12 Must-Have Perfumes If You Want to Smell Luxurious for *So Much* Less



If you're reading this right now, it's safe to assume that you've experienced finding the fragrance of your dreams just to discover a heart-wrenching price tucked away in the corner of its packaging. Maybe you, like me, returned your find to the shelf but haven't been able to get its image out of your head. What if I told you that the designer fragrances adorning the vanities of the content creators and celebrities you've come across don't always live up to the hype? What if that price tag saved you from draining your bank account only to discover your chosen eau de parfum, toilette, or oil carries little to no sillage after you leave a room?

Take it from me—it's always a good idea to know what you're in for before reaching for your wallet. Fear not! I've sorted through my personal fragrance collection and rounded up all the luxurious yet low-cost scents that I can't get enough of with the reviews to back them up. If you're interested in seeing which ones made the list, keep reading!

1. Ouai Rue St. Honoré Eau de Parfum

Key Notes: Violet, gardenia, ylang-ylang, white musk

I know how challenging it can be to find a gardenia fragrance that's not too overpowering or mature. Ouai's Rue St. Honoré accomplishes this by balancing its blooming gardenia notes with powdery violet and gardenia before it is grounded by a smooth white musk.

Customer review: "I always looked for perfumes with the smell of fresh floral, and I must say, this is what I was exactly looking for all along. It's so mild yet so refreshing, takes me into a garden full of flowers. Highly recommend this to all the floral lovers."

2. Zara Applejuice Eau de Toilette

Key notes: Apple, orange, pink grapefruit, cedar, sandalwood

Don't let the name of this eau de toilette deter you. Zara's Applejuice has been flying off the shelves, and for good reason. It's a timeless, clean-smelling fragrance that, with some dry-down time, reveals layers of sparkling fruits.

Customer review: "I never thought I'd love this as much as I do. I wasn't really a fan of clean scents up until recently but this is gorgeous. Makes me smell so clean, elegant, feminine. Totally recommended and it gets compliments."

3. The 7 Virtues Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum

Key notes: Mandarin, orange blossom (neroli), jasmine, bergamot labdanum

In the mood for something more nostalgic? Crafted with ethically sourced orange blossom essential oil from Afghanistan, Orange Blossom will whisk you away to sun-soaked spring days. All 7 Virtues fragrances are clean, cruelty-free, and vegan.

Customer review: "This is the closest thing to orange blossom that I’ve found (and I’ve tried a lot) that doesn’t overpower. It is beautiful, warm, and nostalgic of spring afternoons. It has good staying power, too. I’m so glad I took a chance and ordered it."

4. Scent Organix Rise and Shine Eau de Toilette

Key notes: Tangerine, lemon spritz, hyacinth, peach blossom, orange zest

This Scent Organix fragrance was my first introduction to this sustainable brand. This exuberant, fruity scent wakes the senses with a vibrant blend of citrus, fresh florals, and orange zest, making Rise and Shine one of my favorite scents to spray before beginning my day.

Customer review: "I love love this perfume—it's fresh, light and smells lovely! I wear it during the daytime and lasts the majority of the day! It's not overpowering which I like, the cost is even better, not overpriced."

5. Philosophy Fresh Cream Warm Cashmere Eau de Toilette

Key notes: Vanilla musk, tangerine, orchid, vanilla bean, sandalwood

Once fall hits, I break out all things cashmere, from my favorite cozy sweaters to fragrances. Fresh Cream Warm Cashmere checks all the boxes. It's elegant and beyond aesthetically pleasing and adds an unexpected twist to the brand's best-selling Fresh Cream eau de toilette with added hints of vanilla musk.

Customer review: "I went through one of the smaller bottles pretty quickly and will be buying a bigger size. This is a beautiful, cozy, and comforting vanilla scent with a hint of woods. There's a little hint of a powdery note, but not overpowering. A staple!"

