This is not so much a guide as it is to point out a few little things about cosmetics, especially fragrances.
I recently purchased several sample fragrances from the usa, when i recieved the items i must admit i was a little suspicious as the colour and smell was simular and the packaging also differed slightly, they were nice but not what i had always used.
I contacted the seller and recieved a reply garunteeing they were authentic, which unfortunately i did not believe.
I took my samples to be tested against my fragrances i had bought previously from the brand shops. And i even went into the actual shops to check, The perfumes were an absolute 100% garunteed to be authentic, The shop staff explained to me why my fragrances were a little different to what i normaly used........
#1- Fragrances will not be the same in all countries, the familiar smell is there but theres a few things that stop them being the same the world over- most notably the fact that some countries do not allow certain chemicals to be used in cosmetics, so sometimes a fragrance in the uk is not identical to one in the usa or asia.
#2- Packaging varies too, depending on the sizes, if they are between 2mls-22mls samples then expect it to be in a card box or fold. for larger bottles there may be slightly different wording (but not chinese english such as- Flammable liquid is can be inside for the bottle????.
#3- Colours can be different of fragrances for several reasons, 1st is the whole country and chemical part, 2nd is how old it is, most fragrances will change colour over time, sometimes as new as 6 months old.
#4- Promotional samples sold by other stores, can also contain stickers with store logo etc, but these should never be printed on to the box.
My hastiness caused me embaressment, it cost me only $3.00 for the item plus $5 P&P, after i paid to get them checked, and spent money going to the store to double check it cost me nearly $45.00 total out of my own pocket.
Was it worth it over a silly little amount? well in a way yes, because it has taught me that i should not instantly suspect people for selling copies, it nearly cost me negative feedback, and at the end of the day it was me who was wrong.
its not easy to admit when your wrong, so if your not sure about an item just ask! i have noticed 9 out of 10 people will tell you the truth on here.
Dont be hasty to accuse, you could end up making a fool of yourself too.
i hope this can help all.