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  1. #1
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    Default How do you acquire most of your samples?

    I've been meaning to ask this question for a while now. Requesting a sample at the fragrance counter is the most obvious way, of course, but I'm often greeted with, "We're all out of samples." Really, Macys? You have no samples whatsoever? Psh. When I purchase a bottle, I usually have to ask for samples, and it seems like every other one is Spicebomb. Sigh. I have found the most generous samples-with-purchase at Bloomingdales, whereas at Sephora or Macy's it's like you're asking for a free bottle even though you've just purchased something. Yesterday at Sephora I bought a 30ml of Neroli Portifino and received one lousy sample. For $135, they should be able to do better than that. I attribute it to the sales associate actually having to create the sample (in other words, do something) whereas in the past usually they're small products from the designer themselves.

    Anyway, if you're not getting samples from the fragrance counter, are you purchasing online via the decant websites? That can get somewhat pricey, especially if you want to sample some of the more niche brands.

    I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Dependent
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Luckyscent. I browse their site and add samples to my cart if the scent seem interesting.
    Seasonal rotation:

    Ciel Man
    Windsor
    Scandal Pour Homme
    Santal Imperial
    Millesime Imperial
    Currently wearing: Santal Impérial by Creed

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Mostly from swaps/gifts from friends, and seldom generous houses/shops. I used to buy a lot more in the past, now I do it a lot more rarely and only for stuff I can not get other ways (like I did for Slumberhouse some weeks ago).
    ______________________________

    My sales thread | Rare, discontinued & vintage stuff!

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    Currently wearing: Infusion d'Iris by Prada

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Yeah, I echo what remik said about Sephora. I am usually forced to take samples lol. Last time I was there the lady asked if I wanted a sample of everything I picked up....I left with 8 samples and never even had to ask for one.

  6. #6
    Basenotes Junkie DanHD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    I live in a relatively small town and Sephora is the only retailer with perfumes. I'll hit them up sometimes and also purchase there to reward their great service. I also buy decants from Surrender to Chance and Perfumed Court.


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  7. #7
    Basenotes Junkie DanHD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Forgot to mention parfums raffy for Amouage samples..


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  8. #8
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    All the samples I have received (hundreds upon hundreds) have been free with large bottle purchase orders made with different online fragrance retailers, or in stores, over the years. I personally never buy samples.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  9. #9
    Dependent del's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Free samples from Sephora
    Free samples from Hermes, Molton Brown when I asked
    Free samples from Bergorf, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth, Nordstrom, etc. ...
    Purchased samples/decant from Surrender To Chance, LuckyScent, The Perfumed Court, Aedes

    Some BN members email houses and the results sometimes are positive... I have yet to try that method though, but it sounds fun.

    5886
    Currently wearing: Cuirelle by Ramon Monegal

  10. #10
    Basenotes Junkie Trilby Lark's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Free samples from Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Scent Bar; purchase samples online from Luckyscent and the Perfumed Court; given samples by BN friends.

  11. #11
    Super Member Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    I went to a department store here in athens that carries the tom ford private blend line.
    I asked for a sample of neroli portofino and told the woman at the counter that if i like it i will come and buy it. She said "sorry but we hardly ever have samples". And i told her that 135 euros is alot for a fragrance that i haven't sampled. She just stared at me.
    She told me to use the tester..."that's all i can do sorry"...

  12. #12
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Many of my samples came with purchase (Luckyscent mostly). A lot of my samples were purchased from Luckyscent, The Perfumed Court, First In Fragrance, Surrender to Chance, etc.

    Occasionally, I get handfuls from generous SAs at Neiman Marcus or Saks. They like to load me up with samples of other stuff when I am making a purchase. I don't think I have ever actually just asked for samples - at least not without making a purchase.
    Seasonal favorites:

    1. Xerjoff - Nio
    2. Creed - Aventus
    3. Tom Ford - Grey Vetiver
    4. The Different Company - De Bachmakov
    5. Dior - Homme Sport 2008
    6. Montale - Aoud Legacy
    7. Creed - Virgin Island Water
    8. by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
    9. Creed - Original Cologne
    10. Clive Christian - 1872 for Men

  13. #13
    Basenotes Institution sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Sephora usually gives at least 3 samples without even purchasing a fragrance.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by remik View Post
    Interesting experience at Sephora... My personal experience with them is the opposite - every time I go there, I end up with a handful of samples, most of the time without buying anything at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    Sephora usually gives at least 3 samples without even purchasing a fragrance.
    This has been my experience at Sephora, too. I have noticed with more expensive fragrances (Tom Ford, Hermes) they usually only fill the sample vial up halfway or so. Recently when I was at Sephora, the SA was practically begging me to take a sample of YSL L'Homme Sport!

