Christmas is coming, the Goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a farthing will do,
If you haven’t got a farthing, then God bless you.
Don’t think I’m being too early- there are only one or two pay days until Christmas. Already the shops are full of Quality Street and Tinsel and I’m trying to stay away from the Lebkuchen so that Santa trousers don’t have to be my only fashion choice.
Perfume sales sky rocket before Christmas: it is no accident that Autumn is perfume launch season, and the selection on the High Street at the moment can be a) overwhelming and b) expensive. From my dashboard here at IScent HQ, I can see the most frequent internet search terms that lead people to my site. The searches that I am seeing over and over again are “good cheap perfume” and “cheap perfume that smells good”. I can see there’s a demand, and like an olfactory Wonder Woman, I’m here to solve your problem.
It sounds unfeasible that in a world where living costs are so high, it is still possible to buy perfume that doesn’t smell like cat wee for five quid, but it can be done. Like all things, it’s just a matter of being selective. I’m not promising you the moon and the stars, (or Sun Moon Stars– yuk!) but wearable, decent perfume for you or a friend or a colleague (if you’re doing Secret Santa) is within the reach of even the thriftiest shopper.
Here goes: I have smelled the good, the bad and the ugly to make this list:
Perfume for Under a Fiver.
In no particular order, all of these perfumes are under five quid and would be ideal for Secret Santa gifts or stocking fillers. Prices correct at time of writing
- Jean Yves Grasse Experience: For fans of Aromatics Elixir, this mossy chypre can be had for under a fiver. Available from Amazon UK
- Coty Chanson D’Eau: a wonderfully green and uplifting scent from Coty. For under a fiver you get a free body spray too. You can buy it from Amazon UK
- Coty L’Aimant The perennial classic. I prefer the Parfum de Toilette to the cologne spray and you can get it for under a fiver on Amazon UK. To me, it always smells similar to Chanel No 5.
- Taylor of London Panache: the darling of the seventies, don’t write Panache off. It’s a great floral aldehyde with 12 hour longevity. I wear it regularly and its especially good in cold weather. You can buy gift sets for a laughably cheap 3.99 on Fragrance Direct
- Chique Another Taylor of London classic: Its utility packaging and Seventies name hides a terrific mossy chypre that left me reminded me of Estee Lauder Knowing. Buy a set off FragranceDirect for 3.99 .
- Avon Timeless Available from AvonShop Uk for five quid, this is a powdery, ambery classic that was brought back by popular demand. My Avon Lady, the lovely Jill, can vouch for its popularity.
- Milton Lloyd Tweed Mademoiselle– a fruity floral that smells like many new releases, and is even better than many more expensive mass market fragrances. Its a fruity floral (not my favourite genre, but always a bestseller), and is light and pretty with the emphasis on the florals. Anyone who likes Miss Dior Cherie might like this one too. You can buy it from Amazon UK.
- Bronnley Lime and Bergamot: From trusty Bronnley comes a light citrussy floral cologne that is a real crowd pleaser. Currently on sale on Fragrance Direct for 4.99
- Milton Lloyd Panache Mademoiselle: if you like the light airiness of Estee Lauder Pleasures then you’ll love this. You can buy it from Fragrance Direct for 3.99. I have a bottle myself.
- The Body Shop White Musk Mini Spray: a perennial favourite, the legendary White Musk now comes in an affordable handbag sized bottle that costs a mere five quid and you can buy it right here.
So there you have it- perfume under a fiver? Yes it can be done and I wouldn’t let you buy it if I wouldn’t wear it myself. Let me know your thoughts on fragrant frugality! I always love to hear from you.