Nowadays, you can find all your beauty must-haves online. Perfumes and colognes are no exception. The tricky part is figuring out which scent works without being able to smell them before hitting “add to cart”.
A few weeks back, I was on the hunt for a fresh, feminine scent that was appropriate for work. Finding the perfect scent was a cinch-the problem was that my favorite perfume was almost $100. Then I discovered Dossier. co and it changed the game.
What Is Dossier Perfume?
Dossier.co is an eCommerce perfume company whose mission is to make luxurious and affordable perfume attainable for everyone. All the scents are made using the best ingredients, are vegan, and are cruelty-free. Dossier’s perfumes are inspired by popular and cult-favorite designer scents from Dior, Thierry Mugler, and more, minus the luxury markup.
Who Is Dossier For?
Dossier is perfect for anyone who enjoys smelling fabulous. It doesn’t matter your gender or how you identify yourself; there’s a fragrance for everyone. In my opinion, Dossier would be a fit for someone like myself, who is starting to get into perfumes and doesn’t want to spend the big bucks for a fragrance that may not work out. It allows the novice fragrance lover to try out multiple scents and learn what works with their unique body chemistry.
For example, say I was curious about buying Byredo’s Bal d’Afrique. Although I’ve read tons of positive reviews, I wasn’t 100% ready to give up a hard-earned $200 for something I may or may not like. Instead, I would order “Oriental Vetiver” and get a 1.7-ounce bottle of real perfume that smells like a real thing.
How Do They Do It?
Dossier is able to deliver luxury perfume to the masses without the added expense through a few revolutionary ways. They strive to make their customers the core focus of their advertising. Throughout the site, it isn’t hard to find glowing reviews from actual customers.
Dossier advertises its product without expensive celebrity endorsements. They choose to keep their packaging prices low and operate without pricey retail markups. What isn’t cut is the quality. All the scents are composed in Grasse, France, which if you didn’t know, is the capital of the French perfume industry.
So, Is Dossier Legit?
A resounding yes! In short, Dossier.co produces real perfume and cologne. While most customers consider Dossier’s fragrances as dupes of their favorite luxury scent, the compositions of ingredients are Dossier’s exclusive formula. Initially, when I learned about Dossier and its “luxury perfume for less” model, I was skeptical.
How is it possible that I can smell like a goddess and still have enough coin left over to buy myself lunch (and a t-shirt)?
Like most people, I operated under the notion that you get what you pay for when it comes to luxury perfume. It may be a bit snobby of me, but I expect a less expensive perfume to be watered down and last all of five minutes. Conversely, I expect a $200 bottle of perfume to be super concentrated with a long-lasting, decadent scent. Dossier disrupts the idea that quality must cost an arm, a leg, and a month’s worth of lattes.
What makes Dossier’s array of perfumes and colognes legit is the attention paid to the unique olfactory compositions. Most of the perfumes on the site are classified as an EdP or Eau de Parfum, which means they have a higher perfume oil concentration per volume.
For a scent to be labeled Eau de Parfum, it must have a concentration percentage range between 15-20%. The majority of Dossier’s fragrances have between a 15-18% perfume oil concentration. Some fragrances like “Woody Sandalwood”, which is inspired by Le Labo Fragrance’s Santal 33, have a 25% perfume oil concentration.
In an earnest attempt at being an eco-conscious consumer, I personally seek to support brands that adopt ethical and eco-friendly practices. In this respect, Dossier does not disappoint. Their collection of perfumes and colognes are:
- Not tested on animals (cruelty-free)
- Paraben and phthalate-free
- Colorant and UV filter free
Dossier perfumes are also classified as “clean” beauty. According to their website, they follow the US and EU recommendations when creating their fragrances, with the result being a decadent scent that is clean and cruelty-free.
For me, the ultimate test of brand legitimacy is transparency. From listing out the ingredients in all of their compositions to encouraging buyers to sample as many scents as they want, it’s apparent to me that Dossier’s goal is to democratize the scent industry.
