Saturday Question: Do You Like Discovery Sets?

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 on Undina's Looking Glass

 

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?

My Answer

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.

 

Ineke Delux Sample Collection

 

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.

 

Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set

 

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.

 

Floraiku Sample Set

 

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?

 

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.

79 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Like Discovery Sets?

  1. Get rid of the beginning. It was never necessary. This is your blog and your questions.
    I have never bought a discovery set. No plans to do so. I was recently geben the Strangelove NYC discovery set though, and I must say it is great. 5 x 2ml is enough to wear and enjoy. But I would not have bought it. On saying that I am in a position to try most stuff that interests me without having to.

    Big hugs and a coffee. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I always read the introductory paragraph! But then I read everything that’s in front of me …. perhaps it’s fear of missing something important!

    I’ve never liked “discovery” sets of anything and don’t buy them. My feeling (pessimist that I am) is that I will probably only like one or two of the components and that the rest will be unused and my money wasted, much like when in the old days I would buy one of those big palettes containing 20 eye shadows and end up using just two.

    It does look like getting samples is getting harder – so short-sighted. I’ve lost count of perfumes I’ve ended up loving unexpectedly and buy a full bottle of, just because I was given a free sample to try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were wiser than I: having those huge palettes, I tried to use them ;)

      Brands will have to come up with some ideas quickly – otherwise, there will be really hard to sell any new perfumes or cosmetics: I will probably stick to what I already know, if I have to re-purchase “blindly.”

      I was thinking… Maybe it’ll slow down new perfume releases?

      Like

  3. I usually skip the standard intro but did notice it was different today :)

    I think it’s great that brands offer discovery sets but they’re not for me. This is mainly because my strike rate is so abysmally low.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same here – I’ll see it and not read it word for word if it’s the same text, but if it looks different, my “pattern recognition” will pick it up (now I sound like a bot, but I mean it in the sense of speed reading).

      I also can’t think of a single full bottle that I bought after trying a discovery set. Ironically, most of my full bottle purchases have come from smelling the perfume in a store! That’s got to change, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I decided to ask when I caught myself skimming through the similar type of introduction on another blog.

        I didn’t buy too many discovery sets – probably about 10 in more than 10 years of buying samples for niche perfumes. Enough full bottles came from those. Still, I should pace myself :)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have purchased a number of them in the past, but usually the full bottle discount that is offered is time-limited and I found that I was never ready to buy a bottle within the time frame. The hit rate for me has always been quite low. I have tried to pass some of them along (NST swaps or freebie meets). My favorite has been Andy Tauer’s sample sets, where you could choose which perfumes you wanted and they came in the metal box (not a true discovery set if you can pick!). I am still using those samples since one spray of his perfumes goes a long way. My no-buy year has reinforced my resolve to stop buying samples.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that Tauer’s approach is the best for a small company: it is expensive for them to produce samples, and perfumes are so potent that 1.5-2 ml would go a long way before you even need to buy a bottle, so it makes sense to sell them either separately or in a small set – to offset the cost of shipping.

      Like

  5. I always read the intro paragraph, especially the byline, so I know who I’m talking to. :-) Normally my sample success rate is pretty low, but I do occasionally order discovery sets if it’s a house that is getting a lot of positive attention, I have no place to go try a tester, several scents in the range sound appealing, and it’s not heinously overpriced. Most recently I ordered the sampler sets of Sylvaine Delacourte, Maison Violet, Ormaie, Akro and Anima Vinci. Of those, two resulted in a FB purchase (Anima Vinci Wood of Life and Ormaie L’Ivrée Bleue). In the past the Cire Trudon coffret also led to multiple purchases.

    Like

    • Sylvaine Delacourte’s sets are just perfect: they are not too expensive, and you get to try several perfumes based on the particular note – so, if you like the note, there’s a good chance you’ll like at least one of the five. After trying vanilla perfumes, I bought two travel bottles.

      Like

  6. I usually read the introductory paragraph.
    I never buy discovery sets, because I know I will not like most of the samples, perhaps only one and that would be a waste of money.

