Background The contact allergy prevalences in patch-tested patients are usually higher than those in the population, owing to morbidity-driven selection. Objectives To examine the differences between two samples, one from the population, one from the patch test clinic, in one area of Germany (Jena, Thuringia). Methods Between August 2008 and October 2011, a total of 519 participants of the population-based european dermato-epidemiology network (EDEN) fragrance study were patch tested in Jena using a TRUE Test baseline series extended with some pet.-based (fragrance) allergen preparations. Between 2007 and 2012 (inclusive), 1906 routine patients were patch tested for suspected allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) in the Jena University Hospital Department; of these 1694 (83.2%) with the German baseline series using pet./aq.-based, investigator-loaded allergens. Results In the population (clinical) sample, 19.6% (41.1%) were sensitized to at least one of the allergens considered. The most common baseline series allergens in the population/clinical sample were nickel (10.5%/13.2%), fragrance mix (FM) II (2.9%/6.7%), FM I (2.3%/8.3%), and cobalt (1.6%/5%). The clinical sample was slightly older (71.5% vs 55.9% age 40+) and included less males (36% vs 49.3%). Conclusions Results are quite similar, although prevalences are usually higher in the clinical setting, with the exception of p-tert-butylphenol formaldehyde resin.