The site encourages buyers to try Dossier risk-free. Consumers can order up to five scents at a time. Shipping is a flat $9 for 1-2 bottles and free (yes, free) when three or more bottles are purchased. The company encourages consumers to try out as many scents as they wish. If a scent doesn’t vibe with you, no worries! You have 30 days to return it for a full refund.
For too long, consumers either had to cough up the cash to smell like a million bucks, or they had to settle for a bland, watered-down olfactory experience. Not anymore. We all can spritz and dab with confidence without breaking the bank.
Four Easy Ways to Find Your Perfect Dossier Scent
At first, buying a fragrance online can be a bit intimidating. Until smell-o-vision becomes a thing, we as consumers are left to guess-and that can get costly when we’re talking about luxury perfume. There are four easy ways to pinpoint your ideal scent match on the site. You can shop by:
- Taking a Quiz
- Scent Categories
When I first visited Dossier.co, I started by taking their quiz. It’s a quick, 6-question quiz that helps identify what scents will work for you based on your tastes and lifestyle. From there, you’re matched with a few scents that might suit you.
Another easy way to explore Dossier’s fragrance is by selecting the “Scent Categories” link. From there, you’re taken to a page that features 15 scent categories. There’s a small, circular photo for each of the fifteen core ingredients, and an easy-to-understand description of what that scent smells like. The site uses fragrance industry terminology in a way that lets me know they know their stuff, without sounding stuffy.
While it might be easy to gauge what citrus would smell like, terms like “gourmand” and “fougere” don’t register for me as easily. Dossier makes shopping for perfume a seamless experience by providing stunning visuals with digestible information, so regardless of your olfactory prowess, anyone can choose a scent with confidence.
Luxury Perfume, Without the Hefty Price Tag
One of my #beautygoals is to have a vanity fully stocked with luxury perfume. I want to be able to wear a Tom Ford fragrance one day, and a Marc Jacobs the next. Thing is, those boys aren’t cheap. Dossier lets me have my cake and eat it too with their affordably luxurious array of spot-on scents. Here are some of the brands Dossier’s compositions are inspired by:
- Jo Malone
- Thierry Mugler
- Le Labo Fragrances
Once I completed the quiz, I was matched with “Gourmand White Flowers” which is inspired by Viktor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb. I was really excited because I was looking for a brown sugary, floral scent that I could wear every day and was matched with the perfect fragrance. I’ve worn Flowerbomb in the past and loved it, so I was confident that “Gourmand White Flowers” would deliver in a big way.
Lastly, consumers can shop by price. What makes Dossier a true disruptor in the fragrance landscape is its pricing. All fragrances are capped into one of four prices:
Even at the highest price, Dossier is still an affordable choice.
The Unboxing: Does Dossier Live Up to the Hype?
Although I ended up purchasing “Gourmand White Flowers”, I was torn between “Floriental Vanilla”, which is inspired by Black Opium by YSL, and “Powdery Hawthorn” which is inspired by Tom Ford’s Metallique. I went with the scent that I was matched with based on Dossier’s quiz and the scent I was most familiar with.
The shipping took about a week, which I was fine with. I was able to track my order through the Shop app and through the link in my confirmation email.
First Impressions: The Packaging
When the perfume arrived, I was super stoked. It arrived in a small, yet sturdy cardboard box. I would describe the packaging as efficient, yet I still felt like I had something of value inside. The packaging is an ecru color with Dossier printed in black, lowercase at the base of the box.
I opened the box and it revealed their tagline, “Iconic Scents. Designer Quality. No Markups.” There’s a square card on top which has a breakdown of the notes, the inspired scent, concentration amount, how it works, and a nice thank you message.
The perfume bottle is suspended in the center of the cardboard. The perfume is 1.7 ounces and comes in a short, cylindrical, glass bottle. The topper is shiny and silver, and there is a simple label with the perfume name, notes, and company name. Overall, I liked the minimalist aesthetic of the packaging. It’s a design that will look nice on anyone’s vanity.
Drumroll, Please: How Does it REALLY smell?
Ok, I spritzed, fanned my wrist, and what I smelled was quite heavenly! I was pleasantly greeted with a soft, almost creamy, floral scent. My nose picked up the rose and bergamot right away. The scent was definitely present without being obnoxious.
