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How to Find Free or Cheap Perfume Samples

A very common dilemma that buyers face when they’re in the market for a new perfume or cologne is figuring out the right fragrance for them. With so many different fragrances on the market and endless combinations of scent combinations, it can be daunting even for a seasoned perfume wearer.

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Even more, fragrances can smell different on your skin depending on your body temperature, the soap you use, and the weather. So what is there to do? The answer is simple. Try it before you buy it!

This is easier said than done. Of course, you could go to your local department store and spend hours spraying test bottles on small pieces of cardstock.

But your nose can become so overwhelmed by all the different smells, the scents might start to blend together. There has to be a better way. This is where perfume samples and testers come in. 

Perfume samples, commonly small 1oz vials, are a great way to try out a fragrance on your skin for a day or two and see how you like it. This is much better than smelling the fragrance on a piece of paper.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

You’ll be able to see how the fragrance changes on your skin throughout the day. Here are our tips for getting free cologne and perfume samples:

Visit high-end luxury department stores

The more high-end, the better chance you have of getting free cologne samples. Try department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Nordstom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

These kind of stores or a bit more generous with their samples. Now, this really depends on how you approach the sales associates. You really have to prove to them that you’re seriously in the market for a new fragrance, not just some moocher who wants free stuff to sell later on online. Be respectful and don’t act greedy.

It should be common knowledge that the kinder you are to the sales associates, the better they will take care of you. Now, it isn’t guaranteed you’ll get the perfume sample that you want.

It really depends on what is provided by the brands and typically, stores will have more samples of newer fragrances that the brands are trying to promote. Remember, beggars can’t be chooser, but it’s always worth a shot.

Try beauty specialty stores

Not just for makeup, beauty stores like Sephora, Ulta, or Blue Mercury also sell a great assortment of perfumes and colognes. Some of our readers tell us that sometimes at Sephora, they will offer to pour a small sample vial straight from the tester bottles in the store.

They also have pre-made samples similar to department stores. Now, the same rule applies. Show the sales associates you’re serious about possibly purchasing a new cologne and they will take care of you better. Don’t just barge in there asking for free samples. 

Do it yourself

This method is a bit sketchier than the others, but it’s a clever way to get free cologne samples. Big-box retailers like Target and Kohl’s often also have tester bottles for their colognes and perfumes.

One of our readers takes matters into his own hands but bringing his own empty sample vials. You can get a pack of 1ml vials for fairly cheap on Amazon. Just whip out your empty sample vial and spray some of the tester bottle into it. This way you can bring it home and test out the fragrance for the next day or two. Do this with an air of caution.

People around you might give you the stank-eye, but you’ll never seem again right? If a sales associate is around and that makes you nervous, it’s probably better to just explain what you’re doing.

You’re not trying to take the entire bottle, just a few sprays that you would’ve otherwise sprayed on yourself anyway. Again, be kind and respectful. 

Buy perfume and cologne samples online

If you’re like me, the thought of extensively talking to sales associates or bringing my own sample vials to Target is scary. Lucky for you, there are online retailers that sell perfume samples for cheap.

Our #1 Pick:

The Aromi has great deals when it comes to purchasing fragrance samples. Right now they’re offering 5 best-selling fragrance samples PLUS $10 off your next full-sized order for only $20. 

If you’re interested in getting a little bit more than just a small sample vial, The Aromi is also offering a special on fragrance minis. 3 mini bottles + $10 off coupon for just #35. The bottles are essentially a smaller version of the full-sized bottles and they’re a great way to try a fragrance for a longer period of time but don’t want to commit to a full bottle. They also make a great gift!

Visit The Aromi

Tips for testing out your Perfume Samples

  1. Spray the sample on your skin or the inside of your wrist so you can smell the fragrance throughout the day.

    This way you can see how the fragrance develops overtime and adjusts to your environment.

  2. Don’t go into a store and start smelling dozens of colognes and perfumes. Your nose will get overwhelmed and you’ll do more harm than good.

    Take your time and smell maybe 2-3 fragrances at a time and then take a break. If the store is nice enough to offer coffee beans, take a sniff of those before diving back into the perfumes.

  3. Try a fragrance again after a day or two. Sometimes we become enthralled by the newness of the perfume or cologne.

    Try it again and see if you still like it after that newness wears off.

— by Jacob Battad

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Finding free and inexpensive perfumes testers

Annie is a self-motivated, ambitious, enthusiastic individual and a self-proclaimed "people person." Her passion for communication and problem-solving is evident in a variety of media. She currently lives with her family in Washington DC.