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Thread: Blind Buys

  1. #1

    Default Blind Buys

    There you are, slightly unsteady on your feet, perhaps from the overwhelming goodness of all those fragrances on which you've spent an obscene amount. "Woah now," you caution yourself as you grab for the metaphorical handbrakes, "slow down." Things are beginning to make more sense now, shapes are beginning to reassemble from the multicolored blur as you slip comfortably back in control. Speed kills.

    Except!

    There's this thread I'm reading about Zino and the other one, about Montale, and then I heard about L'Artisan and then parfumsdelraesoundsliksuchasweetbuybutidon'tknow .......

    So, like a mole with a credit card, the urge to shoot that arrow into the darkened cave rears up again; you must ask the BN oracle:

    What are the top three best blind buys you've ever had, and why did you buy them blind?

    If, on the other hand, you're not a mole, you're the paragon of patience and prudence: what top three fragrances would you call safe blind buys?

    Erm ..., why do I want to know, you ask? Purely academic reasons.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
    Last edited by ifconfig; 23rd November 2006 at 02:39 PM.
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  2. #2

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Top three blind buys

    Ungaro III (the old brew with the rose box not the new formulation)

    Kouros (it was technically not a blind buy, but literally the first time I smelled it I hated it, the second time I was like "what and the heck was i thinking the first time"!

    Zino (this was a blind swap and once of my best at that!)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    I no longer do blind buys - I always get a decant or a sample first. But, in the past the one and only best blind buy was Encens et Lavande - Serge Lutens.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    1. Pomegranate Noir - Jo Malone, I just had a feeling about this one more than any fragrance ever. I read a thread started by musclegod007 on it, and that sealed the deal. In my top 3.

    2. Tumulte Pour Homme - I am a cedar fanatic, so after reading Marlen's review on it at Now Smell This, I ordered it immediately from Strawberry.net.

    3. Hugh Parsons Traditional - I wanted something refined but with a little floral/spicy feel to it for work. I hit a home run.

    Barry

  5. #5

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    The best thing about blind buying (IMHO) is the anticipation and the mystery. Period. I'd say probably about 80% of my blind buys I regret. Sometimes I do it out of boredom, sometimes good reviews, sometimes it's the notes it has, and on a few occasions ... it's just the house or designer I trust. I kinda compare it to playing the lottery scratch off games. You know you're likely to lose ... but once in a while, you hit for a few bucks.

    Anyway, my three best buys that I would consider "safe" are:

    Richard James - Saville Row - I put off buying this many times because I thought it was a "formal" fragrance. But in recent threads, comments were made about it being a good daytime or "anytime" frag. I even think Col said he wore it to an interview and got many positive reactions from it. I just purchased this recently and honestly have to say ... this IS my personal BEST blind buy EVER! If there ever was a "safe" BB, this is it.

    L'Occitane - Eav des Bavx - This is a personal choice. I'm not saying it's a scent for everyone ... so I would consider it "semi-safe". But sometimes, a particular frag just speaks to your individuality and works with your body chemistry. This is one that works incredibly well with me. The reason for this blind buy was a simple one ... I just wanted to try something from L'Occitane. So I went to the reviews, looked at the notes, and decided this is the one I'm going to try. This is my second fave blind buy next to RJ.

    Aramis - Havana - Plain and simple ... the night/formal/cool weather standard that all others should be judged by (IMHO, of course). After falling head over heels when I first sampled BdP, I said to myself there's no way any frag is going to top this. That is until I "blind bought" Havana. I personally find it inconceivable that anyone could NOT like this frag. My blind buy of this was strictly based on the good reviews and the fact that it's discontinued and if I did like it, would have to pay more the longer I let it go. Another one I would consider a very "safe" blind buy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Tabac Blond, which is fast becoming my Holy Grail. I read the reviews here and elsewhere, the legend of it seduced me and I have not been disappointed. It is a multi layered, voluptuous scent, with a wonderful yin yang balance, hard, soft, relentless but embracing.
    My first blind, headfirst purchase.
    um, that and Mitsouko, which is like an albatross about my neck. Love/Hate, that one. But still no regrets.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    A safe blind buy would be kind of like "subtle punk rock" now wouldn't it?
    Sure, there are certain consensus frags, but that still doesn't mean you'll be part of the consensus, just that your odds are somewhat better. That said, my best BBs were:

    1. Royal English Leather. My first Creed and still my favorite together with BdP, which was another BB. I was young and naive and impressed by the Creed hype and thankfully did not start off with Royal Water or MI, which I don't particularly dig, but this - the Royal Jackpot.

    2. BdP, see above. I knew would love this from the descriptions

    3. Bogart. For 1 Euro I couldn't go wrong, but it turned out the stuff was dynamite - again, became aware of it through BN reviews that sounded just right.

