News item

Sniff out fake perfumes sold online

Trading Standards officers are offering advice to help residents sniff out fake fragrances being sold online. 

In a bid to find a last minute Christmas gift for loved ones – or to bag a New Year bargain - people often buy perfume or aftershave over the internet.

However, officers at Leicestershire County Council are warning that gifts may not be all they seem. 

Pam Posnett, County Council Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “Buying fragrances online can be a risky business as fakes are easy to sell over the internet, although the cheap price may be an indicator. 

“The first time you realise is when your partner then opens their gift on Christmas morning, only to find that the fragrance does not last very long and it may cause skin reactions due to the harmful chemicals it contains.”

David Bull Head of Leicestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service said: “Trading Standards will continue to take enforcement action against those selling counterfeit goods as we need to protect the public from unsafe goods - as well as businesses that sell the genuine products, and the jobs of those who work for these businesses.”

There are some steps consumers can take to minimise the risk. Information on pricing, where to buy goods from, how to check if a seller is authorised to sell brands and what to look out for in terms of packaging can be found at:

You can also check out to see whether a seller is authorised to sell the brand of goods in question and report a site that you think is not authorised.

Anyone with concerns about counterfeit or unsafe goods can contact Consumer Advice Consumer Service on 0845 404 0506 or if you want to report potential sellers of counterfeit goods contact: 


  •  HEALTH RISKS OF COUNTERFEIT FRAGRANCES: Counterfeit perfumes do not undergo the usual safety standards that are applied to all cosmetics and toiletries around the world. When cheaper, inferior ingredients are used, these may cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin and could also stain garments.  
  • The Trade Marks Act 1994 makes it an offence to manufacture, be in possession of or to sell counterfeit goods.  The maximum sentence is an unlimited fine and or 10 years imprisonment.
  • The contacts are: Louise Boyall – 0116 305 6541. Caroline North – 0116 305 6568 

DATE: 16 November 2013