As I was thinking about all the ways that NTS’s commenter was wrong about dismissing perfume samples (if you don’t know what I refer to, see my previous post – Math Revised: A Minus and a Plus Make a … Plus), I became curious what role samples played in my perfume life.
In my earlier perfume years there were not that many samples available in general. So unless I got a sample by some miracle or from the previous purchase, I kept returning to the counter to re-try the perfume I thought of buying. Usually it worked – unless I waited for too long hoping to find that perfume later on a discounter site only to see it discontinued (I missed this way the original Kate Spade perfume that I liked). But even after I would buy perfume, I liked having a sample as well – to take it with me when traveling: I kept refilling those sample bottles from my bottle (it was before decanting supplies became common).
Over years I decreased the number of samples I buy: I try to get them from stores, brands’ sites or do friendly swaps with other perfumistas. But sometimes I get tempted by some perfume that I just can’t get – then I pay. I do not do it too often: not even because I want to save money (though that too: all those samples quickly build up to a full bottle price), but also because I noticed that once I paid for a sample, if I dislike it, my disappointment with it is much stronger than when I smell it “for free.”
But free or paid for, perfume samples made significant impact on my perfume collection: I counted only original bottles (of any size); and in my estimate more than a third of my current favorites found its way to me through sampling perfumes to which I might have never got access otherwise.
Honey Oud by Floris got into my testing queue by pure chance: since I don’t like agarwood and usually don’t like honey, I would have never ordered this sample by choice or even tried this perfume at a store (not that Floris is available in stores around but just to make a point). But while I was on a perfume subscription boxes kick, I bought one from the Perfume Society. Honey and Oud was one of the samples in that box.
Honey Oud surprised me. I don’t smell agarwood – at least not its usual punch-in-the-nose medicinal aspect. The honey in this perfume does not turn urinous on my skin as it often does. In general, it’s so smoothly blended that none of the ingredients are prominent enough for me to notice (but if anybody wants to know, the complete list is: honey, bergamot, patchouli, rose, agarwood, amber, labdanum, musk and vanilla). Alright, I have to admit: I can smell vanilla.
Two ingredients that I usually do not like in my perfumes came together nicely in Honey Oud to create a beautiful and warm amber-y composition that I enjoy wearing. Minus and minus resulted in plus. Q.E.D.
I’m thinking: should I try something with tuberose and cumin next?
Images: my own