Three Perfumes under R500

I might be in a position where I get to test Tom Ford and Chanel fragrances as if they’re Dove aerosols, but I’m well aware that my perfume collection would have been significantly smaller if I had to buy these smelly wonders myself.

This made me round up my favourites of the more reasonably priced perfumes that I have on my beauty shelves. Not only do they make good gifts and are they softer on the pocket for younger users; they’re all perfectly good options for anyone as everyday scents. Only three budget-friendly options made it onto the list because trust me, some of the cheap & cheerful perfumes are vile. But let’s focus. Here are my three favourites:

essence Like a Trip to New York

essence Like a Trip to New York is a light, fruity floral with just a slight hint of spice that thankfully prevents it from being overly sweet. It’s fresh, not seasonal at all and can suit just about anyone although it’s pretty light; making it a good option for younger wearers that are still figuring out just exactly how many spritzes are an appropriate number (2-3, by the way).

essence Like a Trip to New York fragrance
essence Like a Trip to New York fragrance

Available from Clicks and DisChem, R89 for 50ml (!!), R59 for 10ml.

Justine Cantare Spanish Nights EDP

Justine Cantare Spanish Nights EDP is a warm, soft, somewhat musky floriental fragrance. It has quite a bit of depth for a fragrance in this price range, and makes for a lovely evening & winter fragrance.

Cantare Spanish Nights by Justine
Cantare Spanish Nights by Justine

Available from Justine consultants, around R400 for 50ml

Gossip Girl Spotted! EDP by Scentstory

I’m not even going to lie, I prolonged opening this one for the longest time because I just couldn’t get over a fragrance inspired by a TV series about teenagers. When I eventually did get over it I was pleasantly surprised. Gossip Girl Spotted! is simultaneously zesty and sweet, with citrus, floral and berry notes. It dries down to a pretty-girl powdery finish, and the bottle is really chic when you remove the charm.

Gossip Girl Spotted! EDT by Scentstory
Gossip Girl Spotted! EDT by Scentstory

R295 for 50ml, exclusive to Edgars.

Any budget smellies I should have on my radar? I remember loving SO… Inspired and Coty’s blue Exclamation perfumes in my early teens, although I doubt either of those exist any more. And ALL the knock-off versions of CK One. There was also a really fresh perfumed gel (possibly from Avroy Shlain) that I really liked, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash off the seven perfumes I just sprayed myself with/vomit – whichever one comes first.

C xx




  1. Mar 5, 2014 / 8:35 AM

    Thanks for this 🙂 as much as I love the expensive perfumes, cheap ones are good too 🙂
    Def going to give the Gossip Girl a try – huge fan of berry 🙂

    • Mar 5, 2014 / 12:06 PM

      Gossip Girl is surprisingly sophisticated, and essence is so fresh for everyday wear (and hardly double the price of an aerosol spray).

  2. Mar 5, 2014 / 11:49 AM

    This is great and so relevant. I don’t want to drop 1k on perfume so this helps.

    • Mar 5, 2014 / 12:08 PM

      Thanks for the feedback. We all have our poison – my mom will happily buy the most expensive skincare products, but she’ll buy shoes and clothes that are dirt cheap (we’re talking supermarket stuff).

  3. Hildegarde_k
    Mar 24, 2014 / 9:48 AM

    I sniffed the essence perfume after reading this and OMW it smells exactly like the first proper grown up fragrance I ever owned: that citrusy original DKNY in the skyscraper bottle. Needless to say I bought the essence perfume (was the last bottle as well!). Thanks for the tip!

    • Mar 24, 2014 / 9:57 AM

      You’re right, it is quite DKNY-esque – maybe that’s why they named it NY? Glad I could be of service 🙂

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