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.
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 Men’s Cologne Samples
One of the easiest ways to get free cologne is to become a brand ambassador. Sites like Toluna and Survey Junkie pay you cash to work directly with some of the biggest brands in the world. You can try new things and get paid to do it.
Sign up for all 3 sites to get regular freebies in the mail.
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 – These guys know their stuff and have 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.
- PrettyThrifty.com – Has straightforward lists of free colognes. There are no misleading links, or overflowing ads on the page. Just follow the instructions (everything is posted there).
- FragranceX – This is one of the bigger online fragrance retailers today. Join the newsletter and wait for deals. Or better yet, ask them if they’re providing free cologne samples.
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. 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 backwards, 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:
These 3 sites will send you FREE stuff in the mail and PAY YOU to hear what you think about what you receive.
- The Aromi – They have a $35 bundle that contains 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 off discount coupon on your next purchase. Shipping is free, too! You get to choose which scents to include in the sampler.
- ScentBird Sampler Subscription Service – If you don’t have any fragrance game yet, this subscription service is totally life-changing. 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.
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.
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.
Do you know of sources of free cologne I could check? Feel free to comment and let me know below!