As is true for many perfume lovers, I have too many fragrance samples. They line my purse, spill out of bowls on my dresser, and sometimes accidentally end up as cat toys. As I’m looking for paper clips, I find them rolling in my desk drawer at work. Oh, I know it’s a good problem to have, but surely there must be something better to do with the samples I don’t intend to keep for reference.
Over the years, I’ve come up with a few uses for perfume samples. I hope you’ll add your own to the list.
In the dryer: You can make your own dryer sheets by moistening a handkerchief and dumping the contents of a perfume sample on it. Toss it in the dryer with your wet laundry. It really works!
Scenting handwash: I like to add a vial of perfume to the water I use to rinse my lingerie when I’m washing it by hand. First I wash the lingerie in soap and water, and after it has soaked, I rinse it once then return it to the sink with the contents of a sample vial. (This is how I used the rest of my L’Artisan Parfumeur Amour Nocturne — delicious.)
Cat litter freshener: Dump a vial in a clean litterbox of unscented litter and stir it around. (Works best with citrus and clean musk scents. Can be kind of disgusting otherwise.)
Room deodorizer: A reader suggested this tip several years ago. Put a few tablespoons of uncooked rice in a dish and stir a sample vial into it. The fragrance burns off within a few days, but it’s nice while it lasts.
Freshening coats: Lately I’ve kept my coat closet fragrant with a barely opened pouch of pipe tobacco tucked among the hats and scarves, but I used to dab cotton balls with perfume and put them in coat pockets over the summer to counteract that musty smell that comes from wool that's been wet.
In the bath: I keep the glass from a used Cire Trudon candle near the bathtub, and I put samples I liked but didn’t love in it to dump in the tub while the water runs. A sample vial generally does a pretty good job scenting a tub of water without being overwhelming.
Of course, the samples I love I hoard until I’ve extracted every last whiff from them. Then they go on my “to buy” list. The samples I'm not crazy about I generally throw away (although I still haven't been able to get rid of the sample Kevin sent to me with the note "smells like a skunk eating a donut").
What do you do with perfume samples? I know I'm not the only one looking for a few good ideas.