I'll be the first to admit that I have a penchant for expensive perfumes. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say that the majority of my fragrance wardrobe is composed of highly priced designer scents. But I'm not talking about $300-plus fragrances. (Although, there are a couple of those.) I'm talking about those that hover around $100 to $200. Take my all-time favorite signature scent, for instance. It clocks in at a healthy $98, and I simply can't stop spritzing it.
While my nose appreciates a high-end fragrance, my wallet appreciates something a little more cost-effective. That used to mean forgoing my favorite complex and layered scents for something a little more, well, average. So in my mind, inexpensive perfume became associated with decidedly inexpensive scents.
Fast-forward to today, and that association simply isn't accurate. Lately, I've been noticing a wealth of affordable fragrances that smell surprisingly expensive. In fact, some of them are competing with my other perfumes that are double, if not triple, their prices. Ahead, see 14 under-$50 perfumes you should add to your collection. Trust me—they're legit.
Leave it to a French brand to create a budget-friendly yet incredibly expensive-smelling perfume like this one. With notes of citrus, coconut, orange, vanilla, and florals, it smells warm and sophisticated.
If your fragrance vibe is "sheets straight from the dryer" or "freshly washed cotton T-shirt," this is the affordable fragrance for you. Notes of bergamot, peony, and amber make it a fresh and comforting scent.
Dossier is a fragrance brand that promises high-end scents at an affordable price. In other words, it's right up my alley. The brand takes inspiration from popular designer perfumes. This one, for example, is inspired by Jo Malone's Wood Sage & Sea Salt ($155). As such, notes include fig, grapefruit, and, of course, sage and sea salt.
With notes of orange flower, vanilla, and amber, this perfume is equal parts floral and warm, which just so happens to be my favorite combination. It's also cruelty-free, vegan, and free of phthalates and dyes.
As someone who used to live in L.A., this perfume is nostalgic to me. It has notes of raspberry, pear, green leaves, coconut milk, pink rose, peony, sandalwood, vanilla, and musk, so it's beachy, summery, and perfect.
Who remembers the green-apple fragrances of yesteryear? If you were as into them as I was, you'll love this Y2K-approved take from Zara. Notes of apple, orange, and pink grapefruit make it fresh and bright. Notes of rose, jasmine, violet, and peony make it sweet and floral. And finally, notes of cedar and sandalwood give it a warm, woody base.
Philosophy Fresh Cream Warm Cashmere Eau de Toilette
This fragrance is a woody gourmand, which basically means it's both woody and sweet. It's all thanks to notes of tangerine (one of my personal favorites), cashmere wood, orchid, vanilla, sandalwood, and musk.
I know what you're thinking: Another Dossier perfume? Yes, but I couldn't not include this one. If you like Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum ($122) as much as I do, you'll love this fragrance. It's a blend of bergamot, rose, oakmoss, and patchouli in a base of amber.