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Our bath line, our favourite moisturizer—or worse, our favourite perfume, is discontinued—or no longer carried by our local retailer. Thus begins the frantic search for the few remaining bottles, or a new source for our prize.

The Retailers


StrawberryNet, based in Hong Kong, has supplied me with dozens of my favourite skin care, make-up items, and fragrances—at a substantial discount. Although they don’t usually offer the complete line, it’s well worth trying this site first for some great deals. (At the time of publication, StrawberryNet offers free shipping.)
   Skin care and cosmetic lines include: Bulgari, Carita, Cellex C, Chanel, Chen Yu, Dior, Clarins, Clinique, Darphin, Decléor, Arden, Lauder, Gatineau, Givenchy, Guerlain, Guinot, H2O+, Helena Rubinstein, Sisley, Kanebo, La Prairie, Lancaster, Leirac, Monteil, Nina Ricci, Orlane, Payot, Saturnia, Shiseido, Stendhal. Ultima II, and YSL.
   Fragrances include: Andy Warhol, Banana Republic’s Modern, Cabochard, Cabotine, Caleche, Clarins Eau Dynamissante, Sisley’s Eau de Campagne, and Eau de Soir, Gap, Jungle Elephant by Kenzo, Orlane, Petit Guerlain, S. T. Dupont, Samba Natural, and a few of the Shiseido fragrances, as well as the usual suspects from Dior, Lauder, YSL and the other big brands.

Cosmetic Mall

As well as carrying Cabot’s Skin Care (and Musk Oil), Lancôme, Arden, Murad, Cellex-C, Pupa, Givenchy, Dermablend, and hair care lines like Klorane, Phyto, Leonor Greyl, and Mason Pearson brushes, Cosmetic Mall carries a large selection of fragrances, including 4711, Benandre by Ben Rickert, Privilege, Vitabath, Casmir, Ciara, Magie Noir by Lancome, Maja, Norell, Ombre Rose, Paul Sebastian, Tabu and Tendre Poison. For men, look for: Kouros, Quorum, Royal Copenhagen, Paul Sebastian, and Canoe, plus a large array of mainstream perfumes.

Classic Edition Fragrances

English Leather, Monsieur Musk, original Ambush, Lutece, English Leather Lime, Tabu lipsticks, English Leather Musk, British Sterling, Chantilly, Alyssa Ashley Musk, Herbissimo, Aqua Di Selva, Raffinee, Love’s products, original Timberline, and the ever-elusive Canoe.

Perfume Mart

Loads and loads of favourites here: Anne Klein, Anne Klein II, Baryshnikov, Bandit, Blue Grass, Basic Black, Deneuve, Casmir, Champagne, Chaos, Charles of the Ritz, Encore by Alfred Sung, YSL’s In Love Again, Shiseido’s Zen and Feminité du Bois, Interlude, Gucci 1 and 3, Moments by Priscilla Presley, Nude, Guess, Gabriella Sabatini, Privilege, Ruffles (Oscar de la Renta), Tova, Xia Xiang by Revlon—and many others, including Annick Goutal and Versace fragrances.

Other sites
Start with obvious choices first, like your bigger high-end cosmetic retailers:

Sephora, (site pictured at right)
Nordstrom,—or the Nordstrom Beauty Hotline 800-7-BEAUTY
Saks Fifth Avenue,
Neiman Marcus,

Then visit sites online that specialize in fragrance information (e.g. Goodscent) and retailing:

Perfume Bay,
Parfums Raffy,
Beauty Café,
Rare Essences,
Direct Cosmetics,
Miss Paris in El Paso, Texas,
Beauty Buys,
Good Scent,
Classy Perfumes,

Beauty Boutique Mail Order Catalogue

This is a fantastic catalogue for finding rare, discontinued and limited distribution fragrances. Although stock changes with every catalogue issue, you can frequently find a good selection of low- and high-range favourites, like: Royal Secret, Tatiana, Ciara and Ciara Femme Fatale, Raffine, Lutece, Bill Blass and Nude by Bill Blass, L’Eau de Monteil (and a few select Monteil skin care items), Lou Lou by Cacharel, Coty’s L’Aimant, Love’s Baby Soft, Touch of Venus, Heaven Sent, Musk by Alyssa Ashley, 4711, Toujoir Moi, Cachet, Ombre Rose, Galore, Arpège, Blue Grass (and several Elizabeth Arden skin care products), Casmir, Intimate, Tea Rose, Maja de Myrurgia (the makers of the famous black soap from Spain), Je Reviens, Ma Griffe and so many others.

Don’t Forget the Ebay Option

When all else fails, I look on Ebay. One caution, decide in advance how high you’re really willing to go to get your product. Don’t get caught up in the chase and lose sight of what it’s really worth.

Still Out of Luck?

Finally, you’ve checked everywhere—and your beloved Product X is truly gone. To console yourself (or even to make one last effort to find it) visit Perfume and Cosmetic Cemetery,
   Here you can eulogize your long-lost product, or post a notice on the message board that might turn up a resource offline. At least you’ll gain some comfort in knowing you are not the only one who’s lost a favourite. You may even see others sharing your sense of loss over the same product. For now, though, be thankful that everything from colours to scents, eventually make their way back around.

M. K. Johnson

M. K. Johnson is beauty editor of Lucire.

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