Monday, December 12, 2011

Four Flourish Fragrances (Five Times Fast?)

These are the four Flourish full-sized perfumes that I own: Saltwater, Lemon Blossom, Grapefruit Ginger, and Lavender Vanilla (the last was a limited edition perfume and is no longer available). For my initial thoughts on the company, see this post.

I am happy with all four of the scents that I have now; you can find my thoughts on Lemon Blossom, Saltwater, and Grapefruit Ginger here. I ordered Lavender Vanilla without getting a sample first (unlike the first three) because it was only available during a special sale that Flourish was doing - they brought back some of their older, non-main catalog scents just for the sale. I love the smell of lavender, though this is the first perfume I've found to feature it in a way that I liked. I like the smell of real lavender flowers, and that aspect gets lost a lot in other perfumes. Perhaps it's not the note of lavender that perfumers find interesting? I have no idea. Flourish's Lavender Vanilla is spot-on, though - reminiscent of the lavender gardens I smelled in France. This means it's faintly medicinal, but I enjoy that. It dries down sweeter, almost sugary, with a faint touch of vanilla to round it out. I'm enamored.

I'm not sure if I will order from Flourish again, however. Are you ready for an essay?

My first order, back in September, went off nicely - the owner replied promptly and was able to put together a custom order for me because I wanted X number of samples, different from the set amounts the shop offered.
The first order I made, back in September.

When the special edition perfume sale was taking place, I noticed that a lot of custom orders were being put together for other buyers, and it seemed like the total price of the custom order was significantly less than the total of the full prices of all of the items included. I know some other indie companies offer discounts for X number of bottles/vials/etc., so I sent a message on Etsy, asking if there was anything like that offered with this shop. At that point, I was thinking about ordering the full sizes of Saltwater and Lemon Blossom, and possibly a few others (depending on a swap package I was expecting), and if a discount did exist, I may have ordered a few gifts and other things and made the effort to order them all at once. I didn't receive any sort of response, though, while in the past, questions about scent descriptions or anything else had been rather prompt. I was a little disappointed that my question was just ignored (and I didn't think it was an unreasonable one - was it?).

At that point, I ordered the Lavender Vanilla full size, paid, and asked (politely) if it could be held for me for a short while - I explained that I was waiting for a swap package, and anticipated making another order shortly, based on what I received and liked in the swap. The Paypal order went through, I received no response to my request, and no package arrived, so I assumed my request had been honored. The swap package took a little longer than expected (darn international post!) and when I finally made my third order (full sizes of Saltwater and Lemon Blossom), I mentioned my previous order and asked that all three be sent now. Again, no response, but I received a shipping notification after a few days - for the last two that I had ordered, with no mention of the Lavender Vanilla from before. I checked my Etsy account, and saw that the status of my Lavender Vanilla order was still just at "paid." So I sent off another Etsy message, to clarify that the Lavender Vanilla was also coming. Again, no response, but all three of them arrived, safely ensconced in bubble wrap.

I understand that Flourish Bath and Body is a one-woman operation (as many indie companies are), and I don't expect instant replies or personalized attention. If there was no discount, fine, I would have (and still did) purchased the perfumes I wanted, anyway. People are busy - I definitely understand that - but I would have appreciated some sort of acknowledgment of my questions and comments. Even a "I'm extremely busy right now, but will try to get back to you at some later date," would have sufficed. People say that indie companies can't be held to the same standard as bigger commercial operations, but there are still some general business practices that should be observed.

Anyway. The products are great - I love the scents and the beautiful packaging; shipping is usually prompt and everything arrives safely, which are the more important factors. I am usually not one to ask a ton of questions or require a lot of personal attention, so I may continue to purchase things from Flourish. My indie company experience is usually: add things to cart, purchase, wait for shipping notification, wait for package. I don't require happy faces on my invoices or anything like that - it's just like shopping online with Nordstrom, you know? I appreciate little touches, but I know that running a business is not a game, so I don't expect anything other than the product I purchased, as advertised, within the stated TAT time. That said, I am a little disappointed with the lack of communication that I experienced this last time around, which is something I will take into consideration the next time I am shopping for perfume.