Thrifty Scent

affordable fragrances

Thrifty Scent. I know what you’re all thinking: has she really gone to the effort of compiling a whole feature based around an incredibly bad pun? The answer to that question is yes. Yes I have. And it’s not even my own bad pun, I nicked it from Mr AMR. If you’re at a loss to know what the pun is even about, then let me please direct you to the Wikipedia page of everyone’s favourite (a while ago) rapper, Fifty Cent.

(I told you it was an incredibly bad pun. Fifty Cent the man has nothing to do with scent at all – though how amazing would it be if he did actually bring out an aftershave and call it either Fifty Scent or Thrifty Scent?Hold on: he does have a scent! It’s called, disappointingly, Power. What an anticlimax. His most recent customer doesn’t seem too thrilled with it, either: “At first the fragrance is a strong manly one, but after 5mins of putting it on it dissapears [sic] into nothing!The title is the total opposite,should be called WEAK!Only paid £12 for it but its not worth that. 50CENT? MORE LIKE 50PENCE!!” Oh dear.)

Anyway, seeing as though I’m making the effort to craft a readable post out of nothing, using this meagre pun as my starting point, I’ll get serious: thrifty scents. Is it really possible to find great perfumes at low prices? Let’s take a look…

The Celebrity Smells

kim kardashian true reflection

Lots of the celebrity fragrance offerings seem to be a bit sweet or sickly for me but I found a few gems that would sit happily alongside my more expensive bottles. Firstly – and this has been the case for a few years, now – I am very partial to a bit of J-Lo. More specifically, Love & Glamour, which is on Amazon here for £7.99. It’s peachy and summery – nothing risqué, but pleasing all the same. It’s not pictured here because I’ve lost it, but at that price I won’t be tearing my hair out with worry…

Kim Kardashian’s True Reflection nearly passed me by because I’m not really too much of a Kardashian fan. I don’t have an actual dislike for any of them, it’s more a of a strong disinterest. Anyway, I’m glad I gave this a chance because it’s really rather dark and sexy. Fruity start, heady middle and a woody, almost-masculine base. True Reflection is £25.50 here

Lovely, by Sarah Jessica Parker. If you like soft, wearable and feminine scents then you’ll get on well with this one – it’s warm and comfortable, like a cashmere scarf. I don’t know whether I could get into hot water for saying this, but it smells very similar to Narciso Rodriguez For Her. Really – very similar. Not identical, of course, but similar enough that I’m sure someone in the Lovely board room must have had it in mind when they were throwing ideas around… Find it online here, £11.35 for 30ml.

The Age-Old Classic


There are scents that have been around since the beginning of time (almost) and cost less per ml (nearly) than some sparkling mineral waters. 4711 is one such fragrance – the original cologne, made in Cologne. Oft copied, or at least used as inspiration, it has neroli, bergamot, lemon, lavender and rosemary notes and the smell is fresh, herby and zingy all at the same time. It’s incredibly popular the world over and its affordability means that you can sprinkle 4711 on your linen, freshen the air in your hotel room with 4711 and use 4711 to scent the air before you as you walk around the city, like some kind of visiting dignitary. Find it online here – you can get a 100ml “splash” bottle for £14.45.

The Price War

agent provocateur eau de parfum

If you’re ever about to buy a fragrance online it’s always worth doing a quick Google to see who’s stocking it at the best price. Take the fabulous La Petite Robe Noir by Guerlain; for 50ml it’s £68 at House of Fraser, £56 at FeelUnique, £41.95 at Amazon. Thirty seconds of computer time well spent.

All Beauty are a good place to check and they stock one of my first ever beauty indulgences – Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum. A huge 200ml bottle, which looks great in the boudoir, costs £31.95 instead of £99. Find it All Beauty here.

The Unexpected Contender

fleur de figuier roger & gallet

I love finding a perfume that stands up to its bigger, more expensive competition, despite being from an unexpected source. Roger & Gallet’s Fleur de Figuier is part of a line of body products, which would usually make me take a fragrance less seriously, but it’s just absolutely gorgeous, so brilliantly put-together. (See full review here.)

Roger & Gallet’s Bois d’Orange is also amazing – heady and vibrant and fruity with a sensual, mysterious sort of undertone. Both scents offer excellent value for money, if you’re after a properly crafted perfume but don’t have oodles of cash to spare. Fleur de Figuier comes as a little 30ml bottle of Eau Fraiche, a snip at £11.33 hereBois d’Orange, with its sunny-exotic demeanour is £21 for 100ml here.

There you have it – an entire post borne from a bad pun. Do please leave your own Thrifty Scent suggestions and recommendations in the comments below, as well as bad puns if you can conjure any up…

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Sue Fallon
    May 6, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Bad pun but an incredibly good post! Thank you!

  2. Lisa Marshall
    May 6, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Not really a pun but… – my Mom recently picked up my Diptyque & asked me if it was “proper perfume” or ” Eau de toilet”… The saleswoman in the snooty Marylebone high st shop would be per-FUMING. X

  3. Sophie
    May 6, 2016 / 9:04 am

    Oh I love Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum! It was my perfume of choice when I was at University so the smell brings back so many memories. I think it’s mega sexy, probably too sexy for me to wear these days now I am a permanently tired and slightly podgy mum of a toddler! haha! Thanks for the reminder though :)

  4. Colene Woolcott
    May 6, 2016 / 9:07 am

    Not my favourite at all, but I can’t walk by Poeme without a spritz as it reminds me of my granny. On anyone else I would find it horrendous, but it’s nostalgia in a bottle so I can resist a sniff.

