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  1. #1

    Default Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Does anyone else think the testers they got at stores like Macys, Sephora, etc. are watered down? I've sprayed stuff recently on my wrists when sampling or shopping around, notably trying Dior Homme (Sephora, disappeared fast, compared to the 2006 one I got which lasts me a workday easily, very watery and barely even noticeable opening, we're talking seconds after spraying, wtf); L'Homme (Sephora, lasts literary less than an hour on my wrist, I mean I know it's not a powerhouse but it shouldn't disappear that fast); Bleu de Chanel (Macys, so I sprayed right before I went to watch a movie at the mall, and it only remained on my skin for like 3 hours).
    These are supposed to be authentic bottles, yet they lasted less or were less noticeable than frankly many samples I've had (vials we're talking bout). We're not talking projection here, talking digging my nose in my skin. It's not exactly a recent observation for me, I've always had that impression of these testers. I doubt it's olfactory fatigue since I didn't spray all over with numerous different ones. More of a one at a time testing sort of thing. Anyone else think the juices they got at the Mall are very watered down (most of my stuff I've bought online and I find it generally stronger and longer lasting that what I sampled at the mall pretty much for every single cologne I've owned and previously tested), and if so do you know why?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    I don't think they're watered down. I've ordered testers online and haven't had a bad experience yet. However, I do wonder if all the bright lights around tester bottles at the mall might compromise the fragrances due to the light and heat. I'm always hesitant to buy bottles from stores with the bottles themselves on display next to the lights.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    I don't see what the point of watering down testers would be. If anything you would think that they would be stronger to exaggerate the longevity and sillage.

  4. #4
    Dependent The Smelly Scientist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    They add 23% water to all testers. It's because they know your typical consumer "can't handle the truth"
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by eggy View Post
    They add 23% water to all testers. It's because they know your typical consumer "can't handle the truth"


    I haven't noticed any difference. I've got samples from testers at Nordstroms and their projection/sillage/longevity is pretty good. I've sprayed stuff from a tester at a store before and then found I couldn't remove it no matter how hard I try!!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post


    I haven't noticed any difference. I've got samples from testers at Nordstroms and their projection/sillage/longevity is pretty good. I've sprayed stuff from a tester at a store before and then found I couldn't remove it no matter how hard I try!!!
    to be fair I am assuming since you are a woman, these were mostly female frags? Generally female frags are way more bombastic than male frags, sooo I guess I should have specified in my OP, primarily male oriented frags

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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumbbg View Post
    Does anyone else think the testers they got at stores like Macys, Sephora, etc. are watered down?
    I don't feel they are.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Like Silentrich said I wouldn't see any reason to weaken the testers. That would hurt their sales because you won't get the full effect of the frag. Throughout my years, I never noticed any testers watered down. If anything they were stronger.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    Like Silentrich said I wouldn't see any reason to weaken the testers. That would hurt their sales because you won't get the full effect of the frag. Throughout my years, I never noticed any testers watered down. If anything they were stronger.
    Exactly. It would makes absolutely no sense to water down a tester, it would kill the fragrance, which in turn would kill sales. If anything, if they were going to mess with testers, they would amp it up a bit.

    If anything, as mentioned in a post above, depending on how old the tester is, the light from those stores could be the possible culprit.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    I don't see what the point of watering down testers would be. If anything you would think that they would be stronger to exaggerate the longevity and sillage.
    A big +1. The juice in a tester is the exact same as a normal bottle. It's all in your head.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumbbg View Post
    to be fair I am assuming since you are a woman, these were mostly female frags? Generally female frags are way more bombastic than male frags, sooo I guess I should have specified in my OP, primarily male oriented frags
    I don't see how it makes a difference (and for the record, Farenheit was one of the ones I had difficulty removing later, from a tester at Ulta. I'm fond of both male and female frags, although way too many of the popular male ones have that awful synthetic aquatic thing going on.) Eau Duelle is one of the ones that I have a sample of and I'm pretty sure that one is unisex.

