first of all not everyone has access to samples, at least not me.
ok now lets share my experience, i bought 2 fragrances according to basenote hype, it was one hit and one miss.
on the miss side it was L'instant de Guerlain extreme, well i like this fragrance but i find it hard to wear because it is 2 potent! it is a strictly winter fragrance and even in winter i don't dare splashing more than one spray! so it is still 98% full.
on the hit side, it was Azzaro PH , first of all it is a cheapy, and IMO it is a masterpiece, not a thing that you can rock everyday, but to be made in the 70s and still a 25 years old guy like me think it is a masterpiece so yes IT IS a masterpiece.
now the hype is still pushing me to buy the likes of Avenuts, DHI, MIP, Prada Amber PH, Encre Noir, Tobacco Vanille ( btw is spice bomb 2 similar 2 TV or it is just me )... but till now i didn't pull the trigger on either one...