We all like to smell good. And who doesn’t love to smell as delicious as the fancy designer perfumes in the fragrance shops?
Unfortunately not everyone can afford them. Perfumes are a delicate form of art and as we all know, art is expensive.
But did you know there are ways to smell just as good?
There are many low budget smell-a-likes out there for smaller wallets. They smell (some exactly) like the fancy ones in the shop. They are known as dupes and are often recognized by similarities in the name, the box or the bottle of the designer perfumes. Dupes are lesser priced perfumes that have near the same notes if not the exact same smell as their higher priced siblings.
“It’s like having a print of your favorite painting on your wall, so you can enjoy it every day”
They are of course not of the same high quality ingredients as the designer perfumes (which make the designer perfumes so expensive) and do not last as long, but they are a great alternative to experience the adventures of perfume.
You can use them as a try-before-you-buy-an-original-experiment, like a huge sample that you can use royally and to start your perfume experience with, to discover and develop your taste and climb up from there.
Below you will find a list of some popular designer perfumes along with some smell alike budget perfumes for smaller wallets.
“We all deserve to smell good and it doesn’t have to be expensive”
Some popular designer perfumes that are out there are: Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, DKNY Be Delicious by Donna Karan, Kenzo Flower by Kenzo, Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier, Angel by Thierry Mugler, Lady Million by Paco Rabanne, The One by Dolce & Gabbana, Chloe by Chloe, La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, Si by Giorgio Armani.
Some smell-a-like brands are: La Rive, Zara, Primark, Creation Lamis, Dorall Collection, Black Onyx, Linn Young, Real Time, Magico, Cloud 11, Indigo, FM, Milton Lloyd, Omerta, NG, Adelante, Larome, Fanatica, Blue.Up, D&G
Their prices are between €1,59 and €15,00, depending which brand, and often in the size of 100 ml (3.3 FL OZ).
Brands like La Rive and Creation Lamis are also available at some Douglas stores for example, which may indicate that they are qualitative accepted. It is also becoming a trend in perfume land that house brands do business with leading ‘noses’ for an accessible fragrance collection like Zara and Primark. Other stores where you can find smell-alike-perfumes are some supermarkets (like Lidl), some drugstores (like Etos), some warehouses (like Action, Zeeman, Wibra), almost every budget store, and all over the internet (See some lists at the bottom of this page).
Here are a some popular original designer perfumes with info and the fragrance notes, followed by some smell-alike’s:
Popular Designer Perfumes and Smell alike’s
Flowerbomb is an explosive bouquet of fresh and sweet notes. Top notes tingle with fresh and sweet accords of bergamot and green tea. The heart is floral and opulent with intensive, sweet and pure Sambac jasmine, seductive Centifolia rose, freesia and Cattleya orchid. Musk and patchouli in the base, wrap you with an oriental scent while its milky and powdery notes gently fondle your skin.
Topnotes: bergamot and green tea
Heartnotes: Pure Sambac jasmine, Centifolia rose, freesia and Cattleya orchid
Basenotes: Musk and patchouli
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Black Peoni by Zara, Blossom Blast by ?, Fleur de Boom by Belize, Upon Chic by Lynn Young, Sexplosion by Indigo, Summertime by Milton Lloyd , La Bomba by NG, La Bomba by Adelante, Hot Blast Woman by Creation Lamis, Spring Bloom by Dorall,
DKNY Be Delicious by Donna Karan (2004)
This is a bright, fresh and energetic fragrance, which matches a picture of a bold, but charming woman. DKNY Be Delicious was launched in 2004 and is still a very popular fragrance. The nose behind this fragrance is Maurice Roucel.
Topnotes: green notes, violet leaf, apple, grapefruit and magnolia
Heartnotes: tuberose, lily of the valley, rose and violet
Basenotes: sandalwood, amber and musk
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Green & Fresh The Fragrance by Cloud 11, So Love by La Rive, Apple Juice by Zara, Fruitylicious Apl by Indigo, B Fresh by Creation Lamis, Fresh by NG, Eve´s apple by lucien
Kenzo Flower by Kenzo (2000)
Clear and unusual, Flower by Kenzo links nature with city, emotions with a high-paced contemporary city life. This powdery floral scent is built on three basic notes. Its floral note revolves around parma violet, gentle wild hawthorne, cassis and Bulgarian rose. Its powdery note is composed of voluptuous vanilla, white musk and opoponax with a gentle woody touch. It was created in 2000. Flower is created by Alberto Morillas. It is available as 30, 50, 100 ml Eau de Parfum spray together with its bath & body line. This very popular perfume won a 2001 and 2003 Fifi award.
Topnotes: black currant, Hawthorn, Bulgarian Rose, Mandarin Orange
Heartnotes: Opoponax, Jasmin, Parna Violet, Bulgarian Rose
Basenotes: vanilla, white musk, Incense
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Fiore di La Rive by La Rive, Summer Flowers by Milton Lloyd, Story of Flower by ? , Fresh Flower Red by ?, Floral Desire by Dorall, Fresh Flowers by ?, Fresh Flower Delight by ?, Hazy Spring by Omerta, Flowery Red by Anna Blondi,
Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier (1993)
‘A fragrance that promises pleasure…’ Bold and sweet, awakes your feelings. And not only yours – imagine that people can recognize you even with their eyes closed. At the beginning its name was JPGaultier Eau de Parfum and it was produced as eau de parfum. Now, it is called Classique and comes both as eau de perfume and eau de toilette. In the top notes delicate rose scent is spiced by fresh anis. Middle notes combine sweetness of orange blossom and exciting ginger, a powerful aphrodisiac. Vanilla and sensual amber gently embrace in the base. The perfume is created in 1993. The nose behind this fragrance is Jacques Cavallier.
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Erotics by Black Onyx, Catsuit by Creation Lamis, Kindlooks by Realtime, Oso Woman by Linn Young,
This eponymous eau de parfum Chloe by Chloe is quite a departure from the once-popular tuberose composition of the same name. A light and fresh yet seductively strong and self-possessed scent, the new Chloe fragrance is in no way its predecessor’s timid younger sister.
Just like all Chloe’s bold, arty and free-spirited designs, the fragrance is feminine in a rather non-traditional, not all-out-girly way. Its accords expertly play against each other and they seduce the audience by being both elegant and daring at the same time. The fragrance is very versatile, it is intended for everyday use and is more than suitable for becoming someone’s unique signature scent. Chloe edp was launched in 2008. Chloe Eau de Parfum was created by Amandine Marie and Michel Almairac.
Top Notes: peoni, freesia, litchi,
Heart Notes: rose, lily-of-the-valley, magnolia
Base notes: virginia cedar, amber.
Chloe Eau de Toilette is a lighter and airier reinterpretation of Chloe Eau de Parfum introduced in 2008. Chloe Eau de Toilette is created a a more luminous and airier version which awakens and delights with its notes of mandarin and sweet fruity-aquatic melon notes. A heart blooms with freesia and rose supported with sandalwood and iris in a base. The flacon is shinier and lighter than its antecedent, decorated with a beige ribbon. Available as 50 and 75ml edt.
Top Notes: mandarin orange, water melon, pink pepper,
Heart Notes: freesia, tincture of rose,
Base notes: iris, sandalwood, tonka bean.
Accentuated honey and powdery notes of EDP are exchanged by cold and fresh iris and rose bathing in aquatic notes of the new edition.
The fragrance has been available on the market since April 2009.
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Cute by Larive, s.Oliver for her by s.Oliver, Powdery Magnolia by Zara, Lady Elite by Luxure, Hawaii by Milton Lloyd
Angel by Thierry Mugler (1992)
Top notes are melon, coconut, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, bergamot and cotton candy; middle notes are honey, apricot, blackberry, plum, orchid, peach, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, red berries and rose; base notes are tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel. This perfume is the winner of award FiFi Award Hall Of Fame 2007.
Top Notes: melon, coconut, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, bergamot and cotton candy,
Heart Notes: honey, apricot, blackberry, plum, orchid, peach, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, red berries and rose,
Base notes: tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel.
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Heaven’s Smell by NG, Falling Star by Black Onyx, Diable Blue by Creation Lamis, Sky Diamonds by Dorall, Arrow of Love by Black Onyx, Blue Star by Miro, Divinity by Indigo, Angel woman by Jordache
Lady Million by Paco Rabanne (2012)
1 Million for men is one of the most popular fragrances launched in last several years. After the edition for men, women’s version inspired by gold and wealth was expected. Two years after men’s edition, fragrant lady finally appears – Lady Million! We can just assume if this lady wants to earn millions or look like a million dollar. It is perfectly clear that the woman represented by this edition radiates, dominates and possesses fiery character with incredible sensuality.
It was clear that this perfume had to be as charismatic as 1 Million, with as strong a signature, yet without a direct olfactory link. The Lady Million woman is dazzling, always seductive. This ‘playful’ aspect inspired us immensely. Lady Million is fresh, floral and woody, like a nectar of voluptuous flowers, trailing delicately but still very present.
Powerfully seductive, the sparkle of bitter orange with a touch of raspberry reveals the first breath. A burst of neroli follows, smooth and bright. But then the lethal weapon of heady orange blossom slips out of its sheath. Its narcotic sweetness bewitches and grabs all attention. Then, joining with Arabian jasmine underlined by gardenia, the blend soars into something more carnal, yet ever subtle. Now the obsessive pulsing of patchouli enters the fray, pacifying the honey with an addictive and terribly tempting sweetness. Amber spreads to become all enveloping, floating around the beauty, following each movement and offering its most beautiful facets”.
