Lazy weekend poll ~ your best buy of 2013

Corning glass ornaments

Our third annual best buy poll, originally suggested by reader Lucasai.

What was your best fragrance buy of 2013? Interpret that howsoever you like — it can be your biggest bargain, your general favorite, something you'd been after for years and finally found, the fragrance that garnered the most compliments, whatever.

Note: top image is Corning Museum of Glass - Ornament Tree [cropped] by Brian Holland at flickr; some rights reserved.

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237 Comments — Comments are closed

  1. juicejones says:

    This year my favorite was a category – shower gels.
    Lush Rose Jam to get me started in the morning and Noble Isle Fireside to tuck me in at night.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, now I’m off to google that Fireside!

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Yeah, that sounds terrific!

    • kindcrow says:

      You’ve mentioned Fireside before. Sounds great. I feel my soap fetish calling …

  2. Michael says:

    I just appreciate being able to have replaced a recently emptied bottle of Encre Noir so cheaply on ebay:)

    • Robin says:

      Nice!

    • nancyg says:

      What Robin said…

  3. lucasai says:

    Hi Robin and everyone! You know that I cannot remember that I came up with such an idea for a poll!? It must’ve been some time since then.
    But I’m happy it’s useful now :)
    My best buy of 2013 is probably Carner Barcelona D600 that I bought in February for my brithday. It came with a free shipping from Spain and the box was signed by Sara Carner, brand founder.
    This and Atelier Cologne Silver Iris are my greatest perfume pleasures purchases this year.

    My blog is hosting day 14 of Tauer Perfumes Advent Calendar draw, jump in and answer a simple question for a chance of winning the Explorer Set.

    SotD is Puredistance M. Have a nice weekend!

    • Robin says:

      It was in 2011.

      • lucasai says:

        Just found that thread in your archives ;) I can’t believe it’s been more than 3 years since I come here!

        • hajusuuri says:

          …and I am very happy I found you here, dearest scent-twin Lucas :-)

          • lucasai says:

            Thank you! ♥ I’m happy to have you around!

    • Holly says:

      Thanks for hosting Andy’s Advent Calendar. I bumped into your blog the other day, but can’t remember what I was searching for, but there you were. I have the feeling it was in relation to Chandler Burr moving to LuckyScent or some such, or a reveal, but anyway I’ve seen you here on NST, and we have a friend in common. I love your blog and look forward to following you.

      • lucasai says:

        Thanks Holly! I felt honored I could host the draw for Andy. I’m glad you’ve found my blog and that you like it :)

  4. 50_Roses says:

    I would say my best buy of 2013 was the 100 ml Dia Woman that I picked up on sale for $215 because (1) I had been wanting it for quite a while, (2) the sale price was a bargain for an Amouage, and (3) it is a beautiful, classic perfume that I can see myself wearing for years and years. Good thing, too, as it no doubt will take me years and years to use up 100 ml, but I do love it.

    • Robin says:

      Hey, that was a good price, congrats!

    • nozknoz says:

      I got that, too. Was it you who mentioned that discount in a weekend poll? There is nothing like a great deal on a great perfume!

      • 50_Roses says:

        no, someone else mentioned it and I jumped on it. I had been wanting to buy Dia for quite a while, and I couldn’t hold back any longer when faced with the prospect of getting it on sale.

    • CM says:

      Great find! I got a deal on Dia this year as well. You smell maavaalaas!

  5. Dawn says:

    My best deal happened accidentally. I had ordered a 50ml bottle of Amouage Lyric for Women from Lady Ruth Perfumes and they called me to say that they were out of stock for the 50ml. They offered me the 100ml for the price of $150.

    • C.H. says:

      Wow! That is some good perfume karma right there :)

    • juicejones says:

      I perfumista could dine out on that coups for years!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Oh, *jealousy*!

    • CM says:

      Nice! I had something similar happen to me with L’Artisan. I had ordered the 50ml dhongzha and they ran out and sent me 100ml. I think I’d rather have the Dia, though :) Enjoy!

  6. peacecat30 says:

    I think I’ve got a tie for my favorite fragrance purchase of 2013. My perfume purchasing slowed a bit this year but, as a result of being very picky, most of what I got have been keepers. Two really stand out, though. The first is Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser, a rich vanilla that I could bathe in and the second is L’Erbolario Dolcelisir with its cozy apple pie scent that goes with every season and every occasion. For 2014 I’m hoping to get my hands on Teo Cabanel Barkhane.

    • Robin says:

      I really need to try some Imaginary Authors scents.

    • Flora says:

      I am with you on the Memoirs of a Trespasser – that is great stuff, and my favorite of the line. I like them all, but I really LOVE that one!

  7. C.H. says:

    Oh gosh, mine is still pending–I snagged a Vacances mini, which is at the very top of my Most Wanted list, but I haven’t summoned the courage to try it yet, as I don’t know much about what condition it’s in. Today might be the day–cross your fingers for me! Actually anyone who has any advice on older perfume, I’d be glad to hear it. It’s a tiny splash, so I’m thinking of decanting into a spray bottle? Good idea/bad idea? Other things I haven’t considered?

    • Robin says:

      Fingers crossed!! Don’t think I’d decant at this point, I’d just use it up quickly.

      • C.H. says:

        Ah yes this makes perfect sense–thanks for the head’s up, my instinct was totally to hoard it but better to enjoy fast rather than lose it!

    • mals86 says:

      No, don’t decant… it’s been my experience that vintage stuff should stay in its original bottle, or it will turn due to the air exposure. (It hasn’t ALWAYS happened, but twice makes me leery of doing it again!)

      ENjoy that Vacances. It’s so lovely.

      • C.H. says:

        Oh man, I am so glad I asked–yes this makes perfect sense. Thanks so much for the warning!

        • Flora says:

          I hope it’s in good condition – it’s my all-time most beloved perfume and it’s so very beautiful.

  8. cazaubon says:

    My best deal so far this year was finding 100ml of Amouage Beloved woman on Fragrancenet for $270 minus 20% off, vs the regular price of $430. Yay! :-)

    • Robin says:

      Lots of Amouage deals this year! Good for you.

    • CM says:

      I love Beloved! Great find!

