Aldi Dupes

I have always been distrustful of dupes, simply because I do not believe they are a thing. Yes you can have a product inspired by another product but at the end of the day they are all different. They are not made with the same ingredients which typically means the product has a different effect. However some products are heavily influenced by another, to point where it is literally a copy rather than a dupe and one store that is currently doing the most to replicate other brands is Aldi.


I honestly have no idea how they have gotten away with it because all you need to do is look at the products and everyone instantly knows the original product. It has gotten to the point where there is such a hype around the Aldi products that they basically sell out immediately. Of course publications like Daily Mail help with the heightened sense of hysteria that comes with these launches as they are clearly paid to claim these are the best products going. It must be incredibly annoying for the brands who really did all of the work to create the original product, the packaging and promote it to see another company be successful on the back of their hard work. For the most part Aldi only copy individual products such as the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, the Glamglow Supermud and more recently the YSL Touche Eclat Concealer. All of these are individual products but one brand they have completely ripped off is Jo Malone London and I honestly cannot believe they continue to get away with it.

For full disclosure, I used to be a sales assistant for Jo Malone London a long time ago but I have never been paid to do any promo, sent any products to talk about; in fact they probably do not even know this blog exists but I know there are rules so it is always best to be honest. As always, this blog post includes entirely my own thoughts and opinions!

A lot of people in my personal life have asked me about the Aldi products as they know I used to work for Jo Malone and they want to know if the Aldi products compare. Instead of just letting them know, I thought I would take my thoughts to the internet, plus it is a perfect post for Drugstore Month. The main question is, is there a massive difference between a cheap knock off brand like Aldi compared to a luxury brand like Jo Malone? I have three products I want to talk about: the Candles, a Diffuser and a Perfume. I feel like the home products are the pieces that everyone wants to hear about so I will start with them.

Candles

A Jo Malone candle is going to set you back a casual £44, I mean that is a lot of money for a candle but they are a luxury item, therefore they are not something you have to have. I still buy them to this day but I also have cheaper candles from different brands which I use more regularly. The Aldi candles are £3.99, so there is a £40 difference. £40 is a big difference, no wonder people have embraced these cheaper alternatives. I wanted to get one of the Peony Candles as Peony and Blush Suede is my ultimate favourite scent from Jo Malone but on my first venture into Aldi, they didn't have any. Instead my choice was between Lime Basil Mandarin or Fig and Cassis. I have a Jo Malone Wild Fig and Cassis candle so I thought that would be a fair comparison.

I have used the Aldi alternative but it took me ages to get around to trying it. I did use it but I'm actually not going to talk about the Fig and Cassis candle because on my next trip to Aldi they had two Peony candles so I ended up getting both of them! At this point I saw the true extent of the range and just how many scents Aldi have copied: they had Blackberry and Bay, Velvety Rose, Pear and Freesia and so many more. They haven't even really changed the names which is what has baffled me the most. How can they get away with it? Anyway onto the candles.

Since I managed to get some of the Peony candles, I would much prefer to talk about this scent as it is my ultimate favourite. The major shock for me was genuinely how similar the two scents are. I mean Aldi have pretty much nailed the essence of Peony and Blush Suede. In the candle Peony and Blush Suede smells amazingly creamy and Aldi have managed to replicate this texture in the scent. The floral aspect of the scent isn't quite as bold and there isn't even a hint of Apple which is the top note of Peony and Blush Suede. It has the essence but Aldi have not replicated the full body of the scent. Peony as a flower is big and there is nothing big about the scent of this candle.

You can definitely smell the scent when you take the cheap lid off of this candle but it isn't overly strong. Granted once you've lit a Jo Malone candle you do have to wait around half an hour for the room to be scented but once the scent has started to diffuse out, it lingers and you only really need to light it for a further hour or an hour and a half if you are using the candle for the purpose of scenting the room (rather than ambiance.) Whereas the Aldi one you have to keep lit to get any scent. It does eventually smell and the smell is very pleasant but it is much softer than the Jo Malone scent. When I light my Peony and Blush Suede candle, you can smell it all the way along my hallway whereas the Aldi candle doesn't quite have the same reach. If you don't want to be overwhelmed by a scent but you like the Jo Malone scents, you might actually be better off getting an Aldi candle.


