Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    BN better than ever
    Quarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,929
    Blog Entries
    4

    Arrow SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Let's talk about blotters, strips, mouillettes*--whatever you want to call the little papers you spray to sample a fragrance.

    Up until a short time ago, I thought you were supposed to spray the wider end, so my avatar shows some Sephora strips joined at the narrow end where I'd hold them. A few months back I noticed, in a pic of a French perfumer who was using a pedestal with a clip at the top, that pro's use strips the other way around. I can't put my finger on that pic right now, but here's a clip of Chandler Burr that is now broken spraying the narrow end.

    There has to be some history to these items. Anyone know about the evolution of their shape and usage?

    *Online translator indicates mouillette means (bread) finger.
    Last edited by socalwoman; 5th July 2011 at 05:22 AM.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  2. #2

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Nope, I don't know the history, but I made the same mistake as you until I realized that there isn't enought room to write the name of the fragrance on the narrow end.
    Duh.
    Sometimes I operate on low wattage.

  3. #3

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    It was a surprise to me as well to learn that the "correct" end to spray is the narrow one. As I think about it, it looks more elegant to hold by the thicker end.

  4. #4

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Clearly the narrow end must fit into the nostril more easily.

    There had to be a name for those strips, how brilliant: Mouillette

    But I have to scratch my head in wonder: What is the logic of having a smaller surface of which to sniff the dry-down of a fragrance? I'm sure there's some reason for the architecture of the perfumer's mouillette. Is it so that you can fit more mouillettes onto a clipboard, hence being able to sample more scents, and also have them point out they don't touch each other and intermingle?

    They are elegant and pretty, though, whatever the reason for their design.

    Once again, I send the question out to brighter minds. Why the pointy end?

  5. #5

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    I think it is for two reasons:

    Writing the name on the wide end
    Dipping the narrow end into a bottle

  6. #6

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Although I knew that mouilettes are intended to be sprayed on the narrow end, I continue to spray on the wider end ...more scent lands on paper and less in the air that way. And this doesn't interfere with writing the name of the scent on the strip either.

    However, I fully agree with Asha: my guess is that the strip is narrower at one end because initially used by noses only, who dipped it into the small bottles of a perfume organ.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  7. #7

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    I never knew there was a proper end - I've never been corrected on this point while spraying. The things I learn on Basenotes! I always spray the wide end, for the same reason as Lady in Black - the more surface area to catch the scent. But if I were dipping into a bottle, using the narrower end would obviously make more sense. I think it's just intuitive, but leave it to those wonderful French to create a méthode.

  8. #8
    BN better than ever
    Quarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,929
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Quote Originally Posted by lushsoup View Post
    Clearly the narrow end must fit into the nostril more easily.
    You know, I thought that, too. Shows how mature we are, huh? Wanna see me do a walrus with two straws?
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  9. #9

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    I asked this question of Francis Kurkdjian - he said you always smell the narrow part of the mouillete because otherwise it would be too much of the fragrance at once to smell.

  10. #10
    BN better than ever
    Quarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,929
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Ah, that makes so much sense, Harvest Moon. Thanks for sharing that insight.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  11. #11

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    You are very welcome Quarry. I did feel a bit of twit for asking, but then if you don't ask, you don't learn!

  12. #12

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Well I would have said the narrow end for dipping as I use a lot of 1ml vials, but today I went sampling, and the perfume lady in the House of Fraser used the wide end. She should know I suppose. Maybe either is right. Does Debrett's have an opinion on this?

  13. #13
    Fleurine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    1,657
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvest Moon View Post
    I asked this question of Francis Kurkdjian - he said you always smell the narrow part of the mouillete because otherwise it would be too much of the fragrance at once to smell.
    OK so I was doing it backwards. Thanks for the correct info.

    Mouille means wet in French.

    Dans La Nuit Vers Le Jour Sans Adieu Je Reviens Vers Toi.


  14. #14

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    Am I completely unorthodox for testing fragrances on myself? I use the spray cards (mouilettes?) occasionally if I'm really dying to know what a whole bunch of different fragrances smell like (I think I sprayed about a zillion different cards at Bath and Body Works not too long ago lol!) but honestly, I greatly prefer testing a fragrance by spraying it on my arm. Many scents actually come out smelling completely different on my skin than they do on the card. For example, I found out the other day that Pretty Hot by Elizabeth Arden barely registers on my skin at all, but it smelled fine on the card. But I suppose this depends on whether you normally wear your perfume on yourself, or just spray it on your clothes (I've heard some people do this.) Or I guess you could also use it as room spray? LOL!

  15. #15

    Default Re: SAMPLING ETIQUETTE: Pinkies Out & Mouillettes Turned Around

    No you're not. I love trying on skin too. My skin turns things to another smell quite different from a card, but I take cards first to give me a clue without wasting arm. There is only so much arm space when out squirting so I save it for the nicest ones. I also get very confused as to where I put what if it's on me. I sort of know from the card whether it's worth putting on me from many years squirting. I know from one sniff that it just isn't worth putting a synthetic sweet gourmand or a high floral on me, but green and crispy, resinous and leathery, some non sweet orientals.. yes please. I never get complacent though. Sometimes one pops up in a no no category and surprises by being lovely.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •