This £31 perfume beats out all the designer scents I've tried - and it's perfect for summer

 Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes.
Credit: Caudalie

As a Senior Beauty Editor, I’m incredibly lucky to essentially have my pick of perfumes, but this £31 buy has my designer buys gathering dust.

A lot of the best perfumes are quite an investment. While they’re a lovely daily luxury, I’ve witnessed the slow normalisation of scents costing upwards of £150 with a slight wince. Of course, I’m not immune to the allure of these designer buys - I’m only human, and Byredo smells lovely - but if I’m putting my pessimistic hat on, I’d say in most cases you’re paying for the name, the posh bottle and the marketing hype.

The best cheap perfumes smell just as lovely - if not in a lot of cases nicer than the expensive options. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a gorgeous-smelling scent - the best Zara perfumes are a testament to that fact - and so is this affordable buy.

Why this £31 scent is better than all the other (posher) perfumes on my shelf

French skincare brand Caudalie may not be one of the first names you think of when it comes to perfume, but their slightly under-the-radar Fresh Fragrances are real hidden gems. Available in 6 gorgeous scents, these buys are wearable, affordable and look pretty chic too. The sunny Soleil des Vignes scent is the one I can't stop wearing.

Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes
Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes

Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes

RRP: £31 for 50ml | Notes: Orange blossom water, Jasmine, Coconut

I'm a big fan of solar perfumes - they help you cheat that sunny, warm summer feeling no matter how gloomy it is outside. This is a particularly excellent one - one spritz instantly transports you to a sunnier climate, immediately lifting your mood. It smells expensive - think BA business class, not Ryanair, and I actually quite like the minimal design of the canary yellow bottle. It's the ultimate scent for summer - and all I plan on wearing for the next few months.

The only downside I will flag is that because it's a fresh fragrance (as opposed to an eau de toilette or eau de parfum), it's not the most long-lasting perfume I've tried. I can still smell it for a few hours after spraying, but it's one that you'll likely need to reapply if you're out all day and into the evening.

It's not something that particularly bothers me, but if it concerns you, the scent is also available in a body oil and a shower gel, which is a great way of layering it up to last as long as possible.

What does Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes smell like?

This scent, to me, smells just like summer. Warm, sunny and inviting. It smells like suncream being massaged into skin, poolside. It smells like an Aperol on a sunlounger or tapas on a terrace.

If you're looking for specifics, the notes are a layer of orange blossom water, coconut and jasmine. The combination makes for a warm, inviting scent that will immediately transport your mind to sunnier climes.

While it's definitely more of a summer scent, I'd happily wear it all year round. It worked particularly well to lift my spirits in the depressing depths of January.

Who should buy Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes?

Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes
Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes

If you're looking for an affordable, easy-to-wear perfume, you should buy Caudalie Fresh Fragrances Soleil des Vignes. They have five other scents available if you're after something more fresh or floral, but I can't see why someone wouldn't like this sunny, mood-lifting scent.

It's also a great fragrance to wear if you're looking for something a bit more under-the-radar than your Santal 33 and Baccarat Rouges of the world.

I'm a huge fan of this Caudalie scent - it's stylish, smells delicious and is impressively affordable. It's proof that you don't have to remortgage to get a gorgeous scent.