Francis Kurkdjian perfumes

This is  PSA – never use Vonage – Vonage sucks.  Somehow they sneaked in, and I may have just missed it, a two-year agreement for their service, which they charge a $49.99 early cancellation fee for. That’s not even the worst of it.  The sound quality was always bad, sounded like I was in a well, people would ask me to stop talking on that phone, so I just quit using it and never bothered to cancel it.  That’s my bad.  Finally decided it was ridiculous to keep paying for something I didn’t use or want, so I went online to cancel it.  Oh, no, you can’t do that. You can set up service, add lines, upgrade service, everything can be done online except cancel.  Fine, I’ll call them.  Well, you can’t call them at night or on the weekend, you have to call them M-F 8-5.  You know, I have a lot of real work to be done then, so I kept putting it off. Finally called them, irritated that I had to do it this way, and they then reveal the true purpose of making you call — trying to keep you as a customer, asking you questions, quizzing you on why you don’t want their service, would you stay if they gave you a discount. My final response was stop asking me these questions because at this point they all have the same answer – I’m canceling, and I won’t change my mind simply because your cancelation hoops are draconian and ridiculous. Then he told me to dispute the charges, I needed to- hold your laughter – write a letter.  This is an internet company that provides VOIP, all their business is done online except, of course, cancelling your account and disputing charges. For those complicated, weighty matters, you have to phone and write a letter and put it in the mail.  JM&J.

I hate them, srsly.  I lost an hour of my life that I’ll never get back speaking to supervisors to try and not have to pay the $49.99 and telling them why they should let people cancel service online.

Hey, let’s talk about something else, like a brand new line of perfumes from Francis Kurkdjian (is this pronounced kourjaun?  I think that’s the way I’ve seen it, but my mind always sticks every time I read the name.

He has three colognes, and the most interesting on the surface of the three, or at least that I think you guys will get all wiggly about is the Pour le Soir.  Yes, it is light, it is a cologne, and it has notes of Infusion of Benzoin from Siam, Bulgarian and Iranian Rose Honey and Incense absolute.  Now, I’m not sure if it’s rose or honey or a honey rose?  These are just the notes Neiman Marcus provided. The colognes have that vat price tag of $195 for 6.8 ounces.  The price per ml is reasonable, just the quantity is a little excessive.  But whatever.  This is cuddly and snuggly incense.  There’s nothing terribly complicated about it, but the simplicity renders it simply perfect.  I want this in a room spray, candle and bed linen spray and bubble bath. Shower gel too and maybe a soap. I want my whole home to smell like this.

My grandpa Walter was this incredibly quiet, gentle, peaceful man. He was sick from the time I can remember him, he had emphysema, so he didn’t move around a lot because it made him cough.  Despite all that, he just radiated comfort and kindness.  He had those metal lawn chairs on the front porch, the ones that you could rock or sorta bounce in, and I loved sitting with him on the front porch and saying nothing, just being with him.  The peacefulness that surrounded him was a bubble I never wanted to leave.  Pour Le Soir is that kind of bubble. Warm, honeyed comfort, the way you want all of your sweaters to smell.  Yeah, I know, I’ll stop, I’m just oozing love for this.

For a cologne, it does have a nice hang time.  It’s not really lengthy, but it softens so beautifully even as it weakens that you don’t really even care, the fade on this is like that lovely dream that you can barely remember in the morning, but you just keep trying to hang onto the wisps.

Well, that went on for a while. I had intended to review another of his scents, but this will get long fast, so will stop there.  I am loving unfurling these seven scents of his, though, it’s like digging around in an old trunk of your aunt’s and finding the coolest things you forgot about or didn’t even know you needed.

I think what I’ll do on these is each post where I review them, until I get done, I’ll draw out one name to get a sample set of all seven scents.  Let’s see, you can just say hi in comments if you like or you can tell me the most frustrating company you’ve ever had to deal with and why nobody should ever give them any business.

124 Comments

  1. Hi I’d love to try them all!!! please enter me in the draw, and for the nightmare tales once I bought a ticket in orbitz and got insurance as well, so the date that I schedule my trip I have to serve in a postponed jury duty so there was no way out that time, I call to let them know that there was a possibility of my jury duty to be extended for more than a day and I wanted to cancel my ticket using the insurance that I bought but they told me that I have to be sure that I had to serve for more than one day and call them if so ,but the policy said that you have to let them know 48 hours in advance…so I have to cancel my trip without using the insurance ($59 lost there, because of never reading the small letters) and they told me to cancel it and when wanting to reschedule my trip just to pay $100 as a fine, and a couple of months later I called them, and they told me that my ticket was lost, and that the info that they gave me about the rescheduling was wrong…:(( what a nightmare, and after a long time complaining and complaining they refunded the ticket.:)>-

    • I don’t know if Expedia still does this, but they used to charge you a “cancellation fee” if you booked a hotel and then canceled it. They did that to me exactly once for a hotel in NYC, which was expensive to begin with, for several night, pocketed $100 or more for doing basically nothing. I’ll never book with them again.

  2. Last Valentines day I thought I’d treat myself to a expensive bottle of perfume that my husband wouldn’t know to get for me.I ordered a bottle of Shalini from Aedes it arrived broken and empty.I contacted them and they were very nice and sent a ups label to return the broken bottle which I did.The next bottle they sent was broken also.I was so disappointed I called them and the SA sounded like he didn’t really believe me but told he’d send ups to pick up the broken bottle and get back to me.Well I checked back with them to see what they planned to do as that perfume cost $200.00 dollars.I even emailed the Shalini store to ask if they knew why these bottles arrived broken but the Shalini store never returned my email.I had to summit a claim with my credit card company to get a refund, because Aedes claimed they had experts examine the bottles and they were tampered with.I’m a perfume addict and my collection cost thousands of dollars so I have no need to cheat anyone out of their perfume.I had ordered bottles of perfume from Aedes before with no problem and the packages were well packed I have no idea why they both arrived broken, but it was alot of writing and hassle to finally get my money back from the credit card.And I love the perfumes Aedes sells but that ruined my relationship with them.That’s the 1st and olny time I’ve had to file a credit card dispute, what a nusiance.So I feel your pain

    • That’s so bizarre. Was this the refill bottle? I’ve gotten the big Lalique bottle from them before, and it’s packed really well.

      It’s a shame, though.

