What Did You Last Sample?

Hi there Perfume Posse. Today I want to talk about sampling. If you saw my sample and decant collection you would be both entranced and appalled. BOXES and BOXES of them. Mostly tried once and put aside but also a fair amount of “Yum come back to it later and give it a real wearing”. I do try to pass on anything that is double, not my style or something I already have similar to but still the sheer enormity of my collection is sometimes overwhelming. Still I go back to Surrender To Chance regularly to get stuff still not available in Australia.

What Did You Last Sample?

I try new stuff every week so it’s good to read what others are sampling and what they thought about it. Obviously if the majority think MEH then I’ll probably give it a miss. It’s the polarising scents that I find interesting, the ones where maybe 70% are WOW and 30% are YUCK! Whatever the breakdown they are the ones I really like to get my sniff on.

This last couple of weeks I’ve tested some of the new Lalique range in the pillar bottles, Penhaligon’s London Borough trilogy (very nice) and two L’Artisan colognes, Amouage Beach Hut Woman, Miller et Bertaux Indian Study (O M G! Review coming), Floris 1988 and 1976 (patchouli glam). Revisiting my Criminal Elements Sample Set (bloody good Australian Indie crew), some of the JHaGs and Histories de Parfums. It’s been fairly fragrantly hectic and while I may have one fragrance on my body the skin flap between thumb and pointer on each hand has often had something completely different on each side as well. These are just the ones I remember.

SO, with the object being to help me out and narrow down the next round of testing I’d love to read what you have given skin time to lately, how you liked it and why. Also feel free to comment on others testing frags and give me your heads up on same, good or bad, no one’s going to get offended if you keep it fun and respectful.

Portia xx



Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies.

  • Lej says:

    Portia – I love your posts! I apologize for this post But I am having problems going to your direct site. I’m on your mailing list for APJ but when I try & click on the full article I’m getting a site that is all in an Asian script that appears to be ads. This has been happening for over a week and this was the only way I could think to ask/ notify you a it. I even tried to use Google to access your website & the same thing happened. I need my Portia fix! Could the problem be on my end? I will freely admit I’m not the most savvy when it comes the the internet.


  • Kathleen says:

    I have boxes of samples, I try to keep them organized by perfumer, timelines, notes. I never tire of purchasing more samples but seriously need to go back and enjoy the ones I have. The fragrance world is really a rabbit hole, especially with all the reading and following blogs with new reviews. I have been working through Serge Lutens samples, so many wonderful scents. I really haven’t found any I don’t enjoy.

  • Amy says:

    As someone who does NOT have a blog or any good reason for the extent of my sampling and sample collection, which is enormous, well, I do a lot of sampling. Most recently the Note di Profumum line, one of which I almost immediately bought a ginormous bottle of: Luce Dell’este. Violets and cardamom and a light delicious sandalwood. Their vetiver, fortunely, gave me a headache and others have yet to get a full workout.

    I tend to go through lines somewhat obsessively, so all the rest of these will get wears in the next few days. Before that it was St. Claire’s, which didn’t work for me and my person decisively vetoed!

    I can’t wait for the new Neela Vermeire! And Tempo is making its way to me!

  • Earl Gray says:

    I got the set of five January Scent Project samples a few weeks ago, and started with Smolderose. Well, I can’t move beyond Smolderose. It’s pretty dreamy, kinda weird and apparently addictive. I can’t wait to smell the others but I can’t stop reaching for Smolderose. Did I mention: Smolderose.

    Maybe this marks me out as a newb but I can’t test more than one perfume at once. My brain links the two together inextricably and can’t properly untangle them afterwards, whatever logic I try and apply….the two separate scents just become one sensory experience. And I always test on skin and just live with the consequences (however disturbing!)

    • Portia says:

      YAY! Love to find a new love Earl Gray,
      Everyone has a different perfume trial strategy. I like to go solo but sometimes to work out the differences will play them against each other, or if I’m stuck add something completely different.
      Portia x

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    Recently I did an evaluation of my buy ratio, and it comes out to 1 purchase per every 14 sampled. As for what I have sampled this past week, I did an Amouage expedition: Reflection Woman, Blossom Love, and Lilac Love. Previously I had sampled Bracken Woman. None were for me, so I will probably pass on future forays with this house.

