Can cheap perfume pass smell test?

Dollar store imitations tested against designer perfumes

SAN ANTONIO – From romantic florals to manly, mossy musks, designer scents can cost serious dollars. But can dollar store knockoffs pass the smell test?

"I'm very curious," said Jen Struski, one of three SA Live noses enlisted for a blind sniff test.

Struski generally wears Flower Bomb, while Rossi Ramirez described her signature scent as "more on the affordable side."

As for the lone male in the test, John Marr said he doesn't even really know the name of his cologne.

"My fiance likes it," he said. "That's all I know."

They're not professional "perfumistas," but were willing to lend their noses to see if they could tell the difference between the three designer scents and the essence of cheap — three imitations from the 99 Cents Store.

First, they put on a blindfold and sniffed Calvin Klein's Eternity and the $1 Jordache version. None of the three were fooled by the frugal fragrance.

Next, they smelled the French stuff: classic Chanel No. 5. The pretty bottle that holds a little more than an ounce cost $76. The Jordache version contains twice as much for just pennies.

Two out of the three sniffed out the fake. Ramirez really did not like the imitation. Struski, however, was a fan.

"I like that one better," Struski said.

Finally, to the manly eau de toilette. They compared the $68 bottle of Polo to the dollar version.

"This one smells more manly," Marr said of the real Polo. He thought the imitation smelled like "dish soap."

Ramirez thought the real deal smelled like her grandfather. She actually preferred the dollar version.

"I'd rather see my boyfriend wear (the imitation)," Ramirez said.

Again, two out of three could detect the difference.

"I don't care if it's a knockoff," Ramirez said. "You get more bang for your buck."

As the hours passed, the dollar scents did fade faster. But if you like the smell of a bargain, the dollar store versions may be worth a try.

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