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  1. #1

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    Arrow My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Now that the wonderful world of niche has been opened to me, I've gone off the deep end buying samples and decants. I've amassed about 200 samples in the last 2 months or so. The problem is that I'm ordering far more then I can ever really appreciate or wear... for example when I returned home from being away for two weeks I had 40 samples and decants waiting in my mailbox. Even though I haven't opened them all yet I ordered another 10 samples from luckyscent and 7 expensive TPC decants.

    Does anyone else do this? Am I off the deep end as I suspect?

    It's a great way to learn about the niche world without spending thousands on bottles, and for the stronger fragrances you can get a wear or two from a sample vial, but it's also costing quite a bit. Should I really have spent $70 on 7 TPC decants or should I have bought a bottle (or two)? Of course the decants, including LeLabo Aldehyde 44 and Vanille 44, are obscure and expensive, but am I being ridiculous?

    One very positive thing I have learned through this process is that when I like something I can buy a large decant instead of a bottle. With a large rotation a 15ml decant will last at least a few months. I just did this with 4 Chanel Exclusifs (Coromandel, 31 Rue Cambon, Sycomore, and No.22) and for about $140 got a decent amount of all 4 instead of $200 each. Down the road I'll buy Coromandel because it's so beautiful and I love dousing myself with it.

    Any other sample-crazed folks out there?

  2. #2

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I can fully relate to that bbBD although I ain't much of a sample freak, but I've been tempted.. yes


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  3. #3


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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Realizing you have a problem is the first step, one day at a time bud.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    You are far from alone, I suspect. I was afflicted with perfume mania in January of this year and since then have been placing two $40+ purchases a month from TPC approx, and maybe one from Luckyscent of a similar value. On Ebay I must have spent the equivalent of several hundred UK on samples, minis and some full bottles. I haven't counted my collection, but there has got to be 250-300 different scents there now in some shape or form - excluding the 40 men's frags I gave away to my brother, when getting him interested in this hobby! And I have upwards of 20 FBs now, which I know is not the subject of your inquiry.

    I do plan to stop at some point and enjoy what I have got. I am just not quite there yet, haha!
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I completely sympathize. I get probably 2-3 sample packages from TPC a month. However, if the alternative is impulsive FB purchases that you will later regret (and I have determined that I already have far too many FBs to ever fully enjoy), I think samples & decants are the better way to go. You're limiting the damage, in a way.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I just spent almost ninety dollars on samples. Yikes!

  7. #7

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    i have about 20 samples in my closet....from Lutens to Frederic Malle...and to be honest, i'm not really a fan of having alot of samples....they have only a couple full uses in each of em...and the majority of them i don't really like. The only time where i actually enjoy using them, is when i'm bored and at home working on some projects...and put a couple random ones on each arm just to see how they progress.

    Sure it's entertaining, but its nothing like the pleasure of having a full bottle of stuff to wear the whole day...and to refresh with in the evening...

    for exploring fragrances, it is OBVIOUSLY the best thing to do.....buying bottles blind is basically pretty silly.......but it always annoys me to get these samples which i don't like.....these days, i just throw away the ones i don't like.....so i don't have to deal with them sitting around!

    another thing is: i can't really get myself to buy samples....the only one i've ever bought was Musc Ravageur....the rest of em, i've gotten from Aedes OR with another order....i can't really get myself to blow $5 on a dinky sample....it really does add up!

  8. #8

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    i have about 20 samples in my closet....from Lutens to Frederic Malle...and to be honest, i'm not really a fan of having alot of samples....they have only a couple full uses in each of em...and the majority of them i don't really like. The only time where i actually enjoy using them, is when i'm bored and at home working on some projects...and put a couple random ones on each arm just to see how they progress.

    Sure it's entertaining, but its nothing like the pleasure of having a full bottle of stuff to wear the whole day...and to refresh with in the evening...

    for exploring fragrances, it is OBVIOUSLY the best thing to do.....buying bottles blind is basically pretty silly.......but it always annoys me to get these samples which i don't like.....these days, i just throw away the ones i don't like.....so i don't have to deal with them sitting around!

    another thing is: i can't really get myself to buy samples....the only one i've ever bought was Musc Ravageur....the rest of em, i've gotten from Aedes OR with another order....i can't really get myself to blow $5 on a dinky sample....it really does add up!
    I've found I rarely give a 'full wear' to a sample, usually because 1ml is just enough for a 'wear', and by the time I've sprayed a little on my skin there's not enough for a meaningful full application. 1ml is, however, enough for 2-3 full skin tests depending on the strength of the juice, which is enough to figure out whether I want to buy something.

    Everso - if you find yourself throwing samples away just PM me and I'll pay to ship them to me


    What I'm finding very helpful about having so many samples is having reference points for the discussions on BN. As I've been trying to not only try the frequently-discussed frags, I've also been ordering a few from each line so I have a breadth of knowledge. It's sort of a BN 'cultural literacy' in addition to figuring out what I want to buy. Of course it's also nice to be able to toss samples in with trades and the like as well.

    While on the topic, I ordered 2 more sets of samples yesterday (13 samples/$30). One pack from Beautyhabit and the other from Aedes. This will bring my sample total to around 200 (not including the giant pile of designer samples I have in a box in my desk). The illness continues.


