Feminine cheapie classics shopping list

philosophe

Super Member
Sep 15, 2019
This is the feminine fragrance version of the question I posed in the masculine fragrances forum. What are some must-have true classics available at low or reasonably low prices at discounters or Amazon? Looking to give my wife's collection a boost. She tends to like jasmine/white florals, orientals, musks, patchoulis, chypres, and other rich, creamy scents. For reference, some of her current favorites include Le Labo Jasmin 17, TF Black Orchid, Shalimar, Dune, Mugler Alien and Angel, Gucci Memoire d'une Odeur, and NR Pure Musc. She also tends to like every old school scent we smell lol. With that in mind, what are some classics we should look into?
 

Cook.bot

Flâneuse
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
Does she like green leather chypres? The new resurrection of Cabochard EDP is a true winner, so much better than the flabby reformulation that's been on the shelves for the past decade. A gorgeous, heavy Lalique-quality bottle too, and available all over the discounters for ~$30 U.S. (It comes in EDT too, but I can't speak to that.)

gres-cabochard-edp-100-caja-new.jpg
 

chypre

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 10, 2006
Laura Biagiotto Roma - Fresh oriental. Current version focuses less on the amber and more on the vanilla, and has less grapefruit, but it's still good (I actually prefer the current version since I dislike grapefruit in fragrances).
Givenchy Ysatis - floral chypre, vintage version is quite animalic. The version I tried back in 2018, whilst lighter, was still good.

Also, not discounted these days, but not overly expensive: Florientals like Samsara, L'Heure Bleue and Chanel Coco EDP. She could also try Lauder's Tuscany per Donna, a light woody oriental, though I haven't tried the reformulated version.
 

Cook.bot

Flâneuse
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
Diorella (available at Saks)
Also, not discounted these days, but not overly expensive: Florientals like Samsara, L'Heure Bleue and Chanel Coco EDP.

All of these are far from what I'd consider cheapies. The OP didn't specify a dollar amount, but I'd call a cheapie something that's easily found for less than 40 cents per ML.
 

leffleur

Basenotes Junkie
Feb 14, 2005
Cheapies for me are actually cheap, so I’ll keep my suggestion mostly to under $30.
Chypre :
Coriandre
Paloma Picasso
Charlie (or Charlie Blue)
Halston
Cabochard

A little more expensive, but can be had for under $50- 1000 (Patou).

Musk:
Kuumba Made Egyptian Musk
Coty Wild Musk
Jovan Musk
Nemat Amber
Lovely, since she likes NR.

Other classics:
Avon Candid
Jontue

Since she likes jasmine:
Lush Lust- the solid version is reasonably priced.
 
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Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
Does she like green leather chypres? The new resurrection of Cabochard EDP is a true winner, so much better than the flabby reformulation that's been on the shelves for the past decade. A gorgeous, heavy Lalique-quality bottle too, and available all over the discounters for ~$30 U.S. (It comes in EDT too, but I can't speak to that.)

gres-cabochard-edp-100-caja-new.jpg
I love this one too (for me). Prices are even better now--the EDT pops up for $13-15, with the EDP usually a few bucks more but often under $20. I think fragrancenet has them both very cheap at the moment.

As for EDP vs EDT, I tested them side by side a few times. They're very similar and both pretty unisex, but the EDT leans slightly more masculine (or more squarely unisex I suppose), slightly louder/sharper in the opening, less round in the base, and slightly less longevity. The EDP is smoother, rounder, with a bit more florals up top (more noticeable ylang ylang), and feels a hair more feminine; the base is slightly heavier and lasts a bit longer, but projection is more "scent bubble" than scent trail. They both dry down to a very similar leather chypre base as you'd expect for this style (which smells a lot like the men's Aramis cologne). The EDT gets to that accord faster, whereas the EDP hangs in the floral zone a bit longer. Both are great!
 
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Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
I haven't tried it yet, but another classic feminine that can be had cheaply (and is on my personal radar, as a guy) is Rochas Femme. The current formulation goes for $30 or so. I gather it's a funky cumin beast in modern form, so it may not be to everyone's tastes. But I know the current version has a vocal following in certain circles and I plan to pick it up at some point.

EDITED to add a couple more I just thought of:

First, another I haven't tried but want to: Jacomo Silences. Pops up for $20-30 at discounters. I can't speak to the current formulation (though I like my bottle of current Jacomo de Jacomo), but I gather this is a 70s green chypre that gets compared to Chanel No 19.

