Designer perfumes can be pricey, often costing hundreds of dollars for a bottle. But what if you could get a similar scent for a fraction of the price?
Zara offers affordable alternatives to some of the most popular designer scents on the market. The Spanish retailer is known for its budget-friendly, yet chic, clothing and accessories, and its perfume collection is no exception.
In an earlier post, we highlighted our top 10 favorite Zara perfumes for women and men. However, if you are interested in knowing which Zara perfumes smell exactly like some of the most popular designer fragrances on the market, you should check out the following article.
If you’re a fan of designer perfumes, but don’t want to spend a fortune, Zara has some great alternatives that are inspired by, smell-a-likes, or very similar to perfume classics from high-end brands.
In fact, Zara’s smell a-likes have become so popular that they have taken over social media platforms like TikTok and Reddit in recent months. And because of their rising popularity, I’ve decided to create an extensive list of Zara perfumes that smell similar to or are direct dupes of popular designer fragrances.
Want to wear a designer perfume, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on it? Look no further than these Zara perfume dupes:
1. Zara Vetiver Pamplemousse dupes the smell of Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford
Although Vetiver Pamplemousse opens up with bright citrus and grapefruit notes, I noticed they fade rather quickly, revealing a vetiver base note. It’s slightly earthy, however, there are notes of freshness that balance it out well. Vetiver Pamplemousse is highly reminiscent of Gray Vetiver by Tom Ford, though it’s not nearly as strong. It also lacks the woody notes that are featured in Grey Vetiver. I noticed that it started to fade within about an hour, so if you purchase a bottle be sure to carry it with you for reapplication throughout the day. To my nose, Vetiver Pamplemousse doesn’t qualify as an exact dupe of Grey Vetiver, it’s a decent alternative if you looking for a more affordable option. Vetiver Pamplemousse is a unisex fragrance that leans somewhat more masculine and it isn’t too bold or overbearing, making it a good option to wear at work.
2. Zara Red Temptation dupes the smell of Baccarat Rouge 540
If you enjoy fragrances you know that Baccarat Rouge 540 has gained a cult following due its intoxicating blend of cedar, amberwood, jasmine, and saffron. Red Temptation is Zara’s dupe of this renowned fragrance and fortunately it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag that Baccarat Rouge 540 does. While Red Temptation doesn’t smell as sweet or smooth as Baccarat Rouge 540, it does come quite close. I like how this fragrance sits intimately on the skin similar to Baccarat Rouge 540. It is definitely one of Zara’s longer-lasting fragrances. Upon first spray I did take notice of some earthy notes that aren’t apparent in Baccarat Rouge 540. However, those quickly fade into the background as it reveals an amberwood base. If Baccarat Rouge 540 is out of your price range, then consider picking up a bottle of Red Temptation. It’s close enough to the real thing to make it a worthy purchase.
3. Zara Gardenia dupes the smell of Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
I have to say, when I first sprayed Gardenia I noticed a heavy alcohol scent, but once it settles it reveals notes of sweet vanilla, coffee, and orange blossoms. While this scent attempts to recreate the same fragrance profile as Black Opium, it falls a bit short in terms of its formulation. It’s somewhat less complex than Black Opium, as it lacks the fragrant scent of jasmine and more earthy notes of patchouli and cedar. It is a very intimate fragrance, which means you’ll have to reapply throughout the day. However, with its inexpensive price point you can afford to spray as liberally as you like. While this fragrance lacks depth in comparison to Black Opium, it’s still a decent dupe that works well as a daytime fragrance. Check out Gardenia if you’re a fan of Black Opium, but don’t expect it to be an exact replica. It captures its essence, however falls somewhat short of being an exact dupe.
4. Zara Applejuice dupes the smell of Chance Eau Tendre by Chanel
Launched in 2012, Applejuice is one of Zara’s most popular perfumes. Similar to Chance Eau Tendre by Chanel, Applejuice opens up with fruity notes of apple and citrus before settling into fragrant, floral middle notes. To my nose, Applejuice is slightly more fruity than Chance, but once it settles I noticed more similarities to Chance than differences. Applejuice is a fresh, clean smell that’s a great option for the spring and summertime. It’s light and airy and sits quite close on the skin. Like most Zara fragrances, its longevity is weak, requiring multiple reapplications throughout the day. Applejuice is a very feminine fragrance, and is suitable for day or evening wear. If you’re a big fan of Chance Eau Tendre but can’t get your hands on a bottle, I suggest giving Applejuice a try.
5. Zara Cherry Smoothie dupes the smell of Lost Cherry by Tom Ford
Cherry Smoothie is Zara’s impression of Lost Cherry, and to my nose, I think they did a pretty good job of replicating this iconic scent. While it’s slightly more synthetic than the real thing, it dries down quite nicely and projects relatively well. Cherry Smoothie does lack some of the floral notes that Lost Cherry has, but overall I think it captures a very similar vibe. It’s a bit syrupy and initially mells somewhat sweeter than Lost Cherry. However, I think it’s a decent alternative if you’re looking for something similar but less expensive. The sillage is a bit stronger than Lost Cherry, so you may want to test how it settles on your skin before purchasing it.
6. Zara Black Peony dupes the smell of Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf
Next on my list of Zara dupes is Black Peony. Black Peony is very reminiscent of Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, although its main accords seem a little less complex. I noticed strong notes of bergamot followed closely by sweet peaches, making it a bit sweeter than Flowerbomb. Oddly enough, I did not detect any notes of peony, but I did notice fragrant middle notes of freesia followed by a more subtle base of sandalwood and vanilla. I think that Zara did a good job of replicating the overall feel of Flowerbomb, but once again, it’s not an exact dupe. Flowerbomb settles into a base of patchouli, whereas Black Peony lacks any hint of patchouli. Perhaps the sandalwood base note was intended as an alternative, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Overall, I do like Black Peony but it falls somewhat short of being a close dupe.
7. Zara Violet Blossom dupes the smell of Alien by Thierry Mugler
Alien has become one of the most popular fragrances since it was released in 2005. Violet Blossom is Zara’s version of this iconic fragrance, and to my nose it smells quite similar for about the first ten minutes before it transforms into something else entirely. The floral cherry blossom top notes are abundant with Violet Blossom, but they quickly fade into the background as sweet, fruity middle notes begin to reveal themselves. There’s a notable absence of warm amber that rounds out Alien’s bottom notes, which is what keeps this fragrance from being an exact replica of Alien. I believe Violet Blossom smells like a combination of Alien by Thierry Mugler and Addict by Dior due to the presence of white floral notes and sweetness. This fragrance is a good option for the fall and winter, though its sillage is somewhat strong, so give it a try before buying it to make sure it works with your body chemistry.
8. Zara Rose Gold dupes the smell of Michael Kors by Michael Kors
Rose Gold has to be one of the more impressive dupes I’ve seen released by Zara. It is very similar to Michael Kors by Michael Kors, and might even pass for the real thing on some people. Rose Gold opens up with fresh green and magnolia notes before revealing notes of orange blossom that linger through dry down. The base is very reminiscent of Michael Kors as it settles into notes of musk and amber. This is a very feminine scent that is youthful, yet refined. As far as Zara perfumes are concerned, this is a longer-lasting fragrance that was still notable after the end of a very busy workday, which is helpful if you forget to reapply or don’t like carrying a bottle of it with you. If you’re a fan of Michael Kors, you’re going to love Rose Gold.
9. Zara Red Vanilla dupes the smell of La Vie Est Belle by Lancome
Red Vanilla is Zara’s dupe of La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, and I think they did a decent job of capturing the essence of this iconic perfume. However, there are some caveats. What I found interesting is that there isn’t a true layering of fragrance notes. Rather, hints of individual notes tend to reappear and linger throughout the day before fading away. To my nose, Red Vanilla seems somewhat sweeter and fruitier than La Vie Est Belle. While there are definite hints of iris-like La Vie Est Belle, there is a notable absence of jasmine and orange blossom that tend to make the sweet praline and vanilla notes stand out more. Red Vanilla may be a good option for you if you like La Vie Est Belle, but are looking for something slightly more gourmand. If you’re not a fan of sweeter, fruitier scents, you may want to skip this one and choose something else. It’s a very feminine and youthful perfume that’s suitable for daytime wear.
10. Zara Black Amber dupes the smell of The One by Dolce & Gabanna
I find Black Amber’s packaging to be somewhat deceptive, as I was expecting a more mysterious, woodier scent. Upon first spray I immediately noticed citrus notes of orange and passionfruit. It is a very cheerful scent at first, but then slowly settles into a powdery base mixed with musk and delicate white florals. There are slight hints of vanilla as it dries down, however they aren’t overly apparent throughout the day. Black Amber is supposed to be Zara’s dupe for The One by Dolce & Gabanna, however, I think they miss the mark with this one. The One features opening notes of peach and dries down into more earthy notes of patchouli and tonka bean. Black Amber tends to last a bit longer than other Zara perfumes, however, there is a stronger sillage factor as well, so make sure you love the way this one smells on you before you buy it.
