Since I began reviewing fragrances a few years ago, I was always in need of a cheap way to get my hands on some of the hottest releases, without absolutely destroying my wallet.
Over time I tried a whole range of ways to get free or very affordable samples, all with the intention of finding my new signature scent, and along the way, I kept track of the methods that worked the best.
In this article, I will give you 20 ways to get either completely free or very affordable perfume samples, for very little hassle.
Free Sample Sites
One of my most used methods of getting free samples is with free sample websites like “Pinch Me” and freesamples.co.uk. They offer free samples of various products, including colognes and perfumes.
These platforms often don’t require any credit card information, you simply claim the sample, use it, and leave an honest review when you’re done.
Online fragrance communities have been a massive part of my time as a perfume reviewer, and have also been an absolute gem when it came to finding free samples as well.
Join fragrance-focused online communities such as Reddit’s r/fragrance and Facebook groups like “Fragrance Sale/Swap/Split UK.” Members in these communities are generous in sharing fragrance samples, helping you to discover so many cool new scents without spending a penny.
Visit Beauty and Cosmetic Stores:
Simply walking into your nearest beauty and cosmetic store, and asking for whatever available perfume samples there are is also a very assured method.
Take advantage of the generosity of stores like Sephora and Boots UK.
Many beauty retailers are willing to provide free perfume samples upon request, usually in a bid that you will like the sample so much, that you purchase the real thing from them.
Ask a Friend
Now this one will depend a lot on the type of friend you have, but if you do have one who is as passionate about fragrances as you, and has a collection of fragrances you like, consider purchasing an empty vial and asking them to spray some of their scents into it for you to try.
Beauty Product Testing Sites
Participate in beauty product testing programs like the Debenhams Beauty Club or the Home Tester Club. These platforms have not only offered me free samples but sometimes even full-sized products in exchange for honest feedback.
Swap Contact Info with Major brands
Sort of similar to the product testing sites, Larger fragrance houses like Jo Malone and Dior have been known to offer samples in exchange for your contact information. The only difference, sometimes they don’t even want the feedback!
Simply provide your details to receive complimentary samples from these unbelievable brands.
(PS: these opportunities are a lot rarer to find, and in most cases, the brands will want your feedback as well)
Check Official Brand Websites
Now, for those that have a specific fragrance in mind, visit the official website of the brand. Some brands offer free samples or have promotions where you can receive pieces with your purchase.
Contact Specific Brands
If you don’t find samples on their websites, reaching out directly to the brand via email or DMs has worked well for me. Some brands are open to sending samples upon request, but often will just tell you the easiest way to find them instead.
Free Samples with Online Purchases
Now doing this will require you to spend money initially, but certain major retailers like Sephora or The Perfume Shop offer free perfume samples as gifts when you spend over a certain amount or purchase specific promoted products online.
Social media can be a goldmine for free perfume samples. Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook have especially been great for me. Look for hashtags on Twitter or Instagram accounts that offer direct links to many popular fragrance releases, often for no charge.
Subscribe to newsletters from perfume brands and retailers. They often provide exclusive offers, discounts, and occasionally free samples to their subscribers.
Keep an eye out for perfume samples included in beauty or lifestyle magazines. Many publications offer fragrance samples as part of their promotional efforts.
Product Review Sites
Similar to beauty testing sites, some product review platforms offer not just free samples, but free perfume bottles, in exchange for thorough and honest reviews. Check out the money-saving expert’s article on the best sites to use.
If you are in the United States, Walmart stores occasionally offer free fragrance samples in their beauty or fragrance sections without any purchase requirement.
Build an Online Presence
If you’re passionate about fragrances and love sharing your thoughts, consider creating a Reddit or Facebook group. Influencers like this, often receive free products, including perfumes, for review and promotion.
Now for some methods that are not exactly free , but very affordable and cheap perfume samples instead.
Fragrance Sample Sites
Now, for those that know the exact cologne they want to sample, there is a whole range of cologne sample sites to explore.
Luckily for you, we have gone out of our way to find which of these sites offer the cheapest samples per ml, for some of the most popular colognes and perfumes in the world. So here are the top three sites that most recommend.
- My Fragrance Samples – ($4.15/ml)
- Lucky Scent – ($4.8/ml)
- Twisted Lily – ($5/ml)
Just maybe my favorite website ever, eBay has been a treasure trove to me for finding discounted fragrance samples. Many sellers offer sample vials or decanted fragrances at a really low cost but make sure to ensure you buy from reputable sellers with positive reviews just to stay on the safe side.
Some, more niche, perfume brands offer ‘discovery kits’ or sample sets that include a selection of their fragrances. These kits are typically pretty, and a great way to sample multiple scents from the same brand, making it easier to find your favorites.
Brands such as Phlur and Eight & Bob, can be found offering these on Amazon!
Subscription boxes are another excellent way that I’ve used to receive regular samples of various fragrances at a discounted priceSubscribing to services like scent box and scent bird allows you to enjoy a diverse range of scents each month without breaking your budget.
As a fragrance enthusiast on a budget, getting your hands on affordable or preferably cheap perfume samples is essential for exploring new scents and building your collection without overspending. Use all of the above methods you can to access a wide variety of perfumes without committing to costly full-sized bottles.
Happy hunting and may your cologne journey be both fulfilling and cheap!