Not only do you not have the same quality within the scent but the wax content is crap in the Aldi candle. The reason Jo Malone candles smell so strong is because they have layers of perfume throughout the candle which clearly Aldi has not done. Not only does that make a difference but so does the wick. Oddly Jo Malone take time to pick wicks specifically for the scent so that the scent isn't affected too much and so that they will burn evenly. For example if you look at the wick for Red Roses, it is very different to the wick for Lime, Basil & Mandarin. Aldi clearly did not go to this level of attention to detail. The Aldi candles do have two wicks which should help to give you a slightly more even burn but it doesn't quite work out that way. You have to have these candles lit for a while to get them to burn out to the edge, like I'm talking 4-5 hours. By then it has given your room an amazing scent but really you shouldn't have them lit that long. It takes a lot of care to get these candles to burn evenly which isn't the end of the world but it is a complete waste if your candle ends up tunneling. I guess I've just had an easy life with Jo Malone.

The packaging for the Aldi candle is clearly very similar and I will talk about the labels and such at the end as it is the same for all the products. In terms of the candle, I want to talk about the cheap lid. I completely understand that it is never going to be as luxury as Jo Malone but it is seriously cheap! The lid literally feels like a tin can and it has that cheap rubber band to keep the lid on. None of this with Jo Malone, it is a shiny metal lid embossed with Jo Malone London with a bow on top. It feels very luxe and the lids are actually quite handy. One of my best friends uses the lid to mix makeup which is actually quite a good idea, as long as you keep it clean. I would say the lid is definitely one of the points of the product that emphasises how cheap the Aldi candles are.

However in general, I do have to say I do quite like these candles. I have used both the Fig & Cassis candle and Peony Blush and they both smell similar to the OG from Jo Malone London. For £3.99, if you are looking for something similar without the massive price tag of Jo Malone, the Aldi candles are actually not that bad.

Diffusers 

I am a strong believer in the Jo Malone diffusers, they are one of the products I genuinely think are worth the massive price tag. They say they will last around 6 months but typically mine will last either a year or more. They smell for the duration of their lifetime and the whole look of the diffuser is very chic. I normally buy the Jo Malone Red Roses diffuser and I currently have one on the go but Aldi do not create a Red Rose version. I am sure it is a case of it not being made yet rather than they aren't going to bother. However I have previously had the Pomegranate Noir diffuser from Jo Malone, it was the one I had prior to my current Red Roses. I do still have the empty jar as the reeds still smell for such a long time after and when I took the diffuser down from my shelf I could still smell the Pomegranate in the reeds. This is almost a year after it was finished so it shows how good these diffusers are. As I've had it before, I thought I would give the Aldi alternative of Pomegranate a go and see how I got on.

I'm going to start with the scent, if you are a fan of Pomegranate Noir, you will not like the Aldi equivalent. I honestly think it stinks! Pomegranate Noir is a fruity yet, spicy scent that has no emphasis on woody notes, nor does it feel like it is too much in terms of being spicy or fruity. On the other hand the Aldi equivalent smells of disgusting spices and has an almost woody note. The fruits aren't a good balance for this, they start off too synthetic and then they die away rather quickly to create an almost woody note. If you can't tell I am not a fan of this scent and this is the worst imitation of a Jo Malone scent I have smelt.


Not only are the scents completely different but so is the formula of the oil in the diffuser. Of course I do not expect my Aldi diffuser to last as long as my Jo Malone one but you know it would be good for it to last longer than a month. These diffusers literally evaporate into nothing. Granted I do keep the Aldi one on a table next to my window which is not optimal conditions but I honestly do not feel the need to look after this like I would look after my Jo Malone one. Even so this diffuser has just gone and it's not even like I put lots of sticks in it, I actually only put 5 in. At first this was too much scent and it did make me feel a bit sick, but after a few days it died down and I couldn't really smell it anymore. Other than the fact that the strength behind the scent completely goes, and how quickly the diffuser runs out, there isn't a massive difference but these two problems are enough for me to discredit this product.

Once again the labelling will be covered at the end but I am going to talk about anything specific to the diffuser now. The sticks that you put in this diffuser are smaller and thinner than the Jo Malone diffusers which automatically makes them look cheaper. The reeds also do not hold the scent like the Jo Malone diffuser because they do not have the holes in the reed to take the perfume up. The metal cuff around the top isn't quite as well crafted but it certainly ties in with the look of Jo Malone diffusers. My one problem was that I was unable to get the top off of the bottle so I had to get my brother to help me. Other than that the packaging is pretty standard for a diffuser but I wouldn't say it screamed luxury.

Pomegranate smells nothing like Pomegranate Noir, in fact, it sort of smells gone off. The diffusers are good if you want a quick boost of scent but I cannot recommend them for anything else. Maybe if I had picked another scent I would have got on with it more but the scent selection for the diffusers is very low. Out of the three products I tried, I think this one was the most disappointing and wasn't worth the £3.99. However my big take away from this was that the Aldi Pomegrante scent stinks!