11. Zara Fields at Nightfall dupes the smell of This is Her! by Zadig & Voltaire
Fields at Nightfall is one of my favorite Zara fragrances, and I think it is a very close dupe of This is Her! by Zadig & Voltaire. It does lack the sweet creaminess that This is Her! captures within its middle notes and there is a notable absence of chestnuts. But overall, I think Fields at Nightfall is a suitable alternative for the original. There are two versions of this fragrance, as it was reformulated and re-released two years after the original. While the overall formulation isn’t complex, its mix of floral hedione, jasmine, and sandalwood makes this fragrance a great option to wear at the office. Not too heavy nor overpowering, Fields at Nightfall projects enough for others to notice the fragrance but is subtle enough to be considered a cozier scent.
12. Zara Majestic Opulence dupes the smell of La Vie Est Belle Intensément by Lancome
La Vie Est Belle Intensement is a flanker of the original and was released in 2020. Majestic Opulence is Zara’s version of this popular floral and fruity perfume. Although not as juicy as La Vie Est Belle Intensement, it settles nicely on the skin and features a slightly woody base. The raspberry top note tends to linger throughout the day, which is what makes it smell quite similar to the real thing. Majestic Opulence is suitable to wear any time of the day or night, and is a good option to have on hand for the fall. This is a scent that tends to grow on you, as you won’t get the full effect until you have worn it for about ten minutes or so. This feminine fragrance has decent longevity and should last throughout your busy day.
13. Zara Sublime Epoque dupes the smell of My Way by Giorgio Armani
Sublime Epoque does a decent job of capturing the essence of My Way. However, like many Zara perfumes, its formulation is also somewhat more basic and misses some of the more nuanced notes that make My Way so iconic. Sublime Epoque is deeply floral-like My Way, but it lacks the citrusy note of bergamot that lingers as My Way dries down. Notes of tuberose linger throughout the day with Sublime Epoque before settling into a slightly musky base. This is a stronger fragrance than most of Zara’s other perfumes, and it seems to last nearly as long as My Way does. There is also a stronger sillage with this perfume. You’ll need to get past the initial alcohol smell that is apparent when you first spray Sublime Epoque. Sublime Epoque may be for you if you enjoy the way My Way smells on your skin but are looking for something that is slightly more floral and less expensive.
14. Zara Golden Decade dupes the smell of Libre Intense by Yves Saint Laurent
Golden Decade is Zara’s version of Libre Intense by Yves Saint Laurent. While the main accords are a mix of sweet vanilla, floral jasmine, and citrusy bergamot, there is a hint of amber I noticed that makes it smell very similarly to Libre Intense. There is a clean vibe to Golden Decade, which may be due to the citrus notes and I could detect a scent trail that it leaves behind. It is somewhat stronger in comparison to most Zara fragrances, but it’s not too overbearing nor heavy. Unfortunately, Libre Intense just misses the mark for being a spot-on dupe of Libre Intense due to a lack of lavender top notes. It’s also not quite as cozy as Libre Intense, as the base is lighter. While I would consider Libre Intense to be more of a fall and winter fragrance, I think Golden Decade works well year-round.
15. Zara Fleur de Patchouli dupes the smell of White Patchouli by Tom Ford
The final perfume on my list of Zara fragrances is Fleur de Patchouli. Fleur de Patchouli was intended to be a dupe of White Patchouli by Tom Ford and I think there is some room for debate on what perfume this actually smells like. While I do think it embodies some of the same woody notes that White Patchouli does, there are also floral hints of bright peony that mask the patchouli notes and remind me of Kate Moss’ signature perfume. The sillage is pretty strong with this fragrance, which might be why I couldn’t quite put my nose on what it is intended to smell like. It’s a pleasant enough scent, however, I would skip this one if you don’t already know what it’s going to smell like when you put it on.
Final Note On Zara Perfume Dupes
Zara’s fragrances are often “hit or miss,” however when they get the formulation right it is usually a very well-crafted dupe of designer fragrances. When looking for the perfect Zara dupe, be sure to take a look at the top three notes of the fragrance you are trying to evoke. Zara’s fragrances are often simplified versions of designer perfumes, but they are usually created using a similar fragrance profile. Understand that you are not going to get an exact replica of any perfume, but you may get lucky and find a perfume option that comes close to the real thing while staying under budget.
Because these fragrances are intended to be budget-friendly, it’s important to be realistic with your expectations when you try them out. Many of them smell somewhat chemically when you first spray them, so they take some time to develop into their true fragrance profile. By staying patient and experimenting with how each perfume smells on your skin, you’re sure to find the perfect fragrance that works for you.