How I Find Perfumes at Affordable Prices!

My collection of perfume is bigger than most people’s. Of course this means I have parted with the cash over the years but, there genuinely have been times when my claims of “I really don’t spend that much on it!” have been true! I decided to break this down into what are hopefully handy tips and tricks for finding the best value when buying the perfumes you love.

Perfume takes pride of place at home!

1. Set Rules!

I have certain rules and limits with how much I’m willing to spend on different perfumes and brands. This does take a bit of willpower (and I have a recent example of where I’ve broken my own rule – Festive Fantasy I’m looking at you!) but on the whole it means I feel I don’t pay over the odds for a scent. I would hate to spend nearly £40 on a bottle when it was newly launched to then see it be reduced in price. Also, I will stick to my guns when it comes to offers and freebies. If I only want a small bottle I won’t buy the bigger one because of the value of the larger ones or a free gift I’m not keen on.

2. Wait!

This links to the point above. If you wait for a little while after a perfume launch, it is more than likely that the price of the perfume will be lowered. I have only just bought myself Mariah Carey’s “Dreams” perfume because previously I just couldn’t justify the prices I had been seeing. I think it was created three years ago – easily- but to know I have only parted with £27 for a decently sized bottle makes it worth the wait!

3. Make a Wishlist.

It makes sense that if you’re playing the long game and waiting for lower prices, setting up a wishlist of all those perfumes you have your eye on will allow you the chance to check back and occasionally “Google” some names to see if any are on sale. Also, a wishlist that your family have access to, say, on Amazon (where they’re easy to set up) makes shopping for you easy for them and can help knock some perfumes from your list!

I always have a wishlist on the go!

4. Ask for Perfumes for Special Occasions.

I’m 36. I started collecting perfume when I was 15. That’s a lot of birthdays! I know sometimes my family have probably been a bit fed up with being asked for perfumes, but as I get so much enjoyment from them it makes sense that they are among the gifts I receive. Saying that, I know that one of my sisters is now fed up with being asked for Lush products…they’re such a treat though! Plus, I make sure that if I’m asking for a perfume I let my family know the best place to buy it from as I still hate the idea of anyone being overcharged!

5. Websites…don’t be afraid to shop online!

I have been shopping online since around 2007 and to date I’ve only had one bad experience – which happens to have been last month! I have found this is the cheapest way to buy perfume as a rule and it was most handy for me at a time when I didn’t enjoy shopping in town centres. Yes, there is the blind buy element, but as I don’t often feel I can relax in certain stores enough to really browse, I feel I might as well buy online. Even better perhaps, some of my followers on Instagram send for lots of testers – online AND low risk. Most of the time though, I am buying something I have had a quick test of in a shop and I’m sure enough about it to make the online purchase. My favourite sites include:

– All Beauty – I have had so many perfumes from here over the years, both for myself and family…the value and delivery is brilliant…my order history would make for a long read! Most recently I’ve bought David Beckham scents as gifts because the value is so good.

– eBay – I think for success with eBay you just need to read the seller’s reviews and ensure that you’re buying a brand new and sealed product if that’s what you’re after. There are some real gems on there at the moment including the Rock the Rainbow Juicy Couture scents. In the past I’ve bought scents from Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton from eBay with no issues. In terms of the problem I had last month, I have myself to blame for not reading what had been poor reviews – lesson learnt!

Direct Cosmetics – I’m forever grateful to this one for stocking my beloved Harajuku Lovers scents in tester-sized bottles!

6. Always be on the lookout!

I can find a perfume section in a shop within seconds. Sam and I always have a look, even when probably we shouldn’t, because you never know when something from your wishlist will crop up in a supermarket or a TK Maxx. I don’t mind where my perfume comes from, after all it’s the product I want and not the store experience, so I will look any and everywhere for it. This has meant that I’ve found Christmas gifts for family nice and easily and unexpectedly. We bought one gift in the summer (I won’t say what in case the recipient is reading!) and it was such a find from Savers.

7. Buy perfume on holiday!

When on holiday, it’s likely you’re in treat-mode. It’s also likely that you’ve saved money or “gone without” a little in some area or other to be able to afford the few days ahead of you. Sigh. Who else misses flying abroad?! Be that as it may, after my first trip to New York, perfume shopping became a big part of my holiday fun and spending money. I’m not saying you have to come back with a case full, but looking ahead to a perfume you’d love to own and buying it while away means it comes from a set budget and is likely to be more affordable to you than a sudden purchase from home that you hadn’t planned out. A lovely bonus of this is that you then come to associate the scents with your travels. To be honest, even where I’ve tested certain perfumes now brings back memories of different places. Lady Million – Prague! Even for smaller trips, we end up perfume shopping because we are relaxed and if that’s what we are prepared to spend some of the money on it seems a little more justified! Sam and I both bought scents in Zara the night before we got married – Leather Oud and Bohemian Bluebells – and he treated me to Lord of Misrule from Lush the day after!

8. Try dupes

I love a good dupe. Especially an accidental one where I buy something I like and then realise how close to a certain perfume it is. Sadly, the internet is currently filled with schemes offering to “save you money” on your scents, but I find that there are so many brands who offer fun mists and sprays which can be enjoyed for themselves aswell as the more famous scents that they replicate.

My favourite brands for mists and affordable scents are:

– Primark – the bottles are cute and I have a lovely J’adore dupe in the form of PS…Rainbow and a Minnie Mouse mist (ha) that smells like Chloe!

– Superdrug – The Layering Lab Collection looks beautiful with its rainbow colours and each scent has been likened to a brand scent.

– Poundland. Impossible to go wrong! I’d have parted with more than a pound for the amazing Black Dust which smells so much like Black Opium. Beau Reve is also beautiful and is said to be a dupe for La Vie est Belle!

Beau Reve – a £1 dupe of La Vie est Belle!

Impulse – The sprays are unique, strong and have great note combinations. I love Tropical Beach + Espresso aswell as Burnt Marshmallow + Leather Jacket!

My favourite Impulse scent!

9. Test before you buy!

I’ve called myself “queen of the blind buy” in another post and I’ve had lots of luck. However, it would have been so easy for me to pick up the latest Britney scent – Prerogative Ego – without trying when I have so much love for all the others. Fortunately this time I waited to test and I’m glad I did – I find this one a little sickly and to have bought it would have been money too easily parted with. It’s different if you are determined to try something or you can afford to lose the money as such, but for anything closer to £30 I know I won’t buy now without trying.

10. Taste

O.K. This one is more subjective. I just don’t LIKE the idea of scents that cost the earth!I did sample a beautiful and very expensive scent from a brand recently and I would love to own the bottle, but I really can’t imagine paying the full price for it! I think for this reason I avoid certain brands altogether and if money were no object I would remain very choosy in what made it to the collection. People are different of course and some people choose to have fewer more expensive scents than a big collection like mine!

Have these tips helped? Is there anything here that you already do or can suggest to me?! I’d love to know!

Love, Sarah xx

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