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Thread: On Blind Buying

  1. #1
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    Cool On Blind Buying

    I own about 25 bottles and a few large splits to date, and I have about 25 samples and small decants, say 5-10mls or less. About 60 or maybe even 80% of my FB's were blind buys.

    Now, I know blind buying is not for everyone, and in fact, maybe most people should avoid the practice. One should have a fairly tolerant, accepting sort of character, and be able to appreciate a wide variety in the world in general, or blind buying will lead to regret. If you are a very picky or critical sort (aka my wife, though she denies it) this type of adventure will probably not work well for you.

    However, I must say, it has worked splendidly for me. My wife bought me an EdT for my birthday, or some holiday, a few years back. I had never really worn any cologne in my 40+ years, but started wearing this one on occasion. She loved it, and would sniff at me, inhaling deeply and saying "you smell good" etc. I got a real kick out of this. The scent was L'eau D'Issey, btw.

    Couple of years later, for some unknown reason, I get it in my head I want to pick up a few more frags, start a little collection. Really, I have no idea why. None of my friends or coworkers are into it, nor family. But whatever, I got a bug. So I went to Macy's and sniffed a bunch of stuff, inclding polo. All smelled the same to me after an hour. Went home, found a deal on a polo gift set, and two days later had three small bottles of Polo-- green, blue and black. A few days later was googling about and found this site. And promptly got rather obsessed.

    Cut to the chase: those Polo frags are now my least favorites, while I really like all of my blind buys, which include some tough and controversial scents, like Yatagan, Kouros! A*Men, Tobacco Vanille. I also sampled some things which I later bought and really like as well. I blind bought Rive Gauche, Live Jazz, L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme EdP, Encre Noir, Rochas Man, TdH, Joop! Homme, love em all. Blind bought a split of the pricey, Noir de Noir! Took some getting used to, and it certainly is not a daily, wearer for me, but I love it! Tested a bunch, most of which I loved, and bought a few of those, like Grey Vetiver, Leather Oud (might be my in my top couple of favs). Some Creeds I sprayed on paper, but the samples from TPC didn't do it for me. Other Creeds are on my wish list.

    Bottom line: I have not made a single blind buy that I regret. The only frags in my little collection I don't love are the Polo's, even though I do really like some of the other green 80’s powerhouses.

    Moral of the story? I dunno, but I am a confirmed and ardent blind buyer, until experience teaches me otherwise.

    I wouldn't recommend it for most, but there may be a few out there like myself for whom it works. I love spending time with the reviews, checking out the pyramid, and pulling the trigger, baby!

    Anyway, that's my story, thanks for letting me share.

  2. #2
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Well, there are blind buys and there are blind buys. Some fragrances I can tell I will love from just a whiff but many others take a number of wearings, even more than a sample, to really absorb. And some are just hard to sample because they are not available in most retail outlets. I've found Basenotes to be at least as good as test strips in a store in figuring out whether I will like a fragrance or not. In some ways that is not actually a blind buy so much as a well-educated bet.

  3. #3

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by srmd22 View Post
    However, I must say, it has worked splendidly for me.

    Bottom line: I have not made a single blind buy that I regret.

    Moral of the story? I dunno, but I am a confirmed and ardent blind buyer, until experience teaches me otherwise.
    Thank you for sharing this. I happen to agree. Your bottom line is mine and I share the same story moral and have been doing it for decades.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    In some ways that is not actually a blind buy so much as a well-educated bet.
    That's how all my blind buys have been.

  5. #5

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I love blind buying as well and do it all the time.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I, too, make blind buys all the time and have yet to be really disappointed...
    Mark K

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Very stimulating...Love going to the mailbox !

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Have to say, I envy you guys. I wish blind buying worked for me, but it decidedly doesn't.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I won't blind buy a fragrance over $60. Reading the note breakdown doesn't help in the least bit. I like blind buying just for the fun of it, but I have a hard time believing that people that blind buy many of their fragrances have never bought something they weren't less than thrilled about. Skin differences and the way fragrances react to different people's body chemistry with almost certainty would throw a wrench in it.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Nice story! I used to love blind buying bottles but I got burned once too often. These days, I enjoy blind swapping decants and samples.
    Last edited by morrison74; 4th April 2012 at 05:45 AM.
    We're all in the same game; just different levels. Dealing with the same hell; just different devils.

