veryone loves a great perfume, the problem is, well made scents are expensive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a dupe that smells similar, but costs less! In today’s article, we’ll be covering all kinds of dupes to some pretty high end perfumes that you need to add to your collection.

The website that I will be consistently referencing throughout this article is known as Dossier. It is a highly-rated website known mainly for its dupes of popular luxury perfumes

What are dupes, if not fakes, blatant copies, or re-sells? 

What exactly are consumers paying for when they purchase “luxury” perfumes from luxury brands? Largely, celeb endorsements, advertisement fees, and gorgeous bottles. However, when you buy a dupe, all you are purchasing is perfume. It’s really a difference in social status clout. 

YSL’s Black Opium—-->Ambery Vanilla

Image courtesy of YSL’s official website.

The Original: Described by the YSL website as having notes of vanilla, coffee, and white flowers.  Intended to be a long-lasting perfume with an “intoxicating” aura.  Dark and sensual, ideal to wear for a night out. 

The Dupe: According to Dossier’s website, the imitation of YSL’s Black Opium has the following scents appear in this order: pear, licorice, orange blossom, jasmine flowers, “deep” vanilla, coffee.  A scent that evolves, with a few key differences from the original.  However, this perfume still retains the dark sensuality of the original.  

Cost Difference: From $130 (at the cheapest!) to $290

Reviews: Generally 5 stars

Verdict: A real deal! 

Gucci’s Bloom—-> Floral Honeysuckle

Image courtesy of Gucci’s website. 

The Original: According to the Gucci website, they have created a fragrance with the muse of “moonlight” at the center of it’s creation.  Potent, it contains fruity notes (orange blossom), as well as floral (jasmine sambac and tuberose).  A deep scent with forest-like notes.  Like walking through a garden under the moonlight, if you wanted to be poetic about it. 

The Dupe: According to Dossiers website, Floral Honeysuckle, contains the same floral notes, including tuberose and jasmine.  Additionally, it has the added benefit of honeysuckle and green leaves to add a delicate, “tender” edge.  A very traditionally feminine scent, it contains a virtual gardens’ worth of blooms.  Ideal for a tea out.  

Cost Diff: From $140 to $390

Reviews: Overwhelmingly good, around 4.5 stars

Verdict: A great deal! 

Victor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb—->Gourmand White Flowers

Image courtesy of Victor&Rolf’s official website. 

The Original: According to Victor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb, it contains rose, jasmine and peony.  Yet another floral scent, Flowerbomb is quite upfront about the impression it gives via its nomicker.  Strongly feminine, this is a beautiful scent for those who are not easily overwhelmed by floral aromas.  

The Dupe: According to the Dossier website contains more than just blooms.  With a bit of added green tea, berries and caramel in addition to its floral notes of jasmine, rose, and, surprisingly, orchid.   This scent is more wandering in the woods than exploring flower garden, yet this only adds to its depth and versatility.  Feminine, yet more androgynous than Flowerbomb. 

Cost Diff: From $142 to $39

Reviews: 4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars, pretty good! 

Verdict: Pretty good! 

YSL’s Y—->Aromatic Pineapple

Image courtesy of YSL’s official website. 

The Original: According to YSL’s website, this fragrance is intended to be a long lasting scent, with a hard, confident edge to it.  (The website actually does surprisingly little to describe the actual notes themselves, through it would appear to contain the following notes: ginger, apple, and sage–prominent notes of bergamot as well).  

The Dupe: According to Dossier’s website, their dupe scent “Aromatic Pineapple,” gives off citrusy, decidedly “juicy” vibes.  A fun, yet professional scent that leaves the wearer feeling refreshed and ready to go.  This perfume gives off a strong masculine vibe: bright, aromatic, and “sharp like silver metal” (YSL website).  Hints of juniperberry.  

Cost Diff: $123 (at least)  to $29 (Dossier)

Reviews: 4.5/5

Verdict: Great! 

Chanel’s Bleu De Chanel—>Citrus Ginger 

Image courtesy of Chanel’s official website.

The Original: According to the Chanel Website, Bleu de Chanel contains an edgy scent, suitable for shaving and other, etc.  It contains notes of: lemon, mint, and, surprisingly, pink pepper–among other’s, of course.  Opulent. Perhaps–in description at least–slightly confusing.  The men’s perfume seeks to convey a professional, upper-echelon atmosphere.  True elegance.

The Dupe: According to Dossier’s website, the dupe of Bleu de Chanel, titled “Citrus Ginger,” has a strong mint scent, as well as ginger and lemon.  Slightly spicy, and with an elegant base, this dupe will surely not disappoint.  Much like the original behind it’s inspiration, Citrus Ginger is marked as being masculine, severe, and elegant. 

Cost Diff: $125  to $29

Reviews: 4.5/5

Verdict: Great! 

MFK’s Baccarat Rouge 540—>Ambery Saffron 

Image Courtesy of MFK’s official website. 

The Original:  The wonderfully titled Baccarat Rouge 540 is inspired by the meeting of Maison Francis Kurkdijan and Baccarat at a 250th anniversary/ bday celebration of the manufacturer.  Dark, woodsy, and decidedly spicy, this is perfume to the nth degree.  Light notes of jasmine and cedar brighten up the arrangement, centered around saffron and various “amber” notes.  Intense and vibrant, this is the perfect scent for the esteemed person looking to make a unique impression.  

The Dupe: The dupe inspired by Baccarat Rouge 540, as listed on the Dossier website, is titled Ambery Saffron.  Like it’s muse, it is intense, vibrant, and comforting.  A bit of a mystery altogether, this perfume manages to blend cedarwood, amber, and saffron.  

Cost Difference: $325 to $49 (Dossier)

Reviews: 4.5/5 

Verdict: Great value! 

Why are dupes cheaper? 

Image courtesy of Laura Chouette.

There is no doubt that the concept of dupes have been gaining in popularity recently, as prices rise and salaries continue to remain stagnant. Many people who cannot afford the “real” product, or who feel disillusioned with the concept of luxury brands in general, are now turning to dupes. The Atlantic describes a phenomenon known as “the dupe loop” in this article here. 

Additionally, this WP article mentions that dupes are a way of “democratizing” luxury brands. Dupes, many claim, are not deliberate counterfeits, they are simply similar substitutes for anyone wanting to achieve a similar result that they might’ve had with the larger, more famous or more expensive original.

They do come with cons, however. For example, businesses that take pride in what they’ve made are cheated out of money when less original “dupes” flood the market and steal their customers. This is especially the case when the creator of the product is a young entrepreneur, or artist, who may have to charge high prices in order to simply make a living. 

In Conclusion, the decision of Real vs Dupe is up to You

Image courtesy of William Bout. 

Some might argue that, in order to be ethical to the creative process of the brand, you should buy dupes only if you truly cannot afford (with some small saving) the original product. No matter what your financial standing, dupes are a great way to save money. 

As always, the usual rules of purchasing perfume apply here. When buying perfume, always keep in mind: how long you want it to last, how strong you want the scent to be, what notes you like, if you are scent-sensitive or any perfume will make you ill, the quality of the perfume you buy. No one will ever judge you for the brand of perfume you wear. It all boils down to the scent, and how much you (and, supposedly, the people around you) enjoy it.

Oct 25, 2023