Perfume smell test: Does price matter?

A bottle of designer perfume or cologne can easily cost hundreds of dollars. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, plan on splurging.

Discount and drug stores carry knock-off versions of those big name brands for a fraction of the cost.

Consumer expert Amy Davis put five ladies and a man to a blind smell test to find out if the average nose, knows the difference.

A small bottle of Chanel No 5 costs $76. Davis paid one dollar for an imitation bottle twice the size at the 99 Cent Only store. If your friends can't tell the difference, why should you pay the difference?

We purchased the Jordache version of Eternity for women by Calvin Klein and the real perfume, the faux version of Drakkar Noir for men and the authentic fragrance and the Jordache version of Chanel No 5 and the real bottle.

Perfume was spritzed on paper strips with each scent (labeled so the real and fakes could be identified) and asked the testers to tell which were the real scents and which were the imposters. 

Five out six snouts sniffed out the Eternity copycat and the Drakkar Noir fake. Only one woman got it wrong.  Most said the faux fragrances faded faster.

"You could absolutely tell the difference," said Michael Pearce. "The fake ones were more diluted. They don't last as long."
But when it came to Chanel No 5 and the copycat, four out of 6 of the testers got it wrong. They thought the fake 99 cent perfume was the real thing.

"So now after learning this, you will be going to the 99 Cent Only store to buy all of your perfume, right?" Davis asked one of the volunteers.

"Absolutely not," she laughed. "Because the bottle is really important, don't you think?"

If, like her, you care about the pretty bottle, you probably won't like the cheaper fragrances. If you want to save some money, give them a try.