Versace Eros perfume

No matter if you are new to the perfume hobby, or just trying to save a few bucks, choosing the best cheap perfumes can make a difference between a good and a bad first impression.

There were times when buying fragrances was an expensive hobby. Thankfully, those times are long gone and scents are now accessible more than ever.

That’s why I have compiled a list of 10 affordable fragrances that you can rely on. What you won’t find on this list:

  • dated fragrances
  • cheap smelling fragrances
  • redundant scents

What makes this list different from others is that your budget doesn’t have to be above $50 to smell good and no ultra-cheap fragrances on the list.

The reason why I have avoided ultra-cheap stuff is that I want to you start the right way with perfumes, and even if it’s a gift for another person, the only thing that shouldn’t be cheap is the scent.

Perfumes on this Scent Grail list are well-known, tested by millions with a couple of wildcards marketed for women, and famous interpretations of much expensive stuff.

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Best business/casual choice: Armaf Club De Nuit Intense Man –> Buy Here
Best clubbing choice: Versace Eros –> Buy Here
Best trendy choice: Ariana Grande Cloud –> Buy Here

How To Define A Cheap Perfume

Before I start with the best cheap perfumes list, let’s define what is an affordable fragrance. Many make the mistake of thinking if you buy cheap, you can only get cheap stuff.

Well, if you are one of those people, I’ll gladly change your opinion. What 90% of big niche companies won’t tell you is that they source the raw ingredients from the same places as do affordable brands.

But, what 100% of the expensive brands will not say is that they produce the perfumes in the same factories, done on the same perfume-making machines as hundreds of other big and small brands.

Cheap perfume is a product by a beauty, niche, or indie brand offered at a more affordable price.

Most of the affordable scents are usually more mass-appealing, often more synthetic compared to expensive perfumes, and less lasting.

But, there is a bit but in this story. From time to time, there comes a perfume product in a lower price range that is so good that it destroys 99% of expensive stuff on the market.

This list is about those outliers.

Are affordable perfumes worth your time?

To decide if you should save a couple of bucks on more affordable creations, first of all, you have to know what you are looking for.

Each year we see hundreds and hundreds of creations which as they say in the famous Fight Club are “copy of a copy of a copy“.

When translated, not everything that is new and shiny is worth your time and investment. So, being aware of some pros and cons can do a lot of good for you in the long term:


  • more affordable
  • easier to test in retail stores
  • less risk when blind buying
  • they smell great
  • great way to start your perfume collection


  • its easier to hoard a bunch of perfumes you don’t need
  • most of them are made of pure synthetics
  • often a lower-quality presentation
  • they are harder to re-sell
  • easier to get trapped in fragrance addiction

Best Cheap Perfumes: The List

Now that we have covered the basics about what are affordable perfumes and what they are not, it’s time to get real and start with the list.

I have purposefully added a couple of women-targeted fragrances so that you can expand your nose palate and enjoy them as well.

I assure you that you’ll smell fantastic, and dismiss the common misconception about men wearing women’s fragrances.

1. Lalique Encre Noire

Why Choose Encre Noire: Loved by many, and equally hated as well. Lalique’s masterpiece is a perfume that requires a refined taste.

Encre Noire is a scent of Autumn forest, damp soil, and fallen leaves. Cypress and Musk keep the fragrance fluffy and aromatic and keep it completely wearable.

An ideal choice for more gentlemen familiar with unusual and niche scents.

  • Fragrance Type: Woody Aromatic
  • Perfumer: Nathalie Lorson
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2006
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Vetiver, Cypress, and Musk
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Spring and Autumn
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 9/10

2. Bentley for Men Intense

Bentley for Men Intense - best cheap perfumes

Why choose For Men Intense: Bentley’s golden goose has propelled them into the stardom of the fragrance world.

It is one of the most hyped affordable perfumes of the 2010s and one that always ends up on the cheap and niche-smelling designer lists.

Recommended to perfumistas who like boozy and spicy fragrances. Go for Bentley Absolute if you prefer woodier compositions.

Check out the full Scent Grail Bentley for Men Intense review here.

  • Fragrance Type: Oriental Spicy
  • Perfumer: Nathalie Lorson
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2013
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Rum, Cinnamon, and Leather
  • Longevity and Projection: 10 – 12 hours with a moderate projection
  • Seasons: Autumn and Winter
  • Occasions: Business, Leisure, and Date
  • Uniqueness: 4/5
  • Value for money: 9/10

3. Armaf Club De Nuit Intense Man

Why choose Club De Nuit Intense: CDNI is the affordable wonder of the perfume community and the original creator of the “hype-beast” term.

It is the most popular “clone” fragrance of the most popular niche fragrance of all time – Creed Aventus.

After the hash opening goes away, the fragrance settles down to long-lasting smokey citrus, accompanied by smooth leather and balanced musk.

The fantastic signature scent on a budget.

  • Fragrance Type: Woody Spicy
  • Perfumer: n/a
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2015
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main Notes: Lemon, Birch, and Musk
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Any Season
  • Occasions: Any Occasion
  • Uniqueness: 2/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

4. Versace Eros

Why choose Eros: Designated for a younger clientele, Eros thrives in clubbing and dating scenarios.

Donatella Versace has explained Eros perfectly:

“Eros is truly the DNA of the house of Versace. We have a Greek motive making us think about ancient Greece, antiquities, and mythology, while the turquoise color represents the Mediterranean. That is Versace!”

Sweet and long-lasting, Eros’s woody and oriental heart make it a compliment bomb.

