Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Default Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Hi everyone,

    I am enjoying my journey on the road of fragrance discovery and especially sampling, which I have done a lot of over the past few months, but it has also thrown up some questions and confusion for me.

    As we know, sometimes scents can be love at first sniff and sometimes it takes a while, and lots of resampling before you get it. And sometimes you fall out of love with something that just seemed so right a few weeks, months or years before.

    All these things can result in lots of money spent, especially when buying an actual bottle of juice. And as I go along, there seems to be hundreds of actual bottles (not decants or samples) I desperately want to add to my collection, all at once and now, but can't necessarily afford it all.

    So, my questions are: What determines full bottle status for you? Do you resample several times? Or is it just a lightbulb moment at first sniff and you have to have? And how do you get around that temptation of I want XYZ FBs now but don't have the $ for it all?

    Apologies for the long post, but it is a burning question right now as there are 5 FBs that I want right now and having to sit on my hands *curses temptation*!

    many thanks everyone!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    I've made several full-bottle mistakes, so I'm trying hard to stick to a set of pre-bottle sampling rules.

    The steps are, approximately:

    - First sniff. Ideally, this is a sniff at a store or from a free vial sample. If I can't get a free sniff, I'll buy a cheap vial sample from LuckyScent or Aedes. If that doesn't work, then I'll pay for a 1.5 mil sprayer sample from The Perfumed Court.

    - Wearing test. a 1.5 ml or 2.5 ml sprayer sample from The Perfumed Court. (Obviously this merges with First Sniff if I can't find a cheap sample.) I can get two or three or five wearings from this.

    - Decant waiting period. I try really, really hard to go through at least a 5ml decant before I seriously consider buying a bottle. This tells me when I wear the fragrance, how often I wear the fragrance, and gives me another chance to realize that maybe I don't like it that much.

    So at some point I've used up the 5ml decant. If this is two weeks after I bought it, apparently I like the stuff - at least, I like it right now. If it's two years, apparently I don't like it that much.

    Even here, there are other things to consider. Such as:

    - Am I going through a note craze? When you're first discovering a note, it can be easy to buy and buy that note - a bunch of leather perfumes or a bunch of jasmine perfumes. Then you're on to the next note and you realize that you really could have gotten along with one or two. So another rule is that I'm allowed to buy _one_ perfume representing the Note Craze note, while I'm in that Craze.

    - Am I falling for bargains? Right now, I could buy Rochas Tocade and Balmain Vent Vert and Balmain Ivore and two or three others, for the price of one bottle of Bois Blond. But what I really want is the Bois Blond. So I need to resist the temptation to buy all those others. To counter this tendency, I made a budgeting rule that I'm allowed to buy _one_ bottle at specific intervals. This helps me narrow my sights and get the bottle I really wanted.

    - There are always decants. Repeat this as many times as necessary. The decant doesn't have the magic of the full bottle and the box and the cellophane-opening-ceremony, but it does give you the perfume, at a price much less than that of a bottle. I have a number of decants representing moments where I _almost_ bought a bottle, decants that are still nearly full months later. So I know that I was right not to buy that bottle.

    Crayfish

  3. #3

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Replying to myself to add: Also, you need to know how you use perfume.

    For example, I've discovered that when two perfumes are similar to me (even though maybe no sane person would see them as similar ), I'll pick one as a favorite and the other, no matter how much I loved it, may never get worn again.

    - I still love ElizabethW Sweet Tea, but for me L'Eau Rare Matale has replaced it.
    - I love both Daim Blond and Cuir Venenum, but I always wear Daim Blond.
    - I love Douce Amere and Cadjmere, but I'm not sure if I'll ever wear my Douce Amere decant again.
    - Aomassai may, freakishly, bump out Tea for Two! I hope not, but I'm seeing a Trend.

    So I need to know that about myself. Sometimes the relationship isn't obvious to me, but at the very least I know that it's a waste of money for me to buy more then one tuberose, more than one orange-prominent perfume, and so on. No matter how much I love them both, I won't wear them both.

    And, I know that I'm a sillage wimp. So a tablespoon of, say, Serge Lutens Un Lys will probably last me the rest of my life. In general, there's no excuse for me to get more than a decant of any floral sillage monsters. I have the craving for a pretty bottle for these, but I think that just means I need to buy some pretty empty dabber bottles.

    It takes a while to know these quirks, and you don't want to find them out late and have a hundred bottles that conflict with your quirks. So I'd recommend taking your time.

    Crayfish

  4. #4

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    I'm very ruthless about FB buys. I don't buy things which I merely find interesting, or unusual/original, or classics that I appreciate or frags which are nice or even very nice. I try to only buy things which genuinely put a smile on my face and which I know I'll wear.

    And while on the subject of wearing, I also tend to buy seasonally. I like Philosykos, for example, and think that it would make for a great summer scent. Except that it's now October and I'm in the North of England so there's simply no rush to buy that. And even if one day I suddenly wake up craving it in the meantime, then I know that I still have a sample which I can use.

