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  1. #1

    Default How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Need advice & stories from more experienced perfumistas. How much of each fragrance do you keep? Have you ever split/sold/swapped something & then regretted it later?

    I've been profligate about buying bottles of relatively inexpensive bottles (mostly classic & vintage). I've never thinned down except for swapping decants, and just a few bottles here and there. I'm considering offering splits from my bottles at near cost b/c I'm thinking I really don't need 50 to 100 mls of 300 fragrances...maybe 5 to 15 mls will last me a lifetime? Plus, I've put so many thousands of dollars into them, would like to get some out to pay down on my student loans that will be coming due soon. Would appreciate any thoughts, advice, stories, etc. Thanks in advance!

    Michelle/bookhouseshell

  2. #2

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Honestly, if you like a scent then keep it. If you don't really like it then by all means get rid of it. Don't worry about being rational, if having a large collection makes you happy then thats fine.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    You can try selling your decants on the following site (they can't be sold on Basenotes):

    http://flacon.ambaric.net/index.php?...5adb0f49a4f65b

    I wouldn't sell off my discontinued favorites, though... they may not be available in the future.


  4. #4

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Michelle, I have downsized my collection, in particular vintage quite a bit over the past 1-2 years, but on the other hand I have increased quantities for a few very dear to me perfumes. I tend not to go for second best in my life (in general), but also tend to be a hoarder. These two traits combined make Larimar what he is. Also, I have concentrated over the past year to back up bound-to-disappear fragrances that are my absolute favorites. As it looks from now, we will see even less natural perfumes, reformulations of classic perfumes in the near future eliminating practically all natural floral oils etc.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    This is an article at NST with a little table at the bottom to help estimate how many days a scent will last based on the bottle size and how many times you spray the fragrance each time you wear it. I don't know if this would be helpful if you are trying to calculate how much of a particular fragrance you'd use:

    http://www.nstperfume.com/2008/08/19...llection-last/

  6. #6

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    It seems to me that bottles with small amounts tend to spoil faster than very full bottles so I would hesitate to have a collection of bottles that are 1/3 full. I think it would make more sense to figure out which you like the most and sell some you do not like to wear as much. That having been said, I myself am having problems thinning my collection.
    One man's trash is another man's treasure. Especially when it comes to perfumes ...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Quote Originally Posted by vmarshmellow View Post
    It seems to me that bottles with small amounts tend to spoil faster than very full bottles so I would hesitate to have a collection of bottles that are 1/3 full. ...
    This is a good point.

    Another solution could be decanting a small amount for yourself (into a size-appropriate atomizer) and selling the partial bottle.

    Edit:
    You have to consider the cost of buying the atomizers, though-- and glass is heavy to mail so add in the postage. That would come off your profit in selling the bottles.

    You would probably make more money selling your bottles on eBay than selling on Basenotes as you would have more people seeing your listings.
    Last edited by 30 Roses; 3rd October 2012 at 11:02 AM.


  8. #8

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I think you would do very well to sell your bottles here on Basenotes. I'd buy some nice 1oz glass atomizers online and find a tasteful way to label them, and build your own personal collection of favorites, all uniform and alike in appearance but special in their contents! I have several 1oz bottles that I got from exoticfragrances.com and they are excellent, great sprayers, durable glass, very pretty and look great on the shelf.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I would say if you like a fragrance, even if you don't "love" it, keep it. Only get rid of scents you really don't enjoy wearing. I was quite strict for a while about only keeping bottles I "love" and got rid of many "like" scents. Now I find that I am craving some of them and am seriously considering buying them again - not very economical. Not having worn a scent for a year or so is also not a criteria anymore for me which decides if to keep or sell something.

    As for how much is enough for a lifetime: my collection of 60 bottles and about 75 is enough to get me through the next 15 years (the NTS article mentioned in songeuse's post is a real eye-opener, btw). However, I love/enjoy all the scents I have and don't want to get rid of any of them (even if they scarcely get worn). I have already regretted swapping too much away from certain fragrances as some of them have been discontinued/reformulated in the meantime.

    So I just keep everything, am slowly accepting that I am uncurable, and am continuously expanding my wardrobe (my whish-list never shrinks).

