Ruth to the Rescue tests whether smell is worth the cost in perfumes

Local 4 employees try to identify most, least expensive bottles

DETROIT - As we pass another Valentine's Day, many of you might be shopping around for the perfect fragrance for someone special.

After flowers and chocolates, perfume is one of the most popular gifts this time of year.

Of course, perfume prices can range from inexpensive to extravagant. Do you need to spend top dollar to get a beautiful fragrance?

Ruth to the Rescue decided to put a few fragrances to the test in an unscientific sniff test.

The consumer unit bout three perfumes: Tabu was $12.99 at Meijer. Extasia by New Brand was $35 and Flora by Gucci was $66 at Spritz Designer Fragrances at Twelve Oaks Mall.

We rounded up some co-workers who were willing to put their noses to the test, we blindfolded them, and then asked them to compare the different fragrances.

"This one smells more expensive to me," said medical producer Sarah Mayberry as she sniffed the Flora by Gucci. She wasn't sure she'd be able to rank them all correctly.

"I don't know that I'll be able to tell because I think a lot of perfume comes down to personal preference," Mayberry said.

We had some men in the office who were willing to see if they could sniff out any savings when it comes to perfume.

"I usually buy perfume for my fiancé. She usually just points at what she like," said promotions producer Brad Crawford.

One by one, Ruth to the Rescue blindfolded the testers, sprayed some perfume on a piece of paper, and asked them to rank the fragrances from least to most expensive. the results in our unscientific test were pretty conclusive.

Almost everyone was able to sniff out the least expensive brand.

"That one smells the cheapest to me, but it's also the one I like the least, so that might be playing into it," said Mayberry.

Another tester, executive assistant Suzanne Hamood, said of the $12.99 brand, "It just smelled really 'perfumey', and it was almost too much."

Tougher To Tell As The Price Goes Up

While just one tester failed to easily spot the least expensive fragrance, Ruth to the Rescue noticed half of the testers struggled to distinguish the $35 fragrance from the bottle that cost $66. Half put all the fragrances in the correct order, while the other half said the $35 Extasia by New Brand smelled like the most expensive.

"The first two are somewhat tricky, but I'm going to say B is more expensive than A," said account executive Marcia Mackey as she correctly identified Flora by Gucci as the most expensive bottle in our test.

She felt that bottle has a better blend of different elements and was a more complex fragrance.

Based on this very small sample, it seemed it very easy to spot the least expensive fragrance.

However, as the price climbed, it was more difficult to tell the difference between the two fragrances, even though out cost almost double the other.

Once the blindfold came our our test told us they had learned something.

"I think I would not only stick to the main brand one, but maybe take time to smell the less expensive ones," said sales planner Carlos Seda.

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