How to buy fragrance online when you can’t test it

By Charlotte Hurlock

Not sure how to buy fragrance online? Welcome to our stress-free guide to make sure you come up smelling of roses…

How to buy fragrance online…

The internet has definitely changed the way we shop. Whether you’re on the bus, in the bath or at your desk (psst, your boss is behind you!), you’re only ever one click away from that item you’ve been craving, hurrah!

While this is all well and good, the luxury of e-retail isn’t always straightforward, especially when shopping for beauty and fragrance products. How will you know if that’s the right foundation shade for you or what that perfume will smell like on your skin? These are questions we all face on a daily basis.

Well, always being one step ahead, The Perfume Shop is at hand to lower the stakes when shopping for scent. We got our fragrance expert Michael Edwards on speed dial for his top tips and tricks. Have a read of these five golden rules and you’ll know how to buy fragrance online like a pro…

Be loyal to your favourite fragrance families

While your fragrance wardrobe may be vast, chances are the majority come from the same fragrance family with similar ingredients. Play it safe and stick to this family to avoid disappointment. ‘Start with the fragrance family of your current favourite, or if you are confident with the notes you like, look for fragrances that feature those notes,’ says Michael, who also recommends you look at other things you love, like candles and body lotions for inspiration.

Do your research

Take time to read the product descriptions that list the base, heart (also known as middle) and top notes. ‘This will help to identify those inherent scent preferences you have. It’s like reading the blurb on the back cover of a book before buying – it will give you a good idea of what you can expect.’ Absolutely.

[can link underlined text to Scent notes: top, heart and base notes explained]

Be brave

‘If you’re planning on expanding your own fragrance wardrobe and want to branch out a bit, look to the fragrance families either side of your favourite. Be intuitive in your choices: if you love the sound of it, even if it is a deviation from your usual fragrances, give it a go.’

Don’t be hoodwinked by the packaging

While we’re suckers for beautiful bottles, it’s important not to make your decision exclusively on the packaging. Sometimes the bottle can be used as a tool to decipher more about the scent – dark bottles tend to contain richer scents than pale – but it’s also important to remember that what’s inside is more important.

Use The Perfume Shop’s bespoke Fragrance Finder

Created by our fragrance expert Michael Edwards, the Fragrance Wheel makes it easier to find your new fragrance. ‘Although your sense of smell is emotional, the fragrances you most enjoy will probably belong to just one or two families. This wheel holds the key to your fragrance likes and dislikes,’ says Michael. Simply click on the coloured squares to view the fragrances in each family.

Find out more about different fragrance notes by reading our ultimate guide, right here.

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