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  1. #1

    Default When to test samples?

    Ok, this may come across like a stupid question but: when do you guys get the time and space on your bodies to test that pile of samples you probably have? My collection has got so big over the last year that I always have and want something from my collection to wear. So when it comes to samples, which I obviously want to experience, I find myself already with some fragrance on, and I am not going to shower explicitly to wash it off so I can put on a sample, nor does a shower often take away the smell of your SOTD.
    So: when?!? When do you guys get the chance to use your samples?

  2. #2

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I use my samples like I would full size bottles and usually put some on before I leave the house.
    ôLove is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.ö
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  3. #3

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    So you take a day off, so to say, from your fragrances in your collection? My problem with that is that I am already a bit anxious because there is no way I am going to be able to go through all my bottles, and I feel that devoting a whole day to a sample which I am not sure if it is going to satisfy me seems like a waste of precious quality time with my own fragrances.
    I must be nuts.

  4. #4

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    You have to be single minded and put any thoughts of other frags out of your head and allow a sample to take you on a journey so to speak.

  5. #5

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    90% of the time I leave my arm for testing samples. I normally test them on my days off work so I can really evaluate the fragrance properly.

  6. #6

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    What I mean is that my issue is time. I don't literally have enough days to test a sample a full day. I have been sampling vials on one of my wrist, and a different one on the other wrist. But that's obviously not the right way to do it... You don't get a true impression out of it as if you were fully wearing it.
    If you subtract the days you lose of wearing your own fragrances due to wearing samples, you're left with very little time to enjoy your own collection...

  7. #7

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oupavoc View Post
    90% of the time I leave my arm for testing samples. I normally test them on my days off work so I can really evaluate the fragrance properly.
    That's helpful, thanks. So you make kind of a competition on your arms with semifinals and finals, and the ones that appeal more to you win a complete wearing?

  8. #8

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS, ONLY STUPID ANSWERS >>>so here goes...

    When I have most of the day:

    If a shower doesn't remove the scent then you are wearing something very powerful. Or, your the opposite of me and a few sprays go a long way. My skin drinks cologne and I have a serious issue with longevity with almost everything I own or have tried. So, showering or washing my arms where I'm testing works for me. Actually I'm testing several today. I use my wrists and arms for testing and definitely stay away from my neck. If I do use my neck (usually later in the day) then I will need a shower to test the next fragrance. When I'm finished, usually in a few hours, I will scrub my arms and go to the next one. If I find one I really like and probably want to buy I will put it on again later (for a 2nd try) and this time I will spray my neck and chest to get an idea of it's true longevity. This still takes most of the day to try 4 or 5 scents. Of course, there are exceptions where I might try several that are so vile there off in a hurry. Quick results whether positive or negative are preferred as I can test more in one day. I really enjoy it when you try a scent and immediately you know you want it in your collection.

    When I am out testing at stores:

    I DO NOT spray any on me and strictly use the tester strips. I write the names on the strips and take them with me. Using coffee beans helps but I will usually leave the store, (walk around the mall, other stores, etc.) and come back later. I am already wearing cologne when I leave the house but if I know I'm going to test that day then I leave my arms unscented. When I get back to the store if there's one that has really got my attention then I will use my arms and give it a go. Usually by that time the fragrance I was wearing has wore off and doesn't interfere. If I don't try any new ones then I refresh what I was wearing with an atomizer and go on about my day.

    The whole idea is to ENJOY it. Make it FUN.

    Boomer

  9. #9
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanwllCorfe View Post
    I use my samples like I would full size bottles and usually put some on before I leave the house.
    Same for me with any samples I receive free with any purchases I make.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    You have to relax a little. Its like you are counting down the number of days left in your life and trying to time it to where you will use every last drop.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    There is enough time.

    Slow down, and don't worry about using up every drop of every bottle you own. I'll be 56 soon and have a lot of bottles (and may not use it all up before I go) but I take a day off from my own fragrances when I test samples, and I go unscented to stores if I plan to test perfumes.


  12. #12

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by >BOOMER< View Post
    THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS, ONLY STUPID ANSWERS >>>so here goes...

    When I have most of the day:

    If a shower doesn't remove the scent then you are wearing something very powerful. Or, your the opposite of me and a few sprays go a long way. My skin drinks cologne and I have a serious issue with longevity with almost everything I own or have tried. So, showering or washing my arms where I'm testing works for me. Actually I'm testing several today. I use my wrists and arms for testing and definitely stay away from my neck. If I do use my neck (usually later in the day) then I will need a shower to test the next fragrance. When I'm finished, usually in a few hours, I will scrub my arms and go to the next one. If I find one I really like and probably want to buy I will put it on again later (for a 2nd try) and this time I will spray my neck and chest to get an idea of it's true longevity. This still takes most of the day to try 4 or 5 scents. Of course, there are exceptions where I might try several that are so vile there off in a hurry. Quick results whether positive or negative are preferred as I can test more in one day. I really enjoy it when you try a scent and immediately you know you want it in your collection.

