have bought from all around the world with no problems before,is the peculiar to Canada perhaps?
    Revenge is Tribute

  28. #28

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Quote Originally Posted by robbert View Post
    I'm still waiting on the vintage Guerlain Shalimar (1oz) Extrait that was sent to me from the United Statese (June 1st).

    This is the last week I'm waiting, the seller has already agreed to give me a refund, but we're waiting this week out to see if maybe it will arrive. (crosses fingers).

    I can't understand though if it doesn't arrive, where it is now, I mean, they aren't going to destroy vintage Guerlain?!?! Strangest thing is that the USPS can't give a clear answer as to where the package is!
    They don't care if it is vintage or even what that means. They get it they will destory it.
    DONNA

  29. #29

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Canadian Customs = Best smelling Customs dept in the world
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

    Egon Schiele - Self-Potrait


    My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux

    http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/2976

  30. #30

    Default Re: Customs & Canada Post "Destroyed" My Bois d'Orage!

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi View Post
    Ask the seller to ship it regular mail without any tracking number or insurance. Write used cosmetics as the description and declare it with a low value (25 dollars or less), and you'll receive your package 100% of the time.
    +1

    Recently bought a good priced bottle from a fellow bner - I thought it was great deal - alas - forgot to tell him to send it via regular mail and mark it used cosmetic or Used Sample- my fault - I thought he would know

    He sent it via courier, marked the custom form Fragrance, Fragile cost $80 - I ended up paying 35$ duty on it
    Last edited by achanna; 14th July 2009 at 07:39 PM.
    My Top Six - Guerlain Vetiver, Santal Noble, Bois Du Portugal, Antaeus, GIT, Vetiver Extraordinaire

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