What is the benefit of decanting/Why buy decants?
This is a good way when you want to test out a fragrance, instead of buying a full bottle blind with the high cost, buy a decant instead, mostly comes in 1/6oz, 1/4oz, and 1/3oz. This way you'll know if it's bottle worthy, and it cost less. Another benefit is most people here have large collections, so we'd never finish any bottle, a decant will last us very well, so to avoid larger bottles in a large collection, decants are practical and economical, also in a practical sense that they are easy to travel with, just put in your pocket and you're good to go.
How do I use samples/How should I use cologne in general?
you dab on samples that are not sprays. Most sample vials comes with a cap that has a stick extension, so you can just rub it onto your wrist to test how it is. You spray cologne on your pulse points, like your wrists, bottom of the throat, your chest, behind the ears where the body heat from these areas are intensified, thus intensifies a fragrance. Most importantly, use cologne for self enjoyment! And spray with a light trigger!
How do I train my nose?
This is probably the hardest and the most time-consuming part. Training a nose requires lots of patience and of course fragrances. Your nose gets better when your collection gets bigger and bigger. But a good start is to pick out individual notes that you are familiar with in a fragrance, then pick them out from other fragrances, see if there are any different interpretations, try to compare fragrances with similar notes as often as possible, and then determine whether they belong to the citrus family, oriental family and such. Try to explore as many different families as possible. But i'm sure after you join Basenotes your collection will be on the increase, eventually your wardrobe will be diversified. Of course these take lots of time.
Do you have any tips about making fragrances last longer?
wear fragrance in layers, meaning use the shower product and shaving product that comes with the fragrance, that's why fragrances come in gift sets quite often, look out for them. You can also use unscented body oils, not sure where you get these, but this current thread might help http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=184326.
What's all of this:
Q) Is Eau de Toilette stronger than Cologne?
A) Technically, yes. Here is a basic list of fragrance concentrations from strongest to weakest:
Parfum > Eau de Parfum > Eau de Toilette > Eau de Cologne > Aftershave
There are other concentrations, but those are the most common.
A fragrance comes in different strength, Pure Parfum last the longest and the most expensive, Eau de Parfums comes next in lasting power and price, then Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, and aftershave. Most men's fragrances come in Eau de Toilette, and women's in Eau de Parfum.
The Pure Parfum is probably in highly concentrated oil form. I hope someone else more experienced can elaborate on it.
Welcome to the community!