Let's be real here: Perfumes can get pretty pricey. Sometimes, you could drop around $300 on a bottle of something ultraluxe, intoxicating, and inviting. Beauty doesn't exactly come cheap!
A high-end fragrance can be quite the investment, and that's not a bad thing since it could last you a long time. It can be your signature scent, something to spray on when you want to feel confident and powerful. We all need a splurge that makes us feel good in our beauty routines, right?
But while we love our expensive and luxe fragrances, you need an affordable option, too—one that you wouldn't mind wearing every day and spritzing with abandon.
Luckily for us smart shoppers, there are quite a few affordable (under $75) fragrances to choose from. And dare I say they might smell as good as the pricey options? These fragrances can make you feel just as confident and ready to take on the day. And you might even feel a little jolt of joy knowing you didn't spend a fortune on them.
To help, I polled our office to see if any editors had recommendations for their favorite budget-friendly perfumes. And boy, did they deliver with some great picks. Take a look.
"I wear Glossier's cult-popular fragrance nearly every day and can't begin to tell you how many compliments I've gotten on it. At first, it has a clean and refreshing air to it but then, by the end of the day, it melts into this really cozy, warm scent. They say that once it sinks into your skin it will smell slightly different on everyone, which I kind of love since plenty of my friends also wear it. And at $60 for a bottle, I feel like I can spray it a bit more liberally than some of the higher-end fragrances I have on my vanity. For context, I've had my bottle for over a year, and it's just barely at the halfway mark." — Anna LaPlaca, Associate Editor
"I'm a longtime fan of Australian brand Lumira, and at some point, it answered my secret wish to basically smell like my living room when I burn its Cuban Tobacco candle by launching the perfume oils. These cult-favorite scents come in tiny little roll-on bottles that somehow seem to last forever. I usually always say how handy they are for traveling, but I guess for now we can just tout how excellently they fit in even the teeniest purse." — Natalie Cantell, Senior Director, Branded Content
"Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue is the fragrance I wore in college, so I feel pretty nostalgic when I smell it (and also impressed with myself for having such good taste in fragrance at such a young age). Aside from that, it's just really refreshing and clean and lovely. It was first released in 2001, and the fact that it's still popular is a testament to how great it is. I also like how the bottle hasn't changed at all over the years. They really nailed it on the first try with this fragrance." — Allyson Payer, Senior Editor
"Maison Louis Marie's iconic scent in No.04 Bois de Balincourt is the perennial crowd favorite, and for good reason. In addition to wearing this fragrance, I've also burned through countless jars of the candle—it's truly just that intoxicating. But if you're looking for a more under-the-radar scent that is equally beautiful and inviting in its own right, I would recommend the brand's perfume oil in No.02 Le Long Fond. Think of it as No.04's brighter and spicier cousin. I guarantee people will be asking you what this mysterious fragrance is. Well, the secret's between us!" — Candice Aman, Social Media Editor
"My friend used to work at The Nue Co. and gave me this, and it's truly become my go-to. It's actually designed to help you de-stress, which is especially great for living through a pandemic! It just smells like the fresh outdoors—as if you're getting a big hug from palo santo and cedarwood. 10/10 would recommend." — Caitie Schlisserman, Managing Editor, Branded Content
Ellis Brooklyn's fragrances are beloved because they're clean, come in eco-friendly packaging, and smell so sophisticated. One of the brand's best sellers, West is a refreshing citrus fragrance that's inspired by Los Angeles writers of the '70s. The small 10 ml version is refillable and easy to take on the go.
Gourmand's perfume oils are vegan and cruelty-free, and they're made with sweet almond and apricot oils. Scents include Lait De Coco (a coconut scent), Oud Sahara (a woodsy scent), and Santal Supreme (a musky and woodsy scent).
Skylar is another clean fragrance brand we love. Salt Air is one of my favorite scents because it's so fresh. Just like its name suggests, it's inspired by the sea, with notes of driftwood, sea salt, and seaweed.
With an eye-catching bottle like this glittery one, you know the fragrance is going to be interesting. This perfume oil is made with jojoba, apricot, and avocado oils. It comes in three different scents: Boy Tears (ginger, cinnamon, patchouli, musk, sandalwood); Coco Star (creamy coconut, Tahitian flower, Madagascar vanilla); and Goldie (gardenia petals, citrus, bergamot, peach).
There's truly nothing better than the scent of fresh laundry, so Clean Reserve did us all a solid and bottled up the scent for us. The fresh floral fragrance has notes of jasmine, fresh-cut grass, and patchouli.
Anthropologie's Nostalgia perfumes are meant to evoke exactly what the name suggests: warm and fuzzy memories. The collection includes the scents Slow Dance (fruity and sweet), I Do (florals), and Road Trip (fresh and airy).
Tocca's fragrances are so romantic, feminine, and classic. The scents range from fresh to spicy to florals, so there's something for everyone. Stella is a favorite because it combines notes of musk, freesia, blood orange, and spicy lily for a scent that is light and unique.
There are a lot of things to love about this fragrance. One, the rollerball vessel is pretty with poppies adorning the bottle. And two, it just smells so good, with scents like pear, raspberry, apricot, Himalayan jasmine, and rose de grasse.