Just as an experiment: does anyone still read this introductory paragraph? Or is it a block of text that you habitually skip knowing what it says? I would really love if commenters on this post were talking not only with me but with each other as well. I still do my “stand-alone” posts from time to time where it’s customary to talk almost one-on-one with each reader. But with these Saturday Question posts I think you might find rewarding getting to know the other commenters better. After all, unlike it is on larger blogs and forums, here there are much fewer participants, so I expect that with the repeat visits and one post being up on top for at least several days, the chances of having a conversation beyond “likes” and “you’re smelling great” (not that there’s anything wrong with those) are higher – if you care for those, of course.
Saturday Question #28:
Do You Like Discovery Sets?
This topic came on the heels of my recent post about the Ormonde Jayne’s discovery set I bought, MMKinPA’s comment there that she’s “off” discovery sets, and hajusuuri’s comment somewhere (NST? IG?) that she wouldn’t split sets to get rid of perfumes she tried and didn’t like.
So, I’m curious: do you buy discovery sets these days? Do you like them, or do you prefer targeted sampling? What do you do with them once you’re done?
When I just started this hobby with testing niche perfumes, I had a tendency to go for a “full set” for the brand if I could, not necessarily is a form of an official set: I wanted to try everything because there were so many new great brands about which I haven’t heard being mostly a mainstream perfume consumer. So, of course, rare back then brands’ sets were a much more economical option than getting the same samples from eBay or TPC.
My very first set was from Ineke. It was perfect in all respects: great presentation, good variety and a reasonable price redeemable against a full bottle purchase. I ended up buying one perfume from that set, and then two perfumes released later and the Scent Library collection. But the rest perfumes from the initial set, some of which I rather liked, waited to be re-tested or used up… until recently I discovered that they all went off. I still do not have a heart to throw it away.
The next was Ormonde Jayne classic (and the only back then) collection Discovery set. By then I already knew, loved and owned Ta’if. And after testing everything else in the set, not waiting to finish any of the samples, I bought a bottle, a travel spray or at least a decant of six more perfumes for myself and one for my vSO. So, 8 out of 12 is an impressive ratio. What about the set? I still have it, and it’s not finished yet. I recently lent it to my goddaughter in an attempt to find a candidate for her birthday present, but surprisingly this brand didn’t work for her at all. So, it’s back at my place, and though it’s slightly bitten up, and the Sampaquita sample went off, I’m not ready to part with it.
Recently I bought Floraiku Sample Set. While I do not anticipate any of perfumes I tried from the set to join my collection, I’m determined to try and use up most of them before they spoil. We’ll see how that goes.
So, while I’m still attracted to perfume samples nicely packaged together as a set, I realize that it is a very inefficient way for me to test perfumes. At my usual success rate, I end up liking maybe one perfume from the set, but even that one not enough to go for a bottle. And since usually I do not wear perfumes from samples, and I can’t force myself to break the set, I keep them indefinitely, not using or passing them on. Buying single samples based on the research seem more reasonable, but the price of shipping makes it even less attractive than a purchase of a set.
On the other hand, if our stores would stick to the new policy of having perfumes and cosmetics out for a display purpose only, I might find myself ordering more sets, especially if I can do it from a brand’s site, and the brand offers a discount for the future full bottle purchase. Even if I would never use it, I think it’s the right thing to do: testers in the stores are a direct loss, calculated in the price of a full bottle that I will buy eventually. Selling me an expensive sample/sample set from the site, the brand saves not only on testers but also on the stores’ “cut” of the profit. So, I would expect them at least to offer to share those savings with me.
Do You Like Discovery Sets?