Re: Cheap Aftershave (perfume)

in Shop but don't drop
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MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
8.3K Posts
It's said more purfume is sold on 24 December than throughout the whole of August. So if you're going to end up buying perfume, do it now via special discount websites and slash pounds off the cost.

Where should I try online?

Two good online retailers for the smelly stuff are* (first one to try, good for benchmarking the price) and

These tend to sell testers and imported perfume/aftershave from other markets (grey imports).

This shouldn't be a problem, but it can mean 'unboxed' perfumes - which may be annoying if it's for a gift. But a quick tip to overcome this is if you do want to do it as a gift, simply go and buy a nice looking gift box and pack it in that; the cost saved on buying the perfume should more than cover it.

Of course not all cheap online perfume is what it says on the box (if there is a box) so it's always worth a healthy degree of skepticism though I'm often told my own John Rocha aftershave bought this way still smells good ;)

Where else should I try?

Shopbots (special websites that find the cheapest online price for an item) are also fantastic at tracking down big internet savings. Kelkoo, Pricerunner and are a few good engines that will trawl sites such as and

Read my Internet Shopping article for more ways to save money online.

A few examples of the savings

Hugo Boss 'Baldessarini' 75ml aftershave lotion - £31 at Boots, or £14.99 at Fragrance Direct = a saving of over 50%

Gucci 'Envy' 50ml eau e toilette spray - £40 at Boots, or £19.40 at Pharmacy 2 U = a saving of over 50%

Christian Dior 'J'adore' 50ml eau de parfum - £44 at Boots, or £29.99 at So Special = savings of a third


* Using these links helps the site stay ad-free and free to use, as they’re ‘affiliated links’ which invisibly take you via commercial price comparison services like Moneysupermarket or Find, which then pay this site per click. You shouldn’t notice any difference, the links don’t impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things I write) is NEVER impacted by the revenue. If it isn’t possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it is still recommended and still included. For the sake of transparency go to, or for an unaffiliated link. Click on the following link for more details on how this site’s financed.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • Would be interested to hear if this comes thru ok, i dont tend to trust websites i dont know much about some things can be too good to be true.

    Hopefully this is the real deal with xmas due, this has just reminded me of a tip i think i should post RE not buying ciggies online, new topic coming up !
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Used these before - wrong perfume sent. Replaced with correct one no problems
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    if stocked , then these guys are normally the cheapest out of the various perfume websites i know of. Often product is a "tester"
    Never had any problem with them .
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Another good sight for such toiletries is
    Have just got some after-shave from them and as well as being very competitive, they kept me in touch all the time about what was happening to my order etc.
  • Another good sight for such toiletries is
    Have just got some after-shave from them and  as well as being very competitive, they kept me in touch all the time about what was happening to my order etc.

    I think you mean, is a German IT site ::) When i last ordered from them, a couple of years ago, the items came to £30+, were delivered from HK and i was charged duty and VAT by HM Customs & Excise.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Yes, but I had terrible trouble getting a refund from them when an order went missing.
  • paylesspayless Forumite
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    nothing against this firm-

    not much use if as a pressy if you get a tester
    Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as (financial) advice.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    fragrancedirect do a super job as do dutyfreeperfumes... one or the other normally has the availability and /or best price. Take the point about testers but example last week ... wife bought a 50ml boss in Boots for £23 and the 100ml size albeit a tester was on fragrancedirect for £25. There's a decision !!!

    I did use srawberrynet once but got caught with having to pay the extra tax.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Martin, you of all people should know you don't get something for nothing.

    Fragrance web sites buy their goods on the 'Grey' market. Cheap they may be, but there is no guarantee where the stock has come from, where it has been stored or when it was manufactured. Knowing the answers to the above are vital to ensure the good condition of the product.

    You pay more in the shops because you buy directly from the manufacturer, that is your guarantee of quality.

    Would you buy an electrical product in a car - boot sale just because it was half price (and without a box)? I hope not.

    A bottle of fragrance that costs £36 in the shops (same price as a kettle) and bought for £18 could be completely off, which means your lady friend will trade you in instead! It could also be a tester which in some cases the retailer is paying nothing for or a couple of pounds at most. In which case, paying these companies £18 seems like a rip-off in itself.

    We are not talking Levi's and Tesco here, but a sensitive product with a shelf life pertinent to its storage condition.
  • NileNile Forumite, Board Guide
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    Try to store them in a cool and dark place, like inside a cupboard or drawer and not on a dressing room table or window ledge. If the bottle is exposed to sunlight or direct heat the contents will quickly deteriorate.

    If at all possible, buy eau de parfum rather than eau de toilette for a longer lasting scent.

    Always test perfumes/after shaves on your skin to see how the scent settles after the initial spray. Using one of those paper strips to test perfume is not the same as applying it on your skin.
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