9 Affordable Fragrances That Smell Ridiculously Expensive
My first-ever fragrance was a holiday gift I got from my mom when I was 12. I had seen Ralph by Ralph Lauren in every teen magazine I read, but as an unemployed middle-schooler, I couldn't afford it. That gift set off a tradition: I'd lust after a new scent all year, and ask for it come holiday time. I did this until I graduated collage and finally moved out.
But even now, as an adult who more-or-less makes enough money to afford the expensive fragrances I fawn over after sniffing department store samples, I struggle to justify shelling out more than $100 on any of them. And in living by the law of fragrance frugality, I've learned that, like mascara and pizza, a fragrance doesn't have to be expensive to be good.
Whether you're a fan of spicy scents or sweet florals, there's an affordable fragrance out there to match your vibe, and your budget. Ahead, the best under-$75 fragrances you won't have to wait until the holidays to pick up.
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Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette
You know the moment when you step out of the shower and just smell clean? Philosophy's bottled that feeling to create its soft, floral cult-favorite fragrance. It has notes of bergamont, muguet blossoms, and musk.
& Other Stories Perle De Coco Roll On Perfume
This little rollerball is the next best thing to paid time off. With notes of milky coconut, warm vanilla, and sweet caramel, rolling the tropical fragrance on both of your wrists throughout the day almost makes you forget you're sitting at your desk.
Nest Black Tulip
Warm and spicy, Nest's fragrance is your ideal scent if you love florals that aren't too sweet.
Jo Malone London Primrose & Rye Cologne
Who would have thought that primrose goes just as well with rye as bitters do? Jo Malone's unique fragrance combines the floral and grass notes with corn silk and vanilla.
Prinrose Secret Genius
Gourmands and vanilla are two notes that have been used in fragrances for so long they could be considered vintage, but somehow the combination smells fresh in this Pinrose fragrance. If you're a fan of warm and spicy scents that can be worn whether you're in the middle of a polar vortex or a heatwave, this bottle is for you.
Catbird Tarot Deck Solid Perfume
This solid perfume may be less than $20, but you'd never know based on how expensive it smells. It has a rich, smoky, woodsy scent thanks to a blend of pencil shavings and incense. Bonus: It comes in balm form, so it's never going to spill or leak in your bag.
One-half of Elizabeth & James' first fragrances, Black remains a consistent fan favorite. The spicy vanilla scent has just a hint of violet to round it out.
Heavy on base notes so that its scent doesn't change as it dries down, Glossier's You is designed to smell like well, you. The fragrance has a mix of ambrette, musk, and ambrox that melt with your skin's natural smell.
Maison Louis Marie Antridris Cassis Perfume Oil
A classic fruity fragrance, Maison Louis Marie's roll-on oil has notes of cassis, white rose, tonka, and a dash of black pepper.