If you’re new to ordering cologne online, congrats. You’re about to save a ton of time and money.
I thought I’d pitch the two main players against each other, FragranceX vs FragranceNet, to help any newbies understand some subtle differences that you’ll need to know.
Shipping times, pricing, and juicy offers – we’ll cover it all.
So let’s get into it.
- Price – FragranceX (but not always)
- Shipping – FragranceX
- Coupons and Offers – FragranceNet
- Returns and Refunds – FragranceX
- Reputation and Trust – Tie
- How are FragranceX and FragranceNet so Cheap?
- So Which is Better?
Price – FragranceX (but not always)
Some of the colognes at FragranceX and FragranceNet are so cheap you’ll wonder what the catch is. I’ve bought designer fragrances for 70% off RRP – it’s wild.
Cologne prices are usually pretty similar across the pair, but for me, FragranceX has a slight edge.
It seems to me that for every 5 colognes that are cheaper on FragranceX, there will be 3 that are cheaper on FragranceNet. But your experience could be different if you’re into different colognes.
Shipping – FragranceX
Standard US delivery on FragranceX products is between 2-5 business days, while FragranceNet is a little longer at 4 – 7 business days.
So while it’s possible that two orders placed at the same time could arrive at the same time, it’s more likely that the FragranceX shipment arrives first.
FragranceX offers worldwide shipping within 4 – 12 days, while FragranceNet is a little vaguer. Their worldwide shipping depends on the quantity and specific products you order, so keep that in mind if you’re outside the US.
If you’re buying unboxed cologne as a gift, you’ll be happy to know that FragranceX offers a gift wrap service for a couple of bucks a box. Your cologne will arrive in a neat white gift box, tied with a ribbon and stuffed with red tissue paper.
It’s touches like this that will elevate your gift from “nice” to really special – another reason I’ve got to give FragranceX the edge here.
P.S Both companies offer regular “free shipping” promotions, so sign up to their email lists to keep up to date.
Option FragranceX Time FragranceX Cost FragranceNet Time FragranceNet Cost Standard U.S Shipping 2 – 5 Business Days Free for orders over $35.00, otherwise shipping is $5.95 4 – 7 Business Days Free for orders over $35.00, otherwise shipping is $8.95 Express U.S Shipping 2 – 3 Business Days $6.95 2 – 3 Business Days Starts at $13.95 depending on the weight of the order Next Day Shipping 1 – 2 Business Days Shipping charges will vary depending on the number of items in your order 1 Business Day Starts at $17.95 depending on the weight of the order Worldwide Shipping 4 – 12 Business Days From $ 4.99 + $ 0.99 per item depending on your country Varies Depending on Product and Quantity Shipping charges will vary depending on your location
Coupons and Offers – FragranceNet
By stacking the benefits of FragranceX and FragranceNet’s low prices, discount codes, and sales promotions, you can make incredible savings.
With FragranceX, you can get 15% off all orders just for signing up for their email list.
But with FragranceNet, it’s a huge 30%. That’s pretty huge and wins this round.
Even without the signup discount, the email lists are a useful thing to sign up for. The email lists will notify you of crazy flash sales and seasonal discount codes that you won’t want to miss.
Returns and Refunds – FragranceX
All FragranceX orders benefit from a 30-day return policy for any reason. They understand that buying cologne online can be a little hit and miss, so they accept returns that have been tested provided they’re not “excessively used”.
You’re well within your rights to try out your cologne and send it back if it misses the mark.
FragranceNet only accepts refunds for unopened products. They used to accept a little “test” like FragranceX, but not anymore. I guess too many people were taking advantage of it.
For both companies, there is a small charge to cover the cost of shipping unless the refund is on account of a technical fault with the product – in which case, it’s completely free.
I’ve never had to chase refunds from either of them – they’ve both credited returns within 30 days, without fail.
Reputation and Trust – Tie
Trustpilot is my go-to source to verify if an online retailer. They offer thousands of uncensored reviews from customers of just about every company out there.
Anyone can start a website, so this extra step of security is super important. With so many scams out there, I basically never buy through a company that hasn’t verified their identity.
FragranceX and FragranceNet rank as “excellent” and “good”, with 4.4 and 4.1 stars out of 5 across respectively.
Both companies take customer satisfaction pretty seriously. FragranceX respond to 94% of negative reviews, while FragranceNet responds to an impressive 99% (!).
In my experience, both customer service teams are pretty “on it”, so I’ve never felt compelled to write a negative review even on the rare occasion that there has been a minor issue with my order.