    When I am out testing at stores:

    I DO NOT spray any on me and strictly use the tester strips. I write the names on the strips and take them with me. Using coffee beans helps but I will usually leave the store, (walk around the mall, other stores, etc.) and come back later. I am already wearing cologne when I leave the house but if I know I'm going to test that day then I leave my arms unscented. When I get back to the store if there's one that has really got my attention then I will use my arms and give it a go. Usually by that time the fragrance I was wearing has wore off and doesn't interfere. If I don't try any new ones then I refresh what I was wearing with an atomizer and go on about my day.

    The whole idea is to ENJOY it. Make it FUN.

    Boomer
    Cool! That's a great way to do it. I actually never have scrubbed a fragrance off before, but I may start doing that. Life's too short for mediocre samples, lol!
    Hednic: I just did that today and that's why I started this thread. I put on my sample of Xerjoff's Mefisto and went out for the whole day. Now, I appreciate the fragrance, but that Iris note was bothering me all day. So that will be my last time getting a full wear of a sample that I haven't thoroughly tested previously...
    Heperd: it's not that, it's just that I don't want the fragrances in my collection to get spoiled sometime having wasted time with samples that didn't really convince me...

  13. #13

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    There is enough time.

    Slow down, and don't worry about using up every drop of every bottle you own. I'll be 56 soon and have a lot of bottles (and may not use it all up before I go) but I take a day off from my own fragrances when I test samples, and I go unscented to stores if I plan to test perfumes.
    I guess I have to take it easy, breathe in- breathe out...

  14. #14

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I was wondering this a bit myself. I just got 8 samples from Aedes and I realized that right there I had maybe 16 wearings that I just added to my schedule. That's almost 2 weeks that samples would be used rather than any of my bottles. And since a lot of them seem to be better in the winter it puts a dent in it. Anyways, I just figured I'd wear them on days when nothing really jumped out at me. And I would say that since you're worried that committing to a full day is taking time away from your other scents, first why did you get samples then, and second maybe just put a little on one wrist and make sure you like it, then finish applying or wash it off.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Good to hear that you are not that anxious.
    Usually a fragrance has to to make the cut from paper, up to arm test, then the final round of full day of wear test. Very few frags these days make it to the Super Bowl of full day wearing on me.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I don't do this much any more but I used to cover my arms with samples and sit around taking notes on them. Now I usually try a thing or two on Saturday morning, which is the time I most often have a couple hours to sit around a drink coffee and write. Then I shower and begin the day.
    '...And you'll carry me down on your dancing
    To the pools that you lift on your wrist...'

  17. #17

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Starshipvelcro: I keep on testing samples because there's still dozens of fantastic fragrances out there. The experience is the greatest part of perfumery for me. Too many men, ahem, frags, too little time...
    Heperd: I'm gonna stick to that method of merits. Right now I have a By Kilian that is being way too sickly sweet on me. Gonna wash it off and make space for a new one :-)

  18. #18

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    I don't do this much any more but I used to cover my arms with samples and sit around taking notes on them. Now I usually try a thing or two on Saturday morning, which is the time I most often have a couple hours to sit around a drink coffee and write. Then I shower and begin the day.
    That sounds also very reasonable! Only it'll have to be 4-5 things for me, lol...

  19. #19

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I go to stores without wearing scent or only in my hair. If I want to test samples at home but don't want to sacrifice wearing my collection than I wear something in the evening at home. Usually whatever fragrance I wore in the morning has worn off by then.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  20. #20

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lian View Post
    I go to stores without wearing scent or only in my hair. If I want to test samples at home but don't want to sacrifice wearing my collection than I wear something in the evening at home. Usually whatever fragrance I wore in the morning has worn off by then.
    Also a good method, thanks! That way you don't risk going out in public smelling like Secretions Magnifiques!

  21. #21

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Precisely!
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  22. #22

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I usually come home after work, shower, then go out to the shops to try on new fragrances. It means I am clean and at my "fragrance neutral" level.

    I have put on a sample first thing in the morning and gone to work with it on. But if it's something that I really don't like then you run the risk of smelling contrary to your style/outside your comfort zone which can backfire.

  23. #23

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by rum View Post
    I usually come home after work, shower, then go out to the shops to try on new fragrances. It means I am clean and at my "fragrance neutral" level.

    I have put on a sample first thing in the morning and gone to work with it on. But if it's something that I really don't like then you run the risk of smelling contrary to your style/outside your comfort zone which can backfire.
    My point exactly!

  24. #24

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    You can do at least two a day if you put one each dabbed onto the ankles. Plus, you can still wear a signature scent or keep to your rotation if you like.