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  11. #11
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I do have to say I don't have the violent negative reactions to some scents that some people seem to. I don't get headaches or throw up or have to wash things off immediately. The strong reactions I have are always to things I like and when I don't really care for something it just doesn't make much of an impression. Never bought a scent, blind buy or otherwise, that I didn't like.

    If I read through a bunch of reviews, listen to people chatting, or ask some advice, I usually get a pretty clear and accurate impression of how I am going to react to the actual scent.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    I do have to say I don't have the violent negative reactions to some scents that some people seem to. I don't get headaches or throw up or have to wash things off immediately. The strong reactions I have are always to things I like and when I don't really care for something it just doesn't make much of an impression. Never bought a scent, blind buy or otherwise, that I didn't like.
    Your extremely lucky then. Stay away from Comme des Garcons.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    Your extremely lucky then. Stay away from Comme des Garcons.
    Just ordered something from them actually. Blind buy! I think I will love it but we will see...

    I use samples by preference and try things in stores whenever possible. But fairly often I will just take a leap of faith. The least satisfactory buys were from recommendations by store sales staff. These were still very pleasant, certainly not awful or unwearable, but not things I love with a passion. I do seem to wear fragrances quite lightly and, to me at least, they seem not to be changed much by my body chemistry. This might have something to do with it.
    Last edited by BurgundyMarsh; 4th April 2012 at 04:39 AM.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    Just ordered something from them actually. Blind buy. I think I will love it but we will see...
    A couple of their more talked about fragrances aren't out of the question, but there's some stuff I've sampled from their line that smells nothing like I thought it would and is really odd. Good luck and I hope it works out.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    A couple of their more talked about fragrances aren't out of the question, but there's some stuff I've sampled from their line that smells nothing like I thought it would and is really odd. Good luck and I hope it works out.
    I like odd and especially quirky, off-center, or complicated. If there is violent disagreement in the reviews, I think "I will probably like that."

  16. #16

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Blind buying doesnt work to my standards anymore. Im very particular when it comes to smell. I enjoy most, if not all of the fragrances you own however, wearing them is a different subject. I appreciate all fragrances from cheap to niche and everything in between but for me personally, I like having a small collection of bottles I truly love. Key word LOVE. As I find new loves in fragrance, they replace the less superior bottles in my collection and those are swapped or sold.

  17. #17

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I make educated blind buys, meaning I research first. Result: I am happy about 99 percent of the time.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    I make educated blind buys, meaning I research first. Result: I am happy about 99 percent of the time.
    I do this too but I still try not to blind buy where possible. Hating a fragrance is extremely rare for me but I don't want to be stuck with 50ml+ of fragrance that I'm never going to use either.

  19. #19
    Super Member VC&Aph's Avatar
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I'm not doing blind buys, except the very rare cases when I stumble across discontinued products without Tester that haven't been sampled before! Otherwise, I'm always testing multiple times before buying so that I can be absolutely sure of what I want and what I get, regardless the Price !

  20. #20
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I like blind buying. I had a few misses but as I stick to the cheaper end of things it's not a big deal as reselling usually gets most or all of the money back and it's not even rare to make a profit, and every scent did sell immediately.
    That said I feel that I have reached the end of my blind buying spree as I've tried most of the things I really wanted to try. Recently I blind bought some scents that I was less sure about and didn't like quite few of them, so it's time to stop.

