Lately I have been asked many questions by people with queries about perfume. These vary from “what smells like…?” queries to “Where can I get…?” queries. It got me thinking, my friends. How about a little post that’s all about your perfume questions and queries?
Just email me or post your question below or on Twitter or Facebook and I will do my very best to answer them. You can even be anonymous if you like!
So, fire away. Do you want to know if there’s a smellalike to a long discontinued favourite? Does a newly reformulated favourite resemble an old one? Which are the best cheap and cheerfuls? Tell Aunty Sam your scented dilemmas. I’m all ears and all nostrils!
I have in my hand a little Avon purse spray of Avon Attraction For Her. It was just £1.99 for 10ml.
Avon Attraction is a fruity floral with a touch of on trend gourmand, and nobody can accuse Avon of not being bang on the money when it comes to rapidly changing perfume trends.
Attraction opens with pear, blackberry and pink pepper, which is a sweet berry not a spice. The pear and blackberry are more summery than autumnal, and the pink pepper makes this smell either very of-the-moment.
The middle phase is jasmine, orchid and musk. I have a bit of a problem with orchid in that I don’t think I have ever liked it as a note. It always smells synthetic to me. I’ve yet to find it in a context that I’ve enjoyed. It smells synthetic here, but luckily, it does not dominate and there’s still much to like here. The musk joins in and stays put, making its presence felt throughout.
The base does a bit of fancy footwork with warm amber, leathery labdanum, vanilla and, here’s the uber trendy bit, praline! So, with the fruity pink pepper, the fairly generic jasmine and the praline base note, you have a version of many current perfumes. Except I paid £1.99 for 10ml.
There are two ways of looking at this. My view is that Avon is making scent that resembles the stuff you can buy far more expensively over the counter, but for a fraction of the price. Or, you could call it generic. Personally, I’m all for a good bargain, so I’m sitting on the Pollyanna side of the fence.
Over on trusty Fragrantica, some Fragranticans are comparing this to Love Me by Victoria’s Secret or By Invitation from Michael Buble.
My only bugbear is that I would have liked more projection and longevity, but as a handbag standby, I’m happy with what it gives me.
Avon Attraction is available from Avon UK Online or from your Avon rep if you have one. I paid for mine myself and opinions are my own.
Now that my blog is four, I thought I’d better do some housekeeping. One of my most popular articles is “Perfume for Paupers”, written two years ago. It was my guide to how you can smell good without blowing the budget. It was written from the heart (and from past experience ), since I believe that you don’t have to be rich to smell good.
However, as you know, the industry changes faces like a kaleidoscope in even a short space of time. For example, many celeb scents that I reviewed then, have been discontinued, and many new affordable options have appeared on the market in just two years. However, much of what I wrote in my earlier article still stands: shop around, be selective, use eBay, look past the label. I reckon it’s time for an update. Here’s my guide on how to smell good without feeling bad.
Leave your snobbery at the door
I used to be in an exclusive long term relationship with Chanel Cristalle and would only rarely have flings with other scent on the side. During a frugal period in my life, I decided to shop around, and my love affair with scent truly blossomed. I hold allbeauty.com and Home Bargains responsible for this. I bought the cheapest scent I could afford and ended up finding some firm favourites. High price tags do not always mean high quality., and vice versa. Don’t overlook celebrity fragrances either. They are all made by professional Noses and are usually cheaper than other brands. Some of my favourite celeb scents are under £10.
Ok, I’m starting to sound obsessed with Avon now, but when you an find a decent perfume for under seven quid, well, then it’s very hard to stay away. In fact my SOTD is Avon Rare Platinum and those tuberose wafts are very pleasing to my nose today. Avon Perceive Oasis was my summer scent more than any other in 2016. I even bought a back up bottle.I give Avon a further thumbs up for selling purse sprays at just £3 and for currently selling Scent Essence Lime Verbena for just £2.50 for 30ml. All prices correct at time of posting.