    Like

  7. Hey Undina,
    I read the intro paragraph every time but it was never really necessary. I think you can easily lose it.
    I have a love/hate relationship with sample sets. It’s a really good way for me to get to know a brand but usually I try them till I find one I adore and then forget to finish sampling. There are at least half a dozen here unopened.
    I have found some extraordinary things through sample sets though. Parfum d’Empire has spawned six full bottles. Neela Vermeire Creations first set I bought all three bottles. Olfactive Studio led to purchase of two of the original three, though it took some time.
    I can’t think but there are definitely more.
    I did particularly like the sets you can buy on Surrender To Chance where you pick 5 from a houses list. It meant I could spend happy hours researching the lists offerings, carefully make my order, wait for them to arrive and finally get the post parcel, open them and start sniffing.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interestingly, I’ve never warmed up to STC and TPC offerings. I used them a couple of times when they carried something I couldn’t get elsewhere, but otherwise I prefer Luckyscent and other perfume selling stores.

      But I agree that sampling is very useful: most of my bottles came from samples, not from testing something in a store.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those 0.7ml dabbers from luckyScent make me a bit grumpy Undina,
        I prefer the STC option because you can buy 2ml in a spray. Otherwise I have to decant it into a spray anyway to get the scent as it would come from a nozzle, fully aerated and in larger quantities. That means I can have at least three full wears too.
        Portia xx

        Like

        • I used to be like you :) But recently I changed my mind on testing: for the most part, I’m fine with a 0.5-1 ml dab sample. Usually it’s enough for me to figure out whether I like perfume enough to want to buy it. If yes, sometimes I might seek a larger sample to spray it once or twice before I buy a full bottle. But otherwise, even for a post, I’m content with a small amount. And especially it goes for perfumes I get from friends: it feels wrong to waste too much of perfume they liked and bought to wear.

          Like

          • I can’t remember if I sent you dabs or sprays? Currently I have some beautiful 2ml with dab wand sample vials. They’re really good for sending things as a letter instead of a package. The cost is AUS$3.20 saving around AUD$17 on an international package.
            I’ll try and remember your preference.
            Portia xx

            Like

          • As a provider of samples, I find it much easier to decant into an atomizer with its bigger opening. With that said, if i can find an inexpensive supply of the screwtop sample jars like what Mandy Aftel uses, but customized with a wand, I could fulfill as requested 😇

            Like

            • Given a choice between tiny jars and sprays, I definitely vote for sprays :) My dab vial measuring is rather to explain the lowest denominator: a little of perfume in the cheapest decanting option. The same amount (0.5 ml or slightly more) will do in a plastic Nordstrom-style atomizer or a glass one, if it’s not too expensive to waste it on that volume.

              Like

        • I agree that for something you want to get to use for a while, if it’s not available elsewhere cheaper (FB groups’ or NST splits, eBay, ScentBird, etc.), STC or TPC are a good solution for not buying a bottle. I was talking more about sampling.

          Like

  8. I skim the intro paragraph, but I like having it there for folks who may be new arrivals. You could change it up once in a while if you like!
    I love discovery sets. I still feel as if I have a lot to learn about fragrance and I use them to educate my nose. It’s helpful to have small samples of a range from one house, to get a feel for that house’s scent DNA, or themes. It’s especially interesting when the perfumer is the same across all or most fragrances. I have that Ormonde Jayne black discovery set, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot! I also love discovery sets because a lot of the time, I’m trying fragrances so I can write about them, and I won’t want or use a full bottle. I always appreciate, though, when the price can offset a purchase of a full bottle. I like how Jo Loves sells gift certificates packaged with a discovery set, in a pretty gift presentation, so you can give someone the set WITH the price of the full bottle. That’s how I received Jo Loves’ No. 42 The Flower Shop, and it was fun: https://scentsandsensibilities.co/2019/05/08/may-muguet-marathon-no-42-the-flower-shop/.
    More and more, though, I find that I would like the option to buy a set of different travel size fragrances from the same house. Ormonde Jayne now does that, and Parfums de Nicolai, and Diptyque. I haven’t sprung for those but I like knowing that I could; I do have the set that Derek Lam 10 Crosby issued a couple of years ago. I also love coffrets of mini bottles; they are so cute! My fall crafts project this year may be to make my own Advent calendar box and fill it with minis to share with my daughters.

