I always knew that I liked perfume, but it wasn’t until my last move when my fragrances required an entire packing box that I realized how much I truly love it. Sure, I was able to part with a couple of out-of-date bottles, but most of my stash felt too precious to weed out. The thing about perfume is that it’s so personal. Scent is linked so closely to memory that even if you’ve only worn a fragrance a few times, you can evoke a past time and place with just one spritz.
The problem? Perfume is expensive. Of all the products I’ve collected over the years, my fragrances are worth the most, and unfortunately, I have expensive taste in scents. Byredo, Tom Ford, Maison Margiela… Most of my favorite perfume brands will set you back around $100 for a bottle. Trust me—I know how ridiculous that sounds, especially as someone who spent her early teenage years buying knockoff bottles of Thierry Mugler Angel and CK One, and circling J.Lo Glow in the Christmas catalogs.
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of fantastic, affordable options out there that rival my more expensive favorites—you just need to know where to look.
Keep scrolling to shop 12 of my favorite affordable fragrances under $50. Take my word for it—these are just as good as the expensive ones.