Saturday, October 16, 2010


I visited her Etsy just now, and she made her "warning/disclaimer" diatribe even longer!

I'm sure she gets the point between this blog, a certain forum and mistakes past. She discontinued some of the oils I called her on and the ones she kept, she changed their descriptions. Big surprise.

I mean, why bother? If you're innocent and everyone is completely wrong, why did you change the descriptions? Let alone discontinue a lot of them or put them on clearance?  I wouldn't write some long-winded, defensive diatribe on my profile, begging for people to believe you.  You're not convincing anybody, only yourself.

It's funny how some of the oils I ordered from you, almost all of the notes you claim are in them are completely different. You can run, but you can't hide from the truth. It just means you're getting better at covering up your own tracks.

Some of them she kept around. I guess those are her best sellers...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Truth About 13Gypsies Perfumery, Part 4.

This part, I'm going to provide links to forum threads, reviews and the like concerning the fact that BPAL lovers and perfume oil enthusiasts alike have caught onto her game, dating back as early as 2007:

Her eBay/Goth Auctions Days:

She attempted to sell her oils on eBay under the "vervain_m" ID and her shop was called "Comparable to BPAL"  Looks like somebody started to figure her out back in 2007:

She got shut down due to inappropriate keyword spamming, so she decided to shut down, yet again.

Around the same time, she ripped somebody off on as Spiderella13, then left there as a result:


Selling as "13Gypsies". Read the descriptions, and notice how she received bad feedback and then quickly left:
Pointing out what I noticed in 2009:

As you can tell, she stiffed somebody on Goth Auctions as well as her old '13Gypsies' Etsy id, so who knows what the future holds. I just don't think she sees the severity of her actions and how they impact people.

Sure this blog is rather long, and probably tiring to read, but there is just so much crap I discovered about her.  This blog is nearly a year in the making, between moving and not caring about the internet for a while. It seems like I am over-reacting, but you would too if you found out that you've spent over $600 on oils over the last 3.5 years that you could have purchased from SOS or SSF for a fraction of the price, and get all of them in 1/2 oz sizes :)

I don't see this blog any differently from a blog giving a company a bad review, or a blog somebody made about a serial swaplifter.  I consider this blog to be both, since she stole money from me and continues to rip off her customers.  The fact that she is doing fairly well on Etsy makes me sick. She has so many people fooled with that paragraph on her profile addressing what I did almost a year ago.  I'm amazed she still has it on her profile, and even more amazed that it's completely different from when she first published it.  That means to me that she is scared that somebody finally caught onto her and decided to speak up.

Also, the fact that you rebottle stock fragrance oils and give them semi-clever gothic names just tells me, and any other smart consumer out there, that you are merely taking advantage of a certain consumer base.  There are so many legitimate businesses on Etsy, and you give them all a bad name.  When you get burned badly from one seller, you are afraid to buy stuff from anybody else, unless they are legitimate.

There would be NOTHING wrong with you using these oils if you were HONEST about it. You could have made them into soaps or solid perfumes, and still be a legitimate business.  The fact that you still insist that you make your own oils just makes you look worse.  It's time to woman up and be honest. Hell, you could even start to make candles and such, and be legitimate.  Some people are not perfumers, but are damn good at making candles or bath and body products, but they are HONEST about their fragrances they use.

I will continue to update this blog whenever I come across more information, especially if I discover the corresponding stock oils for her newer "blends".

I am not saying to stay away from her and her Etsy shoppe; feel free to read this blog and take it however you wish.  I am just relaying what happened to me, and how it impacted me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Truth About 13Gypsies Perfumery, Part 3.

Proof of Her Using Stock Scents:

I was originally going to post scans of the old pamphlets (in fact, I still might do it eventually if need be) she sent out with each order, but I figured it would be easier for me to link to my last Etsy transaction with her instead, complete with the old descriptions:

Also, a link toa  transaction somebody had with her back in 2008:

Here are examples of the oils she uses, but claims she hand-blended them herself... Please note that she discontinued some of these.  Coincidence?

