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  1. #1

    Default Best way of going through samples

    I'm expecting 40+ sample vials to arrive tomorrow, including for female fragrances. I'm planning to have my wife to go through the samples. What would be the best strategy in doing it? The objective is to find the type of scents that we both love and enjoy. I might also invite a male best friend to participate. He's also a newbie in the world of fragrances.

    Looking forward to your suggestions. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    That is ALOT of samples, I usually test 4 samples at a time because I'm usually so anxious from waiting when I order samples.

    I usually do one scent on the back of each hand and another two on the insides of your elbows.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    Quote Originally Posted by mcjra View Post
    That is ALOT of samples, I usually test 4 samples at a time because I'm usually so anxious from waiting when I order samples.

    I usually do one scent on the back of each hand and another two on the insides of your elbows.
    Thanks. Yes, it's a lot. That's why I need a clear strategy to approach it. I bought the package for only about $30, but the downside is that I couldn't choose the samples. I'm sure there would be many similar scents, but it should save a lot of money in the long run as I should be able to minimize blind buying. I also plan to make it into something fun for my wife and me in the weekends.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    Wow, that's a great deal! Where did you order them? Do you know what fragrances you're getting, or is it all a surprise?

    I'd agree that 4 at a time is probably the maximum to get a good feel for the fragrances. Sometimes when I receive a batch of samples, I'll put on a tiny dab of each all up and down my arms just to get a first impression because I'm too curious and impatient. But I'll always go back and give them a real try. In the past I've done only one or maybe two at a time, but now that untried samples are starting to accumulate I might switch to 4 at a time. I usually do it in the evenings after work.

    I don't know if you meant something more complex by strategy, such as sorting the samples into categories in some way and sampling by type? Personally I think it wouldn't really be worth the trouble, since you say you want to find the types of scents you enjoy. I'd say just dive in and see what you like! Try to do it without preconceived notions. Maybe refrain from reading the reviews here until after you've formed your own opinion. I've found that reading reviews before trying a fragrance has really influenced how I perceive that fragrance. And after you've got piles of what you love, like, and dislike, then you can go read about the fragrances and see where your tastes are leading.

    Good luck, and have fun!

    Rachael

  5. #5
    ECaruthers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    I second the "great deal!" Please post the full list of scents you receive & where/how you ordered them.

    One way to go through them would be to group them by type, then go through one type at a time. E.g., if they are single scents, smell all the citrus at once.

    If the samples are really tiny, I suggest making some smell strips, so you and your wife and your friend can all share a single strip for each material. Also you can see how long the scent lasts on the smell strip. If the samples are commercial perfumes and colognes, you can see how each changes with time.

    Have fun & keep us posted.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    You'll want to record them won't you? That is half the fun of it! What I do is make up a brochure or page on Microsoft Publisher with the names of the perfumes in groups of houses or types, then I leave room for my own notes on how I liked them. I have a str rating like the famous guy who wrote the perfume book.
    Eliza
    (seems like vintage L'origan was made just for me)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    I put on 4 scents at a time = both hands and arms, i then wear 1 to bed at night. Then i pick the ones i really like and give them a full day wearing to make sure i like it and to get reaction from others . Last but not least the ones that receive compliments and that i like also will receive a full bottle purchase.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    I use a fairly methodical approach:

    I start with smelling strips (cut up card stock or whatever) and sample 6 to 8 at a time, on paper strips only. Write the fragrance name on the strip.

    Smell immediately, then after 15 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, and a few hours later. (not strictly by the clock, but you get the idea)

    Then comes the thinning process: If a fragrance smells promising right away (rarely), I will test it on my skin. Otherwise, I will wait to see if I still find it interesting in the drydown. Fortunately, very few pass this test (otherwise I'd be a great smelling homeless guy, pushing a shopping cart full of perfume bottles.)

    If the 'candidates' make it this far, I will then test them on skin. I am often shocked at how much some fragrances change on skin, and others don't change at all. If they smell good on skin at least a hour after applying, they go on to an informal 'TO BUY' list.

    I eliminate a lot of admittedly good perfumes, but this is mainly a moderation strategy to protect my bank account from my impulsive nature.

    I'm also not anal retentive about this method; I've done my share of blind buying and buying things I only liked a little...for whatever reason.

