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Weekly Scent Discussion #18: Many or just a Few?

Weekly Scent Discussion #18: Many or just a Few? 7 years ago
I have a MASSIVE collection. Especially when you start adding in all my decants, minis and samples. But smells are my hobby. I like the variety and the access to many things to review (when I get the time anyway). I've been asked more than once whey I "need" so many scents. I find it to be a silly question. I don't NEED any of my scents. They're perfumes, not food, air water, or shelter. However, scent is my hobby. I love thinking about the art behind it. I'm not sure why but many people can't seem to wrap their minds around that. They look at me questioning how a "smell" could be a hobby. I think "How can it not?"

How about you? Is your collection small, large, or in between? Do you want more or less? Why? Do you treat your scents as a hobby or just as something you enjoy to wear but not think about?
Hobby 7 years ago
I enjoy testing perfumes more than I like to own full bottles. There are not all that many I would re-purchase and of those that I would many have gone through one re-formulation too many.

I love Aromatics Elixir but the new version brings me up in a sore rash (still ok with my half bottle from the 1990s).

Asking someone why they need so many perfumes is like asking why someone needs a new book to read or why someone needs to have so many different cheeses in the fridge.

There we are, something about me; books, perfume, and cheese.
7 years ago
I don't know if my collection fits under the term "massive" but I haven't yet met anyone - at least in Denmark where I live - who has a similar collection. I agree with you, Briarthorn, that very few people understand my interest and the fact that I love smelling new perfumes just because they exist. It is like owning a painting. It is decorative, yes, but does it do anything? Not except from making me happy.
I am not very good at sniffing my way through the layers, recognizing the notes. To me a scent is like music: it makes better sense to me if I listen to the harmonies and get the feeling instead of breaking it up into pieces. But I do see the fun in challenging yourself, finding as many of the notes as possible.
I guess we all have our different interests in this forum, but I can only say that it is so great being here with all you people, being able to discuss my favourite topic. Thanks a lot!
7 years ago
It's odd sometimes how others will react to how many perfumes they find out I own. They can't seem to wrap their heads around the number at all. I've seen ladies show me their trays of perfumes that contain roughly 12-15 bottles and they are overwhelmed with that amount. But they don't look at perfumes in the same way that I do. For them, they simply pick up a bottle, spritz some on their decolletage, and they're good to go. They'll tell me their SO purchased it for them, so it's special for them. Ok, that's their version of enjoying fragrance. It's definitely not mine.
I look at all of my bottles, my minis, even my notes on what I've sampled, as a sort of reference library. This is my hobby. It's what I do to relax, to give myself peace of mind, to take myself away. I truly enjoy perfume. What's even more fun for me, is using those perfumes in layering and creating new scents for myself out of what I already own.
This past summer, I took a few months to create my own perfume from my own fragrances and my own fragrant oils. It was a labor of love and pure enjoyment of fragrance. The end result was something I can truly call my own.
I use all of my fragrances, I love my hobby. It brings me happiness and that's all that matters to me. I'm always on the look-out for others to add. Why? Simply because of the sheer enjoyment and pleasure. This is what I have chosen. Others choose their hobbies, spend their dollars and people don't bat an eye because their hobbies are considered main-stream. Some people gamble at casinos and throw their money away, and still others consider that pleasurable. Perfumes are my vice, I enjoy their artistry through photography, through smell and through creating.
Collections 7 years ago
I find other people's collections of interest.

Looking at your shelves I see so many perfumes I have never heard of or never seen in my local shops (of course some can now be found by searching the internet but many years ago there was no way to know they even existed).

I like to keep just a little of each of my perfumes as reference and no longer throw away empty bottles.

My shelves are still a mess. It is a long job bringing them up to date despite the fact I have never owned great numbers; it is the decants and carded samples that will take the greater chunk of time.
7 years ago
Just a few.
Have a look. Those are exquisite and have withstood the "test of time". I got rid of what I did not like - be it that it was a mistake or that I just got tired of it.

You can find out what happens when using your collection via the Method of "Often Worn" (among the PARFUMO tools) which are really the favorites, for whatever reason.

A perfume surrounding me must be in my comfort zone - and not a challenge to "getting used to it".

