Perfumes are the classic among gifts – but how can you tell whether it's just a bargain or a fake?
Perfumes have always ranked at the top when it comes to “most popular gifts.” However, be careful with cheap offers on the Internet, because they are often fakes that not only smell cheap, but in the worst case can also cause skin irritation. But what are the characteristics of whether the bargain is real or fake? TASTE THE LUXE explains how you can easily unmask fake fragrances yourself.
The packaging foil smells noticeably of plastic, the box is folded crookedly, the print is not clean or the legally required green dot is missing? All of this points to a counterfeit perfume, because branded boxes are always processed accurately, otherwise they should not leave the factory.
Green dot: The "green dot" is a protected trademark and is used throughout Europe to indicate that packaging is being recycled. You can usually find it on the bottom of the packaging. If it is printed crookedly, this often indicates a fake.
Different packaging sizes or the note "Special Edition" can also be indications of counterfeiting. This suggests that the perfume in this version cannot be found anywhere else, which makes any comparisons impossible.
The serial number
Each perfume has an individual serial number, the so-called batch number. This must be printed on the bottle and on the packaging. If it's just glued on or if it's missing entirely, you're definitely dealing with a cheap fake.
The bottle must not have any bumps, and the glass base of fake fragrances is usually significantly thinner than the original. A poorly made lid made of cheap tin and a wobbly spray button are also typical of fakes. In general, the design looks rather clumsy and not very filigree.
Fake perfumes have a strong smell of alcohol, and the scent fades after a few minutes and appears flat overall. A good perfume is always designed according to a fragrance pyramid (top, heart, base note): After application, the three different aromas unfold. An attentive nose immediately recognizes when it is dealing with a fake.
The dealer scams
Flea markets, hawkers or Internet shops without an imprint often harbor the risk of counterfeit perfumes. High-quality perfumes cannot be purchased here. You should therefore either use certified Internet providers or visit a specialist shop in the classic way.
Counterfeit perfumes are often harmful to health
A perfume found to be a fake should be disposed of as soon as possible, because whenever customs confiscate illegal fakes, some of them also end up in the laboratory.
And what is found in it is often anything but pleasant: it can contain urine (!), paint thinner, harmful preservatives, antifreeze or petrol. Fake perfumes could therefore lead to skin irritation, rashes or allergic reactions - and are therefore anything but a good gift.
Fragrance twins as an alternative
If you don't want to dig too deep into your pocket and still want to give away a noble brand fragrance, you have the option of using fragrance twins. The so-called perfume dupes, which are usually sold in drugstores, are perfumes that have similar scents to their well-known brand counterparts.
Unlike real counterfeits, the fragrance twins do not pretend that they are the original. This means that they are not only completely legal, but are also subject to the same dermatological regulations as expensive branded perfumes - health risks such as those caused by real counterfeits are therefore excluded.