  9. #9
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    I test only on skin because too often things don't smell the same on paper as on my skin. Since samples are tiny, I really want the best impression I can get right off the bat. I used to try four scents at a time, but my wrist doesn't really hold scent all that well and I've found the development and longevity is much more true to an actual wearing (neck and chest area) if I apply fragrance to the inside of my elbows only. So now I'm down to testing two at a time. S'okay, makes the fun last longer!

    Also remember: sometimes something might start off smelling terrible, then becomes quite wonderful after an hour or so. Some people think it's worth enduring a difficult beginning for a sublime drydown, others don't.

    I would also suggest trying to categorize the fragrances by family-- citrus vs citrus, woody vs woody, floral vs floral. It will help you figure out which types of fragrance you prefer, and explore the differences within each type. Michael Edwards' Fragrances of the World directory is useful for categorizing scents.

    You might also find it interesting to see how the same scent develops on both you and your friend. There's some disagreement as to whether everything smells the same on everyone, or if personal chemistry plays an important role in a scent's development.

    Have fun and welcome to Basenotes, zliang!
    Last edited by Heartwood; 7th May 2009 at 08:26 AM.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    Great suggestions as expected from BNers. I've got the package and am very anxious to start the sampling spree. My plan:

    1. List the samples in a spreadsheet for easy tracking
    2. Structure them based on Edwards' categorization.
    3. Apply two samples at time inside the elbows.
    4. Keep track on the scent development and longevity.
    5. Mark the samples in the spreadsheet: "STAY AWAY", "SO SO", "NICE", "MUST HAVE"
    6. Hope my wife would let me get the "MUST HAVE"s. He he he.

    BTW, in the BN wardrobe, what would qualify for a fragrance to be included in "My Collection"? A full bottle? A mini? A sample vial?

    More suggestions are most welcome. Thanks.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    For the wardrobe, probably the smallest would be a mini/travel size bottle. Samples would go in tried or test list, I don't know the difference.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best way of going through samples

    Quote Originally Posted by ECaruthers View Post
    I second the "great deal!" Please post the full list of scents you receive & where/how you ordered them.
    I got it from a seller in a local forum. Now, below are the samples that I receive. Yes, lots of celebrity scents, but I'm open minded and can't really afford to be a fragrance snob. : )

    --------------
    Britney Spears Curious EDP, Fantasy EDP
    Burberry The Beat EDP
    Bvlgari Pour Femme EDT
    Calvin Klein Eternity for Men EDT, Euphoria EDP, MAN EDT
    Cartier Roadster EDT
    Davidoff Cool Water for Man EDT, Cool Water for Woman EDT, Cool Water Game for Man EDT, Cool Water Game for Woman EDT, Cool Water Wave for Woman EDT
    Dolce & Gabbana L'Eau the One EDT
    Dunhill London EDT, Dunhill EDT
    Etienne Aigner Starlight EDP, Too Feminine Spring EDP
    Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio EDT
    Gucci Gucci EDT
    Hugo Boss Baldessarini EDC, Pure EDT, XY EDT
    Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey EDT
    Jean Paul Gartier Ma Dame EDT
    Jennifer Lopez Deseo Forever EDT, Glow EDT, Glow after Dark EDT, Live EDP
    Kenneth Cole Black EDT
    Loewe Solo EDT
    Mont Blanc Femme de Montblanc EDT, Starwalker EDT
    Moschino Couture! EDP
    Prada Infusion D'Homme EDT
    Ralph Lauren Polo Explorer EDT
    Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Shrine EDT
    Sarah Jessica Parker Covet EDP, Lovely EDP
    Ted Lapidus EDT
    Thierry Mugler Angel Jardin d'Étoiles - La Rose EDP, Angel Jardin d'Étoiles - Le Lys EDP, Angel Jardin d'Étoiles - Pivoine EDP, Angel Jardin d'Étoiles - Violette EDP
    Versace Eau Fraiche EDT
    --------------

    Some other samples that I still have.
    --------------
    Alyssa Ashley White Musk EDT
    FCUK Her EDT
    Perry Ellis 18 for Woman EDP
    --------------

    I have prepared the spreadsheet and looking forward to having fun. Any suggestions to start? Should I just categorize them and choose whichever category to begin with?

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