    Like

    • WordPress does many things well, but what annoys me beyond belief is that it considers a comment from a previously approved account as a spam only because you dared to write a longer comment! In the age of pictures and 140 characters “wisdoms,” it seems to be unfathomable to WP’s algorithms that someone has enough thoughts to fit into several paragraphs. And it wasn’t even held in moderation, but sent straight to the spam folder! Unbelievable…

      Anyway… Jo Loves is one more brand whose modus operandi is very similar to Ormonde Jayne’s, which I described in my recent post: they do not offer samples even with a purchase. I also bought N 42 when I visited their store in London, paid full price (so, it wasn’t any kind of promotion or anything like that), but when asked for a sample of perfume that I wanted to try later at home, was told that they didn’t have them and offered to buy a discovery set. BTW, that set + bottle combination is a complete rip-off: they sell it at a full price of a perfume bottle plus a full price (or close to it) of the discovery set, which they used to sell separately as well. So, while it’s better to allow someone you want to give a gift to choose perfume they would like, this way the gifting party pays extra for the choice compared to just buying something to their own taste.

      Like

  9. Yup, skip the intro. Like cookie queen says, your blog, your questions… Birgit hasn’t been in the blogosphere for aeons. :) and yes, I recognised it was a different intro today and read it. I do usually skim the other answers through, depending on how curious I am about that particular question.
    No, to sets. Well, when was the last time I bought any sample??? But I can’t believe anything is actually good that come out in high quantities at a time. It’s obviously different with a collection build over time, that later offers a sample set, but even then I am not likely to be interested in everything. Mix and match would be my approach.

    Like

    • Birgit’s is one of the blogs I still miss (sigh).

      I agree with you on the overnight perfume houses. Whenever I see a brand-new brand (pun intended) with a complete wardrobe of perfumes… Unless they all are from the same perfumer (then I can at least assume that she or he worked for years on those before getting into business), how good can they be? Who has money and time to hire 10-12 talented noses and create new and interesting perfumes in those quantities?

      What are you going to do with testing these days? Or is it different where you live, and you can still go to a store and try something there?

      Like

      • Yes, there are a few blogs that I miss, but I think I also miss the time when a new brand or a new release from a certain brand really was something special, and all parfumistas only talked about that one release. What I want to say is, it was kind of easy to know what to test and what not, based on which bloggers you shared opinions with. And now I rarely hear of a new release I want to test, probably mostly because of there being too many voices and too much publicity, talking about too many perfumes at once. I can no longer compare my favourite bloggers and know whether I should test something or not. ( Otherwise I might have been tempted to try for example some of the many Serge Lutens releases, instead I stopped testing at around Filles de Berlin, I think)

        Testing here is difficult. There is one store in Copenhagen which has some smaller niche brands, however, I think I’ve become very selective, and those brands are very much to the owners taste and perhaps less to mine. The ones I do want to try are typically harder to come by, perhaps indie, and expensive to order samples of, so I leave it mostly. I was really curious about the new version of Iris Ganache, and went in on a split, and I might do the same for the new iris centered Guerlain…

        Exactly 10-12 perfumes from one house at one time… It’s too much for me, but it must be good as a selling point or they wouldn’t do it I assume.

        Long answer, but that’s my status on testing :-)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, I read the intro! And yes, YES, I love discovery sets, Undina! They are fun! Furthermore, some brands put a lot of effort to make the sets very catchy, informative, spoiling to the customer with refined packaging of interesting pouches, cards, leaflets, ribbons, the materials they are made of, the decoration, even in collabs with other artists! That is definitely a delightful experience! Another reason pro sets is the overall impression it brings for the brand and the perfumer/perfumers behind it. Trying one perfume might be a disappointment, while trying the whole range or at least a good part of it holds a huge chance to at least like something. Of course, there are the odds of not being impressed with anything , which rarely happened to me, but it did. One annoying problem for me, as an EU citizen, is that my curiosity for the American and Canadian, and any perfumery overseas, cannot be easily satiated, because more often than not the shipping is far more expensive than the usually cheap discovery sets .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! You can’t even imagine how annoying it is for me to see all those nice samples and discovery sets that one can buy from the EU brands, which either cannot be shipped to the US or get twice more expensive with the shipping costs! :)

