Balenciaga Rosabotanica

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The worst part of working in a fragrance department* is making perfume samples. I love the concept of making samples for customers, but the vast majority of perfume bottles just weren’t designed with samples in mind. So they leak. A lot. The unpleasantly wet reality ends up being perfume literally dripping off my hands, mutating into some unholy combination with the last perfume I made samples of. Our leakiest testers are Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Prada Candy, and goddamn Balenciaga Florabotanica. Nothing makes me grumpier than making a Florabotanica sample. Florabotanica is more than just another boring floral, as dull and sullen as Kristen Stewart when Robert Pattinson won’t return her calls. It’s a symbol of the perfume industry at its most superficial. Florabotanica is living proof that a cute bottle and a well-timed celebrity scandal are better for sales than the perfume itself could ever be.

Obviously, I’ve completely avoided Florabotanica’s flanker, Rosabotanica, which I assumed would be even worse. To my surprise and relief, Rosabotanica smells nothing like Florabotanica. Instead, Rosabotanica is a tart, green rose, in the style of Hermes Kelly Caleche or the recent Annick Goutal Vent de Folie. Rosabotanica is softer, less sharp, and less natural-smelling than either of those fragrances, but the quality is high enough that I probably would have guessed Hermes or Jo Malone if blindfolded. The lasting power is pretty good, but the best part? That strikingly gorgeous bottle doesn’t leak!

*Okay, the real worst part is being constantly outsmarted by fraudulent returns, but that’s not perfume department-specific. Last month I did a SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLAR return for a “Helmut Lang” jacket, which turned out to be a Forever 21 jacket with the original label removed and a Helmut Lang label sewn in. I can’t even be mad- homegirl is an entrepreneur!

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17 thoughts on “Balenciaga Rosabotanica

  1. I had a coworker who wore Rosabotanica, and I usually hate anything fig, but I couldn’t get over how good it smelled on her.

    As for those fraudulent returns, points for cleverness, I guess, but $700 seems almost inappropriately ambitious. I guess that’s why she’s making the big bucks…

  2. OMG – that’s almost enough to make me go into the fraudulent return business! Unfortunately it looks like the DMV is already covered so I’ll have to wait until I move 🙂

    But seriously, that’s insane. D

    1. She was an absolute master. Her receipt rang up perfectly, so she must have had an accomplice who really did purchase a Helmut Lang jacket at one point. I have to bow in the face of such expertise!

  3. Wow, definite points for creativity on that scam. I have to wonder of she’s that well known why hasn’t security caught her yet?
    I can see how making samples and ending up covered in unpleasant perfumes would be a negative aspect of your job. I’m guessing you won’t be carrying Florabotanica at your shop.

  4. I know exactly how it is – I worked at Sephora for 7 yrs and got some pretty stinky hands from making samples – especially when someone wanted me to make them 5 or more at a time. And plenty tried to “return” stolen perfume too.

  5. Hmm, I’d love to work a fragrance counter but I never about this! Very interesting, what were some of the best sellers at your location?

  6. I could totally see that making samples would not be very fun at all after, say, five minutes. I wonder if it would help if you could wear rubber gloves while you did the spraying?

  7. I think some Sephoras let their sales people use gloves, but I don’t remember Nordstrom or Niemans allowing the use of gloves.

  8. I am relieved to learn it is not just me that has problems with leaky bottles. I dread friends asking for a decant of particular scents and it also stopped me splitting a bottle once, because I would have lost about 10ml in the process of decanting off 25 for my friend!

  9. I just rediscovered your charming,HILARIOUS blog!And I loved every post I’ve read so far!Hope the new shop is a great success!Wish I had your guts to say “screw them,I’ll follow my own path”.xo

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