Thanks for everyone’s input on the blog setup last week. So. We won’t do jumps, we’re working on the blog ads, and I’m still trying to fix the errant comments box. Also, I know it’s our problem and not yours, but FWIW several people said after they added on or upgraded their adware on Safari, Firefox, etc., the popups went away, and others said that clicking directly through to comments seems to suppress them.
Another commenter said, very politely, that preferably we’d stay on topic – perfume – and leave the off-topic posts on makeup, etc. to weekends. I replied that I understood and that, at least in my case, my off topic posts were born of desperation. Inconceivable as it may seem, I can sniff samples for days and be uninspired by any of them. I got another (very polite) reply that a “meh” review of something was okay. And I’ll reply here that, again, in my case, I hate writing those. They cause me physical pain. They bore me to write them, so I can only assume that they’re boring to read. And unless you’re Guerlain, I’ve pretty much stopped writing the really mean reviews, they make me feel petty. It is utterly reasonable to show up to a perfume blog expecting something about … you know … perfume. I just thought I’d throw out my two scents (I just typo’d it that way so I’m leaving it) about why you sometimes don’t get a perfume review.
Today I’m proposing a taboo topic – The Number. That is, how many bottles of perfume do you own? The Number is – like the number of one’s past lovers – often kept concealed and referred to obliquely, if at all. Too low a number and you look like an amateur. Too high and you look like a freak, or greedy. I am sure that just reading this paragraph has caused some hearts to start beating faster in alarm.
This came up in my mind recently when a friend asked me (related to something else) how many bottles I had, although I don’t think she even put it that directly. More related to storage issues. I hemmed and hawed. I equivocated. Finally I offered this: I’d do a quick count of the number of bottles immediately visible on my walk-in closet shelves.
The quick-count number was 82. My friend was impressed, and/or possibly a little weirded out. How, she wondered, do you wind up with all those bottles?
Now. Let us pretend, for the purposes of discussion, that 82 represents half my collection. Which it does not. It does not include bottles stored in the closet chest, backup bottles (Barbara Bui! Theorema!), bottles boxed up until they’re in season or, uh, bottles kept elsewhere in the house. And this does not include samples or decants, “decant” defined as anything other than a manufacturer’s bottle. But let’s double that 82, then round up generously and call it an even 200. And then let’s peer into the brains of people reading these words.
Some of you are thinking: this woman is a total amateur. I cannot believe I have wasted two years of my life reading anything she has ever said. I am removing her from my bookmarks this instant. For every one of those people, there are others who are thinking, 200 bottles of perfume in her closet?!?!? What an amazing waste of money! And shoe storage!!
There are people who hit the hundred or thousand-bottle mark and keep right on going. There are people who have special storage arrangements constructed for their fragrances. There are people who can’t face moving, because how to pack up all those bottles?
And you know what? I am fine with that. Eight bottles or eight hundred, whatever makes your wheels spin. I can only address my particular case. I don’t mind the samples, which I sort and store. The bottles I find problematic not because I don’t have room for them but because a large collection of anything frightens me. It’s not a perfect science but: when bottles come in, others have to go, and the rest I put away because I don’t want to look at them. It’s too much. They weigh on me. In terms of my physical space, I am all about the illusion of control. For the record — none of it makes me feel guilty. If people can collect wine guilt-free, I can collect perfume, yes? As long as I’m not bankrupting the family, I figure it’s nobody’s business but my own.
I don’t need to know your number, and I hardly expect you to type it in here, unless you want to, in which case, knock yourself out. I’d be interested in any related comments, including reactions of others who see your collection (some people find mine baffling/horrifying), how you manage it, how it’s evolved over time, and how you feel about The Number.
stoppered bottles: coloradocandelabra.com