Saturday Question: Do You Participate In Perfume Splits?

Following great tradition started by two wonderful bloggers, Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) and Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies), once a week I or one of the guest writers will keep the lights on in this virtual leaving room, but I hope that you, my friends and readers, will engage in conversation not only with me or the other host, but also with each other.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #16:

Do You Participate In Perfume Splits?

We all buy bottles – full priced, discounted, used or vintage. We buy samples and decants from decanter or subscription sites. And we swap perfumes with others. But do you participate in the “not for profit” perfume splits, in which somebody buys a new full bottle and shares portions of the juice “at cost” (price per ml plus decanting supplies and shipping)? Where do you find those splits? Do you ever host them? Was your experience with splits rather good or bad?

My Answer

For a while I was wary about splits. Somehow buying decants from TPC felt safe, while private sales seemed uncertain and suspicious. I had no reason for that, I just feared it as something unknown, never tried before. But once I successfully went through that process several times, I realized that in many cases getting a 5 ml decant from a friendly split costs close to buying a small sample of the same perfume from a decanter site. And if you end up not liking it, you can always swap it with or pass onto a friend.

I participated in several splits in a designated Facebook group. Then I moved to mostly doing it a couple of times a year during NST’s splitmeet episodes. And then a couple of years ago I started hosting my own splits there as well.

So far, all my splits – both as a participant and a host – were successful: I bought decants for perfumes I wore for a while and was done with them; I bought decants that lead up to a bottle purchase; and I bought and shared bottles of perfumes I wanted to have without feeling guilty because of adding another 50-100 ml of perfume to my ever growing collection.

Last week I went through all the offerings from the most recent NST splitmeet post – and didn’t find any perfume of which I’d like to have even 5 ml. It seems that with the explosion in the perfume industry perfumistas’ interests are spread wide: out of about 30 offered splits, the equal number closed and didn’t get any interest – eight each. The rest (about 50% of all) got some participants but didn’t generate as much interest as hosts planned. What is interesting: it looks like most hosts plan to go through with the purchase, even though they didn’t get “full funding.”

I was slightly disappointed: not that I had in mind any particular perfume that I was looking to buy, but I hoped to see something offered that I’d like to get. Since it didn’t happen, I had to host my own splits.

 

Do You Participate In Perfume Splits?

 

Disclaimer: this blog doesn’t use any affiliated links or benefit from any of the G-d awful ads that some of you might see inserted tastelessly by the WP engine inside the post and/or between comments. Encouraging readers to post more comments does not serve any purpose other then getting pleasure from communicating with people who share same interests.

54 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Participate In Perfume Splits?

  1. I’m having my first “split” as we speak, thanks to the lovely Portia. Chanel Le Lion, will be getting a 10ml. I have just never been in the right place or the right time when I’ve seen them, and even more commonly was not particularly interested in the fragrance. On more than one occasion by the time I’d finished researching the fragrance the split was full! It’s a great though you probably have more on offer in the US than we do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How exciting! Well, since it won’t be available in the U.S. until the next year, you and Portia should decide who will be writing a review for the rest of us :)
      FB split group, from which I used to buy some perfumes, ship worldwide (and usually not from the US), but, I think, they do it higher than “at cost” – so it makes sense to get there something that they buy in larger volume, which makes it cheaper even at a mark-up (e.g., Le Labo), but not for the splits of smaller bottles.

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    • Most NST splits are in the US only. But I think that through Profumo you can find splits in EU. It should be harder to do it in the UK: post office there seems to be the strictest.

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  2. I’ve participated in splits on both NST and Basenotes, never had an issue. Splits are ongoing at BN and have their own forum, at NST I think it happens twice a year? Sometimes there are lots of things I want to try, other times not. There were two splits on NST this time for things I already plan to buy my own full bottle, so I didn’t participate (Vivacious and Yvonne). Usually I participate to try new things (blind buys) or I know I like it but not enough to buy a bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I’m curious to check BN :) Though, how many decants do I need? I’m already “working hard” on rotating what I wear to give my favorite perfumes some skin time. If I buy even more, what will I do? :)

      Are you going to do a blind buy for Vivacious? Or have you tried it already? I’ve just bought a sample to try: if I like it, I’ll want a bottle and if I don’t, even a small decant is too expensive to waste.

