How To Buy Fragrances Without Smelling Them

How To Buy Fragrances Without Smelling Them: Complete Guide!

How To Buy Fragrances Without Smelling Them: Complete Guide!

Christie James

Christie James
Recognized Blog Writer With Appearances On Media Outlets

Updated on 3/21/2023

Buying fragrance or aftershave blind can seem like a good idea for plenty of reasons, but is it good to buy something you haven't smelled?

Because I have a lot of men's fragrances in my possession, I have some experience in buying scents without having smelled them first. There are times when you get a good surprise when the scent lives up to the expectations, and there are times when it does not.

While it's always a good idea to try before you buy, sometimes that's not an option, and on other occasions, you may want to shop online instead. You can learn how to buy fragrances online without smelling them by reading some of the tips below.

Why Buy Fragrances Online?

Buying fragrances online can be very beneficial for several reasons. These include

  • A huge choice. You might not be able to find the scent in your local store, but it is available online.
  • Cheaper. There are often good online deals that you cannot get anywhere else.
  • Convenience. The same as everything else online, you can purchase from the comfort of your own home without having to leave.

There is indeed a downside to the system, which is a significant one. When it comes to almost any other purchase, you can get an excellent idea of what something is from just looking at a picture. But when it comes to perfumes, you cannot do that. In addition to that, once you have opened and tried them, you can also usually not return them.

Do Some Research / Read Reviews

Do Some Research / Read Reviews

Do Some Research / Read Reviews

If you will purchase a fragrance, I would also advise you to read reviews from as many people as possible before you buy it. From the people with first-hand experience in the field, you'll be able to get a sense of what you're going to be buying.

The noses of each individual can be different, so getting a broad idea from multiple people is helpful. Two of the most significant online fragrance communities are Fragrantica and Basenotes, which have built up a large fan following.

The Clue Is In The Name

Fragrances Brands

Fragrances Brands

It is not uncommon for fragrance houses or brands to give us more than a hint when they choose their bottle names for the aftershaves they sell. You could probably guess that using a word like noir, black, dark, or nuit, those scents will be masculine scents that are likely to be woody and perfect for an evening out.

Usually, when you see names such as fresh, light, and aqua, you'll know they're more delicate scents, possibly citrus or aquatic, and they're a good choice for the day.

The Bottle Colour And Branding

One of the critical factors in determining the quality of the product is the bottle color and the branding to accompany it. Take the Bvlgari MAN in black, for example. It comes from Bvlgari's MAN collection. Therefore it is likely to be darker and more woody. Since it has the black moniker, it is expected to be darker and more woody. This is true, and the music has a more woody feel to it when compared to the original.

  • Black: As a result, black is a dark and mysterious color, one that is almost always associated with masculine scents, those that are boozy or woody, and authentic scents for the evening.
  • Blue: Would you be interested in an excellent color that isn't blue? There are not a lot of color choices available for you when it comes to colors. When you see a blue bottle, you are more likely to come across something fresh and aquatic than you might expect to encounter. It is usually recommended that you drink blue bottles during the day.
  • Green: It is common for me to categorize fragrances as green, but how do I define green? It means that there's a springtime flavor to it, tangy but not too lemony or zesty, and more of those greener fruits and vegetables. It is typical for these to be mixed with aquatic notes to create an overall scent that is really pleasant.
  • Red: Red is a bit of a wildcard for the color wheel. Many colors could indicate a wide range of different things in terms of smell when it comes to the scent of ascent, such as fruity, spicy, or having softwoods. Red is a powerful color, so scents based on that color will usually have a bit of a punch to them, regardless of what the note may be.
  • Yellow: When you see yellow, you're likely to experience a citrus or zesty scent, as you would expect. As a rule of thumb, they tend to be light with some spicy or aquatic notes, and they also tend to be associated with daytime scents.

Colour Of The Juice

The color of the juice, which is the stuff in the bottle, can be a big giveaway if the branding and the color of the bottle don't give away enough information. The best way to see the color of the juice would be if you have a clear bottle. Some colors which you will probably see are the following:

  • An orange/brownish color. The scent is likely to be spicy or woody.
  • The color green/blue. It will have an aquatic or green-citrus feel to it.
  • Yellow. There is a high possibility that this is citrus of the lemony variety.
  • Clear. I consider this to be somewhat of a wildcard, and there is no guarantee of what it will smell like, depending upon what ingredients are used.

Understanding The Notes And Fragrance Families

There are some notes that I have mentioned above, and there are also a few fragrance families. As for me, I think it is easier to understand and break down these notes when you separate them based on a few factors, such as the occasion, the season, and the time of day. Several scents are universal, which means they can be used in various situations, but some are best for use during the day, while others should only be used in the evening.