    There are scores of others since I am a habitual blind buyer. At under 5 Euros I'll try anything that is not obvious junk and rarely have I been deeply disappointed.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Yohji, my first bottle was a mini, though, but now I'm going through my seventh bottle of it... What made me buy it without smelling was the slogan "un parfum ange et demon" (mind you, almost ten years before Givenchy's latest frag with the same name) on Sephora website.

    Other excellent blind buys:
    SL Arabie
    AG Folavril
    Bandit
    Cabochard
    KM A Fleur de Peau
    CdG White, Calamus, Tea, Carnation, Sequoia, Zagorsk
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  9. #9

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    My top blind buys:

    Rive Gauche Pour homme
    Green Irish Tweed
    Azzaro Visit

  10. #10

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Some really good stuff here, thanks all!

    I particularly like Ziffy's take on it. 80% of all your blind buys were bad? Wow, anyone else with figures approaching this figure?

    I'd like to write a small essay The Psychology of Blind Buys: A Basenote Perspective. Give me some material, people! :-)
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  11. #11

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by leopoldo
    I no longer do blind buys - I always get a decant or a sample first. But, in the past the one and only best blind buy was Encens et Lavande - Serge Lutens.
    Did you decide to buy it because it was a Lutens and thus, perhaps, "safe"?
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  12. #12

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Must add: Though I haven't made any bad blind buys, there are NO safe blind buys. Blind buying is always a risk, so it's all the more thrilling when it's worth it!
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  13. #13

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    I have to admit that much of my collection resulted from blind buys but.. that's because I kind of like the suspense of not knowing what it smells like and waiting for it to arrive in the mail so you can finally smell it!

    My best blind buys so far are probably:

    SL Fumerie Turque
    Creed MI, Erolfa, Acier Aluminum (never got a chance to test these before the deals started appearing)
    Ungaro III

  14. #14

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Hey, Accolades, great blog!

    Where did you get Chergui and FT, btw?

    Those are, I think, some safe blinds though. SL's FT is almost a no-brainer, no?
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  15. #15

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig
    Hey, Accolades, great blog!

    Where did you get Chergui and FT, btw?

    Those are, I think, some safe blinds though. SL's FT is almost a no-brainer, no?
    Thanks!

    I purchased them from The Perfume Shoppe. I think they still have a few bottles (though I heard that they recently just ran out of FT) so you should hurry!

    Well, FT and Chergui are a couple of the more highly regarded fragrances of the SL line so, yeah, I think they're relatively "safe." Nothings 100% safe though but... I'd say these two are 80% safe

  16. #16

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by myaccolades
    Thanks!

    I purchased them from The Perfume Shoppe. I think they still have a few bottles (though I heard that they recently just ran out of FT) so you should hurry!

    Well, FT and Chergui are a couple of the more highly regarded fragrances of the SL line so, yeah, I think they're relatively "safe." Nothings 100% safe though but... I'd say these two are 80% safe
    Yes, when I ordered 2 FT (and a backup Chergui) from them, she told me that I got the last two of her bottles.
    Scents are fleeting . . . memories are not. . . .

  17. #17

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig
    Some really good stuff here, thanks all!

    I particularly like Ziffy's take on it. 80% of all your blind buys were bad?
    Unfortunately yeah ... but there's a reason for that bad %. Cost is always a factor when considering whether or not to do a "blind buy". Many of that 80% were good deals either on ebay or one of the online merchants (Scentiments, PerfumeBay, etc.). So if something is cheap enough and say ... under $25 or so ... I may do a blind buy if it appeals to me. But many are just kinda OK. And with a fairly expansive wardrobe I have now, these are ones that I'll rarely, if at all, wear. Some recent ones that I "blind bought" for under $25 that I'm sure I'll never wear are: Obsession Night, Polo Double Black, Perry Ellis 360 black, Molton Brown Cool Fragrance, Bijan Black (yuck!), ... the list goes on and on. But I will do a lot of research if a sample is not possible before spending big bucks on a blind buy. Richard James was an easy decision because I figured if I don't like it, I can easily sell it either here or on ebay.

  18. #18
    Thrax
    Guest

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    I love blind buys. It like like playing Russian Roulette with my ATM card!!! I cannot say which of my blind buys are the best because about 90% of mine are. So, must everything in my collection, I came into without knowing nothing about.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Blind Buys

    The only absolutely blind buy I've ever made was Samhain by The Goth Rosary. I knew I'd like it based from the description, & it was offered at an unbeatable price by a fellow basenoter. Sure enough, I love it!!!

