Sale: “Surrender to Chance” Anniversary Sale & Sample Sets To Consider

If any of you are interested in trying out some perfume, the sample site Surrender to Chance is having a sale where everything is 20% off for today only (April 3rd), then 15% off on April 4th, and finally 10% off for April 5th through April 7th. You have to use the applicable codes which I will list below and the rates/codes change as of Midnight EST (Eastern Standard Time).

The information I received in the email provides the codes and states:

We have loved serving you this past year, you make Surrender to Chance a joy for us every single day.

As a thank you, our Anniversary Sale starts NOW with the following codes!
20% discount April 3 until midnight EST with code ONEYEAR
15% discount April 4 until midnight EST with code CELEBRATE
10% discount April 5 through midnight EST April 7 with code ANNIVERSARY
From our deeply grateful, appreciative and sometimes skunky perfume scented homes to yours,
Patty, Lisa, Shirley, Diney, Kristin, Abby, Mike, Kelsey, Harry & Alex.

Website: Surrender to Chance.

The site has everything imaginable and the best shipping rates, in my opinion: $2.95 within the US (no matter how big or small your order). However, with the recent and giant rate increases by the US Postal Service for international shipping, Surrender to Chance has had to raise its international shipping charges to $12.95 for any orders under $150, and just a little bit higher for orders over $150.

This would be a great time to try out some niche perfumes, especially in sampler sets for things like Serge Lutens, Ormonde Jayne, Mona di Orio, Guerlain’s prestige lines, Chanel’s Exclusifs and more.


Below are links to various sample sets, sorted either by brand or by note, along with some good sets for beginners who are just starting to enter the world of perfumery. I will continue to update this list for a little while longer with additional sets and perfumes you may want to consider:

Luca Turin/Tania Sanchez’s Perfume Guide’s 4 & 5 star perfumes: Out of 200 perfumes, broken down into category, choose any 3 for $9.99 (or 2 orders of 3 for $18.98, 3 orders of 3 for….)

Same thing for just the top 5 star rated perfumes, divided by category or list.

Serge Lutens Non-Export Les Sompteaux Series with

  • Muscs Koublai Khan,

  • Cuir Mauresque (which I love), and

  • Ambre Sultan for $11.99. I have this set and I think it’s a good one, though the vials are the usual 1/2 ml for Lutens.

Serge Lutens 5 Fleurs Nobles Sampler Set for $19.99, from Tubereuse Criminelle to Rose de Nuit, Un Lys and more. Or, you can go for 8 Lutens Non-Export Floral fragrances (most of which are available here in the US, so don’t let the title put you off) for $26.99 and that includes the beautifully purple De Profundis carnation scent, among others.

Serge Lutens Non-Export Set of 3 for $11.50 with Borneo 1834, Chergui, and Fumerie Turque.

Serge Lutens Non-Export Pick Any Five Samples for $18.99.

Serge Lutens Les Eaux Boisees Series of 7 perfumes for $27.99, including Chene, Bois Oriental, Bois de Violette, Bois et Fruits, and more.

Serge Lutens Export Gateway Sampler Pack (4) for $15.00 including Ambre Sultan. Note, however, that they say 4 but only 3 perfumes are listed. I don’t know why.

All Serge Lutens with several pages to go through if you want to pick individually.

Chanel Pick 6 (with a large number of Les Exclusifs on the list) for $16.99.

Chanel’s Les Exclusifs set (minus the new 1932 which few people seemed to like much, including myself) for $36.99.

Tom Ford Private Blend Sample Set (any 5 out of the 23 with 1/2 ml vials) for $13.99:  (this is a great price, I think, especially as it is discounted from $14.99, so you save a little more. But the vials are small.)

Tom Ford Private Blend Sample Set (19 of them in 1/2 ml vials) for $49.99.

Vanilla Niche Perfume Set of 20 for $52.99.

Amber – Comprehensive set of 20 niche classics – for $42.99.

Amber – Women’s Sample Set of 12 for $24.99 (and it includes my beloved Alahine!) or a Set of 5 not so interesting ones for $12.99.

Sex & Perfume – Pick 2 of any animalic scent from various houses like Amouage to Mona Di Orio, Nasomatto and more for $8.99. (Scroll to the bottom of their page for links to more perfumes that are meant to evoke your inner vamp or sexy side.)

Pick 10 out of 100 fragrances that “every perfumista must try” (their words, not mine) for $29.95.

The page with lists of various Oriental or Woody Oriental sets that they have.

Floral – Pick Your Flower – Spicy, Aldehydic, Woody & More – Pick 3 for $9.99.

