While not as readily available as free perfume samples for women, free cologne samples for men can still be found if you know where to look.
Trying out cologne for free can save you a ton of money that you would’ve spent buying for bottles of cologne you aren’t 100% sure you’d like.
So how do you obtain these kinds of freebies?
How to Get Free Men’s Cologne Samples
You can get cologne samples online, have them sent to you by mail, and 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’s 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.
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 from. A littler flattery goes a long way!
Know that these companies will not send freebies that easily – but may be more willing if they believe they can secure a customer for life.
2. Get Free Men’s Fragrance Samples in Stores
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.
- 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 create 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 with 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.
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:
- 3- or 5-piece sampler – The Aromi sells a bundle of three to five, 1.5 ml vials. You can 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.
Share the Love
The best way to get free cologne samples is to head down to your local department store. You may have to deal with a pushy salesman here and there, but they will have more fragrances available than you’re to try.
Were you able to find free cologne samples using the methods I discussed 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 other resources I could check? Feel free to comment and let me know below!