*****************************
Good discussion. Thanks, Briarthorn, for bringing up good topics constantly.
Between 7 years ago
Hmm. I wouldn't say that I have a massive collection, but I do have a medium-to-large collection. I enjoy fragrance because it is another means of self-expression and a gateway to another world. Scent is both transportative and evocative.

However, I have come to realize that my collection is pushing against the size of my storage cabinet, and so I need to become more accurate in what I buy (or just buy more things as samples not as full bottles). I wish I had the money to smell everything I want to smell, but as a man with finite financial resources, that is simply not possible.
7 years ago
I'm having the same problem Silverfire. I'm running out of space. I am seriously debating on taking decants of some of the scents that I am not super attached to, and selling or trading the bottle. Little 5-10ml decants are so much easier to store and I'll never finish even a quarter of the bottles I own.
7 years ago
I have a very small collection (due to massive downsizing) and I feel much happier now as there are really only bottles I always wanted and I really love to wear (no bad blind-buys, swaps etc anymore because these were just burdens for me).

My collection of decants and samples are also managable. It does not mean that I don't buy anything anymore and my wish list is still in use but now I think twice if I really buy a bottle/decant/sample.

My passion for perfume is not understood by many but it is fine for me - I love to smell wonderful and that's the main thing!
7 years ago
Initially I thought my collection might one day reach 100 FBs. It's approaching 300 now, with no signs of slowing. Decants and minis are nearing 1000. Like others have said, my perfumes are my passion, an indulgence, a keen enjoyment, a reference library. I love sniffing through houses, through genres, or soliflores/solicitruses making notes and deepening my awareness of scent, searching for stars to treasure. Whatever else is happening -- a bad day, a good one -- I must only reach for my perfumes and the day is better than before. Few things other than music can do this for me. Best of all is to have a visitor with whom I can share the collection. Daughter/sister/granddaughter and I have happy times sniffing away. Often hubby and I while away an hour or so exploring and comparing reactions. I, too, am running out of space. But soon we'll be house hunting and an adequately-sized perfume closet is definitely on the list.
Can't get enough 7 years ago
I firmly believe that there is no such thing as too many perfumes.
how can one not want to be able to get their hands on as many different fragrances as possible?
especially when you consider that every new fragrance is a chance to experience a brand new emotion.
that is what perfumes stand for me.
Glad to see so many people who love their perfumes just as much.
Storage 7 years ago
I have a collection, not to big, but I wonder how do other people keep their collections ( sorry for my English it is not my language), me I also like to see them, And they have to be in the dark, ( I keep them in their boxes )if I am correct, I am gonna buy a new cupboard because the one they are in now, becomes to small, but I really like to see my collection. There is a lot of talk that perfumes can go bad, but I have a hard time to understand that, because wine witch has only an alcohol content of Max 13% can be kept for so many years in the right circumstances, and spirits (cognac whiskey etc) can be kept almost For ever and the alcohol content is max 45%, and they don't need special circumstances for keeping them. The pure perfume as they call it has an alcohol content of minimum 50% more 60%. The Eau de parfum around 70%, the Eau de toilette around 80% and the Eau de cologne almost 90%. So how can they go bad than if spirits with only 45% stay good for ever.
If anybody can tell me the logic in it I would be happy,
Although I am not a drinker myself, but good spirits is another hobby..in moderation but I like to give them as presents to some family members who like really good cognacs, whiskeys etc, I also like to hunt for them and the satisfaction when I have found a rare one. But just this hobby made me wonder about how perfumes can go bad..
7 years ago
I am sorry I have not replied back to this sooner. I some how missed your comment.

I have some scents that are still beautiful after 60 years, but very often in my older scents, the top notes are flat, or even turned (celery eww). These notes that turn are the lighter and smaller molecules (such as citrus) and in turn they spoil much faster than some of the heaver base notes like vanilla, musk, and woods. Most of my vintage scents are underwhelming for the first thirty min. and then they blossom into their original beauty. All experienced vintage hunters know that you can't judge a vintage until 30 min after applying because the top notes are rarely preserved but the heart and base notes are normally perfectly fine.