Second, not a classic at all, but a very new retro-styled floral/musk that's being blown out at discounters: Serge Lutens Fils de Joie. I got 100 ml for $65 the other day at Fragrancenet. Gorgeous, pungent night-blooming jasmine, ylang-ylang, honey, and musk. Arguably unisex (I wear it), but probably leaning feminine. Lutens La Fille de Berlin is also stunning and goes for just a bit more (it's a blood red rose & geranium).
 

philosophe

Super Member
Sep 15, 2019
Lots of great suggestions. Thanks! Cabochard looks really interesting to me. Based on the note breakdown, it sounds both like something she'd enjoy, and something I'd like to wear too. I love Bernard Chant's Aramis line creations. Apropos of that, someone also mentioned Aromatics Elixir. She has a travel size of that also. I have more mixed feelings about this one, personally.
 

philosophe

Super Member
Sep 15, 2019
I worked with a lady who wore it pretty lightly, and it still left a massive wake whenever she walked the halls. Thankfully, I think it's great stuff! 🤩
It's certainly of high quality, but it is loud. I think Geiger counters can detect its presence. It also has a tendency to rub off on you (and everything else), then you too smell like a grande dame for the rest of the day and into the next lol. Ladies, definitely don't commit any crimes while wearing this, because it won't take a bloodhound to sniff you out. Jokes aside, it is a nice fragrance, but its associations sometimes take away from my enjoyment of it on my wife.
 

Redneck Perfumisto

League of Cycloöctadiene Isomer Aestheticists
Basenotes Plus
Feb 27, 2008
It's certainly of high quality, but it is loud. I think Geiger counters can detect its presence. It also has a tendency to rub off on you (and everything else), then you too smell like a grande dame for the rest of the day and into the next lol. Ladies, definitely don't commit any crimes while wearing this, because it won't take a bloodhound to sniff you out. Jokes aside, it is a nice fragrance, but its associations sometimes take away from my enjoyment of it on my wife.
Great point about it sticking to anything exposed. I could actually smell it on myself after visiting that gal! 😁
 

MissM2U

Basenotes Member
Jun 18, 2017
Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop is one of the supercheap classics!

VR's review of that one mentions Aromatics Elixir - another classic!
Just beware. Those are the two most aggressive frags I know. After wearing Tea Rose everyday for a few months back in the '80s, my nose was so exhausted I couldn't smell it anymore!

Don't get me wrong... I love both Tea Rose and Aromatics Elixir. But I wear them sparingly and only once in a while.
 
Jan 12, 2013
This is the feminine fragrance version of the question I posed in the masculine fragrances forum. What are some must-have true classics available at low or reasonably low prices at discounters or Amazon? Looking to give my wife's collection a boost. She tends to like jasmine/white florals, orientals, musks, patchoulis, chypres, and other rich, creamy scents. For reference, some of her current favorites include Le Labo Jasmin 17, TF Black Orchid, Shalimar, Dune, Mugler Alien and Angel, Gucci Memoire d'une Odeur, and NR Pure Musc. She also tends to like every old school scent we smell lol. With that in mind, what are some classics we should look into?
Hi there, haven’t seen anyone suggest this one, but have you tried Molinard de Molinard? You can sometimes find it relatively inexpensively on Mercari or eBay. I too love the big, classic perfumes and this one is really gorgeous. It’s not shy and retiring, that’s for sure, and sometimes you can find older Lalique bottles.
 

MissM2U

Basenotes Member
Jun 18, 2017
Might i suggest a slightly different strategy? why not try some of the moderately priced newer scents? There are some delicious frags out there, like Closer by Halle Berry, or Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea Honeysuckle, or Adidas Move for Women (fabulous "sport" frangrance), or my absolute favorite discovery in newer perfumes, Pitbull for Women (by, who else, Pitbull). In my experience, these are more enjoyable (and have better projection (aka sillage) and longevity) than the reformulations of a lot of the "classic" frags.

And don't forget a great source for inexpensive bottles is the perfume collections at discount stores like Targét and Ross. And they are great places for testing, since they usually have total knockoffs ("smells just like Chanel #5"). If it turns out your wife doesn't like a bargain scent (or it doesnt smell good on her), you can always use it as room spray. 😉

When it comes to vintage, I am a classic Caron junkie - like Tabac Blond, Nuit de Noel, and my signature, Narcisse Noir. Daltroff was a genius in my opinion. And I spent weeks acquiring the perfect bottle of KL and still have my older originals like Esteè.

But I'm always open to check out something new. Like try a few of the bottles of oil based scents at Middle Eastern groceries and convenience stores. The fruity ones are especially beloved by my grown daughters.

Hope you and your wife enjoy the exploration.
 

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