Knowing your signature scent is a mark of a true adult. But as you know, cologne can be quite expensive. Luckily, there are ways to get free cologne samples for men, if you know where to look.
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Trying out cologne for free can save you a ton of money that you would’ve spent buying bottles of cologne you aren’t 100% sure you’d like.
So how do you get these kinds of freebies? Read on to find out.
How to Get Free Cologne Samples for Men
One of the easiest ways to get free cologne is to become a brand ambassador.
You can get cologne samples online, have them sent to you by mail, or you can hunt them down in person at your local department store.
1. Find Free Cologne for Men Online
If you check out coupon and freebie sites, you might think that it’s super-easy to request colognes for men and have them sent over to your home.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
- Cologne and perfume are actually expensive to be just given away. If you do find free cologne samples, it is highly likely that they are packaged into 1-ounce vials.
- Many free cologne samples would still require you to shoulder shipping fees (which can run $10 or more) and that’s more expensive than most people are willing to pay for free.
- It is hard to separate the real ones from the “noise.” It’s easy to post deals, but updating active deals, removing expired ones, and sharing new promotions can be laborious.
So where do you go online for authentic cologne samples?
Dapper Confidential crew knows their stuff and has partnered with a lot of brands over the years. Make sure to join the mailing list, since this is where news about men’s cologne launches and similar promos are sent.
Do you have a preferred brand, such as Calvin Klein or Azzaro?
If so, go straight to the cologne company’s website and look for a link that says “free samples.”
You could get your begging on and request some samples by filling out their contact form. A little flattery goes a long way, and it never hurts to simply ask!
Know that these companies will not send freebies that easily—but they may be more willing to send you some free stuff if they believe you’re a loyal customer for life.
2. Get Free Men’s Fragrance Samples in a Local Store
If you’re good with people, asking for cologne samples traditionally should be easy for you.
The success or failure of your sample request would largely depend on how well you talk to the salespeople manning the fragrance section.
You may have to deal with a pushy salesman here and there, but you can have your pick of one of the many fragrances they carry in the store as long as you’re not too greedy.
This may seem a little desperate, but most cologne salespeople actually want to help you out. They work on commission and happy customers are more likely to buy something.
- High-end department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Neiman Marcus are usually accommodating when it comes to cologne samples for men. Nordstroms, in particular, is known for being generous with fragrance freebies, but don’t expect more than cotton swabs (unless you bring your own empty glass vials).
- Beauty specialty stores like Blue Mercury and Ulta Beauty all house cologne and perfume for men and women, and offer fragrance samplers ready-made if anyone asks. Sephora is a favorite among sample-hunters because the store usually creates sample vials of your chosen cologne. Of course, this house rule could be different from the Sephora located near you.
- Discount and wholesale stores like Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco usually have tester bottles readily available for anyone to try. Although there is no rule about transferring some of the tester’s contents into your own trial vial, it is best that you ask first.
Don’t go looking for vintage cologne samples. If these stores do have them, I’m sure they won’t be opening them up as testers.
If you’re going to any of these stores and you plan to ask for two or more samples, cotton swabs won’t work on you.
However, to be able to compare scents properly over a couple of days, having separate glass vials could help you preserve some of the cologne while you decide which ones you like best.
3. Become a Cologne Tester
Perfume companies conduct quality-testing and surveys before the launch of their new fragrances.
It's a giant box of free samples and it comes right to your door at no cost.
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If you’re up for the challenge, you can apply to become a cologne tester and actually “test” the scents professionally.
You’d have to be knowledgeable about the fragrance industry. You must be able to determine if a particular scent is similar to an existing product (or not).
Because you’ll be doing the testing without charge, you will be sent free cologne samples straight to your door.
You can also try joining a product testing community to receive free samples from leading brands in exchange for your opinions and feedback.
Not only can you get free cologne samples but you can get various other free products that are useful.
Some examples of product testing sites that have sent free cologne samples in the past include the following:
4. Pay for Men’s Fragrance Samples
The easiest way to get free cologne samples is to spend a bit of money.
It’s backward, I know, but the reality is that retailers like Sephora and Ulta give rewards to customers buying perfume. For every bottle you buy, you’ll be given a choice of which 3 samples you’d like to try.
For those willing to spend some cash for these fragrant incentives, here are other types of products to check out:
- The Aromi – They have a $35 bundle containing 3 mini fragrances of 5 mL or 0.17 oz each (no vials here; the bottles look like miniatures of the full-sized ones) plus a $10 discount coupon on your next purchase. Shipping is free, too! You get to choose which scents to include in the sampler.
Cologne vials are usually priced below $5 a pop, so if you’re on a budget and wanted to try more than one scent, this is probably the route to take and it is still cheaper than buying regular-sized bottles.
5. Subscribe to Fragrance Boxes
If you don’t have any fragrance game yet, a fragrance-based subscription service is totally life-changing because you wouldn’t be so lost. This method means you have to pay for the cologne samples but at a significantly lower price.
The following subscription service includes some of the best fragrances (by review, by sales number, or by customer votes) in a box so you could try them out before you decide on your favorites.
- ScentBird Sampler Subscription Service – The company has over 150 colognes for men that they rotate. You pay $14.95 a month to “date a perfume before you marry” and receive a month’s supply straight to your doorstep.
- The Fragrance Club – According to the site, “The Fragrance Club believes a new scent every month will keep you smelling up to date on the hottest scents while preventing you from purchasing expensive fragrances that get old.” You choose from monthly, bi-monthly, and yearly plans. Every shipment includes a 10ml bottle (about 150 sprays).
- Scent Box – This subscription box company has one of the most variety of colognes for men. Your first month begins at $9.72, followed by $15.95/mo thereafter. Each month you receive 1 to 2 fragrances – you can also be in control of the cologne you want to be included in a particular month.
6. Stalk Cologne Companies
Getting free cologne samples for men directly through the company isn’t guaranteed, but it’s worth the shot.
The good news is you don’t need to visit in-store to do this. Instead, you have 3 ways to make sure you’re up-to-date with cologne promotions:
- Official website: subscribe to their newsletter
- Official social media: follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and so on
Begin with brands like Blu Atlas, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Versace, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Dior, Tom Ford, Le Labo, Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, D&G, Issey Miyake, Coach, Maison Margiela, Viktor&Rolf, Jo Malone, and Valentino (among many others.
Join contests and master the art of hunting via hashtags. These techniques help you hunt for freebies online.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t like blindly getting free cologne samples for men, your best bet is to look for stores that offer testers.
Testers are 100% authentic, fresh, and completely full (just like what you buy in stores).
The only difference is that these tiny bottles are designed for use on department store counters, which means no branding and no fancy boxes. The savings on packaging allow brands to giveaway testers or sell them at significantly lower prices.
While not as readily available as free perfume samples for women, free cologne samples for men are there for the taking if you use one of the methods above.
Whether you’re still in the process of finding the scent to fit your preference and style, or you just want to try new scents, I hope this guide can help you save some of your hard-earned cash.