I don't have a lot of experience with solid perfumes and I am sure other will be able to give you much more info. In my opinion the solids don't have a lot of sillage but stay fairly long on the skin. But of course, it depends. I love the portability. Your method of application seems correct. At least, I do the same thing. I try to put apply only on my wrists to avoid messing my clothes. I would say that you do need to try them on your skin and not on a paper strip.
Many natural/organic food stores carry a line called Pacifica that comes both in liquid form and little tins of solid perfume. They usually do have testers. I did not like the ones I tried but I have read several good comments about them on BN. They did not smell unmistakably feminine to me.
Another one you could try is Crazylibellule and the poppies. Beautyhabit has this line. CL has many solids (shaped like a stick). I have 2: Le Baiser and Encens Mystique. EM could definitely be used by a man.
Top Notes: Clove & Cedar
Heart: Incense, Myrrh & Benzoin
Base Notes: Musk, Patchouli & Vanilla
I hope others will be able to help you more.