Tag Archives: cheap perfumes that don’t smell cheap

Yardley Contemporary Classics: English Rose

www.superdrug.com
www.superdrug.com

 

Yardley is one of those classic, trusty brands where you can be assured of quality.  It’s a refreshing change to find a range of fragrance that isn’t constantly trying to reinvent the wheel.  As trends come and go, fans of classics can often find themselves left out, but we can always fall on back on Yardley to provide us with the traditional, simple scents that every fragrance wardrobe needs.

Yardley English Rose is a simple rose  done very well.  It goes on at first spray smelling like delicate rose breath sweets, which at first made me think of Parma violets, but this is purely rose from start to finish.   Despite being an Eau de Toilette, it is light enough to feel like a refreshing eau de cologne, but the lovely light airiness sticks around much longer than it would for a cologne.

On Fragrantica, there are several notes listed:

Rose and Geranium are in the top notes, white flowers are in the middle and the finish consists of spice, musk and woods.  To me, that hint of geranium provides the spice, although the rose is dominant throughout.   The finish is a beautiful clean musk that had me sniffing my arm and wondering when I’d sprayed white musk on that day. Coupled with the roses, it makes a beautifully feminine accord.

This beautiful rose is ideal for layering with musks or even a heavy oriental- it could lighten it up for daytime wear.  Yardley English Rose works best for me in summer though, wearing florals and smelling like them too.

This is unbeatable value at around £10 for 50ml, and sometimes the 125ml bottle is around that price too, if you shop around.

Stockists

Yardley Contemporary Classic English Rose is widely available from Superdrug, Lloyds Pharmacy, Amazon UK, Boots and many other stockists throughout the UK.

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Panache Mademoiselle: The Simple Pleasures

panache mademoiselle

 

Panache is one of those drugstore classics that I think is due a revival.  It’s a floral aldehyde that lasts twelve hours and  my little 3.99 bottle has lasted me nine months (disclaimer:  I don’t wear it every day or it would have run out sooner!).

The actual bottle of Panache I ordered for myself- its lasted nine months!

Panache Mademoiselle is nothing like the original, but I happen to love it.  At only 4.25 on Amazon.co.uk, you would think you would run the risk of not getting value for money.  Not so.  Panache Mademoiselle reminded me very much of Estee Lauder Pleasures and the longevity ain’t bad at all, especially when you factor in the laughably cheap price.

It opens fresh and clean and floral and stays light throughout every phase.  There is allegedly strawberry, but thankfully this isn’t sickly and doesn’t have any of the candy floss that many commercial market leaders have right now over any High Street perfume counter.

There is always the worry that a perfume as cheap as this will smell cheap, but in this case I have smelled a lot worse for a lot more money.  I would happily wear Panache Mademoiselle all day in all situations and it would make an ideal every day work perfume.  It would also make a great gift or stocking filler and would be just right for a teen.

Milton Lloyd are doing great things right now and this is one of them. More to come!

 

Coty L’Aimant: A Classic since 1927

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Three great things about Coty L’Aimant:

1.  It’s really cheap

2.  It smells a bit like Chanel No 5 (Me and 27 Fragrantica reviewers can’t be wrong)

3. It doesn’t smell cheap

I could end it there, but Coty L’Aimant is so much more than a passable substitute for Chanel No 5.  L’Aimant is a perfume I can never wear since it was my late grandmother’s signature scent. Even in her seventies, she was classy and always smelled lovely. Peppermints, Lavender and L’Aimant. Sometimes a whiff of menthol in Winter.

It’s a perfume that I would love to see more people wearing. It’s old fashioned, yes, but you could also call it delightfully retro. It’s been around since 1927 and is still popular, so you could call it a classic.

hprints.com
hprints.com

L’Aimant is an aldehyde, although it has such creamy white flowers and a powdery finish that it is sometimes hard to categorise it with other more astringent aldehydes such as Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass or First by Van Cleef and Arpels.  

It used to remind me of a slightly gone off old fashioned powder compact, which is in fact how Chanel No 5 smells to me ( I’ve never been a fan but I suppose I’ll have to review it at some point).

