Victoria’s Secret sues over ‘fake’ perfume

Chemist Warehouse is merging with Sigma Healthcare.

Chemist Warehouse is merging with Sigma Healthcare. Photo: AAP

Chemist Warehouse is facing a potentially hefty damages bill after being accused of selling counterfeit Victoria’s Secret perfumes in its Australian stores and online.

In a lawsuit filed in the Federal Court, Victoria’s Secret claims it has samples of five brands of allegedly fake fragrances sold through Chemist Warehouse’s website and by three franchisees.

From at least around September this year, fake versions of Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance, Love Addict, Aqua Kiss, Pure Seduction and Coconut Passion body mists were allegedly available for sale.

By selling its beauty products in physical stores, its website and social media such as Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, Victoria’s Secret claims it “enjoyed a substantial and valuable reputation and goodwill” regarding brands such as its perfumes in Australia.

Accused of riding Victoria Secret’s popularity

With Chemist Warehouse selling products “substantially identical or deceptively similar” to the official fragrances, it is accused of riding Victoria’s Secret’s popularity and engaging in trademark infringement in a “flagrant and wilful disregard of Victoria’s Secret’s rights,” the firm alleged in documents filed with the court.

False claims were also allegedly made that the counterfeit goods were the same quality as those sold by Victoria’s Secret and had been approved by the beauty giant.

The firm is seeking compensation and additional damages, claiming this conduct resulted in lost sales, damage to its reputation, a dilution of consumer goodwill, and a reduction in the value of its trade marks.

Victoria’s Secret is also seeking court orders restraining Chemist Warehouse from selling any of its counterfeit perfumes in the future and forcing it to hand up any fake goods currently in its possession.

Offending products removed from shelves

In a statement to AAP, a Chemist Warehouse spokesperson said the firm had removed the allegedly offending products from its shelves and expressed confidence in the quality of its goods.

“Chemist Warehouse is confident about the authenticity of all products that we bring into the country. We believe in the legitimacy and provenance of the Victoria’s Secret body mist, but in good faith have chosen to remove it from sale for the time being,” they said.

“Chemist Warehouse will continue to do everything possible to ensure that customers can remain confident in the authenticity of any product they purchase from any one of our stores.”


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