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  1. #1

    Default The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Okay...so it has been about 3 and a half years since my interest in fragrances has spawned. It started with Darkkar Noir, L'eau D'issey Pour Homme and Hugo Boss. My preferred fragrance themes have gone from aquatics, to chypres, to fougeres, back to aquatics and now back to aromatic fougeres. A few years ago, I sold and gave away about 70 percent of my fragrance collection when I moved to California..from there, I purchased around 20 to 25 bottles..yet again, I sold roughly 75 percent of that..bought a few more (not enough Dior!) ..I moved and yet again sold most of my collection..but I have already acquired 2 new bottles in the past month.
    I have to be honest with you all, the indecisiveness of this little hobby is like no other. I either feel like I have to many and that I don't have a distinguishable signature smell, or that my collection is too frail and I need an additional gourmand, fresh fougere, chypre etc..or that if I have too many and I don't get any use out of them, they will expire..or I could be finding myself stressing over whether my nose still operates when I'm unable to detect something like Body Kouros on my skin an hour after application.
    I just want to ask if you guys go through the same death and rebirth of this hobby. Do you sell everything away just to end up finding yourself purging on new stuff the next month? Give me your thoughts.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I'm pretty new at this, but I am with fragrance as I am with most things in life: if it's not working out for me, then it's taking up space that I would rather have for something else. Off it goes without delay. I can't imagine getting to a point where I felt like I needed to jettison 75% of my wardrobe. I imagine there is at least one additional factor that is facilitating such a dramatic cycle.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    This cycle seems to take no end for me either: lately, for instance, I grew fond of a certain limited edition of Guerlain EDP

  4. #4
    Dependent canuck21's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I have a list of fragrances that I want to purchase, but I highly doubt that I will get all of them soon, once you think your done, you discover something else and you fall out of favour with some scents. I'm really cautious what I buy now, I make sure I test thoroughly and know I'll enjoy the scent for a long time, I dont want to have fragrances I dont enjoy in my collection, although I have a couple I dont really enjoy, I'll just finish them rather then sell them.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I understand this problem. For me, there is an undeniable rush in simply purchasing a new bottle of cologne, not just in the ownership and enjoyment of the scent. That's called retail therapy my friends and it's a hard habit to break. I actually shopped all day in Charlotte this Saturday and did not buy a single scent, while surrounded by Creeds, Bonds and the like. Sad to say, that was a real victory for me. Cologne buying is like crack to me. All that said, I "only" own about 40 full bottles right now, and I have sold off about 5 the past week and I'm trying to sell about 7 more on eBay (seller name herdalum89). But, there are much worse habits I could be into.
    Currently wearing: Manhattan by Bond No. 9

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Like with other interests in my life, at first it is stormed into 110% and then the interest flattens. The perfume passion lasts a long time and is only curbed by lack of money. There have been periods where I shorted the food money to buy samples.

    Knowing that I have to keep this in check, I put out of sight, out of mind, 75% of my 'fumes, and when they come out, they will seem like new.

    BTW, has there not been a thread like that here on BN, something like Fragaholics Anonymous ?

    Essentially, should a person feel guilty about it and take a 12-step plan ? And who to write apology letters to ? The significant other that funds were hidden from to feed the perfume habit ?
    There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I know exactly what you mean. Personally, I've concluded that after thorough testing, I will eventually decide on a few fragrances and then just stick with it - it is unlikely to get better by keep looking and retesting, I will just end up in circles, like you describe.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I think you write letters to the people who sat next to you on trains, to those whom you outbid on ebay, and to the lesser scents that capsized in the wake of impeccably selected vintage monsters.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Junkie Sidney_Falco's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I think part of the fact that you are getting rid of so many bottles at one time only to purchase a great number of bottles after that is not unlike yo-yo dieting. Just like someone who loses 30 lbs only to gain 40 lbs back, your purging of a significant part of your collection only makes you think that there is more room now in you collection for new items and you go on a purchasing binge.

