Saturday Question: Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

In her recent guest post Brigitte… I mean, Pickles asked about unusual perfume bottles in our collections. That made me think about bottles, caps, boxes…

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #108:

Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

Having a choice of a less expensive “tester” version of perfume that you want to get, would you buy it? Or would you prefer a real bottle with all “bells and whistles” even if it meant paying more?

My Answer

In my pre-perfumista years, if I could find a cheaper version at one of the discounters, I would gladly buy and use it. It didn’t really matter to me then since my bottles were done within a couple of years.

But as my collection grew, I discovered that I prefer to keep my bottles in their boxes. So, I usually prefer perfumes in original bottles and boxes.

Two years ago, I decided to buy a bottle of Cierge de Lune by Aedes de Venustas. I found it on Totokaelo website. It was going out of business, so they were selling everything. Discount wasn’t that great at the moment, but since it was one of the last places on the web that has this perfume (I didn’t know then that Aedes would re-launch it repackaged), I decided to buy it before it disappeared.

When the bottle arrived, I discovered with a surprise that, first of all, it was in a wrong box (from Grenadille d’Afrique), and in addition, it had a “Tester” engraving on it (if you look closely, you’ll see it on the back side of the bottle in the photo below).

I was conflicted: clearly, it wasn’t a brand-new bottle, and they inadvertently mixed the boxes, but I did want that perfume, and I couldn’t get it from anywhere else… So, I contacted the site, and we agreed on the fair additional discount. I’m glad that I have this bottle – even though perfume has been re-released. But bar situations like that, I would pay more for the “real deal.”

Aedes de Venustas Cierge de Lune

 

Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

56 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

  1. I dont mind tester bottles at all. I keep my perfume together in more decorative boxes from Ikea rather that in separate paper/cardboard packaging for each fragrance so if I throw it away anyway why would I bother if i get my perfume in a simple paper sleeve rather than a box covered with fuzzy plush (like Aedes boxes used to be) right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see your point. But since I keep my perfumes in original boxed (if I have them), I do care for the box. Though, I must admit that it absolutely doesn’t bother me that this perfume lives in the wrong box: it probably even adds something to it. A story :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For a long time I wouldn’t pay extra for deluxe packaging, but sometimes I’m really glad to have something beautiful. So I know the Annick Goutal line is leaving North America-I bought a few, and paid extra for the packaging I wanted. It might seem silly but sometimes I need something special-whatever I deem to be special-and so I bought one more bottle of Eau D;Hadrien, in the Paris-Florence bottle-a very pretty orange ombre bottle. For the same reason I didn’t need a new yoga mat, but Manduka did a line related to Van Gogh’s paintings. They made the link between yoga and better mental health-this line is actually all about mental health. It doesn’t seem like a cynical marketing ploy-seems the ideas and the products match. SO I now have a yellow mat with Van Gogh’s Iris on it. I’ll still buy testers, of course-but occasionally, if I see something special, I’ll indulge myself :)

    Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

    Sincerely,

    Carole

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nose Prose, I used to be able to find Goutal at the Bay and Holts, and after Christmas they just disappeared overnight. I emailed Goutal, and received a nice reply, giving me the name and coordinates of their store in France to order from. I probably should have said Canada, rather than NA, but some Americans have said it’s getting harder to find in the states, too. So there is no official notification. Hope this helps-are you a fan of the line, too?

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        • Hi Carole, thanks for the info. They were one of the first houses I discovered when I fell down the perfume rabbit hole, but I hadn’t been paying attention lately even though I’ve been enjoying my bottle of Ninfeo Mio. It looks like their NYC boutiques are closed. What a shame!

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    • Annick Goutal disappeared from Bloomingdales first, then from Nordstrom… but for a while, it was available in Saks. I haven’t been to it in a year, if not longer, so I don’t know if it’s there still. It’s a pity: I have several favorites from the line, and in general I used to like this brand. Ironically, one of my most favorite perfumes from the brand – Heure Exquise – is a tester bottle in a golden bag.

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  3. I don’t have a set rule. Sometimes though I just have to have the deluxe packaging. For example, Kilian’s snake themed clutches), Atelier Cologne special bottles (same price), Annick Goutal special boxes, and let me not forget the red Chanel No.5 L’Eau bottle (I would buy this in every color it comes in).

