How to buy cheap perfume and aftershave
It's always such a treat to get new perfume or aftershave, but at full price, designer fragrances can be pricey. Luckily, though, we know of lots of ways to save money and buy cheap perfume.
You don't need to spend a fortune to get good perfume and aftershave. In fact, it's possible to buy scents from top designer brands for a fraction of their full price.
The key to buying cheap fragrances is knowing where to shop, and how to maximise your savings.
To help, we've put together a list of the best places to buy affordable fragrances from. Better yet, if you scroll down to the second list on this page, you'll find some handy tips on how to get the lowest possible price for your perfume and cologne.
9 best places to buy cheap perfume
Here are the best places to buy cheap perfume and aftershave:
The Fragrance Shop
For low-cost designer perfumes, head to The Fragrance Shop (TFS).
They have a huge range of women's perfumes and men's aftershaves on sale for good prices. Sometimes, there will only be a small saving (e.g. £1 off the RRP), but if you look in the clearance section of their site you should find some real bargains.
For example, we've seen a 75ml Eau de Toilette (we briefly explain the different types of perfume here) bottle of Truly Joyful by Kate Spade on sale for £16.50 – the RRP was £45, so it was a big saving.
If you subscribe for a membership with The Fragrance Shop, you'd have the chance to get 20% off the perfume. In the case of the Truly Joyful bottle by Kate Spade, the member's price was £13.20.
These are the three membership options:
- My TFS – £15 per year for 3x 20% discounts (you can choose when to use them), free express delivery and exclusive perks*.
- My TFS plus – £25 per year for 5x 20% discounts, free express delivery and exclusive perks*.
- My TFS family – £39 per year for unlimited 20% discounts, free express delivery, exclusive perks* and 20% off the scentaddict subscription service.
* Exclusive perks can include free samples, competitions, unique offers and more.
If you're just buying one bottle of perfume or aftershave (and don't plan to buy many more throughout the year), it probably wouldn't work out as cost-effective to purchase a TFS membership. However, if you tend to buy several bottles a year, you could save money on fragrance by signing up as a member.
Also, The Fragrance Shop offers a student discount, so keep this in mind when comparing prices.
Fragrance Direct is similar to The Fragrance Shop – they sell a huge range of designer perfumes and aftershave for reduced prices.
In the sale, we've previously come across a 100ml bottle of Calvin Klein Euphoria Intense (Eau de Parfum). It had an RRP of £70, but was available to buy from Fragrance Direct for just £29.95.
You can save money further with Fragrance Direct student discount.
Plus, keep an eye on the discount codes and promotions section of their site. You might be able to find some great offers there, such as voucher codes for 10% off selected brands, or the chance to get a free gift with your purchase – both of which are examples we've seen before.
The Perfume Shop
One of the most well-known fragrance stores on the high street is The Perfume Shop (not to be confused with The Fragrance Shop!).
Although you can often find the best perfume deals online, it is pretty tricky to know whether a fragrance will be right for you until you've smelled it. So, if you're keen to buy perfume or aftershave in person, The Perfume Shop is a great choice.
As well as their online shop, they have over 250 stores across the UK and Ireland.
They do have some good savings on perfumes and aftershave. But, you could potentially find products with bigger discounts at The Fragrance Shop or Fragrance Direct.
We've seen a 50ml bottle of Yves Saint Laurent's Black Opium (Eau de Parfum), available for £82 from The Perfume Shop. However, at the same time, Fragrance Direct was selling the perfume for £66.30.
It's a good idea to look at each site to compare prices and find the best deal. And, again, make sure you factor in student discount offers when deciding where to buy perfume.
On eBay, you can find just about anything you need – with cheap designer perfume being no exception.
In a similar way to the previous three retailers on this list, you can find new perfume and aftershave available for less than their RRP on eBay. But, an added perk of this site is that you can find fragrances for cheaper if you're willing to buy an unboxed bottle.
