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Top hacks for finding budget-friendly perfumes that smell expensive


Jana Krajco

4-minute read

Perfumes that smell expensive and don’t leave you eating beans on toast for the rest of the month do exist. We’ll show you how to find them. Which ones are perfect for you?

Eau de Toilettes smell wonderful too

Our first hack is to search in the right fragrance category. You’ll mostly find the abbreviations EdT and EdP on the bottles, the first of which refers to Eau de Toilette, the latter to Eau de Parfum. As you can probably guess, the latter lasts a bit longer because it has a higher fragrance ratio. This also increases the price. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the better option. 

We love these EdTs

Even an Eau de Toilette can conjure up a cloud of fragrance around you for five hours or more, and its more subtle character will be appreciated – by your colleagues in the office or others in close proximity to you. And since your purse is going to be far happier with them, it’s worth giving an Eau de Toilette a chance. 

Ingredients that last

How long a perfume lasts on you is not just down to the fragrance ratio, but also, to a certain extent, to the ingredients themselves. Amongst base notes in particular, you can often find ingredients called fixatives. Their role is to keep the scent on your skin for as long as possible. The most popular and widely used ones include vanillasandalwood, frankincense, labdanum and musk. So if you’re concerned that a budget-friendly fragrance won’t last, look for these accords in the ingredients. 

Visiting celebrities

The wave of celebrity-designed perfumes is on its way back after a bit of a lull. And we welcome this with enthusiasm. Firstly, because they include some real treasures, and secondly: they aren’t expensive. Why? There are several reasons, but one is obvious: they’re counting on success (after all, Heat by Beyoncé made over $400 million), and producing a large quantity reduces costs, naturally. 

Try budget-friendly perfumes for women

You could argue that there are a lot of perfumes created by the rich and famous that we won’t even remember in a few years. You’re right, of course. But there’s also White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, a perfume which has been sold all over the world since 1991 and is still a bestseller. So before you dismiss them, at least give them a smell.

Icons may surprise you

Hugo Boss BottledMexx Black ManElizabeth Arden White Tea – you’ve probably heard of these fragrances already. But you may also have placed them in the “unavailable” column because you automatically assumed in this case that popularity equals a higher price. But look again, because even among the divinely fragranced perfume icons, there are hidden treasures with a more acceptable price tag. 

Men’s fragrances that smell expensive (but aren’t)

The magic of application

And one more important thing! Even the most expensive perfume in the world won’t last long if you don’t know how to apply it. Forget pointless gimmicks like rubbing your wrists together or spraying the perfume into the air. The ideal canvas for a perfume is clean and hydrated skin – for instance, once you’re out of the shower and have applied a fragrance-free body lotion. It’s best to put it on pulse points such as the neck, the area behind the ears, the wrists, or the inside of your elbows, where the body warms up and the fragrance is gradually released. 

To do this, find a place that isn’t going to be exposed to sunlight or temperature changes (yes, the bathroom is a no-go zone), and the fragrance will reward you by lasting longer, with no odd odour or colour changes. 

We love to smell good for less! Now do you know which budget-friendly perfume you’re going to try?