Originally Posted by Gabe
When I really love a fragrance, especially one that is hard to find, I feel the need to have multiple bottles of it due to the fact that I wear these fragrances very often and just in case they get discontinued in the future (I know, I'm slightly paranoid about it).
As the daughter of a hoarder, this does worry me, and I would suggest that you start taking some actions to alter this situation. Not huge, life-changing actions, just small actions to reduce the odds of happiness-limiting issues in the future.
Hoarding is, in very large part, driven by an intolerance of risk. The risk that you'll run out, the risk that you'll want whatever the thing is, the risk that you'll wish you bought it, the risk that you'll be sorry you got rid of it, risk risk risk.
But life is full of risk. If you had a hundred bottles of a fragrance, you'd still have the risk that they'd go bad, the risk that they'd be stolen. You could do something about those risks, and then you'd think of more risks, and you'd feel driven to do something about them.
The risk in this case is trivial - what will really happen to you if you can't smell a favorite fragrance, even if you can never smell it again? You won't starve, get fired, or die. You'll feel dismayed. You'll have a moment, or several moments, of anger or dismay. Now and then, you might feel a pang as you remember that fragrance. But you'll be OK.
You're driven to reduce that relatively minor risk. I think that you should resist that drive.
It's the process of acting to reduce relatively minor risks that is, in my eyes, dangerous. Because when you keep on acting to reduce those risks, you're soothing your mind, convincing it more and more that it can't tolerate risks, making it less and less tolerant of risks. By wrapping yourself in safegurds to ensure that you'll never experience that "Fragrance X is gone forever!" moment, you convince your brain that that moment is something to fear. And that drives it to seek to eliminate more and more unlikely risks.
The danger here is the slippery slope, the growth of the habit. So I'd suggest that you consciously, deliberately, accept some risk, that you put firm boundaries on your risk-reducing habits. For example, let's say that you'll allow yourself to have one (extra) bottle each of your five favorite fragrances, and that will be it for backup bottles. If you pick a new favorite, then the spare of one of the old five get sold away. Now, it doesn't have to be one bottle and five, but it should be a limit, a limit that you feel.
What if you discover that you chose the wrong five and you're sorry as you get to the last half of another bottle? That's the point - experiencing that risk is the point. It's a tolerable risk. You still have the original bottle, and when it gets down to, say, one-third full, you can use that fragrance less often. The risk is small. And because it's so small, it's not a good idea to work too hard to soothe it away.
Mom got to the point in her life where she could not bear any risk, and that intolerance narrowed her life to a smaller, and smaller, and smaller circle - while her house filled up and became more and more a place that welcomed no one but her. I'm not saying that you're going to end up on an episode of Hoarders when you're forty, but I am saying that it's just not good to feed an intolerance for the small risks of life.
Edited to add: I feel that I wasn't clear enough about one element of this that is, to me, important. Up to a certain insane number of bottles, the first bottle of a new fragrance increases your joy in life. It's driven by eagerness for an experience, pleasure in your collection - joy. But the _backup_ bottle of a fragrance is, IMO, driven by fear. I'm in favor of joy, as long as it's not financially or otherwise destructive. Catering to fear is what I'm trying to persuade you away from.