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  1. #1

    Default Santa Maria Novella

    Just a note to the S. Kensington London branch: if you say you open at 10am then open. I went there today.

    Having waited because I turned up early, I buzzed at 10:05. No reply. I could hear stuff being lifted inside but no answer. It's a loud buzzer so I'm sure they could hear. But no reply.

    I waited a few minutes and buzzed again. No reply. I could hear stuff being moved still. So, I waited a few more minutes. No reply. I remember when if you said you'd open at a certain time you'd open. All the surrounding shops were open.

    So I waited a few more minutes. This time it was quiet. So I buzzed again. No reply. Time; 10:10.

    I never try more than 3 times.

    I waited a couple of more minutes just as I felt like it. No reply. Surprise!

    Walked away never to return money still in pocket.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Interesting first post!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Let them know this! There's no excuse for 'shit' customer service. I would expect a lackadaisical approach in Italy but in London, though it may exist, I would hope work ethic indiference is still the exception.
    Choose to believe, choose joy.
    Scelga di credere, scelga la gioia.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    There is a great shot of Anthony Hopkins purchasing a body lotion in the Santa Maria Novella shop in Florence - the shop looks great. This is in the movie Hannibal - he plays Hannibal Lecter.

    Poor service is never fun, it is unfair and inexcusable! When I am in this sort of situation I also go through the "I will never do business here again" routine. My girlfriend laughs at me and always asks "how is that working out for you?" The results of my threats to withdraw from the establishment my future business is almost always . . . . -- total silence!

    For the most part nobody seems to care. It is sad but true.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Try calling.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by graffham View Post
    I would expect a lackadaisical approach in Italy but in London, though it may exist, I would hope work ethic indiference is still the exception.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh2003 View Post
    Try calling.
    This DID occur to me, especially as I was outside. And their number was on the door.

    But it rubs me up the wrong way.

    I mean, I'm standing outside the shop, £200 in my pocket, wanting in to buy Patchouli/+ and then get out asap [I have other business].

    Should I really have to phone them from their own doorstep to tell them I'm there even though they're supposed to be open and even though I've buzzed them x3?

    Open/Not open?!

  8. #8
    vita odorifera
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    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    I know the shop quite well. Really artisanal ambience and doesn't look like it has attained 21st (or even late 20th) century efficiency. Certainly not a Selfridges. Having said all that, the service of the (usually) one or two staff is impeccable. Really personal and knowledgeable. Disclosure: I am usually in the UK on vacation or business, with spare time, so i wouldn't be at a frag shop door bang on opening time. Considering the treasures within the shop, some cheer, patience and accommodation would be good. And some good ticking off of the staff when you eventually get to enter.

    All the best.
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    I could imagine there might be more to opening the shop than just unlocking the door, and if they had a couple of things they needed to do before they let you in, what can they do?
    I'd imagine they're not used to people hopping up and down in front of their shop at 10am like there's some kind of freaky perfume emergency.
    I've been late for work before, too - most of us have. Try to forgive them if you can, so you can enjoy the Patchouli!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    I've been late before. Rarely.

    10am is a decent opening time, though. I'm up at 5am. 5 hours earlier!!!

    Sure, as I walked away, I thought many things could have happened: terrorist attack, personal tragedy, etc

    Except, all the surrounding shops were open.

    So, how come not SMN?

    OK, some personal event may have happened. Except I could hear someone inside so that can't be true!

    And there were still sealed boxes visible inside the shop. Is Friday stock day? Then open later!!!!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Were you in a rush? Sure, that's frustrating but if you're not going to check out SMN products because a SA was late opening the door then you're the only one that's losing out - not SMN. They make fantastic perfumes and grooming products worthy of exploration and ownership.

    When I was in college I worked at a coffee shop part time and the 'opening' shift started at 4am so we could open the store at 5am. One morning my assistant manager just never showed up to open the store and we had to turn people away until another manager could arrive with keys. Turned out the assistant manager had to take his mother to the hospital in the middle of the night and lost track of time. I'm not saying this is what happened with the SMN store, my point is that s-happens and being a few minutes late is neither the end of the world nor the most insulting offense.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    I think you should consider that old... saw so to speak from the management side of the potential to turn any gaffe into a gold mine... I mean... if you endearingly complain maybe you could get a freebie of some kind? At SMN boutuques for example they can make these big 2.5 ml samples but usually don't. you'd have been able to wrangle a few with judicious application of hangdog looks...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    It's a new day and forgotten. Thanks for the responses.

