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  1. #1

    Default Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Addicted - When is it simply too much?
    by Marlen Harrison

    I keep my fragrance collection in a wire shelving system, well, two actually, oh, and then there is the plastic storage box of decants (and the two huge glass bowls of samples) in the guest room next to my bedroom. The rooms were separated by sliding wooden doors until recently when I removed the doors to make two rooms into one. Now I can view La Collection by just a simple turn of the head. From my bed I can wake up to images of brightly colored bottles of Rectoverso and Castelbajac and sometimes I awake with the urge to run over - well, I don't actually have to run - and spray something on. Of course, if I do, I know I'm pretty much bound to that scent for at least 3-6 hours unless I decide to shower - did I mention the second fragrance collection in the bathroom? - and then it's a decision of which bar of soap or which shower gel to use, and the most important question, "Will the scent of my facial scrub clash with my choice of body cleanser?"

    Read the rest of the article here:

    http://www.basenotes.net/columnists/marlen/sep05.htm


  2. #2

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Marlen, I hope that I am not in your boat when it comes time for me to move, as I will have 830 bottles to pack or just discard. I have no decants, vials or samples, just 830 large bottles. I am over the top, and like you, search the net most every day looking for new launches, and then realizing so many of them never make it to the States, and that is probably a good thing.

    And so I am done collecting, enough is enough.


    Take care of those fragrances. I too appreciate just smelling nice, and by the way, I read your review of Mat Very Male. I tried it yesterday and agree with you. I'll buy it before the end oif the month I am sure. Ok, maybe enough is not enough.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Marlen,
    I moved 2 years ago and faced the same dilema as you. It is a shame that I didn't know about this forum then because I could have sent out many "care packages" instead of doing what I did which was toss over 150 bottles of fragrance. I had gone overboard and was facing that fact head on.
    Some were easy to toss: Minataure, Envy, Opium for men....others now enter into that "What the heck was I thinking" category. Why oh why did I toss my nearly full Signoricci??
    Anyway good luck and just remember to pack those you do take with care. I had one casualty during the move and that was my Creed GIT, luckily something easily replaced.
    Hey the good news is you end up with a collection that is way more personal to you!
    "Ca sent les pieds!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Sounds like a beautiful collection! Wow, I am truly fascinated by all sorts of collecting behaviour (well, almost...); the knowledge, the dedication... Sure, some aspects of it can be veeeery anoying too - I have lived together with a very dedicated collector of vinyl jazz rarities, and I have experienced some of the downsides, but I still see the beauty. And I am a collector myself, not of fragrances though (but i might become one after spending some time here...I feel that things are happening to me...already...)but of some journals and magazines from the 60´s and of certain editions of books. So, I know that part of it (and quite a big part of it) is about wanting more and wanting to own. But luckily there are other aspects of it, like the ones of self education, all the stories behind the items collected; the immaterial goods that follow. AND - very good to focus on in situations like those - the almost masochistic pleasures of decreasing, to keep the collection small and accurate (and these values are of course dependent of personal notions) To put it metaphorically, and probably with a thouch of "swenglish"; It´s the painful pleasure of the gardner trimming his precious exotic trees in fall, first removing all the dead branches, and then moving on to the fresh ones still carrying a few green leaves, leaving only a few promising ones. Maybe I´ve just made this one up to fool myself, but it works.... at least sometimes. *[smiley=undecided.gif].

    Cucumber scented candle sounds nice, by the way! Right now I am a little tired of that all candles smell either oriental or very synthetically candy-like.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Osaka,
    I have stayed there for one night and it is an unusual place
    First of all the grey in the airport I thought could this be the new black ????? maybe not
    Very mininalist and after using the payphone a liquid crystal lady with a hat is saying thank you with a head gesture.
    This is where taxi drivers wear white gloves and a trip is very expensive at least 2 bottles of creed return from the airport no joKe !!!
    If your not known by the barperson you might wait a bit longer japanese first I am afraid.
    The technology is OTT back in UK with my new Nokia that looked like a TRex

    Interesting place it is !!!


