Four ways to get your favorite high-end perfumes for much less

I'm a late bloomer when it comes to appreciating a good perfume but when I finally discovered how amazing a well-developed scent is, I became the perfume addict that I am today. I found that a really good perfume has the power to dress you up and elevate your appearance. It can lift your mood, boost your confidence, and help you make more of an impression. 

Unfortunately, good quality perfumes can cost a pretty penny because unlike budget-friendly body sprays and splashes, they often feature more complex olfactory profiles and better staying power. A higher concentration of fragrance oils and inclusion of rare notes is needed for this, making production more expensive. As keen as I am on expanding my collection, I take a practical approach to my perfume purchases. I have never ever paid full price for any of them, and today I'm sharing my secrets!

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Wait for end of season sales

Mall sales are the easiest way to get your favorite scents for less. One of the best ones to look out for is that of Rustan’s, which hold end of season sales twice a year: once during June/July, and another after the end of year. During those sales, I’ve noticed that a vast amount of their fragrances go on sale for around 20-30% off.

It also pays to just lurk around the fragrances area of department stores. I constantly spot discounts on certain fragrances that aren't announced elsewhere. Although it’s a rarity, I’ve encountered some fragrances going as low as 50% off as well!

Go straight to the source

This is my favorite way to acquire fragrances. The exclusive distributors of our favorite fragrances, such as Luxasia (they have a loooooonnng roster of fragrances including Marc Jacobs, Bvlgari, Burberry, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and many more) and Prestige (they distribute a lot of celebrity fragrances as well as Moschino, Clean, and Versace among others) hold sales that mark down the prices tremendously. I often get pieces at 50% off here, and sometimes even find testers that are super cheap! These sales can sometimes be hard to get wind of though, so if you want updates, do join the PV Community Facebook group as we share the announcement from insiders there.

Make the most out of your mileage by shopping at Duty Free

Since goods in Duty Free are tax-free, the difference in the prices of perfumes there compared to their retail prices can be quite significant. To make the deal even sweeter, our local Duty Free store goes on sale, too! The tricky part is that you can’t just go to Duty Free whenever you fancy, so make time to visit after returning from a trip abroad, join the welcome crew when a balikbayan comes home, or ask cabin crew members that you know to purchase for you.

Purchase from abroad

Imported goods are generally more expensive so buying abroad is often a smart move. You can check online stores (also a great option for comparing prices), place your order there, and have it shipped to relatives based there before they come to visit. Or if their itinerary allows, you may be able to ask them to make a store stop for your purchase. Some of the popular places I frequently purchase from include Bonjour and Sasa in Hong Kong. In the US, discount places like Marshall’s and TJMaxx can have perfumes for as low as $15 to 20!

Beware of fakes

When it comes to purchasing fragrances at a discount, I’ve learned that patience is key. I have to remind you, though, to be discriminating with your purchases. Beware of online sellers, tiangges, and other third-party sellers because there are a LOT of fakes out there. Some even claim to be "testers", "Dubai authentic", or "SG authentic" to explain their cheap prices and difference in packaging. Just as with counterfeit makeup, fake perfumes are never going to be as good as the real thing because you can't copy the quality of high-grade fragrance oils. Using them may also put you at risk for skin irritations and respiratory problems. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn't true.

Do you buy high-end fragrances? What are your best smart-spender tips for buying them at a fraction of the original cost?