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We all love the finer things in life, but most cannot afford it. Like everything in life, the cost of perfume is rising. Particularly, with the growing popularity of niche fragrance brands, as you are paying for the expertise, risk, small batches, etc. For example, Royal Crown’s Oud Jasmine will run you a whopping $650! But there is hope. You can smell like a million bucks without paying a million bucks. Here’s how:
Decants are a gift from the fragrance gods! They allow you to own a small portion of almost any perfume for a fraction of the price of a full bottle. We’re talking the authentic fragrance, not a knock-off. Decants are so important because many brands only offer full bottles for sale, and you may be afraid of taking the risk of buying a full bottle and not liking it. With decants, the risk in blind-buying is greatly diminished, as you will only be out a little cash instead of what you would spend for a whole bottle of something you may not like. Also, life is short; decants allow you to switch up your fragrances like you do your shoes. Decanting involves transferring a fragrance from the original bottle into a smaller vessel using pipettes, or by spraying or pouring it. Here are a few of the best places to buy decants:
It feels like being a kid in a candy store when you are shopping for decants— there are just so many! Scent Split helps you narrow your selections by featuring their top picks for spring, summer, and for getting compliments.
They also offer a wide array of brands, from Dolce & Gabbana to Tom Ford, Parfums de Marly, Xerjoff, and many more. You can wear the newest fragrances as soon as they come out, without breaking the bank. For example, a 50ml bottle of Tom Ford Lost Cherry costs a cool $320, but you can get a 1ml sample for $11.99. And that $650 bottle of Royal Crown's Oud Jasmine that we mentioned earlier is only $14.99 for a 1 ml sample. Clearly, if you fall in love with a fragrance, it is most cost effective to buy the full bottle. The great thing about decanting is that you can try before you buy and see if a fragrance is full-bottle worthy.
You may get the chance to earn VIP status if you decant enough, which entitles you to discounts, special offers, and access to exclusive splits. So, get to splitting!
Scents Angel specializes in decanting authentic, niche fragrances. They have a good number of brands in their online store. They help guide you by letting you know their bestsellers, and top wedding perfumes. They even sort the fragrances by families help narrow your search (you can take our quiz if you need help finding your fragrance family).
To illustrate the awesomeness of buying decants, if you were to pay MSRP for a collection of full bottles consisting of 10 best-selling scents, you’d pay $2,965! For the same fragrances, the 2ml decants would total $137.31. So you can smell like a prince or princess on a pauper’s budget…
Just so you know, your awesome collection of best-selling scents includes Creed Aventus, Creed Green Irish Tweed, Roja Elysium Pour Homme, Parfums de Marly Layton, Parfums de Marly Herod, Initio Side Effect, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, By Killian Angels’ Share, Tom Ford Oud Wood, and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.
Smallflower is great for the true #fraghead, the person who has everything and still wants more. They decant popular niche brands and super-niche brands alike. For example, how many of these brands have you tried: Aether, Dame Perfumery, West Third, Kerosene, Orto Parisi, or Blocki? Well, you’ll be able to try these brands and many more.
They also have a lot of the newest and on-trend fragrances. For example, Gallivant Bukhara is a finalist for the 2021 Perfume Extraordinaire Award from The Fragrance Foundation. You’ll also find D.S. & Durga Jazmin Yucatan, which is a finalist for the 2021 Indie Fragrance of the Year Award from The Fragrance Foundation.
An added bonus is that Smallflower has lots of imported and hard-to-find products in addition to fragrance that you can buy when you finish shopping for your decants.
Subscribe to a Subscription Box Service
We all know how exciting it is to anxiously await the arrival of something we ordered online. Imagine doing that monthly— knowing you are going to get a box full of olfactory goodies! That’s one of the joys of subscription boxes. That, and getting samples of the hottest fragrances. Here are our favorite subscription box services:
Scentbox makes sure that you smell good every day of the month. With this service, you choose which fragrance you want, and they send you a 30-day supply of it in a refillable travel spray and keepsake box.
There are over 850 designer fragrances at your disposal, so you’ll be smelling amazing for years to come. The Premium Subscription gives you access to all of these for $19.95 per month (only $12.97 the first month), and gives you access to the highest-end fragrances. If you want to pay $14.95 per month ($9.72 the first month), then the Standard Subscription gives you access to over 575 designer fragrances.
One of the coolest things about this service is that you can give a subscription as a gift. These come in 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month increments, starting at $44.95. You pay up front, so you don’t have to worry about recurring charges. This gift is truly a fragrance-lover’s dream!
As implied by the name, Luxury Scent Box’s service best fits those who like the latest trends in luxury fragrances. They offer one of the largest-sized atomizers available in a perfume subscription, and over 700 fragrances for your choosing. Your 9ml travel atomizer holds 30 days worth of fragrance. You can choose from unique brands, and brands that are exclusive to LUXSB, like Amouroud, Shay & Blue, ILK, Nateeva, and Gallivant. You can use the fragrance survey to help you choose and schedule your monthly selections. Or, if you want true concierge service, you can have one of the fragrance specialists choose something for you.
Membership has its benefits! It allows you to discover designer and niche fragrances from all over the world. You’ll receive a new, reusable case each quarter to stylishly store your samples. If you love your sample, you can purchase the full-size bottle with a membership discount. They also have a referral program, for those who have the gift of gab. Speaking of gifts, you can give the gift of membership, starting at $45 per month for 3 months.
Plans start at $15.95 per month, and there are no commitments or contracts. An extra $5 per month gets you access to Premium fragrances, and $10 extra entitles you to Ultra-Premium fragrances. Use promo code LUXSB35 to receive 35% off your first order for Standard monthly plans.
