Smells Expensive But Isn’t

I love my little drugstore cheapie secrets. You’d be amazed at the beauty finds that can be had for a steal. This week’s uncharacteristically warm weather had me reaching for two perfumes that most of my friends would be shocked to know I wear. They are cheap and cheerful drugstore perfumes, although they are made somewhat exotic by not being available in Canada (or at least Ontario) so I have taken road trips to the booming American metropolis of Ogdensburg to buy these beauties. At Walmart. Ahem. Lest you fear I have lost my senses, I will direct you to the masthead of the blog where you can feast your eyes on my vintage Chanel Bois des Iles. Which I still love and wear. Moving on to my pretty Coty perfumes….
Sand & Sable: If you like tropical florals you really should give this a try. It is a lush tuberose, gardenia, jasmine and lilac scent with some sweet fruity peachy coconut-y notes. It has a lot in common with Piguet’s Fracas but frankly, I like it better and find it more wearable. It is sweeter and less stringently eye watering. Apologies to Fracas lovers! I’ve tried…really I have. The dry down of Sand & Sable is where you will find the lilac, after the tropical florals float away. It is a big sillage monster, so apply sparingly. I like to dab this one to keep it close to the skin. Where the “Sable” reference comes from is a mystery to me. Especially given the ad copy above, “Who needs the sable?”. Perhaps it makes it sound fancy. I have used this on my light bulbs as well- in the middle of winter it turns your house into a beachy garden and I just love it. It reminds me of the 80s…in a good way. Just don’t judge a perfume by it’s bottle.
Lady Stetson: It was the 4 Star review in The Guide that made me revisit this one, with it’s unbelievable comparisons to the classic Chanel No22, which I adore. I see that similarity for sure, in the fizzy aldehydes, but Lady Stetson is fruitier, reminding of another scent that reminds me of Chanel No22, Santa Maria Melograno.  An airy, dusty, powdery fruity (peach?) note that dries down to a soapy incense note. It is such an unusual composition for a drugstore perfume, and I’m kind of amazed every time I wear it. It is odd, and definitely won’t appeal to everyone, but if you are intrigued by my description, you should search it out and give it a try. As mainstream as it is, I have never smelled it on anyone, perhaps due to it’s import status in Canada. So it’s unique, pretty and complex. Ignore the bottle here too please, it belies the goodness within. “It’s how the west was won”….don’t you just love 80s perfume ads?
My daughter Emilie was wearing Yardley Lily of The Valley the other day and honestly, I could not identify it as cheap at all. It just smell pretty. Do you have any cheap and cheerful perfume faves? Share! I love these tips….
photo: vintage image of Anne Francis applying perfume…anyone know what that bottle is? So curious….

Reader Comments

  1. The Perfumed Dandy

    Dearest Daly
    I’ve always time for bargains. Coty’s L’Aimant is surprisingly luxurious for its ridiculous price tag, even today. Cabochard is not as haggard as some would have us believe. Yardley’s soliflores, especially lavender, violet, lily of the valley and narcissus are all worth staking your claim on.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. LipglossandaBackpack

    I just bought a set of five re-issued 80s drugstore scents for $8.50. I was too young for them the first time around but I’m looking forward to trying Tabu, Navy, etc! (Sadly no ex-Cla-ma-t!on! or whatever it was called!)

  3. Alexis Vernier

    Hello. I would say that the word “sable” is the French word for the sand.
    There’s also a small species of cat (you small the cat ?) that’s called the sand cat (“chat des sables” in French), whose call sounds like “who needs”.
    It can explain the sentence “who needs the sable” in some ads.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from DALY BEAUTY

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading