I have to admit that I’ve fallen victim to the blind buy more times than I’d care to imagine. I’ll fall for the packaging or assume that I’ll like a fragrance based on the scent notes I typically go for. I’ve even read reviews and based my decision on those only to find that I get the perfume and I can’t stand the smell.
So, wouldn’t it be easier if you could try before you buy? Well, you can! Perfume samples are everywhere, you just need to know where to find them.
If you want to know the best sites to buy perfume samples online, then my guide will point you in the right direction.
1. Scent Split
I’m into niche fragrances and Scent Split is a wonderful way to discover something new. They’ve got all the leading names like Tom Ford, Creed and many others and they’ll decant perfumes so you get a smaller bottle and don’t have to pay as much. For me, it’s more than enough to get a real sense of the perfume.
I’m going to look at Kilian’s Love Don’t Be Shy to show you what you can buy. You can buy either a 5 ml or 9 ml decant in a glass bottle. Although you don’t get the original packaging which is a shame, these cost $35.99 and $59.99 respectively. The cost may seem high, but it’s still much less than purchasing a whole bottle.
If you don’t want a decant then Scent Split also offers smaller samples in either 1 ml or 2 ml vials. For the Kilian perfume I’ve been looking at, these start at $7.99 but vary hugely between perfumes, some being as much as $12.99 per sample.
I find there’s a great selection of perfumes on Scent Split and the reviews I’ve picked up on delivery and customer service are excellent. The higher price of samples and decants might put some people off.
2. Fragrance X
Fragrance X has a 4.3-star rating on Trustpilot and is one of the USA’s most well-known discount perfume retailers. What’s great is that they offer samples on almost all of their products and come in the form of a 1.5ml vial.
These samples only cost a couple of dollars but you have to keep in mind that you’ll still need to pay for shipping. Fragrance X offers free shipping when you spend a certain amount of money so I’d recommend using this option if you want to buy several samples at once.
The website also offers a range of travel minis. If you’re anything like me, a little vial isn’t enough to make a decision. I like to wear a fragrance for a few days to really get a feel for it so these 4ml minis are a great way to do that. Plus, they’re around $10, depending on the fragrance so they won’t break the bank.
3. Decant Store
One of the first things I noticed about Decant Store was that there wasn’t such a wide range of fragrances to choose from. That’s not the end of the world as there’s still enough to discover but if you’re after something specific, you might not find it here.
I’ve also struggled to find many viable reviews for the Decant Store, so I suppose that is either good or bad.
But back to the products. Decant Store sells all of their samples and decants in glass bottles. The smaller 1 ml and 2 ml samples cost just a few dollars each but you can also buy travel size 5 ml or 10 ml atomizer bottles. These do cost a little more but are no more expensive than others offering the same thing.
I’ve recently been looking at the Juliette Has A Gun perfume samples on Sephora and I have to say, I’m pretty impressed. I got 7.5ml for $30, which I think is a fantastic way to get some real wear out of the scent and figure out if it’s for me.
Of course, a beauty retailer like this offers far more than just one perfume sample. In fact, pretty much any fragrance you could think of is available here.
But what I believe sets Sephora apart from others is their perfume sampler sets. For example, I’ve been looking at the Hermes Mini Fragrance Discovery Set, which gives me four minis to try. BUT if I was looking to discover as broad a range of scents as possible, then I would choose the Sephora Favorites Sampler Set.
Yes, it’s $72 but that’s for 13 sample vials to try. I think this is one of the best options if you are trying to find a new signature scent or a special occasion perfume.
Moreover, I believe you can shop with confidence at Sephora. They are one of the most reputable beauty and fragrance retailers out there and they even have physical stores where you can smell fragrances in the flesh without having to wait for them to arrive by mail.
Scentbird is a brilliant option for people who like to constantly discover new fragrances. It’s a monthly perfume subscription box that stocks all the most popular brands like Tom Ford, Gucci, Prada, and many more.
You only get one 8ml bottle of fragrance each month but Scentbird claims that this will be enough to see you through to your next order. I find that it very much depends on how heavily you need to spray the scent.
One thing I love about Scentbird is that you can choose which perfumes you receive. If you’re keen to try something out but don’t want to splurge on an entire bottle, it’s a good way to experiment.
However, it’s worth checking out all the T&Cs and how to cancel your subscription BEFORE signing up. There have been complaints about difficulties canceling orders, so I think you’ll have to be sure before you hit order.
DecantX is a decanting service like many of the others I’ve mentioned. So, what makes it any different from Scent Split or The Decant Store?
Well, what really stands out to me about DecantX are the fragrance boxes. These are collections of perfume samples that you can customize to your liking. If there are certain perfumes you’re dying to try then I think this might be your best option.
The service is versatile in that there are also a massive range of hand picked boxes along different themes. For example the ‘Date Night For Dad’ box which contains miniature versions of classics like YSL Nuit De L’Homme, Spicebomb Extreme, and Dior Homme. Each mini comes in a 5 ml bottle and the set is only $70, which I think is amazing value for money.
