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  1. #1

    Default Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    There happens to be a handful of cheap fragrances that I think smell very pleasant. And yet the dry down in some of them smells a little rough, synthetic, crude, etc. Or maybe they just smell "cheap." Is it because they use cheaper ingredients, a case of not being blended well, or is it because I know it's a cheap fragrance so I'm projecting that, yes, whatever this is, it's "cheap smelling."

    Some cheap fragrances I've found at the discounters that I find to be nice scents:

    Imperial Woods-probably the best cheapie I've smelled. I think it's a TJ Maxx/Marshalls exclusive. No bad part in the dry down but maybe it smells too synthetic?
    American Crew Americana-similar smelling to the above but a little more masculine. Dry down has a hint of something cheap, but I can't describe it. My imagination? Insecurity?
    Lucky You by Lucky Brand-This smells like a better Curve, and yet the dry down has this plastic smell to it. Is this only me?
    Michael Jordan eau de cologne-I like the opening of this, and it kind of reminds me of a 90s Drakkar Noir Jr. But the dry down has this cheap plastic/rubber something note in it.
    Mambo by Liz Claiborne-Pretty agreeable fragrance but maybe it's too sweet and soft in a cheap way? It smells like Curve and since that's a favorite of teenagers, it's considered "cheap"?

    Can people tell when a fragrance on you is cheap? Is it because it's too common and they know it's a discount fragrance? Poorly blended? Or is it considered cheap if it just stinks or smells bad to them? I avoid wearing cheapies like Adidas fragrances because the dry down is extremely scratchy, and that's the tell-tale sign of cheap to me.
    I wear Gillette Cool Wave once in a while and some people say it smells cheap.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I think its both subjective and depends on the kind of individual. Some could be indifferent from something expensive or high quality to something inexpensive and cheap while others might be have an already acquired taste.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I notice when wearing a serious mature fragrance people take me seriously and don’t treat me otherwise so there is that. Most people aren’t well versed in fragrances so I doubt it but a fruity youthful fragrance will deff be different than a full on masculine fragrance with some oomph. Also depends on ingredients and notes used too some come off blah or generic but ones with quality notes will still smell nice even at a low price so who would know.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    There happens to be a handful of cheap fragrances that I think smell very pleasant. And yet the dry down in some of them smells a little rough, synthetic, crude, etc. Or maybe they just smell "cheap." Is it because they use cheaper ingredients, a case of not being blended well, or is it because I know it's a cheap fragrance so I'm projecting that, yes, whatever this is, it's "cheap smelling."

    Some cheap fragrances I've found at the discounters that I find to be nice scents:

    Imperial Woods-probably the best cheapie I've smelled. I think it's a TJ Maxx/Marshalls exclusive. No bad part in the dry down but maybe it smells too synthetic?
    American Crew Americana-similar smelling to the above but a little more masculine. Dry down has a hint of something cheap, but I can't describe it. My imagination? Insecurity?
    Lucky You by Lucky Brand-This smells like a better Curve, and yet the dry down has this plastic smell to it. Is this only me?
    Michael Jordan eau de cologne-I like the opening of this, and it kind of reminds me of a 90s Drakkar Noir Jr. But the dry down has this cheap plastic/rubber something note in it.
    Mambo by Liz Claiborne-Pretty agreeable fragrance but maybe it's too sweet and soft in a cheap way? It smells like Curve and since that's a favorite of teenagers, it's considered "cheap"?

    Can people tell when a fragrance on you is cheap? Is it because it's too common and they know it's a discount fragrance? Poorly blended? Or is it considered cheap if it just stinks or smells bad to them? I avoid wearing cheapies like Adidas fragrances because the dry down is extremely scratchy, and that's the tell-tale sign of cheap to me.
    I wear Gillette Cool Wave once in a while and some people say it smells cheap.
    After Curve for Men became a smash success, perfumer Jean-Claude Delville was asked to put the DNA in all Claiborne-made masculines, including Claiborne Sport (1997), Lucky You for Men(2000), Mambo for Men (2001), Spark for Men (2003), and Bora Bora for Men (2004) until they decided to make actual Curve flankers instead.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Doubt it, unless they recognize the specific scent and are fragheads (who use words like fragheads) and spend a lot of time with you in close quarters. Same goes for clothes to some extend. If things fit and you look good, people won't notice.

    I see wearing very cheap stuff as a good exercise. If you're not as happy when wearing a potato sack and a £5 perfume (or *gasp* no perfume) as you are when wearing an expensive suit and a niche then you're not really confident.

    Also, if you'd be seriously worried if you had to lick the sole of one of your shoes right now then you're germophobic.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I dont think so..i got some crazy compliments wearing Old spice and Cella after shaves..go figure..

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    Can people tell when a fragrance on you is cheap?
    Generally speaking, no.

    I think I'm a better judge of this than the average person because I used to be rich. In my early 30s, I gave up a career that paid me very well but had a downside I didn't want to live with anymore. I quit & launched my own business, which meant I was poor but working for myself and building toward a future. Blah blah blah: I went from making six figures to making $16,000 the year my savings ran out - but I built from there. Slowly. 2002 to 2009 were some lean years.

    I mention this because... as a single man, I mastered the art of living well on not much money, and the most important trick I learned was how to date while broke without having a date realize I was broke.

    People can't tell if you're wearing a cheap scent unless it smells bad (which has nothing to do with price), or if they recognize it (which is only likely if it's VERY common, in which case, it's probably a $60+ designer).

    People also can't tell if you pour them a glass of wine from a $7 bottle or a $70 bottle, and they don't care. They care about whether or not they like the wine in their glass (spend $7 to $15 a bottle at Trader Joe's & you're golden). That's a really important point.

    Back in my 'broke' days, I had a date with a woman who took me back to her place for drinks, but she served it from a decanter, and she went to the kitchen to refill when the decanter ran low. I cracked a joke, asking if she was slipping something in the drinks when she left. She fessed up, and she taught me a great broke-person trick: if you're serving cheap wine (that tastes good), don't serve it from the bottle. Pour it into a decanter. The decanter makes it look fancy, and people will assume the wine is expensive. And she handed me a bottle from Trader Joe's that looked tacky as hell, but the wine was delicious! This was a decade ago. The bottle had a cow on it, I think? It looked so cheap, but it sure tasted good.

    Fragrances are similar. Nobody sees the label of what you're wearing, so if you smell good and you dress well (meaning clothes that fit you well and look good on you), people will think you're wearing 'nice' stuff. If you dress like a shmo and you wear a niche scent, people will think you smell like you're wearing something cheap regardless of how good it smells.

    It's amazing how many people smell with their eyes - including people in the fragrance community.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    Is it because it's too common and they know it's a discount fragrance? Poorly blended? Or is it considered cheap if it just stinks or smells bad to them?
    Common scents can be a trap, in my opinion. I don't ever want to be on a date and smell like her ex - or worse, her dad. Since most guys wear mainstream stuff, I avoid wearing designer blockbuster hit fragrances or designer iconic fragrances on dates. Common clothing can be a trap too. I once had a date say "Man, what is it with guys and black Converse?" It was a first date on a summer afternoon. Anyway... I made a mental note to avoid wearing stuff that makes me look or smell like just another guy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    I avoid wearing cheapies like Adidas fragrances because the dry down is extremely scratchy, and that's the tell-tale sign of cheap to me
    Sadly, scratchy drydowns aren't a sign of cheap scents anymore. Even niche scents are jumping on the harsh synthetic woods bandwagon, and almost every designer house has a harsh norlimbanol based nonsense scent these days.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    Lucky You by Lucky Brand-This smells like a better Curve, and yet the dry down has this plastic smell to it.
    If the dry down has a plastic smell, then it's NOT a better Curve, even if the opening is better. I don't understand people who don't care about anything past the opening blast and maybe first hour. If a scent leaves behind a bad smell on skin after it's done projecting in the air... I won't wear it.


    TL;DR: Wear clothes that fit you well and look good on you. Don't wear fragrances that smell harsh. And avoid wearing stuff that's too common on a first date in order to avoid looking or smelling like just another guy.
    Current Favorites (in no particular order)
    Castile
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    Currently wearing: Castile by Penhaligon's

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikthegreek View Post
    I dont think so..i got some crazy compliments wearing Old spice and Cella after shaves..go figure..
    I definitely believe Old Spice would get you compliments.

    If you're under age 40, Old Spice probably doesn't smell like your grandfather's scent. 40 years ago, Old Spice may have been the smell of typical grandfathers, but today, a typical grandfather was more likely to wear Polo. If a guy was 25 in 1980 and had a kid, and that kid had a child at age 25 (the year 2005), that means, the guy's grandchild turns fifteen this year!

