Cheap thrills Monday and happy MLK Day

cheap thrillsHappy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to all!
Now, I don’t know about you, but now that we’re in the post-holiday trough, I’m loathe to spend much money, so any cheap thrills right now are welcome. And I happened upon several lately to share with you.

First off, last week as I zipped into the health food store to make a purchase, I spied a rack of bottles near the checkout counter. All-natural perfume oils, according to the sign (although I didn’t catch the brand name). And there in the front row sat a lineup of testers. Well, how could I resist? There were about eight choices, several of which were generic musks and vanillas, so I opted for Chinese Rain on one hand and Sandalwood on the other. The CR turned out to be little more than a glorified lily of the valley – nice enough, but hardly inspired. The Sandalwood, however, wound up being slightly more intriguing. Not really exactly sandalwood smelling, exactly, but it had a warm, softly woody, almost-gourmand aura to it that kept wafting up to my nose. Even my son noticed and asked, “Mom, what smells so good?” It reminded me a little of something else that I’ve smelled somewhere, but for the life of me I couldn’t recall what. Now it’s got me thinking about it a lot, and it’s too late to go back to get it as the store is now closed. Not too bad for a $7 (or was it $9?) bottle of oil, eh?

cheap thrills 2 Here are several more cheap thrills, not quite so inexpensive, but still not too bad.

When my order of the Thymes Frasier Fir goodies came in recently, tucked inside were several sample packets of body lotion. Now I don’t usually think of this company in terms of body products, but more for home scents, candles, diffusers, etc.

I enjoy jasmine, so I tucked straight-away into the Temple Tree packet. This pleasing lotion had a sweetish, bright sparkling ribbon of jasmine which I liked. It would work well with most of my jasmines, but seemed especially suited for Dior’s Grand Bal.

Next up, Kimono Rose, is a soft, innocuous sort of floral scent (I once had it in a rollerball) and the lotion seems like a good, all-purpose one that will perfume you gently for a while and then softly fade out of the picture. Not sure what scents this might work well with as the rose isn’t super-prominent on my skin, but it’s light enough that I doubt it would clash drastically with anything.

The third sample, Lotus Santal, reminded me of Angel right out of the gate. Not quite as overpowering, but the cocoa and the patchouli combo were similar. It’s not a dead ringer for the Thierry Mugler, but if you’re looking for a less expensive body product to wear with Angel, this might be worth a try. Or if you like Angel but it’s just too much, here’s a creamy echo of it.

Each of these is $25 for 9.25 fl. oz. (270 mls.) of body lotion. They also offer hand creams, hand lotions and shower/bath gels for slightly less.

The company sells a collection of cheap thrills via its sampler pack which looks nice and would be a great way to try all the fragrances. And the little packets would make nice tuck-ins into birthday cards and such.

I am not affiliated in any way with the company, just a big fan of their Frasier Fir home products, as I know are many of you. And now I’m just starting to explore and appreciate their other offerings.

So do share with me, what are your favorite not-so-spendy items that you’re enjoying now?

50 Comments
poodle January 21, 2014

For my cheap thrill I hit the clearance areas at TJ Maxx but this year I've resolved to use up some of the stuff I've already got instead of buying more. I'm sure that won't hold true for perfume but for lotions and creams and shower gels and soaps and...the list goes on and on...well, I'm going to try to behave.

Brooke January 20, 2014

well, my mom bought me halston perfume for my birthday. why, i can't even pretend to know. "i know you like perfume..." but if i had known she'd be shopping for it at walgreens, i would have directed her to sand and sable :D

eldarwen22 January 20, 2014

Right now, my 'cheap thrill' is minis (especially vintage). My bill from Christmas will be paid off this month. The past 4 years, I've split my Christmas shopping into 2 months so it's not heart attack inducing.

