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  1. #1

    Default what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    hey all,

    As i get deeper into sampling many niche fragrances and wanted to own some of them , actually many of them , i find myself looking at my growing stash of frags and thinking to myself, wow this might be getting out of hand.

    As much as i love fragrances I didnt really get into this to start a "collection" if you will , but just have a solid diverse well rounded or whatever you want to call it set of fragrances that can satisfy basically any type of scent i might want to enjoy on a given day.

    Currently my wardrobe is around 35 and many of those fragrances i would say i either wouldnt buy again , or wouldnt feel too bad about if i suddenly lost them or gave them away if it wasnt for the money that i spent on them.

    I know many of you have already faced freinds, relatives and sig o's that think you are absolutely obsessed and should go to fragrance rehab. I know people around me are starting to think im nuts and have some kind of wierd obsession that is getting boderline unhealthy, and thats only at 35, much less than many of you really seasoned base noters out there.

    I know everyone has a different opionion on this and its up to the individual but i am looking for suggestions or even just opinions/stories on what you all think is a reasonable wearable wardrobe where each fragrance gets at least some use throughout the year. I do not want to collect just to collect stuff and im starting to feel almost guilty even with my 35,

    can you describe some of your wardrobe numbers etc. that actually get regular use as opposed to the stuff you very rarely use or want to save because its no longer available etc.

    Im getting frustrated with how much i like the hobby and trying new stuff and wanted to own many of them but i also dont want to feel like a total junkie.

    is 50 reasonable, is 100?? how bout 15, i just feel like there are too many frags that i really like that i could never get down to that like 20 or below mark as much as i would like to .

    what is i goan do??? please offer me your suggestions or stories on how you came to place limits on the size of your wardrobe that gets rotation.

    thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I have around 50 bottles in my collection, about 45 too many for most I guess :-)
    People experience guilt when they over-indulge. If that's what you're feeling just cut back on your spending and try to sample more.
    You only live once my friend, work out how many bottles you're happy with and "just do it". No one can tell you what's right for you.
    Last edited by jathanas; 2nd December 2008 at 04:03 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    In my experience, after you take the time to really study frags and learn what you like and don't, you can start selling some off or giving some away (and not buying more), and some you don't mind only having samples of, because you wear them so infrequently. I'm mostly doing swapping now. There are a number of frags I'd really like to try, like Egoiste and Coromandel, but I know enough now to realize that I either wouldn't like them or they would be similar to something I already have (and so they'd be redundant).

  4. #4

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I currently have 22 full bottles in my wardrobe. I'm comfortable with this and maybe go up to 30. After that, it would become cumbersome for me, I guess it's all relevelent to your own personal preference.

  5. #5

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    It's an expensive hobby for sure. I'm capping off around 15 bottles. That way I can wear everything I have within a 2-week period. As for future purchases, samples all the way.

  6. #6

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I only have 8 currently, and expect to expand to around 15 or so. That seems a reasonable 'utilitarian' (as opposed to 'collector') quantity.

  7. #7

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    For the last nine months or so almost all of my collection has been packed away, and I've "survived" on about 20 good ones that I can stick with. I think this would still be a lot for anyone who looked to see, but I often find myself aching to get out of the confines of the 20. So about every month I dig out the collection and dig a scent out of it. But that's not too bad. Twenty would easily leave me a rotation of ones l like now, ones I like but don't like right now, and ones that just don't seem fitting.

    Among my 20 are ones that get a heavy rotation too--maybe 8.

    I know which ones for my 20 too--this bunch heavily represents the ones I know I like (vetivers, florals, fougeres, a few chypres, and a bunch of the cheap manly man ones from the 80s). I wouldn't be able to make such a good grouping of ones I like (for my 20) if I didn't have the depth of my collection as a resource. So my number is a good number partly because I picked for it the styles and variations on those styles that I like. So my experience with 20 isn't a perfect match for your good question, Chuck.

    One could say that since I've got 8 in heavier rotation, I could do with an ensemble of only those eight. But you know what I might say to that.

    It's a hard thing to choose the size of one's scent gathering, I say. I've also got a bunch of scents that I'm really not interested in anymore, as you mentioned you do. But I don't grieve that I've got them. I like putting them back into play on occasion, and in fairness to them they were all stones on my climb across the river to know scents and they each taught me something. Sort of fun to wear one of them every now and then to remember learning what it taught me.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Lets do some maths.

    There are many well known designer, classic and fragrance houses (lutens, Creed, dior, guerlain, chanel, malle, mpg, montale, etc) that are talked about here.

