EQUIVALENZA, a Spanish company specialising in low-cost perfume, may have to appear in a French court due to allegations of selling luxury scent imitations in its stores according to sources close to the case who spoke to AFP on Wednesday September 30.
The reports went on to indicate that a criminal probe had been opened last year after which preliminary charges were filed against the parent company and its chief in France.
Equivalenza has not yet been available for comment.
According to its website, Equivalenza began operations in 2011 aiming to deliver high quality fragrances at affordable prices. The company produces perfumes itself which it then sells in bottles without labels that clients can top up when empty.
The reports suggested that the criminal probe focused on charts which the company created to help its sales staff advise customers when queried about fragrances similar to leading brands. The company is said to have denied any allegations of counterfeiting.
Preliminary charges would not necessarily lead to a court case although France is a leader in the luxury industry and takes a strong stand against counterfeiting.
Febea, the federation of beauty companies in France, recently estimated that around 10 per cent of total counterfeits are cosmetics, a sector which is one of France’s top net exporters with €10.9 billion in sales in 2013.