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  1. #1

    Question How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    As I was getting acupuncture'd today I was doing my usual mental laundry list, and I was thinking about how many fragrances I have in my wardrobe, and how ridiculous it seems to have so many! I can't keep track of them let alone give each one a proper wearing (for a few days at a time). And then there are the samples that I compulsively order like some of my friends over at Ernie Gallo's clinic! I have hundreds. I've decided I MUST get my collection down to a more reasonable number of scents, and that probably means cutting it in half or even by two thirds. I think the phenomenon I am experiencing may be more common with those of us who are relatively new to our fragrance obsession, but I don't know....?

    So, I'm wondering, how do other perfume fanatics get a handle on their collections? Do you have a 'number of bottles/decants' limit that you try not to exceed? Do you clean house every so often? Do you just give in to the chaos? And how did you decide what limits, if any, to impose on yourself?

    Thanks in advance for any and all tips! Liz

  2. #2

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    What a timely post, Lizzie J. I just finished placing orders of samples from two different sites. I have, while not perhaps hundreds of samples, close to that, and several full bottles of scent, as well.

    Part of the reason I do what I do is that I look for scents to give as gifts at Christmas and birthdays. I live over two hours from any major department stores, and my local Macy's stocks only the mass market scents, so unless I buy samples, I have no way of testing anything of interest.

    I teach theatre for a living and every winter I teach stage makeup. As a little bonus to the students after I give the first big quiz, they win grab bags of new and unopened makeup and skincare samples, and I offer those with the highest quiz scores, the scent samples I have bought and set aside. So eventually many of the scents find new homes, but I do admit that I don't need all these scents -- regardless of how I eventually recycle them. Sigh.

  3. #3
    ChantillyLace's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I looked at your wardrobe and it looks like you really like most of your stuff. I know the minute that I give one away I will regret it, and I will at least want it on hand to sample against a review or another scent. But if you really feel you must trim down, I would be happy to adopt your poor unwanted scent children, and I would promise to give them a good home.

  4. #4

    tang's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I sometimes think I would like to streamline my wardrobe and cut it in half, but I truly appreciate everything I have, even if some of them might seem redundant. I don't clean house, but every so often, I'll look at a bottle and realize it should probably go to someone who will wear it a little more often. I'm comfortable with my current number, give or take 5 -- it's the samples that overwhelm me. They multiply like rabbits!

    If you enjoy everything you have, just give in to the chaos.
    Last edited by tang; 26th October 2008 at 05:35 AM.
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Lizzie, you have a lot of perfumes, my wardrope can't be compared to yours,but I consider that I don't have as many fragrances as I would like to have! It's not a number that I have in mind. When I choose to buy I a fragrance, I must be sure that it somehow suits and represents me, consequnetly it takes me a lot of time until I make up my mind whether I buy it or not. Try to do the same, get through all of them and give away whatever does not 'feel familiar'. If you like them all, keep them; it's not chaos...collecting fragrances is a hobby, you don't have to wear them all in order to make them useful. Perfumes are not like clothes, for example, I get very angry if I happen to have clothes that I don't wear at all, but it doesn't happen the same with fragrances.
    Last edited by Lady M.; 26th October 2008 at 09:17 AM.

  6. #6
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I think I might stop at 60, a lot of the FB I have in my wardrobe are almost empty though and that is a horrible feeling as well.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I am having that conversation with myself right now, as it happens. My perfume obsession is 9 months old and in that time I have accumulated several hundreds of samples, minis and small decants, plus 22 FBs or so, having previously only owned one rancid bottle of EL Intuition (no disrespect to Intuition - it was on a sunny windowsill gathering dust for 7 years). This collection will already last me 9-10 years, assuming the most optimistic shelf life projections.

    So I have stopped my regular orders with Luckyscent and TPC, and will perhaps only allow myself 10 more samples between now and Christmas (bold aim, I know). Of the 22 bottles, a good half dozen are early, impulsively bought mistakes, both mainstream and niche. I have recently given one FB away, and could see me trying to find a home for a couple more, whose presence in my drawer I find slightly unsettling, such as CK Euphoria and several wasp-trap Jo Malones.

    I would allow myself one more FB for Christmas - most probably Rose Kashmirie from the Rosines line - and then I really need to get using what I own. And inviting the female population of my entire estate (subdivision) to come over for wild spritzing sessions to lose some more product!
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Also, I'm here for evryone who wants helps to make their collection smaller, if only more people would ship internationally Woe is me and all.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I'm hoping to get something like 20 bottles of fragrances that I really like and that suit me and will work for different occasions and moods. I have ten at the moment, but even though that's a lot fewer than some of you, there are still some that don't really work, and I should get rid of them.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Lian, I am not sure you would care for any of my rejects, but the international shipping aspect wouldn't faze me at all!
    Last edited by VM I hate civet; 26th October 2008 at 11:27 AM.
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Sweet, in that case ..yes everyone but me should stop at around 40 bottles
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by VM I hate civet View Post
    I would allow myself one more FB for Christmas - most probably Rose Kashmirie from the Rosines line - and then I really need to get using what I own. And inviting the female population of my entire estate (subdivision) to come over for wild spritzing sessions to lose some more product!
    Oh.my.god. I've just had an idea: You know of these parties where women bring clothes, handbags & accessories they don't want any more and swap them over the course of the evening? What if someone were to arrange a a scent-swap n' sniff evening where the point would be to share sprays AND to bring the "oopsies" from your wardrobe (our various threads indicate only too well that one girl's scrubber is another one's Holy Grail).

