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  1. #1
    ToughCool's Avatar
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    Default To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Someone explain the value of decanting for the prices out there to me again. I'm looking to try some things, as people told me to do in my one thread about being confused these days. They are ones I've tried before and want to see how they are for a few wearings.

    Pros:

    a) You can try multiple scents instead of buying one bottle
    b) Gives you flexibility for many occassions
    c) You never use full bottles anyways

    Cons:

    a) Price
    b) small decants that don't last but a few wearings

    Maybe the practical side of me is just muddying this for me but lets just say I wanted 6-8 2.5 ml samles from TPC. I also wanted to try Creeds/Bonds or even some designers. I've tried them but not really a few day wearings. These run from $9-$15. I could spend $90 on what amounts to about 1-1.35 oz of scents..around a small bottle. Is this worth it to some?

    I'm not trying to debate budget as much as what people really think the worth of this is
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  2. #2
    Snafoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    TC, perhaps I misinterpreted the original thread, but I think the recommendation was to get decants larger than 2.5 mL so that you could have enough for multiple wearings. For that purpose, I think the minimum size would be 5 mL, and preferably 10.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  3. #3
    ToughCool's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    That is what I was thinking to Snafoo. I just didn't realize that this would push the boundries too as for amount of juice for price. What do you recommend? Do people buy many or start with say 4 5ml decants? I think that is about $30 a pop. I guess I'm wondering how many wearings actually last per ml, etc so I know what I'll budget for. Truthfully, price isn't the concern. I don't mind spending money . I was just wondering from the practical side how much you got for that money and if it was enough wearings to make it worth the while. Cost benefit analysis.

    And as an aside I know the cost is partly due to the amount of work and customer service put in to decant for a large customer base.
    Last edited by ToughCool; 15th October 2010 at 07:39 PM.
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  4. #4
    Tarheel Golfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I personally prefer to buy/trade decants with fellow Basenoters. I'm not knocking TPC. They offer a great service. But I too have difficulty with the prices. I have been able so find almost everything I've wanted to sample through my online friends here. Send me a PM if you want more details.

  5. #5

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I do prefer decants when its a scent I am unfamiliar with. It gives me the flexibility to test it for a few full wearings. If I like it I will buy a full bottle if not then I can either trade it off for something else or keep it for a more versatile wardrobe. This has been my preferred method when blind buying.

    Also, I belong to a Scent Split group that is constantly splitting bottles. They take the price the bottle was purchased for and break it down to a per ml price. This is a great way to save as the price works out the same as if you were to purchase a full bottle. I suggest you and anyone else interested join up! Just pm me and I will shoot you the details.

  6. #6
    Master-Classter's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel Golfer View Post
    I personally prefer to buy/trade decants with fellow Basenoters. I'm not knocking TPC. They offer a great service. But I too have difficulty with the prices. I have been able so find almost everything I've wanted to sample through my online friends here. Send me a PM if you want more details.
    +1. My method was to buy 5-10 100ml bottles of the more popular frags or ones that everyone wanted to try (encre noire, Guerlain Vetiver, Terre D'Hermes, etc...) even if I only sort of liked it and planned to use 50ml or so. I then went out looking at people's wishlists as well as conversations around those frags and messaged people offering to swap 5-10ml of mine for the same of one of theirs. It takes a bit of work, and it still costs money (your frag/ml, decant container, time to make the decant and go to the store, packaging and shipping costs) - ie to send 10ml of anything probably costs me $15 all in, but in return I get 10ml of something else to try extensively.

    My current wardrobe are all my 100ml's, my "test" list are basically all my 10ml decants I've been able to try. I've never purchased from any of those decant websites, ever.
    NEW STUFF FOR SALE - TOM FORD, Guerlain, Acqua Di Parma, Serge Lutens, Byredo, Diptyque, etc. .

    Most of the time I am very proud of the Basenotes community. Time after time I have witnessed the thoughtfulness, empathy & genuine friendship that members of this community extend to others - oldtimers & newcomers alike. There are other times, however, when egos get the upper hand and civility goes out the window. My philosophy is that I won't say anything here that I would not say if you were standing in front of me. Welcome to Basenotes, each and every one of us. ~ TwoRoads

  7. #7

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    IMO decants all the way, unless you get a killer deal on a fragrance you love, OR you just love the fragrance so much that you must buy it.