    Ready for a shocker? Cool Water is becoming a grandfather's scent. Acqua Di Gio too. Let that sink in.

    When I first started getting into powdery scents like 1725 & Endymion, I worried that they smelled old, but these days, powdery doesn't have a grandfather connotation. Instead, it's more likely to be interpreted as dapper - straight from the barbershop, or dressed up.
    Current Favorites (in no particular order)
    Castile
    Nio
    Endymion
    Royal Oud
    Petit Matin
    Curve
    1725 Casanova
    Tabac Rouge
    Grey Vetiver EDP
    Reflection Man
    Tom Ford Extreme
    Interlude Man
    Les Exclusifs Eau de Cologne
    Hanae Mori H.M. EDT
    Pomelo Paradis
    Green Irish Tweed
    Prada L'Homme
    Aqua Universalis
    Currently wearing: Castile by Penhaligon's

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I wear fragrances in all price ranges and for the most part they can't tell or distinguish.
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  10. #10

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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Mambo was voted Basenotes Best New Fragrance of the year back in the early 2000s when it first came out.

    Which conveniently leads to the question of what one means by a "cheap" fragrance.

    There are two types to my nose.

    Fragrances that came out at a high price, then were discounted to become inexpensive, and sometimes are still now manufactured and sold at that cheaper price - generally don't smell cheap and nasty (unless one is into niche arty scents, then just about all designer scents supposedly smell cheap and nasty and synthetic)

    But fragrances made cheap to be sold cheap, particularly when made by companies one never heard of, tend to indeed smell cheap and annoying, even to average people.
    Regards,
    Renato

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    No unless they are into fragrances like we are.

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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I would be very surprised if they could.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I think it's less about what you're wearing than how much you're wearing.

    Like, Joop! is cheap as hell now and some people hate it (I don't--I love it), but no one is offended by it if I'm judicious while spraying.

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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Not in the least!

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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    If you spray too much, any fragrance can smell cheap.
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26148387-7393.jpg"> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Hmmm -- I'm not sure. The term is actually used quite a bit in literature for descriptive purposes so I think it must exist. Probably more relevant for women.

    Personally, brands like Carven, Aramis are pretty cheap but smell great to me. On the other hand Lynx/Axe products do smell decidedly cheap and nasty.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I dont think most people associate smells with money at all, its just either you smell good or you dont smell good. not oh that smells expensive.....just from what ive noticed. closest thing i guess is my wife who will tell me it smells "generic", but that doesnt really mean cheap...
    Currently wearing: Acier Aluminium by Creed

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I often smell a lot of chemical odor on young girls when taking commuter train to work.
    Yes, I assume it's cheap designer fragrances from closes dept store. And I didn't like fragrances for this reason until I discovered luxury houses.
    But this doesn't mean that cheapies can't smell expensive!

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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Cheap fragrance is a very broad spectrum of choices. If you're wearing Aqua Velva, people will know! If you go with a mall scent from Express, American Eagle, or Victoria's Secret, you can get away with it. You can get any of these for 20 to 40 bucks and some, not all, smell better than that. Mall shop scents are often typically molded after some other mainstream scent only they don't always last quite as long or there's a note or two missing. But several of them still smell pretty good, for the most part.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I don't think so.

    When people say something like, "She smelled like cheap perfume," it probably has more to do with how much she was wearing than whether or not it was actually cheap.

    I think the association that people make is: LOUD = CHEAP SUBTLE = CLASSY

    I've never heard anyone say, "He reeked of expensive cologne!" But I have heard, "He reeked of cheap cologne," or something to that effect many times.
    *My current wardrobe is up to date as of: 12/26/19*

  21. #21

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    I don't think so.

    When people say something like, "She smelled like cheap perfume," it probably has more to do with how much she was wearing than whether or not it was actually cheap.

    I think the association that people make is: LOUD = CHEAP SUBTLE = CLASSY

    I've never heard anyone say, "He reeked of expensive cologne!" But I have heard, "He reeked of cheap cologne," or something to that effect many times.