    You probably already know this if you're reading here, but here's what I've found in terms of sample deals:

    Retailers:

    Aedes - 7 samples for $15 (including shipping), 7 samples free with purchase

    Beautyhabit - 6 samples for $15 (incl. shipping) CANCELLED

    Luckyscent - $3-$5+ per sample, shipping not incl. 2-3 free samples with purchase

    Perfumeshoppe (canadian) - 6 samples for $15, shipping incl.

    Beautyencounter - large selection of factory carded samples, anywhere from $1 - $6

    Lusciouscargo - $21 for 8 samples

    Houses

    L'Artisan - 5 free samples via internet - $7 shipping (includes catalog)

    Bond No. 9 - 6 free samples via phone only - $10 shipping UPDATE - samples are now $15, and from what I hear purchase is required

    Frederic Malle - 3 free samples via internet - 12 euros shipping to US (ouch!)

    Hermes - 2 free Hermessence (4ml) samples per fragrance, in boutique only. Will mail regular line samples on request for free.

    Chanel - occasionally has 4ml or 1.5ml samples in boutiques. May not offer samples depending on SA and whether you look like you'll actually buy something.

    Ineke - 5 samples/ $25 which is applied to first purchase.

    The Different Company - 2ml samples of all available fragrances for $30 (but if you ask very nicely they may send you some individual samples)



    Department Stores

    Nordstrom's - the best... will happily decant fragrance samples for you

    Sephora - will decant samples, not always so happily

    Saks 5th Ave - have the means to decant samples but, depending on the SA, you may have to butter them up.

    - Saks 5th Ave/ Neiman Marcus Creed counters - have samples and decanting supplies, but may or may not refuse to decant for you.

    Macys - no decanting, will not let you decant your own (unless you know the SA, do not attempt otherwise)

    Dillards - some stores have decanting supplies, but will rarely offer decants (it's for preferred customers)



    I will update as I learn more....
    Last edited by bbBD; 23rd February 2009 at 10:39 AM. Reason: info

  9. #9
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    bbBD--

    Thank you for posting all that! I didn't realize I could get samples from several of these places and have just placed an order with L'Artisan and am checking out Aedes' fragrances to decide which samples to order!

    Very useful info!

  10. #10

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Sample purchasing my be expensive in the long run but it's the only way to sample some of these perfumes. For those that are nowhere near the niche perfume shops, there's no other option than paying for them.

    I do feel let down by most of the niche stuff I smell. I paid how much to be disappointed? Bah! Well, same argument can be applied to a movie you've never seen or an album you've never heard of.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    bbBD--

    Thank you for posting all that! I didn't realize I could get samples from several of these places and have just placed an order with L'Artisan and am checking out Aedes' fragrances to decide which samples to order!

    Very useful info!
    Glad to help! I edited my post and added some info. Between Aedes, Beautyhabit, and Luckyscent you can get a 1ml sample of pretty much anything available in the US. For more obscure, discontinued, or non-export items, theperfumedcourt is king. There is a large discussion about TPC in another forum, and I'm looking to duplicate that here.

    I've fine tuned my sample strategy: First I use luckyscent, aedes, or beautyhabit (or a trade or personal paid decant) to obtain a 1ml sample. I rarely get a full wear from a 1ml sample, but rather skin test it 1-2 times and then either trade or give it away. For those samples I want to explore more fully by wearing, I'll then go to TPC and order a larger decant (2.5 to 15ml, depending on cost). If I've enjoyed wearing it then I'll move up to the bottle expenditure. As I said before, with a large rotation even a 5ml decant will last long enough to forestall buying a bottle for a while.

    My most recent large decant purchases are 3 Montales*. These Montales are so strong and last so long I have a feeling 5ml will last quite a while.... plus I just don't know if any of them are worth $125-$200/bottle.

    * Oud Cuir d'Arabie, Sweet Oriental Dream and Chypre Vanille

  12. #12

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I am in mid-mania, having plunked down several hundred in recent samples, both classic and niche. I can relate/sympathize/commiserate, but oh, what exquisite misery.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I have now reached the 300+ mark with niche samples (I have a box of designer samples as well, but those are not organized). Some things I've come to understand:

    Having all of these samples is a great way to learn about the hobby, learn about different houses, accords, perfumers, etc. I've created what is essentially a 'library' of samples. When something is mentioned on the board I can check it out and know what the discussion is about.

    Some samples - those of high-quality fragrances (Mazzolari, Profumum, Malle, Parfumerie Generale, Montale, Farmacia 1561) - can be used for a full wear plus sampling. I hang onto these for special occasions when I want to wear them.

    If I like a sample a lot, I buy a larger decant from TPC or elsewhere - between 5-15ml depending on cost. This is usually all I need. It's pretty rare that I feel compelled to buy a whole bottle, especially when I might wear the fragrance once in 1-2 months. My latest interests have been some of the obscure Guerlains and then the Italian houses (Mazzolari, Farmacia, Profumum). These are all $150+, and the Profumums and Guerlains are $240+. I'd love to own a bottle but darn it's hard to justify spending that much when two spritzes is all I need for an entire day. Of these, I'm most likely to buy the Guerlains. There's something about these - perhaps because they're limited edition, perhaps because I'm so taken with some of them, that I might just buy the bottles anyway.

