It’s getting obscene — that is, the amount of perfume I have. Not only will I never be able to wear it all in my lifetime, the fragrances I truly enjoy are getting lost in the crowd. The other day I stumbled over a bottle of Ormonde Woman and stared at it as if I’d never seen it before. I love Ormonde Woman! But I’d forgotten it was even an option for me.
This is craziness. After all, I’m ruthless about pruning unflattering dresses from my closet. I won’t stand for a coffee mug that is just okay to drink from each morning. If a pillowcase's texture against my cheek isn’t pure soft cotton, off it goes to Goodwill. So, why do I have so much perfume I consider “nice” or “kind of interesting” or “fine”?
The worst part is that I actually want to buy a few new bottles. My decant of Chanel Cuir de Russie ran dry, and it will be a sad winter without it. Ann Gérard Rose Cut beckons. Plus, I need to start saving now for when my Tom Ford Private Collection Tobacco Oud decant empties.
What’s a girl to do? Weed out her collection, that’s what. It’s going to take courage.1 I’m going to have let go of some discontinued or hard-to-find fragrances. If a perfume’s not getting use, rarity alone isn’t a good enough reason to keep it. For instance, I have a number of rose chypres that I rarely wear. Do I really need Ungaro Diva? Sure, it’s discontinued, and it’s by Jacques Polge, but I already have Agent Provocateur (which I should probably give away, too), Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum, and decants of Gucci L’Arte di Gucci and Lancôme Magie Noire. I like Diva — maybe even a lot — but not more than I like fifty other bottles in my collection.
Also, I believe that if someone loves something more than you do, that person should have it (within reason, of course). My bottle of Diva, for example, would make a lot more joy in the world if it went to someone who used to wear Diva and laments that she can’t find it anymore.
So, here’s my plan: I’m going to reduce my perfume collection by five bottles a season until each remaining bottle is something I either love, fascinates me too much to let go, or is an important part of my personal history. I can make small decants to keep for reference, if it seems important. I don’t know if I have the energy to sell the bottles, but I’ll find them homes with people who will cherish them.
Whew! I admit I’m a little nervous thinking about letting go of some of my perfume, but I know I’ll be happier in the end. Next up, going through my book shelves…
Have you ever thinned out your perfume collection? How did you go about it? Do you regret it now?
1. I know, I know: #firstworldproblem