    It really, wouldn't make sense to water down testers. That would seriously hurt their sales! However it DOES make sense that testers are abused in all sorts of ways, being exposed to light, heat, being manhandled by customers (I don't know how many bottles I've picked up to find that the atomizers were completely broken and would not spray... which gave me serious concern that the atomizers would break before I finished the juice and I'd waste a large portion of it due to a broken sprayer!)

    It also wouldn't make sense for them to water down the MALE frags, but not the FEMALE ones. If this were a regular practice, wouldn't they do it to both genders equally?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    It also wouldn't make sense for them to water down the MALE frags, but not the FEMALE ones. If this were a regular practice, wouldn't they do it to both genders equally?
    I agree with you, Kaelee, that doesn't make sense. And, OP, I was genuinely surprised to read your statement that "generally female frags are way more bombastic than male frags", as that's certainly not my impression at all. Are you saying that frags marketed for women are "generally" stronger on longevity than frags targeting male consumers? Seriously?! What do you base that notion on?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane77 View Post
    I agree with you, Kaelee, that doesn't make sense. And, OP, I was genuinely surprised to read your statement that "generally female frags are way more bombastic than male frags", as that's certainly not my impression at all. Are you saying that frags marketed for women are "generally" stronger on longevity than frags targeting male consumers? Seriously?! What do you base that notion on?
    I thought the same thing Dane, I find a lot of male frags to be quite LOUD. But not all.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane77 View Post
    I agree with you, Kaelee, that doesn't make sense. And, OP, I was genuinely surprised to read your statement that "generally female frags are way more bombastic than male frags", as that's certainly not my impression at all. Are you saying that frags marketed for women are "generally" stronger on longevity than frags targeting male consumers? Seriously?! What do you base that notion on?
    i'm basing this on the fact a lot of the best selling male offerings you see at the mall are things like Burberry London, Versace Fresh, Chanel Allure Homme Sport, Dolce & Gabbana The One, Dior Homme, Acqua di Gio, Gucci PH 2, L'Homme, Bulgari Aqua, etc. which are generally not very powerful frags (a lot of fresher scents, obvs don't last long). Le Male, 1 Million, A*Men I think are exceptions to the rule. Comparably, I've hit up some of the notorious female frags and sprayed on my skin and they've lasted longer (J'ador, Mademoislle, Flowerbomb, Black Orchid, Poison, etc.). Female version of scents like Acqua di Gio and Code also lasted a while when i tested them a while back, and clearly that's not the case for me with their male counterparts. I also think the female Angel is much stronger than A*Men. Granted, I think those were EDPs, but yes I do think the female stuff "generally" tends to be more prominent on potency. I think the male scents are marketed to be more subtle, less "perfumy." Not to mention fresher scents are hip in the men's game, and fresher scents are lighter.

    Now if we go into the niche realm, or some tougher to find stuff we get some bombastic male or unisex frags, but I was referring to the stuff at the mall, like Macys or Sephora. No Montales, Tom Ford Private Blends, Amouages, etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    In regards to my op, maybe it could be the light or something. I mean yeah, those things do get exposed to light constantly and who knows for how long. According to general consensus on light and frags, that should be damaging the juice. From personal experience I haven't noticed particular damage on some of my older bottles that have gone trough hell and back (light and heat in the bathroom) but IDK could be it.
    Last edited by comfortablynumbbg; 30th December 2012 at 03:37 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumbbg View Post
    From personal experience I haven't noticed particular damage on some of my older bottles that have gone trough hell and back (light and heat in the bathroom) but IDK could be it.
    Do you keep your bathroom lights on 14-16 hours a day like a store in the mall?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    In a mall almost all the stores have some type of fragrance in them. Some are extremely fragrant and all it takes is for you to get a good whiff and your olfactory senses are going to be off. Not to mention the food and such that seems to permeate the place. If you really want to properly test a fragrance, either get a sample and wear it a couple of times or walk outside of the mall and resent your olfactory senses. I buy my bottles at Saks and I found an SA with a great nose and I basically smell it and then I let her decipher it for me. Sometimes you just have to admit that what you think you smell isn't necessarily accurate.
    Last edited by silentrich; 30th December 2012 at 05:00 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    I've never noticed any difference in strength with testers. I have several testers in my collection, a couple of which are replacements for empty bottles, and they have always been just as strong as the "regular" bottles of the same fragrance.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    As I was able to see, Sephora lamps project hight temp. and that affect every tester wich is placed near them. That is grand problem with Sephora and their testers .