    • nozknoz says:

      Hah! I just googled over there for that deal. They were only offering 15% off the $270, but still worth it, clearly. I also finally bought Gold and Dia this year when I saw the discounts. Stores must be rotating stock or something. I love it!!!

  9. Mary Carol says:

    Earlier this year I was happy to find a bottle of MH Fleurs de Sel. Not sure if it’s even available any more.

    • nancyg says:

      Mary Carol, does this really smell salty?

      • Mary Carol says:

        nancyg,

        Since I’ve been away from my computer for an hour and a half, thought I’d reply on this right to you, so people on NST won’t wonder what I’m talking about. I do get salt from this perfume, but what I really get is a lot of vetiver, along with other herbal notes. It’s different from most things I have, and I guess that’s what I like about it.

    • AnnieA says:

      I bought Fleurs de Sel in England last summer, 30 minutes after I spritzed it on, pretty well a first for me. It smells of salt and I think sage. Full price, but worth it, and also the exchange rate is a bit more reasonable these days.

  10. Abyss says:

    Definitely Marni. I bought it some time around February and it’s gotten a lot of wear since. It’s very versatile. Bonus: I sold the creepy doll that came with it on ebay which recouped about 2/3 of the price :D

    • Robin says:

      Seriously, people buy the creepy doll, & for that much? (considers)

      • Abyss says:

        Yup! I guess there are people who might collect designer dolls and don’t care about perfume.

    • C.H. says:

      Ooh that has got to feel good. Makes for quite a good price on that purse spray!

      • Abyss says:

        I think that money then went into a set of Philosykos travel spray refills :D

        • C.H. says:

          Better still! Incidentally–was the Philosykos in the EDT or EDP? I haven’t gotten a chance to smell the latter yet, curious about it.

          • Abyss says:

            It’s EDT, I don’t think they do EDP refills. I’ve only smelled EDP in store, but I thought it was great. If you like EDT, it’s hard to imagine that you won’t like EDP.

          • Merlin says:

            I have the edt and have had a sample of the Edp. I find the edp more woody and dry. Personally I enjoy the edt just because of its milky sweetness.

          • C.H. says:

            Thank you both, more intrigued than ever to try the new one! (…which is saying something :) )

    • juicejones says:

      I predicted creepy doll would become the Where’s Waldo or Zelig of the perfume world. Perhaps the bad penny? She will not go away, I promise you.

      • nozknoz says:

        You called that one, juicejones!

  11. Ericgmd says:

    Hi Robin,
    My personal pick is Tom Ford’s Sahara Noir. I tested it on a card shortly after its launch and was originally shocked by its harshness. The all too familiar thoughts coming from a million neurons in my brain started saying “Ewww, but what if it gets discontinued immediately for low sales? you should own a bottle” You know the kind of dilemma that leaves you feeling numb and whipping out your credit card.
    And sure enough, this improbable purchase turned out to be the best for me in 2013.
    I don’t really “wear” Sahara Noir, but I love smelling a drop of it somewhere on my skin or on my clothing.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting! I admit I did not spend all that much time with it since I wasn’t the one writing the review here. Should give it another try.

    • Merlin says:

      I know exactly what you mean by that numb-and-against-my-better-judgment purchase! Glad it turned out a success!

      • Ericgmd says:

        Thank you Merlin!

    • juicejones says:

      I think most of the Tom Fords are best at 50 paces. But, they are good.

      • scentfromabove says:

        I have been dying to get my hands on TF’s “Jasmin Rouge” and also “Santal Blush”. I agree they are all quite nice and unique, but the cost is high. Hopefully Santa will bring me one of the two. I put them on my list and I’ve been quite nice this year. We shall see.

  12. ladymurasaki says:

    Golly, that’s a hard question. Every purchase I’ve made felt as if it were the best of the moment. I’m just having so much fun discovering new scents and reacquainting with old favourites. As for great finds, I often find myself stumbling across great vintage scents whilst looking for antique pieces for clients. I’ve purchased a bottle of Corday Possession, Chanel No.5 & No.19, Lanvin My Sin and Scandal, Mitsouko, etc., all in vintage formulation. So, I get to mix business with pleasure.

    • Robin says:

      What great finds!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Oh, lucky you! Congrats.

  13. R_H_M says:

    Best bargain purchase was 100ml bottle of Carnal Flower for $100, no box but who the heck cares! It’s my sisters’ favorite & will be her Christmas gift.
    New to me favorite purchase: CD’s Mitzah (which I adore) and Amouage Opus III which I have been loving for years & finally bought during the Fragrancenet sale.
    Most complimented fragrances have been Mitzah, VISA & L’Ambre des Merveilles.

    • C.H. says:

      Ha yes by that measure that’s a, what, $250 box? I definitely don’t care that much about a box!

    • Robin says:

      Score!

  14. nancyg says:

    Best bargain of 2013 was 100ml bottle of Kanon Norwegian Wood I got for my husband at TJ Maxx for $6.99 because I couldn’t resist the name – and he’s a Beatles fan. Turns out it smells great and he loves it.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, how nice!

    • Dixie says:

      Nothing beats a 6.99$ bargain!

  15. Kseni says:

    I love questions like that, they make me remember all I’ve bought. It was not too much, but still more than I’d expected to buy this year. I think the best was Rubj by Vero Profumo… I wanted it and wanted it and then on ebay I got it for much less (about 60%of its original price) and I feel quite happy about it… but then, I also got Myriam for my birthday, in April, and you cannot get it in London at all… and it was from Italy, my best friend got it for me there.. and I love it…but it is not the best buy, I guess… since, I have not bought it:)
    good year for my collection….
    BTW, I was reading interviews with Tacita Dean and she was talking about her collection of photographs, she was saying something like that: at first you have one, then two, then four, and then you are really in trouble…

    made me think about my current situation :)

    • lucasai says:

      40% less for Vero Profumo Rubj is great deal! Congrats

      • Kseni says:

        Thank you, I also think so… It is quite difficult to get any discount on them…But they are so well made I think I want all of them…. or at least Onda :) It never stops, does it :)

  16. Squirrely says:

    At the local antique mall I found a boxed 15ml bottle of Chanel’s Cuir de Russie extrait with about 3 ml of juice left in it – as far as I can tell it dates from the early ’30s. $15 and it smells amazing. I thought if “flipping” it on eBay, but my husband adores it and insisted I keep it & use it (ok!)