Absinthe >>
Baby Jane >> (scroll down to "Kudzu Blossom")
Bad Witch >>
Black Lung >>
Black Raven >>
Blue Angel >>
Crypt >>
Dirt >>
El Diablo >>
Gamma Ray >>
Good Witch >> (This is actually a dupe for Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar)
Great Pumpkin >> (look for "Pumpkin Crunch Cake")
Gypsy Tears >> (look for "Osmanthus")
Halloween >>
Jezebel >> (look for "Mimosa")
Le Cult Des Morts >> (look for "Morning Marigold")
Mermaid >> (look for "Sea Breeze")
Nag Champa >>
Nightshadows >> (look for "Psychadelic Dreams")
Queen of Hearts >>
Red Death >>
Red Vines >>
Rum Spice >>
Salome >> (look for "Goddess")
Sangria >>
Schokolade >>
Sleepy Hollow >> (This is a dupe for Clinique's AROMATIC ELIXIRS)
Sweet Tarts >>
Spun Sugar >>
Witches Brew >> (Look for "Jamaican Me Crazy")

I am certain there are a lot more in her more recent "hand-blended artisan perfumes", but she has cleverly re-worded the descriptions for the newer ones. that it'll take some more research to find out which ones she used.

Even though I cannot find any for her newer ones, the fact remains that some of the oils above, she still sells to this day.

Similarities to BPAL? No?

I know some similar perfume oil companies will use the same (or similar) names from time to time, but I couldn't pass this one up:

13 (Thirteen)
Blue Moon
Drink Me
Eat Me
Mata Hari
The Queen of Hearts (BPAL) > Queen of Hearts
Salomé (BPAL) > Salome
Sugar Skull
Trick or Treat
Zombi (BPAL) > zombie

The Truth About 13Gypsies Perfumery, Part 2.

My Experimentations With Creating Perfume Oils and 13Gypsies:

In late summer of '09, I decided to start playing around with oils to see if I wanted to make perfume for a living, so I began to poke around and ask questions on a reputable perfumer's message board community, Basenotes.  I posted about wanting to experiment with making my own perfume oils, but not wanting to spend money on the expensive stuff in case it goes south.  A kind person there suggested that I check out, among a few other places.

I spent a few hours there, and I came across some oils with familiar sounding names and descriptions, so I ordered the ones that sounded familiar because they sounded yummy. The first week of September I got my 13Gypsies order the day before I got my first order from SOS. Like I previously said, the last order I placed with her was an absolute nightmare.  The next day I got my SOS oils, opened them up, and: Oh. My. Effin' GOD!! I realised that I already owned them!! I had a good feeling who the culprit was here, and a lot of the 13G and Macabre Undertakings (MU) oils had the same names as the SOS ones I ordered. Not to mention, a lot of them had the same consistency and colour.  I was furious, to say the least.  Why?  here I was, happily buying her ridiculously over-priced oils over the last 3.5 years when I could have gotten a 1/2 oz at SOS for a fraction of the price.

From 2006 to 2009, I literally spent over $600 on her crappy stock oils, and all this time she had her nose high in the air, claiming these STOCK oils were "comparable, if not better than BPAL". Not to sound dramatic, but I actually cried when I discovered this. You would too if you spent all this money on oils you thought were hand-blended by a master perfumer, only to find out that this oh-so-nice woman was only nice to you because she was taking your hard-earned money.  Not to mention, how much I supported her, and tried to get a lot of people turned on to her perfumes.

My Failed Method of Confronting Her:

I used to also sell on Etsy, so I did not want to get my main account suspended.  So, I made a sock puppet account, and I began to peruse her feedback and hand-pick some of the people who purchased from her the most often, and decided to warn them. Two of them called me an amateur and a liar, one said they didn't care if she repackaged oils to pass off as her own creations (hey, who am I to stand in the way of their stupidity ?), and one of them actually agreed;  they were unhappy with the oils they got as well.

Not even an hour later, I received a response from the owner. Here is the screen-capped version of the email she sent to me, I just highlighted the interesting parts for you. :)

"This serves as an order to cease and desist, in regards to the messages you are sending to customers of 13 Gypsies Perfumery. What you are doing can be construed as tortious interference and if it continues, you will be hearing from my attorney."

Looking back in retrospect, what I did WAS childish and somewhat crazy. There's no excuse for it other than the fact that I reacted in the heat of the moment, and I should have settled down and devised a more thought-out plan on how to go about this. However, the fact that she mentions that she has an attorney. for a SMALL-TIME indie perfume oil shop on Etsy just had me in stitches.  I mean, I could understand BPAL having attorneys because, well, they're rather huge and have an enormous fan base.