    Obviously unlike extreme dieting, there's nothing wrong with this scenario as long as you enjoy it and can financially support it, but perhaps doing things in a more gradual manner will not cause you to go to either extreme, allowing you to keep a sizable collection, but doing away with that desire to buy a huge quantity of new items because you already have a large collection

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I have never done what you do.
    Perhaps, you are buying fragrances that merely appeal to you, but, not necessarily ones that you are extremely fond of.
    Maybe, you should take a little more time in choosing the ones you buy, and limit yourself to those which you feel are indispensable.
    Of course, new scents will come along that could easily find a place in your rotation; however, I would finish or swap the ones that seem to be replaceable, rather than accumulating just for accumulation sake.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    My theme lately is cycles that are actually spirals: every time you seem to come back around to the same thing it is really on a different (hopefully more elevated) plane. I do shed and then reacquire the same types of fragrances, and occasionally though not often the same fragrance, but it is always a new experience. It gets better, and it gets simpler, too, in some respects, as I home in on what I'm really trying to get at. Journeys are spirals. So I would say that as long as you aren't getting yourself into financial trouble, and you are aware of the choices you are making, and you are not harming yourself or others, and you are getting something out of this other than a superficial satisfaction of acquisitiveness, (and if that is your choice then I not judging it) ... then don't worry about it. Just do your thing. But the addictive quality of it, to answer your question, is something we all go through, cyclically. Gosh, I hope this made sense.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    My theme lately is cycles that are actually spirals: every time you seem to come back around to the same thing it is really on a different (hopefully more elevated) plane. I do shed and then reacquire the same types of fragrances, and occasionally though not often the same fragrance, but it is always a new experience. It gets better, and it gets simpler, too, in some respects, as I home in on what I'm really trying to get at. Journeys are spirals. So I would say that as long as you aren't getting yourself into financial trouble, and you are aware of the choices you are making, and you are not harming yourself or others, and you are getting something out of this other than a superficial satisfaction of acquisitiveness, (and if that is your choice then I not judging it) ... then don't worry about it. Just do your thing. But the addictive quality of it, to answer your question, is something we all go through, cyclically. Gosh, I hope this made sense.
    Lile lilybelle says, to go in spirals, actually makes some sense to me. I have been searching, not for the signature scent, but for the special scent(s). To discard and weed out scents that one tires of, makes perfect sense. It means honing the taste. Just recently I started with niche. Although some do not deliver, this experience was on another platform. Eventually, the scents remain that go best with the skin chemistry.

    I do a good job at periodically throwing out things anyway. If the garment was not worn for one year, it has to go. Not necessarily be replaced. Just weeding out. Papers also. SUCH A FEELING OF CLARITY.

    Same with perfumes. Some I will never wear. How do I know whether my relatives will like them ? No problem. Just place them on the shelves of the Public Library across the street, for a lucky patron to find. They go rather fast, I checked. Such a quick getting rid of a "problem" has cheered me up tremendously.

    Why people go out and overbuy is something for a psychiatrist to evaluate and talking about it here may make bad vibes, so, I am careful what I am saying, also that I am not guiltless myself.

    Whether one should feel guilty is a topic for another thread.
    There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by dollars&scents View Post
    I have never done what you do.
    Perhaps, you are buying fragrances that merely appeal to you, but, not necessarily ones that you are extremely fond of.
    Maybe, you should take a little more time in choosing the ones you buy, and limit yourself to those which you feel are indispensable.
    Of course, new scents will come along that could easily find a place in your rotation; however, I would finish or swap the ones that seem to be replaceable, rather than accumulating just for accumulation sake.
    This. I haven't experienced what you talk about. Then again, I am far more opinionated and decisive than 99.9% of people.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    In more than 30+ years of collecting, I have not parted with nor sold one of my massive collection.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    In more than 30+ years of collecting, I have not parted with nor sold one of my massive collection.
    I dare you to spray em on all at once, and then go hop on a city bus hehe.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by MassMenace View Post
    I just want to ask if you guys go through the same death and rebirth of this hobby. Do you sell everything away just to end up finding yourself purging on new stuff the next month? Give me your thoughts.
    Long story made short: no and no.


