Originally Posted by Xen
If you're starting a collection, don't get similar frags or you'll end up with a wardrobe full of same scents. I'd say try out anything you can, especially ones that won compliments(of course).
I agree with this sentiment. It also depends on what access you have to sampling. If you have a Sephora anywhere near you, that is the best place I've found for testing designer scents. They are generally well stocked in the latest selections, along with many of the popular designer fragrances that have been around for a while. Second, the SA's typically leave you alone to test as you please. I've never bought from a Sephora because their prices are so high, but I used to make monthly visits to test out different things.
Another thing you will find is that sometimes, a scent won't appeal to you at first try. It could be the top notes you don't like, but they fade into something nicer. Or possibly a scent will "grow" on you, pulling you back for multiple wearings before you finally "get it". I had this experience with The Dreamer by Versace.
If your ability to test locally is more limited, I'd still try this route to the best you can. There is also the option to trade or purchase samples on the swapboard here at BN. Purchasing of minis from online retailers, which isn't cheap, is another alternative method for testing that I used when I couldn't find anywhere to test locally.