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HomeNewsSmelling A Rat - Watch out for fake perfume sellers in Harrow

Smelling A Rat – Watch out for fake perfume sellers in Harrow

Whether you’re buying perfume as a gift for a loved one or treating yourself to your signature scent, it’s a pretty expensive business. While we all love a bargain, you may get less than you bargained for if you buy perfume on the street and, in this article, we’re looking at fake perfume sellers in Harrow.

Kicking up a stink

Harrow Council recently updated their public spaces protection order for the borough, which includes actions against illegal street trading. These sellers can often be seen lurking in busy shopping areas, including St. Ann’s Road, selling “designer” fragrances from huge carrier bags. In many cases, these vendors will offer shoppers a tester – which will be the real deal but, unfortunately, the boxed perfumes will not.

As well as street vendors, shops and other premises are also sometimes used for selling fake perfumes. In 2012, a shop in Station Road was found to be selling counterfeit fragrances after Trading Standards officers found over 1000 boxes of fakes on the premises. In this instance, the store was hit with a fine of £2000 and forced to pay over £1000 in costs.

In another instance in 2019, Inspector Tanya Sprunks said: “We’ve recently seized more than 500 fake perfume bottles in St Ann’s Shopping Centre and this figure just keeps on growing. “If you’re thinking of buying perfume cheaply on the streets, please think again – as you may be aiding criminals and spraying a possibly harmful substance on yourself or on others.”

Notes of nasties and noxious chemicals

Shoppers who buy these fake perfumes often get home to discover that the product that they’ve bought smells nothing like the real thing or smells of nothing at all – but that’s not the worst part. In many cases, these fake fragrances contain all sorts of nasties including anti-freeze, toxic chemicals and even urine and, in some instances, can cause illness or skin irritation.

Using your common scents

When buying perfume – particularly expensive designer products – it’s always best to stick to reputable stores and websites. If you absolutely, positively must buy from an independent local trader, make sure that you examine the label carefully (it may help to Google a photograph of the real deal to compare it to).

In most cases, a genuine product will feature a barcode both on the bottom of the box and the bottom of the bottle so make sure that you check that these match. If the vendor is reluctant to allow you to open the box to check, this may be a red flag.

If you are unfortunate enough to buy a fake perfume, you should report this to Harrow Council’s Trading Standards department as soon as you can, stating where the product was purchased from.