What Are Fragrance Decants?


Imagine this scenario. You’ve been wearing the same fragrance for years and you feel like a change. You spot an expensive brand online you’ve heard everyone raving about. It’s really expensive but, on a whim, you order it. It arrives – you hate it! Argghhhh! You should have bought a decant first!

What are fragrance decants? A fragrance decant is a small sample bottle of a specific perfume. You can order a decant of virtually any fragrance online at a fraction of the price of a full-sized manufacturer’s sealed bottle. However, there are a few things to beware of with any perfume decants as discussed below.

Fragrance decants: Three sizes

How are decants produced?

Perfume and any other type of fragrance decants are rarely sold by manufacturers. They are typically bought from private sellers who simply decant from the largest sized bottles of fragrance as these are the best value for money. When someone orders a decant from a seller, they pour the required amount into a decant bottle and sell it at a price that ensures they make a profit.

Decant sizes

There are various decant sizes and their prices depend on the price of the fragrance itself.

1 ml decants

These are the smallest and cheapest fragrance decants you can buy. Depending on how liberally you spray it one, this size will provide 2 to 3 applications. To give you an idea of the amount, a standard teaspoon holds 5ml of fluid, so you will receive less than a quarter of a teaspoon! A tiny amount.

It’s difficult to estimate how much you will pay because it depends on the price of the fragrance you choose but here’s an example:

  • A 1ml decant of Dior Sauvage can be purchased for approximately $3.00. A 60ml (3.4oz) bottle is approximately $100.

You should expect this decant to be a plastic or glass vial which is literally a tiny tube with a plastic stopper for a lid.

1.5 ml decants

1.5ml decants may come in a glass or plastic vial or mini-spray.

This is the smallest size some sellers supply and is equivalent to a quarter of a standard teaspoon. A vial will provide you with 3 to 5 applications but a mini-spray delivers smaller applications and you can get up to 18 applications from it – enough to help you decide if you like the fragrance enough to buy a whole bottle.

  • A 1.5 ml decant of Dior Sauvage can be purchased for approximately $4.50 in a vial or $5.25 as a spray.

2.5 ml decants

A 2.5 ml decant is usually a glass or plastic spray bottle. Each light spray delivers a small amount and you can squeeze up to 30 applications from 2.5 ml.

  • A 2.5 ml spray decant of Dior Sauvage can be purchased for approximately $9.00 as a spray.

3 ml decant

There’s not much difference between a 2.5ml and 3ml decant. You’ll find some companies offer one size and some offer the other. 3 ml gives up to 36 applications.

  • A 3 ml spray decant of Dior Sauvage can be purchased for approximately $11.00 as a spray.

5 ml (1/6 oz) decants

A 5ml decant is equivalent to one teaspoon. This doesn’t sound like much but can give you up to 60 applications.

  • A 5 ml decant of Dior Sauvage can be purchased for approximately $15.00 as a spray.

8 ml (1/4 oz) decants

An 8 ml decant is equivalent to a quarter of an ounce and can give you up to 96 applications.

  • An 8 ml decant of Dior Sauvage can be purchased for approximately $22.00 as a spray.

15 ml (1/2 oz) decants

A 15 ml decant is equivalent to half an ounce and can give you up to 180 applications.

  • A 15 ml spray decant of Dior Sauvage costs approximately $43.00.

30 ml (1 oz) decants

A 30 ml decant is equivalent to an ounce and can give you up to 360 applications.

  • A 30 ml spray decant of Dior Sauvage costs approximately $80.00. I think in this instance I would find another $20 and buy a 60 ml (3.4 oz) manufacturers sealed bottle.
Fragrance decants: Dior Sauvage

Table of common decant sizes and applications from each

Size (ml)Vial (max applications)Spray (max applications)
13n/a
1.55n/a
2.5830
31036
5n/a60
8n/a96
15n/a180
30n/a360

When to buy decants and when not to

It’s a good idea to buy a decant before buying a very expensive niche fragrance to ensure you like the smell of it on your skin.

For example, 50 ml of Creed Aventus is $325 which is a lot to spend on a fragrance you might decide doesn’t smell good on you.

On the other hand, a 5 ml decant of Aventus is approximately $55. This may sound like a lot of money but you’ll have 60 applications to play with. Apply it twice a day and it will last a month and will have cost you less than the price of a cup of coffee each day.

With lower-priced fragrances, you may find the price of a whole sealed bottle is not much more than a decant. Always compare the price per milliliter of a decant to that of small bottle.

Choosing a fragrance decant seller

There are many ways to purchase decants online. Here are the main three:

Decants from Amazon

There are plenty of fragrance decants being sold n Amazon. Before you buy, look carefully at their reviews. Also compare the one you’ve chosen to others to ensure you get one at the best value.

The good thing about buying via Amazon is the protection they offer if you have any genuine problems with the seller or product quality.

Decants from ebay

You will find many, many decants available on ebay. Some are from online shops and some are being sold privately. Again, don’t rush into a purchase. Look carefully at the sellers reviews and compare prices.

If you have any issues, ebay is very good at resolving disputes and does tend to favor you, the purchaser.

Decants from online shops

Online shops are in the best position to sell the cheapest decants. They can buy the largest bottles at the best prices so their decants really should be the best value. Of course, this isn’t always the case so do shop around for the best price and always look for customer reviews.

Fragrance decants: Samples

Decants aren’t just for sampling a fragrance

Don’t think of decants as just a way to sample a new fragrance. They also provide a cheaper way to own an expensive fragrance. If you can’t afford a whole bottle then a decant is a cheaper option. They’re just not always the best value.

If you want to own lots of different fragrances but can’t afford to, decants offer the perfect solution. The bonus is you won’t have the problem of fragrances going bad before you’ve had a chance to use them up.

With decants you can afford to wear a new perfume every month or even every week if you really want to.

Decanting your own fragrances

If you like a particular fragrance but can’t afford to own the whole bottle you could buy it, decant some for yourself and then sell the rest as decants.

If you pick the right size you could end up being able to own a fair amount at no cost!

Here’s an example of how the price of fragrance decreases when you buy larger bottles. I’ve picked Creed Aventus and used current prices from their website. These are, of course, subject to change.

Bottle size (ml)PricePrice per 10 ml
50$325$65.00
100$435$43.50
250$670$26.80
500$1055$21.10
1000$1600$16.00

Thought you would have to initially spend $1600, here’s how your could keep 250 ml for yourself and sell the rest to recoup your $1600.

  • Decant yourself 200 ml into a clean bottle with a screw cap
  • divide the remaining 800 ml into 8 bottles of 100 ml and sell at $200 plus post and packaging to recoup your $1600

There are plenty of empty bottles on Amazon you can use to decant fragrance into. These 100 ml glass spray atomizers are ideal.

Fragrance decants atomizer

You could choose to decant small sizes but, obviously, this is more hard work to sell.

The method above will work with any fragrance but just make sure to research how well it sells when decanted first.

What Are Fragrance Decants? – Conclusion

Fragrance decants are so much more than just a way for sellers to supply perfume samples. You can buy them if you can’t afford a whole bottle, use them to carry small amounts of your favorite fragrance anywhere or on holiday and even use them to share a bottle of cologne with friends.

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