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  1. #1

    Default Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, PA Responded On The Other Points

    Big thumbs up to Travis and all at PA for fixing this!

    I did not ask him to specifically, I only mentioned it in reference to another matter.

    Good job.

    That is what we like to see!
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 5th May 2021 at 08:24 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Happy News at PA! Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such

    Also some great correspondence received just now.
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 5th May 2021 at 03:37 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Happy News at PA! Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such

    That's good news! I had a bunch of materials in my PA shopping cart & im not going to lie, I've been hesitating to checkout a little bit because of some of the possible shady stuff going on there with transparency. So I'm glad to hear they are doing the right thing and no longer misbranding certain products


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  4. #4
    Super Member myhaiku's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy News at PA! Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such

    Great work to the benefit of us all. Thank you, Bill.
    Jude Rutledge
    Currently wearing: Joy by Jean Patou

  5. #5

    Default Re: Happy News at PA! Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such

    This is fantastic, Bill! Great generosity of your effort to benefit the entire small-scale perfumery community!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Happy News at PA! Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such

    Well I am sad to report that there has been no change in a week with regard to correcting other problematic items reported.

    (Edited for below reason.)
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 5th May 2021 at 01:20 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    Seriously, even if you don't work at PA and have access to what they do, it still takes no more than 60 seconds to click the SDS to see that they get the "Ambroxan" from JDW, and then go to JDW and click to see that what they have actually is Ambermor, according to them anyhow.

    Working at PA, it should have taken 30 seconds maybe?

    The naturals, I can understand it could take some time to come to confidence one way or the other.

    (Edited for below reason.)
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 5th May 2021 at 01:20 AM.

  8. #8
    Basenotes Junkie Casper_grassy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    Honestly Bill, I wouldn’t doubt at this point that they all know you by name and brush you off. They probably keep ambermor as ambroxan crystals, because if one were to search for “ambroxan” nothing would come up and a customer may not think they have anything of the like, therefore potential loss of a sale.
    I have no problem using “ambermor” caused I was duped into it as well up until you brought that to light, and I will continue to use it because it performs nice and smells good.
    Though being sold one thing and getting another is kind of bad business, also frustrating that when I do make purchases I spend more time archiving suppliers sds’s to make sure I’m getting what I’m looking for than actually filling a cart.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    It is very very easy to be straightforward about it, letting the customer know it is actually Ambermor or whatever the case may be, AND allow easy search.

    Christine is straightforward about it.

    Susan was straightforward about it.

    And on top of this, when corresponding with PA they used the terminology "lack of ethical integrity to be transparent about their products" and said it was completely unacceptable, when someone else was doing it.

    Can't have it both ways!!! Or shouldn't, anyhow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casper_grassy View Post
    also frustrating that when I do make purchases I spend more time archiving suppliers sds’s to make sure I’m getting what I’m looking for than actually filling a cart.
    On this, what's worse is that I used to believe that when I did that, I was verifying what I was getting, because I assumed that the retailers at least put up SDS's actually matching what they are selling. At the new Creating Perfume however that is no longer the case so far as I can tell. If you see a Sigma-Aldrich SDS, I would not assume you are getting Sigma-Aldrich material, for example. If you see a Vigon SDS reading Benzyl Acetate Natural, don't assume you will be getting Natural (the webpage itself doesn't claim it) or it will be from Vigon.

    (edited for below reason)
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 5th May 2021 at 02:02 AM.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Junkie Casper_grassy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    Christine is the best supplier we have by far. In your hedione hc escapades lol, (sorry I forget from where) she sells “methyl dihydrojasmonate”, thank you for me telling me it is not hedione hc, but a substitute which works just fine. Straightforward.

    “Lack of ethical integrity to be transparent about their products”, ok, as a child my mom hit me if I snitched regardless haha.
    Pointing fingers solves nothing especially as you point out if nothing is done about it. Saying some nice words, dancing around always smells like BS.

    Not to sound negative, CP sounds like a lost cause, and it saddens me because when I first got into this my first purchase was an 80 material beginner kit from Susan, and to say the least, she was so helpful and sweet, oh and again straightforward.

