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  1. #31
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    I wish this question had been posted in the "General Discussion Board". It's an interesting one.

    I find it hilarious and short-sighted that an SA would try to talk you OUT of buying a scent based on gender. They might mention the gender, just to see if it matters to you, but what a stupid mistaken sales technique to talk you out of buying something you want. It takes all kinds.
    Currently wearing: Azurée by Estée Lauder

  2. #32

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Next time, be prepared. Create a Word document. Find the store's logo and place it in the document. Make a big title in big black letters "MYSTERYSHOPPER". And beneath the title in red medium letters "REJECTED". Print the paper, fold it and put it in your pocket, and a pen as well.

    Now when the SA is giving false information again, slowly take the piece of paper from your pocket and unfold it. Look at his name-tag and write his name under "REJECTED". Then very slowly walk away from him and say nothing at all. Would love to see the look in his face... :-)

  3. #33

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    I have had that response from SA's a few times when you just curious and want to smell a classic like Mitsouko. I even had to give them some BS that I am buying my girlfriend a scent and want to try it out.

    It's only a scent but they make you feel like you are breaking a major taboo, god forbid if you picked up Shalimar and sprayed yourself a few times in front of them. lol
    Currently wearing: Versace l'Homme by Versace

  4. #34
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by granola357 View Post
    I'd like to follow up on the issue of the Male/Female fragrance boards on Basenotes, which I find increasingly passé and annoying. Other sites don't do this. Most new niche offerings are marketed as unisex. And while there are still many "pour homme," "pour femme" fragrances the majority of Basenoters I know really don't pay attention to the gender marketing. It would be nice to have just one main board...
    We've been trying to encourage more use of the 'General' board but it's ultimately up to members whether they choose to use it more.
    'Just Starting Out' is another mixed board and many members do participate in threads wherever they're situated.
    Last edited by lpp; 20th February 2014 at 09:23 AM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    I wish this question had been posted in the "General Discussion Board". It's an interesting one.
    That's where it seems to be right now - I didn't move it

  6. #36
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I have had that response from SA's a few times when you just curious and want to smell a classic like Mitsouko. I even had to give them some BS that I am buying my girlfriend a scent and want to try it out.

    It's only a scent but they make you feel like you are breaking a major taboo, god forbid if you picked up Shalimar and sprayed yourself a few times in front of them. lol
    Might be a good one to try that in a store. See how many SA's we can annoy
    Currently wearing: Epic Man by Amouage

  7. #37

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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    It's only a scent but they make you feel like you are breaking a major taboo, god forbid if you picked up Shalimar and sprayed yourself a few times in front of them. lol
    Come on, fellas! March right into your nearest Boots, CVS, Walgreens, or perfume shop of choice. Hose yourself down with Shalimar, raise your fist in the air, and yell "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to be restricted to the masculine side of the perfume counter anymore!" And march right back out.

    Seriously, though, what's the worst thing that could happen if you did? The sooner we all stop acting like the SA is the ultimate moral authority, the sooner people will get over it and we'll all be free to wear what we like

  8. #38
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    That's where it seems to be right now - I didn't move it
    Oh, that's good. I thought it started out in Men's. I was making a comment (I thought relevant to this post) I wish more men, especially would post relevant issues in "General".

    I never thought much about the gender of scent before BN. Since my involvement in perfume, it's been a struggle getting people I know to show ANY interest in perfume, especially men. It just seems nuts that any SA would try to dissuade someone from buying anything they want. Mind-boggling! Some people really don't do their jobs worth a damn, for sure. Plus- Remember "Pat" on Saturday Night Live? I mean, you're taking a real chance sometimes. We should never assume.
    Last edited by kumquat; 20th February 2014 at 02:52 PM.
    Currently wearing: Azurée by Estée Lauder

  9. #39

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I have had that response from SA's a few times when you just curious and want to smell a classic like Mitsouko. I even had to give them some BS that I am buying my girlfriend a scent and want to try it out.

    It's only a scent but they make you feel like you are breaking a major taboo, god forbid if you picked up Shalimar and sprayed yourself a few times in front of them. lol
    Funny you should mention Mitsouko, Jack. I asked to smell Mitsouko two weeks ago at the Guerlain counter at a local chain store (after having smelled the The Les Parisiens collection). No problems whatsoever from the SA. Smelled nice but not my cup of tea. She said she didn't have problems with unisex scents, but that some men aren't comfortable with wearing something their other half wears. She mentioned she even wears L'eau DIssey Pour Homme sometimes.
    by the time you can afford good speakers, you can't hear the difference

  10. #40

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    I think the gendered nature of mainstream perfume is one reason why I never was interested in perfume when I was younger. Honestly, I think many people wear fragrance specifically to identify themselves as being a certain gender. Girls want something that smells feminine and girly, and guys want to smell like a dude. And that's about as far as their interest in fragrance goes. So people with that mindset can't understand why someone would even think of wearing a fragrance designated for the other gender. I do think there's more acceptance of women wearing a man's scent, sort of like borrowing your boyfriend's shirt. But for a man to wear a woman's scent is still a bit taboo.

    I got into perfume when I discovered niche scents, where you could smell like a forest or a flower or a library rather than just smelling like a generic girl or a guy. I can now appreciate a lot of mainstream scents, because I'm better at identifying different ingredients and genres. But I find it easier to shop at higher-end department stores like Barneys that don't separate everything as much by gender.

  11. #41

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    People have their opinions and ideas, you can't expect them to always share yours. To say it just happens and that their opinions are worth nothing because they are low paid retail workers (who nevertheless are around perfume a lot) is a bit mean. I've dated several highly educated and well paid, open minded women with art degrees and they still did not want me to wear perfumes that smelled feminine to them.

