Scent Samples: Love & Loss





My fragrance collection had a bit of a rough ride last year. I packed up my house & put everything in storage in May while I travelled overseas for 7 weeks, and then it stayed in storage while I found another place to live. It wasn’t until September 2016 when I got access to everything again. The full bottles and decants were fine, but there was substantial loss from my samples. This varied from leakage & evaporation, to label text disappearing.

Scent Samples: Love & Loss

Moral number one of this is: samples are intended to be used. They aren’t there for you to build a mini-Osmothèque style fragrance library, the vials aren’t that robust at the best of times. Use them, make notes, talk about them, and if you fall in love… buy the bottle.

So, I’ve sorted my samples, laid them out, & thrown out the empties. The ones which have leaked but still have juice left in the vial have been put aside for testing. So today I grabbed two as I walked out the door to give them a run through. These are Fueguia 1833 – Don Giovanni, and Castillos.

And – do you know what? I looked up Fueguia 1833’s current catalogue, and these two aren’t listed. Some time back I purchased full sample sets of Destinos and Special Projects, of which Castillos and Don Giovanni and were included as at March 2016. Now in March 2017, a year later, they’re no longer available – which leads us to moral number two: things change. What was available 6 months or 12 months ago, may be discontinued and therefore so much more difficult to access. And if you fall in love, you’re screwed.

So what do I do with these two samples? Do I treasure them,put them in tightly packed glass vials or on the shelf? I think we need to go back to moral number one: samples are intended to be used.

Here’s what I think of both:


Castillos – Destinos collection

Notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Mate.
This is weird. The mate isn’t dried powdered green tea, it’s fresh and floral and slightly rotten, with the tuberose and jasmine rounding out the overall indole. It is old flowers in a jungle – damp, wet and lush but with that meaty heaviness which you can find in tropical plants. Would I wear it again? Maybe. It’s dried down to have a woody background note and what I think is a touch of ylang ylang.


Don Giovanni – Special Projects collection.

Notes: Tuberose, Civet, Jasmine
Interesting that I’ve picked up another fragrance with tuberose and jasmine in it today, and once again they are pretty sexy and indolic. The civet seems to me to be refined, its funky but without being feral and I think there’s a lemon note in there smoothing things over. Think: a woman who’s been with her lover all day, but has freshened up and got dressed to go out to a movie premier. She’s looking elegant but still has a slinkiness & smell of dangerous liaisons about her. Rawwwwrrrrr.

Have you ever mourned the loss of any fragrances from your collection?

Have a wonderful week!

Tina G xx

14 thoughts on “Scent Samples: Love & Loss

  1. Hi Tina!

    LOL at “They aren’t there for you to build a mini-Osmothèque style fragrance library”. So true but something so many of us re guilty of. Hilarious. I did go through mine last year but I swear they multiple in the dark…

    If you’re mourning the loss of Don Giovanni, you might like Night Flower by Eris Parfums, though they’re probably not available in Aus yet.

    I wish I’d bought Miss Dior when it really was Miss Dior.


    • Hey Tara!
      Night Flower by Eris Parfums….Humm I’ll have to look that one up. Thanks!
      Yea I have a tendancy to want to hoard samples. What I’m doing now is putting any tried ones in a separate box so I can give them away at another time – assuming of course there’s enough left for it to be of use to anyone else.
      xxxxx Tina G


  2. Nice article! Yes. I had a sample of the original Perfumes de Nicolai vanille tonka. It was AMAZING!!! By the time I got around to buying a bottle it was still very good…but reformulated and just not the same. Now it is even more different so I am glad I at least bought when I did! Same thing with the original Serge Lutens Bois oriental (my favorite Serge)… only I wasn’t able to get a bottle (subsisting off of decants)…now it is still nice…but not amazing as it was.


    • Hey Ceil!
      Thanks! Aww that’s a shame. Reformulations are the bane of a perfumista’s existence. So yes sometimes we need to move fast, but other times we really can’t – I know I’m cash-limited right now so I know I just have to hold out and hope that when I go to buy a bottle of a love that it’s still available/the same. sigh.
      xx Tina G


  3. Hi Tina, I absolutely agree with you on moral No 1 and 2. You’ve just made it easier for me to decide and right now throw away all sample vials that are lying around to be tested once again. They are no use. Either I liked them immediately, at the first sniff and squeezed the vial to the last drop or nothing. As for samples that are not in production anymore, I can only say – Bruno Fazzolari…his sample set is fantastic but half of it is not available on his webpage. Sigh…


    • Hey Neva!
      I just mentioned to Tara, above, that I’ve got a new strategy for unused but viable samples – put them in a separate box so I can move them on to friends & family – more likely friends as there are bound to be some odd ones in there – haha! And yes then there are the ones which get used up immediately – like “lightscape’ that I wrote about a few weeks back. I’m still keeping that sample bottle, cant bear to throw it out just yet.
      xx Tina G


  4. I am guilty of keeping samples for “future reference” and found that on several occasions by the time I got to a particular sample the fragrance had already been discontinued. So yeah, that is a bummer. I’ve had many evaporate as well, which is sad because there were a couple I was really fond of and couldn’t afford a bottle, so….. oh well…..


    • Hi Mary P,
      Yep, I’ve had all of those problems you’ve noted. So sad. That’s why I’m determined to give my samples a bit more love – and keep a good note book instead!
      Tina G xx


  5. A timely read…I only went through my collection last night to tidy up / consolidate samples (cast offs will be passed on to fellow perfume addicts). Coincidently there were numerous Fueguia samples circa 2013ish from a Luckyscent pack. Sadly, an Unum Lavs that was being saved for ‘special occasions’ had withered to almost nothing. Totally reinforces moral #1


    • Hi Katieslat,
      Yes I’ve decided to have a ‘moving on’ strategy too – some of the stuff is precious so why not share? Most were shared with me in the first instance. Soooo sad when there’s loss though, but some of those click-cap spray samples (1.5ml kind usually) just don’t have the storage power. Dipper samples last a bit better but I don’t really like them, prefer to spray if I can.
      xx Tina G


  6. Hey Tina,
    You’ve seen my ridiculous sample and decant collection. Sometimes I go looking and find empties. It’s heartbreaking but the price of having so bloody much.
    I love those weeks we decide to use up samples and decants, it feels like I’m making a dent in the problem.
    Portia xx


    • Hey Portia
      Yes those ‘use your sample weeks’ are such a good reminder. If I’m organised I’ll set up a few near the front door so I can grab on my way out & sniff for a day. Unfortunately I’m also a one-frag-per-day kinda person, so multiple sniffs don’t really work for me. I can do, but I don’t feel like I’m giving the fragrance the time it deserves.
      xx Tina G


  7. Use ’em or lose ’em! Small spray decants are the ones that seem to evaporate when I’m not looking. Heartbreaking and a good reminder to use what I have or pass it on.


  8. Hi Tiffanie,
    Yep, those small spray decants are the worst, but also the best for testing. So annoying. Use or move is my new strategy. 🙂
    Tina G xx


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