Taking the Plunge – To Blind Buy or Not to Blind Buy?

BlindfoldTo blind buy or not to blind buy, that is the question. Shakespeare said that didn’t he? Well, he said something along those lines anyway. The blind buy is for those thrill-seeking perfumistas who like the adrenalin rush, it’s like playing Russian Roulette, except with perfume instead of the bullets and a fraction of the danger.

What is a Blind Buy?

I’m sure most of the lovely people reading this post are familiar with the blind buy but for those who aren’t, a blind buy (or blind trade) is simply where a fragrance is purchased completely untested.

From my experience, a blind buy can happen for many reasons; perhaps there has been a lot of buzz on the internet about a particular fragrance or the notes list sounds right up your street or even a favourite house/brand releases a brand new fragrance that you simply must have.

I’m sure you’ve all been there, reading reviews from a variety of blogs and websites and thinking ‘I know I’m going to like this’ before reaching for the credit card.

My Experience

When I first started out on my Perfumista journey I did a fair bit of blind buying and trading, I think it was a useful way of discovering and learning about new perfumes. Nowadays I am much more careful about what I buy for two reasons, firstly I have over 100 full bottles in my collection which is simply too much for any one person to wear, secondly now that I have a mortgage, car and grown-up bills to pay I simply don’t have the resources to blind buy every perfume that takes my fancy.

I very much live by the mantra ‘sample first’, there are so many perfumes released every year, many of which are complete duds, that it is simply impractical to blindly purchase a perfume just because I like the sound of the notes.

My experience of blind buying can be split into three categories:

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Caron Parfum Sacré

Picked up in TK Maxx purely because it was £15, I can never resist a bargain and this warm, spicy fragrance that smells somewhat like rose scented incense sticks has become one of my favourites for winter.

Thierry Mugler A Travers le Miroir

I was drawn to this because I love tuberose, I love Mugler and Luca Turin described it as ‘arresting’ in Perfumes The Guide. I found a bottle on fleaBay (eBay) and after lots of extremely tense bidding I managed to get it for half the RRP. A Travers le Miroir isn’t a fragrance I wear very often but it is absolutely glorious when I do.

The Bad

Guerlain Coriolan

Bought on the Basenotes market place when I was going through a mad ‘I must buy everything Guerlain’ phase, Coriolan is one of my more disappointing blind buys. Coriolan is a pale, woody mess of no real interest, I’m not surprised that it was discontinued, at least it was cheap!

The Ugly

Viktor & Rolf Antidote

Antidote is my absolute worst blind buy, I paid full price from an online retailer because I adored the bottle and loved the sound of the notes. What I ended up with was a beautiful bottled filled with the most toxic, disgusting perfume I have ever tried (not including Sécrétions Magnifiques of course). There may be a nice perfume in that bottle somewhere but I can’t see it for the huge ‘lavender on steroids’ that’s standing in the way.

Join the Discussion!

I want to hear about your blind buying experiences:

Do you blind buy or do you sample first?

What are your best and worst blind buys?

Please leave your comments in the box below.


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