  21. #21

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I sometimes blind buy but it's usually done with a lot of research beforehand and knowing my own tastes.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    I make educated blind buys, meaning I research first. Result: I am happy about 99 percent of the time.
    Same here but perhaps 85 percent.

    for swap/sale:





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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I do blind buying - but only samples or small decants from The Perfumed Court. Full bottles, rarely. Most of the leaps of faith - 80% - worked out. Somehow it stretches the horizon to make "things work". In a few cases, the mistake was so bad that I tossed the bottle, in anger, into the trash ... not to be reminded of my mistake. Gone, out, done. In other cases, I planted the bottle or mini in a public place, for someone to find. They were gone rather quickly !
    There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    The only blind buy that didn't work out for me so far has been VC&A Tsar, and ONLY because it's so close to Jazz which I already own.
    My Top Ten:

    1: Guerlain - Habit Rouge
    2: Guerlain - Jicky
    3: Guerlain - Mouchoir de Monsieur
    4: Guerlain - Shalimar
    5: Knize - Knize Ten
    6: Caron - Yatagan
    7: Caron - Pour Un Homme
    8: Jean Desprez - Bal a Versailles
    9: Yves Saint Laurent - M7
    10: Salvador Dali - Dali Pour Homme

  25. #25
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Things rarely work out well for me with blind buys so I view it like gambling or investing in the stock market: I only do it if I wont miss the money should the fragrance and I not be a happy match. I try to base purchases on at least one full wearing of a sample or decant. That also has the side benefit of expanding my knowledge base of scents.

    OTOH, I've had great luck blind buying for my wife. That makes holidays and gift giving much easier...

  26. #26

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I've never done it! Never! ^^ I'm too picky

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by PradaG View Post
    Blind buying doesnt work to my standards anymore. Im very particular when it comes to smell. I enjoy most, if not all of the fragrances you own however, wearing them is a different subject. I appreciate all fragrances from cheap to niche and everything in between but for me personally, I like having a small collection of bottles I truly love. Key word LOVE. As I find new loves in fragrance, they replace the less superior bottles in my collection and those are swapped or sold.
    I have to say, as being still fairly new to this hobby, I believe as I gain experience that my tastes will change, and I will probably become somewhat pickier. At that point, my collecting habits and strategies will probably be more like yours, and I will probably not want too many more bottles lying around (I may already be nearing saturation in terms of quantity, so purchases will have to knock out current stock, and I'll start to sell a few off). At that point, blind buying won't be as attractive to me. On the flip side, I like the element of anticipation and surprise (always pleasant to date, but at some point likely to be uninspiring or even unpleasant, as reported by some BN'er's).

    Also, I agree, there is a difference between "educated" blind buy and a Russian roulette type of approach. But I would think most folks who hang around here would tend to the former.

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    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by PradaG View Post
    As I find new loves in fragrance, they replace the less superior bottles in my collection and those are swapped or sold.
    I would probably do that if I ever actually ever finished a bottle. Swapping and selling are just too much to bother with (I have the same problem with books, which are really hard to get rid of. With Kindle, thank God, the new ones don't take up any more space.) Probably some of the ones I own now I would not make a big effort to replace if they ran out. There is a very definite line between fragrances I love and those I just enjoy but I probably wouldn't want to wear the ones I love every day. And I like variety.

    As with so many things, the journey is the destination.

    I make educated blind buys, meaning I research first.
    This is most definitely the case with me so maybe I don't actually blind buy. I don't buy anything I don't already know about and get nervous if I'm in the store and can't remember all the nuances of all the reviews. And, to be sure, I test the actual fragrance first whenever possible. But at this point I can get a pretty good impression about a fragrance just from reading about it so I don't get nasty surprises. I'm not looking for thumbs up or down opinions so much but some sense of how the fragrance unfolds, what kind of impressions it makes, whether it seems natural or synthetic, how it relates to other fragrances. Who likes it is also important of course.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    It might sound strange, preposterous or overreacted, but since I joined Basenotes, I haven't truly blind-bought anything to an extent of 100% percent since, thanks to the fragrance knowledge here, I already had an impression about a previously unsiniffed/untested scent, no matter how blurry, sketchy, subjective, incomplete this impression might have been

