18 January 2015

Hafiz Adewuyi

Parfum Scam

TL;DR: Never buy a perfume (parfum) or deodorant (body spray) from a road-side vendor in Lagos. The products are fake; the contents of the bottles, nothing to write home about. I learned the hard way from experience. Do not let this be you.

Read on ..... for more details...

This sunny, happy jolly day, while on the way home from work, I was feeling particularly spend-thrift on a brisk trek from one Lagos bus-stop to the next. However, being the shrewd being that I am, I purposed to buy only things I needed.

Aha! That was how I felt when I noticed from a distance that a parfum stall on the roadside had my current favourite (and affortable) brand of deodorant - Bellagio Homme. I had run out of body spray and this was my perfect chance to restock. Behind the tray of assorted perfumes sat the plump female vendor. She looked rather kempt, like her life did not really depend on the meagre sales that come from sitting all day long by the roadside.

I stopped once I arrived at her stall. No time wasted, I picked up the familiar looking blue can and asked for the price. She said 600 naira. I beat it down to 400, which she then beat up to 500. As I say, I was feeling spend-thrift (like ayaf arrived). That being the case, I was not particularly motivated to go into a protracted haggling session. I agreed, got the order packed, and proceed in my jolly brisk walk.

I was soon at home. Very disappointed, I was, when I unpacked the product and sprayed on a little for sampling. The content of the refurbished looking can smelled nothing like the Bellagio I know. Not even close. The odor was something I'd describe as smelling more or less like "Spirit": the ethanol-based product that is applied medically. There was no fanciness to it, and there and then, I knew that I'd just been ripped off of my 500 naira. I wished I had been patient enough to pick it up from neighbourhood Addide, next time I was free to drop by.

I really should have known. My first impression of the parfum can was that it looked rather shabby; like it had been scraped against the ground at some point in its handling. For some reason, perhaps, due to my bright mood at the time, I did not dwell on the observation. Only now do I realize I should have. I should have known that the can was picked off of the garbage and refilled with the most shoddy odorous alcoholic fluid that man ever made.Why? This was just so obvious.

Poverty, that's all I can think of. I can only imagine the tons of other such substandard goods that are being pumped into our markets on the regular. Drugs, body creams, food items, things that could potentially hurt a person. It's pitiable, the ignoble things desperation will coerce the average man into doing.

God help us all.

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