The legendary Roja Dove’s recommendations of 10 scents from the past 100 years that he believes to be the true classics of their decade. Roja Dove’s recommendations of 10 in 1 ml vials each for $29.99.

More Roja Dove choices of “Classics through the Centuries” with Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 of fragrances (with a gift box) that he thinks are legends. The sets have 13, 18 and 16 perfumes each, respectively, and are in the $24-$29 range.

3 of Roja Dove’s own perfumes — Scandal, Unspoken & Enslaved — for $11.49. (I’m sooooo getting this one!)

Puredistance perfumes starting at $3.99 each.

One of my absolute favorite boozy amber perfumes and which I just bought a full bottle of: Teo Cabanel’s Alahine starting at $3.99 for a vial.

Dior’s Privée line or, as they call it, Le Collection Couturier fragrances. The full Sampler set of 13 is $35.99 but you can also buy them individually starting at $3. Mitzah, Grand Bal, Patchouli Imperiale, Bois d’Argent, Rose Isphanan are all very popular.

Frederic Malle perfumes, along with a Gateway Sampler set of 3 for $16.49 or a set of 4 carded 2ml samples for $23.99.

Le Labo City Exclusives Sampler — a set of 6 (I think) for $19.99 but they are only 1/4 ml vials.

Sonoma Scent Studio — all perfumes listed along with various sample sets.

Amouage Library Collection Sampler of 6 for $19.99 (I was actually preparing a review of one of the Library collection and I think there may be a better sampler set for the size of the vials elsewhere for $30 but with this sale, you may want to opt for Surrender to Chance instead).

Amouage Women’s Sampler Set of 8 for $29.99.

Amouage Men’s Sampler for $22.99.

Ormonde Jayne Pick 3 Sample set for $10.99.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Sample Set of 8 for $19.99.

Guerlain Set of 4 Classics (in non-vintage, reformulated version) for $14.99 or Set of 7 for $19.99.

Guerlain niche L’Art et La Matiere Collection sampler set of 8 for $37.99

Guerlain’s niche Elixir Charnel Collection – sample set of all 4 predominantly gourmand fragrances in the line for $17.99. (This is a pretty good deal if you like gourmand fragrances.)

Guerlain’s niche Desert d’Orient Collection — all 3 fragrances in the line for $12.99.

Histoires de Parfums Sample Set of 5 for $22.99.

Arquiste Sampler Set – the full 7 perfumes in a set for $33.99.

Link to all of the perfumes by Andy Tauer of Tauer Perfumes but, alas, no sample sets.

Vera Profumo sample set of 3 for $12.99.

Orange Blossoms – Comprehensive Set of Luxury/High-End perfumes — 14 for $39.99.

M. Micallef Sample Set of 3 for $14.99.

Etat Libre d’Orange Sample Set of 5 for $18.99.

Robert Piguet La Nouvelle Collection Sample Set of 5 for $22.99.

CaFleureBon Scents of Seduction Editorial Sampler — 12 curated scents chosen by the editors of CFB for $29.99.

Oriental Fougère Set for Men — High End Luxury Sampler which includes a Clive Christian — 10 for $23.99 but they are 1/4 ml vials.

Parfums de Nicolaii (the Guerlain grand-daughter/niece) with any 3 of her perfumes for $9.99 but, be careful as not all of these are currently sold on her website since she seems to have opted for more “Intense” versions of some of them. However, things like the Fig, Vanilla Tonka, or New York fragrances are still there are quite popular.

Rose Perfumes – “9 breathtaking fragrances” for $36.99; a set of 7 Dark, Dirty niche Roses for $29.99; 6 Bulgarian Rose fragrances for $14.99; or a Beginner’s Set of 7 for $15.99

Patchouli Set of 11 Niche/High End and rich fragrances for $41.99, along with a small, somewhat boring Beginner’s set of 3 for $9.99 (though I do think the Serge Lutens is a good one). Intermediary Patchouli set of 9 niche fragrances for $28.99.

24 Best Perfume Masterpieces selected by the late, great Guy Roberts for $33.99. They’re not the vintage formulation but they’re a fantastic way to start on some legendary classics.

10 Best Niche Perfumes for a Beginner in 1/2 ml vials for $21.99. (It’s their list of what they think would be 10 good ones to start with.)

Chypres: A Beginner’s Guide to Oakmoss: 9 samples of the most famous Classics for $27.99.

Four whole pages of different sets for Beginners categorized by perfume note, from Amber to Saffron, peony to geranium. 

– I’m not completely convinced on this next one but Perfume Posse selected 22 Classic and Niche Beginner Scents by type which are sold in a gift box for $44.99. I don’t think some of those would be on my Beginner Intro list, but I believe in giving people options.

Page with the overall categories of sample sets.

67 thoughts on “Sale: “Surrender to Chance” Anniversary Sale & Sample Sets To Consider

  1. I don’t regret my choices of what I bought, but now I’m wondering whether I should have bought X instead of Y, etc. Ah well. I suppose the nature of the habit is that one is always left wanting for more. I’ll continue adding to my wish list with the hope of another great coupon later in the year. 🙂

      • Brie, are you getting anything? Sonama Scent Studios is offered and I’m going to give a definite look at them when I decide what to get. My problem is that I have soooooooooooooooo many samples already that I really don’t need more *right now.* Of course, that’s not going to stop me one bit, so I don’t even know why I’m pretending I may not order things. LOL. I guess the issue is just how much I can control myself given all that they have to offer. 😀

        • OMG!! You MUST try sonoma scent studio!!!!!! and here I am facilitating this spending spree and I have YET to order! but I still have another day, right? (just have to do it on the sly …lest hubby see me WHIPPING out my credit card!!!) and may I add Kafka that it was absolutely fantastic the way you have put this together for all of us…quite a bit of work I must say but so helpful…thank you :D!!

          • I definitely looked at it closely but I went online to the company site and the prices seemed cheaper there. So, for now, SSS will have to wait until I get around to ordering directly. As for you, what are you tempted by? Any perfumes or houses in particular? Don’t wait too long, sweetie, because the savings and deal becomes less with each day!

            By the way, thank you for recognizing the crazy amount of work involved in all those links. 🙂 There was steam coming out of my fingers and keyboard at one point. I think, in total, I spent almost 9 hours straight dealing with the Surrender to Chance website in some shape or another yesterday! LOL!

        • If you decide to buy SSS’s samples look at their page directly: if you buy just a couple of samples you’ll probably cover the difference in S&H; with more it will be even cheaper – and you’ll support a perfumer.

          • Agreed with Undina….I know for my very first order I purchased ten samples and it was well worth it…and not only is Laurie an outstanding perfumer she is an incredibly lovely person…the kind of perfumer you would want to support….so PLEASE try SSS…I would LOVE to see your take on this line!

          • I definitely want to try Sonoma Scent Studio! And you’re not the only one who raves about both the fragrances but the perfumer herself. But it may be a while. I don’t know why I find it so much more of a mental obstacle to order directly from a company’s website than to order from Surrender to Chance. I actually hadn’t planned to order anything from the latter since I have sooooooooooo many things to get through as it is, but I’m a sucker for a big discount. LOL. Thank God there won’t be another big sale until Boxing Day/after Christmas. It may take me until then to get through my stock. 🙂

    • I can’t see them having another one quite as big as this until Christmas so, even if you’ve ordered, nothing says you can only use the coupon once…….

      Yes, I *know* I’m being the voice of enablement but I’m just returning the favour for all the stuff you’ve tempted me to buy. LOL.

      • All true, but no, I WILL remain strong (says the person who just bought $100 worth of StC goodies). Yes, I will! However, I will spend some time going through and making a nice long wishlist for the future. I’ve been sort of neglectful by not writing down things that have struck my interest, and as a result, I have a lot of catching up to do!

        • Already??! Crikey! They must be rushing to fill early orders before the deluge starts once everyone arrives home from work and has time to browse. I haven’t even gotten around to *thinking* of what I want yet. I’ve updated the post with even more links and now, my mind has just gone completely blank. Perfume sample lists overload! LOL.

          • Got another email 5 minutes later saying the rest shipped! They are ON it. I’m sure they will be quite busy the next few days, which is great, even though it may be a tad overwhelming for them. They are a great company, so I hope they draw in a bunch of new customers with this promotion. They make the hobby a lot more accessible and affordable!

          • They’re a fantastic company! Such professionalism and great service! So, what did you end up ordering, Kevin? Pretend like everyone else that we’re at a cocktail party and swapping stories over martinis. LOL. And, out of all those that you ordered, what are you most excited for?