      • No it wasn’t a refill it was a .34oz parfume I think it had a stopper top not a spray.Never got that perfume,both of those bottles were broken and empty not even a drop.They are the olny store that sells it, guess it wasn’t meant to be.Please enter me in the draw.Thanks!

  3. Totally sympathise with you, and have indeed been in your shoes on more than one occasion. You just want to throw something at your computer, or scream, or have a tantrum. But no, we’re all adults and we take a deep breath (and maybe spritz ourselves with something lovely) and get on with it. Like you did…

    • Well, I sorta did get angry. I never scream, I just point out how illogical they’re being in requesting that I write a letter to them when I’m talking to them on the phone already. But these guys are masters at following the script, and vonage has a script for them, even supervisors, and they won’t deviate. So basically you can’t win in the short run except to make sure people know what a crappy company they are to deal with when you have problems.

  4. As far as I can remember, only two companies have ever reduced me to a screaming, swearing banshee: Sprint (residential service) and Southern CT Gas. Complete incompetence masked by a thin veneer of apparent professionalism, so you *think* they’ve fixed the problem, but instead they’ve sneakily cocked it up even worse. Then to top it off, they insinuate that *you’re* the problem.

    Ugh, I’m getting worked up just thinking about it — please enter me in the drawing to be transported to warm snuggly incense-land, and thank you!

    • OMG, I’ve had some of those! And they’re SOOOOO nice about it! Yes, ma’am, we’ve got the problem fixed, we know what it is now, your service will be working properly in 24 hours, just to find out the next day that you now have no service at all or something even more ridiculous.

  5. Well let’s see, there’s Boingo. That auto enrolled me for a monthly plan when I was just trying to do that one time airport deal but they let me outta jail pretty easy once I remembered to follow up.

    Right now I’m in a 2 month long argument with my insurance, my dr’s office & a hospital lab because my lab work got sent in with the wrong code or something & as a result I’m being billed $399 for an outpatient procedure instead of $30 copay for bloods drawn in a dr office. It’s no one’s fault, no one is responsible, round & round we go & if it goes to collection it’s my damn credit that suffers.

    Sure … would love to sniff these ….. thanks for giving us space to vent 🙂

    • You’re welcome! I figure if I’m going to vent a little, y’all probably need a place to trash the company you hate the most. 🙂 Plus I get to learn what companies to avoid.

  6. I would love to sniff these. And, I want some of his bubbles, too.

    I know that I have horror stories, but I have forgotten them to protect myself from late-night anguish….

  7. Two words: Adelphia Cable. They seemed to think that the fact that they had nearly weekly service outages were something that I was hopelessly crass to mention, and were most likely something I caused. Time Warner is in comparison a breeze.

    But the one that still chills me is the Mass DMV. They managed to suspend my drivers license for non-payment of the excise (registration) tax on a car that I had sold in college and managed not to send notice of either the tax or the suspension to my parents house. I only found out after I went in to renew the damned thing, AFTER I’d driven for THREE YEARS and across country at least once. I can still remember the passive-aggressive, mulish, double-digit IQ attitude of the man behind the counter, clearly enjoying his three minutes of power and taking the fact that he never, under any circumstances will have unpaid sex with any living human in his life out on my 24 year old self. >:)

    • Oh, the DMV. Do they go to school to master that look and voice that tells you how insignifcant you are in their world? I need to go change the name on my driver’s license, and I can’t bring myself to do it. I just hurts me to think about walking in there and facing the Joe vs. the Volcano grayville.

    • Tom honey, how awful. My husband almost “talked himself out of getting a passport” in Chicago according to that employee’s gum-popping, dead-eyed soul twin. The offense? Asking her to please accept his dead mother’s birth certificate as legitimate, even though it had a tiny rip in the corner that had been mended by tape — a rip that didn’t detach a piece and wasn’t where there was writing of any kind. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and I guess that doesn’t exist anymore.

      Of course, it took me FOUR managers to get my I.D. card in the CA DMV when we moved back — because my passport had not been issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security. I patiently explained that there had not been such a Dept. in 2000. It took FOUR managers to grudgingly approve it.

  8. I had surgery two years ago: my insurance company refused to pay $1,000.00 of covered charges and kept insisting the charges were for “behavioral health.” AKA drug abuse or mental problems. They stuck to their guns despite my having the hospital send them a copy of the charges showing they were surgery related. I paid to avoid a ding on my credit and am still pissed.

    Love to have something to sniff!

    • isn’t that the most annoying? They threaten your credit if you don’t pay, and there’s nothing you can do about it. I didn’t want to pay vonage, but I knew if I didn’t, they’d eventually turn it over to collection, and it would easily cost me far more in agita down the line than the $100 I paid them to make them go away.

      Sucks. And they know it, but I will never again sign a contract with any company that won’t let me cancel online.

  9. Ooh, Pour le Soir sounds fabulous – want to split a vat? :d

    Let’s see, the most frustrating company to deal with lately has been Aetna health insurance. My husband and I switched to it right before I had a baby earlier this year, and they seem to decline every other claim for no apparent reason the first time it’s submitted. They always accept it the second or third time around, but by then the doctor’s office is sending me 30/60/90 day late payment fines because Aetna has taken so long to pay them, and so I have to fax requests for late fee compensation to Aetna, which they also take their sweet time acknowledging. HATE. It wouldn’t be so bad if this hadn’t turned into the Year of a Million Doctor’s Office Visits, but good lord.

    • I ditched my maternity rider after Baby #2 was born and IUD put in place… a year later I was saying to my husband, “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was pregnant.” OOPS! 😮 Had to jump through all kinds of hoops to arrange payment options for #3, and then the hospital billing conveniently “lost” their written agreement to only charge me the “allowed charge” amount. Funny thing, when I wrote a letter reminding them of the agreement and saying that they were welcome to take it up with my lawyer, they “found” their document.

    • Those vats! On this one, though, it’s one of the few vats I think I could use up, just spraying it around the house and on my bed sheets and in the dryer and on the dogs. I don’t think the dogs would mind?

      Insurance companies, I just can’t with them. I switched my coverage at work to the high deductible plan with the HSA, and my life has been some uncomplicated since then. I worry about paying the first 2k, which is usually the only thing I have to pay in a year, I pay next to nothing for the coverage, and I stick a couple hundred a month in my HSA to pay for all the routine things, tax free, and I take care of them with that. No hassles, no forms, no reimbursements. Sweet, sweet freedom.

  10. Please put me in, i would love to try these!

    Bad customer service experience? Let me count the ways. They are legion, but one of the worst has to do with the takeover of Washington Mutual Bank by Chase, who then informed me that all my credit account history would be wiped out permanently shortly after the change & if I wanted to keep my statements I would have to go online & print them all out myself. They changed the Web site so I could no longer access the prior account, and they also decided to raise my rates into the bargain, just because. Needless to say I no longer have a relationship with WaMu/Chase, because I like to be kissed first. They can go kiss something else.:d

    • Chase sucks, period. I agree. My mortgage got sold to them, and they’ve been okay so far, but my rate is 30-year, so they can’t screw me on that. But I had a credit card with them years ago that they just arbitrarily raised the rate on, I called to protest, they said they wouldn’t do anything about it, so I canceled it on the spot, only to have them send me mail every week asking me to reconsider and open it back up again. I’m like, no, srsly. I was a great customer, no problems, and they just raise my rate? Hey, I’d hate to see how they treat bad customers.

  11. please enter me in the drawing. here in germany every contract/membership you ever sign/up for will be auto-renewed for eternity unless you submit a cancellation request 3 months in advance in writing. my 6-month gym contract was renewed for 3 years because I never got the 3-month ‘change window’ right.

  12. Please do enter me in the drawing–it sounds fabulous, you write it so lovingly, it’s irresistible.

    My two most hateful companies: (Recently) Aetna Health Insurance, who is trying to tell my husband that his rotator cuff injury should be workman’s comp–although every record since the beginning of time said he tripped over the cat. As he owns the business, workman’s comp would be the same as denying the claim. Clever, no?

    (Not so recently). I used to have Verizon for both land line and cell phone. They charged me $200 for a cell call I could not have made, as I was on the landline at the time, and could prove it.

    Verizon said “one of the kids” could have been using the cell phone. Not likely, the “kids” are long out of the house. After days of backing and forthing, the Verizon VP (I’d crawled up the ladder of CSR by then) said, “Verizon doesn’t make mistakes,” and added that I had better pay the bill or there would be bigger trouble. I happily paid to end the service contract, and lived happily ever after.

    • Sometimes the payment to make them go away is worth it. And I never can figure out why that’s acceptable to them. I mean, it looks like they just lose one customer, but that customer usually tells all their friends/family about it in perpetuity, and it usually costs them 10-100 customers over the life of the former customer’s pisstivity, or more, depending on if they have a blog or not. 🙂

      I mean, yeah, you can’t make every customer happy, but usually if you just compromise a little, you can generate enough good will that they can forget that they hate you.

    • QuinnCreative, explain to the Aetna adjuster that you will write to the Department of Insurance unless they reexamine the claim with an eye toward the tripping-over-the-cat thing. And then do it.

  13. whoohoo…so many “i want to hit something” situations
    i used to fight with all my might but now i don’t have the energy for negative stuff…so, i just try to let these things slip and try to enjoy something else for the moment!!! like doodling or sniffing…
    what a great feeling u must have had from ur grampa…it must have been so hard for him to live with such a chronic illness…i am so happy for u that u had such good feelings from him
    the fumes…well i am a little turned off by the u-tube celebrity clip of him and the whole marketing thing..he is a “celebrity Perfumer” so his frags will really have to be special to knowk me over.
    did u prefer this to the VCandA exclusifs?

    • I used to be a lot worse. Normally I’m a great customer, I totally get how hard customer service is, so I cut them a lot of slack, but as soon as I get a robot on the phone that is just reading from the script, I can’t help myself. I never yell. But once it’s over, I vent once, and then I’m done.

      You know, I haven’t spent enough time with all of the scents, just slowly going through them. They are different than the VC&A, so I can’t even compare them. VC&A had notes as the theme they built around. FK is doing something completely different. I like them both.

  14. Not going to talk about horrible experiences and get my tension up…

    As for Francis, his name is pronounced “Kurr-djahn” (with the “j” as in the German “Ja” and the “ahn” à la française, kind of stopping short on the “n”).
    The Cologne pour le Soir I think will come up a winner in his line, it’s very easy to love, a little like Bois d’Arménie (which is Menardo, not Francis K., despite his partnership with Papiers d’Arménie).

    • Good plan.

      I can’t say that! I keep trying to, and my mouth won’t wrap around it right.

      Agree, it is easy to love. I’m anxious to get to the others, too.

  15. Cell phone companies, banks and medical insurance – don’t get me started.
    My hatred for private health insurance companies – and it doesn’t matter which one it is – is beyond words. You all know what I’m talking about, so I’ll stop right there.

    If I allow myself to think about corporate greed and legalized abuses for more than 20 seconds, I’ll erupt into a mouth foaming rage. Since I already have a touch of insomnia tonight, I’m breathing away my hostile feelings.

    Thank you for describing your lovely Grandpa Walter. He sounds like a living saint. There ARE people whose gift it is to soothe and restore others. I have known quite a few, and it is marvel every time I encounter one.

    Pour le Soir sounds wonderful, and I’d love to try it. A comfort scent can do a little bit of that magic, too.

    • I totally understand, Margot. As I said above, that’s why I switched to the high deductible/HSA plan. I don’t normally ever have to deal with insurance companies now, and life is better that way. I’d far rather pay out the less than 1k a year myself, it takes all the pain out of it. I know what my mom goes through with Medicare (is that the SS one?), and it’s just as bad or worse.

      • Medicare can be a challenge to wade through, but it’s a super safety net for seniors with little income.
        Your high deductible/HSA strategy is a good one…I’m looking into it!

  16. Hi,
    My last encounter of the third kind was with Paypal – I bought a bottle of Amouage Homage on Ebay, be assured it was fairly expensive, and when it arrived out of the flacon came the aroma of camel-dung instead of roses. The seller did not react and I filed a case against her with Paypal. They closed the case against me immediately argumenting a) It was an Amouage Homage flacon and box b) the glassbottle was not damaged and full and: -killer-c) customer must accept minor differences. I really loved them for that.
    Be warned against buying Homage unsniffed – that scent really is unstable! And if you have it do put it in the fridge and keep it there.
    I’d love to be entered in the draw.
    Best, Andrea

    • Wow, I had no idea it was unstable. I’ve had a few bottles, and they’ve all been the same. Was it sealed?