    • Abyss says:

      Lucky you, wow!

    • Robin says:

      Holy cow.

    • Dixie says:

      I found a sample bottle of Nombre Noir at an antique mall once for 5$. I bet that Cuir de Russie is wonderful.

    • Rappleyea says:

      Envious! I love CdR.

  17. galbanumgal says:

    Probably the best value purchase was a nearly full vintage no 19 edt in the refillable silver canister…less than $50 and the container seems to have been discontinued in the U.S.
    But my biggest frag evolution just occurred last month. I never cared for scents in the oriental category, till I retested Shalimar at a relative’s house. Now I quite enjoy it! This could prove dangerous!

    • mals86 says:

      Thumbs up!! Love vinty No.19.

    • CM says:

      Vintage#19 is fabbo! Another one of my all time faves. Good find!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Oh dear… we hear your fading screams as you slide down the rabbit hole. ;-)

  18. Marjorie Rose says:

    I didn’t get any great bargains this year, but I did give in and buy 100mL bottles of Lipstick Rose and L’eau d’Hiver. Having so much of two beloved scents is such fun! I can spray with abandon, wear one every day for a week and not feel like I’m “wasting” my precious supply. . . what a joy!

    • lucasai says:

      I love L’Eau d’Hiver Marjorie!

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        It’s such a beauty, isn’t it?! And I really like to spritz myself heavily with it–it’s understated enough that I don’t think it’s possible to be overwhelmed by it, but a heavy dose really lets me enjoy the nuances–powder and sweet heliotrope and that odd JC Elena refreshing/crisp warm-coolness!

        • juicejones says:

          Warm coolness, indeed. It is an enigma.

    • Abyss says:

      That’s funny – this topic got me thinking about this year’s buys which in turn reminded me about that 100mls of L’Eau d’Hiver that I also treated myself to. So I went and sprayed a couple of generous spritzes. Because I can :D and because hoarding it would be a waste.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Those Malle bottles really release a lot in a spray, too, don’t they? Only takes a few to really feel like you’ve properly doused yourself! (And wonderful to know that you can!) Glad you’re enjoying it, too!

    • C.H. says:

      Agree, getting to wear a favorite with abandon is wonderful! A couple weeks ago I realized the Blackberry & Bay body cream I got last Christmas was still almost completely full because I’d been hoarding it so stringently. Has been fun to throw that impulse aside!

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        It really is fun to just enjoy it, huh? Good for you!

      • scentfromabove says:

        One of my all time faves! What a wonderful fragrance!

    • nancyg says:

      L’eau d’Hiver : love it and will need to replace my bottle soon…

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        I fully support going for it and buying that replacement bottle! I was replacing a near-full 50mL that I’d purchased off eBay and drained in less than 2 years. Kinda feels good to know that even with all my lovelies, I still *can* drain a bottle and need replacements! I’m not just collecting things for “some day.” :)

        • juicejones says:

          My personal best/worst was completing five 3.4oz bottles of Chaos. I don’t believe I will ever do that again. Having long ago fallen down the hole, I get my head turned too easily now.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Wow! 5 bottles?! I agree- it’s hard to believe using up that much of one scent when you have so many beautiful choices!

    • AnnieA says:

      Just got a decant of it and I think I am going to really like it. It’s like a non-sweet nougat, if that makes any sense…

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        I presume you’re describing L’eau d’Hiver, N? I can see why you smell nougatine or something food-like there. It’s even a bit “chewy”. . . Hope you enjoy your decant!

  19. perfumelover says:

    Hi Robin and Hi everyone!
    My best buy of 2013: Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT 50 ml. It was not a bargain but I really wanted it. :D

    • Robin says:

      Glad you got what you wanted, that’s what matters!

  20. Dawnkana says:

    Hello!

    My best buy of 2013 is the most complimented … Hilde Soliani ORGASMO. People constantly stop me to ask what perfume I am wearing because they want it! It’s a bit embarrassing to say Orgasmo, but hey, they wanted to know. LOL

    Interestingly, it’s not my favorite. I like it but it’s not my first choice.

    My best purchase of 2013 that I enjoy wearing is Vanilla Marble by Agonist.

    Have a great weekend everyone! I am enjoying reading everyone’s replies today.

    :)

    Dawn

    • C.H. says:

      Ha, as for the name, I say lean into it! It’s not even my primary focus anymore, but I love getting quizzed about my research at customs/immigration, for the fun of looking the agent squarely in the eye and announcing I study heterosexuality. That usually gets ‘em pretty good! :)

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Ok. Now I totally want to know more about your research! Are you in social sciences or biology or medicine, maybe?

        • C.H. says:

          Ha yes social science–if only medicine!! Maybe we could find a cure for this thing ;)

    • nozknoz says:

      ORGASMO reminds me of that quote by YSL, “The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” ;-)

      • C.H. says:

        Hahahaha that is a good one!

    • hajusuuri says:

      Egads…these polls are fattening my lemmings. I have never ever tried the Hilde Soliani line and I just looked it up on LuckyScent and of course the first one on the list is “Vani Choc”. I’ll be good for the rest of the year and explore this line next year :-)

      • Do it! Bell’antonio is one of my all-time favorites, but Ciocorosissimo is also on my buy-someday list.

  21. Ajda says:

    Mine wasn’t an actual buy – it was a gift from someone wonderful I met on MUA. She sent me a half full bottle of Felanilla just because I said I loved it and drained my sample in 2 days, and that my perfume-hating father had complimented me on it.
    I felt great because someone was so kind to me. It’s my weekend perfume now – I usually visit my father on weekends.

    • Robin says:

      That really is sweet, and a great scent.

    • Dixie says:

      I too have met some very generous and kind people on MUA! It’s a great place for perfume!

    • RusticDove says:

      Very nice story Adja!

