How to Buy Perfume Online When You Can’t Smell It

How to Buy Perfume Online When You Can’t Smell It

Shopping for a new perfume or aftershave is exciting, whether you’re treating yourself or buying a gift. With so many different brands and types of scents to choose from, you might be tempted to believe that you can only truly decide on a fragrance by smelling it first-hand in a shop.

When buying perfume online, there are some tricks and tips you can keep in mind to help your shopping experience go smoothly!

Understand the fragrance families

Probably one of the first things you should do when shopping for a fragrance is to understand the different types of scents. Each perfume or aftershave is based on one of the 4 fragrance families; fresh, floral, oriental and woody.

By learning to recognise which fragrance family a scent belongs to, you can begin to home in on your favourite. Fresh fragrances are generally crisp and refreshing, while floral scents can range from light and delicate to more complex.

Oriental fragrances are often warm and sweet, sometimes with a bit of added spice. Fragrances under this type are often opulent and rich. Woody fragrances are also warming, split into two categories; earthy, sweet scents and smoky leathery smells.

Do your research

When shopping for a new fragrance online, research is everything. Consider what you’ve worn before and what notes feature in those fragrances, as it can help you narrow down your search.

Each of our fragrances on our website have a helpful description that can tell you a little more about its scent, including top, middle and base notes. Be sure to look at the colour of the fragrance and the packaging on each product listing too; this can give some indication as to how light or intense the fragrance might be.

For example, Nomade by Chloe is a very pale pink with packaging to match, perfectly matching its floral scent. Our description tells you this fragrance is uplifting and feminine, with notes of plum, bergamot, freesia, jasmine and rose, giving you a good idea of what to expect when it arrives.


On the other hand, Carolina Herrera Good Girl is housed in a much darker bottle, which matches its oriental fragrance with notes of coffee, tonka bean and cinnamon alongside jasmine and Bulgarian rose.

Pay attention to the name

While our product descriptions are definitely helpful in understanding what a fragrance smells like, sometimes the name of the perfume itself can give you an idea. Words like intense, extreme, dark and night can all indicate that a fragrance may be stronger and bolder; for example, YSL Black Opium Intense.

It’s a great starting point when browsing online, but it’s important to remember not every name will be so obvious.

Buy a smaller bottle first 

If you think you’ve found your new fragrance but you’re not 100% sure, why not just buy a smaller size? We sell a huge range of perfumes in many different volumes, so you can test it out before committing to a bigger bottle! 

For example, Jimmy Choo is available here in 4.5ml, or you can buy Thierry Mugler Alien in a 15ml bottle. 

If you want to test out a few different perfumes, we have a great collection of minis, like our Prada miniature gift set including 5 fragrances in sizes 7ml and 9ml.