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  1. #1

    Default Some questions from a newbie

    Hello everyone,

    A brief intro: I've, until recently, been a blind buyer of clearance colognes. Well, I still am, as I spent several hundred dollars over the course of this week. -.- I've done some reading on here, and am very happy to have found this site. I'll try to be productive where applicable, but I don't think I have a nose that's very good for differentiation of ingredients or even relative worth. :P

    Moving on, I might come across the answers during the course of my readings, but simply getting quick answers here might save me from regrettable blind buys as well as from overpaying for certain colognes. So, here goes:

    • Is there a way to compare fragrances on here, aside from reading the suggestions occasionally given in the reviews section?
    • Is there a good site to use to determine acceptable costs of fragrances? I have been purchasing on ebay and been using the hits I get on google, which tend to usually be fragrancenet...
    • The overwhelming opinion is pulse points as the point of application, with ankles and backs of knees suggested, especially for women. However, I have read a few posts on here suggesting clothes to prolong the scent of the fragrance. Now, as skin chemistry is supposed to affect the development of the fragrance, is the benefit of spraying on clothing simply to preserve the unadulterated fragrance for a longer period of time? Any real benefits?
    • If I were to skip spraying my clothes, what are some ways to ensure they smell good as well? I wash the various items every time I wear them, but that doesn't offset sweat or any smells picked up during the course of the day, especially when in the presence of smokers. I've placed incenses and cinnamon sticks in the closet, but those are very overpowering, and liable to do damage to clothing.... Any advice on this?

    Well, I am sure I have other questions, but these are somewhat more pressing. Any help offered would be of great use and also greatly appreciated.

    Hoping to become a regular contributor,

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Búzios Brasil

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Welcome. I don't spray on clothes but have found that by spraying my neck and chest my clothes seem to absorb the scent at the application points.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tacoma, WA

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    I guess the question is what do you want? It sounds like you are not especially interested in wearing what pleases you, but are mainly interested in buying bargains. If you're not especially picky about what you like to wear, then you might as well wear whatever is the cheapest, or even skip wearing cologne altogether. If you actually do care, think about the fragrances you've worn that you like and think about what they may have in common. Read up on some quality fragrances, sure the references here are pretty good, buy some samples or decants, and then buy what you really like. If you really like some cheap ones, fine. To me it makes more sense to spend $150 on one bottle I love instead of on 4 or 5 bottles that do nothing for me. You may wish to read some perfume blogs which review and compare fragrances.

    Acceptable costs are whatever the market may bear. Some fragrances may be valued at thousands of dollars an ounce while others may cost you $10. Checking around eBay or other dealers for something that interests you should make it clear what the value of a certain fragrance may be. There's no "blue book".

    All fragrances will eventually evaporate, some parts quicker than others. Some may stain certain clothes. Wear fragrances in places where the evaporation is most likely to be enjoyed by you over the time frame you like. Most will last longer in cooler places and on fabric than in warm places or on skin. Skin chemistry does have some effect. If you want more scent, exposed pulse points. If you wish longer slow release, then bury the fragrance in some out of the way spot and hope that most of it makes its way to your nose instead of into the wind.

    Good questions.
    Currently wearing: Mitsouko by Guerlain

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Thanks for the answers.

    To be honest, the bargain-hunting is what got me into it. Now, however, I think the hobby is actually the cologne itself. Especially with the ideas of layering and the research involved, I think it will definitely be something that I care to pursue. Really, I'm not sure that I am aiming for a signature fragrance as I am sets that will accommodate moods and occasions. I have taken to wearing the cheaper, pleasant smells around the house, but I *do* aim to work on the fragrances as a matter of presentation.

    As for the bit about spraying out of the way, that's not really something that appeals to me. Seems like a waste in more ways than one. I've a habit of carrying a laptop bag around; there's no reason why I cannot refresh the scent when it dies down, or replace it with a separate layer.