    You nailed it. BTW, that Enigma you're wearing smells so cheap.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Usually not. And the reverse is also true, they cannot tell if you are wearing an expensive fragrance either.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Not certain about the people around me and even less able to detect the price of the fragrances myself, having been confused to often by expensive smelling fragrances that were actually cheap or at least expensive, as well as expensive fragrances did actually expect more from
    Currently wearing: Zara Man Gold by Zara

  24. #24

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikthegreek View Post
    I dont think so..i got some crazy compliments wearing Old spice and Cella after shaves..go figure..
    The cologne that I got the most compliments with was called California. It was a very low priced cologne that they do not make anymore. I do not look for compliments however maybe the answer is for those who do, wear the lower priced colognes and perfumes. I'm half kidding but also a little serious.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayberry2 View Post
    The cologne that I got the most compliments with was called California. It was a very low priced cologne that they do not make anymore. I do not look for compliments however maybe the answer is for those who do, wear the lower priced colognes and perfumes. I'm half kidding but also a little serious.
    Well you got a point there..
    I think people who seek for compliments they just go out and by the most complimented fragrance recomended on you tube and thats it..i dont think they really care about fragrances.And i agree that any fragrance can smell cheap if you put too much on.However my most complimented fragrance happens to be my most expensive too..but its not relevent with the price.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    There happens to be a handful of cheap fragrances that I think smell very pleasant..
    Then wear them. Don't worry about what other people think. I wear Old Spice more than any other scent in my entire wardrobe. I own many expensive scents worth hundreds. I still wear Brut and Aqua Velva. Wear what you like because you're the one that has to smell what you wear all the time.
    Currently wearing: Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    I don't think so.

    When people say something like, "She smelled like cheap perfume," it probably has more to do with how much she was wearing than whether or not it was actually cheap.

    I think the association that people make is: LOUD = CHEAP SUBTLE = CLASSY

    I've never heard anyone say, "He reeked of expensive cologne!" But I have heard, "He reeked of cheap cologne," or something to that effect many times.
    Yep. There is some wisdom in this. But I am guilty of overapplying even recently at times. It's difficult when the nose is anosmic and telling that you need more.
    Currently wearing: Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    I’m surprised by the answers here, I would have thought most collectors can pick out cheap fragrances vs expensive ones, regardless of whether they smell good or bad. Ofcourse some cheap fragrances smell great but many more smell terrible. And vice versa expensive fragrances can smell aweful. You only have to look at Louis Vuitton’s ridiculously priced Ombré Nomade to find an expensive fragrance fizzing with an overdose of nasty norlimbanol posing as incense.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickZee View Post
    I’m surprised by the answers here, I would have thought most collectors can pick out cheap fragrances vs expensive ones, regardless of whether they smell good or bad. Ofcourse some cheap fragrances smell great but many more smell terrible. And vice versa expensive fragrances can smell aweful. You only have to look at Louis Vuitton’s ridiculously priced Ombré Nomade to find an expensive fragrance fizzing with an overdose of nasty norlimbanol posing as incense.
    I thought the question wasn’t asking if we can do it, but if the average person can do it.

    I can tell when someone’s wearing a cheap fragrance like Axe or whatever the female equivalent is. I can also usually tell if someone’s wearing the real thing (Le Male, for example) or some flea market imitation. There are usually certain screechy chemical qualities to these and it’s like you smell the chemicals first followed by an attempt at smelling like something. I’m not saying I couldn’t be fooled, but I can usually tell.
    *My current wardrobe is up to date as of: 12/26/19*

  30. #30

    Default Re: Can ppl tell if you're wearing a cheap fragrance?

    All these responses definitely help me out.
    The thing is most fragrances have a note or aspect somewhere in the dry down that I don't like, and makes me insecure. And sometimes I wonder if I'm just being overly sensitive and despite myself feeling like it's cloying or harsh, maybe the scent trail is wonderful to everyone else.

    Some of the one's I mentioned:
    Lucky You...okay, yeah, it's not just me. Improved top notes but yeah, the dry down isn't just me, it is bad.
    Mambo...this one I'm insecure about because supposedly some guy on the Howard Stern show said strippers love it (but they probably don't, they're just telling the guy that) so I associate it with cheap and sleaziness. I actually find the scent to be very nice. Maybe the bottle and price tag skewed my perception of it.
    So the scratchiness can be in anything. Okay. Well either way, I personally don't like that aspect. The American Crew Americana was kind of nice but I think I'm correct in that the dry down just isn't blended that well.

    The suggestion about what you wear it with and how you present yourself makes a lot of sense too.




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