I have bought a lot of perfume from eBay and have never been let down. EBay is pretty strict on counterfeit and it’s not worth most people’s trouble to try and sell the odd fake. Having said that, there’s no guarantee it’ll never happen to you, but in seven years I’ve not been conned. EBay is also great for perfume samples which helps avoid costly blind buys. I’ve also scored some blinders from a local car boot sale. Never underestimate how much somebody else can dislike a perfectly good bottle of perfume and be desperate to get rid of it. That, my friends, is when you circle and swoop.
Success stories: 100ml of Cabotine for £3.99 on eBay, bottle of LouLou and assorted samples for £7 on eBay, bottle of half used 100ml of Rive Gauche for £4 at car boot sale. Full 50ml bottle of Chanel Coco EDP for £26 on eBay.
Some of my favourite cheap and cheerfuls are the kind of scent young folk today might label as “Nan perfume”. I prefer the term “classic. ” Nobody will put me off Coty L’Aimant or Chique and I could buy both bottles with ten quid and still have change for a Daim Bar.
If you’re saving for a bottle of the good stuff and in between bottles,, why not just buy a few samples and use your favourites on high days and holidays? It’s cheaper than a full bottle and you can always smell expensive without having a shelf full of posh bottles and no money in the bank.
You’d be amazed how many of your friends have been given perfume they don’t like and don’t wear. Nobody seems to throw it away though, so get asking. You might find they have one of your favourites and that dusty bottle you can’t get rid of might be just their cup of tea. I dare you to ask four friends if they have a bottle of perfume they don’t really wear. It also works on forums such as Fragrantica, Mumsnet and Fragcomm.
Many men’s fragrances are cheaper than women’s ( though not all). There’s no rule that says you can’t wear his stuff or that he can’t wear yours. Having said that, although I reguarly raid my husband’s scent collection (I chose most of it- ergo it’s mine.) I can’t see my husband borrowing my SJP Lovely to wear for work anytime soon. Shame. Florals can smell good on men.
Here’s what I mean by cheap and cheerful for chaps: Old Spce (cheap as chips) doesn’t smell a million miles away from Yves Saint Laurent Opium. (Thanks for the tip Portia of APJ), and Avon men’s fragrances are truly excellent. I wore Wilderness for Men for the whole of August one year, with a pretty sun dress. I say Pah! to labels. If it smells good wear it.
These mini rollerballs are available from Amazon and eBay. Containing no alcohol, and usually in rollerball format, these are an unbeatably cheap way to layer notes or wear the scent alone. The jasmine and the rose single note fragrances are pretty good too. They make good presents and a 10ml rollerball is perfect for even the smallest of handbags.
Dearest readers, it’s time I gave something back to you for your loyalty and readership since January 2013 when the whole thing began as a little WordPress blog with a lilac background. Incidentally, before I go on, I’d like to apologise if your comments have gone unmoderated or unanswered recently. There’s a glitch in the sytem which means I have to approve even my own comments. I’m on top of it now, though.
Back on topic- Yes, as promised, it’s time for the IScentYouADay giveaway, now that we are four- that’s the Royal “we”, in case you were wondering. Four years is giddy stuff!
There are four prizes up for grabs- one for each year of the blog. Due to postal regulations, I’m afraid this is only open to the UK and Northern Ireland.
So here’s what I’m giving away:
Library of Fragrance Nutmeg Ice Cream.
With warm almondy notes, this reminded me of Bakewell Tart, warm and crisp and straight from the oven. It’s making me long for that marzipan covered Christmas Cake my mother made me for Christmas (I’m embarrassed to tell you how quickly it disappeared at my hand). Library of Fragrance Nutmeg Ice Cream smells delicious, and so will you when you wear it. 30ml Cologne.
