Difference Between Tester Perfume and Regular Perfume

Tester perfumes are identical to regular perfume bottles but aimed for on-the-spot sampling in retail stores. 

They contain the same formulation without the luxury package, and often without the bar code, tags, and caps from the official perfume packaging.

Without the fancy packaging, testers are available at a much lower price. Perfume manufacturers actually encourage retail stores to use them as a marketing ploy to entice customers. 

It’s then hoped they will purchase the regular bottle after testing the fragrance.  

Now, there have been tons of rumors about testers. Are they really stronger and long-lasting, compared to regular perfume bottles? 

Many believe that testers are stronger and longer-lasting to entice customers to buy the perfume for the first time. Let’s find out the truth. 

What are Tester Perfumes?

As its name implies, these bottles are for testing purposes. “Testers” are often produced for designer brands, like Tom Ford, and sent to perfumeries and shopping centers carrying their fragrances on the shelves. 

The goal of tester perfumes is to encourage customers to sample the new perfume. When buying perfumes, testing out what it smells like is vital for every customer. 

Hence, the tester bottle is often displayed on shelves beside normal fragrances. 

They typically come in the same size as regular fragrances, either in 125ml, 100ml, 90ml, 75ml, and 50ml bottles. However, when you purchase original perfume bottles online, they can also come with testers in much smaller bottles, like 1.2ml. 

These small samplers get distributed free of charge to let customers try out the fragrance. 

A perfume tester is not used for any other purpose other than advertising the fragrance. Usually, testers are not for sale. 

Still, many sales and distribution networks often try to sell and resell these bottles illicitly, often on the gray market.

What is the Difference Between Tester and Regular Perfume?

Perfume tester bottles are, in all aspects that matter, the same as the original perfume bottle. The liquid fragrance it contains is the same one you get from its regular merchandise. 

Essentially, they’re the same product, with the same quality and similar manufacturer. They also have the same shelf life, given that they are correctly stored, away from warmth and bright lights.

The only difference is that a tester might not have a cap and tag on it. Often, a tester is packed in a plain box, with no cellophane, and no fancy names written on the bottle except for the word “tester.” 

Without the original packaging, tester bottles are almost always cheaper than retail bottles sold in department stores. 

Sometimes, you might see different languages printed on the boxes of perfume testers. It’s expected as the distributors likely got the bottles from other countries. 

In other cases, testers may also have extra note breakdowns, fragrance details you often don’t see from retail perfume bottles. That may include the top notes, as well as the middle and base notes to help with the sampling. 

Are Tester Perfumes Original?

Yes, perfume testers are 100% original and contain the same aroma and fragrance formulation, either eau de parfum or eau de toilette, inside a regular bottle. 

Fragrance brands develop testers, much like the bottle perfumes sold in their stores or other shopping centers. However, the manufacturer bottles the same fragrance into simpler packaging, which is the fragrance tester. 

Contrary to what many people believe;

  • Perfume testers are authentic and original perfumes.
  • They’re brand-new products and not perfume bottles that have been tested.
  • They’re not “used” perfume products. 

Are Testers Stronger than Perfumes?

Testers or sample perfumes have the same concentration as regular perfume bottles. It means they’re neither stronger nor long-lasting than their retail counterparts. 

But for a long time, many customers believed that testers had a stronger aroma, made with a different formulation that makes the aroma last much longer. Possible reasons for these assumptions on testers are:

  • It makes sense for customers to assume that testers smell stronger because brands want to trick them into buying. 
  • First impressions, especially with scents, are often stronger. The first whiff of the fragrance at a perfume store is typically stronger than the second or third time smelling the scent. 

However, these are all false, primarily because it wouldn’t make sense for perfume manufacturers to have a separate production line entirely to make testers. 

Producing two identical products with the same scent can be incredibly expensive than producing a single one, not to mention the damaged reputation and potential legal risks involved when people find out that they’re making different formulations for the same fragrance. 

There’s also the unique body chemistry that changes how a perfume smells for everyone.

Is It OK to Buy a Tester Perfume?

When buying testers, you’re getting exactly what you can get inside regular retail perfume bottles. It’s like buying original fragrances, only in less fancy packaging, while the actual cost is cheaper than what you would typically pay. 

If you’re looking for a good perfume but want to save money, buying testers is worth it. 

Are There Fake Tester Perfumes?

Again, testers are original and authentic perfumes, but that doesn’t mean that perfume testers are all genuine. 

Like fake perfumes and other fake products, which are illegal, some may also sell fake testers. 

Such things may occur, especially when buying luxury and vintage fragrances in untrusted online retailers and online discounters. 

Therefore, you should be careful when purchasing fake perfume testers; only ever get them from trusted discount stores. One way to check for authentic fragrances is the batch number, as fake ones typically don’t have them.

The Bottom Line

Testers are as brand-new and authentic a fragrance as a regular bottle sold in shopping stores. They’re precisely the same perfume as the original fragrance. 

The most significant difference, however, is the appearance and the price. 

You can still get a whole bottle of perfume in a tester, but usually in a plain, cheap, and often recycled cardboard box. Most often, the caps on perfume testers are missing. 

However, because of the lower costs on the packaging, tester bottles cost significantly less than retail items.