In late 2005, I posted a little lament about my perfume spending:
I first became seriously interested in fragrance in late 2003. I bought one bottle in November, and another in December. A flurry of spending early in 2004 eventually led to a self-imposed limit of 2 bottles per month. I stuck to that (more or less) for the remainder of the year. This year, I have slowed down, but all the same my "to buy" list currently comprises 15 fragrances, only 2 of which are to replace bottles that are nearly empty.
My total perfume intake for 2005 ended up at 11 bottles. Not too bad, and in 2006, I did even better. I bought 6.5 bottles (the .5 was a bottle of Sel de Vetiver that I split with a friend), plus a bottle of Jardin Sur Le Nil body lotion. The lotion, as it turns out, gets more use than anything else I bought last year — if you love Sur Le Nil, do try the lotion!
What bothers me about my spending for 2006 is not the amount — 6.5 bottles won't lead to bankruptcy — but that almost all of them were impulse purchases, perfumes I bought on the spur of the moment because I just felt like buying something. And despite my frequent injunctions about not buying unsniffed — don't do it! — 3 of those 6.5 bottles were bought blind, and notably, if I had sniffed the fragrances first, I only would have needed one of them (L'Artisan Dzongkha).
So how am I doing this year? Well, so far in 2007 I have bought nothing. Nada! And so now I have some advice for anyone looking for a way to curtail their out-of-control fragrance spending: start a blog. Then set out to test everything that is released, even things that sound utterly unappealing, and at the same time, try to smell all those hundreds of classics you missed along the way. Unless you have way more time, money and energy than I do, you won't quite manage it, but if you're anything like me, even making the effort will seriously dampen any impulse you might have to add more perfume to your collection. Perfume is no longer something I wear, it is something I test. Most of my favorites sit unloved and neglected, and on those days when I don't have anything I need to test, going fragrance-free seems like a luxury.
I'm exaggerating, of course — I do still wear fragrance just for myself. I still spray on Philosykos or Luctor et Emergo to read in bed. After I showered off Miss Boucheron yesterday, I put on a touch of Bahiana, and when I had a few stressful days last week, Ouarzazate turned out to be the perfect calming agent. This morning, I'm wearing Eau Exotique, a gorgeous and entirely underrated fruity floral (really!) by Parfums de Nicolaï, and one of my full bottle purchases from last year that has been largely ignored (March of Perfume Posse reminded me how great it is). But there are many days, weekends especially, when I can't be bothered with scent. So buying a new 50 ml bottle of perfume seems a little crazy. It might as well be a gallon: I'll never, ever use it up.
End of lament, on to the poll:
Are there any upcoming releases that you'll just have to buy unsniffed this year?
My answer: Kelly Caleche! Must have it! Will have it!
Do you buy perfume on impulse, or give serious consideration to what ought to be in your collection?
Already answered that: I'm an impulse buyer.
What should I buy next? What will you buy next?
I'm trying to stick to the perfumes that I absolutely adore but don't own, or that are so different from the other things I own that they seem necessary. A few choices: Caron Alpona, CB I Hate Perfume Memory of Kindness, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Juozas Statkevicius, Kenzo Flower Oriental (this one is going to disappear soon, I'd guess), Lubin Idole, Prada Man. I am tempted by a bell jar of Iris Silver Mist, and I don't know why I don't own Diorrisimo in Parfum. Also tempted to add a new summery citrus, possibly Santa Maria Novella Eva? Paul Smith Story? Or I also have a few empty or nearly empty bottles that are going to need to be replaced eventually, including i Profumi di Firenze Spezie de Medici and Ormonde Jayne Champaca. What little is left of my Delrae Debut has turned, so I'd like to replace it but am wary about the shelf life.
So the other reason I don't buy: I want so many things that I can't make up my mind! Your vote?
Note: image shows the aptly named Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker. Tag line: She Had To Have It!