• The Pound Shop Fragrance Challenge

      When the latest brief from your editor begins “Do you have access to a pound shop?”, you know you’re in trouble. When that brief then goes on to suggest you spend a week wearing “fragrances” you find in the aforementioned pound shop your heart sinks, and you might have a little cry at your desk. However, when said editor then suggests you enlist the help of your partner, meaning you can torture him a little in the process, well, you can’t really refuse, can you? You can, however, bear a grudge. Just sayin’ …

      Anyway, the challenge was to spend £14 in the "poundshop of our choice", on seven female fragrances, and seven masculine fragrances, wear one (each) every day for a week, and report back on our experiences. So here we are. I think I have my vision back now. However, I’ll never be able to show my face in the local poundshop ever again.

      The purchasing:

      We head off to a rather fancy poundshop in Fulham (dahlings), it’s clean and light and airy, but we’re initially surprised that they don’t appear to have any fragrances. Turns out they’re not actually with the beauty products, because they are, of course, by the household cleaning products, leading one to speculate darkly on the very nature of what it is we’re about to do. We find the stash, full of what are obviously designer fragrance knock-offs, remaindered ends of legitimate high street brand scents, and generic “fragrances”. It’s rather depressing. Luckily, there are no testers, so we don’t get a chance to frighten ourselves utterly out of the challenge before we even begin. The checkout assistant offers us a couple of pitying looks whilst she’s putting the fragrances through, and I can tell she’s obviously wondering what kind of horrific disease we’re both suffering from that require us pickling ourselves in PoundWorldLand’s finest scents.

      His Observations: Ugh. I spend slow years being weaned away from Lynx Africa, only to be dragged back past and beyond that to PoundLandWorld’s finest. I ask myself just what sort of cruel and horrific person would ask me to do such a thing but, upon reflection, it strikes me that both the Basenotes editor and my lovely partner herself fit the bill precisely. That’s one of the great questions about the universe answered, then. Cursing my pliability, I dragged myself into the pound shop and picked out my fragrances with an air of resignation… (editor’s note: MrLippie was bribed with vodka to take part in this challenge – he’s no martyr)

      Press 'Next' to read the Scent Diary

      For the ladies.. From left to right – Rush Hour, Fire Princess, Mademoiselle London, VB, Madonna Diamonds, DINKY Delectable and Story of Rose...

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      About the author Get Lippie
      Author AvatarLouise is a management accountant by day, beauty editor by night, and has been writing getlippie.com since 2009 in a (failed) attempt to rid herself of her lipstick addiction. She also writes regularly for SLiNK magazine


      Comments 29 Comments
      1. DMA's Avatar
        DMA -
        This was superb reading, thank you very much!
      1. heavenscent1's Avatar
        heavenscent1 -
        Very funny! Enjoyed reading this a lot. Our Dollar Stores have similar knock off versions of good scents.
      1. elfkincatcher's Avatar
        elfkincatcher -
        You're right Mumsy....many cosmetics of different brands (and prestige) are made in the same factory! This timeline makes for interesting reading regarding the relationship and acquisition of cosmetic and perfume brands:


        Unfortunately I don't think there are likely to be any truly great scentsations as there have been in the past. Factories can churn out gallons of 'perfume' but because of the limitations of ingredients and the synthetic quality of it, most is 'nice' but quite forgettable....whether its a top brand or a 99p one! What used to set them apart was the quality of their ingredients which affected not just the 'smell' but the staying power! Having said that, the very best knock off I ever had was a bottle of Spanish Chanel No 5 bought in a Benidorm market in the early 70's for £1 for a 2oz bottle....even the bottle was like the real thing....it was divine! I wish I had bought more than one bottle!

        Like I said previously, my pet hate is that sickly, cloying generic crud marketed under celebrity labels.....it is nasty! Just because some singer or actress has their name on it people buy it....regardless of the fragrance (I'm being kind calling it 'fragrance').....very little imagination goes into its creation....fast as they fall out of favour and sales drop off....they simply redesign the bottle, relabel and market it with the next hot to trot 'celebrity' name...or brand! Perfume should set you apart from the 'crowd' .....not blend you into one synthetic pool of pong! You might just as well get a bottle of 99p perfume.....there is very little difference....and some of it might even be better.....!!!
      1. Get Lippie's Avatar
        Get Lippie -
        I am so glad I wasn't the only one boggling at the GIANT PINK PENIS in the illustration! Whilst penises (penii?) are, like, aces and skill, and stuff, it was a bit of a surprise to see one here ...

        Thanks for all the brilliant comments, everyone, it was (almost) worth it, just for those! However, for my next Basenotes piece I shall be demanding a stunt double.
      1. Wee Scottish Scent Lover's Avatar
        Wee Scottish Scent Lover -
        My niece raves about Lidl's version of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. Apparently, it even fooled some very experienced "noses". Have to look for "Rush Hour". I LOVE Gucci Rush.
      1. MonkeyBars's Avatar
        MonkeyBars -
        Quote Originally Posted by Persolaise View Post
        And Rush Hour is a genius name for a perfume!
        Reminds me of Jet Lag . . . not sure I agree that unpleasant travel experiences make good perfume names. Mile High Club otoh...
      1. Conacha's Avatar
        Conacha -
        Such a fantastic and entertaining article!!
      1. dougpettey's Avatar
        dougpettey -
        Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Stinky View Post
        Whats with the picture of big pink penis in some guys face?
        Oh. My. Word.
      1. Lamia13's Avatar
        Lamia13 -
        This is great! Thank you for your sacrifice.

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