Couture

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Community Links

Introduction to r/CoutureReps

r/CoutureReps is a fashion related subreddit that has its focus on the replica scene.

We mostly discuss brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Lacoste.

Brands such as Moncler and Stone Island also do apply, as long as it is a non-hype item.

Content that contain brands such as Supreme, Nike Jordan, Travis Scott, Dior, etc. will be removed.

Try Fashion for these brands.

Beginners Guide to r/CoutureReps

Welcome new Rep Enthusiast!

This guide is made for new members of r/CoutureReps. It contains everything that you need to know about the basics of the rep game. No cap, all useful information that will set you off right away!

Introduction The rep process: from taobao to your home

The whole process can best be summed up with 3 terms: Finding, Buying, International Shipping.

This flowchart describes the whole process: from ordering your items to receiving them at home. Link to the flow chart

To answer the most common question right away, in simplified terms:

  1. You buy from a Chinese marketplace, because they are cheaper.
  2. Since these are not open to you, you have to use an agent (we will get to that).
  3. The agent buys the item for you and you get to inspect it.
  4. Then you can ship it internationally.
  5. There's a risk to run into customs, but 99% of the cases can be solved, if you know what you're doing
Basics of finding, ordering and shipping items
Finding

So you want to get started finding, buying and eventually shipping your items? Go ahead and check out this separate guide we made. It contains a lot of information and pictures regarding these topics;

There have been lots of developments on that front, so it's always worth checking out to find new methods.

Buying through Agents

To buy items through Taobao, it is advised to use an agent. The reasons to use an agent have only become stronger, with new paperwork that's better filled out by experienced companies, like the agents. An agent is a freight forwarder in the middle, who buys and stores the item in their warehouse, where they let you decide if you want to keep them, based on quality inspection provided by the agent. If you are not satisfied, you can return the item and get your money back. It is as simple as that, agents eliminate many of the risks. If you choose to order without an agent, your purchases are at the mercy of the sellers - you might receive damaged or even incorrect goods, and you won't find out until they reach your doorstep and you paid.

Preferred agents

We partnered up with Sugargoo, WegoBuy and Superbuy to give our new members coupons up to $85 using our partner links. You can choose which agent you wish to use.

=> Sugargoo $45 Signup bonus

=> WegoBuy $45 Signup bonus

=> Superbuy $85 Signup bonus

All these agents are worthy of your business. Top to bottom they go from budget (good price, not so good service) to premium (not so good price, but great service). Wegobuy is in the middle and what we recommend, especially for noobs.

If you care about cold hard numbers, use a shipping calculator/agent comparison.

You might find that other agents are cheaper, such as BaseTao, YTaoPal, CSSBuy, but we can't provide you with an extra bonus as a new member. And you don't support CoutureReps, but that's alright.

Shipping

You might be all about the items, but the core of the process is shipping. It's where educated customers are separated from uneducated customers, and where you can save or lose most money.

Navigating the sites itself should be rather self explanatory. In order to keep this guide concise, I won't tell you about every button you have to click for every agent. There are plenty of YouTube videos for that. Unsurprisingly, I would recommend the RepArchive Guides Playlist.

There are two things, that are not self explanatory, that are important.

  1. use rehearsal packaging. Your item is pre-packaged and weight, eliminating the guessing game, resulting in much cheaper upfront costs for you, up to 50% cheaper. Always use this. This is the best guide I can offer you at the moment, but we will provide a more detailed guide soon.

  2. Choose the right shipping service. Cheap isn't always the best, and won't help you if your parcels never get there. Yes, there are definitely shipping combinations (country/shipping service) that you should avoid at all costs. We'll be honest with you, wiki pages like this one are far too static to keep a list like that up to date. Do your own research. I don't want this guide to turn into a list of RepArchive links, but once again they have the simplest and best solution: a survey that collects the latest answers from a wide audience, made available via a chat bot. So you can just ask it what's the best shipping to my country, and then you know more: Ask the Chatbot.

Source

Recommended Sellers List

Couture Clothing
Seller Name Why? Focus Link Contact</thead>
MadeByKungFu Great communication and insights in the production, unique items Dior, Louis Vuitton (low key) https://madebykungfu.x.yupoo.com wechat @ madebykungfu
Feiyu8698 Tried and tested and trusted, u/RepArchive's #1 Canada Goose https://shop111882070.world.taobao.com/ wechat @ Feiyu8698
Ninja in Stone Community approved. Canada Goose https://ninjainstone.x.yupoo.com/albums wechat @ mz131417888
HoekeFactory Great communication Various https://hoekefactory.x.yupoo.com/ wechat @ Hoekedesign
Standard Inventory

These sellers have a big inventory of basics, some call them resellers, but what counts for our niche they are the only ones able to offer such a wide array at a low price. Standard requests like RL t-shirts, sweaters and sweatpants can be servered by these sellers.

Seller Name Why? Focus Link Contact</thead>
0832 Club Well organized store, frequent updates Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger www.0832club.net/#/homewww.0832club.com wechat @ o832club_ricky
Han Solo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, The North Face https://hansolo2.x.yupoo.com whatsapp @ +8618752189168
TopChineseGuy007 / TopMan007 Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger https://topchineseguy007.x.yupoo.com whatsapp @ +8613272561257
Fragrances
Seller Name Why? Focus Link Contact</thead>
Chez Pierre #1, Shipping from Europe Perfume https://shop.chezpierre.rs/ whatsapp @ +38163414753

Guide to Finding Items on TaoBao, Weiden & Others

How to find items from Taobao, Weidian and Trusted Sellers

There are a few methods to find items. All have their pros and cons and to successfully find what you’re looking for you should use a combination of them.

We separate these methods into specific searches and inspirational, luck based methods of finding items

Specific searches

Just start typing in the search bar at the top of the page. You can improve your technique by utilizing tags and other search operators, but I suggest you keep reading to learn better methods.

Pro: Simple to use.

Con: The reddit search is very unreliable and needs exact matches. It only searches the title and body, not the comments. Abbreviations and typos are not found.

Searching Reddit – Reddit Search through Google

This is my preferred way, as google finds items that match your intent, not exact words. That means you will find abbreviations, synonyms and typos. More importantly it also searches the comments.

If you don’t like google you can also use another search engine, but indexation can be an issue and google seems to have the widest indexation.

How it works:

  1. Type what you’re searching for into the search engine
  2. append site:reddit.com/r/couturereps.
  3. Example: RL polo shirt site:reddit.com/r/couturerepsexample google link.
  4. You can of course replace with any other sub.
  5. If you don’t find anything give site:reddit.com a shot.

Pro: You find a lot more posts.

Con: A little uncomfortable on mobile. Posts with low uploads or very recent posts might not be indexed.

Reverse image search means you download a picture of the item you’re looking for and search for it on taobao or weidian. Success depends on the clarity of the picture.

How it works:

  • Taobao: Currently disabled with no workaround. Old guide:Open the reverse image search pageand click the camera icon in the search bar. Then upload your own image. This “legacy link” is necessary because taobao does not publicly offer the feature anymoresource
  • Weidian: Currently disabled with no workaround.source

Pro: This is the way to find new items that haven’t been discovered by the community yet.

Con: You need to do the work yourself. You will also find retail offers or items that look similar. You might also have to login, which can be difficult for many reasons.

Find inspiration

Scrolling through Reddit

Let’s start with the simplest method. Just open reddit, subscribe to a few rep subreddits and start scrolling.

It’s a good way to get inspired, so it’s a great method when you have no idea what you’re even looking for.

Live feed

RepArchive.com has a live feed of recent purchases from taobao and weidian. This service is made possible by Superbuy and Wegobuy. This is a nice place for inspiration and you can be sure that at least 1 person thought the item was worth buying.

Link:

https://reparchive.com/feed/live

Top items

I list this as a separate category because it is a mix of both. Of course it’s luck based because you have no search bar, you get what you get so to say. But because the most popular items are listed it serves as the answer to most search requests we get.

RepArchive Top

RepArchive TOP lists the top 200 Taobao and Weidian items that are selling the best. It comes with a bunch of features such as images and prices on the page, different time frames to look at, currency conversion and support for different agents. You can also look at the items that have been rising the ranks the quickest.

Especially for new people this should be the only page you need to visit, without needing to learn any of the more complicated methods listed above.

Link

Some information about TaoBao

  • There are other reliable agents beyond Wegobuy and Superbuy which may offer more favourable shipping rates or lines to your part of the world.

  • Once you’ve purchased an item through an agent, it will be sent from the domestic seller to their warehouse. You’ll receive QC pics and be afforded the opportunity to exchange or return an item if it’s not satisfactory (usually within a 7 day period). Some agents offer free additional QC pictures, others charge a nominal fee but you can request additional photos of any aspect you wish.

  • All agents have a grace period where items will be stored free of charge. This varies from agent to agent, so if you foresee this being a concern, make sure to check how long the storage period is for the agent you’ve chosen. Storage periods can be extended beyond the free allotment for a nominal fee, or otherwise your items will be disposed of if you let the storage period lapse.

  • International shipping is not included in the initial price you pay to purchase the item and have it sent to your warehouse, and it can be a substantial portion of the total cost of your package, depending on which shipping line you choose and how much you’re attempting to ship. Typically with other subs that deal with heavier, larger general use items like clothing or shoes, a “haul” is usually multiple kilograms. Dealing with watches I think most people will find the shipping rates aren’t quite as exorbitant since even buying a few watches at a time won’t amount to much, weight-wise.

  • Much like all TDs can source the same watches, all agents can buy from the same variety of domestic Chinese marketplaces. Most commonly you’ll encounter Taobao, Weidian, or Yupoo links, but odds are if it’s for sale in mainland China, and agent can buy it for you.

Source

Commonly Used Chinese Seller Terms

A quick and simple guide on how to understand the most common terms used by Chinese sellers.

Tops:

肩宽: Shoulder width

袖长: Sleeve length

胸围: Bust width, Chest width

衣长: Length

Bottoms:

腰围: Waist

裤长: Leg length

大腿围: Thigh width

裤脚围: Leg opening

Footwear:

脚长: Foot length

脚宽: Foot fullness

Misc:

美国: US

欧洲: EUR

英国: UK

厘米: cm

毫米: mm

英寸 or 寸: inches

Guide to Fragrances Part 1

1. How Can I Pick Perfect Perfume For Myself?
  1. Know Your Scents
  2. The Main Scents
  3. Aromatic
  4. Citrus
  5. Floral
  6. Leather
  7. Woody
  8. Aquatic
  9. Why Do The 4 Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) Matter In Perfumes?
2. Why Should I Wear Fragrance/s?
  • No One Likes To Smell Bad! 5
  • “Perfume is the art that makes the memory speak.” – Francis Kurkdjian
  • Chez Pierre’s story about “signature scent”
3. How Should I Wear Fragrance/s?
  • Technique 1, Skin Type 2, Flavored Oils 3!
  • Always Look To Perfect Your Spraying Technique.
  • Remember, Not Every Type Of Perfume Will Stick To Your Skin!
  • Not All Flavored Oils Are Created Equal!
4. Are Chez Pierre Perfumes Safe To Use On Skin?!
  1. Yes, but read it 😉
5. What Are Ratios and How Do I Pick Them?
  • Different type of ratios
  • Eau de Parfum vs Extrait de Parfum
6. The 100$ Fragrance I Get In-Store Only Costs 2$ To Produce?
  • The big brand pricepoint of creating the fragrance

7. How Is My Order Made and Do I Need To Mature My Perfumes After Receiving Them?
  • How we make our fragrance
  • Macaration?
8. Why Does The Perfume Smell Different From The Bottle vs On Paper vs On My Skin?
  • Different type of skin resulting different smell

9. Learn the words (Important)
  • Accord
  • Atomizer
  • Body spray
  • Blend
  • Clone Houses
  • Cologne
  • Decant
  • Designer Fragrances
  • Dry-Down
  • Eau de parfum
  • Eau de toilette
  • Eau Fraîche
  • Essential Oil
  • Extrait de parfum (pure perfume, perfume, parfum, parfum extrait or simply extract)
  • Layering
  • Maturation
  • Maceration
  • Niche Fragrances
  • Notes
  • Over spray
  • Perfume oil
  • Projection
  • Pulse Points
  • Reformulate / Reformulations
  • Signature Scent
  • Sillage

1: How Can I Pick Perfect Perfume For Myself?

