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!
St. Rose Eau de Parfum Discovery Set
If you're new to St. Rose's consciously made, ultra-luxe fragrances, you are in for such a treat. (I'm actually jealous of the excitement that's ahead for you.) I hate to play favorites, but I don't know if I've ever received a fragrance discovery set where I would quite literally purchase every single scent in its full-size glory. Each stunning perfume is sustainably and cleanly formulated, gender-neutral, and divinely transportive. Juliet in White (a pretty floral number) is my go-to for special occasions, and for day-to-day, it doesn't get better than Desert Nomad (addictively earthy) for me.
Boy Smells Exploratory Set
Boy Smells' immense popularity is astoundingly impressive considering the brand has only been around since 2016. And while its schtick was primarily candles, the brand tickled every perfume lover's fancy earlier this spring when it segued into the world of fine fragrance. This six-piece gem is yet another example of a discovery set without a weak link, though if I were really pressed, I'd wink-wink and nod-nod in Flor de La Virgen's juicy direction,
Dedcool Collection Sample Pack
Pardon the incoming eye roll, but it just doesn't get *cooler* than Dedcool's L.A.-made, functional fragrances if you're on the market for uniquely yummy but also totally unbothered signature scent. Each bottle features an über long-lasting, carbon-neutral, good-for-your-health-and-planet fragrance boosted with beneficial organic extracts. (It also has very ingenious scent extensions like laundry detergents, air fresheners, massage candles, etc.) I have yet to smell a Dedcool perfume I don't like, but I get the most compliments whenever I wear Fragrance 01 Taunt or Fragrance 03 Blonde, both of which are included in this collection sample pack. (Plus, when you buy it, you'll get 20% off your first fragrance!) So bomb.
Krigler "Iconic" Discovery Set
"Iconic" is probably one of the most over-used words in beauty vernacular (trust me, I'm guilty!), but this five-piece fragrance discovery set from Krigler (one of the most legendary perfume houses of all time) actually walks the walk. Each fragrance within this particular set was favored by an actual historical icon and has been around for decades. Yes, the full-size are true investment pieces, but they're also a treasure in and of their own right.
Curious to know who wore what? Pleasure Gardenia 79 was Coco Chanel's go-to scent before No. 5., Chateau Krigler 12 was created in 1912 and beloved by Grace Kelly, If you smell English Promenade 19, you'll know what Audrey Hepburn smelled like on the set of Roman Holiday (and why one of her co-stars supposedly told her she smelled "good enough to eat"). Lovely Patchouli 55 is the inspiration behind Tom Ford's also iconic Black Orchid and was given as a gift to Jackie Kennedy by Aristotle Onassis before they were married, and last but not least, Extraordinaire Camelia 209 was created in 2009 to celebrate the brand's 105th anniversary and is a known favorite amongst members of the royal family like Kate Middleton.
Maison Margiela Replica Memory Box Perfume Set
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. (Just to name a few!)
Serge Lutens Discovery Set Collection Noire
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.
Frédéric Malle Fragrance Discovery Set for Women
TBH, I'm completely confused how this fragrance discovery set from perfume legend Frédéric Malle is only $35, but maybe buy it before the perfume gods realize 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.
Snif Collection 3 Fragrance Bundle Kit
If you're unfamiliar with the IG-famous fragrance brand, Snif, prepare to FTFO. Founded by best friends Phil Riportella and Bryan Edwards, Snif was designed to provide a younger generation of fragrance junkies with nontoxic, luxury-level scents at refreshingly doable price points. But, that's not even the most exciting part, as the brand brings new meaning to "fragrance discovery" with its insanely genius try-before-you-buy model which has never been done before in the world of perfume. The brand's bundle kit (shown above) features three full-size, 30-ml fragrances and three petite 2-millimeter samples. If you want to take the whole set for a spin, click the "Try All Three Free" button on the brand’s site, and enter your credit card for an authorization (but not a full charge).
The beauty? You won’t spend a cent until you’ve spent seven days with your discovery set and decide which of the full-size bottles you want to keep. (FYI: Each bottle is sealed, and once that barrier is broken, the perfume can’t be returned.) If you want to keep all three scents, you can plan to foist over $150, and two bottles will run you $130.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Travel Size Fragrance Wardrobe
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.
Ellis Brooklyn Scent Diary Fragrance Discovery Set
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. (Bee, Sun Fruit, Salt, Après, and Super Amber have reached fever-pitch popularity!)
Clean Reserve Reserve Perfume Discovery Set
I can't praise Clean Reserve enough, and while it might not be the most actively talked about brand in the fragrance industry, every amazing-smelling person I know has a signature scent from the brand they can't get enough of. (All of my friends caught on to the magic of my go-to, Radiant Nectar, so whenever we go out we smell like one delicious orb of delectableness.) Plus, you can feel good about the brand's genetics, as they're safely formulated with sustainably sourced ingredients or greenlit synthetics.
Kilian Paris Travel Spray Discovery Gift Set
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.