Tag Archives: Chique perfume

Fragrance for the Frugal 2017

thrift

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.

pandora
Nope. No money in the money box.

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.

Edith Evena as Lady Bracknell
Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell

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. 

Recommended: Celine Dion Sensation,  Sarah Jessica Parker  Lovely,  JLo Glow, Madonna Truth or Dare.

avon retro3

Avon

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.

Recommended:  Lime Verbena, Avon Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche, Avon Rare Platinum, Avon Perceive Oasis, Avon Tahitain Holiday, and for fans of La Vie est Belle, Avon Cherish.

ebaylogo

Go for preloved

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.

coty

Go retro

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.

Recommended: Coty L’Aimant, Yardley April Violets,  Chique.

 

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Get good samples

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.

Recommended: The Perfume Society for great, hard-to-find samples, and The Fragrance Shop for a quarterly box of new releases.

sam collection

Swapsies

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.

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I bet beautiful Ruby Rose wears whatever the hell she likes. Photo from Pride.

Go unisex

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.

grand-canyonHere’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.

Recommended: Avon Destination Grand Canyon ( reputed to smell like Terre D’Hermes), Lynx  Urban DailyTobacco and Amber, Jovan Musk For Men, Lidl XBolt (pleasant, apple-y top note.)

white musk

Al-Rehab, Al Aneeq and Crown perfumes

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 violetjasmine 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.

Recommended:  I particularly like Violet and  the White Musk. neither cost me more than 2.99. A friend of mine adores Choco Musk at only £1.99.

How About You?

What’s been your best frugal fragrance?  Do let me know.  I always love to hear from you.

photo by Alison Oddy
photo by Alison Oddy

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Wearing Your Mum’s Perfume- Drugstore Classics From the 1970s

tweed ad

Are you one of those people who recoils at the idea of smelling like their Mum? I am.  I confess that I very rarely wear the same perfume as my Mum, no matter how much I like it.  In fact I try not to introduce her to perfumes I love for that very reason. No offence Mum, if you’re reading this! ( I bet she’s not) and happy birthday for tomorrow.

However, as a child of the seventies I am having a big  fit of nostalgia lately. So many new releases from the last two years have been berry-heavy, vanilla heavy and have more in common with an ice cream sundae than a cosmetics counter.  It used to be aldehydes and oakmoss and now its all candy floss and Kate Moss (which rhymes if you say it right). When did it become cool to smell like cupcakes instead of eating them? Is it any wonder that I long for the seventies?

alibaba.com
alibaba.com

Seventies fragrances are generally looked down on by the youth of today and no wonder: modern tastes have moved on.  However, as an ardent fan of Coty L’Aimant and Panache and Avon Timeless I fully embrace those aldehydic affordable scents from my formative years and I reckon retro scents are due for a comeback.

I’ve picked ten of my favourites out below just in case you, like me, fancy a shot of retro fragrant frugality.  I have only selected perfumes you can still buy today and perfumes that are still comparably affordable (not counting eBay where even the discontinued can be had for the right price)).  In fact, the added bonus is that all the fragrances I have listed come in at well under a tenner and some are nearer five pounds.   Is it too early to use the C word?  Of course not.  Here I go then- these would make great affordable Christmas presents. Check these out:

Avon.com
Avon.com

Avon Timeless:An ambery, powdery scent created in 1974.  Avon discontinued it in favour of more modern releases but customer demand brought it back in 2012. My Avon Lady tells me it’s her bestseller.

tweed old1
alamy.com

Tweed:Tweed is underrated if you ask me.  Its chock full of citruses and flowers,  goes a bit Mr Sheen  for a bit with lavender and beeswax, then ends up with a woody, patchouli afterglow that lasts a whole day. Cheap as chips and a pleasant change among the sweety/cakey miasma of the Twenteens.

alibaba.com
alibaba.com

Panache: I wear this often.  Its jasmine, aldehydes and roses last around twelve hours on me, making my little 3.95 bottle fantastic value for money. You can still get it for well under a tenner.

hprints.com
hprints.com

Coty L’Aimant: Many Chanel No 5 fans eschew this  gem, when actually, they were launched a few years apart in the late 1920s and smell very similar.  Longevity is excellent and despite its tiny price, it never smells cheap.

