Everyone wants a good deal. When I saw that I could buy a $90 designer perfume at half the price, I got suckered in. I should have known better; the signs were all there. But the price was too good to be true at $37.99, so I ignored the fact that the eBay seller was new. However, I did wait to read her initial reviews and the 3 that came in for her recent sales of perfume were positive. None were negative or said her items were fake. So either people are unwittingly buying fake perfume or they know these are knock-offs and don’t care.
There are quite a few articles written about how to spot fake and counterfeit perfumes, but I’m going to focus on the perfume I bought since I actually have pictures of my expensive lesson, which is Juicy Couture’s Juicy Couture.
The moment I received the package I had a suspicion that this item was fake. When I removed the perfume box from the envelope, it was sealed and wrapped in cellophane wrap. But I noticed there was a pencil mark on the box inside the sealed cellophane wrap.
When I went to open the cellophane wrap, the top popped open really easily as if it was not glued on at all. I opened the box to find that the cardboard cutout that is supposed to hold the gem cap in place was torn, which might have occurred because the gem top had come loose from the cap either before or during shipping.
I pulled the bottle out of the box and my suspicions continued to mount when I saw that the terrier crest was bent on the top. I also noticed that the glue was done very poorly. The glue was oozing around the edges of the crest and when you look on the back you can see glue strings.
Aside from the broken cap and the poorly glued on crest, at first glance, the bottle looks to be the same shape as the original and the brown necklace with “J” gemstone and white crown is wrapped around the neck of the bottle cap like the real bottle.
This was when I noticed the bottle was not full and the color of the liquid did not look right. I have a small roll-on of the perfume that I received as a gift, and when compared to the counterfeit, the counterfeit liquid was a peach-pinkish color while the real was a golden yellow color.
As for the scent, the scent was similar, but the fake didn’t last long and had a different “after scent”. The after scent from the roll-on was sweet smelling, while the counterfeit smelled like too much alcohol and cheap perfume.
With my suspicions, I went straight to Sephora and purchased a bottle of the perfume at full price to make a comparison. Just at first glance, there are already quite a few discrepancies. Since there are quite a few discrepancies, I am just going to list everything in bullets.
R = Real/Authentic perfume
F = Fake/Counterfeit perfume
In pictures, the Real is on the left and the Fake is on the right.
Real / Fake
- R = The cellophane is thicker and to open the wrap, I had to cut it open.
- F = The cellophane is thinner than the R, and the top of the wrap opened very easily. It didn’t even looked like it was glued on.
Box colors are different.
- R = Box is pink.
- F = Box is a more of a flesh color.
Box texture is different.
- R = All over the box you can easily see impressed textures.
- F = There are impressed textures on the box, but they are not as prominent as in the R box.
Box logo print is different.
- R = The terrier crest print is deeply embossed on the box.
- F = The terrier crest print is slightly embossed on the box.
Text on box is different.
- R (Front) = 3 lines
- Line 1: Eau de Parfum Spray
- Line 2: Vaporisateur
- Line 3: 3.4 FL OZ 100 ml e
- F (Front) = 2 lines
- Line 1: Eau de Parfum Spray/Vaporisateur.
- Line 2: 3.4 FL OZ LIQ/ 100 mL e
- R (Back) = 31 lines
- Line 1: CAUTION: FLAMMABLE
- Line 2: ATTENTION: INFLAMMABLE
- Line 3: VORSICHT: ENTFLAMMBAR
- Line 4: ATTENZIONE: INFIAMMABILE
- Line 5: PRECAUCION: INFLAMABLE
- Line 6: ATENCAO: INFLAMAVEL
- Line 7: INGREDIENTS: ALCOHOL DENAT.,
- Line 8: PARFUM/FRAGRANCE, WATER/AQUA/EAU,
- Line 9: PROPYLENE GLYCOL, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL
- Line 10: IONONE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, BENZYL BENZOATE,
- Line 11: BENZYL SALICYLATE, BUTYLPHENYL
- Line 12: METHYLPROPIONAL, CITRONELLOL, EUGENOL,
- Line 13: FARNESOL, GERANIOL, HYDROXYCITRONELLAL,
- Line 14: HYDROXYISOHEXYL 3-CYCLOHEXENE
- Line 15: CARBOXALDEHYDE, ISOEUGENOL, LIMONENE,
- Line 16: LINALOOL, METHYL ANTHRANILATE,
- Line 17: BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE,
- Line 18: BLUE 1 (CI 42090), RED 4 (CI 14700),
- Line 19: YELLOW 5 (CI 19140).
