These Fragrance Discovery Sets Ensure You’ll Never Have Perfume Buyer’s Remorse

Picture this: It’s post-pandemic, and, like the rest of the world, you’ve started buying the majority of your beauty merchandise online, frequently inspired by your favorite influencers, content creators, editors, and industry experts. And today, you’ve bought a perfume, a perfume that’s supposedly so freaking fantastic, one whiff could be comparable to Romilda Vane’s vial of Amortentia. You’re feeling confident, a bit euphoric, and the anticipation of your new perfume’s arrival is at an all-time high. You’ve never been so sure you’ll love something in all of your life! Until—womp, womp—you actually smell it. If you, like so many of us, have experienced that remorseful “What the fuck?” moment post-perfume purchase, you’ve come to the right place.

Even though we do our best to never lead you astray when it comes to fragrance here on Who What Wear, perfume is probably the most personal and polarizing product you can buy within the beauty arena. You might hate what your best friend loves, and something that smells good on your sister might make you smell like a rotting corpse. (That’s not me being dramatic—that’s me telling you what I smell like on Kilian Paris’s Rolling in Love $250.)

Since we’re not psychic, we can’t always recommend your most perfect perfume, but what we can do is recommend some of our all-time favorite brands that have a ridiculously impressive number of delicious, best-smelling perfumes, and tell you to buy their discovery sets. From there, you can test drive an array of options and land on a personal favorite. Sound like a plan? Cool, 12 of the best discovery sets on the market (plus our fave from each) are just below. Keep scrolling! 

Le Labo has many a beauty journalist under its spell, because its scents are just incredible. However, with a 50ml bottle coming in. at £157, it is certainly an investment purchase. If you want to try the brand’s iconic best-sellers, then this discovery set contains five of Le Labo’s most popular fragrances, including Another 13, Bergamote 22, Rose 31, Santal 33 and The Noir 29. This discovery set is often sold out, so move quickly if you want to get your hands on it. In fact, many of the Who What Wear UK team have named Le Labo as their forever fragrance, so you’re bound to find one that you’ll fall in love with.

If you ask me, Diptyque create some of the most beautiful scents around. This set contains five of the brand’s most-loved fragrances. These are housed in beautiful vials in a 7.5ml size, which is larger than most perfume discovery sets that typically come in 1.5-2ml sizes. This set features Do Son (a creamy floral); L’Ombre dans l’Eau (a fruity floral) Eau Rose (a classic floral) and Eau des Sens (a beautiful orange blossom). It also features Philosykos, which is a woody fig-based fragrance which is to die for.

Philosykos is one of Diptyque’s best-sellers. Inspired by fig trees, it takes all notes from the tree. The ripe fruity note of fig is balanced with the green of fig tree bark and leaves, making it sweet but balanced with woody notes.

There’s a Jo Malone London scent that suits everyone, but there are certain favourites that everyone falls for.This discovery set of 1.5ml vials includes English Pear & Freesia, Peony & Blush Suede, Wood Sage & Sea Salt, Lime Basil & Mandarin and Pomegranate Noir. What’s more, you can redeem the £15 against a 100ml cologne purchase on any of these sets, so it’s a great way to experiment with the scents for deciding on your favourite.

This has overtaken Lime, Basil & Mandarin as Jo Malone’s best-seller in the UK. And it’s no wonder. This scent features mouth-watering pear balanced with floral freesia notes, and makes an ideal fragrance for everyday wear.

I could talk all day about Byredo’s scents. You can the globe-topped bottles on just about every cool-girls dressing table. They really do smell as chic as they look. This set of six Byredo scents in 2ml includes Mixed Emotions, Biblioteque, Young Rose, Gyspy Water, Mumbai Noise and Super Cedar. Like Jo Malone London, you can also redeem the cost of the discovery set against any 50ml or 100ml bottle within four weeks.

This is one of my all-time favourite scents from Byredo. Meaning ‘library’ in French, Bibliothèque features that sweet scent of old books combined with plum and woody notes of wooden shelves.

