Firstly, this is NOT a sponsored post, I just thought it was such a fantastic service and I would be happy to recommend it. I chose and paid for the samples myself.
I know that there are companies that sell boxes of samples along with a voucher for a full sized bottle, but I didn't want those, I wanted to choose my own. Plus, most didn't ship to Ireland. I had a bit of a google, and found myperfumesamples.com - I wasn't sure if it was legit or not, so I went to youtube - and found a lot of reviews from Wonky Compass. She lives in New Zealand so I figured - if they can get to NZ safely, they can get to Ireland!
The concept of the site is this: They sell decanted vials of original perfumes for a couple of dollars each. The vials start off at 1ml, then go up to a 3ml spray and a 5ml spray. The 1ml aren't a spray, and they aren't in fancy packaging - they come in plain vials, attached to a card labelled with the perfume name. I ordered all 1ml sizes, I picked ones I couldn't get here (plus an old favourite or two).
I placed my order on a Tuesday, it was shipped the next day and it arrived the following Monday! Shipping is expensive - $9.99 - but that's International First Class with tracking and the samples start from 49c in the sale section. They have everything you could think of on the site - from Tom Ford to Jo Malone to Taylor Swift.
I chose seven samples.
Britney Spears - Believe.
Aquolina - Pink Sugar.
Givenchy - Play.
Agent Provocateur - Agent Provocateur L'Agent.
Kate Spade - Walk on Air.
Jennifer Aniston - Lolavie (also called Jennifer Aniston).
Jessica Simpson - Fancy Girl.
This is what they look like:
|(The basket is mine)|
I wore each one over the course of a different day, so I could give a good review of each. Actually, before I get into the reviews - can I just say, 1ml is more than enough as a sample. The perfume might look piddly in the vial but when you think about it, you get more than 30 sprays from a 30ml bottle, don't you? Well you get much, much more than one wear from 1ml.
Jennifer Aniston - Lolavie/Jennifer Aniston
Lolavie, also known as Jennifer Aniston (the perfume, not the woman) has top notes of Jasmine and Rose, with base notes of Sandalwood and Amber. I didn't get rose in here at all - this was very powdery and light, like a baby in a fluffy towel on a beach. Sillage was fantastic, and it lasted a good 4 hours on me before it started to fade. It came into its own when I went outside - fresh, breezy, soapy (in a good way) - it smells exactly how I would imagine Jennifer Aniston to smell. Here's what I felt about this in picture form - it was stunning. This was a big hit with my husband too. Released in 2010.
Jessica Simpson - Fancy Girl
Ugh. This is the kind of scent that turns people off Celebrity perfumes. With top notes of Raspberry and Pear, and base notes of Sandalwood and Musk, this smells like sweets and rotten fruit. There's a very fruity hit when you smell it - a candy, synthetic, sugary, headache-inducing berry smell. But there's an undertone of something really horrible - on me, it genuinely smells like mould. Like strawberry mould. It's awful, and I had to wash it off. Released in 2014.
Agent Provacateur - L'Agent
Oh NOW we're talking. This is unbelievable, and the blending is amazing - it's full of all my favourite things in a perfume. Patchouli, Incense, Pink Pepper, Tuberose, Tonka Bean, Rosewood, Amber, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Musk - on first spray it did smell a little bit like the incense in the yoke the priest used to swing around at mass, but when it settled - I sat smelling my wrists. It's smokey, dark, woody, seductive, sexy - the lasting power was fantastic. It may be too heavy for this time of year but I will be buying this at some stage. Gorgeous! This was released in 2011.
Kate Spade - Walk on Air
Another winner - based on "femininity and the city of New York", this combines top notes of lime, bergamot and lily with a base of white iris and violet leaf. When I sprayed it first I thought it was very light, but it settled down into a lovely warm lime fragrance - fresh, not overpowering, with the violet coming through. It lasted ages, it's beautiful, and it's a gorgeous, inoffensive, grown up fruity summer fragrance. This is Charlotte from Sex and The City in perfume form, really. Released March 2015.
Oh, Britney. I like Britney's perfumes, usually. They're made by Elizabeth Arden, and although they're a bit sweet for some tastes, I like the candyness of them. This, though - no. It's patchouli, normally one of my favourites, but on me, this smells musty rather than musky. It smells like an old book that was left outside in the rain. It's horrible - synthetic, plasticky, old fashioned. Absolutely awful, and does not deserve comparisons to Thierry Mugler's Angel based on sharing a few top notes. Unfortunately, it lasted ages on me. Released in 2007. Britney's bad year. NO COINCIDENCE.
Givenchy - Play for Her
When I was 17, I bought a bottle of Givenchy Oblique Play. I chose this sample assuming it was the same scent - so I was a bit annoyed when I smelled this perfume and realised that it wasn't the candybomb that Oblique Play was. Instead - this has shot straight to the top of my "I want this NOW" list, joining the Hourglass bronzer. I want it. Now. It's full of my favourites - Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, with a top layer of Pink Pepper and Orange Blossom. It's got Bergamot, Orchid in there too. It's warm, it's sexy, it's floral and woodsy, it's feminine, it's absolutely DELICIOUS and I was sitting smelling my wrists for hours afterwards. It's beautifully blended and it's just lush, it's like a big hug. I want it. Released in 2010.
Aquolina - Pink Sugar
This has been on my "to-smell" list since about 2012 when Róisín mentioned it. It's a sugar bomb if ever there was one - aimed at "young girls who like sweets". This has Bergamot and Raspberry on top, then a middle layer of Licorice and Candyfloss, with Caramel and Vanilla lurking around the bottom layer. It's mixed well, the sillage is good, but it didn't last long on me. I didn't get Raspberry on me at all, I got an immediate bang of Iced Caramels that lingered for a couple of hours at most. It's a shame, because it's lovely - definitely one I'll spray on a scarf for a bit more longevity. Released in 2004.
If you're still reading - your medal is in the post!
Overall I was delighted with the whole experience and I am already preparing a wish list for my next visit. It's a fantastic way to try several new fragrances without poisoning yourself in Boots or doing what I always do - overspraying a disgusting one.
Do you own any of the ones I tried? Or do you have any recommendations for me?