Granted, it is a bit more of a risk, but if you do your research, it can pay off. We explain the best ways to approach this later.
Prices will vary, but as a general rule, you could be looking at paying around £10+ for an unboxed bottle of perfume from eBay.
And, to make sure you're saving as much money as you can, try these eBay bidding tips.
A good alternative to eBay is Amazon. You'll usually find similar prices and products on there, including unboxed fragrances.
You can find some cheap designer perfume on Amazon. We've previously spotted a 100ml bottle of Calvin Klein Eternity for Women (Eau de Parfum) on sale for £37. Its RRP was £73, so it was a pretty big saving.
But, it's worth noting that we saw a similar bottle of Calvin Klein perfume (Eternity Moment, rather than just Eternity) at Superdrug on the same day for only £28. So, again, always shop around before buying any fragrances to make sure you're getting the best deal.
As you can get Amazon Student for free for six months, there will be the added perk of free delivery if you buy eligible items (i.e. ones with the Prime logo).
Plus, if you're looking for perfume or aftershave from eco-friendly brands, you could try using the Climate Pledge Friendly filter. There may not be the biggest range of options, but you might still be able to find products from good fragrance brands at low prices.
You might not immediately associate Boots with cheap perfume, but it's definitely worth a look on their site and in their high-street stores.
They run some great sales that include premium beauty offers. For example, we've previously noticed a 50ml bottle of Versace Cyrstal Noir (Eau de Toilette) on sale for £39.34 at boots, down from £59.
However, while you can find some good deals at Boots, it's still worth double-checking some other sites like The Fragrance Shop and Fragrance Direct to compare prices.
Generally, Superdrug won't always have a huge number of fragrances on sale, but you can still find some good deals there (like the Calvin Klein bottle we mentioned earlier).
In particular, keep an eye on their Star Buy offers to see if they've got any big reductions on your favourite fragrances.
B&M tend to have a handful of cheap perfumes and aftershaves for sale. They might not have the biggest range of choices, but the options they do have are usually on sale for a fair bit less than their RRP.
To give you an idea of prices, we've seen a 50ml bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely (Eau de Parfum) available for £9.99. As its RRP is £35, this is a great deal.
If there's a B&M store near you, pop in to see if they have any good, cheap fragrances.
At Home Bargains, you should be able to find some affordable designer fragrances for sale, such as ones by Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry and Hugo Boss. And they do have some great deals.
When researching for this guide, we came across a 100ml bottle of Vera Wang's Princess (Eau de Toilette) on sale for around £20 (a third of its RRP of £60!).
Have a look on their website or head into a store if there's one on your high street – you could find some cheap, but very lovely, fragrances.
11 ways to find the best perfume deals
Here's how to get the best deals on perfume:
Buy perfume dupes
Although the sites listed above are great for finding designer perfume for less, this isn't the only way to get affordable fragrances.
Often, supermarkets and high-street beauty stores will release perfumes and aftershaves that smell just as nice as designer versions, but are a lot cheaper.
Poundland sells some very cheap perfume dupes. It's also worth trying the own-brand versions of fragrances in other high-street stores in case they can compete with your favourite designer ones – M&S and Zara could be good ones to try.
Regularly check our deals page
As you've probably guessed from this guide, we are big fans of cheap aftershave and perfume. So, when we come across great deals on our favourite fragrances, we post them on our deals page.
On the deals page, you can often find out about flash sales, discount codes and free perfume samples.
We also tend to post about them pretty quickly in our Facebook deals group (if you're not yet a member, you can join here).
Use a price checking website
If you have a favourite perfume or aftershave, set up an alert on a price-tracking website to find out when it's reduced. This way you can make sure you're getting the best deal and saving as much money on your go-to fragrance as you can.
CamelCamelCamel is a good site for tracking Amazon prices. If you set up alerts, you'll get notified if and when products go down in cost.
You could also try using Idealo. On there, you'd be able to see comparisons of the prices on loads of different sites. This will help you save money on perfume if there's one particular product you have in mind.
Shop in seasonal sales
However, the key to finding cheap fragrances in these sales is to do your research. Not all deals will necessarily be good deals.
This is another benefit of using price checking sites like CamelCamelCamel – they'll be able to give you an indication of whether the price of perfume and aftershave in the sale really is a decent reduction.
Buy the right type of perfume or aftershave
When buying perfume or aftershave, it's important that you check how strong-smelling it will be. The more concentrated the fragrance, the less you'll need to use (and therefore the longer it will last).
These are the main types of fragrance, with a general guideline of how concentrated they are:
- Parfum – Strong perfume (20% – 30% fragrance concentration)
- Eau de Parfum – Pretty strong perfume (15% – 20% fragrance concentration)
- Eau de Toilette – Slightly lighter perfume (5% – 15% fragrance concentration)
- Eau de Cologne – Even lighter perfume (2% – 4% fragrance concentration)
- Eau Fraiche – Very light perfume (1% – 3% fragrance concentration).
Eau de Toilette fragrances will generally be cheaper than Eau de Parfum ones. However, as you'll likely need to use more to get the same strength of scent as a stronger perfume or aftershave, it might run out more quickly.
So, stronger fragrances can actually be better value for money (especially if you buy them in the sale) as they should last longer.
Get free perfume samples in fashion magazines
If you're looking for free perfume samples, fashion magazines are ideal.
Magazines like Vogue and Elle generally have two or three fragrance samples per issue. Often, the sample will only be for a single use of the perfume. But, if you're lucky, you might get a free miniature bottle of perfume that can be used several times.
As magazines tend to cost around £4 or £5 per issue, it's a cheap way to get perfume, and to really get your money's worth, make sure it's a publication that you're going to enjoy reading.
Also, keep in mind that it can be pretty wasteful to get a magazine that you won't read, so if you do buy one, make sure it's not just to get the free perfume samples.
Order perfume samples online
In addition to buying fashion magazines, you can sometimes get free perfume samples by ordering them online. As we mentioned earlier, we post about samples when we hear about them on our deals page and in our Facebook group.
Plus, some sites let you order samples so you can avoid committing to an expensive bottle of fragrance that you might not like.
For example, The Perfume Shop has a 'Try Me' option that gives you the chance to receive a sample as well as a full bottle of fragrance. If you decide you're not a fan of the sample, as long as you've left the actual bottle unopened, you'll be able to send it back and get a full refund.
Buy boxes of perfume samples from eBay
Sometimes, if people have received loads of free perfume samples that they have no intention of using, they'll sell them all on eBay.
You should hopefully be able to buy the perfume for a pretty low price (avoid buying from any sellers that you think are charging unreasonable prices).
And equally, as well as being a great way to buy cheap perfume, you can also consider making money by selling any samples you've received, too.Free samples are actually some of the best things you can sell online.
Shop online for unboxed perfume
It could be that the bottle of perfume is completely fine, but its packaging got damaged. Or, someone might have used a little bit of the fragrance before deciding they didn't like it.
Make sure the seller looks reliable – check through their reviews to see what other people have said about them. If others seem happy with their purchases from the seller (especially if they've bought unboxed perfume or aftershave from them) this is a very good sign.
Buy perfume via cashback sites
When shopping online for perfume and aftershave, make sure you use cashback sites to maximise your savings.
So, once you've found the best perfume deal for you, you can save more money by earning cashback on it! Ideal.
If you're looking for more info, check out our list of the best cashback sites.
Use student discount
When looking for cheap perfume, always check if you can get a student discount before buying a fragrance.
Our student discount directory includes info about popular perfume retailers such as The Perfume Shop and Fragrance Direct.
And if you haven't already, make sure you read these top student discount tricks – they'll help you save a lot of money on fragrances.
We also know of loads of ways to get cheap (or even free) makeup...