Getting bitten

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This is my last day guesting before I hand you back to IScent, who I hope will be full of tales of the glories of French perfumeries and clutching a glut of Sephora samples. I was going to tell you all about my favourite perfume, and I might sneak in a paragraph at the end, but first I thought I’d have a little rant about what happened to me this week. See – the power has gone to my head!

As you might know, both IScents and I have terrible eBay habits. It’s such an easy way to get hold of perfume at a reasonable price, as people sell on bottles they don’t like or no longer use. It’s also a great way to get to try the wild and weird, as samples, decants and vintage bottles are also available. If you’re prepared to keep your head and be patient, you can find almost any perfume on eBay eventually; there have even been bottles of Djedi, that most remarkable of Guerlain’s fabled departed creatures. (I’ve never seen a bottle in the flesh, but I’ve seen photos.)

I have been holding out for a well-priced little bottle of Bottega Veneta eau de parfum for months, and I recently landed one. I was delighted and paid up immediately. It arrived this morning and it’s Bottega Veneta Eau Legere, which is a different animal. I was very cross when I discovered this; thinking I had made a mistake, I checked the listing and the photo but no, they were of the original 2011 edp, not the 2013 ‘lite’ flanker. Thankfully I always pay by Paypal, so I have some insurance and I can prove that the listing was incorrect. I expect it’s an honest mistake on the part of the vendor, but I’ve messaged and asked for a refund. Because it’s ebay and Paypal, I’m confident that the issue will be safely resolved.  

However, it’s an issue to be aware of when entering into perfume purchases. There are lots of perfume fora – Basenotes.net, Makeupalley.com, Fragrantica.com among others – and fragrance groups on Facebook and elsewhere, and we fragonerds buy and sell scent between ourselves. My tips are to always pay by Paypal, in order to get some comeback if things go really wrong and the goods don’t turn up. Always get proof of posting if you’re selling, and indeed, it’s wise to pay the extra couple of pounds and insure your parcel if it’s a full bottle rather than just samples. 

Also, be aware of the regulations for sending perfume through the post in your country. I’m in the UK and here, restrictions have just been imposed (in January 2013) that make it illegal to post perfume overseas. And the Post Office are x-raying parcels to ensure the rules are followed, destroying perfumes that are posted. It’s fine within the UK, where post travels by land, and this seems to be the situation globally – land-based postal services tend to be OK, but a number of countries are being increasingly strict on airmail, including the USA and Australia.  

But of course, you can always do what the lovely IScent has doubtless done, and bring it across the border yourself! I am so curious to learn what she has brought back from her holidays, aren’t you? Farewell for now, and thank you for having me; I have really enjoyed myself. 

Wordbird.

4 thoughts on “Getting bitten”

  1. That is so annoying about the misdescription of your BV bottle and I have had the same issue a few times on Ebay – the sellers are often not perfume nuts and are not too particular about the sales particulars! Re the postal regs, it is good at least that the UK inland rules are easing – from July for consumers I think. : – ) (Not that it ever stopped us…)

  2. Dear Lisa
    Thank you for looking after us while Iscent was away, you have been an admirable nanny,
    Bad luck with ebay – I always try to remember the times it has gone the other way, when I have received a parfum rather than an EdP or a wonderful vintage when I was expecting a watered down reformulation.
    It’s always easier to take the rough with the smooth that way…
    Oh, and your scent… ‘Je l’aime'”
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Vanessa, I’m very glad to hear that about the postal regulations being relaxed a bit in the summer. Definitely good news for us!
    Perfumed Dandy, thank you, you are very kind. And you’re right of course – I shall keep thinking of the miraculous bottles of undamaged vintage perfumes that I’ve managed to buy via eBay and set aside this misunderstanding.
    As for the Miller Harris, ‘mais d’accord!’ 🙂

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