      • Hi Patty,
        no, it wasn’t. Probably was out in heat and light. I found a thread somewhere (where…?) with a discussion of the scent’s high fragility. Anyway. Cowdung. Really a put-off. I’d still love to smell the intact scent, though. Hard to find hereabouts.
        Best, Andrea

  17. Oh dear, like Denyse I think I’d better keep my frustrations about bad service to myself. Don’t want to put myself in a snit for the rest of the day! I feel your pain. It isn’t so much the money as the howling frustration.

    The new line by the Man with the Unpronounceable Name does sound delightful, I must say, and I’m anxious to try it. The candles and home fragrances sound enticing. Two of my (male)friends went to Paris for the YSL/Berge sale viewing and ended up at a dinner sitting next to Monsieur K. They thought he was gorgeous.

    • Exactly. I never really care about the money part of it, it’s just the pain they put you through to try and tell them how unreasonable they’re being. YOU usually wind up losing, though I usually have at least a 50% or better success rate on this stuff, but the hour or two hours of pain just makes me hurt. Then they suggested to me that I should spend time with their technical support, as if I really wanted to be on the phone more with them.

      Has anyone in the UK picked up his line yet? Harrod’s? You do need to sniff them. I think either the Lumiere Noire or the APOM may be one you’ll like. I think FK is gorgeous too, and I’d love to meet him.

  18. Hmm… a cologne that smells like incense? That’s new, right? I thought most colognes were dominated by citrus and spice?

    I would love to try these. Please do enter me. I have no hope of ever smelling them in person (darn small towns!)

    • I think the cologne for him just refers to the strength. But, yeah, colognes tend to be citrus. This is just a lighter version of incense, which I was worried would be weak and horrible, but he just renders it cuddly as could be. It’s beautifully done.

  19. Just as others before me, I am choosing not to relive the frustrating battles as it is too early to get angry all over again. Besides which, how to choose which enemy to “out”? But I would love to be in the drawing for some smell good happiness!

  20. PayPal /Ebay for me: sold something to a buyer in Germany who left me positive feedback praising the speedy delivery. A few weeks later out of the blue PayPal writes to me saying that the same buyer is now claiming non receipt and wants a refund. I had proof of postage + the feedback of this buyer (who in the meantime had closed her ebay account) but the only thing that counted would have been postage trackable online and mine wasn’t. Anyway, after endless emails (impossible to speak to anyone there), I had to let them give this cow her money back or my PayPal account would be blocked. It wasn’t a huge sum but I was FURIOUS. :((

    I’d love a set of these babies, please ! I hear Liberty will be stocking them in London towards the end of this month. FK himself due to appear on 22/10.

    • Oh, yeah. You can’t win international claimes anywhere, with Paypal or your cc company. If you can’t produce a trackable receipt, the customer gets their money back, end of story. I mean, I understand it on one level, but that’s why international rates for shipping go so high because all companies have to send it trackable for larger purchases. Because you’re basically depending on the customer to be honest.

      Oh, Liberty! I love that store. I could live there, really.

  21. I don’t know if you’ve already seen this, but in case you haven’t both Helg @ Perfume Shrine and Robin at Now Smell This posted the video of the interview with Monsieur K. The interviewer had a lot of fun with his bubbles!

    Great review, and I was just thinking how much I wanted to try his scents as I opened my email from TPC before reading this!

  22. For me it was Verizon DSL. Calling customer service was always like a black hole – you could get in but you could never get out. I say this in past tense cause we no longer deal with Verizon DSL…thankfully! I have numerous stories, but one of them involves when I moved from one residence to another. Wanted to turn on service at the new residence, but not shut off service at the current one until a later date. Then I heard the CSR say, “OK! We cancelled your service!” WHAT??? I work from home and depend on internet access for my work. After flipping out a bit, I asked her to please turn it on again. She said she couldn’t do that. Turning service on again would involve opening a new account, and that would take at least a WEEK!!! I’m getting stressed again just thinking about it! ARGGHH!!!

    Re: the FK scents, would love to try these. Thanks for the draw, Patty!

  23. Like a few others, phone/cable companies and banks top my list of frustrating companies. Hearing the insurance horror stories makes me relieved to be Canadian.

    I’d love to be in the draw.

    Thanks.

    • I guess it’s always the companies you have to deal with that are most likely to make you mad. I usually don’t get that irritated with phone/cable/cell/bank/insurance, etc., cuz I figure it’s a cost of living to have to put up with the irritation they cause.

  24. Reading your description of your grandfather made me a little teary-eyed. My Papa was sick with emphysema as well and I loved sitting with him and listening to the gentle sounds of country life. And his name was Walter! You brought back some nice memories for me.

    Now I’m planning a diabolical story to tell my man as to why we have to drive five hours to Paris to visit Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

    • Ah, you know what it’s like then. I used to think his being sick caused his quiet, but my mom told me he was always like that, just not talkative at all, but one of the most companionable people I’ve ever been around. He was so present and warm.

      of course you need to go to Paris! I can’t wait until i can get back and visit his store.

  25. Comcast. Comcast. Comcast. Comcast. Comcast.

    Actually, in my work I’ve taken hundreds of calls from people who are at the ends of their ropes with these companies. (I do consumer counseling work.) Number One? Comcast. Sprint’s big too. Any medical insurance company. Draconian hospital billing clerks. The airlines (OMG the airlines). Big monster banks and their F-you credit cards. And on and on and on.

    To keep them all at bay you have to be a warrior. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t have it in me to write the (registered, certified) letters, make the calls and otherwise deal with all of these companies who have become one sort of pickpocket or another. A hint: Never, never, never give anyone your banking information. Nev-ah! Once they have that they can keep withdrawing your money until they get it all. This is one of the biggest complaints I hear. Amex has been pretty good about opening investigations for their “cardmembers.” If you have Amex, you pay a fee. Make them work for it.

    Oh, yeah, and I like Francis Kurkdijan’s scents, too.

    • i totally agree about the bank withdrawal thing, I never do it. You have to shut down your bank account to make it stop.

