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  1. #1
    Warum's Avatar
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    Question Smelling on Paper

    OK, I am really getting confused about this one, so please bear with me.

    What is the value of smelling perfume on paper?

    On the one hand, I understand, you cannot sample all of them on your skin. Sometimes, as my friend says, "there is just not enough spots on your body." But on the other hand, I sprayed Dioressence in the store and on paper it smelled lovely, I liberally repeated on my skin and ended up with a stinker! And it happened within minutes from the same sampler. The smells didn't seem to have anything in common on paper and on me.

    How do you use smelling on paper?
    and if you don't, WHY do you think every SA in the store is so quick to spray on paper or give you a bottle to smell?
    Last edited by Warum; 10th June 2010 at 10:55 PM. Reason: thought of another question

  2. #2

    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    The paper strips are useless as far as I'm concerned. No matter what I spray on them, what I SMELL is alcohol and paper (which does have a smell).

    I just sample on as many as I can find spots for on my body without getting arrested, then go home and scrub. I reek like crazy in the car on the way, though! Wow, but four different competing perfumes can create an epic stench.
    This scent is great, but ... MORE KITTENS!

  3. #3
    Warum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    Thanks! Yes, paper does have a smell of its own. One store I know uses cotton balls and I find that more useful. But still... I remember another time, when I smelled Versence on paper and didn't like it, so didn't try on my skin. Now I think that I would like to try it on my skin because it will be softer and warmer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thalia View Post
    I reek like crazy in the car on the way, though! Wow, but four different competing perfumes can create an epic stench.
    Epic stench, I know what you mean and well put!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    The paper strips give you a fair idea of the topnotes. As topnotes usually disappear within minutes from your skin, it's the least helpful way of finding out whether or not you might like a perfume. The paper will eventually give forth the other notes but from my experience that can take days. And still not give you the whole experience.

    Since perfumers use paper test strips to see how the combination of the top middle and basenotes will work together and use separate strips for this, it seems an odd "nod" to the perfumers, but fairly useless for the consumer.

    Another use of the paper is to "remember" the top notes after you've sprayed samples and are in the middle or basenotes stage of the scent. That's probably a better idea, use the paper for the topnotes, spray a sample, wait a few minutes, smell the paper and compare, and repeat when the basenotes show up... you'll get a more rounded idea of how the scent works. You'll see this in a lot of the video perfume reviews, paper for the top, a pre-spray on one hand (a couple hours earlier) for the base, and a fresh spray on the other wrist that will give the middle notes...which will appear while you assess the topnotes on that wrist and on the paper. I guess you could do this in a shop by getting one sample on the back of the right hand, going about your shopping and coming back later for a paper strip and a spritz on the other hand.
    Last edited by actiasluna; 10th June 2010 at 11:03 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    I cannot stand paper strips to test- on my skin it goes. Like Thalia - I spray ,scrub.
    SAs spray on strips, I put them in my bag and then I grab the bottle and spray my skin.
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 10th June 2010 at 11:08 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    I only use paper for process of elimination. If I detest it on paper, it doesn't even go on the skin, just because I don't wish to feel nauseated or headachey for the rest of the day-- and quite a few perfumes make me feel ill.

    But I would never buy on the basis of what it is like on paper. it simply has to go on skin, and develop fully. Right through the drydown, when musky notes I dislike are most prominent.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    It's a way of avoiding sampling something on your skin that you hate.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    I find tissues to work better than paper, as they more closely reflect the porous nature of skin. Things evolve faster on tissue than on paper. Fold the tissue a few times over and spray it from 6 inches or so. You don't want to saturate the tissue, but instead get a nice misting onto it. The increased surface area and decreased saturation (compared to paper) leads to a much quicker evolution of the scent (in comparison to paper, it's still not nearly as fast as on skin).

    Also, this seems to prevent "top note overload" and the scent behaves and diffuses more like it does from skin. I find it best to spray a tissue, let it dry for a minute or so, and then take any sniffs from the "back side" (the dry, unsprayed side) of the tissue. The rest of the tissue sort of acts as a filter to prevent a strong whiff of topnotes, and again, this smells more like the scent that would emanate up out of one's shirt if they were to spray their chest.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 11th June 2010 at 05:23 AM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    Paper may not be great, but it has it's uses. Even better is fabric. I find pieces of fabrics or leather to clean glasses very helpful to test scents.
    They are also good to keep with you the scent you are not wearing but you want to smell throughout the day. Like a perfumed handkerchief.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    I agree with 30 Roses that i would n't prefer buying a perfume of the basis what is on the paper..
    I have sometimes used tissues for friends to smell of what a perfume smells like (it works good) ,some houses use aromatic tissues in sealed envelopes to release a fragrance (Yves Rocher) which i find a nice way of sampling a fragrance !
    Another good solution is using a piece of cotton because damping on cotton the aroma stays longer !
    Sariparates your idea of using a piece of fabric is an excellent one
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  11. #11
    Lifelong Sniffaholic
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    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    I love the idea of using fabric! And tissues are great too-- I've used a tissue from my purse when stores had no testing strips. Maybe next time I'll use the tissue in preference to the paper.


  12. #12
    Warum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smelling on Paper

    Thank you all very much for answers! You are a well informed bunch with great ideas!

    I wanted to clarify: I wouldn't buy based on what it smells like on paper either. I usually get a sample and let it evolve on my skin, like 30 Roses says, and do a couple of wearings. Actually, at this point I try to stick to a finish-a-sample-first rule (and if you miss it, buy a FB).

    I understand better now

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