IBB “Save vs. Splurge”: Fragrance edition

Everyone loves a good “Save vs. Splurge.” I know this for a fact from my magazine editor days, when we were encouraged to include these sorts of stories because it gained readers—and boosted sales. But as someone who’s done too many of these comparisons to count, I can tell you that while it might be easy to find a drugstore alternative to a $30 mascara, perfume is a totally different animal (and “Designer Imposters” don’t count). But when I spritzed myself with one of the offerings in this month’s Olfactif box, I was floored because it smelled exactly like a perfume I’ve worn in the past. So here’s a rare fragrance “Save vs. Splurge,” and you can thank me later.

For some reason, my nose has a thing for high-end fragrances (and if my husband knew how much each of those Tom Ford fragrances on my vanity cost, he’d probably divorce me). Frederic Malle is one of my favorite brands, and I appreciate this line because they actually give credit to the parfumer responsible for creating the fragrance. (Yes, in many cases, there’s a single person responsible for making the scent.) I wore L’ Eau D’Hiver (translation: Winter Water) for quite some time, as this mix of heliotrope, iris and honey is absolutely divine. Alas, I didn’t buy it again when I finished my bottle because of the price tag, but I stumbled upon a less expensive version by happenstance.

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang New York runs roughly half the price as L’Eau D’Hiver, and I swear you can’t tell the difference. (I trust my scent memory, because it’s quite amazing.) Of course there are going to be subtle differences because a fragrance is a unique creation like a work of art, but if you love the Frederic Malle, I’ll bet you like this scent. Although the notes listed in the description for Lightscape don’t match the notes associated with the Frederic Malle, the end effect is eerily similar.

OK, so this “Save vs. Splurge” may not be one with universal appeal, but if you trust me, or happen to be familiar with this scent, you can’t go wrong.

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