    LAURENT
    Invisible Power

  6. #6

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Dear Marle;

    Before you leave Japan, you might like to try a cologne called "Fleur de Kinmokusei". It's a natural cologne made of "kinmokusei" (which is a Japanese fragrant olive). I believe you've seen kinmokusei trees with orange-colored blossoms in Japan, it smells just wonderful. I was waiting for someone to make a cologne out of kinmokusei, and finally this cologne (well, kind of like a herb water) came out from a Japanese company called Palmtree (which also produces cheap colognes like Pasha! and Shupa!). It's only available in Japan, and I just wonder if you might be interested...

    VV

  7. #7

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you SO MUCH for all the wonderful comments! It's a true joy to combine two guilty pleasures: fragrance and writing about my cognitive processes...LOL!

    It is SOOOOO difficult to both a) choose what to bring home, and b) stop myself from buying more before I do!

    VV - it's really funny you mention Kimokusei - I LOVE that flower and will definitely look for a bottle of that perfume, one for you and one for me! I sprayed on Rosine's Un Zest d'Ete and my roommate thought it smelled a lot like Kimokusei - this was this morning, so how funny that you should mention it!

    Laurent - that's great that you got a chance to visit Osaka. Did you get into the city at all? It is an interesting airport, and did you know that it is SINKING? Hah! It's true! I'll be there Sunday actually as I'm off to Hong Kong!

    Vinterdroppe - Check out Illume on the internet or Ebay - they do a wonderful range of scents and the cucumber is very green and dewy, one of my favorites...another favorite is Henri Bendel's Orange Flower!

    Loungeboy - You got rid of the Signoricci? What were you thinking? LOL! I got rid of my Signoricci when I moved TO Japan and missed it terribly, so now its back in La Collection! I keep my Gobin Daude's, Chanels, Lutens, etc on the top shelf - this is the shelf for things that I am definitely keeping, then there is the shelf for things that are definitely being swapped...blah blah blah...it's so friggin hard to do this!

    Need - SO you're going for the MVM, huh? It's such a great scent for fall, but don;t expect it to last too long! Make a decant to carry in your bag with you!

    marlen

  8. #8

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Samples are enough for me:-) I don't need another bottle unless it is for collecting, like special LEs. Or if I could buy it haf price, hihi:-))

    Congrat on the column, Scenteur. I didn't now you are one of Now Smell This. Marvelous blog. Do you know you are on NYTimes and IHT?
    http://blogsorbeta.blox.pl: CdG Series 8 Energy
    (Oct. 3rd).

  9. #9

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Bro, I would say you have gone too far if you cannot pay your bills and are in debt. If not scent on.

    I am new to scents what does "Decant" mean?

    Steven Hamric

  10. #10

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Hello my darling Marls! Of course you have too much! Of course you can pare down without feeling the pain! And once you do it, please, please, please tell me your secrets! Maybe I need to move to Japan????

    I have found myself reaching for the same things over and over again which leads me to the inevitable conclusion that, apart from some beloved fragrances I probably don't use much, I could probably get rid of the 3 boxes of bottles and decants and at least half the stuff now taking up intolerable space on my dresser top. I think that curiosity, more than anything else, drove me to acquire and swap and do what you've done, but that curiosity has long been satisfied, and I'm happy just to smell good and use my reliable stand-bys.

    Ah, the torture of it.

    Anyway, love ya and keep me posted re: the move!

    xxxooo
    ilysa

  11. #11

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    ILYSA! Hello sweetie! Good to hear from you! One of the secrets is this:

    I swap bottles from Japan to locations around the world, BUT I have my fellow swappers send their ends to my family's home in Florida. So I'm not really paring down as much as I'm exchanging the collection.

    My family jokes that they acan now open their own fragrance store out of their guest room! LOL!

    BEBOB - I only spend money to buy fragrance if it is already in my paypal account! I am very cautious about how much I spend! A decant is a small amount of fragrance, easier to carry with you throughout the day than a whole bottle...for example, "I decanted 5ml of Signoricci into a small atomizer (spray)."

    NQTH - one thing that has helped me is that I've stopped COLLECTING. If I'm not gonna wear it, I'm not gonna buy it...though I was very tempted by a large estate lot on Ebay last week, many of whcih were NIB parfums...really had to restrain myself there!

    marlen

  12. #12

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Hi Marlen;

    Kinmokusei (Fragrant Olive) and Jinchoge (Winter Daphne) are the two very fragrant blossoms I truely miss (I'm oroginally from Saitama, Japan). We may have something equivalent even here in US, but probably, they smell different. Let me know how you like Fleurs de Kinmokusei. And have a safe trip to Hong Kong!

