While most couples who are trying fine tune their finances take the time to review all the line items in their budget, there is one area that many couples tend to overlook. It can provide a significant savings opportunity for a variety of frequently-purchased products, and requires only a minor tweak of your current power shopping strategies. I’m talking about the fragrance choice of the various scented items currently on your purchase list. Whether you select a unisex fragrance or skip the issue altogether by purchasing unscented toiletries on a routine basis, the math is clear. There’s no need to buy two when one will certainly do the job.

Yes, it’s certainly true that you’ll still have to deal with two people consuming the same amount of product. However, it’s also true that generic, unscented products in particular often cost less than their custom-scented counterparts. Even if you opt for a scent you both agree upon, you still have additional savings opportunities at your disposal, such as bulk buying and the fact that you only have to shop for the best price on one brand instead of two. The other two things to consider are short-term cash flow and consumption rate.

Sure, you might use up your shampoo relatively quickly, but what about cologne? At our house, we only use this when we are going out and about. Since we mostly work at home, one bottle of fragrance lasts an extremely long time. Ditto with hair spray and other styling aids. If you can get by with spending 50 percent less up front and you don’t need to purchase additional replacements of things like cuticle treatments or deep conditioners for several months, isn’t it worth it to avoid dishing out the cash so you can channel those monies towards other areas? Here are eleven different ways you can start saving fifty percent on fragranced products. Today.

Perfume or Cologne

Date night becomes significantly more important for long-term couples, particularly post pregnancy. Part of getting all dolled up for a night on the town usually involves indulging in the use of your favorite perfume or cologne. Springing for two bottles of the good stuff even just a couple of times per year can infringe greatly upon your options for dating on a dime. Selecting a unisex fragrance you both enjoy can cut your cologne costs in half. This is an excellent time for me to come clean and admit that we are still searching out a scent that will make this happen at our house, although we have heard good things about CK One. That’s next on our list to explore.


When it comes down to it, you really only need a bar soap that’s strong enough to get the job done yet gentle enough to not dry out your skin. During a previous content development assignment I worked on,  a respected physician recommended Sensitive Skin Dove as an affordable option. Others exist, however. You just need to find one that works for you, whether it comes in an agreed-upon scent such as grapefruit or peppermint, or doesn’t contain any perfumes at all.


If you’re trying to pull off beauty on a budget, it’s a good idea to start with well-moisturized skin. It looks lusher, avoids that dusty and flaky look that can come from too much sun and just feels more comfortable overall. Since body moisturizing is something important for both of you, stocking a good lotion you each enjoy is a good idea. Again, you can go with unscented if you wish, but there are plenty of fun scents on the market that work for both men and women. For example, one of our favorite Whole Foods bargains is the giant bottles of generic lotion available in the personal care section of the store. For roughly five bucks, you get a large jug that will last a long time. At our house, the herbal mint variety is the kind we bring home most often, but there are other options such as citrus and lavender.

Shower Gel

To be honest, as part of our savings in every room plan we mainly use bar soap and supplement with shampoo when we feel like we want the gel experience. That being said, we occasionally like to indulge in a fun and fragrant shower gel. When we do, we try to pick out a scent that we will both enjoy such as sandalwood, lemon or even pomegranate. Granted, I happen to be married to a guy who’s totally OK with shower products that don’t smell like aftershave so my shopping requirements might be less stressful in that regard. The main idea is to stick with scents that are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum so you don’t feel the need to purchase two in order to have both sets of needs met.

Hair Spray and Fixatives

With the marketing of men’s spa and personal care products on the rise, it can be easy to think you have to purchase men’s and women’s versions of everything from shaping mediums to styling fixatives. The truth is you can both have great hair for less by selecting products that don’t have any additional fragrance whatsoever. In our house, that’s Tresemme. In your house, it might be something different.


The same rule can apply for hair cleansing products. If you skip the scent requirements and also buy in bulk, you can gain great mileage from your shampoo. The ability to use this item for face cleanser, delicate hand washing and even counter cleaning make it one of those multi-purpose beauty products that really goes the distance.

Cuticle Treatments

With the number of men’s manicure bookings on the rise, it’s clear that nail care tips aren’t just for the ladies. This being the case, when I’m the one purchasing nail and cuticle oil, I tend to skip the jasmine-scented variety in favor of something like almond. When I’m really in the mood to pinch pennies, I use things like coconut and olive oil, or even unscented skin balms to get the job done. It helps me spend less on beauty routine basics without sacrificing the end quality of our home manicures.

Bath Products

We enjoy homemade skin care recipes as much as the next couple, particularly when it comes to scented scrubs and bath salts. Because the base fragrance ingredients can vary in cost, this is another area where choosing a single essential oil we both agree makes a difference in the bottom line.

Leave-In Conditioning Treatment

Whether we’re using our own detangling spray or simply slathering on an oil blend in an attempt to embrace homemade beauty products on a regular basis, both of us tend to need deep conditioning on a semi-regular basis. I don’t want to smell like men’s cologne when I’m finished and he doesn’t want to smell like a wild rose bouquet. Agreeing on the fragrance ahead of time saves tension as well as money.

Massage Oil

At-home massages are a great intimacy builder. After you purchase a massage table and a set or two of sheets, your main expense is the oil or scented massage bar. Again, if you both want to indulge in the good stuff and keep your bottom line in check, consider deciding upon a scent together or at least have a list of basic fragrance types you both agree upon. That way, if one of you is shopping without the other, a confident purchase is possible. For example, we’ve used patchouli oil, the sesame-scented massage bar from LUSH and the occasional unisex blend from Bath and Body Works at our house. We picked out the sesame bar together, but knowing which scents suited both of us has allowed us each to shop independently for this type of thing on multiple occasions.


If you both enjoy scented candles in the house as much as we do, it’s nice to avoid disagreement on the fragrance choice if you can. Even the more affordable ones still add up when you’re buying them for a few different rooms in the house, and if you don’t want to end up fighting your own version of the fragrance wars it helps to find some common ground before you start dishing out the big bucks. Mutually-agreeable candle scents at our house include pumpkin, various spices such as cinnamon, lemongrass, crisp herbal scents and – believe it or not – peach. Obviously, this differs depending on the couple. The point is, if you’re dishing out twenty bucks per candle on a limited budget and your partner hates sugar cookie surprise, you may want to consider an alternative.

Do you make scent choice a favored savings solution? Which products do you purchase with a fragrance compromise in mind?

Myscha Theriault

Myscha Theriault

A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.