Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beware fake absolutes and essential oils from India

Hi again readers,

It has come to my attention over the past few weeks that there are an increasing number of Indian and other Asian sellers on the internet offering absolutes of different flowers, mainly tuberose, rose, gardenia, jasmine, ylang, etc for rediculously cheap prices. These products are generally around 10-15$ per 5ml and are named as absolutes on the websites as to suggest to the buyer that they are of natural origin. These products are often described as 100% pure or "pure", but generally these sellers tend to shy away from obvious lies and they are almost never seen describing them specifically using the word natural. A typical tactic of these sellers is often to assuage the skeptical buyer by citing cheap labour costs in India - but after many emails you can often get to the truth, where the seller will explain a complicated GC process was used to recreate a nature identical absolute and will continue to assure you that it is "pure". Please do not be fooled by any of this, all these products are synthetic reconstitutions of the original absolutes. Now, of course there is nothing wrong with such a product in concept (as I am certainly not a natural perfumery fanboy) but once it is realized that it is in fact a reconstitution, the seemingly low price of 12$ per 5ml suddenly becomes shockingly expensive.

I am not going to name any of the sellers that I have seen commiting this, because it is not my place to police the internet or slander anyone, but I also know many of our friends and readers out here in cyberspace may be interested in perfumery, and be on a budget. These are the prime target victoms. Therefore, I do want to show them warning signs so they are not fooled by such dishonest sellers. Remeber, the internet is a very different place now than it was five years ago! I have even had problems lately with sellers who I have grown to know and trust over a number of years. It seems the potentials of profits that can be made from the uninformed western buyer are too great!


PS - I hope my readers understand that I am not suggesting these dishonest business practices are solely occuring in this area, as there has been some recent controversy with Bulgarian production as well, however in the west our legal infrastructure seems to keep this to a minimum. Unfortunatley, right now developing countries do not have the legal structure to deal with these types of problems 100% effectively so we will have to keep our eyes open ourselves. This of course goes for all of us worldwide.

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