Boy Smells’ immense popularity is astoundingly impressive considering the brand has only been around since 2016. Most people know the brand from its amazing candles, but it has segued into the world of fine fragrance. This set of five sample vials includes Rose Load, Violet Ends, Flor de la Virgen, Suede Pony and Tantrum.

For fans of warm, amber-based scents, we’d encourage you to invest in Suede Pony. Think expensive suede nestled with addictive amber notes.

Maison Margiela’s approachable fragrance line, Replica, has amassed a cult following in recent years with each special scent evoking a particular and poignant memory. This best-selling discovery set doesn’t include all of the members of the Replica family, but it does house all of our choice scents.

If you’re in the mood for cozy, it just doesn’t get better than By the Fireplace, which evokes a crackling fire, roasting chestnuts, and the deliriousness of falling snow, vanilla, and clove. That said, you can’t go wrong with other famous inclusions like Lazy Sunday Morning, Jazz Club, and Beach Walk.

Serge Lutens (eponymously named after it’s French creator) is one of my favorite perfume brands of all time, yet it’s still fairly unknown to the masses. Although his first perfume, Féminité du Bois (included in this set), was created in 1980, countless additional hits have followed. If you want to treat yourself to something special, indulge in this discovery set. 

My La Fille de Berlin (the most perfect rose scent you’ll ever stumble upon) has become a signature for me, and when anyone ever compliments my scent when I’m wearing it, I know they have immaculate taste. 

TBH, I’m completely confused how this fragrance discovery set from perfume legend Frédéric Malle is only £25, but maybe buy it before the perfume gods realise the treason that’s taken place?! Labeling a perfume brand both famous and niche feels like an oxymoron, but that’s exactly what anything wearing the Frédéric Malle’s label inherently is.

Malle, a world-renowned French nose, has cultivated a collection of fragrances that will make any perfume lover drool in want and excitement. People have their opinions on which are the best (Portrait of a Lady and Carnal Flower are known to cause obsession), but Musc Ravageur, to me, is a fuss-free masterpiece. (It created complete pandemonium when it launched circa 2000.) Luckily for you, you can decide for yourself thanks to this set of best-selling heavy hitters. 

Born in 2009, Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a relatively new house in the perfume world. Although that hasn’t stopped it from quickly becoming one of the most coveted among perfume connoisseurs and in-the-know beauty people. (And, if you’re on TikTok, you’re probably feeling overly familiar with Baccarat Rouge 540—the brand’s insanely popular, and expensive, a best-seller.) Each bottle is beautiful, expensive, and designed to be worn as an “olfactory wardrobe.” Every single scent is a prize, so this discovery set is most definitely a treat for any and all fragrance lovers, but Baccarat Rouge 540 is in a league of its own.

It’s a sparkling collision of floral, woods, and ambers sure to satisfy any kind of fragrance appetite. It makes me think of clinking champagne glasses, shimmering chandeliers, and the blur of a ballroom.

Gone are the days when clean, nontoxic perfumes smelled like the essential oil aisle of your neighborhood organic food co-op. Ellis Brooklyn is just one of many burgeoning, ultra-chic fragrance brands proving natural perfumes can last just as long as and smell just as lovely as their non-clean counterparts. The brand has no shortage of fan favorites, and in some kind of bewitchery, each launch seems to be better than the last. If you opt for this discovery set from the brand, you’ll understand the hype.

This smells like a luxurious summer’s day, with notes of citrus, fig, white florals and vanilla.

Kilian Paris is definitely one of the more interesting and unique fragrance brands on the market, so it’s no surprise that everyone from Rihanna and other celebrities to beauty editors hoard their collections of luxe, very exclusive perfumes. Founded by Kilian Hennessy (yes, that Hennessy), the brand has a signature, rule-breaking approach that’s paired with smart and sustainable business pillars. (For instance, Hennessy’s “eco-luxe” philosophy allows each bottle to be refilled and kept for a lifetime.) This discovery set contains some of the biggest names within the brand including my personal favorite, Good Girl Gone Bad and Rihanna’s Love, Don’t Be Shy. 

If it’s good enough as one of Rihann’s favourite scents, then it’s good enough for us.

Next up, From Hailey to Zendaya, These Are the Boots Fragrances A-Listers Actually Buy

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