Cheap and chic Monday

cheap honeysuckleAh, Monday, Monday. After a week of spending lots of $$$, including never-ending plumbing woes and a wonky garage door (man, when one of those big springs breaks, you’d think someone shot off a gun!), plus new brakes for my car not too long ago, I’ll now be singing the budget blues with the best of them. So cheap, yet chic, scents were definitely on my radar this weekend, and probably will be for a while.

So off I went to pull out the Calyx, the L’Occitanes, the Kai, the Aerin Lauders (especially Mediterranean Honeysuckle) and the Guerlain Aqua Allegorias (I’m partial to Mandarine Basilic and Lys Soleia) and some other good stuff. It’s still a little too warm grab the Le Couvent des Minimes Eau des Mission Cologne, but if this budget funk continues into the fall, well, I’ll be snapping that up, too.

I want nothing to do with anything that costs big money, screams money, or even smells like it costs a bundle, ha! I’m ignoring my little stash of Roja Doves, Amouages, Le Labo City Exclusives, and Clive Christian for the time being. I want yummy, uplifting, fun scents that err on the cheap -ish side that I can spray with abandon and not feel pinched about it.

So what about you? What do you go for when you want a cheap (maybe cheerful), and chic scent? Or when the budget blues come calling? Or what are some other good affordable scents that I need to try? (Not right now, of course, since I’m watching my wallet like a hawk, but maybe once the pursestrings loosen up a bit.)

  • Maureen says:

    One of my favorite cheap thrills is Vanille Noir & Neroli by Yves Rocher. I also like Sanderling, almost a dupe for Coco Mademoiselle, but without the patchouli. Silences, just dabbed on wrists. Body Shop White Musk occasionally. BBW Black Amethyst, discontinued, but really nice in the winter, and, of course, this one lasts forever…..why is it that the cheapies seem to last longer than my absolute favorites, mostly Chanels, which are $$$$???

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Maureen! Those all sound so good, especially the Yves Rocher ones (I had a little bottle of the VN around here somewhere), and oh,the Silences! Haven’t sniffed that in ages! Must go digging about for my little bit of it again. And yes, the longevity issue doesn’t seem fair, does it?

  • Amateur Dilettante says:

    my favorite cheap thrill is Azuree – not only was it about $12 for the bottle, 1/2 of a spray is more than enough!
    Dune is my second – half price at my local walgreens, their last unloved bottle and they wanted it gone.
    I also got Bvlgari black and Jacomo Silences cheap. Ya know, those also came from Walgreens, but online, not store.
    otherwise I also live off samples and decants.

    • Ann says:

      Wow — you made out like a bandit with all that! Didn’t realize that all those scents were online at Walgreen’s, who’d a thunk it? And yay for another sample/decant goddess!

  • Musette says:

    My cheap love is Fresh Lemon Sugar. At $22 it’s the perfect chic cheapie. xoxox

    • Ann says:

      Darling! You are making my mouth water with the mention of that dee-lish beauty. Not sure if Ulta has it, but if not, I’m hitting up Sephora ASAP. Hugs …

  • Marie says:

    My favourite cheap thrills are the ones that are widely available (in stores and online): NR For Her, Prada Infusion d’Iris, Hermes Eau des Merveilles, etc. I actually find these cheap choices more and more satisfying, now that most new niche perfumes come with a price tag that is close to my monthly rent.

    • Ann says:

      Isn’t that the truth, Marie! It’s just gotten waay out of control. Guess that’s why I’m a FB-phobe and just make do with samples and small decants. Glad to see another NR and Prada fan, too!

  • monkeytoe says:

    The Lolita Lempicka’s can be had for a song. I am wearing au Masculin right now! I like quite a few of the Pacifica’s for cheap and cheerful, especially Lotus Garden (Jardin sur le Nil adjacent), Malibu Lemon Blossom, and Tibetan Mountain Temple.

  • SamanthaL says:

    I’m definitely with you on going with the inexpensive choices, Ann! I’m getting married in November and I’m counting every penny!! I really like Marine Sel by Tokyomilk, but I’m pretty sure it’s been discontinued.

    • Ann says:

      How wonderful, Samantha — congratulations!! Wishing I could send you a boatload of that Tokyomilk as a wedding present. 🙂 Fingers crossed that you can get a bit more to tide you over. Have you decided yet on your wedding day scent?

  • rosarita313 says:

    Just wanted to commiserate about the bills Ann, I’m in the same boat. Shopping my collection right now and looking forward to heading to Ulta to sample SJP Stash which is getting some good reviews and there’s a rollerball available too 😉

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, sweetie! You hang in there, too. And so glad you mentioned that SJP — we have a new Ulta near me and so I need to get in there ASAP.

