Q. Do you ship internationally?
A. Yes. Please inquire about shipping rates prior to ordering, as these rates may be considerably higher than US domestic shipping rates. Please see our S&H page here.
Canadian orders are quoted on a case-by-case basis.
Q. Have products being sold by TWIS been cleared through U.S. Customs (Homeland Security)?
A. Yes, all the products we sell have been thoroughly screened and cleared by the United States Department of Defense, Homeland Security Division, US Customs Department.
For everyone's protection, including ours, US Customs inspections are thorough and onerous. Unfortunately, inspections often involve cutting open shipping boxes and interior packaging and opening bottles. Sometimes this results in damage to our products, and in some cases has rendered our products unusable. However, TWIS views this as a small price to pay to better ensure the security and safety of our borders.
These monetary and regulatory risks involved in importing fragrances into the USA are liabilities that TWIS takes on behalf of our customers.
Q. Have the products being sold by TWIS been tested by the Food & Drug Administration?
A. To the best of our knowledge, specific products TWIS sells have NOT been tested by the FDA, but all products that we sell have been CLEARED during the importing process by FDA inspectors. Perfumes are generally not subjected to FDA testing because there are no claims concerning medical benefits derived from applying them, nor do they contain known toxic or hazardous ingredients when applied topically as intended. All of our products have been screened by FDA personnel and have been found to not violate import restrictions imposed by the FDA on any ingredients in the perfumes we sell.
Note that the FDA clearance process is separate from the normal US Customs inspections. TWIS was charged additional import fees for these FDA inspections, as are all legitimate importers.
Q. Why should I purchase from TWIS when I may be able to purchase these products from international internet vendors for a bit less money?
Glad you asked. The answer is straightforward, as most who have imported fragrances from the Middle East and Southeast Asia to the US will tell you. The risks and uncertainties involved with importing fragrances, especially decants, from international vendors are real and significant. You will have little recourse if something goes wrong.
Some more details on this topic, for your interest:
Transportation: Seaborne transportation takes a minimum of 4-5 weeks to reach the US from the Middle East (ASQ) and Malaysia (AgarAura). Since several shipping companies touch your package along the way, there is no one to blame if your shipment gets damaged or lost. There is no one to call for help. Further, the typical makeshift shipping cartons sent by middlemen almost always arrive taped-up and damaged. Also, you will not receive ANY tracking information from seaborne shippers until your package arrives in the US, which is roughly one month after the retailer has taken your money.
Airborne couriers like FedEx would be a better choice, but some of the Middle Eastern retailers have no access to courier services. If they do, these services are very expensive and their costs chip away at your "bargain" price. Moreover, nearly every shipment flown by FedEx and others will be opened by US Customs, then sent to the FDA for further inspection and fee levies. So even airborne "overnight shipping" can end up taking weeks and many phones calls from Customs concerning importing paperwork. Yes, YOU are the importer, not the entity you bought your products from. Most people do not have the time, desire or knowledge to deal with all of these hassles.
Trust: Some of our international-based competitors often export their products to the US under the radar by giving the products false names, identifying the products as "gifts", or "marking down" products in an effort to avoid import and inspection duties and hassles. Please think twice about giving these same vendors your money and trusting them with sending you the correct products. Caveat emptor.
Security: You will typically be required to give your credit card information to international companies that communicate only via email, and usually poorly at that. The websites may not be secure, along with your credit card information. This is not an acceptable risk to take for any online order, let alone an order from a middleman located halfway around the globe.
Snafus?: You have virtually no recourse if you receive the wrong products or they get lost during shipping. We can tell you from our personal experiences that if something goes awry in any way with your order, you will either spend an inordinate amount of time trying to retrieve your money, or you will simply give up and chalk it up to experience. Our wallets have the battle scars to prove this.
Q. Is TWIS affiliated with the House of Abdul Samad Al Qurashi or Agar Aura?
A. NO, so we take no responsibility for the reformulations and dilutions ASQ elected to pursue beginning in early 2015. TWIS is an independently-owned US-based Limited Liability Company that pays NJ State and US Federal income and sales taxes. TWIS was affiliated with ASQ in that we were its largest customer outside of the Middle East.
Q. Are your products returnable or exchangeable?
A. No. We are sorry, but due to the nature of our products and the potential for tampering with opened bottles of fragrances, from a hygienic perspective alone we cannot accept returns or exchanges, or issue refunds.
Q. Can TWIS "match" ASQ perfumes purchased from another vendor or previously purchased from another ASQ outlet?
1) Fraudulent and/or diluted ASQ products are being marketed in some online outlets and now by ASQ themselves, although ASQ has the right to produce whatever products it likes. Unfortunately, these products are so vastly inferior to those being distributed by ASQ prior to 2015 because they are now IFRA-compliant. We refuse to sell them to our customers.
2) ASQ produces its perfumes in batches using natural ingredients, thus there are often inconsistencies from one batch to another.
3) ASQ product names can be VERY confusing and misleading. Several ASQ products (examples: Royal Amber) have the same name but are offered for different prices on ASQ's website. This is due to one being more concentrated or from a different batch than the other(s). TWIS differentiates between different concentrations and batches of ASQ products by using "AA" and "AAA" in our product descriptions.
Q. Are my ASQ products shipped in bottles like those shown on the main product pages?
A. No. Due to a change in ASQ's exporting procedures, the company no longer ships its products internationally in the bottles shown on our main product pages. You will not receive the bottles in the photos on our main product pages. Our product photos are for display purposes only!
Also, 1/2 tolas of many ASQ's and AgarAura's more expensive and concentrated products are unaffordable to many of our customers. In fact, 1/2 tola is simply more than most of our customers will ever use. Further, the majority of our customers are fairly new to Middle Eastern fragrances and have not yet acclimated to the characteristics of these perfume oils, and they would like to be cautious in their purchasing.
Thus, decanting ASQ's and AgarAura's larger bottles into more practical and affordable sizes is a significant part of TWIS' value proposition.
The fragrances you receive from TWIS will be 100% authentic ASQ and AgarAura products (as applicable), but most of the bottles you receive will not be ASQ-branded merchandise unless specifically stated in the product descriptions.
Please see our Shipping & Handling page for more details.
Q. How can I contact TWIS?
The best and quickest way to contact us is via email at info@TheWorldInScents.com. We handle 99% of product and service questions via email on a timely basis.
However, we can be reached via phone at (732) 419-3540. Our customer service machine will answer, but it is monitored only once daily. Thus, it may take us some time to return your call. You will get a much quicker response if you email us, as we monitor our email more frequently.
Our mailing address is:
The World In Scents, LLC, PO Box 2385, Princeton, NJ 08543
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