Checking Perfume Lot Numbers and Codes

One of the simpler ways to check to make sure your bottle of perfume is the real deal is to reference the serial or lot number (or code) that most–if not all–perfumes bought and sold in North America should have. The location of this code can vary depending upon the manufacturer or fragrance house. Some niche and independent perfumers do not include lot numbers on their fragrances, however, most mainstream perfumes have these codes and it is a good practice as a perfume user to be able to find these codes as an extra precaution against accidentally using or owning a counterfeit.

Checking lot codes for anti-counterfeit purposes is easy but not a foolproof way to determine a fake. This is only one of the many things you can do to protect yourself from counterfeit goods. What you should do when you purchase a bottle of perfume and want to check its lot/serial code is by first located the code on the box the perfume came in. Often this code is printed near where you might find the fragrance’s ingredients list. This code varies in digits depending upon the manufacturer but most often the code won’t exceed six digits. Very often they are four or five digits and can contain only numbers but oftentimes will be a mix of numbers and letters. After you’ve located the code on the box,  locate the code on the bottle itself. The two codes should match. If they do not match then take it back.

After having said that, your code can be printed or affixed to the bottle of perfume in a variety of ways. Many manufacturers choose to go the sticker route with the lot code inked onto the sticker. This sticker is often affixed to the perfume bottle. Sometimes (such as in the case of most Chanel fragrances) the lot code is etched into the bottle’s glass itself and is located in a different place than the general information about the perfume (ie. how many ml/oz, concentration type, perfume house’s address, etc.)

Sometimes these codes or numbers may even be filed off because it was acquired through a grey market retailer who wanted to prevent the tracking of the bottle. This is a shady, but not illegal practice, and a filed off serial is not always indicative of a counterfeit.

It is important to check the lot codes on both the perfume bottle and the box to make sure they match when you purchase the perfume and before you throw the box away. Sometimes these lot codes are referred to as serial codes, serial numbers, or lot numbers.

21 thoughts on “Checking Perfume Lot Numbers and Codes

  1. aqua di gio
    serial number UD340
    how do i find out if this is a fake, or just old and expired (or when it was manufactured) tossed the box

    • Hi John,

      You can check the lot code or serial number on your perfume by putting that code into this Cosmetics Calculator:

      Acqua di Gio is listed under the Georgio Armani brand. I did it and got a manufacturing date of 6 of December, 2007. So it’s a fairly old bottle, but if the perfume still smells like it should, I wouldn’t be too hasty to throw it out. Fragrance shelf life is rarely accurate and people can often use perfumes for years after the fragrance supposedly expires. If it smells wrong or off, then you are probably better off throwing it out.

      • It snells right. But 15 squirts and smell is gone in ten minutes. Thanks for thr infi. So it is a real bottle its just 6 years old. At least its real. I feel bad for the guy ftom amazin that has 20 bottles of ten year old cologne. Thats a big price to eat. No wonder. I ended up buying one from store and it works gteat.

        • It could be that the fragrance degraded from it being 6 years old. Acqua di Gio is made of pretty delicate materials and if it wasn’t stored properly, that might explain why it fades so quickly on you. Happy to hear you got a fresh bottle and it’s working out for you though. :-D

          • Well i kust got my full refund today plus return shipping. They took care of me , which i was surprisef that they refunded my shipping. Should i tell the third party seller that its an old old old old bottle, our do you think he is aware of it and just gave me a bottle knowing it was no good. Either way thanks for your help on the least it isn’t a fake from China that was my main concern. So i ended buying it from perfumania and total cost was only 15$ more and a lot less headac. I have learned my lesson. Think i should just not buy cologne off amazon or just an unlucky circumstance. Does this happen often. THANKS AGAIN

            • No harm in letting the seller know that you had problems with their product. If they care, they won’t sell it to someone else who’ll experience the same problem. If they don’t care about it–hey, you were just being a good samaritan. :-)

              Some sellers on Amazon are good, some aren’t. Same situation as on eBay. I try to avoid buying the really popular brands of perfumes from those places because there are lots of fakes and old stock that was improperly kept flying around. This situation, unfortunately, happens way too often. I’m just glad you got a full refund for your trouble. :-D

  2. I’m thinking about buying Black XS L’Aphrodisiaque from Paco Rabanne , but there is a slight problem . When I look it up on Paco Rabanne’s website it doesn’t even exist . Also I looked it up on some major perfume stores such as Sephora and I didn’t find it . Is this a legit perfume or some kind of rip off ???

    • Hi Johnny, Black XS L’Aphrodisiaque is a legitimate fragrance. It’s supposed to be available at most Sephora locations now, but it is a fairly new release to 2013. Maybe it just takes a little while to hit all the store shelves?

  3. I recently purchased jean paul gaultier le male for men…it doesnot contain any serial it a fake one?

    • Hi, Reshma,
      It’s hard to say without seeing the bottle itself as some manufacturers (I can’t think off the top of my head if JPG does this) don’t make the serial numbers very visible, or they sometimes print the serial numbers elsewhere on the product. You’ll have to go over the bottle and compare it to a bottle at a department store or look at a bunch of photos of authentic bottles online. I’d be suspicious, but not alarmed. It could be normal for JPG to print their serial numbers in a very subtle location.

  4. Hi! Any idea where I can check the batch code for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique. I’m looking for an older version, but I cannot seem to be able to find any site where I can verify the batch code. Thanks!

  5. How do i know a fake desire, dolce and gabbana,the one perfume? cos the smell for the one i have cant stay long

    • Does it lot code match anything in the database that I linked in the post? Also does the bottle have any strange warping on it or the quality of the packaging isn’t perfect? It also depends largely on where you purchased the fragrance. It’s difficult for me to determine the authenticity of a fragrance based on description alone, so if you have a photo somewhere, that would help. :-)

  6. I tried the link but it did not have an option for Coach brand. I have a bottle of Coach Poppy Blossom. I have thoroughly checked the packaging, and cannot see anything that does not add up, but I am still not sure. The serial # on the box says “A62 12184,” and the bottle says “A62″ on the brand info sticker on the bottom.

    Could you point me in the right direction whether this is a fake? Thanks!

    • Hi Sofija, that perfume isn’t one of the common manufacturers so you probably can’t find an easy online app to check the batch code. Sorry.

  7. I got a bottle of Houbigant L’original Quelques Fleurs, and the bottle feels real and heavy, the lid fits good, doesn’t look like it’s been tampered with. However, the date code doesn’t work, and there is no codes on the box. It is vintage, not the reformulated, and under the sticker on the bottom it also has etching. What do you think?

    • Hi Sharon, Houbigant’s not going to work for the date code. The code checkers are more meant for recent mainstream releases (generally those are at higher risk of being duplicated and knocked-off than vintages). Your L’Original Quelques Fleurs sounds perfectly lovely!

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