Smelling strips come in an array of shapes, sizes, and qualities, and whether you are studying raw materials, learning perfumery, or evaluating fragrances for your own use, the type of mouillette you need will likely be different from those branded blotters commonly found at department store perfume counters. The latter are great marketing tools, but the longer, thinner strips used by perfumers have advantages for those with a real passion for perfume testing. Three types on the market are distinguishable.
Tapered or pointed-end strips are great for dipping into bottles with narrow necks, and perfumers do work directly with the liquids after all; they don’t spray the juice when combining absolutes and oils. If all you plan to do is get a whiff of scents that have already been created, this may not be a priority for you, however.
Square-end strips, although not great for dipping, can be easily branded and are often sold in tear-out booklets.
Paddle-end strips have a wide surface area, better for spraying from an atomizer, and also a narrow end for dipping. Having a wider end on any strip is perfect for writing notes on, such as the name and dipping time or time to smell (more on that later).