  14. #14

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    VERY interesting reading. I think I may have found a way to spend LESS money than I am at present. Thanks for all the good info. I think I have found the right place to be for my frag frenzy.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I'll add that Les Parfums de Rosine sells their entire set of fragrances as a sample kit for 18 euros which includes shipping at
    les-parfums-de-rosine.com

    Andy Tauer sells all of his fragrances as samples for a good price on his website

    Also, Hampton Court sells samples (very tiny, like 0.5 ml) for $1 each at hamptonct.com

    Finally, La Creme Beauty offers 8 samples for $16 at lacremebeauty.com

    To add bbBD's list!

  16. #16

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Thanks for all of the sample sources info - I had only used Aedes and LuckyScents. My first set of samples from Aedes yielded somthting of an HG scent for me, which turned out to be beginner's luck. I now have over 200 samples (just organized and counted them - yikes). Of the thirty or so I've tried, there are none that I would buy a bottle of. It's still a fun hobby, though. Now that it's autumn in Wisconsin, there are going to be a lot more nights curled up reading, and trying a new frag adds another dimension to the evening. If I get through the 200 and find four or five absolute must-haves, it will have been a worthwhile expenditure, IMHO. I'm still reading reviews and buying samples. Even if I try a new one each morning and evening, it will take most of the winter to get through them. Cool!

  17. #17
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie_j View Post
    I'll add that Les Parfums de Rosine sells their entire set of fragrances as a sample kit for 18 euros which includes shipping at
    les-parfums-de-rosine.com
    Rosine samples:
    http://www.les-parfums-de-rosine.com...php?id_prod=67

    I ordered this set in October and am very glad I did. It took 11 days to arrive from France. They are not big on communication-- they did not acknowledge my order or send shipping information-- and didn't respond to emails either!-- but they DID send the samples. (When you go through secure checkout, you do get an order confirmation number.)

    The samples are 1.5ml each.
    Last edited by 30 Roses; 8th November 2008 at 04:59 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Buying samples is so expensive, especially when you consider how much a full bottle of perfume costs vs. a fraction of an ounce you get in a sample.

    Why not organize a sample swap ring as a way to save money. There are different ways you could do it. One swap I was involved in on another forum had a person initially put 10 samples in a box and mail it to the first person that responded. Then that person could sniff them all, take any or no samples, but whatever they took had to be replaced by the same quantity that they removed. Then the sample box moved on to the next person who responded, and so on, until it was returned to the originator after the box had made so many rounds.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    That's an interesting idea, but I generally like keeping my samples as a 'library'. My other new source for samples and decants - LOT OF DECANTS - has been some off-BN websites where people can post their decant lists. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of people selling at cost.... hell I bough nearly 1/3 of a Guerlain Chypre Fatale bottle at cost from one of these sites.

    Since I last checked in, my sample collection has just about reached 450! This has really taken on a life of its own and is no longer just a means to decide what bottles to buy. I'm going to add some info below, but one of the things I've been doing is collecting whole lines - in one swoop when possible. Sometimes I find myself just giving one spray of a sample then filing it away, which is where the 'problem' part of it comes to play... especially with decants. I very much want to own a couple wears worth of a fragrance, but rarely do I bust out the decant box to wear anything! I've tried to remedy this by making Fridays 'decant-wear' day and Sundays 'sample-wear' day, but at this rate I'm set for the next few years worth of fridays and sundats. Oh well - it's all part of the fun, right?

    Here's some more info - I will edit and incorporate this into the above post when I've collected more:

    Jalaine Fragrances - these are high end oils (6ml for $90!) - order .25ml samples of their entire line for $19 via their website. They actually sent more than .25ml, and since you literally only need one drop per wear, it's a great deal.

    Histoire de Parfumes - order samples of the entire line for $20 from beautycafe.com DEAL NO LONGER AVAILABLE

    Etat Libre d'Orange - order samples of the entire line for 17 Euros (the problem is shipping to the US is $30 Euros.)

    Sonoma Scent Studio - order samples for $3 from their website. Great, little-known house.
    Last edited by bbBD; 21st February 2009 at 03:25 PM. Reason: info

  20. #20

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    you rock! although you are feeding my obsession ... but we can all rationalize by saying, well, at LEAST we are not buying full bottles ... *cough* ... right?????

    I just spent $77.87, and I work at a HOMELESS SHELTER, for god's sake! But I appreciate someone's point -- that samples are a way to participate in this community ... such a great point.

    love you people --

  21. #21

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I think of samples as a sort of library. Sure, they don't last the way books do, but that is the nature of perfume.

    So would that mean I'm in the denial stage?

    And at the risk of being an enabler, I'd love to know how you store your samples.
    I tried many unsuccessful means and then fell upon boxes called "stackables" (for jewelry) at BB&B. These are working well for me!

  22. #22

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I, too, think of owning samples as a means of education and reference point for BN discussions. I may not have amassed the amount some of you have, but I'll get there, no doubt. I'm a hoarder.

    Adding to the list:
    Ormonde Jayne has a sampler available on their website - all of their fragrances for 28 pounds if I'm not mistaken. Asking nicely might result in receiving a few separate samples free of cost. Great customer service, by the way.