Perfumer’s Choice- Valerie
This is a big hitter for fans of YSL Black Opium. There’s coffee, white flowers, vanilla, patchouli and OOOMPH. Guaranteed to last a minimum of six hours, a little goes a long way, making this excellent value. You can read my review here. 93ml EDP
Perfumer’s Choice- Victor
This is a gorgeous masculine scent (although I like it for me as well) with notes of grapefruit and vetiver. This smells like something far more expensive and famous but I’m blowed if I can name it! It’ll come to me at 3 a.m, no doubt. Guaranteed to last a minimum of six hours. 93ml EDP
Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes
Yes, the very bottle I reviewed the other day. Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes has notes of peach and cedar and a hint of jasmine. This bejewelled 15ml bottle has only been tested by me, but is otherwise full and boxed. I wasn’t a massive fan, but that doesn’t mean you won’t like it, or know someone who does. The bottle has a little diamante choker on! So cute.
How to Win
Just tell me which one you’d like to win and I will enter you into the draw. You can tell me in the comments scetion below, on Facebook or on Twitter. Closing date is one week from now- 16th January 2017 at midnight. Good luck!
Many thanks to the Library of Fragrance for the Nutmeg Ice Cream Cologne. Thanks also to World Class Fragrance for Perfumer’s Choice Victor and Valerie.
Dame Elizabeth Taylor was not only an acting legend and world famous beauty, but was one of the first celebrities to launch a fragrance. Not THE first, though, that was Cher. NB More celebrity perfume trivia-Antonio Banderas has 57 fragrances to his name and has had his own perfume house since 1997. That calls for a gratuitous photo.
Back to Violet Eyes . Violet Eyes was launched in 2010, and was inspired by the famous and unusual eye colour of Dame Elizabeth herself. However, I was still expecting violets in the fragrance. After all, the juice, bottle and box are all varying shades of purple. There were no violets for me to sniff, though. In fact there were only two dominant notes in Violet Eyes and they were cedar and white peaches.
As you know, I am no snob when it comes to perfume. A tiny price tag won’t make me turn my nose up ( excuse the pun). However, in this case, I find little to recommend it. It begins as a common or garden fruity floral with loud peaches and a good waft of light jasmine. However, within about ten minutes it becomes synthetic fuzzy woods and even more synthetic fuzzy peach. it pretty much stayed that way on me and didn’t really improve.
When I look at the dashboard here at glamorous IScent HQ (and by glamorous I mean there’s a patch of Lego-free floor space) I can see that the most frequently used search term that leads people to my humble blog is “Avon perfume”. In fact, my most popular article in terms of hits is My Top Ten Favourite Avon Fragrances. It even knocks the previous Number One “Gucci Envy: It’s Madness I Tell You” firmly into second place.
I think the reason for this must be that you can’t nip to the High Street and try a new release. An Avon rep may have testers if you’re lucky, or if you have a rep, but otherwise, you’re guessing from descriptions and the rub-on patch in the brochure.
Since I wrote the article some time ago and since Avon moves fast in terms what’s new and what’s stopped, I thought I’d better write another one. I like to see what people are looking for and meet their needs, although my children take this too far most of the time. Here’s my updated fan letter to Avon. I’ve included some favourites and some big new releases that I reckon are worth a try.
Call me a perfume DJ if you will. This one is for all you Avon lovers out there…
Avon Rare Platinum
This is currently not only my favourite Avon perfume, but the perfume I have been wearing solidly since it arrived from my Avon rep, Jill. It’s one of the best tuberose scents I have ever owned and I am agog at the tiny price tag. I would have expected to pay a lot more for a white floral as good as this. Avon Rare Platinum is currently £7 from Avon UK. My recent rave review is here.
Avon Perceive Oasis
This is the bottle I wore more than any other in summer. It’s light and floral and has roses and peonies. What I love about it is that the finish is white musk rather than vanilla. If you like Chloe, you will this too. It’s currently priced at £6 for 50ml. I have a bottle on the go and a back-up bottle too. You can read my review here.
