Guilty pleasures (but not really)

I guess this title is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s just so easy. Perhaps I should have used “Cheap and chic” or “Cheap and cheerful” or something.

In any case, I’m a firm believer that you should wear what you love and what smells good to you, no matter the cost or brand. If it gives you pleasure, it ought not to induce guilt (unless you’ve used the grocery money for it and your family will starve). But I do think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in the latest expensive or niche brand offering that we forget about our simple pleasures (i.e. more affordable, accessible items).

One of mine is Kate Walsh Boyfriend body cream. I’m OK with the juice itself, but the cream — oh the cream!– it just sinks in and has this yummy, mellow vibe to it. I’ve found it’s especially nice in the evenings before bed. One of the kind SAs at Sephora made me a couple of sample jars and I’m nearly done with them. Am thinking about a full-size purchase (a rarity for me).

I also enjoy Marc Jacobs’ Bang. I initially got a deluxe sample or two for my DH, but as he doesn’t seem to use it much, I sneak a bit now and then, especially on a chilly day when its peppery warmth is most welcome. I’ve heard that this can now be found at the discounters, so all the better.

And I used to love putting some Jean Nate splash in a cheap spray bottle in the fridge for easy, cooling summer spritzing. Sure could go for some of that right now.

What simple, fragrant pleasures make you happy and don’t cost the earth?

47 Comments

  1. My simple scent pleasures are the Bath and Body Works’ Gardenia Lilly or Midnight Blooming Jasmine. Both are sadly discontinued and when they do pop up, they can cost what I would pay for a bottle of EL Pleasures. EL Pleasures is a wonderful cheapy.

    • Hi! Those both sound lovely — so sorry they’re hard to find. You’re so right; Pleasures is quite nice. I sniffed something the other day (can’t remember what it was) that reminded me a lot of it. Thank goodness EL rarely discontinues scents.

  2. In the summer I really like Florida Water. Like the Jean Nate, keep it in the fridge.

    • Oooh, I bet that’s good. I’ve never tried it (or even seen it sold anywhere), but it sounds great for hot weather. Thanks …

  3. I love the Pacifica scented body lotions, especially the gardenia; it’s nice and creamy, and I can get a small tube for my purse for five bucks.

    • The Pacificas are so nice, aren’t they? I’ve only tried a couple but really like them. The gardenia one sounds right up my alley, so I’ll definitely sniff it next time I’m in Sephora.

  4. I have a bottle of Skeem Dandelion Lilac that i got at Anthro a few years ago, under $20, that is my favorite lilac. I’m also fond of Suzanne Lang’s Vanilla Coconut and Johnson’s (original) Baby Lotion.

    • Hi, Sherri! I’ve never even heard of Skeem, so will definitely have to check it out as I love a good lilac too. Haven’t smelled Johnson’s in a while but do like the Suzanne Lang. In fact, I like several of her scents; you just don’t hear much about them, but it’s a nice line.

  5. The Gwen Stefani L body lotion is great and so cheap. We also use the Korres Japanese Rose body lotion, it makes a great base for any short lived fragrances that have rose in them.
    Arran Aromatics Bath Crystals are another cheapy used regularly, After The Rain I think ours are called.
    Great reminder post, Ima gunna get me some Boyfriend
    Portia xx

    • Hey, Portia, I remember thinking the GS L was nice but never tried the lotion. And the Korres line looks inviting — it’s looking like my next trip to Sephora will be busy! And Ima glad you’re gunna get you some Boyfriend; hope you like it.

  6. I’ve never purchased any, but every time I’ve ever mustered up the nerve to ask someone what they are wearing, they always say *Brittany Spears Midnight Fantasy.* Every single time. That is the only guilty pleasure concerning scent that I will confess to right now!

    • Hi, Marsha. Isn’t that always the way? I’ve not tried it either, but heard some good things about it. Just sneak a spritz next time you see a tester and let us know!

  7. I am a big fan of Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli body lotion. A gigantic bottle is about $12 and it lasts forever. It’s earthy and the scent lingers very close to the skin. Another favorite lotion is Nuance Rose Hip, from Salma Hayek’s Nuance line at CVS. It smells fresh and pretty, like actual roses, not synthetic at all.