    I store my samples in a container I got in a craft store; clear plastic with compartments. You know, the type you'd store nails and screws and bolts in.
    bbBD: can you list the off-BN websites or would that be breaking the no-decant rule?
    Last edited by Morgaine; 12th December 2008 at 09:53 PM.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    I, too, think of owning samples as a means of education and reference point for BN discussions.
    I agree. I like to try to understand what others are smelling when they speak of certain fragrances.

    By the way, on the Addicted to Sampling Basenotes group, Profumo has offered to send samples, and recommended starting a sample-sending rotation group. If you are interested, please join the group, and add to the discussion!

    Dear members of this group and BN brothers, L'aventurier has been asking me for samples of "the scents of the soul" smaller than my 5,5 ml bottles.
    Following his trail I found this group of addicted samplers.
    I would be very happy to provide samples to basenoters in order that they may try and discuss my perfumes, the problem is that there is not yet a system devised by perfumistas that could make it easy for the sample sender. If it was posiible for me to send samples for 12 people (all of you) to a single address, I would gladly send them to you completely free, and I could do this several times a year.
    The one who receives them would send the samples to the 11 others.
    Next time I would send other samples to an other member of the group who would send to the 11 others.
    Do you think it is workable?
    AbdesSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it

  24. #24

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I'm hopelessly addicted to sampling.

    After a TPC order a few days ago I promised I WOULD NOT make any more orders there till next month. And I won't.

    ...

    But then I remembered The Perfume Shoppe has a sample program...

  25. #25

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Oh, Aiona - missed your post. Total enabling, that. I'll just scoot over to that page, now...
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  26. #26

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I want to purchase samples too.

    Does anyone have websites for me where I can order with Paypal and where they ship to the Netherlands?

  27. #27

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    In looking back over 2008, I must admit that I think I am addicted to sampling also. I completely agree that it is better than being addicted to buying FB's (which I used to do). I also agree that buying a small sample, then a larger decant before a FB is the best way to go for the most part. There have been a few exceptions if I find a fragrance to be outstanding in only one wearing (eg, Habit Rouge), but for the most part, using up at least 5ml has been good proof of a long-term fragrance love. And if it is not love, then a small decant is easy to trade, even as smaller samples.

    I do not know how many samples I have, but I think it is probably somewhere in the hundreds. I use a tea caddy to store my fragrances by house, but it is completely full, plus I have bags, bowls, boxes of more...sigh. I usually try them briefly, but there are some I have never used. I started writing reviews recently, so I want to hang on to the ones that didn't get a full wearing yet (which is most of them). So, I am hoarding too. :P

  28. #28

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Hi
    This is Ernie and my fragrance abuse clinic fully supports your obsession!
    I am still collecting samples and will never stop. I've purchased several hundreds over the years, from all over the world.
    My obsession is that when I love a scent I must acquire at least one dozen samples, preferably the original retail, vial on card samples.
    My stock is enormous and I do give many away to friends as new scents and desires come my way.
    There is no cure! This addiction is harmless, save for the pocketbook. I look forward to packages in the mail and consider myself lucky that my obsession is well founded and shared by many.
    Enjoy...keep spritzin'...and don't stop till you get enough!

  29. #29

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I haven't checked in for a while... hello sampling addicts. How pissed are you that beautyhabit no longer has their sampling program? I tried for a week to get a straight answer out of customer service as to why they did this, and finally I gave up after they wanted to talk by phone. From what I can tell it just wasn't worth it financially. I tried to explain there's no way I'm buying an expensive bottle without sampling it first, unless I can return used bottles, to which I got no coherent response. Oh well... it's that many more orders to other places. Aedes got two such orders from me yesterday.

    I've reached another milestone, namely 600 samples/decants. I've imposed a loose organization system for small samples (under 2ml) that's helped quite a bit, but if a sample is an 'orphan' (the only one from it's house), it can get a little lost since I'm organizing by house.

    I've got to post a picture of my 'larger decant' organization system, which is a giant freezer bag. It's literally busting at the seams, and finding anything requires spilling the contents onto my bed. Luckily my brain's memory works such that I almost always remember what the decant looked like (what type of atomizer) thus finding things doesn't take too long.

    I use my 'test list' in my wardrobe to track my samples. If I didn't do this, I'd order doubles because I forgot that I already own a sample.... well, sometimes. Sometimes I order doubles anyway. When samples come in the door they sit right on my desk and I won't open them until they're added to the BN database.... if I didn't do this all hell would break loose. I never tracked designer samples, which admittedly get unceremoniously dumped into a large box, never to be heard from again unless they are actually carded and are not crap, in which case I usually re-gift them.

    How does everyone else track their samples?

    Thanks for letting me vent... it always feel good.

  30. #30

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I'm totally addicted! And this thread is such an enabler! I ordered $125 worth of samples/decants from TCP yesterday, and today (as I searched for 'Aedes free shipping') I came across this thread, and just ordered Rosine and Jalaine samples. TCP adds up fast! At least Rosine and Jalaine combined are just $45.

    I look at samples as a way to experience a variety of fragrances and even try fragrances that I did not know I would like. Or some I had high hopes for, but they do not suite me. So it's always a discovery and a way to learn about perfume. Even though some I did not quite like, but I've not been disappointed yet with a sample I ordered.

