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  1. #1

    Default Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    For example, Gucci pour Homme came out around 2002. I heard it's being discontinued and I want to buy a FRESH bottle that will last for years.

    If I purchase at fragrancenet or beautyencounter, they only guarantee that the fragrance is genuine. It says NOTHING about how old a fragrance is, or when the item was manufacutred. It could be 10 years old for all I know.

    Anyways, are fragrances neccessarily any fresher or better at Departmet stores, or even department store websites as opposed to discount websites?

    Your thoughts....

  2. #2

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Yes since department stores always bring in the latest up to date stock. Whereas at online discounters and websites they pick bottles up from overseas much of which can range from old batches produced years ago to freshly produced batch. Online discounters and websites do not guarantee you fresh new bottles, it's a hit or miss.

  3. #3
    Basenotes Junkie Sidney_Falco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I've often thought about this and the more you think about it the more questions it brings up. Let's say you go to a mall that gets a lot of traffic and buy a popular fragrance, the chances of that being fresh are high since the mall probably sells a lot of fragrances and the turnover is high so they are constantly getting new stock in. However if you buy that same fragrance from a mall that gets less traffic, it very likely could've been sitting on the shelves in that location for months because they just aren't selling as many fragrances. Whereas a mall only services a small community, an online vendor services the entire country (and some even internationally) so the turnover on a popular fragrance will be high, but nobody knows where some of these online vendors get their supply from so it could be from that same mall that gets less traffic and you could be buying a bottle that has sat on the shelves at that mall for months. You can really argue any which way depending on how you look at it.

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Generally speaking I would say yes, but it's really hard to know for sure.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    This is a good question. So ordering at FragranceNet and FragranceX gives us a less fresh/pure smell than the department stores? Unless someone has ordered from both avenues and can say that online fragrances are pretty much the same/just like department stores in the smell.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I've been ordering online for years along with buying at stores and I've never found any difference.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    ^Which online stores?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Fragrances in stores are as fresh as much they are being selled. So whatever is selling good will have new batches and whatever is not selling will stay on shelves for years.

    I bought Platinum Egoiste from retail that was supposed to have huge sillage and longevity and it doesnt last ****.
    Now seeing Dior Homme with silver tube on the shelves was really exciting, but not as much as price that was like 2x of what I can pay online for that.
    TOP 3 hot weather:

    1. Gucci Pour Homme II
    2. Lalique Encre Noire
    3. Creed Aventus


    TOP 3 cold weather:

    1. L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme
    2. Chanel Coromandel
    3. Dior Homme

  9. #9

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I think it's hard to generalize.

    I've never bought anything online that seemed stale, but it could happen i suppose

    I'm willing to take the risk for the lower prices

  10. #10
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    from my experiences yes.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I'm concerned abut this, is there any way to find out when a particular fragrance was produced? I received a bottle of A*men last week, and while I can smell it on my skin faintly after 12 hours, it does not project after 2 hours or so. and I've heard that this scent is a monster...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I think it varies from case to case. For instance, Parfum1 had Tubereuse Criminelle before Lucky Scent when it was released as an export, and at a much cheaper price.

    Once must judge by the scent. Yes, discounters do carry older stock, but it's not always the case.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Generally yes. Some regular internet stores have a high turnover, so you won't notice any difference. However, I wouldn't buy from stores with large discounts, because my guess is that they can keep prices low by buying surplus stock, probably from cheap countries as well, so chances are that the fragrances have been around for a while.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I've purchased 5 bottles of Creed this past month online and they are all 2011 lot numbers.

    However, when I went to Nieman Marcus the other day, their Creed bottles had 2007 and 2008 lot numbers and their manager kept insisting the bottles were new stock from that week.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kikkollekta View Post
    I've purchased 5 bottles of Creed this past month online and they are all 2011 lot numbers.