      • RusticDove says:

        I mean Ajda – sorry! Dyslexia is such a pain. :-)

  22. mutzi says:

    My best buys of 2013 were Rich Hippie’s Wild Thing and Kalachakra. I’ve loved both for some time and had been reduced to sniffing the empty sample vials. So, when Rich Hippie had a half-price sale in May, I bought 1/8 oz. of each for $157.50 instead of $105 and $235 respectively.

    • Robin says:

      I really, really like a couple of Rich Hippie scents. Wonder why they stopped creating new scents? They were really active for awhile.

  23. nancyg says:

    My favorite buy of the year is PG #6: L’eau Rare Matale. Got a sample when I visited Osswald in February. I started wearing it in October, drained the sample and got myself an FB when I visited Osswald again in November. Not a bargain but I don’t care…

    • Robin says:

      Love that one :-)

  24. CM says:

    My best deal was having 2 friends fly thru Dubai on separate occasions. One brought back 100ml Dia Extrait (for the cost of 50ml edp here in the states) and the other brought back 50ml Lyric Extrait and 100ml of Fate as well as a bottle of Tayibba attar, a very pretty jasmine blend. I wear one of these scents at least once a week, so it was a very good purchase. Fate, Dia and Lyric are probably my all time favorites (in that order, too!)

    • juicejones says:

      Wow! Such luxury. Good for you!

  25. hajusuuri says:

    My best buy price-wise was 60 mLs of Puredistance Opardu. It is normally $330 plus tax and I got it (plus an extra 10mL+ decant) for a bargain price of $218 inclusive. I can bathe in this stuff.

    My best buy value-wise was a 40 mL Bvlgari Black for $26. I love the heck out of Bvlgari Black. Thanks to Undina for her bargain alert.

    My best buys on threat of extinction were: Guerlain Iris Ganache, Dior Mitzah and L’Artisan Tea for Two.

    My best lemming bargain buy was Arabian Oud Kalemat – 100 mLs for $77 (includes shipping). I blame Kafka of Kafkaesque for this.

    My best lemming highbrow buy was Mona di Orio Violette Fumee. Our dear Lucas is the guilty party on this one. The juice is gorgeous and so is the packaging!

    SOTD = CdG Monocle Sugi. I got a sample from LuckyScent. It’s LIKE, not love…so a decant it is.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Oh, you’ve had a lovely year!

      • hajusuuri says:

        I did Marjorie! I had no OFF button. Donatella will have a field day come time for the Damage Polls and so I had been confessing all along :-)

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Yeah, that year-end poll is always a heartbreaker!

          Oh, and BTW, I think Mr. Spicebomb is gonna buy me a bottle of PHI for Christmas! He’s asked me the name of it two or three times now! . . . :)

    • lucasai says:

      Sweetie, if only I could find Puredistance M or Puredistance Black for the price you scored Opardu with, I would be in heaven.

      I’m glad Violette Fumee was such a good choice for you!

      And I must remind you of Atelier Cologne Silver Iris you got with 20% off plus getting 130ml instead of 100ml.

      • hajusuuri says:

        That’s right, Lucas! I forgot about the Silver Iris!

        • Holly says:

          Hi, hajusuuri. I’ve been wondering about these different irises, and must admit I’m clueless. Silver Mist, Prada Infusion d’Iris … the list goes on. I’m very attracted by what I read, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

          • hajusuuri says:

            Holly, they range quite a bit from earthy / rooty (e.g. Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue) to bright / sparkly (to me anyway) (e.g. Le Labo Iris 39, Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris) and in between powdery (not lipstick-like because I hate that smell). Can’t you tell, I love iris :-)

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Didn’t Angela do an Iris entry recently? I remember her discussing a rootiness scale. . . was that for the new Aedes scent perhaps?

            Ah, yes. Might have a few references for you!
            http://www.nstperfume.com/2013/07/11/aedes-de-venustas-iris-nazarena-fragrance-review-and-a-quick-poll/

    • Undina says:

      I also bought Bvlgari Black for $26 this year :) Love it!

      • hajusuuri says:

        Well, anytime you find a bargain on perfumes we both like…do let me know :-)

    • Merlin says:

      Is Mitzah being discontinued???

      Hajusuuri, did you get the Kalemat in the brown bottle (think its the original) or the one in the black? I was considering it but there was another Arabian Oud called Hyati that seemed equally nice and was a little less expensive. However, I was a little disillusioned by them all having – what seemed – an identical dry down and so I didn’t get any in the end. I may change my mind because the dry down is very nice, in any case….

      • hajusuuri says:

        It was in the brown bottle with fancy packaging (looks like an old treasured book). It’s a very cozy scent and yes, the dry down is marvelous. Would it be blasphemous for me to say that some have compared it to your beloved Chergui ;-)

        • Merlin says:

          Yes, I have seen it said that if one likes….and Chergui, one is bound to like this one. Personally I love Chergui, but not some of the others put in this list (other honeyed tobacco frags).

          Also, I think for me it may be another example of a fragrance that is a Chergui type but just not as perfect as Chergui itself!

          The packaging is very impressive in that venerable antique-y book mould:)

      • hajusuuri says:

        Oh and about Mitzah…there’s been a debate but the boutiques no longer carry them or if they do, they are out of sight and you have to ask for it specifically.

    • Rappleyea says:

      “Threat of extinction” pushes my hot button every time! You got some great stuff!

      • hajusuuri says:

        Thanks…and I suppose reformulation may be considered extinction of what was!

        • Rappleyea says:

          Almost worse as you’re never sure which version you’re buying.

  26. Karin says:

    Best deal were tester bottles from fragrancenet of Amouage Honour Woman and Gold Woman extrait for $77 each! And the tester bottles look exactly like the regular bottles…just in plain boxes.

    • Robin says:

      Wow, great deal.

    • RusticDove says:

      I remember that deal Karin! ;-) Yay!

  27. Lucy says:

    It’s a tie for me – I bought both Hermes Eau de Marveilles and L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore last summer. Even though I got slight discounts, they are my best buys because I fell in love with both and wear them regularly.

    • Robin says:

      Two of my favorites :-)

      • Lucy says:

        They may be in my top five favorites of all time, definitely top ten.