    Dude at this point we may as well just start using perfumersworld, at least you know what you’re getting.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    Hi Bill. I think your expectations for speed of action are unrealistic. If one is disposed to believe them at all about getting things right across the board, several months should be allowed. There's research, policy articulation, upper-level management approval, website alteration. I incline to think nothing much will happen, but the fact that the changes aren't done after less than a fortnight is neither here nor there.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    deleted for below reason

  13. #13

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    I have gotten an e-mail from Travis, 1 hour ago, saying he is combing through it. For this reason, and of course it is 100% possible that the timing is purely coincidental to my posts above, I am removing most of my above.

    I am however saving a copy should any wish to see it because intent most certainly is not to scoot out from anything written, but rather, there is little difference between a week and a week and a day, and if a week and a day is all it is I have no complaints.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    I'm not saying it takes months to make a one-off change. The liatrix for example I fail to understand how it's taken so long to sort out. But to "audit" all the products, compare what they've listed with how the supplier described the product with what the product really seems to be, reconsider the policy of listing materials as the most marketable name and usually the most expensive version, cost the options for action in terms of labour and potentially lost business, but a threat to business coming from the other side too if they decide to do nothing, and for Travis to simultaneously carry on the rest of his presumably full-time job . . . I can see it taking some time. It's also possible that contrary to what they've been telling you over the years they've no intention of making extensive changes to the listings. Some vendors--not talking about perfume materials here--do prefer to misadvertise and refund when challenged. Apparently it's a business model that pays.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    An "audit" that fails to catch a screamingly obvious case from the very same manufacturer as the two complaints just received that had to be corrected is no "audit" worthy of the name.

    Above in the deleted material my complaint wasn't that they are now failing after just a week to catch materials not reported to them, but they hadn't corrected at least one directly reported, one of which (Ambermor sold as Ambroxan) was exceedingly simple to do.

    It may be being done now, however. Better a little late than never, for sure!

    Also, by way of discussion, it is incredibly simple to avoid these problems entirely rather than it be some big project. It is basic QA. Every time a product comes in, don't put it into inventory until checking it matches what you claim to the customer.

    That's all. Super easy.

    After many years in business, there truly is no reason why not. The above is hardly some new concept.

    Also, don't use dubious practices which are rife for abuse and are inherently non-transparent such as going to the extra trouble of making your own "documentation" instead of always showing what you receive from the distributor or manufacturer.

    Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Not rocket science whatsoever. It is actually less work!

    Liatrix Absolute Substitute, for example, is then seen as Liatrix Absolute Substitute on both the listing and the SDS when people click on it. Not as "Liatrix Absolute" on both the listing and the self-created "documentation."

    At CP, as Susan rightly did not make up her own documentation (nor does Christine) when you clicked on the SDS for that product, you saw Liatrix Absolute Substitute plain as day. The manufacturer lists it as a Substitute, you saw it as a Substitute on the SDS at Susan's site.

    At PA, you saw "Liatrix Absolute" with the word "Substitute" nowhere to be seen on their own self-created document. Now that is corrected, which is good, but more importantly the process that led to it needs to be corrected. I would agree that takes time. Start doing it with every material coming in, and soon the entire inventory is taken care of. But you have to do it. It's been a year since I brought up the other ones, or more. I hope now will be different!

    I will not opine on what information they had. Travis told me JDW said it was the Absolute, no Substitute, so let's leave it at that.

    However, simply by clicking on the link JDW provides for that material before putting that material into inventory, and showing that as the SDS, would have solved the problem, as for about a year every time I clicked on it, it read Substitute plain as day.

    Good processes avoid problems. Bad processes lead to them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    But does PA agree that it's unacceptable to sell Ambermor under the listing Ambroxan? You've pointed out the discrepancy which is nice of you, free service, but they aren't going to outsource to you their policy decisions. From the email history you've outlined it seems that their stated policies aren't always the real ones.

