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The Best Places to Buy Perfume — Discounts, Samples and Full Size Fragrances

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello
Woman spraying perfume on wrist

Searching for the best place to buy perfume? A lot of factors can throw you off your scent (think amazing sales that never pan out or free shipping on a package that never arrives). However, some online and in-person retailers are worth a second look. Many online stores have deals on expensive brands that you won’t find in person, while brick-and-mortar shops have discounts on overstock and discontinued items. Checking out both options is worth the time, whether you have one or two favorite perfumes or you want to explore new scents.

Perfume is quite a personal purchase, so you might assume that shopping for deals at big stores will result in uninspiring fragrances. However, several online and in-person stores cater to a wide variety of preferences. And if you really can’t decide on a perfume, you can always test out samples at a store or request them from a website. Ready to get started? Check out the best places to buy perfume below.

The 17 Best Places to Buy Perfume 

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Finding the Best Places to Buy Perfume

At first, buying a perfume directly from a brand’s website seems like the smartest move; it’s safe and convenient, and shipping is often speedy. But the best deals are usually elsewhere. So, how do you find a retailer that has your signature scent at a great price?

After exploring the world of perfumeries and department stores, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to buy perfume. We based our recommendations on testing, customer reviews, the number of fragrances available, return policies, shipping policies and the shop’s overall reputation.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Places to Buy Perfume


When buying perfume, it’s important to purchase from a reputable website so you don’t end up with a bottle of fake fragrance. For each of our recommendations, we examined product and online seller reviews and we made sure each online store had a secure checkout process. We also made note of shipping and return policies and highlighted better-than-normal policies.


Have you ever gotten an itchy, red rash after or felt wheezy after spritzing perfume? If so, you may have a fragrance sensitivity or allergy. It’s difficult to pinpoint which ingredients cause your irritation, but the most common sources of reactions include citronella, oak moss, balsam of Peru and synthetic ingredients. And if you do react to a perfume you buy, don’t use it again. You may be able to receive a refund depending on the store’s refund policy.

Scent Preference

Are you hoping to try something new or purchase something you know? While some retailers can cater to every nose, certain shops specialize in new and unusual scents while others specialize in well-known fragrances. A subscription box service is a great choice if you want to try new brands while a large retailer is a safe bet for traditional scents in full-size bottles.

Shipping Policy

For online stores, the shipping policy is one of the most important factors to consider. An excellent policy includes free ground shipping within five business days, with a tracking number provided. However, many retailers don’t include free shipping unless you spend a certain amount (usually $50 or $65). Make sure you understand a store’s shipping policy before buying perfume to avoid future headaches.

Return Policy

Many retailers don’t have generous return policies for fragrance because it’s technically a consumable product, and the next buyer won’t want an open and used bottle of perfume. Still, some stores allow you to return products for a full refund within 30 days of purchase if it is gently used. Note that samples and small bottles are usually not returnable unless you didn’t open and use them.

What Are the Different Types of Places to Buy Perfume?

In-Person Retail Store

Buying perfume at an in-person store gives you the opportunity to smell and test scents before buying them, which can save you a lot of hassle if you tend to return online purchases. You can also enjoy the perfume immediately instead of having to wait for shipping.

Online Perfumery 

Generally, online retailers have many more perfume options than in-person stores. They also frequently offer coupons and sales, and you can browse a wide variety of scents from the comfort of your own home. While you don’t get to test perfumes before buying, many stores allow for returns, and many offer samples and smaller bottles.

Brand Website 

If you already know what kind of perfume you want to buy, it’s worth checking out the brand’s website. Brands sometimes offer exclusive discounts and access to limited editions of their perfumes and colognes. You also have the reassurance that you’re buying an authentic product. However, brand websites often don’t have the major discounts available at large retailers, and the types of perfumes are limited.


Best Online: Fragrance USA


  • Speedy shipping
  • Authentic fragrances
  • Easy to sort products


  • No guarantees on perfumes
  • Return shipping is not free
  • Samples are final sale

If you are looking for high-end fragrance at a discounted price, Fragrance USA is the place to go. This online store is one of the best places to buy perfume because it ships quickly (all orders placed before 2 p.m. EST ship the same day!). Fragrances are authentic and it’s easy to sort scents based on gender, bottle size, price, brand and fragrance notes. Fragrance USA will also price match perfumes if you contact the company.

