Cheap and Chic : Favorite Affordable, Inexpensive Fragrance

Moschino-Cheap-Chic ad

While perfume is a luxury item, the price may not necessarily reflect the quality of fragrance either within the mainstream or the niche brands. As I was testing Cartier Les Heures de Parfum and feeling shocked by the price sticker of $255 per 75ml, I began to wonder about affordable and good quality fragrances.

What is your favorite, reasonably priced fragrance? How do you find your perfume bargains?

My favorite reasonably priced fragrances include Bath & Body Works Cotton Blossom ($10.50, a lovely powdery orange blossom reminiscent of Rochas Tocade) and Velvet Tuberose (75ml $13.25, airy, creamy tuberose,) Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure (17ml $36, excellent smoky incense,) Crabtree & Evelyn Iris (30 ml $25, simple, but very elegant iris), Pacifica California Star Jasmine ($9 solid perfume, green, bright jasmine), Demeter Gin & Tonic (120ml $18.80, effervescent, green citrus with a hint of pepper.) Rochas Tocade is not necessarily cheap, but I recently got a 100ml bottle for about $30 on Amazon.com. Ebay.com can also be a great place to find perfumes at bargain prices, but buyer beware, not everything sold there is authentic.

The best fragrance bargain I have come across was a bottle of Shalimar EDP at the garage sale for $5.  Alas, it was the first and only time…

Image: Moschino Cheap & Chic ad (I love its tongue-in-cheek, flamboyant quality)

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81 Comments

  • Trevor B: Lalique’s Encre Noire. I got my 3.3oz bottle for $29 on Amazon, and it’s quality is up there with the best. A masterpiece of a fragrance. January 29, 2011 at 12:55am Reply

  • dee: Hooray, I’m first!

    Bvlgari Black, I got 75mL for less than $15—it’s the only think in my collection I’m tempted to get back-up bottles of…
    Laurence Dumont Tendre Madeleine, 100mL for $35 (it’s usual price is $64, I think, which still ‘aint bad), my favorite layering tool!
    Prada EDP, purse spray and three refills for $16.99
    Demeter Gingerale & Demeter Sugar Cane, $29.99 each on eBay
    and a newly discovered delight: YSL Cinéma, which ranges from $15 to $60 (ish) on eBay, and up tp $90 on the YSL site.

    I love cheap thrills! January 29, 2011 at 12:55am Reply

  • dee: Hhhmm, I took too long! LOL. Second is still awesome. January 29, 2011 at 12:56am Reply

  • Olfactoria: I recently discovered Olympic Orchids, an artisanal perfumer from Washington, her perfumes are very interesting at a very reasonable price, the sample set is only 15$ for 9 samples.
    Other than that I always haunt eBay for bargains, I got Une Rose for 50$ and a Goutal for 40$. There is a discount perfumery in my vicinity eho have some fantastic bargains when you are lucky. I got many Hermes perfumes there for -70%.
    I love a bargain of course, who doesn’t, but if I really want something I am prepeared to pay (a lot if necessary) for it. Not my best trait, I know… January 29, 2011 at 4:59am Reply

  • rosarita: My latest favorite is Histoire d’Eau Mauboussin, which is under $15 on fragrancenet.com. I even had a free shipping code. 🙂 It’s a soft potpourri of spices w/a leather note that I bought unsniffed based on a review on makeupalley. TJ Maxx/Marshall’s is another good source for inexpensive perfumes; I found Badgely Mischka and Ferre both for well under $20 (also a couple of Guerlain AAs, but that’s been a few yrs ago.) Other cheap thrills: Coty Wild Woods, perfect for layering; Queen Latifah Queen (found a giftset marked down after Christmas & couldn’t resist), Auric Blend oils, esp amber & frankincense, again great for layering. I always keep my eyes open at garage sales & Goodwill but alas, only find Avon. 🙂 January 29, 2011 at 5:32am Reply

  • Style Spy: Yves Rocher Voile d’Ambre. A lovely thing, soft and elegant. January 29, 2011 at 8:59am Reply

