Fragrances collecting is a hobby that becomes costly quickly. Designer scents rarely retail below $75 USD and niche perfumeries may charge into the thousand dollar range. As a consumer myself, I find it difficult to keep up financially with my hobby when it pertains to buying full-size bottles.
Many brands come to fruition with the sole purpose of cloning high-end fragrances and some are met with the praise of being “99% the same” or “dead on once you get past the dry down.”
Some may debate the morality of cloning scents and if you are one of those individuals, you probably don’t own a Dua or Armaf fragrance. Both of those brands create some spectacular clones of popular scents such as Creed Silver Mountain Water and Baccarat Rouge 540.
So if you can’t afford a full-size bottle and don’t like or condone clones, where do you go?
Your first step should be purchasing a decant!
A decant is a small plastic or glass vile that contains a fragrance. Decants may be used for travel, topping up on the current scent you’re wearing or kept in the car in case you forget altogether.
For members of the fragrance community, decants have served as a cost-effective way of owning high-end fragrances. Blind buying or simply purchasing an expensive fragrance may not be in your repertoire. Instead, decants can give you a taste of the real thing without splurging your hard-earned cash. Say you’re looking to purchase Parfum De Marly Herod.
A full-sized 125ml bottle of Herod retails around $320 USD. If you calculate the price per ml, the cost is $2.56/ml. But, your friendly neighbourhood Facebook friend offers you a 5ml decant for $13.50 USD. The decant itself was $12 USD, giving you a price per ml ratio of $2.4/ml!
This method allows consumers to score scents at the market or below market value per ml. As well, the size of the decant tends to be limited meaning if you don’t like the scent, you may sell it to someone who is looking to try the scent out or simply get rid of it. After all, you committed to a fraction of a bottle for a fraction of the price.
Convinced? Okay good. Your next question may be where can you get decants?
The best way to purchase decants is through Facebook groups and other forums. Retail stores sell branded 10ml samples and even discovery kits but I wouldn’t recommend going that route. Unless you are in love with the brand’s bottle design and want a product that is directly from the manufacturer, decants are the way to go as they are far more cost-effective.
Facebook groups tend to be filled with individuals who have collections that resemble department stores. The odds of you creating a post searching for a certain fragrance and a fellow fragrance lover not having it is slim to none.
Finally and arguably the best aspect of forums is your ability to join groups that are customized to your liking. Some are created in order to focus on fragrance lovers in certain countries whilst others are established for lovers of a certain note. There truly is a forum for everyone.
At this point in the journey, you’ve found your forum and the fragrance you wish to decant. The transaction has gone smoothly and you’re eagerly waiting for your shipment to come. You spray the bottle and wow it’s good.
The final thing you probably do is place the decant along with the other bottles in your collection. But, decants are a tad more finicky than the full-size bottles in your collection. They are sometimes prone to leaking if air enters the vile or simply spilling out.
A few good tips are to make sure your purchasing glass decants, apply plumbers tape around the seal and keep the decant upright in a cool environment. In comparison, a glass decant will evaporate much slower if at all when compared to a plastic decant. This topic is subjective as people swear by using either or. Personally, glass decants have been friendlier when it comes to evaporation.
Secondly, using plumbers tape around the seal of the atomizer will help negate any entrance of air within the decant. Be sure to wrap the tape clockwise as it will tighten the seal as the tape clings around the atomizer.
Finally, keeping the decant upright will make it impossible for the fragrance to seep out through the atomizer. Along with storing the vile in a cool room, you have all of the tips to making your decant stand the test of time.