    I guess Bvlgari Black was a semi-blind buy. The only time I had smelled it before I bought it was in Nordstrom, where I just sniffed from the bottle and decided I didn't like it. I didn't even try it on my skin. But then months later I started craving that smell, so I got on scentiments.com & bought a bottle. I still hadn't tested it on my skin at that time. Bvlgari Black has gone on to be probably my favorite frag (as of 11-23-06 at 1:57pm :P).
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  20. #20

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by zeram1
    Yes, when I ordered 2 FT (and a backup Chergui) from them, she told me that I got the last two of her bottles.
    So it was you!

    I was debating whether to get multiple bottles

  21. #21

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Top 3 Blind Buys
    Tea For Two
    BlackCashmere
    Davidoff's Relax

  22. #22

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Top three blind purchases:
    • Dior Homme
    • Jicky
    • Habit Rouge EdT Legere
    Notable mention: Hermessence Poivre Samarcande (the price for a bottle shot it out of the rankings)

    *********************



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    "Press trigger twice to release the strength of wood...the wantonness of vanilla...the sentiment of floral...the passion of spice!"


    ~My reviews~

    ~My Wardrobe~



    I WANT MORE CHYPRE!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    I agree that blind buys should be avoided, and that there are no safe blinds...but i keep repeting myself that i should not... and then i do it again and again...it seems like so much fun! ...
    and then there are sometimes when i just want to throw the bottle to the wall also...
    it's very much black and white with blindbuys.
    Last edited by castorpollux; 24th November 2006 at 03:34 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    To paraphrase the kid from The Matrix, the overwhelming idea seems to be to avoid blind buys: "there are no blind buys". Or something. :-)

    Some of us daredevils simply cannot divorce ourselves from this particular arena of perfumeria, and when it works, boy does it ever! So we continue.

    So then, the next pertinent question seems to be: how does one go about ensuring that the probability of a bad blind buy are as low as possible? What steps do you take, blind buyers, when you embark on the road to blind buying? What are the pitfalls to watch out for, what are the tools at your disposal?

    I eagerly await the gurus, the Bat Men and Women of Basenotes, as it were, to provide the guidance. Generations of stunt buyers will thank you!

    Have at it!
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  25. #25

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Rive Gauche pour Homme -- I read the reviews here and just had to get a bottle (so I bought two!). A masterpiece.

    Dzing! -- Am one of the few people I know outside Basenotes who likes the rubber note in Bulgari Black. (That's funny, because it's the "burning tar" note in A*men that makes me physically ill!) Anyway, I a) loved that note in Black, and b) read all the positive reviews here on Basenotes. I don't regret my decision one bit, and would recommend Dzing! without but one reservation: namely, rubber notes can't bother you.

    Opium pour Homme Eau d'Orient -- Stuigi graciously sent me a sample. I like this one FAR better than the edt version of Opium pour Homme -- perhaps it's the star anise topnote, or something different among the basenotes, I dunno. Whatever the case, I haven't yet actually BOUGHT a bottle, but I intend to do so soon. I only gave this one a shot right off the bat because the pyramid looked so interesting, and because Stuigi recommended it. (There were no Basenotes reviews last time I checked -- there may not have even been a review page set up.) Am glad I paid heed to Stuigi!

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  26. #26

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    I've only had one blind buy turn out to be a mistake for me - M7, can't get past that raspberry opening that no one ever mentions in reviews.
    Anyway, top 3 for me were:

    Black Cashmere - All the reviews talked about smoky incense and spice and when I finally got my hands on it it was exactly as I'd imagined, a real wood fire, ash, smoky fireplace kind of fragrance.

    A*Men - It got so many love it or hate it reviews that I knew I had to give it a shot, fully prepared to hate it based on the strength of some reviewers dislike for it, but also hoping the descriptions that attracted me to it (chocolatey, tar-like, candy-floss even) were correct. I wasn't disappointed at all.

    Gucci Pour Homme - I'm obsessed with incense type fragrances and this has it in abundance, but I'd bought it blind based on reviews which talked about it being an ultra woody fragrance, which I also love. The incense element was a very pleasant surprise, touched on by a few reviews, but I'm surprised no one ever commented on how churchy this really is.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    I'll stick to what I've said before, there's no such thing as a safe blind buy. Every single fragrance in existance has some people who love it and some people who absolutely hate it.

    There are safe - er blind buys, which I would think of ones that are non-risque, fresh, pleasent, nothing too unusual. But no safe blind buys.

    I've never bought blind and I never will. I can think of numerous fragrances that were hyped on here as being just pure amazingness, unbeatable, and when I tested at the store was totally unimpressed. Too subjective a game to cover your eyes and go on other peoples' opinions.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    acehimself: you know, the statement that this is too subjective a game to go on other peoples' opinion is right on the mark. After buying some really good fragrances blind, I have come to believe I've taken too much of a risk and I'm just lucky to have liked the blinds I've bought so far.

