March 2010


Sweet! I’m inside, but where is the exit?

Today I popped into Weimar’s remaining Douglas[1] to pick up some perfume.

I rarely go into the store because I rarely use cologne myself, but today I had to buy some perfume for a girl – a very specific perfume that is difficult to find under the best of circumstances and is never found in airport duty-free shops.

Actually, the last time I went into Douglas it was to buy this very perfume for the lucky lady in my life.

The store is actually rather annoying because I bought one tiny (well, large, but small, 100 ml) bottle of perfume. Unlike last time, this time I was fast enough to say “Keine Tüte bitte” before the clerk could open up an oversized bag to hold my purchase. Last time before I knew it not only did I have the oversized bag with my purchase but it also held about a dozen perfume/cologne samples that I didn’t really want or ever use.

I’d actually listened to the clerk talk to the customer before me (while I was hunting down the correct perfume) showering all kinds of compliments upon his ears and opening up the drawers beneath the counter to pull out all kinds of free samples which I promptly heard getting put in his bag.

Somehow I hoped that my declining of a bag would prevent me from getting saddled with unwanted free samples—and it sort of worked but I could see that she was internally conflicted. It seemed inherently wrong to her that a customer who had just dropped 82€ on a bottle of perfume shouldn’t get some free samples—at least one.

So now I have a free sample of Douglas Beauty System, “Protective Day Cream Blue Lotus,” which is described in five languages as “Protective day cream with the exclusive, effective Blue Lotus Complex.” (German, French, Italian, and Spanish are also in the fine print.)

Honestly I still have no idea what it is for.

What will it protect me from?

[1] The title of this post refers to an old Douglas slogan, “Come in and find out.” The slogan was widely misunderstood by Germans as meaning “Come in and see if you can figure out how to get out of the store” – or something to that effect. See Spiegel International.

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