For me, I have yet to envision the finality of my fragrance collecting hobby. Still waiting for the "sign"
So ive been a BN member since the beginning of the year. Before joining this site, I have owned no more than 5 bottles and would always replace those bottles once they ran out
Have you been in my shoes?
I now have a small collection of roughly 30 bottles all but 2 of them being niche. Lately, ive been ordering niche, vintage and rare samples only to find that I prefer these scents much more than what the mainstream market offers. There are bottles in my collection that I simply do not touch. I like the smell of these bottles but dont "love" them. Im contemplating consolidating my collection down to a dozen bottles I LOVE rather than have a bunch that are just good before this bottle collecting gets out of hand. I dont consider myself a collector but I like to keep/wear what I love. My question to you fragrance whores is this this.
If your thoughts are similar to mine, have you regretted getting rid of bottles you just "like" rather than love? I think this is a progressive move in the hobby. I would be replacing 25+ bottles with just a handful. What would your move be?
For me, I have yet to envision the finality of my fragrance collecting hobby. Still waiting for the "sign"
I don't think it ever ends. Its more of an ebb and flow sort of thing. There are times when I am more interested than others, but don't foresee losing interest all together.
It ends when the curiousity and passion for life ends. In other words we are all in it till the grave. Nobody gets out alive ....or at least smells good trying ..
You may find, that you are a "user" rather than collector but the bug alway bites again - eventually. The ebb flow metaphor is great, it may also be used on the size of collection instead of sheer interest IMO.
For me, the fear of regret due to selling a frag is too great a risk.
Few people get sober for good
I think people find a couple different routs to take in this hobby.
One is collecting bottles - some collectors place value on owning bottles of anything and everything. Folks on this end of the spectrum tend to have lots of bottles, and rarely sell or trade them.
Another route I see is just smelling everything possible, with little regard to the collecting of things. Folks on this end of the spectrum find as much joy in a 1oz sample as a full bottle. They rarely keep many bottles around for long, trade often, get bored with fragrances quickly, and have a small collection of their top 10 fragrances, which changes daily.
I would see these as two ends of at least one continuum, with many variants of each type, and most of us falling somewhere toward the center.
I tend to be less a collector and more toward the sampler end of the spectrum. I try everything, but purchase rarely. I get bored quickly. My wardrobe on Basenotes is at least 3 years out of date.
For me it's not at all about owning something. If I don't wear it for a while I keep a bit and ship the rest.
I love that folks post their beautiful pictures of their collections, but that is not my interest in the hobby.
Just a few thoughts...
One possible ending is bankruptcy. I spent way too much on niche in the winter and I'm paying for it financially now. I won't really go broke or anything like that, but I could have used a lot of the money I spent. Fragrance is a great interest, but it's really important, if you're not filthy rich that is, to know when to scale back.
Last edited by socalwoman; 22nd November 2011 at 06:09 PM.
I get bored quickly and try to sniff as many different fragrances as possible. I don't display bottles and try downsize my collection and get more samples instead. However, when I fall in love with something I always think it's forever and I want to own a lifetime supply. All those discontinuations and reformulations make me anxious and often drive me into another bottle purchase.
I will probably buy around 20 all together and that's a fine border for me, because I am still gonna be able to wear them all not just to have them sitting on the shelf. Right now I have list of maybe 10 fragrances that I want but I will probably buy only half from that list which will bring me close to that number of 20 colognes.
If i get tired of certain fragrances I'll swap it and make place for new one.
Anyway that's my plan.
Right now I think that I have all the fragrances that I want.
Seriously, it comes to and end when you realise that is just perfume and it is not worth making such a fuzz about it. Enjoy your current wardrobe, sell or swap those you don't like and work towards a reasonable amount of bottles and samples. Just my two cents..
Great points everyone. I guess getting bored of a frag could mean outgrowing it.
I'm not a 'collector'. Personally, I found that after acquiring around 32-35 bottles, I had reached a critical mass, and don't feel the need to own any more than this. I'm still interested, still want to smell things, but spend a lot less money on it now, and don't want to own much more than 35 bottles. If I come upon something new that I just have to own, I'll probably use it to replace my least favorite existing bottle, so I remain with the same overall quantity. Works for me.
