I know many will disagree with my views, but here it goes:
I own over 80 genuine niche perfumes that have cost me thousands of $$$. I'm not stating this to brag... it's more like a confession and admission of guilt in an AA meeting: "My name is Steven and I'm a perfumaholic!"
Even though I've always tried to find the best deals online and have made purchases during sales, it's still VERY expensive to buy these fragrances. I have to admit that it's nice to have the fancy bottles and cool packaging, but at what cost? I'm not wealthy and I'm spending money that could be used for other things by my family. However, what is the most important part of this hobby? To me, getting to smell something magnificent and the "juice" itself. Do I walk around with the presentation to show people if they ask me what I'm wearing? No. Do I even dare to tell them I paid hundreds of dollars on a fragrance? Not a chance! I would be too embarrassed to admit that.
So what have I realized after spending all this time and money on supporting niche and designer fragrance houses? That most of their price charged is not for the scent itself, but rather for the packaging, marketing and branding. All of these things are irrelevant when it comes to how I smell. How many times have we been ripped off by fragrance companies with reformulations where they try to pass off some garbage for their original creation? Less longevity, different ingredients, different smell...
I appreciate the fact that they hire the best "noses" to develop something new, and in some cases unique, along with the money that is invested to create something original. However, I've come to the realization that there is nothing wrong with buying an "inspired expression" either. Especially if it is 90-95% close to the original scent. I got into this hobby because of the scents and to me that is the most important factor. Is there any reason why only the wealthy should be able to afford a Roja Dove perfume? Thank God for Dua Fragrances and Alpha Aoud! To me, it smells 95% similar to H - The Exclusive Aoud.
I've heard all the arguments on YouTube and Basenotes about why these kind of companies are bad for the industry. Thanks to these generic scents, these perfumes are available to the masses for a fraction of the cost. How is this any different than the pharmaceutical industry? If it wasn't for generic drugs, many people wouldn't be able to afford their medication. Do I care that I am getting my Sertraline instead of Zoloft? Not the least bit! Do I care that I'm getting a Dua instead of a Roja? Not as long as they smell close enough!