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      • The local shop here just got Vivacious in, I’ll go give it a sniff this week. My reasoning is the same as yours – I’ll either want a whole bottle or nothing at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never been invoked in a split that I can recall! Agree with the commenters above that they seem to be more popular and practical in the US. They are clearly a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Theoretically, are there any perfumes that you tried, liked and wouldn’t mind getting 5-10 ml at cost while the bottle itself is too expensive for you to consider purchasing? Or do you prefer “all or nothing” (meaning, either get a real bottle or not to get anything)?

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  4. I have participated in splits on NST mostly as a participant and very few times as a host . That gives me the opportunity to avoid blind buys on scents that I am almost sure will work for me. Many of those decants have lead me to get new full bottle. If I do not like something I usually swap it. So far the split process has been successful for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • In general, I prefer to participate rather than to host: I’m worried much more about doing something wrong for others than about not getting or not liking my decant. But sometimes, if the splitmeet coincides with my plan to buy a bottle, I might offer it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Undina,
    I really LOVE splits. A few years ago there seemed to be so many more trustworthy people doing them. You’d be appalled if you knew how many 5, 8 & 10ml decants have gone through this house.
    Up until last year I had decided on a favourite splitter and was with them for years. While it was working in quick fashion I could get hold of 5ml of something within a month of release, perfect when you are blogging about new stuff.
    I also love to host splits. As Narth noted above tomorrow I’ll be splitting two 200ml bottles of LE LION de CHANEL. 15 x 10ml and approx 50ml left in each bottle. My pumping finger will be spasming by the end.
    It means I get a 200ml bottle to match my others and pay for only 50ml, which is very cost effective. Also, loads more people get to try something new at a much better price than the retail decanters.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m bothered by your math :)
      Two 200 ml bottles = 400 ml. 50 ml left in each = 100 ml. 15 x 10 ml decants = 150 ml. So, 400 – 100 – 150 = 150 – what happens to them? :)

      As I wrote in my comment to Narth, one of you just have to write about this perfume ASAP! Don’t forget to take a picture of all those decants – it should be a nice composition :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • 15 x 10ml and 50ml left in each bottle Undina, so multiplied by 2. That way Matt and I both walk away with 50ml and we do 30 decants.
        BUMMER! I forgot to take a photo of all the decants.
        I think Narth will be doing LE LION de CHANEL here. Can’t wait to read her take.
        Portia xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I used to get some decants as free gifts with in-store purchases, or fill them myself at Nordstrom where they had empty spray vials near the perfumes for this purpose (although I only did that once). Recently I started buying discovery kits again, and as each vial has the brand’s sticker on it, I don’t consider it a decant but a sample, like you said.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have participated in a handful of NST splits. Mostly successfully, although for one larger decant the sprayer sent was awful and I had to transfer the perfume to two smaller sprayers that I had on hand. I’m not participating this year due to my no-buy but will certainly scan the listings next year, even though my interest in new perfumes isn’t as high as it used to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I bought a 10ml of Bat which besides being sent to me in a plain envelope wrapped only in one layer of toilet paper (seriously?!) turned out to not work after the first spray. So I had to transfer it into two 5ml’s. I’m still glad I have it but won’t be using that person off ebay again!

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    • Interestingly, not all perfumes offered in splits are the most recent ones (though, many of them are).
      One of the aspects I don’t like about decants is the quality of sprayers. But I must say that some bottles also don’t come with the nicest of spray mechanisms. I wish they all were like Chanel’s ones.

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    • I have never participated in a split, although there have been a couple on Fragrantica that I thought about. Usually the splits I see offered are for new fragrances and I don’t want to spend more than $4 or $5 for something I haven’t tried. If I ever do a split, I agree with Undina, I don’t want to be the one preparing the decants! I’d be afraid someone would complain I didn’t measure it right or something. Also, I have arthritis in my hands and my fingers wouldn’t survive all that spraying. Eeek

      I do, however, buy small decants (3 and 5 ml) sometimes from decanters like Surrender to Chance and The Perfumed Court when they have specials. But, generally, these are perfumes I already know I like and I just can’t afford a larger amount of that scent, or I don’t love it enough to buy more.

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      • That makes perfect sense to me. Had my collection been smaller, or would I have lived closer to stores where I could try new perfumes without paying, I wouldn’t have bought probably some decants that I have. But since at this point I have some discretionary spending budget, I spend some of it on this hobby.

