Cheap Cheerful Perfume: Best Bargain Buys

Hi there Posse, Cheap Cheerful Perfume is something we only rarely refer to in the scentbologgosphere. I keep thinking that for all the ridiculously over the top prices going on in the designer and niche markets there is an opposite side. Yeah, a bunch of stuff that has hit the discounters and become incredibly affordable. These fragrances have only suffered the indignity of being around for a couple of years, no change to most of their constitution and we can reap the benefits of the modern fragrance market if we look around.

Just so you know I’ve no affiliation with Fragrancenet but they seem to be an OK company who deliver worldwide reasonably.

Cheap Cheerful Perfume: Best Bargain Buys

Cheap Cheerful PerfumeFragrantica

Reem Accra EdP by Reem Accra

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, peach, orange blossom
Heart: Ginger, jasmine, lily of the valley, peony
Base: Amber, cedar, patchouli, musk

You like spicy, slightly fruity white florals with a softly sensual patchouli/amber base? Great lasting power and while being a radiant style still manages to give a hearty nod to vintage fragrance. The bottle is gorgeous and I’ll admit to having bought a back up when I saw the crazy Cheap Cheerful Perfume prices on discount. It must be clearing out for good. Solidly received when released in 2012 Reem Accra has fallen off everyones radar and can be bought $25/90ml at FragranceNet. I paid more than six times that for my original bottle.


Elle L’aime by Lolita Lempicka 2013

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, neroli, lime
Heart: Coconut, jasmine, ylang-ylang
Base: Sandalwood, vanilla, myrrh

Looking for your beachy summer fragrance? This is it. A creamy coconut and ylang concoction that warms down to a slightly woody vanilla. I love wearing Elle L’Aime and it has excellent presence. Plus, the bottle is beautiful. You will have a summer tropical holiday even from your work desk. Guaranteed to lift your spirits and give you a smile. At $22/75ml at FragranceNet it definitely fits the Cheap Cheerful Perfume category.


Calandra by Paco Rabanne 1969

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, aldehydes, green notes
Heart: White rose, pelargonium, hyacinth, lily of the valley, orris, jasmine
Base: Vetiver, musk, amber, sandalwood, oakmoss

Here is an older gem that I didn’t see for sale for ages and then suddenly it’s back. Though it is a slightly attenuated version of itself when it was brought back I think they managed to keep a very nice green floral and keep a good serve of the oakmossy base. This is another gorgeous bottle and though it was aimed at women I think it a very cool choice for the men. Definitely Cheap Cheerful Perfume for around $35/100ml at FragranceNet.

So if you bought ALL THREE of these today you’d be paying less than US$100. Isn’t that amazing?
OK, so what do you love that’s made it to the discounters for a fraction of the cost?
Portia xx




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  • Ann says:

    WHOO-HOO!!! Three cheers for the Reem Acra!! I loved the heck outta that stuff when it came out — and that bottle, too!! Thanks for the lovely reminder, dear!!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Ann,
      I think it might have been you who originally pushed me towards trying it. Thanks, I love Reem Acra!
      Portia xx

  • Kate E. says:

    I’ve had my eye on Elle L’aime for a while so this was just the nudge I needed to buy! I really love Lolita Lempicka for budget-friendly scents. I recently picked up Yosh Ginger Ciao on Hautelook and it has been getting a lot of love from me. I occasionally find Tokyo Milk scents at TJ Maxx but they’re very hit-or-miss for me. However, Bulletproof is my favorite coconut scent (probably my favorite scent from that line).

    • Portia says:

      Woo Hoo! Enjoy your Elle l’aims.
      I remember that sale and thought I’d purchased some YOSH but it hasn’t come yet.
      Portia xx

  • masha7 says:

    I found a couple of The Different Company ‘fumes for under $50 (Nuit Magnetique, the blueberry, and De Bachmakov, the cold one) on US ebay, and two of the LAP’s from the Explosions d’Emotion series by BD. That series got panned, but I really love Rappelle-Toi (the peppery gardenia) and Onde Sensuelle (the smutty grapefruit). For about $40USD, I say Yay! I’ve bought from Fragrancenet for almost a decade and only had a problem one time, which they dealt with immediately.