  28. sweetgrass says:

    I love a good perfume bargain. I do most of my fragrance buying that way. The hunt in itself is fun, and getting a good deal is always nice. So my finds this year were:

    Small vintage tester bottle of Mitsouko, maybe 5ml or so, about 3/4 full. Guessing it could be from the 60s or so. The juice smells amazing, and it was only $6.

    30ml vintage Shalimar extrait, about 10ml in bottle, appx 1940s-60s. I got it for $30.

    100ml Chanel Egoiste Cologne Concentree, pretty much full. Got it at an estate sale for $65 when bottles that were only half full were going for upwards of $300 on ebay.

    On Amazon, I got a 50ml of Chergui that I’d been wanting for ages for $72. Also got a 50ml bottle of Dune for $38.

    At Ross, got a 15ml of Prescriptives Calyx for $20. It was obviously an older bottle because, for one, it still says Prescriptives and not Clinique, and the ingredient list on the box still listed oakmoss. It was a blind buy, and I wasn’t at all sure I would like it, since it is basically the archetype fruity floral. I at least figured I should know it for that reason, so I decided to get it, and I’m glad I did. I’ve ended up really enjoying it in warm weather.

    Most recently, I got a full 50ml bottle of L de Lolita Lempicka for $23 at Marshall’s. The box was wrecked, which I didn’t care about, and the sprayer was missing. I found a fix for the sprayer, and I’ve really been enjoying it. It was also basically a blind buy. I decided to take a chance on it because it got a 4-star review at Bois de Jasmin, and it couldn’t have worked out better.

    • Robin says:

      Wow, you’re a much better bargain hunter than I am!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Are you for hire bargain-hunting? ;-)

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Ooh. That’s a GREAT idea!

  29. Laurels says:

    2.5 oz of Roberto Cavalli Oro for $26 shipped. Despite the awkward bottle (there’s a reason the smaller bottles sell for more), I love it more than any other bottle I’ve gotten since falling down the rabbit hole.

    • Robin says:

      Nice price!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      An enabling fairie recently sent me a sample of that one! It definitely caught my attention! I have it set aside for further testing. :)

  30. annemarie says:

    My best buy in dollar terms was $37.50 for 50 mls of Ellie Saab at Target in Australia. Given how steep the mark-up is in Australia for perfume and cosmetics, this was an astoundingly good price and I still think there was a pricing mix-up on their part.

    My other triumph – in terms of discovery – has been Givenchy’s Ysatis ($40 for 50 mls at a discount pharmacy). It was not quite a blind buy because I had sniffed a tester a few times and liked it. But people say the reformulated version is not as good. Well, I love it. It’s exuberant and delectable and fun. I’m going to get heaps of wear from it. :)

    • annemarie says:

      Oh, and $49.50 for Cuir de Lancome. Prices on that have been going up, so I was pretty certain I would not see it at this sort of price again.

      • Robin says:

        I did not even know they were still making it! You got some good deals.

        • annemarie says:

          No, they’re not. That’s the thing. For a while after it was d/c, CdL was as cheap as chips at the discounters. Not any more. I wish I’d bought it when it was going for about $30. Anyway, not complaining.

          • Robin says:

            Yep, timing is everything.

  31. libberation says:

    It’s a bit of a toss-up but I’d have to say my best buy bargain wise was a mostly full tester of Agent Provocateur for a cool $5 at one of those fragrance stores you find at outlet malls. I’d been hoarding a sample vial for months!

    I think my real best buy tho was taking the leap and blind buying on the limited edition of Lush’s Rose Jam perfume. God I love that juice!

    • nozknoz says:

      I also blind-bought Rose Jam and really love it. It’s amazing how good it is!

    • Robin says:

      $5!!!

      • libberation says:

        Yeah, I’m never taking that price tag off. LOL!

  32. AnnieA says:

    Bought two Geodesis Ambre and Havane room spray testers for 1/4 the regular price. Have gotten some nice swaps recently, including a part bottle of Dia and a mini of Carelle (“Milo collection”), the latter I’d never heard of. Does anyone else know about it? First impression is vague but positive – definitely Grown Up Lady.

    • Robin says:

      Sorry, I’ve never heard of it either.

  33. kindcrow says:

    My favorites from 2013 are Golden Cattleya (GC) by Olympic Orchids (narcissus and honey heaven) and Rose Jam shower gel and perfume by Lush. I’ve been enjoying my sample of al02 by biehl parfumkunstwerke, too. I purchased a ton of samples this year, but only GC and al02 grabbed me. Mind you, I still have a number of vials to open :-) Oh, and I got a full bottle of Terracotta Voile d’Ete by Guerlain to replace the decant from TPC that I will soon drain.

    • nozknoz says:

      Terracotta is wonderful!

      • Rappleyea says:

        Seconding this!

        Kindcrow – you’ve added something to my “to try” list with the Golden Cattleya. After about 100 years wearing perfume, I figured out that my very favorites are narcissus-centric ‘fumes.

        • kindcrow says:

          Narcissus is note that I will definitely explore more. I liked the narcissus in L`Occitane’s Vanille & Narcisse, but I don’t like L`Occitane’s amber note (the same amber note that was in their pretty pomander years ago), which is pretty strong in V&N.

          NSTers rave about Lilas et Narcissus by Soivohle, and I really want to try it, but the Soivohle web site describes it as “indolic,” which always scares me. Ah, well, it can’t hurt to get a sample (off the SOTC web site!)

          • kindcrow says:

            Meant to say “off to the SOTC web site.” I just bought six Soivohle samples: Lilas et Narcissus, Lilac & Roses demi absolute, Calcutta (I’ve heard that it’s jasmine-rich, which scares me), Piquant Oil Parfum, Tropic Lime Vanille (I hope that the “clean linen” note is not too noticeable; if I want to smell dryer sheets, I’ll open the cabinet over the washing machine), and Wild Ginger Chai (I’m off to have some chai now).

          • Rappleyea says:

            Another good narcissus rec, the Soivohle Lilas et Narcissus. I haven’t tried that one, so thank you! Indolic tempts me! And your mention of Calcutta reminds me that I recently saw that sample in one of my bags of samples so I’ll dig that out. I’m a jasmine lover.