  • Fragrance Type: Oriental Aromatic
  • Perfumer: Aurelien Guichard
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2012
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main Notes: Vanilla, Mint, and Tonka Bean
  • Longevity and Projection: 12+ hours with fantastic projection
  • Seasons: Autumn and Winter
  • Occasions: Clubbing
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 9/10

5. Montblanc Explorer

Montblanc Explorer

Why choose Explorer: Explorer is the best designer interpretation of the popular Creed Aventus/Dior Sauvage on the market today.

The fragrance smells natural and lasts throughout the whole day and is one of the best ‘ bangs for your buck’ perfumes you can own.

Ambroxan, pink pepper, and bergamot are the most dominant opening notes and the perfume dries down to smooth leathery woods.

Check out the full Montblanc Explorer review here.

  • Fragrance Type: Fruity Aromatic
  • Perfumer: Jórdi Fernandez, Antoine Maisondieu and Olivier Pescheux
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper, and Ambroxan
  • Longevity and Projection: 20 – 24 hours of longevity with average sillage
  • Seasons: Any season
  • Occasions: Any season
  • Uniqueness: 2/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

6. Ariana Grande Cloud

Why choose Cloud: Have you heard about a small perfume called Baccarat Rouge 540 created by perfume legend Francis Kurkdijan?

If you had, then you know that it’s a big new trend in the perfume world and beyond. Ariana Grande Cloud is so close to it that the people around you won’t be able to tell a difference.

Cloud smells like BR 540 took a vacation in the Bahamas with additional sweet and gourmand notes.

A perfect clone for 20 times less money. Magnificent.

  • Fragrance Type: Sweet Floral
  • Perfumer: Clement Gavarry
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main Notes: Coconut, Whipped Cream, and Praline
  • Longevity and Projection: 10 – 12 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Any season
  • Occasions: Any season
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

7. Burberry London

Why choose London: A Christmas in the bottle, and arguably the best festive season fragrance.

This masterpiece perfume from Burberry will remind you of festive family gatherings, and enjoying the fine sweets with your relatives.

Tobacco, cinnamon, port wine, and leather make the backbone of London so it is also regularly associated with fall.

  • Fragrance Type: Spicy, Woody
  • Perfumer: Antoine Misondieu
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2006
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Cinnamon, Tobacco, and Woods
  • Longevity and Projection: 4 – 6 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Autumn and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

8. Moschino Toy Boy

Why choose Toy Boy: Bold and new fragrance from Moschino continues with the traditional “Teddy Bear” shaped bottle which will certainly raise some eyebrows out there.

If we forget about the bottle and concentrate on the liquid inside, we are greeted with a unique, and dynamic fragrance.

Spicy rose with gentle cashmeran make this one the most unique designer release in a couple of years, and should not be missed.

Niche-quality perfume on a budget!

  • Fragrance Type: Floral Spicy
  • Perfumer: Yann Vasnier
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Rose, Pepper, and Cashmeran
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Autumn and Winter
  • Occasions: Leisure and Romantic
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

9. Guerlain Shalimar

Guerlain Shalimar bottle

Why choose Shalimar: Guerlain Shalimar is along with Chanel No. 5 the most famous perfume in the world.

Finally, we have reached the point when men realized that this one is a complete unisex perfume and not just one of those “you have to be confident to pull it off”.

Citruses and heavenly vanilla notes dominate during the life of this masterful fragrance and I recommend it wholeheartedly to a man or a woman.

You can check out the full Guerlain Shalimar review here.

  • Fragrance Type: Oriental
  • Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 1925
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Vanilla, Citruses, and Musk
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Autumn and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Romantic
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

10. Perry Ellis 360 Red for Men

Why choose 360 Red: Are you looking for a spicier Acqua di Gio for less than double the price?

360 Red for Men does the job fantastically. Better for warmer weather, but you can wear it throughout the whole year.

The fragrance opens up with a citrusy blast from the orange, lime, and bergamot mix which is combined with hot cinnamon. Depending on the weather conditions, you may even get a touch of cloves as well.

The dry down is aquatic and clean. Lavender, patchouli, and vetiver add a very fresh and bright woody note.

  • Fragrance Type: Citrus Woody
  • Perfumer: Jean-Louis Grauby
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Age group: 20+
  • Main Notes: Bergamot, Lavender, and Cinnamon
  • Longevity and Projection: 6 -8 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Spring and Summer
  • Occasions: Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 2/5
  • Value for money: 10/10


There you go. These were my picks for the best cheap perfumes for 2020. What are you favorite fragrance cheapies? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Before purchasing any perfume, it’s good to know that you can rely on Scent Grail. That’s why this is a perfect time to check S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide.

It is the best way to remove any doubts before buying your next perfume. By answering the 10 simple questions, this guide helps you decide if a particular fragrance is worth checking out.

And the best thing about this guide is that is easy, relevant, and can be used as many times as you wish.

I recommend also checking out some of my other lists such as Best Office Colognes, Best Signature ScentsBest Winter FragrancesBest Men’s Fragrances Of All TimeThe Best Books About Perfume, and Top Fall Perfumes.


Until next time, smell great and be safe!

Best, Marin!
#scentgrail #scentgrailtribe

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– Marin Kristic

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  1. Hi Marin, i love your blog! It give an impression to be held by a hand and led into perfume world by expert collegue. You did terrific job at keeping the informations consistent, extensive and still opinionated (its your blog after all) but positively. Keep up doing what you do, you are great in it!

    1. Hi. Thank you for the kind feedback. I always try to do my best and implement my knowledge about perfumery and required testing and research into my work. If you need fragrance recommendations or any sort of help with fragrances in general, don’t be shy to contact me in the future. Best, Marin

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