That's a pretty decent starting lineup. To be honest, there's a lot of stuff out there and you'd probably do better going out and exploring yourself. Don't let basenotes color your expectations or constrain your choices for trying new fragrances--there are some fragrances that are less interesting, to be sure, but to a "newbie", everything is novel, and you might end up loving something that everyone here hates.
The one rule of thumb you should stick to is never, never, NEVER buy a full bottle of something on your first (or second or even third sniff). I don't follow this rule because I'm stupid and that's why I have an inflated wardrobe and a deflated wallet. By the time you've smelled a lot of fragrances, you should have a pretty good handle on what you like and dislike. This should narrow the scope of your survey (Of course, just because you didn't like one example of something doesn't mean you won't like another, so revisit things occasionally).
If something captures your attention, go back and try it again. Get a sample of it. Wear it under varied circumstances. If you like it but don't love it or if something's "missing", then share it here and see what similar fragrances people can come up with. Don't buy full bottles of anything unless you love it (your wallet will thank you).
By the time you've developed an appreciation for certain kinds of fragrances, you've probably exhausted the department store offerings, but then you'd know what you're looking for--then ideally you just have to come to basenotes and search for the relevant notes, find fragrances you haven't tried before, read some reviews to see if they fit your criteria (look for relatively "objective" things like longevity and sillage, here), and find a way to sample them (order online if there are no boutiques near you).
That's probably the "ideal" process.