          • My *ahem* excessive order was as follows:

            Heeley Five Sampler Coffret
            Roja Dove Scandal
            Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir
            Tauer Perfumes Zeta EDP
            Christian Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur – 13 samples
            Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Cologne Pour Le Soir
            Guerlain L’Art et La Matiere Sampler pack – 8 samples
            Roja Dove Mischief Extrait (Pure Parfum)
            Roja Dove Reckless Extrait (Pure Parfum)
            Roja Dove Fetish Pour Homme
            Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin Extrait de Parfum Limited Edition

            I’m honestly excited about all of them! I’ve been DYING to try anything Roja Dove for a few months, so I’m glad I’m doing them, even though if I love one, the 1/4ml of extrait will be just enough to taunt me, since I probably couldn’t afford a bottle of any of them! But I’m very excited for my MFKs because I’ve heard essentially unanimously great things, and I’m excited in a broad sense about the Dior and Guerlain collections, because I’m only vaguely familiar with some of them and have never smelled any, but have been excited to do so. So it will be an adventure. So basically, I didn’t answer your question except to say that I’m eager to try them all! This many samples should keep me occupied for some time. I have enough here to keep me busy for a long while! Plus, I have more samples at home I haven’t tried yet. I’ve been wearing mostly stuff from my full-bottle collection lately. Guess I’ll have to get back to samples again!

          • NICE job, Kevin!!! I’m thrilled that you’re trying so many Roja Dove’s! I had the trio sampler in my cart 4 times before I finally took it out. I’m dying to try them but I figured the difficulty of getting a bottle (never mind the actual price!) wouldn’t make it an accessible choice for most readers. I don’t know what you’re going to do if you love them!

            Oh, Musc Tonkin! I was going to send you my sample; I should have gotten around to it sooner but I’ve been holding off until I finish testing the OJ 4 corners collection. Drats. As for the Guerlain’s, I think it’s super you’re trying some of the new line but I suspect you’ll be sorely disappointed by the overall sweetness and lightness of many of them, esp. after classics that you’ve tried. Think Angelique Noire but even sweeter in some cases….. I’ll be hugely interested to see what you think of Heeley. I have a sample of the Cardinal that I’m aiming to review next week but I hear so much about miniscule sillage and vanishing duration that I suspect we will both struggle with it in that regard. You struggle with sillage more than I do, so you may be particularly screwed. I am so thrilled you’re trying Absolue Pour le Soir. If I may make a suggestion? Try that one *after* Musc Tonkin. It will make you appreciate it more…. I’ve had my eye on Tauer’s Zeta for a while, so that’s another one I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on but, most of all, the Mitzah! Yay for labdanum and incense. lol.

        • I’ve been curious to try Musc Tonkin for a while, so I figured this was a good time to bite the bullet. I wasn’t sure if you still had your sample and didn’t want to ask and seem like a greedy little piggy! 🙂 But thank you for thinking of me!

          Someone gave Zeta (well more than one person, but one person in particular made me eager to try it) a great review that made me curious to try it (though my plan is to make may way through all Tauer’s creations eventually). As for the Guerlains, I’ve tried almost entirely vintage things, so I thought I’d get an idea of some of the recent stuff. If I like them, great, if I’m not thrilled, I’ll be glad to have tried them anyhow. I expect there will be a few duds in here, but it will be nice to finally to have gone some depth into trying one brand, rather than a smattering of a million different brands.

          Oh, P.S. I ‘m putting some stuff in the mail for you today. I know you need more samples like you need a hole in the head, but my nightstand is getting cluttered and will soon be more cluttered than I dreamed possible, so I thought it best to get them out before the new imports come in. LOL.

          • You should have told me!!! I would have put Musc Tonkin in an envelope just by itself with some padding and sent it without bothering with the post office. Well, no, actually, I probably wouldn’t have taken that risk, but you shouldn’t have hesitated to ask. I set that one aside for you EONS ago! And thank you so much for your early package! That’s incredibly sweet of you, Kevin. I promise, I will get through the last OJ one and then put together some really good stuff for you! xoxoxo

  2. Thank you for the suggestions! I was browsing Surrender to Chance earlier and even looked at some of your archives to get ideas on what to buy, but this makes it so much easier!

    • I’m trying to post links like a crazy person, and updating the post with more and more of them. Hahaha. I feel quite deranged as I keep going through the site, finding sets by house or by note. There is steam rising from my keyboard. *grin* 🙂 🙂

      • Ug…each update is making more envious about what I *didn’t* order. I WILL be content with my purchase, I WILL be content with my purchase, I WILL NOT order more, I WILL NOT order more… 🙂

        • Hahahaha, I just taken a small break from all the updates and links, and will add some more in about an hour…. But, DAMN, there is a lot of perfume on that site! Whatever one ends up ordering will ALWAYS seem like just a drop in the bucket!

