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How to Spot Fake Perfume? (7 Tips)

When the perfume price is too good to be true, especially for a luxury perfume bottle, it’s a good indication that you might be getting a fake perfume. 

You’re likely to find counterfeit perfume in flea markets or online stores, but many are unaware that some brilliant knock-offs also get into shelves of many fragrance shops. 

You can also find many business schemes offering to refill perfume bottles, claiming that it’s the same as the original, but not really. 

Do Fake Perfumes Smell Like the Original?

In a way, counterfeit perfumes will smell like authentic perfume, but not after a while.

It’s because fakes will copy the top notes, the first layer of the fragrance (the one you smell after applying the perfume).

Other times, counterfeit fragrances will imitate the middle notes but would never go as far as copying the base notes. 

7 Tips on How to Spot Knock-Off Perfume

Always be careful when buying a new perfume bottle.

Here are seven tips that will help you distinguish a fake perfume from an authentic perfume and ensure you get your money’s worth. 

1. Packaging and Wrapping

In any product, checking the packaging and wrapping will give you a good idea of the difference between an original and fake perfume.

Minor details count, especially for fragrances. 

Legitimate perfumes typically come in a high-quality paperboard box.

The perfume box should be white and clean, with no messy glue residue inside and with cellophane tightly wrapped around the box. 

Meanwhile, imitation bottles often come either without real packaging or with one made of flimsy material with extra tape or excess glue inside.

Another telltale sign of fake fragrances is an improperly wrapped cellophane. 

2. Labels

Besides how the packaging gets presented, reading the labels and inscriptions on the perfume box will help you easily identify a fake product. 

Pay attention to the fine print details and poorly laid details, including the bar code.

For instance, those made from England typically have codes starting from 50, while those made in France begin with 30 to 37. 

Don’t hesitate to check the perfume brand or manufacturer’s website before buying a bottle.

See if the information and numbers match the ones written on the packaging to make an informed choice. 

3. Perfume Bottle

Examining the bottle closely and taking a good feel of its surface will help you spot fake cologne. 

The bottle of an original perfume will have a smooth and fine surface.

There shouldn’t be any streaks on the logos and texts. 

If the bottle is a bit rough to the touch with bubbles on the glass, it could be a sign that you have a knock-off. 

Also, the bottle cap should stick tightly to the bottle and shouldn’t come off the moment you turn the bottle upside down. 

4. Color Consistency of the Perfume

Observe the perfume, especially the color and its consistency.

Authentic perfumes will give you a pale, clear “juice” without any unusual discoloration or sediments building up at the bottom. 

5. Serial Number

Counterfeit frag won’t have a serial number printed on the box.

Other times, it will have a glued-on number on the packaging, but it won’t match the number imprinted on the bottle. 

6. Expiry Date 

Does perfume expire?

Yes, fragrances go bad, and an original perfume should come with an expiry date imprinted on either the box or the bottle. 

When purchasing expensive perfume online, or from discount counters, and the fragrance doesn’t indicate an expiration date, it’s a red flag.

On the other hand, a reputable seller will ensure that they only sell fragrances within their usable dates, making sure you get the real deal and not fake products. 

7. Scent of the Fragrance on Your Skin

A fake and original perfume’s scent might smell the same on the initial application.

Still, test it out and observe how long the perfume lasts. 

The complexity ensures that real perfumes smell different from fakes between the first application until complete skin absorption. 

Imitation perfumes will not have the oil concentration as authentic perfumes, especially after leaving them on your skin for two hours or so. 

Are Fake Perfumes Any Good?

Knock-off fragrances come cheap because they’re easily manufactured, but, in most cases, they will ultimately waste money. 

Typically, you purchase a real perfume because you like the scent.

However, you probably won’t experience the same quality from a dupe. 

Are Fake Perfumes Dangerous?

Using knock-off fragrances can have adverse effects as they usually don’t follow natural, standard ingredients.

Instead, they typically mix in all sorts of chemicals, often toxic, to get the desired scent. 

It can be dangerous, especially for those with sensitive skin.

Some consequences associated with using dupe fragrances include:

  • Allergic reactions with hot, red swelling, and blisters on the skin where you applied the perfume
  • Skin ulcer and dark scars in severe cases
  • Problems in the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous system after long time use with headaches, asthma, and sinusitis as symptoms

Are Reject Perfumes Considered Fake?

Not necessarily.

Reject fragrances were manufactured the same as the real perfume but were labeled “reject” because they didn’t pass the QA test.

Typically, the lower value in rejected perfumes is only on the surface, mainly on the perfume bottles. 

Are Tester Perfumes Considered Fake?

Perfume testers are original fragrances made by the same manufacturer but only made for testing purposes in a perfume store. 

Yet counterfeit perfume testers do exist because even testers get imitated and sold with the “Tester” as its label. 

The Bottom Line

Buying a fake perfume for the price of the original would make anyone upset and feel duped. 

In other cases, it may sound great that you’re getting a perfume at a huge discount, but you won’t get the same fragrance quality from a dupe. 

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