buying french perfumes

Old May 22nd, 2006, 04:54 PM
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buying french perfumes

is it better to buy french brand perfumes (like dior, chanel, cartier, etc ) in france or is it just a hassle with the same brand being made exactly the same way here in the US? i read from a suzy gershman shopping guide that EDTs and perfumes made in france is better because they are made with potato alcohol instead of the variety of alcohol used in the US. according to this shopping guide, potato alcohol stays on longer? has anybody heard of this? we went to a fragonard perfume factory in eze and i asked a store guide/employee about this and she did not know anything about it.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 05:59 PM
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I have used nearly nothing but Channel No. 5 for forty years.

I can confirm that each (cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, etc.) smells a bit different (and a bit stronger, less is needed) than what I buy in the States, and it definitely "stays on longer". Because I'm so used to it, I prefer the domestic varieties.

Check out prices at and before you leave home.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:55 PM
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I don't know about Suzy Gershon and the supposed advantages of potato alcohol, but French perfume I buy in the US smells just fine to me. If you already like what you buy in the US, I wouldn't buy into something you never even thought or cared about. I doubt if Suzy Gershon ran laboratory tests to confirm that statement, and how much longer is it supposed to last? That's not such a big deal to me. I just don't go to France to buy things I can easily buy in the US, probably cheaper, and then lug all it around on my trip, but I don't like to spend my vacation time shopping and carrying stuff around. I guess a very small bottle of perfume doesn't take up much space, but I've never seen the kinds I like any cheaper in France, and that's my main issue.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:06 PM
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I'm not sure about Suze Gershman's claim about potato alcohol. But the one reason to buy fragrances in France is that they launch new ones there.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:31 PM
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Vodka is made from potato alcohol, isn't this true?

Blackduff -glad I don't have to make choices like this purchase
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:54 PM
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My reply is a bit off-topic, since I don't wear perfume, and have never heard of potato alcohol , but I thought you might be interested in this shop that I stumbled upon on my last visit to Paris. The website is:

The shop is called Maitre Parfumier et Gantier and it is modeled after a 17th century French perfumier. Address is 5, rue des Capucines, 1e. The atmosphere is stunning (crystal chadeliers, period furnishings), the perfumes are made on site, and the ability to sample all of the scents from crystal bottles was alot of fun. A big step up from sampling in a department store and the prices were reasonable.

Let us know if you find the answer to your question regarding the differences in perfumes - Cheryl
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:55 PM
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I feel like I'm missing something here. When I buy my French perfume here in Australia - Yves St Laurent - Rive Gauche - it is just that - French perfume imported from France. There is no local version of that product, other than knock offs e.g. if you like Dior's Poison then you'll love our Passion.

My understanding of French perfume is that there are ingredients - that are expensive/hard to come by - that assist in making the bouquet last longer etc.

I usually buy a number of bottles at the airport when I'm traveling as we can purchase before we leave and just pick up the package on our return through customs, so we don't actually have to take it with us.

Perfume is one of the few vices in my life and I wear it every day - I'm actually hoping we might get to go through the YSL perfumery when in Paris next year but not sure if there are actual tours through the making process. (It could be top secret)

I'm not expecting the perfume to be any cheaper than what I pay in Australia though.

I'm surprised that you have brands such as Dior and Chanel etc made in the U.S. Is this the case?
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:57 PM
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Sorry - I actually LOVE potato alcohol as in Vodka I've never heard about it being used in perfumes.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 09:13 PM
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All of these famous perfumes come out of the same factories, often the same factories that produce widely used medications. And ethyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol, no matter what the source (potatoes, grain, grapes, etc.).

In short, a given brand of perfume is the same everywhere, if quality control is adequate (and it should be, for major brands). You might find a wider variety of products in France, however: eau de toilette, parfum, etc. And if they are French brands, they might be cheaper in France as well, although I think differences have shrunk considerably in recent years.
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