    I tried to keep my purchases in check by saying that I am only allowed to buy a bottle after I have used up an equal amount of the fragrances I have. I have made lists with fragrance categories and said that I should only have one or two bottles per category. Did my feeble attempts help? No, addiction wins in my case.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Limited editions make me so mad, lol.
    "One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." Proverbs.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    You have got too many, IMO, mostly designer scents. Out of 289 bottles, keep around 75-80 and get rid of the rest.( I left some of mine in public restrooms if nobody wanted them out of the people I knew. They were gone in less than an hour. It is a great feeling of liberation). Keep a few decants too, perhaps around 40-50. I also saw your To Test list -- you are venturing into the niche category and this will cost you more than designer fragrances but in some cases is very much worth it. Bonsai's advice about getting a new bottle only after you have got rid of the old one, is very valid.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Oh and paying student loans is responsible and will save you interest down the line.
    "One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." Proverbs.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I always keep a reference 1ml vial if I ever get rid of a frag. I cannot bear the idea that I won't remember the smell exactly. This makes a nice compact library of scent that doesn't take up too much room. If I feel I might want to wear it, then I will fill a small brown 10ml dropper bottle. In saying all this, I rarely get rid of a frag. I prefer playing swapping games with them all, but in your case I think covering a student loan is a brilliant investment of your frags because the education you obtain with them will buy you lots more later...lol.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Thanks for all the great advice, food for thought! At some point I realized I'm not really just building a perfume collection, but a perfume library. I don't have enough experience to know if my tastes are changing as I'm exposed to more fragrances or if I'm 'escentually' fickle. Something I thought was a 5 star 6 months ago could go down to a 2 star & vice versa. This really makes it challenging to thin the herd. I really like the idea of smaller bottles/decants (I absolutely adore minis), this is what I was considering doing, but not sure how much to keep of each.

    I've got to do something, my daughter is turning 13 & had her sleepover at her Dad's, as my dining room is completely overtaken by perfume bottles!

  15. #15

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Thanks for all the great advice, food for thought! At some point I realized I'm not really just building a perfume collection, but a perfume library. I don't have enough experience to know if my tastes are changing as I'm exposed to more fragrances or if I'm 'escentually' fickle. Something I thought was a 5 star 6 months ago could go down to a 2 star & vice versa. This really makes it challenging to thin the herd. I really like the idea of smaller bottles/decants (I absolutely adore minis), this is what I was considering doing, but not sure how much to keep of each.

    I've got to do something, my daughter is turning 13 & had her sleepover at her Dad's, as my dining room is completely overtaken by perfume bottles!

  16. #16

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I reached the point late last year, after an almost insane buying spree, of critically judging what I used and what I didn't use. When I calculated out what I used on average in a year - perhaps some two full 100ml bottles, I was shocked to realize that I had to live to 95 to use my 'favourite' full bottles up.

    An ugly picture came into my mind - my precious perfumes were being cleaned out by a relative and most of them went to the charity shops. Some of my treasures went into the bin, accompanied by a wrinkled nose and plenty of 'yuk, how could she wear these'.

    I have begun a campaign to sell ( usually at a horrible loss) those things I don't automatically reach for. I'm lucky that my perfumes are all stored in a single cupboard, with spare bottles stored elsewhere. That means when I go to my everyday cupboard I can see everything there at a glance. I find I go to the same things over and over again. So those little lonesome bottles that sit neglected have been tagged 'to be sold' and removed to another storage area.

    I'd say realistically with 40 favourites, that's enough to keep me happy. That way I have the potential to use a different perfume for every day of the month, and then some.

    My philosophy is that it's better to get those unloved perfumes to someone who will love and use them than to hoard.

    Even if we think we need all those perfumes, realistically we don't. And to make matters worse, we acquire new ones that we find we cannot live without . I've just discovered Amouage, Acqua di Parma and L'Occitaine. It just never really ends.

    I do agree that keeping a reference sample is a good idea. It's a mistake I made with some I disposed of, and then when I bought them again later, I found I still didn't like them enough to warrant the expenditure. Til now only two of perhaps 50 that I disposed of have come back to haunt me, enough for me to buy and love them again.

    There's a fine line between being an enthusiast/collector and being a hoarder. It's all too easy to become a hoarder keeping things beyond their proper use by time.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Quote Originally Posted by bookhouseshell View Post
    I've got to do something, my daughter is turning 13 & had her sleepover at her Dad's, as my dining room is completely overtaken by perfume bottles!
    I realize that I'm getting serious in a relatively lighthearted conversation, but, yep. I realize that a dining room full of perfume bottles absolutely isn't a hoarded house and I'm not saying that it is, but as the daughter of a hoarder, I tend to have strong feelings about being too afraid of making a mistake with one's possessions. In thinning the collection, you probably _will_ make a few mistakes and get rid of bottles that you will wish you'd kept. And that's fine. Embrace the inevitable mistakes. Don't wait until you're confident that no mistakes will be made, because that time will never come. Don't wait for the very best way to get your investment back, because you can never be sure that you've found the best way, and you're paying for these fragrances in space and frustration every day.