Perfume 

If I'm honest I wasn't sure I was going to bother testing a perfume but Aldi decided to release a 100ml bottle of Peony for Mother's Day. However instead of buying it for my mother, I bought it for myself. As I said when talking about the candle, Peony & Blush Suede is my absolute favourite so when I saw it was available, I wanted to purchase it for this post but I've actually used this a lot more than I thought I would.

It is so much easier to replicate a candle scent as there isn't such defined notes like in a perfume so I had incredibly low hopes for this scent but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the scent that greeted me when I first smelt this perfume. When you first smell it, it certainly does smell like Peony and Blush Suede but I think the more you consider what it smells like, the more you can tell the differences. Not only that but I have worn Peony and Blush Suede for many years so I can recognise it rather quickly.

When you initially smell the Aldi one you do get the sweetness/creaminess of Peony and Blush Suede but then a sort of stale suede comes through a little bit. I know this makes it sound bad but actually this does smell quite nice and once the overwhelming Suede has passed, it does smell quite like Peony and Blush Suede but once again it does not have the same full-bodiedness of the Jo Malone perfume. This most certainly smells similar but it isn't the same. Out of all the scents I've smelt from Aldi, the Peony one has to be the closest match.


One area where this perfume was seriously let down is the longevity of the scent. If I spray the Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede scent, it will last most of the day but I can't smell the Aldi version on me for anything over an hour. I definitely use more of this perfume in one go as well so you would imagine that I should stink of a Peony garden, but I don't. This difference in longevity must come from the formula as I have done nothing unusual to my skin which would make the perfume not last as long. The formula of this perfume is definitely weaker but can you expect anything less from a £5.99 bottle of perfume?

Bless Aldi they tried with the packaging but I just do not think it has the same effect as a bottle of Jo Malone. The glass is thinner and the bottle shape is longer. The glass itself has no weight to it and definitely does not feel luxury but I guess to look at it, it is pretty similar.

There is also a difference in the lid. The lid is cheaper and instead of fitting on nicely like a Jo Malone lid, it has a ridge to keep the lid on which seems like an easy way of cheaping out. Not only is the lid a bit questionable but I also hate the outer cardboard packaging this perfume comes in. A Jo Malone perfume comes in an ivory and black box with tissue paper nestling it in. Whereas the Aldi box literally just fits. Not only that but it is a pink box covered in a dodgy Peony pattern. Luckily the box is thrown way but this perfume also has a pink label that I do not really like. I know this was for Mother's Day but I do not think it looks as good as a Jo Malone perfume.

I did not expect much at all from this perfume but I am oddly impressed. Don't get me wrong this will not replace my beloved Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede but this is a good alternative, if you can't afford the real thing or as a work perfume. I know I most definitely do not want to use my finest perfume for work but this perfume allows me to wear my favourite perfume without the cost. For £5.99 and as a work perfume, I rate this highly.

Packaging

If you can't tell from what I have already said about the packaging; it is cheap and cheerful, in fact I'm not even sure it is that cheerful. I mean the construction of each item is cheap and it is shaped to look similar to Jo Malone packaging. To be honest this is where the similarities come in, you can simply look at the products and you know the brand they are imitating.

Not only does this come through within the look of the bottles but also through the labelling. The labels are not completely the same, luckily there is no brand name on the products because Aldi doesn't quite have the same weight as having Jo Malone on the label. Instead of the Jo Malone London emblem, there is a number in the middle of the label which literally means nothing to me. Peony is No.11 and I don't know if that has any relevance to anything, I guess it would make it seem more luxury but it simply does not work for me. The font on the label also looks like it is trying too hard but I won't be fooled and I don't really like it but once again, like the shape of the bottles, looking at the label you know which brand they are trying to copy.

Conclusion

Overall I would say the quality of products vary from item to item but the range isn't that bad. It most certainly does not have the luxury of Jo Malone London and it does not give you the same feeling when you use it but if you are looking to buy an Aldi version, you aren't looking for that luxury feeling.

In terms of the products I used, Peony is way better than Pomegranate. Pomegranate is an awful imitation that stinks, don't even bother but Peony is actually pretty good. Controversially I actually quite like the Aldi range and I will be honest, I think they have done a great job of making a copy brand. I will certainly continue to buy my Jo Malone as I always have done but in between, when perhaps I cannot afford straight up luxury, I can see myself turning to Aldi. 

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