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  1. #1
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Well shoot, I got my bottle of vintage Eternity For Men today and darned if it hasn't gone bad from age!

    It's a vintage bottle of Eternity alright (the late 80s splash bottle) but it none of classic Eternity's trademark bright waves of fresh scents come across:

    Instead it smells heavy and old, like someone dropped a rusty old nail in the bottle a decade ago.
    It's the same sort of rusty smell that the oldest of my two vintage bottles of Tabu has.
    I assume I must be smelling oxidation from air seeping in there over the years.

    In fact, when I look at it closely, I can see tiny bits of some foreign substance are suspended throughout the fragrance. Rust? Dust? Something strange.
    I really thought the splash bottle design would have kept the air out, but I guess not!
    A fellow Basenoter who likes to collect vintage Eternity said of half of his vintage bottles were bad, so I guess it's a crapshoot.

    Is there anything I could try doing to revive the scent?
    Strain it somehow? Find some kind of perfumer's alcohol and try putting a bit in there?
    Just wondering if it's mainly the alcohol that evaporates...I don't know much about fragrances.

    It is returnable via eBay, however.

    So what's the standard etiquette for returns if you get a vintage bottle that's gone bad from age?

    I kind of hate to return it because it's a legitimate vintage bottle and I don't have any reason to believe the seller was trying to con me.
    I mean they sold it for just $10. But it's just not wearable. On the other hand, $10 isn't a bad price for a first-generation bottle, since it's kind of a collector's item now. At least for me it is...

    back in the day I'd put it on just before jumping in my little red sports car and rocketing down the Shuto Expressway to hit the bars and clubs in downtown Tokyo...lots of great memories from then :-) So maybe I'll just keep it for nostalgia and keep hunting for a better bottle.

    PS My first bottle of Terre d'Hermes EDT also arrived today and maaan does it smell good!
    Nice and woodsy, not too orangey or grapefruity -- just great! My new favorite!
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  2. #2
    Dependent NickZee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    I’ve had that experience about 5 times, I have sworn never to delve into vintage again.
    Currently wearing: L'Oudh by Tauer

  3. #3
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    For $10, I would just chalk it up to experience - it's always a risk to buy vintage, and that's a small amount to have wagered. There is nothing you can do to "revive" the fragrance, as far as I know. We've all had this happen a few times, it's very disappointing but part of the journey.

  4. #4
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Yeah for just $10 I can't be mad about it -- and it's not like the seller promised it smelled great anyway, so I don't feel like they behaved unethically.
    You can tell the fragrance itself looks strange because of that stuff that's suspended in it, but you have to look closely to see it -- I didn't notice it at first, so the seller might not have noticed it either.

    I think a Basenoter recommended we do this:

    Ask the seller if they'd be willing to sell a 1ml sample decant of the bottle.
    Test it out, and if it smells great, go ahead and buy the whole bottle.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  5. #5
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    For $10, I would just chalk it up to experience - it's always a risk to buy vintage, and that's a small amount to have wagered. There is nothing you can do to "revive" the fragrance, as far as I know. We've all had this happen a few times, it's very disappointing but part of the journey.
    Btw, have you tried vintage Bandit? I've been meaning to try it.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  6. #6
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by calitrav View Post
    Btw, have you tried vintage Bandit? I've been meaning to try it.
    Oh yes, it's wonderful.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    For $10, I would just chalk it up to experience - it's always a risk to buy vintage, and that's a small amount to have wagered. There is nothing you can do to "revive" the fragrance, as far as I know. We've all had this happen a few times, it's very disappointing but part of the journey.
    This. I think with vintage there's always a certain element of risk involved. Unless the fragrance is sealed and kept away from sunlight and high temperatures, you can never be sure that what you're going to get hasn't gone off. That's why I'm reluctant to get into vintage, and also why it's an expensive hobby if you go BNIB as they're rather rare depending on the fragrance involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by calitrav View Post
    Yeah for just $10 I can't be mad about it -- and it's not like the seller promised it smelled great anyway, so I don't feel like they behaved unethically.
    You can tell the fragrance itself looks strange because of that stuff that's suspended in it, but you have to look closely to see it -- I didn't notice it at first, so the seller might not have noticed it either.

