Friday, December 23, 2022

The Perfumed Court Samples

I started falling in love with perfume in 2020 when we were stuck at home during the pandemic. There was something exciting about getting samples in the mail to try, especially if they were of the kind of fragrances that are hard to find in the stores (and at the time, we couldn't even get into stores, unless it was to buy groceries...or to hunt down the ever-elusive packages of toilet paper). I got so into the hobby that I joined a few Fragrance groups with other people who also enjoyed trying and collecting perfumes (my friends and family can only take so much scent talk, lol) and to this day, I still find myself trying new perfumes every chance I get.

My latest set of samples came from The Perfumed Court. They always have such a great selection, that honestly they are one of the few sites I gravitate towards first and foremost before making any full-sized purchases. This visit to their website did not disappoint. I ordered 10 samples, some niche, some designer and here are my thoughts...

Please note, I have tried literally hundreds and hundreds of samples, and at this point in my scent journey, there are many I don't love. That's okay! It's part of the sifting process that leads me to the ones I really love (and I really enjoy the search).  

Also note, just because I don't love something doesn't mean you won't. There are so many I don't care for that many love. If you're interested, try a few and see what you like for yourself. :)

Ranking the selections in this order of best to least favorite (in my opinion only), here is what I tried:

This was the one that made my heart sing. This is the one I immediately purchased a full-size bottle of with absolutely no regrets. This kind of fragrance is the reason I buy samples To come across something like this that smells so, so, so good makes up for the other I try that don't appeal to me. If I get one sample in an order that I love enough to buy a full-sized bottle of, I call that a very good day.

Lait de biscuit is not milky to me, which I thought it might be, and I'm glad. It's rare for me to find a milky frag that I enjoy (though I do once in awhile come across one). This one rather, is a light cherry vanilla biscuity smell and I love it so much. If you like sweet, gourmand scents, this is one to try. 

This one is so delicious that I included it in my Top 5 Gourmand Fragrance Picks for the annual Holiday Gift Guide.

Notes: Pastry, Vanilla, Caramel.

To be fair, I already knew I loved this one because I own a full-size bottle. It's discontinued though, so having a sample to take on trips or just tuck in my purse for work seemed like a good idea to me. I hate when I really enjoy a perfume and it gets discontinued. This one is a delicious, sugared almond and Iris scent that smells very uniquely fresh, sweet and inviting all at the same time. It is more refined and luxurious feeling than other Lancôme fragrances (many of which I also love).

I'm so proud of myself for not buying this based on how much people were raving about it. It seems like everyone in the fragrance groups just loves it so much. I saw it compared to Tihota by Indult, but with a Mimosa note and that makes sense to me. A little orange juicy but no big orange pickup. It smells good. A touch of Tihota but lighter for sure and more complex (Tihota is a rich, linear vanilla). Nothing deep. It's pleasant. I'd wear it if I owned it, but I don't think you need it if you have Tihota. I like Tihota a little more.

Top Notes: Vanilla and Mimosa
Middle Notes: Vanilla and Brown Sugar
Base Notes: Musk, Amber and Vetiver.

I was really hoping to like this one for me because it's from a very expensive perfume house that I don't get to try out all that often. I didn't dislike it, but it smells more like something I would appreciate on a man rather than myself. It is a clean, soapy citrus that is nice for day wear. It is very pleasant and light. It is also discontinued, so if you try and like it, you'd better snag a bottle before they are no more.

Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender, Orange and Rosemary
Mid Notes: Jasmine and Rose
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Ginger, Vetiver, Musk, Coriander and Patchouli

It smells like Marc Jacobs' Decadence to me in the opening. Very sharp, green. Dries softer and I can definitely smell a small touch of yummy vanilla, but it still smells like Decadence. I do not smell lemon or blueberry., which are both listted, and were what I was hoping to find.

I already own Decadence (another perfume that has been discontinued), so I will not buy a full bottle of this... it's good to know though, that if I run out of my Decadence, I can get Poets of Berlin to replace it. Vilhelm always make a high quality fragrance. Your nose can instantly detect that it's niche, even if you are blind smelling. 

Top Notes: Blueberry and Lemon
Mid Notes: Bamboo and Orris
Base Notes: Vanilla, Sandalwood and Vetiver.

I smell the black tea in the opening, then it starts to get a teensy bit apply (and lightly floral to me though I don't see any flower notes listed) alongside the tea. It's nice enough. If it was just tea/apple I'd like it quite a bit, however there is something every so slightly 'antiquish' in the dry that I don't like. 

Top notes are Bergamot and Apple
Mid Note is Black Tea
Base Notes: Black Amber, Musk and Oakmoss.

This is one I will have to wear again to decide on definitively. It's pleasant but may too common? Lost Alice has a traditional kind of perfume smell but it seems very high quality. It's not too strong. Usually, I don't bother to keep trying with something I don't love right off the bat, because there are way too many scents out there to go through, and there's no reason to try to force myself to like something, but although this feels typical, in terms of what you might expect from a perfume, there's something about it too, that feels special. This is the only one I am truly undecided on from the samples that I ordered (but that's half the fun of trying scents out).