The concentration of the perfume and the type of ingredients are also important. In the scents I own with the higher concentration of oils (like pure parfum and extraints) are the ones that are almost perfectly intact with no off notes. My Youth Dew Pure Parfum and Shalimar Extraint are almost black from age but they smell like pure ecstasy. Counter wise, my Emeraude EDC which is 20 years younger is completely turned in one bottle and the top is completely off in another. Also note that many synthetic chemicals turn much faster than the natural oils as well. Not always, but very often. Also many of the perfumes that are pure oils (ex, Deep Midnight perfumes, Black Phoenix Alchemy labs, Alkemia Oils, etc.) need to age to smell great. Often these scents aren't worth wearing until at least 6mo to a year after they are made and some may take 2 or more years t really hit their stride. I guess in some ways these oils are more like wine than traditional perfumes. From my experience these scents have a lower rate of turning as well, though I don't own any over 9 years old.

Heat and sunlight can accelerate the spoilage process. Remember that a good wine is kept in a dark, cool wine cellar. If it was kept in the heat and light it would turn to vinegar. In that way it has many similarities to perfume. Also, like perfume an aged wine has different aroma and taste than it does when it's fresh. When we talk about wine this is a good thing, in perfume it can be a bit more hit or miss.

I have a tall cabinet with drawers that I keep my scents in. Because If the size of my collection and the limited space I have I flatten out the boxes and store them in an empty suitcase. I just don't have room for them in my cabinet. Not storing them in the boxes hasn't effected them that I can tell. Most of my vintages don't have boxes anyway.
Contagious 7 years ago
Dears, my Friends sharing the same two dependencies (fragrances and music), I am so glad reading your comments. I would wote that it can be never enough.

My wardrobe contains 60 bottles (kept in shoe boxes) and have/had more than 1000 samples (kept in small toolboxes - basicly maid for bolts). (Photo on my page, Gothic called them ammo boxes, and he is right. 2 are on the pictures, now I have already 5 full.)

I do not leave the house without wearing at least 5-6 fragrances - so Ofter Worn menu could not help me - being too lazy to bother with marking the worn perfumes all the time. After getting home and taking shower I put on again 2-3 different scents. I wear oud if I do not want people sitting near to me on the bus, since it is unpopular in Hungary. Wearing woods or cold scents, while negotiating. Spices and citrus, if I have to work longer etc.

Buying a new bottle depends on the needs. First I sample the interesting fragrances of course (or cry sitting in a dark edge if they are unavailable EmbarassedVery Happy), and then one of them sticks in my mind. I can put on anything and everything, if it is not that one perfume, I will not be satisfied. Then waiting is the best, and if this urge fades away, then OK, if not, then I have to buy the bottle sooner or later.

I realized, that the obsession is contagious. My colleagues and my little sister also started to feel something, searching for fragrance experiences and adventures and collecting samples...
7 years ago
The ammo boxes are a great idea. I definitely should look into getting some. I agree that this hobby can be contagious. I got on of my co workers into and she's been on a serious spending spree ever since.
Storing fragrances 7 years ago
@Brianthorne

Thank you for your tip concerning the suitcases, because I have a collection of antique leather suitcases which I used for decoration in my bethroom, Empty....now thanks to you I can fill them with my fragrances, but I still will no be able to "see" them but at least they are in the dark.
Re: Storing fragrances 7 years ago
Isabelle1:
@Brianthorne

Thank you for your tip concerning the suitcases, because I have a collection of antique leather suitcases which I used for decoration in my bethroom, Empty....now thanks to you I can fill them with my fragrances, but I still will no be able to "see" them but at least they are in the dark.

I don't put my fragrances in my suitcases, just the empty boxes they came in. I hold on to the boxes incase I want to sell or trade a scent later.
7 years ago
Reason tells me not to have a large collection but the rest of my brain (it is the dominating part) ignores that completely.
Since I made peace with myself to simply accept my addiction I have been feeling better Smile

I try not to see perfume as holy grails, I bought them to be used, not to decorate a shelf or drawer....so, if one goes bad (which has not yet happened so far) or I lose interest in one the world is still OK Smile
7 years ago
I like to see mine as a perfume wardrobe instead of a collection (even if I am a collector of many other things). I strive to buy fewer things, but things of better quality. For me, a decorative bottle is almost as important as the scent inside. I store my perfumes (and body mists) in a cupboard in my bathroom and some of them on a shelf. I like to discover new perfumes in the stores, and get samples to collect. Thinking of what I like to buy is also fun, so this site is perfect for organizing what i plan to shop next time and so on.
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