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Designer Perfume Knockoffs are they worth Considering?

Updated on May 30, 2019

Back in 1994, when I was looking for employment, I came across a very interesting business opportunity that lead to something many people, including myself, were not aware of. I learned that fragrances cannot be patented, in other words, if someone wanted to make a copy of a designer fragrance that sold in fine department stores for at least sixty dollars or more, they could and sell it at a fraction of the cost by simply finding a way to imitate that particular fragrance, by using not the same but similar ingredients, yet producing the same fragrance .

At the beginning of the meeting I was very skeptical, especially since I have seen these knockoff perfumes in the selves of various drug stores and have wondered could they even come close to the real thing at such an economical price? He explained to us why this was possible and was welling to invest his own money as well, by giving whomever he hired a distributorship and this distributorship included an office, which would cost him a thousand dollars in start up costs. This sounded like pretty serious money, considering we were only required to sell fragrances to different distributors, as well as the general public. I then realized that for this to be possible he had to have a product that met the quality standards of the real thing, in the sense that he was making enough to put this project into action, so what he had to say was definitely worth looking into.

I learned that the copyrights for fragrances are not the same as the patent or copyright for a written work, or an invention. You could copyright certain aspects of a perfume, but not the scent, in other words, if someone comes up with the same scent as one of the leading perfume manufactures using different ingredients, they could market it and not have any legal complication. However, there are certain restrictions, he explained to us that the name had to be different and so did the shape of the bottle, as well as certain olfactory elements can be patented, but the liquid and fragrance itself does not have the same rights of exclusivity. He went on to explain that the main reason is that we all have different skin chemistry and the same perfume does not smell the same on everyone, therefore, skin chemistry cannot not be patented, so it stands to reason, neither can a particular scent.

That brings another question to mind and that is. Are these knockoff perfumes just as good? Are perfume imposters just as potent, or just well disguised water? After the meeting, even though I decided not to get into the perfume business, I was very intrigued by what I had learned.

I have often loved going by the counters of various fine department stores to try on the various perfumes, and I have often wished I had the sixty dollars or more to buy one of these fine concoctions that made my skin smell heavenly, but often had to leave the store with just a whiff on my wrist.

That Christmas my mother and I came across some fabulous knockoff perfumes that smelled identical to the real thing, at a drug store, so we decided to buy a couple of bottles for ourselves and some gifts for our friends.

I tried some for a new job I got the following January and one of my coworker told me that she loved the way my perfumed smelled, that she has always been fond of that perfume. I told her it was a knockoff, at that moment she then told me that the scent would probably wear of in no time. Amazingly enough, the scent lingered the entire day. I could still smell it on me, at the end of the day, but my co-worker said that only the real thing would last. I realized from that experience that there is a psychological aspect to all this, as well. If I had told her I paid a fortune for that perfume at a fine department store I’m sure she would still smell that perfume at the end of the day, just like I did.

A good quality knockoff will often have the same impact as the designer original.
A good quality knockoff will often have the same impact as the designer original.

Are these knockoff perfumes worth it and is it even possible that they could be just as good as the original maker’s perfume? The answer varies, like original perfumes knockoff also vary in quality. There is a difference between the knockoff you buy at your local drug store for under twenty dollars and the one you buy at the dollar store, believe me I have tried both and not all knockoffs are created equal, as not all perfumes are created equal.

Whether a perfume is a designer original or a knockoff, the ingredients must meet certain standards in order to create a truly fine and lasting fragrance. So when buying knockoff you can try to be frugal and save some money, but be careful with being too frugal because it will basically be a stinky deal, or as the saying goes “ you get what you pay for” so when buying a knockoff check the tester and try the fragrance for a day and see if it last till the evening, also check if the scent stays consistent, it would also be wise to bring a friend or family member along and do a similar test on them to make sure that the knockoff is a good quality knockoff. If it turns out that it continues to smell just as potent and fragrant on your friend and you by evening, then it would not be a bad idea to save some money and consider buying some knockoffs for Christmas.

Of course we all have a few people on our list that must have the real thing, well if they are your significant other, than by all means, get them nothing less than the real thing, fragrances are also psychological, so you don’t want a rift with someone so important to you over fragrance cost, on the other hand, you may want to get them something else if the cost of perfume is simply too high.

Enjoy the sweet scent of the holidays and consider purchasing knockoff perfumes because they are a good alternative to the original perfume and you can save a few dollars, but don’t forget quality is also important, so shop carefully.

I would also like to recommend shopping around to see if some of your favorite designer fragrances have been discounted. I have often seen that at places that specialize in perfumes and even at some fine department stores, the designer originals have been discounted and the pricing is so competitive that it may be more practical to just buy the designer original and not have to go through all the comparison shopping to know which knockoff's quality meets the original designer perfume's standard. Either way, it is wise to shop around, because whether it is a well priced designer original or a good quality knockoff the savings could make your holidays smell a whole lot sweeter.

If you want to know more about perfumes and how they are copyrighted just check out the following link:


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    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Hi Re-scent,

      You are very smart, I do agree, it is wise to spend less to see if you really like the product. Before designer knockoffs were invented what I use to do was ask for a small bottle sample of the perfume and that would give me the opportunity to try the perfume out, but now that designer imitations exist, trying it that way is very smart. Thanks for stopping by.

    • re-scent profile image


      8 years ago from Delaware

      I use the the designer knock offs to help me try perfumes I don't want to spend the money on initially. If I like it then I will go out and buy the real thing.


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