Top Notes: Ambrette, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Black Pepper
Mid Notes: Carrot Heart, Orris, English Tea, White Roses
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Broom Absolute, Steamed Milk Accord

It's a no for me. People love it but I don't. It has a floral (though I don't see anything floral listed in the notes!) to the sweet that is a turn off for me. There is something unique/distinct in here that I don't care for, though I can't put my finger on it. This was a big surprise to me because I love all of the notes in here, and my fellow gourmand lovers rave about how wonderful this fragrance is... maybe it's just my nose, but for me, it's a hard pass. 

Notes; Custard, Apricot, Vanilla, Raspberry, Caramel

I usually really like Byredo fragrances, although the ones I have tried don't really last very long on me so I was really surprised that this one was an instant 'no' for me, though it does get better as it dries down. The top notes smell like marijuana to me, and I don't like marijuana, so the perfume wasn't making me very happy. As it starts to dry down though, it turns into a pleasant, soft, outdoor scent that I do like (no weed). It didn't last long on me but that was okay because I knew it wasn't going to be a full-sized bottle purchase for me. I can't get past the opening.

Top Notes: Black Currant, Bergamot, Cardamom
Mid Notes: Fig, Red Apple, Tiare Flower
Base Notes: Praline, Peach Blossom and Cedar

It smells a little light, a little floral-y fresh, and a little soapy in the beginning. It's not at all unpleasant but honestly, I don't want to own a full bottle of it. The mid is much better but it still smells like a really pleasant bar of soap. It's soft, not a big projector but not super soft like some fragrances can be. When it dries down completely is where it loses me entirely. It's too heavy/flower/soapy for me. I know a lot of people love this, and it's always described as being very fresh.

Top Notes: Magnolia, Bergamot and Carrot Seeds
Mid Notes: Frangipani, Tuberose, Ylang-Ylang, Iris and Spices
Base Notes: Beeswax, Vanilla and Vetiver

It makes me happy to try samples and it saves me money too. As a frag head, I used to be tempted to blind buy, but after being burnt one too many times, I turned to samples and now I've not looked back (for the most part). Try before you buy is my motto. If I find at least one fragrance that I enjoy enough to buy a full-sized bottle (like I did with this order), I consider that a major win.

Ready to sample some fragrances from The Perfumed Court?


  1. This looks like so much fun! I like trying out different perfumes every once and while when I get bored with just one. Thank you for sharing this with us! I may have to try these out one of these days!

    -Whitney Stewart

  2. Okay a new one! I have used krystal and scent bird but I am ready for something new!

  3. I love getting perfume samples such a great way to decide if you really like it before committing to one. I don't really have a favorite so I am always open to trying new ones.

  4. Getting something as fun and exciting as perfume samples in the mail would certainly brighten my day as well! One of these days I may have to try one or two of these out for myself!

    -Whitney Stewart

  5. Getting samples first is the best way to try perfumes out. I would hate to buy a full size bottle and decide I didn't like it afterall once I got home.

  6. My friends love perfume. I would love to have samples of all of them too but I trust your judgement. I'd go for Prada.

  7. Oh how nice! Perfume is always a nice and thoughtful great you get to try out all these samples too!

  8. Love the honesty I usually like Byredo too- but I think I'll skip that one after reading your review. I have to say I do really trust your taste so excited to try some others you recommend! - Sienna

  9. After my pregnancy it is hard to find perfume for me now. All scents are too strong. So now perfume samples are like treasure. I would try Prada again.

  10. Ah yes, perfume samples are the best. I once took a quizz to find out which one matched best for me

  11. I've been loving collecting perfumes lately, and really would love to get a Bryedo perfume! I will definitely have to try Pulp. I think from the notes, I would love it :)

  12. I am not familiar with any of these perfumes. It is nice to learn about some different scents.

  13. Chabaud, Lait de Biscuit sounds like a must try for me! I love sweet, food scents and the bottle is really classy. I think part of the fun of sampling is finding those gems that you must have more of. I'm not a go with the crowd kind of girl as I find my tastes tend to not mesh with the majority, so sampling first is always a must for me when it comes to things like scent instead of buying blindly.

  14. I love Lancôme Maison, Iris Dragées. This is actually one of my favorites. I had no idea this has been discontinued already. I would have to be prudent with the last bottle I have.

    1. Yes, that one is so good! The bottle is pretty too.

  15. It is always fun trying out new scents through samples! So many pretty bottles too.

  16. I love perfume. I just think they are such a romantic gifts to give to someone.

  17. This is awesome collection of perfume and will help people to choose. There are new ones to me as well on this list.

  18. I like the fact that these seem easy to travel with. Have a Happy New year!


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