What Is the Perfume Hoax:
A Reason to Be Alarmed or Not?

What Is the Perfume Hoax: Introduction

Q: What Is the Perfume Hoax?

A: An urban legend that spams the news and email boxes and thrives on a hidden desire for a little bit of mystery and fears.

It's amazing how an urban legend can adapt itself fairly well to any technological advances. The perfumery world has its own brand of perfume scam hoax that has been circulating for more than four decades now.

With the birth of the virtual world, some of the oldest hoaxes have thrived well and have even transformed itself into a new form of legend that strikes fear among the general public.

Hoaxes are fabricated information that is spread by some people to evoke false fear among the general public. It bases its claims on some allegedly real life events that sound alarming to anyone who reads or hears about it.

Some of the most common forms of 'false truths' come to us in an overly intriguing fashion and are immediately disseminated by word of the mouth or through other means of communication. It evokes a sense of reality that no can be blamed of getting scared.

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What Is the Perfume Hoax: Origins of Perfume Scam Hoax

The earliest form of perfume scam hoax dates back in 1970s. It was a rude form of deception story that focuses on one plot, the victim being asked to try a perfume, faints out and is robbed. Speculations have spread uncontrolled and have soon become part of folk tales. Although this urban legend has never been supported, many believe it and even fear this tale as if it was true.

After some time of hibernation, perfume hoax has again become apparent in the late 1990s when a lady claimed to be robbed of $800. This incident happened in Alabama and was reported by the Alabama Police Department in November 8, 1999. It was a new kind of burglary method that has not yet been recorded in any police department, except in this state. The woman claimed to have been offered a sample of a perfume that soon caused her to faint and lose her consciousness. The alleged suspect was also woman who disguises herself as a perfume agent and offers sample perfumes to passers-by. Purportedly, the victim was on her way to the bank when an unknown woman approached her and offered to take a whiff of the perfume bottle she's holding. After several minutes of being unconscious, she woke up, finding herself in a different parking lot several miles away from where she was originally at and noticing her purse was empty, and the $800 cash gone.

The woman went straight to the police station to file the reports. Tests where run at her and there were no foreign substances found in her blood. Medical experts have also been alarmed by this incident knowing that there's not many substances that can make a person unconscious with few sniffs.

This news spread like wildfire through the web because of the spam 'warning emails' that some people made. While the above described case has been tagged as isolated and unfounded, people have grown terrified of this news. Soon, several similar accounts have started to plague the Internet.

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What Is the Perfume Hoax: Spread of the Hoax

There have been several forms of this perfume scam hoax and it appears that other countries have their own kind of urban legend circulating. Each version has its own distinct supporting details that make it appear very true but the plot remains singular. New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and Ireland have its own perfume hoax that reflects some of the famous landmarks and business establishments. These are key elements that make one urban legend seem real.

While the minute details can appear unique, it can be easily judged as hoax with the way the story is fabricated. Usually, perfume hoax is spread through mass distribution over emails. So, in essence the perfume scam hoax produced another hoax, a perfume email hoax.

The reproduction of the perfume hoax in every region has a slight alteration of the original story depending on the cultural and popular beliefs in a country. For example, in the US perfume hoax stories are commonly set on a parking lot where there is a higher possibility that such thing can happen. In some other stories, the alleged events happen while attending a big, famous event while other make it look real by including well known names such as the police, a medical practitioner or a media person. These are specifically intended to make the story connect to what the general public know and effectively brings what they intend.

So, how to debunk this urban myth 'what is the perfume hoax'?

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What Is the Perfume Hoax: The Elements of the Perfume Scam Hoax Emails

These sporadic stories about perfume scam hoax have caused some to be alarmed and fear trying out perfumes from legitimate dealers. While it is true that we need to be cautious, you need to learn which email messages are genuine to guide you properly. If you have received such spam message or your region has some stories with the same structure, you will find that they are never true by simply evaluating its elements with your common sense.

Usually, the story revolves between two major characters the victim and the suspect with supporting details that make it sound real. As emphasized earlier, the plot goes in this fashion, the victim sniffs and faints, and is robbed. Aside from these story elements, you can also find some of the general features of a scam story that includes the following:

  1. The story evokes either fear or pity to anyone who reads it by associating the story with facts and truth.
  2. There is a long list of people who authenticate or have subscribed to the message.
  3. Most of these hoax emails come from friends who might have just sent it by random without or were truly drawn by the story and felt the need to pass it.
  4. The message is continuously sent despite the date it was originally made. Some hoax messages can even become active after several years of inactivity.
  5. It contains the famous hoax lines that say: 'forward this to everyone', 'this is not a scam', 'this is not a hoax', and others.
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What Is the Perfume Hoax: Conclusion

Finally, the perfume scam hoaxes that continue to circulate on the Internet are never true. In fact, there is neither a documented nor a supported event that can prove these stories.

Perfume scam hoax has become inherent in our culture and it appears that we somehow love the thrill of the fear that it gives to us. While by using common sense, most of us can distinguish what could be true and what not, it seems we just can't help ourselves from loving the thrill of mystery that urban legends offer. It is therefore no wonder why the hoax stories adapt so well, even if the technology and culture change comprehensively.

So to conclude, a short answer to the question 'What Is the Perfume Hoax?' could be: an urban legend primarily designed to spam our news and email boxes and to feed our hidden thrills for a little bit of mystery and fears. (However, be wary of strangers offering you a whiff of perfume samples at unexpected places...)

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