Fact: shopping for a new fragrance online can be tricky, if not impossible at times. Aside from trying to narrow down which scent family you even want to target, it can be hard to determine what notes like ylang-ylang, vanilla orchid, or something called “warm skin accord” actually smell like. This often results in a regrettable purchase, which is why we’re especially grateful that fragrance sampling boxes like Scentbird and Commodity Goods have been gaining traction. Each of the services enlist the “try before you buy” model, allowing you to take a selection of fragrances on a test-run before committing to the full-sized bottle. Below, we outline four of our favorite perfume sampling services, guaranteed to help you find your new signature scent in a few clicks.
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First time at the fragrance sampling game? Start with Scentbird. The store’s database includes just about every designer scent from Amrani to YSL in its catalog, which can be hand-selected for you after you determine your fragrance preferences in a questionnaire. You’ll recieve a 30-day supply of one fragrance each month for $15, and add other perfumes you want to try to your queue for an upcoming delivery—you know, kind of like you did when you found out Gilmore Girls was back on Netflix.
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Similar to the Warby Parker model, Commodity Goods will send you a 10-piece kit that includes every scent in their current lineup, dispensed into tiny sprayable vials. Unlike traditional fragrance samples, you can actually get a few uses out of these, and they can be layered together to create your own blend. Once you’ve decided on a favorite, head over to the site to select the full-size version—the $9 you spent on the sampling set will be deducted from the bottle’s sticker price.
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In search of a new fragrance that no one else has? Look no further than Olfactif, the indie rock contender of the fragrance sampling genre, if you will. Order one of Olfactif’s subscription boxes for $20, and each month, a collection of beyond-cool niche scents will arrive at your door. You’ll be able to use the $18 credit toward the full-size option of your choosing from under-the-radar brands like Kerosene, The People of the Labyrinths, and 4160 Tuesdays among many others.
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If you’re the accident-prone type who always tends to spill the entire sampler vial on the floor upon opening, Pinrose’s Fragrance Petal Pack is the right option for you. $24 will get you a 10-pack spanning the entire Pinrose collection, with each fragrance sachet containing two single-use petals that come pre-soaked in each scent.