  5. sarah
    May 6, 2016 / 9:14 am

    L’Agent is an amazing one, I have it myself. I’d never buy that Kardashyan perfume though, it feels unethical to pour money on their bank accounts

    • Virginia Villalobos
      May 6, 2016 / 12:14 pm

      I have to agree, Sarah.

  6. Becks
    May 6, 2016 / 9:24 am

    Thanks for the recommendations. You must have mentioned R&G fleur de figuer a while ago because I did actually buy it and do love it. I would never have spotted this range without your post.

  7. penny
    May 6, 2016 / 11:15 am

    also ZARA have some great copy-cat scents too :)

  8. Virginia Villalobos
    May 6, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    OK, for all you proper Brits, I just thought I’d point out that the name is actually pronounced “Fitty Cent” in accordance with Black street slang here in the US, and the “T” is soft and barely present, not a hard and well-enunciated British “T.” Therefore, a perfume named “Fitty”?

  9. May 6, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Thoroughly amused by your pun and very impressed that you created a whole post based on it!


  10. Tash
    May 6, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    The Bien Etre Eau de Cologne range definitely falls into this category, very light but smell so fresh and amazing! And needless to say its pretty cheap, so you can splash them on whole day ;) x

  11. Vera
    May 6, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    Have you tried the Nouveau Cologne by 4711? It’s a lot lighter and fresher than the original one and a very nice scent for a summer day.

  12. Susanamantha
    May 6, 2016 / 1:28 pm

    50 Cent recently got himself if hot water in Cincinnati, OHio, USA for making fun of a janitor, then cussing at him when he didn’t respond. The janitor, a 19 year-old, has autism and a hearing disorder. An event planned in Cincinnati was cancelled due to the outrage over 50 cent’s insensitivity. Thought you might be interested.

  13. DenBee
    May 6, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    At last I have the internet back and can comment! – Yardley Citrus Wood for men (although I wear it) is a dead ringer for Hermes de Terre. Yardley orange blossom scent (which I am struggling to find) is absolutely lovely and cheap as chips – both from Allbeauty and finally I am a massive fan of 4711 – my nan wore it apparently and it was always on my mums dressing table when I was a kid. ;-).

  14. Esme
    May 6, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Bronnley offer a range of very well priced Eau de Toilettes; their Lime and Bergamot is an absolute dupe for Jo Malone’s French Lime Blossom Cologne. Very much cheaper though.

  15. Ira
    May 6, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    Korres, Pure Cotton. It reminds me of Prada, Infusion D’Iris.

  16. May 6, 2016 / 6:23 pm

    I love most of the Roger and Gallet scents, I like mixing them too. I often mix the Osmanthasus and Cedrat!

  17. Yvette
    May 6, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    I love Suddenly Madam Glamour from Lidl. It’s £4 and very much like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. It’s lovely and an absolute bargain!

  18. Michelle
    May 6, 2016 / 11:27 pm

    I am always embarrassed to admit this, but the perfume that I get the most compliments on when wearing is…Girlfriend by Justin Bieber. It was a gag gift at a Christmas party, but there is something in it (Bieber sweat?) that plays so nicely with my body chemistry, and I get asked about it two or three times when I wear it.

  19. Jane
    May 7, 2016 / 5:18 am

    I loved the Sarah Jessica Parker perfume but am also loving Intimately Beckham and anything by Britney Spears (not a fan of the person but surprisingly has a nice range of perfumes – although I never admit to wearing them, they are a great thing to use for day to day wear)
    Also “Thrifty Scents” is a nicer way than saying “Cheap Perfume”!

  20. Tina
    May 7, 2016 / 6:37 am

    I love a few of the Elizabeth Arden scents but I just can’t bring myself to wear them in public! I enjoyed your ramble at the start there :)

  21. May 7, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    Ooh I love that you smell a similarity to NR For Her and Lovely! Good nose, you have! They are both based on a simple clean musk oil perfume – the kind you get in a roller bottle, usually called “Egyptian Musk”. NR based his For Her perfume on the preferred perfume oil of his muse, the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. She bought an inexpensive Egyptian Musk oil called Abdul Kareem that she bought from a street vendor in NYC (ebay and Amazon may have currently) which I also adore. SJP used a drugstore musk mixed with a fancy Comme de Garcons incense perfume and based Lovely off that layering combo.

    signed, Canadian Perfume Nerd ;)

  22. Claire L
    May 7, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    I love a bad pun! Sometimes I will just wear a drugstore body spray instead of perfume and get complimented on it! Strange, eh? I like the Impulse range, I’ve been using it since I was a teenager, I like True Love and Temptation.

  23. Monica
    May 8, 2016 / 8:47 am

    Lovely by SJP was my signature scent throughout most of my late 20’s. I recently tried Narciso Rodriguez For Her at a perfume counter and I also though it smelled almost exactly like Lovely, but a little less sweeter (?).

  24. olivia
    May 10, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    Great post

  25. June 5, 2016 / 11:14 pm

    I like the new summery Rosie perfume they’ve brought out at M&S. I wasn’t impressed with the last one (‘Nuit’?) but this one (‘Summer Rose’) is really nice.


  26. Sinead
    November 26, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    I love Narciso Rodriguez For Her, and my sister wears Lovely by SJP and I’ve always said she smelled lovely When wearing it….I never twigged !! Great post. Loved the pun

  27. December 22, 2016 / 10:29 am

    A few weeks ago I went and asked the lady at the chemist if they had 4711 and she replied, “getting it for your Nan, are you?”. It’s reputation as an old lady scent is totally unjustified, it’s gorgeous and it’s delightful that it’s so inexpensive!

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