  26. The worst was United Airlines. Never Again. A short $200 weekend flight ended up costing me over $1200 and kept me out of work for a week. I also ended up on a suspicious passengers list and for the next two years was “randomly selected” for heightened security screening. During the last administration, which meant full patdowns and all my luggage torn apart. I fly at least 8 times a year, and never ever again will I fly United, and neither will anyone in my family. Everyone I dealt with was openly rude, and a couple went as far as to suggest that I was incapable of understanding English and suggested I employ a translator. (I am Chicana but I was born and raised in the US and am a highly educated native English speaker.)

    Anyhoodle, I am forever indebted to M. Kurkdjian for Enlevement au Serail, and am very excited about all his new endeavors. This sounds very promising–since the size and price point match Les Exclusifs. Would you say the quality is similar?
    Please do include me in draw. Thanks for a lovely review; your memories of your Grandpa Walter remind me of people in my family, long since passed.

    • OMG, I hate to ask what happened, but that sounds like a whole new level of hell.

      I really do like FK and loved what he did for MDCI. Yes, I think the quality on the colognes is similar to the EDTs for Chanel. The colognes are more linear, at least the Soir, but because of what it is, that’s perfectly fine, I’m happy for it to be exactly that same thing all the way through because it makes me so darn happy.

    • I made the damnfool mistake of carrying Xmas presents home on a flight with United. Because it had glass components, the yogurt maker my brother had kindly given me went in our carry-on.

      YOU DO NOT WANT THE X-RAY TEAM TO SEE A YOGURT MAKER. It took them 20 minutes of reading the accompanying manual to verify that all the parts in the original packaging were, in fact, part of a harmless yogurt maker. Yeesh.

  27. Patty,
    I used to work at a hospital back when email went mainstream. In those days, you had to request email privileges. I wrote up a request on paper and turned it in to the IT department. Didn’t hear anything for weeks. Finally called the department head, and he told me that they only answered requests for service via email. ??? I thought it was a situation worthy of a Dilbert cartoon!

  28. I am a little twisted, because I read everyone’s stories on here and it made me feel better!

    I got into a six-month battle with Comcast after I’d cancelled our service and they kept insisting I hadn’t returned one of the boxes, in spite of the fact that I had the receipt with the serial number demonstrating that I had. One of those internal accounting errors. Eventually they turned me over to a collection agency.

    • I know, me too! At least I don’t feel so alone in my frustration of having to deal with this crap. We all have to.

      So did you pay them or did you stand on principle?

      • Well, they wanted $150 for the box, plus (since allegedly I still had it, even though my receipt proved I didn’t) they were trying to soak me for two extra months of service. So I’d drive out there to their sucky CS department and stand in line so they would totally acknowledge that I’d returned everything and scratch their heads over what to do — because from my perspective they owed ME money for returning the boxes before the prepaid month of service was up … blah blah. I finally, by not being a bitch, got some woman in their CS department who appreciated the ridiculousness of the situation, after I’d offered to go root around in their warehouse, and after a few hours she got it straightened.

    • I had this happen, too! Fortunately we had taken it back to them IN PERSON and had received a receipt for the thing. But we had to fax it to them multiple times, and argue it up to a senior supervisor.

      • I had taken it in person and had the receipt too. So I’d end up calling Dept. A (and driving there) and they did not dispute that my piece of paper showed that I had returned all the equipment. But we could not get that through to Dept. B to call the dogs off.

  29. There seems to be a phone company theme going…. Okay, I just got through with a week of no landline phone service from AT&T. Long time on my cell with a horrendous phone tree, and then I get an appointment for repair for Fri. No one showed. Turned out the computer checked the line, decided it was working (it was not!) and so cancelled the appointment. (This is a problem they know they’re having so they tell me to be sure and complain.) Then it’s the weekend. Made a new appointment for Monday morning. No one shows. Somehow get a person on the line–repair person just late (really late). Then he can’t fix the phone because it turns out that when Pacific Gas and Electric trimmed the trees to protect the utility lines, they damaged the phone line!

    Bottom Line: It took so long we start thinking maybe we should switch to a different kind of service, but from what I’m hearing today….

    • Skype actually works pretty great if you can get around having to use your computer, which you can by either purchases a skype cordless phone or getting a wireless headset to use. The sound quality is great, and the price is amazing.

  30. When I was 10 and my cousin Angela was living with my family I was eating a blueberry yoplait yogurt and bit into something hard that was definitely not a blueberry. I spit it out and it was a dead dried out bee. My cousin Angela was deathly allergic. My dad nearly had a coronary. When he called the consumer hotline they said that happened once in a while, that bees were attracted to the smell of the vats of cooking sugary fruit puree and 1 in some large amount of yogurts would get a bee packaged in them. The company only offered to send us coupons. I have never eaten yogurt with fruit in it since then. Pour le Soir sounds like heaven I would love to be entered in the draw. Thanks.

    • I’m not sure I’m going to ever be able to eat fruit yogurt again either! I’ll just have plain and put the fruit in myself., 🙂

    • hahaha that is SO DISGUSTING. I remember once as well reading the FDA (?) regulations for how any insect parts could be in your breakfast cereal per volume or weight or something.

  31. I was wondering about Vonage. I see their ads on tv and think that it may be a good deal…but, I guess it really isn’t! What a friggin’ hassle for you, Patty!

    Is there a drawing for these yet? Am I too early to enter it? If so, please excuse me. If not, please enter me in it.

    Thank you and big hugs!

    • Yup! I’ll do a drawing from each FK review I do. Will probably wind up with three posts, I think.

      No. vonage is a terrible deal. You can do Skype for far less, like $3 a month, and then just get buy a phone from them, if you don’t want to be married to your computer, or get one of their wireless headsets. But you can cancel any time, it’s cheap, and I’m ecstatic with them.

  32. What losers at Vonage! A pox on them.

    The company I had the worst time with is now out of business – wonder why? It took about 6 weeks to arrange the exchange of a wrong-sized laptop cover they incorrectly sent for the correctly sized one. At first the customer service representative didn’t understand the problem, then he mysteriously was no longer employed there when my replacement never arrived. So, I took it up with another representative who had to “research the problem” and would call me back; I guess it was my fault for not asking in which century to expect the call. The clown parade went on through two supervisors until it was finally resolved. This was definitely a principle thing, as the cost was not worth the frustration on this one.

    • I know. I sometimes think I should just say screw it, pay the money and don’t give myself the agitation, and usually I do. but every now and then one of them just strike me wrong, and I can’t help myself. 🙂

  33. Aw, sorry for your crummy experience, P, and everyone else’s, too. Walter sounds lovely. I wish I’d had that kind of adult in my life; growing up would have been a kinder, gentler experience.