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  17. #17

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    My current motto in this stage of the hobby is "top 10 or bust". Only keeping my personal favorites and selling/swapping/gifting those I dont absolutely love. I highly encourage others to do this as you truly appreciate the selected special scents. Your pockets will thank you. This will probably change come winter time. Cold weather=staying home and shopping online for bottles.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Thanks for the replies everybody. I'm not much of a hoarder; I'm actually quite the opposite. I enjoy simplicity and minimalism. I have my gigantic shelf of movies, board games, and books (all of which I would not think twice of giving away), my art collection, drum kit, and my beloved fragrances...I cringe at the sight of clutter..however, the ability to engage in 20-30 fragrances at once sitting my nightstand gives me a feeling like no other..and at times I feel as if I should be saving a little money to put it to better use: "Hmm, a new pair of shoes might be a good idea..I should sell off this bottle of Chanel Pour Monsieur that I never use"..or "School is nigh. I'm going to sell off this Guerlain that gets tucked behind the Diors so I can pay off my loans a little faster". I'm on a budget but at the same time infatuated with fragrances. I'm sure many of you can relate..or at least the ones on a budget.

  19. #19
    Ursula's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Like I said in post #6, put the majority of them out of sight. Enjoy a few.
    There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I suppose I am a hoarder when it comes to fragrance, but I love to revisit fragrances that didn't pass muster on first sniff. I give every fragrance I purchase at least three chances, and if I am not impressed I put it in cold storage and bring it out at a later time to see if my feelings have changed. I am often pleasantly surprised, so I am hesitant to part with my treasures. I have given many scents which I find boring or unattractive to friends who like them very much, and they usually smell much better on them as well, Bulgari Aqva was one of those.

  21. #21

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    IN my many years of collecting I will only trade with my Son.....I will not sell any of my fragrances without checking with Him first.....I still get a rush from making a purchase.....Gary

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    When I first started, I bought all kinds of stuff. I went a little crazy. I wanted to have a complete collection: Florals, Orientals, Gourmands, Chypres, etc. I wanted to have all the bases covered. And I certainly found fragrances I liked in each category. But after a year or so, I learned what I really liked and most often wore.

    I discovered that I love a dirty chypre...with some orange blossom and gourmand fragrances thrown in for good measure. I also know that I like to have one or two solid citrus-based scents and that nothing comforts me like a good vanilla or lavender-based scent. I learned that I adore Chanel, Guerlain, Micallef, and vintage fragrances. So....I did a bottle purge. It took some serious internal debate. But I sold a lot, and bought other bottles I knew I would love. For instance, I sold 5 bottles to buy one bottle of MdO Oud. I wear it and love it. I don't think twice about the stuff I sold to get it, either.

    So, my fragrance collection has been downsized a bit. And I am now committed to only buying what I absolutely love and will use. I also know that in a year or two I might find that I want to get rid of some more bottles and make room for new loves. But the huge purchasing for me is over.

    This will be a lifelong love for me and I need to pace myself or I will end up in the poorhouse. Also, I don't want to end up with hundreds of bottles I never get around to wearing.

    But MassMenace, I sooooo understand the addictive nature of this hobby. I was just sniffing a whole bunch of Guerlain samples sent to me by a wonderfully generous perfumista. And I just inhaled the intoxicating cloud of Guerlain. Closed my eyes and said to myself, "Guerlain is my crack." If I won the lottery I would have a hard time stopping myself from hunting down every vintage Guerlain I could get my hands on.

  23. #23
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    This addiction thing is really interesting. It reinforces my idea that wearing scents is mostly therapeutic. As addictions go, it is fairly benign. You'd go through a lot more cash gambling or on clothes, fast cars, drugs, etc., with a lot more damage to your life. I'm a bit more worried about possible addiction to Basenotes.

    I have never gotten rid of anything from my collection nor have I ever gone through a bottle. My buying is getting less impulsive, largely because I have bought a lot of the classics and because I want more time to enjoy the things I already have. New purchases are much more thought out and deliberate-- I have drawn up a list that goes a couple of years into the future. Meanwhile, I like everything I own and haven't gotten tired of anything yet.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by MassMenace View Post
    ............. additional gourmand, fresh fougere, chypre etc..or that if I have too many and I don't get any use out of them, they will expire...........
    They won't expire.

