Quick Call to a Perfumery
Updated: Jun 19, 2021
Whenever I can, and always before I buy cologne from an unknown source, I find enough information on what an authentic version looks like so I can spot it right away, and am always prepared to return it. I also contact the manufacturer whenever there is a problem, or I see something sufficiently suspicious.
I especially do this with the more expensive colognes; I am glad I saw fake cip’s Fake vs. Real video on Dolce&Gabbana’s The One for Men (2008), because I was able to authenticate the large 150 ml bottle of EDT against the 100 ml bottle in his video. (Okay, it was under $50, but still.)
If I’m going to have to do it anyway, why wait until after it arrives? Good research can help find warning signals and steer you clear of making a bad purchase to begin with. Mindfulness and diligence. That is what will protect you against counterfeiters.
Some colognes have little or no good authentication photos online. One in particular, the cologne and label were new to me. Hard as I tried, I could not find the manufacturer listed anywhere, and very few references anywhere. Certainly no FakeVsReal video.
But it was a very cheap purchase ($16) from a seller I have come to trust more than most. And if I found out later it was fake, I could get my money back.
When it arrived, I was happy to find the website on the box. Before I even cracked the cellophane, I located their website and a photo of the cologne.
Then I started photographing the package carefully, up-close in HD. I looked and looked and could not find a batch code. I knew they could hide, so I looked again, using a magnified camera. Nothing, not even hiding behind the cellophane.
This is the point where you stop looking and call the maker. If a bad batch code or no bar code can prove it is a fake, why bother unsealing the package? It is one more thing a bad seller can use against you while trying to keep your money.
The bottle was free of fingerprints; I was using my gloves. I visited the site, found the number, and also found the product listing.
The package was different than mine. Enough of a difference that if they confirmed no changes had been made to the design, it was a proved fake. Past tense, done.
A nice person answered, and with some explanations, they called internally to find out where I should look for a batch code. I was told either on the bottom, or the sides. (I assumed left and right sides at first.) And they said it might be printed or embossed.
I then confirmed: "Should I take this to mean that if I find no batch code at all, it is a fake?" "Yes," I was told, confirming my suspicion that it was a fake.