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  1. #1
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    So, I'm relatively new to the fragrance world, but I've been active and checking out the site for some time now, while slowly adding fragrances to my collection that I really like. But, my question for those of you with larger collections is this: how do you pick what goes into your collection? Does a fragrance have to catch your attention immediately, or even over time via sample? It is enough for you that you feel it's a nice fragrance that you get the subtleties of, but wouldn't wear often?

    Just curious since I got some TL in the mail today and I'm struggling to figure out what type of fragrance fan I am. I like that it's complex and somehow manages to hit you with leather, then immediately, within the same second raspberry, but I'm not sure I'd wear it much.

    Regardless, what do you do?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Good question.
    If I only picked what grabbed my attention, as I was doing initially, I'd have wound up with a bunch of fougeres and ambery fougeres. Fortunately, Grant used to have a neat little fragrance suggestor about 11 years ago, which categorised a small number of scents into different groupings. I really disliked some of them at the time, and was ho hum about many others, but wound up buying most of them as they went on sale. I forced myself to wear them and grew to like lots of other categories.

    Nowadays, I just buy heavily discounted scents. The only criterion they have to have, is that they have some presence rather than being lame. I usually wind up getting quite interested in them, even if I didn't like them much initially. At the end of the day, a perfumer spent quite a bit of time composing them, and it's interesting to see if you can eventually see the same thing that he or she did when composing them.

    If you haven't already done so, download the Leffingwell/H&R Masculine Chart. It's getting old now as the last entries were made in 2000, but many of the scents are still on sale. It'll give you an idea of the range of scents, and of which categories you may be ignoring - but ultimately missing out on.
    Regards,
    Renato

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Everyone has his or her own criteria for determining what becomes a purchase which are all valid IMO. Size availability, origin, intended audience, and maintaining the integrity of a particular line in my collection for me are a few things among others I consider.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    After a while, one is unlikely to wear often most of the stuff in the wardrobe. So now I buy things that I really like a lot to smell, even if they are not worn much. It's not so much collecting per se, as in owning a complete collection of stuff I never use, but just the pleasure of sniffing things once in a while. Plus, favorites can change over time; for no reasons, sometimes I go back and start wearing frequently frags I admired and purchases but never wore much.


    cacio

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Quote Originally Posted by OctaVariuM View Post
    But, my question for those of you with larger collections is this: how do you pick what goes into your collection? Does a fragrance have to catch your attention immediately, or even over time via sample? It is enough for you that you feel it's a nice fragrance that you get the subtleties of, but wouldn't wear often?
    At this point I sample thoroughly and it has to be something that I would at least consider wearing often.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    I try to wait at least a month, preferably more, from first test to purchase, and to wear it as my sole fragrance for at least a few separate days. For me, that's the minimum required to decide whether I like the fragrance or just enjoyed the novelty of it.

    If it passes that test, I consider whether it's redundant with something that I already own or expect to own. I may take the trouble to try the well-known candidates in the fragrance's category - for example, if I'm about to buy Din Dan, I might order samples of a few other bright lemony fragrances just to make sure that Din Dan turns out to be the winner.

    I try to avoid being lured in by a low price. That's not to say that low-priced fragrances can't be good, but when I find myself thinking that something is really good _for the price_ the end result will be that I won't wear it. If I wouldn't consider buying that inexpensive-to-me fragrance if it were twice the price, then apparently I don't like it enough to own it.

    I try to avoid large bottles. I have over seventy bottles; I'll never use up another bottle above a "mini" size as long as I live, and that excess perfume doomed to decay bothers me.

    I don't really care about projection, sillage, or longevity. I wear fragrance mostly for me, and I like re-applying. I also don't much care how often I would wear it, as long as I like it a lot when I do wear it.

    I like to support natural, niche, and small perfumers. I like to avoid certain companies against which I hold a grudge.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Junkie psychoskip's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    I spot a name, I look it up, if it sounds interesting I buy it.

    Sometimes I blind buy on hype, though.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Everyone has his own criteria. You have to find what works for you. I used to set rules, like the perfume needs to be on my "to buy" list for a month, or I have to finish a sample before buying, etc. It didn't really work out because I tend to go with my gut. Have had very few regrets. Sometimes I'm blown away at first sniff, and sometimes I smell something and dismiss it, and then something makes me go back to it, and after many months I realize I love it.

