What are the best ways to tell fake vs genuine perfume? Our guide outlines the clues to watch for so you don’t get ripped off by counterfeiters
Good perfumes are not necessarily cheap – but, this much is certain, they are worth every penny compared to fakes. Nevertheless, many scent fans are seduced by tempting offers that are offered in questionable online shops, auctions or at the flea market.
If you then access it, you will quickly notice: You haven’t saved anything here – on the contrary! Because the supposed luxury scent suddenly smells like a little more or less cheaply mixed-up water, and that’s exactly what it is. Quite apart from the fact that it is forbidden to trade in counterfeits: what can you do to avoid getting caught up in the sometimes sophisticated counterfeits? Common sense and a few tips to tell fake vs genuine perfume will help.
We have created a small checklist for you:
Clues to tell fake vs genuine perfume
In addition to the price, name and bottle, there are a number of other features that you can use to reliably tell whether the perfume is really the original:
- Place of distribution: If you can’t find anything online that points to a proper address from the vendor, you’d better avoid ordering anything here.
- Packaging – the film: The first thing you should do in a store is to take a close look at the packaging. Bad plastic film a cheap plastic smell are always indications that the product is a plagiarism.
- Packaging – the box: The box in which the bottle is located is very expressive. A limp, pale cardboard box, which may still be printed crookedly, indicates a cheap forgery. You should also be able to read everything well. Spelling mistakes are also a sign of inferior goods.
- Bottle: A high quality perfume is always filled in a high quality bottle. Excellent workmanship without bumps or edges is a must. The logo on the bottle must not look crooked or faded. And the bottle should be exactly the same size. In our photos showing fake vs genuine perfume from Dior, you can see the clumsy difference.
- Lid: In addition to the bottle itself, pay attention to the lid. Be careful if it is made of plastic or a cheap sheet metal. Usually it consists either of a glass stopper or of metal. The same goes for the spray head. If it looks unstable or cheaply made or if the riser pipe of the pump is too short, you are probably looking at a fake.
- Perfume: If the bottle is transparent, you should pay attention to the color of the perfume. Hardly any dye is used for a high-quality perfume. If the liquid in the bottle looks quite intense in color, this is an indication of a forgery. Likewise if the color differs from the original. However, this assumes that you know the original color.
- Serial number: It belongs to every perfume and should be incorporated on both the box and the bottle. If it is only stuck on or is missing completely, you should refrain from buying it.
- Package size: The fakes are often offered in larger or different quantities than the original. Find out in which sizes the desired perfume is available. If the product you want to buy differs from the usual sizes, it is plagiarism.
- Smell: The smell of the counterfeit usually has an intense smell of alcohol. The actual scent is less pronounced and disappears quickly.
Good perfumes come at a price
The first and perhaps most important point to identify counterfeit perfumes should go without saying: Good perfumes have their price. This can of course vary depending on the provider, because, for example, bulk purchases can lead to slightly lower sales prices. In addition, older fragrances that are no longer in the range or that are now less in demand are sometimes also offered significantly reduced by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, if the luxury perfume suddenly costs 30 instead of 120 euros or if the trendy lifestyle fragrance is only supposed to cost half as elsewhere, then caution is advised. Especially when the price is well below average compared to other providers.
The sometimes quite high price has its reasons: On the one hand, it takes a lot of time and expertise to develop a good fragrance. This idea is then implemented with high-quality perfume oils – the more concentrated and the rarer these are, the more expensive the production. After all, the manufacturers invest a lot of creativity and money in the packaging design, in the flacon, the outer packaging and the accompanying advertising campaign. Of course, these costs are also reflected in the sales price. Plagiarism then jumps like free riders on the well-known image, the good reputation – but they do not keep anything from what they believe in packaging and name.
Bottle, name, packaging: it’s the details that count
Some fakes are really clumsy: A “Paco Rabanne” becomes a “Paco Robane”, a famous perfume name is simply a complete reinvention. Nevertheless, sometimes you have to take a closer look to recognize the fake perfume for sure. It is best to use an official product photo for comparison, which can be found on most manufacturers’ websites, and really study every detail: outer packaging, bottle, cap, perfume and brand name. Even the smallest deviation should make you suspicious, because as a rule perfume manufacturers do not change the design of their successful products so easily. Even slightly different colored packaging or less elaborately designed bottles are often indications of counterfeiting – for example,
Counterfeiters have come up with a particularly ingenious move with this method: Counterfeits appear again and again, which are declared as “special edition” or “special size”. This is to explain why the flacon or the perfume cannot be found anywhere else in this form – which makes a comparison impossible. Particularly popular: fragrance fillings in 33ml – a size that is practically not offered on a regular basis and which can also be a relatively reliable indicator of a fake.
Safe shopping in specialist shops – online or on site
Of course, there are many private sales, flea market finds or online auctions that run smoothly – and that bring a good perfume at an unbeatable price. On top of that, Parfumdreams offers an unbeatable price for many fragrances – without any nasty surprises! But you can be completely sure in the specialist trade: Here perfumes are obtained directly from the manufacturer and not, as is sometimes offered on the Internet, via various re-imports and thus not always traceable channels.