eBay is Stoopid, but Tom Ford isn’t!

By now most of you have heard that eBay is or has shut down decant and perhaps sample sales. For those of you wondering where to spend your sample/decant dollars, you can go hit my Surrender to Chance


No one is entirely certain why eBay decided to do this, but it is likely due to some perfume companies that asserted their VeRO rights (Verified Rights Owner), ignoring the fact that people are allowed to resell anything they buy. If they weren’t, you might as well shut down all the used car lots and pawn shops and all of eBay today.  However, as the third party in this, they get the threats without having any control of what their sellers are actually doing. I can’t say I blame them, but eBay is not a stable business model for anyone to build their entire business on. They have shut down a lot of other sellers in the past.  If there are any intellectual property lawyers out there that would be willing to give some little advice, let me know.

Tom Ford is a genius. First,the bottles for the new Private Blends are seriously gorgeous. This guy knows bottles. They have the same covered box that the Chanels had, but they are dark gray with the gold labels. You pull off the top of the box, and inside sits the black bottle, looks a little like an apothecary bottle — a somewhat phallic bottle — and truly gorgeous.

The eBay stuff distracted me from my mission of exploring these, but since I won’t have smelled them all until later today, I wanted to wait regardless and do two or three at a time. There are some winners and some meh, but I have a feeling some of my mehs will be someone else’s winner — Noir de Noir’s boozy note doesn’t work for me, but the boozy note lovers will likely rejoice.  There are some that are remarkbly close to other scents that are well loved like Vetiver Tonka, Ambre Sultan.  But each of them are enough different that these don’t feel like a mess where you can’t tell one from another.  Regardless, it will be fun to go through them!

  • Grace says:

    I found it extremely annoying when eBay introduced the ban on decants. I have bought so many wonderful decants from excellent sellers over the years. I especially was a fan of ebay seller Frazzedmom, she usually included a free sample along with your purchase.

    I, myself was thinking of doing the decant thing until I heard of the ban. What a true disservice this has caused many of us in the perfume circuit.

    I could never afford the regular sized bottles of the most exquisite of perfumes, and I was so thrilled to find that people were selling decants. How affordable, and I loved the fact that I wasn’t wasting money on big bottles to find I didnt care for the scent.

    I am so happy for the gals at The Perfumed Court. I direct my customers to the website for samples as I sell the big bottles on my site.

    I love the selection of fragrances that The Perfumed Court has, and its very convenient that they accept Paypal!!

  • Theresa says:

    I’m very disappointed to hear about the ban, but I’m really glad to hear about this joint venture. Good luck:-)

  • There’s been a lot of talk on blogs’n’boards about naming perfume houses who are leading the charge against decanters. And yes, I am all for that. But for a moment….don’t faint….I might just do a Mary-Sunshine thang.

    Like, wouldn’t it be grand if some or any perfumers/houses came out and said they had no problems with decanters and/or offered smaller size products for thems of us who by necessity or choice don’t always buy full 50ml+ bottles? Then one could have a “decanter friendly” list and perhaps purchase accordingly.

    I better stop now before butterflies and rainbows start flying out of my ears.

  • Nina says:

    Perhaps the perfume bloggers could implement a ban on reviews of Bond scents and any the other culprits?

  • Gaia says:

    This blows my mind in the worst way, and I definitely want to know who is responsible to this stupidity. I can’t count how many of my full, very expensive bottles were purchased after buying samples and decants.
    I’m ready to boycott Bond and Philosophy. Grace my ass.

  • Kelly says:

    I say we storm the eBay offices..

    I wild-eyed Posse of fragrance and fury…

    Chanting “Let Us Spray! Let Us Spray!”


    • Kelly says:

      Why do I never notice my typos until I’ve already hit send?

      Should be “A wild-eyed Posse…”

      Duh! l-)

      • pitbull friend says:

        Kelly: Typo or not, it’s a heck of an idea. More so since I think the EBay offices are in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is so very nice to visit. We could have an impromptu Sniffa.

        And then we’ll walk into the EBay offices and threaten to blast them with Aquolina Blue Sugar if we don’t get our way! –Ellen

        • Maria B. says:

          =)) Yes, a Sniffa in the Bay Area after the Aquolina Blue Sugar attack! Please, everybody, remember to wear OSHA-quality protective masks.

    • Patty says:

      Demand your Aldehye 44 and Vetiver Tonka bottles as reparation!

      Kelly for President! :):)>-

      • Kelly says:

        Ohhhhh… nooooo. No Vetiver Tonka here. 🙁 Nothing but ashtray on me. My happy place is Osmanth Yunnan. :d But, yeah, I like the reparations idea!

        Armed with Blue Sugar… and HE… and SM. They don’t know who they’re messin’ with!

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, if Bond wants to be ignored in the blogosphere, then fine. I am sure that our ignoring them won’t put them out of business, but I blog (and buy) from decants.

    I mean, if I got five people to purchase Antimatiere (not including the full bottle I bought ) because I got a decant, isn’t that a good thing? Smart companies seem to think so; I got the decant from LesNez themselves through Basenotes. I’m not Bill Gates, I’m not rich enough to buy a full bottle worth of eveything I review.

    I believe the term is “Viral Marketing” and some people would be thrilled with the free plugs.

    • Patty says:

      I would think so too! I’m way happy to buy from people/companies I like, and there are enough of those that I don’t need to do business with companies that I think are heavy handed.

      Viral marketing is what drives most niche perfume sales. Heck, I’d kill for it! 🙂

  • Trina says:

    This news makes my day! Heck, it probably makes my weekend! I’m so mad that ebay did this, and almost more so that basenotes did it preemptively “just in case”. But as long as I can get my samples and decants *somewhere*, I’m a happy camper! Thanks so much for helping keep my addiction alive!

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Trina!

      I kinda get Grant doing what he did. i wouldn’t have, but my butt isn’t on the line like his is, though I’m pretty sure they would have left him along or at least notified him (whoever “they” is) that they wanted to bully him around.

      I just want to know who they are.I wish eBay would spill that info!

  • Marie-Helene says:

    Am looking forward to your reviews of the Fords. It’s unusual that you would have to take down your listings without having received a formal notice from eBay. Hope things smooth out.

    “The Perfumed Court” is a nice name which seems to be a direct reference to the ” La Cour Parfumée” of Louis XV.

    • Patty says:

      I still haven’t gotten a notice. I know at least a couple of people did, and Nancy and Diane called, and they confirmed it, but I don’t think either of them have gotten a call or notification from ebay yet.

      So odd.

      Love, love love some of the TFs. Moss Breches is amazing, as is the amber and the tobacco and the leather. Still exploring!

  • IrisLA says:

    I’m most upset with Bond and Philosophy. First Bond bullied Lisalaw. Now we suspect they clobbered eBay over the head with VERO. Since no one will dare decant Bond scents anymore, let’s see how much Bond sales will drop. Not everyone wants to buy huge honkin’ bottles or fork out that kind of money without ample sampling first. I’m through with Bond.

    Philosophy’s ruthlessness belies the touchy-feely claptrap used to market their products. Never was a Philosophy fan. Disinterest has turned to active dislike.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I’m not a huge bond fan just from loving their scents to begin with. I like quite a few, but I guess what they did to Lisa really colored my perception.

      Philosophy? I will never spend one dime on any of their products. They are like that Creflo P. Dollar person — no, worse, at least he says he’s in it for the money. They hide behind that caring sappy crap and cut people’s throats quietly. Disgusting company.

  • Teri says:

    I consider myself as feisty, independent, and protective of my personal rights as any of the founding fathers. Although I’m aware of the network of laws and legal restrictions that surround the sale of goods in this country, and the reasons for such, I still feel strongly that when one has purchased an item, one has obtained primary ownership rights in that item — up to and including the right to dispose of it as they wish, for profit or for free.

    When I purchase a bottle of fragrance, it doesn’t come with any legal documents restricting my rights. There is no language on the box, no caveats posted at the perfume counter, nothing to sign indicating that I have purchased something less than 100% ownership rights in this item. And so it grinds me no end when some entity tells me I cannot dispose of this bottle of fragrance in any way I so desire.

    Granted this is appropo of nothing as my personal preferences have nothing to do with what is and is not law in America, but I’m finding myself all riled up, ready to have the perfume equivalent of the Boston Tea Party. lol

    Seriously, though, good on you ladies for refusing to cave to the pressure of ebay and with typical American ‘can do’ attitudes, going forth and creating your own emporium. You can definitely count on me as a customer. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Exactly, Teri! I just want their objections out in the open so people know who is trying to shut it down.

