This $325 perfume is popular, but these 10 dupes smell just as good.
In an industry where every other product is marketed as the “greatest thing ever,” “game-changing,” “iconic,” “award-winning,” and so on, it’s fair to assume that the shine of truly exceptional players might get lost in the shuffle. The whole industry has devolved into a claustrophobic maze of holy-grail goods to earn money and increase sales. But you and I both know that most of these things don’t deserve the jewel-studded crown that good marketing gives them.
Only a few products have fully lived up to the anticipation and excitement that have preceded them in my experience as a beauty editor. That pool becomes even smaller when it comes to fragrance—a famously picky category that is so extremely personal that making a recommendation almost seems inappropriate. But, after much anticipation and innumerable testimonies extolling the magnetic olfactive properties of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s legendary unisex number, Baccarat Rouge 540, I finally got my hands on my bottle last year. And, let me tell you, that first scent was almost holy in its intensity. It’s difficult to call a perfume perfect—the most seductive scents are usually anything but—and scent choice is very subjective, but Baccarat Rouge 540 gets quite close. It’s stunning, and within a few hours, I realized I was dealing with a genuine masterpiece. So, yeah, the bright orb of obsession it sparked since its start in 2015 seems appropriate.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum by MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN $325
Baccarat Rouge 540 is a very unusual scent, meticulously produced with extremely specific components and born from the collaboration between Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Baccarat to mark the crystal manufacturer’s 250th birthday. And let me tell you, it’ll set you back a nice penny—325 big ones, to be precise.
According to the brand’s website, “the woody aroma produces a lyrical alchemy, a highly concentrated and graphic olfactory character.” “Breezy jasmine facets and dazzling saffron enhance the ambergris mineral notes and the woody tones of freshly cut cedar. “Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum is bright and elegant and caresses the skin like an amber and woody floral whisper.”
Who wouldn’t like to be touched by an amber and woody floral whisper? Even if I strongly suggest the MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 as a worthwhile buy at some point in your life, $325 isn’t a reasonable price to impose on you. (I would not have had access to such a treasure if I hadn’t been a beauty editor.) So, if your budget doesn’t permit such a purchase right now, I’ve done the nice deed of locating ten very comparable contenders—dupes, if you will—that exude the same pricey and delightfully lyrical sentiments without the sticker shock. None of them exceed $165. You’re very welcome! Keep reading for the best money can buy dupes for Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 that don’t skimp on elegance.
1.1 oz. Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau De Parfum $195 MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN
1# Fragrenza Caramelle Rosse
The main notes are the notes of saffron, orange flower, jasmine, plum, cedarwood, oakmoss, fir balsam, and amber.
This is not a practice run. Fragrenza’s brilliance comes from the fact that the company purposefully delivers you frighteningly similar renditions of the industry’s most famous scents at a fraction of the price. And, yes, this is the brand’s gorgeous knockoff of MFK’s Baccarat Rouge 540 at one-sixth the cost. The intoxicating combination of amber, cedar, and saffron is uncannily perfect.
#2: Glossier You Solid
Ambrox, ambrette, musk, iris root, and pink pepper are the main notes.
Glossier You is a famous scent in its own right, and it has to be one of my top ten favorite fragrances of all time. The smell came back in solid form recently, so you can enjoy its creamy, ambery, musky beauty whenever and wherever you want.
#3: DedCool Fragrance 04
Fig, the main notes are pepper, orange, lemon, sandalwood, and patchouli.
I’m a major fan of DedCool. I like the brand’s dedication to simple, no-nonsense compositions; every scent is beautiful. Baccarat Rouge 540 is noted for its musky, gender-neutral perfume, achieved via a rich blend of woody amber flowers, while Fragrance 04 gets quite close. It’s musky, woodsy, and rich, and it’s the ideal trademark perfume if you’re looking for a new one.
Flor de la Virgen Genderful Fine Fragrance Boy Smells
#4: Boy Smells Flor de la Virgen Genderful Fine Fragrance
Pomelo, saffron, lemon peel, fig leaf, ivy leaves, jasmine petals, olibanum, cistus, labdanum, pure musks, and ambrox
It took me many days, if not weeks, to choose this dazzling aroma as my favorite from Boy Smells’ new fine-fragrance collection. Alas, I did, and it’s no wonder it has some striking parallels to Baccarat Rouge 540, one of my all-time favorite scents. It, too, sparkles with juicy, lemony saffron, jasmine, musks, and ambrox. It still has that classic woodiness but is a touch more flowery and delicate.
#5: Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber Eau de Parfum
ELLIS BROOKLYN Super Amber Eau de Parfum
The main notes are Amber, cedarwood, vanilla orchid, and biodegradable musk.
If the amber component of Baccarat appeals to you, I suggest trying Ellis Brooklyn’s fan-favorite Super Amber. Every editor I know drools over MFK’s Baccarat Rouge 540, and this silky perfume has the same hypnotic impact. Having said that, it’s a little warmer and sweeter since it lacks the flowery component that you may feel in its more expensive sibling.
#6: St. Rose Circa 91 Eau de Parfum
ST. ROSE Circa 91
Lemon, bergamot, patchouli, iris, jasmine, sandalwood, and cedarwood are the main notes.
If you have yet to explore the pure, sustainably created scent world of St. Rose, now is the moment.
Each perfume is unique and feels like a collector’s item, having been born in Australia, produced in New York, and based on the beauty of nature. However, if you want something comparable to the famous Baccarat Rouge 540 but a little fruitier, I prefer Circa 91. This one has a nice ozonic harmony brought out by lemon and bergamot from Italy. Bulgarian lavender, patchouli, jasmine, Virginian cedarwood, and Australian sandalwood add depth.
#7: Skylar Sun Shower Eau de Parfum
Eau de Parfum SKYLAR Sun Shower
The main notes are bergamot, lemon leaves, jasmine tea, and meadow greens.
This vibey, somewhat cheerier version of Baccarat, comparable to Circa 91. It’s earthy and woody, with the same interludes of fruits and flowers (such as jasmine and lemon) as MFK, but without the warm murkiness of amber, saffron, and cedarwood. This is a better (and less expensive) alternative if you like lighter scents.
#8: Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne
LONDON JO MALONE
Cologne with Wood Sage and Sea Salt.
Ambrette seeds, sea salt, and sage are keynotes.
On the other hand, if you like the amber, sage, and woodiness of Baccarat and can live without the lighter touches of jasmine, tea, and lemon, go for this famous Jo Malone London scent, which is the next best thing to visiting the Cliffs of Dover—complete with windswept hair and salt-crusted skin.
#9: Henry Rose Last Light
The main notes are peach, bergamot, jasmine, white woods, patchouli, musk, and amber woods.
This new perfume from ultra-transparent brand Henry Rose, like Baccarat Rouge 540, provides something for everyone. It’s a little bit of everything: fruity, flowery, woodsy, and musky. It’s light, clean, and quite versatile.
#10: Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil
No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil
The main notes are sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, nutmeg, cinnamon, and amber wood.
Maison Louis Marie’s pretty-in-pink perfume oils are dreamy with a capital D, and No. 04 Bois de Balincourt is a genuine jewel in the collection. Spicy notes like nutmeg and cinnamon, along with the earthiness of vetiver, give the foresty notes of sandalwood, amber wood, and cedarwood an additional kick.
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