  19. #19

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Some tester bottles even contained, without heightened concentration (from EDT to EDP, extrait and so on) juices with higher, almost near-overpowering projection and longevity compared to what I used sense from the development of the very same fragrance, on my skin, so I would be tempted to trust either of these theories (both with no scientific evidence though):

    a) testers are deliberately made to contain slightly more concentrated versions of a scent
    b) the exposure to light, air, other influences etc. might actually heighten the fragrant ingredients and decrease the power of the diluting, weakening ones.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Something I noticed in passing the Dior counter at my local department store is that they always seemed to used vintage pre-reformulation versions of Dior Homme Intense, given away by the silver collars. Now that's not to say that the reformulated Dior Homme Intense isn't an amazing fragrance, but its just something that always catches my eye...that elusive silver collar.
    Creed Aventus lid wanted: please pm if you can help

  21. #21

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    A lot of people would kill for that info!...lol

  22. #22

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by PalmBeach View Post
    Do you keep your bathroom lights on 14-16 hours a day like a store in the mall?
    No but i have a frag there for a few years.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Some potential explanations:

    1. The mall in winter might be suffering from much lower humidity, which can reduce projection. The weather can also change your own skin moisture. Dry skin and humidity can reduce scent longevity and projection.

    2. The rampage of testing this vacation period could cause olfactory fatigue from the jumbled mess of scents.

    3. Damaged/old testers. You don't know how awful a sample of Eternity for Men can smell until it has been overexposed to high heat halogen lamps.

    4. Counterfeit swap out. Our local Bon Ton has had this problem. A real tester of Chanel Bleu was replaced with a counterfeit. Without the magnetic cap giveaway, it took a close examination of the bottle to reveal the truth. Presumably someone swiped the real one and exchanged it with an eBay phony. The SA was clueless.

  24. #24
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    The reason they smell watered down is because those bottles have been sitting there on warm lighted shelves for years.
    I found a tester bottle of Gucci PH 1 at a Sephora recently that was almost clear because it had been sitting on that warm shelf for so long. All of the male Chanels that are at the female counter at Macys smell terrible because they are so old. It really is stupid to leave them out sitting on top of a light because I cant imagine anyone smelling them and wanting to buy the fragrance.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    The reason they smell watered down is because those bottles have been sitting there on warm lighted shelves for years.
    I found a tester bottle of Gucci PH 1 at a Sephora recently that was almost clear because it had been sitting on that warm shelf for so long. All of the male Chanels that are at the female counter at Macys smell terrible because they are so old. It really is stupid to leave them out sitting on top of a light because I cant imagine anyone smelling them and wanting to buy the fragrance.
    Man this is the kind of the thing if someone was applying for a job there could say at the job interview to strengthen their case for the job. Nice.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I think it's a combo of light exposure and also old frags (the L'Homme one I tried was maybe 30% remaining)

  26. #26
    CologneFan85
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    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    My fiance works as a perfume sales manager, and no they don't water them down. I've asked her before.

    And some stores carry testers in a lock box to keep the fragrance from being damaged. Ask for those, do not test the fragrances sitting on the counters.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Question About Designer Testers at the Mall

    Why would they water down something that helps the consumer decide on whether they want it or not...? If anything, I would assume that the testers are of a higher concentration (which I'm sure they're not)

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