    I'm not into collecting fragrances, I like to smell lots of different things but I only buy and wear a very small selection so this works for me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Crayfish,

    Some brilliant advice!

    Thank you so much for the very detailed post! It has REALLY helped me understand the process.....

    Thanks for explaining and taking the time to help out - it is appreciated!

    WF

  6. #6

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Thank you Anthracite too...

    The smile on the face rule is a VERY good idea. And yes, there are some times when the frags are just interesting/unusual, but you won't wear them necessarily or even if you do, that often.

    Thanks so much.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    My process is much like Crayfish's. I start off by purchasing 2.5ml or 5ml samples from the off site sales of other members first (depending on how much I'm interested in said fragrance as well as said fragrance's price). I've come to notice that the samples of those fragrances I truly enjoy wearing tend to disappear quite fast and this immediately sets off a light in my head that I should consider it full bottle worthy. There are of course those times where I smell something once and immediately want a FB (ie. Tobacco Vanille, Dior Eau Noire). Unfortunately, it seems that those love at first sniff ones are always outrageously expensive. For these situations, I opt for the decant option from fellow members (I recently joined a great Google Group that does scent splits as well). I guess the only advice I have is that decants are your best friend, no matter how much you want a FB.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    I would suggest wearing any scent at least 2-3 times, in different situations before purchasing a bottlle. I have also learned to pay attention to how "strong" a scent is. I love Black Aoud and Ambre Sultan but a bottle of either would last more than a lifetime.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Crayfish gave some excellent advice. I try to find smaller sizes whenever possible, like 1 oz, but sometimes I can't. If it's a scent I would spray liberally and wear during the day, then I'll go for it. I also tend to buy deals when I find them, some of them may not be on my wishlist, but I enjoy the hunt. lol

    We're all different, really, what you have to figure out is what works for you.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    I think you've gotten some good advice. For me, it's always been safe to buy a bottle if I've loved it immediately the first time I've worn a sample. There are only a few that I learned to like over a few wearings. At this point, owning quite a few bottles, I do not buy anything blind, and I don't buy anything that I don't love the first time I wear them. Don't be in a rush, and wind up with a bunch of mediocre perfumes that you don't love to wear.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Don't.
    Last edited by hammersj; 6th December 2009 at 07:12 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    I've been mostly swapping. Sometimes it will take a while to get what you want, but if you have patience then it can work out nicely. I did a lot of decant and sample swapping not just here, but also at MUA. In some cases, I swapped bottles for decants, or vice versa. Since that will soon be allowed here at BN, you will have two sites to use for this purpose.

    If you don't have a lot of patience, then I suggest buying samples from a fellow BNer, at one of the off site places, like Crystal Flacon.or http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits. However, before spending a lot of money on samples/decants, you can get some "cheapos" that are different and acquaint yourself with different genres and major notes/accords. Then you will have a good idea about which samples to try first.

  13. #13
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    Whiteflowers, ask yourself this: which do you want more, to be able to wear a wider variety of different fragrances, or to enjoy the look and feel of full bottles, even if you must buy fewer of them?

    If the former, then buy decants. You will stretch your money a lot farther and won't get stuck with bottles of perfumes you've lost interest in.

    If, on the other hand, you obtain genuine satisfaction from handling and admiring the manufacturer's bottle, you won't ultimately be happy with decants and should just try to prioritize as to which bottles to buy first. You could allow yourself so many per season, or one per month, or whatever works for your budget.

    A long time ago I read this advice: make a list of some things you want very much right now (but don't actually need to get.) Don't buy those things-- instead put the list away for 6 months, then pull it out and reread it.

    On a whim, I tried this. I was shocked at how many things on my list I no longer cared about getting at all.

    Try it. Put those wished-for full bottles on a list and tuck the list away. In 6 months' time, you may well have lost interest in half of them. The money you saved by not buying those can then go toward your purchase of the ones you still want.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    A lot of my love at first smell scents, i hardly ever regret. It's the ones that are the on the verge of love scents that i think you need to keep testing and not every day, maybe once every couple of weeks. This way you will find that you either really love it or glad that you didn't make the purchase.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Questions from a newbie to the experienced: On sampling, re-sampling to FB status

    I don't have the luxury of easy and affordable access to samples and decants, so most of my FBs are actually from blind buys or limited number of samplings (without full wearing). Often I purchase an FB because of a "good deal."

Similar Threads

  1. Newbie with a few questions
    By JitterpigJen in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 29th July 2009, 07:32 PM
  2. A newbie with a few questions
    By dynastyd95 in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 14th February 2009, 05:35 AM
  3. Questions regarding scent creation (newbie)
    By flouris in forum Fragrance DIY
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13th January 2009, 07:25 AM
  4. My Newbie Basenotes Questions
    By z71ECUPirate in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 17th November 2007, 12:13 AM
  5. Lots of questions from a newbie
    By lex89 in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18th July 2006, 12:17 PM

Posting Permissions

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



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000