1. Know Your Scents

The first few steps to choose your signature scent is to understand what are the notes inside the perfumes. Men’s cologne have different categories that describe the ingredients and therefore the scents they create.

Once you understand the categories you will understand what notes are for you and what you’d rather avoid. Do you like to smell flowery? Aquatic? Woody?

Be sure to consider your personality and style as well as the time of year and the occasion. They matter more than you think.

It sounds a lot of stuff to keep in mind to just smell nice but it’s worth every second of effort.

2. The Main Scents

Aromatic

Aromatic scents are rich in benzene and notes found in organic matter. Aromatic fragrances commonly have rustic scents with a certain freshness, often coming from herbal notes, and are commonly indicated for men. The most common are rosemary, thyme, mint, tarragon, marjoram, fennel, basil, sage, ansine cumin, and grassy spicy plants.

Citrus

Citrus scents are created after hesperidin fruits. Think about Verbena, lemongrass, pomelo, yuzu as well as typical citrus fruits like lemon, orange, grapefruit, and mandarin. One of the most common is Bergamot (The Earl Gray smell). Citrus properties let these oils peak as top notes and sparkle on just about any blend.

Floral

The largest group of scents is self-explanatory. These scents add a romantic touch and remove the heaviness of more tenacious ingredients. Some flowers are used in their natural state like rose, jasmine, tuberose, lavender, osmanthus, immortelle, ylang ylang, and marigold while others need to be recreated in labs like freesia, peony, lily of the valley, heliotrope, violet, jonquil, narcissus, hyacinth.

Leather

Historically speaking leather is one of the earliest notes used in perfumery. In the past, oils, musk, and ambergris were used to mask the odor of the animal skins. Nowadays these notes are both natural (birch, styrax, cassie, castoreum, myrtle) or recreated in labs (quinolines, safraleine, aldehyde and synthesized suede nuances).

Woody

Woody fragrances are dominated by wood scents. They add a sensual touch to the perfumes and empower other scents. This varied and versatile category includes oakmoss, amber, rosewood, guaiac, oud, vetiver, patchouli.

Smokey

Traditionally created with notes of incense, birch tar, tobacco, and various woods, including cedar and cypress, a smoky perfume is your ideal winter-warming fragrance.

Aquatic

Aquatic notes in a perfume is not a specific note but more of a fragrance composition that conveys freshness and purity. An aquatic note captures a sensation of the sea, fresh mountain air and freshly washed sheets and can be found in many modern and “clean” scents.

Why Do The 4 Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) Matter In Perfumes?

Much like putting on a sweater during the winter and a sundress in summer, you can think of perfumes as a seasonal part of your routine. You should choose the perfect amount of scent according to the weather outside. Warm weather brings out the best in fragrances. When the weather heats up we can smell so many scents in the air: flowers blooming, fruits ripening, we are bombarded by so many scents!

Keep this in mind and adjust the amount of perfume you’re going to use. Don’t be afraid to “wear” a fragrance but be aware of its impact because when the temperature heats up the scents will be intensified and it’s a good idea to choose a lighter scent. Citrus and floral accords are perfect for this time of the year because they project a light, refreshing scent and blend well with other scents that occur naturally in the environment.

On the opposite side we have cold weather that is great for perfumes with amber accord. When it’s cold outside, rich and spicy scents give you a feeling of warmth. Lower temperatures can really lessen the impact of a scent!

Spring and fall are transitional seasons and the weather may change rapidly. Be ready to bring out floral notes during spring and choose warmer scents when summer turns into fall.

Whether you stick with one signature or many based on your mood or the seasons, always learn how fragrances interact with your body chemistry and the temperature.

2: Why Should I Wear Fragrance/s?
No One Likes To Smell Bad!

It is instinctive for people to shun those who smell bad by either talking less with them or physically avoiding them. Think of how many times you have shunned someone just because of their smell?

Perhaps you are looking to expand your social circle or get a date (or two), wearing a fragrance that is suitable for the weather will allow you to smell good and attract more social interactions. Wearing Fragrances in addition to your clothes so as to both look and smell good to other people will surely enhance the social interaction and more compliments are always a good confidence booster! Not to mention, it can be a good ice-breaking conversation starter!

“Perfume is the art that makes the memory speak.” – Francis Kurkdjian

It’s not uncommon for a scent to invoke a specific memory, like a magical deja vu moment.. I’m sure some scents do the same for you!

When you wear a specific fragrance to a special event or if you wear a specific fragrance while creating a memory, you will be in control to an extent. Why not create memories that you can remember when you smell a scent?

Here is a little story about the funny memory linked to my “Signature Scent”.

I was sleeping in a hostel (which is something I love to do as you meet different people) and I planned to go out. Always before going out I go to a hotspot in the hostel where everyone is gathering. I had so many fragrances in my suitcase because I was delivering the customers that I forgot to bring my fragrances (ironic).

One of the customers during my flight told he won’t make it and I should return the scent.

Since I forgot mine, I decided to use it for myself. Oh boy I was lucky! It was ‘Hint of Vanilla”. I applied only 1 spray since my skin projects crazy with it (will talk more about it later) and the Brazilian girl in the lobby was immediately hooked up.

She was sitting the whole night before going out next to me and giving me compliments about the fragrance and how it reminds her of her home.

Let’s just say, that night was crazy!! Moving on.

Life is short!! Be in control!!

3: How Should I Wear Fragrance/s?
Technique 1, Skin Type 2, Flavored Oils 3!
  1. Always Look To Perfect Your Spraying Technique

Find out which part of your body is most reactive to the perfume!

Try 3-4 sprays of your desired perfume on each individual pulse point and get a friend to smell you from your desired distance (up to 2 feet away) in order to determine which of your pulse points will project the scent better. Some pulse points you can try: ….

Imaage5ge.png

Layer the perfume!

In order to get the perfumes to last longer, you can layer it. Just spray multiple layers of the perfume on top of your desired pulse point to optimize the projection.

Spray and Layer on multiple pulse points!

For maximum projection, spray 3-4 layers on multiple pulse points and you will smell like a champ all day everyday!

Advanced: Mix up the Layers!

You can blend your own type of fragrance just by layering 2 different types of fragrances on top of each other. For example, if you find that Leathery Path is too strong for your liking and feel that it needs to be a little sweeter, you can add a few layering sprays of American Dream on top of it!

The possibilities are endless!