    If only I lived in a bigger place! I would be already planning! (When we finally move house next year, maybe... ).

  13. #13
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I have a good scrubbing tip, use whitening tooth paste and then some handsoap

    And the swap could be done maybe at the big basenotes meet up?
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    About 140 bottles and 150 decants.
    And I'm not ashamed of it anymore.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  15. #15

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    hmmm.... I have about 50 in my wardrobe, but that includes some large decants, not all are full bottles...samples are another story, at one point I had about 200 samples, and made a point of passing them forward ...

    I just went through a paring down period where I listed and sold a few...I tell myself I'd like to get down to ten basic fragrances, but when I actually start to list the ones I can't live without, well, that plan goes out the window fast.

    I think that for folks like us, there is a joy in knowing you can reach for a perfume that has transported you, even if it is only once in a while that you have a yen to revisit that, it is sure good to know it's only a spritz away.

    I think for matters of the heart, you must go easy on yourself and when its time to let go of some of your perfumes, you will know. Enjoy them while they're with you!
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  16. #16

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lian View Post
    And the swap could be done maybe at the big basenotes meet up?
    That's true... Hmmm! Nice idea!

  17. #17
    Divatologist's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I don't really order decants. I usually sample and either pass or buy a full bottle. I have a friend in London that sends me a heap of samples every now and then. I have plenty of bottles in my collection, but I get plenty of wear out of them all. Although I have to admit that I do forget about some of them. It just makes it so wonderful when I discover them again. It's almost like getting a new frag all over again. I take into consideration that I only wear certain frags during the spring/summer and the same with fall/winter. I only have a handful that I wear year-round.

    One thing is definitely for sure. I will never ever have too many bottles of perfume. I love it. I love getting a new bottle of perfume. I'm fighting myself now not to go out and get a new bottle today lol. I need to tighten my purse strings right now, but I'm just dying to try David Yurman again. If I like it, I know I'll whip out that plastic and yell CHAAAAARGE!!!!! I also want Dzongkha by L'Artisan and Zen by Shiseido. Will it ever stop?????





    I hope not....*giggle*
    Last edited by Divatologist; 26th October 2008 at 01:02 PM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I don't have much for the time being, less than 10 but I am a beginner!! I have many samples, and a few decants (around 15) and i love decants, it's such a good way to really have a try with a fragrance... but then, i wonder what it will be in 5 years...

  19. #19
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Decants are something that will carry me through until I get filthy rich and I can get all the FB I want. Sometimes I swap decants if I think I'll like the perfume but often I try to get them if I have sampled them already and just can't afford a bottle or there are other , more worthy Fb contenders out there.

    I still get anxious and into a saving mood when a sample runs out when I loooove the fragrance, I think it's my tell tale sign of ' I need a bottle' if I want to empty it but I'd regret it.

    Samples for me are a good way to know houses better than just reading about them on paper, if you sample a few perfumes from a house you get a better feeling for it and when something is annouced you can imagine the fragrance a little better and know whether to get excited or not.

    For Lutens I know I should go for the relative light fragrances because Arabie is way to strong, so is chergui..they both have something that makes it just too much for me. But if I read a review now on any serge lutens I can guess whether it would fall into my area of likeable lutens or..not so likeable.

    hermes in general is too light for me, they are nice scents but just way too light ( all the jardin and merveillaux), terre being the exception So if an annoucement says it's heavier than any before I might give it a try..otherwise it's a pass for me.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  20. #20
    musse's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I can´t handle too many it seems. If I feel I have too many bottles, I feel forced to wear scents I love less, just for the sake of it, and I don´t like doing that. When my collection has grown into too many impulse buys, or blind buys, I start regretting, and wanna start all over again with a new collection...
    I still have this silly idea of having a "small" (say 8 - 10 bottles) rotation of HG scents only, so when I find too many old bargains from Fragrancex hiding in my cabinet, I start cleaning out.
    Some of the scents in my current wardrobe are just decants; I usually buy the 5 ml size from TPC of scents I really think is for me. Samples have to be at least 1,5 ml for me to really make me decide about a scent.
    No, I guess I´m not a collector, just desperately seeking perfection.

  21. #21

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I think I'm aiming for somewhere in the region of 40-50. My current wardrobe says 41, but it's deceptive. Some of the items on there are minis or large samples I've been hoarding because I intend to get the FB.

    Out of the 41, 24 are keepers (that I intend to replace once they run out). The others - once they're gone, they're gone (and some I'm keeping almost for sake of occasionally studying them and then they don't get worn for a while again).

