Good Perfumes Under Ten Pounds: Is it Possible?


Today will be post number One Hundred on IScentYouADay.  I would like to thank my readers, followers and commenters from all over the world (there’s a little World Map on my Dashboard, I can see what countries are tuning in!). It has given me genuine cheer to know that you are there. I wonder if you would indulge me then, by allowing me to go slightly off tangent today? In the interests of inclusiveness, I want to write about my frugal finds. When the Money Tree is tightly budded, is it still possible to smell good, or great even?

Back in my twenties, I had a huge perfume habit, but once I settled on Chanel Cristalle, I pretty much stayed loyal to it until three years ago. It was during  a period of penury that, ironically, my perfume obsession came to the fore again. Realising that Cristalle was out of my league, I began to explore other, less expensive options. Three years later and I blush at the number of inexpensive bottles on my dressing table (and lucky me, I had a bottle of Cristalle for my birthday this year).

The things is, perfume needn’t be expensive. There are many ways in which you can dabble without having to smash your piggy bank. Ebay has a vast range of sellers who are disappointed with their birthday present or their blind buy, and eager to sell their brand new bottle that has maybe been sprayed once or twice. This is where you swoop in and buy a favourite for a song. I have bought several used bottles on eBay and never once had a problem with authenticity. In fact, when I have been disappointed with a blind buy, I re-list it and very often make my money back.

Alternatively, you can buy decants and smaller bottles of niche scents from eBay or even  by trawling  sites  such as Basenotes or Fragrantica for like minded perfume junkies who may want to swap something or sell you 10mls of a Serge Lutens.

Then of course, there are cheap perfumes. There are certainly good ones out there as I found out when big budget perfumes were out of my reach. I have had many a cheap perfume for under ten pounds and have indeed also had some howlers during my scented voyage. It pays to buy online from sites such as or Amazon. Buying from the High Street means paying a premium for rent, rates, staffing costs, heating etc. Believe me, I’ve shopped around. Even High Street fragrance Sales are often terrible value compared to online prices.

I have made a list below of ten perfumes under ten pounds (at the moment!) that I consider to be a good bet. I have listed a variety too, rather than one single genre. Many of these have already been listed and reviewed on my site, although  I cannot give you the links as my computer really doesn’t like it when I link to my site on my site. I guess it disapproves of Narcissism. In fact there are only three fragrances below that I have yet to review (Yardley Lavender, Little Black Dress and Green Tea), and they will be along soon. All the others can be found earlier on in my site.

I hope this list gives you hope that when all’s spent, there might, just might, be enough in the kitty to buy yourself something pretty.

  1. Dana Tabu– Spicy, Oriental; A classic.
  2. JLo Deseo, Tropical notes and White Flowers. Stock up for summer. Gorgeous  jewel like bottle.
  3. Gres Cabotine,  A Zingy Green, perfect for Summer. NB This is the original with the green lid, not one of the many flankers.
  4. Coty L’Aimant Fleur de Rose, Floral, Rose. A Baby Powder Floral. Currently £7.45 for a gift set containing a 30ml EDT on Amazon. Stock up, it’s discontinued but still around.
  5. Avon Little Black Dress– Floral. Just bought a half price bottle for £6.50 from this month’s Avon brochure. Although it’s usually £13.00, there are almost always offers on such as buy one, get one half price, or buy one, get a second for £2.
  6. Cabochard–  A classic Leather. Currently £8.99 for 100ml in my local Bodycare shop.
  7. Ambre de Cabochard– Oriental Amber: Recently spotted in Savers Chemist and online on Amazon. I’m on my second bottle.
  8. Body Shop White Musk– Musk. A small 15ml bottle is currently £7.00 in my local store,  and a large 30ml bottle is £11 instore. The oil goes much further than the spray. One 30ml bottle of oil lasts me a year!
  9. Yardley Lavender– Lavender: Good alone or in layers. I just bought 50ml in Boots for £9.99
  10. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea: a refreshing summer classic. I don’t like Green Tea personally, but I have to admit that this is done very well and for an excellent price. Currently under 10GBP, but prices change often.

Do you agree or disagree with the list above? Do let me know your perfume bargains and discoveries. I would love to hear about them.

17 thoughts on “Good Perfumes Under Ten Pounds: Is it Possible?”

  1. Thanks for the tip Lorraine, I’m always on the lookout for new bargains 🙂

    My best eBay buy was a full bottle of Gres Cabotine (100ml) for £6.50. I also got a full bottle of LouLou for £7.50 which included loads of samples and mini bottles too.

    On the howler front, I bought a bottle of Elizabeth Taylor Diamonds and Rubies for £3.40 and lived to regret it. It was re-listed within 12 hours of receiving it!

    1. Just to prove what can come along now and again… the Dandy recently scored about 40mls remaining in a vintage bottle of Diorella for less that your £10 ceiling including postage and packaging.

      Really, it pays to keep an eye out!

      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      1. Dear Mr Dandy

        eBay is so wonderful for treasure. I must say that sounds like an excellent heist my friend! 40ml for less than £10? and vintage? I take my hat off to you.

        Your friend

      2. Dearest Iscent
        It;s all a question of luck and patience I guess… a wonderful old Alliage (which Lauder have now done something strange to and suddenly started packaging up like Private Collection) came today… I’ve skipped Spring and gone straight to Summer for under £15.
        All hail ebay says I.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      3. Dear Mr Dandy,

        You can easily be forgiven for skipping Spring since I do believe Spring took place last Tuesday afternoon. eBay is particularly good for old perfume that the seller dislikes and hasn’t researched. That’s our prey. It is then that we swoop!

        Your friend

  2. Congratulations on your Century, or should that be Scentuary? (Sorry. You know I can’t help myself when a pun is on offer.)

    I so wholeheartedly agree with you about the availability of good cheap scents. Ebay is such a good hunting ground, as are the discounters and then there are odd little places like (here in the UK) Argos, where you’ve had some bargains, and Wilkinson’s, where I saw Davidoff Zino for £12! Websites are your friend when seeking bargains. But always check the shipping costs and whether there’s a ‘collect from your local store’ option. 😉

    Some of my fave bargains are old school classics like Blue Grass and Je Reviens. They are so much classier than I remember and I really like them. I especially love Blue Grass on hot summer days.

    And those Arabian perfume oils I tried recently were fantastic value! 2 quid!!?? Remarkable. The cost is definitely an element with some niche perfumers. Smell Bent in the US sells 5ml roll ons of their idiosyncratic perfumes for $15 ( (My beloved Ava Luxe is a bit more expensive at $25, which is £16. Oh the expense! 😉 ) And my last personal recommendation is Haus of Gloi – vegan (vegan!) bath products (the bubbling scrub is killer, I promise) and perfume oils are $2.50. Personally, I love Picaroon and Insalata Nocturna.

    Finally, check out Etsy! – there are so many handmade fragrance makers and sellers on there. I put ‘perfume oils’ into search and loads and loads of stuff came up.

    Last word of caution though: remember the ban on posting alcohol-based perfumes internationally – that’s why I’ve mentioned perfume OILS. Also, always check the shipping costs.

  3. Dearest Iscent

    A very happy and somewhat belated 100th!!

    You don’t look a day over….

    Lovely piece to celebrate with and one with which I wholeheartedly concur.

    Perfume is already one of life’s cheapest luxuries and when one can come by it for even less, then the joy is even more.

    More power to your elbow… here’s to the next 100 posts!

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy

      Thank you for your warm wishes, and also for your kind comments and input throughout my blog. Without them there is no dialogue, just me talking to myself! Thank you.

      Incidentally, I agree about it being an accessible luxury. Perfume goes with everything and remains unperturbed by age or size or stature.

      Your friend

  4. congrats on your 100th post!
    having worn fragrance for over 40 years I can attest to the fact that years ago there were many a beauty to be found in local drugstores for a song! even local department stores carried interesting fragrances that would nowadays be considered high end niche.

    An inexpensive brand I like is Pacifica perfumes: all natural and a one ounce edp sells for $22. Also Sonoma Scent Studio- perfume concentrate and absolutely stunning masterpieces…quite affordable. Finally, pure essential oils worn alone or blended (doesn’t get any cheaper than that!)

  5. I recently bought Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden and I was really satisfied of my purchase because it smells good and it’s cheap ! I needed a summer green tea smell, but I couldn’t afford the Bulgari eau parfumée au thé vert, and then I found that! hi hi It’s not as good as the Bulgari green tea one, but it’s so cheap and a lot of the notes of the Bulgari perfume are into the Elizabeth Arden one!

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  9. I haven’t looked at the selections at my local drugstore in while but I do remember in the 70s getting some gorgeous perfumes at a real bargain…some which could hold their own against an expensive niche or exclusive of today….I do alot of shopping online and seek out the discounters….quite often there is a 20 percent off sale going on and a Serge Lutens (which normally retails for 120 USD could be had for under 70 USD….also, my local health food store carries some interesting natural perfumes/oils (Pacifica, Triloka, etc) that are affordable as well. And there is always lavender or patchouli or frankincense straight up!

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