The Pound Shop Fragrance Challenge
(Page 1 of 9)

01st February, 2013

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...

About the author: Get Lippie

Louise is a management accountant by day, beauty editor by night, and has been writing since 2009 in a (failed) attempt to rid herself of her lipstick addiction. She also writes regularly for SLiNK magazine


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    • Gblue | 1st February 2013 17:46

      Ohhh what fun! I am so pleased to hear that you finally found a wedding day fragrance in Rush Hour. Hahaha!

    • Scentsucker | 1st February 2013 20:37

      I think, nay, I'm pretty sure you went to my local pound shop. LOL.

    • chrisaxp | 1st February 2013 21:15

      You are much much braver than I am.

      - - - Updated - - -

      You are much much braver than I am.

    • walkdogg | 2nd February 2013 17:43

      I suppose the poundshop is a kin to our Walmart or family dollar stores in the US?

      if so, this article is sufficiently frightening!

    • Grant | 2nd February 2013 21:49

      It's basically our equivalent of a dollar store. Everything in the shop costs £1. :)

    • Get Lippie (article author) | 3rd February 2013 10:10

      I'm glad my pain amused people ...

    • Persolaise | 3rd February 2013 10:47

      A perfect read for a Sunday morning :-)

      And Rush Hour is a genius name for a perfume!

    • voodoodanny | 3rd February 2013 13:14

      Huzzah! I've been waiting for someone to do one of these for ages! I was hoping it was Poundland you visited for your olfactory gems though, as they have quite a number of 'fragrances' in there that I'm too afraid to try. Great article nonetheless!

      Any chance you could spill the beans on which poundshop you did visit? Or at least PM me with it? I can't say I've seen those beauties on my travels.

    • rubegon | 3rd February 2013 18:11

      Louise - that's what we call "taking one for the team" on this side of the Atlantic. Or maybe a test of fealty is more like it. :)

    • Mr. Stinky | 3rd February 2013 22:14

      Whats with the picture of big pink penis in some guys face?

    • mumsy | 3rd February 2013 22:43

      Thank you for that article. That is quite the funniest thing and I have just chortled all the way through it.

      I think you deserve a BN medal for this.

    • Hayven | 4th February 2013 02:29

      Oh, what fun! This might actually prove useful to the people who like to wear this kind of stuff...

    • Grant | 4th February 2013 10:48

      I think you might need to see a doctor... ;)

    • bnusr | 4th February 2013 12:32

      but it's doubtful they are here

    • mnaonbn | 5th February 2013 01:59

      Mod, please delete.

    • elfkincatcher | 5th February 2013 21:10

      .....and for your next experiment .....and you thought you had reached the bottom of the perfume tree......visit the 99p shop and spend £13.86 on 14 fragrances......:laugh:

      Actually ....don't diss the £1 shop or 99p shop....a lot of my make up comes from there lately.....MaxFactor...Bourjois....Revlon....Maybelline....!!! :kiss: Not sure I'd brave the perfumes though.....what I have sniffed in passing smells like those ghastly 'celebrity' brands which are sickly to the point of olefactory enteritis! As one celeb goes back to oblivion the perfume is passed on to the next 'great thing' to put their name to....wish the perfumes would pass into oblivion too.....!!!:mad:

    • mumsy | 5th February 2013 21:47

      I read somewhere that many of the 'under ranks' were in fact made by the very same manufacturers that make some of the lovelies. I may be very wrong but I'm sure I remember seeing that Bourgois is made by something to do with the hands of Chanel somehow. I use the Bourgois powder because I adore the smell of it. It reminds me of my grandmother.

      The Tescos 'Make up" in the black compacts is made by a high ranking make up artist too, was it Barbara Daly? There are loads like that. I cannot think of any more off the top of my head. I do know that some research was done with lots of high end down to low end face moisturisers in a scientific comparison test. Did the high end Kanebo £100+ win? No... the cheap Vaseline Intensive care won hands down.... lol

      Some of the high end perfumes smell like that too. I tried a right scrubber on this morning from a fairly well known house. Proper price of £35ish and I would have preferred one from the pound shop.

    • kida2007 | 6th February 2013 00:35

      I love this article well done for doing it, i've only tried a few at my local pound shops and they're all err interesting... lol. I have come across some funny ones though like 99p versions of 1 Million and Hugo which wernt too bad just terrible fakes.

      Excellent challenge though i can imagine you walking to the tills with 14 bottles! lol :)

    • DMA | 6th February 2013 00:41

      This was superb reading, thank you very much! :thumbsup:

    • heavenscent1 | 6th February 2013 10:43

      Very funny! Enjoyed reading this a lot. Our Dollar Stores have similar knock off versions of good scents.

    • elfkincatcher | 6th February 2013 14:41

      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 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 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 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.....!!!

    • Get Lippie (article author) | 7th February 2013 09:14

      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.

    • Wee Scottish Scent Lover | 22nd February 2013 12:12

      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.

    • MonkeyBars | 23rd February 2013 21:14

      Reminds me of Jet Lag . . . not sure I agree that unpleasant travel experiences make good perfume names. Mile High Club otoh...

    • Conacha | 5th March 2013 17:40

      Such a fantastic and entertaining article!!

    • Lamia13 | 21st March 2013 11:22

      This is great! Thank you for your sacrifice. :)