How to Score Fragrance Samples, Because Perfume Is Hard to Buy Online

From subscription boxes to total freebies.

Updated 12/02/19

 

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Finding a new scent can be downright daunting. But there comes a time in every gal's life when she's on the prowl for her next big fragrance fling. Before you commit to an online perfume purchase, because let's be real, late night beauty binges offer the ultimate satisfaction, why not play the field?

These days, scoring samples of new and noteworthy scents is a must before you commit to the one. After all, there are so many options out there, from traditional boxed colognes to small batch clean fragrances. So go ahead and explore the many contenders on the market. Here's how to score fragrance samples. because perfume is hard to buy online.

01 of 10

Get Free Samples When You Shop Online

Perfume samples

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Reward programs from companies like Sephora offer free fragrance samples when you check out during your online purchase. Diptyque offers deluxe fragrance samples with purchase of a candle. The Body Shop, L'Oreal, and Lancome offer free fragrance samples with or without an online purchase. Sign up for an account at Ulta, and opt for mailings. Each month you'll receive a catalog with several free perfume samples.

02 of 10

Ask at a Department Store

Sephora storefront

 Deva Darshan/Unsplash 

Visit the makeup counter at your favorite department store and ask for a fragrance sample. It's not considered déclassé to ask for a freebie; that's what samples are there for. Usually these will be new product drops that fragrance houses want out in the world. Nordstrom is a goldmine for free fragrance samples, especially during a Scent Event when you can receive deluxe sized scents to try. Beauty specialty shops like Sephora will pour you a sample vial upon request so don't feel shy.

03 of 10

Exchange Your Contact Information For Samples

Bottle of Chanel perfume

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Visit the websites of your favorite fragrance line, like Jo Malone and look for a free sample tab. You might have to enter some info (like your email and mailing address) but in return you will get free samples of on-trend scents.

04 of 10

Buy a Discovery Kit

Heretic Parfum discovery set

 Courtesy of Heretic Parfum

All types of fragrance lines, from artisanal to traditional, offer discovery kits that are relatively inexpensive. Sample palettes usually contain six samples, each at 0.05 ounces. This is a fab way to explore a line of extravagant fragrances that you might otherwise overlook. Trendy fragrance brand Juliette Has A Gun offers a discovery set you can buy through Amazon. You can customize a discovery set at Douglas Little's small-batch artisanal line Heretic Parfum and when you buy a sample palette at clean fragrance line Skylar, you receive a coupon code towards a full size product. Macy's sells a discovery kit with traditional boxed cologne samples. So many options!

05 of 10

Buy Individual Samples

Perfume bottle

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If an entire discovery set is too much commitment, you can buy individual samples from luxe lines like Le Labo, where 0.05 ounces of their iconic scents are $4-$6 a pop. You can even purchase samples online with free shipping.

06 of 10

Try a Subscription Box

Although you may get the occasional fragrance sample in your subscription beauty box haul, you can also sign up for a fragrance-only subscription box, like Scentbox or Scentbird. These monthly deliveries are a no-hassle way to build your knowledge of on-trend perfume. You'll also score coupon codes when you're ready to commit to full-size purchases.

07 of 10

Search Hashtags on Social Media

Smartphone and perfume bottle

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Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit are great sources to score free scent samples. Search hashtags to see who's giving away what. It's really that #easy.

08 of 10

Write Product Reviews

Woman using laptop

 Nicole Honeywill /Unsplash

You don't have to be an influencer to score major freebies from fragrance lines. Sign up to write reviews, answer product surveys, and sometimes even get called in for focus groups with companies like Influenster, Poshly, Pinchme, and Tryspree. Since you're providing feedback on a product, these samples aren't necessarily free, but they will help you build your collection. Plus, it's super fun to weigh in on new products.

09 of 10

Sign Up for Newsletters from Your Fave Cosmetics Line

Vintage box with perfume and makeup

 Hulton Archive/Getty

When you sign up for beauty product newsletters, not only will you be alerted about new product drops, you'll be in the loop when it's giveaway time. Seasonal gift sets often come with deluxe fragrance samples.

10 of 10

Flip Through a Magazine

Stack of fashion magazines

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Proving that print's not dead, glossy magazines offer scented perfume ads. Although rubbing a magazine on your wrist isn't the most glam way to experience a fragrance, this handy tip might just turn you on to your next signature scent.

Now that you're on your way to building your fragrance library, be sure to save your sample vials for travel, life on the go, or if you want to layer scents.

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