- Line 20: Juicy Couture, the Juicy Couture crest
- Line 21: design, and LOVE G&P are trademarks owned
- Line 22: by Juicy Couture, Inc. and are used under license.
- Line 23: Juicy Couture, l’ecusson Juicy Couture
- Line 24: et Love G&P sont des marques commerciales de
- Line 25: Juicy Couture, Inc. et sont utilises avec
- Line 26: l’autorisation necessaire.
- Line 27: Distributed in U.S.A. by
- Line 28: (Copyright symbol) EA Fragrances Co.
- LIne 29: New York, NY 10003
- Line 30: EA Fragrances, London W1T 3EY
- Line 31: Made in U.S.A./Fabrique aux E.U.
- Bottom left corner: Recycle symbol
- Bottom right corner: 36M
- F (Back) = 12 lines
- Line 1: Vaporizador
- Line 2: INGREDIENTS:
- Line 3: ALCOHOL DENAT., FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), AQUA/WATER/EAU,
- Line 4: BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL
- Line 5: IONONE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, BENZYL BENZOATE, BENZYL
- Line 6: SALICYLATE, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, CITRONEL-
- Line 7: LOL, EUGENOL, FARNESOL, GERANIOL, HYDROXYCITRONEL- [sic]
- Line 8: LAL, HYDROXYISOHEXYL 3-CYCLOHEXENE CARBOXALDEHYDE,
- Line 9: ISOEUGENOL, LIMONENE< LINALOOL, CI19140/YELLOW 5,
- Line 10: CI14700(RED 4, CI42090/BLUE 1.
- Line 11: FLAMMABLE / INFLAMMABLE / BRENNBAR /
- Line 12: INFLAMABLE / INFIAMMABILE
- Bottom right corner: 24M
- R (Bottom) = 3 Lines (I’ve seen other REAL boxes with different size barcode and the words “MADE IN USA” printed on the bottom, but that’s it.)
- Line 1: No. JUIF00005
- Line 2: Barcode
- Line 3: 0DB16
- F (Bottom) = 6 lines
- Line 1: 07 229M3
- Line 2: Barcode and recycle symbol (Barcodes are the same and will scan.)
- Line 3: Juicy Couture Dis., 1441 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
- Line 4: 1006 BB Amsterdam, NL
- Line 5: Madie in USA/Fabrique aux Etats-Unis
- Line 6: REF # 40X123400
Print on the inside lid of the box.
- Text is the same for both.
- R = Print is darker and thicker, but also has more detail.
- F = Print is thinner and looks like a copy print.
- R = In perfect condition.
- F = There is a long cut along the front of the cardboard, which you would never see until you pull it out of the box.
Gem top on cap.
I’ve read online some fakes have shorter gem tops, but mine were the same. However, quality differed.
- R = perfect condition.
- F = Arrived scratched and broken off the cap.
The neck of the bottle cap is made of different material.
- R = Silver neck of the cap is made of metal and the inside of the cap is grey.
- F = Silver neck of the cap is made of plastic and inside of the cap is clear plastic.
Caps between R and F are not interchangeable.
- R cap is larger than the F cap.
- The spray top is visibly completely different.
Necklace charm is also different.
- R = Brown string is thicker.
- F = Brown string is darker brown, thinner, and shinier.
