It's an expensive hobby, so I strongly believe in try before you buy. Because of this, I'm usually in Sephora sampling a lot of fragrances, spraying my arms or test papers, seeing how scents perform or change on me. But I never buy anything from there. There's one Sephora which I drop in often, to the point where Sales Associates have stopped approaching me or give me that look of "Oh it's that giy who never buys anything." I sometimes feel like I owe them a purchase someday since I'm always there and never buy anything, but it's for 2 reasons:
1. I can usually get the same fragrance for a better price somewhere else.
2. I don't like how all their bottles are under or on top of hot lights.
I like to sample fragrances alone and not be bothered. I also often visit other places to sample testers, such as my local pharmacy chain and department stores. I hate when sales associates try to sell me something I have no interest in or already own or have dismissed.
But yeah. Am I the only guy who tries but never buys?
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I don't, I'd find that mildly unethical. Walk into a store once, sample, and end up not buying, that's one thing. Purposely do it over and over, for my personal idea of integrity, I just don't think it's right. That said, no reason you have to buy their cologne ... do you have any women in your life you could gift their body washes etc?
lol i finally did my first purchase at sephora this weekend. I bought a bottle of prada amber pour homme intense there.
Sometimes I just sample, sometimes I buy.
While you can do it, you shouldn't. The reason internet sites are cheaper is obvious. You are abusing Sephora, and if more people share your philosophy they will fold. Then you'll be annoyed that you can't abuse them any longer.
I like to purchase where I sample... I have sampled at one store and purchased at another store but not that often.
Haha, Nope. +1 here!
I think as long as you buy one or two things a year from a store like this, it would be ok.
If you think that fragrance is an expensive hobby, you should be spending less time on internet message boards and more time working on your income.
If you're, let's say, 22 or under, you get the student pass. Otherwise, you sound a lot like a miserable parasite.
I don't buy at Sephora for reason (2), but also because the choice is very limited and because I think Arnault (the owner of LVMH) has not been good for perfumery. But I don't feel that bad smelling there because of this second part, and because my sister does buy stuff there occasionally. There's some overlap with Macy's, where I also smell often. I don't usually buy stuff there, but it has happened, plus I do buy creams and the like there sometimes.
I smell a lot of stuff all over the place in stores that sell niche or higher end. While I smell much more than I buy, I do try to buy stuff in stores (as opposed to the internet).
No, I generally don't sample in stores - I don't think it gives a very good idea of a scent. I would rather buy samples so I can wear them in my world - away from a counter where dozens of things have been sprayed already. If I go into a store, it's usually to buy.
Current Fall Favorites:
1. Creed - Spice & Wood
2. by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
3. Brückner - Aoud 1
4. Creed - Aventus
5. Dior - Vetiver
6. Armani Privè - Cedre Olympe
7. Ermenegildo Zegna - Haitian Vetiver
8. Ermenegildo Zegna - Javanese Patchouli
9. AJ Arabia - I
10. Les Nez - Turtle Vetiver Back
I can relate to your situation. I feel like I'm always at Sephora sampling. They leave me alone there, and most of the time I'm there with my 6-year-old daughter who likes to spray one of everything and then give herself makeovers. She could spend hours there putting on perfume, makeup, and nail polish. While I don't always purchase fragrances from Sephora, I will usually purchase other products from them (like fingernail polish or travel size items for my daughter or makeup/hair products for my wife) to make up for it. However when it comes to higher end department store fragrance counters (Neiman Marcus, Barneys. Saks, etc), I make a conscious effort to support helpful sales associates whom I've worked with in the past in order to give them a commission. I also will happily pay full retail at locally owned small independent niche perfume shops to keep them in business.