    VV (T.O.)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    I mean collecting a scent that I'd wear, too.

    I've got few very small samples lately and I have realized I use them all the time mostly. And they are still THERE. I normally finish a 50 ml bottle in an year:-)) So if I buy a bottle, I know I will never use it up - even when I often make sample vials to friends.
    http://blogsorbeta.blox.pl: CdG Series 8 Energy
    (Oct. 3rd).

  14. #14
    francois
    Guest

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Nice thread, but what about moving it to the Ernie Gallo's Fragrance Abuse Clinic?

    Regards,
    François

  15. #15

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Great column, Marlen!

    (did I just hear Robert Palmer in the background?)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    VV - At $40 a bottle, I think I need to sniff this one first, so now the quest begins! LOL!

    FRANCOIS - You're right about that! This topic stirs up the addicts in us!

    MARCELLO - Which RP song are u referring to? Haven't listened to him in ages! Ah, nostalgia!

    marlen

  17. #17

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    First off, great job, Marlen! Now I know what it means to have the same addiction, only 100 times more prevalent than mine.

    Well, I sometimes think that a few are enough, as I'm beginning to pare down my fragrance collection.

    I've divided my smellies into three categories. Some smells will never leave my collection (Mugler Cologne, SMW, B*Men). I like to wear every once in a while some good, specialized scents (M7, Habit Rouge, Azzaro Visit, Live Jazz). And finally, there is the "What was I thinking?" set (Acqua di Gio, Guerlain Vetiver, Le Male-all those were sold).

    On occasion, one person can change my attitude of a particular fragrance forever. This was the case with L'Instant PH, where I loved it at first, but, then I met some guy on campus who literally bathed in the stuff daily. So, off to Marlen it went.

    I also try to sample carefully nowadays. I tried Eau Sauvage at Saks in Indy last weekend, and while I LOVED the smell, it didn't last any longer than 3 hours on me. The opposite happened for Kouros: smelled bad, but lasted forever.

    I'm not buying any more smellies at this moment, as I don't want to flood my tiny dorm room with 100, 50, or even 25 bottles/decants. But, that Bois du Portugal I sampled at that same Saks two weeks ago sure is calling me...
    Top 5 for Winter:
    1) Straight to Heaven - By Kilian
    2) Back to Black - By Kilian
    3) Musk Oud - By Kilian
    4) Encre Noire - Lalique
    5)
    M7 (vintage or Oud Absolu) - YSL
    My mission statement: "I am not afraid to keep on living - I am not afraid to walk this world alone."

  18. #18

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Thanks, buddy! I think that L'Instant is gonna be a gift to a friend of mine, but we'll see! What really got me cemented into the whole fragrance addiction was working in the industry during my early 20's. I came home with free stuff on a daily basis, testers, samples, promotions, etc...my collection grew and grew! Then the swapping phenomenon started and that was it...no more 50 bottle collection...say hello to triple digits!

    What I'm currently concluding is that a decant IS enough generally. My God, imagine if I actually FINISHED a bottle of anything that I have! The only things I finish are samples! LOL!

    marlen

  19. #19

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Marlen, I was zapping away Cocktail (Tom Cruise) when I read your post...

    #Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah#
    #It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough#
    #You know_you're gonna have to face it_you're addicted to love#


  20. #20

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Whoa man...that is a LOT of cologne. I'm not sure if i will EVER in my lifetime own that much. Not the least of which is because it is so damn expensive back where i'm from. Anyway, if there is a time when you decide to dump em in the trash, or something as unthinkable, do let us know. I'm sure you could carry money far more easily than your stock of perfumes, and i'd be willing to part with $ for good stuff.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Leave the clothes Marlen, TAKE ALL THE FRAGS WITH YOU!!! Scent triggers memories, emotions, and sentiment, I wouldn't leave that behind...

    You got 7 months...start sending 'em home, lot by lot!!!! [smiley=laugh.gif]
    *********************



    Close your eyes, so you can see what you're smelling.

    "Press trigger twice to release the strength of wood...the wantonness of vanilla...the sentiment of floral...the passion of spice!"


