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What's that smell? - all things fragrant (colognes, parfums, aftershaves, etc.)

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    #16
    Other than ordering a bunch of small samples online, are there any good ways to experiment and try out a variety of scents? Not in a store/mall, those are too crowded and smelly already for any meaningful decision making.

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      #17
      Originally posted by Trueflame View Post
      Other than ordering a bunch of small samples online, are there any good ways to experiment and try out a variety of scents? Not in a store/mall, those are too crowded and smelly already for any meaningful decision making.
      I've had great experiences at places like Sephora and Nordstrom. They are very giving with samples. For higher-end niche house fragrances, like Creed, Bond No.9, etc., you have to either find a really friendly SA and/or seem verrrrrrry interested in purchasing something. Just my experience. YMMV.

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        #18
        I'm new to this, but the small samples online thing seems pretty great so far. Perfumed Court and Surrender to Chance seem like two of the biggest. For brands that Sephora carries, they have the little strips for sampling, but they generally steer towards the more mass market brands. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but checking out the boutique brands seems more interesting. I'd much rather wear something more unique. If all the people that are really into fragrances say brand "X" is worth checking out, then I'll at least give them a shot, especially if I can get a 1ml decant for $3-5 instead of dropping $100+ on a bottle. Apparently everything smells different on your skin vs a paper strip, so I have about a month's worth of fragrances to try if I'm to wear a different one every day.

        Wore Ormande Man today. I like this one. I think I liked it better on paper than on my skin though. It's a bit different than anything else and I could actually see myself ordering it. Hermes Rocabar and Terre d'Hermes are my two standbys that I'm judging everything against.

        Of course it's now overpowered by the Aberlour a'bunadh that I'm currently drinking. I do know how Glencairn glasses are supposed to be used

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          #19
          Originally posted by yoyorobbo View Post
          For higher-end niche house fragrances, like Creed, Bond No.9, etc., you have to either find a really friendly SA and/or seem verrrrrrry interested in purchasing something.
          Honestly super high end stores are cool too as long as you dress the part, which often just means wearing nice shoes. I really think a lot of SAs judge you mostly by the shoes. The first time I tried a bunch of Creeds was a couple of months ago at Bergdorfs on 5th Ave. I was dressed decently (wearing C&Js) and decided to go in to basically drool over their shoes. I passed the Creed counter and tried several out. I have to be in midtown a couple of days next week, so I might go back to sample a couple of others for free

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            #20
            Originally posted by Fred G. Unn View Post
            I have to be in midtown a couple of days next week, so I might go back to sample a couple of others for free
            Are they just giving you free full sample vials, Fred? Or are you talking about simply spritzing some on from the main tester bottles? The Bond and Creed counters nearby here are pretty stingy with the official take-home samples. I've gotten a few (Bonds, mostly - their "bon-bons") - but it sure as hell wasn't like asking for some designer fragrance samples at Sephora, where they give ya three samples pretty much just for walking in the door. Maybe I need to get me some C&Js.

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              #21
              Originally posted by yoyorobbo View Post
              the main tester bottles ... Maybe I need to get me some C&Js.
              Main testers, and of course you do need some C&Js! I'm already scouting my next decant order. Can you tell I'm a bit obsessive about a subject? I tend to dive in, learn a bunch, then move on to the next fixation. Of course Scotch loosens the wallet a bit too. Already won a NWT Paul Stuart shirt on eBay tonight for $35.

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                #22
                Originally posted by Fred G. Unn View Post
                For brands that Sephora carries, they have the little strips for sampling, but they generally steer towards the more mass market brands.

                Apparently everything smells different on your skin vs a paper strip, so I have about a month's worth of fragrances to try if I'm to wear a different one every day.
                Sephora (and Nordstrom, for that matter) will actually make you a small tester vial (plastic w/sprayer) of whatever big bottle testers they already have opened. You just have to ask. Nordstrom usually has several tester vials already out on display for the taking. Some of those are actually straight from the fragrance house, attached to their own little folded card (those are the ones that they'll sometimes toss in your bag when you buy something else), while others are ones that the Nordstrom SAs make up, presumably when they are bored.

                Regarding test strips/paper vs skin: absolutely, you want to test them out on your own skin. Everyone's body chemistry is different, so fragrances react and work differently, person to person; to a reasonable degree, of course.

                I wouldn't suggest sraying them ALL on you, so sure, sniff a few on the paper strips first to see if they interest you at all; then once you've narrowed it down to a few, ask for samples to take home and audition. It's the best way to know if you'll like the scent as a whole(top/opening, mid/heart, base/drydown), and also to see how the projection (how strong it is, how far from the skin it "works") and the longevity (how many hours it will last, and how the stages develop).

                BTW, the online sample order thing seems super cool too. I have yet to do so, but I have received some samples from some buds I've made in some of the online fragrance communities. Usually before I've partaken in one of their various splits for decants.