    As for the value of the fragrances, your comments do make sense. However, I wasn't so much looking for a means to compare the costs between brands as I was the brands themselves. So, for instance, if the going price for Bleu de Chanel is $60 and the cheapest I can find it on ebay is $55 + time and risks, why not go ahead and shop at a department store? Plus, I'm not necessarily in a hurry to augment my collection, so shopping around is definitely a practice I care to take up. The question is *where*, as ebay has proven inconsistent with respect to cost trends online as opposed to in stores. *nods*

    I don't mean to make that sound argumentative, now. I actually do think you make some great points. *nods*

  5. #5
    Dependent southerngardens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Evans, Georgia
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Welcome to Basenotes!
    You can always come to Basenotes and ask for suggestions on frags, but I would start sampling some frags your interested in before you blindly go out and buy them. You can get samples from stores for free and buy samples online cheaply at online sites like My Perfume Samples, Surrender To Chance and Crystal Flacon just to name a few. Here is an incomplete list of online fragrance retailers that you can compare price with:
    The Perfume Shoppe
    perfume emporium
    big discount fragrances
    first in fragrance

    It is true that some frags will stain certain materials, but I have never had that problem. I have normal to dry skin and most eau de toilettes don't last long on me,so, I spray my shirts and sometimes spray my hair as well. I have read that women will spray a cotton ball and slip it into their bras or wear a scarf sprayed with perfume for added longevity and sillage.
    I'm not OLD...I'm VINTAGE!
    Currently wearing: No. 5 by Chanel

  6. #6

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    I've read about the samples a few times now. Is that a reference to the slips of paper to try testers on, the scented papers, or the vials? I always feel badly trying out a bunch of different scents without having any intention to buy. Any suggestions on that? I'm assuming being a fragrance connoisseur isn't simply an issue of trying a handful of scents every time one buys a bottle. :P

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tacoma, WA

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    When I talk about samples I mean liquid samples of a few ml which allow one to actually wear the fragrance on skin a couple times. There are people who will sell small decants for testing purposes. I also feel it is somewhat abusive to take samples without any intention to buy, but over the years I have bought a lot. If the difference between a seller who actually has a store that I can visit and an on-line seller, I will usually be willing to pay a bit of a premium to keep the perfume store open.

    A person will never become a wine expert just drinking Bartles & James and limiting him/herself to wines at less than $10 a bottle. One needs to sample across a range of different styles and qualities to develop the sensitivity to the kinds of variations possible. On the other hand, simply snobbishly looking down on any inexpensive wine without trying any, may also lead to poor taste. Experience and analysis of the experience is critical. I would strongly advocate, for those who want to refine their olfactory sensibilities, to go sniffing with a group of similarly interested people. It's amazing what other people can sometimes point out that would be missed otherwise.
    Currently wearing: Mitsouko by Guerlain

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie


    - many frags are discussed here in threads, so you can also do a search on BN for specific frags and see if there's a thread on it. I also like a lot Turin and Sanchez A-Z guide, a book with thousands of reviews (not everybody agrees with them, though, still, they are very informative).

    - there are several threads about where to apply, and to some extent it is a matter of taste. In general, warmer means more projection but less long lasting. Clothes are colder than skin, plus some materials keep frags particularly well. So yes, a frag on skin will go to the drydown faster, though it might project more for as long as it does. A well known way to apply perfume (especially parfum concentration) for women is to put the perfume on a piece of cotton and put the cotton in the cleavage.

    - unfortunately, the fact that fabric keeps perfume well also means it will pick up other unwanted odors well too. Men who used jackets in the presence of smokers and had to aerate the jackets overnight in gale force winds to get the smoke out know this too well. So there's no way to prevent clothes from picking up odors - other than avoiding the odors in the first place. If it happens and it's something you cannot or don't want to clean (like a jacket) aeration on the balcony for a couple of nights will do.

    -samples mean vials. But paperstrips from stores are a good way to get to know things - of course one should try on skin, but the paperstrip give a good idea. If you put the just sprayed paperstrip in a small ziploc bag, it will keep the smell for more than a week. Remember to write (with a pencil) the name of the frag on the paperstrip, or you'll forget by the time you have accumulated more than three strips.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Yikes! Several hundred dollars on clearance fragrances this week! I guess that is one way to go about it.

    I don't know you, but my first impression is that your fragrance purchases have much less to do with fragrances than they have to do with acquiring bargains. I have picked up the odd bottle here or there because I love a bargain as much as the next person, but when you finding yourself spending in the hundreds on blind clearance fragrance purchases in a week, you are going to find yourself sorely disappointed (and unnecessarily poorer) most of the time. Most of the clearance fragrances are clearance fragrances simply because, despite millions spent on marketing, they never managed to catch on or inspire much passion. That is not to say they are unwearable, but it is typically rare to find something truly outstanding that has some how inadvertently landed in the clearance pile. Very, very rare to think you might have stumbled on a cache of several hundred dollars worth of great stuff.