    • Portia says:

      Hi Masha7,
      Great finds online, congratulations. I particularly liked Skin on Skin from the Explosions d’Emotion line.
      Yeah, FragranceNet are pretty good.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen Smith says:

    I love your posts Portia, such fun! My cheap cheerful perfume that makes me so happy at a bargain price is Molinard Habanita. I know it’s the reformulated 2012 version and not the vintage; however, 2.5 oz fEDP or $31! it smells divine, and very similar to my beloved Roja Dove Enslaved for which I paid $350 for 1.7 oz parfum! I am going to go on and blind buy Reem Accra based on your review and my love of vintage! Thanks! xo

    • Portia says:

      Hey Kathleen,
      Thank you. Made my day.
      Habanita is HEAVEN! Great choice
      Good luck with Reem Accra, I hope you love it like I do.
      Portia xx

  • Suzy Q says:

    Coincidentally my SOTD is Calandre. I wore it almost exclusively back in the day. It still smells great in its current incarnation.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I haven’t been looking for a whole lot perfume wise. Estee Launder Pleasures falls into that category along with Clinique Happy. The last cheap and cheerful that I bought was the original Lolita Lempicka about a year ago.

  • Reem Acra is a nice one. I got my bottle in a gift set with lotion at Marshall’s for like $40 a year or two ago.

  • Nina Z says:

    Yes, I bought AA Lys Soleia–so beautiful!–for around $30.00 on Fragrancenet, including 30 discount coupon. That one is sold out now but I just checked and there are several others available with a current 20 percent off coupon: Herba Fresca is right now $37 and I’ve been tempted to blind buy it since I’m such a Guerlain freak, however, I am resisting mightily.

    • Portia says:

      Hi NinaZ,
      Lys Soleia is one of my favourite fragrances. Great choice.
      The AA line in general floats my boat but nothing is as good as Lys Soleia for me.
      Portia xx

  • Becky says:

    The (recently produced) Aqua Allegoria can be found on discount sites for around $20 for 75 ml. I paid 3x times that for Flora Nymphea when it was still in Sephora, but I bought Pamplelune this summer, and I am still tempted by Limon Verde (a pretty dog/lime).

  • Gina says:

    Perfumers Workshop Tea Rose. Jessica McClintock. Madonna Truth or Dare. All Yosh!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Gina,
      Great line up of cheapie. Madonna Truth or Dare is getting harder to find, I’ve stockpiled.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    Last I checked you can also get Encre Noir and Natori for $20-$30 on Fragrancenet. I just bought my husband another bottle of Joop! For $15.50. Can’t beat that with a stick.

  • Hi Portia,

    Gonna admit something here – I bought, and really like, Michael Buble’s scent. Totally not what I’d have dreamed I’d ever wear, but does the sweet thing quite well. Not bad at $20 for 30ml.

    Another cheap beauty is Karl Lagerfeld’s Karl Lagerfeld. I got 25 ml for a stupid price – under $30. A tad soft, so requires more sprays, but a lovely change from most celebrity sorts.

    Kate 🙂

    • Portia says:

      Hey Kate,
      I loved Michael Buble’s scent. Smelled like a very good Guerlain knock off to me. I bought one and wore it for a while then gave it to a girlfriend who loves it.
      Portia xx

  • shiva-woman says:

    I actually just purchased Elle L’aime three weeks ago because I was hunting for and craving beachy! It’s not quite as coconut as I’d like but it’s fun. I use a body spray $3.00 coconut base and it gets me there. It was a definite bargain.
    I’m looking up the Reem now. I’ve a whole bunch of niche (and I’m saving up for more), and am an addict over at STC, but I’m getting sick of the prices and sizes. 15 ml or 30 ml (ok 30!) Instead of 100 or 200! And drop it down a bit. It irritates more when it’s mostly synthetics and cheap to make for some indie/niche.
    So I’ve returned several times to the vintage and yester-year bins and am finding some real beauties! Plus, I like the quirky Lolita Lempicka brand.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Shiva-woman,
      Yes, 100% with you.
      Lolita Lempicka is a cool brand, love how they areas playful and yet manage to do really delicious fragrance at a modest price.
      Portia xx