            One of my favorite scents with narcissus is Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit (although I think they call it jonquil).

            And I’m with you – nothing will turn me off of a scent faster than “dryer sheet”!

          • kindcrow says:

            Thanks for the Vol de Nuit tip. I’ve always loved the bottle, but have never tried it. I am ashamed to say that I have not tried many Guerlains (perhaps just Shalimar?). Apres L’Ondee, L’Heure Bleue, Gourmand Coquin, the Ode a la Vanille Shalimars, and VdN all sound promising. Looks like I’ve developed the list of my next sample order! :-) I will try to resist ordering it now. I have too many other things to test.

  34. farouche says:

    My most exciting buy was my first Luten’s bell jar, Boxeuses, bought in Paris in September. I also bought La Fille de Berlin while I was there.

    No real bargains, but I did get 20% off of Amaranthine, bought online. Hearing that it was to be discontinued, I decided that my decant wasn’t enough and that I needed a full bottle in my collection.

    • Robin says:

      Nice to have a bell jar :-)

  35. ringthing says:

    I love reading all these experiences! Late to the party, but my best buy was just a couple of weeks ago: a bottle of Zino Davidoff from Amazon for $15, free shipping. Why Zino? I’d read on PerfumeShrine that Ellena found a similar herbal structure in Zino and Chanel Coromandel and as a bargain loving fan of Coromandel, I wanted to check Zino out. At such a great price I couldn’t resist and while they’re not dupes, I definitely see the similarities; a few spritzes of Zino with a couple dabs of Coromandel smells like all Coromandel, it’s lovely.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting!

    • hajusuuri says:

      Wow..that’s good to know.

  36. relleric says:

    Favorites this year are a 100ml TF Oud Wood that I got 10% off at S5A and also applied points with. Also got the AdP Colonia Intensa Oud, this one wears well in warmer weather too. Also recently scored a bottle of Perris Monte Carlo Bois d’Oud (does anyone see a pattern here? I’m an Oud fan). Got a sample of the Perris Ambre Gris, it smells lovely, I will have to wear it more before deciding on it.
    Ran across a men’s store in Santa Fe today that carries some Amouage and Montale, but I managed to resist temptation and didn’t get the plastic out.
    Earlier this week picked up a bottle of Lubin Idole (EDP), can’t wait to start wearing that regularly; also love the Galaad which I acquired back in October.
    This has been a very fragrant (and expen$ive) year for me, I may need some counseling… ;-)

    • Merlin says:

      Congrats for resisting the Montale and Amouage:)

    • 2rista says:

      I’ve seen several Momtales on eBay recently at great prices. I’ve never tried any of them. Could you (or anyone else) recommend something?

      • 2rista says:

        0ops! That was Montale, of course.

      • hajusuuri says:

        Montale Intense Cafe (I have a sample)

        Montale Patchouli Leaves – I have never tried this but now I want to based on a review I read (Google “akafkaesquelife”)

        • FearsMice says:

          I haven’t tried the Intense Cafe, but I do have a sample of the Patchouli Leaves and I like it. Kafkaesque’s review is spot-on.

      • relleric says:

        Every one of them that the merchant had I liked, but was especially fond of White Aoud. I think it was the saffron that captured me.

  37. olenska says:

    Best 2013 purchase: not one but two full boxed bottles of vintage Via Lanvin (one of my hands-down favorite-ever green fragrances from the 1970s) at the Gold Nugget Flea Market in historic Lambertville, NJ. I almost had to wrestle a seventy-year-old woman for them — believe me, she fought dirty!– but to put it plain & simple, I got there first. In the same trip, I scored a full vintage mini of Ma Griffe extrait, so the near-trip-to-the-ER was worth it.

    • Oh good for you! Via is so pretty. I’m forcing myself not to get more till I use up the little mini I have, but you did well!

    • nancyg says:

      Good on you for the Ma Griffe!

  38. I bought a LOT less this year. I think my best buy was probably my first: Ineke Sweet William, on sale for about $25 at Anthropologie. I’ve surprised myself by how much wear I’ve gotten out of it. It’s really nice.

    Other good buy was my husband buying Tableau de Parfums Miriam for me for Valentine’s Day – that one WAS pricey, but I wear the heck out of it.

    • Robin says:

      I need to watch Anthropologie fragrance sales better…they have some good deals.

  39. RusticDove says:

    Okay, this has to be the best deal ever: Amouage Dia Extrait which sells for $450 retail. I purchased a tester – for – wait for it – $75. It was a freak sale @ Fragrance dot net. I wondered if the bottle cap would be missing or something, but no. It was in the beautiful bottle, completely intact. The kind of deal you *must* take advantage of – no matter how tight money is!

    • nozknoz says:

      It’s been a great year for discounted Amouage!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Wow!

      • Robin says:

        Double wow.

    • RusticDove says:

      I know – I was flabbergasted by my good luck!

  40. nozknoz says:

    I was going to talk about Amouage bargains or blind-buying Lush Rose Jam, but that’s been covered above. I got some wonderful things this year, and I’m especially pleased to have finally found an older Caron En Avion. It’s even harder to find than Tabac Blond, and so weird – I love it!

    • Robin says:

      Nice! The vintage Carons were all weird, in a wonderful way. Would love to see that house back as it was.

      • nozknoz says:

        Before there was Duchaufour, there was Caron!

    • RusticDove says:

      It’s always super cool to find a great, classic vintage fragrance in good shape. It’s getting harder & harder.

      • nozknoz says:

        That’s so true! I searched for En Avion pretty diligently for two or three years and basically gave up. I’ve stopped spending much time on ebay, so it was just luck that I saw this one; believe me, I immediately set a very high snipe on it. In the end, it cost me less than a current Caron extrait, so I totally lucked out.

  41. rivercitylizzy says:

    I would say my best buy overall in 2013 was the sampler of Kusmi teas–their iced tea assortment–with a variety of luscious flavor blends that brewed beautifully in the sun and kept me cool and refreshed through the last couple months of my pregnancy and the beastly hot summer that followed!

    Perfume-wise I believe my best purchase was the INeKE alphabet collection sampler, in which I found many beauties and at least two full size wishes!