    An average bn'er will have a favorite house and buy around 5-10 bottles from that house. This bn'er would also have atleast 1-3 favorites from the other 20 or so houses that are talked about here. So going with these numbers, an average bn'er can have anywhere from 25-70 bottles in their wardrobe. And this is the conservate range for some..
    -

  9. #9

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    A reasonably sized wardrobe is one with a number of bottles that makes you happy.

    For me -- I'd say 60~100.
    The average active BNer -- 20-80?
    I know some that'd say 300+, and others in the thousands.
    In the "outside world" probably less than a half-dozen.
    Last edited by moltening; 2nd December 2008 at 05:50 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    10. It is a fact.
    Spring/Summer Wardrobe: vetiver extraordinaire, rose 31, terre d'hermes!

  11. #11
    Hollandaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    My max was 12. Never again. Right now, counting a couple that are on their way here. I have about 7. I'm getting rid of 3, so I'll end up with just 4. I know, it's weird, but I really came here just for information. Learn, sample, smell, then move on to the next bottle. I go at this at a slow pace. I try real hard not to buy everything I'm remotely interested. As with every enthusiast community, there's a huge difference between reasonable and "reasonable".

  12. #12

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I hit 200 bottles some time ago and have pretty well stopped buying for the moment.

    But I'd say half that number would cover the essential "food groups," plus allow you to explore your favourite group thoroughly. (For me it's the incense group, and I am busy pursuing every one I can lay my hands on.)

    So, my answer would be around 100, as this would allow specimens from the major categories, plus the essential and important scents, plus a batch of your favourites from one of those groups.

    The one thing you should never do is total up how much those bottles cost you. This way madness lies!
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." - George Best

  13. #13

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    10-20 ml decant is the best way to move forward if you are treading in the niche domain...unless you are very sure about your purchase...

    OP: there is no ideal number...it depends on your interest to explore...

  14. #14

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    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I went through a phase during which I questioned the size of my collection, so I know what you're thinking.

    You have to let go of the notion that there is something 'wrong' with having too large a collection, or that you shouldn't buy something because it's 'similar' to something else, or that you have 'too many' fragrances. There is no need to be constrained by any of these notions. Just because you have one cologne, or one patchouli, or one iris fragrance, doesn't mean you shouldn't explore other interpretations of these genres. If you end up knowing you'll never reach for a fragrance, that's what you can sell. You're not 'collecting for the sake of collecting' unless you're just buying anything you see. As long as you're buying because you want a particular fragrance, it's not 'for the sake of collecting.'

    I look at my collection as a 'library' of fragrances that allows me to wear what I want, whenever I feel like it. I actually just hit 400 samples and decants this week (beyond my bottles), and the only problem I have is deciding what to put on in the morning. I'm sure I'll hit a point at which I slow down, but right now I'm purchasing decants, samples, and bottles limited only by what I can afford.

    The only 'right' size of collection is, as moltening said, what makes you happy. If there are fragrances you want to sample and/or buy, and you can afford them, why the hell not?

  15. #15

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    A reasonable sized scent wardrobe consists of 1-2 fragrances.


    We are not reasonable

  16. #16

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    It depends on your definition of reasonable. I have roughly 100 bottles in my collection that I rate 5 or 4 stars, which means I consider them too good not to have. Because I love and I am deeply interested in perfumes. Obvously someone not obsessed with perfume would not require 5 different classic Eau de Colognes. If it is just about smelling nice, 4 or 5 will do summer, winter, office, romantic, perhaps clubbing or leisure; if it is about covering major styles (from EdC to chocolate gourmand) you may make do with 20-25, but if you love perfume...
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  17. #17

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Size does not matter...

    wait,

    it does

    I say 30 is good enough. The thing I hate about a huge wardrobe is that variety starts to take too many SOTDs from my favorite EDTs. Unfortunately, fragrance usage is a zero-sum game for me as I am not a huge fan of layering scents.

    I think this is a life long journey and there are still too many good scents to come. Why rush it the first couple of years?
    Last edited by irish; 2nd December 2008 at 09:48 AM.
    Shameless Plug: Sales thread with Roses Musk, Rose Poivree, and others.
    Looking for lot of samples of female fragrances.

  18. #18

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Jenson's suggestion about decants is a good one. They're much less expensive and don't take up as much room.

  19. #19

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I currently own about 40 bottles (and have samples of a couple hundred more), and I have got to agree with you; it's getting out of hand. When I think about it, I really only love about 4 or 5 of these, and it's crazy to keep collecting. The truth is that the ones that aren't near the top of my list hardly get worn.

    I think a reasonable wardrobe certainly could be 10 or fewer.