    ~My reviews~

    ~My Wardrobe~



    I WANT MORE CHYPRE!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Lol... Great read Marlen.

    Allthough I just recently started my cologne collection I know exactly what you mean.
    I did by the way this saturday finally pick up a 3.4 oz bottle of Van Cleef & Arpels and I can say i'm extremely happy with it. Its got that dark gothic scent I was looking for.

    Thanks for the read and your help on my post

    Talk to ya later.

    Jim

  23. #23

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Thanks for that excellent column, Marlen! It makes me feel a little better about my own collection, which is much smaller (right now, anyway!). For me this addiction truly has nothing to do with need. I just want to OWN all these wonderful scents! Even if I'm looking at a bottle I never use, I have a very hard time parting with it. I get attached to them! I do love decants but they don't satisfy me. I want the bottles, the whole thing, the real deal. Who knows why? There's so much more to it than just the scent itself. I LOVE ordering new scents and then delighting in the anticipation of their arrival. Even though I may hate them (I'm also addicted to buying unsniffed, since I discovered swapping!!).

    The worst thing is that I am not "good" at wearing perfume. My chemistry rejects many beautiful scents, which is so incredibly disappointing. I keep telling myself I am just still searching for my HG, but it's not true. There will be no HG, because there will always be something ELSE out there that might just be "it"!

    This weekend I have been trying to stay in control and NOT buy the bottle of Olene I'm lusting after (even though I've NEVER smelled it!!!). I bought some decants on Ebay but that didn't help....

    For me, the question of when it is simply too much has been answered since about my third purchase. THAT was enough. ONE was enough! Decants are enough! But....for me, right now anyway, enough is never enough. Alot of the fun has nothing to do with the scent itself, and I don't know how to stop that craving for more.

    Linda

  24. #24

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    Nice article Marlen, it is nice to see a lot of crown perfumery bottles in your collection, sandringham & crown imperial are my personal favourites, you seem to have a fetish for L'artisan fragrances? & which bottles do i see in the royal circle (the blue ones)?
    Let your nose be your pilot

  25. #25

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    MAGNNUM - I love Crown and got turned on to them by j_dubyah a few years back. I've recently swapped most of my remaining bottles but the scents will have a place in my heart. The tall cylyndrical bottles are Molinards - some of my favorite low-price scents! Patchouli, Madrihal, Bois Precieux, etc!

    CHIRPSTER - If you figure out how to stop the craving, please let me know as well! I had to be *good* this weekend while in Hong Kong, as I found so many things that I just never got to try before. I ended up buying only one bottle and 3 mini`s - I consider that a triumph!

    PLASMAH - Enjoy the VC&A! There's a new version of TSAR coming out next spring so it'll be interesting to see what they have to offer! I'd love a more modern re-working of VC&A Homme, something lsightly richer and gourmand!

    iMAVERICK - that's exactly what I was thinking! Isn't fragrance the ultimate accessory anyhow?

    VIN - checkout my swap link below!

    MARCELLO - yeah, that too!

    marlen





  26. #26

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    It is never too much. I've got over 500 bottles which I have been collecting over the past 25 years, and I have some fragrances now which have been long gone. A fragrance is a memory. I can pick up any one of my over 500 bottles and that scent will take me back to the time that I bought the fragrance, as well as the memories from that time. My fragrance collection is list a diary of scent. Perhaps when I die, they can bury me with all my fragrances. Not only do I collect the fragrances, but I also collect the bottles. I'm a fragrance addict and some people say I'm sick. Yes, I'm sick, and I love it! It's better than some other habits/addictions I've seen, and I get compliments all the time. [smiley=tongue.gif]

  27. #27

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    JON - it's funny but the other day I asked my roommate what he would do with all of my fragrances if I died, and he said, "bury them with you!" I like the concept of "scent as diary"...nicely put!

    marlen

  28. #28

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    very entertaining article marlen. how about some more pics of your collection?

    Traveller, there is no path. You make the path as you walk. -- A. Machado

  29. #29

    Default Re: Addicted - When is it simply too much?

    sadly, the collection is dwindling en masse....the bathroom pic is still the same, but the rest of the scents are in boxes or on shelves in a rathe rmessy guest room...

    but thx for asking 8-)

    marlen

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