Avon LIFE Eau de Parfum
Created by Kenzo Takada ( yes, Kenzo himself) this is a new take on violets. Avon LIFE EDP is light and airy, making it ideal for work or day wear. The scent is exclusive to Avon and is not available anywhere else. You can read my review here. Avon Life is currently £24 for 50ml and comes with a jolly nice free gift worth £35 at the time of writing.
Avon Soft Musk
This is another bottle that is always on my dressing table. A plain musk doesn’t seem to feature much in the seemingly endless list of new launches these days, so this is a safe and classic bet. Avon Soft Musk is a peachy, floral musk that lasts for many hours and is very inoffensive as a day time or workwear scent. I bought my bottle for the ludicrously low price of £3.50, although it’s usually a fiver (still a good price). My review is here.
Avon Silky Soft Musk
The first and thus far, only, flanker to Avon Soft Musk. Whilst this isn’t may favourite of the two, if you like vanilla scents then this is for you. You can read my review here. OK, I wasn’t massive fan, but that’s just my personal preference, which may not be the same as yours. Wouldn’t it be dull if we all loved just the one same perfume? I’d have nothing to blog about for a start! Silky Soft Musk is available from Avon UK for £5.
Fans of Lancome La Vie est Belle will enjoy the gourmand caramel note in this beauty. Whilst it’s not my personal cup of tea, it’s good quality and long lasting and very much channels the current vogue for sweet florals with a gourmand base. The campaign is fronted by the beautiful Abbey Clancy and is one of Avon’s best sellers. Avon Cherish The Moment has similar notes but is sweeter and “pinker”. Ideal for the teenager in your life and bang on trend right now. Avon Cherish and Avon Cherish the Moment are currently £8 and £14 respectively, but check out the special offers where you can get three products for £12.
Avon Far Away
This is Avon’s number one bestseller and they dare not discontinue it for fear of mutiny. I never used to like this, but as time passes I have grown to appreciate it a lot more. It is a vanilla floral that is so vanilla that it almost borders on coconut. It’s stood the test of time and I think it’s safe to call it a classic now. Far Away is the perfume I smell most often on other people when I am out and about. It has very loyal fans, which speaks for itself- plus my Aunty Christine smells like this so it has happy connotations for me. You can buy Far Away and any of its excellent flankers from Avon UK. I have noticed that in the run up to Christmas Avon has launched generous 100ml bottles for the first time, but I can only find them in the brochure.
Timeless is a text book example of what happens when a company listens to its customers and gives them what they want. Launched in 1974, Timeless is a powdery, ambery chypre style scent (sans oakmoss,but otherwise a good take). In 2012 Avon discontinued it. Its loyal fans made enough noise for Avon to bring it back and it’s now a steady seller once again. It’s not as on trend as the newer scents, but in my book, that just means it’s a classic. At only £4 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.
Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche
Little Black Dress remains a steadfast Avon favourite and two new versions have been added. Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche is, as you might imagine, a more summery version with the peony and lemon turned up and the heady jasmine gone away until winter. It’s less complex than Little Black Dress and less woody, but make for an excellent “lite” version, ideal for day time and holidays. Available from Avon UK The other flanker is Little Lace Dress, which I have yet to try so can’t currently comment. I will do though, so watch this space.
Avon Scent Essence Lime Verbena
This little beauty nearly slipped off my radar as it’s sold in a range of similar looking scent called Scent Essences. All of them come in a 30ml bottle and the one I initially tried, Sparkly Citrus, was so good in the summer that I simply had to try Lime Verbena. As a summer scent it’s unbeatable. you know when you’re all hot and sticky and just want to stick your head in the fridge? This is what you need. Lime and verbena make an unbeatable green combo and this is great quality at around £4.
All photos from Avon UK. All perfumes I have tried have been purchased by me. All opinions are my own.
