To really put these two perfumes to the test, I conducted a blind survey of Who What Wear editors and staffers, asking them to pick which scent they thought was more expensive and which one they preferred. The overwhelming majority chose Baccarat Rouge 540 as the more expensive scent. (Blame it on their high-fashion noses.) Their reasoning was that at first spritz, Cloud smells intensely sweet in a way that doesn’t feel expensive. But they explained that as it dries down, that sweetness dissipates, and that’s when it smells nearly identical to Baccarat Rouge 540. One editor even said that although she thought Cloud smelled less expensive, she actually preferred the sugary notes over Baccarat Rouge 540′s woodier and spicier profile.
The general consensus is that Cloud is certainly a viable dupe, especially when it settles on the skin. However, in full transparency, there’s nothing quite like the original. The good thing is that Baccarat Rouge 540 has staying power, so you don’t need a lot to smell expensive. But the difference between the two fragrances is almost (almost) imperceptible when they’re fully settled on the skin, so you may be the only one to notice if you’re wearing Cloud (so long as you’re not surrounded by a group of beauty editors).