However, Fragrance USA cannot offer the same guarantees that brand websites can (such as product guarantees). Return shipping is also not free and all samples are final sale.


Best Runner-Up Online: Jomashop


  • Over 12,000 fragrance products
  • Easily sort items
  • Many discounts available


  • Return shipping deducted from refund
  • Free shipping over $100
  • Many scented products are not perfumes

Based in Brooklyn, NY, Jomashop is an online seller that specializes in bags, jewelry, shoes, sunglasses and fragrance. It houses more than 12,000 fragrances and scented skincare at discount prices, and you can sort products based on brand, gender and type (such as body spray versus atomizers).

The downsides: Shipping is only free if you spend over $100, and the cost of shipping returns gets deducted from your refund. In addition, Jomashop doesn’t sell as many perfumes and colognes because many of its scented products are other skincare items (like lotion, body spray and aftershave).


Best In Person: Sephora


  • Try scents before buying
  • 30-day returns
  • Sells celeb favorites


  • Cycles through fragrances quickly
  • Samples sold in packs
  • Better deals at other retailers

If you prefer to shop for perfume in person, we recommend checking out your local Sephora. The company sells popular fragrances at great prices, and you can use in-store tester bottles to try new scents. A plus: You can return gently used items within 30 days for a full refund, and within 60 days for a store credit. We also love that Sephora carries celebrity favorites, like Chanel Chance Eau de Parfum (beloved by Emma Stone) and Amber Musk Eau de Parfum (Reese Witherspoon is a fan).

However, Sephora tends to cycle through fragrances quickly, so you can’t rely on the store for your favorite perfumes. Their samples are also sold in packs, which may not be ideal if you want to try just one or two new scents. The deals at other retailers (like Macy’s) are sometimes better as well.


Best Runner-Up in Person: Nordstrom


  • Fill your own free sample bottles
  • Easily sort perfumes on website
  • Good inventory


  • No returns on open bottles
  • Most perfumes are full price
  • Not great for unique scents

If you love trying free samples and don’t want to feel pressured into buying scents you don’t like, visit your local Nordstrom. Certain locations provide sample bottles that you can fill with perfume from testers. The website also has a decent inventory of perfumes, and you can sort them based on scent profile, brand, price and discount (if available).

The downsides? You cannot return a perfume if you opened it, whether you bought it at Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack. Also, most items are full price, so we recommend waiting for a sale.


Best Subscription Service: Scentbox


  • Every purchase comes with atomizer case
  • Over 1,000 fragrances
  • Choose each fragrance in your package


  • Pricey after first month
  • A few buyers had negative customer service experiences
  • No refunds/returns on monthly subscription

If you want to sample multiple fragrances at a time and choose each fragrance in your package, we recommend Scentbox. Each fragrance you purchase is a 30-day supply that comes in an atomizer, and every purchase includes a complimentary atomizer case. (We appreciate the elegant twist design of the atomizer case and the overall presentation.) Also, Scentbox houses over 1,000 designer fragrances and allows you to line up fragrances for future months.

What could be improved: For an 8 mL vial, $16.95 per month is pricey. (Only the first month costs $9.72.) A few buyers have also had negative customer service experiences, and the company does not offer refunds or returns on monthly subscriptions.


Best Runner-Up Subscription Service: Scentbird


  • Over 700 fragrances
  • Magnetic atomizer case
  • Easy to select perfumes for each month


  • Pricey after first month
  • Only one atomizer case
  • Quiz is a bit unhelpful

Looking for a different subscription service? Try Scentbird. The company sells over 700 fragrances in 30-day vials, and it has a scent profile quiz to help you find your favorite perfumes. We appreciate that the atomizer case, which comes with your first purchase, is magnetic and easy to transfer between sample vials.

However, Scentbird only supplies one complimentary atomizer case. We also found the perfume profile quiz to be a bit vague and unhelpful (it’s hard to describe what you like if you don’t know how to identify the notes of a scent).


