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Monday, June 5th
Scentbird is one of the original perfume subscriptions, getting its start in 2013. They're on a mission to "empower each and every person to express themselves through scent" , suitable for beginners and aficionados alike, and delivering perfume and cologne both from top designer brands as well as up-and-coming perfumers.
Take the quiz, choose from abbreviated catalog
When you set up your Scentbird membership, you won't have access to their full catalog of 500+ fragrances right away. Instead, you'll choose what you'd like to try first from among 70+ of their best-selling perfumes, either by browsing their selection or taking their quiz: feminine or masculine? Warm or fresh? Sophisticated or playful? Bold or soft? Answering questions like those will help Scentbird make recommendations, but you'll need to create an account to see the results. We liked our matches and thought they were much more varied than what we got through other perfume memberships - and even the visual interface was more pleasant (with thumbnail images for each of the fragrances' notes and a short description).
Go premium anytime
You can also get premium fragrances for an extra $10, a la carte. That includes scents designated as "Saks Select" , in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue and hand-picked by the retailer's expert fragrance buyers. These tend to be the same fragrances you'll find in other perfume memberships' upgraded options, like Acqua di Parma, Amouage, Creed, Parfums de Marly, and so on. You can select these premium perfumes and colognes at any time as your monthly delivery; the extra fee will be charged to your account along with your regular payment.
Resources to be a well-educated perfume customer
Another helpful feature with Scentbird is their library. You can read up on various notes and fragrance families, like Cypriol or White Floral, see scents in the same family, and use perfumes and colognes you've loved in the past to find similar fragrances to try.
Fewer scents than rival subscriptions
However, there are some limitations with Scentbird's perfume subscription frequently mentioned by customers and that we noticed as well. First, when looking up some of our top fragrances we'd gotten through other memberships, we couldn't find them here. That included designer perfumes by Hermes and Jimmy Choo that we hoped to find new, comparable scents for.
Cost per month
Pay more, get less?
Also, your Scentbird subscription only comes with a case on your first shipment. With every new fragrance you receive, you'll have to swap the glass bottles around - unless you either buy extra cases a la carte or add a $10/month case subscription to your plan. Given that Scentbird is already one of the most expensive perfume memberships we found at $16.95/month - and that one of their biggest-name rivals gives you the case with each and every purchase for $1 less monthly - it makes this company feel somewhat stingy.
Reputation is trending downward
It doesn't get much better when you look at Scentbird's reputation. At the time of this evaluation, the Better Business Bureau had flagged this company with an alert: patterns of deliveries not showing up weeks after starting a subscription, difficulties getting a response from Scentbird's customer service team, and problems canceling memberships or getting refunds for charges made after accounts were terminated. All of that leads to the BBB's "D" rating for this perfume subscription and the 150+ complaints filed there over the last three years. We noticed that as well: despite advertising that their customer service is available 24/7, the only paths we found for getting help with an issue were the live (bot) chat and "fill out this form or email support" suggestions once we signed into our account.
Check out other subscriptions instead
We were surprised at how low Scentbird wound up in our rankings: it's one of the first perfume subscriptions that comes to mind, and the layout of the site is one of the most appealing and intuitive among all of the services we checked out. But, that's not enough to make up for having a smaller fragrance catalog with higher prices, and definitely not sufficient to balance out the negative experiences customers have had. Circle back to Scentbird if you don't see what you're looking for elsewhere, but we're pretty sure you'll find better options in our higher-ranked fragrance memberships.
We all know what it's like to notice that someone smells amazing and say, "What are you wearing? I love your perfume!" But, after we shell out the cash to get ourselves a bottle of it, we're disappointed by how it interacts with our own body chemistry - and now we have a pretty decoration on our vanity full of a fragrance we'll never wear again.
The same goes when we experiment with a new-to-us scent. Maybe we have a brand that we love and want to see if we like the next variation on that theme, as the top perfumers release their newest fragrances. Or we go adventurous and buy a scent based on the description alone. Spin the wheel, so to speak, and hope you get lucky? That's where perfume subscriptions come in and save the day.
When you sign up for a membership, you'll typically spend less than $20 to try up to three new perfumes (or colognes) every month. While most services don't have a refund or exchange policy, it makes it so much more affordable to get out of your comfort zone and give a new scent a try. And, as long as you stick with a reputable perfume subscription, you don't have to worry about getting anything that isn't 100% authentic.
Over the past few years, perfume memberships have become quite popular. Which one is right for you? That depends. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you browse all of the fun options out there:
To help you sample all of the most classic and newly-released fragrances, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular perfume subscriptions. We're sure that you'll find a membership you love that will have you smelling like a million bucks - without having to go broke to get it!
Select any 2 Perfume Subscriptions to compare them head to head