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    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    It might sound strange, preposterous or overreacted, but since I joined Basenotes, I haven't truly blind-bought anything to an extent of 100% percent since, thanks to the fragrance knowledge here, I already had an impression about a previously unsiniffed/untested scent, no matter how blurry, sketchy, subjective, incomplete this impression might have been
    Not strange. This is exactly my experience.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by srmd22 View Post
    Couple of years later, for some unknown reason, I get it in my head I want to pick up a few more frags, start a little collection. Really, I have no idea why. None of my friends or coworkers are into it, nor family. But whatever, I got a bug. So I went to Macy's and sniffed a bunch of stuff, inclding polo. All smelled the same to me after an hour. Went home, found a deal on a polo gift set, and two days later had three small bottles of Polo-- green, blue and black. A few days later was googling about and found this site. And promptly got rather obsessed.

    Cut to the chase: those Polo frags are now my least favorites
    that's exactly my story!

    I agree on blind buys, there's something special about smelling it for the first time and knowing you have a whole bottle of it. With research and knowing what notes you want it's not too hard to be pleased with a blind buy and still have that excitement of smelling it the first time.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    Not strange. This is exactly my experience.
    My experience, as well. Since resuming this hobby in 2010, I have rarely purchased a fragrance without first hopping on basenotes to find out what reviewers with similar tastes feel about the fragrance. Having said that, 78 of the 85 fragrances in my wardrobe have been blind buys in the sense that I did not sample the fragrance before purchasing it. Only one has been a certifiable disaster (Dunhill Desire). The others run the gamut of superb to just okay. That is acceptable risk to me.

    Of course, no Creed, By Killian, Tom Ford Private Collection, Lutens, or other high price fragrances adorn my wardrobe. I would undoubtedly sample a fragrance before buying it if it carried an as-yet-undetermined threshold price tag.

    Funny creatures are we!

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by Grungevig View Post
    My experience, as well. Since resuming this hobby in 2010, I have rarely purchased a fragrance without first hopping on basenotes to find out what reviewers with similar tastes feel about the fragrance. Having said that, 78 of the 85 fragrances in my wardrobe have been blind buys in the sense that I did not sample the fragrance before purchasing it. Only one has been a certifiable disaster (Dunhill Desire). The others run the gamut of superb to just okay. That is acceptable risk to me.

    Of course, no Creed, By Killian, Tom Ford Private Collection, Lutens, or other high price fragrances adorn my wardrobe. I would undoubtedly sample a fragrance before buying it if it carried an as-yet-undetermined threshold price tag.

    Funny creatures are we!
    Yes, as I move into higher-priced territory, I am carefully collecting samples and will ponder them for awhile before buying. These I can get for free and in some cases may be all I actually need!

    The aforementioned Comme des Garcons blind buy just arrived, by the way. Wow! It is just EXACTLY as described on Basenotes. It is really something else and frankly I am completely entranced, though still figuring out where I can actually wear something quite so unconventional...

  34. #34
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Most of my scents have been blind buys! And I've not been disappointed once. I do a lot of research first, but don't really think twice about spending £150 on a fragrance that I haven't smelled before! It makes things a bit risky, but very exciting... waiting and anticipating whether you've just blown that much cash on a dud!!
    LOST! in scent and music

  35. #35
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post

    The aforementioned Comme des Garcons blind buy just arrived, by the way. Wow! It is just EXACTLY as described on Basenotes. It is really something else and frankly I am completely entranced, though still figuring out where I can actually wear something quite so unconventional...
    Which CdG did you get?

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post

    The aforementioned Comme des Garcons blind buy just arrived, by the way. Wow! It is just EXACTLY as described on Basenotes. It is really something else and frankly I am completely entranced, though still figuring out where I can actually wear something quite so unconventional...
    Which CdG did you get?

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by Sol invictus View Post
    Which CdG did you get?
    Avignon. I keep suspecting people will think I am out of uniform if I wear it. Or kiss my ring...