Best for Women: Saks Fifth Avenue


  • Great samples
  • Good in-person experience
  • Travel and full-sized bottles available online


  • Usually pay full price for full-size
  • Used returns not accepted
  • Not great for new, unique scents

Saks Fifth Avenue has a great online store for high-end, feminine perfumes, where you can find travel and full-size bottles at decent prices. However, the store really shines if you visit it in person. Sales assistants are knowledgeable about the fragrances they sell, and they often give free samples.

The downsides: You will likely pay full price for full-sized bottles at Saks, so we recommend waiting until promotions or deals are available. In addition, the store doesn’t accept returns if they are used. Saks isn’t the best store for exploring new and unique scents, either.


Best for Cologne: FragranceNet


  • Discounts on well-known brands
  • Over 10,000 colognes and unisex perfumes
  • Free shipping


  • Slow shipping
  • Return shipping is not free
  • Returns are a hassle

Looking for the best place to buy cologne? Try Fragrancenet. The online store has a wide selection of men’s fragrances (and women’s fragrances) at discount prices — they house over 10,000 colognes and unisex perfumes. Plus, shipping is free.

However, some customers have complained that shipping can get slow. Return shipping also gets deducted from refunds, and the return process is a bit of a hassle.


Best Samples: Surrender to Chance


  • Specializes in samples and decants
  • Indie small batches available
  • Sample sets available


  • No free shipping
  • No refunds
  • Not many full-size bottles available

Subscription boxes are great for 30-day supplies of perfumes, but if you don’t want to commit to a subscription, an online store like Surrender to Chance is a great place to shop. It specializes in perfume samples and decants (slightly larger than samples), so you can find scents you love at very affordable prices. They also sell sample perfume sets and indie small batches, which allows you to try both well-known and new fragrances.

On the other hand, shipping is $4.49, and Surrender to Chance products are not eligible for refunds if they are opened and used. (Fortunately, you may be able to get a replacement bottle for free if your item was damaged, as long as you send in a picture within five days.) This also isn’t the best store for full-size bottles.


Best Runner Up for Samples: My Fragrance Samples


  • Multiple bottle size options
  • Special deals always available
  • Free shipping over $19


  • Shipping under $19 is $3.99
  • No returns on open/used products
  • Return shipping and restocking fee applied to returns

What My Fragrance Samples does well: This site offers multiple size options for its perfumes, so you can choose between a 3.5, 5.5, 10, 16 or 32 mL bottle and pay accordingly. They also offer special deals (five 5.5 mL samples for $20) and curated sample sets, and shipping is free over $19.

While the shipping charge for U.S. orders under $19 is low ($3.99), some customers still wish all shipping were free. In addition, My Fragrance Samples only accepts returns within 14 days if you don’t open or use the products.


Best Budget:


  • Sales throughout the year
  • Free shipping
  • Sells samples, travel minis and testers


  • Return shipping is not free
  • Can’t return open/used products
  • Not best for unique fragrances

If you’re hunting for the best place to buy perfume on a budget, is an excellent choice. This online store has sales throughout the year and offers free shipping. Samples, travel minis and testers are also available.

As this store specializes in well-known brands, it’s not the best for finding unique and indie fragrances (though their collection is impressive). And though accepts returns within 30 days after the shipping date, the product must be unopened and shipping costs get deducted from your refund.


Best Clean Beauty Fragrances: Credo Beauty


  • Sustainably, ethically made
  • Sampler sets available
  • Sort products by your ingredient sensitivity


  • Limited scents
  • Returns are not free
  • Returned bottles must be unopened

Worried about the ingredients that go into your fragrance? A store like Credo Beauty can help. This shop makes sure that its fragrances are not only safe for your skin and lungs, but also sustainably and ethically made. If you’re new to Credo Beauty, we recommend trying a sampler perfume set.

However, Credo Beauty scents are limited given the nature of their product requirements. Returns are also not free (there is a $5 charge), and bottles must be unopened and unused.