    PS -- I think the wardrobe feature is great, I can track what I tried and what I still want to try (or is it an enabler as well? :-) )
    Last edited by kess; 19th February 2009 at 07:44 PM.

  31. #31
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I just ordered some samples from Aedes.com for my husband and myself-- never got the confirmation email but hopefully they are on their way.

    EDIT: They arrived.

    I've gotten away from hanging on to a lot of samples, though. I don't want the clutter. I prefer to just order a few, then either use them up or pass them on. While they are in use, I stick them upright into the little box filled with poly-pellets (beanie toy filler material) that I showed on my thread a few months ago (for any who may be new to this sample storage idea, here is the thread) : http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=216675
    Last edited by 30 Roses; 23rd February 2009 at 04:39 AM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Oh goodness, I never order more than I can use up first! And I thought I had problems, people-lol! If I get them, I use them up rather quickly. No dabbing on, no saving them up for another time for me! I want to get a full impression of how the fragrance will be on me so I use as much as I need to in order to know for sure if it is "me". Also it's important to find out if it has lasting power, good sillage, all that. And I've been noticing that I have a hard time falling for much of anything. I won't get a frag if it doesn't just blow me totally away. The only ones I've tried lately with any wow factor were Amouage Gold and Fredric Malle Carnal Flower. Another factor I consider before buying a full bottle after sampling is how other people react to it. If they turn around and come after me to find out what I'm wearing that is a major plus. I want others to enjoy my perfume, not drive them away with it, hehehe. If they run away that's not a good sign

  33. #33

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Czech and Speake very graciously sent me samples of their entire collection when I registered with them online. Really beautiful presentation...each sample was on a card shaped like a bottle of cologne. And on the back a description of the scent.

  34. #34

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by kess View Post
    I'm totally addicted! And this thread is such an enabler! I ordered $125 worth of samples/decants from TCP yesterday, and today (as I searched for 'Aedes free shipping') I came across this thread, and just ordered Rosine and Jalaine samples. TCP adds up fast! At least Rosine and Jalaine combined are just $45.

    PS -- I think the wardrobe feature is great, I can track what I tried and what I still want to try (or is it an enabler as well? :-) )
    Darn - I wish I'd posted my secret Jalaine info. For $19 Jalaine will send you a package of samples of all their fragrances. They say it's .25ml each, but in reality I received a bit more. The oils are so concentrated that this is plenty of wears each. Go to their website and on the bottom right is the sample pack.

    EDIT - I did post it, above. Oh well, sorry you had to pay so much. Those Jalaines are amazing, especially Patchouli, Amber, and Silk.
    Last edited by bbBD; 21st February 2009 at 03:27 PM.

  35. #35

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    i hear ya. i think i've become more addicted to sampling than to actually wearing fragrances. not a day goes by that i'm not either receiving a TPC sample in the mail or I'm at Sak/Bergdorf/Barneys/Aedes spraying on fragrances.

    the sick part is how many showers i take. i take one in the morning. then when i get home from work, i take one so i can try on a new sample. then, after i'm bored with it - later that same night - i'll take another shower so i can sample another new fragrance.

    i've never been cleaner in my life.

    but admittedly, the sampling - and buying decants - has saved me a buttload of money, as opposed to buy FBs. most of the time, even if i like a fragarnce at first, becaue i haev a sample, i wear it 3 times or so and decide i don't like it and therefore don't want a bottle. whereas in my more naive days, i would try a fragrance once and spend $100+ on a bottle.
    Last edited by union1411; 23rd February 2009 at 12:20 AM.

  36. #36

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by union1411 View Post

    the sick part is how many showers i take. i take one in the morning. then when i get home from work, i take one so i can try on a new sample. then, after i'm bored with it - later that same night - i'll take another shower so i can sample another new fragrance.

    i've never been cleaner in my life.
    Have you thought about just arm-sampling? If I showered for even 1/5 of the samples that came in my water bill would be through the roof.


    Now that I'm going on 650, I thought I'd share some photos. I thought I'd posted these before, but I guess there was a glitch....

    'Orphan' decants 2.5ml or larger (meaning I only have 1-2 from that house, otherwise they are boxed together). I wish you could see how much the bag is bulging:




    This tray contains Guerlain (top left), Dior/Chanel (bottom left), and Malle/ELDO (right). It's hard to tell from the photo, but the samples are three layers deep:




    The jewelry box contains bags of samples, grouped by house. Each bag contains 20-40 samples. In all this photo represents about 60% of my samples:


  37. #37

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Darn - I wish I'd posted my secret Jalaine info. For $19 Jalaine will send you a package of samples of all their fragrances. They say it's .25ml each, but in reality I received a bit more. The oils are so concentrated that this is plenty of wears each. Go to their website and on the bottom right is the sample pack.

    EDIT - I did post it, above. Oh well, sorry you had to pay so much. Those Jalaines are amazing, especially Patchouli, Amber, and Silk.
    Thanks, I saw your post -- $45 was combined for both Jalaine and Rosine. So not too bad. And separately, a $3 sample saved me a $50 blind buy, so all in all I don't regret it.

    But yikes, I spent about $200 total this month on samples and decants! I was purchasing so much, that I got a call from my credit card company's fraud prevention department asking me to "verify transactions." Maybe they noticed that this behavior was not typical for me, or because one of the sample orders was international. In either case -- Ouch, wake-up call!