2. Remember, Not Every Type Of Perfume Will Stick To Your Skin!

Everyone has a different skin chemistry, something that might work for someone might not work for you! Keep that in mind and don’t be too quick to blame the product if it doesn’t stick!

3. Not All Flavored Oils Are Created Equal!

Every perfume is a mixture of an alcohol base and a blend of flavor oils!

Not all oils are the same, some flavor oils oxidize faster than the others, after oxidizing, they lose their aromatic properties. This is why perfumes smell different in the start and smell different when they enter into the dry-down stage. It is important to know that some oils (like citrus) will always oxidize faster than others (like woody and smokey). Always try the perfume on your skin and try to find out which one lasts!

4. Are Chez Pierre Perfumes Safe To Use On Skin?!

We at Chez Pierre only source quality ingredients from European and Arabic origins.

Our perfumes have all the required EU certificates certifying and complying to all Health and Safety standards.

In addition to that, our source ingredients comply with IFRA standards. The IFRA Standards are rigorously developed by designer fragrance houses and their various downline stakeholders so as to ensure that the consumers can enjoy certified fragrances with confidence without worries.

After all, we are a company registered in Europe (Serbia) and we ship from Serbia so we must comply with all EU regulations.

Because of the rigorous standards that we comply with, Chez Pierre fragrances are absolutely safe for your skin. We even encourage people to spray fragrances on neck and pulse spots and to avoid clothes.

Spraying on the clothes can actually leave stains and to be honest, no one wants that.

5: What Are Ratios and How Do I Pick Them?

A fragrance is usually a mix of a concentrate (containing fragrant oils) and an alcoholic base. Some fragrances can also contain a bit of water and additives like liquid UV filters, stabilizers or colorants. Therefore, fragrances with a higher fragrance concentration contain more perfume oils and less alcohol, and vice-versa.

Usually, a higher perfume oil concentration means an increased performance of the fragrance (particularly longer-lasting scent) – but the impact of oil concentration is much more complex and varies depending on each formula.

We use a mix of Eau de Toilette and pure perfume oil to create our “ratios”.

This means nothing to you? Yes I know so let’s keep it simple.

The main difference is the amount of perfume oil in the perfumes.

Here is an example of what most of the industry uses and what you might have seen in stores:

Icytrmage.png

Eau de Cologne (EDC) 3% – 10% oils

Eau de Toilette (EDT) 5% – 15% oils

Eau de Parfum (EDP) 15% – 20% oils

Parfum / Extrait 20% – 35% oils

Eau de Parfum (1:4) is the most common ratio you will find in stores, it’s not too oily and it stays on the skin for 4-8 hours depending on the fragrance, weather, and your skin. This is really important as every skin is different and absorbs fragrance differently. Fragrance cannot be the same on each skin as everybody is different. 2-3 sprays are enough to last thru the day.Extrait de Parfum (1:2) is a stronger version of the fragrance which contains almost double the amount of pure oil. Projection lasts from 4 to 12 hours but again as written above, many factors depend on it. We advise taking this ratio if your skin doesn’t hold the fragrance great. 1-2 sprays will be enough.

We think personally that EDC and EDT are too weak and therefore we don’t want to sell it.

We offer fragrances in EDP ratio (1:4) and Extrait ratio (1:2)The main difference is that we use 20% pure perfume oil for Eau de Parfum (1:4) and 35% for the Extrait de Parfum (1:2).

6: The 100$ Fragrance I Get In-Store Only Costs 2$ To Produce?

The cost to produce a ROLEX watch is actually only $500… Why are you paying $10,000 for it?! Marketing, Manipulation, and Mania!

Marketing, Manipulation, and Mania!

Market the product through all social media channels, influencers, physical billboards, and shopping malls! Make sure everyone’s eyeballs are on it. Put the products on thought leaders like celebrities, influencers, sports stars.

Manipulate by capping or reducing its supply!

How much does that fancy $100-a-bottle department store perfume you wear really cost to make? You will be surprised that the liquid in it is the cheapest part of the fragrance while everything else drives the price up

If perfumes were priced like sausages, they would cost about the same: roughly $2.50.

Your butcher will tell you that sausages, just like most consumer goods are priced using the

cost-plus approach. In other words, you add up the cost of making the product and mark it up to cover your overhead and your profit.

Why am I telling you this? Well in the fragrance world liquid costs only 2$ if you produce it in tones like big brands. Yes, you read it right, only 2$ for 50ml liquid.

Here is a rough table of how much it costs to make a “100$ fragrance”

Imkoge.png

We don’t have the purchasing power of a large designer brand. Hence, we can’t get volume discounts when buying ingredients. Volume drives the cost per unit down because it forms a bigger base over which the manufacturer can spread their fixed cost.

On the other hand that’s why we are here to offer an alternative to people. We cannot produce in large quantities like others but we are here to cut the middleman and other aspects in the cost by offering liquid that we created with our partners in France and by using the most basic bottle that is not expensive to source.

After all, everything was made by a family business that’s been doing it for almost 30 years!

7: How Is My Order Made and Do I Need To Mature My Perfumes After Receiving Them?

One thing people don’t know about us is that every order that you guys make is actually custom-made.

How you may ask?

Well, each fragrance is poured down and made once you place the order. The fragrance is “fresher” but it takes more time to dispatch the order.

We do it every day, nothing is pre-made and poured down, we don’t like doing that.

Maturation is a huge topic and it depends on so many things. First of all it depends how long has fragrance company held their creations before releasing and when it was mixed.Hot and cold temperature can make changes but so many things can happen during the transport and some perfumes can be too much exposed to the sun while transporting.

Chez Pierre’s fragrances in 99% of the time don’t need to maturate as we are always pushing them on the side to maturate before selling them.

If you receive a fragrance and you think it needs more time, keep it in a dark place and let it sit for some weeks/months testing them from time to time until the smell appeals to you.

8: Why Does The Perfume Smell Different From The Bottle vs On Paper vs On My Skin?

Imagine you are sitting down in your room with your friends (This never happened to me, I don’t have friends /s) and one of your friends is sweating more, the other has more pimples, one has softer skin while you have more fat or muscle under their skin.

Do you think fragrance will stay the same on everybody’s skin and will project the same?

Actually NO! Like the unique humans we are, we are all different and so is our skin.

Some fragrances project crazy good on one skin and smell wonderful, while on another skin it won’t smell the same.