  25. #25

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    You can do at least two a day if you put one each dabbed onto the ankles. Plus, you can still wear a signature scent or keep to your rotation if you like.
    I'm not very good at yoga, so how will I be able to smell my ankles? ;-)

  26. #26

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by rum View Post
    I usually come home after work, shower, then go out to the shops to try on new fragrances. It means I am clean and at my "fragrance neutral" level.

    I have put on a sample first thing in the morning and gone to work with it on. But if it's something that I really don't like then you run the risk of smelling contrary to your style/outside your comfort zone which can backfire.
    This is exactly why I only test on my days off or after work after taking a shower, because you can always shower and scrub the fragrance off. Wearing it to work...your stuck with it. Just like yesterday, after work I tested bond no 9 - I love NY for all. To me it was horrible, not my style at all. I hated it from the first min. All I wanted to do is scrub it off. If I would have worn that to work...its not going to be a good day.

  27. #27

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by LloydLlewellyn View Post
    I'm not very good at yoga, so how will I be able to smell my ankles? ;-)
    If you can cross your legs "like a man" you then just waft the scent to your nose with one hand. Very simple and great for testing a frag over a period of time. You don't get olfactory fatigue this way !

  28. #28

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by LloydLlewellyn View Post
    I actually never have scrubbed a fragrance off before, but I may start doing that. Life's too short for mediocre samples, lol!
    I find that it helps to be fairly mercenary about samples. By which I don't mean "prematurely judgmental", more "knowing exactly what you want to get out of the sample".

    In my case, I'm generally trying to classify a fragrance into one of the following three classes: 1) things I like and would wear again, 2) things I don't particularly like but think are probably educational, and 3) neither #1 nor #2 and also dislike.

    I don't think there's any good reason to keep a fragrance in category #3 on for longer than a couple of hours. By that time, you get the general trajectory of the development. You don't have to judge the fragrance or be prepared to write it up on Basenotes. You're not writing it off forever; it's just not working for you in the moment. You can always come back to it later if you feel like it. Just scrub and start with something else.

    When you do scrub, use dishwashing liquid. Unlike hand soap, it's designed to suspend and strip out all oils, so it's more effective at eliminating perfume. Only a minority of frags require actual "scrubbing".

    It also helps to test on your forearms, since that makes scrubbing relatively easy. I like the forearms generally as an application point, but you'll find that opinions vary widely on this.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanwllCorfe View Post
    I use my samples like I would full size bottles and usually put some on before I leave the house.
    This. My collection is smaller, so sometimes I feel like something different. So I just pop a sample. You could do that too, even with a large collection. Just wake up one morning, and if you feel like trying something new, do it.

    Or tape a sign to your ceiling above your bed that reads: "Sample today?"
    To get your mind thinking so you dont automatically apply something and realize you wanted to sample something else

  30. #30

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I test samples at night before bed as I would have just showered.
    Otherwise I won't perfume myself and test at the boutique.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    Good to hear that you are not that anxious.
    Usually a fragrance has to to make the cut from paper, up to arm test, then the final round of full day of wear test. Very few frags these days make it to the Super Bowl of full day wearing on me.
    That's how I do it too. Maybe 20% makes it to a full wearing, and by that point I'm intrigued enough to allow it to bump off my collection for the day. But I can relate to the OP's frustrations. That's why I try not to get too many samples at once if I can avoid it.

  32. #32

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I like to wear my samples just like I'd wear my normal SOTD. I've noticed my skin smells differently at different times throughout the day. Most samples I try I've either briefly sampled on skin in a store (I'll try up to 4 in a store, and then decide which samples to take home) or I've read enough reviews to have a good expectation of the fragrance.

    One way I get through my samples is by doing theme weeks. I've built up a bit of a backlog, so I'll set aside a bunch of samples from the same category/house/note and get through them in a week. It helps keep me focused on trying new scents, and it keeps it interesting because I'm comparing and contrasting throughout the week. I often throw in something from my collection that fits the theme, because some days during the week I need to wear something that won't let me down.

    Also, I enjoy trying to expand my horizons, so it's kind of fun to force myself to wear something I may not be completely comfortable in for a whole day.

  33. #33

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by LloydLlewellyn View Post
    So you take a day off, so to say, from your fragrances in your collection? My problem with that is that I am already a bit anxious because there is no way I am going to be able to go through all my bottles, and I feel that devoting a whole day to a sample which I am not sure if it is going to satisfy me seems like a waste of precious quality time with my own fragrances.
    I must be nuts.
    You're not nuts.
    You just need to accept that you purchase frags for the enjoyment and that not using them all is ok.

    Personally I use my samples on my forearms when I get home from work or on weekends if they're new or I'm not sure about them.
    If I'm considering a purchase then I'll try and give the sample/s a proper/normal days wear to see if they are FBW.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanwllCorfe View Post
    I use my samples like I would full size bottles and usually put some on before I leave the house.
    &

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    There is enough time.