    • juicejones says:

      I want to treat myself to those Kusmi teas. I haven’t purchased them for at least 20 years and I am curious about the Violet one that Robin mentioned.

    • Merlin says:

      So, which are the full-sized wishes?

  42. I was just thrilled to discover that Kenzo’s Jungle has returned on one of the popular online fragrance stores in both mini and regular sizes. As a bonus, the price of my winter favourite: CINEMA dropped down in price. My personal stocking is well stuffed this season.

  43. perthgirl says:

    My best buy in terms of lucky score was the box of vintage perfumes I got at a garage sale for $60, including almost full 15ml no5, 2x Opium, Fidji, original Shiseido Zen and a set of old Fragonard mini’s.
    I also got some great cheap buys: Noa for $20, Omnia for $29, Guerlain AA Lavande Velours 125ml for $54.
    In terms of being on my list for ages buy: Profumi del Forte By Night White. Wonderful for a summer Christmas!

    • annemarie says:

      Well done at that garage sale! That’s fabulous. I so rarely see perfume at garage sales, although I did pick up minis of Sensuous and Pure White Linen for a dollar each a few weeks ago, and I was happy with that.

      • perthgirl says:

        I believe it was a deceased estate sale, it seems no one in this country ever sells their old perfume! Lol (which makes me suppose that unwanted and unloved’s are probably going into the bin) :-(

        • annemarie says:

          Yes, I have often wondered about that too. Where does all the fragrance you see in the chemists and department stores end up? I think you are right abut the bin.

  44. songeuse says:

    Bargain-wise, I’ve had a pretty good year. My best buys would probably be the testers of L’Air du Temps edp and La Fille de Berlin that I found online, as well as 100 ml of the sadly discontinued Tea for Two that someone on eBay was selling for a very reasonable price. Also I bought a bottle of L’Occitane’s Eau d’Iparie while in France… it’s also technically discontinued, although the store still had it in stock. It’s a lovely blend of frankincense and myrrh, and I’ve seen some bottles on eBay that are being sold for $100+ or even $200+.

    For sheer loveliness, my best buys would probably be the bell jar of De Profundis that I purchased this spring in Paris, and the bottle of Incense Rosé that I treated myself to. De Profundis is one of the most moving and beautifully melancholy perfumes I have encountered thus far… the day after I bought it I wore it when I went to visit Père Lachaise cemetery, which is also a beautiful place in its own way. I wear it sparingly, when I’m in the mood for it. And Incense Rosé is a gorgeous combination of three of my favorite notes (incense, rose, cardamom)… bravo, Mr. Tauer!

    • perthgirl says:

      I’ve never heard of the L’occitane- what a shame it’s discontinued it sounds lovely.

  45. Merlin says:

    Some of my best ‘bargains’ I do not adore, so I won’t mention those.

    My best find though was O de Lancolm 50ml for R200/$20. I’v been wanting it for some years – but that price finally pushed me over the edge:) Perhaps I should consider a back-up bottle since it is still available at a local discount pharmacy and the retail price is more than three times as much.

    Also I got Santa Maria Novella’s Nostalgia for R600 – and I Love it!

    • Merlin says:

      And I should also add two other marvels. I chose Tubereuse Criminelle for my birthday (okay, it was a gift, but I did choose it, lol)

      And, my brother brought me the travel refills of Lipstick Rose when he went to London (again a gift but I chose it). The travel sizes are not available where I live and the prices on Malle are also much higher…

      Clearly I have done far too much shopping because there is also Carthusias gorgeous Ligea which I got half price.

      5 favorites, lol?

  46. ladymurasaki says:

    Oooh, I’ve just won Guerlain’s Belle Époque, so that is my best purchase of the year! It was the relaunch of Belle France (circa 1892 created by Aime Guerlain) created for Harrod’s 150th anniversary and only 150 bottles were released. I love the scent and have been wanting to own a bottle, so I’m so thrilled!

    • Merlin says:

      Wow, congrats!

      • ladymurasaki says:

        Thanks!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Lucky you! Congratulations. Please let us know what you think of it.

      • ladymurasaki says:

        I have tried it years ago and was also given a sample of it recently. It’s a soft and warm tuberose scent. I wish Guerlain would properly relaunch it, as it is so good!

    • hajusuuri says:

      What a score! Congratulations! And it went to a perfumista!

      • ladymurasaki says:

        I was kind of surprised that it only had two bidders, including me!

    • nozknoz says:

      What a score! I’ve been sighing over the one on US ebay for some time – $2,500!

  47. Rappleyea says:

    Nothin’ to report – no deals, nothing exciting. I only bought four decants this year (ironically one each qtr.) and one I hate, two I love (SSS Amber Noir and AdS Mecca Balsam) and one I’m not sure of (Guerlain Sous le Vent – I know, blasphemy for a Guerlie-girl!).

    • Merlin says:

      I herebye rescind your Guerlie-girl status!

      And, wow, you have been VERY good this year. sigh!

      • Rappleyea says:

        ACK!! I’m trying to buy a Bois d’Armenie decant – will that reinstate it?

        Not a question of being “good”. I was reduced to part time in Feb. and instead of finding other/more work, I’ve been writing. I’ve loved my year but there was zilch in the budget for perfume!

        • Merlin says:

          I’ll consider whether the Bois D’Armenie is adequate compensation…

          Well, congrats for being disciplined enough to stick to your budget.
          Can I ask what you are writing? And, on that note do you have any favorite books on writing?

          • Rappleyea says:

            Nah.. BdA isn’t up to Sous Le Vent’s weight!

            Book is a historical novel set in the Bluegrass (where else?) just after WWI.

            I’ve read a few writing books and mostly they contradict each other or else spout “rules” which one could find multiple exceptions to. One book that I *did* enjoy as it wasn’t exactly a “how to” but more of a “here’s how I do it” was Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I also like reading Joanna Bourne’s blog – she writes Napoleonic War spy fiction – about the writing process. Again, because it’s not rules per se but what works for her.

          • Merlin says:

            Wow, thats quite a project!

            I’d imagine it to be one of those subjects that one needs to take on what works for oneself and hastily dump the rest – until one has a working method of ones own, at least!

