Saturday Question: How and When Do You Swap And Share Fragrances?

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a Scent Sample Pack (from my collection)
This week:

  1. Vintage CHANEL No 22 EdC
  2. Divine EdP
  3. Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme
  4. Annick Goutal Duel
  5. Le Galion Cologne Nocturne

Last Weeks Winner: Francesca Berlanger

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with your address please

Saturday Question: How and When Do You Swap And Share Fragrances?

Our perfume habit is expensive. One of the greatest ways to sample a wide range of fragrances for only the cost of some decanting supplies and postage is to swap and share. Where to get Decanting Supplies? People will send you things that you would never pick for yourself and that will expand your knowledge and sometimes give you a new love.

My Answer:

When I first started in the perfume craving I didn’t really know anyone else who loved perfume like I do. It wasn’t until I discovered the world of online fragrant chatter and the scentbloggosphere that my life became about perfumed peeps as well as the juice. I have done a lot of sharing over the years and sometimes swap. There is so much here already that I’ve asked people to stop sending me stuff unless have a conversation about it.

Sending parcels to people around the world filled with scented surprises gives me boundless joy though. When I do it in it’s a completely selfish gift because of my joy. When a recipient writes or phones to say they loved something I sent, or even to say it was exciting getting a package, my heart soars.

Seriously, when am I ever going to use 100ml of most of my perfumes? NEVER! So sharing the love also acts as a balm to my guilt for being such a greedy consumer.

My Saturday Question to you is:

How and When Do You Swap And Share Fragrances?

71 thoughts on “Saturday Question: How and When Do You Swap And Share Fragrances?

  1. Portia, you’re a fantastic person, your enthusiasm in sharing your knowledge and perfumes doesn’t cease to amaze me. I know I’ve said something like that before but it bears repeating, doesn’t it :)? Thank you for everything you do.

    Until last year I was a very shy fraghead, but it’s changing little by little. I have a couple of mates here in Russia with whom we’ve exchanged samples, and I happened to meet a supergenerous man on FB who sent me a box of decants recently (I still squealing with joy!).
    I also took part in two rounds of “perfume parcels” where people from a Russian perfume forum gathered a few dozens of perfumes and they went from one member to another. It was a rare opportunity for me to try some vintage Guerlains, Diors etc.

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  2. Hey Portia, you are just great, there is no doubt. You are one of the them who helped me to expand my knowledge and still you are doing. Specially the way you describe the background information is very informative.

    I do love to share my perfumes with others. In return I don’t expect anything. But most of the time I get something in return, so that is the swap for me.

    I do the swap often. And the joy has no boundaries. Usually most of the time I approach to the participants specially if they are new to the community. Also, if someone wants to try or looking for any particular perfume and I have it, I offer a decant.

    Decant source- evil bay.

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  3. I met about six women that have become friends in a frag group on Facebook and one on Fragrantica. I swap sniffs with all of them. We send each other boxes of stuff at Christmas. We even do round robin boxes where we put in some and take out some. They are lovely.

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  4. Such an inviting question this week Portia, and I’m curious about readers comments. You are a very kind and generous soul Portia, and I appreciate that you share your fragrance passion and knowledge with your followers. I love this connection to other fragrance lovers because sadly I don’t have many in my circle. I have one good friend that has joined me on this fragrance exploration journey, and I enjoy immensely sharing my perfumes and samples with her. I expect nothing in return other than hearing her reviews and knowing I’m bringing her joy. I have one friend that loves Chanel as I do, and I buy her a bottle for her birthday or Christmas; however, she has little interest in exploring other fragrances. And my dear sister who loves to wear fragrance but is more of a signature scent. She will wear the same fragrance forever and claims she doesn’t like most and is reluctant to explore. It is my mission to change that; I selfishly buy her perfume with the notes she loves and added several more perfumes to her wardrobe.
    I would love to join a swap group or connect with a few who would love to share samples or decants.

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    • Hey Kathleen,
      We are so glad you come and join in here.
      Where do you live?
      Maybe if some other people in your area like frags you could chat and hang out online together?
      Portia xx

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      • Hi Portia. I live in Denver, Colorado. I’d love to meet other frags in my area to chat perfume.. (kathleen.smith@comcast.net)

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  5. I started swapping on NST and was hooked. Over time, I met 3 of the swappers in person, and we occasionally all get together to eat and drink and share perfume. The NST swap meet is only twice a year so I recently joined Fragrantica but haven’t figured out how to swap there yet. I’m also in a new group, Vancouver Perfume Peeps at https://www.meetup.com/Vancouver-Perfume-Peeps/ If any of you are living in or visiting Vancouver, please join our group!

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  6. Completely agree with you, Portia, mailing out perfumed packages sets my heart to fluttering with excitement and joy. I continue to do it even though I have had a number of inbound and outbound packages go missing over the years. Perhaps perfume leaked in transit, it was lost, damaged, or whatever, so it didn’t get there. But it’s worth the gamble.