    Work with decants in the 15-20 ml range. It will take you longer than you think to go through them.

  8. #8

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    If you are flat out poor (Have negative money bc of student loans) which would you recommend?

  9. #9

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I think 1ml vials (like TPC) are ENOUGH to decide if you like some fragrance and buy a full bottle, my 2c.
    If you need more than wrist tests, just pay it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I love decants, but TPC is way overpriced. I like those ladies, but when they went into business together they jacked their prices up.
    Look here for much better values on samples, decants, etc:
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

    -Slim
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
    Refrigerator

    ____________________________________________
    My swaps and sales are now listed here:
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=124

    And here (just search for Slim):
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

  11. #11

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Decants are worthwhile for me as part of the decisionmaking process, but there are specific reasons:

    - I'm a light wearer - maybe two or three sprays per wearing - so a decant lasts me a good long time.

    - I don't do swapping by mail. I'm crazy paranoid about postal regulations, and I also tend to be unreliable about some things, so I avoid doing those things. So that eliminates the normal method for getting samples for free or cheap or trade, and the normal method for getting rid of mistakes.

    - I'm really, really picky. Even when I narrow by reviews and notes lists and so on, I still rarely love more than one fragrance out of thirty. And I don't want to own bottles that I don't love - I have a firm policies about clutter and hoarding, and keeping dubious bottles is a violation.

    But all that said, once I love a fragrance, I still want a bottle, though always the smallest one available. It's entirely illogical - I rarely use up an entire decant, much less an entire bottle - but I never feel that I really "own" the fragrance until I have it in the bottle.

  12. #12
    Surfacing's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by Captcrunch View Post
    I do prefer decants when its a scent I am unfamiliar with. It gives me the flexibility to test it for a few full wearings. If I like it I will buy a full bottle if not then I can either trade it off for something else or keep it for a more versatile wardrobe. This has been my preferred method when blind buying....
    This is a smart man I totally agree with this method ( even though in practice, I don't always follow because of lack of discipline).

    Decants also allow me to understand fragrances better. A particular decant may not need to be worn for SotD's, but just sampled at times. Sometimes, a decant I bought and disliked later becomes something I enjoy.

    But as a whole, decants allow for variety and interest in fragrances.
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Jil Sander Feeling Man, Cacharel Nemo, Bijan for Men EDC, Lanvin for Men, Giorgio VIP, Il Lancetti and other old school frags ....etc. I have samples to swap.

    More HERE
    Please PM me !

  13. #13

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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I think the only reason to go with a decant is if you're wanting to try something that cannot be found where you live and you've never tried it before. You should be able to get a sample where you buy it, otherwise just return it. I mean if the people at Sephora can make a sample for you why the hell can't they do it at Saks? Every major specialty and department store will allow you to return fragrance, even if you've used some of it. On the other hand, I think it's ridiculous that it would take any man more than 3 wearings to decide if he wants to buy it or not.

  14. #14
    Master-Classter's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by blondex199667 View Post
    On the other hand, I think it's ridiculous that it would take any man more than 3 wearings to decide if he wants to buy it or not.
    I'd think it's ridiculous to decide based on any LESS then 3 wearings. between the season, time of day, mood, subsequent event, etc... I give anything at least 3 wearings before making any final judgement on it. I can usually rule OFF one by a couple of wearings, but if i'm not sure it takes me at least that long to figure it out and if I like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pappy View Post
    If you are flat out poor (Have negative money bc of student loans) which would you recommend?
    what would I recomend? I'd recomend not having this hobby... it's a pure luxury based on disposable income, plain and simple. I'd suggest doing the rounds at department stores asking for samples and using those. Then I'd suggest buying some relatively cheap bottles and trying to swap for decants, or even finding people's wishlists and swapping those free samples you got for a few decants of something you want.
    NEW STUFF FOR SALE - TOM FORD, Guerlain, Acqua Di Parma, Serge Lutens, Byredo, Diptyque, etc. .