Yes, I’ve just come up with “guy buys”. I tried for ages to find something to rhyme with bloke, but could only manage cloak or joke, so Guy Buys it is. I hope it’ll catch on. But I doubt it.
Now being a lady and liking ladies’ things, I don’t blog much about bloke scent, but I really should. There are two reasons for this: One- it’s nearly Christmas and many people are asking me in real life what’s good and what’s not worth bothering with. Secondly- here on my humble blog there are no gender walls (despite the flannel above about lady’s things). The only rule is wear what you like and like what you wear. In fact, yesterday found me wearing my son’s deodorant (don’t tell him) and my husband’s Coty Aspen for Men. (He won’t know, he never reads this). And I wore his slippers, actually. And ate his Kitkat from the fridge. That’s how sure I am that he won’t read this.
I have collated a list of cheap and cheerful male scent that are all so good that I would happily wear them myself as well as dousing my nearest and dearest with them too. The list keeps a beady eye on budget, so if like me, you have loads of people to buy for and no money tree in the garden, this page is for you.
Coty Aspen for Men
This is cheap as chips and a beautiful green pine and lavender scented cologne. You can read my review here. It’s very long lasting and has the freshness of an open window in winter. I found my bottle on Amazon and Mr IScent wears it well. You can find it on Allbeauty.com for the bargain price of £9.80. It has often been compared to Creed Green Irish Tweed, which is rather more spendy.
Library of Fragrance
Library of Fragrance has a fabulous range of unisex scents: many of which would make the perfect gift for any hard to buy for man. I particularly like Mountain Air and Fireplace, but this year’s Blue Spruce (fresh pine needles) and Myrrh (resin-y spices and incense) are also excellent. You can buy Library of Fragrance scent from their website. Prices start at £10. Alternatively, try Boots for a seasonal selection.
David Beckham Classic Blue
I’ve yet to come across a David Beckham scent that I wouldn’t recommend. DB Classic Blue is a refreshing ozonic scent that passes the office test (and, it would seem, the Year Six test for the dandy ten-year-old). My only bugbear is that longevity isn’t as good as it could be, but at prices under twelve quid, you can afford a top up between double maths or a board meeting. It’s versatile and good quality. You can find this on allbeauty.com for 11.95
Avon Destination Grand Canyon
This is a terrific, warm, leathery scent from Avon that reminded me of Hermes Terre D’Hermes yet only costs £11 a bottle. I adored its deep woody notes and would happily wear this myself. Mr IScent can expect one in his stocking. Available from Avon UK or your Avon lady if you’re lucky enough to have one, like I have.
Obsession for Men
Calvin Klein Obsession For Men is another bargain, often to be had for under £20. Obsession For Men was the scent my husband wore on our wedding day and it always reminded me of those early first dates we went on when, after a taxi ride home, I too would smell of Obsession for Men. It has its critics, but I love the warm, musky spiciness of it and longevity is excellent. You can find it on allbeauty.com at prices which start at 11.95 for 30ml.
Lynx Urban Daily Tobacco and Amber
I reviewed this one earlier in my blog and I love how the warm vanilla unfolds as the day wears on. At the shockingly low price of under £4, this “daily fragrance” is perfect for winter. Warm, spicy and woody, this manages to strike a note of cosiness without getting too heavy or sweet. I’ve noticed it comes in gift packs around this time of year. Honourable mentions also go to Lynx Iced Musk and Ginger and Lynx Oud Wood and Dark Vanilla. The range is available from Superdrug or Asda. prices start at £3.98.
Jovan Musk for Men
You can’t go wrong with a good musk and Jovan has been doing good musk since the seventies. When you just want a musk with nothing else chucked in the mix, reach for Jovan Musk for Men. It’s currently only 6.99 on Fragrance Direct. Perfect for layering too or for “musking up” something that needs it!