This is the sad truth. I was so sad when I tested “Bakar”, It didn’t smell as how I had imagined it to be on my skin. I gave a fragrance to my friend to try it and it was a completely different story.

It was projecting 12+ hours and it smelled amazing.

We have to face it that not every fragrance will fit us.

That’s why when you smell the fragrance on the paper, it might not smell the same as on your skin.

Smelling the fragrance in its liquid form means smelling the oils suspended in alcohol. The oils are unable to oxidize fully while in the alcohol suspension and therefore when smelling it in its liquid form, the fragrance does not smell ‘full’.

This is why shops make you spray it on the tester strip paper as a baseline for smelling a fragrance.

9: Learn the words
Accord

The resulting aroma produced by independent notes interacting with one another.

Atomizer

The nozzle on a perfume bottle for spraying and applying.

Body spray

Even lighter than cologne, spritz a body spray all over to add just a touch of fragrance.

Blend

A term employed when referring to the way aromatic compounds are mixed for a harmonious fragrance.

Clone Houses

Perfume shops or companies that are only dedicated to producing perfumes that smell like those you can buy in large chain stores, usually at a cheaper price. Chez Pierre is a clone house actually. We make fragrances that smell similar to what you can find in the store but with our own touch.

Cologne

Cologne is a light, refreshing fragrance that you can splash all over your body. Since it’s so light, don’t expect it to linger.

Decant

A popular practice within the online fragrance community. An enthusiast will buy a large bottle of a premium fragrance then sell small 10 – 30 ml vials to other members in order to cover costs or make a small profit.

Designer Fragrances

A designer fragrance is usually a perfume or cologne scent created by famous designer/s whose name on the bottle almost guarantees that many will want to try it.

Dry-Down

The process of a fragrance cycling through its notes after being applied. It evaporates as it dries, which releases the aromas in a particular order according to their volatility. The overall experience is known as the “dry-down”.

Eau de parfum

This isn’t as concentrated as perfume, but it’s kind of like a perfume prep. Derived from pure perfume, eau de perfume’s formula is more concentrated with 15 to 20 pure essence. It lasts for around 4 to 5 hours.

Eau de toilette

Eau de toilette is a lightly scented fragrance with a lower concentration of fragrant oils than pure perfume.

Eau Fraîche

Literally “cool water”, eau fraîche was a predominantly feminine accessory until recently. With a concentration similar to aftershave, a spritz is supposed to provide light refreshment. Today, it is often used to label summer flanker releases for fragrances.

Essential Oil

A concentrated liquid that contains a volatile aroma compound extracted from plants through steam or distillation.

Extrait de parfum (pure perfume, perfume, parfum, parfum extrait or simply extract)

Extrait de parfum (always called pure perfume, perfume, parfum, parfum extrait or simply extract) is the strongest scent available on the market, so it usually comes in tiny bottles and is very expensive. Its high concentration makes it more valuable. Apply perfume to your pulse points.

Layering

The act of spraying multiple sprays of the same scent ontop of each other with the desire to make it project stronger off your skin.

Maturation

Maturation (always mistaken with maceration) is the time required for a perfume concentrate to age or reach its full potential before being put into a base.

Maceration

Maceration is the most commonly used method for removing the essential oils found in certain types of flowers (see “Floral” section in “How can I pick Perfect perfume for myself > The Main Scents) which are then used in perfumes and fragrances. This process happens by soaking flowers in warm fats and removing the oil. Once removed, it is then dissolved in alcohol so the extract of the floral oil can be used.

Niche Fragrances

Niche perfume is perfume made by companies dedicated primarily to creating perfume, as opposed to perfume from fashion houses (often called “designer perfume”) or famous people (“celebrity scents”).

Notes

The individual scents used in the oil portion of the perfume. Notes come together to form an Accord.

Over spray

The act of spraying more than 15++ sprays in multiple layers all round your body so as to maximize longevity, projection and sillage of a fragrance. Often used with weaker fragrances so as to make it last a whole day.

Perfume oil

Perfume or fragrance oils are the alcohol-free, all-natural types of perfume based on raw fragrant plant-derived ingredients.

Projection

The way a scent is able to diffuse in the air of the wearer’s body.

Pulse Points

Parts of your body where the pulse is readily distinguished at the location. Usually where an artery approaches the surface, making that spot a higher temperature than the rest of the body. The higher temperature heats up the oils when you spray on it and thus increases the projection.

Reformulate / Reformulations

This became so common in the fragrance world. Usually, after a few years of the release of the fragrance, the house decides that they need more money or IFRA decides to change the regulation of some substance and the house decides to change the formulation of the fragrance.

One of the most famous (and everybody hates it) is YSL La Nuit de L’homme reformulation. The

Fragrance before 2014 was one of the most interesting on the market but after reformulation, it’s not ‘it’ anymore. The sillage and longevity is not the same anymore.

Signature Scent

Everyone has their own signature scent. It’s the scent that everyone remembers when you pass by or enter the room. My personal signature scent is “Hint of Vanilla” as it projects so strong on my skin that the neighbor two streets away knows when I put the scent 😉

Sillage

Sillage in perfume refers to the trail created by a perfume when it is worn on the skin. A fragrance does not need to be a heavy one to have a large sillage. It is not to be confused with its ‘projection’ (how a fragrance is perceived by others around the wearer) and is enhanced by motion, ambient temperature as well as the inherent qualities of the skin.

Guide to Fragrances Part 2

Table of Content:

1: We are going to cover a lot of things today

  1. Is Fragrance Hobby Really Expensive?
  2. Why Does Everyone Talk About Tom Ford Fragrances
  3. I heard that there are Harmful Substances in clone Fragrances
  4. Reformulations and how Brands use it to Gain more

2: Fragrance Application and Layering

  1. Tips for Dry Skin
  2. Tips for People with Eczema and Skin Issues
  3. Using Moisturizers
  4. How to Apply Moisturizer
  5. How much Moisturizer should I use?
  6. When to Apply Moisturizer?
  7. How do I use a Face Serum with a Moisturizer?
  8. What goes First? Sunscreen or Moisturizer?
  9. Apply only Before You Leave the House, NOT after Showering.
  10. 2B: Layering Guide for Advanced Fragrance Guys and Gals
  11. Choosing some perfumes for Step 1: Base Scent
  12. Choosing some perfumes for Step 2: Freshie or Interesting Note
  13. Choosing some perfumes for Step 3: Enhancers
  14. Some Good Layer Recipes are:
  15. PERFECT FOR WINTER: Cool Winter in a Cigar Room
  16. PERFECT FOR AUTUMN: Look Ma! I Made a Cocktail!
  17. PERFECT FOR SPRING: Open Field with Grass and Flowers
  18. ALL SEASONS: CHERRY & LEATHER
  19. Behind The Curtain (BTC) : The Restock Process
  20. Behind The Curtain (BTC) : How do we Come up with Ideas for New Perfumes?
  21. How New Fragrances are Conceptualized
  22. How New Fragrances are Created
  23. Outro

Is Fragrance Hobby Really Expensive?

