My Two Favorite Sample Sets
Every once in a while, I love a sample set. When they are well made and presented, they introduce me to a line I knew nothing about. Sometimes I say, “Meh”, and sometimes I’m blown away. Here are my criteria for good sample sets:
1. They have spray samples, not dabbers. I don’t know why, but dabbing just doesn’t work for me. I can smell a perfume much better after a good spray. Is this the same for you? Or am I not giving dabbing its due?
2. A fair number of samples. Three doesn’t cut it. If possible, I’d like the whole line, or at least, an entire series within the line. I really want to know the scope of perfumes available, and the range of the house.
3. An aesthetic presentation. Preferably beautiful, but it has to show the aesthetic values of the house. No plain wrapping and generic labels, please, unless, for some odd reason, that is the aesthetic value of the house.
4. A reasonable price. Once each sample gets about $7 or more, I don’t know why, I just get bored and leave. Exceptions to this are perfumes made from very rare or expensive materials, like natural oud, or rose otto, or fossilized hyrax poop. I’ll pay extra for that!
5. Most of the perfumes have to please me. And a few should knock me over!
So based on my highly scientific and economically sound criteria, my two favorite sample sets are from Ormonde Jayne, and Ineke. Each house does a splendid job of combining good value, good research material, and gorgeous design. Ineke’s Deluxe Sample Collection sells for $25, and that sum can be put toward a full bottle purchase, which is a great plus. The packaging is gorgeous, boxed in smokey grey with black and white lettering. Each spray sample is wrapped in washi paper and has its own little box. And Ineke’s line is very impressive, I haven’t found a dud among them (reviews to follow in 2012).
My other favorite is Ormonde Jayne’s Discovery Set, which is 12 spray samples for 44 pounds sterling. They come in a delightful black puzzle box. For both sample sets, shipping is included. And again, not a dud in the set.
What are the best sample sets you’ve tried? And what are your criteria for a good set?