    What's the story on "absolute" now? Are they holding to their redefinition but they've fixed the liatrix issue only because you kept bringing it up in public? Or was the redefinition just a try-on and they've gone back to the standard meaning endorsed in more than one place on their website?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    "But does PA agree that it's unacceptable to sell Ambermor under the listing Ambroxan? You've pointed out the discrepancy which is nice of you, free service, but they aren't going to outsource to you their policy decisions."

    "Ambroxan" is a registered trademark owned by Kao & to sell something using this trademark that isn't Kao-provided Ambroxan as they define it is a violation of federal trademark law.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    Quote Originally Posted by mnitabach View Post
    "But does PA agree that it's unacceptable to sell Ambermor under the listing Ambroxan? You've pointed out the discrepancy which is nice of you, free service, but they aren't going to outsource to you their policy decisions."

    "Ambroxan" is a registered trademark owned by Kao & to sell something using this trademark that isn't Kao-provided Ambroxan as they define it is a violation of federal trademark law.
    OK so that means Kao could sue PA if Kao were interested? It's not something you could report to police or to a regulator and expect action?--or is it?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    I don't know.

    As with everything, quick reading of law and law in practice are not the same thing.

    Registered trademarks, such as Kao has for Ambroxan (not sure this link will work for others, it may be specific to my login session: https://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showf...810:1or1xz.2.1 ) provide a foothold for lawsuit but do not provide a guaranteed win, and in any case will require a lot of legal expenditure.

    Part or maybe the lion's share of where JDW can get away with this could be Kao not sending a timely cease-and-desist.

    Some years back I spoke with a JDW rep about their appropriating trademarked names for generics and the individual was quite brazen, insisting that there was no problem with it and they would continue.

    What surprises me particularly is Firmenich puts up with it. Why not just inform JDW that they'll lose their privilege of being a Firmenich distributor unless when they sell stuff as Hedione they buy from Firmenich, the trademark holder? But they don't. Very passive.

    Firmenich also didn't do anything about PA formerly (like 2013 and back) selling non-Hedione as Hedione: that change came from customer displeasure which was rather clearly although politely expressed. Hopefully the same will occur now but apply to all items not just specific ones reported to them.

    Not that there are that many. That might even be the only current misbranding example. I only check products I'm planning on buying rather than try to find trouble.

    But if one is there, that means they have a system that allows misbranding to occur and therefore there could be more. Anything could be, if I don't work to track down whether it is or not.

    For me, I don't want to have to do the detective work. Fixing only the ones I know about does me, personally, no good... I already know about them!

    What would make a difference for me is for them to take care of these themselves so when I see they are offering such-and-such, I can trust right there that it indeed is that, as I can with Christine or really with any genuinely good retailer.

    Incidentally, as for CP and the point of possibly allowing months for any action to be taken, it's been over 3 months since I expressed my concerns to Alora on these problems and she has not fixed one misbranding / misrepresentation of manufacturer nor said a word on it other than asking me to do the work for her and then she might take a look, which I declined for the above reason which I explained. As for myself, at the 1 month point my hopes there dropped to zero. I have to assume she is doing what she does because it is what she chooses to do.

    Why pay premium for genuine Firmenich Hedione HC as Susan did when if you're smart (or something) you can buy cheaper generic and just tell customers it's Hedione HC? Clearly Alora knows which way she prefers.
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 5th May 2021 at 06:13 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    Quote Originally Posted by Alysoun View Post

    What's the story on "absolute" now? Are they holding to their redefinition but they've fixed the liatrix issue only because you kept bringing it up in public? Or was the redefinition just a try-on and they've gone back to the standard meaning endorsed in more than one place on their website?
    Really good question.

    I compared PA's (to date) and SMPE's practices to Pell Wall's and Payan Bertrand yesterday or the day before, with the latter being a completely forthright way of doing things.

    Let me find Payan Bertrand's wording for their Jasmine product. They put in the SDS as the composition description:

    Mixture of jasmine extract (Jasminum grandiflorum L.) and natural aromatic products. This product contains natural triethyl citrate as carrier.
    Well that is crystal clear for anyone!

    Now their name for the product I think is clear to professionals but not to everyone: "JASMINE ABSOLUTE 100% NAT"

    As I understand it, the "100% NAT" is not redundant. It clearly signals, to the sophisticated buyer anyway, that other materials are added, and may even be the majority or great majority, and they are natural.