Ron Slomowicz - Notable Scents January 20, 2014

My favorite cheap thrill is Body Shop Chocomania - wrote it up here http://notablescents.net/2014/01/06/body-shop-chocomania-fragrance-review-mainstream-monday/ - Under $15 for a really good and lasting chocolate scent. Surprisingly good quality and longevity.

thegoddessrena January 20, 2014

My current favorite cheap thrill is Seattle Chocolate from Olympic Orchids--there's something about that weird fir and chocolate combo that works really well this time of year. Of course, my favorite cheap thrill is to go to a store and sample things, even better if I can get free samples to take home. Free is good.

Sherri January 20, 2014

Love all these cheap thrill suggestions. I just stocked up on Lady Primrose bath products. NM Last call has a promo where you get an additional 50% off one item, so a crystal shaker of Tryst was only $18.50. They also have 4 ozs. of Tryst (green floral) or Royal Extract (orange blossom and honey) edp with a crystal bottle which, with the promo would come out to about $37.50! (They make two other scents, which I'm not super-fond of: Tryst Kiss (in pink, if you like grapefruit) and Tryst Noir (I thought this would be a deeper, richer Tryst for evenings, but it is an altogether different animal, very heavy, but at these prices, hey, I've tried worse!) I also noticed our T.J. Maxx had alot of Pacifica hand creams (I like the French Lilac, the vanilla and coconut, in moderation) for $1.99!

Portia January 20, 2014

Love the Budget Beauties!! Thanks Ann Portia xx

Madeline January 20, 2014

One thing I love to do in the cold months when I'm trying to watch my dollar, is make homemade applesauce. I choose cosmetically challenged apples (3 big beauties for a buck), add cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice...each ingredient smells so beautiful. I try to make a batch (with my trusty crockpot) right around 3pm, when the sunlight is coming through the kitchen and spilling over the counter tops. Nothing beats great lighting.The best part is that I only add a tiny bit of organic apple juice and maybe a few prunes if I want to add some depth and a little richness. No sweetener needed. Wait, that's not the best part! That would be the way the entire house smells after 8hrs on low heat. There's something kind of wonderful about slowing down time like this.

FeralJasmine January 20, 2014

My favorite cheap thrill recently is a bottle of True Gardenia that I got from The Fragrance Shop in New Orleans. Mostly they do duplicates of commercial fragrances, but they gave a few of their own, and this one has enough of the fungal undertone to smell real. Not that it replaces my favorite gardenia, but it's inexpensive and pretty good, which goes a long way in the month after Christmas. Hope that you and yours are all well, Ann, and happy January!

Tiara January 20, 2014

While sorting through samples to give to my nieces, I was stunned by just how much perfume I have. Like others, I will be dead before it can all be worn. My cheap thrill is to grab something out of the drawer and wear it whether it's a sample, a mini or a full bottle. Some days I smell great, other days not so much but it's cheap!

Jackie b January 20, 2014

I have never seen the Thymes brand, but my budget loves it already! My current cheap thrill is Mor Marshmallow hand cream, and they make a whole range of products. It has sugar rose, carnation, musk and other notes, but to me it smells like the musk stick sweets we get here!

Edward January 20, 2014

A cheap thrill I've had lately is saving! I recently got my bank's app for my phone and it has this feature where you simply choose how much cash you want to add to your savings account and press a button, and you get a message like "It's good to have an emergency fund, you just added $77 to your savings account" and I just feel so good doing it, like I'm really looking out for my future self, l o l !!! I have been making hot cocoa from scratch too, just add cocoa to milk, heat it up in a pan, add sugar, and stir! It's a cheap thrill cause I already have it all in the pantry, and so good these cold days.

Tara January 20, 2014

Okay, cheap thrills for me lately are the Badger Balms - mint, lavender, ginger. I am also attempting to reduce the ridiculous amount of unused decants I have lyingg around - put the whole box out on my dresser and am going to make an effort to get through them.

spiker January 19, 2014

Hi Ann! Thank you so much for the budget friendly suggestions. I've got a birthday coming up, but I'm still smarting from Christmas. These seem like a nice treat without overdoing it. The Amouage, etc. will just have to wait till my ship comes in.