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  4. I have testers in my collection, even if I do prefer a non- tester bottle. However, I often get perfumes “secondhand”, so it’s not that I care a lot about presentation, and original box is unimportant to me.

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  5. I have only one tester, and I didn’t purchase it. It was given to me as a gift, because that what some fragrance friends do. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Fortunately, it was a fragrance that was quite discontinued, and for the people who really loved the fragarnce, they were a bit jealous. It’s certanily not everyone’s cup of tea, but It was a full bottle tester of Creed Vintage Tabaróme.

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  6. I’m fine with a tester as long as it has the full presentation cap. My OCD gets twitchy if the bottle has no cap or a plain metal tester cap.

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    • I know just what you mean. I once bought a bottle just for the cap. I had a full, capless tester and saw the second, almost empty, bottle for just a few dollars! The scent is Avon Perceive which I don’t care for, but getting a lid for the full bottle was irresistible, LOL.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you! I remember getting a tester bottle of Mat; many years ago. I liked it and used it up (almost), but until the end it bothered me that there was no cap (it came with a cardboard protective cylinder around the sprayer).

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  7. I’ll quite happily go for the tester. Nice packaging is great but it’s not why I’m buying the product. If the tester is considerably cheaper then I regard that as a score. As my perfume is kept in drawers it makes no difference at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great question! I’m with you, Undina, I wouldn’t mind a tester if it the scent is really hard to find and that was my only option but, typically I’m willing to pay a little more for the full presentation because one, I’m a sucker for pretty things and two, I know it’s easier to resell if you have the box and cap. If I can get a tester with cap then it’s better than without. Also, for quite a few popular brands, I feel like the “tester” bottles are more apt to be fakes than full presentations.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Theoretically, I’m fine with testers. A quick scan of my collection tells me that I don’t have any. I do have “part bottles” which are less likely to be fakes. If they’re in the box& with their original cap, all the better.
    Why do people throw the cap away?

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    • I’m not sure those caps ever existed. In case with testers, since at a store it will be placed on the counter without a cap, companies save money on producing those.
      With the real bottles… I don’t know. Maybe people are trying to replicate how they see it at the perfume counter? :)

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  10. I am fine with testers but not having the cap is disappointing both aesthetically and in terms of feeling the sprayer is protected. I save caps from other cosmetics and sometimes one will more or less fit a capless perfume, which seems better than no cap. Moreover, I don’t like to keep boxes, tester or otherwise, but since I don’t use up perfumes quickly, I keep boxes to protect the perfume.

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    • I also reuse caps from time to time :) As to boxes, in addition to liking them aesthetically and protecting my perfumes, they make my perfumes “stackable” :)

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  11. Hey Undina and crew,
    I’m utterly riven by this question, as I am in life with it. I do love having the full package and lid BUT if something becomes a favourite, even for a while, the box goes into a large container and sits in the garage next to the other two full containers of boxes. Having them seems dumb.
    One thing though that I do find is that a BNIC bottle will often get put aside for an Opening Ceremony and a tester or used bottle will be spritzed immediately and added to the collection.
    So I can’t give you a definitive answer, soz.
    LOVED your story though.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t mind testers, and I always appreciate a bargain, but sometimes I do want all the pretty packaging, as I keep most of my fragrances in their boxes. I always want caps! I like the boxes that Penhaligon’s and some other brands use, which lift off the base on which the bottle sits. I only have a few back-up bottles of any fragrance, but one of them is Ostara; I have the original full presentation I bought, and two testers with caps. So I can put them in the fancy box when that bottle runs out!

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  13. If I’m buying a Chanel, for example, I always want the full presentation with the box for authenticity. For almost all expensive perfumes I want the box and the bottle with top. Some testers come without a top and that really bugs me. I need a top for my perfume bottles! Great question, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      With Chanel, I think the only places one should buy those perfumes, are official department stores of Chanel boutique/site, with the best place being Duty-free. Everything else – it’s too much of a gamble since Chanel is one of the mostly counterfeited brands.

      Like

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