Originally Posted by Oscroft
Not at all, no.
But then, at the places I mainly sample - John Lewis, Debenhams, and Boots (all in Liverpool) - the sales assistants have always been friendly. At John Lewis and Debenhams, I find a generally pretty good knowledge of the stuff I like too - at Boots there seems to be more of a bias towards new stuff for younger people, but still friendly and helpful. And I do occasionally buy from them, especially when there's a loyalty card promotion on (I have cards from Boots and Debenhams).
In fact, if I ever found a store where I got disparaging looks for sampling, I'd probably never go there again.
I went to Boots today. Pretty good selection of designers, and most fragrances have accessible testers (one of my pet hates is when there's no testers in stores), but they always seem content to sell you on whatever the newest fragrance is. Today I was nice enough to let them spray me with Davidoff's The Game, which smells like 1 Million mixed with toilet cleaner. Bleurgh.
Also visited Selfridges today, fantastic selection but if I could offer some advice to the staff, if you've asked me once and I said I was okay, don't ask again unless I approach you. Seriously, I know this is probably some demand from the shop manager and you get told off for not doing it, but I was asked 3 times in the space of as many minutes, and this was in the same section! Otherwise I had a lovely chat with the Chanel SAs, very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their range. I asked them if Egoiste was being discontinued, to which they were very reassuring about it being just a case of stock limited to Chanel stores. She also seemed to really love Cuir de Russie.
John Lewis tend to leave you alone after asking once, which is how it should be. Somewhere in between Boots and Selfridges, a good mix of niche and designer. Debenhams is much the same. I should visit House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols again soon, and I can't wait to visit Harrod's again when I go down to London, but overall I'm feeling a lot less fearful about testing after today.