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I’m almost embarrassed by how quickly I came up with this list of the best places to buy perfume online, but I’ve been testing, collecting, and writing about fragrances for almost 20 years. All things considered, I guess it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I love online perfume shopping (and in-store perfume shopping and testing).
There’s no single best place to get your perfume online because it’ll depend on the time of year, sales, whether you’re a member of any cash-back or rewards programs (if you’re not, why not?), and what you’re looking for.
While some stores consistently have discounted prices, sometimes a seasonal sale elsewhere (especially when stacked with other offers) will make it worth shopping on a different site.
Here are my nine top picks for perfume shopping online. Before you pull out your debit card, compare prices and perks at a few of them.
Bottom Line Up Front
MicroPerfumes sells travel sprays that’ll last about a month, which I appreciate because I don’t need a full-size bottle of every fragrance I enjoy and want to wear for a while. It’s also a less expensive way to try a perfume that doesn’t limit you to scents you can find–and spray on in-store–locally, or tiny sample vials. (I love the tiny sample vials sometimes, but they’re not always enough.)
Ulta’s selection is smaller, but they do offer some travel sizes, so you don’t necessarily have to commit to a full bottle just by shopping there. What I love about them is the rewards program.
When you sign up, you get points for every purchase. Save enough points, and you can trade them in for your regular products–they work like cash. Sometimes, you can get 5X or even 10X the points on all purchases or specific categories (as of this writing, some of their fragrances will get you 5X the points).
What Makes These the Best?
When deciding on the best places to buy perfume online, I had a few things in mind:
- Average prices, which could include their baseline prices, frequency of sales, and how good the sales tend to be
- Shops I trust to sell authentic perfumes
- Size options (sometimes you just want a tester or travel size)
- Other options (like unboxed bottles or testers) that lower the price without compromising the quality of the perfume you get
- Convenience (in-store pickup as an option after you shop online, shipping speed, etc.)
The 9 Best Places to Buy Perfume Online
I’ve bought an absurd amount of perfume over the past couple of decades (yeah, I started buying it almost as soon as it was available and haven’t stopped yet). The sites I’ve used have changed over the years as I’ve discovered new ones, old ones faded out, and I’ve learned which ones to trust the most. Here are my favorite online places to buy perfume online.
Best for: Stocking up on travel sprays that’ll last you a few weeks so you can make an informed decision regarding which full-sized bottle to buy next
Ever since I ran across MicroPerfumes, I’ve been obsessed. I have three travel sprays sitting on my desk right now. I talk about this size a lot, but they also sell different sample sizes and full-size bottles.
- It seems like there’s always some kind of sale going on.
- You can sign up for their mailing list and save a percentage on your first purchase. The last offer I saw was 25% off if I signed up for texts.
- Shipping is quick.
- It’s not a subscription service–just buy what you want when you want it.
- You could potentially save money on travel sprays with a subscription option like Scentbird.
- You’re on your own choosing your fragrances, other than the “You May Also Like” section under a perfume you’ve already clicked on.
Best for: A mix of travel sprays, testers, and unboxed options (to save money without compromising quality), plus an inexpensive subscription option
FragranceNet has been around for about as long as I’ve been buying perfume online. They started in 1997. I love their selection, prices, shipping time, and the option to purchase a smaller size, tester, or unboxed perfume.
- There are so many ways to save money here, and you can stack them. They’re already discounted, but they almost always offer coupon codes. On top of that, you can get testers (they’re full bottles) or unboxed options for even less money. It’s a great way to add to your perfume collection without going broke or buying a lot of smaller samples that might get lost in the bottom of a drawer. (As much as I love samples, I sometimes forget about the ones I have.)
- Shipping is fast.
- Shipping is free once you hit the $59.00 threshold.
- You can find all kinds of fragrances here–older ones you’d have trouble finding in a department store, newer ones, obscure ones…
- They sell more than perfumes here, so if you’re already looking for makeup, haircare, a candle, or a gift, that could help you hit the free shipping mark.
- I enjoy using other actual websites more. The layout feels cramped, and I am less likely to hang around to browse there. I usually go in, search for what I want, and see what comes up to decide whether to check out there.
- I’d like more guidance to perfumes I might want to consider based on what I’m looking for. The lack of recommendations could be good because it saves me money, but sometimes I just want to explore.
Best for: Shopping on a budget and getting testers and unboxed perfume
FragranceX has been around since 2001, and they’re similar to FragranceNet in so many ways. I’ve purchased from them several times.
- The site is easy to navigate.
- Shipping is fast–same day.
- It seems like there’s always a discount code to use so you can save more money.
- There’s a wide variety of perfumes to try here.
- You can get travel sizes, minis, testers, and full-size, unopened bottles.
- Shipping is free for orders over $35.00.