  • karin: Possets Venus Black – $10! January 29, 2011 at 9:00am Reply

  • Victoria: Yves Rocher has some of nicest, affordable fragrances. I also love their Rose d’Absolu. It smells more expensive than the roses from many prestige brands. January 29, 2011 at 9:18am Reply

  • Victoria: Fantastic find! January 29, 2011 at 9:18am Reply

  • Victoria: Histoire d’Eau is a beautiful fragrance and very easy to wear. I find Mauboussin fragrances in general to be quite good, although in the US they can be hard to find.
    I am adding Coty Wild Woods to my list. I have not smelled it before. Thank you. January 29, 2011 at 9:20am Reply

  • Victoria: Ah, you are so right, the fragrance which is worth the price (at whatever bracket) is the best discovery of all. January 29, 2011 at 9:21am Reply

  • Victoria: LOL! It is a tie, 00:55 on the dot! 🙂 January 29, 2011 at 9:23am Reply

  • Victoria: My word, I now know where to go to get some advice on bargains!
    I completely agree with YSL Cinema, which is such a good floral-gourmand. Similar to Lolita Lempicka and Coco Mademoiselle, but darker and warmer. I am smelling it right now.

    I have not heard of Laurence Dumont Tendre Madeleine. Is it a vanilla-gourmand? January 29, 2011 at 9:27am Reply

  • Victoria: I cannot agree more with you on Encre Noire. What a gorgeous, memorable perfume! I am very disappointed to hear that its distribution in the US will be limited or even stopped altogether. January 29, 2011 at 9:28am Reply

  • Ann C: Sonoma Scent Studio has many lovely & reasonably priced fragrances. Portrait of a Lady reminds me of one her roses, either Rose Musc or Vintage Rose. All of her fragrances are rich and long-lasting, which makes them an even better bargain. January 29, 2011 at 9:35am Reply

  • Victoria: I tried only Incense Pure so far, but it is very nice. I am definitely going to explore more fragrances from her collection. The roses sound very good. January 29, 2011 at 9:51am Reply

  • ScentScelf: Oh, goodie; a happy topic of mine. Glad to see Sonoma Scent Studio mentioned; I am a fan of Tabac Aurea, Champagne du Bois, and Lieu de Reves…each very different. Am hoping to try a few more soon.

    Second Style Spy’s vote for Voile d’Ambre; of the YR Secrets d’Essences, it is my favorite. And just overall a decent amber. A default fragrance for fall.

    Prada Infusion d’Iris (available quite reasonably online) is another I like and is counter to the luxury bite in your wallet. January 29, 2011 at 10:00am Reply

  • Victoria: Fun topic, because now I have more on my to-try list. Never a bad thing to have a quest of some sort!
    Tabac Aurea and Champagne du Bois sound particularly good based on the descriptions, although Vintage Rose is another one I am considering.

    Just remember another Yves Rocher favorite–Mimosa. I am not sure if it is still being sold, but it was a very lovely mimosa. The matching shower gel was very good too. January 29, 2011 at 10:12am Reply

  • rosarita: Adding my two cents about SSS…Velvet Rose is a favorite of mine, as is Winter Woods. And she’s so nice! January 29, 2011 at 10:39am Reply

  • Zazie: I recently found a shop in my parents small hometown, with such low perfume turnover that some of their fragrances were still priced in Lire (instead of Euros) and both packaging, smell, and product code concurred in dating many of them in the 1990s decade. I scored a dusty bottle of Shalimar edt at a ridiculous price. I left there an edt of Mitsouko, because I thought I was not a fan of this famous chypre. But my mother bought it as a present for me, she must have spent not more than 30 euros… I think this is the best quality to price perfume deal in my family ;)! That edt is just liquid gorgeousness bottled and of course now I am addicted. 30 euros is not free, but I think any perfume fan smelling that bottle would be willing to pay 5 times as much, without blinking.
    Reverting to what you could find now, full price, in the shops, I’d say that l’heure blue edt is a pretty great deal-60 euros very well spent. Perlier-Kelemata also sells two-notes accords at 10 euros full price: their orange blossom -tuberose is not fracas, but has the very same great heart! January 29, 2011 at 10:43am Reply