    If I'm making a purchase online I'll usually add some sample vials of my preference to the order for a few extra bucks.

  15. #15
    Dependent chili_willi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    I didn't even know TFPB's were offered in 30ml sizes. I learned something today. Cool.

  16. #16
    Super Member SCENTMASTER "OG"'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Macys,Nordstroms,Nieman Marcus(Great niche samples),Sephora,Hermes(call them and ask)remember when asking for free samples over the phone,always ask them what kind of samples are they,vials,carded,peel offs,etc..

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Dependent bigbz's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Early on I ordered samples from Scented Monkey, but their list was way outdated and their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Now I just get samples from Basenoters who I purchase frags from mostly.(or the occasional crummy samples from ordering through FragranceNet or another online place)

    It would be nice to find a place that sales true manufacture samples like the Bond "candy wrapped" samples for a reasonable price.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Lucky Scent and Essenza Nobile, though the 2ml sprayers from Essenza Nobile are much preferred and are included at no charge when purchasing a fragrance.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    All of my samples have been purchased from Luckyscent. I wish they could send their bottles through USPS as well.
    High end stores are limited in my area, overpriced and cheap giving out samples.
    I buy most of my frags from online retailers where I save 50% or more.

  21. #21

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Buying splits and used bottles.

  22. #22

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Ebay for the harder to find stuff. Sites that offer free shipping with no minimum like say scentedmonkey, although the selection isn't that great, prices are low and shipped for free during special promotions. If I'm ever at the mall, I try to stop into Sephora and get up to 3 samples as that is their maximum. I tell them "I wanna take these home and see how they transform on my skin, before buying anything".. when they hear the word "buying" that's good enough for them, they will gladly fill 3 samples.

    But, the best place to get the most diverse samples is right here on BN, swapping with others, or buying. Getting to try the obscure, the rare, and the discontinued.
    My Ultimate Top 5:

    Fahrenheit (1988)
    Paul Smith Man (2009)
    Burberry London (2006)
    Prada Amber pour Homme (2006)
    Arpege pour Homme (2005)

  23. #23
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    tensor9's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    My samples come from decant sites like The Perfumed Court, Decantshop, and Surrender to Chance. I also get stuff from basenoters.
    Currently wearing: Asian Green Tea by Creed

  24. #24
    Basenotes Junkie DanHD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    To swap decants with other BNers, do you just go to the swap section?


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  25. #25
    Oviatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    I am fortunate to live near Luckyscent where they are very generous (which pays off as I usually come back and buy something) and I find that the boutiques for Hermes, Tom Ford, etc., in Beverly Hills are more generous than the department stores.
    Currently wearing: Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

  26. #26

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Most of them as freebies, both for (and as a consequence of) regular retail but also online purchases.
    Currently wearing: Lancetti Uomo by Lancetti

  27. #27
    Super Member Ghosst's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Nordstrom and Sephora are always good. If I ever want to buy a full bottle at full price, I go to either for it, and even if I don't buy, I still can get many samples from both.

    I've also had good experiences with Saks and as usual, Macys and Ulta are very stingy. Can't blame them for not wanting to give customers freebies, but as soon as I ask, they typically get upset,.......

  28. #28

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Being in the UAE, most everything is available here.
    If I'm genuinely interested I'll but a sample, some times friends send samples too.
    When I'm solicited try something, thankfully solicitor just requires my mailing address.
    for swap/sale:



  29. #29

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    ..when buying at shops (never buy online!)....Sephora and most shops are generous...spent more than 500 euros at Mazzolari's in Milan they gave me nothing and I didn't ask...what can you say ..some people are cheapskates with no class at all..other are generous..tons of samples ended up to friends...Chanel boutique in Rome?... cheapskates with no class!
    sailing the Oceans of Boredom...

  30. #30

    Default Re: How do you acquire most of your samples?

    Macys is hit or miss. Depends on if its a girl there or not, someone youre friendly with, and even the area. And also sometimes they are kinda sketchy on it, like I had one time a girl was like ya heres a bag of samples I was like oh sweet you didnt have to do all that. I got home and opened it, and litterally like TWENTY of those paper sticker samples... -____________-''

    Nordstrom and sephora are generally the same. If you ask for a sample they give it to you as long as its within reason. Nordstrom near me up to this year actually use to keep a box full of decant/atomizers whatever and you could just take a handful and get a sample of everything in and out constantly. They wised up to this though lol...

    As for saks and fith and nemian marcus cant say. Sadly when ive gone I totally forgot to ask them for samples to see how nice they are about it. Tempted to go next week though and see....

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