Ask the experts

How To Shop Your Fragrances Online 

Azzi Glasser smelling a perfume in her office setting

We all know there are many benefits that come with shopping for fragrances online, the main one being the ability to select your new signature scent from the comfort of your own sofa – without having to browse busy stores (or change out of your PJs). 

But, we can’t deny it can be a bit difficult at the best of times too. With that in mind, we’ve enlisted the help of A-List perfumer and nose behind bespoke blends, Azzi Glasser, to guide you through how to buy perfume online without smelling it first. Once you learn the tricks and traits, we have a strong feeling you won’t want to shop your aromas any other way. 



Referring to the ingredients inside each scent, fragrance families are an easy and efficient way to whittle down your online olfactory offerings. As they all have distinctive characteristics and corresponding notes, once you figure out what family you’re more drawn too, it will make it much easier for you to select your scent. Not sure how to differentiate each fragrance family? No problem. Head over to our Ultimate Fragrances Guide, where the hard work has been done for you. However, this “may not be helpful for all, as some people don’t really understand if they are a ‘floral, fresh or a citrus person” says Azzi, therefore the renowned perfumer suggests using an online scent quiz to find your perfect match. “This is why I have created the ‘Robotic Perfumer‘ which matches your personality and style to the scent that suits you” Azzi adds.  


“If you don’t know what you are looking for online when it comes to choosing a perfume, I would suggest reading reviews” explains Azzi. Whether you’re checking out customer reviews or listening to your favourite influencer’s latest haul, it’s a great way to get your questions answered from those who have tried out the fragrance. The best comments will have detailed feedback that cover everything from the fragrance’s positives and negatives along with how long it lasts and its strongest notes. But it’s important to remember, like all reviews they’re subjective, so just because they love it, it doesn’t mean you always will.  


If you’re still having doubts about committing to a full size bottle – try before you buy! Luckily, many brands offer mini fragrances, or even better, discovery sets that allow you to test out a few fragrances. Not only is this a great way to get confident about your new signature scent, but it also provides you with pint-size potions to slip into your bags or layer over one another. But as Azzi advises it’s important to “be careful with layering perfumes, as you don’t want too many smells competing. If you’re going to layer perfumes, it’s best for one of them to be subtle and base note dominant.” 


“Fragrances are special as they’re the ultimate finishing touch. People don’t want to smell like everyone else” says Azzi, as she explains how scents smell different on everyone, due to their DNA and skin chemistry. With that in mind, it’s important to pick a perfume that pairs with your personality. Describing it as a “fun therapy session”, Azzi reveals her process of creating bespoke blends for different individuals (which can be adopted for online fragrance shopping too). “I get to know [the customer] and discover what their interests and passions are, such as work life, holidays, watching films, traveling, art, books, etc. They also let me know how they would like the fragrances to make them feel in terms of mood, what impression they want to leave on people, if they prefer more unisex fragrances and what memories they have of smells.” So, next time you’re surfing for your scent let your inner feelings, thoughts and mood guide you. “Choose your mood and vibe or your character and style, then build your collection based on that.” 

The Perfumer Story By Azzi Amber Molecule


Before you lose yourself in the description of your potential perfumes, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the basic fragrant lingo. It’s no secret, the olfactory world can consist of complex words and tricky terminology. There’s no need to bombard your brain with in-depth research though; the basics will suffice. Getting to grips with the most commonly used phrases (we’re talking notes, accords and all the different fragrance families) will help you decode descriptions while becoming a low-key industry pro.  


The best way to feel connected to your scent? “Get to know the brand and nose behind the brand” suggests Azzi. If you’re researching an unfamiliar fragrance, it’s always worth finding out the identity of perfumer who created it or artists behind it. Learning a little about the house’s history and signature styles will allow you to get up close and personal with its fragrances and spot them out from the crowds. Not only will you have a better understanding of the thought process and values of the product, but you’ll have more of a connection to its collections going forward. 

Now you have everything you need to know about how to buy perfumes online without smelling them first, it’s time to sit back, relax and discover your new signature scent – without having to leave the living room! 



Trifonia Asmar

Trifonia Asmar

Senior SEO Copywriter

Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.