How to Tell Cheap and Expensive Perfume Apart—A Guide

Expensive Perfume

Is there a difference between cheap and expensive perfume? The short answer is yes. Some affordable perfumes feel expensive on your skin, while other expensive ones seem too overpriced.

Here are some tips for telling the difference between the two to help you sort through the potential difference in price for different perfumes.

Expensive Perfumes Have Complex Smells

The most apparent difference between cheap and expensive perfumes is that they smell differently. Higher-end perfumes are more costly because they have a more complex smell.

Cheap perfumes have a similar smell to affordable cologne. They smell good, but nothing about their scent really stands out as special.

When you’re wearing higher-end perfumes, you can recognize them right away. It’s not an aroma you can describe—you can’t pinpoint exactly what the scent is. But it is more “you” than cheaper perfumes make you out to be.

Expensive Perfumes Include Different Scent Notes

Expensive perfumes use a variety of scent notes. These will change depending on the perfume, but they will all work together to create a single aroma.

Expensive perfumes are designed to have multiple layers of smells. Some of these layers will include notes of fruits, flowers, and spices or herbs.

All of the other smells layered into the perfume combine to make a complex and interesting scent, making it feel expensive on your skin. Meanwhile, cheap perfumes tend to have one main smell with a couple of supporting notes.

You Can't Always Smell the Difference

Of course, sometimes, the difference between cheap and expensive perfume is subtle.

It’s easier to recognize the difference between the two when wearing one. You can identify the complexity of a more expensive perfume when you smell it on someone else.

The biggest reason the difference between cheap and high-end perfumes can be subtle is that plenty of affordable perfumes smell expensive.

If you want to know that you’re comparing cheap and expensive perfume, you need to smell them side by side to tell them apart.

It's also worth mentioning that a few factors can influence a perfume’s smell. One of these is your body chemistry.

Your body chemistry influences how you smell. Even wearing the same perfume could cause the scent to change.

That’s why it’s so important to try a scent before you fully invest in it.

Expensive Scents Linger

Expensive perfumes last longer, allowing you to smell good even when they’re dry. It is especially true when wearing a fragrance you’ll be out in the rain or sweating in. On the other hand, some perfumes will wash off after a little bit of moisture.

Cheap perfumes tend to dry down quickly if they have a strong base note. It’s not uncommon for them to disappear within a couple of hours. This is especially true if you’re not wearing perfume with a lot of different scents.


When it comes to telling the difference between cheap and expensive perfume, it’s best to try the perfumes on your skin first. A scent will always smell different on someone else than it does on you.

Find a scent that is truly and uniquely you with Alexandria Fragrances. Alexandria perfume is made only from quality materials, which will make you look and feel expensive. Take a look at our catalog today!

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