    With basenotes and ebay, there's really no excuse for paying a few dollars for a sample in order to ensure you're going to like the fragrance. Great advice!
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  29. #29

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    1. Bvlgari Aqva (got it today )
    2. Michael Kors


    Aqva is just fantastic.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig
    acehimself: you know, the statement that this is too subjective a game to go on other peoples' opinion is right on the mark. After buying some really good fragrances blind, I have come to believe I've taken too much of a risk and I'm just lucky to have liked the blinds I've bought so far.

    With basenotes and ebay, there's really no excuse for paying a few dollars for a sample in order to ensure you're going to like the fragrance. Great advice!
    Yeah definitely. Well, my opinion is, at least for those of us living in urban areas in developed countries, there's really no excuse to buy a designer fragrance without taking the opportunity to test it unless you've got a limitless supply of money or get a thrill from the risk involved. And as far as niche stuff is concerned, testers aren't readily available to many, but I hardly think the solution is to just go out on a whim and spend $200 on something you have never tried out.

    If you go by reviews, you end up with a wardrobe of everyone else's favourite fragrances. I find reviews on here to be useful to a degree, mostly with respect to things like making sure I'm buying something with good longevity or to get a general sense of what to expect.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by badaim
    1. Bvlgari Aqva (got it today )
    2. Michael Kors


    Aqva is just fantastic.
    Love your avatar! And yes, Aqva is very nice indeed. In fact, this one I can categorically call a safe buy because it's completely inoffensive, sure to please 90% of people.
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  32. #32

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    [quote=acehimself{edit}
    If you go by reviews, you end up with a wardrobe of everyone else's favourite fragrances. I find reviews on here to be useful to a degree, mostly with respect to things like making sure I'm buying something with good longevity or to get a general sense of what to expect.[/quote]

    Seriously, you have single-handedly turned me away from blind buying, ace. I'm convinced through and through.

    The problem is one of patience, which is hard for a newbie perfumista!
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  33. #33

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    My most recent blind buy was Caron Eau Forte - it turned out to be a great summer frag.
    -

  34. #34

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig
    Seriously, you have single-handedly turned me away from blind buying, ace. I'm convinced through and through.

    The problem is one of patience, which is hard for a newbie perfumista!
    Oh I know what you mean man. I think it's easy to fall into the trap of getting more enjoyment out of actually building your collection than the fragrances themselves.

    I use this site and reviews as a guide for determining which fragrances I want to test out. Ultimately though, I wouldn't spend money on a full bottle of cologne without first having tested it on the skin a few times. For me, $50-70 for a bottle of cologne is too much money to spend on a guess. I'll go down to the casino and put it all on double zero before I ever blind buy. To me it seems like common sense, maybe everyone on here has plenty of money to burn? lol.

    Glad to have convinced you.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    My best blind buy was without a doubt Burberry for men (the one previously known as Burberry London) I bought it because the drugstore on my corner had it for $21.95 for a 3.3oz and my girlfriend at the time had told me she loved it. I don't know why but every CVS pharmacy in town has it for this price and it's almost their "cheapest" scent!

    She also recommended Chanel Allure - which I also bought blind and while she was extremely fond of it, It was certainly not something I would purchase had I sampled it first.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Lacoste Original for $10 at TJMaxx

    Herrera Sensual Vetiver (one of the most under appreciated vetivers!)

    Creed Neroli Savage (one of the most under appreciated Creeds!)

  37. #37

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig
    Love your avatar! And yes, Aqva is very nice indeed. In fact, this one I can categorically call a safe buy because it's completely inoffensive, sure to please 90% of people.
    LOL, I owe it all to a buddy who has seen me shoot so well at the local range.

    Honestly, I remember trying Aqva a while back and my first impression of it was "Mothballs!"

    Now, I love it.

    It's amazing how a community can completely alter your perceptive on scents.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    Quote Originally Posted by badaim
    It's amazing how a community can completely alter your perceptive on scents.
    Yes, it's the same way for Davidoff's Cool Water for me.
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  39. #39

    Talking Re: Blind Buys

    First of all,great thread. I'd like chime in with kudos for this site and everyone who posts here. Think how blind the purchases, or us concerning fragrances, would be without this site. We have the pyramids, reviews, decants and discussions to help us make educated decisions. With that being said, I made 2 blind purchases this week......Rochas Macassar - Holy **** this stuff is great! Also Van Cleef & Arpels pour homme- very nice indeed. Neither one would I have tried or owned without this site and all of you.......Thanks

  40. #40

    Default Re: Blind Buys

    My top 3 blind buys (at the moment)

    KL - Karl Lagerfeld
    Guerlain Vetiver
    Guerlain Heritage

    The only frag Id class as a safe blind buy is Guerlain Vetiver

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