The top notes of L’Aimant are: Neroli, Bergamot, Peach and Aldehydic Notes. Personally, I didn’t get even a soupçon of Bergamot.  L’Aimant is more peachy  and soapy, with the Neroli providing a hint of rich white flowers.

coty gift

Middle notes are Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang, Rose and Orchid.  I can pick out Jasmine and Rose, but the others are a pleasant furry blur, with maybe a prickle of Spicy Geranium

Basenotes are Vetiver, Musk, Sandalwood, Cedar, Tonka and Vanilla. I definitely get the Vanilla, Sandalwood and Musk, if nothing else. It is after all, a creamy and warm finish with a flourish of powder puff.

What never ceases to amaze me is that a long lasting perfume of this calibre can still be had for a song.  Last time I looked it was under 8GBP for a 30ml Parfum de Toilette spray. A while back, I posted an article called “Good Perfumes Under Ten pounds: Is It Possible?”.  I’m amazed I left this out.  I’ll just have to do another list. (Look out for forthcoming Top Tens).

I may well be giving Coty L’Aimant  a second chance as homage to my late grandmother, who was always such a lady.

 

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Genuine oriental perfumes: it’s amazing what you find online

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As a certified oak moss fiend, I was delighted to be told in a Facebook fragrant fiends group about a ‘very mossy’ fragrance called Saat Safa by Al Rehab. I set off to find out more about it and stumbled onto a world of inexpensive and interesting fragrances.

I googled Al Rehab fragrances, found them on Amazon and started checking out their range. This is a well-respected Saudi Arabian perfume company that uses natural essences – bells started ringing for me, as Amouage are the best-known Saudi Arabian perfumers and their fragrances are highly acclaimed and very expensive. So the thing that astonished me when I checked out Al Rehab was the prices. These perfumes mostly come in oil form, in order to be acceptable to observant Muslim customers, and they’re in handy little 6ml roll-ons. Most of them are two quid; that’s three bucks, or 2.3 Euro. We are talking really low prices here for perfume. But is it any good?

Well yes, it is. It’s really nice, actually (apologies Al Rehab for doubting you). I tried three perfume oils today: Classic, Al Sharquiah, and White Full Perfume, all from Al Rehab. These are genuine perfumes from the Orient – the Middle East – as opposed to European imaginings of what Oriental perfumes smell like, and not one is even a tiny bit like Shalimar or Opium. These are smooth, flowery and woody and smell very natural, although they are very linear and change little from opening to base. Speaking of bases, they last reasonably well on the skin – 4 or 5 hours – but at this price you can top up as often as you like.

Classic: this is my favourite of the three. It is relatively light and has a lemony floral opening that becomes a little rosier and sweeter with a gentle woody base that rails off into a pleasant and lasting skin musk. It lasts really well and the deep base reminds me of the musk in Lovely and Narciso Rodriguez ‘for Her’.

Al Sharquiah: more the kind of jammy rose with woody and incense notes that I expect from a middle-eastern-style attar. This is feminine and elegant without being overpowering or ‘shouty’. It’s a rich, slightly ‘cooked’ rose that stays sweet and the classic woody base might well include a little of the kind of frankincense that reminds me of old churches and cold stones.

White Full perfume: oh boy this is JASMINE! Very very jasmine, with perhaps a sprinkle of orange blossom. It’s not indolic, which is nice, but it’s rich rich rich and round and warm and JASMINE. Did I mention the jasmine? In the market in Cairo you can buy necklaces made of hundreds of jasmine blossoms threaded onto a cord. It smells amazing to wear the fresh blooms around your neck with their rich sweet scent wafting up in the evening’s heat as you sit on a terrace. That is the situation to wear this perfume in. On a chilly April day in Wales it doesn’t really work.

So there you have a trio of fragrances for under a tenner, including shipping. These are great fun and very cheerful scents to either throw in your handbag for daily use or for holidays. I think I may well go back and try a few more – Cherry Blossoms, Silver and Dehn Al-Oud all sound intriguing.

An interesting point is that because these fragrances are in oil form they should pass the UK Royal Mail’s new regulations on posting perfume internationally (just don’t do it – don’t even try, it’s too depressing to have a parcel opened and your perfume destroyed). At these prices I’m prepared to give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes.