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  1. #1

    Default For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    A few months ago, after making my fourth strictly blind fragrance purchase, I swore I would never waste my money on a fragrance I had never sampled. Well, just recently, I fell off the wagon and did it again!! This fragrance (which I may name -- depending on the responses I get from this thread -- smelled like something the killer from Saw 2 might like).

    It was (once again) the allure of the "positive review." "WELL, if THIS many people are raving about it, this fragrance MUST be heaven on earth!!"

    Newer Newbies, let me give you some sage advice: NEVER purchase a fragrance unless you've sampled it first -- either (minimally) on a test strip OR (ideally) on your person for a few hours. This is NOT news to all you FragVets in here, I simply didn't listen to you. Mea Culpa.

    Interestingly, the blind frags I purchased went like hotcakes on a trade and I got some good replacement soldiers from the Basenotes "RepoDepot," proving that taste in fragrances is utterly subjective, e.g. some say Kouros is magic, others say urinal cake, some say Tuscany per Uomo is a breezy nite in Naples, others say it smells like Easy Off Oven Cleaner. Some same Guerlain Vetiver is one of the best, I may say it smells like Spot Shot to clean cat vomit...

    I digress.....SAMPLE FIRST! Any other nightmarish blind buys out there?

  2. #2

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    Doing blind buys sure is not to suggest, but sometimes I still do it but mostly if I know who made it and I'm curious about it that way, like the house and wha the house has done before etc etc. But I've also promised myself not to do the blind buys again, yet I still do. Sometimes I'm pleasently surprised, quite often actually. But there are of course misses. No real accidents yet really, but some I don't use that often.

  3. #3

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    I've done some blind buys in my day. Too many, now that I think about it. It is always a chance when you are using other peoples reviews and opinions to base you purchases on. Really, you should test them to the fullest extent and sample them on your skin before buying but sometimes it is just so difficult to find samples!

    I wouldn't say never blind buy because I found some of my favorites that way, but be careful when going out. Don't just decide you want to blind buy and make up a list you think will be good, and then choose one. That is a good way to waste money and having a huge swap list.

    Some people do have very similar tastes and wardrobes, but listening to them is not always the right way. I've done it and have been impressed with my luck but also angry with the amount of bottles I have no use for anymore. Take your time. It is worth looking for yourself. Sample and test what you can until you find something you really enjoy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling


    FOR SURE!! Sometimes it all works out for the best. It's the percentages, though!! That's the killer. I neglected to mention that I had several excellent blind buys:

    Gucci pour homme
    Elements Aqua (Hugo Boss)
    Bvlgari pour homme
    Dolce & Gabbanna

    The bad ones sure did bring me down, though! LOL!

    You're right, EnvyUs...NEVER is perhaps too harsh, as I noted above, sometimes God smiles on you!
    Last edited by Duncan; 13th April 2007 at 03:37 PM.

  5. #5
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Miami, FL

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    Sample, sample, sample's much easier on the wallet

    I have rarely bought a blind buy succesfully...inversely I have sampled the most unbelieveable fragrances that I never thought I would like and LOVED them.

  6. #6
    RCavs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Salvador, Bahia

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    Sample is the right way to go, but It's not that easy: there are the SAs obstacle, the variety of fragrances available at local stores etc.
    I suppose most of the basenoters want to sniff as much as they can, if possible all the stock of the stores, just to see how it smells like...
    Nowadays, 85% of my fragrances are bought blind and as everybody, I had Great surprises and Huge disappointments...But my favourites, the ones I really, really like, I bought after sampling: L'Instant, M7 etc.
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  7. #7
    Renato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    Blind buys are good fun.

    The trick for success is to get an idea of which people on the board seem to roughly match your tastes. Dozens may be raving about some new scents, but if those who you know are similar to you seem underwhelmed, ignore the enthusiasm.

    The other trick is to buy lots of cheapies when on sale. There's always good underappreciated ones there, and you haven't wasted too much money on those that seem like dogs at first smell (some wind up seeming okay with a change of season).

  8. #8

    Default Re: For the even newer Newbies: The Importance of Sampling

    My blind buy percentage has been pretty good, though I'm still rather hesitant to do it. The situations I'll do it are as follows:

    1.) It costs, say 5-6 bucks to just get a sample with shipping and only 15-20 bucks to get a monster bottle of the stuff.

    2.) It looks like an absurdly good deal.

    My blind buys:

    Guerlain Vetiver: It fell into those 'Too inexpensive to bother with a sample' frags, and lucky me: I love it. It's battling for 'Favorite Frag' status in my collection.

    Trussardi Uomo: Another fairly inexpensive one which kept popping up as a recommendation. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm probably going to march right over and look to swap it. I don't dislike the scent, per se... It just doesn't suit my character. Much more primped and formal to my nose than I could ever pull off. I am definitely Casual Man.

    Green Valley: Good stuff, though it's a coin toss on whether or not it's going to suit me on any particular day. Like I've said before on some days the blackcurrant gets a wild hair and dominates, turning it a good deal sweeter than I'd prefer. No regrets on this one, though. 85% full 4.0oz for 40 bucks, and I just basically wanted a Creed sitting in my collection -- Really liking it is a bonus.

    Only two others which could border on 'Blind Buy': I picked up a Safari mini for five bucks, and I got a larger decant of XS than absolutely necessary for 'Just testing'. Enjoy both of them, and will be getting a bigger bottle of XS in the future -- These two turned me into a juniper lover.

    I'm still eyeballing a Bowling Green blind buy; Like the notes, and it's cheap despite being discontinued. Same-same minus the discontinued with Agua Brava.

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