          • Indeed! Oh well, even though there is SO much more I’d like to try, I have a bunch of things coming, including a few I’ve been dying to try for months! So it should keep me entertained, at least until the next big coupon. Or my birthday. Whichever comes first. 🙂 My only real regret is not getting the Maison Francis Kurkdjian Sample Set, which I didn’t realize existed. Damn my hasty buying!

        • Kevin- I say order that Kurkdjian sample set that you desperately want and save it for your birthday!

  3. I ordered the Guy Roberts selection, a sampler of Oriental Woody scents, and Puredistance M based on your previous review. I’m so excited! This is my first order with them.

    • Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!! I’m so happy for you, Ann! Especially about the Puredistance M. It’s one of the few that I wear that I get complimented on quite a bit and even my father who normally ignores all my perfume madness spoke up and asked, “what are you wearing? That smells really good!” It was so unusual for him, my jaw dropped. LOL.

      Promise you’ll let me know what perfumes you end up liking the most? The one thing to remember about the Guy Roberts selection is that none of those masterpieces are in their original, vintage formulation. After 2010 (perhaps even 2008), almost all of the classics were reformulated due to something called IFRA and its rules on ingredients. BUT…. if you like the current formulations, the good thing is that the vintage version (which is always better) is available on eBay for pretty decent prices if you do a little hunting. And some of those vintage prices can be better or cheaper than the prices for modern niche. Which Oriental Woody sampler set did you get? (PS – Thank you for bringing that up. I forgot to link to those sets but since I’m continuously updating the post with new links, I’ll add that in, as well. Thank you. 🙂 )

      • I ordered the Oriental Woody Beginner since it included Samsara (which is one of my all time favorites that I own – so I assumed I would like the others) and it had Ormonde Jayne Tolu which you had also reviewed that I wanted to try. I am thinking of placing another order that includes a Patchouli sampler set. However, I’m nervous that I’m going to end up picking something that smells like ‘old college days’. Any suggestions? Should I just stick with the beginner set or is the intermediate more refined? I’m nervous about niche perfumes. I need to do more research. Although, I suppose with these prices now is as good a time as any to jump in! (I don’t want to limit my niche to just one scent though)

        • Quick question first Ann re. your perfume tastes: what notes don’t you like and what categories of scents are you drawn to? You seem like to like Orientals (me too!!) but are there certain things you don’t like, either as things that are too sweet or too powdery, too tobacco-y? Any camphor, chilly or evergreen notes that are an issue? Because I’m thinking you may do better do go by brand than by note. For example, one of the Serge Lutens sample sets that has Borneo 1834 (a patchouli) or perhaps try something like Chanel’s Coromandel (a soft patchouli with white cocoa powder and frankincense that is beautiful and gorgeous). I think that one is $3 a vial and I would definitely recommend that one for you if you love orientals. Hands down and no doubt. GORGEOUS and well-loved for a reason. Plus, the full bottle is (relatively) reasonable at $130 (by the standards of niche perfumery). All of these are diff. takes on patchouli and more sophisticated ones due to the other notes involved. Another patchouli (with other things in it) perfume is Arquiste’s beautiful Anima Dulcis.

          • Sweet doesn’t bother me, but I definitely don’t like overly ‘flowery’ scents. I certainly don’t mind them being included, I just don’t won’t it to be overpowering. The only scents I can think of that I definitely HATE are ones that usually have descriptors like ‘clean and fresh’, but usually just end up smelling like detergent or hand soap to me. Orientals -yes, and other adjectives I would use would be seductive, sensual, warm, amber, noir, etc. This isn’t exclusively what I like, but is usually what I’m drawn to when it comes to favorites. Perhaps this might not be the right season for these scents, since spring is right around the corner – just my likes/dislikes.

          • It sounds like we have extremely similar sorts of tastes (though I’m less keen on sweet things than most). But the orientals and the loathing for “clean and fresh” …. *shiver* Yes, most definitely alike there. As for the seasonality concern, I live in a place where there are almost no seasons, so I have never let that influence my choices in what I wear. I wear what I want — even if it may not *technically* be the right season by the usual rules. So, I say, throw the rule book out the window and wear what you want!

            In terms of choices for the patchouli scents, I would strongly recommend the Coromandel from Chanel for you. It’s about $3 a vial. Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834 is much loved but there is an odd chilly, camphorous note to that which doesn’t make it a standard patchouli scent. Le Labo has one patchouli fragrance that people really like, though I haven’t tried it myself. That may be one for you to consider. For ambers, I adore the boozy, spicy Alahine which finishes with a Bal à Versailles powder at the end. I am actually awaiting my full bottle of it. And for incredible orientals, I would strongly recommend one which — unfortunately — isn’t offered via sample on Surrender to Chance but which you can order from the Paris house for a very reasonable cost: Trayee by Neela Vermeire Creations. It’s a trio of samples — each of which is fantastic in its own different way and each of which is massively, massively acclaimed for good reason. I think the full set is about $23 or so for 3 x 2ml vials. Even if you don’t order any more from Surrender to Chance, I think you should consider perhaps trying the Neela Vermeire Trio for any future sample order you may wish to make. The perfumes are truly spectacular. 🙂 I hope that’s helped.

