Animal urine found in some counterfeit perfumes

Counterfeit perfumes originating from the Far East are a big business for criminal groups, but some could be outright harmful: the Tax and Customs Office even found traces of animal urine in some of them, Magyar Idők reports.

editor: REMIX NEWS

Last year alone, the Hungarian Tax and Customs Office (NAV) seized illegally imported perfumes worth HUF 100 million (US$357,000), NAV spokesman for excise matters Róbert Leopold told Magyar Idők in an interview.

“Almost all seized perfumes were counterfeit,” Leopold said. “Most importantly, these knockoffs could be a health hazard, because there is no way of knowing what’s inside the bottles.”

He said the best-case scenario is when the bottles contain water and a small amount of fragrance, but some of the samples have been found to contain harmful chemicals and even traces of animal urine.

While most of these perfumes originate from the Far East, they typically reach Hungary via North Africa and the Middle East. He also said that while these products are typically of extremely poor quality, their smell can be deceivingly similar to the original.

The most telling giveaway of a counterfeit perfume is that it comes in 100ml bottles, while legitimate perfumes normally come in 20, 30, or at most 50ml bottles. The second most obvious sign of a counterfeit – besides the significantly cheaper price – is that serial numbers on both bottle and cardboard box are on stickers as opposed to printed on the genuine articles.

Title image: Hungarian Tax and Customs Office seizes counterfeit perfumes (MTI/János Vajda)


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