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Handmaps, FAQ's, Glossary and My Sample Perfume Notes

We've had many questions over the years, and have learned a lot about fragrances.To help you get started and shorten your learning curve, you can click on on these links:

FAQs: Some frequently asked questions are answered here.

Glossary of useful perfume terms.

Why you should sample

The sense of smell is located in the limbic system, the most primitive area of our brain, and matures before any other of our senses. Smelling is experiential, and therefore difficult to translate into words. Reading about a scent is fun, and you can learn a lot, but the only way to know about a scent is to SMELL IT ON YOURSELF!! - on your own skin.

How you should sample

We've tested hundreds of fragrance samples, so we know that keeping track of "which scent is which" can be confusing. (There is NOTHING more frustrating than smelling a scent you've tested, and absolutely love, and you can't remember WHAT IT IS!!!)

Since a sample testing session usually involves trying several decants on wrists, hands and arms, we've developed tools to keep you organized.

We've created sample "Handmaps" - we use these handmaps to record the spot we apply each fragrance sample - up to 6 per session (with space to add more).

Then we record our impressions of each fragrance sample on the sample evaluation sheet, called My Sample Perfume Notes.

OK - start sniffing...

Print a Handmap, print My Sample Perfume Notes, lay out your decants, and then apply the scents to your skin, recording the name of the scent on the corresponding area of the handmap, so that you can remember what you put where. Using My Sample Perfume Notes, record your impressions of the top, middle and base notes. This will take about an hour.

WARNING: You can OD on scent and not smell anything after a while. If this happens to you, sniff some coffee beans for a few seconds, take a short break, and that should get everything back in working order.

You can download tools for sampling here:

Our Handmaps help you keep track of your scents.

Link to our handmaps


My Sample Perfume Notes (PDF file 41kb)

And finally, here are some links to websites we've found really useful: