I just found this thread - wow...heaps of info to take on board...thanks so much for everyone's help...I've written to some of the companies mentioned... will update you on how I go.
Also, a couple of weeks ago, while doing some emailing to companies I'm interested in, I emailed Floris London asking whether they had any samples they could send me...last Friday, I received a huge package from them..inside were 18 x 2ml vials of different fragrances, plus a couple of sachets of skin lotions and a 25ml shaving balm sample...was very surprised because of their generosity...I think I'll end up buying something from them!!
I've also received samples from L'artisan (4 x 1ml vials) and Guepard (2 x 1.5ml vials - Miss Guepard & Fashion for Men - in a plastic case). I've also gotten some positive responses from Agent Provocateur, Azzaro, Eau d'Italie and Viktor & Rolf saying that samples are on the way...whether they end up arriving, I don't know...will let you all know whether they come through or not!