  4. I’m so excited by this, I’m trying to practice restraint and failing miserably. 🙂

    • I’ve updated the post with even more links so I hope to lead you into even greater temptation. LOL! StC doesn’t always have sales like this. Right after Christmas is the last one I remember. Otherwise, it’s just 5% off so this is a REALLY good time to explore a little. I hope some of the sample sets I added helped you a little. I’m going to try to keep adding a few more later, as I’m sure there are some houses that I’ve forgotten. 🙂

      • I surfed both your previous posts and the recommendations above. Yay for sales!!

  5. Getting my StC order now! Super excited about it! I`ll go with Ormonde Jayne and some Chanel Exclusifs 🙂

  6. I ended up getting:
    Perfume Guide sampler set with Fracas, Ormonde Woman, Black – Bvlgari
    Tom Ford Private Collection sampler with Japan Noir, Noir de Noir, Tobacco Vanille, Santal Blush, Lys Fume
    Serge Lutens Non-Export Caractere Series

    Now I can experience some of the things I’ve been reading about:-)

    My only other purchase from Surrender to Chance was the Sonoma Scent Studio sampler and the Vidi, Vici, Veni samples when they were a daily special. Surprisingly, I’ve liked them all – or at least, hated none.

    • Ooooh, Lulubelle, nice choices!!!!!!!!! Seriously nice! I’m utterly thrilled you got some Lutens and the chance to smell an Ormonde Jayne! The Private Blend selection from Tom Ford also includes some *fantastic* choices on your part. I can’t wait to hear what you think of all the perfumes and which ones you love in particular!

  7. I’m so pathetic, I ordered Tom Ford Noir et Noir and Tobacco Vanille. Again. But in spray form this time. I’m so confounded that they are supposed to be sillage monsters but not on me so far. Maybe spray samples will last better on me????

  8. Eeeek, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do – shopping before commenting. While I had NO discipline at all with my 10 mL + purchases or buying samples directly from the perfume line’s website, I resolved to patiently wait until a good discount (15% or higher) before purchasing anything from the decant services. By far, in terms of service and quality, STC is hands down THE BEST. I also always take the opportunity to buy the 2.5 mL spray vials as I have not seen them anywhere else cheaper than what they’re going for at STC — 10 for $6.99. At one point, my total prior to the discount was over $300 but I managed to get it to below $200 after the discount. While I haven’t cleared my Wish List, I will have a great variety to enjoy over the next few months, slow testing/trying/wearing and all!

    Among my purchases: Puredistance Opardu, Puredistance 1, Dior New Look 1947 which I know Undina likes lots and you just reviewed, Lucas’ love Carner Barcelona D600, Tom Ford Noir de Noir. I was up to no good at Barneys last week smelling a whole bunch of perfumes; unfortunately, Barneys does not carry Noir de Noir. Because it kept coming up in comments, my curiosity won out. By the way, I have not read your review so it will be fun to compare my experience with yours.

    Happy sniffing everyone!

    • NICE choices!!! Puredistance “I” has fascinated me and I was going to review it this weekend but I saw the company has a special deal on buying Opardu, so I guess that one will come (after the perfume that I’m currently testing out). Over $300 at one point… WOWZER! Even if you got it down below $200 (nice job with that, by the way!!), what else did you get? More importantly, what are you MOST excited for?

      I didn’t do quite as much damage but then again, I have over 50 things waiting to be sniffed and tried at home already. Plus, since I have to get things with an eye for the blog more than for what I myself would like to get, I have to spread things out across diff. lines and try to cover a lot of diff. bases. That said, I got: 2 Mona di Orios, 2 things from Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Idole, some Frapin, an old Kerosene one, Mandy Aftel’s Secret Garden (I don’t think they had the one that Steve raved about), Santa Maria Novella, Le Labo Rose & Santal, Slumberhouse Pear & Olive, a Vero Profumo trio sampler, Robert Piguet Mademoiselle Piguet, and a few others. I think I may be most excited for the Idole and the 2 Mona di Orios. 🙂

  9. Kafka! On a final note may I say that I am having so much fun reading all the comments and living vicariously through the commenters in all of their excited pleasure as well as yours (for the choices they have made!) this is fantastic!