6. Zara Red Vanilla Eau de Toilette

Key notes: Iris, red peony, mandarin, raspberry, vanilla accord

While we're on the topic of vanilla scents, I would be failing you if I didn't mention this Zara fragrance find. Described by the brand as "sophisticated, warm, and spicy," Red Vanilla offers a blooming bouquet of iris and red peony fused with smooth vanilla accords and juicy mandarin. Yes, it's that good.

Customer review: "This is a gorgeous Zara cheapie and probably my fave of what I've tried of the line. The vanilla shines and it's def the star but I think the blackcurrant comes through and makes it a bit 'deeper' highly recommend!"



7. Fin'ery Flower Bed Eau de Parfum

Key notes: Lush peony, green apple, wild bamboo leaf

Sold exclusively at Target, Fine'ry offers a selection of fragrances inspired by popular designer counterparts. Flower Bed captures lush greens and vibrant florals with high-quality ingredients that deliver a long-lasting unique and elevated scent experience.

Customer review: "I was so impressed with this perfume. Not only is the bottle really pretty, but the perfume smells so good. It is very floral and fruity and smells so fresh. And it lasts a long time. For the price point, it's a great value. I may have to buy a backup bottle!"

8. Ouai North Bondi Eau de Parfum

Key notes: Italian lemon, jasmine, rose de mai, violet, bergamot

Inspired by Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach, this perfume combines notes of bergamot, Italian lemon, and jasmine to create a sheer white fragrance complimented by florals. In the end, it's a day-to-night fragrance that can be worn by anyone, anywhere.

Customer review: "[It's] my favorite perfume and has become my signature scent. I get compliments all the time! I also use the Ouai dry shampoo when necessary so it’s just an extra little boost of this amazing and fresh fragrance!"

9. 19-69 Kasbah Eau de Parfum

Key notes: White honey, patchouli, sandalwood

This one is for fans of gourmand fragrances. 19-69's Kasbah is a seductive and aromatic scent featuring a smooth blend of spices, white honey, and woodsy notes reminiscent of Marrakesh during the 1960s and 1970s. As warm and spicy as it is, this eau de parfum is incredibly layerable. 

Customer review: "I love this. It's a strong lasting fragrance I can smell the warm sweet notes as it dries down with a spicy twist. It's so nice. This was a super blind buy because I had never heard of this brand prior. Glad I took the chance it was worth it!"

10. Tocca Bianca Eau de Parfum

Key notes: Rose petals, jasmine, green tea

Tocca's Bianca is inspired by the seaside cliffs of the Amalfi coast. Marrying green tea and bright citrus with powdery, fresh rose petals and jasmine, it's an uplifting and clean scents that smells as luxurious as it appears.

Customer review: "One of my favorite lighter Tocca fragrances, with a fresh, crisp, citrus twist, tart and sweet. Love how Tocca offers so many layering options to extend the scent, inspired by tea time in Italy, without the grappa (an alcoholic beverage)."

11. Ouai Melrose Place Eau de Parfum

Key notes: Champagne, lychee, cedarwood, bergamot, rose, white musk

When you think of clean fragrances, do you associate them with champagne and bergamot? Ouai's Melrose Places proves it's possible. According to the brand, this perfume is crafted to "smell like L.A. sunsets and valet parking," but to me, it's a little less glam and more sweet.

Customer review: "Clean, little bit of champagne, slightly floral. I think it lasts a good four hours. When you're fresh out of the shower, get a great start to your day with a few spritzes of this. I do think this could also easily be layered with other perfumes. Perfect for daily wear and inoffensive. If you want to blind buy it, go ahead."

12. Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum

Key notes: Lily, white floral, musk

Here's a scent from Ralph Lauren that combines sparkling top notes of pink pepper and mandarin atop bright florals and woodsy musks, adding unexpected mystery and sensuality to an otherwise classic floral fragrance.

Customer review: "I get so many compliments when I wear this I don't even bother with my other perfumes any more. It is almost indescribable how perfect this scent is. It has gorgeous depth, is so feminine without being girly, and is perfectly balanced."