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Yardley Lavender: I’ve got the lot: Yardley Rose, Yardley April Violets and Yardley English Lavender. You can’t beat a classic floral. I also love to layer April Violets over existing scent that isn’t, in my open ion, “violetty enough”

zando.co.za
zando.co.za

Lace: Formerly Yardley Lace, this is now made by Taylor of London. Lace opens with aldehydes and citrus notes, goes through a  blousy, rather loud  floral phase and beds down into moss, amber and  patchouli.  It’s similar to Chique, but soapier.

amazon.co.uk
amazon.co.uk

Chique: With hand on heart I can genuinely tell you that this mossy chypre reminds me of Estee Lauder Knowing and gets better the longer you wear it.  Chique is under ten quid and I proudly own a wear a bottle myself.  Wouldn’t be without it.

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Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass: another spicy aldehyde, full of peppery geranium and classic roses.  Perfect from the fridge in summer. Still very good value and widely available.

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Charlie Blue: Okay I admit, I didn’t used to like this at all, but once I entered the chypre portal, it made more sense to me. It’s very cheap, very long lasting and has a mossy, spicy base that is harder to find over the High Street counter today. Its remarkably cheap, usually under £4.

jovan

Jovan Musk For Women: Launched in 1972 and still going strong today: Every Fragrance Wardrobe needs a musk and this is a good one. This has not dated since its launch and is not just a good quality musk on its own but is excellent for layering too. I bagged my bottle locally but you can find it on Fragrance Direct or Amazon UK.

 

Stockists

Jovan Musk is available from FragranceX, Coty L’Aimant is available from allbeauty.com or Fragrance Direct, Tweed, Chique, Lace and Panache are all available from Amazon UK and allbeauty.com, Yardley fragrances are available from Boots or allbeauty.com, Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass is available from Escentual or allbeauty.com, Charlie Blue is available from Boots or Amazon UK, Avon Timeless is available from AvonShop UK.

Acknowledgments

With thanks to Milton Lloyd who kindly provided me with Tweed, Panache, Chique and Lace. Opinions are my own.

 

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Perfumes Under a Fiver: The IScentYouADay Christmas Guide to Perfume for The Frugal

 

www.dreamstime.com
www.dreamstime.com

grasse experiencetweedmademoiselle$(KGrHqV,!okFI!4v2tqSBSDdZNl(2w~~60_35chanson d'eau

 

 

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

 

  1. Jean Yves Grasse Experience: For fans of Aromatics Elixir, this mossy chypre can be had for under a fiver. Available from Amazon UK
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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 .
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

 

timelesslimebronnleypanache mademoisellewhitemusk

Chique by Taylor of London : My Dusty Beauty

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Long overlooked, with its cheap plastic lid and utilitarian packaging, Chique by Taylor of London, formerly made by Yardley, has such a cringe-y name and unremarkable presence that it has become all too easy to ignore.

However, I bought a bottle this week and was more than pleasantly surprised.  You may have been able to tell that I love a drugstore classic and nothing is too cheap for me (except coffee).  My small and rather dull looking bottle of Chique held some amazing surprises.

It opens like a prickly Chypre and stays put.  The drydown was puzzling me for a long time until I realised what it was that I was reminded of.  Only Estee Lauder Knowing!  What’s not to love? Chique goes on with the subtlety of an Olympic fireworks display and hangs around like a barnacle on a ship.  Longevity is about ten hours.

Here are the notes according to trusty Fragrantica: Floral Notes, Orange, Lemon, Fruity Notes, Oakmoss.

First of all, the list of notes doesn’t do this justice.  This is a green, musty, powdery Oakmoss scent.  In other words it’s right up my street.  It’s also very reasonably priced to a point that made me suspicious.  However, on opening it and trying it out I was utterly delighted (and for once in my life I threw the box away, it was beyond dull).

It is so up my street that we’re practically housemates.  In fact we are.  This now lives in my handbag.

$(KGrHqV,!okFI!4v2tqSBSDdZNl(2w~~60_35

One word though: it has muscles, so don’t spray near other people, unless you want them to run away. I bought my bottle of Chique for £3.99 off Amazon and it came with a free body spray.  I think the price has changed now, but you’d still get change from a ten pound note. Bargain of The Year.

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