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Are you new to Solstice Scents or indie perfumes in general?  The first section of the article below gives you tips on how to select perfumes to try. The second section covers how to properly test them when they arrive to you.  

How to select perfumes:  All of our perfumes are listed alphabetically on our Master Scent Reference and perfume sample listings. The main scent category for each perfume is indicated after the notes list. Our site is also organized by scent family (gourmand, incense, forest, floral, etc) under "Perfume All". The key to our catalog is to read the full listing descriptions for perfumes that interest you and not just the main notes lists provided on the sample pack listings and Master Scent Reference. If you click on details for the full listing, a description is provided with what to expect in a given scent.

Due to the nature of our products, we cannot accept returns on opened/tested perfumes so please read and sample before purchasing full size bottles. Please read the sample pack listings for information on how to order samples, which samples are eligible (EdP samples are sold individually as 2.5 ml sprays and not available in the sample packs) and which samples are currently available. Samples that are out of stock will not display on the check box or drop down menus on the listings.

Perfume oils versus Eau de Parfum: Perfume oils are worn directly on the skin. They are extrait concentration, ready to wear and provide a more intimate experience than the alcohol based Eau de Parfum sprays (EDPs). Some of our extraits are alcohol based and are indicated on the product listing and Master Scent Reference as such. EDPs can be worn directly on skin or clothing and typically have a much stronger throw and sillage and tend to have a longer longevity when worn on clothing, where it can last for many hours or days. Base note heavy perfumes will last longer than lighter fruit forward fragrances. Longevity, throw and performance is unique to each fragrance and some extraits and EDPs may perform with stronger throw and longevity than others. As with all fragranced products, please perform a patch test for sensitivity before applying all over.  Please visit our Disclaimer page for more info:

Once your perfume arrives, use these tips to maximize your experience and have the most likelihood of success and a positive experience as your explore your new acquisitions.

1. Do not smell all of the perfumes at one time as your nose will become overwhelmed and not all of the scent notes may be apparent. This means DO NOT test all 5 or 10 of your samples all at one time, on different parts of your body and use this as your sole judging criteria! You may experience a temporary anosmia where you cannot detect certain notes. You may prematurely discard a scent in this state and miss out on a real gem.

2. Never judge a perfume directly out of the bottle. They are often strong directly from the bottle/sample vial and the top notes (shortest lived) may be the most apparent. Test the perfume directly on your skin. It is the only way that the perfume is able to unfold and morph. The top notes will evaporate and lead you toward the longer-lasting heart and base notes. Perfume is a journey. There are a few more linear smelling scents in our catalog, which are scents that do not morph tremendously from start to finish, but many of the perfumes do evolve and quality perfumes take time to do so. Smelling a perfume from the bottle does not give an accurate depiction of the true aroma.

3. Never judge an alcohol based perfume out of the bottle. Some of our 1 ml samples and 5 ml bottles in our catalog that are alcohol based. If you smell the perfume directly from the bottle, the alcohol is strong and it will feel like you're burning your nose. You won't be able to smell the scent well through the alcohol. Apply a bit to your skin and allow a minute for the alcohol to fully evaporate.

4. Resting your perfumes after they arrive: Perfumes may suffer from "mail shock" when you receive them. This phenomenon occurs mostly during very hot and cold weather where the perfume may be warm or cold for several days in transit. This can temporarily affect the scent. If you allow your perfumes to rest in your house for at least 24 to 48 hours, they will become stable and truly reveal themselves. We highly encourage you to revisit any perfumes you didn't immediately love directly out of the mailbox after a few weeks.

5. The skin chemistry phenomenon: Skin chemistry is something that is unique to all of us. It can be affected by the medication, supplements or food you consume, hormonal fluctuations and other topical skin care products you use. We recommend sampling perfumes over a period of a few weeks.

6. How to open, shelf life and proper storage: Each 1 ml sample contains enough perfume for several wears. Apply a small amount to skin and very gently rub in. Apply more as necessary to achieve your desired scent strength. Start modestly so you can add more if you prefer. To open the 1 ml sample vials, gently wiggle the black cap from side to side while holding the glass vial firmly in your hand. Store your perfumes in a cool, dry location away from sunlight with the lids tightly on. Oxygen exposure can cause perfume oils to oxidize and over time they can "turn" or go "off" meaning that they could take on a rancid smell. 

7. Shelf life/PAO: Our perfume oils will stay good for several years when stored properly. Many of our oil based perfumes will last up to 5 years and possibly longer. The alcohol based perfumes may last for many years, though alcohol is volatile and you will lose some of the perfume over the years due to evaporation.

For external use only. Alcohol based perfumes are flammable. Store in a cool dark place away from sunlight, heat and flame. Do not apply to broken skin. In order to prevent skin sensitization, avoid application directly after a hot shower or bath. Discontinue use if irritation occurs. May contain natural components that are contraindicated for pregnancy/nursing. See individual product listing on website for more details and warnings. May contain: hay, chamomile, citrus oils, spice oils, seaweed, sunflower and/or nut oils. May stain clothes or light colored surfaces. Keep away from children and pets. See Disclaimer page prior to use.
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