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Save your 'scents' with these incredible, affordable perfumes

These unique and creative perfumes work perfectly for a college student's lifestyle and budget. – Photo by soldejaneiro / Instagram

I don't know about you, but over the past year, I've fallen deep into PerfumeTok — the side of TikTok that discusses all things fragrance, from unique, niche brands to accessible drugstore scents. This has sparked a deep interest in the perfume world for me, and I truly can't get enough.

As college students, we usually don't have money to drop on well-known designer perfumes. But if you're looking to get into the perfume world on a budget, have no fear! I've compiled a list of some of my favorite, more affordable brands that are perfect for starting your scent journey or if you're just looking for a new favorite to add to your collection.

Sol de Janeiro

Sol de Janeiro is a brand known for its Brazilian-inspired body products like the Brazilian Bum-Bum Cream, but also sells a range of body sprays. The bestseller Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 perfume mist has the same pistachio and salted caramel scent as the cream.

In addition to this well-loved scent, the brand also has some more floral options like Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 68, a jasmine and pink dragonfruit body spray, and beachy choices like Rio Radiance with notes of coconut and tuberose.

Regarding body sprays, the brand offers two sizes based on your perfume needs, and the largest size is 240 milliliters for just $38. Body sprays don't last as long as more concentrated perfumes, so you do have to spray these a bit more to ensure that the scent lasts throughout the day. But this brand is a great place to start if you're looking to try a new, fun and affordable fun spray.


Pacifica is a vegan and cruelty-free skincare and beauty brand. In addition to makeup, skincare and hair care products, it also sells a few different collections of fragrances. My personal favorites are the Moon Mood fragrances, comprised of scents inspired by various lunar events.

From fruity scents like Flower Moon (a blend of jasmine, peach and vanilla) to sweet scents like Silver Moon (almond, vanilla and spice), these perfumes are appealing and affordable. Moon Mood perfumes are $22 each, and Pacifica also offers hair and body mists in the same scents for just $12 each.

This brand is also sold at popular stores like Target, so you can stop in and try out each one before you buy or even pick up a discovery set to find your favorite before committing to a full bottle.


Alkemia is an indie perfume brand that offers one of the widest selections of scents I've come across. Its lengthy perfume archive details all of the scents you can choose from. But if scrolling through all the options is overwhelming, you can also purchase a sample set personally curated for you by the Alkemia team! 

With such a vast array of scents, Alkemia pretty much has something for everyone. Its website design and scent names also lean into the ever-popular dark academia and cottagecore aesthetics. If you want a beautifully designed bottle with a poetic name like More Light! or Arabesque for your collection, Alkemia is your place. Alkemia's perfumes are oil-based, and a 5-milliliter bottle will cost you $20. But if you still prefer a spray-on perfume, it also offers many scents as alcohol-free sprays for $45.

Immortal Perfumes

As an English major, the moment I found out about Immortal Perfumes, I knew I had to get my hands on a sample set. This indie brand creates unique scents inspired by history and classic literature.

On its perfume list, the company organizes its scents into collections based on inspiration, so if there's a certain literary character you've always wanted to smell like, here's your chance. One of my personal favorites of Immortal Perfumes is Persephone, a light and fruity blend of ylang-ylang, pomegranate and sandalwood. But if that doesn't speak to your taste, there are plenty more to choose from. 

Immortal Perfumes also makes oil-based perfumes, and you can pick up a 9-milliliter rollerball for $45. Or, if you want to test out a scent before you commit to a whole bottle, you can also purchase individual samples of each scent for $5 each. 

I've found some of my favorite perfumes from these brands, and I know you'll enjoy them as much as I do. Hopefully, you can find a signature scent, or at least a fun sample, to expand or start your perfume collection. Happy sniffing!

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