Beutleg de Chanel

Your Chanel Fragrance May Be Hotter Than You Think

Your Chanel Fragrance? It May Just Be Hotter Than You Think.

 SO…

…maybe you DON’T buy your fancy French fragrance from evilBay.  Nosirree.  You’re getting it from a reputable discounter – right?  Never known to have sold counterfeit merch – am I correct?  Never known to have sold bad old juice – right?

No way are you sending your bucks to the dark side of fragrance.  You’re just saving a bit of money.

Right?

Well, I’ve got bad news for all of us.  In fact, I don’t know why this isn’t bigger news.  Maybe the parties involved all just want it to go away.  Who knows.

I was in one of the Canadian Duty Free shops, after a brief visit to Canada, and on my way back home.  By the way – those Duty Free shops are AWESOME for fragrance buyers.  While this one wasn’t quite as well-stocked as the one in the Boston airport, it was still enough to make me wish I could have spent half a day there.

I ALMOST didn’t notice, but a regular civilian – not a member of the Fragrant Legion – asked the very helpful SA where the Chanel was.  Presumably looking for no. 5, since everybody has heard of it, and why not get the wife or GF the best, if you can get it cheap?

Of course, as a diehard Chanellie, my ears perked up pronto.  I had been enjoying sniffs of everything else.  Mademoiselle – take me to your Chanel.  But no.  It ain’t gonna happen.

Yup.  Chanel has PULLED OUT of Canadian Duty-Free.  And not just that.  It has pulled out of Sears in Canada, too.

Really?  Well, Sears isn’t too surprising.  Chanel apparently didn’t want its merch to get discounted with the rest of the stuff in the plastic shopping cart.  What. Ever.  Chanel does have a right to pull their stuff out of low-end places, true?  I had to chuckle, though.  McGraw is effectively exclusive to Sears, and probably selling way better than Antaeus.  Put that in your biscuits and gravy, Coco!

Actually, I’ll cut the girl some slack, as she frolics youngly and chicly on Cloud no. 19.  I’m sure she’s laughing at it, too.

But Duty Free?  What’s up with that?  It’s not like Duty Free is really low-end.  But I suppose that tawdry is in the eye of the beholder, and Chanel can paint that eye however it wants.  It virtually owns eyes at this point.

HOW. EVER.  When I got a moment to talk to the SA, she confided in me.  The reason that Duty Free ain’t getting the Chanel any more?

HIJACKED SHIPMENTS.

Yes.  Apparently the Duty Free parking lot ain’t as safe as it used to be.  Trucks full of fragrance mysteriously disappearing.  I don’t recall if she said they took the whole truck (that’s what I seem to remember) or just the goods, but apparently there was not just an isolated incident.  There’s been more than one vanishing truckload of frags at the Canadian Duty Free locations.  And – with no end in sight, Chanel just decided to bail.

Inside job?  Somebody looking the other way?  Who knows.  The Duty Free is a big operation, with lots of people, but a small endpoint, with a small, very lonely-looking parking lot.  Just like cyber-security, it’s easiest to break in at the endpoints, so that’s where the bad guys have been doing their thing.

But you have to ask yourself – where does this stuff end up?  Is real, pure, honest-to-G_d Chanel going to end up on some card table at the county fair?

Do the math, baby.  Do the math.  People who can disappear a truck from a place that’s just meters away from some of the most heavily secured border crossings on the planet are probably not going to be working their goods through Bubba’s jailbird bro and his pickup-truck sales network.

For a long time I’ve wondered about those filed-off serial numbers on super-discounted frags.  The stuff that comes out of kiosks and fly-by-night discounters.  Suddenly, the incentive on that seems clear.

But still – that seems so small-potatoes.  And de-boxing, filing, and re-boxing?  Come on.  We’re talking truckloads.  How do you dump it?

Well, if your fragrance disappears in one part of the world, where do you figure it’s safest to show up?  Aha!  Probably some other part of the world.  Kinda like – you know.  Modern discounters.  So if it came out of Canada, just make sure that the inventory never dumps near a Mountie.  Modern enterprise software to the rescue!  If Chanel can protect their units with modern information technology, don’t figure that the bad guys are far behind.  My money says that the hot juice will show up at a discounter near you – but conveniently far away from the scene of the crime.  Does anybody know it’s hot?  Who knows.  Information is loose.  It’s hard to track.  Not everybody is telling the truth.  In a single transaction, juice goes from “know it’s hot” to “swear it’s not”.  And when the deal is real, but too good to be true, folks with mouths to feed know better than to ask too many questions.  Pass it through enough bit-flippers, and the truth gets conveniently lost.

Fragrance – unlike dollars – is money.  Which is as good as cash.  Or so I heard.  And there’s a lot of folks that love their kind of green just as much as we love our kind of green.

So – I pretty much figure that lovers of long green and lovers of cool green may just end up crossing paths, somewhere on this big, bleu marble.

Just a guess. 😉

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