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  7. I used to take part in splits, not a lot, but fairly regularly. I also hosted quite a few. I think it stopped with the postal prices rising everywhere, and liquids were getting hard to ship. I haven’t taken part in or done a split in aeons, and then just a week ago, I did part-take. Someone on a German site was getting some Iris Ganache, and although I still have some in my bottle, I’m terrified I’ll run out, so using a decant seems a good option. I am also curious if it smells the same as the old one…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Yes, I do participate in splits. I have done so on the German parfumo site. I often want more than a small sample, but not a full bottle. So I try to buy partials, but if none is to be found, a split is the best option. I never host them, though, ’cause I’m too clumsy for the handiwork involved. What bugs me about splits is not getting the orignal bottle. And those plastic pocket sprayers often spray too much at one press. (The one I got with my share in a bottle of Au Coeur du Desert sprays ca. 0.15 ml at once, which is kind of a problem with a beast like ACDD.) So, yes, for me it’s a last resort when nothing else works. I imagine if I felt more comfortable doing decants, I would host splits myself. It would be a nice way to save some money and avoid stocking up more perfume than I would ever use, while keeping the original bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe you can practice by swapping with others decants from the bottles you have? This way you’ll feel more comfortable if you decide to host a split.

      While I do not mind 1.2-2 ml samples in a plastic bottle, for anything larger I prefer glass.

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  9. When I was starting my journey down the rabbit hole 90% of my bottles were partial bottles from splits. I used to host quite many at “joint perfume shopping” group at wizaż forum. It’s a cosmetics & beauty platform in Poland so all participants were from Poland. Nowadays I host much less splits and I prefer to share bigger quantities with friends (like we did with Amouage Mimosa)

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    • I’m still patiently waiting. Hopefully, this week it’ll come! :)

      I didn’t realize there was such a group in Poland. Do you know/follow any Polish perfume blogs? Do you write about perfumes anywhere in Polish?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m crossing my fingers.

        Yes, it’s quite a lively platform and there are many splits carried out there. It’s easier that way than to split with people scattered all over Europe or even farther away.

        Yes, I follow some Polish perfume blogs but CITB is my only writing space.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I have never participated in splits, because I haven’t found any which would involve easy shipping at a reasonable price.I have started looking online locally for SL partial bottles, and I think that’s the way it will stay unless i find perfume friends locally. I do like having the bottle and have been lucky to buy a few partial bottles from friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In general, I also prefer bottles. But for perfumes that I’d like to wear a dozen of times, buying a bottle would be an overkill. If I couldn’t get 5-10 ml of it, I would have passed on them completely (which, probably, would be wise :) ). But if I come across any that I can easily get, I tend to scratch that itch.

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  11. I do participate and host some splits on the German parfumo website. Sometimes I just want a small quantity or. do some testing before I decide on a FB. And often I did not want more of them, so money saved. The last decant of Safran Troublant saved me lots, because I now know that I don’t love sandalwood

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    • I recently tried Safran Troublant for the first time, and it’s not for me either. One of those perfumes that gets a lot of love in the Perfumeland but doesn’t work for me.

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  12. I haven’t done any splits, mostly through lack of opportunity. I should start. I found out early and the hard way that I should get decants of perfumes I am thinking of buying. There are those fragrances that I think are lovely but end up not being bottle worthy. A decant let’s me know that while I like and enjoy the perfume, it may just not be a keeper.

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    • With true splits it’s the most sensible option: if you like perfume while wearing a decant, you have enough time to find a deal, if possible, for the full bottle purchase.

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  13. I have participated in splits left, right and centre! Great way of getting just the quantity you need. That said, I did have a most startling and expensive disappointment which sparked off a global trail of investigation. I know you say it is okay to post links, and I normally don’t!, but here is the post in question – about my favourite perfume too (at the time).
    https://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/2010/03/guerlain-moins-que-jamais-and-benefits.html

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    • What a story about PQJ! My story is I had smelled it a couple of times, but was still waffling. I visited Paris and was buying a bottle of something else at the Champs-Élysées Guérlain boutique and asked for another sample of PQJ as I was thinking of buying it some day. The SA informed me it was being discontinued, so I said, « Well then, some day is today! I’ll have a bottle. » Got in just under the wire.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely loved the story! Thank you for linking. I do encourage it: since I have this blog specifically for communication purposes, sharing links to this type of content is the ideal modus operandi.

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    • I’m truly appalled by what WP is doing with those ads. But since my blogging costs me money and doesn’t bring any income, I’m hesitant to pay to turn those ads off. So, at least I explain for the Saturday Question posts (read: people who are not my regular readers) that I’m not benefiting from their suffering :)

      Like

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