  • Victoria: What a find that store must have been. I always enjoy discovering little shop like this, although these days true gems are harder and harder to find. Still, in NYC around the Penn Station area, there are a lot of perfume shops selling all sorts of things that are essentially an overflow from the gray market. They are authentic fragrances, and the prices are not always cheap, but one can find discontinued and interesting things for a reasonable sum.

    I agree on Perlier-Kelemata, it has some nice scents. Roger & Gallet is another company I like. It is more expensive than Perlier, but has good, simple, everyday scents. January 29, 2011 at 10:52am Reply

  • Victoria: Winter Woods sounds nice too! Adding more to my list… January 29, 2011 at 10:53am Reply

  • Elizabeth: Because of this post, I am going to wear Sonoma Scent Studio’s Lieu de Reves today. It’s a softly romantic heliotrope-rose-violet perfume which is neither too powdery nor too sweet. Like the name implies, it is just a dreamy, soft floral.

    The best fragrance bargain I ever found was a very old bottle of pristine Joy extrait – 15mL for $25 at an antiques market! January 29, 2011 at 10:53am Reply

  • Victoria: Elizabeth, your description of Lieu de Reves sounds wonderful! I can imagine it a lovely fragrance to wear on a Saturday morning.
    Any extrait de parfum would be a steal for $25, but Joy is especially so! January 29, 2011 at 11:02am Reply

  • OperaFan: Victoria – First time commenting here although I’ve enjoyed reading your posts for quite a while.
    I’m so glad you included SSS in your list. At those prices for pure perfume, I find them to be a bargain as well. More so the fact that hers are regular prices and not discount markdowns.
    One that has not been mentioned and is a personal favorite of mine is Jour Ensoleille, which never fails to make me smile when I put it on and I feel a must-try for all jasmin lovers. January 29, 2011 at 11:18am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you so much for visiting and for commenting. And thank you for a new jasmine recommendation! Ok, another one I definitely have to add, because as you might guess from the blog name, I love jasmine. 🙂
    Plus, I agree, $36 for 17ml of parfum is an excellent price! January 29, 2011 at 11:25am Reply

  • Elisa: I am very partial to cheap and chic. 🙂

    – Small bottles from Estee Lauder (e.g., White Linen, Knowing, Sensuous Noir) and the aforementioned Sonoma Scent Studios (Winter Woods, Tabac Aurea, Voile de Violette and Vintage Rose are the one I’ve added to my collection so far)

    – Purse sprays from Sephora, generally $25 or less (Flower by Kenzo! Angel!)

    – Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie

    – Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose

    – Marshall’s (I’ve found Donna Karan Gold, Badgley Mishcka, various Lolita Lempickas, Carolina Herrera for $20-30) January 29, 2011 at 11:34am Reply

  • Stephen: One of the reasons why i like Sephora is because of the exclusive 30ml sizes there…. Which can be a little dangerous =)… So my bottle of Dior Homme was $36, and Lolita Lempicka was $47, not cheap, but i don’t feel guilty later…. The best deal I ever got on a bottle of perfume was a 50ml bottle of Lovely by SJP for 15.00… January 29, 2011 at 11:38am Reply

  • dee: Basically; it’s lemon-almond-vanilla-cookie, and it’s a thrill for sure. Someone sent me a sample of it, and I scoffed at it for weeks… as I slowly drained my sample and realized that I couldn’t live without it! LOL. I’ll send you some if you like! 🙂 January 29, 2011 at 12:14pm Reply

  • Paloma: Elizabeth Taylor Passion $ 16 for 1/4 oz parfum on ebay. Corriandre, Fendi, Paloma Picasso, 4711 – cheap and chic. :). January 29, 2011 at 12:15pm Reply