    Furthermore, to put the quantity of fragrances you have just purchased into perspective, if one applies fragrance twice a day, 365 days a year, you only need 350ml total FOR THE YEAR. So how many years of fragrance might you have just purchased this week alone!? And, if this is a regular occurrence, how many years or decades worth might you have sitting in their boxes, sprayed only once or twice? Good gracious, even if the thrill is the bargain, how in the world is THAT a bargain?

    I don't want to get all Suze Orman on you, but for the several hundred dollars you spent this week, you could have purchased a wardrobe of great niche fragrance, at retail, that would have carried you through for the next 12-14 months. Problem solved. So if your journey really is about fragrance and not about buying more and more things on sale, I have one word of advice: STOP. Take back the unopened fragrances if you can, devote those resources to purchasing 5-10ml decants of great fragrances that you have researched and which interest you. (Decants are small quantities of fragrance, usually in a small atomizer, for testing purposes - 5ml is about 10-12 regular applications, 10ml is 20-25 applications, or nearly enough for a month) And when you fall in love with one, spring for the bottle. Given the way you describe your purchasing habits, you will SAVE hundreds, if not thousands, plus the loads of time you are spending digging through bargains, plus shelf space on your vanity, and you will end up with a collection of truly great fragrances that you love.

    Now THAT is a bargain.

    Decants can be found on the Crystal Flacon market, or if you prefer something a bit more organized and "retail", you can spend a bit more and buy decants from the Perfumed Court website. You can also purchase very small samples from Luckyscent and you can readily find commercial samples of almost every mainstream fragrance on eBay.

    In fact, if you are already spending several hundred in a week on this effort, perhaps you should just cut to the chase, fly to NY or LA, and do a weekend of up close and personal fragrance testing. In NY hit Aedes de Venustas or in LA hit ScentBar, plus Saks and Barneys in both those cities, and you should be able to find a handful of real greats that resonate and that you can fly home with. Done for the year.

    Long story short, for the amounts you are spending, there are cheaper, faster, more enjoyable and informative ways to find fragrances you are happy with.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    I'll admit that it definitely was a large sum of money to spend. I suppose I wasn't perfectly candid, though, about the collection. I *do* get a kick out of a good buy, but I've made it a habit to only keep the fragrances that are to my liking. Thus, I'd say I've only kept 4-5 of the sets that I purchased. The remainder are kept for returns, potential sales on ebay, and for thoughtless gifts to various relatives. Granted, that now makes me seem rather calculating, though hopefully perhaps, less profligate. :P

    I will definitely look into the vials. I'll be keeping the Suze Orman suggestion to heart, of course. I *do* agree with the idea of finding choice fragrances rather than simply having a myriad fragrances simply to say that I own them. *nods* Though I must say that I've been pleased with the researched purchases I just received in the mail - I'll likely not give up the blind-buy habit altogether, though it will be more informed by research and reviews that by the endorphin release of a cheap find.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Always check the marketplace here and ebay... Those seem to have good prices.

    I usually spray 3-4 on my body, and then another 1 on my shirt right before I leave.

    Certain scents rarely get discounted (like a few Chanel's) so you might as well pick it up at sephora or macys

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sephora also offers great samples, you can go and test them all there, and request samples of anything you're on the fence about

  12. #12

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Hey, I am a newbie too and hope to be a contributor in the future. Knowing that I am new as well, I will share with you what I know from doing some research in the past week.

    Supposedly and are good, safe places to make purchases.

    In your first point you mentioned comparing fragrances. What I do is go to and use the search tool to find a cologne. From there you can see the notes, if reviewers dislike, like, or love the fragrance, the season of the frag, and the time of day to wear the frag. I use that and then read the reviews on basenotes. Not sure if that is the best method, but it is kind of fun nonetheless.

    Best of luck with your experience and learning!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    It's all relative! Take the time to figure out what works for you. It sounds like you are rushing things.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Some questions from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by xxsjxx1 View Post
    Always check the marketplace here and ebay... Those seem to have good prices.

    I usually spray 3-4 on my body, and then another 1 on my shirt right before I leave.

    Certain scents rarely get discounted (like a few Chanel's) so you might as well pick it up at sephora or macys

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sephora also offers great samples, you can go and test them all there, and request samples of anything you're on the fence about
    I'll keep that point on those fragrances that are rarely found at a cheaper price in mind when asking for those samples. It should help with a guilty conscience, knowing that I'll be making up for the requests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    It's all relative! Take the time to figure out what works for you. It sounds like you are rushing things.
    I agree wholeheartedly that I'm rushing. >.< I've actually demolished my watch list on ebay over the past few days to avoid repeating my mistakes.

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