I Smell. . . Evolution

Thanks to the generosity of other fragrance fanatics, the number of samples I have awaiting my sampling has grown. A lot. This post is just to kind of chronicle how my sample racks have changed. I have no doubt that other ideas could supercede even my current ones, but for now, this is my sample rack history.

My very first sample rack was a little jewelry box. I don't have a picture of it. It got full. Some samples didn't fit in it well. And they didn't stand upright, which meant, before I opened them, I had to shake stuff down to keep it from oozing out when I opened the vials.

The second kind of sample racks I used were made from an empty Puffs tissue box. I cut out the ends and punched holes in them with pencils. For larger sample vials, I used a Sharpie marker to enlarge the holes. That tissue box gave me two nice-sized sample racks. I still use the one with bigger holes, but the one shown below is no longer in use (as of today).

A Puffs tissue box
(Click on the image to enlarge.)​

My next sample rack came from an idea I had after I passed my test for my CCW license. 50 rounds of ammo gave me this nice sample rack. It was perfect for thin, skinny sample vials.

A .380 ammo rack
(Click on the image to enlarge.)​

But not so good for larger diameter vials. Shortly after starting to use that ammo rack, my husband and I ripped out a window that needed replacing, and I had some leftover exterior window trim. Rather than throwing it into the dumpster, I used a 1/2-inch bit I had bought to install a trailer hitch, and drilled a few holes into it. It held larger sample vials well, but. . . I dunno. Aesthetically, it could use some work.

Exterior window trim
(Click on the image to enlarge.)​

Then, 30_Roses posted a thread about making sample racks with polypropylene pellets! Wow! What an idea! Unfortunately, the nearest store that sells poly-pellets is about 30 minutes drive away. So, it wasn't until yesterday that we were able to go to town and purchase some. We found them at a hobby store, where they had them stocked in the "Doll-Making" section and labeled as "bean bag filler."

Bean bag filler
(Click on the image to enlarge.)

A 5x8 index card box
(Click on the image to enlarge.)​

The nice thing about the poly-pellet "rack" is that it fits all sorts of sizes of samples -- evenly oddly-shaped ones, like this Man.Aubusson sample. (It's actually a normal 1 ml glass vial, inside of a plastic holder, but I can't seem to get the vial out of the holder!)

(Click on the image to enlarge.)​

I'm curious to know what other people have done to store their samples.

Blog Comments

Redneck Perfumisto

League of Cycloöctadiene Isomer Aestheticists
Basenotes Plus
Feb 27, 2008
I've been following this evolution on the boards, but I wasn't really satisfied until I saw the poly-pellets. I'm not using anything special now (just some sample trays, packed tightly with the vials standing up), but I plan to do something with the pellets soon. It looks really good, and everybody is reporting good results. Can't beat that!


Well-known member
Sep 2, 2006
Yeah, I still have my poly-pellet fragrance chest. It was the final solution, although I also have the sounding board of my piano in my office, that I saved because I thought I could make it into a sample vial shelf. OH MY GOD, I'm such a hoarder.

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