I started my journey into fragrances years ago and like most guys, I began sneaking into my father’s collection. In retrospect he really didn’t have a collection, more like a few bottles he jumped in between. I distinctly remember his everyday driver; Obsession becoming my everyday driver in the 9th grade as well. He started noticing his cache dwindling and quickly realized I was the reason why.  He bought me my first fragrance; Cool Water by Davidoff.  I thought I was the man. At this time I couldn’t recognize notes, I didn’t know about longevity or silage nor did I care. All I knew was that Cool Water made me smell good and at that time that’s all that mattered.

I wore Cool Water mostly throughout my high school career. At times I would switch between the green bottle Polo and the old tried and true Obsession because my dad had it readily available. When I went started school at Georgia Southern in the humid climate of Statesboro, I wore Curve by Liz Claiborne. At this time it was the hottest thing out and I wanted to stay trending. I noticed Curve didn’t last as long as Cool Water; maybe I had gone nose blind to the scent or maybe it was because Statesboro was a literal oven and I had to walk everywhere or maybe it was something else. All I knew was that I carried that bottle around more than I carried my books.

Around the second year of college I put down fragrances due to lack of income and being a typical college student. Fast forward to 2006 I smelled Polo Black at Macy’s and was floored. I had gotten back to my first love. I gradually began wearing scents again. I just about wore it all, if it were popular or new at Macy’s I would wear it. As time went on I found I had a new problem; my desire to buy fragrances outstretched my income. I had a young family and maintaining their lodgings and food outweighed my fetish for scents. I stumbled upon Perfumania a little while later and saw that I could get most if not all the same fragrances Macy’s had for cheaper prices. Sometimes there would be BOGO’s or sometimes the price would be 10 to 15 dollars cheaper, but my biggest concern was its legitimacy. Once I saw that their fragrances were just as legit as the big box, I switched over.

Now that I could slide a fragrance in every now and then, I wanted to know what was next? I desired scents that would last all day and that you could smell across the room. I started researching how to wear scents, which lead me to notes, which lead me to types of fragrances and so on and so forth. This eventually led me to lux brands such as Tom Ford Private Blend (before the buyout) Creed and Bond No. 9. At this time Perfumania didn’t have these fragrances, so I did what any other person would do that wanted a premium product for a poor mans price. I hit Ebay!!  Of course I had the misfortune of buying fakes because of the price, I even had an episode of having a version of Creed burn my skin.  I eventually came to a point where I just saved my pennies and bought the smaller versions from Neimans and Saks.

Of course I still visited Ebay and other discounted sites for cheaper prices and every now and then I would get a good one for a great price. As I befriended the legit sales associates, I asked how and why the same scents could be found online for cheap? I learned that 9/10 times what happens is that a large buyer will offload products that are not moving onto the grey market, usually that buyer will be from Dubai. Since they have specific tastes that change more than the seasons and LARGE sums of monies, many distributors will sell enormous amounts of inventory to them. When the trend switches, which it normally does the fragrance dealers have to get what they put into the initial investment back, which is how sites like Beauty Spin/Notinos; Fragrancenet; Fragrancex and overstock get large inventories of lux fragrances for pennies on the dollar. Most fragrances will be real and it’s a win for these companies, because it increases their revenue and site traffic but they also get knock offs created by the local market in the East.

This is where I have a problem.   Not because these large companies get greedy and sale their products to foreign merchants that in turn offload it globally for little to nothing devaluing the brand, that’s their business. No, my problem comes in the form of mimicking the product. I know things have been mimicked since the dawn of time but that doesn’t mean I have to like it, I just have to bear with it. As a consumer it may serve me best if I can buy premium offering for half the price; that’s what being a consumer is all about, finding the best price for what I want.  As a retailer, selling updated knockoffs or clones to be P.C. is also a benefit.  I know who the target demographic is and I know what they are after and at the end of the day, I could either sell it or I could refuse to carry it and let other retailers make the money. As a lover of fragrances, collector, and creator, I think it’s a slight against the perfumer/nose of the original fragrance. There is no real skill in taking what’s already in the market and not even recreating it but simply putting it back into the market with your own brand, in a different sized bottle with a cheaper price tag. The creator in me just can’t agree to the tactics of clone houses that take intellectual property of others and repackage it for their own gain. It’s bad enough that larger houses whore themselves out and lose value in the general market but then clone houses come along and slip mickeys into the equation for and get a cheap feel as well.

I guess at the end of the day, everyone has to make what they can in and out of the fragrance industry from the nose all the way to the consumer and each one will have their personal ideology of what to do and how to go about doing it.


2017-09-25T19:12:25+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Fragrance|

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