Buddies Sending Samples

Heya Posse. There’s a thing that happens in the perfume world that I haven’t come across anywhere else. I’m sure it happens elsewhere and I’d love to hear some of the ways it happens from you all. Here in perfume world we have Buddies Sending Samples of things we love, we think they might love, we have too many of, or we hate. Buddies Sending Samples can be a thank you, a friendly gesture, a business or a way to let others know what their perfume buddies are doing. It’s so much a part of being in this crazy wonderful world!

If someone buys one of my bottles or goes in a split I’ll always add in a few samples of other completely unrelated things. It’s a really good way for me to pay forward the Press Bottles I receive. Send out a few samples to other perfumistas that might love them too. More than half the juice in my Press Bottles gets sent out as samples.

Buddies Sending Samples

Buddies Sending Samples Aiden


Last week I got a really beautiful surprise. One of the perfume crew in Melbourne, the capital of another state known best for food, fashion and art, sent me a package! I met Aiden on a trip last year with a bunch of Melbourne’s coolest perfume crew. We had a far too short window to meet, greet, sniff and socialise in a cafe; right near the bus station to take me back to the airport. It was hectic, hilarious, loud, fragrant and super fun. The Melbourne crew are a riot and it was good to meet some people I’ve been online friends with for ages. Also, there were long time friends I was getting a moment with again. Aiden stood out as a calm point in the mayhem. We did get to chat a little bit. So for him to send a package was a delight.

Something else I find incredibly interesting is what people send. These are expensive perfumes. To give away 2ml in bought spray sample vials and posted is a financial investment. Buddies Sending Samples is a seriously generous gesture. It’s going to take me a few days to really wear these but as I spritz I’ll give you all a few short impressions.

Buddies Sending Samples

Benjoin Bohème by Diptyque

Alphabetically Benjoin Bohème comes first but I left it to last because Aiden tells me it’s his gold standard for benzoin. That’s quite a big call so I wanted to try the rest in pairs and leave a full body free for the big one. I had also told myself to lower my expectations considerably.

OHHHH! The first whiff off skin is lovely. Resinous and slightly animalic but smooth and very elegant. You might remember that I am a big amber fiend. Here we have amber but with a gloss that does lift it. Once the fireworks of opening are done Benjoin Bohème settles into a soft, sensual amber. Beautiful, especially if your collection is amber poor. This will make an excellent addition. I know the word has lost all real meaning but I keep thinking, “This is classy.”

Halfeti Cedar by Penhaligon’s

In my collection Halfeti Leather is a regular spritz. I’m excited to try the cedar variant.

Ahhhh! A similar spicy rose/saffron style open. The woods are crisp and the heart has little hints of some of the Serge Lutens fruit mince fragrances. Not nearly as dark or dry as the leather flanker. I find this one infinitely more welcoming and friendly. A very nice reimagining. Easily imaginable as a daily go-to fragrance for someone who wants to smell like a cut above but not weird or challenging.

JTC 400 by Xerjoff

Here is something I’d NEVER have even thought of trying. In my early years of trying Xerjoff fragrances nothing seemed to click as FB worthy. So I wrote them off as a brand that just didn’t work for me. Sometimes it’s a relief to wipe a house. One less brand to get my sniff on.

WHOA! JTC 400 opens with a super honey citrus accord, captivating. It has taken over my perfume room in under 3 minutes. Then I went out to grab a coffee, came back and it smells strangely divine in here. Not what I was expecting to come back to. You know the taste of sugarless sweetened drinks? This is the smell of the taste. It’s a particular note (nope, no idea) but it’s in a few of the modern fruity fragrances, especially Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge. Sadly it ruins the heart of JTC 400 for me. Once the heart moves into dry down territory the base is a honeyed wood with soft vanilla overlay.

Nuits Indiennes (Indian Nights) by Jean-Louis Scherrer

WOW! I had no idea what to expect here. A clear white floral opening was definitely not on the list. When I think about it though on my first few visits to India the women would wear strings of jasmine and marigold flowers in their hair to events. The scent was so strong on hot North Indian nights and it blew me away. Like a dream sequence. Through the heart the flowers get a fruity sweetness and the perfume gets a much more french perfumery vibe. The base is a vanilla heavy amber with some remnants of the floral opening all the way down. HOW did I never hear of this wonderful perfume before? I enjoyed it so much.

Privé by Ormonde Jayne

Well, this is a surprise! It opens like a J C Ellena Jardin series fragrance for Hermès. Similar slightly oily citrus with a sweet berry overlay, verging on aquatic. Today is a sunshiny 24C (75f) in Sydney and Privé is a beautiful fit. The heart becomes more luxurious. There is iris, some greenery and soft woody, modern niche comfort. I want to use the word plush. A floral iris with fruity accents, and osmanthus doesn’t really become a player for me till well into the heart. I’ve only smelt osmanthus itself in life once but it’s indelibly locked in. Now I really wish I’d bought Privé in the Peony sale.

Talking about samples to full bottles in this Posse post.

So, are you one of the Buddies Sending Samples?
Portia xx

  • Jennifer S says:

    Sounds like great fun was had at your meet up! I agree. Perfume people are just the most generous and I love sampling/ discovering unknowns….to me anyway!

