Well for me it all started when my ant purchased Curve Crush for me for a present. I thought to myself, "This is alright, but I'm sure theres tons of better smelling fragrances out there." So my sister and mom would usually go to TJ Maxx and Marshalls on the weekends, and I would just browse or whatever. Then I noticed they had cologne there. So the first two I got were Mambo and Cool Water Frozen. I thought to myself, "These are pretty good, but I like the Mambo much better than the Cool Water Frozen." So from that point on I knew I liked heavier scents more than all the mainstream aquas that were sold at every store. Those trips continued and I would usually see things I never heard of, but I bought them anyways. Then I went to the mall and started smelling different fragrances and my favorite one at the mall was Angel Men. It was so different from everyother fragrance on the market I have ever smelt.
Before long however, I started looking up reviews on the internet and then found basenotes. So to be truthful, if I knew about Basenotes before all those purchases, I would have been a lot better off and wouldn't have so many fragrances that I'm now trying to get rid of.
And thats my story of how I found fragrances before using the internet. I'm sixteen but I didn't use the internet for fragrances until smelling A*Men and falling in love with it, and then trying to find other fragrances like it on the internet.