Screw You! Fragrance Direct UK Discount Perfume Store Review & Rant

Why do I do this to myself?

I made an order last week – let’s call it I woz bored shopping, at

Like many similar online discount stores, they sell discounted scent, skincare and make up. There are lots of these kinds of sites on the web, some are fantastic, some not so much.


Fragrance Direct is one of the bigger, well known discount stores so despite some people telling me it was dodgy, I went ahead and spent about £25 on some NYX make up (2 glitter liners, 2 cream blushers, 2 lipsticks, a Sally Hansen polish remover (remember these?! Twist and remove!) and Sally Hansen Invisible Lipliner.

First off delivery was good. For £1.99 it arrived in 2 days flat, well packaged in a sturdy box. But as I inspected the items…I don’t know. I got the feeling of grubby warehouse.


The blushers and glitter liners were covered in dust. Some of it wiped off but this is what it sort of looks like. This is dust that had settled. How long, I wonder, have these products been sitting there waiting for someone to buy?

If you’re going to sell dusty items, at least brush it OFF before you send it out so we don’t feel like were buying 20 year old eyeliner.


Then I came to open up one of the lipsticks, named Lala, a pretty mauve. Problem number one….
The case was coming apart. The lipstick looked wonky and when I swivelled it out to check it (it’s just something I do to all my new make up!)….


Nice smudge! Looks like someone has swatched or tested and swivelled it back down! The tip of the lipstick is fine but this is beside the point – to me this is NOT a new item, it is an old, tested, used item. It may’ve only cost £1.99, but it was still sold as brand new.


So what did I do? On principle, not because of £1.99, I emailed them to say their lipstick was faulty/damaged, do they do exchanges or refunds?

They replied and said yes, I could send it back for a refund, or an exchange but if I wanted an exchange, I would have to pay for the replacement to be sent out to me.

They responded again (they do respond quite promptly):

“Thank you for the email. We will refund you the postage if the item is faulty.”

If the item is faulty? The item is faulty! I love the amount of trust here! That’s what I like to do, con people out of £1.99 lipsticks.

Am I going to return it?

Well quite frankly, I don’t trust them so I wouldn’t just pop it into the letter box, I would send it recorded or get a postage receipt = time spent queuing in the post office, which I HATE.

Plus then, whose to say that they will refund me, plus the shipping costs…maybe all their lipsticks have giant fingerprint smudges on them, maybe NYX lipsticks are SUPPOSED to be detachable?

Too much hassle, and I can’t be bothered with it. I’ll keep the lipstick with someone else’s germs on it, thanks Fragrance Direct.

Here’s what a good company would’ve done:

You say the items damaged? Send us a photo. Yes it looks damaged, we will replace it and send you a new one right away. Send yours back to us at your leisure, OR, because we can’t resell faulty goods anyway, just keep it. For the sake of good feedback and repeat custom we can sacrifice a faulty lipstick.

Anyway, swatches:


Basically the products are ok but I am now a little suspicious about how long they’ve been sat in a warehouse. I’m not saying their expired products (there’s no date on them anyway) but I am hardly thrilled about the dust.

I will not be shopping with again, their customer service is respond quickly but all I hear is yada yada yada….

Every shopped with these guys? Or any other discount store? Rant or Rave?

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  1. rhamnousia says

    They probably think that if they respond quickly, you will be duped into trusting them and then they will get you to send the products back (at your own cost) and they won’t refund it.

    I seldom trust websites like this as I have read reviews like yours where the products that people have bought haven’t lasted long (ie were cheap because they were near their end date)

    Plus, regardless of the price they charge you, if it’s sold as brand new and isn’t then they’re blatantly breaching the contract.

    • Row says

      Urgh I can’t even find the end date :/ Nasty, the last thing you want when you buy an eyeliner is to see dust all over it. I won’t be buying from them again any how I had low expectations and sure enough, the results matched it!

  2. says

    I just picked up some NYX make-up at Ulta last week and one of my lipsticks containers seperated just like yours did. To make matters worse I’m not sure if some tweener wasn’t careful after viewing but the lipstick had been resting on the side of the container and when I swiveled it up it cut a huge line down the side of my lipstick. :( I was cautious about which ones I bought since the display faces a full window with direct sun and several containers had been tampered. I also had circled the store twice waiting for a bunch of permed and over done up tweeners to leave the collection so I had room to view. Which by the way they were peeling back stickers and labels to “sample and test” and then return back to the shelves like it was nothing. Oh it made me cringe and want to hunt down their Mothers. Any way, aside from all that I was pleased with the NYX I picked up just saddened that such mistreatment of make-up was going on at Ulta. What is wrong with kids today??

    • Row says

      We have something like that in the uk – a store called Superdrug! It appeals to younger gals so you get the teens there at weekends, digging their nails into the testers and generally messing things up grrrrrr! x

  3. carly says

    i just googled this company and found your review,im so glad i did.i seen a bottle of stella perfume 100ml for just under 40 pound, and noticedt the 50ml was about 2pound cheaper ,thought that seems to good to be true the 100ml retails for 60 pound in perfume shops! i had a feeling it was a old dodgy warehouse and that the product was gonna be very old and might smell like it was off ! and your review proved to me im right .il be spending the extra 20 pound so thank you .im not gonna get a 100ml perfume thats gonna last me a while when its probally on its way out and smells of cats pee.

  4. says

    I purchased an aftershave around christmas 2009 as a gift as it was around £15 cheaper than House of Fraser; the atomiser broke however I apologised to the recipient and put it down to being unlucky. I purchsed the same fragrance Tuscany by Aramis Christmas 2010 and low and behold, the same thing has happened! On close inspection to the Tuscany from the department stores, the atomiser is cheaper and not the same from Fragrance Direct! They have said I can return it (after i have paid postage) for a refund. How embarrassing, the recipient must think I’ve bought a cheap copy..or well maybe it is without the cheap cheap benefit to go with it. Yes, you get what you pay for, I am very embarrassed and disappointed. I will never buy from Fragrance Direct aagain, i’ve learned my lesson..items that are supposed to be genuine are awfull!

  5. says

    I had a similar problem with TK Maxx. I bought a body scrub on clearance. When I took it home, I found a finger mark on it. It was only after I complained to head office that they gave me a refund.

  6. says

    Just bought 100ml mens 212 from fragrance direct, i was lured in by it being £15 cheaper than the usual retailers, fast delivery recieved it the next day, everything was fine until i got to smell the perfume, it was a very different smell from what i was use to and the scent only lasted for a few minutes, seems to me as though it has past its shelf life. Ive e mailed them asking for a refund but i am still waiting for a reply. Seems like the saying ” you pay for what you get” is true, next time i ll go to a respectable shop that i can trust and pay that little bit more…. Live and learn so they say

    • Goonz says

      Cheers for this comment! I was just about to buy this exact fragrance from there having been duped on ebay already!

      I will probably stay clear now as I am not ready to get stung for £30 again!

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  8. Anon says

    I have ordered from this site, the first time they sent out of date goods I emailed the manufacturers got all the manufactured dates and shelf life info and called customer services. Told them what I thought of them and then reported them to trading standards. They swiftly refunded all product and asked me if I could dispose of it for them. I will never order from this site again. Similar experience with chemistdirect too. Two sites I would recommend staying away from. Plus, I would check those products with manufacturers, all of them should have a stamp on them and a quick email would be better than irritated skin :)