So I wrote to the swapper, thanking her for her interest and explaining that she appeared only to have a few items available, none of which I fancied. Okay, so what I actually didn't fancy was another blind buy (or rather swap), but it amounted to the same thing. I didn't wish to trade.
On Boxing Day I received a reply. In the act of backing down, the swapper may have been having a final go at persuading me: "okay well just thought that chopard fragance would be equal to a valentino :-)"
To which I replied, with a smiley of my own to keep the tone light: "I'd say it would be equivalent, but as I am sure you'll agree, there's no point in swapping for something you don't want. : - ) "
Over the holidays, I have been pondering the significance of the swapper's remark. Is there in fact a philanthropic aspect to swapping that has passed me by, one that goes beyond the RAOK involved in tossing a few extra wishlist samples into a package? Namely that if you don't like something, you should exchange it anyway for something else you (probably) won't like either, knowing that the other party will at least be happy with the bottle they receive?
Ah, but there's the postage costs, and the bother of parcelling the thing up and taking it to the post office... Sorry chaps, but in my book, when it comes to full bottles rather than samples - at Christmas or at any other time of the year - it isn't better to give than to receive.