12/5/13

Vermeil For Men (Vermeil Paris) Part Two



The picture above is of 6 rue Palestro, Paris, and is Vermeil Paris' address, as stated on the box label of Vermeil for Men. As you can see, the location is all barred up, a bit in shambles, and there is no perfume headquarters visible. 6 rue Palestro is a dead end. If Vermeil's headquarters are there, then this is their front door, pictured below:


These images were culled from the "street view" function of Google Maps. They lead to a few questions: Where do Vermeil's fragrances really come from? Are they even Parisian? Are their easy-to-ignore bar-coded labels a clever way of focusing consumer attention away from that question? Was this address printed on the product packages precisely because it is abandoned? Does the company even exist anymore, or are these the pictures of the former Vermeil headquarters, now long gone?

My guess is that Vermeil Paris is still an existing concern. I believe they're still in business because their fragrances are still in production. I know their fragrances are still in production because there's no contrived black market for them. Usually when a fragrance is discontinued, it enjoys a very brief period of time when it maintains the same price on the internet, until all the major merchants are fully out of stock.

Then there are mildly inflated prices, with older bottles and forgotten bottles still circulating out of warehouse stocks for anywhere from $10 to $100 more than their previous price. The "canned" version of Rive Gauche PH is a good example of that. A year ago you could buy the larger size off Amazon for $35. Now it's $45. I suspect in a few years it'll be nigh unobtainable.

After the stragglers are sold off, the prices become artificially inflated by idiots on Ebay who think they can get $350 for something that only cost $35 three years ago. But just because these prices are attached to the products doesn't mean they sell, nor does it mean there is a market for them. Usually there is no market for them, and many of them don't sell. Ebay is not a site that any experienced fragrance connoisseur would use to gauge the current, discontinued, or vintage fragrance market anyway, because it's pretty common knowledge that it is nothing more than an every-man-for-himself auction of anything and everything. You know how your Ebay home page can look. That guy selling an ancient bottle of Shalimar has his ad stuck next to another guy selling a piece of toast with Jesus' face on it. Sotheby's this is not.

There are plenty of greedy people who want to exploit the scarcity of something that may or may not be in demand. I remember when Red for Men was being listed for $200 a bottle (or more) on Ebay, just five years ago. Then the positive reviews on internet forums revived the scent, and back it came - for $16 a bottle. The fragrance was never popular with the masses, and it's obvious that EA wasn't interested in taking a huge expenditure risk on the scent's budget. Red for Men was never a pricey item to begin with, and it certainly wasn't a slam-dunk for the company two decades after its debut. Internet popularity ensured that some units would sell, and word-of-mouth would trickle down from the small population that coveted the scent into the discount bins at Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Suddenly there weren't many "vintage" $200 Red for Mens on Ebay anymore. Judging from the fact that I'm not seeing any such ridiculousness on the Bay for Vermeil's scents, my guess is the company is still circulating fresh stock through the usual online merchant and merchandise channels, like Amazon, New Egg, Scented Monkey, and Fragrancenet.

So if Vermeil is still operating, where are they operating from? Why the empty nest at 6 rue Palestro? Judging from the quality of Vermeil for Men, this is a concern that can afford a decent office. Unlike Lomani (a super-cheap brand that has sold fragrances with dead insects in the bottles, leading me to believe they operate out of a garage), Vermeil's product smells classy and well made. There are decent aroma chemicals being used in there, and someone with IFF-level perfumery skills was hired to handle the tobacco accord. I'm surprised that their packaging has so little information.

Then there's the fact that an internet search yields nothing about Vermeil. There is currently only one Youtube video reviewing Vermeil for Men. There is no information about the brand from Yahoo or Google. As far as the scents go, there is only what is posted on fragrance forums, and there's not much on those, either. This brand has very low visibility. It has absolutely no commercial presence on the internet. And yet they are putting out at least one very good masculine. Supposedly from Paris.

If anyone knows anything about Vermeil, please fill me in. What's up with this brand? Inquisitive minds would like to know.












5 comments:

  1. Hi Brian:

    I did a quick trademark look up for Vermeil for Men and found this; http://www.trademarkia.com/vermeil-76247420.html

    The company listed as holding the name "Vermeil," Delta Perfume House, Inc., has a website here: http://www.deltaperfumehouse.com/ On the front page is a photo of none other than Vermeil for Men., but the site itself seems inactive.

    It seems that Delta Perfume House is also listed in various sites as a perfume manufacturer and filed the "Vermeil" trademark name in the US in April 30, 2001?
    http://www.markhound.com/trademark/search/jEo3Hm4Rc

    Don't know if any of this adds up but its fun poking around.

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    Replies
    1. Hi John, thanks so much for this information about Vermeil, which apparently is based in NY. I'm wondering if the bottle I have is old stock. There's a possibility that in the 90s this brand was operating out of Paris, thus the Parisian address on the label. Currently there are no forums or fragrance bloggers who accurately compare bottles of old and new Vermeil side-by-side, so information is very scarce. I doubt I could do with this scent what I did with Grey Flannel, and trace its commercial lineage back to its earliest days. You have done a great job on clarifying its current trademark & ownership, and some of Vermeil's mystery still endures! Thanks again.

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  2. I have Vermeil for men and this is one of my favorite fragrances. I was surprised when I saw a new, at least for me, fragrance of this house, called Way for men, on the selling site in Lithuania. Seller says he bought it in France. I've searched the internet but there's not even mention of it. Very strange.

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  3. The address on the plastic box is "6 rue Palestro, 93500 PANTIN" which is a valid street address for the city of Pantin, which is a contiguous suburb of Paris. The confusion is undetstandable. Google Maps Street View seems to indicate a catering business at this address, however I believe that signage refers to #8 rue Palestro. There are no commercial signs for #6 Palestro in Pantin but it appears to be in use.

    I hope this helps in a small way!

    Lomerlaw

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