February 28, 2016

Cafe Parfum By Cofinluxe-An Opium Dupe?

Cafe Parfum 3oz Spray
If you love those spicy powerhouse orientals like Opium and Cinnabar, you may not like the spicy price tags that they come with. Sadly, some of our favorite perfumes are the most expensive. Even more frustrating is how many manufacturers these days are tampering with our signature scents by watering them down into mere shadows of their former selves. Enter the world of dupes.

When I first discovered that Cafe was a great dupe for Opium, I made a fast beeline to Amazon and bought a bottle. It was cheap. Very cheap. The reviews mentioning the spice and sandalwood notes had me waiting in anticipation. Could this really smell as awesome as Opium?

My First Impression Of The Bottle Design

When I first opened the box,  I was neutral about the packaging and bottle design. After checking it out, I found the glass portion of the bottle quite pretty. It has a raised, bumpy design that appears to be coffee beans ( or tiny horse shoes) sprinkled around some type of flower. The top part of the bottle seems to be a complete mismatch in quality to the bottom. It's almost cheesy it's so plastic.

The bottom of the bottle says Cafe Paris France. The entire bottle is shaped like a flattened bowling pin. It feels nice to hold in your hand, has a good weight and doesn't tip over.

Cafe Parfum Is Supposed  To Contain These Notes

  • Top Notes- Lime,verbena, rosemary
  • Middle Notes-Spices, rose
  • Base Notes-Vetiver, patchouli
I say supposed because I am hard pressed to locate many of these notes. Maybe I need a new nose.

Experiencing Cafe In Real Time

Okay, here we go. Let's take off the cap and do a sniff test.
  • First sniff results- Warm. Slightly sweet. Powdery spice.
  • Initial Spray-A beautiful blast of amber-dipped flowers that immediately disappears, I mean within seconds. Lime? No. Rosemary? I don't think so. If there is any Verbena, I didn't notice it.
  • After 15 Minutes-This is where the Opium reminder might come in to play. The spice notes are in full bloom here. Any Opium lover will find some similarities here. Cafe does fit in to the Oriental/ Spice family of perfumes.
  • One Hour Dry Down-Here comes the strange part. Cafe drys down on my skin to a pure amber-sandalwood combination, kind of like those oils you find at health food shops. The base notes are listed online as patchouli and vetiver. No and no. This is more ambery like Moonlight Path by Bath & Body Works.

What I Like About This Fragrance

One of the most positive aspects of Cafe is that it has taught me that fragrance notes are so complex that even one extra note will change a perfume's composition. Cafe is a cheap try out and wont break the bank if you want to compare it to Opium. It is still an okay Oriental scent that I spray on when I am in one of my sandalwood-amber moods.

What I Don't Care For

The biggest let down is that Cafe is supposed to be a parfum. From France. Shouldn't it last a bit longer? It becomes what I peeve about the most; a soft skin scent that nobody notices; including me. Of course, I can't expect Chanel quality from a perfume that costs less than $20.00 for 3oz.

My Recommendations 

 If you like warm, powdery spice scents, you will like Cafe Parfum. It really does become a soft, close-to-the-skin fragrance. Imagine baby powder with cloves and that about sums up the whole experience. Is it a good dupe for Opium?

Cafe is like Opium in spirit, but can never reach the richness of those gorgeous Opium notes. Like I said, Cafe is affordable enough to grab as a research scent. Go ahead and give it a try so you can understand why so many think it's a dupe for Opium.