Blood in Blood out.
In my case, I spend more on samples than full bottles because what I'm pursuing it's to find another fragrance I really love or at least widening my knowledge. 25 bottles a year it's probably too much, but if you have the money, why not...
Also, it would help if you find another hobby (or two) that you really love, and spend half the time/money between them.
I stay away from perfumes once in a while to avoid obsessing too much.
We want a 'Niche' forum.
money out, money out, money out...
When you hit rock bottom. When you sell your grandmother's pills for perfume. When you run over your neighbors kid on the way to Saks' new Tom Ford launch.
When you own all the perfumes you want. Plus some backup bottles.
I began to do more swapping than buying when it was around the 2 year mark, and that's still the case today, unless I come across something I think is too good to pass up (usually at least twice a month). I'm backlogged on my samples and don't actively crave any particular frag that I don't presently possess at least a decant of. I guess my main complaint is how expensive shipping has become. It used to be 2 pounds for $2.90 but now that usually costs nearly $8, and that was only a few years ago !
Visit my huge swap page: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211135
Or visit my Sales page: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211407
Samples, etc. for Sale at my Crystal Flacon page: http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=282
My fragrance blog: http://bigslyfragrance.wordpress.com/
When it brings more stress/anxiety/frustration than pleasure, it's time for a hiatus...
Fragrance is a silent conversation.
The nose just knows. Follow the nose!
I think I've hit an "ebb" point after a spate of buying the last couple months. I wonder how long these ebbs last...
For non-collectors, I like the idea of setting a bottle limit and then only buying new bottles if you sell/swap your least favorite. Seems like a good way to contain the obsession/hobby/beast while also continuously improving your wardrobe.
Nothing wrong with paring down, or trying to have a simpler lifestyle. Just don't get rid of something you may end up purchasing again because you miss it.
I treat my collection worse than a slave master. Every application is a performance test. If they fail to please me or a significant other, they may be dispatched.
I've had the same question recently. When I first visited this site just over a year ago I only had one "cologne" that I pretty much never wore (Ralph Lauren Romance). I have since bought about 30 different frags including several niche ones. I already hit critical mass a while ago and gave a bunch of them away before I started buying more. I'm once again considering gifting or selling many frags that I like, but don't love and therefore won't wear frequently if ever.
Good question. Guess what? I'm a 17 year old rich boy who gets everything from his parents. I just realized if I got kicked out of the house, I wouldn't have jack squat. It's all about opportunity cost when i'm out there, no more expensive ass air jordans or niche perfumes.
Every hobby has it's setbacks, but I need to learn to fend for myself and not just coast off my parents my entire life. (Sort of off-topic, but is kinda related.)
Hobbies don't end! They progress. And it seems there is sort of a trend on how members' generally progress over time. Personally I have only been buying fragrances for about a year and my wardrobe is pretty pathetic compared to those of other members. Over the last year I have sampled just about every designer fragrance available locally and quite a few niche fragrances. Although I still enjoy every fragrance I have purchased, I am finding that I need more "dark" scents so my journey is far from complete. Sad for me that I find most designer scents to lack uniqueness and/or longevity. I am seeking deeper darker scents that last at least 8 hours and more than that is better. I find most edts to be too weak and I tend to like edps (or better) better and niche fragrances in general to be a lot more interesting. Currently I have a short list of three fragrances that are "must haves", two I have sampled and one will be a blind buy based on reviews. The journey continues...
1. Amouage Epic man
2. Dior Leather Oud
3. Perris Monte Carlo Oud Imperial Black
4. Le Labo Patchouli 24
5. Amouage Opus VII
6. Byredo Bullion
7. Norma Kamali Incense
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
The IFRA can bite me!
I used to buy about 3-10 bottles a month since I joined basenotes, I have about 70 bottles now and dozens of decants and samples. But that rate slowed a lot in the last few months. In fact, I have not purchased anything in the past 2 or 3 months. I simply came to the realization that I can't just buy every bottle I like, or even love. It must have a place in my collection; it must fill a spot that has not been filled yet. There has to be an occasion where I say, "oh I wish I had that type of fragrance to wear today". Only in that case would I add a new bottle...or if I absolutely adore the fragrance and think it's hard for me to get another chance to buy it.