    I seem to have rated all my "intend to replace" at 4 or 5 stars. All the 3 star ones I can live without.

    If I currently have 24 keepers, that leaves some room for me to find new ones (some of which are already on my wish list) - and ones that make a journey through the 'drobe and get dropped in favour of new discoveries. I'd like to keep the wardrobe to a size that can reasonably be worn - but - I want to smell and test hundreds of fragrances already in existence and yet to come, which means sampling and decants can fulfil the study/obsession angle.

  22. #22

    Talking Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChantillyLace View Post
    I looked at your wardrobe and it looks like you really like most of your stuff. I know the minute that I give one away I will regret it, and I will at least want it on hand to sample against a review or another scent. But if you really feel you must trim down, I would be happy to adopt your poor unwanted scent children, and I would promise to give them a good home.
    Thanks! I'll keep you in mind! ^_^

  23. #23

    Wink Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by tang View Post
    I sometimes think I would like to streamline my wardrobe and cut it in half, but I truly appreciate everything I have, even if some of them might seem redundant. I don't clean house, but every so often, I'll look at a bottle and realize it should probably go to someone who will wear it a little more often. I'm comfortable with my current number, give or take 5 -- it's the samples that overwhelm me. They multiply like rabbits!

    If you enjoy everything you have, just give in to the chaos.
    Hmmmm this isn't helping, LOL! I looked at your wardrobe and found several I need to try! Good grief!

  24. #24

    Smile Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady M. View Post
    Lizzie, you have a lot of perfumes, my wardrope can't be compared to yours,but I consider that I don't have as many fragrances as I would like to have! It's not a number that I have in mind. When I choose to buy I a fragrance, I must be sure that it somehow suits and represents me, consequnetly it takes me a lot of time until I make up my mind whether I buy it or not. Try to do the same, get through all of them and give away whatever does not 'feel familiar'. If you like them all, keep them; it's not chaos...collecting fragrances is a hobby, you don't have to wear them all in order to make them useful. Perfumes are not like clothes, for example, I get very angry if I happen to have clothes that I don't wear at all, but it doesn't happen the same with fragrances.
    I love that advice: "...you don't have to wear them all in order to make them useful." Gives me food (scent?) for thought....

  25. #25

    Smile Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by VM I hate civet View Post
    ... Of the 22 bottles, a good half dozen are early, impulsively bought mistakes, both mainstream and niche. I have recently given one FB away, and could see me trying to find a home for a couple more, whose presence in my drawer I find slightly unsettling, such as CK Euphoria and several wasp-trap Jo Malones...

    I suspect we could both find homes for these impulse buys on Basenotes!

  26. #26

    Talking Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lian View Post
    Also, I'm here for evryone who wants helps to make their collection smaller, if only more people would ship internationally Woe is me and all.
    Lian, thanks for all of your comments. You'll be first on my list when and IF I clean house. !!

  27. #27

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lian View Post
    Sweet, in that case ..yes everyone but me should stop at around 40 bottles
    LOL! ^_^

  28. #28

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by rtamara41 View Post
    I think that for folks like us, there is a joy in knowing you can reach for a perfume that has transported you, even if it is only once in a while that you have a yen to revisit that, it is sure good to know it's only a spritz away.

    I think for matters of the heart, you must go easy on yourself and when its time to let go of some of your perfumes, you will know. Enjoy them while they're with you!
    You are SO right. There are about 10 so far I can part with. The rest still have a hold on me!

  29. #29

    Default Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    I want to have around 12, but generally I have around 20.

    A couple of times a year, I make a haul to St. Vincent de Paul, FB and samples, where the frags then get distributed to a women's shelter. It makes me feel better that they go to less fortunate ladies who may not have these small luxuries that I take for granted daily.

    PS I go through frags the way I go through clothes. A few things I keep for years, otherwise, they get turned around / given away very quickly and with impunity.
    Last edited by seattlelight; 26th October 2008 at 07:20 PM.

  30. #30

    Wink Re: How many bottles of fragrance can you 'handle'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divatologist View Post
    ...

    One thing is definitely for sure. I will never ever have too many bottles of perfume. I love it. I love getting a new bottle of perfume. I'm fighting myself now not to go out and get a new bottle today lol. I need to tighten my purse strings right now, but I'm just dying to try David Yurman again. If I like it, I know I'll whip out that plastic and yell CHAAAAARGE!!!!! I also want Dzongkha by L'Artisan and Zen by Shiseido. Will it ever stop?????





    I hope not....*giggle*
    You are SO not helping!
    On the other hand, you ARE helping by vindicating/validating my OCD perfume craziness. I mean really, the kids can eat beans and rice every day...healthy AND vegetarian, and good for limiting our carbon profile. And if I bike everywhere except work I can save on gas, and that would add up to at least one bottle every week or two......and Oh I can think of lots of other ways to cut back and buy MORE, not less....(as I immediately tab over to the Ernie Gallo thread....)

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