    Keep trying different things and go with your instinct. If you don't love what you try, move on.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    I try out lots and lots of samples and the one's I'm drawn to the most go on to my buy list. Out of the last fifty samples only two have gone onto that list.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I try out lots and lots of samples and the one's I'm drawn to the most go on to my buy list.
    This pretty much sums up my own methodology. If I really love a sample I try, I will attempt to purchase the full bottle of the juice cost and available funds permitting, of course.
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  11. #11

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Testing and the more pleasant experiences during testing, price, certain preferred fragrance houses and fragrance-retail venues, the wearing occasions, the scent categories, the notes groups not much covered (or not covered at all) in my fragrance wardrobe and many other factors, both of an impulsive, while others of a well-planned type.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    As arrogant as this sounds, it's not : whatever I like.
    I used to avoid any white flower prominent perfume because I thought they'd all be white-flowery. Then I fell in love with Kobe and then a month after Seville a'Laube. My point is to try everything!

    for swap/sale:





  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    When I first started, I would spray a fragrance on and decide right then and there if I liked it. I would take a whiff of it every few hours and see how it developed. If it's something I liked, I purchased it.
    This got expensive after the 20th bottle, since I realized that...well...I like many things.
    I now purchase fragrances based on 3 qualifications
    1. High-suggestion: If I notice that the fragrance is hyped all over BN and Fragrantica, and I like the notes and comparisons to other bottles that I may have/like, I may blind-buy it or at least consider purchasing a sample, if my local Macy's does not have a tester out.

    2. Sampling trick: Someone posted this some time ago, and I see it as the perfect way to decide whether the fragrance is right for you, or not. Purchase a 5ml- (5ml, 2.5ml, 1.2ml) sample/decant of the fragrance. I generally say the 2.5ml or 1.2ml work best. Try to finish off the sample of the fragrance. You'll be surprised at how many 1.2ml samples you are left with. If you can't finish off 3-6 days worth of fragrance in a month, don't buy the full bottle, you won't be wearing it.

    3. This is the most important one, and it relates to point 2. I will ONLY buy a fragrance (now) if I see myself wearing it often. Of the 20 bottles I purchased a few months back (I know own 38 bottles), about 13 were gourmands. That's 13 fragrances that I found difficult to wear during the day. Now my wardrobe consists of fragrances that are versatile enough to be worn throughout most of the day/all seasons (Hugo Boss Bottled, D&G The One, Lacoste PH, YSL - L'Homme).

    4. Heck, let me throw in a 4th one. Make sure YOU like the fragrance. The BN community, although extremely kind, caring, and helpful, is very diverse. You have boys who are 12 years of age, and older gentlemen who are in there 70's. If you ask "What is a good fragrance for xxxxx season" you are going to get two completely different answers. Write everyone's suggestions down, and go sample.

  14. #14
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Sample sample sample. In the heat, in the cool, while sitting, while working up a sweat. How long does it last? does it turn nasty after a few hours? I have loved some at first, then hated them after wearing them all day.
    For Sale: VINTAGE Montales

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    If I really love a sample I try, I will attempt to purchase the full bottle of the juice cost and available funds permitting, of course.
    This ^^^^^^^ is my modus operandi as well.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    I agree with Hedonist222, try every thing. Every bottle of fragrance is a small world onto its own with an intelligent being who put his/her love and artistic talent into the creation. Experiment, have fun, discover new scents that you once thought were untouchable. Be daring. Don't fall into the hype train but instead take a walk on the wild side or the conservative side. Whatever grabs you at the moment. The fragrance hobby is so wonderful. Begin the journey and good luck.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    I've more of a collector mentality. I buy almost anything I like (which I always sample first) with a particular attention to a bunch of specific brands and specific type of fragrances.


    Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here

  18. #18

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiny Beast View Post
    At this point I sample thoroughly and it has to be something that I would at least consider wearing often.
    I tend to keep it pretty simple like this as well. I currently have very limited funds for things like buying fragrances, so I have to sample, sample, sample until I'm 100% convinced I'll wear and enjoy it often enough. Then, it's worthy of a bottle purchase for me.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How do you pick what to add to your collection?

    I sample.

    In my lightweight career I have only had 2 blind buys. Pure Havane and Pure Malt. So far I am 2/2 as I love them both. But for the most part I sample.

    If a store has a tester I usually spray it on and go the whole day wearing it as my SOTD. This usually gives me a good idea of longevity, projection and how the fragrance develops.

    If its a niche and a store doesn't carry it, I order samples and follow the same above method. With niche if I'm interested in my first wearing I usually wear the entire sample. I do this because the price of niche isn't worth the heartache of not liking the fragrance.

    Just sample and actually test the fragrance. Test and retest if necessary.

  20. #20

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    Using BN members reviews I developed a crudely sorted list of designer and niche fragrances which I keep on the iPhone. Each time I get an opportunity I sample something from it. Still trying to learn my way around

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