|Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh.|
When it comes to perfume, the Moth Woman's taste consistently out strips her budget. Thusly, she has been considering low cost alternatives to major name fragrances. She felt a bit uncomfortable about this at first; it seemed a lot like plagiarism.
|Starry Night with Tardis, Terry Lightfoot|
The real ethical problems with these scents lie in truthfulness of the maker/seller.
Counterfeiting is a despicable lie. There is an onus on the part of the buyer not to support this behaviour. If the price is too good, the fragrance is likely a fraud. Price is not always a guide though and there is little worse in retail then paying full price or close to full price for what you have been led to believe is the real deal and discovering you have gotten a fake.
|Muslim Starry Night, Ron English|
Dupes/smell-alikes are a different matter though. Reputable manufacturers of these products will clearly state that this is not the original you are buying but an homage. For those of us on a budget this can be a great thing. The key is to go in expecting fragrance in the same nuclear family but not an identical twin.
Sometimes you luck out. Recently the Moth Woman purchased The Fragrance Shop's interpretation of YSL Opium. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that it smells 99% identical to the original, the only notable difference was an espresso coffee note between top and middle.
|The Great Starry Wave Of Kanagawa by csquaredisrippn|
|van Gogh Never Saw Eiffel, Aja|
The Moth Woman has concluded it is best to view dupes/smell-alikes as discrete entities. Yes, it is worth comparing them—briefly though—to the originals to gauge similarity but it is, better to determine their success of the scent, based on its own artistic merits and not on its ability to mimic someone else’s work. It is fairer to the originator of the perfume and to the artist whose work you are currently assessing.
|Reproduction Van Gogh Starry Night, Judith D. Porto|