High Street Fragrance Shopping:The Thrill Of The Chase


Great perfumes may be more accessible than you think. Niche is nice work if you can get it, but sometimes you want instant gratification ( and testers!) and that’s where your local High Streets and Retail Parks come in handy. Without a doubt,  the fragrance market is half drowned in  mainstream celeb-tastic fruity florals and foodie florals, but if you look carefully, you might just strike Gold (and I do not mean Paco Rabanne 1 Million *shudder*).

Argos is currently selling an excellent mini set of perfumes that contains Rumeur, Arpege, First, Paul Smith Extreme and C’est la Fete. You might now see why I have reviewed all five. They come in 5 ml mini bottles and I was excited to see at least three good quality names in there. This does not happen very often.  Mini sets usually have Anais Anais, a Ted Baker, and two others of no consequence.  Contents may vary slightly. Get it while its hot. Or before I buy them all, whichever is quicker.

Meanwhile, in Bodycare, you can buy a 100ml bottle of Grès Cabochard for a mere £8.99, (instore only) which often retails at twice that price even on eBay. Buy it if you like classic leather notes.  Superdrug usually has a range of fragrance special offers, plus lots of lovely testers, so pop in if you’re passing.  I’ve picked up several bargains there in the past, including Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Revitalize for ten quid.

I often pop into my local Perfume Shop and although there prices are not competitive, every now and then they have a bargain box to rummage through and there are random bargains to be had if you get lucky.

Don’t overlook your local Boots either:  the old time classics such as Tweed and Coty L’Aimant can be had for a song.

These are for UK stores only, but if you hear of any other bargains anywhere, I am all ears.


2 thoughts on “High Street Fragrance Shopping:The Thrill Of The Chase”

  1. Try big Woolworth-type shops, too!
    In Wilkinsons we had a perfume counter and there were some stunning offers on there. Plus, it’s a great place to find odd little discontinued things. Davidoff Zino and Silver Shadow (both men’s frags) under 20 quid each. And a 75ml bottle of Shalimar edt for £35? It’s well worth checking out.

    And have you seen the range of fragrances on sale at Marks and Spencer nowadays? They’ve got some really good brands exclusive to them. And Lyn Harris of Miller Harris (my joint favourite perfumer!) has a range of specially-created perfumes for 25 knicker a pop!!!

    Of course, there is always the incredible TKMaxx. I have been known to find rare and wondrous delights in there. And did you check out the sale section in The Perfume Shop? There were a few little gems in those red boxes on the counter – I’ve found Guerlains and allsorts on sale before now.

    You also find that the Christmas gift sets go on sale in January and the prices get silly – half price sometimes – so they’re a great opportunity to snag a favourite.

    I have in the past been very guilty of ‘blind buying’ perfumes that I’ve read about and loved the description of. And then I’ve loathed them! So they’ve gone on sale in the Basenotes.net marketplace or on ebay. January and February are brilliant months to find bargain bottles on eBay, because people sell off the perfume they were given for Christmas or Valentine’s Day and detested. (Is it very horribly mean of me to know this?)

    Some perfume houses have sales too. Miller Harris’ sale just ended today – go leap on the website in the next couple of hours if you’re in need of a Noix de Tubereuse fix!!! (It’s very nice.)

    Finally, I tend to use the high street’s testers to try the perfumes I’m interested first, then buy later, often online from discounters.

  2. Yes, I’m all over eBay right now! Gift sets are rock bottom in Bodycare. I saw Elizabeth Arden True Love for 5.95 in Superdrug. I’ve also heard that Next fragrances are excellent and very reasonable indeed. TK Maxx had too much Paris Hilton last time but their stock changes constantly so I’m always having a look.

    I laughed when you said test in the shop and then buy cheaper online- I do that all the time. I try the stuff at the posh counters then go home and log into Cheap Smells or eBay!

    To me Niche is like making a major purchase. You study it, research it, buy a sample, save for it, and finally get your big bottle to treasure. High Street is for when you need cheering up within the hour!

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