In an industry where every other product is touted as the “best thing ever,” “game-changing,” “iconic,” “award-winning” (I could go on and on), it’s safe to say the sparkle of *truly* magical players can get lost in the shuffle. In an effort to make money and spike sales, the entire market has become one claustrophobic mess of holy-grail It items. But as you and I both know, most of said products don’t deserve the jewel-encrusted crown great marketing coronates them with.
In my time as a beauty editor, there have only been a few products that truly live up to the hype and buzz that have preceded them, and that pool gets even smaller when it comes to fragrance—a notoriously finicky genre that’s so exceptionally personal it almost feels wrong to try to make a recommendation. But last year, after lots of anticipation and countless testimonials gushing over the magnetic olfactive powers of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s famed unisex number, Baccarat Rouge 540, I finally got my hands on my own bottle. And let me just say, that first-ever sniff felt like a borderline religious experience. It’s hard to call a perfume perfect—the most bewitching perfumes are typically anything but—and scent preference is incredibly subjective, but Baccarat Rouge 540 comes pretty damn close. It’s dazzling, and a few hours post-spritz, I knew I was dealing with a true masterpiece. So, yes, the glowing orb of obsession it’s inspired since its 2015 inception feels about right.
Born from the relationship between Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Baccarat to celebrate the crystal manufacturer’s 250th birthday, Baccarat Rouge 540 is a very special perfume, carefully crafted with very special ingredients. And let me tell ya it will cost you a pretty penny—325 big ones, if we’re being exact.
“The woody scent releases a poetic alchemy, a highly condensed and graphic olfactory signature,” the brand muses on its website. “Breezy jasmine facets, radiant saffron boost the ambergris mineral notes and the woody tones of freshly-cut cedar. Bright and sleek, Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum caresses the skin like an amber and woody floral whisper.”
I mean, who doesn’t want to be caressed by an amber and woody floral whisper? Even though I highly recommend MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 as a very worthy investment at some point in your life, $325 just isn’t a realistic price point to foist on you like it’s nothing. (If I weren’t a beauty editor, I never would have had access to such a treasure.) So if your budget doesn’t allow that kind of splurge at the moment, I’ve gone ahead and done the good deed of finding 10 very similar contenders—dupes, if you will—that give off the same expensive and wonderfully poetic vibes, sans sticker shock. In fact, not one clocks in at more than $165. You’re welcome! Keep scrolling for the best Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 dupes money can buy without sacrificing an inch of luxury.