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THE CLONE DERANGERS – How big brands are using blockchain technology to kill off copycat scents.

The global perfume market size reached US$ 35.5 Billion in 2022. (Source: IMARC)

If success really did smell ‘sweet’ somebody out there would already have faked its fragrance.

The global perfume market size reached US$ 35.5 Billion in 2022. (Source: IMARC). But, according to Wired, “it’s facing a fresh challenge in the form of counterfeit fragrances.”

And “business, consumers and economies across the world are all under attack from counterfeiting," Phil Lewis, director general of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group told the magazine. "The UK is one of Europe’s most targeted countries for these insidious fakes, many of which contain dangerous toxins and stabilisers.”

And fakes are just one of the problems the industry faces. Major perfume brands also have to fend off something even more insidious – ‘dupes.’

Dupes are fragrances that mimic the scent of a popular brand but sell it, perfectly legally, under another name, at a much cheaper price.

Gas chromatography – the separation, identification, and quantification of aroma compounds in a sample – means that, as digital tips and trends bible Allure comments, “new competitors can simply reverse engineer a fragrance.”

But now big corporations like LVMH are fighting back. As well as hiring numerous lawyers and spending millions annually on anti-counterfeiting legal action, the world-leading luxury brand experts have now turned to the latest blockchain technology.

Wired again, LVMH and other commercial partners have developed their “own blockchain tool called Aura…Any person that buys an Aura-certified product will be able to see the full history of the item, ranging from its raw materials and manufacturing locations to where it was initially sold.”

In effect, the system provides a commercial provenance for a perfume. Success, it seems, has just become a little more difficult to clone.