    Ann, I’m a fan of Bang as well. I thought my husband would wear it but I’m doing most of the wearing. I found a bottle on ebay last year for under $20, shipped – let me know if you’d like some. The bottle is very cool looking but a bit off center and prone to topple; I have to store it all by itself so it doesn’t knock things over, then I forget about it.

    • Good to hear from you, sweetie — hope you’re doing well. Thank you so much for your kind offer of the Bang but I’m all set for now. I’ve not seen the Kiss My Face line around: Where have you found it? Or the Salma Hayek line at CVS, and I’ve been in there a lot lately. I was looking for a specific nail polish and scoured the cosmetics aisle pretty well, but must’ve missed it. That’s too funny about the Bang; a one-bottle wrecking crew!

      • Hi Ann – I’ve also had a hard time finding the Salma Hayek stuff at my CVS. They are all separately placed throughout the store (cosmetics, lotion/shower, facial skin care, hair stuff) and there are only a few of each type so easy to miss. I’ve used a few things and really like them.

  8. Neutrogena – Rain Bath and their light sesame body oil. Also Lush’s Silky Underwear body powder – at first, $10 for a small container of powder may seem like too much, but the pleasure it brings is worth every penny (I’d probably spend more – but don’t tell) 😉

    • Lauren, I love the Neutrogena goodies, too! And don’t worry — your secret’s safe with us! Thanks for stopping by …

    • Another Neutrogena Rainbath lover here as well!

  9. I also love Lush’s Silky Underwear Body Powder! And Bath and Body Works hadn soap in lavender and Warm Vanilla Sugar. Carol’s Daughter’s Be Loved Magnolia dry body oil is amazing as well – fresh and wonderful for my dry skin. Who says it has to be niche to be amazing!

    • Nice choices! I’ve only tried the BBW Warm Vanilla Sugar, but the others sound great to try. Thanks …

  10. Anais Anais, which can be found on sale for ca. $20, for retro enjoyment…

    • Thanks, Annie, that is a wonderful blast from the past! I used to wear it — and the beautiful bottle is a lovely plus, isn’t it?

  11. Hi sweet Ann! I loved Origins ‘Birthday Suit’ body oil spray- spearmint, neroli and lavender. It was gorgeous! I think it is now discontinued, naturally. CoverGirl’s Navy was a lovely orange blossom scent- what’s its like now I have no idea. Maybe I need my statewide friends pick up a tiny bottle for me. I also must admit to liking Giorgio Red in small doses! The shame. BBW’s Moonlight Path is nice as well and Id like to try some of their new stuff like Cocnut Lime Verbena gets some love on the blogs.

    Off topic it’s very hot here today (of course, by the time the Olympics start of Friday it’ll probably be raining) and I am loving my Dzonghka decant. So so gorgeous!

    • Howdy, Ms. M! I remember seeing Birthday Suit at the Origins counter — now I wish I’d stopped and taken the time to try it. Keep your eyes pealed on eBay, maybe? I’ll keep an eye out here. I never tried the Navy, but if I ever do see it I’ll give it a go. Hope your heatwave breaks and you have nice weather for the Olympics!

  12. Another Pacifica fan here, especially the solids. My favorites are Tibetan Mountain Temple and Lotus Garden. I also love Fresh Brown Sugar and Ed Hardy Love & Luck.

    • Hi, Julie. A friend sent me a few of those — they are so nice, aren’t they (and affordable, too). I want to try the gardenia and an orange? one next time I’m in Sephora.

      • My Sephora only carries a few of the full line, maybe 6. But Whole Foods has almost all of them, at least the one closest to me does, so that would also be a good place to try if you have one close to you.

        • Thanks, Julie. I live out in the boonies, perfumewise, so the Sephora is about as close as Whole Foods, so when I go into “the big city” I’ll look at both.