I test and sample far, far more than I own. Having a small staple of frags which I enjoy a lot and wear frequently is my MO in this hobby.
To answer your ? I have been fortunate enough to be a researcher by nature, so TBH, I have not bought too many full bottles I only liked. Those few bottles that I bought initially and only 'liked' have long been given away, without regret. In your case, you could keep a small amount, say 10ml or so of the frags you only like, and part with the rest, that way if you do get the urge later on, you still have some to use, and are able to make space for something you'll love.
I bought up a lot early- first year or so. But in past six months, I've switched to a lot more decants. If I love something, I'll buy a bottle.
Just a suggestion, but when something really piques your interest, try a 5 or 8ml decant. You can wear it a few times, and and find out if you really love it.
At a certain point I realized my collection will outlive me.
After 4 years and 70+ bottles I now use rather than collect.
When I come across something new I analyse less, and try to feel more.
Most of my collection is still niche, but I no longer carry a "niche only" attitude.
Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.
This. I have upwards of 60+ bottles now in my collection and almost all were bought in the past year. It's a lot of money to shell out for a hobby, and after a while you start to realize it's not about owning every single bottle just to have it. The more I actually got into the hobby, I started to realize it's about what you LOVE and not what you LIKE. If I got rid of all the bottles I only "liked" I would have much more money to spend on the other facets of my life. I guess it's a life lessonWhen it brings more stress/anxiety/frustration than pleasure, it's time for a hiatus...
Last edited by Guest05; 10th March 2012 at 04:48 AM. Reason: ...
I just quickly counted the number of bottles I had and can't believe it is over 60! I have over 100 samples too. In my mind I thought maybe I have about 10-15. How did it get there? Not sure what I should feel.
It ends in absolute poverty and a wardrobe full of frags!!! Kidding, but I advise you to wait at least a year before giving up those you don't touch now. In the beginning, I bought everything commercial, didn't read reviews nor test before (well, I live in Brazil so a lot of good buys have to be blind, especially niche) and end up with several colognes I gave to friends or relatives. The problem is that some of them were good and I hadn't, at that time, nose to understand them and had to buy again later some (L'Instant, Fleur du Male, etc), others were really a waste of time and money. Within a year smelling good frags you will be relatively ready to decide if you really can let them go or not.
In my case, since I got into niches recently, just some months ago, I'm starting to try for samples before, to cross references, but these years buying a lot of scents gave me condition to know, more or less, by reviews, by getting information, if I will like something or not, at the point of blind buy Serge Lutens frags without any regret till now.
I don't think it ever ends. I've been collecting for years. I go through periods where I buy less than at other times, but I pretty much always have a shopping list on the back burner in my mind.
In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...
It doesn't end
There is no beginning for me for there to be an end. Perfume in this culture is like food and breathing. You dont think about it. Its part of the daily cycle.
I've seen it end for many people on BN. They went from 30 to 100 perfumes to about 10 to 15 and thats it.
For me it will never end. I'll may sooner or later decide to stop accumulating fragrances and enjoy the one I already have or, who knows, maybe even reduce my wardrobe to 2-3 bottles. But whatever will happen I will always be (and I've always been) a perfume lover. Perfume is not just part of the grooming procedures to me, it's a style, a statement, self expression, passion.
Last edited by alfarom; 11th October 2011 at 03:30 PM.
Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here
To me, it doesn't... but I wouldn't advise anyone to replicate my often too passionate and too costly fragrance hobby
Anyone who can focus on certain basics without overspending and still owning great frags, should, in my opinion, concentrate in her/his rotation on 4-5 scents, amongst which one casual, one formal, one gourmand, one vintage/classic/powerhouse, one unsiex etc. (not 2-3, 5-10 etc. of the same category at the same time, as I do)
I really enjoy this hobby, my goal right now is to aquire another 20 or so fragrances which I have a ongoing list of and run a "fragrance idol" of sorts, and cull it down significantly to the ones I love in the hopes of having a few "signature" scents. I love when people associate me with a particular great smelling cologne.
The hunt for a Signature Fragrance is not an easy one! I see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Want to buy! "Nothing?!, well that's a first."
