As soon as I enter the cosmetics area in general, I forget instantly what I came to do. For this reason, I usually write down the scents before I start my expedition. I think I would remember, but I never do. Sales Assistants are tough people. They usually ask you what sort of scents you like, and then proceed to spray you with all other sorts of perfumes trying to persuade you to buy one, any one.
However, my biggest gripe is that one cannot choose a fragrance simply by testing out a few in the store. Not even by walking around the shopping center, and coming back later, as suggested by always helpful SA’s. You would look extremely suspicious, if you get caught having your nose constantly buried in various parts of your arm as you carry on. You also run the risk of injury. I have done this, and it doesn’t look good, believe me.
When I do make a purchase, 99% of the time, I have a case of what was I thinking the moment I reach home. Scents grow and change on your skin. When you first spray one, you get the top notes disappearing fairly quickly, the middle notes emerge and if you like these, you then make up your mind to put a dent in your pocket. But what about the base notes? They take a while – usually few hours to emerge and stay the longest. Buying a scent from a shop means that you never give a scent a proper chance to develop on you. You might like or even love a fragrance initially but discover – to your dismay and after being significantly poorer – that you are definitely not keen on the direction the scent takes in an hour or so.
The easiest way to solve this dilemma – and a huge one for perfume lovers is – to have decants available in the perfume section. Some places do this in the US. The store makes available 1 ml glass vials and people squirt a few sprays into their vials to take home and make up their minds at leisure. Some checks would be necessary I guess, but I don’t think everybody would ask. While stores are not doing this, online small businesses are making huge chunks – well not huge maybe but large enough- of money, selling perfume decants. They understand fully well that if you are serious enough to buy a fragrance costing upwards of $150 for mainstream, or $250 for a niche brand, you would want to be fully confident.
People often buy decants of a decent 10ml size ,and buy a few fragrances at the same time, instead of getting stuck with one big bottle. However, I adore perfume bottles as much as the juice itself so unfortunately for me, 50ml ones are the way to go. Perfume manufacturing companies are all too aware; hence the 50ml bottles are usually the most expensive if you look at price per ml ratio.
Any chance the discount shops and chemists would allow decants to be made from their testers? A big fat No! Not when they guard their testers with life, some even lock them behind glass, and only give away testing strips after giving you a thorough up n down. Better stick with the big stores I guess.