Chanel # 5 - How to protect yourself from fakes

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Chanel # 5  -  How to protect yourself from fakes


A fake bottle of Chanel # 5. The sticker on the bottom is a giveaway.

Chanel # 5 is one of the most commonly counterfeited perfumes on the market. There are so many fakes out there, that it is very difficult to buy a real one for a reduced price, especially online. The question you should ask yourself when buying a bottle in an online auction is not "how do I avoid buying a fake?" but "how do I find a genuine one?" Recently I inadvertently purchased a bottle of fake Chanel # 5, so I thought I'd share with you all that I've learned, so that like me, you don't end up doing your research after the event, and then attempting to obtain a refund.  

Now in case you don’t have time to read this whole guide, I’ll give you a very important piece of information now: Real Chanel # 5 has the product details MOULDED into the bottom of the bottle - in the glass for crystal bottles, and in the plastic for refillable EDT. A bottle with no details or a plastic sticker is a fake. This is how I eventually proved I had been sold a counterfeit bottle.

Mistakes I made when purchasing:

  • I did not ask the seller questions. I assumed that the product would be real because it was advertised as genuine. The seller was auctioning a number of them, so I thought he must have had a reputable supplier.
  • I did not do my research and so did not know that there were so many fakes around, or that the 100ml Eau de Parfum is by far the most copied product.
  • I did not buy a bottle that was an “unwanted gift” or similar from a small time eBay user, preferring a brand new bottle from a seller.
How to spot a genuine in the advertisement:
  • There’s a description of the bottle, including it’s source or history (eg. Unwanted gift from in-laws), preferably with a photo of the actual perfume rather than a promo shot, though photos can sometimes be deceptive.
How to spot a fake in the advertisement:
  • There’s no picture of the actual perfume being sold.
  • There’s a general description of the perfume complete with history of Coco Chanel etc. This is just padding.
  • The perfume is listed with no description.
  • There’s a very low starting price.
Why I suspected mine was a fake:
  • The smell was not quite right. I was able to compare it with a sample and could smell a real difference. Though it was similar enough to make me uncertain at times.
  • The lid on the bottle wasn’t glass, though I’ve had conflicting reports of whether the lids are usually glass. One perfume supplier I called said the 50ml Eau de Parfum bottle has a plastic lid. Hmm…
  • The lid had slight flaws in the moulding.
  • The box just didn’t look flash enough. While everything was there - the cardboard insert, the embossing, the three little numbers on the bottom, it just seemed a little cheap.
  • The front sticker was very slightly off centre.
  • The plastic sticker on the bottom was off centre. As I’ve already said, I now know that the product details are moulded into the bottom on a genuine bottle.
  • The logo on the neck on the bottle was at the back.
  • The colour of the perfume was slightly pinkish.
How to avoid getting ripped off:
  • Ask the seller if their bottle has the product details moulded into the glass/plastic at the bottom.
  • Ask the seller where they obtained the bottle.
  • Buy Eau de Toilette, samples, refills or anything other than the 100ml Eau de Parfum.
  • Buy from a small time seller getting rid of an unwanted gift or similar.
  • Buy from a seller with a good refund policy and a reputation they want to protect. This won’t stop you receiving a fake, but it will allow you to get your money back if there’s a problem.
  • Buy a genuine sample first, and compare the scent with the bottled product.
  • Take the bottle to the Chanel counter at Myers or similar and do a detailed comparison.

Hope this helps,


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