- Samples, testers, unopened boxes, etc., aren’t always available for some of the fragrances. For example, you can only get full-size bottles at roughly retail prices (you might save a little, but it’s not that significant) of Baccarat Rouge 540 (original and Extrait) as of this writing, but you can get a travel spray at MicroPerfumes to try it without spending hundreds.
- If you decide to return a perfume, you’ll be out shipping charges you paid, plus they’ll charge you a $6.95 fee for the return label (labels are available in the US and UK), deducted from your refund.
Best for: When you’re in a try-all-the-perfumes stage, either because you enjoy mining it up or you’re looking for a new signature scent.
If you love getting “surprises” in the mail, you’ll love Scentbird. Of course, these travel sprays won’t exactly be “surprises” since you go in and choose what you want to receive, but it’s always nice to get a little pick-me-up in the mail. Why not make it a mood-lifting perfume?
- You can find fragrances here you might have difficulty finding in department stores.
- Getting a new perfume in the mail every month can be fun.
- The prices are reasonable and much better than buying a whole bottle of everything you’re interested in, especially when you can’t try them first.
- The site is easy to navigate, and I appreciate the help you get in finding the perfumes you’re likely to love.
- You’ll have to remember to pause or cancel your subscription if you sign up for one.
- You’ll pay more if you make a purchase without signing up for the subscription service (which totally makes sense, but it’s a “con” as a customer who just wants to buy one thing and save money while doing it).
- I’ve been disappointed by the selection in the past when I was searching for specific fragrances to add to my list.
- Some perfumes cost more than the base price you’ve likely seen if you’ve seen their ads. It’s not misleading once you get to the website, but it’s something to keep in mind. Not all perfumes are priced the same, even though it’s a monthly subscription.
Best for: People who buy a lot of makeup, hair products, and skincare products who’d benefit from a generous rewards program and exciting sales a few times per year.
Ulta’s rewards program keeps me going back again and again to buy perfume. Plus, I like that they offer travel sizes and rollerballs for some fragrances. You only sometimes need a whole bottle, you know?
- I can’t think of a better rewards program. They don’t limit how many points you can redeem at one time, and there are so many opportunities to earn extra points that save you money later.
- Depending on where you live, you could shop online and pick your perfume up in the store later. If it’s a gift for someone else and they live near an Ulta, you can shop online, select their store, and have them pick up their surprise.
- Want a mainstream, new fragrance? You’ll probably have no problem finding it at Ulta.
- There’s a Fragrance Finder to help you narrow down the selection. It’s not the best one I’ve ever tried, but it’s nice to have a starting point. It’s currently convincing me I must try Prada Paradoxe, so I guess it’s effective at making solid recommendations. (It was the only recommendation I got, though, which was disappointing.)
- You can return a perfume if you find that you don’t like it.
- You can find a better selection elsewhere online. This is only sometimes a concern. It just depends on what you’re looking for.
- Many of their coupons don’t apply to fragrance purchases, so even if you have a $10.00 off or 20 percent off code, it might not apply. Sometimes you can use them on fragrance purchases, but it’s rare.
Best for: Those who love high-end perfumes and want the fragrance-purchasing to be a whole experience (for themselves or a gift recipient), thanks to the chic black gift boxes you can get with your order.
I love the experience of shopping at Bloomingdale’s. The site’s laid out well, there are sales, and the packaging is beautiful. The selection is good, too. However, this one only gets points for being a trustworthy retailer unless there’s a sale or you need lovely gift wrapping.
- They have gorgeous packaging available.
- Sales throughout the year allow you to save even more on perfumes.
- If you’re a member of their Loyallist programs, there are extra perks, like points to use on future purchases and free shipping.
- You can find high-end fragrances here that you might not find at other online perfume retailers.
- Even when shopping for perfume, they’ll show you things you might want to pair with it. This is great when you want an idea of the type of fragrance you’re looking at or a whole new outfit for a particular mood or vibe centered around your new scent.
- You won’t have the option to buy a tester or unboxed perfume bottle here.
- If there are no sales, you’ll be paying retail price, compared to sites like FragranceNet and FragranceX where you can almost always expect substantial savings.
Best for: High-end fragrances you can’t find in other department stores, Ulta, or Sephora (I got my order of L’Heure Bleue there!). Keep your eyes peeled for holiday sales and extra freebies, too.
Like Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus has a different selection than one you’ll find at some other department stores, Ulta, or Sephora. You can save enough money here (during a sale, or going through Rakuten’s cash-back program) to make shopping at Neiman Marcus a better deal than shopping somewhere like FragranceX or FragranceNet.
It depends on what you’re looking for and what the selection is like at the time.
- Beautiful gift-wrapping is available here, too, so whether you’re treating yourself or giving the gift to someone else, the presentation is much sweeter.