  20. #20

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I want to get to a wardrobe of about twenty 4 to 5 star scents (I often find 5 star scents harder to wear casually, hence the inclusion of some 4 star scents, scents that I find excellent but short of the poetic masterpiece of a 5 star scent). Right now I've got like 16 bottles but I'd like to cull everything listed in my 'drobe that has less than 4 stars.

    So, 20 bottles that I wear quite regularly with a few decants on the side, and of course tons of samples. I'd replace any 4 or 5 star scents in my 'drobe with a scent that I preferred that filled the same role, so to speak, as the scent being replaced.
    ***For sale:

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  21. #21

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    As most have mentioned, 'reasonable' is subjective - only you can decide how many frags you'll be comfortable owning.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    10-20 ml decant is the best way to move forward if you are treading in the niche domain...unless you are very sure about your purchase...

    OP: there is no ideal number...it depends on your interest to explore...
    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    I want to get to a wardrobe of about twenty 4 to 5 star scents (I often find 5 star scents harder to wear casually, hence the inclusion of some 4 star scents, scents that I find excellent but short of the poetic masterpiece of a 5 star scent). Right now I've got like 16 bottles but I'd like to cull everything listed in my 'drobe that has less than 4 stars.

    So, 20 bottles that I wear quite regularly with a few decants on the side, and of course tons of samples. I'd replace any 4 or 5 star scents in my 'drobe with a scent that I preferred that filled the same role, so to speak, as the scent being replaced.
    I think this is key to having a wardrobe you'll be comfortable with. Try to keep it as small as you possibly can, while ensuring they're at least (to you) 4 star frags. Once you've exceed your personal limit, reassess and then decide whether you should up your wardrobe limit or concentrate more on decants.

    I believe it's very important to continously evaluate your wardrobe (being as brutally honest as possible) than to play the numbers game. If you approach it in this way, you won't feel so guilty no matter how many bottles you own.
    Last edited by Trebor; 2nd December 2008 at 12:11 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    As has been noted above, the word "reasonable" is a relative word. That said, I do not pay as much attention to the number of fragrances in my wardrobe as I do to collecting the fragrances I love. I find that the more I test fragrances the more discriminating I become in deciding which to buy. If I buy a fragrance, it is usually because its beauty resonates with me.

    What I keep is what I love. I recycle those that I fall out of love with. Because I have a large extended family, many of whom are interested in fragrances, it's quite easy for me to recycle fragrances that need new homes.
    Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. (Keats)


  23. #23

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    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I don't think I made this clear in my previous post - the notion that it's somehow a problem to have bottles that you don't wear is personal to each person. Clearly it bothers some people to have bottles that don't get much wear. Myself, I have bottles I've never worn because I've yet to find a morning when I felt like wearing them. Just having the option to wear something I like justifies it being on my shelf.

    I like what some people posted about having 'the classics', a bottle or two from each genre, and then a number of bottles from your favorite genres or favorite perfumers (I'm collecting all Roudinistkas, for example). Once you've got that, you'd have a well-rounded collection that you've personalized. I don't think I could never have too many leather or gourmand fragrances. I also collect obscure and discontinued items from a couple houses (Dior and Chanel), and now that I've been 'turned on' to Guerlains less-known entries, there seems to be no constraining my collecting options.

    I think what I'm trying to say is have fun. Don't worry about any artificial limits on collecting if you enjoy it. For the people that get uncomfortable having, say, more than 20-30 bottles, I wonder if it gets frustrating wanting to explore new fragrances but then feeling guilty about buying them.

    From a financial perspective, decants are a great option. I can't afford everything I'd like a bottle of, and it would be silly to try, but decants are a great middle ground.

  24. #24

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    My wardrobe is about 11 feet long and 10 inches wide with four separate sections of 10 inch squares. That's a nice size.

  25. #25

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    No matter how many samples or small decants you own, it's ok, but when it comes to full bottles I think a 10-15 bottles wardrobe suiting different purposes is close to perfection.

  26. #26

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I'm at 39 and I'm still in the process of "building" my wardrobe, more coming in the mail as we speak. I do know I will feel the need to "streamline" my wardrobe once it gets to around 100 though...

    I'm thinking 60-70 would be my comfort zone.

    But to each his/her own!

  27. #27

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I think this hobby is an expensive and fickle one, therefore 5 will always be my limit. There is no reason for more with me. I can switch them out selling and buying as I go.
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  28. #28

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I've been holding steady between 12-15 or so. This allows me to have scents for the different seasons and occasions that I would want them for. Some time ago a basenoter recommended a system of breaking down fragrances to warm weather and cool weather categories and casual/formal/romantic subcategories for each weather. This is a useful philosophy for me.

