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- Dossier makes eco-friendly colognes and perfumes inspired by signature fragrances from luxury brands.
- Starting at $29 each, Dossier is an affordable alternative to your favorite luxury scents.
- We compared Dossier to fragrances from Dior, Versace, and YSL and found them to be nearly identical.
Luxury perfumes and colognes can be very expensive. While it is true that higher quality ingredients and more concentrated formulas cost more than the watered-down body mists and canned deodorant sprays of our adolescence, most high-end fragrances are marked up astronomically. In addition to paying for quality ingredients, you’re also paying for the brand name and the perceived level of luxury that comes along with it. Not to mention the fancy packaging and all of the marketing, from celebrity endorsements to Times Square billboards.
Many people simply can’t afford or don’t want to spend that much on fragrances. But now there’s a solution that’s making luxury-grade colognes and perfumes affordable for everyone — Dossier.
Founded in 2018, Dossier is a New York-based brand that specializes in recreating popular fragrances at accessible prices.
Starting at $19, all of Dossier’s fragrances are vegan, cruelty-free, and use clean ingredients. You’ll find scents inspired by brands like Tom Ford, Dior, Le Labo, Creed, YSL, Versace, MFK, and much more.
How Dossier maintains affordable prices
As consumers, we’ve been conditioned to expect premium colognes and perfumes to cost a lot. Purchasing a high-end fragrance is looked at as a luxury splurge, but never as a simple part of your grooming routine. So, naturally, the first thing new customers want to know is how Dossier is able to make these so cheap.
First and foremost, there is no huge retail mark-up because of the brand’s direct-to-consumer model. The brand also limits costs by using generic packaging. All of the bottles are made from 100% recycled glass and come in a 100% recycled cardboard box. However, by far the biggest cost saver is the generic branding. There’s no inflated cost because there’s no luxury brand name on the bottle. When you buy a bottle of Dossier, you’re just paying for the same high quality ingredients used by designer brands, Dossier’s affordable packaging, and a margin of profit, which is expected for any kind of business.
Dossier also has a buy more, save more deal that will save you additional money. Buy three items from $78 and get 10% off; buy four items from $99 and get 15% off; or buy five or more items from $116 and get 20% off. You’ll also get free shipping on three or more items.
The verdict on Dossier
Three members of the Insider Reviews team tested a variety of Dossier fragrances and we unanimously agreed that the overall quality and value was high and the fragrances were spot on. Even our loved ones who are also familiar with the fragrances we wear regularly couldn’t tell the difference. Keep reading to learn more about the specific Dossier products we tried.
Dior Sauvage vs. Dossier Aromatic Star Anise
One of the biggest benefits to shopping at Dossier is that you can get your favorite scents for far less than the authentic brand name version. Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette is one of my favorite fragrances, but at $92 for a 2-ounce bottle, I don’t like to use it every day. I tried Dossier Aromatic Star Anise, which is the brand’s interpretation of Dior Sauvage, and it smelled identical.
At $29 for a 1.7-ounce bottle, I’m not as reserved with how often I spray it. I can buy three bottles from Dossier for the price of one from Dior. Once I finish my current bottle of Dior, I will not be replacing it with another. With Dossier Aromatic Star Anise, I have no reason to. — Amir Ismael, Insider Reviews senior reporter
YSL Black Opium vs. Dossier Ambery Vanilla
YSL Black Opium (usually $83 an ounce) was my first introduction to perfumes after I grew out of body sprays as a teen. Learning the hard way what it means to put on too much perfume has now permanently engraved its rich vanilla scent into my brain. After years and years of wear, I know Dossier’s Ambery Vanilla is its sister scent without even having a bottle of YSL Black Opium of my own anymore. A yummy fall scent is the best way to describe what both bottles smell like. However, there’s a difference or two that sets the two scents apart.
It’s something about the warmth of YSL’s take on a seductive vanilla that’s a bit more subtle than its dupe from Dossier. While the spicy gourmand is at the forefront of both perfumes, the vanilla sneaks up and takes over once settled on the skin in Black Opium while Ambery Vanilla is more of a mix of the two scents it’s named after. Although the licorice and black coffee notes linger a bit long in Ambery Vanilla, the perfume itself doesn’t last all day. — Kayla Bickham, Insider Reviews style and beauty fellow
YSL Libre vs. Dossier Floral Lavender
I tested Dossier’s dupe for YSL Libre perfume, which I wore on my wedding day and use for special occasions. My wife couldn’t tell the difference at all, and I could barely tell myself after 2 years of using YSL! I also tested several other fragrances against their original inspirations, and had the same reaction to each of them. I will never order expensive perfume again — I don’t know how or why Dossier didn’t exist sooner! — Sally Kaplan, Insider Reviews executive editor
Immediately after I began testing Dossier, my girlfriend ordered a few dupes of fragrances in her collection — one of which also being YSL Libre. I did a blind side-by-side smell test and I, too, can confirm that YSL Libre and Dossier’s Floral Lavender smell exactly the same. — Amir Ismael, Insider Reviews senior reporter
Other Dossier’s Women’s Fragrances
I also opted to try Dossier’s Floral Marshmallow (a dupe of By Kilian’s Love, Don’t Be Shy) and Woody Sandalwood (inspired by Le Labo Santal 33). Both are scents on the warmer side. While I don’t have the luxury versions to compare the scents to, I would happily buy both fragrances again. I still fight the urge to apply more mid-day.
The trick I use to stretch all my perfumes is to apply them fresh out the shower, air dry and then lock the scent in under my lotion. It works every time. — Kayla Bickham, Insider Reviews style and beauty fellow
Other Dossier Men’s Fragrances
I was so happy with how closely Dossier matched the Dior fragrance I already had, I decided to try a few scents that I didn’t own. I’ve always liked to try new scents, but more often than not, steep prices turned me back to the fragrances that I already know I like.
Although I received a few samples for the purpose of this review, I’ve already purchased a few extras myself.
I tried Spicy Vanilla, Musky Oakmoss, Aquatic Lime, Citrus Ginger, and Woody Sandalwood, and while I like some more than others for daily wear, I like having options at a lost cost. I might not have a familiar point of comparison for most of the Dossier fragrances in my collection, but it sure beats spending upwards of $1,000 on brands like Creed, Tom Ford, Chanel, and Giorgio Armani to create the same variety. — Amir Ismael, Insider Reviews senior reporter
Cons to consider
The only point that might deter some people from Dossier is the generic packaging. If you enjoy collecting unique bottles to display on your vanity or bathroom countertop, you won’t be able to accomplish that with Dossier. If you’re fine with all of your bottles looking similar — and the huge amount of money you’ll save — then there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from buying Dossier. And if our reviews of Dossier compared to popular fragrances aren’t enough to convince you, try it for yourself. Dossier’s risk-free returns allows you to try fragrances and send back full-size bottles for a full refund with no questions asked.
The bottom line
Overall, we can’t recommend Dossier enough for anyone looking for affordable cologne or perfume. We each tried scents that mimic name brand fragrances that we know and love, and were impressed with how close they match.
Not only will you save money on popular fragrances that you’re already familiar with, but shopping at Dossier will empower you to explore new scents.