  • Portia says:

    Heya Ann,
    Yes, the bills KEEP piling up lately. It’s as if they all want to get in before Xmas.
    Cheapies in arms reach right now include Vanille Noire by Yves Rocher, Lovely by SJP and Lolita Lempicka original.
    Love them all,
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! You are spot-on about all the bills trying to squeeze in before the holidays. But you really don’t want plumbing issues on Christmas, now do you, ha. So let’s just get it all out of the way now. Lovely cheap choices there, BTW.

    • Musette says:

      those Yves Rochers are nice!


  • Koyel says:

    And Yves Rocher!

    • Ann says:

      What nice lines — I had forgotten about them, but remember loving several in each. Not familiar with the Berdoues, so will have to investigate.

  • Koyel says:

    The Fragonards and Molinards are nice and cheap 🙂 as are Roger et Gallet and most of the Berdoues!

  • TaffyJ says:

    I thought the Des Filles a la Vanille line was discontinued? Maybe not, just difficult to find a couple of them?

    My suggestion is Dame Perfumery. There is not a bad one in the bunch. My favorites are: Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, Dark Horse and Mate, Heliotrope & Patchouli. Jeffrey Dame has ample trial sizes of all the scents and he is very generous with samples.

    Not affiliated, but enjoy the house!

    • rosarita313 says:

      Dame perfumery is my suggestion too. The trial sizes are 5ml sprays for $10 each which is a real bargain and Jeffrey Dame just seems like a class act all around. Taffyj named some of my favorites and I also really like New Musk, it’s great on it’s own or layered with just about anything. Lots of free samples.

      • Gwenyth says:

        Another vote for Dame Perfumery! There are so many wonderful choices that there should be something appealing for most folks.
        Well-Made. Interesting. Beautiful. Reasonably priced. What’s not to love?

      • That Dame Gardenia Soliflore is one of the best I’ve ever come across! Also love the Orange Flower Soliflore. Gorgeous!!

        • Ann says:

          Wow, so much love for Dame from you guys! Where have I been — under a rock? that I have not tried this line? And a great gardenia, too — sign me up!

          • Lisa D says:

            I’m a little late to the party, but wanted to chime in with my own positive comments about Dame Perfumery, and Jeffrey Dame. I really like the Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, and like others here, have had lovely interactions with Jeffrey while investigating the Dame Perfumery scents. The trial sizes are a great combination of large volume and affordable price.

          • Ann says:

            Hey, Lisa — lovely to see you! Thanks for adding your rec about Dame fragrances. I just found a sample of that vanilla so will be trying it shortly, plus looking into getting others of his scents.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I like most of the scents from Des Filles a la Vanille, which are inexpensive but smell a little more sophisticated than American mass-market. I have bought a number of them blind and there has only been one that I didn’t like.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, that is a great line! I remember going through a huge vanilla phase and those were so nice. Thanks for the reminder.

  • HeidiC says:

    Favorite cheap frags right now are Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine and Ivoire de Balmain (super cheap on FragranceNet). I’ll have to check out the Prada Infusion d’Iris!

    • Ann says:

      Heidi, now you’ve got me jonesing for some of that great Orange Sanguine! Haven’t worn the Balmain in ages, but need to revisit it now.

  • Caroline says:

    The Comptoir Sud Pacifiques fit the bill…love Pamplemousse. 30 ml sizes are $36 on Beautyhabit–absolutely cheap & cheerful, plus the packaging’s a bit nicer than some of the other bargains out there!

    • Ann says:

      Yes, Caroline! I’d forgotten about that nice line. And didn’t realize it had 30ml sizes, and at such a good price, too. Yay!

  • Most of what you listed, plus the Tauer Flash series and mostly Guerlain Shali Souffle or Cologne Du 68 (which sadly just got dc’d with so many others) -Robert H.

    • Ann says:

      Nice choices Robert. But so sorry to hear about the discontinuations. I remember really liking the 68 🙁

  • Tara C says:

    My favorite cheapies are the Prada Infusion d’Iris edt and Absolue versions, Nirvana Black, Aerin Lilac Path, Kai, Kenzo Amour, and Natori. I love cruising Fragrancenet and Beautyspin for bargains when I want something new but don’t want to spend a lot of cash.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Tara! You hit on several more of my faves that I forgot about, esp. that Prada. A dear perfumista pal of mine sent me a generous decant of it and it really is so nice. I’ve poked around Fragrancenet but haven’t explored Beautyspin, so must do that. Thanks!