I’m going to introduce an old classic into the mix here: Tabac Original by Maurer and Wirtz. Opening with a soapy, cologne feel, and with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it floral note, this beds down into a classic, clean sandalwood finish. My late father wore it and was always immaculately turned out. Some might say old-fashioned, but I say “classic” You can buy Tabac Original from Amazon UK. Prices start at just 8.45
Avon Black Suede
Another Avon bargain at just £6 (correct at time of publishing). With warm amber, spicy cloves, and yes, even a hint of oak moss, this powdery gem won’t project in everyone’s ace, but offers a very snuggly, suedey scent with a clean musk base. You can buy Black Suede from Avon UK. Prices currently start at £6 for 50ml.
Slightly out of season (unless you’re wintering overseas?) Davidoff Champion impressed me no end. I bought it sort of randomly for my nephew and when he opened it we just couldn’t stop sniffing the air. It’s green, light and citrussy, yet beds down into a galbanum/oak moss finish that smells like it should costs around three times the price. Utterly divine- I would totally get my own bottle. Available from allbeauty for 12.20
So, there you have it. My ten favourite man bargains. None of these will break the bank, and I have tried and tested all of them. My poor long suffering husband sits next to me of an evening, obediently “sticking his arm out” night after night. I can tell you with certainty that he is one hot smelling guinea pig!
Or you can just buy these again…
Top photo from Ladybird books, bottom from Pringle. All others from the sites mentioned in the review.
I was given a sample of Avon’s latest launch today: Avon Silky Soft Musk. The original Avon Soft Musk is a classic everyday musk that gets on with its job and is excellent value for money. I was expecting good things from Silky Soft Musk.
However, sadly this one won’t be for me, I’m afraid. As you know, everything on my blog is subjective. These are only my opinions. In fact there are several runaway, solid bestsellers that I can’t stand, but which will do very well without my endorsement. I could say the same thing about Silky Soft Musk.
There are only three notes: Musk, Lily and Vanilla. All are present and answered their names at registration. However, then the Vanilla completely takes over, dominates the other two, doesn’t give the others any air time and manages to have the last word. The Vanilla is thick and strong, and I half expected to find patchouli in the notes somewhere, such was its throaty rasp. Vanilla covers a vast spectrum: it can be boozy and liqueur like, it can add toasty warmth ( see Shalimar for evidence) or it can add a waxy cheapness like a cupcake shaped novelty candle. For me, Silky Soft Musk falls into the latter category.
However, I still love Avon Soft Musk. The recent change in packaging makes me think more flankers are ahead. I’ll keep an open mind.
You can buy Avon Soft Musk and Avon Silky Soft Musk from AvonshopUK or from your Avon lady.
You may recall that I recently reviewed Lynx Urban Daily Tobacco and Amber. I loved it so much I bought my husband one and it smells amazing on him. Also, this way, I can borrow it in winter when the warmth will really bloom on cold skin. It’s a fragrance, not a deodorant by the way. I’d be here for everemore if I started reviewing those.
Today I tried Lynx Urban Daily Iced Musk and Ginger and it was equally good. The Iced Musk in the name makes this sound a more obvious choice in hot weather, and I wasn’t wrong. The musk is subtle white musk and the ginger spices it up in an astringent sort of way, that’s cool like menthol, but with more of a peppery flourish. I can also find a bit of amber in there as it settles and a pale woody finish.
Even in this heat, Iced Musk and Ginger won’t be too much for work wear or the all important commuter test. After three hours, it is subtle, but still there. At 3.95 you can afford a refreshing lunch time top up. Just putting it on felt cooling, like cologne from the fridge.
The Lynx Urban Daily range is a real bargain with classy packaging and a pleasantly non generic take on everyday male fragrance. My husband will be getting all three. And I will be “borrowing” them.
Putting aside for one moment my terrible late night online perfume shopping habit, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much good stuff is available out and about in my local ( small-ish) town. I thought it was high time I did a list of what’s out there. After all, High Street shopping means you don’t have to wait for the post and you can almost always try before you buy.
