There’s a wide world of colognes out there to explore, but your wallet’s going to be hurting if you don’t know how to get free cologne samples. Thankfully, there are at least five ways to go about satisfying your fix — with plenty of retailers actively offering samples to draw you in.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring the main avenues for getting free cologne samples, from online to in store and more. By the end of the guide, you’ll have a clear idea of where and how to get free cologne samples, and be able to start trying out dozens of new colognes.
Free Cologne Samples: Online
Let’s start with what might be the most challenging place to find truly free cologne samples: The internet. Why is it the most challenging? Because despite the promise of free samples from many different websites, you’ll almost always pay shipping costs — usually to the tune of $10 or more. Furthermore, it can be hard to tell whether the samples you’re getting online are the real deal, or just an imitation.
Perhaps the best way to get batches of free cologne samples online is to sign up for the mailing lists of your favorite brands, and wait for their offers to try new products for free. Alternatively, consider heading straight to the brand pages for different colognes, and giving a quick search for “free samples”.
Lastly, the easiest way to get free (and high quality) cologne samples online is to request free samples alongside another order. Plenty of fragrance retailers are happy to include a few extra samples for your olfactory pleasure in the hopes of achieving a repeat purchase.
Free Cologne Samples: Stores
Going in-person to a store might be the fastest and easiest way to get free cologne samples, and you’ll often receive expert guidance while you’re there, too. There’s a potential that you’ll be pressured into a sale, but if you can resist the commercial banter, you’ll walk away with plenty of free samples.
High-end department stores are where you should look first, as they have fragrance counters in the beauty and personal care section of the store that cater to people looking for a new scent. If you go in with a cologne or cologne style in mind, the counter attendant can often direct you towards a great new scent.
Beauty specialty stores and wholesale markets also have a fair selection of cologne samplers, though you’ll often be asked to try them on your skin — making it difficult to differentiate between multiple fragrances.
Free Cologne Samples: Apply
Did you know that cologne companies regularly employ testers for their new fragrances? And while getting in as an official tester at a big company might be a long shot, it’s entirely possible that you can email a smaller fragrance company and offer your reviews and opinions in exchange for free samples.
Additionally, some brands and websites will do regular giveaways to anyone on their mailing lists. And if you’re internet-savvy and willing to build an online presence, social media influencers are frequently given free samples in exchange for making videos or writing reviews about new scents.
Free Cologne Samples: Kits
Affordable is the next best thing to free, right? If you’re looking for free cologne samples with the idea of finding your next perfect scent, then signing up for a fragrance sample subscription service might be the better choice for you.
Scentbird is the most notable online purveyor of genuine cologne samples, and an all around great choice for sampling a wide array of colognes. For just under $15 per month, you’ll receive two different 8 mL sampler bottles of sought after, brand name colognes — that’s about 140 sprays per bottle, and more than enough to last you until your next sampler arrives.
For a wider range of samples in each order, you can also buy en masse from TheAromi.com. They offer a wide range of sample vials of name brand colognes for $3 each, or bundles of monthly cologne supplies at a big discount.
Free Cologne Samples: Mail
While somewhat less common these days, plenty of men’s health and lifestyle magazines and publications will include peel-off cologne samples within their pages. If you’re already reading about improving your lifestyle, why not enjoy finding a new fragrance at the same time?
Furthermore, adding your name and address to the mailing lists of as many fragrance companies as possible will increase the chances that you’ll be a part of new cologne rollouts for that brand. As long as you don’t mind receiving advertising communications from those companies, you’ll be one of the first to smell new scents when the brand is rolling out a new marketing campaign.
How Much Cologne Is In A Sample?
Cologne samples come in a wide range of sizes, from the barely-there presence of peel off paper samples to a generous supply from cologne subscription boxes. Generally speaking, however, you’re unlikely to find any cologne sample more than about 8 mL — a 30 day supply, if used sparingly. The best cologne samples come in tester vials, so you can keep the vial after you’ve used most of the scent as a reference for what it smelled like.
The Alternative To Free Cologne Samples
So yes, cologne samples can be a wonderful thing. It’s a lot of fun to test dozens of different fragrances in pursuit of your signature scent.
But as anyone who’s bought cologne online knows, it can also be a tricky game with a lot of pitfalls. There are plenty of scammers out there looking to make a quick buck by selling inferior quality samples (and even whole bottles), so it’s important to reference a trusted source when you’re looking for a new scent.
Hopefully, that’s where we come in. We’ve been wearing and reviewing colognes for years, and have hard won experience on how to sniff out a fake — which is why we’ve decided to make our cologne reviews available to everyone.
If you’re new to cologne and looking to get a great start, try checking out some of our recent guides: