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Earlier this year, I was at my friend’s house where I learned a very valuable life lesson. They told me that whenever they run out of perfume, they just go to Sephora and get a bunch of samples before they buy anything new. Genius, right?

I always knew I could go there and spray the fragrances on the little white stick, but that doesn’t give you the true experience of wearing a smell for the whole day. You need to test drive fragrances to make sure you can handle them. Sure, it may smell great in the store on the little white stick, but will it give you a migraine after 2 hours, or will the smell blend in with the other smells of the world and not bother you. So, many questions can be answered, just by taking a few samples home.

When you first arrive at Sephora, don’t lie and say, “I’m looking for a brand new fragrance in my life,” because you will be thrown into a B.S. quiz filled with nonsense questions that will recommend smells based on: What side of the bed do you wake up on? What is your typical day? Who’s your favorite Beach Boy? (It’s like a IRL Buzzfeed quiz. You know it doesn’t mean anything, but you do it anyway).

I took this crappy quiz and learned nothing. Then I talked to the ‘fragrance specialist’ and she asked me a bunch of stupid questions, like: What’s your favorite day of the week? What kind of cereal do you hate? If you had to live on a planet, other than Earth, which planet would it be? I told her my answers: Thursday, Raisin Bran, Neptune, which didn’t seem to help at all.

Next, I found a familiar bottle of cologne which I’d had some time ago. I told her, “I use to have this one, and I liked the smell of it.” She proceeded to fill a sample of that and a few others that smelled quite like it. I brought home three small samples, all with the word ‘Blue’ in the names. I guess my favorite color’s smell is blue.

This happened a few months ago and I still have all three samples, and they are all pretty full. I don’t think I am looking to buy a new cologne, at all. I think I found my new system of having a collection of colognes from now until the end of time. I will just keep using samples and going to Sephora, every time I run out. (There are tons of Sephoras in Miami, they will never catch me!) And, it’s much easier than choosing just one smell to buy.

You all should do the same. Don’t waste money buying expensive smells from Sephora and department stores, or if you’re in Miami, there’s a place on Burt’s Road that sells them for way cheaper.

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