Guide to Perfume Sampling: Properly Test and Experience Fragrances

Make informed choices and find scents that truly resonate with you with our guide to perfume sampling.

Perfume sampling is a crucial step in the fragrance journey, allowing you to explore a wide range of scents and discover your signature fragrance.

However, it's not just a matter of spraying and sniffing randomly. The art of perfume sampling involves a systematic approach to fully experience and evaluate fragrances. 

Set the Stage
Before you start sampling perfumes, it's essential to create an optimal environment for evaluating the fragrances. Ensure you're in a well-ventilated space with minimal competing odors. Avoid wearing any strong-smelling lotions or perfumes that may interfere with your ability to perceive the nuances of the fragrances.

Know Your Preferences
Understanding your fragrance preferences is crucial in narrowing down your options. Determine whether you lean towards floral, citrus, woody, or oriental scents. This self-awareness will guide you in selecting fragrances within your preferred olfactory families.

Start with a Clean Slate
To fully appreciate each perfume, begin with a neutral olfactory baseline. Wash your hands with unscented soap and refrain from wearing any strongly scented products beforehand. This ensures that each fragrance is experienced on its own merits.

Pace Yourself
Sampling numerous perfumes at once can overwhelm your senses, making it challenging to distinguish between scents. Limit your sampling to a few fragrances per session to give each one ample time to unfold and be evaluated properly.

Use Test Strips
Test strips are indispensable tools for perfume sampling. Spray a single fragrance on a test strip and allow it to dry for a few seconds. Hold the strip at arm's length and gently wave it towards your nose, taking in the initial impression of the scent. Take notes on your first impressions, capturing any key elements that stand out.

Skin Testing
While test strips are helpful for initial evaluations, it's essential to try perfumes on your skin to truly understand how they interact with your body chemistry. Select a small number of favorites from your test strip evaluations and apply them to different pulse points, such as the wrists and neck. Give each fragrance some time to settle and develop on your skin before evaluating their dry-down phases.

Evaluate the Development
Perfumes have different stages of development known as top, middle (heart), and base notes. Pay attention to how a fragrance evolves over time on both the test strip and your skin. Allow each fragrance at least 30 minutes to fully develop, noting any changes in its character, intensity, or longevity.

Perfume sampling is an art that requires patience, intention, and an open mind. By following these guidelines, you can elevate your fragrance journey and discover scents that resonate with your unique tastes and personality. Remember, sampling is an ongoing process, and as your olfactory knowledge expands, your appreciation for fragrances will deepen.


Find your personal scent with our Guide to Picking Your Signature Scent. Explore and learn about new scent categories like blossom scents, or sandalwood scents! Head to our fragrance catalogue and choose from 200+ perfume options today.