    I mostly mail full bottles, manufacturer samples, and decants that I did not make. I am cautious and have not had the nerve to mail decants made by my own hand. It’s silly, but I worry it will leak and I’ll blame myself. I have set myself up to be brave and make my own decants (and mail them!) to perfume pals, as I recently purchased a supply of pipettes and 5 ml spray vials, also sealing tape for the bottle lids.

    I do love swaps and sending out freebies. Yesterday I set aside a few bottles as possible fodder for an upcoming swap-by-mail event. I really feel like we create good karma when we are responsible consumers and share what we’re not ever going to use up in our own lifetimes. Reuse, recycle, waste not, want not.

    Because I am cautious about mailing perfume I often share perfume with people I can hand it to. I especially like to share with the folks I work with. Anyone who expresses an interest in fragrance gets a handful of samples from me. If they enjoy those then I offer more. I leave perfume samples, minis, and even the occasional full bottle in the restroom at work with a note that says, “Please try me, then take me home if you love me!” They ALWAYS disappear. 😀

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  7. I rarely swap in the regular sense but I exchange samples and small decants with people I know through my blog or other blogs. Those exchanges are rather of a sharing type than quid pro quo. And I plan to be even more active with forwarding samples that I don’t plan to use to others: I don’t want those “library” samples to go off just sitting in my drawer; and I hate the idea of people spending money on samples that I have and don’t need any longer.

    The only thing I wish for is less strict postal regulation: it gets harder and harder to ship abroad 😦

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    • Hey Undina,
      You generously sent me samples early on, some excellent stuff that I’d not got my sniff on. Maybe you were the one who started my love of sample sending?
      Portia xx

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  8. I began being extremely generous with my samples to others. I learned, throughout last year, that I needed to rein in my giving. The most requested samples were my vintage and Guerlains. Some went down substantially and I had barely used them! As a result, I do not accept samples or decants from others any more. I prefer to purchase them. That way, I know the person I am buying from is able to replenish their stock. I am very frugal with a small percentage of mine, but remain generous with most of the others. It’s a moral thing for me. I need to sleep at night.

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    • Hey KateA,
      Yeah, Scott is incredibly generous compared to me. he has no hesitation in sending 10ml of something to someone. I’d rather send 1ml to 10 people.
      One day we are going to meet and have a sniffy.
      Portia x

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      • What ever happened like 3-4 years ago? It seems some people just won’t accept 1 ml vials? I find it strange, if it is just to get a first impression of a perfume. All that said, I usually need 2-3 ml to be sure before a FB purchase.

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        • Yeah, I decant 1ml into a plastic spritz. I bought hundreds super cheap. It does annoy me though that places like LuckyScent don’t have a 2ml spritz Option as well as their 0.7ml.
          Portia xx

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      • One ml is more than enough to get the idea if you’re interested – or not. I’d rather get ten 1 ml samples of new perfumes than one 10 ml 😉

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  9. I would love to have the opportunity to join in swaps or splits, but because of our very strict postal regulations I can’t or won’t risk getting involved in case the goods are seized. I sent some samples to a reader on here recently and don’t know if they will arrive, but I took the chance on it. I make decants for friends if I think they might be interested in something, or just as a little surprise. I’m not on Facebook so don’t know if there are any perfume groups here in Irl and am loath to join it, so that leaves me pretty much out in the cold for official swaps. I regularly gift fragrance for birthday or Christmas, my niece is getting some Tom Ford Orchid Soleil next week, in fact.
    Portia’s generosity is nothing short of amazing. Not only the sharing aspect of it, but the time spent decanting, and indeed purchasing decanting supplies, mailing, and overseeing this site. All this takes time. I don’t join in the chat here to win something but have done on two occasions recently. Because of this I got the opportunity to try a few new fragrances that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to, as they aren’t readily available here. And on that note, I ask that I’m not entered into the draw, please, it’s somebody else’s turn☺️.

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    • The postal regulations are ruining so much fun. It would be OK if they were consistent but while most of the big discounters and online frag shops are allowed to send fragrance shoddily packaged I will send my sample stuff too. We don’t send bottles overseas anymore though because they are starting to destroy it.
      Having you here Cassieflower is joy in itself. LOVE sending parcels of goodies to Ireland.
      Portia xx

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  10. I swap when I am looking for something that I don’t want to buy or have perfume that I know people like and in exchange, if they don’t have anything on my wish list, they can either donate to a not for profit of their choice or send me dark chocolate.

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  11. The only decants I make are from big bottles, and from the ones I want to share with my sister.
    Unloved samples are different, we have meetups within our frag group and I am willing to give or swap these away. Wasteful otherwise!

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  12. I dont engage in swaps because over the years, the potential of fraud for swaps is much higher in the fragrance community than sellin your perfume and using the proceed to buy perfume you want. I have engaged in swaps but only with those who had a lon history of dealing. As far as sharing is concerned, it happens more in face-to-face situations where I introduce novice to new smells or people who dont have interest in perfumes.

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  13. Just trying to figure this out actually since I’ve got a nice collection of samples and the odd mini I’d like to pass on. I haven’t had much luck finding a local group of fumies to swap with. On line is where I find people to share this with.

    For the odd bottle that didn’t work out, or I’ve moved on from, I like to abandon them in the city railway bathroom (there’s a shelf with a mirror above the sinks) in the hope someone who might not get a lot of treats finds them and adopts them as their own.

