5 Tips For Buying Good Value Fragrances

How to buy the best fragrances without going over budget.

a bottle of perfume
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Whether you’re buying for yourself or a loved one, it can be pretty easy to go over budget when buying fragrances. With some perfumes costing upwards of £200, the perfect fragrance can seem far out of reach for most people. However, there are a few handy techniques that can see you smelling fresh as a daisy without going over budget. 

If you’re looking for some hints and tips for buying good-value fragrances that won’t break the bank but will leave you smelling lovely, read on. 

Visit The Fragrance Shop

If you’re someone who is after a brand-new fragrance that will leave them feeling gorgeous but still wants to stick to a semi-affordable budget, The Fragrance Shop is for you. Shopping these low-cost designer fragrances won’t require a small loan but will leave you smelling fresh as a daisy for less. 

The Fragrance Shop stocks a huge range of designer fragrances for both men and women, meaning that you’ll be spoilt for choice on your hunt for a new signature scent. While you’re not always guaranteed to make some huge savings, checking the clearance section of The Fragrance Shop website is a great place to start.

Furthermore, becoming a TFS member will give you access to loads of fragrance discounts. My TFS costs £15 per year and you will receive 3x20% discounts as well as gaining exclusive access to huge savings on designer fragrances across the site. While you may not want to invest in the membership if you’re only buying one bottle, My TFS is cost-efficient for customers looking to buy bottles throughout the year. 

Shop second-hand


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Typing ‘fragrance for women’ into the eBay search bar results in over 140,000 hits, so second-hand perfume shoppers are really going to be spoilt for choice. Whilst many of the results seemed to be brand-new and fully priced, toggling the search filters means that you can refine the search results to display second-hand items only. This will then display all of the fragrances that are up for grabs. 

To give a few examples of what can be found on a site such as eBay, I found a 100ml bottle of Clinique Happy for just £13 - this fragrance tends to retail for around £25. I also came across Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh EDT 75ml for only £8.99 - this retails for around £55! I found both of these scents after scrolling for just 2 minutes, suggesting that loads more bargains can be found if you’re patient. 

As you can see, there are certainly some savings to be made. If you’re intrigued by the thought of saving money by shopping second-hand, check out this article about how much money you can save buying second-hand clothes. 

Buy perfume dupes

This tip is a personal favourite of mine, as I am a big fan of finding inexpensive fragrance dupes that save me money without scrimping on the scent. Surprisingly, I have often found that wearing the dupe of a designer perfume will actually bring me more compliments than wearing the original. 

While Zara, Next, and Boots all release popular perfumes that can be worn as dupes for more expensive fragrances, M&S is undeniably the fan favourite when it comes to fragrance dupes. Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, there’s no denying that Marks and Spencer has an absolutely huge selection of fragrances, including ranges such as Apothecary, Autograph, Signature, Fragrance Society, Provenance, Monotheme and Discover.

An M&S dupe for YSL Black Opium (£65) is Midnight Blossom from the Discover Range, coming in at just £9.50 for 100ml, whilst a dupe for Paco Rabanne Lady Million (£84.99) is Warm Neroli at just £9.50. Dupes for iconic fragrances such as Calvin Klein One, La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, Chanel No.5 and Chanel Mademoiselle can also be found both online and in-store. 

While dupes are a great way to invest in a new scent for less, have a browse of some original and unique M&S fragrances while you’re browsing. One of my favourite scents from M&S is Wild Jasmine Eau De Toilette, 100ml, £19.50. It’s fresh, flowery and fun, without breaking a £20 note. Perfect!

Also, use this website to discover some thrifty dupes for your favourite scents; simply type the name of a fragrance into the search bar and receive an amazing alternative that won’t see you going over budget. 

And if you’re after the pros and cons of shopping for beauty dupes, check out this article which explores whether beauty dupes can compare to the original products.

Shop the seasonal sales


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A surprising amount of people often seem to forget that shopping the seasonal sales is one of the best ways to save money. Whether it’s Christmas, New Year’s, Black Friday or Easter, shopping for fragrances during a seasonal period will likely find you scoring a great deal. 

Retailers such as The Fragrance Shop, The Perfume Shop, Fragrance Direct and more have been known to reduce their products by up to 70% during seasonal periods, meaning that customers will be likely to find hefty reductions to designer fragrances. While it’s always a good idea to check the Sale and Clearance pages of these websites all year round, shopping during specific sales events is the best way to get the biggest discounts.

Indeed, Valentine’s Day is one of the seasonal periods that is best for perfume lovers. Whether you’re shopping for a partner or not, it’s time to put yourself first - treat yourself to a heavily reduced scent to really feel the love this February 14th. 

And if you’re preparing for a few ways to save this Valentine’s Day, check out this guide to Valentine’s Gifts on a budget.

Buy the right type of perfume or aftershave

For the fragrance novices out there, this one’s for you. When buying a new perfume or aftershave, it’s important to understand how long-lasting (or not) your new scent will be. With the right research, you should be able to buy the perfect perfume for you. Read on to find out what the concentration of a scent means for you and your wallet. 

Parfum - A parfum is the strongest type of perfume you can buy and has a 20-30% fragrance concentration, so should last the longest.

Eau de Parfum - This is still a strong perfume, with a 15-20% fragrance concentration. 

Eau de Toilette- This perfume is lighter and tends to be cheaper, with a 5-15% fragrance concentration.

Eau de Cologne - This one is even lighter, with a 2-4% fragrance concentration.

Eau Fraiche - This is a very light perfume, with a fragrance concentration of 1-3%.

Knowing this detail will prevent you from wasting money on a scent that will only last 5 minutes. For example, if you spend a hefty chunk of your budget on an Eau de Cologne, you may find that you’ve wasted it, whereas spending the same amount on a Parfum could be an investment that would last for hours. 

So, there you have it. With 5 handy tips for buying good-value fragrances, you’re going to be smelling as fresh as a daisy without going into the minus figures. From shopping second-hand to hitting the seasonal sales, seeking out the dupes to swotting up on your perfume knowledge, buying a new perfume doesn’t have to break the bank in the process.  

Mazy Wyeth


Hi there! My name is Mazy and I’ve been a part of the vouchers world since November 2022. After studying English Literature with Creative Writing at university, I realised that I would love to incorporate writing into my career - so here I am! 

You could say that I have a mild addiction to online shopping, specifically second-hand shopping; you probably won’t find me spending thousands on a brand-new outfit, but you will find me deep into a browse of my favourite second-hand clothing apps, including Depop, Vinted, eBay, Preloved and Vestiaire Collective.