PLEASE smell everything in your sample pack before you order your next one. This is an addictive hobby and you can end up with hundreds of samples unsmelt, lying around forlorn.
This warning comes from someone who knows!!
AUSTRALIAN ONLINE NICHE SALES
SAMPLES AND DECANTS
SurrenderToChance Professional and are super friendly. I guest write for their affiliated blog PerfumePosse. They have an area called Weekly Chance Specials that is full of wonderful things. The PerfumePosse blog does an awesome beginners 101 and intermediate 201 sniff list. I am still working my way through them. These guys are my friends.
LuckyScent only does .7ml samples which is bloody annoying but they have the best monthly showbag of the newest and most interesting juice there is. You just have to get on their mailing list and they’ll send you an email each month or less with a very reasonably priced grab bag. These guys are also my friends.
ThePerfumeNiche has some well thought out curated sample packs of old, new and hard to find stuff. Sadly they only send 1ml samples.
ThePerfumedCourt I have always found them to be excellent and have an enormous range, they are famously the most expensive.
Perfumes: The Guide is a great read or for a more digestible, less overwhelming peek into the worm hole The Little Book Of Perfumes: The 100 Greatest Scents, both by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. I am still working my way through the 100 Greatest Scents too.
Fragrances Of The World has a yearly edition by Michael Edwards and his crew. It’s the ultimate perfumistas reference book. It has categories, stories, explanations and critiques. I get it every year but for most scent hounds it’s a one off buy referred to over the years, bookmarked, dog eared, post it noted. They get a life of their own and become and integral part of a perfumistas life.
Above all, please remember that this is FUN! There is nothing so ethereal or concrete as smell, it is the oldest and central network in our brain. Used first in everything we do, holder of memories and reminder of everything we have, are and will be. It tells us when we should choose flight or fight, flail, flirt, fornicate or feast. Ubiquitous but amorphous, please enjoy the ride. There is no destination.