Buying perfumes online is always tricky. It’s hard to judge from its notes and description how the fragrance will smell on you and if it’ll suit your taste. And if you’re like me, you’ll also worry about whether your precious bottle will arrive in one piece. That’s why I had never bought a perfume online (samples don’t count) before falling in love with Seville A L’Aube, a LE fragrance from L’Artisan Perfumeur. I couldn’t find a place that sells the brand anywhere near me so it was either buy it from the website or miss it.
And so I bought it from the website. The first thing you need to do when you visit the website is to click on the flag, which is situated in the top right corner of the page, that corresponds to your location, otherwise they won’t be able to deliver your order. Then, you simply browse the site and place whatever you want in your cart. This will simply reload the page, which made me think there was some kind of glitch that prevented the perfume to end up in my basket. It was only after I had clicked on the “buy it button” a few times that I realised I had placed 5 or 6 bottles in the cart after all. Duh!
You see, after you click the “buy it button”, you’re not taken to a checkout or basket page like it happens on most sites, but remain on the perfume page. The only thing that’s different is that the basket, which is placed just under the flags, now shows the item you’ve added to it. I’ve found this very confusing tbh, as the basket area is so small it is easy to overlook it. Once you’re done adding stuff to the basket, click on its icon and you’ll be taken to check out, where you’ll have to fill in a form with your address and credit card details. No registration is required.
It was at this point that I realised that L’Artisan Parfumeur only accepts credit cards that are registered for 3D Secure Code (Verified by Visa e MasterCard Secure Code). I only have a debit card issued by a bank that doesn’t provide this service so I couldn’t make an order. After ranting about the uselessness of a website that doesn’t accept paypal, which is my favourite way to pay online, I turned to my boyfriend. His credit card is registered for 3D Secure Code and, after complaining how us women always waste money on cosmetics and perfumes (like men don’t waste money on electronic equipment and video games *rolls eyes*), he agreed to make the purchase for me.
The website stated that delivery to Italy would take about two weeks, so I prepared myself to wait, but within four days the perfume was already in my hands. And intact too. L’Artisan Parfumeur had packaged it really carefully to avoid breakage. I just wish they were so quick to respond to emails as they are to send packages. I had actually sent them an email a few days prior to my purchase to ask when the perfume would have finally become available as I had tired of checking the website 10 times a day with no luck, but they haven’t replied to me yet.
This makes me quite uneasy. It’s true that everything went well and the perfume is now with me so I don’t really need an answer anymore, but I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had had a problem with my order. Would they have replied promptly then? I do hope that it’s only general enquiries (which is bad enough anyway), and not problems with missing or damaged orders, they ignore, but still they should reply to all emails anyway otherwise people would start thinking twice about purchasing from them.
I have mixed feelings about my experience with L’Artisan Parfumer online shop. On one end, making a purchase takes only a few minutes, no registration is required, delivery is very quick and the perfumes are carefully packaged. On the other, only those with credit cards registered for 3d Secure Code can make a purchase, the ordering process can be a big confusing and the customer service doesn’t promptly reply to emails. Overall, everything went well with my purchase but I’d have to really fall head over heels in love with one of their scents to buy from them again.