Score, Sample, and Splurge

Perfume is one category where I think it’s almost ridiculous not to try before you buy. There are so many competing brands, they are happy to dole out samples to try to capture your attention. This gives you a little time to decide how much you like a product and how much you are willing to spend.

20120125-234430.jpgSo how do you rack up the free schtuff?

1. Play with the testers. This will immediately weed out the ones you can’t stand. Fragrance is completely based on personal preference so reviews won’t help you much on this one. You’ve got to play the field and see what you like. Start in the air or little cards if they are provided. Believe me, if you hate it, you’ll be glad you didnt spray it on your skin ( I had this experience with Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, sorry SJP I think you rock but that scent did not.)

2. While you are there, see if they give out free samples at the perfume counter. Sephora and department stores are usually pretty great about this. Besides the worst they can do is say no!

3. Order subscriptions to fashion magazines and subscribe to receive Ulta‘s mailer. These always have fragrance tear outs.

4. Sign up for emails from various beauty sites like Ulta, Sephora,, Birchbox, Bluemercury, etc. They all offer free samples with every order, but occasionally they’ll have an extra bunch of samples for you with purchase.

There are lots of pleasant smells out there right? Here’s how I decide the scents that are truly worth spending my hard earned money on.

1. The most important factor is how it makes you feel. Do you still catch a whiff hours later and think “i smell gooood”?
2. Does my significant other notice? We’ve been dating a long time and I switch up lots of scents but he doesn’t usually say much. If he brings it up, I know it’s got to be good.
3. Do I already own scents that smell similar to this?

Sometimes a good scent is worth the splurge, even if you just save it for special occasions. And the sampling is how you know it’s worth it. Next on my list to buy us Gucci Guilty Oriental Floral. I never would have even considered it because of the price tag but after trying a deluxe sample (small bottle with two-three uses) I am hooked though. Plus once I actually researched, it’s not that much more than a lot of fragrances. Smelling pretty is expensive!

Once you decide to splurge you can still get deals. Google the name of the perfume – stores have individual promotions for free bonuses with purchase. It’s also worth stopping in the department stores, they often have gift sets at good prices, with extras like lotion and body wash of the same scent. Also, stores like Ulta and Macy’s have deals where you get a bonus no matter which scent you purchase.

Happy sniffing!