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What’s your process for testing a new fragrance?

I like to try it with one or two sprays (depending on the type of fragrance and the brand; some I have enough experience with to know if they’re weaker/stronger) before going heavier. I like to spray on my forearms and see how I like the scent before spraying more freely (it’s easier for me to ignore a scent I don’t like if it’s not all over me!).

I consult with my husband to see how much sillage it has, too. I’ll check the scent throughout the day, every few hours, to see how it has transitioned and how it has weakened over time. I haven’t had issues with fragrances really changing on me after multiple wears or based on temperatures, so I don’t need to wear it more than a few times to know if I like the actual scent or not!

— Christine
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Pretty similar to yours! I need to test a perfume on skin, paper strips arent the same. I also check in every once in a while to see how it develops, some just turn sour on me while others disappear very quickly – Tuscan Leather, which I love, has very little lasting power on me. I still love it though!

First, I read up on its notes and see whether it would even be compatible with my tastes.
Then I read reviews in order to get a good feel for what I can expect within a reasonable degree. Finally, if everything I’ve looked into previously still sounds like something I would love, I will get a nice sized sample from Sephora to give the fragrance a major test run. If it still has silage after 6-7 hours, it has a decent chance, but I prefer an even longer stretch than that. Generally, a good 8-10 hours of at least modest projection. Main thing is that I must LOVE how it smells on ME. How it mixes with my own chemistry. Fragrance is such a personal thing, really!

Thanks for reminding me that I can get fragrance samples at Sephora, Nancy! This next part isn’t really related to fragrance, but I love your new profile pic!

I have developed a sense of what notes I like and gravitate towards over the years. Equally, there are notes I am not fond of and some I actually hate so I generally avoid those. I do study the notes before I even test as there are just some that I cannot abide, patchouli being one of them. I know myself and I really lean towards floral scents. That doesn’t mean I don’t like others but my collection is heavily bent towards floral fragrances. I do spray onto paper first just to get a feel for it and also because I don’t want to walk around all day with a scent I hate. If it passes that then I will proceed towards wear testing. I don’t generally have a problem with scents turning on me and I find that they don’t wear long on me either. Even fragrances that other’s swear last all day seem to fade on me about the 4 hour mark to the point that neither I or anyone else can smell them. I do think that overall, scents don’t last as well as they did in the past and I feel something that use to be added to scents for longevity has been taken out. I wore Joy the other day and that bottle is from 1976 and it lasted all day. Byredo Gypsy Water doesn’t last more than a few hours on me. I love the scent but for the price I would like it to last longer. I frequently layer scents to make them last longer. The remainder of my testing/eliminating is very similar to yours, Christine.

I am very picky with fragrances, I have very few favorite scents and tons of total dislikes. I like caramel, vanilla, honey, almond, freesia but don’t even come close to me with rose, patchouli, neroli, incense; I like to smell tobacco and leather, but I hate it on me.

Usually the first try is not on my skin. It’s either on a tester in store or a piece of fabric at home (if I have a sample). I smell it multiple times during the day, to see how the scent evolves. Only if I don’t dislike the scent I will try it later on my skin. My body chemistry is odd, so many fragrances smell very different on me; mostly, my skin cuts any sweetness from scents. I try to wear the fragrance at least 2-3 days to see how it evolves, I like fragrances that smell complex and nice even after a few hours; there are some fragrances I actually don’t like in the first hour, but I love using them for how they smell during the day.

To test a new fragrance, I give myself a few sprays and see how it lasts through the day. If I really like it, I will go back and get it or put in an ‘order’ for my birthday or Christmas….

I will first try to smell the atomizer of the bottle because if it doesn’t smell nice I won’t even spray it on the tester sampler paper. If I like the smell and spray it on the paper and I like the smell there, then I will spray it on my wrist. Then if I like it I will try to get a sample because quite often scents change on me. Some will change for the better and some won’t. Then if I really, really like it I will purchase it. This is a very long process, I like to smell delicious it makes me feel good and sets the mood for my day. Sometimes I will roll over in bed in the morning onto my arm and I can smell my perfume from the day before and there is nothing better that waking up to a beautiful smelling perfume. I love perfume it’s one of the best things you can put on every day.

I’ve had a “signature scent” for over 30 years, because sometimes, you just stumble on “The One”… That said, I’ve tried others on occasion over the years, just because my go-to, LouLou by Cacharel, isn’t the most easily accessible, so I’ll sometimes use what my mom has on-hand, a sample, or a random purchase if at a good price, but I don’t really care, as long as it’s at least decent. My mom bought a Vera Wang perfume years ago, but didn’t like it for herself, so I inherited it. While I got a few compliments when I wore it, it really did nothing for my tastes, and nothing in comparison to the comments I get with LouLou… Everything about it I perfect for me, even getting compliments from women it didn’t work for.

I’ll smell the bottle itself first before I spray on the crook of my arm/elbow area to see how it wears throughout the day as this is the area where I notice scent lingers the longest on myself. If a scent jives with me after the first few minutes, I’ll ask for a sample from Sephora to test for a few days. Unfortunately, I’ve loved many scents at first, but either as the day progresses or after a few days, it does not work well with my body chemistry and I end up hating it. I’ve learned from the past mistakes that it’s always better to try it out for a few days first before rushing into a big purchase!

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