By Isobel Hush

But They Smell The Same? All About Dupe Fragrances

Purchasing a new fragrance is always a treat. A quick spritz to complete the getting ready process or as a refresh when out always helps you to feel that little bit more put together. Unfortunately when purchasing from someone other than the retailer or direct stockist you might not get the quality you were originally expecting. We have compiled a list of all the things to look for to find out if you are being sold the real thing or a fake...

Don't forget, while it may look like you are getting a bargain you don't know what is inside these fragrances. Buying counterfeit perfume can not only make you feel tricked and upset, but it can also be harmful to your health. However, there are several signs that will help you to spot even the most brilliant counterfeits.

Check the wrapping

Most genuine fragrances will come wrapped in cellophane. This will fit the box perfectly with all the folds in the correct places. If the cellophane is improperly wrapped or moves around the box and is loose this could be a sign that the fragrance is not genuine. 

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake

Flawless seams

Again, this cellophane should be tight to the box and should not be able to move around. All the seams should be in straight lines or match up with the corners of the bottles. In the process of making a fragrance everything is thought about. That includes the wrapping! Small details such as this are not to be missed. 

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake

Inside housing

The packaging of bottles is not only there to look pretty but is also extremely functional. The housing inside of the box is there to keep the bottle as safe as possible and to avoid it moving about when in transit. If the inside of your box does not fit the shape of the bottle it is surrounding or it simply doesnt have any inside housing to keep the bottle safe this is not a great sign. 

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake

Labels and inscriptions

Do you notice the small circle at the centre of the packaging with two arrows? Well there is actually a specific way round this should face! The arrow pointing to the right should always be darker than the arrow that points to the left. In this case the colours are black and gold with the gold being the lighter colour but the coulours casn change completely based on the brands packaging design. Make sure you have the text the right way up and are able to read it clearly before trying to work out if the arrows are in the right positions!

When buying a perfume, don't hesitate to check the manufacturer's website to see if the information published there matches with what is provided on the packaging. Even the smallest mismatch is a sign of a counterfeit.

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake


Now you can see in the two photos below some very obvious design differences but for most fake perfumes the bottles look almost identicle. If you are questioning a bottles authenticity then make sure to pull up an image of the bottle as well as the packaging and check that everything is the exact same. Unless the brand has undergone a redesign and have change the bottles (which you should be able to find images for) then hopefully you will be able to spot any differences!! This can be anything from spelling to the positioning of the design and the shape of the bottle itself.
9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake

Colour of the perfume

Most high end brands don't use a ton of dye in their fragrances with the colouring usually kept to the bottle itself. The striking 'chemical' color of a liquid is the sign of a fake perfume. While this may be hard to spot if you dont have an authentic bottle with you do pay attention if it is very dark or bright maybe reconsider purchasing! 

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake

Bottle cap

The cap of an original perfume should be perfectly symmetrical (unless otherwise designed in the original creation, of course). Again check the pictures of how the bottle should be looking and pay attention to the cap. If you can find any information on the material of the cap too that is also great, if you see the authentic bottle has a metal cap and the one you are looking at is plastic then it is almos definitely a fake!

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake

Serial number

The serial number should be indicated on the bottom of the bottle (and not glued on!). The serial number on the bottle should match the number on the bottom of the box. It should be imprinted on the base of the box or printed with ink.

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake


An authentic perfume will have a high-quality bottle with a smooth and fine surface. The bottle of a fake perfume could be a bit rough and contoured. From packaging to the bottle's cap, every detail of an original perfume is thought out. However, if you inspect a fake perfume thoroughly, you'll find a lot of imperfections.

9 simple ways to tell an authentic perfume from a fake