Best for Buying What You Know: Amazon


  • Sort items based on ingredient sensitivity
  • Free shipping on many perfumes
  • Well-known brands


  • Not as wide of a selection as other stores
  • No returns on open/used bottles
  • Other sites may have better discounts

If you need a refill of a perfume that you already know and love, check out Amazon Perfumes. You can sort items based on your ingredient sensitivity (ie. alcohol free, ammonia free, etc.), discounts and shipping price.

While the selection on Amazon Perfumes is great, it isn’t as good as other stores. In addition, you’re likely to find product deals on other sites like the brand site, Fragrance USA or Fragrancenet. Returns are not available for opened and used bottles.


Best for Trying New Scents: Wicked Good Perfume Scent Box Club


  • Includes 4 products
  • Handcrafted in the U.S.
  • Vegan and cruelty free


  • Can’t choose fragrances
  • Final sale
  • Auto renews (but can cancel any time)

Are you the adventurous type when it comes to fragrance? If so, consider signing up for the Wicked Good Perfume Scent Box Club. This company sells a monthly scent box for $34.99, which includes perfume spray, perfume oil, lotion and a candle. We love that every product is handcrafted in the U.S. and certified vegan and cruelty free.

However, the Scent Box Club is pricey, and you don’t get to choose the fragrances in your box. The boxes are also final sale (no returns) and the plan auto renews if you don’t cancel it.


Best for Discounts on Well-Known Brands: T.J. Maxx


  • Overstock and discontinued items at great prices
  • Mini perfumes available
  • Online website also works for buying perfume


  • Fragrances and discounts vary from store to store
  • Best in-person (not online)
  • Can’t sample or test perfumes

For the hottest perfume and cologne deals when you least expect them, head to your local T.J. Maxx. This retailer has a website that works well, but the in-person store is best for finding discounted fragrances, since it sells overstock and discontinued items. You can often find mini perfumes in the fragrance section as well.

However, you can’t return a perfume if you open the bottle, and the selection is limited — this is not the place to go if you want to find an exact scent. In addition, you can’t sample or test perfumes at this retailer.


Best Direct to Consumer: Snif


  • Fragrances vary widely in scent profiles
  • Mini bundles available
  • Can try a bottle at home for free if you don’t keep it


  • Shipping is not free on orders below $39
  • Limited selection
  • Fragrances aren’t very complex

If you want the assurance that you are buying an authentic product but like some variety in your fragrances, we recommend Snif. This online retailer sells perfumes that vary widely in fragrance profiles, so you won’t get bored. They also offer mini bundles if you want to try more than one scent. We particularly like Snif’s “try before you buy” program. Here’s how it works: Choose a fragrance trial kit and have it shipped to you for free (you must still enter your card details at checkout). Each kit comes with a sample candle, full-sized candle, sample fragrance and full-sized fragrance. Test out the samples only, and if you like them, you pay $65 for the kit. If you don’t like them, you must return the unused, full-sized candle and fragrance with a prepaid return label.

Note that shipping is only free on “try before you buy” and “buy” orders over $39. Plus, Snif’s selection is of course limited compared to other fragrance retailers. A few customers have also found that Snif perfumes aren’t very complex or interesting.


Best for Discontinued Fragrances: FragranceX


  • Sells discontinued scents you can’t find elsewhere
  • Frequent deals
  • Same-day shipping


  • Free shipping only on $35+ orders
  • Return shipping is not free
  • Can’t return open/used products

Oh no! Your favorite fragrance has been discontinued. To the rescue? FragranceX. This online seller often houses perfumes and colognes that were discontinued by the brand. They also have deals year-round on all fragrances. We like that FragranceX also sells testers, travel minis and samplers, and that it offers same-day shipping.

However, shipping is only free on orders above $35, and return shipping is not free. You cannot return perfumes that you have opened and used.

People Also Ask

  • Q: What is the best website to buy perfume?

    A:We recommend Fragrance USA, but Jomashop is also an excellent perfume retailer.

  • Q: What is the best in-person place to buy perfume in the USA?

    A:We recommend Sephora and Macy’s.

  • Q: How much should you spend on perfume?

    A:Perfumes vary widely in price. The general range is between $20 and $300 depending on the quality and the brand name.

  • Q: What is a good price for a perfume sample?

    A:Perfume samples range between $2 and $20 depending on the size and the brand.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

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By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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