The beauty of High Street scent shopping is that unlucky blind buys are less likely and you can unwrap the cellophane ( I love that bit!) whilst enjoying your your mid-shop frothy Cappucino and large slice of Chocolate Fudge Cake ( sorry for the detail- I’m hungry). In perfume and in food, I’m all about instant gratification.
1. The Fragrance Shop.
My local Fragrance Shop has seen quite a bit of me lately. You might have gathered that I am a big fan of the Mary Greenwell range. I have both Lemon and the incredibly good Fire and felt jolly smug at the tiny prices too. The staff in my local branch are very friendly and know their stuff. When I went in for Fire, she remembered me and said “I knew you’d be back for that one!”
Rapidly turning into one of my favourite stops on my perfume pilgrimage, trusty Marks and Sparks has a great Fragrance Department. It is one of the few places on the High Street where you can buy Fragonard. There’s also Roger et Gallet: the soaps, the lotions and the fragrances. The M&S in house range is impressive too: I have Rosie for Autograph by Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely which to my nose, is a slightly more “fraiche” handle on Chloe by Chloe. Also Check out Autograph Blush and Isis. Oh and don’t overlook the fabulous Monotheme range, or Shay and Blue London! I can lose hours and money in here.
4. TK Maxx
TK Maxx is The Place I Dare Not Go. I was in here just before Christmas and my greedy eyes nearly popped out of my head. All around me were Miller Harris 100ml bottles, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Penhaligon’s and some very cute mini sets by Juicy Couture. Such brands are hard to find outside large cities. I was in no position to buy for myself that near Christmas, but I did persuade a lone man to buy his wife L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier for under £30. Lucky woman. More recently, they have had the whole Friedemodin range in stock. Stock is gone when it sells out, so frequent visits are a must.
5. Home Bargains
My local Home Bargains does some pretty good celeb scents for prices so low, you can chuck them in under the cereals and hand wash. My best bargain was a 30ml bottle of Issey Miyake A Scent for £15. I have also seen the excellent Rhianna Rogue for under a tenner and several decent JLos. They currently stock Prada, Valentino and DKNY too.
The Next own range provides excellent value and quality. Next Just Pink reminded me of Ralph Lauren Romance. I found a purse spray of it in the Next Clearance outlet for £2, which led to a full bottle later on. There are some excellent gift sets in lovely packaging too, for around £14.
What I like about Superdrug is that not only are there lots of testers by the till, and not only are the bargains of the week really worth seeking out, but they often sell the classics such as Yardley Lavender, Tweed and Panache in big, low cost bottles. I have also scored Elizabeth Arden Untold, and Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Revitalize – both at only ten quid.
Whilst their female fragrance range is nothing out of the ordinary, I did find a bottle of Michael Kors Very Hollywood for £15, which I promptly fell in love with. However, Asda is also the home to Lynx Urban Daily fragrance: a range of excellent men’s fragrances at only £4 a bottle. My husband wears Tobacco and Amber and smells amazing.
My local Boots is only a little one, bless it, but it still remains the only high street store in my town to stock the fabulous Library of Fragrance range. It’s worth a stop for that alone. I also buy my Coty L’Aimant from there and will never be without a bottle. You will usually find a wall of testers and a pretty broad range of big brands. By the time I emerge, not a speck of skin is unsprayed and I always forget what I went in for.
I’ve been making a lot of noise about Lidl lately and their new range is worth a look. Not only is Lidl the home of Suddenly Madame Glamour (which, when compared to Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, came out on top), but the new range of Luxury fragrance is also a bargain. Lidl Luxury Famous smells like La Vie est Belle. I found that Lidl Luxury Gleam smells very similar to YSL Cinema and Lidl Luxury Excellent reminded me of Chanel Allure. It’s not the same as the big brand sellers, but if you want something to tide you over between a spendy trip to the perfume boutique, these will do the job.