      I’m never tempted by poorly packaged samples or sample sets: instead of those I can definitely go to one of the decanter sites here. But those nicer once are extremely tempting.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I have to back Portia on this. Since my three month trip to Australia has turned into nine, and I only brought a small selection of scents and samples with me, I became desperate to try something new. I ordered three sample sets from Europe. As it so happened the cost wasn’t so bad, but it took two of them over two months to arrive, and the third took three months. When I was young I used to read historical romance, and I swear people coming over on the the boats from England to Australia in those days could carry mail faster than it has been since Covid. It as if we don’t count if we are Downunder!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I usually prefer to pick my own samples of things I am more apt to like so, if a brand offers a way to select the “set” you want (usually found with artisan brands) then I’m happy to get a set. I recently got the sample set of the orange blossom scents from Sylviane Delacourte because it was an easy $10 (including US shipping) and included five lovely spray samples and a code for $10 off a full bottle. I wish more brands had a similar program, especially when it is more difficult to try them in a store. As I do with random samples I will pass the sets onto friends or as a RAOK on a FB group. Or I will take them on a trip (back when I travelled a lot more for work) and use them up them.
    p.s. I always read the first paragraph but, it’s okay to leave it out, we know the drill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reminding me about that orange blossom set! I planned to get it and kept forgetting. Fixed now :)
      I agree that this is a good deal. With such a price I would be fine even without the credit towards a bottle.

      Like

  12. Most times, I skim the intro – but read it more in-depth today since I noticed it was different (encouraging us to reply to others comments and interact with each other more). I suppose you could probably remove it, and add an intro when you have something in particular you’d like your readers to do. Like you, I bought the Ineke Discovery Set – bought one from the set (Derring Do) and one of the two that were released later (Hothouse Flower – just wore it the other day) and also their Scent Library sampler. Beyond that, I really haven’t bought any other sampler sets. I have a few times thought to myself that I should order some samples or look into sets from perfumers that I’ve been gifted samples from. The only time that I’ve done that is after winning a draw from a post that hajusuuri did – I had received a small sample of Carnal Flower body wash from Frederic Malle which I enjoyed. The site was doing a special three sample tester set for $25 if I recall.

    Like

  13. I do actually read everything in front of me-I do read the opening paragraph.

    As for sample sets, I think I enjoy them-the OJ in particular, but I’m not sure it’s ever swayed my decision to buy. I used the find the Annick Goutal samples extraordinary-I remember wanting Chevrefeuille so badly, after they included a two ml sample :) And Jo Malone used to give out enormous samples, and so many that it was like receiving another small bottle. Hermes also sent me a care package of samples-twice-with so many fragrances. I rarely use the sample sets, tho-it’s like they’re too precious, or something. Eventually I send them to my younger brother so nothing is wasted :)

    Like

    • I think that partially I like Jo Malone (the brand :) ) as much as I do because of samples they used to give and perfume bottle sizes. Annick Goutal… (sigh) I’m so sad that it’s not available any longer at the stores around. I remember those beautiful colored bottles… I think that I would still be buying some of their perfumes if I had a better options to try them.

      Like

  14. I always read the intro unless I notice it’s the same intro.
    I don’t buy sample scents for the same reason many others give. The success rate is low so it’s a waste of money. I buy samples of perfumes that interest me. I also buy samples of perfumes by perfumers that I like. It works for me.

    Like

  15. I usually skip the intro paragraph I only read it to determine who is the moderator/poster for the day.
    Now for the question of the day: sample sets! I adore them, yes I do. I buy them, find 1 or 2 perfumes I really want to explore further, and then I sell the set on eBay as ‘pre-owned or used’ but the photos show I’ve hardly used them at all. They usually sell for only a few dollars less than what I paid for the sets so it’s all good. I have a limited perfume budget so I have to hustle to recover those perfume dollars!
    I recently got the Vilhelm discovery set from LuckyScent and I’ve already ordered Morning Chess and Room Service is next on my buy list. I tried the JusBox and the Floraiku sets, didn’t find a winner, so sold those 2 sets already. My latest discovery set purchase is a DS & Durga set from beautyhabit.com. They are having a 20% off sale on perfumes this weekend so I got a discount on that discovery set. Woo hoo! The code is SCENT20 at http://www.beautyhabit.com. Beautyhabit has 2 of my favorite reasonably priced niche brands, Parfums de Rosine & Fragonard. And their service is amazing. Enough already, I sound like an advertisement, sorry!

