Best Affordable Perfumes: Top 7 Fragrances Most Recommended By Experts

If you’ve ever walked by the perfume counter at a department store, you know just how expensive fragrance can be. Designer perfumes may smell fantastic, but for most people, they are a definite splurge. And if you’re someone who prefers to have choices when it comes to your daily fragrance, finding affordable options is key to building a collection that you love. Luckily, our team has compiled a list of some of the best affordable perfumes to help you get started.

Science has long explored the connection between scent and memory. Sometimes, a fragrance can transport you to a time or place in life in a way few other things can. One study found that the scent of one’s home is a recognizable and powerful one. More than half of Americans (51%) experience “scent-stalgia,” missing the comforting scents of their homes after being away for a couple of days. Certain scents were familiar and evoked feelings of comfort for study participants. These familiar scents not only included “traditional” aromas like flowers but also the familiar scent of a freshly cleaned home.

Even as the years go by, fragrances are often still deeply intertwined with past memories and moments. In fact, researchers from the University of California-Irvine found that a form of aroma therapy can even help improve older adults’ memories by a considerable margin. In the study, a fragrance wafted through the bedrooms of older adults for two hours every night for a total of six months, and their memory skills improved in a major way.

While it may not boost your brain power, perfume is a great way to express yourself, remember a moment, or simply practice self-care. And smelling great doesn’t have to break the bank! Whether you prefer floral or musky, spicy or sweet, there are tons of great affordable perfumes to choose from, as long as you know where to look. To help kickstart your collection, StudyFinds searched expert reviews on the best affordable perfumes. These are the most frequently recommended options, but if you have a favorite we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments below (full list with links at bottom of post)! 

A teenage girl applying perfume
A teenage girl applying perfume (Photo by Christo on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Affordable Perfumes, According to Fragrance Experts

1. Glossier You

For a perfume that’s uniquely your own, you can’t go wrong with Glossier You. Formulated to wear differently on each individual, this perfume is best described as “your scent but better.” Perfectly blending spicy and sweet base notes, You gives your skin a subtle but impactful aroma. As Elle says, “first, it’s spicy; then, it’s sweet. Your nose tingles thanks to a flurry of pink pepper and then settles down once the powdery iris unfurls. The woodsy hook from the ambrette seeds rounds out this sweet and woodsy fragrance that’s as perfect for daytime wear as it is for nighttime excursions.”

Glossier You
Glossier You (

“Glossier You may be one of the most recognizable fragrances available — the minimalist pink ombre bottle can be spotted in countless Instagram posts and aesthetically pleasing shelfies. What’s inside the pretty bottle is what really helped it claim our best overall spot, though,” raves InStyle. “This perfume has racked up thousands of five-star reviews for its unique scent profile, which combines spicy, woodsy, and floral notes like pink pepper, ambrette seeds, and white iris. The soft, warm scent molds to the wearer, so rather than smelling just like what’s in the bottle, you get your own unique scent — sort of like a customized fragrance for a fraction of the cost of mixing your own. Our one strife is that scent doesn’t last very long, but luckily the bottle is compact enough to store in your purse if you need a midday re-up.”

Unlike traditional perfumes that fade over time, the unique formulation of You makes it so you’ll continue catching new whiffs of the scent well into the day. As Woman & Home explains, “we found that it was easy to forget you’re wearing this perfume. At times it seems like the fragrance has faded after a few hours, but then that familiar scent blows through at unsuspecting moments and it suddenly smells as fresh as when it was first applied. The beauty of You is that while you may become accustomed to the smell, passers-by will be struck by the subtle freshness of it – trust us, you will get compliments when wearing this.”

2. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist

It only takes one sniff of this Sol de Janeiro mist to fall in love. This warm and sweet hair and body fragrance is ideal for affordable everyday wear, and it’s versatile enough for just about any season or occasion. As Cosmopolitan says, “say hello to your new favorite scent. This affordable perfume is actually a mist (it’s lighter and less concentrated than a regular EDP or EDT) and can be used to fragrance your body and hair. The warm notes of vanilla and caramel are a total treat.”

orange body spray bottle with white cap
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist

“If you’re a fan of the Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream, you’ll love this fragrance mist. It perfectly bottles the scent of the iconic body cream. Salted caramel, pistachio, and vanilla intertwine to bring this intoxicating aroma to life,” says InStyle. “We love that the mist is layerable, so the more you spray, the stronger it gets — just be sure not to go too spritz-happy — one to two mistings should be enough. Also, it’s important to store it upright or the bottle can leak.”