  13. Oh, honey – my list is soooo long! Here are just a few:

    Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Oil soap (the original, in the freaky-writing bottle)
    Jean Nate – I splash it on apres-shower, while still in the shower, though. Give a .04 second rinse to get it slicked all over (and get some of it off) – be careful getting out of the shower – it’s slickery!
    Aveeno Stress Relief lotion (lavender and chamomile – they say ylang-ylang, too – but they lie)
    Neutrogena Sesame Oil – isn’t that a lovely scent?
    Perlier Miele hand cream. Best honey scent!

    xo :Devil:

    • Hey sweetie, thanks for sharing — they all sound good. I really like the Aveeno SPF calming lotion and some of their other products, too. BTW, where are you finding the Jean Nate these days? I kind of look around when I’m in drugstores, Target, etc., but have yet to spot any. Maybe I need new glasses, ha!

  14. Jean Nate–totally. Grew up with it and love it still.

    Another cheep thrill for me, as others have said, are fragrances from Pacifica. Many of them are too sweet for my tastes, but a few really hit the spot. Tho they’re not long lasting, at that price point I don’t mind sitting the bottle down on my desk as I work and re-spraying with abandon as needed.

    Scents from A Wing and a Prayer (on etsy) serve a similar purpose. They last about 7 seconds on my skin, so they go quickly, which actually ups the price point when you think about it. But what’s fun about their perfumes is the variety. You can get small spray bottles through their sampling program for relatively little and then spray, spray, spray all day. (You kinda have to, since the scents don’t last. But it’s fun while they do.)

    • Those are great cheap thrills! I’ve heard of the etsy one but not tried any from them, except maybe a patchouli one someone sent me. BTW, since you’ve been across the Pond, have you found any quintessentially British cheap thrills?

  15. Pacifica fan here; my favorites are Spanish Amber, which lasts all day on me & smells like freshly saddle-soaped leather, and Tunisian Jasmine, very lovely and tea-like. My favorite going-to-bed scent is Auric Blends Amber. It’s a nice herbal amber & reminds me of Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan. Another cheapie is Avon Timeless: perfume, cream, & powder. Also Maja by Myrurgia , but the powder is much nicer than the perfume.

    • Hi, Julie. Wow — a lot of Pacifica fans weighing in! The ambers and jasmine sound especially nice, and so great that one reminds you of a Serge — extra cool! Haven’t smelled Timeless or the Maja in ages though; wasn’t sure they were still being made.

    • I’m a Maja fan, too; if the powder is better than the perfume, I must try it! I also have a guilty love of Avon’s perfumed skin creme and talc combos. They’re so cheap you can’t afford not to try them. In addition to Timeless, I like Imari and Haiku. I just wish they’d bring back the 1970s edition of Moonwind, too.

      • Ooh, I remember Moonwind, and I recall liking Imari back in the day. They still make those, you say? I’ve lost my old Avon person and need to find another one, I guess. Thanks!

  16. One of my favorite cheap thrills is straight up coconut oil – I’m a fool for coconut, and a good quality coconut oil has a wondrous scent.

    • Mmmm, Lisa, that sounds just yummy! Gotta get me some of that ASAP …

  17. i enjoy sharing my husband’s old spice. it’s cheap and smells good! plus, my husband has had a chronic ugly rash that erupts in the hot weather, and when he sprinkles old spice on it, it disappears, so it’s actually therapeutic!

    • Hi, there! Now that’s a sign of a great product when you both can wear it AND it helps with skin upsets — definitely a keeper!

  18. I really like Philosophy amazing Grace Shower Gel. I’m not a fan of the lotions at all, but I do like the perfume spray too… But the shower gel is divine.

    • I agree, some nice things in Philosophy. Haven’t tried the shower gel yet, but I’m headed to Sephora soon, so will see about sampling it there. Thanks!

  19. I just bought some Jergens body lotion, and I really like the smell. I think because I have used unscented products for so long I forgot some lotions can be a simple pleasure for the nose. It is rounding out APOM pour Femme very nicely. I have been wearing my sample and don’t really like it even if I am a big Francis K. fan, but with Jergens it gets a nice somewhat foody/almondy base. The heat is bringing out every bit of scents, I love it!

    • Carla, thanks for sharing. I forgot about that almondy scent of Jergens, and how cool that it’s working so nicely with the MFK. I’m not crazy about this summer’s oppressive heat, but you’re right — scents really bloom in it. So guess I should just spray and enjoy …

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