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                  #23
                  I love good scents, my GF not so much but heck i figure i gotta smell myself all day long so i wear what i want to smell. TdH is what i wear the most year round followed by GIT. Cool Water is a passable imitation of GIT but the real difference is after the first 20 minutes, thats where that extra money spent on the GIT becomes worth it. When it's really warm I usually wear Eau d'Orange Vert which is just perfect for the summer. I also like the Light Blue Living Stromboli I got last summer. I occasionally wear Givency Play sport or Spicebomb (cheaper version of TF Tobacco Vanille) when Im going casual and want to change it up. My current GOS (thats Going Out Scent) is Bleu de Chanel. The ladies all seem to go gaga for that one.

                  I try to limit scents in my other skin/hair products. I'm pretty minimalist but even so between shampoo, soap, shave cream, lotion, et.. it doesn't matter what any one of them smells like, they all blend into some monstrosity. This is why i prefer to go unscented as much as possible with the products and then use one great cologne scent at the end.

                  As far as guidelines i would agree that Nordstrom and Sephora are awesome sources of testers. I recommend trying out lots of stuff. Regardless of whatever comes recommended, things will smell different on you based on your personal skin chemistry, so you need to find out what works for you. You'll be smelling it the most so make sure you like it! One quick spray on each forearm followed by a quick rub onto the sides of the neck and chest is all thats needed. I always put mine on right after i shower so the initial strength has a little time to settle down before i go out into public.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Fred G. Unn
                    FYI, from the decants we ruled out, here's what I remember:
                    Creed Bois du Portugal - too floral
                    Creed Himalaya - clean but wimpy, not a lot there
                    Creed Millesime Imperial - too feminine, my wife actually kind of liked it for her
                    Knize Ten - very distinctive masculine smell, sort of like old leather books or something, I actually liked it but my wife definitely did not, nothing else sampled was anything like it
                    Dior Fahrenheit - maybe a little dated now, after smelling it I realize I definitely knew guys that dumped this on
                    Caron 3rd Man - this was my favorite of the 4 Caron fragrances but my wife didn't really dig it
                    Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille - Vanilla seemed a little too sweet
                    Tom Ford Italian Cypress - I liked it, but it's god-awful expensive and I think I like the Terre d'Hermes more. I can get the citrus thing from TdH.
                    Did you spray these ON you and have her smell

                    or did you just smell the vials, remember they are supposed to react differently to every person once applied and heated etc.

                    That's what I remember at least, YoYo can smite me if I'm wrong.

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                      #25
                      I've been using knockoff Creed scent oils that imitate Aventus, GIT, and Imperial. Reviews say tthat they are fairly accurate. I have not done a side by side before so I cannot verify this.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Creed-Aventus-...ords=creed+oil

                      I can't justify spending hundreds on fragrance, so I resort this stuff.

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by Fred G. Unn View Post
                        Bruschetta is probably appalled that I used a Glencairn glass for this.
                        EDIT: and tdig.
                        I've been using a coffee mug for my blended scotch for the past year. Don't tell tdig.

                        Gentlemen, I advise you to apply your cologne lightly. Very lightly. I think that it was Shadow who said that the only one who should smell your cologne is the person whom you are holding in your arms. If you overdo it, those of us with sensitive noses and allergies will actively avoid your company. I was stuck behind a guy at Waitrose who could have used more soap and less scent. I thought of this thread.

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by shad0w4life View Post
                          Did you spray these ON you and have her smell

                          or did you just smell the vials, remember they are supposed to react differently to every person once applied and heated etc.

                          That's what I remember at least, YoYo can smite me if I'm wrong.
                          I applied them to paper strips and smelled them at various stages. I'm gonna try wearing a different one every day to see how they interact with my skin.

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by LosRockets View Post
                            Grey Flannel is... oof. I got a large bottle for like $10 but it's just violet. More than one spray and you're choking on it. Smells a lot like... baby powder or something. Glad it was so cheap, because it's not something I can see myself wearing very often (I'm only 24).
                            That is/was made by Geoffrey Beene and was a panty dropper for me with one woman back in the day when I was in my late 20s. "Oh you smell so good." Worth it.

                            Originally posted by LosRockets View Post
                            (Speaking of which, how would one classify Aventus?)
                            I don't know how to classify that in terms of smell, but in terms of action it's supposedly the ultimate panty dropper.

                            Sorry to use the term "panty dropper" so much but I'm just in the mood to sound kind of douchey and that term is VERY douchey.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by Zeejet View Post
                              I've been using knockoff Creed scent oils that imitate Aventus, GIT, and Imperial. Reviews say tthat they are fairly accurate. I have not done a side by side before so I cannot verify this.

                              http://www.amazon.com/Creed-Aventus-...ords=creed+oil

                              I can't justify spending hundreds on fragrance, so I resort this stuff.
                              When you keep getting hugs, a nose to your neck, kissed and told over and over again how good you smell.....It's SO worth it!

                              Ok maybe if you're in prison it's not.

                              I've had the below for 5+ years (Givenchy again) but really it was about $80 and has lasted a LONG time.
                              Last edited by shad0w4life; June 7, 2013, 11:28 AM.

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by shad0w4life View Post
                                I've had the below for 5+ years (Givenchy again) but really it was about $80 and has lasted a LONG time.
                                One of the Very Irresistible releases? I had one of the flankers a little while back. IIRC, it had a mint chocolate-chip sorta thing in the mix (mid-drydown). I forget the flanker-edited name.

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