Buying perfume

The Scentful Apprentice logo with line illustration of classical Shalimar bottle, cream on dark green background

No lie: buying mucho perfume gets expensive.


I buy about 90% of my scents secondhand from eBay for price and environmental reasons (reduce, reuse, recycle). I have had some luck searching for bundles and discovery sets, and finding half or mostly used bottles. People also sell secondhand and vintage on Etsy.
I am waiting for charity shops to get rolling again after covid-19, as I expect you can find some good bits on occasion.

Big online and high street chains

You can get good sales on mainstream perfumes at Boots and Superdrug.
Marks and Spencer have some good and not too expensive lines like L’Occitane, Nuxe, Roger et Gallet and Shay and Blue.
Notino is a good discounted online beauty site. AllBeauty is also good.
Fragrance Samples sells mini samples of high end scents, which would otherwise be unsampleable whilst the shops are closed.

Department stores with beautiful perfume halls

Fortnum and Mason
Harvey Nichols
Liberty of London

Quality brands with national stores

Floral Street
Jo Malone
Le Labo
Miller Harris

UK independent perfumers and perfume shops

Perfume is getting trendy like craft beer with independent brands popping up all over. I want to support small UK businesses as much as possible post covid-19, so will buy new from these companies before bigger brands. See also my Google map of UK perfume locations.

Smaller independent producers or perfume stores

Arran Aromatics in Edinburgh
Caldey Island in Wales
Experimental Perfume Society
Geo F Trumper
Haeckels in Margate
Just before lockdown I was planning a romantic weekend getaway to Margate and planned to visit this small indie start-up. One day I will.
Ormonde Jayne
Papillon Perfumery
I have just got their discovery set and I am very excited about it
Les Senteurs
Shy Mimosa
Niche store in Bristol.

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