    My 2 favorite discovery sets that I have kept and used up completely are Neela Vermeire and Widian Black scents I through V. I just discovered the Widian brand and the quality is first rate. The Widian Black series scents are all related; there is definitely a Widian ‘signature,’ a spicy, sweetish, woody vibe, but the scents are quite lovely and I will be saving for a bottle of 1 of the Widians I am sure.

    Like

    • With your comment WP has also decided it was spam. Grrr! I’m glad I was checking a spam folder.

      I’ve never tried selling anything on eBay: I’m afraid it would be too much anxiety for me :) I know how to buy, but I’m helpless at selling anything.

      Until today I haven’t even heard abut Widian! Interesting. How did you learn about it?

      I also like de Rosine. I plane to get their discovery set from their site soon.

      Like

      • I get emails from Luckyscent and they mentioned the Widian brand in one of the updates, I read the info, looked at the notes and decided I would like the brand and ordered the sample set. Some of the fragrances might be a little too sweet for some. They are along the line of Maison Dior’s Feve Delicieuse and Hermes Ambre Narguile I would say, less sweet than Ambre Narguile. I still haven’t decided if I will purchase a bottle yet. I’m going to enjoy ALL the samples this time.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I read the intro if it looks like something has changed after a quick mental photograph (and no, I am not a bot 🤣).

    I love discovery sets and I do buy them, even if they are not snazzy-looking, but first impressions do count to some extent. My reasons for buying the sets include: 1) new brand 2) new line of a brand with which I’m already familiar 3) reasonable price (either notional or ability to credit the cost towards a full bottle) 4) brand with extensive portfolio 5) to meet a minimum purchase to get to a (better) discount or GWP. My success rate is pretty low but that doesn’t bother me at all. I try to get more value out of the sets by offering them as a traveling set with the only caveat that the person is willing to mail it to another person or back to me. So far, I’ve had the following sets travel (only counting the ones that have been shared with 2 or more people: original OJ, April Aromatics, Jo Loves, Francesca Biancchi. I’m thinking of adding Initio and Parfums de Marly.

    Like

  17. This is strange. I was the first one to comment, but unless I’m missing something, it didn’t post. anyway, I am on the opposite side of the fence from many here in that I love discovery kits, as long as they are priced fairly. I have had a couple of incidents where certain houses just don’t work with my skin. Ineke, which I know you like, Undina, is one. The descriptions sound so me, but they just don’t do anything on my skin. So when I ordered a whole set of those it didn’t work out. (I really believe that with our various skin chemistry, that is an inevitable result sometimes). But normally I will at least like some of the scents, and I do enjoy seeing if I can find a common DNA thread in the house.

    I haven’t had the best of luck ordering individual samples. I will read glowing reviews, and the notes sound good, then I get the sample and it’s a total miss on me. They get extra points if they present well, like Floraiku. Was I blown away by any of the scents? Not really, but it was so well done, and so reasonable when I compared the cost per oz for the samples to the actual perfume (Yes, I do that!), that I’m happy to have experienced it. On the other side of the spectrum, I just yesterday saw a brand with four perfumes. They aren’t particularly expensive by today’s standards, yet they want $45 for four samples! That’s way too big a risk for me to take from a house I haven’t tried.

    I do think that companies who take a risk to show you their brand at a reasonable price are a lot more likely to get my business than those who make it difficult to sample.

    Like

    • I think my blog had a revenge on you for all those difficulties that I’ve been recently having while trying to comment on your blog from a mobile phone :) After struggling with comments I figured out that I needed to switch to the full site view (instead of mobile – go figure!) in order to be able to login and comment. Still, it doesn’t always work. So these days I always copy my comment to the clipboard prior to even attempting to publish it.