FragranceNet has a massive collection of perfume samples in the form of 1.5ml vials. There’s literally a sample for almost every perfume out there. I even found some for discontinued scents like Decadence by Marc Jacobs. I like having that kind of choice.
It’s the delivery that’s the problem for me. Why would you pay a shipping fee for a few dollars worth of perfume? FragranceNet offers free delivery on orders over $79 but that means buying a lot of samples.
As long as you’re not going all out and sampling lots of scents, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re buying a full-sized bottle and want to include a few samples in your cart, it’ll be worth it.
OK, I am so excited about the Macy’s perfume discovery set that I could literally burst. There’s a girl’s and a guy’s version of the set and I think these make a wonderful gift for Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Specially created for Macy’s, the perfume discovery set that I’m eying contains 15 1.5ml vials of some of the most popular perfumes in the world. These include My Way by Armani, Prada Candy, Very Good Girl by Carolina Herrera and many more. They also come presented in a beautiful leather pouch.
Compared to the Sephora sampler set, this one is more affordable at just $25.
And I have to throw in that there’s even a perfume sampler advent calendar for the festive season for exactly the same price.
While the Macy’s sampler set contains smaller vials than some of the other options on my list, I think it’s excellent value for money.
Much like Sephora and Macy’s, ULTA offers a perfume sampler set that comes in a delightful box. This one is $30, so in the middle of the previous two in terms of price but only features ten 0.05fl.oz vials.
That said, you do receive an atomizer and a 15% off voucher which can go towards a full-sized bottle of any of the fragrances within the sampler set.
However, I’ve been researching the retailer and have noticed A LOT of bad customer reviews. These include issues with deliveries and packaging, bad customer service, and even products not turning up. For this reason, despite the adorable sampler set, it might be one that I’d steer clear of.
If you’re after a high-end perfume sample and are willing to part with a little cash then I cannot recommend the Dior Collection Privee Minis enough. You get 10 7.5ml bottles of some of the most iconic fragrances from the collection but you’ll need to pay $250 for the privilege.
It might sound a lot but these scents are SO strong and long lasting that you’ll actually have a supply of perfume for the foreseeable future. I actually purchased this set myself and there was so much that I ended up giving bottles away.
As a perfume sample gift set, this is ideal for those who like a little luxury.
Alternatively, you could buy one of the full-sized bottles and Dior will send you a mini sample so you can try before you buy. Just make sure NOT to open the main bottle until you’re happy otherwise you won’t be able to return it.
11. The Cologne Collection
I believe that all fragrance fans should at least try The Cologne Collection once. They offer a range of perfume discovery boxes including the Mystery Decant for just $24. All of the most well-known perfume brands are stocked by this store, including designer and niche fragrances, which I find to be a really nice mix.
Both men’s and women’s perfume subscription services are available if you want to discover new scents all the time. I love that you can build your own box so you’ll only ever end up with perfumes that you think you’ll like. Then they have also the mystery subscription where the staff at The Cologne Collection will hand-pick fragrances for you, which I enjoy because sometimes I find something unexpected and exciting.
When you subscribe, you’ll get 10% off. This is always a nice bonus.
You will pay a little more for this subscription service compared to something like Scentbird, but you also get more perfume in each box so it works out well.
12. Visionary Fragrances
Whether it’s a single sample or an entire set you’re looking for, Visionary Fragrances is an up and coming UK based perfume sample website that I recently discovered and with an impressive range of scents.
They offer a lot of niche scents and I think this is a great choice when you want to try fragrances that are a bit pricey. For example, I wanted to try the Roja Amber Aoud perfume but it’s so expensive. Yet I can get both 1 ml and 2 ml samples or travel minis on Visionary fragrances for a fraction of the cost.
However, since this is a UK company, US customers will find that they can’t get items shipped. Unless you’ve got someone across the pond who’s willing to order for you and send it over, we’ll have to wait for the company to expand.
One of the first things I noticed about FragrancesLine is that the website was shockingly similar to Scent Split. So much so that I found myself investigating whether they were the same company. But from what I am able to see, they aren’t affiliated.
So what does FragrancesLine offer? Well, the similarities to Scent Split aren’t limited to the layout of the website. The service and perfumes they offer are almost identical. I was looking at Kilian’s Love Don’t Be Shy before and one FragrancesLine, I found it to be more expensive. They’re charging the same price as Scent Split charges for a 10ml decant for just 5ml.
My verdict? It’s probably better to go elsewhere unless you like spending money unnecessarily.
14. Surrender To Chance
Surrender To Chance is, for me, one of the best perfume decanting and sample retailers out there at the moment. Not only do they offer a large selection of some well known, and more niched down perfumes, but they do selection boxes and partial bottles as well.
There really is something for everyone including roll ons and spray bottles.
