Why Buying Cheap Perfume Can be a Rash Decision

By: Gen Wright

Some of you may already have spotted the pun in the title of this article, and for that I apologise. The reality however is that sometimes, buying cheap perfume, be it online or elsewhere, can have some unexpected and even painful results, and not just financially. While astute shoppers can find great deals online, the old adage applies "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is", and that can apply to buying perfume as well.

Do yourself a favour and search online for phrases like 'fake perfume' or 'fake fragrances' and you'll be amazed at what you find. And if you think fake perfume is rare, think again. In fact last year (October 2008), the Birmingham (UK) Trading Standards seized over 40 000 bottles of suspected fake perfume from top designer brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Versace. Not only did they find the perfumes themselves, they also found all the paraphernalia needed to produce counterfeit branded perfume on an industrial scale, including bottle labelling and wrapping equipment.

Some of this perfume gets sold in flea markets or car boot sales and some of it ends up online, including eBay. Don't get me wrong, eBay is a great place to buy almost anything but it's always buyer beware - and make sure you check the seller's feedback before buying. That said, eBay has cracked down on the sale of fake goods recently, but then they've had to following a string of successful court cases against them (by brands including Givenchy, Christian Dior and Hugo Boss) for allowing the sale of fake goods.

And don't think that seeing a picture of the perfume in its packaging is a safe way to spot fakes online. These days, fake fragrances are so hard to spot that even experts can find it hard to tell the difference. That is of course until you actually apply the perfume but by then it's usually too late. And it's more than just money you risk losing. There have been some horror stories of fake perfumes containing all kinds of nasty ingredients – even urine in one reported case. The fact is that legitimate perfume manufacturers spend a huge amount of time testing their products to ensure that they contain quality ingredients and are safe for the average person to use. Fake fragrances aren't tested and, as some unsuspecting shoppers have discovered, using them could result in a terrible rash or allergic reaction.

It's certainly easy to buy perfume online these days, and there are no shortage of online fragrance stores, some of them offering to save you as much as 80% off normal retail prices. But you've got to wonder where they get their product from if they can afford such huge discounts. Now I'm not saying that all discount perfume stores are selling fake perfumes. I'm just saying be aware and do some checking before you part with your hard-earned cash. Does the shop offer a guarantee that the perfumes on sale are genuine? Can you return your purchase for a full refund? Does the website provide clear contact details including registered company name and physical address? If not, you could be taking a chance purchasing from that store. The fact is that sometimes it's worth paying that little bit extra for piece of mind. Happy perfume shopping.

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DM Fragrances is an online perfume shop selling a wide range of designer fragrances and aftershaves.

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