    Most of the time I am very proud of the Basenotes community. Time after time I have witnessed the thoughtfulness, empathy & genuine friendship that members of this community extend to others - oldtimers & newcomers alike. There are other times, however, when egos get the upper hand and civility goes out the window. My philosophy is that I won't say anything here that I would not say if you were standing in front of me. Welcome to Basenotes, each and every one of us. ~ TwoRoads

  15. #15

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    For me, the value is in testing (evaluating) and in ensuring that something expensive and rarely used is kept fresh so the money is never wasted. It would be bad if I spent a fortune on a full bottle of something I merely liked and wore it rarely only to have it spoil before a fraction of the bottle is used. My "rotation" doesn't justify it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I can pretty much tell if I'm going to like something through a couple uses of a 2ml sample. I would only pick up larger decants (say10-30ml) if it was something I knew I liked AND knew I was only going to wear a limited amount of times or settings. Otherwise, I would go with a 50ml bottle, which is likely cheaper.

  17. #17

    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Decants all the way but buy them from basenoters that dont have ridiculous prices. I am buying 10ml decants only for price around 7-10 euros shipping included. Of course $/ml is higher than if you buy full bottle but right now I am pretty sure that I wont finish any of my full bottles for atleast few years so I dont see point in wasting my money on another full bottles.

    10 ml will probably last me atleast 20 wearings (for strong fragrances like Encre Noire or Le Male maybe 50) and that is pretty good deal and much better than be bored after 5 wearings of full bottle. If any fragrance survives my "decant wearings" and I will still like it THEN I will buy full bottle .
    Current TOP 7 from my collection:

    1. Gucci Pour Homme II
    2. Chanel Coromandel
    3. L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme
    4. Encre Noire
    5. Dior Homme Intense
    6. Timbuktu
    7. Dior Homme

  18. #18
    DULLAH's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_Towers View Post
    I think 1ml vials (like TPC) are ENOUGH to decide if you like some fragrance and buy a full bottle, my 2c.
    If you need more than wrist tests, just pay it.
    I think like this.
    I use decants strictly for sampling.
    Luckily, I live in the 3rd largest US metro area, so I can test almost everything locally for free, but there were several hundred niche & vintage scents which i simply had to test, for fear of missing "the one". Most of these, I needed no more than a dab (0.1ml or less) to know if it was in the ballpark. Almost all these 1ml samples were enough to know either buy a full bottle, or nothing. Sometimes, simply smelling the wand after it dried for a while was enough to know it was not for me. If 1ml is enough to make me like it, but not buy a bottle, I will buy a larger decant. And if 10ml doesn't make you love something, it's not love.


    On the other side, are people buying larger decants (15-30ml), due to not wanting to buy full-size large bottles they'd likely never finish before their tastes changed/evolved. Many of them have a very large and diverse rotation of scents. This makes good sense, even if the price per ml is higher for a smaller amount, the view here is cumulative $ saved when compared to buying bottles.

    Many good reasons to use decants.
    Thanks to this community for bringing us all together to facilitate such.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    I love having decants of fragrances to decide whether I like a scent or not.

    Mind you, I have only ever bought a handful of decants from The Perfumed Court. Most of the decants I own I have either bought from Basenoters, swapped with Basenoters or been gifted by Basenoters.

  20. #20
    Hasupk@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    From my experience, it is much better buying decants.
    I remember when I first started here, I would just blind buy everything. At the end of the day I would only really like about 20% of what I bought, if that.
    Reselling is also a pain as you won't get what you paid for the bottle esp if purchased retail.
    This is one of the reasons I started selling decants myself, because I did not have that resource for designer scents at least.
    Off-Site Decants =) (updated 05/16/12)
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic....7994440fd3c0ab

  21. #21

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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Here is a great website to get affordable decants from many trusted users:

    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewforum.php?f=2

  22. #22
    ToughCool's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Decant or Not to Decant, that is the question

    Well I went to TPC and ordered a few. Most I've samples or worn a few times but not enough to make decisions,...except TdH. Not earth shattering choices but just ones I want to wear a little bit and see if I can go small bottle with or can't live witout

    Green Irish Tweed
    Bois du Portugal
    Terre d Hermes
    Tom Ford Oud Wood
    Pasha Cartier
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

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