      Demeter heard people asking for smaller amounts, and they are responding. Any other perfume company could do the same thing. The reason decanters exist is to fill a need. If the companies filled that need, I’d be figuring out a way to do something else tomorrow.

  • Rosie says:

    Bravo! You decant ladies are the cream of the crop!
    Much luck on your new venture.

  • Mimmimmim says:

    Will you be shipping to the UK at all?

    I can’t help thinking it’s very shortsighted of the perfume companies. I bought a bottle of Mona Di Orio Nuit Noir and one of Caron French CanCan in March, and I’d never have parted with that much money if I hadn’t had the chance to wear each for a few days first. (I ordered samples from Les Senteurs.) Surely companies will sell more full bottles if people can try stuff and like it.

    Part of me thinks maybe their fear is that people will be put off the identikit rubbish if they can buy Celebrity Fruity Floral No 673 as a decant, but I’ve never seen decants of that sort of thing. If anything, decants promote the products they can’t be bothered to push.

    • Patty says:

      Absolutely ship to the Uk! Now and on the future site. I couldn’t ignore the international perfumistas. 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Bravo to the new decant jointure, and your initiative in getting it started! I already contributed by ordering the Tom samples-I think I am goin’ to get in serious trouble with these. And the names-Purple Patchouli-I feel slightly stoned already on that.

    I wonder why ebay picked on you? Yah, they were sample of big names in some cases-but I just ordered tons of MAC pigment samples (like 30, for the price of 2 full size bottles). MAC is undoubtedly owned by a big dog. Maybe they are next.

    Anyway-Patty-take care of that back-blast those drugs in-and here’s my gentle hug.

    • Patty says:

      right now I am in love with at least four of the Toms — deep love. 🙂

      eBay is driven by complaints. Some big names complained incessantly, and they finally took it all down. What I object to is that the sellers can’t even protest the position of the companies making the claim.

      There is a lady named Tabberone who fights VeRO complaints, she started it when Disney, I believe, started filing complaints against her on eBay because she had Disney characters in I think it was some kind of pattern or material. No copyright, it was material that she bought from somewhere else and resold. She fought them and won and then has helped other people.

      if it were out in the open, you can fight it, but if ebay caves, then nobody has a chance to make them prove their complaint.

  • Dusan says:

    Yours is a heart of gold, P! Your enthusiasm and passion are contagious! 🙂
    Don’t these powers that be know that they have thousands of furious perfumistas to reckon with if they follow suit with the smaller retailers? Nincompoops!
    Chaya, happy birthday sweetie! (It’s these days, right?) Saljem ti ogroman zagrljaj i puno mirisnih poljubaca! Tvoj Srbin 🙂

  • Elle says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am about The Perfumed Court! Brilliant!! The ebay thing is beyond words distressing. DH was a lawyer and most of his friends still are, so he’ll be asking them if they know anyone who does specialize in intellectual property rights. For reasons which evade me, DH is obsessed w/ this area of law. Has ebay given any information on how specifically they’ve been hassled or threatened by the perfume companies?
    WHY couldn’t Tom Ford release one of these a month?? Sob!

    • Patty says:

      Awesome, thank you!!! I wish I knew an IP lawyer I could pick their brain on for like 30 minutes (I’d pay!) just to see if there is language I could put up on my site now and we could put up on future sites and for other decanters that might head off problems.

      No info from eBay at all on what pressure from whom, and I doubt they’ll ever say, which is a shame. All I know for certain is Bond asserted VeRO rights in the past, and that was one of the big things in Lisa’s suspension from eBay. I know Philosophy is always going after people. I’ve never sold any of their crap, so it doesn’t impact me.

      Just pretend Tom released one a month, and by this time next year, you can have all of them!

  • March says:

    @sswipes. Dumm@sses. Wrong-headed, greedy, cowardly … hey, wow. Is that the Tom Ford bottle down there in the middle? That thing is gorgeous!

    The eBay thing infuriates me on 3 fronts:
    1) they’ve been pretty vague with the people they’re chucking
    2) the decanters are selling genuine stuff, as opposed to, you know, THE TONS OF COUNTERFEIT CRAP SOLD ON THERE EVERY DAY
    3) they’ve been chucked with essentially no notice, and no right to know who complained. Where’s their day in court? For some sellers that’s a signficant livelihood.