Of course, since this option is a mist, it does tend to fade sooner than some others on this list. But thanks to its convenient plastic packaging, it’s easy to bring your bottle on-the-go for reapplications. “As a perfume body spray hybrid that can also be used on the hair, Sol de Janeiro fragrances really give some bang for your buck. Available in 90ml or a whopping 240ml, this is by far one of the largest affordable perfumes we sampled, yet it still comes in at the lowest end of the price spectrum,” notes Woman & Home. “But, with a body-mist formula, it does fade faster than traditional perfumes. To keep the scent strong it is necessary to reapply in the middle of the day, or just before going out for the evening. But with a low price point, we didn’t find the need for re-application to be an issue.”

3. Philosophy Amazing Grace

If you’re a floral lover, Philosophy’s Amazing Grace perfume is a must-try. It’s the perfect mix of clean and flowery without coming on too strong, reviewers say. “A lot of powdery floral perfumes can be way too…overbearing. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this affordable fragrance,” notes Cosmopolitan. “It’s like you’re in a flower shop without any of the suffocating scents. It’s clean and classic, and it actually lasts. What’s not to love?”

glass perfume bottle with pink label
Philosophy Amazing Grace

“Oh, Amazing Grace, how sweet the smell. Philosophy’s cult-classic spray is spring in a bottle,” claims Best Products. “Minimalist, but memorable in every way, notes of bergamot, muguet blossoms, and musk combine to create an airy, floral scent that’s worthy of becoming someone’s signature scent.”

Of course, spring is still several months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about a new seasonal scent! While a classic floral is never out of season, reviewers are particularly fond of Amazing Grace to mark the return of warmer weather. As Harper’s Bazaar says, “there’s no better way to celebrate spring than with a fresh, floral scent. Amazing Grace is a fragrance classic for a reason: it’s easy to wear and smells great on everyone.”

4. Vera Wang Princess

If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of fragrance, Vera Wang’s Princess is a great place to start. With a near-universally appealing blend of fragrance notes, it’s an affordable and enjoyable first perfume for just about anyone. “Your loved one will always feel like royalty when they spritz on Vera Wang’s Princess fragrance! The fruity floral scent has notes of waterlily, chocolate, and guava, with a base of amber and vanilla,” lists Best Products. “It’s the perfect cheap perfume match for someone looking for something light and sweet.”

purple perfume bottle with gold crown cap
Vera Wang Princess

“Princess by Vera Wang is fun and playful. It’s an unmistakable scent, recognizable after only a single spritz in a way reminiscent of youth. This is a fragrance that promises to grab hold of your fun-loving spirit no matter your age, with its heavy vanilla scent and dabs of apples, apricots, and mandarin oranges around the edges,” says Fragrance X. “Its ubiquitous, heart-shaped bottle captures the essence of femininity, encouraging you to step into its powdery sweetness and chocolatey tones.”

“Whether you know it or not, there’s a princess inside each of us and it’s time to awaken yours with Vera Wang’s affordable perfume. A bold and youthful perfume for balmy spring days, Princess is an ode to femininity and youth,” adds StyleCraze. “This amber-floral super cheap perfume has closing notes of vanilla, wood, and amber for lingering powdery traces. Even the packaging is a magical gem-shaped bottle, and with this cheap perfume, you’ll feel like you’re finally wearing your crown. Its exotic scent and great value for money have made it a favorite among reviewers.”

