Nordstrom was having yet another promo and just like it says on the sticker, with every $135 Fragrance Purchase (which converts to around KD 40) you qualified for the pack of fragrance samples (as shown)! Most of them were tiny spray samples, but there were several adorable mini perfume bottles and even an actual candle! Not only that, but they were all either from designer or niche brands! A lot of them were relatively new fragrances too! Best of all, included was a sample of Delina by Parfums de Marly (which I’ve been dying to try)!!!!
This particular promo could not have come at a better time, especially since as I’ve already demonstrated (haulage here), I was more than willing to spend my money on samples. Funny how only a few months prior, I would’ve barely glanced at this promo, but now that I’m obsessed with perfumes, I was giddy with excitement, practically salivating, at the prospect of playing around with all those perfume samples!
Acqua Di Parma Peonia Nobile Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Black Pepper, Raspberry Accord
Middle Notes: Peony Accord, Egyptian Geranium, Freesia Accord, Turkish Rose
Base Notes: Ambery Accord, Patchouli Indonesia, Musk
I’ve only ever heard of Acqua Di Parma, but never actually sniffed any of their perfumes and as such, was pretty excited to give this a sniff. Unfortunately, I could taste the scent in my mouth! It’s very, very strong and very, very floral! It kinda’ reminds me of Cartier La Panthere (haulage here) actually. I’m really not a fan of either of those perfumes. Blech!
Aerin Hibiscus Palm Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Lotus, Ginger, Hibiscus, Ylang Ylang, Palm Leaf
Middle Notes: Frangipani, White Blossoms
Base Notes: Coconut Milk, Vanilla, Musk
Unlike the rest of the small samples, this one was extra wide (which meant it held more liquid). I know I’ve sniffed the actual flower in this thing before, but I just can’t quite place it. I wanna’ say Gardenia, but I can’t say for certain. I’m not one for florals, but I found this particular scent slowly growing on me! Verdict: I’m not mad at it.
Atelier Cologne Clémentine California Cologne Absolue [ pure perfume ] concentrated at 15%
Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Clementine, Juniper Berry
Middle Notes: Basil, Pepper, Star Anise
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Cypress, Haitian Vetiver
We actually have Atelier Cologne at our local Sephora. I’m not sure if they’ve got Clementine California though. I thought the packaging of this thing was pretty cute! It came with a postcard and everything! Unfortunately, because it didn’t have any sort of outer packaging like the rest of the samples, I kinda’ lost the perfume sample lol I didn’t get the chance to give it a sniff before losing it either but whatevs. I’m sure it’ll turn up… eventually.
Burberry Her Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Black Currant, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Raspberry
Middle Notes: Violet, Jasmine
Base Notes: Amber, Musk
Oooh! This was an unexpected surprise! I never really got into Burberry scents, never! I figured since I had the sample anyway, I might as well give it a sniff and Oh my days, did it smell glorious! Think, strawberry milkshake! Certain notes in this thing kinda’ reminded me of Philosophy Unconditional Love (reviewed here) actually. I’m definitely going to have to purchase it now, after falling in love with the scent!
Bvlgari au Thé Blanc (White Tea) Eau de Cologne
Top Notes: Tea, Artemisia, Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Orange Blossom
Middle Notes: Pepper, Cardamom, Coriander
Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Rose, Jasmine, Wood Notes
So interesting! I really, really like this! It smells exactly like you would imagine! It smells all fresh and clean and citrus-y, with some tea notes thrown in the mix (I wanna’ say that would be the Cardamom). In the interest of full disclosure, I’m quite biased when it comes to tea-scented anything lol I just might spring for the full size, at some point!
Cartier Carat Eau de Parfum
7 different flowers combined to form 1 abstract flower
Green: Ylang Ylang
So this is what Rainbows smell like… or at least what Cartier thinks Rainbows smell like. The notes sorta’ implement the Push-Pull Technology in Lady Gaga Fame (here), with no single note being the dominant one. This also has aldehydes (still not entirely sure what aldehydes are, but I’m pretty sure I don’t like them, at this point). Basically, Carat doesn’t know what it wants to be (not unlike Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme, haulage here). One second it’s fruity, the next it’s floral, the next it’s powder-y. It’s all over the place! That said, it’s unabashedly floral, which is just not my thing.
Dior Joy Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin
Middle Notes: Rose Grasse, Jasmine
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Cedar, Patchouli, Musk
Smells like dirty baby diapers (not just one dirty diaper, but many dirty diapers)! I think it’s the Jasmine, which sometimes my nose interprets as “sewage scent”. Honestly, out of all the scents in this entire post, Joy was hands down the worst! I love that it was named Joy lol If anything, it should’ve been called the opposite of Joy.