    Pour le Soir — cuddly incense — sounds irresistible, so hope I’m not too late to have a chance with the FKs.

    My worst experience has been with the care home my dad with Alzheimers lives in. The nurses check off on their charts that he’s had his meds, and then we find pills in his bed, under the bed, on the floor. . .if he doesn’t go in by himself to the dining room, nobody reminds him, and he sits in his room and goes without dinner. . .They didn’t change a dressing on his arm and it became infected and he came close to dying. . .I could go on, but it’s too upsetting. We now visit him twice a day to make sure he’s being taken care of, which is a great strain on the family. All this costs $8000 a month. Grrrrr.

    • OMG, that is so horrible. That makes my stupid stuff sound so petty. Your story is so common. A friend of mine’s aunt stroked out really young and just was never going to recover. She was her legal guardian, and she had to deal with the care facility, which was even more than the 8k a month, and their neglect was really tragic. They just medicated to avoid problems. I know not all care facilities are like that, but it breaks my heart at what happens to the most vulnerable people in them. ::: hugs::::

      • Hugs gratefully received. He’s such a dear man, never hurt a fly, and to see this off-hand care — he’s 89 and SO fragile, I swear you could blow him off his feet with a whisper — breaks my heart. I feel for anyone who has an older parent, in or out of care. It is so difficult to watch them struggling to accept their declining health.

  34. What an adorable, compelling review. Rose hates me, but I really want to try this — because of your grandfather.

    Hey, I have two horror stories with companies. In my teen years I had a head-on collision (well, front corner to front corner) because neither I nor the other driver could see over the tall bushes in the college parking lot. Although the police ruled it to be 50/50% fault (both of us were blinded), Allstate said it was mine. Later, they sent a check to my boyfriend (now my hubby of 21 years), who had hit his head in the accident and had been taken to the E.R. to get checked out, for medical expenses. We figured it was legit. Fast forward five years, and we got contacted by Allstate: they had performed an audit and were demanding back their money, which I guess had been issued in error. The hubby was overseas (was a Marine) and we were broke because the USMC did not pay his housing stipend while he was overseas… which broke our tight budget completely. I told them that I was sorry but NO. They tried to make me sign a document stating that no matter whether I was the insured or the claimant, I would never try to collect a penny from Allstate again. I put it in the circular file and they eventually fecked off.

    The other appalling thing was a cell phone deal with Verizon, with whom we had one of those contract with penalty for early release things. After we cancelled service, they charged us our monthly bill PLUS that penalty four consecutive times. It took us months of talking to supervisors, collecting and faxing documents with confirmation numbers written on them, and a stop payment to the bank to prove to them that we had paid up the first time. Consequently I will never have a cool iPhone and will be too gun-shy to ever use a cell other than a Go-Phone. 🙂

    • You know, I really didn’t get rose out of this, or at least my nose doesn’t read it strongly, which I think is more the case. Mostly spiced incense.

      I don’t blame you on the cell phone. Once burned, it’s just over. You can just buy the iphone outright, then pay for the service from AT&T month to month or prepaid, I think. Maybe not. I never looked into it.

  35. Echoing others, unfortunately: Comcast. I had to stop and think if the number of tales exceeded the fingers on one hand, then I remembered that when we finally had had enough and pulled the plug, I vowed to put them out of my head. Guess it worked.

    Francis “Kurrdja(nh)”…well, that is an interesting project he has put together. I did enjoy how he made a point of saying you could get something from his line for $18–small luxuries are lovely things. (A good bar of soap, a fresh lime in the refrigerator…stuff like that.)

    In fact, I think I shall go enjoy a small luxury to fully put the memories of whatever customer-assault (aka “service”) challenged company came to my brain before. :)>- ~o) :>

    • I surprisingly have never had a problem with comcast, not sure why though! I have them just for internet, so minimal contact.

      I love small luxuries. I need to look into his soaps and things. More companies should do this, let everyone, even those pinching their budget get something to treasure.

  36. I think it’s helpful to vent at the time these things happen, but to relive it, for me, seems to be too stressful to be worth it. There is definitely a time factor at work here. Having said that, the Pour le Soir sounds wonderful, and I would love to be in the draw.

  37. My personal peeve came from my Macy’s credit account–I sent off the payment, and thought everything was fine. I get a call at the end of the month, saying they never got payment. Being stupid, I allow them to do an automatic payment over the phone, which, of course, costs an additional $8.00. I then go to check my bank statement, and lo and behold, the check I snt them had posted and cleared back at the beginning of the month. I call Macy’s back, and inform that they already had my payment and had effectivly charged me twice PLUS $8.00. They tell me that they have no record of the first payment, and that I will have to fax them a copy of my check for them to ‘research’. Of course, I do not get my checks back, so I go to my bank the next day to request one, where they inform me that there will not be a returned check for this transaction as it was processed automatically, and most likely shredded. The best thing they can give me is the transaction ID#, which I promptly faxed to Macy’s along with the statement showing the cleared check, explaining everything the bank told me. I heard nothing for weeks, even though I continually tried to follow up with Macy’s. At the 2 month mark, I was fed up, so I informed my bank that my initial payment had been stolen by Macy’s, and got them to refund me that amount. I notified Macy’s in writing that they would be losing that money, as I had terminated the check because I considered it to be stolen. They decided to raise my interest rate, on the premise that I had ONE SINGLE LATE PAYMENT. Needless to say, I closed that account and never looked back.

    • Holy crap! I would have done the same and have. Once you find out that a company won’t respond at all to legit complaints, I just stop doing anything with them at all.

  38. Is Earthlink a first cousin to Vonage? Because years ago they took over our ISP and proceeded to do screw up in every possible way. And my experience with trying to cancel was just like yours, Patty. They didn’t take email or online cancellations and required a CERTIFIED letter. After they got the certified letter, they charged my credit card for the following three months. Scum.

    But my favorite story has to do with our electric company. One night about 3 in the morning I woke up to the sound of huge trucks and the sight of flashing lights. And no power in the house. No power. I went outside to see the electric company employees were busily connecting my power to my neighbor’s house. Turns out my neighbor lost power and this was the company’s solution. Nothing, but nothing, and that includes my elderly neighbor yelling “WTH are you doing??” would convince them that this wasn’t the best possible thing to do. One quick phone call to the state utilities commission the next morning got the power back on tout suite followed by many, many apologetic phone calls from one of the company’s VPs.