It wasn't worth the risk, so I knocked it off. she nipped it in the bud which is what any business person would (and should) do, and I'll give her that much.

 "I actually have close to 20 years of experience and am a certified aromatherapist.  I have customers who have been purchasing oil from me for over 15 years and can attest to the fact that I personally blend each and every oil, as I've done so right in front of them.  I do not currently, nor have I ever purchased any oils from any of the vendors you mentioned."

20 years, huh?  In 2006 you had "a little over 10 years experience", in 2008, you had "over 15 years experience", and 2009, it's "actually close to 20 years" Hmmm......

All of your proof is unprovable, unless I fly out to Detroit to witness this myself. And if you haven't ever purchased oils from any of the vendors I mentioned, then why are you using their descriptions AND names, and why do the oils smell exactly the same?

"I also do not use fragrance oils.  The oils I use were specifically formulated to be used as perfume oils.  They are not formulated to be used in soaps, candles, or anything along that line." 

Well, the vendors I mentioned also sell fragrance oils that are formulated specifically for use with perfume oils, in addition to being compatible with soap, candles and the like. Some are not suited for body wear or for candles, however.

"Of course other places are going to have similar scents - it's no secret that perfumers constantly copy one another.  Plus, certain fragrances blend well with one another and become staples in everyone's repertoire.  As for your theory as to what my blends are made of, you're quite wrong and clearly do not have a very strong nose."

Sure, places will have similar scents, but none that are EXACTLY the same (unless they repackage and resell their "handmade perfume oils". *Cough*). Perfumers all have their unique signature ways of blending their oils, much like an artist has a personal signature method and style of painting or drawing, the same with musicians, photographers, chefs. you get the point.  Bottom line: They are ARTISTS.  You just sell repackaged oils, with semi-clever names and artwork that you took from Google's "public domain" search engine; that does not make you an artist, that makes you a fraud.

I have a very strong nose.  So strong that it smelled your heaping pile of bullshit all the way from Michigan!  And I'm at least 1,000 miles away from you. Besides, you don't have to have a strong nose to detect what I picked up or what other people detected back in 2007.  Also, I did stop making perfume oils due to getting bad headaches from long exposure to them, so I gave them away to a friend who also was fond of your oils.  I told her about what I discovered back in September, and she noticed the similarities right away. Does that mean she has a bad nose, too?

"As for the descriptions, the fragrance lab has both standard descriptions & names authorized sellers are allowed to use and occasionally I'll use one or the other.  They also have labels & photos, but I do not use those."

Let me ask you this: let's say that you are actually a perfumer. Why would you admit to using their descriptions for your oils when just a few moments ago, you said that you do not repackage and resell perfume oils?  If you did make your oils, wouldn't you want to give them imaginative, artful descriptions to match the equally creative and artful aromas they yield?

It just doesn't add up why somebody would use a stock name/description for an oil THEY made. So, you say you're not a reseller, yet inadvertently admit to being one in the same email. Nice.

Clearly, you do not use the same packaging.  You use some rather nice packaging, I'll admit, but it is in violation of several different copyrights, being that some of them are from the Google image search engine, while the majority of them are screen shots from old horror movies.

if you are so confident these oils were created by you, why did you change the descriptions of your oils right after I contacted you on it?  You've changed them quite a few times in the past, and now that I see some women at the forum knew of your scandal back in 2007, it all adds up.

Legitimate perfumers have a vivid imagination and sense of smell, which is why they began making their own perfumes.  They take their time; often days, weeks, months and sometimes even years to formulate that magical blend that is exactly the way they imagined it would be, and wouldn't settle for anything less.  They give their own perfumes clever and creative names with equally clever, original descriptions complete with creative note combinations.  They don't go onto some wholesale site and copy/paste their descriptions and names because they were too lazy to write one themselves.

"Every single oil I sell is hand blended by me, I do not sell straight out of the bottle scents.  I have a pretty good idea who you really are and if this does not stop, I will be forced to take legal action."

Again with the lies and legal threats.  If you even tried to sue me, I would research and contact all of those artists, movie directors and artists' images you used for your packaging, and see if they didn't take legal action against you.  Some of your oils are either named after songs (does "Tainted Love" ring a bell?) or other movies and some movie characters that are, in fact, copyrighted as well.  Also, I would counter-sue you for selling me fraudulent products, and I have all the proof to back it up, including all of the old pamphlets you sent me with each order that also prove that you change your descriptions constantly, and how you used a lot of the descriptions verbatim.

I intentionally excluded this little tidbit and saved it for last because I felt it deserved its own spotlight:

"I deal directly with one of the largest fragrance labs in the country, not resellers.  BPal and many other perfumeries use the same lab as I do."
And you know this information how?  Also, fragrance lab?  I thought you didn't use fragrance oils. Claiming that you know for a fact that BPAL uses some crummy stock fragrance oil company is quite insulting. Her oils are extremely potent, robust and high-end.  While yours, on the other hand, are not.

Also, is BPal really that much different from BPAL?  I doubt it.  Nice try on covering up your tracks.

The Truth About 13Gypsies Perfumery, Part 1: Disclaimer.

How I Discovered her Company and My History With Her:

In 2006, I discovered her oils through a mutual friend. They told me about Darla and her oils.  She added me right away and I went to her perfume oil blog where she sold as "Macabre Undertakings".  I felt somewhat uncomfortable and uneasy about ordering oils, but she was sweet, and made me feel confident about buying from her.  I ordered a big lot of her samplers and got them right away, and I loved them, despite her descriptions being too bland and not enough thought put into them.

She also had mentioned in her blog that she has a little over 10 years experience in the perfuming industry, and smelling her oils; I believed it.

I continued to purchase from her regularly, but sadly she shut down her blog suddenly, then re-opened it after a few weeks to announce that she moved over to an actual website.  I was happy to see her finally create a website for her oils, because I felt like she deserved it.  Perhaps this was a mistake on my part, but I mentioned that in terms of potency and staying power, her oils were almost as robust as BPAL's oils. She actually never heard of the company before until I mentioned this to her.  

Lo and behold, she slapped the "Comparable, if not better than BPAL" label on her website, citing that "a lot of people have been comparing my oils to BPAL's lately". I thought this was kind of strange, but I still bought her oils and figured it was some advertising shtick.

A few months into running her site, she shut it down and remained closed down for a while, before re-opening her blog to sell her oils.  This time, she came back with several new scents, and I bought all of them. This was during early 2008, then she shut down her blog, yet again, then came back with an Etsy store this time around.  She no longer sold under the name "Macabre Undertakings" and her new company's name was "13Gypsies Perfumery".

I was excited that she finally put some true effort into making an actual shoppe and that she still carried the same oils from her MU days.  I did notice that some of their descriptions were slightly altered, and I thought that was a bit strange. I chalked it up as her starting a new company and wanting new descriptions for them.  I bought some more of her oils and fell in love with the packaging which was adorable!! I loved the new oils, however, the duplicates I ordered seemed a little bit more diluted and were not as potent as before and some even smelled completely different.

Well, her Etsy shoppe was really beginning to take off, and I figured that she was trying to save money by diluting them some, and there's nothing wrong with that as long as the oils are still of excellent quality, which they were.  

The Red Flags:

The first major red flag went up when I saw on her profile that she now had "15+ years experience in the perfuming industry", when just in 2006, she had just "a little over 10 years". Fishy, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  I purchased from her again, the oils seeming even MORE diluted than the ones before. I was beginning to get annoyed by all of this, especially when the prices for her oils went up dramatically.  I began to contemplate whether or not I wanted to continue buying her oils.  I was really unhappy, as it seemed like 13Gypsies was more about the packaging rather than the actual product.  Still, I left her glowing feedback because I was very pleased with her customer service skills, and even though they smelled pretty weak, they still smelled good.  I just had to put a lot of it on.

She unleashed nearly a dozen oils (red flag #2) within a week's time and I thought that to be odd since I never saw a one-woman outfit create/release perfume oils so quickly like she was doing, especially since it began to become a pattern.  But still, I purchased a sampler set out of curiosity and I was rather pissed off when I received it, because the new oils smelled cheap and even more diluted than my last order ! Not to mention, I noticed she included a free sample that she poured into a plastic flip-top vial and when I went to open it, it leaked EVERYWHERE!  Stupid me, I left her glowing feedback before I noticed all of this and when I only opened the sample she included.  This sample smelled fairly decent, but smelled AWFUL when I spilled all over the place.  On top of all that, some of the 1/2 dram vials' necks got chipped and began to leak.  I was so angry, I decided to just stay away from her and her company.  I spent over $300 on her oils through her new Etsy, and it was such a waste of $$.