Top Notes: amalfi lemon, neroli, and raspberry,
Heart Notes: Arabian jasmine, African orange blossom, gardenia
Base notes: patchouli, white honey, amber
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Cash by La Rive, Polka by Primark, Opulence by Creation Lamis, F48 by Larome, Lady Six Zero’s by Forbidden Love, Dazzle by The Only Way is Essex, 24 Pure by Dorall, Golden Wave by Creation Lamis
The One is a fragrance for an exceptional woman who instantly draws attention, not only with her looks, but also with her manners, pose and inner world. This fragrance, like all of the fragrances of D&G house, is a ‘fragrance with character’, special and alluring. Its oriental floral-fruity composition is very warm and sensual with powdery vanilla trace. The color of the fragrance perfectly matches its tone.
The composition opens with softly fresh mandarin, bergamot, litchi and peach. The heart is thin and balmy, with the notes of jasmine, lily of the valley and white lily which graciously intertwine with the fruity touch of plum. The woodsy-powdery base is created of vetiver root, amber, musk and vanilla.
The One was created in 2006.
Top Notes: mandarin, bergamot, litchi and peach,
Heart Notes: jasmine, lily of the valley, white lily, plum
Base notes: vetiver root, amber, musk and vanilla
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Black Amber by Zara, Divina First Edition by George Lucien, Donna The Best by La Rive, Sweet & Sour Diamond by Linn Young, The One For Women by Blue.Up, Dolce Donna Gold by Black Onyx, Dolce Donna Gold by Cote D’Azur, Prima Women by Lazell, The Pride by Dorall Collection, Buenavista Ace by Creation Lamis, Only One by D&G, Dolce Lady Gold by Chatler, Velvet Flower by Emper Paris
The top notes describe the strong personality of a woman, her enthusiasm and energy. Notes of sweet apple reveal the first, delicate taste of feminine passions, adding a floral, soft and charming heart. White flowers, which are tame and gentle, are mixed with orange blossom, giving an optimistic impression. A base includes sandalwood, olive wood and creamy vanilla, which make the finish very characteristic, passionate and warm.
Top Notes: Apple, Bergamot, Cinnamon
Heart Notes: White peach, Plum, Orange blossom
Base notes: Olive wood, Sandalwood, Vanilla
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Suddenly Diamonds by Lidl, Colours by La Rive, Queens by Tiara
La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme (2012)
The concept of this fragrance is centered on the idea of natural and simple beauty, freedom from conventions and the choice of once own vision of happiness. The fragrance is a kind of outlook on life, inspired by joy and pleasure in small things.
This gourmand yet elegant composition is developed by perfumers Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo. The final formula is the result achieved after three years of probation and 5.000 versions.
The composition’s opening provides fruity flavors of black currant and pear. Iris is the key ingredient of the perfume, surrounded by orange blossoms and jasmine in the heart, while the base is warm, gourmand and powdery due to almond-like accords of tonka bean, praline, patchouli and vanilla.
Topnotes: Black currant and Pear;
Heartnotes: Iris, Jasmin and Orange blossom;
Basenotes: Patchouli, Tonka bean, Vanilla and Praliné.
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: Just Dream Perfect by Creation Lamis, Queen Life by La Rive, Absolute Iris No.39 by The Perfume Master, Enjoy Life by Magico, Lancy by Dorall, it’s Glamour Time by Mel Merio
Amani Si by Giorgio Armani (2013)
A perfume for the modern woman. Armani Si is chic and timeless, but with an unprecedented freshness and warmth. Armani Si Was Chosen for her three main ingredients: nectar of black currants, chypré notes, wood and musk. The scent also contains vanilla, rose, freesia and a hint of patchouli. They have also added two own fragrances to the perfume: “jungle essence” and “intense orcanox ‘ to make Si complete.
Topnotes: black currants nectar;
Heartnotes: Italian blackberries, Freesia and May Rose;
Basenotes: Musk, Vanilla patchouli, chypre, orcanox, Ambroxan, White cedar wood
Si was launched in 2013. The nose behind this fragrance is Christine Nagel.
Perfumes for smaller wallets that smell alike are: In by La Rive, Si Femme by Realtime, L’or de Say No.1 by Orsay, Oui Je Taime by Linn Young,
TIP: You can also become a perfume artist yourself and make your own perfume to smell good 🙂
Here’s how: DIY Workshop: How To Make Your Own Perfume (Tutorial)
More related info
La Rive, Zara, Primark, Creation Lamis, Omerta-Paris, RealTime, Linn Young, Georges Mezotti, rêvArôme, Magico, Cloud 11, Indigo, Dorall, FM, Milton Lloyd, NG, Black Onyx, Adelante, Fanatica, Blue Up, Mel Merio, Larome, Lucien,