    The number of postings we've had here over the last 12 years stating that some scent or other has gone off is utterly minuscule. I had one that went off, it was called Macho by Faberge, which went off after 20 years - but it was a splash bottle, not a spray one.

    On the other hand, we had one chap here who found his father's scents, which had been sitting under a sink somewhere in Arizona (I think) for over 30 years, and none of them had gone off.

    Beats me why you keep selling your scents. The more, the better is my motto. I don't have a clue how many I own. If I drop dead, my nephews can use them or Ebay them.

    I also have a stash of about 30 scents that I keep over in Italy for when I visit there.
    Regards,
    Renato

    P.S. "Fragrance Addiction" - there is no such a thing.
    Ever hear of fragrance fueled volence?
    Or of fragarnce junkies causing burglary or armed robbery crime waves?
    Or of the Police cracking down on schoolyard fragrance pushers?
    Or of the number of fragrance related deaths caused by overdosing?
    Last edited by Renato; 8th May 2012 at 03:24 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    I cycle like that here and there. Buy a few, sell a few, repeat. But Im starting to nail down my 15 bottle collection. Thats my ideal number Im going to to stay at. What comes and goes is the fun part. About 10 of those are constant, the other 5 kinda revolve.

  26. #26

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Sounds like a variant on the ancient Greek idea of "divine madness." LOL.

  27. #27

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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    P.S. "Fragrance Addiction" - there is no such a thing.
    Ever hear of fragrance fueled volence?
    Or of fragarnce junkies causing burglary or armed robbery crime waves?
    Or of the Police cracking down on schoolyard fragrance pushers?
    Or of the number of fragrance related deaths caused by overdosing?
    Actually, it doesn't have to be illegal or otherwise dangerous to be addictive. If you're buying things compulsively, regretting it, losing sleep, and feeling guilty, spending more money than you have, and letting it take up space in your life that you'd rather dedicate to something else (as Brian so smartly put it), then you have a problem. In fact, there's a forum here dedicated to this. People who don't have this problem might find it hard to understand, but that doesn't make it less of a problem.

    I am trying to pare down a bit; in my first year I bought a few things that are really lovely and interesting but that I now realize I probably won't wear. I just don't have the money or the space to keep growing my collection, so I'm trying to be more selective.

  28. #28

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Welcome to the Club

  29. #29
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    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    Actually, it doesn't have to be illegal or otherwise dangerous to be addictive. If you're buying things compulsively, regretting it, losing sleep, and feeling guilty, spending more money than you have, and letting it take up space in your life that you'd rather dedicate to something else (as Brian so smartly put it), then you have a problem. In fact, there's a forum here dedicated to this. People who don't have this problem might find it hard to understand, but that doesn't make it less of a problem.

    I am trying to pare down a bit; in my first year I bought a few things that are really lovely and interesting but that I now realize I probably won't wear. I just don't have the money or the space to keep growing my collection, so I'm trying to be more selective.
    By my Oxford dictionary "addicted" has two meanings,
    1........Being physically dependent to a substance and
    2. ......Informal devoted to a particular interest or activity.

    It strikes me that many of the posts are talking about the second, but are implying the first, or somewhere inbetween.
    If we are talking instead about a strongish complusion rather than an addiction, then I would agree.

    Interesting that you have scents that you think are good but that you probably won't wear. I sort of feel that way about JPG squared, but that's okay as my wife wears it. And to a lesser extent A*men and Rochas Man, but she won't wear them. Is that he sort of thing you're talking about or some other scent category?
    Cheers,
    Renato

  30. #30

    Default Re: The Vicious Cycle of Fragrance Addiction.

    Would never sell a large percentage of scents. I'm completely happy for them to wait in their cupboard for me until I use them. Too much is much better than not enough. The only thing I can be undecided about is the odd scent. Right now it is Encre Noire. I remember liking this a lot but the other day I wasn't so sure anymore. It seems I don't appreciate Iso E Super that much right now and it knuckles you in the head with this one.

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