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  1. #31

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Yeah, talking to an SA is a complete and utter waste of time for anyone but the greenest neophyte or the most utterly indifferent shopper. Thank god for Sephora.
    Not so! It really depends. My last 'fume shopping in an actual shop experience was in Barneys (in Las Vegas, thank you, I'm not that fancy) and of the two clerks on duty, one was lovely, helpful, and quite well-informed - we chatted a while, she made me a sample of something absurdly expensive, and she really seemed into the sheer fun of smelling things. The other had literally no idea what a "green floral" could possibly be. When he asked my husband what he liked, and hubby responded with a well-known Tom Ford, he'd never heard of that either. But he WAS awfully nice, and he trotted off somewhere, actually LOOKED UP what that one smelled like and ran it by the other clerk to see what they had that might be similar. And actually found something.

    Likewise, at a much more downmarket scent and soap and so on place, closer to home, I breezed in five minutes before closing (mall on a Sunday, I forgot it would close that early) and expected the nice girl who came up to me to politely say that they were cleaning up and maybe I could come back tomorrow. Instead she asked if I needed any help, came back even after I said no when I couldn't FIND what I wanted , dismantled an elaborate display to get what turned out to be the last bottle in the store for me, and told me that if I mentioned it to the girl on the register, I could have a free matching lotion. I ended up calling the company offices to tell them how awesome she was.

    And even the cheapest possible places can have good service. The most amazing perfume clerk I've ever run into is one of a pair of, I think, brothers who run a booth at the local swap meet. I won't try to replicate his English, but the dude KNOWS. At one point I asked to sample something he had, and he looked at it, looked at me, and said no, you won't like it. I insisted, he grinned, handed it over, and guess what? I hated it. Then he pointed out a different one which looked exactly like something I would hate. Not half bad! And from listening to his conversations with other customers, he keeps good enough tabs on what the big designers are putting out that he can make recommendations to the folks who want the brand new ones and don't understand that those are not likely to be swap meet material just yet. If I ran some swanky department store I'd ditch the vague, chic young ladies we tend to have around here and hire this guy. Plastic table and all.
    Last edited by blkbrd; 1st June 2011 at 03:54 AM.

  2. #32

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    As I understand it, the SA job is not a skilled one. Meaning they hire and fire people as neccessary. And a lot of SA's find better jobs and leave or more within the department store to other sections like shoes or clothes because the commission is obviously higher there.
    So a lot of the SAs will only know whether the perfume is woody, fresh, floral or spicy. Which wood did you say? Ahhhh woody. What flowers? Mmm the usual flowers.
    Time to pull out my iphone/ipad.

    Also, they only send committed SAs to training seminars and I think you need to exert way too much effort in the job to be able to qualify for the training sessions, than the salary is worth.
    for swap/sale:



  3. #33

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Cool, good to hear that someone is having good experiences with SAs. Watch out for booths at swap meets and so forth, a lot of the time they sell counterfeits.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    Civet is a bird
    Gaa! It's a good thing I wasn't sipping any coffee when I read that.

    I've had good and bad experiences with SAs. I think I chronicled some bad ones on older threads.

    But, I do want to put in a good experience with a SA in one of the San Diego malls that I visited. I believe it was in the Nordstrom's, that's across from the Neiman Marcus. I was perusing and as I approached the counter with the register, one of the sales ladies smiled at me and asked if she could help. I told her I was browsing because I'd not seen so many scents in one place before. (I am from the boondocks, you see.)

    She actually asked me a coupla notes that I like, and suggested a couple. And I tried one of them and liked it, and she said, "Give yourself some time to decide. Do you want to take a sample home?" Me? OF COURSE! Anyway, she made like 2-3 samples, one of which was the "parfum" which actually wasn't on the shelves, but she got from the back room.

    I got my Le Jardin from there, by the way. Everyone I met at that place was fantabulous. Seriously. There was a helpful SA in the men's section too.
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  5. #35

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    How cool would it be to have a real perfume nerd for an SA?

    I spoke briefly with an SA at the Art with Flowers store in Tyson's Galleria in Northern Virginia. I am guessing they know a few things based on the wide selection of niche perfumes. They don't harass you in that store, just greet you once and let you sniff in peace to your heart's content. I'm not a shill, I promise! I also had a super nice SA at Sephora this weekend, who whipped me up a sample right on the spot. Such a nice experience as opposed to being hunted like an animal at the department store counter.

    I've also had good experiences at Saks/Neiman's in spite of the Saks SA who thought Diorissimo came out last week, esp. the Neiman's in Bethesda.

