Former SEX + THE CITY star Sarah Jessica Parker owes her sweet smell of success to a cheap perfume she picked up at a budget US pharmacy.

The actress, who launches her own fragrance LOVELY this autumn (05), has become as famous for her smell as her fashion sense, but she confesses her scent story isn't as grand as many think.

She explains, "I (once) met a girl who was wearing just a c**py musk brand. I said, 'My God, you smell great!' And she said, 'It's just this thing from Rite Aid. I went to Rite Aid and I started using it, and it became part of my mix.

"At that point I'd come to understand that good things can come from all sources; that the finest department store in the world doesn't necessarily have something better suited for somebody, and I was thrilled at the price - it was $6.99 a bottle."

The actress tells Vogue magazine that she became such a fan of the fragrance she bought a case full of 590 bottles from the company when it was going out of business.

She only decided to pursue her dreams of creating her own distinct perfume when her supply of her favourite bargain fragrance started running out.

Cosmetics firm Lancaster eventually got the call from Parker and scent experts have worked around the clock to recreate the actress' signature smell - a mix of her bargain perfume and oils.