Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A rant, a diatribe, and why? One of my favorite stores keeps taking away the good stuff.

Ok, here we go.  Now, I know lots of you are curious about my sister.  She's doing good.  Came out of surgery well and now she's recuperating.  I saw her wounds and let's just say that Helena Bonham Carter would be so jealous!  It seems as Tim Burton was her surgeon and left what remains of her breast area as a costume from A Nightmare Before Christmas.  She has staples across both sides.  At first glance it reminded me very much of an 80's jacket with the very noticeable silver zippers.  Ok, yes.  I'm making light of it.  Why?  Because, her left breast came back with no cancer cells to be found and we're waiting for the test results from the right side sentinel node to come back.  For right now, I'm just thrilled she's alive.  So for me to make light means at least I'm not crying or freaking out.

Anyhow, if you haven't already, go get your mammogram.   Help Linda fight breast cancer.  Get on the team!  Care for your moms, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, girlfriends, daughters and the rest of the women in your life!  Let's kick Breast Cancer's butt!  Please contact me directly if you'd like to send Nan some Pink Gerbera Daisies (daisies are her favorite) to show her your support or for a list of her favorite Breast Cancer Awareness groups.  My sister is NOT a statistic!  She's flesh and blood and she's fighting cancer.

I'm on

 Won't you join me?

Back to other news:

Ok, so I'm out in the mall today. *cringe* (I hate hate HATE shopping.)  But I was at the mall for a couple of good reasons.  First, I had to go get my eyes examined and the local Lenscrafters seemed to be ok to handle that.  After I get done getting fitted for new contacts, I tackle my next mission, Nan needs a surprise of some sort.  Candles have been a family tradition for years!  So, after coming out of my eye exam with fresh new contacts in my eyes, I make a bee-line for Bath and Body Works.  Here in Vegas at the Meadows Mall, our Bath and Body Works is very similar to every other one in the country.  One half of the store is bath supplies, with a doorway in the dividing wall that leads to the home supplies and candles. 

I walk into the candle side of the store and a really sweet girl immediately comes to help me out.  She was really cute how she pointed out how some fragrances were exquisite, some interesting, and some peculiar (she pointed out that one scent, when you get down to it smells like Play-Doh).  She made me laugh.  On one of the shelves I spied something I had been searching for for quite a while now.  It's a candle in the scent "Lilac Blossom".

Ok, let's get into this because here comes the rant.  First off, why is Lilac Blossom so special?  Because, every single candle I've ever smelled that was supposed to smell like Lilac has always smelled like carnations.  No one ever got it right until Bath and Body Works came out with Lilac Blossom.  Secondly, my mom is from Germany and one of her all-time favorite smells from back home is lilac.  She has lived in the United States now for over 40 years, and she's never lived in an area of the U.S. that has lilac growing naturally.  The look on her face when she smells that candle is one of sheer joy.  Let's put it this way, my mother has not had an easy life any way you slice it.  To give her a moment of joy is worth it's weight in gold.  So for her to have something that gives her that much joy, you know I'm going to make sure she has it.  However, here comes the clencher.  Bath and Body Works has discontinued Lilac Blossom.  OH am I MAD!  The one thing I find in countless years of searching for something to give the world's hardest person to shop for, and they discontinue it.