  6. #36

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Cool, good to hear that someone is having good experiences with SAs. Watch out for booths at swap meets and so forth, a lot of the time they sell counterfeits.
    Oh, I'm sure. Though what makes me doubt it in this case is the volume of stuff they have that I don't think anyone would BOTHER to counterfeit. Tea Rose Ambre?

  7. #37
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    I was trying Flower Bomb at Dillard's. The SA said "This will give 16 hours of wear" (That's what I'm afraid of).
    And this, "There's a thousand flowers in every bottle."
    I looked it up, apparently, the '1000 flowers' bit is their advertising slogan.
    Just for the record, my experience with this frag left me (and my husband) with the overwhelming impression that we had been run over by a truck of baby power.
    Currently wearing: Chamarré by Mona di Orio

  8. #38

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Haha, I was told that one too..the thousand flowers thing, I just went along with it, 'really? wow, quite the scent'. lol.

    Civet, a bird? Really?
    Currently wearing: Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

  9. #39
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    I was in a Macy's, looking for a sample of M7 Oud Absolu, and the SA, who later identified herself as a regional YSL sales rep told me she had never heard of it, so I asked if she remembered M7 and she told me she had been a YSL rep for over 15 years and had never heard of that either and it couldn't be a YSL product!

  10. #40

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    At Estee Lauder counter, 'May I sniff Cinnabar?' 'What's that?'
    Currently wearing: Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

  11. #41
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    The best thing I heard a SA say was "Here's some free samples".
    Last edited by sjg3839; 4th February 2014 at 01:33 PM.

  12. #42

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by HazelMae View Post
    How cool would it be to have a real perfume nerd for an SA?
    99% of the time you'd be dealing with a customer base who doesn't care what most of your stuff smells like and just wants an alternative to Acqua Di Gio. Wow, this Green Irish Tweed is really nice, it reminds me of that Cool Water cologne!

    The other 1% of the time you'd probably get challenged by passive-aggressive Basenoters who would hate your recommendations, saying your Creeds are overpriced, your Musc Koublai Khan is awful poop-smelling and outdated, the sandalwood in your recommendation of Tam Dao is shit because it's not Mysore, I don't care about the new Guerlain because I already got a sample from SurrenderToChance and it was awful and I threw it away thank-you-very-much, and your tastes are shit, because nobody is right except for them. Then you'd get to come here and read their complaints about you here.


  13. #43
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    I'm waiting for an 'out' S.A. to start a thread about customers

  14. #44

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    You smell sexy with that perfume :P

    hmmm, what a great idea - the best thing I heard from a customer looking for a fragrance

  15. #45
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    "Would you like a sample?" Nordstrom. "Oh, certainly. Let me find a spray vial for you." Sephora.

  16. #46

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    I was testing Lancome Midnight Rose a few days ago, and the SA asked what I thought of it. I said that I liked the raspberry note and she laughed and said that there was no raspberry, just some kind of exotic flower that she didn't know the name of, but DEFINITELY no raspberry. I walked away from the counter....
    Currently wearing: Poême by Lancôme

  17. #47
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    I generally try to avoid perfume counters. If I do step in there it's a fast in and out. If the stay is longer it's because I might want a quick flirt with the woman. But I usually don't feel inspired to do that. The Perfume House is excellent and close by but I rarely go there either.

    I guess the main thing an SA might have said was, "I need to go home but I need to sell something first. I'll bl_w you if you buy a bottle." But that probably isn't true.

  18. #48
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Floater SA/rep at Saks a year and some months ago: Have you tried the new Prada for men? *hands me a blotter*
    Me: Oh, is this Luna Rossa? I haven't yet, no.
    SA: No, it's called something like... *asks SA behind counter* what is the Prada Called?
    SA #2: Let me see... *pulls bottle out* Luna Rossa?
    SA #1: it's Luna Rossa, sir. Very nice, no?
    Me: Thanks.
    Currently wearing: Royal Mayfair by Creed

  19. #49
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    I can safely say the only place I've ever been able to speak to a SA comfortably about fragrance is Les Senteurs. They have the worst web ordering service in human history, but their staff really are friendly and can help you choose a scent for hours.

    I wouldn't dare talk to a SA in any other shop if my life depended on it. Some of them really have no idea about scents.
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  20. #50
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Phone call: "Hello Mr. Buzier. I'm Ms. Nice, from the Guerlain Shop you've bought from in the past. I wanted to introduce myself and was wondering if you'd had a chance to try any out from our Les Déserts d'Orient series. If not, I'd like to send you some samples. Is there anything else you'd like to try out?"

    I received those three and six others a few days later after a pleasant conversation with the nice lady. When it's time to buy, they'll continue to get my Guerlain business.
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  21. #51
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    "Have you tried Boyz du Portugal". The mind boggles ....

