Earlier this week, blogging buddy Weirsdo, asked me a question about perfume, specifically, how do you clear your nose when you’re trying perfumes. Well, I sent her an answer with some other useful tidbits on purchasing perfume. I don’t usually inflict my perfume passion on the innocent readers who swing by this blog but I thought maybe these pointers will save someone some money. Goodness knows, I’ve spent enough time and money on perfume purchasing. I figure I’m a fully qualified expert!
Weirsdo asked how you clear your nose when youâ€™re trying perfumes.
…..its common to sniff coffee beans. The best way I’ve heard to clear the nose is to sniff through a wool fabric. A lot of ladies will just sniff through their sleeve.Â I’ve found that nothing really helps that much.Â When my nose is fried, its fried.
Usually my nose gets desensitized after sniffing about 5 different perfumes. I can still tell the overall class and usually some top and base notes but the nose just loses sensitivity. There are receptors in the back of your nose where odour molecules are trapped. When a lot of the receptors are taken up with molecules, your ability to discern the differences goes down. So, for this reason, its best not to go cruising through a perfume department, sniffing like a maniac, then pick something to buy. Its best to check out a few scents then, if you canâ€™t get a sample to take home, come back when you have clean skin and try it on your skin ( and leave the area ) so you can really smell it. Wait long enough for the fragrance to lose its top and mid notes and get down to the base notes. Lots of people will buy a scent based on what they smell in the first five minutes and thatâ€™s a mistake. The top notes are often quite different from what remains after half an hour to an hour.
One of the great things about perfume swapping is that you get to try lots and lots of different samples, at your leisure. Since I began swapping a few years ago Iâ€™ve tried close to a thousand different scents, many boutique or foreign scents that Iâ€™d never be able to get in a store in Edmonton. That has been a lot of fun.
At one point I had a backlog of about 200 samples in my â€˜in basketâ€™. To test those scents I used a technique I first heard about from a perfumista on the fragrance board. You cut up a bunch of pieces of paper into strips, label them, dip them in each sample, and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Sniff each one immediately and at different intervals and write down the notes you pick up or impressions you have. If you like a scent after its gone through the dry down, then try it on your clean skin, preferably when your nose its clear (definitely NOT after youâ€™ve been sniffing at 20 or 30 strips for an evening).
If you like a sample you should try it on a couple of different days before you even think of buying a bottle.
If you do buy a bottle of perfume either for yourself or someone else, after just smelling it in the store, insist on having a sample to take home. Before opening the bottle, try the sample on clean skin when your nose is clear. Youâ€™d be amazed at how much money this can save you. If you decide youâ€™re not crazy about the sample, then take the bottle back. Not many places will let you return an open bottle but they wonâ€™t balk at an unopened one. A lot of perfume cost at least $100-$200 per bottleâ€¦you donâ€™t want to throw that kind of money away!
Iâ€™ve swapped for a lot of perfume decants after trying a sample of something I like. Often after going through a decant 5-10 mL, Iâ€™ve found something I donâ€™t like about the scent. If I still love it, then Iâ€™ll buy it. This probably sounds excessively picky but the last thing I need is a bottle of perfume in my closet that Iâ€™m not going to wear.
Below is a picture of a mousepad that one of my perfumista pals had made for me last year as a gift at Halloween. It has my name on it and my favorite perfumes that I wear all the time. Yup, I’m a lucky gal 🙂