    Where was I? Oh, yes, please enter me in the drawing – it sounds lovely, and very calming. :d

  39. What a pain in the backside, Patty. I feel for you.

    I have often found local gubmint agencies (like DPW, sewer/water, etc) to be difficult. They NEVER make mistakes, are overly bureaucratic, take forever to complete a job, and when they finally decide to do the work, they send out 16 men for a two man job. And when it rains heavily, I still can’t flush my toilets!! Thanksalot.

    Pls put my name in the hat. Thanks!

  40. I’ll just say hi– no need to elevate my blood pressure!

    Please enter me in the drawing. I’d love to find a fragrance that has the grandfatherly effect.

  41. EEEEP!!…Patty,I can’t thank you enough…my hubby has been yakkking that Vonage “would save us thousands of dollars8-|”…I read the reviews,and was feeling NO,but you know how that goes…anyhoo…I consider you ladies knowledgable.and the answer is now;NO VONAGE,EVER,EVER…as for the samples,slobber,drool,please enter me..this one sounds like heaven…MMMMMM.:x

  42. Your grandpa sounds a lot like my father. Just a joy to be with. Dad died just about 5 weeks ago and my heart aches to feel his hugs again. Such a sweet man.

    I spent the better part of an hour going round and round with a doctor’s office about a bill. I was having iron infusions over a 12 week period and had been paying what I owed after insurance had paid. (We’re with United Health Care and have zero complaints.) The bill I’d received that morning didn’t relfect any of my payments. Finally, the woman in the billing department told me to wait until the next month for the next bill because it would be up to date. However, that next bill was identical to the last bill (except for the date the bill was created). Another hour of going round and round with a different person. Finally she granted my request (after several pleas) to speak to a supervisor. Forty-five minutes later the supervisor realized that not only were my payments not showing up, but all of the charges weren’t showing up either. She decided to write off the balance and start fresh since it would cost more to figure out what was wrong than what I owed! My husband thought I was joking when I told him that we didn’t owe anything! Haven’t had the courage to tell the doctor–figure that’s between him and his business manager!

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing — provided I don’t have to prove I can correctly pronounce his last name!

  43. Right now I’m so teed off (at a company that I can’t mention, b/c it pays my bills), that I’m not only going to spritz myself, but I’m going to put some brandy in my coffee 🙂

    Yes, puleeze enter me into the drawing. TIA

  44. I’ve been reading over these stories, and while I do have anecdotes that fit in the general scheme, mine aren’t unique. I *will* say that there’s nothing quite like trying to get AT&T to bury active cable lines which they have left out on my grass for a year. And also: tracking numbers and the post office. Fun and games and a missing package! It’s interesting to see what happens when the package doesn’t actually get to its destination…

    I would love to be in the draw. Thanks!

  45. Sadly, the worst experience I’ve ever had was when the Apple store lost my laptop after I’d taken it in for repairs, then denied doing any such thing. It took about an hour of holding to get a person on the line *each time* I had to call – often a few times a day to see whether it had been found – which did bad things for my phone bill, and then the store people insinuated that I had invented the whole thing to score a free laptop. After about three weeks, it turned up and they’d registered it under the wrong name – no apology. Sigh.

    Pour le Soir sounds delicious, and I’d love to be entered into the draw. Thank you Patty!

  46. Oh- That sucks!(I’m talking about your Vonage experience).

    I want that Pour le Soir too!! Will sniff as soon as possible. 6.8 oz?? This will be a good scent to split.

    Please enter me in the draw! Thanks!

  47. count me in on the drawing-I want my whole LIFE to smell like this (LOL).How lovely to just want to be in someone or something’s presence-peace and ease.WE could use more of it…thanks for the review….

  48. I’d love to be entered as well.

    Sorry about your Vonage experience, Patty. While this is NOT the worst experience ever with a company (Oxford Health comes to mind for that), I am amid a similar story in attempting to cancel my Zagat.com membership. Nothing available online to do it. I finally sent them an email saying, DO NOT autorenew and please confirm that you have canceled my membership. A few days later I got a message: great, I was thinking, they did it. NOPE: It’s a message telling me I’m about to be charged again as an autorenewal payment. Nowhere, naturally, does it tell the recipients of the mass message how to STOP the autorenew.

    Otherwise, I find it amazing how it impossible to get someone at a services company on the phone: unless one is trying to pay one’s bill! Then the selection one has made connects to a human immediately! But if you want some help or information, fuggedaboudit! Makes me wanna

    😮 or :((

    (Did the new emoticons work?)

  49. I’d love to try this. I love the idea of spraying it on bedsheets.

  50. I’d love to be entered in the drawing, too!

    The worst company I’ve dealt with has to be my health insurance company (shocking, I know) Humana. No matter how articulate or elegant a letter … when they deny they deny. So much for disputing a decision. Grrrrrrr!!

  51. I talked with Karl at Aedes this afternoon and they will be carrying the line come December. Would love the samples. Worst company? A local health insurance co. here in Indiana. They denied me a chest x-ray before I had surgery for melanoma. Paid for it myself since time was of the essence. I think they went under. Karma sucks.

  52. You have drawn me out of lurkdom again to get one final primal scream out of my system for the Sheer Hell that is Chase, after WaMu went under.

    My credit card and my debit card both got hit with fraudulent charges, and in all fairness Chase was very pleasant to deal with, but I still fail to understand how they allowed $1400 dollars worth of overdraft charges to hit in one day. At 30 bucks a pop, isn’t that like almost 50 purchases??? I still think it was an inside job.

    Normally I get a phone call if there’s a suspicious charge….this was $3000 dollars worth of charges on one day, not even counting the overdraft fees, and no one called us. I had no clue about it til I got a letter in the mail several days later, asking what I was going to do about the overdraft fees!

    Again, there was no problem getting everything reversed, other than it taking longer than I thought, but still….and then the a$$hat at the bank had the nerve to be shocked that I wanted to cancel my overdraft protection! Puh-LEEZ, if I hadn’t have had the overdraft protection, the would have shut the card down immediately!

    Okay, deep breath….I thought I had let this go, but obviously it’s still simmering somewhere. x(

    Rosy incense sounds divine, I’d love a chance to win, thank you!