    Incidentally, the expression "P&N," or "Pure and Natural," means no other aromamaterials (or possibly, no other materials at all, I am not sure) are added.

    Pell Wall appear to realize that the average person could see that name and not understand that other aromamaterials are added.

    So they list it as "Jasmine Absolute Natural Recreation" and in the product description say:

    The real Jasmine Absolute is very expensive and highly restricted so here we are offering a 100% natural recreation by Payan Bertrand that contains just 0.8% pure Jasmine Absolute yet still has the characteristic odour of jasmine and is composed entirely of materials of natural origin.
    Now that is doing it right.

    Let's find another example, right at Perfumer's Apprentice.

    They sell the Biolandes Tuberose Artessence (Biolandes sticks that right there in the name so everyone will know) which is probably a very similar product to the Rose "Absolute" in question -- though it would seem a much better job -- and don't try to pass it off as an "Absolute" regardless of being "physically and organoleptically similar" and so thus potentially qualifying under new definition.

    If the manufacturer doesn't throw in a word such as "Artessence" as part of the name, then just write in the description something such as Chris did.

    Maybe one won't sell as much then. Perhaps that is Alora's fear on putting on the site that her "Hedione HC" isn't, though Susan's was. Or maybe one will do better due to people appreciating integrity and reliability.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, But No Other Corrections

    I don't know how long it takes in amateur perfuming before one reaches the point of feeling and having confidence of knowing as much or maybe more than the retailers on many or most items, but at least for me it was not quick at all and I would think for most it is not.

    You have years of feeling that your retailers are experts, moreso than yourself anyway, and to a substantial extent a lot of trust is placed that what they are selling is what they say it is.

    So for things such as whether a product really is, say, Jasmine Absolute in the traditional sense, or some recreation maybe good, maybe not from other materials that some will call an absolute under a different definition, perhaps with a modifier such as "100% NAT," one for many years in amateur perfumery really relies on the retailer to be clear, as Chris was above.

    Of course, customers feeling that way does not create a legal obligation and some would feel not moral obligation either, but in fact we as a group are really rather dependent on retailers doing right by us on products and how they are described. IMO anyway.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, Now Reads As Such, Some Updates

    Some updates due to a received reply:

    1) Perfumer's Apprentice does not represent that SDS's they put on their site accurately reflect anything but safety data. What they put up is no evidence of manufacturer, brand, grade, version, or anything else but safety.

    This is despite the fact that there is no disclaimer, and a person might reasonably expect the SDS to match the specific product being sold rather than represent something else that one will not get.

    This is, incidentally, the same policy that the new Creating Perfume has, but is contrary to what Susan's policy was and is contrary to Christine's.

    So, one may as well stop clicking on SDS's at PA and CP to try to get more information on exactly what you would be getting. Nothing but the hazards etc may be relied on as having anything to do with what you will get.

    2) Travis says the product sold as Ambroxan is Ambroxan from Kao and has been since 2016 and the Walsh SDS that they showed has been non-matching to the product all these years. Reportedly they decided to source from other than Walsh on finding out Walsh wasn't selling the real deal, but still kept the Walsh SDS up. They have now put up a Kao SDS.

    However, the presence of the Kao SDS doesn't itself represent anything except that the safety information is correct. It is no evidence of identity at all, as there is no policy in place as to use SDS's actually belonging to the product sold. There is however direct statement by e-mail that it is Kao.

    3) On the Rose, "it is manufactured by SAS MATIÈRES PREMIÈRES ESSENTIELLES, we use their SDS, and we don't have any other insight into the nature of this product aside from the information provided that it is a blend of Rosa x centifolia L. + Rosa damascena absolutes, which is all the manufacturer was willing to share."

    I would change the "blend of" to "blend that may include some." There is zero evidence supporting any stronger statement on Rose content than that.

    The view was, well, we are switching to something else anyway.

