In case you hadn’t noticed, blind buying fragrances is all the rage right now. Like, absolutely everyone is talking about it. You watch your beloved YouTubers bragging about their best blind buys on their channels.
You stumble upon a write-up of a scent critic’s worst blind-buys as you flip through the pages on that fashion magazine at your hairdresser’s.
You had coffee with your BFF this afternoon, and you learned that even she bought Love, Don’t Be Shy blind. And, as you saw for yourself, it suits her to a tee…
Is the universe hinting to you that it may finally be time to do a blind buy of your own? Or are you reading into things and looking for the right excuse to let your inner shopaholic out?
Not so fast, gorgeous.
It’s this author’s opinion that blind buying perfumes isn’t worth the risk. And that you have much, much better options.
There’s a better way to indulge in all the olfactory pleasures your heart desires without breaking the bank or cluttering your wardrobe with scents that you wholeheartedly regret buying in the first place.
Buying Perfume Blind Isn’t Necessarily a Good Idea
Blind buying perfumes is risky, since words alone are not enough to describe the true character of a fragrance. And it’s downright wasteful, as the chances of getting it perfect are about as high as scoring on blackjack at the nearby casino.
Even if you know all the notes and can smell them perfectly in isolation, you have no way of guessing how they will be combined in the formula of a given fragrance, nor how that formula will unravel once it finds its way onto your skin.
Perfume, after all, smells differently on every wearer. Its scent is determined by your skin’s pH, the acidity levels of that jiggly fat right under your skin, as well as your hormonal balance at the time of spraying.
Try factoring that in as you read through the notes on the perfume house’s website!
If that alone isn’t a reason to make you reconsider blind buys, think of the amount of time and money you can waste on picturing, buying, and trying a fragrance blind, only to have your initial imagination proven wrong (and end up with your heart broken).
Mistakes like these can be least to say costly. Depending on where you live and which retailer you shop from, you may—or may not—be able to return opened perfume should you change your mind about it.
You can sell a bottle of opened perfume that you don’t like in a Facebook group or on eBay, but chances are you’re not going to get all of your money back. Even if you do, you’ll have to go through the hassle of shipping perfume (an odyssey on its own!).
Then again, if you’re looking for a little adventure—which, lately, can be hard to come by—and you’re willing to forgo the money in case you end up not liking and not being able to return the fragrance, by all means, go for it.
Just remember to get a 30 ml (1.01 fl oz) perfume bottle, which will last you roughly three months. And be sure to check out our guide to the number of sprays in every size perfume bottle.
We all deserve our f*ck-it-and-let’s-go-to-Vegas moments.
Alternatives to Buying Blind
Whether you agree with me on blind buying or not, the fact of the matter is that you don’t need to go to a brick-and-mortar store to get a whiff of a perfume that’s piqued your interest.
For starters, every self-respecting perfume house has a sample set (also called “discovery set”), which lets you try out all of its fragrances in small, travel-sized spray bottles that offer a handful of applications each.
Sample sets are a no-frills way to satisfy your olfactory curiosity—and decide which fragrances from a given house smell good on you—without feeling like you’re throwing money out the window.
Or you can give Scentbird or YUNIQU, two of the Sterlish editorial team’s favorite fragrance subscription services as of late, a try.
Both of these subscription services allow you to try designer and niche fragrances in special, travel-sized atomizers at a portion of the cost of the original bottles. We consider them the best ways to try out niche fragrances every month without maxing out your credit card.
At $15.95/month, Scentbird is perfect for readers in the United States (Scentbird doesn’t ship to anywhere outside of the U.S., including Canada).
At €17.95/month, YUNIQU for readers in Great Britain, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy (YUNIQU also ships internationally). Use code “REFU584F9X7RW” without the quotation marks to get €10 off of your first YUNIQU order.