  53. I don’t care whether it’s rose or honey, I want to try it.

    Your grandfather sounds much like my late father (who also had emphysema).

    Worst company ever: Citibank. I’ve fought them for three years over credit card fraud (from the T.J. Maxx debacle). The last time I was able to speak to a human at Citibank, they informed me that they had no record that I had ever reported fraud.

  54. I would love to be entered in the drawing.

    As for the most frustrating company, it’s another mobile phone service — Sprint. Gah! My head is starting to pound just thinking about them. I think they train their CSRs to act like brick walls — they don’t know anything, say anything useful, and it’s impossible to get past them. I finally went to one of their actual stores, so I could talk to someone in person — and I was directed to call the call center from a phone at the store. OMG. I spent hours dealing with those people.

    The worst part was that it was such a hassle to cancel mid contract that I am still on their service.

  55. Please enter me in the drawing . Love your site & The Perfume Court as well 🙂

  56. Please do enter me in the drawing.

    Most frustrating experience with a company: yet another mobile phone service provider, in Finland. Tricking into a bad contract by misleading information, bad customer service etc… At least I’ve learned to patiently read all the fine print of contracts after that!

  57. Started to post my “I Hate Dell” rant yesterday and got interrupted… Five years ago, I bought a desktop ‘puter for the farm; thought I was getting charged the small business rate but turns out they applied the regular-customer charge because they had neglected to transfer my call to the Small Business Order People. To fix that, I spoke to SEVEN different customer service reps at Dell (3 in India, one in Columbia, one in Brazil, one in Texas, and one in, of all places, Norway!). It was only when I faxed my “you’ll be hearing from my lawyer” letter that anything was settled. Ack.

    Please enter me in the draw; I’d love to smell this. Warm, honeyed comfort sounds perfect.

  58. Hi! Please enter me in the drawing and thank you! My worst story -years back somehow AT&T incorrectly set up an unlisted number for me and when I tried to have it reset as a listed number, they suggested I just call everyone who was trying to look for me and give them my number!!!! Yes this is true.

  59. I once had to cancel a fitness club membership in PERSON – not just by letter, or fax, or whatever. And I had moved about an hour away – my mistake for not taking care of it before I moved, but I was a little BUSY! So I called them, and after talking to 700 people I realized they would not budge, so I had to drive an hour and listen to their hard sell while I stood there with my arms crossed and trying not to explode. Ridiculous. What if I had moved across the country or something?

    Would love to be entered in the draw for this. 🙂

    • Lora, that is the worst cancellation story I’ve ever heard! Imagine wanting angry, muscular, athletic people who’ve been working out to be forced to come to your place of business to cancel – I wonder if they’ve re-thought that plan. 😮

  60. Most frustrating company I’ve ever had to deal with is (handsdown) Comcast Cable. It took countless hours on the phone and several days requested off work before finally getting my cable connected when I first moved to my current home.

  61. I would love to try them all, but I’m more thrilled about the possibility of eviscerating American Express. Years ago, I travelled from the UK to France on Hovercrafts. I bought my tickets with AMEX because they had travel insurance on belongings. On one eventful return trip, the skirt fell off the Hovercraft and we flopped dangerously adrift until the British Navy came to fish us, but not our luggage out of la Manche. I lost my glasses/clothing/hundreds of drawings, years of medical research etc, kvetch, kvetch. When on Monday bright, I phoned AMEX, they explained I needed to file a claim from U.S. soil since I was a U.S. citizen who had simply malchanced upon working in France!!! They never made good on the claim. En bas AMEX!

  62. Hi Patty, I loved reading about you and your Granpa Walter. I won’t add my nightmare customer service stories–they echo much of what has already been written here–but I will say: a Pox on AMEX, Verizon, most health insurance companies, and all banks. [-(

    Please enter me in the drawing. I am dying of curiosity to sample something you would consider getting in all forms of fragrance carriers!

    Cheers!

  63. The Kurkdjian fragrances sound lovely. And Patty, I love the image of digging around in an aunt’s old trunk and finding great stuff. I hope I give my nieces that opportunity some day.

    My worst customer service experiences have been with AT&T and Citibank. Citibank in particular seems to have fallen apart after the bailout.

  64. There are so many horror stories to list, really, and I fear I may find myself dwelling on them if I try to access the memory banks where they are stored.

    But please enter me in the drawing anyway!

  65. Look forward to sampling Mr Kur-jhan’s new line.

    AT&T wouldn’t let me cancel online either, although you can do everything else online. Nope, must call during business hours.

    Comcast is the worst. Funny story. My sister kept trying to get her service turned on in her new house in IL (multiple appointments made & no one shows up, sound familiar?) and they would route her calls to a service unit every time in SC, where she used to live! Because her cell phone had an area code from SC! She is a radio personality, and I kept telling her she should slam them on the air, and she might get some action, but she wouldn’t do it in case her new employer would lose their ad account.

    We finally got a competent Comcast technician who rerouted & replaced lines in our house, moved our wireless router, replaced some bad splitters, etc. and we magically have the good consistant signal for TV & internet that we have been paying for (but not getting) for the SIX YEARS we’ve been in this house. We wanted to send him flowers afterwards. He fully admitted that all of his colleagues that had been to our home previously were either 1) idiots or 2) doing what they had to do to log in a repair call, without having to actually FIX the problem, because it would take several hours to do & they wanted to move on to the next call and go home.

    Ahhh, venting in a public forum. It does feel good.

  66. Hi! Please enter me in the draw. I hate any company that gives you the run around when you try to connect with a real person. Verizon Internet can be like this. I was trying to get to tech support. Their website is impossible. Got a customer service number. It was billing and was closed past 5:30pm or something and there was no other number to call. When I finally got transfered over to tech the next day, they said oh yes we’re open 24 hours? Oh really? Called back at night, line was closed. Finally figured out that there was a separate phone number for tech support itself which is not posted and no one had told me the number for. So annoying!!

  67. i had to connect ATT DSL internet service and they were very unhelpful either. It took me over a week and quite a few phonecalls to get someone to come by to look at my telephone line. Very upsetting, and you would think for the money I pay them- they would be more helpful.
    So I totally understand the frustration. Please consider me for a sample too

  68. Hi! Found your blog yesterday and spent a rainy afternoon happily reading. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Thank you! 🙂

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