Multi-national communication is a standard practice in the fragrance industry. But how are multi-national messages perceived in local markets? The paper examines the phenomenon of female fragrance advertising from two sides: what producers presented and what the audience received. First, the symbolic structure of fragrance advertising is described and the semiotic typology is examined. Second, audience reactions to the different types of ads are analyzed, using the example of the Russian market. The combination of two stages provides a better understanding of advertising characteristics underlying audience perception.