FragranceNet is known for its large selection of discounted fragrances, not so much for its subscription service. But don’t overlook their Purpl Lux Subscription Club! You start by adding fragrances you want to try to your list. You choose whether you want to be on an annual or monthly plan. The annual plan is $9.95 per month, and the monthly plan is $14.95. They send you one 8ml travel atomizer and case.
They great thing about this service is that FragranceNet has a huge selection of fragrance for you to try. You can choose from over 600 brands; not 600 fragrances, but 600 different brands and all of their fragrances.
The other great thing is that if you fall in love with one of your samples, you can easily buy the full bottle from them for a discounted price.
Wicked Good’s subscription box is perfect for the person who wants clean products. Their products are formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, phthalates, and more.
What’s so cool is that you not only get a unique fragrance, but you also receive 2 or 3 other scented goods, giving you the option to mix or layer scents. Also, their boxes are thoughtfully curated with a monthly theme. For example, the March 2021 box was themed Lucky Shenanigans. It featured Catch the Rainbow Foaming Bath Salts, Matcha Wild Mint Soap, Ginger Lime Perfume Oil, and Green Clover and Aloe Perfume Spray.
So, what is all this awesomeness going to set you back? You’ve got options. If you want to be billed month-to-month, you pay $33 monthly. With the 3-month prepay you pay $99, 6-month prepay is $179, and the 12-month prepay is $359. If you fall in love with something in your box, you get 15% off everything Wicked Good as a member of the Scent Club. Speaking of getting money off, use code SS5OFF to get $5 off of your first subscription box!
This is a club where membership has its advantages, and your happiness is 100% guaranteed! Skylar’s scents are clean, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and inspired by nature. They offer ultimate flexibility— if you don’t want that month’s scent, you can easily swap it out with another from their gallery, and exchanges are free and easy. Membership perks also include free shipping, and 20% off other products.
For $20, you will be sent a rollerball with a month’s supply of smell-good juice, so you can fall in love with a new scent every month. These scents are made for layering, so you can mix and match to make the ultimate signature scent. Examples of previous scents are Coconut Cove, Vintage Rosé, Salt Air, and Fall Cashmere. Use code MY50 to get 50% off your first month!
You can also feel good while you smell good, because Skylar donates a portion of Scent Club proceeds to an organization dedicated to making our world a better place. You can even give them suggestions of non-profits that you’d like them to consider for donations. Why not continue to spread the love and gift someone with a subscription? A 3-month subscription is $50, but the best deal is a 12-month subscription for $200.
This is not a perfume subscription service, but it was so cool we had to throw it in. If you love candles, you’ve got to check out this service. You get a luxury candle that is curated based on your scent preferences every month. Sometimes you’ll even get a bonus treat.
Each candle comes in a beautiful container that goes with the season, and can be reused as a vase or storage container. As these are luxury candles, the brands you get focus on quality features such as lead-free wicks, and soy, coconut, or vegetable wax. Many are even poured by hand. Some of the luxury brands include Aromatique, Illume, Apothecary Guild, Archipelago, and Simply Curated.
There are different payment options, depending on if you want a medium candle that will get you about 30-60 hours of burn time, or a large candle that will get you about 60-100 hours of burn time. You’ll pay between $26.95 and $29.95 for a medium candle, based on the length of the plan. Or you will pay $36.95 to $39.95 for a large candle. Additionally, you can save 10% off candles in their shop as a subscriber. You can thank us later!
Discovery kits are a great way to get your hands on a collection of samples by a brand you want to explore. They’re great if you smell something you love from a particular brand and want to see if it was a fluke, or if this brand is your olfactory soul mate.
You can get access to some expensive fragrances in discovery kits for a low price, and brands usually include their most popular scents. Some discovery kits worth checking out are:
Bond No. 9- You actually get 18 samples!
Floral Street- You get 8 minis worth $38 for $19.
Cultus Artem- Many aren’t familiar with this artsy, niche brand. You can discover 8 of their fragrances in sample flights.
Kierin NYC- This discovery kit not only features 4 trial-size minis of their unique fragrances, you also get a $20 credit toward a full-size bottle.
Molton Brown- Elegantly presented in a compass-motif box, the set includes 11 individual sensorial moments crafted by master perfumers.
Scent Organix- All 4 samples are vegan, biodegradable, and free of phthalates and sulfates.
You can buy just about anything under the sun on eBay, from clothes to phones to tractors (yup, I said tractors). So, it’s no surprise you can also buy fragrances from eBay. eBay is an online marketplace where multiple sellers set up stores for their products. You can buy them outright, or participate in auctions.
Sellers range from the person who may have ordered a product and no longer wants it, to stores with brick-and-mortar locations. Be sure to do your due diligence. You want to make sure the products that you are buying are authentic. As a general rule, if a deal is too good to be true then you may want to steer clear.
Take into account the seller’s percentage of positive feedback, and the number of customers who have done the ratings (the higher, the better). Also, look for the Top Rated Plus badge that lets you know they are a trusted seller with fast shipping, and easy returns. Lastly, look for the eBay Money Back Guarantee badge so you can shop confidently with the knowledge that you will get you money back if you don’t get the item you ordered.
If you follow those steps, you can find some pretty good deals on eBay. It is a great option for buying discounted perfumes, and the selection is vast. You know how it is when you buy or get gifted a fragrance that is just not for you? Instead of letting it sit and go to waste, many people choose to sell it for a discounted price on eBay. You can also get some good deals on testers. Collectors can even buy empty bottles.
Now you know the tips and tricks for smelling like the rich and famous on a budget!