    To answer the original question. I will probably never use up a 30ml bottle in my lifetime, and for me, 15ml is plenty for any fragrance - I might someday regret not having more, but 15ml is a whole lot of wearings, so the regret won't be that strong.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I'm still at the collecting stage, but I have a feeling that once it tips over into the refine and reduce stage my plan will be to have about 50 or so favorite bottles (50-125ml), 30 x 30ml decants of ones I like but are expensive for full bottles or I wear here and there along with probably a good 30-50 x 10ml decants for very concentrated juice or ones I don't really wear much but like for some reason, and then a collection of 100-200 1.5ml(vials)-2.5ml(atomizers) samples for collection/reference purposes...

    So roughly a banker box's worth of stuff basically... That's a solid collection without being unmanageable and worth about $3-5K so something that's important but not life changing if something happened...

    remember, it's just stuff... most of it's replaceable with time, effort and money. Look at how many vintage bottles of juice are available of stuff from 20-30 years ago. It's out there, it'll keep being out there, and so maybe you'll pay an extra $20-30 for it? big deal, in 30 years if you're that desperate to have back your fragrance you can pretty easily reacquire it...
    and there's so much good juice out there. Enjoy what you have and don't get too hung up about what to keep or remove, you'll never get through it all (both what you have and what's out there)


    Anti-hoarding... ask yourself:
    1. Is this something I really need or want. For example, when was the last time you actually used it? This question will help you determine if it's something you actually need to have right now.
    2. Is this something that if I actually wanted/needed at some point, would it be difficult to reacquire? This question gets over the fear of giving away / dumping the item for fear of loss. If it's something you know you could pretty easily get back with some time, effort, and money, then let it go and it'll come back when you need it.
    3. Is this something that's of value or use to anyone else? If it's something sentimental, consider keeping it or even a photo of it or something and then throwing it out. If it's something of value for anyone else, then either sell it or give it away or donate it. if it's really of no value to you or anyone else, then throw it in the garbage.
    NEW SPLIT - Tom Ford Lavender Palm 50ml in Atomizer - DISCONTINUED!. .

    Most of the time I am very proud of the Basenotes community. Time after time I have witnessed the thoughtfulness, empathy & genuine friendship that members of this community extend to others - oldtimers & newcomers alike. There are other times, however, when egos get the upper hand and civility goes out the window. My philosophy is that I won't say anything here that I would not say if you were standing in front of me. Welcome to Basenotes, each and every one of us. ~ TwoRoads

  19. #19

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Eh-hum... and what's wrong with hoarding... remind me again?

  20. #20

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    hmmm... it took me 5 years to drain my 100 ml bottle of Chanel no. 19, and enjoyed every drop. A year after purchasing 75 mls of Chanel no. 22, I have about 50 mls remaining. I've likewise emptied my no. 5 edt...I see a pattern here. Running low on my Shalimar edp, a 30 ml bottle. Honestly, there is something satisfying about draining every last drop of a fragrance you really love. Bittersweet, but somehow satisfying.
    "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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    keep the ones you love an kno you will use thats what ive come to relize instead of buying everything i could
    1. Dior Homme Original
    2. Musc Ravaguer
    3. Portrait of a Lady
    4. Noir de Noir
    5. L Instant Guerlain pour Homme Extreme
    6. New Haarlem
    7. Pure Coffee
    8. Blu Mediterraneo Sicilian Almond
    9. Rose 31
    10. Spiritueuse Double Vanille

  22. #22

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    What's wrong with hoarding? I guess when you watch TV programs about hoarders, you realize that they have a problem of some kind. The collecting process becomes uncritical and sometimes fairly meaningless, at least to others looking in from the outside.

    The attachment is to things, rather than a true love of the individual items. The good, the bad and the ugly all get bundled together.

    On a deeper level, I have a sense that there is something mean spirited about hoarding, at least when I apply it to myself. I find myself feeling quite uncomfortable about how much I have, and how little others have. I remind myself that some of the poor will never own a classic French perfume, will probably never have even tried one. They will never know the deep pleasure of using a truly beautifully constructed perfume, just one of many other wonderful experiences they will never know.

    I've made a point of giving things away over time, as well as selling. If a young girl admires a piece of costume jewellery on me, I will give it to her. After all, I think to myself, I have plenty more. I've made a conscious effort not to hoard, though the perfume mania is very hard to break. It's the only time when something I have disposed of comes back to haunt me. I give lots of things to charities and never think back on them. Only perfume does this to me. I really don't know why. After all, perfume is no more valuable than a nice piece of jewellery, a good piece of clothing, a household item.