      I found this your comment in the spam folder – same as a couple others, all from the people who have previously commented on my blog numerous times. As I commented above, it seems that WordPress can’t believe anybody who isn’t posting spam might want to write several paragraphs of text. Amazing.

      I was constantly balancing between trying perfumes at a store (we have a good variety in San Francisco stores, but getting there and then paying for parking makes sense only if there are enough new perfumes for me to try), participating in splits (5 ml decant might be more economical that that SF trip) and getting/buying samples with other purchases. Now, with perfumes hidden away from testing even in those stores that are open, I might shift to buying more samples/sets. I just need to work out what to do with them once I’m done.

      $45 for 4 samples… Probably not. Unless those are really expensive perfumes that I’m dying to try.

      Like

  18. Ugh, try number three at trying to post. I’ve written two long ones, but this will be shorter. Yes, I like discovery sets if they are well priced, and extra points if are well presented. I like comparing a house’s style, and even if some don’t work for me I like looking for a thread of continuity in their offerings. I haven’t had any better luck with picking my own samples. I’ll be swayed by fantastic descriptions and notes that I like, then find it just doesn’t blow me away. So for me it is hit or miss anyway. (I think I must have had sign-in problems, and it kept deleting for some reason.)

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I wrote a long comment which didn’t post for some reason?

    I like the idea of discovery sets, especially if you can redeem their cost if you decide to buy a full bottle. To be honest I have never bought any discovery sets on my own but I was gifted with a bunch from brands like April Aromatics or Parle Moi de Parfum. For me it’s very unlikely that I would like all the fragrances in the set, there are always some samples that are neglected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you do it from a mobile phone? I have issues from time to time when I try to comment on my phone. I always save my comment in clipboard – in case something goes wrong.

      If I could get a set for a reasonable price or figure out how to part with it once I’m done, I wouldn’t mind testing numerous perfumes, even if I end up not liking 9 out of every 10. So, for testing and maybe writing about them sets are great. But in terms of looking for something to like/buy, sets are not a smart way of spending money.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I wrote it on my phone but I didn’t have issues with WordPress app so far. Oh well…

        That’s why I like discovery sets that you can arrange to be “made to measure”. Thats how I got 15 ml of Hermes Agar Ebene – I gathered interest for a set and then only kept what I wanted while the rest went to other people. It’s a good way of having a perfume in size like 10-20 ml.

        Like

  20. Pingback: Portia’s Mid Season Beauties 2020 – Undina's Looking Glass

  21. Hi Undina, just to let you know – I always read the intro although I know it by heart. Sometimes I wonder why myself :-D
    I’m a fan of sample sets. It gives me a chance to get the overall impression of a perfume house so I know if I should concentrate on them or rather skip them in the future. I do so only with houses that have a reasonable number of fragrances (up to 10-12) because I test only a few perfumes a day and I don’t want the testing to take too long because I’m impatient. I only order sample sets of perfumes I cannot try in perfume shops in my hometown, mostly from the US or Canada. Bruno Fazzolari and Zoologist I generally liked a lot and ordered some perfumes despite the huge transport costs. Imaginary Authors and Oliver&Co, for example, were a miss for me.

    Like

    • I don’t think I tries anything from Oliver&Co, but none of the other three brands you mentioned worked for me (if not to count Ummagumma, which I would love to have a small decant of, but not a FB). I’m still tempted to order some sample sets from European brands, despite the shipping costs :)

      Like

  22. I missed the intro paragraph this time due to a scrolling error, but went back again afterwards. I never mean to skip anything.

    I feel ambivalent about discovery sets for the reasons you mention – they often give you a low strike rate, yet you are reluctant to break a set by giving the duds away. I DO do that, then feel guilty afterwards, as the set looks half empty and ‘raided’.

    The shining exception to this – as I mentioned in an earlier comment – is the OJ set, which was a huge hit with me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just physically cannot force myself to break the set! My mild OCD just doesn’t allow me :)

      The original OJ set was really a shining exception. I still think I could go with OJ as my capsule wardrobe. They just need to make one more impressive amber – and I’ll be all set :)

      Like

What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.