Do you feel any loyalty to Sales Associates of certain brands/stores?

LizardKing

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2010
Over the years I've met and dealt with some great people buying fragrances, most over the phone. Some are still working while others have moved on. About 8 years ago I wanted a bottle of Dior Homme Intense and called the LV boutique at the Venetian. The woman I dealt with was super cool and sent me a bunch of samples. Introduced me to the Prive line and bought 2 of those in following year. Even got to meet her when I was in LV in 2014 for my birthday. Her name was Massiel and I think she left and her family moved to Florida. New girl Tisha was nice and got Sauvage and Feve Delicuese. Then she left when the boutique closed and I kinda gave up on Dior. Long story short there customer service made me want to keep buying from the brand. Any other places or people you are loyal to or were? I have several others over the years from Bond, Kilian, Osswald and stores like Neiman Marcus.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
I have a few sales associates who recognize me. One in particular from the Givenchy boutique is very friendly and always strikes up a conversation and goes the extra mile to help me, even though I've only made a few purchases from there. I wouldn't say that I have a sense of loyalty, though. Expecially not when it comes to fragrances, as I mostly shop online.
 

12catcrazy

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2012
When Caron had a boutique in Manhattan (which was a magical place - felt as if you went back in time to a much more elegant era), their SA was the wonderful Diane Haska (I think that is her correct last name). Talk about making perfume buying "an Experience". She would spend so much time with you and you'd always feel very special afterwards. She'd always send me home with plenty of samples and little "extras". So yes, she had my loyalty 150%!

I've also had nice experiences with the gentlemen at Aedes. The new location isn't as exciting as the old one (they're doing their best in a smaller shop) but I look forward to going there again. And as an aside, I've made use of the LuckyScent service where you fill out a questionnaire and they send you 10 samples to try. I doubled it, and two different people made their choices and almost everything they chose was really nice and spot-on. They threw in some extras as well. I would highly recommend it.
 

Janjanjan

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2013
With me, customer service goes a long way. I think this effect is heightened because I don't have any fragrance friends in real life and have to do most of my smelly socializing in online communities. So when I go to a perfume counter or boutique and the SA shows a genuine love and knowledge of fragrances, I enjoy our conversations very much and often am pulled to at least try and make a purchase if I can (though I don't always). I recently had a fantastic conversation with a Saks employee about our fragrance hobbies - he was a painter in his free time who uses scents to inspire his visual art - and was genuinely sad I couldn't find anything at the counter I liked enough to buy from him.

The second big factor for me is wanting to support brick and mortar indie perfume boutiques. These are such a wonderful resources for frag heads for so many reasons - making niche and indie perfume more accessible, cultivating and sharing a knowledge base amongst the staff which is shared freely with customers, saving me money on sampling when it's possible to visit the store in person, and making sampling by mail easy and more affordable. I take it as a genuine responsibility to run my purchases through these boutiques when I can so they can continue to provide these services that build the fragrance community. There used to be a wonderful SA at Osswald NYC named Daisy whose knowledge and warmth were the highlight of my entire trip to the city and I still cherish the fragrance she helped me pick out - as both a memory of my trip and a great scent on its own right. I also make a quarterly trip to Indigo Perfumery in Cleveland - the only boutique in my state - and regularly purchase in person and online. The owner Anne is excellent at being informative without being pushy and I owe some great discoveries I never could have made alone to her and her store.

My online (non-indie boutique) purchases are almost entirely limited to when I am buying used due to personal finances or scarcity of the desired fragrance, or the rare instance I am buying a designer fragrance I know I can get cheap at a discounter.
 

ultravisitor

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
Yes.

My SAs at Saks and Neiman Marcus are very good to me. They're very generous with samples and let me know well in advance of any upcoming promos and events so that I can plan. At Saks, my SA will pull things for me from other departments and hold them for weeks until another promo takes place for me to pick it up. In fact, I was just texting with my SA from Saks earlier, and she let me know about an upcoming promo they're having from September 29 through October 4 so that I can plan my purchases for that window.

At Louis Vuitton, my SA is also really great. Even though there's usually a long line to get into the store, if I text her in advance to let her know I'm coming by and want to pick up something, she'll let me skip the line when I get there. I'm not going to wait in line. If I'm spending the kind of money that Louis Vuitton expects me to spend in their boutique, then Louis Vuitton will be waiting on me.

