I'm a Perfume Snob, But These High-Street Fragrances Smell So Expensive

I have a confession to make. Since starting my career as a beauty journalist, I've acquired quite a collection of fragrances over the years. Due to the nature of the job, I've been lucky enough to receive lots of expensive fragrances, from Byredo to Jo Malone, and I've developed quite a high-end taste—and nose. It was only when standing in the queues of some of my favourite high-street stores recently that I really took notice of the affordable fragrances available. And in recent years, they have seriously upped their game.


(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK)

While we love treating ourselves to premium fragrances, we also love finding an affordable gem to add to our perfume collections.

With brands such as Jo Loves (which was founded by fragrance royalty Jo Malone) pairing with stores like Zara, high-street fragrances have shed their sickly sweet reputation and become seriously sophisticated. In fact, you can probably find a perfume dupe on the high street—or at least something very similar—for the most popular fragrances nowadays. So you don’t always have to break the budget to smell expensive. Whether you like clean-smelling fragrances or fruity scents or want to find your signature perfume on a budget, high-street brands H&M, Marks and Spencer, & Other Stories, The Body Shop and Zara are really leading the way for more affordable high-street perfumes.

To help you find your new high-street fragrance, I've found the best sellers from each store and put them to the test, matching them and their notes to their more expensive counterparts. And I have to say, these are now permanent fixtures on my fragrance shelf alongside my premium favourites.

The Best Affordable High-Street Perfumes

1. Marks & Spencer Apothecary Warmth

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2. Marks & Spencer Sea Salt & Neroli

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4. The Body Shop British Rose Eau de Toilette

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5. Bon Parfumeur 301 Sandalwood Amber Cardamom

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6. Zara Sublime Epoque

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7. The Body Shop White Musk Eau de Toilette

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8. Zara Red Temptation

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9. Marks and Spencer Gardenia & Vanilla

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10. H&M Sunray Eau de Toilette

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This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Next Up: And Now, Our List of the Best Perfumes of All Time

Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.