  22. #52

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by JON RODGERS View Post
    "Have you tried Boyz du Portugal". The mind boggles ....
    That one defies belief, Jon.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

  23. #53
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    It's pretty typical. I used to live in Des Moines (shudder).

    (Almost no one pronounces it correctly, sigh)
    Last edited by kumquat; 7th February 2014 at 04:19 PM.
    Currently wearing: Chamarré by Mona di Orio

  24. #54
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Some of the generalisations made about sales assistants on this thread are somewhat offensive to me. I work part-time for Penhaligon's and would like to think I know a fair bit about scent even though it a relatively new interest of mine. To think that someone on here wouldn't bother asking for my advice because they would assume I am, as one person on here put it, not one 'of the brightest of knowledgeable of creatures', is a bit of a shame. The concession where I work is pretty quiet and helping another fumehead out (on the few occasions it has happened) has made my day.
    Last edited by lilacwine; 7th February 2014 at 12:50 PM.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Lilacwine, good for you being knowledgable and good at your job. We need more like you! Unfortunately, there have been a few bad experiences here and there. It's never good to insult a whole group of people, though. Tarring everyone with the same brush, I agree.
    Currently wearing: Chamarré by Mona di Orio

  26. #56
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    Lilacwine, good for you being knowledgable and good at your job. We need more like you! Unfortunately, there have been a few bad experiences here and there. It's never good to insult a whole group of people, though. Tarring everyone with the same brush, I agree.
    Thanks kumquat. I should mention that staff training for SAs working for perfume houses can be sparse. Most of the information that gets passed down to a SA usually comes from sources which are themselves unreliable (e.g. the manager who also knows little or doesn't communicate what they get told in an accurate way). I have never been on any training for Penhaligon's and most of my knowledge of the brand and of other brands comes from doing my own research and visiting these sorts of sites.

    Also, a vast majority of the SAs you find working for perfume counters in London are usually agency staff who are performers and between jobs. They are usually only working there for one or two days.The money is reasonably good and affords them the flexibility to go on auditions etc. It is the brand's way of saving money by limiting the number of staff entitled to holiday allowance and sick pay. Unfortunately, the consequence of this is that a customer will often encounter a SA who hadn't even heard the name of the brand until a couple of hours earlier.
    Last edited by lilacwine; 7th February 2014 at 04:36 PM.

  27. #57
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    "While I wrap up these bottles for you, look around and bring us the bottles you want samples of and we'll make them for you. As many as you want."

    Currently wearing: Royal Mayfair by Creed

  28. #58

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by lilacwine View Post
    Some of the generalisations made about sales assistants on this thread are somewhat offensive to me. I work part-time for Penhaligon's and would like to think I know a fair bit about scent even though it a relatively new interest of mine. To think that someone on here wouldn't bother asking for my advice because they would assume I am, as one person on here put it, not one 'of the brightest of knowledgeable of creatures', is a bit of a shame. The concession where I work is pretty quiet and helping another fumehead out (on the few occasions it has happened) has made my day.
    Take no offence, lilac. Some SAs have certifications in fragrance and skin care. They know about the product.

    The bottom line, as in any other sales profession, is that some people care to learn about the products they sell (even clothing or food) and some don't.

    Perfume lovers appreciate people like you. We love getting to work with someone like you.

    As you stated, these are generalisations.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

  29. #59
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    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    Take no offence, lilac. Some SAs have certifications in fragrance and skin care. They know about the product.

    The bottom line, as in any other sales profession, is that some people care to learn about the products they sell (even clothing or food) and some don't.

    Perfume lovers appreciate people like you. We love getting to work with someone like you.

    As you stated, these are generalisations.
    Hi Primrose. I take no offence to the majority of comments on this thread. It's only those who make sweeping statements based on their experiences that caused me to become a little upset. You're right that not all sales assistants are too bothered about learning about their product. It would just be nice to think that if someone from this site visited my counter, they wouldn't ignore me or decline my help merely because of a false assumption they hold (i.e. that all SAs have no idea what they're talking about).

  30. #60

    Default Re: The best thing I heard an SA say...

    Quote Originally Posted by lilacwine View Post
    Hi Primrose. I take no offence to the majority of comments on this thread. It's only those who make sweeping statements based on their experiences that caused me to become a little upset. You're right that not all sales assistants are too bothered about learning about their product. It would just be nice to think that if someone from this site visited my counter, they wouldn't ignore me or decline my help merely because of a false assumption they hold (i.e. that all SAs have no idea what they're talking about).
    Lilac, I give all SAs the benefit of the doubt when I am new in a store. When I find one who is excellent, I treasure him like gold, and make all purchases from him thereafter! He gets the sales and I get the service.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

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