How Does Buying Fragrances Online Stack Up Against Buying Them In-Store?

In today's increasingly digitalized modern world, shopping online is gradually but steadily becoming the new standard. Whether you want a new car, house, job, significant other or a pair of socks - people are hitting the web to fulfill just about every need in their daily lives.

And fragrances are no exception, by any means.

However, while buying fragrances online definitely comes with some easy to identify challenges, how does it actually stack up against buying them physically in-store. Let's take a deeper look at both ends of the spectrum and see how both means to the same end line up against one another!

The Red Corner - Buying Fragrances Online

Maybe you're one of the adventurous few, or maybe you just don't care for a rushed and crowded atmosphere that most fragrance boutiques and large department stores are so well known for. However, either way - you've done it, you've ventured out onto the open world wide web in search of your next favorite scent.

Or have you?

You see, the biggest drawback to buying any sort of fragrance online is the very same thing that makes it so awesome - the fact that it's all done digitally. Until we invent and integrate the technology that allows us to relay scents over the world wide web, we're stuck with not being able to really put a finger on just how the fragrance we're eyeing is actually going to smell like.

However, this picture does take on a slightly less gloomy shade if you're one of the people that sticks to what they know. If you already have a favorite fragrance or a portfolio-range of scents that you can confidently stick to - buying them online can actually prove to be a way more convenient (and oftentimes cheaper) option.

So, let's boil this down.

The upsides:

  • A much simpler, quicker and more efficient shopping experience
  • Potentially cheaper finite cost for your fragrance of choice
  • Entirely reliable if you already know what the fragrance smells like

The downfalls:

  • A Russian-roulette-style approach if you're trying to pick up a new fragrance that you've never smelled before

The Blue Corner - Shopping For Scents In-Store

If putting your trust (and money) towards the digital world seems a little too much like a hail-mary and you actually enjoy (or at least don't mind) spending some time at a beauty boutique, then shopping in-person might just be the best route for you.

After all, you can't smell scents over the web - but you sure can in-store. And if saving a few bucks isn't paramount, you're able to walk out of the store with your newly acquired fragrance in tow after a generally quick and seamless interaction with the cash register.

If you're there to pick out a new scent, a physical boutique or store will have dozens of fragrances for you to peruse. And if you're feeling a tad less adventurous than you thought you would, an attendant can always help you pick out something with a similar profile to your current favorite scent. But on the web, for now, this is all but a pipe-dream.

On the other hand, let's be honest, no-one really likes to wait. Whether it's for the clock to strike 5PM or to finally get your hands on the fragrance you so carefully picked out, most of the time, we want thing to happen as quickly as is humanly (or inhumanly) possible. And even with Amazon's amazing same-day delivery, for some people, shopping on the web just isn't fast enough. After all, in-store you can spend a bit of time picking out the product you want, testing some various options along the way, and then pay for the final pick and walk out with it in tow right there and then.

Let's recap!

The upsides:

  • You get your fragrance as soon as you pay
  • You have much more freedom to try new things, since you can actually smell them
  • You can get access to insightful staff to help you pick out something new or something that matches what you already like
  • Did we already mention that you can actually smell the fragrance you're planning to buy?

The downfalls:

  • It can often take days or weeks to receive the fragrance you paid for
  • You can't smell any of the fragrances you check out...

Closing Thoughts



No matter what side of the ring you're on - shopping online and in-store both have their upsides and downsides. But, let's be honest, we're here to give you a definitive answer on which one's better, aren't we?

Drumroll, please...

It depends. Yup, it's entirely dependent on your preferences and needs. If you're only looking to stock up on your favorite scent, and you're willing to get it a little later in the day (if not a day later) in exchange for being able to avoid the bustling mall - doing it over the web is probably your best bet. But on the other hand, if you're not quite the hallmark of patience, or if you're ready to venture into an entirely new portfolio of fragrances, you should definitely go down to a boutique in person to try them on before you commit to any of them.

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