It is 2013. My wife and I, we are at a perfume store in Brisbane.
A sale assistant greets us "Hi there, can I help you."
"We are looking for a perfume for a birthday gift."
The lady takes a golden bottle from a shelf,and then she gives it to me and says:
"Do me a favour and try this on, it has Oud in it. Your friend is going to love it".
"Why is that?" I asked.
"Come with me."
The lady approaches the counter and gets a jar. She twists the cap and takes a dark brisque from that jar. Then she says
"This is Oud which is the ingredient in this perfume. Smell it"
My wife and I have a glace. We both know it is not Agarwood (Oud). It is "Bakhoor", a type of Arabian incense. Pointing my finger at the jar, I asked
" So this is Oud?"
"Yes, it is"
Suddenly another lady walks out from the back of the room and joins the conversation.
" Yeah, that Oud wood is from Qatar where they grow it."
"Oh really, may I ask where do you get it from?"
"Our manager, he told us he got it from a store in Qatar. How do you feel about it?"
If we don't know anything about Oud, we will believe these ladies because they sound convincing.
Deep down, we know Bakhoor is not Oud, and it is wrong to misinform their customers.
I can't help myself but ask again "So this is what Oud looks like?"
The lady looks at me and nodes her head while holding the Bakhoor jar. She says
"Trust me; I have been working here for ten years. This is the best Oud you can get".
I don't know the exact number of customers she serves a day. Let's be conservative, I would imagine at least 20 a day in this busy street. That would be 7300 customers a year.
If it keeps going this way; many people may have the wrong impression about this incredible perfume ingredient: Agarwood.
Especially in Australia, only a handful of people know what Oud is. And not many people talk about it.
To us, the fragrance of Agarwood is divine, and we want to let as many people know as we can. Seeing how the sale assistant misinforms their customers day by day, we feel shocked.
That night, I talk to my very supportive wife. She says we should start giving the right information to the customers.
That is the moment we start Grandawood with the primary principle.
"If good Oud is what you are looking for, then we are on the same page".
You as a customer, your interest will always come first.