    To make my "addiction" less financially draining (and more fun!), I switched from purchasing samples to contacting the perfume houses directly and inquiring about samples of the fragrances I'd like to try (usually 3 or 4). This allows me to be as compulsive as I want (and I still need to research the lines to pick what I'd like to try), but at least it does not cost anything, and there may be a few pleasant surprises in my email or snail mail box!
    Last edited by kess; 24th February 2009 at 08:25 PM.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    For the overflowing orphan samples(not that I'm an organizing expert) this is my solution:



    All you need is a box the right size. That was luck. I found these at 'Hobby Lobby'. TJMaxx has them, etc. Sandwich bags, and sticky labels. I like them to be uniform, all on the left side & alphabetized. Then I can at least find them. It works ok if I get around to sampling & putting them in the file bags. It's when the samples pile up un-sniffed that I get in trouble.

    The black leather boxes I show are just some of my bottles in black boxes. The cut out for handles are great, lids are flat & they can be stacked. These are overflow from drawers & cupboards. They are woefully unorganized. I have no excuse. Somehow, they just got away from me! I couldn't figure out what happened, then when I was tucking something away the other day I realized, it has to do with size & shape. If it won't fit in a box, then I go to the next one & just poke it in there. No wonder it's such a mess! I have to start all over & arrange by house. It's on my 'to do' list
    Last edited by kumquat; 25th February 2009 at 10:06 PM.

  39. #39

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I recently discovered the beauty of your addiction. I have really been into frags for about 2 years and have only bought full bottles. First a few designers, then a bunch of Bonds and Creeds. I am now starting to move into more niche and obscure stuff. I write you because I just completed my first swap here on BN and the guy I swapped with included about 25 samples just for the hell of it and because he has so many. It only took me about 5 minutes to realize that the real gem of the swap was the samples. I was no longer interested in the 2 big bottles and large decant I traded my Creed for. I was totally moved by the fact that I now had several new frags to try and could meet my desire to smell new things. I can't tell you how many 97 % full bottles I have in my wardrobe or how long they will stay that way. Not to mention all the 97% or so bottles in the sale and swap threads on this site. I have come to realize the money I spent on these full bottles has really been a waste. I will never be able to wear everything I own and yet I am still looking for something better or different. The only way to satisfy the constant hunger is to sample. And like you said, you still have the option to purchase a large decant if you truly enjoy a certain scent. It's amazing how one small idea can change your whole perspective. And so the the journey continues....

  40. #40

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Welcome to the group, brrrry.... that's an excellent description of the 'ah-ha!' moment when you realize that sampling for the sake of sampling is ok. Don't call your bottles a waste, they are not. My bottles represent not only the fragrances I sampled and love so much I had to buy a bottle, but they are also a resource. I love swapping decants with other BNers. it's not only a great way to try new fragrances but also a great way to meet your fellow BNers. When I first started posting I would offer to purchase samples from people, most of whom said no. Now that I have some variety in my wardrobe I offer to swap decants with people and I'm almost always able to work out a trade. You've already paid for the juice in the bottles - instead of letting the juice there use it as a commodity in lieu of money to try more fragrances!

    I'd suggest you update your wardrobe and make it available for the public to see. From there write PMs to BNer seeking swaps. If you need help with setting up your wardrobe settings PM me and I'll help.

  41. #41

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Kuquat - that's a very good storage idea. I've reached the breaking point with my own bottle storage, and now every bottle requires moving and squeezing and selecting a fragrance to go to a lesser shelf. Even though my fragrances are kept in an interior room out of direct light, I like the file box idea because that would get them out of nearly all light. Your sample storage idea is equally intelligent. As you can see from by 'bag 'o decants' my system isn't working out well (and that bag has increased over the last few days with the receipt of three decant trades). If I had the space I'd stand them all up and take a picture.... perhaps I'll make space.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Yes, I find these leather covered boxes 1/2 price at 'Hobby Lobby'. They have 3-4 sizes. I esp. like the handles because they can be hoisted around. Some boxes have regular handles that protrude so no light gets in. I could cover these or tape black cloth flaps inside. I haven't gotten around to it yet. They aren't near the window, though.

  43. #43

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    i'm staying strong not ordering any new samples. I've not ordered any since Feb 20th!

  44. #44

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Fredric Malle online site says the samples are free, but there is a shipping charge for every 3 you order. Ok, I order 6. As I am going through the transaction with credit card- no where does it say how much the shipping is for those 6 2ml samples. I corresponded with them and they said 40 eruos. OK, Google 40 euros and it equals $51.00. Is this how it goes?

    Did everyone else have the same experience? Feel like crying because after I ordered, I call up Barneys (long way from here) and ask if they'll send samples. They said I can have 6 for 12.00 (don't know if it included shipping) and I guess they were 1 ml vials. I made an expensive mistake. Anyone out there to confirm this or should it be normal for 51.00 ? thanks
    Eliza
    (seems like vintage L'origan was made just for me)

  45. #45
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    Unhappy Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza View Post
    Fredric Malle online site says the samples are free, but there is a shipping charge for every 3 you order. Ok, I order 6. As I am going through the transaction with credit card- no where does it say how much the shipping is for those 6 2ml samples. I corresponded with them and they said 40 eruos. OK, Google 40 euros and it equals $51.00. Is this how it goes?