If you don't go the collector route, you'll probably end up being very selective over your full bottle purchases & may even end up living off decants like I do. LOL. It's all good!
The Perfume Culture... I like that!
I have very few full bottles with the exception of some frags that cost $30 or less for a fb, like Yatagan, Black Jeans, Declaration, Acteur, and a couple more. Most I bought blind and like enough to keep around. I might get rid of Kouros though, I'll probably never use it... These bottles are a small financial risk, as I can sell them on without loosing more than a sample would have cost me anyway.
With more expensive bottles, I am VERY selective about what gets purchased these days and I haven't bought a fb in months. I have bought some decants and a lot of samples though. If I like a frag a lot from a small sample, then I'll look for a decant. If I still like it after using up a decent sized decant than I would consider a full bottle purchase.
Carpe diem! We're all gonna die! At least we won't stink when we do.
Not so sure about that but I couldn't care less then.
I've had a change in attitude over time. I go through periods of not thinking about fragrance, and not wearing it, but then I return. I sample more and more, and buy a lot less. Blind-buys are non-existent these days, though I won't rule them out ( if I'd been back in Canada, I would have seriously considered that 1000Flowers sale recently ). I've discovered that it's okay to love a fragrance without owning it, especially if it's the type of fragrance you're in the mood for once in a blue moon.
To paraphrase the last bit of of John's Gospel, "Of the seeking of perfumes there is no end!"
Yr good bud,
"Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"
Fiat justitia ruat cælum.
Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.
— Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.
I've never been a collector, my frag rotation at the moment is probably two colognes and few I'm fond of but don't really wear. I see perfume as an art, and good perfumeries as museums: you don't really buy a Renoir every week, but that does not mean you don't enjoy the painting.
À l'air libre les oiseaux ont eux aussi le vertige (camille)
It doesn't end. Not really. There are slowdowns and diversions, but you always come back, and why shouldn't you return to something that gives you pleasure, insight and renewed curiosity?
I fell hard for perfume collecting as soon as I started to earn my own money. Before that, I'd badger my parents at birthdays and holidays to procure some rare Caron or Nina Ricci fragrance. Recently, I've learned to make quicker judgments on what I'll keep from new purchases. I've given away or (god forbid!) thrown away some things that were duds for me - the space this creates is invigorating.
Think about traditional agricultural methods - there is value in letting a field lie fallow for a season, to regenerate the nutrients in the soil and let it rest. Take a breather once in a while. But don't feel guilty, ever.
I am up to 125 bottles now, Just like you I kept a few in rotation up until a year ago. For me the more I try the more I buy. Currently I am pretty much done with mainstream bottles, started to get boring. Niche is my new project, loving the exotics
Last edited by Oupavoc; 28th February 2012 at 10:25 PM.
I started out, I'm assuming like many buying designer bottles, which was a big step up from the pacsun/mall scents that I had growing up. One day I found the fragrance community and it gave me a whole new appreciate for fragrances. So just recently I started getting into niche and I can't stop...most of them just seem to be on a different level. And while that's true I do like to mix up designer/niche. Even though I can perceive designer to sometimes be less quality that doesn't mean I can't appreciate them. Like Gucci PH2, any Mugler, any Chanel, any Dior, and a decent few YSL frags that will never leave my rotation. But yes, I've grown tired of a few of the more standard scents I seem to find in designer. So as of right now I'm working on the Bonds/Creeds and as my nose progresses so do my tastes...I can't see this ever ending.
I don't believe that this hobby ever ends.....I know that it will not end for me.....Not while I'm living anyway!!!
It ends when you have burned out all of your 5 senses (well unless you have more than that), and feel no need or want for material goods,
and then you would want no part of this materialistic world anymore
This hobby is like going to a fine restaurant and being able to sample and buy all the dishes without ever getting full. There's also an element of freedom to it. Each scent taking you on a different journey.
Tom Ford Private Blend Splits Costa Azzurra / Mandarino Di Amalfi / Oud Wood / Tobacco Vanille / Tobacco Oud / Neroli Portofino / Noir de Noir / Tuscan Leather / Plum Japonais/ Oud Fleur / Italian Cypress HERE