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  1. #1

    Default Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    I plan on buying a Guerlain soon - and possibly a Coco Chanel as well. I may also just have them on the Christmas list and have Santa bring one. My question is: how important is the place of purchase, assuming we are not talking about merchants that would actually sell a fake?

    For example, you can find such fragrances in the most exclusive, expensive of stores but also in online discount stores that seems to sell the same item for significantly less. Obviously, it is tempting to go with discount vendors like fragrance.net (who claim they sell the 100% authentic product) and skip Neiman Marcus; but is it at all possible that Neiman Marcus would have on its shelves fresher, somewhat superior scent? Do people pay that extra price simply for picking it up in a fancy environment...or do such stores really do have fresher, better quality scents overall?

    I remember reading a review on fragrance.net in which a poster said that she was not entirely pleased with an otherwise beloved fragrance she had bought from them because she detected a slight reformulation or some kind of note that had been replaced with another ingredient... and that next time she might opt for buying the same fragrance at a high-end department store. She didn't imply that fragrance.net had sold her a fake - that seemed out of the question; but it did sound as if the bottle she got was either older or somehow "lesser" than what she would have gotten in a high-end store.

    I really want the BEST formulation and quality of whatever I will decide on.

    Where should I buy it from?
    Should I just go straight to Neiman Marcus, drop whatever they ask for and move on - to ensure optimum quality?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    Buying from an authorised dealer is the best way to go and usually assures the freshest stock.

    You will pay premium prices, as you know.

    Discounters often have older stock and there may be some reduction in quality. This is not always the case, so it's a gamble.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    OK...so it is strictly a question of AGE, not of possible changes/dilutions in formulation too.
    In theory, discount stores would have the EXACT type of product as Neiman Marcus does (100% same formula) - only that the bottle would possibly be older. Is that correct?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    if there's been a new reformulation you don't like you might be better off buying from somebody with old stock...
    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

    www.aafke-art.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrouFrou View Post
    if there's been a new reformulation you don't like you might be better off buying from somebody with old stock...
    In fact, I am not sophisticated enough with my knowledge of perfumes to know of previous formulations. I would just want to make sure I buy the real thing - a scent that would be high quality and would last.

    When I bought the bottle of Angel I currently have (only a tad left), I decided to get it from an online discount store. Well...the bottle was not the famous star seen at department stores, it was long and straight and had a silver top in the shape of the Angel star. The top was also slightly shaky, with a somewhat plasticky feel to it. The fragrance itself just didn't seem to last or have that "divine" effect I had initially felt when I first tried Angel in high-end department stores. It may have been all in my head though - knowing the bottle came from a more "modest" source and not from a high-end store.

    I decided to take the bottle to a department store and compare. I did and the scents seemed pretty much the same, at least for ther moment. The sales lady also didn't seem to have any clear opinion as to whether I may have gotten a fake or not. \
    She thought it was the real thing.

    I never knew whether that Angel was a fake or whether it was just plain older, "lesser" stock.

    I don't want to go through the same problem with Guerlain. I want a nice, potent, high-quality bottle this time.

    I also don't understand how the discount stores can sell the authentic but older stock fragrances for so much less when so many people go crazy for "vintage" fragrances. Wouldn't those vintage fragrances lose their potency?
    Does vintage automatically mean "old bottle" or it means it is a recently made fragrance with the old formula?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    Returning something is also a lot easier at a full-retail store. One reason they are expensive is to cover the cost of returns.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsuzumi View Post
    Returning something is also a lot easier at a full-retail store. One reason they are expensive is to cover the cost of returns.
    That would not be a good enough reason for me. If this is mainly what it is, I would buy it from the discount stores as I have no intention of returning the scent. I am mainly concerned with the quality of the scent.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    I have no problem buying from well-known, reputable discounters. There have been a number of threads discussing who those are, if you're wondering.

    Addressing random points:

    - Unless we're talking about a flat-out fake, I wouldn't expect a discounter to have a different formula, unless they had an _older_ formula, which, sadly, these days is likely to be better and not worse.

    - However, the discounter's stock may be older (as in stale, not an older and superior formulation, which is what I'm talking about above), and if they're not a good reputable discounter it might not have been stored well.

    - Remember to make sure that you're looking at the same version of the fragrance - eau de toilette, eau de parfum, parfum, etc. The different versions are not necessarily _just_ about different strength - in many cases they are actually different. For example, Chanel No. 19 parfum is my favorite perfume in the world, but I don't much like Chanel No. 19 EDT, and I actively dislike the EDP.

    - Sometimes discounters will sell "testers", which are generally less attractive bottles and boxes, maybe without the fancy cap, and so on. They should still be the same fragrance, and they should be clearly described as testers.

    - Also, since the discounter's stock is not necessarily what's shipping right this minute, they may not be shipping exactly the same bottle you expect. It could be a travel spray, the previous bottle design, etc. The picture accompanying the product description may not be a picture of the bottle you'll get. Read the description carefully, and if you care about the exact bottle, it's probably wisest to call.

    - The tester that you used in the department store may actually be inferior to the product that you buy - there's no telling how long it's been out, in the light, sometimes near hot lights. But that means that it may be _different_, so if you're in love with that tester, you may be disappointed with the fresh bottle.

    - It appears to me - I haven't done a study or anything - that the more expensive versions of a scent, such as the pure parfum, are generally only slightly discounted at the discounters or aren't even available from them, and it's the less expensive versions that are discounted. When I'm buying the expensive version of a fragrance with several price points (like a Chanel parfum, for example), I normally end up buying it from the full-price sources, either the department store or online.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    The Angel you mention is actually Angel Innocent and not original Angel. There are or where a few flankers from Angel and Angel Innocent comes in the tall bottle with a that top.

    Sometimes older is actually better as if they reformulate you want the original that is want you will hopefully get.
    DONNA

  10. #10

    Default Re: Assuming no fake involved, does place of purchase make a big difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    The Angel you mention is actually Angel Innocent and not original Angel. There are or where a few flankers from Angel and Angel Innocent comes in the tall bottle with a that top.

    Sometimes older is actually better as if they reformulate you want the original that is want you will hopefully get.
    Waow...but it doesn't say Angel Innocent on it!! It really was sold to me as THE Angel.
    Oh, well...it's on its way out and I will not repurchase Angel, at least for a while.

    PS: I looked at Innocent, that is different....Here is the bottle I had:

    http://www.eprofeel.com/thierry-mugl...fr-274848.html

    Ity says "vaporisateur resourcable" at the bottom of the bottle. So it was supposed to be a refillable bottle...who knows whether everything was 100% OK?...
    I remember getting it from fragrance.net

    Would you mind guiding me to that thread where the really reputable online discounters were mentioned? Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by syracusa; 9th November 2011 at 09:56 PM.

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