    Slow down, and don't worry about using up every drop of every bottle you own.
    agree ...

  35. #35

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by laph View Post
    Personally I use my samples on my forearms when I get home from work or on weekends if they're new or I'm not sure about them.
    If I'm considering a purchase then I'll try and give the sample/s a proper/normal days wear to see if they are FBW.
    I do the same.

  36. #36

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Here's what I do:

    When I get a new sample order - anywhere from a couple to 10+ samples, I tend to test them ALL on paper that evening or the first evening I have a few hours where I'm free. This lets me get a feel for each of the samples - their basic character and most importantly, their feel and 'mood.' What I mean by mood is - I get a rough idea of when I feel like I would enjoy the scent (if at all). For instance, it would feel very very strange to wear something like Narciso Rodriguez PH when I'm feeling joyful and optimistic - to me NR has a solemn and introspective mood that suits rainy days or even slightly depressive moods.

    Knowing the mood of a bunch of samples lets me know when I might like to wear it. Then, I simply wait until the day comes when it seems like the right time/place/mood for a specific sample and give it a full and proper wearing. Some samples never end up being worn a full day - and that's ok. I don't force it because I know that if I force myself to wear a sample that I'm not really in the mood for, I won't be able to judge it fairly anyway, and so it's a waste of my time and unfair to the fragrance in question.

    Of course, I'll often times revisit samples that I may never wear on skin on paper, but that's mostly because I like to mentally deconstruct scents both to understand how they were put together, look for interesting or unique accords or transitions or a particularly interesting or novel use of a note, and also to help me with my own perfumery work.
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  37. #37

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Here's what I do:

    When I get a new sample order - anywhere from a couple to 10+ samples, I tend to test them ALL on paper that evening or the first evening I have a few hours where I'm free. This lets me get a feel for each of the samples - their basic character and most importantly, their feel and 'mood.' What I mean by mood is - I get a rough idea of when I feel like I would enjoy the scent (if at all). For instance, it would feel very very strange to wear something like Narciso Rodriguez PH when I'm feeling joyful and optimistic - to me NR has a solemn and introspective mood that suits rainy days or even slightly depressive moods.

    Knowing the mood of a bunch of samples lets me know when I might like to wear it. Then, I simply wait until the day comes when it seems like the right time/place/mood for a specific sample and give it a full and proper wearing. Some samples never end up being worn a full day - and that's ok. I don't force it because I know that if I force myself to wear a sample that I'm not really in the mood for, I won't be able to judge it fairly anyway, and so it's a waste of my time and unfair to the fragrance in question.

    Of course, I'll often times revisit samples that I may never wear on skin on paper, but that's mostly because I like to mentally deconstruct scents both to understand how they were put together, look for interesting or unique accords or transitions or a particularly interesting or novel use of a note, and also to help me with my own perfumery work.
    That's a very insightful answer, thanks. That previous step of trying them on paper will be great for discerning the one I'll want to try from those that I won't. The mood is very important, true, I usually am in the mood of a certain kind of scent when I'm about to sample.
    Thanks for the contributions, guys, I have now a few different methods of sampling, and more importantly, I won't be feeling like a frigging neurotic when I'm faced with 'the box of sample vials' :-)
    Kurt smells like Teen Spirit

  38. #38

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    If you can cross your legs "like a man" you then just waft the scent to your nose with one hand. Very simple and great for testing a frag over a period of time. You don't get olfactory fatigue this way !
    Still cracking up imagining the picture of me sitting and wafting from my ankle while everybody looks at me thinking I've gone gaga...
    Kurt smells like Teen Spirit

  39. #39

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    The answer is simple: Constant wear over time.

  40. #40

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    It really depends. Usually, with a sample I am trying for the first time I usually get a female co-worker to give me their impression. After getting a couple of responses from spraying the back of my hand and wrist if the fragrances measures up I will give it a full days wearing the following day. Usually, I will sample it get as many responses as I can, see how long it lasts and if it is a winner I will shower when I get home and re apply as my scent of the evening. There is no right way just the way that works for you.
    My current top ten:
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    4. Tonka Imperiale
    5. Musc Ravageur
    6. Bois d'argent
    7. Apple Brandy
    8. Dior Homme Intense
    9. Tobacco Vanille
    10.Oud 1

  41. #41

    Default Re: When to test samples?

    I like to test a few at night, usually 2 but sometimes I just revisit an old frag friend for fun and try a new one. It's nice to wind down in front of the TV and enjoy a new frag. Sometimes it's just before bed (I'm an insomniac, so I have at least an hour or 2 before I actually sleep) where as I'm playing games on my phone I am constantly sniffing my arms :} and it's really nice when I wake up and the fragrance is still there.
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