I've bought before after going into the same store (nobody remembered me) but sometimes I actually feel like I've been treated like I'm the sample and never buy-guy. I recently went in to a perfumania, not sure if you guys have those anywhere... And all I asked was if they lady was familiar with Thierry Mugler, and if they had pure wood so that I could smell it. (This was about a month or two ago, when Wood was hard to find around here.) And after I asked, she proceeded to give me sprays and test strips.. until I asked for a picture of the bottle of one she sprayed for me. she immediately got defensive and held the bottle back and told me there was no picture taking allowed, so I said "alright.." and leaned over the counter to examine the bottle that I didn't really have an intention of buying anyway. I told her that this was kind of a starting hobby for me, and that I like to look online to see what people said about it and the note break down, and then she just started being nasty, saying "why do you care what others think..." and "why do you want to look it up? It's right here" Then she just ignored me after that. If there was any sale there, it was soon lost.
I will not ask for sprays of samples. If they give me some, I just tell them what notes I'm into and they just direct me to a few that they like. I did that with some bond no 9's because I had no idea with all their bottles. After narrowing down some that I really liked, now I know and I can save for one. That's how I go about it. I'll always try and get someone commission if they spent time with me.
Last edited by jawse36; 29th December 2014 at 06:28 AM.
I was really surprised to see such negative reactions towards this. I don't particularly feel it is such a bad thing to try out perfumes and then not ever buy. However, if it is to the extent where you actually feel guilty about it, maybe you should take a break from it or buy something. Its also never bad to actually make some conversation with the SA. I know not all of them are very knowledgable but at least expressing your passion/interest in the subject might make them feel better about you.
I personally try out all the perfumes I can while inside a store, but I'm never at the same store more than twice usually so I can't relate. You really only need to smell something once to really consider liking it though, so I don't see a need to return to sniff the same things again. Just take note of what you think you'd consider wearing/buying and buy samples online, no need to "abuse" stores.
My local Nordstrom got rid of the sample atomizers. I guess they got tired of people making samples and not buying anything.
As far as the OP goes, i won't do any name calling because at the end of the day its really not THAT serious. But you should look at it from both sides. I know Sephora employees arent on commission, or at least thats what a sales girl told me not too long ago. But imagine it was Neimans. They can't just leave you alone to sniff your life away, even if you tell them to go fly a kite. If the manager or coordinator sees a customer not being helped, the SA gets in trouble. So as annoying as it is, you're in a store, and its their job.
Yes you can get perfumes cheaper online, but at that point maybe you should be buying your samples online. Its low cost, and no one will bother you.
What really irritates me are the people that "blind buy", don't like the perfume and then return it. Really? Theres a major domino effect that people don't realize. The consequences in the end make for more expensive perfume since these are considered shrink or a loss. Its not like you can resell it. Although i've seen some resell returns which is not allowed at the high end retailers. Its a major waste. Pay a few dollars and get a sample. Just because Neimans will let you return it, doesn't mean you should.
The only time i've ever done this is at Barney's with a bottle of X-Ray Profumo Laquered Rose. The giant ornamental metal cap started to rust and it literally seized itself to the atomizer. I called Barney's about it after the X-Ray Profumo told me they don't want to help me. My SA at Barneys sounded embarrassed and begged me to bring it back.
Last edited by aphexacid; 29th December 2014 at 08:27 AM.
I was at Nordstrom once with my sales associate when a not so nice smelling guy came in and wanted something for a date night that "smelled good". She suggested Acqua de Gio, gave him a sample vial and he was on his way. (I don't wear AdG...) No big whoop.
Last edited by Akahina; 29th December 2014 at 08:51 AM.
1. Epic Man by Amouage (26 wears)
2. Leather Oud by Christian Dior (25 wears)
3. M7 by Yves Saint Laurent (20 wears)
4. Oud Imperial (black) by Perris Monte Carlo (16 wears)
5. Russian Tea Ritual by Masque (16 wears)
6. Fate Man by Amouage (14 wears)
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
I used to search for the best buy. Now I buy where I get the best customer service. So it means if I get a lot of samples, information,.. I'll buy there. I guess it's normal that the bottles are a bit more expensive though.
Last edited by Mitchapalooza; 29th December 2014 at 09:38 AM.
"The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity."
- Dorothy Parker