  • dee: Oh, yes, how could I forget!?? Olympic Orchids Javanica, and Amber, and Midsummer’s Day Dream… yum. Even the largest bottle is only $60! Soon they too will be in my possession. 😉 January 29, 2011 at 12:19pm Reply

  • dee: Some of those Auric blends aren’t half bad, and they’re so affordable! They make Pacifica seem like an indulgence 🙂 Their solid amber is tempting… January 29, 2011 at 12:21pm Reply

  • dee: Adding my love os SSS: out of the line, there are only two so far that I *don’t * love, and even those two I like and wear!
    (Jour Ensoille & Lieu de Rieves) January 29, 2011 at 12:23pm Reply

  • dee: Tabac Aurea and Champagne de Bois are my favorites! January 29, 2011 at 12:25pm Reply

  • dee: Sometimes I really miss living near a TJ Maxx or Marshalls… today is one of those days! Good finds, I’m totally jealous of those LL’s and the Gold! 🙂 January 29, 2011 at 12:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love Sephora’s 30ml sizes too. I recently bought a small bottle of Fracas and Lolita Lempicka there, and like you, I did not feel guilty. Not cheap exactly, but it seems far more reasonable, and one can build a nice collection this way. January 29, 2011 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: I got White Diamonds parfum a couple of years ago for something around $15. Quite worth it!

    I have been meaning to ask you, are there any interesting Russian perfume brands? The last time I visited, I had so little time, I did not explore anything at all. January 29, 2011 at 12:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: You and Dee are vying for the top bargain hunter award! 🙂 Wow, what a steal all those Marshall’s finds.
    This gives me an inspiration to stop by Marshall’s later today.

    I know that Estee Lauder may not be the most popular brand among the niche perfume lovers, but their fragrances are very high-quality and can compete with many uber-luxury perfumes. I love Private Collection, White Linen, Knowing and Sensuous. Still have not tried Sensuous Noir. January 29, 2011 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Victoria: ScentScelf mentioned before that Champagne de Bois reminds her of Chanel Bois des Iles, which is all that I need to know to be inspired to seek out a sample. January 29, 2011 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Victoria: Wow, it is really a favorite affordable line so far, judging by the comments here. January 29, 2011 at 1:00pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mmmmm, sounds delicious and definitely worth trying! Thank you for another inspiration, D! January 29, 2011 at 1:01pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Oh V, will you pretty, pretty please write a review of that White Diamonds parfum? I’m dying to know what it smells like.

    I think most of my bargains are cheats of a kind–bottles I happened to score after they were discontinued but before they became rare. Thus my $28 bottle of Organza Indecence, my $30 bottle of Theorema, and my $30 bottle of the original Black Cashmere. All lucky unsniffed purchases by the way, in the early heat of my collecting, and now longtime favorites. Sometimes it pays to be foolishly impulsive.

    Probably the biggest bargain of all though, was the collection of mini Guerlains I bought–vintage bottles, about 3-5 ml each, of Mitsouko, Samsara, Shalimar, Chamade and Jardins de Bagatelle in parfum, with two little bee bottles of Eau de Cologne Imperiale and Eau de Guerlain flanking them. $35. I was jumping up and down when I won the bid. But I have to say, it did not turn out to be a bargain in the end, since it was my gateway to the world of vintage perfume. 😉 January 29, 2011 at 1:33pm Reply

  • Marina: With ebay and discounters, even stuff like Caron can be a bargain. I mean $30-ish for 50ml of a Caron?! January 29, 2011 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Skilletlicker: I believe it’s been discontinued unfortunately but L’Occitane Gentle Honey Water was a scent I really enjoyed. And I can usually find Kai Body Glow for $30 or less. January 29, 2011 at 1:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: Aha! That is how you fell down the rabbit hole! I know exactly what you mean, because for me, a discovery of a bottle of Apres L'Ondee parfum for $20 was not such a bargain after all. I shudder to even begin to calculate its real cost in terms of the search for vintage perfumes.
    Many of my older favorites (Rush, Magie Noire, Theorema, White Diamonds) were a result of discoveries like yours. Not that they were cheap to begin with, but one can easily find them at a reasonable price.