If you want to buy expensive clothes, and money is not an issue, you can buy Gucci, Prada, and D&G, including custom designs that were built to suit your own style. However, if you only want to use it as a daily wear , there are options like H&M, Zara, and Converse and within these brands, many different clothes exist. The market is huge and diverse.

This is the same for perfume. The hobby can be really expensive if you want to spend a lot and buy Niche (Like the Louis Vuitton of Fragrances, and other brands) or alternatively, you can buy New Balance fragrances. Will they both work? Yes. Will the cheaper one last as long? It can! Some customers report that some of our fragrances last even longer than the original.

Clone houses work to bridge the gap between the really high-end fragrances by using less expensive readily available ingredients in their formulations. The untrained will be unable to tell the difference, but a person who is crazy laser-focused can notice a slight difference.

Why Does Everyone Talk About Tom Ford Fragrances?

“Tom Ford fragrances are just a perfect example of a decent product with absolutely AMAZING marketing... Kinda like Apple products…” - Curtis Harris, 2022 (Fragrance Room by Chez Pierre Telegram)

Just like many things in the world of Luxury, marketing is key. Tom Ford fragrances is very good at marketing using influencers, celebrities and so on.This gets many people involved and interested in their product.

The fragrance blends that they have created are very different from the normal fragrance ‘dogma’ that the current industry has established. This differentiated approach makes their fragrance special and desirable as they stick out very differently from the sea of other “Adventus-Like” fragrances in the world.

Ultimately, if you are interested in TF fragrances, you have most likely got hit by their marketing and then realized that their fragrances are very different from the established norm.

I heard that there are Harmful Substances in clone Fragrances!

IFRA or the INTERNATIONAL FRAGRANCE ASSOCIATION (https://ifrafragrance.org/) publishes a list of substances in their international standards guide. Any fragrance house that has their fragrances lab tested will be able to apply for a Certificate of Conformity after paying a membership fee and the lab test fees.

https://ifrafragrance.org/safe-use/standards-documentation you can read more here.

The goal of these standards and certification models is for the perfume houses to not include any harmful substances inside their products. As our perfume-oil-making partner is located in France and operates in the EU, they are compliant in this regard to the IFRA certifications.

When IFRA revises their certifications, all the houses that used previously unclassified as Prohibited or Restricted substances will have to reformulate their perfumes and this is one of the main reasons why the perfumes smell different as the years go by and as more and more batches are made.

One country that does not participate in IFRA is China. Therefore, the producers of perfumes there are free to add any and or many 'banned' ingredients in their perfume concentrate. This is why you should only buy from trusted Chinese brands as random off-the-shelf perfumes are created with compounds that might or might not pose an issue to you and your environment.

Reformulations and how Brands use it to Gain More Money

Usually, when a perfumer formulates the original blend, there is a certain budget that the company allocated for the research and development of the product. In most cases, the perfumer (person who makes perfumes) will attempt to maximize the budget and there will be some very expensive ingredients added into it. Some expensive ingredients might include oils of natural origin instead of synthetic olls and certain chemical compounds of higher purity e.g. Ambroxide.

After the perfume launches, there is a market base for it formed, i.e. there are now paying customers for the product. The company usually sends it back to the R&D lab to swap out these expensive ingredients for cheaper ones to increase the profit margins on the product. The perfume industry is not the only one that does this, this is also a common occurrence for packaged foods.

This process of ‘sending it back into the R&D lab while keeping the scent as close as possible to the original’ is called a ‘reformulation’... whereby the perfume is re-formulated with new compounds and is no longer the ‘same recipe’ when compared to the previous batches.

Companies mainly do this for profits or to comply with an updated IFRA standard as the reformulation itself also costs money to research.

Another contributing factor that reformulations might happen is because the perfume house was sold to a larger Private Equity Firm (E.g. BlackRock Private Equity bought CREED) or a Large Cosmetic Producer Company (E.g. LVMH Group, Estee Lauder, etc) usually when that happens, the owners of the company jettison out with tads of money and the ‘elite management’ takes over with the sole purpose of maximizing profits which will then lead to a reformulation campaign to get more $$.

2: Fragrance Application and Layering

Tips for Dry Skin

As you age, your skin becomes naturally drier in condition because your skin retains less collagen.

For people with dry skin. It is recommended that you ‘seal’ your skin with an unscented moisturizer or Vaseline so that the perfume sticks better to your skin. This is because the perfume does not last very long on dry skin and therefore the smell will not last.

When we say “perfume sticking to your skin” it is about creating an ideal environment for the perfume oil to stay on your skin for a long time. The perfume oil is the one that makes the perfume’s scent, the alcohol is merely a carrier.

Tips for People with Eczema and Skin Issues

Using Moisturizers

A moisturizer, or emollient, is a cosmetic preparation used for protecting, moisturizing, and lubricating the skin. These functions are normally performed by sebum produced by healthy skin.

- Wikipedia

Face cream works to moisturize the epidermis, creating a protective moisture barrier to shield skin from environmental stressors and lock in essential hydration. Knowing when and how to apply moisturizer correctly will help to keep skin hydrated and protected throughout the day.

How to Apply Moisturizer

A heavy-handed application can cause damage to the skin and premature aging. Applying moisturizer isn’t simply rubbing it into your skin! Follow these steps to be sure to correctly apply the moisturizer on your skin and sensitive parts:

  1. Dispense the moisturizer onto the tips of your fingers, then gently rub your hands together to warm up the product and allow for an easy application.
  2. Gently smooth the moisturizer over your cheeks, sweeping from the nose outwards.
  3. Apply onto the forehead, working from the top of the brows towards the temples.
  4. Sweep along the jawline working from the chin to the ears.
  5. Use gentle circular and patting motions to absorb into the skin.
  6. Apply to the neck in upward strokes, working from the decolletage to the chin. Again, do this gently to avoid pulling or tugging on the skin.

