Why pay more than you need to?
Thankfully, when it comes to beauty and fragrance purchases we always have options. I’m a huge fan of fragrance dupes and always looking for ways to reduce unnecessary purchases. I’ve previously written about how to reign in spending, be more mindful and live minimally here. If you can find ways to save in certain areas, you’ll have more money left in your bank account so you’ll always be prepared for “necessary’ or, those unexpected purchases.
One area where you can definitely make a big saving is on your favourite fragrance repurchases and if you’ve ever thought about switching to a cheaper alternative, read on to discover my pick of the best mid to high-end fragrance dupes, and even better, the cheaper alternatives are all cruelty-free and ethically made, unlike their expensive counterparts.
Firstly, some help choosing between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette.
Your fragrance will often be available in both Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, but what’s the difference? It’s all down to perfume oil concentration.
(EDP) Eau de Parfum: Always the highest concentration and averages at 15 – 20% perfume oils. Expected to linger on the skin for around six hours.
(EDT) Eau de Toilette: 8-15% perfume oils. Scent linger time approx three hours.
(EDC) Eau de Cologne: 4-7% perfume oils mixed with 60-70% proof alcohol. Scent linger time around two hours.
Also worth noting: Fragrance reacts with our unique body chemistry and won’t smell the same on you, as it does on your friend. It’s a complex mix of your age, skin type, diet, environment and even medication (amongst other things), which dictates how a fragrance will smell on each individual. My perfume empties post explains more about the science behind it.
1. Jo Malone Eau de Cologne Pomegranate Noir. £44 30ml
Jo Malone has certainly grown in popularity with its wide range of unisex colognes and has quickly become a go-to brand. However, as with many big-name brands Jo Malone is sold throughout mainland China and has to comply with obligatory animal testing, therefore is not deemed a cruelty-free brand. This totally puts me off, as I prefer not to buy into such practices nowadays. Fortunately, there’s another way. Yes, the good old fragrance dupe, but as with any alternative, don’t expect an exact match, just near as damn it. Unless you happen to waft past Alberto Morillas who may just call you out, Jo Blogs on the street so isn’t going to know the difference.
Jo Malone describes its signature scent as daring sensuality, encapsulated in scent. Ruby-rich juices of exotic pomegranate spiked with pink pepper and laced with Casablanca lily. Warmed by temptingly smoky guaiac wood and patchouli. Dark and enigmatic.
Fragrance DUPE: Aldi Pomegranate Luxury Eau de Toilette £5.99
Aldi is somewhere I might stop off to grab some cheese on my way home, however, on my many impromptu visits to the store, I’ve not once looked at the fragrances or cosmetics.
Clearly, I’m missing out. Aldi, like many other brands, has jumped on the bandwagon after realising they can sell big-name beauty dupes faster than hot cakes. Aldi is one of only four UK retailers to be awarded the gold standard leaping Bunny certification across all household and beauty ranges. Another good reason to shop there.
One of three Aldi scents including Lime, Basil, Mandarin and freesia, it’s this particular Pomegranate scent that is said to be inspired by Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir. Fancy that! The bottle is a rather animated nod towards Malone’s sleek styling too so it’ll sit prettily on your dresser. Available in-store only.
2. Chanel Allure Eau de Parfum £57 35ml
Chanel, as a brand is, of course conic, with its high-end, luxury appeal headed up by the legendary founder Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” who, forty-eight years after her death is still a household name and one we all know. I must admit, until I had my lightbulb moment and switched to cruelty-free, I would religiously repurchase Chanel fragrances.
With a wishy-washy animal testing policy, Chanel is also sold throughout mainland China and must adhere to vivisection rules. You do the math.
Chanel says Allure is Difficult to define and impossible to resist. An intensification of three of the six facets of Allure: Oriental, fruity, timeless floral. The ALLURE Eau de Parfum is not simply a different concentration, but an olfactory reinterpretation, faithful to the spirit and the base notes of the original composition.
Fragrance DUPE: Marks & Spencer New York, New York Eau de Toilette £18
Marks And Spencer’s commitment to cruelty-free shopping is admirable. With all its own-brand cosmetics and toiletries now carrying the “cruelty-free International” logo – (formally BUAV) if you consider M&S is geared towards a “certain” age group, then shame on you. Leaving behind its fuddy-duddy stigma of yesteryear Mark’s and Sparks is now the place to be seen. I’m often found in the food hall, home department or perusing the cosmetics aisles for the latest cruelty-free beauty finds.
From the Autograph range New York, New York is described by M&S as a chic women’s fragrance to evoke the timeless glamour of the city that never sleeps, this New York eau de toilette is sure to become your new signature scent. A rich symphony of damask rose, jasmine and warm woods are accented by top notes of bergamot, gardenia and apricot, all complemented by a smooth undercurrent of musks and vanilla”.
3. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum £88-£124
I can’t deny it, Coco Mademoiselle is the epitome of luxury, and sophistication and speaks to me in a way no other fragrance can. I’ve loved it for years and once couldn’t live without it. These days, however, I now only buy dupes for this famous fragrance.
Possibly the most notorious of all Coco Mademoiselle dupes is New Look Blush, however, New Look also has a vague animal testing policy but does state that it “believes that animal testing for cosmetic purposes isn’t acceptable. However, occasionally we may use animal-derived ingredients in our cosmetic products, but these must be collected without harm to animals.
Sadly, New Look has fallen foul to selling in China and therefore isn’t 100% cruelty-free. At least good intentions are there. Before I became more conscious of my beauty and toiletry choices I wrote about the similarity of New Look Blush and Coco, It’s consistently my most-viewed post ever but I don’t want to push my personal anti-vivisection opinion on anyone, so the post is there if you’d like to discover more on Blush.
Fragrance DUPE: Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour Eau de Toilette £3.99
Lidl is another of those pop in stores for me, and again, I’ve not noticed what else is on offer other than food. However, this own-brand fragrance has been on my radar for a while now and I’ve seen it bandied about. Suddenly Madame Glamour has been flying off the shelves as discerning shoppers want the luxury scent of Chanel but with the “Lidl” price tag. Available in-store only.
4.YSL Lady Million Eau de Parfum £41 -£70
First launched in 2010, Lady Million is another rather iconic fragrance from a brand we will have all seen in high-end department stores and beauty counters around the world. YSL says “Lady Million by Paco Rabanne is a vivacious and feminine fragrance and the opulent, gleaming bottle reflects the multi-faceted personality of Lady Million. Featuring delicious floral notes of neroli, jasmine and gardenia intertwined with sparkling, sweet raspberry and bitter orange. The rich woody scents of patchouli and amber add a sensual touch to this vibrant fragrance.
Of course, with luxury comes expense so let’s look at the next best thing…
Fragrance DUPE: Zara Woman Rose Gold Eau de Parfum £12.99 100ml
For me, Zara is a place to buy clothes, however, have you seen the new cosmetics line? Zara launched its own range of affordable toiletries and cosmetics in late 2018 aligning with many other well-known clothing stores. Brands are realising there’s money to be made from the beauty and cosmetics market. Follow your nose next time you’re browsing in-store.
Zara says its oriental Rose Gold Eau de Parfum reveals notes of magnolia, gardenia and amber. It’s a warm, sophisticated and opulent fragrance.
5.YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum £75 50ml
Described as a glam rock fragrance, full of mystery and energy. Black Opium is an irresistible, gourmand floral with notes of black coffee – for a shot of adrenaline. White florals to instantly seduce and vanilla for sweetness and sensuality. These sensual ingredients are bound by a warm undertone of white musk
Fragrance DUPE: Eden Perfumes Eau de Parfum No 30 £18 30ml
Available from Eden Perfumes, a British brand that offers vegan-friendly fragrances dupes for conscious beauty lovers. Type in your favourite high-end fragrance and Eden will suggest a match. Browse Eden’s vast array of Eau de Parfum or go straight for noteworthy No’ 30 if Black Opium is your thing.
Described as a sensual, deep fragrance Infused with the coffee and vanilla essence. Perfect if you need a quick pick me up!
Are you wearing your fragrance correctly?
Admittedly, I’m one of those who liberally douses myself in fragrance, starting at one shoulder and continuing to spray over my hair in an arc fashion until arriving at the other shoulder. Tut tut. Spraying our fragrance is something we do daily but is there an art to it? How should we really be applying our fragrance for the best results? Here are a few how-to-wear tips…
1. If your grandma taught you to spray or dab your wrists then rub them together, stop. The rubbing causes friction which in turn warms the skin affecting how the perfume travels through its “note journey”. There’s a lot more to a fragrance than those first notes we immediately smell and your first impression may not be a lasting one.
2. Spray directly after your shower or bath. First, apply an unscented moisturiser and then mist the fragrance over your body – the moisturiser will increase the longevity of the scent.
3. Apply to pulse points – Wrists (no rubbing), behind the knees and ears, tummy and ankles. These “warm” areas will help diffuse the scent throughout the day.
4. Take your coat and mist over the inside before you head out the door. This is my favourite tip but means you’ll need to have your favourite fragrance at hand wherever your coat happens to be!
5. Lastly, store your fragrance in its outer box, or at least away from windows. Excessive light, temperature and humidity changes can all damage the delicate chemical balance of the ingredients leading to untimely ageing and discolouration of your perfume.
Or, follow Coco Chanel’s rule of thumb…
Where should you wear your perfume? “Wherever one wants to be kissed”
– Coco Chanel
What’s your signature scent? Are you ok with splurging on your favourite fragrance? Or, do you prefer to save on a couple of fragrance dupes instead?
Love this Samantha! I was so into fragrance before I had my son but I went off it in pregnancy. I have bottles unused in my cupboards. Maybe my nose will return? These tips are amazing, very interesting. Who knew not to rub? Also I didn’t know about these dupes at such good prices.
