Whether you like to regularly switch up your fragrance or you’re still tracking down the best perfume for women for your signature scent, trying out one of the best perfume subscription boxes could be the answer.
Our fragrance habits tend to fall into three camps: we either stick to the same scent we’ve worn since our teens for fear of breaking out of our comfort zone, leaving us to ponder the age-old question of ‘do perfumes expire?’. Or we buy under pressure, having been accosted by a spritz-happy, perfume-wielding sales assistant in a department store. As a last resort, we may even scan reviews and blindly buy online, the end result more likely to be ‘miss’ than ‘hit’. A perfume subscription box reimagines all of these scenarios as a fun, stress-free and immersive fragrance experience. It allows you to spritz the best perfumes for women at home and sit with them for a while so you can see how they develop and whether you still like them at the end of the day.
Tara Derakshan, co-founder of Sniph scent subscription service, says: “It’s like wine tasting—but for perfume. It allows you to take your time getting used to a new scent.” Indeed, each month, these services will send you perfume samples to experiment with. Whether it’s a cult designer scent or under-the-radar indie find that broadens your scent horizons, you can spritz to your heart’s content without committing to a pricey full-size bottle. The best bit? They’re delivered straight to your door.
Meet the expert on perfume subscription boxes
- Tara Derakshan (opens in new tab) is the co-founder of the Sniph scent subscription service.
What is a perfume subscription box?
A perfume subscription box allows you to sample several iconic, trending or niche fragrances for a fraction of what you’d pay for a full-size bottle.
After your subscription is activated and your desired scent chosen for that month, it’s shipped directly to your doorstep.
How are my suggested perfumes chosen?
In most cases you’ll complete a virtual quiz to create a ‘scent profile’, like what you’d be if you were one of the best Yankee candle scents.
Based on your answers, a personalized selection of scents will be suggested and you can pick the fragrances you’d like to try.
How many perfumes will I receive?
The number of fragrances varies from company to company but, generally-speaking, you’ll receive one perfume per month to experiment with.
Depending on the box you’ve chosen, you’ll either be treated to sample-sized atomizers (perfect if you’re a fan of the reusable perfume atomizer option), vials or rollerballs.
5 of the best perfume subscription boxes
Probably the most popular perfume subscription box comes courtesy of Scentbird. First you take a quiz to discover which perfume notes fit your personal style and, once your subscription is activated, you can select from a catalogue of over 500 designer and niche fragrances ranging from Prada, Gucci and Tom Ford to Fresh and Tocca.
A purse-friendly 8ml sample bottle of your chosen perfume, holding roughly 140 sprays each, is then delivered to your doorstop. Each vial fits into a chic silver fragrance case, which is included in your first order. You’ll also be sent monthly suggestions based on your preferences, making it even easier to choose a new perfume every month.
Sniph delivers cool niche fragrances from independent ateliers such as New York perfume house Gamine, directly to your door. Every scent on the site is grouped into six different ‘collections’, which you choose when subscribing.
If you can’t decide on if you want floral tones, fruity notes or the best vanilla perfumes, a quiz helps you to identify if your perfect match is ‘Avant-garde’ (a hugely popular theme) or ‘Clean’, or whether to opt for ‘Trending now’, for example. Each month you’ll be sent an 8ml vial, which slips into a complementary case, that you can then also purchase full size should you hit upon your signature scent.
With a possible 850 designer fragrances at your fingertips, Scentbox rivals any department store on options. First, sign up for either the standard or premium subscription. Standard will give you one designer fragrance a month from a choice of over 575 of the best perfumes for women; premium includes one designer fragrance plus access to roughly 850 designer fragrances, including 275 premium brands like Bvlgari and Cartier.
Then, take the quiz to establish your scent profile and have recommendations curated just for you. Once a month you choose from these recommendations and an 8ml refillable travel spray will be sent to you. Don’t worry if you don’t like your chosen perfume – there’s the option to exchange. Alternatively, if you find your new favorite, you can upgrade to a full-size bottle and cancel your membership.
If you’re a fan of ‘clean’ fragrances to mimic the best floral perfumes and are botanical, vegan and only use safe synthetic ingredients, then the Skylar Scent Club is the one for you. After taking an initial quiz, you’re recommended a fragrance from the brand’s collection.
It arrives in a 10ml recyclable rollerball in line with its eco friendly philosophy. Each month you’ll receive an email with information on your new rollerball. You can choose another if it doesn’t seem like the right scent match for you but, should you find your new favourite scent, the subscription comes with 20% off other Skylar purchases so you can nab a full-size bottle at a discounted price.
If you’re a fan of ‘clean’ fragrances that are botanical, vegan and only use safe synthetic ingredients, then the Skylar Scent Club is the one for you. After taking an initial quiz, you’re recommended a fragrance from the brand’s collection. It arrives in a 10ml recyclable rollerball in line with its eco friendly philosophy. Each month you’ll receive an email with information on your new rollerball. You can choose another if it doesn’t seem like the right scent match for you but, should you find your new favourite scent, the subscription comes with 20% off other Skylar purchases so you can nab a full-size bottle at a discounted price.
If the thought of trying a brand new perfume every month feels overwhelming, or you want to use it alongside an old favorite, The Fragrance Club has the option of switching to bi-monthly deliveries.
Your welcome box comes complete with an expensive-looking atomiser—available in black or white, with gold trim—and a vial of your selected fragrance from brands like Gucci and Coach to slot into it. Initially, you’ll create a fragrance wishlist including three preselected offerings with the option to swap along the way, so you can figure out which perfume lasts the longest.