5. Ariana Grande Cloud

Don’t underestimate celebrity fragrances! Reviewers love Ariana Grande’s Cloud perfume for its longevity, fragrance notes, and aesthetically appealing bottle — and of course, the affordable price point. “We didn’t anoint Ariana Grande the last great celebrity perfumer for no reason,” notes Harper’s Bazaar. “Her Cloud scent has gone mega-viral because the spicy and sweet gourmand scent is beloved by people of all ages and tax brackets.”

cloud shaped perfume bottle
Ariana Grande Cloud

This fragrance “will douse you with top notes of lavender, pear, and bergamot. As it dries down, warm musk and delicious coconut shine through,” says an Allure reviewer. “Safe to say, Ms. Grande delivers with this eau de parfum. The fragrance is sensual and musky with an incredible wear time.”

“We can all agree on the fact that Ariana Grande knows how to sing, but her ventures into beauty truly showcase how multifaceted she is. While R.E.M. Beauty receives a lot of attention, we consider Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum the underdog,” adds InStyle. “It is simultaneously light, airy, warm, and spicy. One spray gives way to notes of lavender blossoms, pears, and creme de coconut that intermingle with deeper hints of praline, vanilla orchid, and sensual musk. Altogether, it creates a vibrato for your nose when spritzed onto skin.”

6. Billie Eilish Eilish

Billie Eilish fans aren’t the only ones who will fall in love with her debut fragrance. With classic vanilla notes and an exciting blend of spices, Eilish is a perfect perfume for day or night wear. As Elle puts it, “you love Billie Eilish, but you’ll love her eau de parfum even more. A delectable vanilla scent, Ellish has a spicy side and works as a great base to build up the warmth to your desired intensity.”

gold bust fragrance bottle
Billie Eilish Eilish

“If there’s one thing the 2020s have brought us, it’s celebrity beauty brands. Billie Eilish joined the masses with the drop of her new fragrance, Eau de Parfum, just last year. And trust, the scent is just as pretty as the bottle,” claims Cosmopolitan. “This is a wonderful fragrance if you are into sensual, warm vanilla scents. This one has a hint of musk immediately after spraying, almost masculine-y musk, but upon drying down, it’s a sweet vanilla scent that just reminds me of being wrapped in a cozy cashmere sweater.”

It would be difficult to not mention this fragrance’s striking packaging. On top of its delightful scent profile, a bottle of Eilish also makes a statement just by sitting on your vanity. As Harper’s Bazaar adds, “vanilla, spice, and cocoa round out this true gourmand in a showstopping bottle. Billie Eilish wanted her debut fragrance to feel like a warm embrace—and she accomplished just that.”

7. OUAI Melrose Place

For a luxe feel on a budget, OUAI offers fragrances that pack an impressive punch that goes well beyond their price range. Specifically, experts love Melrose Place for its sweet scent reminiscent of far pricier perfumes. “This light, floral scent is the ultimate feminine fragrance for day-to-night wear. With hints of bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk, OUAI describes this scent as a one-way ticket to LA in a bottle,” explains Woman & Home. “Certainly at the sweeter end of the spectrum, this perfume is ideal for anyone who is on the hunt for a bold scent that will rake in the compliments.”

glass perfume bottle with pink liquid
OUAI Melrose Place

“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,” notes a Who What Wear reviewer. “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.”

Many floral scents are favored for daytime wear, but experts say Melrose Place is versatile enough to be carried over into the evening hours. But of course, if you love spraying on a flowery scent in the morning, this still fits the bill. Consider it your one-size-fits-all all floral! As IPSY puts it, “if you like bright floral scents like us, then this should [definitely] be your new fragrance. It’s a rich, rose-smelling fragrance with hints of bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk—the perfect fresh and floral scent for a day-to-night transition.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.


  1. Study finds perfumes are full of phthalate hormone disrupters, neurotoxins and cancer-causing chemicals. Sadly, no government agency regulates the ingredients or advertising lies (no flowers or spices in reality just petrochemical solvents listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act). Find a healthy way to smell good. Studies also say eating tropical fruit improves your skin AND makes you smell good naturally otherwise a little vanilla extract or other extract on your pulse points is enough.

    1. Liz as careful as I am of what I put on my face and in my body I never thought about what I sprayed on me. And that makes me very sad because I love perfume. I don’t know how I didn’t think of this. Thanks

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