Fitness & Beauty

Perfumes for Men: How to Save on Men’s Fragrances in Singapore?

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MoneySmart

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When checking out a man’s style, the focus usually goes to his watch, his shoes or his bag. But a man’s perfume plays a big part too. For some men, perfume is an important part of the grooming process and makes them feel complete. 

If you know someone like that, perfumes for men make for a good gift. And if you’re a guy who uses perfume yourself, you can save more on your daily spritz. We show you some tips and tricks.

 

Best places to get affordable fragrances for men 

Some of the best places to shop for fragrances without the premium price tags are at iShopChangi duty free shop, Mustafa Centre, Venus Beauty, Sasa and Sephora

On iShopChangi, apply the code FIRST10 to get 10% off your first purchase. Other than saving on sales tax, it is a really convenient way to shop. You can start shopping 30 days in advance and up to 12 hours before your flight. All you need to do is collect your items at a preferred collection point at the airport. 

At Sephora, you can become a Beauty Pass member and earn rewards as you shop. There’s also a 10% off your first purchase by applying code ONLINE10. In addition, online orders above $40 get free shipping, which is easy to fulfil if you’re buying fragrances. 

While TANGS isn’t a cheap place to get anything per se, with a classic TANGS membership, you can spend $80 and get 6% rebate on every $10 spent. You will also get invited to 12% rebate days and exclusive events, as well as enjoy birthday treats. 

You can get some great deals on online shopping sites like Strawberrynet, Lazada and Shopee too, but they will usually be unboxed testers and original “rejected” perfumes. See next section.

Of course, the major downside to buying online is that you cannot test the fragrances.

We compare the 5 common perfumes for men and their prices at popular stores:

Prices Sephora Tangs Strawberry Net iShopChangi
CK One $88 $90 $46 $58.40
Abercrombie and Fitch First Instinct $103  N.A. $58.50 (50ml) $70.80
Hugo Boss Hugo Man (125ml) $131  $131 $108  N.A.
Christian Dior Sauvage $180 N.A. $150 N.A.
Bvlgari Man in Black N.A.  $169 $102 $129  

*Unless otherwise stated, prices are for 100ml bottles. 

 

Difference between unboxed testers and original “rejected” perfume 

If you are buying for yourself and already know your signature scent, you can sacrifice on the packaging and go for unboxed testers or original “rejected” perfume. 

It’s a bit cheapo lah, but the perfume is original and the liquid in the bottle is completely identical to one with you would pay full retail price for. Why not? People need only smell it, right?

Unboxed tester perfumes

Tester perfumes are not fake as they are produced by the original manufacturer. They usually come in small boxes and are given to shops to put out as samples or presented to clients.

If you search for the perfume for men on Lazada, you will find that the product listings look like “CK One Eau de Toilette TESTER pack” or “[Original] CK One Eau De Toilette Men”. These sizes will likely differ from the ones sold in retail store as they were packed differently. This does not mean they are inauthentic, they’re just unboxed testers. 

Original “rejected” perfumes

Original “rejected” perfumes are like your defect factory outlet products that are sold at a fraction of the original price because of some scratches on the bottle, or other imperfect conditions. They are produced by the original manufacturer, but are likely to come without boxes. 

Let’s see how the prices compare below. Most of them are 100ml bottles, except for Hugo Boss’ Hugo Man, which is 125 ml.

Prices Retail price (Sephora and Tangs online shop)  Tester bottle price (Lazada) Original “rejected” perfume price (Lazada)
CK One $88 $32.50 $46.90 
Abercrombie and Fitch First Instinct $103  $53 $80
Hugo Boss Hugo Man (125 ml) $131 $46 $59.80
Christian Dior Sauvage $180 $75 $132.80
Bvlgari Man in Black  $169 $69 $78

As you can see, the price differences can be huge.

However, while tester and original “rejected” perfumes may be original and authentic, you will not get the nice and luxurious packaging that comes with the real thing. So if you are getting a perfume for your boss or someone important, perhaps don’t be a cheapskate.

 

How do you know if a perfume is original? 

Firstly, start looking from the most obvious tell-tale sign – the wrapping. If it is an original, authentic product, it should come with thick cellophane packaging, tightly adhered to the box. If it is wrapped in a way like how you used to wrap your school textbooks — flimsy and with creases — then probably, it’s an unboxed tester, rejected perfume, or worst-case scenario, a counterfeit perfume.  

Next, check the paper material of the box. An original perfume’s packaging should be high quality with white (not grey) paperboard to keep the bottle from damage. Check the information on the box and compare it against the manufacturer’s website. Check that the spelling, especially on those fancy French words, is correct. Even a missing apostrophe or comma could be a sign of a compromised product. 

Then, take out the bottle of perfume and inspect it. It’s hard for a counterfeit bottle to be 100% the same as the original. There’s bound to be some difference in colour shade, texture, and shape of the bottle or the bottle cap. This should be easy to tell.

Check the colour of the perfume too. Is it in the same shade? Or darker, or lighter? Good perfume brands don’t use colour dye in their products, which is why they are usually transparent, or a very light colour. Counterfeit perfumes may use dyes, resulting in a darker colour. 

For the last and most important step, look for the serial number of the perfume bottle which should be indicated on the bottom of the bottle. Match it against the serial number at the bottom of the box. If it doesn’t match, it is likely a counterfeit perfume. 

If buying online, rely on the good people of the Internet. Buy only when there are good reviews. You’ll also want to avoid buying perfume from roadside peddlers or tourist markets as you will most likely end up with counterfeit products.

 

How to choose the best perfume for men 

Usually, men who use perfume already have a signature scent. Objectively, it should be the perfume that complements whatever body odour, but let’s face it. Usually it’s simply what smells good to the individual.

Ideally, men buying for themselves should try to test directly on their wrists to sample the combination of the perfume and body scent. Spraying on little strips of paper allows you to only smell the top notes, and not how the fragrances evolves. It’s a little technical, but you should be seeking out the medium and base notes, which are likely to be those that last the longest throughout the day.

Men’s perfumes are classified to a few scents:

  • Citrus: Lemon, mandarin (e.g. Armani’s Acqua Di Gio) 
  • Spicy: Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg (e.g. Hugo Boss’ The Scent) 
  • Green: Grass, stone (e.g. Calvin Klein’s CK2)
  • Woody: Cedar, moss (e.g. Bvlgari’s Man in Black)

Also, there are the below names:

  • Eau de cologne (lasts 2 hours)
  • Eau de toilette (lasts between 2 and 8 hours)
  • Eau de parfum (lasts 8 hours)

Since perfume is so personalised, it’s not a great idea to get perfume as a gift for someone you don’t know very well. It would be best if you already know his signature scent, or can go to the shop to try scents together. 

Would you buy unboxed testers and original “rejected” perfumes? Let us know why and why not in the comments below!

 

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