    • I’m so, so glad. I LOVE that everyone is sharing their tidbits and steals, as it makes it seem like a party. I get to live vicariously through what everyone else is buying too! *This* is what perfume should be about: a fun cocktail party where everyone mingles, shares the little tidbits, and eggs each other on with more wine…. er… perfume. 😉 LOL

  10. I placed my order yesterday too! Before I read your wonderful recommendations. It’s probably for the best because yours were so good and so persuasive that I would have had a ridiculously expensive order!

    I walked away with decants of Guerlain Metalys, Knize 10, and 10ml of Ta’if. And some SJP Covet thrown in because I’ve never smelled it before.

    And they was no Roberto Cavalli! But I have a Sephora email notification on that stuff!

    • Oooh, Ta’if and Knize 10!! Knize 10 is constantly being compared to perfumes that I love, so even though I haven’t tried my sample yet, I know exactly what that will smell like and I’m excited for you. I haven’t heard of Guerlain’s Metalys at all! How interesting. I will have to look that up. A big LOL at the Roberto Cavalli. You should let me send you a sample of mine, Bacon Biscuit. If only because of the crazy lengths that you’ve gone to smell the damn thing. *grin*

        • We should definitely do one, but be aware that I have almost a pathological dread of going to the post office! Seriously. It’s almost like an anxiety-driven phobia. Maybe you need to live in Texas and deal with the highways to understand why. LOL. But I’ll email you later tonight. xoxox

          • No worries! I lived in Houston briefly growing up and my mother always hated driving around for precisely that reason! But I’m sure we’ll figure something out! Looking forward to being in touch!

  11. It sounds like a lot of fun but I’m not buying samples for now: I have to go through more than a 100 of previously bought/swapped before I start spending more money on samples. I might make an acception to a couple of releases this year if I cannot get them otherwise but other than that I SHOULD BE STRONG! 🙂

    • I tell myself to be strong all the time, but I’m a sucker for a good sale. I simply can’t resist. I honestly think I like getting a good bargain as much as, if not more than, the actual item itself. LOL. Honestly, if I stopped buying so many samples for the blog and for reviewing, I would still be set for a good while but I’m very good at finding justifications, especially when there are some brand new scents that I’m curious to see if the fuss is warranted. Like Slumberhouse’s Pear & Olive. I almost ordered Kerosene’s Unknown Pleasures as well, but I know myself with gourmands….. I try so damn hard to share everyone’s enthusiasm for them, but I suspect that smelling of pancakes and waffles might lead to a very harsh review, so it seemed best in the case of such a small house to skip it altogether. I went instead with Kerosene’s R’oud Elements which may be more my cup of tea.

      Bottom line: I’m not very good at resisting temptation, especially when it comes in the form of a sale. *grin*

      • Heh, I came close to ordering Unknown Pleasures as well but decided against it for basically the same reason. Sure, it’s only a couple bucks, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t like it much despite the high praise it seems to be getting. For perfumes like that which I want to try but am not dying to try, I prefer to do a swap with someone. I’ve been able to try out a great deal of things that way without breaking the bank.

        And yes, some deals I can pass up, some I can’t. Knowing that 20% is basically as high as I will ever see StC go, and knowing I’d be placing an order there within the next few months eventually, I decided to bite the bullet. I’m glad you got Pear and Olive! I’m mostly curious about that one – I’ve heard so many great things, but it doesn’t sound particularly compelling. I’ll be eager to read your review on that one.

        • I think the high praise comes from those who love gourmands. And their voices just happen to be the loudest at this time. We’ll see what happens when the buzz dies down…. 😉

          As for Pear & Olive, it was one of those that I felt I had to get for the blog. So much of the time I spent on deciding my own purchase was spent researching/analyzing perfume types, notes, U.S. availability and prices, in order to have a range of products across all price ranges that would be accessible to mid-level buyers in the US and across different perfume categories. I had to compare diff. reviews for various perfumes to decide which ones had at least some degree of positive recognition, then I also had to compare as between perfumes from the same house to see which ones may be a better choice. In some cases, I even had to compare men and women’s versions. The point of all this is that I ended up getting quite a few things that I personally would not have ordered for myself. At all. I had to draw the line somewhere in terms of things that were new, had huge buzz and were liked, but which I knew I wouldn’t like. Pear & Olive went through, Unknown Pleasures did not. All that rationale/analysis also led me to get MFK Lumiere Noire but the female version, not the men’s one, along with Amyris, Frapin’s Speakeasy over the one I would have preferred to get (a more expensive, Limited-edition scent) and a Le Labo rose scent — even though I’m not passionate about rose perfumes. Now that I think about it, I got very few scents that I myself would actually want to try. The Mona di Orio ones were among the rare exceptions.