  23. #23

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I love hoarding perfumes. I need all of them... for perfumers reference....

    OK.. probably not the whole bottle actually.... but....

    There is so much fun to be had with them. Sharing decants left right and centre, and playing swaps and guessing games on here. It is a mad hobby that does nobody any harm. It's a bit expensive = yes, but so is smoking or buying lots of expensive clothes. Some people go fishing, others to the pub, others knit jumpers, some go on expensive holidays or lots of meals out or even invest in stamp collecting.... or buy and love perfumes. It is a reasonable investment because whenever broke, then you can sell a few..... and it's a pure hobby.....and not a compulsive problem.... and I think I need some more.......

    Seriously...If anyone is fortunate enough to afford luxuries, then it should be fairly safe to assume that a certain proportion goes to the deserving already. Most moderately fortunate people cater for that (don't they?). There is no need to feel mean spirited about having much of anything as long as you share some.

    Perfume isn't strictly a need. Just very, very nice. How many of anything do we really, really need? Nada!

    Sell them all (except a little drop of your favourites to wear) until the whole loan is all gone. Be free of possessions and debt during college years. Just have unbridled fun.

  24. #24

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Eh-hum... and what's wrong with hoarding... remind me again?
    When hoarding makes household resources like certain rooms unavailable, thus making it impractical to hold certain life events at home... that's what's wrong with hoarding. My fifth birthday party was the last one that we could have at home. By junior high it was not possible to have friends over at all. I had friendships again in college, because I lived in the dorms.

    Again, I'm sure that the OP is _not_ a hoarder. But my childhood with a hoarder has made me very aware of the tradeoff between storing possessions and the other uses of one's home. Non-storage uses are, IMO, more important than storage uses.

  25. #25

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Sorry, I was being flippant. I meant no harm. I am actually a dreadful hoarder myself.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    Nah, mumsy, we knew you were joking and not saying that actual hoarding is a good thing-- nor do you sound like a true hoarder, just a passionate collector who sees no harm in collectors enjoying what they have. And I agree.

    bookhouseshell, the problem of storage is one that affects us all after we buy more than a few bottles. The dining room table isn't working out for you for very good reasons. Have you considered a perfume wardrobe? I believe it's kumquat who posted a photo of one she had made for her bottles.

    Edit: Here is the thread with kumquat's gorgeous cabinet!
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/259...out!?p=1922652
    Last edited by 30 Roses; 10th October 2012 at 11:45 AM.


  27. #27

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I hit a point where owning a lot of perfume bottles started to feel oppressive to me rather than enjoyable. Since then, I've slowed waaaaay down on buying new bottles (I've bought only 2 so far this year) and have unloaded some of the old. I like to give them away; it brings me more joy than selling them.

    For me, my family not being able to use a room in the house would be reason enough to unload stuff, no matter what it was. I've had a lot of books in my life as well, and I purged those last year, too. I've missed a couple, but not enough to make up for the relief of getting rid of all that STUFF.

    One idea: Put the perfumes you don't think you'll wear again into a big box in the basement. Check the box again in a year (or two, or less, whatever works for you). At that point, get rid of anything you still don't like that much anymore. I do this, and it works well for me. I have a basket in my closet that gets the unworn bottles, and every so often I'll go in there and see if I've changed my mind about them. The answer is almost always no, and then I give them away. Putting perfumes into limbo takes away a lot of fear about eventually getting rid of them.

  28. #28

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately, because I feel compelled to buy a back-up bottle of a scent I really love right now and worry about not being able to acquire more later, and yet I also have back-up bottles of other scents that I will probably never get through and think I should probably sell. What to do, what to do...

  29. #29

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I've been reducing the number of bottles in my collection. I do this every so often when I realize I have too many and I don't really care for some of them as much as I want to, so off they go!

  30. #30

    Default Re: How much do I really need for a lifetime?

    I can't imagine having so many frags that they took up a whole room ... I can only dream! How wonderful to go into that room and select your SOTD - if that's what's happening. But if not, if you're just accumulating unused and unloved scents, then I'd sell or give away those that I don't care for, and concentrate on buying backups for the really, really special ones. Because every great perfume gets reformulated one day, and I often wish I'd bought more when they were available.
    These days I buy much less scent, but what I do spend money on includes samples, decants and FBs of only a few very precious scents, the ones I know I wear a lot. For me, that's my Carons, Paris, Bulgari Rose Essentielle and Ta'if. I wear these at least once a week and get through them quite fast. Others have languished for too long in the back of a drawer, and I'm getting ready to have a clear out.

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