So far my perfumes sampling (and of course shopping) sites are Lucky Scent and Surrender To Chance.
Barney's is a treasure trove of unusual perfumes and Saks comes in a close second - sometimes if you visit them they will sample, sometimes not, but you are always encouraged to try anything and everything out in the store.
There are quite a few wonderful established fragrance bloggers out there but I want to give a nod to the fantabulous blog EauMG, from whom I have learned a lot and the luscious, enjoyable, and very informational writings of Alyssa Harad in her book "Coming To My Senses".
While I still adore my traditional fragrances like Ralph Lauren Blue I am falling hard for the perfumes from smaller more artful perfume houses, known as niche fragrances. Here is a brief rundown on the sexy samples I can barely contain myself about:
To say I have a grand passion for Arquiste Anima Dulcis is not even close to describing how entranced I am with it. When I first smelled it it bowled me over and I was scared to take a second sniff in fear of being completely overtaken. While usually categorized as a gourmand fragrance because of its notes of Cocoa Absolute, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, and chili infusion, on my skin I thought it smelled like sex. Why I get this association I cannot tell you but it was that exciting to me. Others have described it as reminiscent of an old-religion type fragrance suggesting ancient Mexican convent walls, but for me it was flat out seductive. However I am willing to concede that if Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz were playing the nuns it would be convent-like.
If I were only allowed one fragrance for the rest of my life (God forbid!) I might possibly choose Liaisons Dangereuse By Kilian - it is just so damn likable. In fact the sales girl at Saks said everyone likes this scent, which I tried to not take as an insult that I was common, but really I get her point - how could anyone not be besotted by it? With notes of peach and black currant, geranium and rose, and oak moss and musk - to name a few - it achieves the perfect balance of juiciness, warmth, and naughtiness.
Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection by Etat D'Orange Libre makes me feel bold and in charge, leading with a iron fist inside a velvet glove. It is a rose scent - dominatrix style. It is utterly utterly provocative. With notes of ginger, black pepper, Bulgarian rose, frankincense, patchouli, and cocoa it is both powdery and spicy giving it simultaneously a vintage and modern feel. On top of all that I'd say it is also somewhat fresh, not just like the honey but like the bee.
While not nearly as eloquent and knowledgable as the fragrance bloggers and aficionados out there, I simply had to say something and maybe turn on a few other beauty vixens who are curious, and like I was a few weeks ago, unaware.