In the words of famous perfumer Pierre Dinand, "Without Perfume a woman is naked." It's so important that a woman's scent is evocative of her personality, her carriage, and... her very womanhood. Quite often the best scents (House of Guerlain, Chanel, Creed) are those made of complex, exotic notes that are designed to tittilate and intrigue the olfactories. Nevertheless you may pay a grip for such fragrances.
NOT anymore. There's a store called United Roots right down the street from Yale's campus that I stumbled into one day, just out of curiosity. To my sensual pleasure, I found over 800 scent types in oil base!!! United Roots carries designer-type scents (Cocomademoiselle, Magnetism, Armani Code, Shalimar Light), essential oils and blends. Every time I go there I stay for over an hour. Oh and prices.... between $5 and $25. Perfume fans, welcome to paradise!
A word of caution: while some scents are enhanced in their oil base (the original base before alcohol is added) others are not. Oil-bases tend to be base-note heavy and they don't have the same dynamic scent-release quality of alcohol bases in which you first smell mostly the top, then the middle, then the base-notes. The oil base tends to flatten the smell. Nevertheless it lasts practically all day, verses 3 to 5 hours, and the little $5 roll-on sticks are perfect for sticking in your evening clutch to freshen up your scent at the end of the night.... or the next morning (a fly diva's got to stay prepared, hehehe).
The website is http://www.unitedroots.com/. The store is located at 49 Orange Street, New Haven CT and there is another at 140 Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport CT. If you are anywhere near this area, it's worth the trip.