    White Diamonds is a lush white floral bouquet with a strong ylang ylang note. What makes it very interesting is the combination of white florals and a strong musky-woody note. It is a child of its time and smells rather dated to me. However, I still admire it for its boldness and dramatic appeal. Another one of a similar type of Elizabeth Arden Red Door. Both are strong
    enough to clear a subway car if applied injudiciously. Red Door is still a huge seller for Arden. I am not sure about White Diamonds. January 29, 2011 at 1:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: So true! Carons can be found for so little on both Ebay and Amazon. I saw a bottle of Nuit de Noel EDT for $35. January 29, 2011 at 1:48pm Reply

  • Victoria: I loved L’Occitane Feuilles d’Herbes, bright, green tomato leaf and grass cologne. Lately, they have been launching one fruity rose after another, and Robin of NST just posted news of yet another lychee rose (Rose Jardin Délice.) I also liked their Orange Cinnamon EDT (also discontinued.) January 29, 2011 at 1:51pm Reply

  • dee: It is similar in a way, but CdB is much denser, and the aldehydes are not prominent. It’s a little sweeter too, but the lasting power is many hours longer! I wore both of these yesterday: BdI first, then CdB once the other faded! 🙂 January 29, 2011 at 3:42pm Reply

  • OperaFan: *Sigh* – Whenever I go into a Marshalls, I’ve always failed to find anything desirable in the $20-30 range. All the good ones are $50+. Must be the New Jersey thing… January 29, 2011 at 4:01pm Reply

  • OperaFan: I remember smelling White Diamonds when it came out, so grand and beautiful. I believe it follows the line/class of VC&A’s First, one of my early loves. In the end, I didn’t want the association with a celebrity scent. Although I know it was considered the most successful celebrity scent of its time, I wonder if it might have been even more successful if it had not been directly associated with her. January 29, 2011 at 4:11pm Reply

  • Victoria: I did not find anything interesting either, when I went today. I just ended up getting some nicely scented Italian olive oil soap. The best fragrance deal was Sunflowers for $20, but it did not interest me. January 29, 2011 at 5:16pm Reply

  • Victoria: I wonder too, although I have to say that it fits her well. Once I had to do an exercise when I smelled the fragrances blindly and had describe a kind of person I see them wearing. I was not familiar with White Diamonds then, but the woman I described was pretty much Elizabeth Taylor.
    I also see it as a variation on white floral First theme. January 29, 2011 at 5:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: Sounds interesting! Not that I necessarily want another Bois des Iles, but it makes me curious. January 29, 2011 at 5:20pm Reply

  • Elisa: Yes, I drop in every three weeks or so (there’s one right across from my gym), and most of the time there is nothing of interest, but every now and then I’ll find something great. Just remembered I also got bottles of Clarins Par Amour and Eau Dynamisante at Marshalls, though I think they were more like $40. I haven’t had as much luck at TJ Maxx. January 29, 2011 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Victoria: Clarins Eau Dynamisante is a wonderful scent, very light and pleasant. Another one in that category of light, perfume veils, if you will, is Dior Eau Svelte. I have not worn in ages, but I loved it when it first came out. January 30, 2011 at 8:40am Reply

  • Victoria: Yay, another fan of Iris! That is one fragrance I am surprised not to see mentioned more often. Granted, it is not Iris Silver Mist, but it is very pretty. January 30, 2011 at 8:41am Reply

  • Irina: My favorite cheap thrill – Laguna by Salvador Dali. I bought mine for $15 for 30 ml at Fragrance.net, it’s average price for this perfume. Wonderful smell. January 30, 2011 at 9:09am Reply

  • angie Cox: Crabtree and Evelyn’s Iris , Karl Lagerfed’s Kapsules , Girard’s Lysval . January 30, 2011 at 4:41am Reply

  • Victoria: Laguna was one of my first perfumes. I loved its fresh oriental scent. Your mention of Laguna really made me nostalgic for it. Dali keeps launching a new perfume pretty much every year, but the new ones are nowhere near Laguna. January 30, 2011 at 9:54am Reply

  • mals86: Tabac Aurea, Champagne du Bois and Velvet Roses are my favorites as well. January 30, 2011 at 3:52pm Reply

  • mals86: I really love the first (Calice Becker) Ines de la Fressange – a fruity floral done right. Bought 50ml for $22 at a discounter.

