Free perfume samples have always been a hit since the day magazines began adding strips of heavenly fragrant paper on select pages. Admit it, you used to hunt for these samples during your teens.
They’re free for the taking, and they were placed there for you to give a whiff.
Perfume can be pretty expensive. This is because about 25% of its contents are concentrated essential oils.
So if you’re like me who is loyal to my fragrance and want to be 100% sure that I love the scent before buying a bigger bottle, this guide to getting free perfume samples is for you.
5 Ways to Get Free Perfume Samples
The following methods include a mix of in-store and perfume samples by mail.
1. Hunt Inside Women’s and Fashion Magazines
If you’re subscribed to fashion and women’s magazines, you’ll know that the old-school perfume samples stuck to pages of magazines still exist.
Popular mags like Elle, Vogue, Cosmo and Marie Claire usually have perfume samples, but you’ll never really be sure that there will be a tester included in a particular issue.
The cool thing about this is you can also get free magazine subscriptions, so you wouldn’t be spending a cent hunting for perfume samples in magazines.
2. Look for Free Perfume on Freebie Sites
Freebies sites are everywhere, and they legitimately send you free perfume vials. The tricky part is picking the freebie site that showcases these deals whenever they’re available.
- FreeSamplesByMail– This site has a dedicated perfume samples page. Just check this category and see if a particular perfume brand is available in your location (US, Canada and UK residents are often given preference). Click “Get Freebie” to redeem the perfume you wish to get.
- TrySpree.com– This site is always up-to-date with perfume deals. The free stuff available is already posted in one page, so just follow the instructions to samples you’re interested in and get free perfume testers directly on your doorsteps. The best thing about this site is that they also post upcoming deals, so if you check often, you’ll know when the perfume you like will become available.
Aside from these two sites, there are hundreds more available in the web.
If you’re going to be joining a lot of them, create an e-mail address especially for these deals.
Posts are usually made on a daily basis (sometimes more than once a day), so provide an email account just for all your freebie hunting.
As with everything freebie-related, never give out sensitive information, such as social security number, credit card details, birthday, mother’s maiden name, and other personal details.
3. Visit Your Local Department Stores and Ask Free Perfume Samples
Department stores are the best place for testers, whether you’re shopping for cosmetics, fragrance, lotions, and other products.
These stores know that people are more likely to purchase something if they’re able to test them first. This is especially true for perfumes because they’re super expensive.
You don’t see perfume vials displayed at department stores, but trust me, they’re hiding in plain sight. Just ask the salespeople manning perfume cubicles for some samples. Ask nicely. You’d be surprised just how much you’d be able to take home.
Bloomingdales, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and other higher-end stores are known to let customers take home their own samples as long as they come with their own glass vials.
If you’re lucky, you may even be given a small tester bottle of perfume to take home and sample. This is rare, but it does happen.
On the other hand, don’t be offended when you are told NO when asking around for perfume samples. It may be house rules and totally beyond the control of salespeople you’re talking to.
4. Sign-up to Newsletters of Perfume Companies
If all other steps fail, your best bet is to go to perfume houses directly.
Examples of perfume brands include Calvin Klein, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Mugler, Dolce and Gabana, L’Artisan Parfumer, Burberry, Olfactive Studio, Marc Jacobs, By Kilian, and Serge Lutens, among many others. These brands are known to send free perfume samples by mail.
You do have to do a bit of work by finding their official websites, joining their mailing list, or filling up a form that details your mailing address and other details. In some cases, you might need to contact customer support for samples.
Note that this route isn’t guaranteed. Some perfume companies only have a limited amount of samples to give out monthly/yearly.
Do know that testers are often given out weeks or months ahead of a new product launch and this could be the perfect time to request for samples.
5. Buy 1, Get 1 Sample Free
In the world of fragrance, perfume samples are packaged in tiny vials and are still sold for a dollar or two. Perfume.com, for example, has a wide range of classics and newer perfume, but sell most of them in sample size.
If you’re willing to shell out some cash, buy from online perfume retailers and order a bottle of your favorite perfume. Go to your online cart and find an option to add (and choose) free samples. Most of the time, retailers let customers choose a couple of samples to encourage future purchases.
Online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Ulta and Sephora are known to offer free perfume samples.
- Ulta – Subscribe to Ulta’s mailing list and agree to receive its monthly catalog. Doing so will reward you with a box of free fragrance for every catalog issue sent to you.
- Sephora – When you buy a bottle of perfume on Sephora’s online or brick-and-mortar store, you’ll be given three free perfume samples.
Note that some stores have a minimum spend amount before you can get free perfume samples.
The Bottom Line
For those who have collected a bunch of perfume vials, but want to explore some more, you might be interested in checking out local sample swaps.
Swapping samples can be a fun activity if you join the right group. With perfume exchanges like Perfume Posse’s Swapmania or Reddit’s fragrance exchange, you can meet up with other perfume fans to sell or swap some of your collection.
Because the perfume swapped is often second-hand, be prepared to get the short end of the deal – sometimes the item sent to you could be an old bottle of perfume, or almost empty.
The idea here is to be able to sample as much perfume as possible, so you could pick which ones you like.
Have you received any special perfume sample using the methods I shared above? Do you have other ways of obtaining free perfume samples? I’d love to hear how you got yours. Comment below!