    Did everyone else have the same experience? Feel like crying because after I ordered, I call up Barneys (long way from here) and ask if they'll send samples. They said I can have 6 for 12.00 (don't know if it included shipping) and I guess they were 1 ml vials. I made an expensive mistake. Anyone out there to confirm this or should it be normal for 51.00 ? thanks
    That stinks! Can you cancel the order?

  46. #46

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    funny, why didn't I think of that! I just emailed and asked them. I figure even if it was $3.00 per 1 ml, that would be 12 ml's x 3 = 36.00 and then the other 15.00 must be shipping... that's a little too much. I'll tell you if they let me cancel or not. They said it'd be shipped out on Friday, so maybe I have time.
    Eliza
    (seems like vintage L'origan was made just for me)

  47. #47

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Ouch, I hope you can cancel.

  48. #48

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I got my package of Jalaine samples yesterday: glass vials in a nice see-through pouch. The pouch gave off a wonderful aroma that reminded me of Yosh La Contessa perfume oil, which I've been lusting after but had enough will power not to plunk down $140 for.

    9 vials - just under 50% full (more than advertised 1/4 ml). This stuff is amazing! I tried Vanilla and Patchouli -- both are buttery smooth. And the oils are so concentrated that a light dab from the dabber stick is enough to last a long time. This is more like getting sizable decants -- much better value for your sampling dollars, compared to LuckyScent 1 ml EdT vials.

    Thanks for bbBD for pointing me in Jalaine's direction.

  49. #49

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    On post #8 on this thread, I mention that Frederic Malle 'trap' only it seems to have become even more expensive since I wrote the post. I checked a while back and you can order samples via their website, but yes, they charge for shipping for every 3 samples.

    Which Barney did you call that would sell samples?

    Kess - I'm glad you're liking Jalaine. Try the 'Silk' - it's my favorite behind Patchouli. I wish I had $90 to order a bottle, but I know I'd rarely use it (one can order just the refill bottle instead of the $150 crystal bottle).

  50. #50

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Try the 'Silk' - it's my favorite behind Patchouli. I wish I had $90 to order a bottle, but I know I'd rarely use it (one can order just the refill bottle instead of the $150 crystal bottle).
    Yes, I did like Silk -- I pretty much liked everything from the line. But buying... It's the bane of sampling -- you have some many samples to go through, so how can you justify buying a full bottle, or even a decant??

    Over the weekend I organized all of my perfumes (bottles, decants, and samples) into a newly assigned "perfume drawer." Wow, that really put things into perspective on how many samples I have. That's the best antidote to buying anything more!

  51. #51

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Im still a newb stuck on designer fragrances and dont think I will be going to niche anytime soon (other than creed)
    one note though is that macys do offer decant in generous 5ml sprayers but only do so if you request it otherwise they wont mention a word
    I use to purchase big bottles just to test something out due to BN reviews but I realized thats a huge mistake
    oh well
    Off-Site Decants =) (updated 05/16/12)
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic....7994440fd3c0ab

  52. #52

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    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Yeah.... buying bottles blind is a crapshoot, especially if they're expensive bottles. I know some people have the whole "how can I spend $5 on a sample when a bottle costs......?" etc. etc. And that's fine for some people. I personally find it too frustrating to have to then deal with selling the bottle. Of course sometimes blind buys are unavoidable, but I try to minimize risk and cost and buy bottles blind as rarely as possible. I just bought a bottle blind yesterday, but it was $18 and returnable (Caron Eau de Reglisse).

    I've never heard of Macys offering samples or decants - in fact everything I've read was the opposite, that decants are not allowed, even if you bring your own supplies. Perhaps you just went to a cool Macys where the fragrance manager is trying to do something special for customers.

    BTW, I just hit 700 a couple days ago...

  53. #53

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Thought I'd add another house to the sample list.

    I happened to see a Diptyque boutique while shopping in SF and decided to stop by. I was curious about a couple of frags (Philosykos, Tam Dao) mainly from reviews I've read on BN. The SA gave me a 2ml atomizer sample of Tam Dao on the way out. I would've got the Philosykos as well but they were out. I'll be stopping by in a couple of weeks to pick that one up.
    Last edited by mchoi76; 15th March 2009 at 06:04 AM.
    "Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better" - Robert Redford

  54. #54

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I also found that Frederic Malle's prices have gone up (for samples) dramatically. I ordered 3 samples from them in September for 10 euros and tried again early this year. The price was now about 16 euros. I emailed them to query how it could have got so expensive in 3 months and their reply was that they need to cover their postage costs.

    I personally think that is a bit of a cop-out, as I honestly doubt that postage from France to England has increased by 60%, and I also don't think it costs 16 euros to post a package that weighs about 100g! In reality, they are charging for the samples, even though they state it is to cover for a "small" postage fee. I would prefer if they were honest and just said they charge for their samples.

  55. #55

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    I must admit, I think I am in the formative stages of a full on sampling addiction! To be fair, I am really trying to explore new fragrances and houses, and I think sampling is a much better way of doing that than buying a bunch of bottles. I also live in the middle of nowhere (relative to larger cities with lots of niche boutiques) so sampling them in person isn't possible.