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    • Beautiful idea Lillibet,
      Those train toilets are usually pretty grim. That would certainly make my day.
      Portia xx

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    • What a very generous person you are… I hope that the person/s who take your no longer loved bottles are ‘deserving’…you know.. a lady down on her luck ect. If within Oz Lillibet { Adelaide aren’t you?} I’d be happy to swap/ send fragrant packages

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      • Well that’s my hope – someone who’d enjoy it. Yes! I am in Adelaide 🙂 We should compare notes and see if there any things I have you’d like to check out. (Shipskitty at the geemale will find me).

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  14. Not nearly enough. Being in the UK is a massive restriction on what I can send out, so, it’s trickier than it should be. There are some things I’d much rather give away or swap than sell. I’m liking the idea of leaving minis in random places with “sniff me, love me, take me away” labels…

    I’ve shared/swapped a few decants and samples with a generous british blogger, and with a couple of friends. But otherwise it’s mostly acting as perfume fairy at work, passing on samples (and largely restricted to the light-and-fresh-and-pretty variety that are given to me by SAs, which are the only ones that get any interest.)

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    • Isn’t it funny Crikey,
      The populace has thousands od decent perfumes around them to try and enjoy and all they want is bog standard sweet shit by a celebrity or a designer cash cow.
      Portia xx

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    • I know what you mean. We have the same restrictions here in Croatia. It is so annoying because you feel like an outsider. I want so much to share my samples and even decants but – no! They x-ray every package so you can’t cheat them.
      I like your idea of leaving samples in random places.

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  15. I have a big clean out once or twice a year and things that havent been worn for ages, or scents i’m no longer keen for usually get given away. Work mates are usually the receivers. I just plonk a bag or box of it on the desk and say – knock yourselves out! Unfortunately most of my family and friends are floral scents and i’m more oriental woody so its an addiction i kind of keep to myself. I do like to think i’m getting smarter in my choices so the need to give away should become less.

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  16. Portia, you are one of the most kindest and generous human beings I know. It never ceases to amaze me how you manage to send all of these packages out on a weekly basis all over the world!!!

    I have been swapping fragrance with family members for the past 47 years…my parents are fragheads and now the three Marzipans so bottles, decants and samples go round and round and round. my eldest has taken a rather large amount of samples with her to college to sample with friends on a regular basis. My childhood friend of 50 years has recently expressed an interest in perfume so whenever we get together I usually give her decants and samples. My best friend who I met at NST is also a perfumista but has been massively downsizing her collection and has sent me numerous packages over the past year and half. My fragrant fairy godmother has sent packages of not only perfume but beauty products to my girls and in exchange I donate gently used clothes to local churches as there is very little in our collection that she does not have. At work there are a few folks who prefer natural versus synthetics so I have gifted away several essential oil blends of my own making as birthday and Christmas gifts. One of my co-workers returns to Ireland every summer during her vacation time and for the past three years she takes four to five bottles of my e.o. blends for gifts for her family. In exchange she has brought me back tea and a gorgeous Shetland wool shawl. And I recently exchanged with an APJer from the States who sent me Bee’s Bliss and a DSH sample and I sent two of my oils to her.

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  17. When I joined a few perfume blogs on the internet some 2-3 years ago, I was so happy because there were so many beautiful generous people out there who offered to send samples of perfumes I wanted to try (but had no opportunity to) and many of my purchases were based on these samples. Of course, I always offered them my samples in return. I even made a list of my samples so they could choose. Somoe time later I bought little spray vials and a funnel so I could make samples from my full bottles…and then Croatia joined the countries with restrictions for sending liquids. I didn’t know before a package I sent to Canada came back a week after. I was so disappointed when I realized I can’t send not even the tiny sample vials. They x-ray every package no matter what you write on it so you cannot trick them.
    I sometimes initiate a perfume swap at home and invite my girlfriends to bring their perfume they don’t wear anymore, so everybody can take whatever lies on the table. This is mostly fun and I always end up with something new although I do not need it necessarily.

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    • It’s very frustrating Neva, that a few lousy mls of perfume can’t be sent out by individuals like you and me, but I can order from sites in UK and Europe without any restrictions. It is a nonsense rule in that regard as it is so contradictory. There are either rules about liquids in the post or there aren’t 🙄 Do you have any problems shopping online with delivery to Croatia?

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      • No, I have no problems when receiving liquids. Only I avoid shopping outside the EU because of the customs duties…and the shipping costs from the States are enormous.

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  18. I ADORE swapping.
    I have several friends with whom I regularly swap/sample and sell. Chocolate and Irish butter have been known to make there way into packets as well, and I almost always include a face mask or something fun
    I live in rural NE Canada, so swapping is sometimes my only way to try things.

    If I hear someone mention a scent they love and I have lots ( or if I hate it) I will often privately message them and offer to send them.
    I was gifted with some exceptionally generous packets, and enjoy spinning the karma wheel to pay it back.

    Please DNEM as I won a few weeks ago, and one mustn’t be greedy.
    Kiss the hounds from me please Portia

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