Muscat: Fake bottles of Amouage brand perfumes are being sold on the black market at half the official price, prompting a warning from the company over health concerns.
The internationally renowned luxury brand’s CEO, David Crickmore, has warned people against using counterfeit products as they could be hazardous to health.
Talking exclusively to Times of Oman, Crickmore said: “The fake producers are getting very clever as what looks like a real Amouage item is not, and we are, of course, worried, not just about the fact that it is being discounted at 50 per cent in some places, but we are also worried about what is in these fake bottles because we just don’t know. There is a health issue here. These are chemicals that are being used and we don’t know how these chemicals will affect the consumers.
“As an international brand, Amouage never ever is on sale anywhere except for sale that we have in our factory sometimes to clear out ends of lines or sales that we have in Harrods and Selfridges in London. Otherwise, if you find Amouage at a cheaper price anywhere then you can pretty much guarantee that it is not a real product.
“If you are offered [Amouage] at cheaper prices, be very careful as we are very concerned about the health of the consumers. There is no such thing as a good deal on Amouage. If something looks too good to be true, it nearly always is too good to be true,” Crickmore said.
He added that consumers shouldn’t trust any product that is discounted as it is not coming from them. “You should be buying the product only at our shops or at the Muscat Pharmacy outlets or at various tourist sites like the Grand Hyatt, Bait Al Zubair and the Chedi Hotel.”
Founded in 1983 in Oman, the brand has gained massive popularity and has noticed a proliferation of fake bottles in the country as well as in the region.
Recently, authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seized 5,000 bottles of counterfeit Amouage headed for Oman.
“The police in the UAE have recently found another 5,000 pieces of fake product that is coming from the UAE into Oman because they realised that the market is greatest in the world for Amouage in Oman.
“We have had three court cases in the UAE for fakers but we haven’t yet found the manufacturers; we have only found the middle man. Our aim is to find the manufacturers and sue them because not only are they using our copyright as all these designs are registered – bottle designs, cap designs, even the brand name – and they are completely ignoring that and going against it.”
Giving a few tips on how to spot a fake, Crickmore explained what consumers should look at before making a purchase.
“The fragrances smell the same when you initially try them, but the fake ones last for between 10 min or an hour because basically they are mixed with water. When you look inside the boxes, at the bottles and caps, in particular, there are telling signs that tell us which is the fake and which is real. The first is if you look at the sides or feel the sides of the real bottle, you will feel that the waves – Amouage means waves – are much deeper on the real bottle than they are on the fake bottle because it is a very difficult thing to produce in glass.
“The next thing is if you look at the caps, there is a little trick that we have that can’t work with the fake one. The mechanism on the original bottle, because we have a special device inside, will ensure the cap always swings back to its original position whereas the fake ones can’t do this,” Crickmore explained.