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  1. #1

    Default The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    What are the best ways, in your experience, to test a fragrance in a way that you get a full appreciation of the sample.
    For example you might wear only ONE sample on both hands for a full day, or wear several samples at the same time etc.
    Appreciate your views.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    I usually test like five or so out of however many I get, a day, and remember the ones that I like on me.

    Then after I've tested them all in mass quantities, I start wearing 2-3 at a time, getting a feel for what my favorites are.

    I then compare favorites like a tennis tournament would go - I forget what it's called, MLB or round robin or something, I used to play smash competitively - and try and pick out one of a type I am looking for to add to my collection. Then I'll wear it in the day that I have during the weather I expect to be using it most. And maybe I'll compare scents in such circumstances. Eventually I find a winner among types, and there may be more than one type I look for at a time.

  3. #3
    kopah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toronto, ON
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    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    I usually try to wear one on each wrist for the whole day, to get through samples a little bit quicker. If I'm comparing more than two at once, or if I'm out shopping and short of skin, I might also use the inside of each elbow, and as a last resort the back of each hand (after the wrists have had a couple hours to fade somewhat). But the best way, of course, is to wear the sample fragrance as I would normally wear a fragrance that I own (on the neck). For that purpose I find spray samples better than vials.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    I wear one sample at a time for an entire day. If it is from a vial I place dabs on the backs of my hands, my wrists and one or two dabs on each of my pecs (depending on the fragrance). If it is from a spray I spray my chest once, maybe twice, and share a spray between my wrists and rub the drip that forms on the sprayer on the back of my hand. Sometime during the day, once the sample has reached the drydown stage I reapply a small dab on my forearm so I can compare the "before" and "after" to discover which notes have really dissipated, and which notes provide the backbone of the composition. I avoid applying anything to my neck as I find the nose gets too easily fatigued and doesn't allow me to really evaluate the scent. To test longevity I place a small amount on the inside of my elbow before I go to bed.
    Last edited by surreality; 10th November 2008 at 03:02 PM.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
    Scentronic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Metro Detroit, Michigan

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    Regardless of how many I'm testing, my main strategy is to not make any impulse decisions. Even the fragrances that I end up loving most are subject to an extremely lengthy and rigorous "screening process" prior to purchase. I start out sniffing, and if something really gets my attention, it will end up on my wrist or the crook of my thumb and forefinger. If I use up the whole sample in sniffing in this manner, then odds are I want the fragrance! There is no "go to the store and sniff something new and like it and buy it" for me. Nor will I buy from a store that isn't generous with samples.
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    I do an initial dab on my wrist (so max of two samples), then I dab on my forearms near my elbows (two more). That's about it until they disappear. If anything is interesting, it really pays to apply it in the spots you usually do; for me that's the chest and perhaps one spritz on the back of my neck. Always use an atomizer for a final test before buying.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    If I just want to get acquainted with a fragrance, I usually dab or spray on from a sample in the evening, when my SOTD has died down somewhat. I apply it in a place where it won't be on top of what remains of my SOTD. If I really like it or am intrigued by it, I apply a little more before sleep and then sniff/test for longevity right before I hit the shower first thing in the morning.

    With something that I'm seriously considering an expensive full bottle of, I have a slightly different method (especially with samples I've had to pay for). I wait until the weekend so that I don't run the risk of wearing something that turns out to be really inappropriate for the workplace. I'll take a shower and dress at leisure, instead of the usual mad weekday shuffle. On skin that is dried off but still warm from bathing, I'll use about half a vial on the usual pulse points. A few hours later I'll reinforce the application. I just like to reserve the right amount of time and mental space for contemplation and decision - really helps if the scent in question is $$$.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 10th November 2008 at 07:49 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    when i receive my order of samples ..i usually wear/try all of a kid left to play in a toy store

    however...for real feel of the scent...i dab the scent at 4-5 spots each on forearm and pulse point and couple under neck....i try this only when im at home. i typically use a 1 ml vial 3+ times with the above procedure...

  9. #9

    Default Re: The art of "Testing a Fragrance Sample"

    It may be because I'm a total newbie but I sample them one at time, dabs on both wrists. My nose isn't good enough to separate my SotD from the sample so I go without those days. If they are interesting, I'll repeat over several days to make sure I'm picking up all the notes (or think I am).

    The fun part is I'm doing this is men's frags currently. It's fun to compare the samples on him and me (..I can't smell that note, say where did you dab that?) and to get interesting almost double takes from female coworkers who smell these very male scents on me and look at me slightly odd. I think they think I have a harem >; )
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

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