The other night I stood in front of my perfume cabinet in frustration. I couldn't find room for a newly purchased bottle of Revlon Intimate. In the leather and chypre area where ideally I'd store it, I couldn't squeeze out a square inch without precipitating a domino-like tumble of decants. But what was this? My beloved bottle of L'Artisan Dzing! languished in a corner. How long had it been since I'd worn it? Six months? A year?
On a neighboring shelf I turned flat bottles sideways to try to create enough of a footprint for the Intimate. In reorienting Ungaro Diva and Paloma Picasso Paloma Eau de Toilette (why did I need both the Paloma Eau de Toilette and the Eau de Parfum when I hadn't worn either in ages?) I knocked over a bottle of Jean Patou Chaldée, which thankfully hadn't broken. That got me thinking of the wonderful Patou Ma Collection fragrances I'd squirreled away the shelf above. It's the perfect season for Adieu Sagesse. Sure enough, the Patous were lined up like soldiers: Cocktail, Divine Folie, Que Sais-Je, Normandie, Vacances, and Colony. All fragrances I love and have utterly neglected. And I still didn't have a place for the Intimate.
This was ridiculous. Way in the back of one shelf was a bottle of vintage Christian Dior Diorling I'd once sworn I'd sell a kidney to have, but I'd only worn it maybe twice in the past year. Guerlain Vol de Nuit parfum, a fragrance that sets me right when I'm cranky, hadn't been touched in months. (No smarty pants comments on crankiness, please.) And my gorgeous globe bottle of vintage Je Reviens! Totally forgotten.
What had happened? In my lust after new releases, I had forgotten perfume I truly loved. Even sadder, most of the new perfume I was so eager to try didn't move me. Still, I plowed through sample after sample, swapping for decants of promising fragrances, chasing some new perfume thrill. Also, I still had a glut of bottles I'd bought in my first years of perfume mania. Most of them I liked all right but wasn't wild for. Meanwhile, some of the best fragrances in the world collected dust in my cabinet.
I don't have the money to spend on a lot of new perfume, and I apparently don't have the space, either. Plus, having wonderful things and not using them feels wrong. I found an empty box and loaded it with the perfumes I doubted I'd wear much, if at all, over the coming year. In went Fleurs de Rocailles, the Paloma Eau de Toilette, some vintage Bourjois fragrances, Keiko Mecheri Passiflora, and about a dozen more bottles. They'll be in the basement for a while, and — who knows? — I may add a few more, and even, just maybe, part with them eventually.
My perfume cabinet is a little roomier now, and I've moved some old favorites up to the front so I won't forget them. Today, samples of Amouage Memoir and the new Vero Profumo Eaux de Parfum sit temptingly on my vanity. But I'm wearing Dzing!.
Have a look at your perfume collection. What great perfume have you neglected lately? Put some on and remember those old friends. It feels good. There's always time to make new friends later.