    4) On the Orris, "This one had regulatory stumped. They said the SDS they got the information from years back likely had that information, but that santalol is only a tiny constituent of orris, and is not even at a high enough level to list. We actually switched vendors, and are on the tail end of our supply of the JDW quality of Orris Butter 15% Irones, and have switched to Biolandes quality instead. Once we sell through a little more, we will be updating the site with that data."

    In other words there was no looking into whether this product, same manufacturer as the already-admitted-bogus Civet and Vanilla "Absolutes," was legit or not and again its actual nature does not seem important to Perfumer's Apprentice.

    Note, the manufacturer's SDS does not even claim Orris as a material in the composition. Nor do they assign the product a CAS number corresponding to Orris, which one would expect they would if it were Orris. Same situation for the Rose, btw, on both points.

    5) But have no fear, "We are at a very exciting point in the evolution of Perfumer’s Apprentice and want to put our best foot forward by showcasing ingredient transparency and education. Without insight such as yours, this would be a longer road, so please know that your perspective and curiosities are fueling us forward."

    I would like to close out what I have to say on this matter with this post, with only the final addition that I did express that we customers are better served by documentation correct to the materials sold, from the original manufacturer, and where "Absolutes" are or may be other than traditional where it's all from the named material, that should be made clear on the site. I will update this post, rather than add another post, if there is any update on that point. But as of now, that's the way it is at PA.
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; Yesterday at 12:02 AM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, PA Responded On The Other Points

    I would be happy with a transition at PA away from trying to infer material origin & identity from MSDSs (which is not what they are designed for & do not make explicit representations of) and towards explicit reliable representations of material origin & identity. Whether this is what will happen remains to be seen.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, PA Responded On The Other Points

    Well although I said I'd just edit the other post, I got a fine final reply from Travis (below, with a single paragraph redacted agreeing with me on the Rose, but not necessary to include) which I feel merits its own spot as my final post on this and further does the fair thing in having the party not getting the first word get the last word:

    Bill -

    I really like the point you make, and it provides the opportunity for a creative solution between what is required of us, what our capabilities are internally and what the customers need to know in order to make important purchasing decisions.

    Adding a disclaimer would be very prudent, and would also be easy to do. This isn't something we would put on the SDS, but we will add it to the product description so it's less of a 'fine print' communication. Until this came up, I hadn't even considered that someone could sell an 'Absolute' that wasn't one. That baffled me (and still does). With Essential Oils, I know there are grades (food grade, commercial grade, natural, and P&N), but had never heard of such a thing in relation to absolutes, resinoids, etc so this has become quite the learning experience.

    I will include your proposal as a new part of our process, and work backwards from JDW absolutes to our other suppliers.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful input.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, PA Responded On The Other Points

    Sounds somewhat encouraging.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Liatrix Absolute Substitute Has Been Fixed, PA Responded On The Other Points

    I'm sorry but this is bullshit. PA is selling raw materials (chemicals - either synthetic or naturally derived...it doesn't matter). They are selling these materials to perfumers who are using them to create perfumes, some of which are being sold to the public. They need to be responsible in providing their customers with accurate SDS, C of A & batch code information, etc. Perfumers need to have this information and be confident that it's accurate and actually represents the ACTUAL material that they purchased. The fact that they are just putting up random SDS from suppliers that are no longer even supplying them with these materials is concerning. That's super shady if you ask me. Why can they not provide the real SDS from the ACTUAL supplier they are purchasing from? If they are purchasing legitimate ingredients from a certain manufacturer, why are they not providing the corresponding documentation for those SPECIFIC materials? Why are they using random SDS from other manufacturers? This really makes me question not only the authenticity of their ingredients, but also the general integrity of their business model. These are fragrances, which are cosmetic materials regulated by the FDA. There are laws about ingredient disclosure & not selling misbranded/mislabled cosmetic ingredients. They need to get their documentation in check & revisit their SOPs (if they even exist). I don't feel very confident purchasing materials from them in the hopes that I'm actually being sold the correct material & not given some bogus SDS that they just grabbed from some other website or manufacturer. We spend a lot of money on these materials & we deserve ingredient transparency so that we can be assured of the safety & ingredient integrity of our end product. I feel like this is totally unacceptable.


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