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Smell of success: Luxury perfume dupes are all the rage among younger shoppers

Their scents resemble luxury perfumes, but they cost no more than €20 (INR 1,802.64) a bottle. Luxury perfume dupes are being snapped up like hotcakes, and now even seem to overshadow the fragrances they imitate on social networks. This major trend is a boon for budget retailers and could seriously disrupt the perfume industry.

Why spend tens of dollars, sometimes even hundreds, on big-brand perfumes, when imitations can be picked up for ten times less? Such is the question shoppers might ask themselves at a time when so-called dupes are multiplying at high speed and are being snapped up by a wide range of people. Browsing social media soon reveals that these imitations now sometimes seem to be more popular than the original perfumes — or almost — and that users are happy to be able to get them for just a handful of dollars. The phenomenon is such that the media — whether specialist and generalist — is now having a field day reporting on the best fragrance dupes.

What is a dupe?

A dupe is essentially an imitation or a copy of a product. But, importantly, it’s an imitation that is inspired by an original product, yet which stops short of counterfeiting. And, compared to the originals, these dupes sell at budget prices. Today, dupes exist in many sectors, including fashion, but also cosmetics, with dupes of skincare products, makeup, or perfumes. In terms of perfumery, the aim is to create accessible fragrances that closely imitate some of the world’s great designer scents, such as Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, Angel by Mugler or La Vie est Belle by Lancôme. It’s a surprising market that’s been really taking off in the age of social media, as younger shoppers seem to swear by these sweet-smelling dupes.

On TikTok, the #dupes hashtag has no less than two billion views. All the hashtags dedicated to fragrance dupes — and there are many of them — total well over 500 million views, reflecting the interest that users have in these imitations. The many videos themed on the trend seem to feature a lot of products by Zara, the most popular brand on the social media site, as well as scents from Lidl, Divain, Action, Primark, Mango and Amazon. Brands that are also cited in articles published by all kinds of media outlets, which have swapped their luxury perfume selections for picks of the best dupes. The phenomenon has been growing for several months to the point that these imitations now seem to be almost more famous than the originals they’re based on. So, after fast fashion, could this trend spell the advent of fast perfume?

Social network users are only too happy to share their finds, highlighting the imitations they’ve unearthed in recent weeks. We learn that the dupe ‘Amazing Life For Her’ by Figenzi is supposedly an imitation of ‘La Vie est Belle’ by Lancôme, and that Zara’s ‘Gardenia’ apparently smells just like Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Black Opium.’ Meanwhile, ‘Madame Isabelle’ by La Rive is supposedly a dupe of Chanel’s ‘Coco Mademoiselle’ and ‘Lovely de Suddenly’ by Lidl is said to be a dupe of Dior‘s ‘J’adore’ scent. The list is long, especially since luxury fragrances of all kinds now have a multitude of copies. And this is just the beginning.

From trend to full-fledged market

These luxury perfume dupes are far from being a fleeting trend. In fact, luxury perfume dupes is now a full-fledged market that keeps on growing. Nox or Chogan perfumes, for example, or the brands Divain and Eden Perfumes are by no means trying to hide the fact that they propose these kinds of “high quality” dupes at prices defying all competition. In fact, the UK-based company Noted Aromas states loud and clear its brand ethos of selling imitations at more affordable prices. “At Noted Aromas we made it our mission to make high quality fragrances, that were accessible to everyone. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we focused on making luxury fragrances that people already loved, but that they would now be able to afford,” reads the official website.

Sold online, the perfumes also make no secret of which big-brand fragrances they’re inspired by. We discover, for example, that ‘Paris’ is inspired by Dior’s ‘J’adore.’ Surprisingly, the British company even provides a descriptive text that reads almost like a promotion of the French brand’s scent: “Paris is Noted Aromas’ designer dupe of ‘J’adore.’ This smell alike alternative of ‘J’adore’ is a timeless classic that is both sophisticated and feminine. This iconic scent was launched by Dior in 1999 to much critical acclaim and is even more popular now than when it was originally launched.” The dupe expert goes on to say: “Why pay more for a ‘J’Adore’ designer perfume when you can get a similar copy of ‘J’Adore’ from Noted. Aromas for a much cheaper price.” And that price is GB£19.99 (INR 2,045.23) for 50 ml, or a little less than US$25 (INR 2,055.99), compared to US$100 (INR 8,223.96) for the luxury branded version. And that’s just one example.

Some people, however, are speaking out to say that these imitations — which do not contain exactly the same ingredients as the original perfumes — are not subject to the same regulations, and that they’re not as long-lasting, so you have to use them multiple times per day. However, for the price, this isn’t likely to put off people who are no longer willing to invest tens or even hundreds of dollars in designer perfumes. This could encourage big brands to lower their prices. However, these imitations — whose cheap prices allow shoppers to test more products — could ultimately prove beneficial to brands, serving as a gateway to a more significant investment in a luxury product.

Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy Photography Ekaterina Zaitseva/Getty Images

(All conversions done at the time of writing)

This story is published via AFP Relaxnews.

Smell of success: Luxury perfume dupes are all the rage among younger shoppers

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