I could buy some of the things that I get from Saks or Neiman Marcus with different SAs or at a discount through some online store. However, for me, it's worth it to keep a relationship going with certain SAs.
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
Some of the sales associates I've come across give me used car salesman vibes. It's obvious they're just trying to sell me whatever, and BSing in order to do it. So I'm even less inclined to buy something from them.

The only times I feel some sense of loyalty is when a sales associate just asks me if I need help with anything, and takes the time to look up on the computer if they have a certain fragrance in stock, and if they don't, which locations do have it. But since they don't have what I'm looking for, I can't really give them a sale.

I don't think any sales associate I've come across though knows much about fragrance or comes across as legitimately helpful.

As for brand loyalty, I'm a fan of John Varvatos based on the quality of his fragrances. Everything from the retro approach to the extremely creative and beautiful presentation makes me want to support the brand more. That said, the line seems to be heading towards a more youthful and mainstream approach, and as a result, the fragrances aren't my cup of tea.

Missoni seems to be an underdog when it comes to the retail store fragrance counter. I'm kind of rooting for them, as I think their Missoni Pour Homme EDP was a really unique scent while still keeping with modern trends.
 

imm0rtelle

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2021
I much prefer to buy online and save money. The only exception has been at Celine, and that's just because I couldn't find a cheaper alternative. There are multiple stores at my city, so I had fun experiencing the different stores. I've been mentally keeping track of which stores had SAs who were pleasant to deal with, or had enough passion about the fragrances. I've also been mentally keeping track of SAs from stores who have denied giving me samples.

I really enjoy it if the SAs also believe in the fragrances to wear it themselves, and are genuine towards the fragrances. It is unrealistic that they would like each fragrance from the line (even I don't). Even if I already know which one I was going to purchase, I enjoy listening to their spiel about the entire line every time I go in and get approached by a new SA. I use it as a gauge to see how interested they are in the product.

With the upcoming releases, I wonder which store will end up being lucky to get my purchase. One of the criteria that will play a big factor is whether they will give me samples of the new releases when I first come in to try them. I'll ask to see the mood board Hedi makes for the new fragrances. I'll also complain about them increasing their prices twice this year, and see how they respond.
 

chypre

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2006
There was a lovely SA at my local Nordstrom several years ago who was really helpful and laid back. Unfortunately it wasn't a huge store and didn't have a wide enough range, or I definitely would have bought more from him. I do find that SAs with a genuinely friendly attitude get more business from me when the stock is there.
 

Redneck Perfumisto

League of Cycloöctadiene Isomer Aestheticists
Basenotes Plus
Feb 27, 2008
With me, customer service goes a long way. I think this effect is heightened because I don't have any fragrance friends in real life and have to do most of my smelly socializing in online communities. So when I go to a perfume counter or boutique and the SA shows a genuine love and knowledge of fragrances, I enjoy our conversations very much and often am pulled to at least try and make a purchase if I can (though I don't always). I recently had a fantastic conversation with a Saks employee about our fragrance hobbies - he was a painter in his free time who uses scents to inspire his visual art - and was genuinely sad I couldn't find anything at the counter I liked enough to buy from him.

The second big factor for me is wanting to support brick and mortar indie perfume boutiques. These are such a wonderful resources for frag heads for so many reasons - making niche and indie perfume more accessible, cultivating and sharing a knowledge base amongst the staff which is shared freely with customers, saving me money on sampling when it's possible to visit the store in person, and making sampling by mail easy and more affordable. I take it as a genuine responsibility to run my purchases through these boutiques when I can so they can continue to provide these services that build the fragrance community. There used to be a wonderful SA at Osswald NYC named Daisy whose knowledge and warmth were the highlight of my entire trip to the city and I still cherish the fragrance she helped me pick out - as both a memory of my trip and a great scent on its own right. I also make a quarterly trip to Indigo Perfumery in Cleveland - the only boutique in my state - and regularly purchase in person and online. The owner Anne is excellent at being informative without being pushy and I owe some great discoveries I never could have made alone to her and her store.

My online (non-indie boutique) purchases are almost entirely limited to when I am buying used due to personal finances or scarcity of the desired fragrance, or the rare instance I am buying a designer fragrance I know I can get cheap at a discounter.

Very much agreed with your sentiment and reasoning. I tend to reward the folks who give me samples, if they move me to make a purchase.