    • Portia says:

      Wow! That is interesting VerbenaLuvvr,
      So when you want to save money you can stop sampling a 14th and then go back to one, he he he.
      I do love that you’ve had the wherewithal to work that out.
      Portia xx

  • tiffanie says:

    CdG Concrete is on trial today. I’ve dabbed from a sample several times so it is a winner, but it keeps surprising me by changing up. Today I’m getting a hint of cherry or almond extract and a bit of a wood spike up the nose. Odd, but I keep sniffing.

  • Kathy says:

    Amouage Beach Hut Woman – with all respect but a bit of fun can I say: could this be an Escada collaboration for Summer ’18?? Hem, well, I sampled and put on the full bottle list Tauer Fruitchouli Flash. Also, I was inspired by various reviews including on APJ to try the Aramis Calligraphy line. I like all: 1st to Saffron; close 2nd to Calligraphy; and honorable 3rd to Rose. These are still around at great prices, so I bought them all on discount. The first one, Calligraphy, was a rare compliment-getter so I shared a decant with my co-worker.

  • HeidiC says:

    The big annual literary conference was last week, and three of us who love and write about perfume met up for wine and sniffing one evening — I got to try Prada’s Purple Rain (iris — both powdery and buttery — and patchouli, very interesting, not sure what I think, but I think I liked it?) and Bruno Fazzolari’s Lampblack (dark and inky, punctuated with bitter grapefruit peel — dark and fascinating). I brought a mini of Tocade I’d found that I’d bought unsniffed because Scent History, but rose isn’t my thing, so I gave it to my friend for whom rose is very much a thing. I also let them sniff my teeny samples of Diaghilev (why so expensive? WHYYYY???) and 1927 Djedi. Lately, I’ve been buying minis of vintages I hadn’t sniffed, trying to round out the archive: Dioressence, Azurée, Scherrer No 1, and Detchema — loved all of them except for the Detchema, which was very meh.

    • Kathleen says:

      Now I need t sniff Prada Purple Rain! I also love sampling and reading about the vintages; love the historical value.

    • Portia says:

      I love that you have a literary sniffy crew HeidiC. I bet your descriptors are fabulous!
      Portia xx

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I have decants coming out of my butt. I’m not kidding, I have a medium sized makeup bag full of things that I have worn and reviewed and another one that I haven’t worn or reviewed. The last one that I tried on skin was CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention. I remember not liking it too much but I have to wear it again to review it.

  • Gina says:

    I have boxes and boxes of samples to try but I usually end up sampling three full-bottle blind buys. Recently, I tried on Myrurgia Orgia, Maxim’s de Paris, and Max Factor Electrique (the three Ms).

  • Tara C says:

    I’ve been sampling a ton of stuff, but nothing really new. Mancera Black Vanille, Profumum Confetto, Aqua Dolce and Acqua e Zucchero, SHL 2022 Generation White, Memo Siwa, MDCI Cio Cio San, Coolife #2 and #4, Carner Barcelona Palo Santo, Aesop Hwyl, Byredo Bibliotheque, Lancome Parfait de Roses, Tubereuses Castane and Roses Berberanza, the Xinu line from Mexico, Omnia Madera, Xerjoff Lira, Kyse perfume line, 4160 Tuesdays Silk, Lace & Chocolate and Eau My Soul. I have a ton of samples, the next two up are the two new Diptyques, Tempo and Fleur de Peau. Still waiting for my Fort & Manle and Goldfield & Banks samples to arrive.

    • Portia says:

      WOW! That is a shiyload of sampling.
      Can’t wait to hear what you think about the Fort & Manle and Goldfield & Banks samples.
      Portia xx

      • Tara C says:

        I ordered Desert Rosewood blind, it should be arriving today or Monday, squee! They will be including samples of the rest of the G & B line, White Sandalwood sounds particularly appealing as well. I ordered the Fort & Manle samples too, but the main product on the order is backordered so I won’t receive them until the main product ships. May have to order the discovery set separately to get it faster.

  • MmkinPa says:

    I am always at least a year behind in sampling releases unless I can find them at Sephora. I have a long list of things I’m interested in so they languish for months before my budget allows a sample order. Working through a giveaway sampler of Mirus Perfumes right now – have those made it your way?