I thought you own a bottle and wore it and then that salesguy asked you to get him one and that whole story...?
I'm copying pasting an earlier response about this general subject. This post is from another forum and from a couple of years ago... but just thought I'd post it here incase anyone is interested to start the discussion.
OK, so a point I thought I'd drop in here since y'all the type of guys who will probably care. Someone PM'd me a question about Testers being different from the bottles for sale. I've collected for years, own testers and retail bottles and also recently worked in the business at a high end dept. store selling the stuff for a few years, so take the opinion's source into consideration.
The "Testers are different from retail bottles" theory is one of the big myths out there with consumers. It's rather conspiracy theory like... but there is a sort of difference which I'll explain below. The short answer is that as far as I know there is NO difference with tester bottles and regular retail bottles. Firstly, in terms of production, you have to remember that these guys have assembly lines pumping out thousands of bottles. It's a hell of a lot easier for them to just make a few more and either not box them or blankbox them without caps to send out along with the product. Why would they bother making a whole new formula and then starting another production run just for a few hundred bottles. Plus think of all the obvious returns when customers smell a different fragrance in the tester and bottle. People smell 30-50 fragrances at a shop, they know what it smells like and would notice if there was a big difference. Secondly, what you may not know but having worked behind the scenes I can tell you, is that often the tester bottles are actually retail bottles. For many lines, when they launch the line they just open a bunch of product and get a credit note from the vendor. Some lines literally open their retail bottles and put them out as testers. Or sometimes testers are returned retail product from customers that the vendor credits the store for and is either thrown out or used as a tester.
Now... all that being said, are there unintentional difference between the bottles on display and what you take home. YES, sometimes, and here's why. The batch where the tester and product come from are probably different. Testers may last 3-6 months while the stock turns over every month or two, plus it's coming from a big ol' distributor who may be recirculating stock from other stores or the manufacturer etc so there are batch differences. Second, the bottle on display is exposed to bright store lights, constant shaking by customers/SA's, and often has air in the bottle from being half full or less so it oxidizes. Plus the retail bottles are often stored poorly like in cold storage facilities or left near hot air vents or under hot display lights. i've been shocked at how poorly stock is treated before customers buy it, we constantly dropped boxes, stored them in not ideal conditions, cleaned and resold returned stuff (ok rarely, but yes), etc. Even with high end retail, it's about moving product and not taking returns (personal commission is lost and line sales reversed).
So yes, sometimes there are uninentional differences, and SA's generally will not know this / think about it, or ever admit to it, and certainly not want to take returns. Uh, returns suck for us, we hate it. Smiley face yes, but inside we're thinking of reasons not to give it. Sorry, sort of side rant there.
anyway, hopefully somewhat interesting for you guys.