  12. #42

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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    People have their opinions and ideas, you can't expect them to always share yours. To say it just happens and that their opinions are worth nothing because they are low paid retail workers (who nevertheless are around perfume a lot) is a bit mean. I've dated several highly educated and well paid, open minded women with art degrees and they still did not want me to wear perfumes that smelled feminine to them.
    Joking aside, I don't expect everyone to share my ideas. You can draw very clear distinctions and rules about what's masculine and what's feminine and who's allowed to wear what. And if you choose to live by that, I can respect your position. But by the same token, I'd prefer that you don't impose those rules on me. And I'd prefer that SAs didn't impose them on me either.

    I don't think anyone said that the opinions of low-paid retail workers mean nothing, but then I may have missed that.

  13. #43

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Over here, everybody wears everything.

    Any gender SA will show any gender customer the latest perfume regardless of it's marketed gender.

    I just realized, only the Arab ones do. Russian SAs follow the marketing blurb. Bout there aren't too many Russian SAs. A few in the larger department store & seasonally too lol.
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  14. #44
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Over here, everybody wears everything.

    Any gender SA will show any gender customer the latest perfume regardless of it's marketed gender.

    I just realized, only the Arab ones do. Russian SAs follow the marketing blurb. Bout there aren't too many Russian SAs. A few in the larger department store & seasonally too lol.
    As per recent developments- it would seem some Russians have some issues in that regard. ;-)
    Currently wearing: Azurée by Estée Lauder

  15. #45
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    As per recent developments- it would seem some Russians have some issues in that regard. ;-)
    Fragrance-related developments?

  16. #46
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Sorry, no.
    Currently wearing: Azurée by Estée Lauder

  17. #47

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Next time just smack your money on the counter. You'll be surprised how many bottles will turn unisex.

  18. #48
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Any gender SA will show any gender customer the latest perfume regardless of it's marketed gender. I just realized, only the Arab ones do.
    Culturally, I realized the same thing. In Montréal, there's a strip of arab independent stores. At first, I got the usual perfunctory claim; "That's for women..." After confirming that I'm not mistaken, it's indeed what I was looking for, they always followed up with enthusiasm, and often first hand experience with said fragrance, or suggest to me what they wear "across the aisle".

    I enjoy my experience with them. They have me as a reliable customer.
    Last edited by Arij; 22nd February 2014 at 05:33 AM.
    Currently wearing: Wall Street by Bond No. 9

  19. #49

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    A lot of people have hit the nail on the head about SAs being lower-paid workers and not particularly skilled (they're not perfumers) and that 99% of their customers would also never buy a fragrance intended for the other gender.

    Additionally, I'd remind people that most fragrance producers also couldn't be bothered to train SAs even if their salespeople wanted to know more about the product - the same as clothes. It's a retail job - when there's a new fragrance they just get a box of fragrances with a brochure talking a bit about it in vague terms, just like the commercials. So an SA reading about Womanity (to use an example from up above) is going to internalize and push a product that has been specifically produced to look like this by the people who pay them:

    clAxANn.jpg

    Unless the SA goes out and researches the product on their own - something that they have no real incentive to do given the job prospects - you're gonna get the results that the perfumer wants, which is gendered marketing in most cases.

    You even see that attitude among some fragrance lovers. On a non-BN board some guy was making fun of someone else for liking TF Black Orchid. I noted that most of the notes are actually common in masculine fragrances, and he specifically said it didn't matter - he would never wear a "women's fragrance" the same way he'd never let his girlfriend dress him.

    Of course, some SAs do got above and beyond and have a passion for this stuff, and they're very much appreciated. But there's a reason why at most stores the experience we get isn't the same as we'll get on a hobbyist board like this one.

  20. #50

    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    We have the same problem here in Malaysia. How I get around it is by saying that im testing it as a gift for a female friend, then brush off their other recommendations. We have to remember that not everyone is aware that perfumes are genderless in reality. As hobbyists, we may understand that, but not the rest of the world. It's way better to try and work around their confines and understand rather than to get upset over it.
    seeking mitsouko 50ml's cap....desperately!!

  21. #51
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    Our nearest store just organises their fragrances by House.
    I think that's a great idea.
    Just because a fragrance is expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it smell better than a cheaper one.

    I can still pray in the U.S.A. (For now, anyway.)
    Currently wearing: Xeryus Rouge by Givenchy

  22. #52
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS View Post
    Next time just smack your money on the counter. You'll be surprised how many bottles will turn unisex.
    Too funny!
    Just because a fragrance is expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it smell better than a cheaper one.

    I can still pray in the U.S.A. (For now, anyway.)
    Currently wearing: Xeryus Rouge by Givenchy

  23. #53
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    Default Re: "Unisex" - SA's having serious gender issues

    Alright, I never really understood how somebody is able to determine what is masculine, and what is feminine (I am speaking *only* about fragrance). To MY nose, anything TOO floral is feminine, and anything TOO musky is masculine. But what about all the gray areas?? Bath & Body Works Black Amethyst smells AWESOME to me, a real "wow" frag with a perfect bergamot/lemon top note... but I am hesitant to wear it to work, around others. But I don't mind buying it from an SA. When a B&BW salesgirl asked me if I was purchasing it for my mother or girlfriend, and when I told her I was buying it for myself, she looked surprised. Seriously: she works at B&BW and was surprised to see a guy buy something like that for himself? The bottom line is this: I don't care what the SA thinks about me, I am far more concerned with the people I see every day, that I work with.
    Just because a fragrance is expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it smell better than a cheaper one.

    I can still pray in the U.S.A. (For now, anyway.)
    Currently wearing: Xeryus Rouge by Givenchy

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