    It actually isn't unconventional at all-- a smell that has been around for centuries. But as a cologne, probably still is a bit unusual at least.
    Last edited by BurgundyMarsh; 5th April 2012 at 12:24 AM.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I'm about 75% on my blind buys. Granted I have only blind bought about 7 fragrances, but I've really enjoyed just about all of them...there is only one that I really didn't care for that much. One thing is for sure, and that is that up until discovering basenotes about 5 months ago I would have never blind bought, but you can find out sooo much information about just about every fragrance imaginable I just can't help myself...and the funny thing is, is that when I smell the fragrance that I blind buy for the first time, it usually smells just how I thought it would because I study that fragrance out in every way before I buy it. So, thanks basenotes community, and, er, I guess no thanks at the same time because I'm running out of money here, but it sure is fun for some reason. I just can't figure out why fragrances are so dang addicting, I just can't get enough. Just ask my wife, she thinks I'm obsessed.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Something that hasn't been mentioned is the amount of bottles in your collection affecting your blind buying. If you have a large collection it's easier to blind buy something and think it's an "ok" fragrance and "i'll get around to wearing it sometime" as opposed to someone with a smaller to small collection that is going to be wearing that "ok" fragrance quite a bit. I went from a decent size collection to a small one and I find myself very leary about blind buys now.

  40. #40

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    When I struck gold with my blind buys, it was such a great feeling and experience. I've only had a couple that didn't end so well and ended up being a dust collector on my shelves. I get that excitement from blind sampling now

  41. #41
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Blind buying is similar to driving drunk. Everyone does it.

    Be careful though. I've made some really dumb blind buys these past two years. When I look back now I wish I had wasted that money on eating out. I would have gotten more out of it. Do your research and try to buy a sample if at all possible.

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    ...
    Last edited by MarkStar; 5th April 2012 at 02:38 AM.
    Mark K

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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by thatmakesscents View Post
    Blind buying is similar to driving drunk. Everyone does it.
    Man I hope that's not true! I can honestly say I have never driven drunk...then again, I have never drank...and I would hope that people wouldn't ever drive drunk...I'm just saying.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by thatmakesscents View Post
    Blind buying is similar to driving drunk. Everyone does it...
    Sorry, but that's just a horrible analogy.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I bought Encre Noire and hated it. Then, I started to change my mind...now I really enjoy it. I really haven't been burned buying blind. The only time I haven't ended up really liking a blind buy was Bois de Cedrat. I don't hate it, but I'm hardly ever reaching for it.

  46. #46
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by thatmakesscents View Post
    Blind buying is similar to driving drunk. Everyone does it.
    I don't ever drive drunk or would even think of it. Among other things, the police around here are extremely vigilant and you are totally dependent on your car. I know a number of guys who lost their licenses and had to rely on their mom to drive them to work for a whole year. I wouldn't think that would be a lot of fun.

    The poster child for drunk driving in this state is a nice-seeming guy who gave a ride to a friend from a bar and was so drunk he rammed into a snow plow, killing the friend. He got thirty years and does anti-drunk-driving spots for his prison job.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    I have bought blind, but like a good blind person, I tap my white cane around a lot so I don't walk into a telephone pole or step off a curb and fall. In other words, I research before I buy and that way I know pretty well what I am getting. Thank you basenotes!
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    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    I have bought blind, but like a good blind person, I tap my white cane around a lot so I don't walk into a telephone pole or step off a curb and fall. In other words, I research before I buy and that way I know pretty well what I am getting. Thank you basenotes!
    Finally someone with a sense of humor !

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    Quote Originally Posted by thatmakesscents View Post
    Finally someone with a sense of humor !
    Yes!

    My Favorites
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    1. Amouage Epic man
    2. Dior Leather Oud
    3. Amouage Tribute Attar
    4. Le Labo Patchouli 24
    5. Amouage Opus VII
    6. Bond No.9 New York Oud
    7. Norma Kamali Incense


    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

  50. #50

    Default Re: On Blind Buying

    Great post srmd22! I'm a happy blind buyer myself. No big trainwrecks that I can recall. I find it exciting to take a chance.
    "He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."-- G.K. Chesterton

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