The prices and sizes are very much in line with what I’ve gotten used to. For a high end niche perfume like Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille you’re looking at around $56 for an 8 ml decant.
What really caught my attention were the sampler sets that are themed by decade. I was born in 1985 so I started to enjoy perfume in the late 90s. The Surrender To Chance 90s sample set containing 8 iconic fragrances belongs obviously on my wishlist.
The customer reviews for DecantX are quite positive, with many customers talking about what a great customer service experience they had. I will try them out soon.
If you’re looking for a huge range of samples then I wouldn’t necessarily suggest Perfume.com. Yes, there is a nice selection with some unique and interesting perfumes, but it’s certainly not as vast as some of the other websites offering 1.5 ml vials.
The scents start from just a couple of dollars and it’s free shipping. For those low prices, I’d still suggest trying out a few of the mini sprays as you might just discover a lesser known perfume that’ll become your new fave. For me, that was Clean Smoked Vetiver, something I otherwise never would have considered.
What’s The Difference Between Perfume Samples and Decants
A perfume sample is a miniature vial containing a small amount of fragrance allowing you to test the scent. They usually only contain around 30 sprays so you’ll get a couple of days’ wear out of them. They’re ideal if you just want to try out a perfume to see if it’s the right fit for you.
On the other hand, a decant is where a company (or you can do it at home) takes an amount of perfume and puts it into a smaller, usually unbranded bottle. When buying from reputable decanting companies, you’ll receive the exact same perfume that was in the original perfume bottle only in a smaller quantity. These are great for trying new scents and for traveling.
How Can You Get Perfume Samples For Free
In general, people aren’t willing to pay huge amounts of money for something that they aren’t sure they’re going to like. This is especially true for expensive perfumes that could cost up to $500.
In most cases, you will have to pay for perfume samples but there are ways to get them for free. Here I’ll share a few ways to get perfume samples for free.
- Magazines often have free perfume samples but these usually come in the form of a small wipe that’s been doused in the fragrance. They’re a good way to find out what something smells like but they don’t go too far. Nonetheless, it won’t cost you anything other than the price of the magazine.
- You can often get free perfume samples when you buy other products. For example, when you purchase anything from the YSL beauty website, you’ll have the chance to select one or two perfume vials to try out. If you’re already shopping for other fragrance and beauty items, you might as well make the most of a free gift.
- The internet is littered with freebie websites. I tried out wowfreesamples.com trying to obtain a free sample of Jimmy Choo EDP and had to go through a series of survey questions only to find out that I had then been entered into a draw to win the sample and would be notified by email if I won. I guess if you’ve got some free time on your hands then it doesn’t hurt to try this but you can’t guarantee you’ll end up with the goods.
- If you don’t mind buying from clone fragrances houses then you’ll find that a lot of their reps offer free samples in order to draw in new business. They’re working on commission so will spoil you with freebies in the hopes you’ll fall in love and make a purchase.
- PinchMe.com is a free giveaway website where you can get free samples in the mail. However, you have to provide feedback on the products.
- When fragrance houses launch a new scent, they’ll often hand out free samples so it’s worth signing up to their mailing lists to find out when this is happening. If you don’t want to be bombarded with marketing emails, I recommend to just take the time to check the websites of brands you like from time to time to see what they have on offer.
Frequently Asked Questions On Perfume Samples
How to apply perfume samples?
Most perfume samples come with an atomizer for easy spray application. Apply the fragrance to your pulse points for the best performance. This will allow you to get a real feel for the scent and how it smells on your skin.
How many ml are in a perfume sample?
Most perfume sample vials are between 1 ml and 2 ml with 1.5 ml being the most common. However, you can also get travel size samples which could be up to 10 ml.
How many sprays are in a perfume sample?
The number of sprays in a perfume sample will vary according to size. Typically speaking, you’ll get 30 sprays from a 2 ml vial while a 10 ml sample will deliver up to 150 sprays
How long do perfume samples last?
Perfume samples last for a particular number of sprays as detailed above. How long they last in terms of time very much depends on how often you spray them. Normally, a good quality perfume will require two to three sprays in the morning.
How to store perfume samples?
To get the longest life out of a perfume sample, you’ll need to store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
Do perfume samples smell better than the original perfume?
With genuine perfume testers, what’s in the sample will be exactly the same as what’s in the original bottle.
Are perfume samples stronger?
There is a rumor that sometimes, perfume testers are stronger than the full sized bottles as they are more concentrated. There is some debate about whether this is done across the board but if it is, you are sure to get a pretty good idea of what the perfume smells like.
Are perfume testers diluted?
No. A genuine perfume sample will contain the exact same liquid as the real thing. If it is watered down then it’s unreliable. You should only source perfume samples from reputable vendors so you know you’re getting the real deal.
Can you refill perfume sample bottles?
If the sample bottle features a removable lid then you can take this off and spray in some more fragrance. This is ideal for travel or keeping in your handbag.