You wouldn’t believe the paper work, documentation and customs forms that are needed to get a few bottles of stuff from suppliers outside of the EU.
On the left is the final FedEx document I had to sign for — after paying €40 that is — to get my little box of goodies. Before that I had to fill out 5 pages of forms for the customs clearance agent (read: middle man) to send it to another government department in order for it to be declared as safe — this after sending them €40 for their service.
On the right is the prize: Copaiba Balsam, Black Spruce Absolute, Agarwood Attar, Frangipani Absolute, Pink Lotus Absolute, Bergamot Mint and — drum roll please — some 5 year old Patchouli!
It was Black Spruce Absolute that drove me to purchase the bunch. My olfactive exchange partner shared a sample with me and I literally went bonkers because the scent haunted me for days! It was nothing less than mesmerising and I knew that before I hunkered down over trial vials and test formulations in the coming fall and winter months I wanted Black Spruce with me — need it — as material I know in my bones will be an important element in my final perfume project.
So I guess in the end the answer is just like any other experience, it’s worth what you’re willing to pay for it.
I literally went to bed with the scents in my head and their memories were like a lullaby.
Yes, definitely worth it.