Giorgio Armani Si Passione Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Pear, Black Currant
Middle Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Heliotrope
Base Notes: Vanilla, Cedarwood
Despite its name, Si Passione was a delicate floral scent. That said, I liked it, especially the top notes, where I could really detect the Pear. It wasn’t as offensive as some of the other florals in this post, but it was pretty light. In fact, I couldn’t smell a thing 20 minutes later. I believe this is what frag-heads refer to as a “skin scent” (sits close to the skin, barely detectable). Weak.
Gucci Bloom Nettare Di Fiori Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Ginger, Rose
Middle Notes: Jasmine Bud, Rangoon Creeper, Tuberose
Base Notes: Patchouli, Musk, Osmanthus
Ugh, floral. My nose detects the bad kind of Jasmine (the sewer smelling kind) and I wanna’ say Gardenia. Definitely not my thing. Why is Gardenia in most of these samples?
Hanae Mori Butterfly Eau de Toilette
Wild Strawberries, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Bilberries, Bulgarian Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Peony, Almond Wood, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Cedar
Classic since 1995, it’s meant to smell like vanilla without actually having a drop of vanilla in it. It kinda’ smells like something I’ve eaten before, but I can’t quite place it.
Okay! Placed it! I believe it’s Rose Water, possibly Turkish Delight! lol Interesting scent! Deffo worth a sniff at least once, if for the novelty factor alone!
Jo Malone Orange Bitters Cologne
Top Notes: Sweet Orange, Mandarin
Middle Notes: Bitter Orange, Prune
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber
Awww da baby! I actually purchased the full size, several Christmases ago (here). It’s lovely!
Kate Spade Live Colorfully Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Mandarin, Water Lily, Star Anise
Middle Notes: Tiare Flower, Gardenia, Coconut Water
Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Vanilla
This was the only tiny sample that came with a removable cap. As for the scent, all I get is a blast of Gardenia. However, in comparison to Gucci Bloom Nosferatu or whatever, Live Colorfully is infinitely more palatable. That said, it’s still not my thing. Out of all these floral-y florals (I know, I know, I just have a way with words) in my humble opinion, Aerin’s Hibiscus Palm was the nicest!
Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace Eau de Toilette
Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom, Clove Oil
Middle Notes: Chestnut Accord, Gaiac Wood, Juniper
Base Notes: Vanilla Accord, Peru Balsam, Cashmeran
Gorgeous! I can smell the smoked wood and marshmallows! I’ve been dying to try By The Fireplace for a minute now (and even said so, here), but our local Sephora being our local Sephora, kinda’ made it difficult (could never find the tester and no sales assistants manning the counter) so to get a sample of this specific scent, out of all of them, was super lucky! I’m so, so, so happy!
Moschino Cheap & Chic So Real Eau de Toilette
Top Notes: Bitter Orange, Mandarin, Raspberry, Blackcurrant Sorbet
Middle Notes: Peony, Jasmine, Magnolia
Base Notes: Ambroxan, Cedarwood, Musk, Oakmoss
Straight Orange. Kinda’ smells like Dish-Washing Liquid, come to think of it. How stinkin’ cute is the tiny bottle though?
Nest Holiday Candle
The aroma of a sparkling holiday season is created by blending pomegranate, Mandarin orange, pine, cloves, and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber.
I’ve always wanted to try something from Nest (I’m talkin’ as far back as 2012). This smelled appropriately Christmas-y (my order was placed in Dec and arrived a few weeks later lol)! Such a nice touch to add a mini candle as well! So cute!
Parfums de Marly Delina Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Lychee, Rhubarb, Bergamot, Nutmeg
Middle Notes: Turkish Rose, Lily of the Valley, Peony
Base Notes: Vanilla, Incense, White Musk, Cashmeran, Woods
I was dying, just dying, to get my hands on Delina, but figured we probably didn’t have Parfums de Marly in Kuwait and even if we did, it’d probably cost triple the actual price, and I’d probably get an expired batch or something, and I’d definitely have to deal with some snarky sales assistants, and it just didn’t sound like a good time. I could’ve purchased it from Nordstrom but I didn’t wanna’ splurge on yet another blind-buy. So, I just gave up on it.
Then, out of the blue, I find a sample from Parfums de Marly and of Delina no less, chillin all nonchalant in the Fragrance Sample Pack! Good God! I’m pretty sure that if Heaven exists, this is what it would smell like! Delina is absolutely gorgeous! Yup, after giving it a sniff, I’m definitely going to have to purchase Delina at some point (despite the fact that it costs a kidney and a liver and half a lung)! ♥
Philosophy Pure Grace Nude Rose Eau de Toilette
Top Notes: Dew Drop, Green Notes
Middle Notes: Rose Petals, Neroli, Orange Blossom
Base Notes: Cedar, Musk
I might’ve smelled Pure Grace at one point (can’t remember), but I was pretty excited to give Pure Grace – Nude Rose a try. As you can see, it had almost double the amount of all the other samples. Unfortunately, just like with all the other adorable mini bottles, this thing didn’t come with an atomizer/spray meaning I had to dab it on. I wasn’t too broken up about that though, because the scent was actually pretty boring. It was a light floral scent, which as I’ve stated numerous times before, just wasn’t my thing. I’m pretty sure I’ve sniffed this particular scent from Bath & Body Works ages ago, but I just can’t quite place it.
