The Dupes

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A danger for intellectual property?

What is a dupe in perfumery?

A perfume dupe is a fragrance that imitates a perfume from a reputable brand.
The similarity may lie in the composition of the ingredients, the olfactory structure, or the presentation of the product.
They are sold at competitive prices, thus attracting many consumers.

The legal opportunity

Under French law, fragrances are not protected by copyright, opening up an opportunity for dupe manufacturers.
The major perfume brands cannot oppose the marketing of these products, provided that they do not violate trademark rights.

The Fool Makers

. The manufacturers of dupes are often supermarkets, discounters, fast fashion brands, or bazaars.
. Their main target is consumers looking for quality products at affordable prices.

Problems for major perfume brands

The rise of dupes poses several problems for major perfume brands, including:

- Loss of turnover: dupes are sold at significantly lower prices, which allows them to attract a large number of consumers and take market share.
- Reputational damage: The presence of dupes can damage the reputation of major brands, leaving consumers thinking that their fragrances are not as unique as they believed.
- Brand devaluation: Loss of revenue and damage to reputation can lead to brand devaluation, which deters investors.

The revealing figures
The numbers don't lie: in 2023, a Gartner study predicts that the market for perfume dupes will reach $10 billion by 2025.

A McKinsey survey in 2022 shows that dupes already represent around 10% of perfume sales in France, a share that continues to grow.
Legal avenues for big brands To counter dupes, big brands can:

- Invest in protecting their brands and designs.
- Prosecute dupe manufacturers for violation of their intellectual property rights, when, for example, perfume dupe manufacturers copy the visual identity of their original perfume bottles.
- Creating original and unique fragrances could escape counterfeiting.

Differentiation of major brands

To distinguish themselves from dupes, major perfume brands can:

- Focus on the sensory and emotional experience that their fragrances provide.
- Capitalize on the desire for belonging and self-expression associated with the real perfume brand.
- Communicate on the quality of ingredients and the sustainability of fragrances.

The legal boundary between duping and counterfeiting.

The legal distinction between a dupe and a counterfeit is essential.
Here’s how to tell them apart:

The Fool

- A legal imitation of a branded fragrance.
- Reproduces olfactory similarities without claiming to be the original product.
- Often sold at affordable prices.


- A deliberate violation of intellectual property rights.
- Uses legitimate brand name, packaging and logos to deceive consumers.
- Illegal and generally of inferior quality.
Laws on counterfeiting and intellectual property rights vary from country to country, but protecting trademark rights is essential to thwarting counterfeiters.


Perfume dupes are booming, raising crucial intellectual property questions.

Big brands must adopt legal and marketing strategies to protect their reputation, while consumers must remain vigilant to avoid counterfeit products.

Ultimately, the future of the perfume industry rests on a harmonious coexistence between luxury fragrances and their legal imitations, with constant vigilance to avoid counterfeits.

Written by: Keevans
Category: Perfumes
Published: May 19, 2024
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