- You can get fragrance sets here. Some include several perfumes, while others are different products centered around one fragrance.
- Gifts with purchase are often available, and you can save money during sales around the holidays.
- Suppose you or your gift recipient live near a Neiman Marcus. In that case, you can buy the perfume online and then use curbside pickup, taking shipping out of the equation, though their shipping is quick and often free anyway.
- I love the fragrance sets and samplers they sell.
- Without good timing (a sale, for example), you’ll pay retail prices here.
- Free returns by mail have to be done within 15 days. After that (or on merchandise that isn’t eligible for free returns, like clearance items), there’s a $9.95 charge for returns. As their return policy states, “Returned merchandise should be in the same condition as when you received it, unworn, undamaged, saleable, with original tags and packaging (if applicable),” it sounds like they will not accept perfume you’ve opened and tried, so you’ll need to be sure you like it before you open the box.
Best for: A wide selection and sampler sets, plus freebies with every purchase. Oh–and the Beauty Insider sales!
When shopping at Sephora, I prefer to do it in the store. However, it’s still one of the best places to buy perfume online. I just like to try things before I buy them when possible, and they’re generous with their samples. That said, there’s a lot I love about shopping online at Sephora, too.
- There are sales throughout the year that save you up to 20 percent and apply to fragrances, too.
- You can always find the newest mainstream fragrances here (but that’s not all they have).
- You get free samples with every order, and sometimes there are promo codes to get you even more to try.
- They have a decent rewards program with point-multiplying opportunities.
- It’s easy to do one-stop (one-site) shopping for many different beauty needs and save on shipping costs. Plus, you’ll only need to keep up with tracking one package vs. several.
- There’s a good selection of travel-size and rollerball perfumes.
- You can buy sampler sets here and try several fragrances before you decide on one. There’s a voucher inside to apply to a full-size bottle of whichever is your favorite.
- You can return gently used perfume if it doesn’t work for you (I’ve had to return some that caused migraines).
- I wish their rewards program worked more like Ulta’s, and you could use more than $10.00-worth in points at once.
- Without a promo code or sale, you’ll be paying retail prices.
- The samplers sound like a good idea, but they’re only good if you’re interested in several that come in the same box.
Best for: Smaller samples (as in, even smaller than the travel sprays) of niche fragrances that allow you to try several before splurging on a full bottle that could cost hundreds.
If you’re looking for niche perfume, you’ll almost have to shop online anyway. Might as well try a sample first, right? I love ScentSplit for buying perfume online because it allows me to try various fragrances to see which ones I love before I spring for a full bottle of one.
Sometimes I’m surprised by how little I enjoy a perfume I had almost convinced myself it was safe to buy a bottle of based on descriptions I’ve read.
- You can save money on niche fragrances by purchasing samples before committing.
- They’re quick to fix any mistakes (I’ve only had one issue in years of shopping with them, and they immediately corrected it).
- Shopping here opens you up to a whole new world of fragrance you might not have access to anywhere else, and definitely not in person.
- Free shipping doesn’t kick in until you hit the $70.00 ($150.00 for worldwide shipping), which is hard to do when you’re just looking for samples.
- There are suggestions based on the season and what’s new, but I’d love to see a more customized group of recommendations.
Question: Is it safe to buy perfume online?
Answer: Yes, but be careful about where you shop. Some sellers don’t sell authentic perfumes. Always research a site or seller before you make a purchase.
Question: What store has the best perfume prices?
Answer: FragranceX and FragranceNet are usually sure bets whenever I want to shop. Around most holidays (not just Christmas), the deals and other perks sometimes make it worth it to go with a department store.
Question: What is the best online perfume shop?
Answer: It depends on what–and how much of it–you’re looking for. Overall, I’d go with Ulta during a sale or special event that would multiply my points earned (if I could wait) or one of MicroPerfumes’ travel sprays (because I’m fickle regarding fragrance).
For a full-sized bottle at any point in the year, though, I’d buy a tester or unboxed perfume from FragranceNet or FragranceX. For niche perfumes, it’s usually ScentSplit for me.
Conclusion: Decide What You Want, Then Shop Around
The nine best places to buy perfume online made the list for different reasons. Sometimes one site will be better than the others. Some may have the type of perfume you want or offer it in the size you were hoping for.
In other cases, you’ll want to make your perfume purchase a special occasion, choosing the boost of beautiful packaging (often coupled with a discount).
Barring any special holiday discounts or the need for gift wrap, I’d go with MicroPerfumes for their travel spray selection or Ulta for the points I could use on future purchases. FragranceX is in a close third-place spot (so close, it’s basically a tie), though, for when I want a full-size bottle, box or no box, and want to save money in the moment.