  29. #29
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I've been hovering around 50 for quite a while, not counting samples and decants.
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  30. #30

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    My wardrobe is about 11 feet long and 10 inches wide with four separate sections of 10 inch squares. That's a nice size.
    Hahaha, thats the best reply I have read.
    Every other opinion reagarding the amounts or numbers of fragrance(s) one is allowed/must/should/can own is totally relative, depends on the person who gives it and they are even influenced by the phases most fragrance collectors seem to go through during time.

    I for example find myself in the phase when im interested in almost everything and if I smell something I like I just get it. I even feel good with blind buys of things like Black Jeans even though there are only rare occasion when id wear BJ (whenever i wear a Jeans shirt actually )
    Furthermore I love owning the things I like and I feel better even with that little voice in the back of my head telling me 'You are a nutter' if I just see a new bottle on my shelf.
    Obviously there are limits such as debts etc which cant be justified but up to that point, hey, its a hobby and i simply love it.

    Just my opinion and hey, I'm only at the beginning!
    Last edited by timaru; 2nd December 2008 at 08:35 PM. Reason: spelling...

  31. #31


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    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    My wardrobe is at 13 bottles now, used to be 30+ but I sold/swapped (for samples) more than half because I did not use those bottles. I feel that, although much smaller, my wardrobe is very tight and consists of fragrances that I really dig.
    Last edited by TheAttorney; 2nd December 2008 at 10:09 PM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawk Lee View Post
    My max was 12. Never again. Right now, counting a couple that are on their way here. I have about 7. I'm getting rid of 3, so I'll end up with just 4. I know, it's weird, but I really came here just for information. Learn, sample, smell, then move on to the next bottle. I go at this at a slow pace. I try real hard not to buy everything I'm remotely interested. As with every enthusiast community, there's a huge difference between reasonable and "reasonable".

    Agreed with you! I have only 5.. But i always try to get Deo-stick and showegel in the same label, and sometimes also the after-shave balm..

  33. #33

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I have 45 right now and wear most of them now and then. I think the way I'm looking at it now, I'll probably top out at around 60. There are several I probably won't replace when I run out, but that won't happen for quite a while since I rarely wear any given one more than once a week ... at least I'm not into boating or something like that. My hobby is not all that expensive compared to some people's.

  34. #34

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyprince View Post
    I have 45 right now and wear most of them now and then. I think the way I'm looking at it now, I'll probably top out at around 60. There are several I probably won't replace when I run out, but that won't happen for quite a while since I rarely wear any given one more than once a week ... at least I'm not into boating or something like that. My hobby is not all that expensive compared to some people's.
    With so many in rotation, do you ever run out? I will think you smell good for the rest of your life!

  35. #35

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    52 weeks in a year. So, 52 frags- 1 for each week. Each one is distinct from the others but shares a note or quality that links it to the one before and after. So, as the seasons subtly change and the year develops, so does your scent. I haven't quite figured my perfect year yet, but I'm working on it.
    Support your local Leonberger rescue.

  36. #36

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I think 5 bottles is a good number because you can change very fast....Thats what I love, changing, buying, changing, etc.....I dislike to have 40 or 50 or whatever.....is too much....I prefer to buy a new bottle every month. Easy.
    "Burn their homes and churches.Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again.
    For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia."

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  37. #37

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Ultimately, I want ten to twenty bottles, but for the time being I would rather spend my limited resources on samples and decants. I'm still new at this and my tastes are changing; maybe buying whole bottles isn't such a good idea yet.

  38. #38


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    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    I have a tough time having a big wardrobe bc if I do not wear the scent often and do not love it then I simply do not want it there. I do not want to collect, but rather, I want to use and appreciate and I am of the belief that if someone else can get some good use out of a bottle that I sell then it is much much better in their hands. I recently made a 5 bottle sale to a fellow BN'er and, I believe, he started his collection with this buy and it brought me tremendous joy.

  39. #39

    Default Re: what is a reasonable sized wardrobe

    Interesting thread. You know, within the last few months I've made several purchases, both 50 ml bottles and samples, mostly due to the huge influence of this site. Especially when you see fragrance picture threads and you see how many fragrances others have, you feel like you need to catch up. Right now I have 14 with one on the way (angel), and today I hit Sephora and came home with 11 samples in hopes of finding some gems worthy of purchase. If it weren't for this site, I probably wouldn't have made a lot of the purchases I have made.

    What's reasonable? I dunno. 20 maybe? I can't afford to just go out and by colognes that I just kinda like, or the latest offerring from the hottest designers. I have to really like a fragrance, and it has to go through several smelling occassions for me to purchase. And I don't buy fragrances that smell too similar to others I have, which makes narrowing down fragrances kinda easy.

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