    So far I have ordered samples from Czech & Speake, L'Artisan, G. F. Trumper, Penhaligon's, and The Different Company. I think I'm going to have to order the Jalaine sampler set as well. I can't wait!

    I'm kind of focused on getting samples directly from the source right now before I open myself up to TPC and other sites like that. Partly because I know I'd spend way too much money on TPC, and partly because I really enjoy having the original samples with custom vials and all that. I think it's my OCD acting up. For anyone who has purchased the samples from L'Artisan, Malle, The Different Company, or others: do they use custom vials/printed cards or just plain vials that they have labeled? I'm just curious.

    Anyway, I'm going to have to keep track of this thread as my addiction evolves!

  56. #56

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by beau_mode_arome View Post
    I also found that Frederic Malle's prices have gone up (for samples) dramatically. I ordered 3 samples from them in September for 10 euros and tried again early this year. The price was now about 16 euros. I emailed them to query how it could have got so expensive in 3 months and their reply was that they need to cover their postage costs.

    I personally think that is a bit of a cop-out, as I honestly doubt that postage from France to England has increased by 60%, and I also don't think it costs 16 euros to post a package that weighs about 100g! In reality, they are charging for the samples, even though they state it is to cover for a "small" postage fee. I would prefer if they were honest and just said they charge for their samples.
    Whoops, I have to chime in here with my Frederic Malle experience, too. I was planning on ordering the samples from FM, but the cost and quantity threw me off. I'm pretty certain they are charging for the samples, as you suggest, because $26 dollars shipping to the USA is a LOT for three 2ml vials. It's actually more than the amount I paid for shipping for twenty 2ml vials for The Different Company's sampler. (Both are coming from Paris, right? It can't just be to cover their shipping costs). I actually wouldn't mind paying for a larger set of samples if FM offered a 2ml sample of all 17 of their fragrances. In that case, I'd gladly pay some for the sampler AND shipping. But having to pay $26 every time you want to sample 3 fragrances is extreme.

    Actually, the fragrance I most wanted to sample (Vetiver Extraordinaire) isn't even available in their sampling program. I then emailed them directly about two specific fragrances, and they just told me I could order the full product from their website or wait until VE is available as part of the sampling program.

  57. #57

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by jwpianoboe View Post
    For anyone who has purchased the samples from L'Artisan, Malle, The Different Company, or others: do they use custom vials/printed cards or just plain vials that they have labeled? I'm just curious.

    Anyway, I'm going to have to keep track of this thread as my addiction evolves!
    Hey, welcome to the club!

    To answer your question, L'Artisan sends 1.5 ml carded samples. For TDC, these are probably 2 ml mini square bottles - very cute! I once got a 2 ml sample from an online store (samples with purchase and that was what I got).

    By the way, how much were the TDC samples?

  58. #58

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by kess View Post
    Hey, welcome to the club!

    To answer your question, L'Artisan sends 1.5 ml carded samples. For TDC, these are probably 2 ml mini square bottles - very cute! I once got a 2 ml sample from an online store (samples with purchase and that was what I got).

    By the way, how much were the TDC samples?
    Thank you for the info. Those do sound cute!

    About the price: it's interesting. Two days ago when I ordered the sampler it was $50 USD (plus the annoying $25 shipping). When I was browsing around today, though, it was $59.80. But when I signed into my account, the price went back down to $50. So, if you create an account with them first, maybe it will be a little cheaper?

    In any case, getting 4ml of each fragrance for that price is still a lot cheaper than buying the same amount from TPC or some other sample site, so I went for it. If they come in cute little square bottles, all the better!!

  59. #59

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by jwpianoboe View Post
    Thank you for the info. Those do sound cute!

    About the price: it's interesting. Two days ago when I ordered the sampler it was $50 USD (plus the annoying $25 shipping). When I was browsing around today, though, it was $59.80. But when I signed into my account, the price went back down to $50. So, if you create an account with them first, maybe it will be a little cheaper?

    In any case, getting 4ml of each fragrance for that price is still a lot cheaper than buying the same amount from TPC or some other sample site, so I went for it. If they come in cute little square bottles, all the better!!
    TDC is an interesting line for sure; I have a few samples and one full bottle. Enjoy the samples!

    Like you, I prefer manufacturer's samples too -- it feels "almost" like having a bottle. (And with that many samples, who has time for full bottles anyway?) I've found TPC convenient for high-end designer samples, which are not available from Luckyscent etc. They also have decants, if you are "ready to take the plunge." But you have order a big order to qualify for any discounts.

    Luckyscent is useful if I just want to order 2 or 3 samples - with coupon code MUA you get free shipping, so only paying for samples. Sometimes I have a sampling "urge" and with two samples I'm only down $6-7, so no big damage done.

  60. #60

    Default Re: My new obsession - sample purchasing

    Update:
    I caved in and bought the Jalaine sampler. Looking forward to that. Also, TDC sampler arrived today. They basically shipped it overnight from France which makes the shipping price somewhat more reasonable, I guess. I'm happy with the purchase. The only negative is that there's no easy way to store all the samples since the box they came in just had all the mini bottles stuffed inside with the tissue paper wrapped around them. I need to come up with a good sample organizing method like some of you have! And, since I think they're so cute, here are some pictures:




    Last edited by jwpianoboe; 20th March 2009 at 03:32 AM.

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