Many sales associates are fragrance lovers just like us, who choose to take that passion into a job, with all the plusses and minuses that entails. Though money becomes a factor, the love for fragrance is still there. In the end, these moments of shared passion for something beautiful matter more to me than all the money and the milliliters we allow to intrude, to facilitate the passion. Speaking for myself and the SAs who I would call friends, we remember the fragrances much more than the logistics.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Customer service is very important to me, and I certainly make note of how I've been treated by representatives of particular houses and shops (my only contact being online or by phone). That doesn't affect my loyalty to a brand, as specified in the OP's question; but it does make me more willing to spend a bit more at one place over another for the same product, as I know that if I have questions or need help with orders, I'll receive better assistance from friendly contacts. This has especially been the case at LuckyScent, where a particular SA has gotten to know my tastes and offers recommendations and samples that are spot-on...kind of like having an "84 Charing Cross Road" experience. :)
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
No particular brand loyalty really.

Over the years, even predating my joining Basenotes, there have been a few SAs I got know a bit at some stores. Creed had a dedicated rep at Nieman Marcus in Bev Hills for awhile that was a bit aggressive, but very nice. She never talked me into anything I really didn't like.

I would say I am very loyal to Lucky Scent. Being fortunate to live in the same city as their brick & mortar Scent Bar, I have been a frequent customer there. They have always been inordinately helpful and generous. They often make very accurate suggestions. Made many a trip in there without buying anything.
 

Kaern

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 2, 2008
There are a few SA's I know and have banter with especially at Liberty.

I was at Harrods a couple of weeks ago and the ignorance of the SA's I spoke to there was palpable. I don't blame them as they are probably agency workers. I think COVID must have had an effect on staffing.
 

LizardKing

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2010
No particular brand loyalty really.

Over the years, even predating my joining Basenotes, there have been a few SAs I got know a bit at some stores. Creed had a dedicated rep at Nieman Marcus in Bev Hills for awhile that was a bit aggressive, but very nice. She never talked me into anything I really didn't like.

I would say I am very loyal to Lucky Scent. Being fortunate to live in the same city as their brick & mortar Scent Bar, I have been a frequent customer there. They have always been inordinately helpful and generous. They often make very accurate suggestions. Made many a trip in there without buying anything.

I like the YT videos they do or did. Not sure if any of those employees are still working there.
 

Cook.bot

Common Lackey
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
I would say I am very loyal to Lucky Scent. Being fortunate to live in the same city as their brick & mortar Scent Bar, I have been a frequent customer there. They have always been inordinately helpful and generous. They often make very accurate suggestions. Made many a trip in there without buying anything.

I never hear anyone talk about the owners of LuckyScent/ScentBar, who are obviously very savvy retailers. Does anybody know anything about them?

And is the Los Angeles store owned by the same people as the New York outlet?
 

cheapimitation

Well-known member
May 15, 2015
In principle, I do think it's best to shop brick and mortar. Also, developing a relationship with an SA gets you better service and often more samples. But it is difficult to stick to this principle if you know you can get the same thing much cheaper online. But if we want in person stores to stick around so we can go fragrance sniffing in person, we are going to have to give them our business.

Store themselves could help with this. The big dept stores like Saks, Neiman, Bloomingdales often have promotion codes that are online only. If they made these applicable to in store purchases, I would definitely choose to go to the store over ordering online. These stores are also undercutting their sales staff with this policy, which would annoy me if I was an SA. I know Saks sometimes has in store beauty events, but I never seem to get any notice of these unlike the online promotions that I'm constantly spammed with.

I actually appreciate Chanel's iron grip on their prices and distribution. It forces me to go buy in person and buy with confidence that this is the price take it or leave it, I'm not gonna find it half off later at fragrancenet.

My loyalty is easily bought with free samples. Especially an SA who gives free samples on your first visit without buying anything, I will keep them in mind and try to revisit them if I want to make a purchase. It seems relatively straightforward how to gain clients: be knowledgable about the product, be friendly with the customer and let them try and explore the line on their own, give samples so they can try it at home before committing. Yet, most SA's seem to fail at this.

I guess we all have our savings cut off, I'd estimate I'm willing to pay 10-20% more to buy something in store and get good service. Buying online often feels a bit empty in comparison. But once the price difference gets over 30%, it's hard to justify the in person experience.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
I never hear anyone talk about the owners of LuckyScent/ScentBar, who are obviously very savvy retailers. Does anybody know anything about them?

And is the Los Angeles store owned by the same people as the New York outlet?
I singled out LuckyScent in my post above - very praiseworthy. I don't know about ownership of their locations. The one I order from is the LA store.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
I never hear anyone talk about the owners of LuckyScent/ScentBar, who are obviously very savvy retailers. Does anybody know anything about them?

And is the Los Angeles store owned by the same people as the New York outlet?

Owned by two guys. Pretty sure all three locations owned by same guys.

As a Basenoter, I am very amused that I commuted past their original LA location everyday for eight years not knowing what it was. I always noticed it but thought it was like a scented candle store or some such. Two months after joining Basenotes, I pieced together what it was and went in... BOOM, my head exploded. Some of the people are still there.

http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-franco-wright-scent-bar-luckyscent-com-hollywood-dtla/

I singled out LuckyScent in my post above - very praiseworthy. I don't know about ownership of their locations. The one I order from is the LA store.

They have two stores in LA; one in New York. Quite sure same two guys own all three.

They ship from their "warehouse" which is just a large (but not huge) building about a quarter mile from their Beverly Boulevard store.
 

LizardKing

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2010
I still keep in touch with a SA at the Vegas Neiman Marcus from when I last visited in 2014. I text her or email and she will send me a sample of anything they have in their store. Could I get my Creed or Tom Ford cheaper elsewhere? Sure but the service and kindness this woman has shown is worth it to me.
 

ultravisitor

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
The big dept stores like Saks, Neiman, Bloomingdales often have promotion codes that are online only. If they made these applicable to in store purchases, I would definitely choose to go to the store over ordering online. These stores are also undercutting their sales staff with this policy, which would annoy me if I was an SA.

When that happens, my SA at Saks will text me a link to her personal storefront for the Saks website, so if I want to shop the website, she'll get credit for the sale. I've developed a good relationship with her. She'll make me samples of anything I want in the store.
 

LizardKing

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2010
Owned by two guys. Pretty sure all three locations owned by same guys.

As a Basenoter, I am very amused that I commuted past their original LA location everyday for eight years not knowing what it was. I always noticed it but thought it was like a scented candle store or some such. Two months after joining Basenotes, I pieced together what it was and went in... BOOM, my head exploded. Some of the people are still there.

http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-franco-wright-scent-bar-luckyscent-com-hollywood-dtla/



They have two stores in LA; one in New York. Quite sure same two guys own all three.

They ship from their "warehouse" which is just a large (but not huge) building about a quarter mile from their Beverly Boulevard store.

I bought this scent from her but don't know if she is still with the store.
 

cazaubon

Moderator
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jan 1, 2005
I know one of the owners of Luckyscent, Franco. Very nice guy and great customer service. I’ve been a customer practically since they opened their doors, even though it’s a three hour drive from my house I’ve shopped in person several times and met perfumers when they had events. I also buy from Fumerie in Portland, Tigerlily in San Francisco, Indigo in Cleveland, Perfumology in Philadelphia, Osswald in NY, Etiket, IndieScents and Scentrique in Canada, and had nice interactions with the owners and staff. I support them as much as I can, as often they are the only source for small indie brands. I also have an SA at Bergdorf Goodman who I buy from regularly and will load me up with goodies. At my local Nordstroms too. I enjoy having a relationship with people who really love fragrance and if the price differential is not too great will always buy from them. There are even online retailers who I like to support because they provide really good service, namely Fragrancebuy.ca. So I would say yes I definitely have loyalties.
 

Janjanjan

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2013
I also buy from Fumerie in Portland, Tigerlily in San Francisco, Indigo in Cleveland, Perfumology in Philadelphia, Osswald in NY, Etiket, IndieScents and Scentrique in Canada, and had nice interactions with the owners and staff. I support them as much as I can, as often they are the only source for small indie brands.

Whooo! You are hitting all my highlights! Haha, love so many of those stores. One day I will get to visit Fumerie in person and not just their website
 

PotassiumSnow

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2021
Nope, most of them are equivalent to car salesman. The second I step foot near their section they come running and the "Hey you need to see this, and this, and this, and this, while spraying and handing me cards to sniff". The majority of them have no clue of how to answer most questions either, they just know what they need to for whatever they need to push that month.
 

zerofox

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Aug 31, 2020
Osswald. One person in particular there has been a standout thus far though I think she would be regardless of the business she is in. I’ll probably look into a digital red envelope or E-hongbao for her.
 

Ken_Russell

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
While not an immediate case can instantly think of nor any specific sale associate can easily name on the spot-still guessing it mostly depends on the quality of the brand and its retailer/outlet-store, thus only becoming a matter of time and an added bonus until finding that outstanding SA further strengthening a certain brand loyalty
 

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