Cologne Samples by Subscription
If you're like me, you've seen these ads for the perfume sampling subscription service Scentbird floating around the internet and have gotten curious.
I don't exactly look forward to going to the perfume counter at a department store but until recently, that was your best bet for sampling perfumes without buying the whole bottle. However some new sampling services are making it easier than ever to try a new scent. This is my review for one of the leading services: Scentbirds.
What is Scentbird and how does it work?
Shopping for cologne through Scentbird allows you to try a variety of designer perfume samples without purchasing the full bottle. This is great for men who are just starting out with colognes and aren't sure what they like — or those of us who like to experiment but need to keep an eye on our budget.
With a subscription to Scentbird, a 30 day supply of a cologne sample of your choice will be delivered to your door monthly for a fixed price of $14.95.
The website allows customers to see all the perfumes offered before even subscribing so you don't have to do a blind-buy. One thing I appreciated is you can search with a number of filters, including gender, which is perfect for guys who want to skip over all the women's perfumes.
When you subscribe, members can either receive the perfume of the month, or choose a favorite. I did see some negative reviews from people who entered their favorites and then it somehow got stuck so they were getting the same cologne each month so you might need to keep an eye on your queue. Hopefully they've fixed the issue but it's something to watch out for. There's some additional functionality like a wish list which I'm not sure I see myself using but might be useful for some people.
How do I sign up for Scentbirds?
Signing up for a subscription with Scentbird is pretty easy. I think they recently redid their web interface because some of the issues that I'd seen discussed on a forum, I didn't see when I logged in. It's definitely still a start-up but getting more polished.
There are also a lot of user friendly touches like if you are not sure what you are looking for, you can take a short quiz that will match you with a number of perfumes. They say once you receive your cologne sample, providing feedback will help them better match a fragrance to you for future shipments.
Subscription prices seem pretty reasonable:
-1 month subscription is available for $14.95
-3 month subscription is available for $43.50
-6 month subscription is available for $84.00
-12 month subscription is available for $164.00 (this option will save you $16).
All the subscriptions basically work the same way, and subscriptions renew on the same day each month so it's really just about how long you think you'll use it. One big call out: subscriptions are automatically recurring unless you cancel the next subscription before this date. So don't sign up for a month and then forget to cancel. Otherwise they've got free shipping and handling and seem to keep a simple payment structure without a lot of crazy add-ons or fees (which I appreciate).
Can I buy a perfume without a subscription?
Yes, perfumes can be purchased without a subscription, but it will cost you a few more dollars. Visitors and/or members can purchase perfumes from Scentbird for $16.95, plus $3 for shipping. So if you're really worried that you won't remember to cancel the subscription go this route.
The subscription price covers one fragrance per month, but there is no limit as to how many perfumes you can purchase in a month's time period. Unlike a member, however, a visitor cannot order a perfume bottle case. The small bottles of perfume shipped to non-members do not include the cases.
Discover new scents and receive designer fragrances at a fraction of the price.
Scentbird.com allows you to do a trial run of a cologne before you decide to purchase the full bottle. Smaller samples are not enough to decide if you like a certain scent, but a 30 day supply, however, is long enough to make that determination!
It is also perfect for those who like to change their scent often. It is less expensive this way than to purchase entire bottles of cologne just because you're tired of a certain scent and you want a new one.
Get to avoid the cosmetics counter at the mall!
Not be the best place to find niche fragrances, most their offerings are popular, mainstream perfumes.
The small perfume bottles cannot be returned for a refund or exchanged for a different perfume so if you don't like that month's scent you're stuck with it.
If you're looking purely at price per oz, this is a pretty expensive way to get cologne.
Some customers have issues with a delay in shipment, claiming they signed up a month or two ago, and have not received anything yet. The perfumes should normally ship on the 15th of every month, and should arrive within 10 days. However, if you place an order between the 5th and 20th of the month, it will be shipped on the 25th. It may just be a matter of patience and understanding how they do their shipping.
Is it Worth it?
Yes, I would say that for the right person, this could be a real gamechanger.
Scentbird is a great concept, and is an easy and affordable way to get the full experience of the scent before purchasing the full size bottle. Or if you are just someone who likes to discover new scents, this will allow you to change your cologne often without breaking your bank account. It is worth a look — and with over 450 perfumes and colognes to offer you definitely have a lot of room to explore.
That said, if you're on a super tight budget or already have your core fragrances and aren't interested in expanding, it's probably not worth it.
Interested? Check out these ScentBird Coupon Codes and Discounts
The subscription price is already pretty good at $14.95 a month, but if a little discount will sweeten the deal, they're also running a generous 25% off special offer.
Their second special offers is a gift-worthy trio of themed perfumes with the first month of subscription for free. If you're new to cologne and want to jump start your collection, this would be an affordable way to start experimenting without having to shell out a lot.
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