I tried “Gourmand White Flowers” the next day at work. I was curious how the scent would perform throughout the day. I sprayed some on my neck and wrists as I got dressed for work. As I wore “Gourmand White Flowers” throughout the day, I still smelled the rose and white flowers, but it turned more into a warm caramel and vanilla vibe, which was nice. I felt quite ladylike and pretty wearing this perfume.
Around lunchtime, I applied a spritz behind the ears just to revive the top rosy notes. To be honest, I went a little nose blind to the scent, but a co-worker asked me what I was wearing, so others were able to smell the perfume. By the time I was on the commute home, the scent was faint.
I suppose that is to be expected with most perfumes, so I didn’t interpret that to mean the perfume wasn’t long-lasting. Personally, I enjoyed Gourmand White Flowers. I thought the fragrance was a true representation of Flowerbomb. Since I have tried Flowerbomb in the past, I know it to be longer lasting than Gourmand White Flowers. With that being said, Dossier did an excellent job of reimagining this scent.
Alternatives to Dossier.co
In addition to Dossier, there are a few other brands that specialize in curating scents based on high-end, designer fragrances. Listed below are my picks for designer perfume alternatives.
- Offers both men and women’s fragrances
- Quiz available to find your best scent match
- Features alternatives to boutique and niche fragrances
- $39.95 flat-rate price for all fragrances
- All scents are Extrait de Parfum- the highest tier of aromatic concentration
- Comes in a contemporary, matte black glass bottle
- Available in 30ml / 1 fl. oz
- Offers both men and women’s fragrances
- 100% alcohol-free pure perfume oil
- Perfume oil sourced from leading perfume companies
- Comes in a glass vial bottle with stainless steel roller ball
- perfume oil blends inspired by high-end designer scents
- Price ranges from $14.95-$94.99
- Available in 10ml
- Offers both men and women’s fragrances
- clean, vegan, and cruelty-free
- Perfumes inspired by high-end designer and niche fragrances
- travel size bottles available
- sample bundles available
- Pocket sprays available for select scents (.67oz for $19)
- Comes in contemporary, clear glass bottle
- Extrait de Parfum available for select scents
- Price range: $39-$69
Question: Are Dossier fragrances real perfume?
Answer: Dossier fragrances are Eau de Parfum. They contain an average composition concentration of 18%.
Question: Is Dossier fragrances considered clean beauty?
Answer: Yes, Dossier fragrances are created adhering to strict U.S. and U.E. cosmetic safety recommendations. Dossier fragrances are 100% non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Question: Does the Dossier brand practice sustainability?
Answer: Yes, special attention is paid to their use of sustainable packaging. By using recyclable and environmentally friendly materials and by donating all returned fragrances to charity, Dossier actively incorporates environmentally sustainable practices.
Question: Is Dossier just for women?
Answer: Good news! Dossier is for everyone! Dossier features designer-inspired unisex fragrances, as well as scents that are catered to men as well as women.
Dossier Perfume Guide: Final Thoughts
If you are curious about trying a high-end fragrance, I would definitely recommend giving Dossier a shot. For a fair price, you can try out all the fragrances you’ve been dreaming of owning. The contemporary bottle design makes for an Instagram-worthy photo moment.
The perfume’s scent was spot-on and not watered down. It felt like I was wearing perfume and not a body spray. I enjoyed smelling my wrists and picking up various notes throughout the day. I like the sharpness of the first notes, so I reapplied my perfume once during the day, but if you live for a yummy base note, I’d say you could skip the second spritz.
Would I buy Dossier again? I would. I like that Dossier is inexpensive, but not cheap. This brand does a great job of representing inspired scents. Dossier is ideal for novice fragrance collectors looking to find their luxury signature scent. As my olfactory senses sharpen and I come to appreciate the notes that work for me, I can feel confident in purchasing the original, most expensive perfume.
The next time you find yourself at a proverbial crossroads between the Dior perfume or the Jo Malone scent, I recommend giving Dossier a try. You may find that what Dossier has to offer is just as great as the original.