    Any recommendations for a Patchouli [other than SMN]? I want as close to a 1970's hippie smell as I can get. And I don't want Patchouli with something else dominant or competing in the smell. Just Patch mainly.

    Someone told me Givenchy Gentlemen but I have that [and we don't get on]. It's not a Patchouli smell to me.

    And I actually bought a cheap Patch from a store selling hippie oils etc but that has a basenote of dark, wet bark with a Patch topnote. The bark smell I'm not keen on. I could risk another - they're cheap enough - but I'd prefer a proper cologne one.

    Thanks.

  14. #14
    vita odorifera
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    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by nektar View Post
    ...Any recommendations for a Patchouli [other than SMN]? I want as close to a 1970's hippie smell as I can get. And I don't want Patchouli with something else dominant or competing in the smell. Just Patch mainly....
    L'Artisan Parfumeur's Patchouli Patch
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by nektar View Post
    This DID occur to me, especially as I was outside. And their number was on the door.

    But it rubs me up the wrong way.

    I mean, I'm standing outside the shop, £200 in my pocket, wanting in to buy Patchouli/+ and then get out asap [I have other business].

    Should I really have to phone them from their own doorstep to tell them I'm there even though they're supposed to be open and even though I've buzzed them x3?

    Open/Not open?!
    Yes, thats the smart thing to do. You walked away without what you want, your loss is bigger than theirs. They lost, how much? 200 pounds?no big deal. They'll make it almost immediately.
    You should have called, entered, complained then left. Im almost positive they would have tried to make it better.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by nektar View Post
    It's a new day and forgotten. Thanks for the responses.

    Any recommendations for a Patchouli [other than SMN]? I want as close to a 1970's hippie smell as I can get. And I don't want Patchouli with something else dominant or competing in the smell. Just Patch mainly.

    Someone told me Givenchy Gentlemen but I have that [and we don't get on]. It's not a Patchouli smell to me.

    And I actually bought a cheap Patch from a store selling hippie oils etc but that has a basenote of dark, wet bark with a Patch topnote. The bark smell I'm not keen on. I could risk another - they're cheap enough - but I'd prefer a proper cologne one.

    Thanks.
    There are 4 Patchouli variants by Reminiscence. Patchouli pour homme, a safe patchouli. Eau du patchouli, a weak patchouli. Patchouli, the classic. Elixir Patchouli, a more complex and intense version of the latter classic Patchouli. I would go for the Patchouli or Elixir Patchouli.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Try Mazzolari Patchouli.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  18. #18

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by graffham View Post
    I would expect a lackadaisical approach in Italy but in London, though it may exist, I would hope work ethic indiference is still the exception.
    The Italians and Italy are one of the most passionate and lively people I have ever seen. Ive been to the majorityt of the Western Europe, the US and Canada. The only time I've witnessed italians being rude is to loud, inconsiderate, ignorant tourists.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Nektar,
    I'm with you. No matter how you feel about it later and whether you go back or not, I think you should report it to whoever the authority or the central office is.
    If there are things to do before the opening time (setting up, etc.) they need to do it beforehand. In retail, employees are always scheduled to get there before the actual opening time. They are probably often late to work and no one knows about it. Abusive, lazy and rude employees are everywhere in retail (alas also under/un-trained and underpaid). They need to be reported. I never treat my clients like that on any of my jobs.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Yes, thats the smart thing to do. You walked away without what you want, your loss is bigger than theirs. They lost, how much? 200 pounds?no big deal. They'll make it almost immediately.
    You should have called, entered, complained then left. Im almost positive they would have tried to make it better.
    Maybe. But I'm a cut off nose to spite face kind of guy. I know it.

    I remember a case where a guy owned land with businesses on it and he was owed rent [the businesses had paid but rent collector failed to pass it all over to land owner]. So, the land owner sent in the bulldozers and flattened everything. Effectively he lost more in rental income by doing that. He got criticized but I'd have done the same.

    Thanks for your suggestions, though. I'll check them out.

    Thanks to the others for the suggestions, too.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    I would write corporate and then send them the link to your comment. Corporate needs to know they are losing customers.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  22. #22
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Reminiscence Patchouli Pour Homme seems to be what you are looking for.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella

    Funny you would mention that about their store. There is a SMN store here in Los Angeles. I called them one day and asked what time they closed. I got a vague hazy answer something like "oh, probably around 6 today" that led me to believe they make it up everyday.

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