    Another cheapie favorite, also a good brand discontinued, is Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet.

    Love Sonoma Scent Studio, especially Tabac Aurea and Champagne de Bois. January 30, 2011 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am still very sad about Crown Perfumery being discontinued. I loved that line so much for its Victorian aura. Very distinctive scents.
    Also, I agree on Ines de la Fressange, a fruity-floral that showcases what is so appealing about this combination. 🙂 January 30, 2011 at 10:33pm Reply

  • Irina: True.
    Laguna wasn’t my first perfume, but the only one from my past which is in use right now. I don’t use anymore Magie Noire, Tresore, Chanel 19 and others – they become worse after reformulating, or my taste grew toward different combination, but I still love Laguna. January 31, 2011 at 10:13am Reply

  • Victoria: Ira, Tresor, Paris, Diorissimo are in that category for me too. I do not like the reformulations and they are also associated with a certain time in my life too strong for me to be able to wear them now. I do admire them very much, however. January 31, 2011 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Carla: I also got 100 ml of Tocade for about $30 online, and since I only need one spray of Tocade, two max, those 100 mls will last a very long time and the perfume was therefore very very well priced. January 31, 2011 at 9:03pm Reply

  • Trevor B: Oh no! Where did you hear that? Maybe I should stock up now. It’s truly the perfect fall/winter fragrance. All of my coats smell of Encre Noire now. 🙂 February 1, 2011 at 1:05am Reply

  • Natalia: another great topic, V!

    i dont have many full sized bottles, but the ones i found cheap were: Demeter Lilac, which i use to scent the throws/pillows :), $4 at Rite Aid sale; L’Occitane Ruban d’Orange, which i find to be a very pleasant every day scent, for $23 on sale; Arden’s 5th avenue, which i mentioned lately, for $15 at local TJMaxx (and other Arden’s fragramces there, as well); Elizabeth Taylor line; Acqua di Gio – i find it to be extremely common, but a very well made fragrance.

    among my lucky purchases i can definitely mention $40 L’A P Mure et Musc and Jo Malone’s French Lime Blossom and Red Roses, $20 (!) each, on craigslist. there are some terrific finds there from time to time! February 1, 2011 at 3:33am Reply

  • Victoria: Tocade requires a small quantity, that is so true. Such a beautiful fragrance! February 1, 2011 at 9:40am Reply

  • Victoria: I heard it from someone who works in fragrance distribution. However, I think that it only means that the retail chains where Lalique was distributed may not have it. Boutique like Aedes still would. To me, it is much more of a niche scent anyway.
    I love Encre Noire too, and while I bought it for my husband, I ended up wearing it myself instead. 🙂 I love its strong, original character. February 1, 2011 at 9:44am Reply

  • Victoria: Natalia, wow, what a fantastic collection of bargains and interesting discoveries. I love Ruban d'Orange too, but recently when I was at L'Occitane, I did not see it there anymore. In general, their stock confounds me, as every store seems to have different fragrance merchandise available. Some carry Green Tea, others claim that it is discontinued.
    I also miss their pomanders and solid room perfumes (available only in Europe and sometimes the US around holidays.) February 1, 2011 at 9:48am Reply