But it’s reassuring to know that even if something goes really wrong, you’re never going to be left in the dark and ghosted.
FragranceX has a better average review score, but FragranceNet responds to more negative reviews – so it has to be a tie.
How are FragranceX and FragranceNet so Cheap?
The reason these companies can offer such cheap colognes is that they’re incredibly smart about how they buy them in the first place.
They use “grey market” techniques to get their colognes for way less than the usual wholesale price. Grey market might sound a bit sketchy, but it’s all totally legal – they’re just techniques we regular citizens don’t have access to.
So, how do they do it? Well, there are a few ways:
When companies produce colognes, they tend to make two main variants. The first is “retail”. These are your standard bottles of cologne available for customer purchase in-store.
The second type (and the one that discount retailers are interested in) is called “testers”. These are for stores to display, or offer to potential customers to try.
They contain exactly the same ingredients and are 100% authentic.
IMPORTANT: Testers are NOT necessarily colognes that have BEEN tested. If you buy a “tester” cologne, your bottle should be just as full as if you’d bought a retail bottle. Tester just refers to the intended use of the cologne, not its life experiences!
The only real differences are purely cosmetic. For example, while a retail bottle may be pretty minimalistic, a tester bottle design could include a description of the note profile or some brand history.
Because they’re designed for use on the shop floor rather than to be sold directly, tester colognes usually come with no caps and in plain packaging (which helps save on costs).
For example, here’s a 100ml bottle of Montblanc Explorer sold direct through Montblanc…
Compare that with the FragranceX price. By ordering a tester, you’re able to get the same cologne for roughly half the price!
They Buy Cologne at Scale
Most people can only afford to buy a couple of bottles of high-end cologne at a time – if they’re lucky. Companies like FragranceX and FragranceNet have the cash to buy LOADS of cologne, which puts them in a better position to negotiate prices with their supplier.
That’s part of the reason they’re so keen to offer discounts to their customers. It wants to move its stock quickly, keep cash flowing, and make space in the warehouse for the next delivery.
The same principle applies to older stock. It’s not a good look for boutique houses to have a mishmash of different bottle designs in stock. In the world of designer fragrance, it would be unthinkably messy and unprofessional.
Instead, last year’s colognes are sold off to third-party retailers for resale. While some colognes do vary from batch to batch, most of them are almost exactly the same year-on-year.
They Make Deals Around the World
Colognes can have wildly different prices depending on the country they are sold in. For example, a company may choose to set a lower price in a country with a low average income. Similarly, they may be forced to up rates in countries with high taxes on fragrances.
If you’re buying cologne at a scale of thousands of bottles at a time, even changes in the value of the currency itself can make a big difference.
So, don’t be surprised if you receive tester products inscribed in foreign languages. It doesn’t mean they’re fake, they’ve just traveled a long way!
Damaged Packaging/ Unboxed
When you buy a cologne in-store, you expect it to look pristine. It’s all part of the luxury experience.
However, online discount cologne retailers benefit front the fact that most of their customers just want the fragrance. They don’t really care about the box, they’re just going to throw it away anyway.
Because of this, FragranceX and FragranceNet are happy to offer “damaged box” and “unboxed” colognes in exchange for an even greater discount.
The damaged box colognes are usually just a little wrinkled or may have a small hole, while unboxed colognes are shipped in an entirely unrelated, plain new box.
The colognes themselves are perfectly fine, and buying in this way would only ever be an issue for someone who cares about the box.
Usually, the original boxes became damaged during shipping or as part of a previous customer return.
Fewer Expenses than Conventional Stores
Online retailers benefit from the fact that their operating costs are incredibly low compared to traditional retailers.
A boutique cologne store in a fancy part of town has to spend obscene amounts of money on rent and interior design to maintain the brand image. As resellers, FragranceX and FragranceNet can act as invisible middlemen and trade on the clout that other brands have already built.
Their primary costs are the maintenance of their website and warehouse, which don’t amount to much by comparison.
So Which is Better?
It’s probably best to compare across both FragranceX AND FragranceNet to find which is offering the best price on the particular cologne you want – as well as any juicy promotions running at the moment.
That said, I marginally prefer FragranceX personally. They seem to usually have the best prices on my favorite colognes, and their shipping tends to be a day or two quicker. That is useful for me if I’m waiting on a cologne to arrive for a 7Gents review, but you might have more patience than I do!
If you enjoyed this comparison, check out our individual guides to FragranceX and FragranceNet – or our review of Microperfumes if you’re looking for sample decants.