Prada Infusion d’Iris Eau de Parfum
Notes – Iris, Mandarin, Neroli, Cedarwood, Benzoin, Incense
Soapy and clean! Oh, oh, I know! It smells like fancy french soap! I’m kinda’ feelin’ it!
Proenza Schouler Arizona Eau de Parfum
Notes – Orris, White Cactus Flower, Jasmine, Orange Flower, Solar Accord, Musk, Cashmeran
Sometimes, I like to disengage the traction control option in my car and go drifting (if they promise not to scream, I’ll even let a friend or two tag along). Once said drifting is over, the tires smell like… death. Unfortunately, that’s what Arizona smells like to me. It had a very offensive musky note. I tried it on my skin. I tried it on paper. I even tried it on my clothes. In all those instances, there was always that prevalent note of “burnt rubber”.
Despite all that, somehow I don’t not like the scent. It makes me think of swimming in a pool, for some reason. I can see why it’s classified as a unisex scent. I don’t like it, but I also don’t not like it, if that makes any sense lol From the moment I spotted it on Nordstrom, I’ve kinda’ been lusting after it (purely based on the delightful description and name), but now that I’ve actually smelled it, I’m so glad I didn’t bite the bullet and spring for the full size! It’s worth a sniff, because it’s quite interesting, but maybe not worth a purchase.
Salvatore Ferragamo Amo Ferragamo Eau de Parfum Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Black Currant, Campari, Rosemary
Middle Notes: Jasmine Sambac, Rhubarb
Base Notes: Ambroxan, Vanilla, Sandalwood
Yet another fruity sweet scent, but this one leans slightly more citrus-y. Funny how all I smell is Orange Juice, but it’s not listed anywhere in the notes. Maybe it’s the Rhubarb? I dunno… Anyways, the scent is just okay. If I had to pick between Amo Ferragamo and Signorina Misteriosa (haulage here), I’d definitely go with the latter.
Thierry Mugler Love You All Cologne
Blue Licorice, White Amber, Secret “E” Note
This smells like D&G Light Blue mixed in with guy-soap. It’s fresh, citrus-y and most definitely masculine. I like it, but not enough to shell out the cash for the full size. You cute, but you ‘aint that cute.
Tiffany Eau de Parfum Intense
Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Mandarin Leaf
Middle Notes: Iris
Base Notes: Benzoin, Amber
This smells like straight up grass (as in you just mowed the lawn kinda’ grass). It smells so offensive to my nose! If I’m remembering this right, I spotted the original at our local Sephora and didn’t like it either, never mind this intense version. So disappointing!
Tory Burch Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Neroli, Grapefruit, Cassis, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Peony, Tuberose, Jasmine Sambac
Base Notes: Vetiver, Sandalwood
To me this smells like a more intense version of Givenchy Ange ou Demon (haulage here) which I gave away to our live-in driver to gift to his wife on his latest trip back to India (here). Tory Burch smells very citrus-y, but also very perfume-y. I think the little bottle is pretty cute, but the scent is just not for me (too floral-y).
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom
Middle Notes: Coffee, Jasmine
Base Notes: Vanilla, Patchouli, Cedarwood
Just like with a movie or a tv show or even a book, when you hear so much about it, you don’t really feel the need to experience it for yourself (because you already know what it’s all about) which is exactly how I feel about Black Opium. I kinda’ wanna’ purchase the full size because it has Coffee Notes, but I also kinda’ don’t wanna’ purchase it, because almost everyone loves it and wears it all the time. It’s very, very, very popular, which is why I don’t really feel the need to own it. It’s also the same reason why I’ve avoided Lancome La Vie Est Belle completely. That said, I have gifted YSL Black Opium to someone previously (here), but never purchased it for myself, so it’s nice to have a sample to play around with in the meantime.
Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum
Top Notes: Bergamot, Raspberry, Strawberry, Pear
Middle Notes: Peony, Datura, Jasmine Sambac, Orange Blossom
Base Notes: Ambrox, Patchouli, White Musk
Fruity Sweet, but nothing unique. You can probably find cheaper alternatives everywhere from Zara to Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. I like it and the little bottle is to die, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase the full size. That said, the more I sniff this, the more I find myself liking it!
Despite my initial reaction to some of these fragrances, I’m super stoked I managed to get my hands on the Fragrance Samples Pack! It gave me a chance to try out several scents that I never would’ve gotten to experience otherwise! Plus, I’ve already added a handful to my “to-buy” list! Heck, just getting the chance to sniff Delina makes me feel incredibly thankful and grateful and deliriously happy!