  • Adriana: I ran out and bought MAC’s Naked Honey on your recommendation. Learning that it was a limited edition, I then ran out again and bought Africanimal (which I ended up loving and sometimes layer with Naked Honey). A few weeks later both were sold out. Total purchase cost: $50. Since I mostly rely on samples, this still feels like a splurge. But no regrets! In fact, when I need to feel a bit of summer to temper NYC’s chill, a little Naked Honey goes a long way. February 1, 2011 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am so glad that you liked these fragrances! For me too, Naked Honey is an instant spring in the bottle. They were sold out very quickly around here too. I only managed to get one bottle, and when I went back to buy more for a friend, the MA counter was sold out. February 1, 2011 at 5:16pm Reply

  • Natalia: L’Occitane had a 50% sale a couple of weeks ago on things they are discontinuing… among them the Ruban. you should check their website (or sign up for news), they have nice sales once in a while! February 1, 2011 at 10:14pm Reply

  • Natalia: speaking of Honey, there is still “last chance” Miel & Citron on L’Occitane site. sorry for the offtopic. i wish i could try MAC. sounds very interesting. February 1, 2011 at 10:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: Natalia, you are a gem! Thank you very much. Some bargain online shopping is a perfect way to spend a morning on a cold, rainy day. 😉 February 2, 2011 at 9:16am Reply

  • Victoria: This is right on our topic, thank you! 🙂 I love the whole Miel & Citron range. Their scented lotion is one of the few I use. February 2, 2011 at 9:17am Reply

  • Flora: I get most of mine from discounters or the ‘Bay these days, but one line that is reasonably priced to start with is Pacifica – I love their French Lilac and quite a few others.

    I also comb the thrift stores in my area – best score yet was a 50 ml FB of Rance Josephine for $6.99. 🙂 February 2, 2011 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Victoria:  I have not tried Pacifica Lilac, but I will definitely try to look for a sample. They are very good fragrances for their prices. February 2, 2011 at 5:20pm Reply

  • Gentiana: Hello, thanks again for the interesting and instructive articles!
    My all-time bargain favorite is Silences – find it in 2012 by internet discounters for about 20 Euro/100ml. Another is Jacomo Perle de Silences – long time ago discontinued, bright floral, slightly green, only the base vaguely resembling to the basic Silences. It was the most complimented of my perfumes ever – I had it in 2002 for about 30 Euro/120ml – that one bottle lasted for ages, because, despite the EDT concentration, 2-3 normal sprays resulted a 5 feet sillage and the smell still was noticeable after one day.
    Other cheap goodies:
    Yves Rocher Iris Noir, Yves Rocher Monoi de Tahiti (richer, tarter cousin of Songes, good in cold, dry winter when Songes feels a bit metalic – works for me used together, not layered, but sprayed in different areas each), YR Rose, Crabtree&Evelyn Iris and the rose as well.
    One of the smells bring me tears in my eyes is that of a nourishing milk that my favorite aunt used. It was very nicely perfumed and the smell lasted pretty well half of day. Her hends caressing my head or her cheek when I kissed her had that wonderful smell. The product is called Lapte Doina, made in Romania since the ‘970-s. That time was one of the very few alternatives for womens skin care… You know what I mean.
    It still exists, it has still the same perfume and a good quality for quite no money (about 2 Euro for 200 ml). I still use it sometimes for my hands or body, feel like returning in time, but the smell now lasts no mor than about 2 hours – maybe the flavouring materials are thinned down, maybe my nose lost it’s childish sensitivity… But that still wonderfully works for me when I have no idea for what perfume to chose, or no mood for any of my perfumes, no mood for sample smelling, and I need to be rather low-key, to feel comfortable and …harmless :). It works miracles, as a kind of “herds’ smell” that makes me feel accepted in any society, because it is practically nobody in Romania who doesn’t know that smell. From her/ his early childhood 🙂 January 17, 2014 at 3:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Me too! I loved the smell of face milk that my aunt used, and I always look for something like it. It was so creamy, floral, with a subtle sweet note. Wish I could find something similar, since the milk itself has not been in production for years. January 17, 2014 at 8:30am Reply

  • Michaela: Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel (which I find irresistible when dabbed) and Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars. Both are easy to find online and really inexpensive. March 4, 2014 at 5:07am Reply

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