            I’ll take a look at the Anne Lamott and Joanna Bourne:)

    • nozknoz says:

      I also love Mecca Balsam, so I should try Amber Noir.

      Have you ever sampled Aftelier Tango? It uses an unusual traditional Indian essence from burnt seashells – really intriguing to the nose!

      • Rappleyea says:

        I have never tried any of Mandy’s scents. Shame on me! But it seems like someone sent me an almost empty vial of Tango. I’ll have to see if I still have it as it sounds interesting.

        And yes, do try Amber Noir. I get fleeting whiffs of the rose amongst the amber – very lovely and easy to wear. Would you like me to send you a sample?

  48. Merlin says:

    I’v been seeing some very good reviews of Ferrari Essence Oud: has anyone here tried this?

  49. jjlook says:

    Thrifted this year:
    vintage Diorissimo
    Amouage Dia (about 1/4 full)
    Caron minis
    Scherrer 1 parfum
    paco rabanne metal mini
    Feminite du Bois Shiseido (about 1/2 full?)
    Vintage Aramis
    Other minis: opium, caleche, a couple of coffrets…

    the ones that weren’t for me I swapped or gave away…
    this is the first year I combined my eye for thrifting with an interest in scent, I’m sorry I didn’t start sooner.

  50. Celestia says:

    Escada Cherry in the Air @ $19.99 C. for my collection of summer L.E.’s and Lolita Lempicka L’Eau Jolie 50 ml for my L.L. apple bottle collection. The latter was $78 but I got the once-a-year extra points discount so saved a portion. My best find is not only the discount price but a bottle I love with a juice I will wear in it!

  51. Jonette says:

    My favorite find this year has been a cheapie: Treets Fizzy Bath Cubes in the scent Rose & Pink Pepper. They cost 99 euro cents per cube and the scent that arises from the bath smells just like Montale Roses (sic) Petals, although there’s surely no oud in the bath cubes.

    I liked it so much, I ran out and purchased the shower gel. That’s pleasant, but not quite the same. So often, when I find something I like, it becomes discontinued or the local shops stop carrying it. So I’ve now got a bag full of the bath cubes.

    • Jonette says:

      Oops! I have several Montales and made a mistake. It smells just like Montale Roses Musk.

      • Merlin says:

        Which are your favorite Montales? I find that the Rose Petals goes a little sour on me…

        The bath cubes sound lovely!

  52. Jonette says:

    The Rose Petals never go sour on me (here it’s labeled Roses Petals). I like the Rose Musk, too, but only sometimes as it’s really super-strong, even for a Montale. My all-time favorite is Black Aoud. If I had to choose only one scent from my whole perfume collection, it would be that one!

    • Merlin says:

      I suspect this may end up a blind-buy:/

  53. ravjan says:

    That would be the scent I just bought a couple of days ago – Opus 1870 by Penhaligons. I asked my GF to hide it real deeply and I’ll be getting it for Christmas only. Nothing works like self-gifts ;) Apart from that I’ve been happy with some minis I hunted this year; notably a slender 15ml mini of L’Ambre des Merveilles from Hermes and two cute 8ml minis for my GF – Thierry Mugler’s Alien Sunessence EDT Legere. Little things are never little!

  54. Jonette says:

    Thanks to a recent post on NST which I’ve only now gotten around to reading, I’ve just ordered the Rose Jam perfume which is available in Lush Nederland online only as a limited edition.

    I bought the shower gel when you guys first mentioned it — had to order it unsniffed. It’s not really my kind of Rose — a bit too sweet. But it has something addictive about it. So now I’ve ordered the perfume, too.

    I’m off to bed! Maybe next weekend I can participate more here.

  55. Marsha says:

    I was pretty disciplined this year, at least as far as fragrance was concerned. The best buy was from my visit to the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Alabama. It’s kind of hit or miss there, sometimes the place is just a very large thrift store with no treasure found. But my last visit I found the Frederic Malle 2012 coffret. In the box with all the bottles untouched. That store knows he names Chanel and Hermes (and they price accordingly), but apparently they don’t know about Malle. which explains why they priced it at $26.99. Score!

    • Flora says:

      WOW! Score indeed!

    • Merlin says:

      Now that – is luck!

  56. scentfromabove says:

    Last month I was just messing around on ebay. I came across two purse spritzers of a perfume I have been missing for years. It was Leiber by Judith Leiber. Needless to say, I bought them and couldn’t be happier. I have been searching for this fragrance forever since they discontinued it. It was one of my favorites.
    Also, I believe it was in January that Bath and Body Works was having their semi-annual sale. They brought back one of my favorites that had been discontinued; Orange Sapphire. I stocked up in case I would never see it again. Yes, 2013 was a good year for me to reconnect with two, old friends! LOL!

  57. Flora says:

    I got really lucky recently with an eBay lot of SIX 5 ml bottles of vintage Jean-Louis Scherrer pure parfum for only $75 – that will last me a good long time and it’s my favorite green chypre. I gave one to friend because she loves it also. Pretty good price for 30 ml of the good stuff and it’s in perfect condition, :-)

  58. Omega says:

    Hypnotic Poison 1.7 ounce, new and sealed. 21 bucks +3 ship on Ebay. Modern formulation.

  59. Thalia says:

    My best find was Chamade — I bought a partial bottle on eBay for around $20, and it is so stunningly beautiful. This is the perfume I was looking for when I started looking for perfume! It’s a good thing that it took me so long to find it, because I have discovered so many other wonderful things and will never be a signature scent person now. But if I were going to have one perfume that defined me, it would be Chamade.

  60. lekkerruik says:

    My best buy of the year… There are two. The first was a bunch o’ buys together: I got seven tester bottles of L’ Artisans, no more than a third of any one used, for the equivalent of about $10 each, score! And these are 100 ml tester bottles! Of which one is Eau de Navigateur :)
    And the other was a completely and utterly blind and unsniffed purchase, for very little, of Balmain Ambre Gris, which I’m wearing right now and have been passionately enjoying ever since it arrived. It was a great year for purchases… (there was also a super-awesome cheap find of a Kenzo Amour gift set) but next year must be ‘worse’ ie. FEWER BOTTLES!