Blind Buys have taught me a lesson many times and it’s often a lesson I choose to ignore. So many times have I seen a bargain perfume, read some reviews of it, looked up the notes and decided to buy it, only to be disappointed. You can always sell your disappointments on eBay but you rarely get the same price back that you paid for it.
In the frugal month of January, which is usually grey and makes Christmas look sad and outdated within days, something nice in the post always cheers me up. A set of samples to work through can help you make a considered decision about your next perfume buy, whilst being a very pleasant way to spend an evening indoors as the wind and rain lash outside.
Samples are the best way to live with a scent for a few days and below is a round up of the best. They also make great gifts for people when you don’t know what they like, and more importantly- when they don’t know what they like either! When you come across samples that you don’t like, hang on to them as they are great for swapping (see point 12 below)
So here are my twelve best places to get samples. I’ve done the homework so you don’t have to. These are all UK.
Where do you get yours?
The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box. – Every quarter, for five quid, you get sent a Discovery Club Box with between six and nine samples in. Some you may already know and some may be new releases. All High Street popular stuff rather than niche, but it works for me.
The Perfume Society Beauty Box– when you subscribe to the Perfume Society for £25 a year you receive a Discovery Box, free of charge, full of scented goodies. After that you can buy a Discovery Box for the discounted price of only £10. A great way to learn about scent new and old.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Boite a Parfums– you can get these online and each pretty tin contains ten 2ml splash samples of L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances.
Papillon Perfumes– To experience what critics are talking about right now, you can order a sample set of all four Papillon scents for just £15 plus £3 shipping . Critically acclaimed and beloved of perfume fans and bloggers alike, the Papillon collection could lead to you buying a full bottle. A little goes a long way. Heed my warning. You will fall in love.
4160 Tuesdays: There are all sorts of ways to sample these unique scents from handbag sized bottles to a full set of samples. Prices start from just £6 for a generous 4ml splash bottle. I’m a big fan. Here’s the link to the 4160 Tuesdays website.
Pell Wall Perfumes-A Shropshire based UK independent perfumery which is the brainchild of Nose Chris Bartlett. There are some great variations here: £5 for 5 x 1ml samples including postage (four of your choice and one “lucky dip”), or 9 generous 10ml bottles for £49. Here’s the link.
Les Senteurs– The biggest range of niche samples I know of in the UK – they have just about everything I can think of and many more I had never heard of or tried. Here’s the website– but be careful- you can get quite lost in it. Heaven!
Cath Collins: A “cottage” perfumery which makes great zesty scents inspired by flowers from Cath’s own garden. Three EDT samples for £5.25 inc shipping or £7.00 for four, including shipping. Full sized bottles are reasonably priced at £29.50 for 30ml. Here’s the link to the website.
Jo Loves: Try the Fragrance Discovery Gift Experience which gives you a sample set and the option of a full bottle of your favourite. All fabulous quality and mouth wateringly good. Here’s the website link.
EBay: you’d be amazed what people sell. Try for bulk packs of samples such as Thierry Mugler Angel– sometimes cheaper than buying the smallest bottle and handy for your handbag.
Swapping Swap with other perfume lovers on Fragrantica, basenotes and Facebook groups. Join up, join in and get involved. Perfume lovers are generous souls and love to spread the joy and share. This is where all those samples you don’t care for come in handy and can be used as swapping currency.