Frugal Fragrancing with Wanderer Beauty

On Monday, I wrote about a solid perfume from esteemed French niche house Diptyque. On Thursday, I’m now writing about a budget line of solid perfumes available exclusively at Walmart. I’m all about mixing the high dollar and the low dollar, baby–in fragrances and in life.

These may seem like an odd choice, but I firmly believe that you don’t need to spend a fortune to smell good. Plus, not all of us live in a place where we have physical access to department stores or artisan/niche perfumes, but if we’re in the U.S., we likely have access to a Walmart. (I grew up in such a place, pre-internet, and I remember what it was like having only Walmart and a couple drug stores that carried scents, and they mostly carried the same scents, too.) Also, I have found so little information about this brand, Wanderer Beauty, online and I want to put something out there for people like me who are curious.

And hey, we could all use a little cheap cheer from time to time!

Don’t underestimate these fragrances. There’s a lot in here that’s good and I’m certain there are people for whom these will be a nice choice. These would make a great stocking stuffer or gift for tweens and teens. People like doctors, nurses, caregivers, teachers, etc. who are in close physical contact and don’t want to overwhelm someone with their perfume may find these suitable. Folks who like to change their scents frequently throughout the day may also appreciate these.

On the other hand, don’t overestimate these fragrances, either. My little four-pack of solid perfumes cost $14.88, which works out to $3.72 per fragrance. You do get what you pay for, to some degree. These lack the moisturizing properties typical of most solid perfumes. They have very soft sillage and don’t last too long on skin. I’ll explain more below.

Let’s take a closer look at all four.

Wanderer Beauty Solid Parfum Gift Set Review

Size: The set included four fragrances, each 0.38 oz./11 g.

Packaging: A beautifully decorated cardboard box with a plastic inset holding the four perfumes. Each perfume is packaged in a goldtone tin with a watercolor-print paper label. The tins are zero waste/reusable. Box is recyclable.

Base: The Wanderer website indicates the solids are free of phthalates, parabens and all Proposal 65 banned ingredients, in addition to being cruelty-free. The base is sodium stearate, diethylene glycol, peg-40 hyrdogenated castor oil and butylene glycol. That’s a lot of chemicals, but they’re skin-safe and commonly found in moisturizers and deodorants.

Vegan-friendly: Yes. Plus the box indicates the products are not tested on animals.

Color and Texture: The solids are various shades of off-white. They’re all very “hard” at room temperature and require a great deal of friction to get a decent amount for application on skin. One was so hard it fell out of the tin and was still in one piece after hitting the floor, with no cracks or dents.

Natural perfume or mixed media: Only the catch-all “fragrance/parfum” is listed, but given the price point, these are presumably mixed media or even entirely synthetic.

Fragrance Description and Notes: All of the below is from the official Wanderer Beauty website.

“A heavenly scent of delicious fruity florals mixed with notes of succulent citrus fruits, layered with fragrant white flowers and yummy vanilla…leaving you sweet and sultry as caramel.”
“Celebrate all day and all night with this unique fruity-floral fragrance. Hypnotic notes of deliciously sweet kiwi, seductive jasmine and sensual musk will make heads turn and hearts flutter.”“Wrap yourself in an intoxicating, sensual scent that’s unforgettably feminine. The crisp scent of juniper mixed with the freshness of cotton blossom will remind you of the sun’s warm embrace.”
“A dark, mysterious and edgy fragrance that blends notes of caramelized black sugar, airy freesia and sensual 
Tahitian vanilla.”
NOTES: Citrus, White Florals, 
Caramelized Vanilla.
NOTES: Kiwi, Jasmine, MuskNOTES: Juniper, Cotton Blossom.NOTES: Freesia, Black Sugar, Tahitian Vanilla.

Longevity: Not great, at about two hours for each.

Sillage: Noticeable for 15 minutes or so, but these are largely skin scents. I was able to catch a few whiffs of my perfume while standing near an open window.

The experience: The packaging on these is adorable and looks more like something you’d find at Urban Outfitters or a trendy mid-price boutique. From the colorfully-printed box with goldtone feathers to the textured tops on the tins, nothing about these looks cheap. The tins are sturdy and the tops fasten securely, so they’ll be good for purse, pocket or travel.

All four fragrances smell nice. The notes listings are accurate, and if you trim away the marketing hyperbole like “hypnotic,” “dark, mysterious and edgy” (and hey, all perfume copy reads like this–Wanderer is no different from, say, Givenchy, in this regard), the descriptions above are not bad. (Well…maybe they overstate the “sweetness” of these scents, or maybe that is just how the scents perform on my skin.) These are simple, crowd-pleaser feminine perfumes composed of trendy notes. They’re unlikely to offend, and not only because their sillage and longevity are on the low end.

Ethereal is akin to a laundry musk floral. The vanilla is not especially strong in this one and it’s not a gourmand fragrance. Horizon is a pretty shampoo floral (most freesia scents smell this way to me), and again, the vanilla and sugar are not strong or sweet. Both Horizon and Ethereal are dominated by their floral notes.

Luna was the one I expected to like the most, based on its notes. Juicy kiwi tops a clean floral musk aroma–what’s not to love? Luna goes on the strongest of the four, but ultimately, its longevity and sillage are on par with the rest of the collection. To my surprise, it is actually Soleil that I like best. It begins as a laundry musk with a hint of fresh-cut grass via the juniper, but as the juniper fades, the musk becomes warmer and woodier.

The fragrances layer well with each other, though it didn’t improve their sillage and longevity to do so. Luna was especially nice on top of all the others, adding a pleasant fruity aspect to their flowers and musks.

All that being said, there are a few things about these scents that I wish were better, but I realize that’s asking a lot for a very inexpensive product:

  • Longevity and sillage leave a lot to be desired, as noted above.
  • Don’t look for these to evolve much. They’re simple fragrances and they don’t stick around long enough, at least not in the solid format, to do more than burn off their top notes.
  • The very hard texture of these solids makes them difficult to apply and even warming the scents for a bit on my laptop did not make them more spreadable.

Where to buy: available exclusively at Walmart, and only for in-store purchase or pick-up. Walmart will not ship them. Ebay also has a number of the gift sets with liquids and solids for sale.

Additional notes: If any or all sound intriguing, I would suggest getting one of the gift sets that contain matching liquids and solids. I have not had a chance to try any of the Wanderer liquids, but I suspect layering liquid over solid will improve the sillage and longevity on both.

By Jodi at Solidly Scented

A lover of all things fragrant