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  1. #1
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    Default How do you store your samples

    I know we've had several threads on this, but I know methods have changed since the older ones.

    As some of you know, I'm in the process of moving (again) and trying to find a new and better way to store my samples rather than a plastic arts tub. I looked into several options, a few other perfume boards out there suggested using ammunition cases to hold vial upright or test tube racks, and I might try that route next.

    I saw one suggestion to use a Shulaner pencil case and decided to give it a try.

    I found for me there are pros and cons to it. I did alphabetize by perfume house and stored the sample cards in the pockets. I found out one case was definitely not enough for me and I needed at least two, perhaps three. Its good for storing samples upright and even on a shelf, plus it's padded. I found it's not very good if you're going to carry it around as some of the sample vials had fallen out in the process, but they were padded and safe at least.

    I will probably give the pencil case to my kids to use, so it isn't a complete wash. Has anyone else found a good way to organize and store your samples?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    I really, truly feel I've found an excellent system for those pesky small vials:
    Hole-punched business cards + box.

    Pros:
    It keeps the vials upright (I've had problems with leaking and evaporation when they're on their sides)
    You can organize by house, type, date, etc, and add cards as needed
    It stores a TON in just a little space
    Easy to take out just one and leave everything else in place

    Cons:
    It helps to have a full box, otherwise the cards want to tip over
    You need to use sort of thin cardstock—too thick can force the plastic tabs on the vials open and cause the perfume to evaporate

    I have a separate system for the small sprayers, but I was so pleased to finally figure this out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    To answer the thread question, I don't buy samples but I receive tons and as I get them I put them in a one-gallon clear zip-loc bag until they're full to the brim (holds around a thousand I'm guessing) and then I give them away. Currently have six filled bags. I figure whoever gets them can store and organize them how they wish. The methods already expressed above look fine to me.
    Last edited by hednic; 12th June 2021 at 02:01 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    In envelopes by house.

    I liked it before when I kept them together based on where they came from, but I had to switch to be able to find anything.

    Guerlain is one of the bulkier ones:

    38CB97BC-03D2-4931-BEC1-617CB2B4603A.jpg

  5. #5
    Performing the BN salute

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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmorel View Post
    I really, truly feel I've found an excellent system for those pesky small vials:
    Hole-punched business cards + box.
    I applaud your method.
    Currently wearing: Winter by Dasein

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    When I have samples, I just store them in a zip-loc bag.

  7. #7
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Very, very badly:

    SamplesJune2019Eeek.JPG

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    The ones of lesser value and/or more common availability simply laying around the boxes of full bottles (however still not wedged nor forcefully intersected between these boxes). But the more valuable, rare ones and/or if containing vintage fragrances, stored separately, grouped either in fabric pouches, paper envelopes or cardboard boxes-however also without any further classification, ranking or itemizing.

  9. #9
    Funky fresh

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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Like this:


    And also this:


    Need to make #2 like #1.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
    Currently wearing: Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    To answer the thread question, I don't buy samples but I receive tons and as I get them I put them in a one-gallon clear zip-loc bag until they're full to the brim (holds around a thousand I'm guessing) and then I give them away. Currently have five filled six bags. I figure whoever gets them can store and organize them how they wish. The methods already expressed above look fine to me.
    OHMYGOSH!!! That is a LOTTA samples!! I enjoy samples & I do buy them. They allow me to know more fragrances than I'll ever be able to own, ya know? Anyway, wow, enjoyable!!
    “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
    For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.”
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    Currently wearing: Armani by Giorgio Armani

  11. #11

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahimsa View Post
    OHMYGOSH!!! That is a LOTTA samples!! I enjoy samples & I do buy them. They allow me to know more fragrances than I'll ever be able to own, ya know? Anyway, wow, enjoyable!!



    There's a saying, something like "your dog getting table scraps is eating better than me"..... that definitely applies to Hednic's bags here. no matter how much you enjoy sampling will be hard to match one of those bags....

  12. #12

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Generally they're housed in organza bags, then in a drawer ... plus hat boxes, and other various boxes & bags. Not necessarily the neatest. But, I sort of like it that way as it becomes a scavenger hunt.
    Can also drive you crazy if you're looking for something in particular. e.g. my Penhaligon's Sample Tins have gone missing ... they've up & walked away, somehow.
    Last edited by Ahimsa; 12th June 2021 at 05:03 PM.
    “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
    For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.”
    ― Charles M. Schulz
    Currently wearing: Armani by Giorgio Armani

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by woodnotes55 View Post
    There's a saying, something like "your dog getting table scraps is eating better than me"..... that definitely applies to Hednic's bags here. no matter how much you enjoy sampling will be hard to match one of those bags....
    Indeed!! lol! I imagine many of us would love a few moments playing in those bags!
    “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
    For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.”
    ― Charles M. Schulz
    Currently wearing: Armani by Giorgio Armani

  14. #14

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Cardboard vial storage boxes for very low temp freezers (-80C)... yes, I'm a biologist

    I have 3 boxes nearly full...

    81-well-freezer-storage-boxes.jpg
    Currently wearing: Black Caviar by Electimuss

  15. #15

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    Cardboard vial storage boxes for very low temp freezers (-80C)... yes, I'm a biologist

    I have 3 boxes nearly full...

