4 Perfume Alternatives For Girls Who Hate Heavy Fragrances But Still Wanna Smell Delicious All The Time

If you just didn’t get it when your middle school friends began dousing themselves in Victoria’s Secret Love Spell and a whiff of your coworker’s Chanel Coco Mademoiselle makes you feel faint, you're not alone. Many girls just aren't the perfume-wearing types, despite your favorite fashion magazine's best efforts through its seemingly endless scented advertisements. No matter how many of those little white tester sticks you spritz at the perfume counter at Nordstrom, you'll likely never find a scent you really love — and that’s okay, because there are plenty of perfume alternatives out there waiting for you to sniff.

So what's a girl to do when you start to think that you’ll never have your very own signature scent? Luckily, there are a number of creative alternatives to traditional perfume that are lighter, more natural and less likely to cause a day-long headache. From essential oils to body mists and even DIY fragrances that you can mix in your own kitchen, these smart, smell-good ideas will help you to forget pricey perfumes once and for all.

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Essential Oils

Ava Anderson Hope Fragrance Oil, $10, Poshmark

Essential oils may bring to mind thoughts of your yoga studio or your college friend’s patchouli-filled apartment, but modern versions are much lighter and more sophisticated. These types of oils soak into the skin, so a little bit goes a very long way toward providing a long-lasting scent, and because they cost much less than traditional perfumes they’ll also save you a ton of money. Brands like Ava Scent make their essential oil perfumes with 100 percent pure oils from around the world, and they feature great smelling scent notes like blond sandalwood, cacao, and mandarin.

Botanical-Based Scents

Root & Roam Roam Perfume Oil, $11, Etsy

If you prefer a soft, feminine scent that is inspired by flowers and plants, something botanical-based may be right for you. These all-natural fragrances are 100 percent natural and free of synthetics, but they’re a bit chicer than most natural oils. Try something with notes of Moroccan rose, sage and pink grapefruit from a natural perfumery.

Scented Lotions

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Body Butter, $35, Sephora

If you’re especially sensitive to any type of scented oil or spray, there’s no rule saying that you can’t use your lotion as a scent and call it a day. Lotions have lighter fragrances than traditional perfumes and even many natural scented oils, and they tend to absorb into your skin in a way that makes them a bit less noticeable. Sophisticated options from Laura Mercier and Philosophy smell so great, you may even forget that you’re not wearing perfume.

Body Sprays

Chloe Perfumed Deodorant Spray, $30, Sephora

There’s nothing more refreshing than stepping out of the shower and spritzing on a scented body spray before your skin dries. These light yet impactful products are much less intimidating than heavy perfumes, but they still give you a bit more fragrance than a light lotion. Best of all, you can even find lighter versions of upscale designer perfumes in the form of light body sprays. These light sprays won’t inflict a major headache, but may make passers-by stop to tell you how great you smell.