Why We Made This Guide
This guide was designed keeping in mind the worries and needs of e-commerce consumers throughout Pakistan. It is purposely concise and easy to understand, free of industry jargon, to save your time and impart only the most vital lessons on your path to purchasing fragrances online.
Algate and its perfume brand Oil of Arabia are responsible organizations that seek to impart industry knowledge to consumers so they can make informed buying designs. You are in no way expected to purchase an Oil of Arabia product, the information below applies to all individual looking for quality fragrances regardless of brand.
3 Reasons Why Purchasng Fragrances Online Is Worth It
- Curiosity. This is a major psychological principle behind Amazon’s success. There is something about purchasing goods online, reading reviews, waiting for the delivery parcel to arrive, and the unpacking that makes online shopping so addictive. Unpacking a perfume, using it for the first time, aware of it’s fragrance profile but still not having smelt it, holds great potential for excitement (and disappointment, but more on this later)
- No Sales Pressure. On the other hand, when you purchase a fragrance in store after testing through dozens of similar others, you are biased from making a fair choice by the contrast principle: each perfume you smell after the first one will be influenced or compared with the ones before it. The urge to make the purchase immediately actually results in a buyer being no more informed than a purchase made online. In fact, when you purchase fragrances online, you can see reviews from existing customers without the anxiety of being in a shop being pushed along by sales reps.
- Convenience. When you go out to purchase a fragrance from a store, you are practically spending 1,500 rupees on average just to get there. That includes cost for petrol, vehicle usage, the unnecessary purchases you make along the way, and most importantly – your time. With cash-on-delivery facilities available throughout Pakistan, from the largest cities to the smallest industry towns there is no reason left to delay a gift purchase for your loved one or a new fragrance for yourself. The product arrives at your doorstep, and you only have to pay for it once you confirm that it is in good condition.
How to Avoid Counterfeit Fragrances in Pakistan
As per one study, almost 88% percent of the fragrances in the country are counterfeits or copies. Let that sink for a second. Need further reason to worry? Almost 60 percent of fragrances being sold as original at premium rates are absolute knockoffs or refilled bottles.
There is absolutely nothing worse than spending thousands of your hard earned rupees only to receive a counterfeit product. Here’s how you can avoid falling into this trap.
- Check ample reviews before making a purchase. Are the people making these reviews genuine buyers? Don’t look for numbers, look for quality. Keep your eyes open for authentic names.
- Social proof for physical purchases. If you insist on shopping in physical locations, make sure you have a word-of-mouth reference who can vouch that the retailer sells original fragrances. Even that is no guarantee, as many retailers sell a proportion of original perfumes and knockoffs to slip under the radar. Do your search.
- Guarantees. Only purchase on websites or retailers that provide a money back guarantee. Unfortunately, only manufacturers or authorized sellers will be able to provide any guarantee. In Pakistan, the only assurance some retailers will provide is a ‘genuine product guarantee’. Although that is better than nothing it presents some issues: many perfume manufacturers don’t provide robust mechanisms online to verify the authenticity of the product. Even if they do, you still have to be satisfied with the product itself, right? Since a retailer cannot make any money-back guarantees over you not liking the product, your best bet is to purchase it directly from the perfume manufacturer. You can’t go wrong here.
- Product Inspection. Once you receive the perfume, compare it thoroughly with photos available online on the brand’s social media page or official website.
Original Fragrances Vs. Third Party Essences
You’ve probably seen a fair number of online and physical retailers selling impressions of your favourite internationally manufactured fragrances. While many of these are talented retailers offering quality products, there is nothing like using the real thing. Here’s why:
- Sustained Purchase Satisfaction. Do you know why there is a reason people still spend thousands of rupees on Gucci’s and Guess’s while there are quality shirts available for less than a thousand rupees? Not everyone is stupid. And not everyone is a naive buyer. In fact, there’s a good chance that the person has so much purchasing power because of a fair deal of intelligence and savvy-ness. So why do people make these purchases to get ‘original’ products, like fragrances, clothes and books? Because it is satisfying. That’s just how human beings are engineered. We like what is ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ and dislike what is not. And there is no way around it. As soon as we have the equity to make a purchase, we usually want that thing. That’s why people dish out the extra rupees to buy something deemed ‘authentic’ or ‘original’. So before you make your next purchase, ask yourself – will this impression provide lasting satisfaction for the money that you spend on it? Remember, quality impressions are fairly expensive as well due to the oils being used.
- The Perfumer. Yes, it is unlikely that your perfume is making impressions in a standardized setting. Although most perfumers in countries like Pakistan and India are small in number, there is no way to ensure they aren’t so small because it is financially unfeasible for them to guarantee safety, hygiene and other critical quality control aspects.
How do I Know Which Fragrance To Buy If I Have Never Tried It?
Using a colour wheel like this can be super handy whenever making purchasing decisions online. Make sure to save a copy of the above image on your mobile or laptop.
The million dollar question. And one that has answers sufficient to help you make the leap of faith. After all, you’ve already bought appliances that you have never used, and food items you’ve never tasted before, so why such a big leap when it comes to purchasing perfumes online?
The reason is because of a perception that is built in our minds of how ‘perfumes are supposed to be purchased’: a process that begins with smelling various scents, sniffing coffee beans in between, and then making the final purchase. But that really is no excuse in a time where almost all industries have gone the e-commerce route. So here are a couple of rules of thumb that you can use to help you make an informed purchase.
- Check similar fragrances that you’ve tried before. Good perfumers will tell you not only the notes that go into making their fragrance, but other popular fragrances similar to yours that you may have tried before. There is no shame in this, as it is an accepted norm in the small-medium perfumery industry.
- Consult a fragrance wheel. Fragrance wheels are amazingly accurate in predicting what type of perfumes will suit your scent preferences. Here’s a great way to find a fragrance you will like:
- Think of 2-3 perfumes that you own or have used in the past that you absolutely loved.
- On Google, do a quick search for your favourite fragrances and check if these are considered as ‘floral, woody, oriental or fresh’ from the keywords in the description. See the fragrance wheel below: the more particular (subcategory level) the better.
- See the respective fragrance’s top notes, heart notes and base notes by doing another simple google search.
- Once you see which category a fragrance belongs in and which notes are the most dominant, find one by either matching the notes against a fragrance that you’re thinking of buying, or if you are not the ‘research type’, just look for other fragrances in the matching categories i.e. floral, woody, oriental or fresh. As a reference, see how Oil of Arabia fragrances are broadly categories as per the fragrance wheel above.
Before You Leave: An Exclusive Oil of Arabia Introductory Offer
We know your first online purchase can be a big leap of faith. Therefore, we are now offering an exclusive discount in addition to the sale prices! That’s Rs. 700 – 1100 off your first perfume purchase from us.
Just enter promo code VIP300 on the checkout window!