          • That’s true. I never have anything to add to discussion of gourmands because I usually just avoid them. I don’t outright hate them, but I would never really opt to spend money on one.

            I think Pear & Olive is a great choice for the blog, to be frank. It’s struck my interested ever since I heard the first buzzes about, even though it’s not one I’d normally try. I think because it at least sounds unique and interesting. Never hurts to broaden one’s horizons anyhow, perhaps you’ll find a few surprises in there that you love. I’ve fallen in love with a number of things I didn’t think would much appeal to me. And my hope is that if you don’t fall in love, at least one is worthy of a scathing review. Is that mean of me? I just love a good scathing review! 🙂

          • I’m storing up all my scathing dislike in anticipation for your Xerjoff blue cheese, goats and horse manure fragrance…. 😉 Which one of the 3 Xerjoff’s is it again? I think I’ve blocked out the name. lol. If it is truly as bad as you and everyone on Fragrantica says it is, I will do a courtroom drama review of it. To be honest, I’m rather dreading the thought of testing it out given just HOW horrific some of the comments about it are.

          • LOL, if it gets a trial, it will be a short one that finds Zafar guilty of war crimes and gives it death by firing squad! LOL. Knowing you have a queasy stomach, all I can say is keep a bucket nearby. I think it’s truly that bad, and I have a cast iron stomach. Who knows, perhaps it won’t be that bad for you and I will have worked up your excitement for nothing. But I really do think it is just THAT bad. Far and away the worst I’ve ever smelled personally!

          • “War Crimes” was actually the very thing that I had thought of charging it with….. *grin* BTW, if you think it’s worse than Secretions Magnifique’s semen and blood, then I’m actually a bit worried. As you noted, I have that suggestive vomiting/gag reflex problem. Hm. Maybe I better test it out while sitting next to the loo…

        • While I’m being facetious (well, sort of…) regarding war crimes charges for Zafar, I’m unfortunately not joking about being near a bucket, or the loo. The fecal element was VERY abrasive to me and didn’t go away for a long while. And I feel like I have a high tolerance for those animalic scents. I know people say don’t judge a perfume by an opening, but I think regardless of how beautiful a scent may become, initial revulsion is not a price I’m willing to pay. Especially because it’s not fleeting, it takes a while to work past the nastiness into something wearable. And the wearable part wasn’t something I liked anyhow.

      • I keep hearing about Pear & Olive, I’m very curious AND I think I’ll like the scent… But I can’t justify buying just one sample – so I’m not buying any 🙂

        • What I do for things like that or when I am just curious about one single thing is to have an eBay alert for a perfume. It can be a little more at times but only maybe by $1 or $2, and in the long run, it works out better for me. Sometimes, just satiating the curiosity and the starting obsession makes it worth my while. eBay is how I managed to get that Valentina flanker, but also some other goodies far before they ever came out officially here.

  12. I agree with Brie! This is like a fun cocktail party where everyone shares their stories. I can’t wait until everyone gets their orders. I hope you can start a thread (or perhaps there already is a forum here for this) where we can come back and discuss what we received and what we liked/disliked. I’m excited to hear what everyone likes (or dislikes) about what they bought. Thank you for the list. I did go back and purchase a second order with many of the recommendations you listed.

    • That’s a super idea, Ann! I will do one of my Questions/Chit Chat posts and everyone can share what new things they’ve bought or tried lately that they liked the most. That way, even those who didn’t order from StC but got perfume samples from elsewhere, can talk about what new things they really liked (or really hated). I’ll give it about 2 weeks, I think, since it will take time for StC to fill all the orders (I bet they got mountains of them), for them to get shipped out and arrive, and then for people to try out some of them. 2 weeks should do it, though, for early impressions at least. 🙂

      I’m so happy you ordered a few more things and I have to say, I’m dying to know what you will think of Coromandel!! I can’t wait to hear what you end up liking the most and the least, along with whether any will tempt you towards a full bottle. Oh, by the way, welcome to the world of insanity and perfume addiction….. 😉 *grin*

      • Coromandel is absolutely beautiful. It’s one of my absolute favorites, Ann – I hope you like it just as much. 🙂

  13. Pingback: A Beginner’s Guide To Perfume: How to Train Your Nose, Learn Your Perfume Profile, & More | Kafkaesque

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