How much Moisturizer should I use?

Applying the right amount of moisturizer is key to maintaining healthy skin. Using too much could clog the pores and cause congestion, while using too little can leave skin feeling dry and tight. A pea-sized amount should be enough to cover the face and neck.

If the skin still feels dry consider applying a hyaluronic acid serum first.

When to Apply Moisturizer?

A moisturizer should be applied as part of your daily skincare routine after cleansing, toning and using serum, but before SPF and makeup. The correct order in which to apply skincare should be:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Serum
  4. Eye cream
  5. Moisturizer
  6. SPF

How do I use a Face Serum with a Moisturizer?

While a good skincare routine should include both a face serum and cream, serum should always be applied before moisturizer.

A serum is designed to penetrate the skin’s surface layer and target the appearance of damage. Applying serum after moisturizer would prevent the ingredients in the serum from penetrating into the skin’s surface, as moisturizer creates a barrier over the skin. However, applying moisturizer on top of the serum helps to lock in its key ingredients.

What goes First? Sunscreen or Moisturizer?

Sunscreen should always be applied after moisturizer, allowing your face cream to draw moisture into the skin and the sunscreen to best protect the skin from UV damage. Applying these skincare essentials the other way would severely diminish their effectiveness.

Apply only Before You Leave the House, NOT after Showering

After you shower, your body temperature tends to be quite high. This is actually quite bad for perfume application, as if the heat is high, the oils will ‘oxidize’ faster and burn through their life cycle quickly. Therefore, because the perfume decays the moment you spray it, you should only aim to spray right before you go out of your house. This will ensure that you maximize the longevity of the perfume and not ‘waste’ it as you are doing your prep work before leaving the house.

Ideally, you should seal off any dry skin with an unscented moisturizer or Vaseline, and leave it to sit for about 1.5 minutes before applying your Fragrance Layers. This will ensure that your perfume has the longest longevity and enable you to stretch your dollar to its maximum with little to no resprays.

2: Layering Guide for Advanced Fragrance Guys and Gals

When you have mastered your technique for spraying and are confident that you now understand which perfumes you like and the nature of the perfumes on your skin, you can embark on the brave journey of creating and layering your signature scent.

There is no end goal in this process of mixing and discovery, much like cocktails, perfumes can also be mixed and layered to bring out the best of each different perfume.

A simple guide would be:

  1. Choosing a Base Scent
  2. Adding a Freshie or an Interesting Note
  3. Adding an Enhancer

Choosing some perfumes for Step 1: Base Scent

Some good base layers are:

  1. Replica: Jazz Club / Chez Name: Smooth Jazz (Sharp Whiskey, Strong Tobacco)
  2. Prada L'Homme / Chez Name: Holiday (Powdery and Iris, Strong projection)
  3. Ombre Leather / Chez Name: Existation (Tobacco— Strong, Leather)
  4. Armani Code / Chez Name: Victory (Light Tobacco, Semi Strong Vanilla)

Choosing some perfumes for Step 2: Freshie or Interesting Note

Some good top layers are:

  1. Explorer / Chez Name: Traveller (Basically Aventus but More Citrusy)
  2. Aqua Di Gio / Chez Name: Aquaman (Light woods, Aqua and Citrus)
  3. L'immensite / Chez Name: Serenity (Grapefruit and Sweet)
  4. Baccarat Rouge 540 / Chez Name: Bakar (Amber and Sweet Saffron)

Choosing some perfumes for Step 3: Enhancers

Some good enhancing layers are:

  1. ISO-E Super / Molecule 01 / Chez Name: Galaxy (More Sillage)
  2. Ambroxan / Molecule 02 / Chez Name: TBA

Some Good Layer Recipes are:

All 1:2 Unless stated otherwise. If you want to layer**, please use all the same concentrations.**

PERFECT FOR WINTER: Cool Winter in a Cigar Room

[ BASE ] + [ INTERESTING NOTE ] + [ ENHANCER ]

  • Base - 2x SPRAYS Ombre Leather / Chez Name: Existation (Tobacco— Strong, Leather)
  • Top - 4x SPRAYS L'immensite / Chez Name: Serenity (Grapefruit and Sweet)
  • Enh - 1x Spray Molecule 01 / Chez Name: Galaxy

Rest 20 seconds between each layer**.**

It’s a very rich leathery tobacco fragrance but toned down with sweetness from the top note. Lasts very long because Ombre Leather lasts super long on the skin.

Very good winter fragrance. It will remind you of you being in a cigar room, sitting on a posh leather chair, while sipping on a bitter grapefruit + sweet lemon cocktail. The ambroxan in L'immensite will help in the projection of both the base and top notes.

When people hug you in the winter, they want more of it because it smells different from anything off the shelf!

PERFECT FOR AUTUMN: Look Ma! I Made a Cocktail!

[ BASE ] + [ INTERESTING NOTE ] + [ ENHANCER ]

  • Base - 1x SPRAYS Replica: Jazz Club / Chez Name: Smooth Jazz (Sharp Whiskey, Strong tobacco)
  • Top - 2x SPRAYS Baccarat Rouge 540 / Chez Name: Bakar (Amber and Sweet saffron)
  • Enh - 1x SPRAY Molecule 01 / Chez Name: Galaxy

Rest 10 seconds between ‘Top’ and ‘Enh’ Layer.

Holy crap, if you know what a saffron gin & tonic smells like, this smells exactly like it.

The amber and the saffron of Baccarat Rouge 540, cut away the spiciness of the whiskey note in Jazz Club. What remains is an extremely pleasant mildly alcoholic-tobacco note and an extremely nice amber and cotton candy smell. This combination elevates Baccarat Rouge 540 to the next level.

Perfect for autumn.

PERFECT FOR SPRING: Open Field with Grass and Flowers

[ BASE ] + [ INTERESTING NOTE ] + [ ENHANCER ]

  • Base - 4x SPRAYS Chloe Eau de Parfum / Chez Name: Flower Dream (Sweet, Flowery, Fragrant, Lady Like)
  • Top - 2x SPRAYS Green Irish Tweed / Chez Name: Irishman Power (Ozonic, Green, Grassy, Bitter)
  • Enh - 1x SPRAY Molecule 01 / Chez Name: Galaxy

Rest 10 seconds between ‘Top’ and ‘Enh’ Layer.

What do you imagine you will smell when you see an entire field of grass and white florals, with the wind blowing through the entire field, bringing that scent towards you?

Creed’s Green Irish Tweed (Chez Name: Irishman Power) is a very green fragrance and it really smells like a grass field with an ozonic bitterish smell in the base notes. Many people call it the “old rich man’s scent” and it is a very ‘Green’ fragrance.

Using Green Irish Tweed (Chez Name: Irishman Power) on its own when you are in your 20s or 30s might be too much, and makes you smell too mature. However, pairing it with a ladies' white flora perfume, it creates a very complex, more youthful fragrance and is extremely delightful smelling with the florals lingering in the background - perfect for spring or early summer!

*I find that this is better if you rub the 2 layers of oils into a single layer after you spray it on your skin.

You can change up the ‘BASE’ layer with any sweet smelling ladies’ perfume and the smell immediately transforms, a very interesting combination. If you want something that's not citrus based or smells like Dior Sauvage or Versace Eros go ahead and try it!

Do let us know the results in the Telegram Group!

Some other Perfumes that are good as the base are:

Coco Mademoiselle / Chez Name: Madam Feather

Gabrielle / Chez Name: Flower Box

ALL SEASONS: CHERRY & LEATHER // Contributed by Curtis Harris - our telegram member

[ BASE ] + [ INTERESTING NOTE ] + [ ENHANCER ]

  • Base - 2x SPRAYS Tom Ford Tuscan Leather / Chez Name: Leathery Path (Sharp Primal Leather, Hints of Raspberry, Amber wood, Jasmine, and Spice)
  • Top - 1x SPRAYS Tom Ford Lost Cherry / Chez Name: Fiction (Black Cherry Liqueur, Bitter Almond, Hints of Sandalwood, Vetiver and Cedar)

Now obviously Tuscan Leather is one of the jewels in Tom Ford's private blend. The top Raspberry note is absolutely gorgeous and unique for a Leather fragrance and the fact that it's not too overdone to the point where it's overwhelming is great from an olfactory perspective.

But one thing I've noticed about it is that in the dry down (maybe it's just my skin) it tends to develop into a nondescript berry mess which can at times come off as a tad artificial.

I think adding the Lost Cherry gives the overall fragrance journey a bit more complexity. Because of the almond and tonka bean notes in the Lost Cherry, the dry down has a much more creamy smell to it and I think the booziness of the Lost Cherry compliments the leathery smokiness of Tuscan Leather very well.

Tuscan Leather is obviously more geared toward your winter or fall seasons but by adding Lost Cherry I think it gives it a certain playfulness and depth which would work well in any season.

Just bear in mind though that Tuscan Leather is naturally overpowering, so if you choose to use this in a warmer season I would recommend going a bit lighter with the Tuscan Leather and heavier with the Lost Cherry.

And obviously, I don't think it needs to be said but this isn't really a combination to wear to the gym or to a club. The perfect combination for a date or for the office though.

PERFECT FOR SUMMER: BLUE TRAVELLER 550

[ BASE ] + [ INTERESTING NOTE ] (MIXING)

  • 50% Bleu de Chanel / Chez Name: Blue Chance 1:2
  • 50% Mont Blanc Explorer / Chez Name: Traveller 1:2

*This requires MIXING!

The results are actually pretty amazing!

If you don’t know, Mont Blanc Explorer is actually a clone of Creed’s Aventus. Just with some notes more pronounced than the other notes.

Somehow I can't get Traveller to stick to my skin and because of that, it lasts for only about 3 hours. But after mixing it sticks to me for over 7 hours!

The smell base is very Blue and the Pineapple + Apple in Traveller (Mont Blanc Explorer) forms the middle and top notes. Very pleasant fragrance and I won't get burnt at the stake for wearing it.

Behind The Curtain (BTC) : The Restock Process

Our partner in France which we dub ‘the factory’ is a company that produces and develops custom fragrances based on customer requirements. All the fragrance base oils they create are IFRA or INTERNATIONAL FRAGRANCE ASSOCIATION certified.

This company hires many perfumers (Ghost Perfumers) and they take on projects from various organizations that require fragrance oils. Some of these organizations that you might never think of are private banks, shopping malls, and hotels as they use these oils in their air conditioning duct systems so as to project a certain scent as you walk through the door. Other companies are those that produce cosmetics, soaps, air freshener aerosol sprays, and even laundry detergents!

Because the oil base we use which forms the scent is IFRA certified, our perfumes that use this oil base contain only IFRA-certified ingredients.

We order their minimum order quantity (MOQ) of base perfume oils from ‘the factory’ and after they are prepared in France, they will be shipped to us in Serbia in large industrial-sized containers.

After inspecting the quality of the batch and physically inspecting all the oils, we use our special formula to make the final product and leave it to mature in special conditions. Every scent has a different maturation time and that is why we say that you do not need to maturate our perfumes if you think the scent is to your liking.

When the fragrance are maturated, we update the website in order to take in orders again. The final products you order have their ingredient bases from France and are handmade and bottled with love by us in Serbia.

Behind The Curtain (BTC) : How do we Come up with Ideas for New Perfumes?

How New Fragrances are Conceptualized

We have a few ways to decide which Fragrances we want to add to our list next.

The first method is from our Community - YOU GUYS!

One of our fabulous members (Credit: TerpeneFarmer) came up with a very productive way to do it:

https://poll.ly/3swUnaah8Ep9L6OH5IZv

How New Fragrances are Created

After we have conceptualized the Fragrance/s, we will create a development project with our partner in France. In a few weeks or a few months after the project is created, they will provide us with a small batch sample which we mix in our Lab in Serbia.

Our internal development team will check the quality and come up with the ratio needed to make the final product. The final prototype products are firstly given out to our internal staff members and then are either given out in our current orders or to customers that have ordered with us before. After letting them exist with their users for about a month so that they can use it, we will gather feedback and continue the development of the final-final product.

Written by Chez Pierre from https://shop.chezpierre.rs/