Tag Archives: Secret Santa ideas for under five pounds

Fragrance Under Five Quid- The 2015 Guide

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You may have gathered by now, since I am on post Number 602, that I am rather fond of perfume. Since I intend to review 1001 perfumes and I don’t have the income of an oligarch, I could be creating a case of fiscal fiddlesticks for myself.

In fact, from my site dashboard here at Iscent HQ, I see many daily internet searches leading to my site that read “good cheap perfume” or “cheap perfume that smells good” – so I know I am not alone in my quest for thriftiness.

Luckily I love a bargain, a cheapie, and a swapsie and I leave pride and snobbery at the door. I have therefore thrown myself on the martyr pile and selflessly sourced, borrowed and tested the following fragrant bargains, for you, my dear readers.

This is not the first time I have done a “Perfume Under a Fiver” article , but it is the latest 2015 update and it comes at a time of year when shopping rises up the Agenda. In the world of scent, availability and price changes as fast as the weather, so an update was, I felt, necessary. I hope you like the following perfumes I have listed. I would wear all of them, dear reader, and wouldn’t sell you down the river.

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Milton Lloyd

Milton Lloyd is owned by World Class Fragrance who have taken over a lot of Yardleys and Lentherics from the Times of Yore. You can still therefore buy some good 70s stylee drugstore classics such as Lace, Panache, Chique and Tweed. All of these have been reviewed on this blog. But did you know that there are modern flankers to accompany them? Panache Mademoiselle reminds me of Estee Lauder Pleasures, Tweed Mademoiselle is an excellent light fruity floral and Chique Mademoiselle is a light rose musk When you shop around on Amazon or Fragrance Direct or buy direct from Milton Lloyd, you can find them all for five pounds or under.

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The Body Shop

The Body Shop is currently on my Good List for making gorgeous 10ml purse sprays available for a fiver.  My favourite is trusty White Musk but you can also get Madagascan Vanilla, Indian Night Jasmine, White Musk Smoky Rose, Amazonian Water Lily, Atlas Mountain Rose or another favourite of mine, Fijian Water Lotus. Some of these are online and some are only available in store.

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Al Rehab

Al-Rehab perfume oils can be found on Amazon UK.  Coming in at well under a fiver, these purse sized roll ons are great value for your purse and last ages. You can wear them alone or layer them to mix and match until you find something you like. Try Choco Musk, Red Roses or Green Tea. Lovely packaging too. These are so cheap that you can afford to blind buy without going bankrupt.

chocomuskoudyal rehab

The Classics

Classic is another term for trusty perennials. Scents such as Gloria Vanderbilt, Coty L’Aimant and even the Charlies have been steadily in the background since I was a slip of a girl (decades ago). You can usually get a small bottle for under a fiver and I have reviewed them all on this site, except the Charlies.  Charlie Blue grew on me and now I can appreciate its mossy, woody longevity in a way I didn’t used to.  Try allbeauty.com (where I also found Jovan Musk oil for 4.95) or Fragrance Direct, where I always find something I like for not many pounds.

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Avon Calling

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Trusty Avon always has bargains, and despite their insistence on moving with the times against this customer’s will, you can be sure of a bargain. The under-a-fiver fragrances aren’t always obvious, but in every brochure there is usually a special offer. I often see classic Soft Musk for a fiver, as well as ambery chypre Timeless for the same price.  However, in this month’s brochure, the bargains are amazing: Spend twelve pounds on fragrance and get three 10ml purse sprays free. For your twelve pounds you could get a bottle of Soft Musk and bottle of Timeless  at £6 each, or three Avon Scent Essences for £12. That could be a total of six fragrances for just twelve quid. When my Avon Lady, Jill, comes tomorrow, I shall be ordering three Scent Essences and my three purse sprays, working out at two quid each. I hope none of my friends are reading this or the cat’s out of the bag.

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Marks and Spencer

When I’m in Marks and Spencer looking at knickers and posh tins of biscuits, I often find  a little purse spray ends up in my basket- oops!  But for prices that land between £3.50 and £5 for a 10ml handbag spray, who can blame me?  In fact, when they have the 3 for 2 offer on, who can blame me for buying three?  Try Autograph Blush for a light airy floral scent, or True Red if you like fragrances that are similar to Hugo Boss Red.

true redautograph blush

My name’s Samantha and I’m a frugaleer. Join me, why don’t you?

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Piggy Bank photo from Snapple.com.

Pound coin photo from grandadevans.me.uk

Avon Scent Essence Sparkly Citrus: Stocking Filler Magic

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Here’s a Little Stocking Filler for Weary Shoppers: Avon Scent Essence is a new line of just three scents, each with a theme:  there’s Romantic Bouquet, Sparkly Citrus and Vibrant Fruity.  I’m a sucker for a nice citrus scent so that’s the one I bought.

The notes are as follows:

Top notes: bergamot, mandarin

Middle notes: Citrus blossom, freesia, grapefruit blossom

Base notes: vetiver, woods and musk

Priced at only four pounds and with simple packaging, the range has few notes and does what it promises.  In the case of Sparkly Citrus, it is full of pleasant refreshing lime and a hint of lemon and fades to a subtle floral, still retaining its lightness and never getting heavy.  The base notes sound heavier than they are: they become a flatter version of the top notes with a bit more flowery stuff going on (namely freesia), and bit less lime juice. All the stages are good, but the top note is my favourite.

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Even though winter invites the spices and woods out of your fragrance wardrobe, if you’ve been Christmas shopping in an overcrowded, over heated mall, there is always, always a place for a zingy citrus.  I also can’t help thinking that a citrus is a good bet for a gift recipient even if you don’t know their taste.  Everybody needs cooling down at some point at Christmas. Avon Scent Essence Sparkly Citrus fits the bill.

 

Stockists:  Avon fragrances can be bought from your Avon rep or online via Avonshop UK. I can’t find it on the Avon USA site, but I did find lots of great fragrances we UK customers can’t get over here!  Sweet Honesty, Odyssey, Imari, Night Magic Evening Musk, Haiku, Marine Musk…. Hey Avon, come back here, I want a word with you!

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

 

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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.

 

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