    However, when I went to Nieman Marcus the other day, their Creed bottles had 2007 and 2008 lot numbers and their manager kept insisting the bottles were new stock from that week.
    I remember one time I asked the SA at a Neiman Marcus if I could take a look at the bottles since I'm looking for a 2011 lot. She wasnt to happy when I told her there old stock, said thank you and walked away :P

  16. #16

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kikkollekta View Post
    I've purchased 5 bottles of Creed this past month online and they are all 2011 lot numbers.

    However, when I went to Nieman Marcus the other day, their Creed bottles had 2007 and 2008 lot numbers and their manager kept insisting the bottles were new stock from that week.
    Exactly right. In general, I think we all "expect" that local stores will have the freshest fragrances, but that's simply not always the case. I've seen several reports of Neiman's having old stock and there's an authorized online Creed dealer that I recently received 2005 and 2006 bottles from. So buying from an "authorized" dealer or a local store does not always mean you're getting the freshest bottle.

    When you think about it, reputable online dealers are just as likely to sell fresh stock, simply because they sell/move more fragrances and are constantly reordering and restocking.

  17. #17
    Dependent fragranceman88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    This is a very good question

  18. #18

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    If properly stored away from light and heat... Fragrance will stay fresh as you take care of it...
    My Top 10

    1. Amouage Homage Attar
    2. Serge Lutens - Muscs Koublai Khan
    3. YSL M7
    4. Serge Lutens - Ambre Sultan
    5. Chanel Egoiste
    6. 24 Gold by Scentstory
    7. Amouage Epic Man
    8. Amouage Jubilation XXV
    9. Bond No. 9 New York Oud
    10. Serge Lutens - Chergui



    "A beautiful fragrance to the nose is like good jazz music to the ears, great food to the mouth, and Megan Fox and Jessica Alba to the eyes..."

  19. #19
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I've never had a problem with bad or stale colognes when ordering from online stores such as frgrancex or luxuryperfume.com. they have always smelled/lasted exactly the same as when I sample them from Macys, etc. Age doesn't really mean anything anyway if stored properly. People buy vintage colognes all the time that still smell great even after 10-20 years.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I'd rather have the old stock unless it was sitting in a window. All the new stuff gets reformulated and is subject to the never ending IFRA restrictions.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Probably, large department stores/retail conglomerates have to adhere to market pressure and/or mass popularity more than smaller online discounters, which may be a bit more independent, flexible and creative in their business decisions.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I don't think so. I haven't had issues with grey market retailers like Fragrancenet. Bought three Creeds from them so far, no problems.

    Also, what do places like Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys do to stock that they don't sell, do they just replace them with newer stock of the same fragrance? I really don't think so. For example, let's say a bottle of Armani Code doesn't sell for a year, do they have a timer alerting them to send back the old bottle of Armani Code and replace it with a new bottle? I doubt it.

    I think the only exceptions are if you buy the fragrance directly from the actual manufacturer (i.e. from CreedBoutique.com). I would imagine in that scenario, you would get the latest batch/stock; but that's just my assumption.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Fresher and newer scents? Are you buying fruit or fragrance that will sit on your dresser for the next ten years? Doesn't Creed claim that their scents actually get better over time? This seems like a nonissue to me.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Everyone has great points. I think it just depends on how often the fragrance is bought and it's popularity.

    I've seen bottles in the display cases at Macy's (the display cases behind the front of the counter display cases) that looked like the cellophane was starting to yellow from sitting for so long.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I can not comment on department stores, but I have worked for an online retailer where we shipped out of the factory, exclusively. General rule for factory products: If it's on our shelves, we will ship it out. If not, we will order it from the manufacturer/or, in this case, directly from the dealer, then ship it out.
    Ex -I didn't work with fragrances, but will assume the same rules apply-: If we ordered 50 bottles of la nuit when it FIRST came out, and you placed an order for a bottle today, assuming we didn't sell all 50 bottles (for whatever reason) chances are you would be receiving one of the 50 bottles we order years ago.
    I suppose department stores would be considered "fresh" since they are easily and readily accessible. Not everyone purchases online, but mostly everyone will go and buy from a department store, so they are constantly selling and restocking.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I generally do not purchase from online retailers much anymore. About 4 months ago I purchased a bottle of JV Artisan Black. Smelled really bad - like the original Artisan that was poured over a dirty laundry hamper. It was a blind purchase, so I just assumed I didn't like it. About 2 months ago I purchased a decant of it from TPC. Smelled very different. Much much better. I can only assume the storage conditions are less than optimal. Of course all online retailers shouldn't be lumped together. Some seem better than others I am sure.

    The old saying - you get what you pay for does hold true most of the time. Sure you can get some great deals, but you are also rolling the dice. I generally try to aviod the online retailers that I have received old product from or where it smelled "off" like the Artisan Black. I generally try to stick to the idea that I would rather pay more for it, than to get something a little less than the best it could be in order to save a few bucks.

    If you buy from a store, it's best to go to the busy ones to ensure the freshest product.
    Seasonal favorites:

    1. Creed - Spice & Wood
    2. Creed - Aventus
    3. Dior - Vetiver
    4. by Kilian - Incense Oud
    5. Puredistance - Black
    6. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions
    7. Armani Privé - Oud Royal
    8. Brückner - Aoud 1
    9. Creed - Royal English Leather
    10. House of Matriarch - Blackbird

  27. #27

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    Best if you want latest stock is to buy direct from the fragrance maker.

    As a specific example:
    Recently I looked into Dior Homme. Sephora had 2012 batch. Neiman Marcus has 2011 batch. Dior website had 2012 batch.
    I think a place like Sephora will have more sales so they will have more of latest stock. But a place like Neiman or others where they might not sell a lot of that specific fragrance will only have what they haven't sold yet.

    I was in Dillards the other day and they had "old" Dior Homme Sport (pre 2012 reformulation). I'm sure they will just wait til their current supply runs out before getting new stock.

    I can't speak to the online retailers like perfume and beauty enhancement or etc, but I'd assume they have older stock.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    In my experience no, I recently bought a bottle of Dior homme from sephora that was made in June 2008, and from fragrancenet I got a bottle of Kenzo power made early 2012.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I think as long as the fragrances are stored properly they will be fine. I have fahrenheit bottles from 87, 89 (maybe 99?), 98, and 04. All fine. You will be fine with gucci pour homme
    http://www.youtube.com/jimihendrix1117

    *Peace and Happiness*

  30. #30
    Basenotes Member muskymoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    While I'm new to BN, I've been buying perfume for years and years. However, recently, I've become concerned with how Sephora (and even Macys/Nordstroms) displays its perfumes. The boxes and testers sit atop shelves with heat-emitting lighting. Often, when I pick up a tester the bottle is warm. I'm no chemist but I do not think this is good for perfume. My thought is that, if the tester bottle is warm, the boxed bottles for sale must also have been affected by the heat of the under-shelf lights. I'm now having second thoughts about buying perfume from Sephora, even though I don't know/see how boxed perfume is stored with online retailers to compare...
    “Women waste so much time wearing no perfume. As for me, in every step that I have taken in life, I have been accompanied by an exquisite perfume!”


    ― C. JoyBell C.

  31. #31
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    In my experience, yes, most of the bottles that I purchased from online discounters are older than ones I find in highly trafficked stores. Do I care? No, as long as it was stored properly, it shouldn't make a difference.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    There is no definitive answer. My guess is 'maybe'. It all comes down to the distribution process. So when you go into a nice and proper high-end department store, you have to understand that everything you see in there was at one time in a manufacturing facility, a filthy truck, train, plane, or ship, and most likely in some type of depot or warehouse. Uncle Serge doesn't mix some juice up in his living room and drop it off at your local boutique. You have no idea where it came from, and how long it's been there until you're able to examine it. And to preempt anyone about to spout off regulations and restrictions placed by higher-end stores on their suppliers or distributors, I assure you that whatever their stipulations are, they will be met on paper, but not necessarily in reality. I worked in supply-chain logistics for a few years after college, and it doesn't matter the client- stuff is going to be shipped and sold, whether it should be or not. Caveat emptor.

    EDIT: I should mention this applies mostly to mass-marketed frags (including "niche" like Creeds and Bonds), and not so much with small or specialty houses, many of whom sell direct. Since the question was aimed at fragrances that can be found at local department stores as well as online retailers, I answered within those confines. I don't think you'll find some Slumberhouses collecting dust in a warehouse, for example.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    This thread got me thinking, maybe that's why my A*Men from fragrancenet doesn't last long, while the samples I got from Macys last all day.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I think I addressed this previously, but glad to add what I know I work at one of the main mall department stores and with very, very few exceptions our stock is rotated quite a lot to make sure it is fresh. We send hundreds of bottles back every few months, some that have only been on the shelf for a half a year or less. Sometimes it is a little redundant, like when I sent back ALL of my Love and Luck back to the vendor only to get a new shipment in the next week and the frag had not even been out for a year. Now there are a few exceptions especially with frags that are not quite in the mainstream right now. I have Bulgari Blu on my shelf that I checked the codes and they were made back in 2005 or 2008. Now, this frag doesn't get much attention and so they may just be waiting for it to sell and be done with it. On the other hand my Lagerfeld has been swapped out 3 times in 2 years, so it all depends on the vendor as well.

    One of the things we do which I hate is having to display bottles in the case. This means we have to unwrap it, take the bottle out only to have it sit on the shelf or in a display case on the selling floor. Then if I am have low stock on that item I have to sell someone a box with no cellophane. Even though the product inside is perfectly fine even I would balk at the thought of having to buy an opened box.

    In general I would agree that the frags at Jcp, Macy's and Dillard's etc. are probably "fresher" and the stuff at the discounters is probably the items we sent back to the vendor, but unless the items were kept in a shipping container in the hot sun for a few months it probably makes little difference.

    I shop at TJMaxx all the time and have never had a problem with freshness and feel safe buying things there since they do have a good return policy and I can actually inspect the product before I buy it. As for the online places returns and seeing before you buy can be very difficult.
    -Cologne is the only fashionable thing that fits me! (Me, circa 1997-present)
    http://www.youtube.com/860cologne

  35. #35

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I've Had great experience with online stores, everytime I shop at the mall or retail, its almost always more expensive and I got a bad bottle from perfumax

  36. #36

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    There should not be a problem if the stock is stored properly. I'm sure online retailers have more older made frags than popular retail stores. If you're concerned, your best bet is to purchase from the original store or website (ex. MuglerUSA). Thierry, cut me a check.....Lol

  37. #37

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I enquired about a batch of Creed on cheapsmells and when they told me the batch code, it was a5 year old batch. Could've been fine, but I passed! Conversely I bought a bottle of Creed OV that was a 2011 batch.

  38. #38
    Basenotes Junkie Wheatstraw2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I often pay full retail at long-established stores. Shopping is supposed to be fun, not some grim exercise in playing freshness/authenticity roulette just so I can save $17 or whatever pathetic amount it turns out to be. By paying retail, I often get samples, get to have a pleasant conversation with attractive salespeople, in a store with carpeting and nice lighting, as opposed to broken English, linoleum floors and fluorescent lighting. So it just becomes...fun, up-front, fully disclosed, you-know-what-you're-getting shopping, as opposed to playing some kind of hide and seek guessing game with some creepy, anonymous man hiding behind a website.

    Most of the time, you just don't know what's in that bottle until it's too late to return it. Now, I look for discounts on some clothing items, like jeans, because you can see what's going on with the product. I buy toothpaste and laundry detergent at discounters. But fragrance. Uh uh, nope, not gonna do it if I don't have to. I mean, if I have no choice, I'll take a chance. But most of the time I see no need for it.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Are fragrances "fresher" and "newer" at Sephora/Nordstrom/Macys than at the online discounters

    I tested fragrances at one sephora and almost all of them were sour and seemed off , the only ones that were fresh were the newly stocked items, you never know what happens when they are shipped to the store or to your location.

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