My love for sweet fragrances began with the purchase of my first luxe perfume, the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh. Its notes of raspberry, apple blossom, rose and jasmine left a lasting impression on me. I loved everything about it–its floral cap, its light pink bottle, and the alluring sillage of it. I wore it so much that within a month, I had used up over half the bottle. Extensive, yes. A waste? Absolutely not. And no matter how much I wanted to, being a budget conscious person meant I had to defer this. Undeterred, I did the next best thing and bought myself a Zara perfume. While its fresh, floral and powdery essence reminded me of the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh perfume, it took only a small chunk of my pocket money. This is when I was introduced to perfume dupes.
Perfume dupes are just doppelgängers that weave a tapestry of notes akin to the very notes they are inspired by. While the original remains the coveted one, and one that shall be immediately resorted to when the bank balance permits it, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have dupes that could tide us over. One of the primary reasons to seek out these dupes is to explore and try different scents without committing to the higher price tag. But, finding perfume dupes is like decoding a secret language of scents. We must know whether the scent is floral, citrusy, woody, or gourmand, and what its top, middle, heart and base notes are. Moreover, smelling multiple perfumes one after the other can give you a sensory overload, making every scent smell the same after one point. So, we’re here to help.
Before we get into these perfume dupes, here is some jargon to keep in mind. The top notes are the initial impressions of a fragrance while the middle notes emerge after the top notes fade away. Heart notes give the fragrance its character and base notes are those that linger on the skin. With that out of the way, here are some widely beloved perfumes and their budget-friendly alternatives-
Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet – Zara Nude Bouquet
Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet is a Parisian daydream in a bottle. The scent smells like a bouquet of white and pink roses & peonies with top notes of Silician orange, heart notes of pink peony, rose, apricot and peach, and a base note of white musk. Lucky for us, the Zara Nude Bouquet perfume gives us a similar experience. Its top notes of lotus and bergamot give us that fresh floral fragrance, while base notes of sandalwood, vanilla and tonka bean give the dupe a character of its own.
Marc Jacobs Daisy – M&S Gardenia & Vanilla
Although my favourite from the collection is the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh, the Daisy EDT is a close second. Its top notes of wild berries give the scent its freshness, while the white violet infused with a heart note of jasmine makes the scent perfect for daytime. And standing neck-to-neck with it is the Marks & Spencer Gardenia & Vanilla that brings forth an identical experience at a much more pocket-friendly price. Sweet, flowery top notes of gardenia and grapefruit give this dupe a similar feel to that of Marc Jacobs Daisy EDT. Both fragrances also feature lasting notes of sandalwood.
Carolina Herrera Good Girl – Renee Bloom
You’re sure to turn heads if you wear Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl perfume on a night out. Its top notes of apricot, orange blossom and bergamot give this sweet fragrance some complexity, and its base notes of musk, sandalwood and vetiver give it some warmth. Similar to this is the Renee Bloom, which hits the nail with top notes of mandarin, grapefruit and pink pepper. It also has a base of musk, amber and cedarwood that add spicy traces to its citrusy top notes.
YSL Black Opium – Zara Gardenia
A scent that is widely beloved by all, YSL’s Black Opium is one of the most intoxicating fragrances I have ever smelled. Its opening notes of coffee and rich vanilla lace with sweet white floral notes, while patchouli, cashmere wood and cedar give it an earthy base. A budget-friendly alternative to this seductive fragrance is Zara’s Gardenia. The fragrance features silky white flowers, orange blossom and coffee, with fruity freshness of peach and raspberry.
Coco Chanel Mademoiselle – Armaf Club De Nuit
One cannot talk about cult-favourite perfumes without mentioning Coco Chanel Mademoiselle. It has top notes of orange, bergamot and orange blossom, middle notes of Turkish rose, jasmine, mimosa and ylang-ylang, and base notes of patchouli, white musk, vanilla, vetiver, tonka bean and opoponax. In all, the combination of all these notes create a strong yet surprisingly fresh scent.
Similar to this is the smell of Club de Nuit by Armaf. It opens with citrusy notes of orange, grapefruit, bergamot and peach, and is complimented by middle notes of rose, jasmine, geranium and litchi. The base notes of patchouli, vanilla, musk and vetiver make up the body of the fragrance, making this dupe an almost identical dupe of Coco Chanel Mademoiselle.