- R = Crown charm has light brown color in the crevices.
- F = Crown charm does not have any color in the crevices.
- R = “J” charm jewels are small and embedded into the metal. There are no jewels on the underside of the “J” just metal studs.
- F = “J” charm is a darker color and jewels are bigger and glued on poorly all around the “J”. There are jewels glued on the underside of the “J”.
- R = Crest is glued on carefully with glue in certain spots.
- F = Crest is glued on poorly and you can see glue strings in the back. Additionally, the glue seeps around the edges of the crest.
- R = To the touch, the R crest is smoother than the F crest.
- F = The crest is very close to the R, but to the touch is rougher and the print is not as distinct as the R crest.
- R = 7 lines
- Line 1: JUICY COUTURE
- Line 2: EAU DE PARFUM SPRAY/VAPORISATEUR
- Line 3: 3.4 FL. OZ. 100 ml e
- Line 4: (copyright symbol) EA FRAGRANCES CO., DIST., N.Y., NY 10003
- Line 5: LONDON W1T 3EY
- Line 6: MADE INUSA/FABRIQUE AUX E.U.
- Line 7: NO.JUIF00005
- F = 6 lines
- Line 1: 100mL e 3.4 El.Oz.Liq.
- Line 2: FLAMMABLE/INFLAMMABLE
- Line 3: Juicy Couture Dist.,1441 BRoadway.
- Line 4: New York, NY 10018
- Line 5: 1006 BB Amsterdam,mL
- Line 6: Made in USA/Fabrique aux Etats-Unis
- R = Liquid color is golden yellow.
- F = Liquid color is pinkish peach.
- R = When sprayed the scent is sweet smelling and when the alcohol is gone there is a sweet after scent.
- F = When sprayed there is a very strong alcoholic smell. When the alcohol finally dissipates, the after scent smells like old cheap perfume. Also the perfume is oiler than the R perfume.
As you can see from my list, you don’t have to be a perfume connoisseur to see there are quite a few things you can spot to see if the perfume you got is counterfeited or not. I am most definitely not a perfume connoisseur. The last perfume bottle I purchased was from Bath and Body Works and their eau de Toilette are only $30.
Since I discovered the counterfeit early on and purchased this through eBay using Paypal, after I sent a message to the seller as a courtesy and waited 24 hours for her to respond, I immediately went through Paypal, went to the transaction, and clicked the “Click here to resolve” link to open a case on eBay through eBay’s buyer protection program.
eBay’s Buyer Protection program basically has three steps. When you open a case with eBay, they will ask you to try to contact the seller one more time and you can leave a detail account of what transpired. Then eBay will tell you to give the seller 7 days to contact you. By the 7th day, if the seller has not contacted you or if the dispute hasn’t been settled, you can “escalate” the case and eBay will resolve the issue.
After escalating my case, eBay said they would get back to me in 72 hours. In about 2 hours, I saw that ebay had refunded me the full cost of $37.99 that I paid back to my credit card. Though I think my case was pretty solid since by the time I escalated the case, the user (Majoriemoney1) had “not a registered user” next to her name, and the address that I found connected to her paypal account, when put into google maps it didn’t exist, and it kept taking me to the Arizona State Hospital aka Arizona State Asylum. (I’m sure there is a joke in there somewhere.)
Even though if the fake smells “close enough” to the real perfume, I don’t recommend using these knock-off perfumes, you don’t know what chemicals these counterfeiters use since there is no quality control. From articles I’ve found online about perfume counterfeiter there have been cases of urine and antifreeze found in the counterfeit perfumes.
I know it sounds cliche, but if you think the price is too good to be true it probably is. So go with your gut and immediately report these counterfeiters if you decide to chance it. Though I recommend just waiting for a 20% off sale and buy your favorite perfume from an authorized retailer or something. It is also good to know that eBay’s Buyer Protection works, just make sure to make your reports within 30-45 days.