A perfume tester bottle is intended for use as a sampler in department store displays, but manufacturers often produce more testers than they actually need. Consider giving one of these orphaned bottles a home on your vanity: They smell just as sweet as the regular versions.
When perfume houses ship a batch of their latest fragrance to retailers, they also send along a few tester bottles. These are the bottles left out on store counters for you to spritz yourself with when you want to sample a new scent before you buy it. A tester bottle is not designed to be sold in stores, so it usually comes in plain box instead of the logo-emblazoned packaging that houses its for-retail counterparts. Sometimes a tester bottle is shipped without a lid or cap, as the presumption is it will be used frequently by interested shoppers who won't want to have to take the time to remove a cap. Perfume tester bottles are, however, the same fragrance and usually the same size as the for-retail version.
Perfume tester bottles ordered from reputable discount fragrance retailers have never been used. These are "extras" that were not needed and have never spent any time on a department store counter. Discount fragrance retailers purchase these leftover bottles directly from the manufacturer.
When you buy a for-retail perfume, the reality is you are to some degree paying for the branding, marketing and packaging. You can often get a perfume tester at a significantly lower cost than you would the wholesale product. The fragrance is the same: After all, these tester bottles are meant to entice you to buy the "real thing," so they have to smell good.
Where to Buy
Amazon.com sells full-size fragrance testers from a number of prestige brands, in both men's and women's scents. You can also purchase perfume testers from online fragrance websites like FragranceX.com or Overstockperfume.com