Bottle Splits: The five W’s and Mrs. Howe

Most of these are from bottle splits: 5-10mL is the right amount of almost anything!

When you want a bottle of perfume that costs more than you’re willing to fork out,
When your perfume storage system is over-flowing (and you’re not ready to purchase new furniture),
When you want to sample something, but need more than the standard 1mL,
When you’re unsure if you want a full-bottle,
When your budget restricts you (and it’s not your birthday or christmas),

You may want to participate in a bottle-split.

There are many different options for acquiring decants: The Posh Peasant and The Perfumed Court are great (and reputable) sources for by-the-milliliter sales of fragrance, but a bottle-split is a different beast. A bottle-split is a group of people (two or more, obviously) who pool their funds, purchase a bottle, and split it between them. The host (usually) keeps the bottle, the the rest of the group pays cost-per-mil plus the cost of the atomizer and shipping. It’s a pretty great thing, considering that you’re paying cost—not retail. I got in on a split group about a year ago, and it’s saved me many dollars, and bolstered my collection without overflowing my cabinet.

Ok, my cabinet is over-flowing, but less so than it might be if it weren’t for splits.

There are groups open to anyone, groups that require referral, and of course, splits that are organized between friends. It’s a win-win, no matter how you approach it!

Here are some helpful resources:

Robin of Now Smell This offers a Perfumista Tip: How to do a bottle split,

A new split blog, run by Jasmine (aka, black kitty) “Fragrance Fiends” which is open to anyone who wants to participate in cost-per-mL bottle splits (this is a host I trust),

Scent Splits Wiki, a reputable resource for bottle splits—costs may vary according to host.


39 thoughts on “Bottle Splits: The five W’s and Mrs. Howe

  1. So far I participated in one (well, I’m still in process) but I plan to do it in future. For many perfumes I do not care for a bottle, I just want perfumes themselves.

    1. 99% of the time Undina, I don’t give a hoot about the bottle either—and splits are such a good way to save money!

      You’re on the Jeux de Peau split that I’m in on, aren’t you?! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve never tried this, as it looks kinda complicated financially, especially with Paypal fees and stuff. But thanks for the info!

    Love those Guerlain boxes. So 1960s in style, or so it always seems to me. The brown/gold ones you get now are so dull.

    1. It seems daunting, the first time around, but at this point it’s just as easy to me as shopping at Luckyscent!

      I love what’s inside those Guerlain boxes πŸ˜‰ There aren’t many things I keep inside the box, inside the cabinet, but those are precious! I have a blue/gold box of Shalimar extrait as well, but it is also quite dull 😦

  3. Haha.. wait til you see my collection… it is really getting quite out of hand =P Do I see my bottles in your collection? =P

    1. Hi Monica!
      You do see your bottles, LOL, probably at least four! And I would LOVE to see your collection… you always host the best ‘fumes, I cannot even imagine how you are storing all your treasures πŸ™‚

      [Everyone, Monica: the hostess with the mostess!]

    2. aww thanks Dee =) My collections of decants are mostly in boxes that slide out.. for a while I attempted to sort them according to shape of the bottle, sprayer/roll-on/pour style bottles, and then by alphabetical order but ever since scent splits happened I now have several boxes of splits I’ve bought that have yet to be added to the group…. doh

      1. I keep posting everywhere (well, hopefully, when it’s appropriate) about the smaller size bottles. I think 15 ml makes the most sense. But 10 is a good number as well! πŸ™‚

  4. I am with Angie. I would love a small size, but I cannot get over the fact of losing the bottle. Call me shallow, but I want the bottle…
    I am still checking out your links though. πŸ™‚

    1. You could host! You practically host already, you’d just actually take payment for the perfume you send all over the world πŸ˜‰

      It’s much easier to justify, say, a bottle of Lyric, if you know you’re going to decant 20-30mL and get PAID for it! Plus, bottle splits don’t count as bottles…


  5. Thanks for the tips and links Dee. I ‘ve never participated in a bottle split but am very interested so this post was really helpful.

    Nice collection!

    1. Tara, it’s kind of a scary leap—I started with swapping, but had seriously mixed results, and so sought out splits. These have worked really well for me.

      Finding a good host, aka, someone who you know or has a good reputation, is probably the most important part. Some of these juices are a lot of dollars per mL.

      There are probably four hosts that I’ve worked with multiple times (Monica above is one of them), and it really is only confusing and stressful the first time πŸ˜‰

  6. Dee, Good post! I agree that every perfume manufacturer should offer a 10 ml size. However, I’ve found that nice 10 ml bottles are really hard to find, so have settled on 5 and 15 ml sizes for my perfumes.

    The traditional Arabic perfume makers have it right, selling by the tola (12 ml) or fraction thereof.

    I don’t like swapping, either. However, I’ve bought lots of decants, including those from the “split” sites. I have yet to host a split, though. It seems that not many people are interested in splitting things that I would want to buy.

    1. Thank you Ellen! I think that 5mL and 15mL are very acceptable alternatives, and I’m sure your other fans would agree too πŸ™‚ The fact that you offer so many options shows that you know and cater to the people who are buying your perfumes, which is SMART—as far as I’m concerned! πŸ™‚

      (BTW, I need to make my way over and see what’s languishing in my OO shopping cart!!!)

      I have an arabian attar oil in a 3mL roll-on, which has lasted me over a year so far. It’s potent stuff, and I cannot see the need for a larger bottle of it!

      Splits really can be great; if no one is splitting something you want, you could host —you’ve certainly got bottles handy! LOL πŸ™‚

  7. With bated breath and a certain – surely unjustified – sense of, well, doom (I read Robin’s post! πŸ˜‰ ), I’m about to host my own first-ever split – for, yupp, you guessed it – one of those dangerous Guerlains…I tried to stay away. It’s all B’s fault anyway…she should never have introduced me to…Spiritueuse Double Vanille…I hear it’s banned by Weight Watchers, but it’s all the dessert – and with twice the guilt! πŸ˜€ And no calories, even!

    Should that ever get too nervewracking, I can’t thank you enough for the links. I could not believe the treasures I found…and foresee a vintage Dioressence (and maybe just a teesy-tinsy amount of Ubar wouldn’t kill me..yet)in my immediate future! Because, as we all know and would surely attest…samples and bottle splits don’t count! Right?

    Right??? πŸ˜‰

  8. I’ve taken part in many (too many!) splits and even hosted a few. It is the only way I can afford most high-end and niche perfumes. It’s easy to go a bit overboard – buying unsniffed since it’s only $10 or $20 doesn’t seem so crazy! And I’ve now limited myslef to splits only unless something is seriously cheap (under $25).

    1. And of course, the size is the biggest attraction! I am a light spritzer and could never use up full size bottles of anything.

      And Monica has been the host of many of the splits I’ve taken part in – hi there! Can’t wait to get my Gaiac 10!

    2. Julie, what you say is totally true:

      “It is the only way I can afford most high-end and niche perfumes.”

      I love that there is basically NOTHING out there that we cannot have (or at least try), if we’re willing to go in on it as a group; for what ever reason, this cheers me to no end! Even Amouage is affordable when you think of it in 5mL chunks!


  9. Dee, I wanted to add that I applaud your decision to write that post. I’m surprised by how many people didn’t know about splits! For me it was out there all the time I just wasn’t ready to participate (until your passive enabling πŸ˜‰ ) so I assumed everybody knew it as well. Good job for public good!


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