I know what you mean, pregnancy can really turn you off certain smells. I remember similar myself and everything seeming to smell that much stronger! Yes, the dupes are great especially if you spray liberally, bit easier on the purse x
Thank you so much for these tips… I love Chanel parfumes! Have a beautiful day.
Thank you! I love Chanel too but now the dupes are more appealing! x
I personally am not a fan of any Aldi dupes because I hate how they rip off the packaging & aesthetic of other brands. That being said, I have no issue with a dupe that isn’t blatantly copying a brand so I might check out the Lidl Chanel Mademoiselle dupe you mentioned as long as it isn’t ripping off the packaging too! xx
Ah, yes, I see what you mean. I suppose imitating the original packaging is part of the sales tactic for cheaper brands as People are more likely to pick it up if they see a similarity. It’s just a shame the big brands insist on putting profit before anything else and continue to harm animals in their wake. Thanks for your comment lovey x
I had no idea about not rubbing wrists! *whoops* I’ll definitely stop that. I like the Eden perfumes, especially as they’re more natural which makes me feel more comfortable wearing them. Fab there are so many dupes – hoping even more natural and cruelty free ones pop up as more people begin to switch!
Ah, yes, no rubbing – who knew hey! Eden is so good, and I love the way you can enter your fragrance and it suggests a dupe! Thanks for your lovely comment and enjoy your day! x
Ever since I found out perfume contains alcohol and if you spray it on the chest it can increase wrinkles in that area, I stick to the wrists or directly on my clothes! Trying to finish off my non CF one (they take forever dont they?) xx
Ohh, really? Best avoid spraying on my skin then! It’s odd, but I never really used to think about the cruelty issue when buying fragrance. Somehow didn’t make the connection until more recently. It’s a frustrating business isn’t it! x x
I was so excited when I found Aldi had a dupe for Jo Malone candles – I didn’t know their fragrance was a dupe too! Will definitely have to scout out my local Aldi soon to find some.
Lottie | http://www.thirteenbeautysecrets.com
We don’t tend to connect Aldi with fragrance but it’s worth having a look and a sniff! Thanks for sharing your comment x
Black Opium is one of my go to perfumes so I’m definitely going to be hunting down the dupe! I love M&S food but haven’t ever really thought to nosy in the beauty department (with exception of Christmas and their beauty advent calendar!). I don’t really shop at Aldi but am very impressed that they’re so ethical in their beauty- I’ll have to drop in sometimes as I love Jo Malone- what a fab roundup!
Soph – https://sophhearts.com x
Ohh, you should have a look at the beauty, it’s the home of Pixi and loads of other lovely products. The Rosie collab range is fab. Black Opium is really popular isn’t it?! Have a look at the dupe even if it’s just to keep in your handbag! x
well this has been interesting. I had never heard of Eden Perfumes, what a fab find. Thank you for sharing. I have just seen that they do a little box of 3 samples so I might give them a go x
Ahh, you’re welcome! I just love how Eden focuses on high-end dupes and with suggestion tool it’s so quick and easy to find what you’re looking for. Trying the samples box is a fab idea, love to know how you get on if you do decide to go for it. Thanks Kerry x
Thank you for these dupes! This post was super informative too- I had no idea that even medications can play a role with the way a fragrance reacts with your body chemistry. Great post!
So kind of you! Yes, lots of elements effect the final scent. x
I don´t have a signature fragrance because I wear my perfumes (and I have so many) according to my mood and how I feel. I´ll try to apply my perfume directly after having a shower. Thanks for such nice pieces of advice!
I know what you mean, fragrance is perfect to switch around according to our mood etc. I do that too! x
This post is amazing!! I’m definitely going to check out these dupes, I’ve never heard of them before! You have shared great tips as well, it’s such an informative post! Fab post as always my lovely x
I always read your blog and always find I learn something new! I never knew what all the different perfumes meant so it was so good to find that out. I love your tips on making your fragrance last longer. I’ll definitely be trying some of those out x
Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk
Ah, you’re welcome lovely. Glad you found something useful to take away from it.x
This was such an interesting post as always! Love all of your tips! xx
Thanks for sharing.
Super handy if you are on a budget or u don’t want to spend a lot of money on fragrances.
Too true! The originals are so expensive. Why not spend less on dupes I say! Thanks for reading x
There are some great tips here, Samantha. I overload on my perfume because I’m one of *those* girls, but I always make sure I spray some in my hair. I think it lingers for ages when I do that.
I’m a sucker for Black Opium, so I’m definitely going to try the dupe. Quite a lot of Aldi/Lidl perfumes smell much, much nicer than you’d think — very surprising.
Loved this post + tips!
Kim | https://ukwordgirl.com
Ahh, I spray fragrance in my hair too! Kinda seems a natural thing to do doesn’t it?! You’re right though, it is surprising how nice some cheaper perfumes smell. Thanks lovely! x