You are likely to encounter the following types of notes:

  • Citrus. The fragrance is usually described as green or lemony. It is usually best to wear this during the day, but depending on the other notes, it might be appropriate to wear it in the evening.
  • Aquatic. It is usually light, watery, and has the characteristics of aqua. Wearing these kinds of perfumes is typically ideal for wearing during the day or when you want to smell good during the evening.
  • Woody. It is likely that when you think of masculine scents, you think of a woody scent. In this category, you will find musky scents, or they may have a more modern twist to them.
  • Spicy. It goes with the woods, with fragrances that have that spicy kick and are combined with the woods.
  • Floral. Most of the time, these are sweeter fragrances with floral elements, but in the case of men's scents, they usually have other notes added to them as well.
  • Aromatic. As the name implies, these are warm and inviting and typically combine with something above, making them have a pleasant aroma.

As a rule, fragrances are more complex and have more than one note. For example, an aquatic scent might contain woody notes, while a citrus-floral scent might include citrus-floral notes. Even though this may sound complicated, it is much more likely to give you a better indication of the style of the fragrance.


What are flankers, you may be asking yourself?

Quite simply, it has happened in the past that certain perfume houses and fragrance brands have taken advantage of the popularity of a fragrance and released a bottle of a new fragrance that is supposed to come from the same family. In most cases, you can identify this when the bottle is the same, except for some design variations, or when the name is different.

For example, BOSS Bottled comes with many flankers, as we can see from the picture. The flanker scents might share some DNA with the original fragrance, but they are sometimes unique and different from one another. The bottled version of BOSS and the night version of BOSS Bottled, for example, are vastly different. Dolce and Gabbana The One is available in various versions, including GREY, Gentleman, and the original. Many brands sell a variant of a fragrance that had previously been successful, and this is not uncommon in the fragrance market.

Choose The Perfumers Over The Brand

If you are seriously interested in scents, rather than just relying on the brand's reputation, you can also look for who designed the scent. When brands work with different perfumers, sometimes a scent gets reformulated or discontinued.

Similar to anything else, perfumes are like anything else. Some scents can be incredible, and others not so good, or just not to your taste.

The Safest Smelling Scents To Buy Online

The safe scents I refer to do not have to do with the website you are buying from. Instead, I am talking about that safe kind of fragrance that will not offend anyone. As the name suggests, a safe scent smells good and will almost universally be liked but might not necessarily be loved.

The safest scents to use are generally the mass-marketed ones, and this is because they are the most common, and there are a lot of great ones out there. The two scents that immediately come to mind are the Blue de Chanel and Dior Sauvage, which are perfect masculine scents that almost everyone likes.


The Riskiest Scents To Buy Online

As far as risky scents are concerned, two factors to consider are the niche and the price. In general, niche scents are produced by dedicated perfume houses instead of fashion brands that sell other products. In general, these tend to be more expensive, and additionally, they are not as widely available, with only a few authorized retailers usually carrying them. The idea behind a niche scent is that it will have something that makes it different from other scents in the market. Even though that can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing if mishandled. Among the many scents out there, there is a number that you will not enjoy.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it or the scent; it's just not your style of fragrance. There is one problem with this as well: they are usually more expensive, so you can spend a lot of money on a scent that you won't enjoy. Creed, Floris London, and Tom Ford are a few of the more mainstream but niche perfume houses that are very popular. All three of them are featured on this page. I think it's worth mentioning that if you enjoy one scent from a perfume house, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll like everything they make.

I think Creed does a lot of very diverse scents, as do Tom Ford and Floris London. Floris London makes some products that I adore, and on the other hand, I have a few smaller bottles that I do not enjoy as much.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get It Wrong

One of the most important things to consider is that you don't need to be afraid of making a mistake. There is a possibility that you may be unintentionally buying the wrong fragrance when you blind buy them, and this is a common mistake that we've all made at some point.

I have bought blindly bought scents that they did not like, and I have bought those that I love. If you don't take a chance, you won't ever know if you will enjoy the aftershave, and you may end up with an aftershave you like.

How To Buy Fragrances Online Without Smelling Them

  • Make sure you do your research, read reviews, and consult with experts
  • Are there any characteristics that can be gleaned from the scent's name?
  • I suggest you have a look at how the bottle looks, how the branding looks, and what the juice tastes like
  • Make sure you know what kind of scent you are looking for and what type of scent you like
  • Make sure that the notes and scent style are correct
  • The best thing to do is buy the perfume if all of that sounds good to you.