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If you’re anything like us, you likely buy everything from paper towels to pajamas online, not to mention a wide array of your beauty necessities, too. That being said, buying perfume online may not necessarily be on your radar—but it should be. While it may seem strange to buy a fragrance without sniffing it IRL first, online scent shopping has a long list of benefits. Of course, there’s the universally-appealing convenience factor that applies to all kinds of virtual purchasing. But as it pertains to perfume specifically, the internet is also a veritable treasure trove for not only good deals and steals but also a place where you can discover a wide array of new and interesting brands that may not yet be available at the department or big beauty store where you’d otherwise be shopping. Not to mention that many sites offer all kinds of different sampling and tester options, so you can, in fact, take a scent for a test run before you buy a full-size.
A few things to keeps in mind: It’s helpful to know what types of scents you gravitate towards (florals, woody, oriental, etc.) since many sites do—very helpfully—categorize their olfactory offerings according to those. Also, be sure to check on the return policy, since you want to know what your options are in case you don’t love what you end up with.
Ahead, the best places to buy perfume online that will make you seriously rethink how you scent shop.
Of all the online department store options, this is one of our faves. Yes, the amazingly flexible Nordstrom return policy applies to fragrance too, and you can even order online and pick up in-store if you’re really in a rush. They also offer a ton of store-exclusive perfumes and scents, not to mention that there’s always that iconic Nordstrom anniversary sale every year.
Those who love a good deal will appreciate the notably discounted prices and the plethora of coupons always available, making this a great pick for more affordable perfume shopping. Shipping is free, too, and there’s a good selection of samples that you can also buy.
Ever finally find a signature scent that you’re obsessed with, only to find out it’s been discontinued when you go re-stock? Yeah, us too. Search for in on this site, since they have many discontinued fragrances available. They also have a loyalty program, always an added benefit in our book.
The in-store fragrance shopping experience at Sephora is quite good, but so is the online version. There’s a helpful quiz that can help you figure out what kind of fragrance you might like (great for those who just aren’t quite sure as to what they’re looking for) and plenty of brands and sizes available. You can also return anything you don’t like as long as it’s only ‘gently used.’
The tagline of this site is ‘date perfumes before you marry them.’ We can get into that. The subscription service lets you choose from over 500 designer and niche fragrances; for 15 dollars a month you get one, 8ml spray (about a month’s worth of daily spritzing). You can also change the frequency of your subscription if monthly is too often for you.
The offerings on their site are helpfully and simply split up by scent families—like floral, fresh, and warm and spicy—on the fragrance landing page, making this a great pick for those who know what types of perfumes they like. They have a great loyalty program, lots of gifts with purchase which are always fun, and you can return anything you don’t like (even without a receipt, as long as you paid with a credit card and/or are part of the loyalty program).
Clean beauty is nothing new, but this now applies more and more so to fragrances, too. With very rigorous standards as to what ingredients they do and don’t allow in the products they carry, you can feel confident knowing that any of the fragrances here are completely clean and non-toxic. The added benefit? This is a great spot to find all kinds of smaller, indie brands that you may not yet have heard of.
Just like the fashion offerings on this site, expect an ultra-chic, curated collection of sophisticated scents that are sure to both smell good and look great on your vanity. It’s a great spot for sourcing gifts (be they for someone else or for you, we won’t judge). Just keep in mind that all fragrance sales are final.
We appreciate that the wide variety of brands offered on this site range from the big-name mainstream options, to smaller, niche companies. There’s a never-ending amount of choices for men, women, and home scents, too. If samples are your thing, you’ll be into the extensive array they offer. Oh, and if you spend over 150 dollars, you get three free samples with your purchase. Also helpful: The glossary, which breaks down the most commonly used fragrance terms. Because really, does anyone know the difference between an eau de toilette and an eau de parfum?
The offerings are broken down by super helpful categories here—by price, what’s trending, deals of the month, and more. You get free shipping over 59 dollars, and returns can either be sent back or brought back to one of their retail stores throughout the country (though they do have to be unopened, FYI).
This newcomer on the scene is not only a shopping site, but a company launching its own fragrance brands. These range from everything from celeb and influencer fragrances to clean, non-toxic options like their natural brand Esscentials. In other words, the goods you find here you won’t find anywhere else. Either way, the description of all the fragrances are clear, concise, and very helpful, making it easy to get a sense of what the perfume you’re considering actually smells like.
Luxury Scent Box
Those who prefer a hands-off approach will appreciate that this month-to-month subscription service offers an option where you simply get a new ‘fragrance of the month’ each month. You can also fill out a survey about your preferences and let them choose for you, or pick your own. Thirty dollars per month will get you two, 9ml spritzers.