But Lilac Blossom is not the first time Bath and Body Works has pulled this stunt, discontinuing my favorite scents and replacing them with ones I wouldn't wish on a dog.  First came Seaspray, a light, oceanic fragrance that was clean and fresh.  I loved wearing it.  I go back for refills and what do I find?  Discontinued.  Then came Strawberry Lemonade, then Juniper Breeze, then Coco Cabana, then Pearberry, then Country Apple, then came the killer, I ground my teeth when I found out they had discontinuted Freshwater Cucumber.  Every single one of them...DISCONTINUED.  Wait a second, how is this fair?  The scents I really love are being replaced by ones that smell synthetic and just outright nasty, such as one called Vanilla Noir.  I mean what exactly is Vanilla Noir?  Direct Franglish (Quebec slang: French/English hybrid) translation = Vanilla Black.  I smelled it and yanked it back from my face so fast it wasn't even funny.  Another one, Irresistible Apple...ok kids, B&BW missed the boat on that...the Irresistible Apple is definitely resistible.  It smells horrible.  The real deal apple scent was Country Apple and they discontinued it.  Nan LOVED Country Apple.  Now I can't get it for her as a surprise unless I order it online which takes a week to get to me, and if I'm lucky, the bottle won't have popped open or broken during shipping.  They've labeled  most of the discontinued ones as "Classics" and guess what, they only land in the stores every once in a great while because they're cleaning out their stock.  Otherwise, you have to order it online.  But, most of the great scents that I've loved have vanished, never to be seen again.

While in the store, I went through shelves and shelves of stuff, I find my favorite stand-by, Coconut Lime Verbena, just as it should be, in production.  Thank the gods, ONE they haven't discontinued YET (don't worry, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop on that one and for it to land in the 'discontinued' list.)  Black Raspberry Vanilla was there too. (Wipes sweat from brow with a WHEW.)

What's funny is that right now the majority of fragrances that line the walls of Bath and Body Works are ones that I've smelled and passed by because they didn't strike my taste.  Currently, on their list of 25 available fragrances, I only care for four of them.  4!!!!!  Out of 25??  I'm sorry but for a shop to make money off of my sense of smell, I would hope they would try to make at least 50% of what they offer as broad a range as possible to appeal to us so they could sell more products!  Currently out of the 21 that I don't like, they all smell synthetic, or are only appealing to specific demographics such as a fragrance called Moonlight Path which I consider a "mature" fragrance.  Brass tacks, it appeals to my 66 year old mother.  Get the picture?  I'm 38, how could I be expected to wear that and pull it off?  It'd be like asking me to wear the perfume "White Shoulders", a favorite of my grandmother.  I'm not that old yet, thank you very much.

The girls who worked in the store that I spoke to heartily agreed.  They shrugged their shoulders when I asked why Bath and Body Works always discontinued their most popular scents.  Time after time, they said they had asked the head office to reconsider, but since they worked there, the powers that be deemed that their opinion wasn't one of the consumers that shopped in their stores.  Now who the hell are they kidding with that mindset?  Who do you think recommends the products and are the first ones to buy the really fantastic ones?  The people who work there!  Gods!  They don't trust their own staff and their senses of smell?   Those would be the FIRST people I would listen to.  They're on the ground on the front lines, they're talking to the target audience all the time about what's good, what sucks and what smells like Play-Doh.  They know!  When a customer asks for something fruity and light, who's going to tell them besides the people who work there?  No one!  They'd be left to burn out their noses on so many different scents that they couldn't tell one from the next!  That's why you have staff in the stores!  They know what everything smells like and can suggest things.  When Bath and Body Works discontinues scents, the shop staff are the ones who have to contend with the shoppers disappointment, railing as I did at the loss of a fantastic treat for my mother and the rolling of my eyes when I couldn't find something suitable for my sister.

With the loss of Lilac Blossom, I'm officially on the warpath.  I've had it up to my eyeballs with one of my favorite bath supply shops discontinuing fantastic smelling products and replacing them with things that smell horrible!  Worse yet, I walked out of  Bath and Body Works for the first time without a gift for my sister.

So, I'm now going to ask all of you, my faithful readers, to take up arms with me!  Help me tell Bath and Body Works they need to bring back Lilac Blossom! 

Here's the address:

Bath and Body Works Customer Service

Give them a piece of your mind!  Just type in a single sentence, "Bring back Lilac Blossom!" and hit send!  Tell your friends!  Have your friends tell their friends!  The olfactory tyranny must end!

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