As Aldi and Poundland release cut-price versions of our favourite perfumes, we pick the ones that almost had us fooled
If you thought fragrance could never be a stocking filler, think again - two budget brands are making sure some of our best-loved scents are available for as little as £1… so long as you don’t want the real thing.
First up is Aldi, who have built quite the reputation as the king of beauty dupes this year thanks to their Jo Malone-style candles (which incidentally are available in a gift hamper this Christmas along with a bottle of bubbly), their Liz Earle copycat cleanser and their version of Glow Tonic and various makeup dupes this autumn. Now they’ve turned their attention to the Chanel fragrances we all know and love but can’t necessarily afford: Coco Mademoiselle and of course, Chanel No5. But do they match up to the originals?
The 5th Element Eau de Toilette , £6.99 for 100ml, doesn’t look too dissimilar to the original bottle and following much spritzing among the GTG team, the overriding conclusion was that it was an impressive copy of Chanel’s signature scent - which for the same size would knock you back £110.
In fact, for those who find the original Eau de Parfum too overpowering or heavy, this slightly lighter version may even be preferable and certainly more wearable.
Aldi’s second success is the Feminie Eau de Toilette , £6.99 for 100ml, which is ‘inspired by’ Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle only without the eye-watering £116 price tag. More of a people pleaser than the acquired taste of No5, the pretty bottle houses an uncanny copy of the original which everyone at GTG HQ agreed to be up to scratch; it lasts well, too, despite again having a slightly lighter scent than our beloved Chanel (though it’s worth noting this again is an Eau de Toilette rather than Eau de Parfum). We predicted this would be the more popular of the two and, quelle surprise, it’s currently sold out online - add Aldi to your next shopping trip if you want to sniff out this Special Buy before it’s gone.
If you can’t get your hands on the Coco copy, we’ve found the next best thing in the form of Poundland’s new fragrance dupes. The store hasn’t been quite so conspicuous with its knock-off packaging in the way that Aldi has, but of all its launches (there are budget versions of some top-selling men’s and women’s fragrances in the range) the Beau Reve is by far the best.
A dupe of Lancôme’s La Vie est Belle (which for the same size is worth a hefty £92), the tall skinny bottle leaves a lot to be desired and won’t be fooling anyone on your Christmas shopping list this year, but the scent is almost there; they’ve removed the pricier ingredients such as orange blossom and jasmine, so it’s missing the weight and sophistication of the original, but the pleasant floral-vanilla aroma still comes through. Either way, at £1 for 100ml it’s the cheapest fragrance you’ll probably find on the shelves this year and yet it’s both fresh and feminine - who could argue with that?
Poundland’s Beau Reve, £1 for 100ml, and Aldi Lacura’s 5th Element and Feminie fragrances, £6.99 each, are available in stores now