    I think a Basenoter recommended we do this:

    Ask the seller if they'd be willing to sell a 1ml sample decant of the bottle.
    Test it out, and if it smells great, go ahead and buy the whole bottle.
    I don't think sediment is a hallmark of a fragrance gone bad. I have a couple of fragrances with it, and they're fine. Also, whilst asking for decants of a bottle seems like the best way for the buyers - I can't see sellers, especially if they don't deal with vintage on a regular basis - faffing about with this. And the chances of them agreeing to do this if a bottle is sealed are slim because it lowers the value of the fragrance since it's not BNIB anymore.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Eternity is one of the only fragrances in my collection that I've had go bad over the years. Similarly, it was a splash bottle.

    A sealed vintage EDT sprayer might still be ok but I still think Eternity is a dodgy vintage buy. Even if it hasn't soured, its main notes are citrus and they're always first to fade in an older fragrance.
    Currently wearing: Coriolan by Guerlain

  9. #9
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    Oh yes, it's wonderful.
    Thanks, great to hear!
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  10. #10
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    I don't think sediment is a hallmark of a fragrance gone bad. I have a couple of fragrances with it, and they're fine. Also, whilst asking for decants of a bottle seems like the best way for the buyers - I can't see sellers, especially if they don't deal with vintage on a regular basis - faffing about with this. And the chances of them agreeing to do this if a bottle is sealed are slim because it lowers the value of the fragrance since it's not BNIB anymore.
    Hm, interesting, thanks for that.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  11. #11
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suspended View Post
    Eternity is one of the only fragrances in my collection that I've had go bad over the years. Similarly, it was a splash bottle.

    A sealed vintage EDT sprayer might still be ok but I still think Eternity is a dodgy vintage buy. Even if it hasn't soured, its main notes are citrus and they're always first to fade in an older fragrance.
    Good to know, thanks. And yep, I could tell it was originally real Eternity, but those fresh citrus notes were totally gone. Guess it just happens.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  12. #12
    Super Member calitrav's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    So, I can't remember the last time I've returned anything. Not even in a restaurant.
    I'd rather not waste my time complaining and waiting for them to get the order right when I can just eat!

    But I decided to give the seller a neutral review, saying they shipped quickly and that it was a legitimate product, but that the fragrance had gone bad and was unwearable.
    (I mean, if they'd tested it they should have known it didn't smell like anything anyone would ever want to wear, right?)
    I felt that was honest and fair without being a jerk about it. I didn't ask for a refund because I figured, hey, at least I got the vintage bottle, so that's something.

    But the seller contacted me immediately and offered a full refund in exchange for changing my neutral review to a positive review.
    So I said sure and changed it (before the refund actually came through -- for only $17-something with shipping I didn't even care) but they did indeed refund me.
    I then offered to send them back about half of the refund (since I actually like owning the bottle) so it wouldn't be a total loss for them, but they refused to accept it.

    They really couldn't have been nicer about it and were over-apologetic even though I told them I wasn't the least bit mad about it.
    Maybe if it had been pricey I would have, but obviously they weren't trying to con me out of $100 or anything like that.

    Turns out one of them is a professional cinematographer who owns a better Sony than my "walking around camera" -- which is a Sony A7S.
    He even suggested we should get in touch the next time he's in LA -- so that's a pretty happy ending :-)
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  13. #13
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    That is a great end to a potentially uncomfortable experience.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Got a bad Vintage bottle -- what's standard etiquette on Returns?

    Just avoid any vintage that have citrus as a main note.... Made that mistake when I received Sean John unforgivable platinum.. It smells like crap

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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