Where to get Perfume Samples – The Surprises, the Samples, the Serge

There was some discussion in the comments section regarding Where to get Perfume Samples. Here´s my Two Cents, which you can skip if it´s not a topic that interests you:

When I was a nascent scent slut, I started lurking the fragrance blogs, reading about the different lines, trying to understand the categories and terminologies and export designations, and eventually it dawned on me that a lot of people were buying samples of the fragrances, not the whole bottle. Oh. Well, okay, that makes total sense. But Where to get Perfume Samples?

This is also where I´ll violate the Blogger´s Code of Ethics (hah, yeah, right!) and point out that my blogmate Patty is a Professional Scent Slut who sells fabulous niche stuff , including sample sets of the really cool non-export Shiseidos I reviewed recently. There´s a link on the left side of our homepage or click here to go to Surrender to Chance. (And yeah, Flora, SL Tubereuse Criminelle should be illegal in the lower 48. A LOT of great stuff probably should be illegal. The DEA´s going to show up any day and take away my Jicky parfum and my Bal a Versailles.)

You can buy samples from a number of online niche perfume stores like Aedes, Luckyscent, or Luscious Cargo for nominal amounts of money ($13 gets you 8 samples plus a couple of freebies from Luscious. Okay, once they sent me somebody else´s order, but they fixed it right away when I emailed them, and I got to keep the 8 mistakes, so I was happy.) Some of the niche perfumers also have their own sample programs.Where to get Perfume Samples

Where to start?  Just start … anywhere.  Pick something you’ve read about.  Or sample your way through a particular line, if you’ve found one scent there that really appeals.  Or pick a note you like (rose, incense, vetiver?) and sample some of those.

If you already own a bunch of stuff, and you want to trade it for different stuff, check out Basenotes or MakeupAlley, both of which have active swap programs and interesting discussion boards.

Of course, making friends among the other perfume nuts online also leads to endless rounds of share-the-love freebies, particularly if your fellow blogster (not naming any names here, P) happens to own the equivalent of Fort Knox in niche perfumes, but that´s another story. And that’s all – well, most of what you need to know about where to get perfume samples.

  • Patty says:

    Flora, I think I will! I’m just jammed up with them right now, time to share some of it!

  • Flora says:

    Well, if you do a Malle sample giveaway, you might have a riot on your hands… bring it on! :d

    Love your takes on the blind samples. And yes, you were totally right about the Paris Hilton! (Meow)

  • Patty says:

    BBliss, welcome, I’m glad you delurked!

    Yeah, figuring out how to get your hands on stuff has to be how guys feel when they’re out hunting. But when you don’t even know where the darn critters are, it’s tough to get in the game. Usually once people get pointed in the right direction, it makes it lots easier and just fun and, well, bankrupting. 🙂

  • BBliss says:

    You guys are a complete *hoot* – I have lurked for awhile, and absolutley adored reading the three way swap (snorted like when I read the archived Wattage perfume review – which I actually saw at a local TJ’s for 14.99 – rank!) Anyway, truly funny – made my afternoon – your writing is so appreciated! Also, really brilliant to post the “sample startup” info – it just took me about 3 months to figure all the ins and outs of this hobby or diversion or whatever it is – obsession? real-life avoidance? Anyway, it’s fun and you guys are pretty insightful – with a twist 🙂

  • March says:

    Sybil — LaCreme, of course. Duh.
    Folks — anyone else I forgot?:o
    Thanks for stopping by!

  • March says:

    Patty, thanks for your additions to the list. I waffled awhile about including this stuff, I mean, you sort of assume everyone knows…. but I swear it took me forever to figure out.


    Yeah, except for Nordstrom, good luck getting samples from dept. stores unless you’re already buying.

    You are still killing me with your Malle samples. You inspired me, I’m working on a Malle post. Talk about genius.

  • Patty says:

    Thank you, Sybil. I agree on Autumn, she is super-wonderful and just great on customer service.

    There are a LOT of wonderful decant and sample sellers on eBay as well, bois*bois, Dragonfly Scent Me, Terrie’s Temptations, Scentphoria, lisalaw, rockinruby, Cabochard, and tons more. I haven’t run into a decant or sample seller yet that wasn’t a complete perfume nut and good on customer service, though I suppose there are some out there just by law of averages.

    Department stores and getting samples there can be difficult, but usually if you buys something or cultivate one of the SAs, it works best. I usually stand around and chat them up for awhile until they like me, and then get samples. If they don’t wind up liking me, I move on to the next SA or store.

    Anthony at Barney’s in L.A. is amazing on sending out extras. I ordered a couple of things there recently, and he sent me like eight 5 ml Malle samples, plus a bunch of other smaller samples. I didn’t get that many from Malle in Paris when I ordered two bottles of juice from them.

  • sybil says:

    Ohyeah…I should mention I really enjoy your blog; but I sent the previous message off w/out coffee, or tea even…thanks for all the interesting, informative and funny writing you both do.

  • sybil says:

    I am a rank newbie, so saying this will probably not shock anyone who knows anything: Another place to get samples is LaCreme Beauty (www.lacreme.com). I thought I read about it here, but maybe it was Scentzilla(www.scentzilla.com). Anyway, it’s yet another place to feed the sample habit, and Autumn is very nice. (Even though she sent me a sample of Star Boutique Vanilla Martini, which sucked royally.)