    I am, of course, thrilled about the perfume joint venture, but I feel bad for the little sellers on eBay.

    Seconding the request: anyone know any intellectual property rights lawyers?

    @sshats. Chumps. Spit-lickers. (Wanders off gnashing teeth.)

    • Patty says:

      Bottle really is stunning, I keep thinking Marlon Brando in a tux before he got too beefed out! 🙂

      eBay is being pretty short-sighted here — cave on this used thing, what’s next?

      What I don’t get, though, are the perfume companies that are behind it, and there are some because ebay never can be bothered to do anything without significant pressure and threats.

      I feel terrible for the little sellers and all the little sellers to be. With that venue gone, there is very little opportunity now for someone to start a business. Tough enough to get attention paid to a website when you already have customers and a place to advertise — almost impossible for someone without either of those things.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Poop on them.
    Yay for you !
    A**holes !
    It will cost them, to be sure…

    I think Ford will do really well with these.
    Those I smelled at Sniffa were mostly of excellent quality, very wearable, and of great variety.
    More so than the Chanels, IMHO.
    Definitely a winner !

    Kisses to the Sag enabler, and her brood-

    • Patty says:

      I think he will too! It’s weird that they don’t have all the hype that the Chanels did. I like the Chanels just find, but I find these to be a more quirky set of scents.

      My back was wrenched two days ago, and today is my day to curl up with motrin and maybe a Xanax and just get over it.

    • Patty says:

      Is it your birthday, or does dusan have it wrong?

  • Nina says:

    A great name, and a great initiative…I feel a great wave of relief to read this news. I like ‘The Perfumed Court’ as a name too.

    eBay has always been unstable in any business sense. After all, it was set up really to allow people to get rid of unwanted household items, not for businesses to be run on it…hence it has never had a proper regulatory business model in place. I suspect this whole pressure-from-the-big-firms thing will get worse, until eventually eBay hits back or a different auction facility muscles in on its market.

    Looking forward to hearing about the Fords.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah. I know ebay cut off all the people selling Bare Escentuals mineral makeup samples a couple of months ago, with strong arming from Bare Escentuals. I have heard Philosophy and Bond have put pressure on eBay all the time about VeRO claims.

  • Maria B. says:

    Patty, I love the name The Perfumed Court! It’s so evocative and right. What a great group of sellers has gotten together to form the site! And it’s so generous of you to post links to other sellers. You have a great big good heart. 😡

    We don’t need eBay or Bond No. 9. :p Perfumidarity indeed!

    I’m looking forward to your telling us in future posts which Tom Fords aren’t scary.

    • Patty says:

      Diane already had that name and so kindly let us co-opt it, she is a dear. I hope everyone will patronize these lovely people on my list until they can figure out what they are going to do or until other websites are set up. I don’t depend on my perfume decanting for a living — whole other job pays the bills — but I know several people who have counted on it for much or all of their living. And I feel worst about that since it was a short fuse to shut it down, though nobody has yet seen the official shut it down notice from ebay.

  • pitbull friend says:

    Patty, sweetheart: Thank you so very much for leading the sellers’ charge on this one. You have gotten together with some of the all-time greats on the Bay. If you look at the satisfaction ratings for you & Fishbone & Dragonfly & Miss D, etc., you are all at 100% or very close. If you look in other sales categories, there are tons of folks on the Bay with satisfaction ratings as low as 90% (and I’m talking about people who make thousands of sales a year — that’s a LOT of dissatisfied customers). Of course, the amount I spend at Ebay is going to drop from something like $200/month to maybe $25. I think the folks behind this are going to be sorry.

    Please tell us what you can about which companies were behind this, so we can boycott if we choose. Thank goodness I already felt that Bond No. 9 is overpriced and mediocre. I’m not about to forgive them for zapping Lisa.

    Sorry you got taken away from the urgent business of sniffing the Fords…. –Ellen

    • March says:

      E — Know any intellectual property rights lawyers?

    • Patty says:

      E — I honestly don’t know the companies behind it, but I am certain someone(s) hassled ebay so much, they caved. I guess if the same people start hassling me…. you guys will be the first to know because I won’t be shy saying who is an asshat here and everywhere. 🙂

      I do get why eBay is doing it, even though I think they are caving in a small area to avoid some larger problems with companies on the fakes issue.