    • Portia says:

      Hey JenniferS,
      Yes, getting perfume peeps IRL is always fun and entertaining. We are a breed apart. There are new styles and tastes and so much banter. Heaven.
      Portia xx

  • Neva says:

    Oh yes, of course! There’s nothing better than sending and receiving perfume samples! Unfortunately for the past 5-6 years I cannot send samples abroad but meanwhile, thanks to Facebook, I found perfume groups here in my country so we busily send each other samples now 🙂
    I’ll use this opportunity to thank you for all the wonderful samples you’ve sent me during a couple of years.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Neva,
      LOVE that you’ve found some frag heads in your country. Does that mean you meet up with some of them too?
      Portia xx

      • Neva says:

        Yes, we have a local group of fragrance lovers and we meet and exchange samples and perfumes. We sometimes go shopping and sniffing together 🙂 I love it!

  • Maya says:

    Your samples sound like fun. Sending and receiving samples has pretty much been lost. It was great though. I have ordered some partial bottles and the seller promised me a bunch of samples. That should be really nice. I love samples! Will be getting everything in the next couple of days. YAY!

  • AnnieA says:

    Perfume people are pretty nice, and generally, whether sending or receiving perfume some samples are included as a nice surprise. This week I received two perfumes from an FB seller and did not receive any samples, which turned out to be a bit of a surprise.

  • Musette says:

    giving and receiving samples is one of the great joys !!!
    That Nuits Indiennes sounds GORGEOUS!!!


  • March says:

    These sound lovely! And yes, I don’t think I’ve ever sent or received a package that didn’t have some “extras” in it. And periodically in DC, a bunch of us would get together with bags and boxes of unwanted samples and bottles and just give them away! That was fun.

    • Portia says:

      Heya March,
      Whenever we have a sniffing get together jere in Sydney too, someone or two will bring a box of unloveds. It will be a general free for all for a few minutes. SO FUN!
      Portia xx

  • cassieflower says:

    And I can’t believe that Indian Nights has flown under your radar until now. Asleep at the wheels, haha.

  • cassieflower says:

    I was on the receiving end of your generosity quite a few times Portia. It was such a little thrill when that PPP dropped through the letterbox? Such a shame that postal regs have put paid to overseas surprises for perfume peeps now. Bum. I have sent samples and decants to people in the past but can’t do so anymore for the very same reasons. There are a couple of people on my own little island that I send to, and of course I can still give to family, friends and colleagues. The perfume community is a very generous one.

    • Portia says:

      I think you might even have gotten my last overseas send Cassieflower,
      I quietly shoved it into a postbox and fingers crossed it would get through. I sent three packs that day and only two have arrived so far.
      Hopefully it will all turn back around soon,
      Portia xx

    • Neva says:

      I remember receiving some of your packages 🙂 there were samples, mystery samples and lovely greeting cards. Thank you so much!

  • Matty1649 says:

    I too have had generous samples from Portia in The APJ days.All gratefully received.
    Sam from I Scent you a Day sent me a box of samples. A lovely surprise.

  • Tara C says:

    Not only have I sent and received lots of samples, I have also sent/received full bottles, sometimes of very expensive fragrances. Perfume people are generous and thoughtful.

    • Portia says:

      SO cool TaraC,
      Yes, back a short while ago we Aussies could send anywhere. It was heaven. Not so much now. We do send intercontinentally though.
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    I remember swapping on Makeup Alley when the fragrance board was the centre of my perfume universe. Packages were always wonderful with great surprises tucked in. Will add Ormonde Jayne to my whenever I make it London perfume trawl. Sigh.

    • Portia says:

      I’m so jealous of all you MUA peeps. I missed all that fun and madness.
      Wouldn’t it be terrific if we could coordinate a London visit?
      Portia xx

    • rosarita says:

      Those were fun times on Makeupalley, raving over each niche perfume as it was released, swapping for samples. Now there’s such an avalanche of new perfumes every year it’s impossible to keep track of.

  • Gina T says:

    I have Halfeti but have not tried the flankers. How fun! I was surprised knowing you and your vintage and floral loves that Nuits Indiennes was new to you. I have it, as well. That is a lovely surprise and what sharing is all about. We get exposed to things we didn’t even know about. I love it.

    • Portia says:

      Hey GinaT,
      Yeah, I’m miffed it’s taken me this long as well. I’m wondering if we didn’t get so much of it here in Oz or if I just never met anyone who’d worn it?
      Now I’m on the hunt for a bottle. SHH!
      Portia xx

  • MMKinPA says:

    I’m glad you are in the receiving end of some lovely samples. I have received several packets from you in the APJ era of interesting samples from giveaways – so I know that you are one of the most generous out there! I have often participated in “freebiemeets” on NowSmellThis, and sent packets of samples around the US, both purchased samples that I have tried, and small decants from my bottles. (Although I don’t have a super expensive collection…). I don’t think I have ever received a split from someone without a little bonus sample or two – the perfume community is amazing.

    • Portia says:

      It used to make me so happy to make my weekly sets of samples up and send them around the world MMKinPA. The postal service has made it almost impossible to do in and reasonable way and the prices have gone through the room. What used to cost AU$3.30 to send overseas now costs AU$15. It’s just not doable anymore. So annoying because when I get given a Press Bottle the best thing to do is send it to heaps of people to try.
      Yes, the perfume community is amazing. we are lucky to be a part of it.
      Portia xx

  • Jo Ann says:

    Oh what a lovely surprise for you Portia! Those samples sound heavenly, especially Indian Nights.