    81-well-freezer-storage-boxes.jpg
    Exactly how I organize mine. For my favorite houses I dedicate individual boxes:

    Chanel Box
    CHANEL BOX.jpg

    Guerlain Box
    GUERLAIN BOX.jpg
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  16. #16

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    Exactly how I organize mine. For my favorite houses I dedicate individual boxes:

    Chanel Box
    CHANEL BOX.jpg

    Guerlain Box
    GUERLAIN BOX.jpg

    Haha great! So you also threw a few samples away from the -80C?
    Currently wearing: Black Caviar by Electimuss

  17. #17

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    Haha great! So you also threw a few samples away from the -80C?
    They went into the centrifuge, I hear it's good for blending scents.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    They share a shelf with my essential oils/absolutes/extracts/tinctures.

    emanuel-samples.jpg
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    I don't mind that it takes me a long time to find the desired sample. It's like some kind of ritual.
    I smell a lot of other samples by then, I put a few samples aside to smell them later. And so on.

    I don't respect the samples that much. They're losers because they miss to turn into bottles.
    On the other hand, this is how I managed to discover awesome perfumes, searching, comparing.
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Very, very badly:

    SamplesJune2019Eeek.JPG
    I have chosen this method as well!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines

  21. #21

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    In a cat food tin. Don't worry, it's temperature-controlled. Although on a serious note, it's eco-friendly, keeps them upright and is easy to reach for. I have a strict 10-scent rotation so one tin suffices. Presentation can be improved by using a more appealing tin (e.g. from good quality tomatoes) or you could strip the label completely for that Le Male vibe

    wardrobe.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by pikemalarkey View Post
    In a cat food tin.
    The cat food tin is admittedly cool. I could do something similar to feature samples for the month. Top posting!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    This is my first attempt to upload a photo on this forum...

    Hanging jewelry organizers. The one on the right, I recently spent some time inserting white cardstock into the pockets because the dark gray color made it really hard to read the names on most of the clear vials.

    They are both double sided. I've got the one on the right alphabetized by house, mostly. I was really lucky to have swapped samples and decants with some generous women on fragrantica back when I was new to this obsession, and they sent me a ton of their "overstock" as extras. I've found some real gems in that organizer on the left as my nose has gotten more experienced--it's been maybe 7 years?Attachment 155715Attachment 155716
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Currently wearing: Memoir Woman by Amouage

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by faubel View Post
    This is my first attempt to upload a photo on this forum...
    It worked! As a former resident of Newton and Lawrence, it's fun to see a Kansan posting!

    I received a large sample giveaway right after I started posting on here. And I have a new one here, now. You should post reviews on all of those!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    Exactly how I organize mine. For my favorite houses I dedicate individual boxes:

    Chanel Box
    CHANEL BOX.jpg

    Guerlain Box
    GUERLAIN BOX.jpg
    Some appear to be stored upside down. Is that intentional?

  26. #26
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by faubel View Post
    This is my first attempt to upload a photo on this forum...

    Hanging jewelry organizers. The one on the right, I recently spent some time inserting white cardstock into the pockets because the dark gray color made it really hard to read the names on most of the clear vials.

    They are both double sided. I've got the one on the right alphabetized by house, mostly. I was really lucky to have swapped samples and decants with some generous women on fragrantica back when I was new to this obsession, and they sent me a ton of their "overstock" as extras. I've found some real gems in that organizer on the left as my nose has gotten more experienced--it's been maybe 7 years?Attachment 155715Attachment 155716
    Ohhh I like. Particularly that it holds them upright and visible.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
    Currently wearing: Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi

  27. #27
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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    Ohhh I like. Particularly that it holds them upright and visible.
    Was just coming here to say this. I recently started storing mine alphabetically by house and name in something like this, which I like because the labels are face up. 61O3kmPX-bL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

    I have two of these stacked on top of one another on my dresser (I don't care about temperature/light exposure for most samples). But it's clear I'm going to run out of room eventually, so I like the idea of hanging jewelry organizers that I can stash in my closet.

  28. #28

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    @Bavard Thank you for your kind words! As a new poster I wasn't sure how this would go down...but it looks like I'm not going to be chased out with pitchforks after all

  29. #29
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    Quote Originally Posted by faubel View Post
    Hanging jewelry organizers.
    This is without a doubt the BEST sample organizing I've ever seen. Not only can you categorize by house, alphabet, or whatever, but you can actually see the labels without picking anything up. And hang it on the back of a closet door to keep it out of the light!

    Ingenious. I might even be inspired to adopt this system.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How do you store your samples

    I’m torn between form and function so I’m working on a hybrid system for organizing samples that satisfies my need for eye candy while still being practical. Since perfume is an important part of my daily sensory diet I like even my samples to have a fun and safe place to live.

    I recently got a cast off early 20th century display cabinet and I have a number of vintage Japanese sewing boxes I inherited that hold my sample vials. The ritual of turning the tasseled key to the cabinet and rummaging through the boxes for samples is not really efficient, but it is so pleasing to my eyes to see them arranged in the cabinet along with my General Organa cosplay jewelry, my bronzed training bra, and a couple other representative objects I like that it is worth it to me.


    Instead of just rummaging for a sample though, the first thing I do when I want a sample is scan my BN wardrobe (to verify if I really have the sample or if I just wish I did). Since all my samples are listed there I can take advantage of how easy it is for me to search them by house, or tags, where/who they came from, or any other qualifier. I assign a grid location in the Japanese box drawers that I enter in the notes section of my BN wardrobe so I can easily locate the sample IRL.

    I’m thinking of switching to tags so I could pull up everything in a certain drawer. It is a geeky work in progress.
    ”I want all the perfumes”
    Currently wearing: Diorella by Christian Dior




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