Are You a Perfume Addict?

Not too long ago, one of our perfumista buddies on here bid on a bottle of something on eBay, only to realize after she won that the price was listed in British pounds rather than dollars.  Oops.   So she wrote me in a welter, and I promptly reassured her.  First off, the price she paid was still worth it, IMO.  Second, hey – at least it wasn´t the old 2/1 exchange rate!  Finally, I don´t feel you can be a true member of our cult unless you´ve messed up an eBay purchase or three.  But does that make you a perfume addict?

perfume addict - is this perfume addictionLast week on the blog, there was a great comment from Pyramus I´m going to quote here:  “On a visit to Toronto in the year Yohji Homme was launched, on the day I was leaving, I sprayed some on my wrist at Holt Renfrew, went to a movie and got there about half an hour before the movie was ready to start because that´s what I do, sniffed my wrist compulsively, realized I would not have time to go back to HR after the movie, left the theatre, ran back to HR, bought the stuff, and then ran back to the theatre. That´s how desperately I realized I needed it.”

Now that is textbook perfume fetishist behavior.  Hmmm…. Sit in this movie theater, or go back to HR right now and get me some? I think we can all agree that Pyramus made the obvious choice.

So today I´m inviting anyone who´d like to air an anecdote from your own Perfume Journey (or walk of shame) to do so.  Whether it´s some amazing deal you got, or hoops you jumped through, or a purchase gone hilariously wrong – I´d love to hear about it.  You can achieve two righteous goals simultaneously: serve as a cautionary take for the  lurkers out there and allow us to laugh at you (or sigh in envy.  Inviting those of you who bought the $20 Gobin Daudes on clearance at Tak a couple years ago to come out and gloat).

Off the top of my head – I think the most ridiculous effort I made to score a bottle was the Tan Giudicelli Annam I found on this wack French swap site (I couldn´t simply pay cash for it).  I managed to drag in a whole slew of innocent victims to help me with that one, including Patty, Louise and Carmencanada, since I don´t, you know, actually speak French (and the swapper didn´t speak English, and nobody wanted to ship it through the bs French postal system.)  I traded it for a bottle of YSL Cinema that I had shipped to Carmen from a British seller blah blah blah nutjob blah blah obsessive freak blah.  If you´re curious about the gory details, click here for my post.

My funniest eBay purchase, which some of you already know, was the screaming deal I got on a bottle of the difficult-to-find Floris Summer Limes on a German website.   Unfortunately what I´d actually bid on was a postcard of Summer Limes, presumably left over from some ad campaign.  As we say in German, dummass.  And I´ve gotten more than one empty bottle bidding on foreign auctions, although sometimes US sellers dump out the bottle contents before shipping or fail to adequately seal it, so you receive a great-smelling package with no juice remaining.  Some eBay sellers are used to dealing with us, but it´s always good to let random sellers know you want to wear the fragrances.  Funny as it may seem, many of them have difficulty grasping that you´re interested in the perfume itself.  Also, a special shoutout to Louise – if you read this post on your travels, please tell your Coke bottle story!  (Louise is still swanning around Yurrup – go ahead, make me jealous!)

Alrighty then.  Cozy up to your keyboard and tell me your perfume stories.  I won´t laugh nervously and back away.  Unlike your other friends.

This is interesting too!

229 Comments

  1. There are so many stories I could share, but I’ll stick with a short one.

    It was my first trip to Paris; hell, my first trip to Europe. I’d just gotten off an 8+ hour airplane ride, punchy after nearly 20 hours without sleep. And dammit, first things first, I had to go to Guerlain Champs-Elysees. Later that same hour, the punchiness was obviously in play, along with the rain slickened streets, as I attempted to run across a side street with two overstuffed Guerlain shopping bags in tow….

    and slipped and fell in the street, just narrowly missing having my eyes gouged out by the kajillion bicycles and motorcycles parked 10 deep on either side of me at the corner where I was attempting to cross.

    I think you all know what my first words were. Yes, they were “How’s my Guerlain???” All hail the fabulous Lisa R., who had the presence of mind to catch both bags literally in midair as I went down like four flat tires. There were 2 parfums, 2 L’Art et la Matieres, and Vega in those two bags, so I am obviously forever in her debt.

    How’s that? *grin*

    • My stomach was in knots, waiting to read whether the bottles had survived.

      That Lisa R is a Good Friend. And you can always get another eye!

      xo >-)

      • Hahahaha — I just read this response. You and me on the same page… too bad she can’t GROW another eye. Can frogs do that, or only limbs?

        Actually, never mind. I don’t want to know.

    • Absolutely — save the Guerlains!!! You can always grow new skin back on your arms and legs, ya know? But those bottles… you scared me with this one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hmmm…

    Tee-hee!:-) I suspect I’m the eBay Freakout in this story 😀 Might as well confess other freakout (poor March – I feel for her, I really do – and here’s why):

    Mistress March is my ‘settler’, bless her heart. I run to her everytime I am about to/just did something I deem sort of Perfume Stupid. The one she refers to here is a slammin’ Jolie Madame and once I got it I shut up p.d.q. Not only was it reasonable, it is exquisite!

    But the First One: Mistress March gets the Perfumista Medal of Honor for not slapping me silly. The following conversation went on for several WEEKS! and thank Floyd it was via email’s all I can say!!

    Re: Drama Nuui (which she doesn’t even like, so this must’ve been torture):

    Me: I’ve fallen HARD for this!
    MM: get it, already
    Me: it’s dirt-cheap, about $1/ounce~ should I get it?
    MM: you love it (I dunno why but you do) – stop stressing and GET IT!
    Me: should I get it?

    and on and on…..

    most of you who know me know that I am NOT a ditherer but something about perfume purchases quivers my liver – poor Shelley is still recovering from my Bigarade Concentree purchase!

    Miracles of miracles, both of them are still speaking to me!

    ps. I Got It.

    xo >-)

    • And if the stealth muskiness in the DN starts bothering you too bad, I know someone who might be of assistance in unloading that… 😀

    • oh my god you and that Drama Nuui… heh, yes, this was you btw, I left you out to protect the innocent… actually I was thinking *I* should just buy the bottle for you, you should have held out a little longer! 😉

      When I’m doubtful I always email Patty. You know what a joke that is. I send some three-para knicker-twist about whether I should buy Parfum X and get back a sweet “wth is wrong with you? Just buy the damn thing.”

    • Gotta say, the whole Bigarade situation seems pretty simple now. 😉 And you DO smell good, so it’s all good, right?

      • You are both very patient and very good to a poor ol’ >-)

        Most of it is the result of my slow emergence from surprise-poverty. From Hermes to Wal-mart is a looooonnnng drop! And I’m still not out of that particular hole just yet (was gonna say ‘woods’ but decided not to mix metaphors this early in the day). So FB purchases I wouldn’t have given a thought to, 5 years ago, now require careful consideration.

        Perhaps that isn’t a bad thing. As long as I don’t tax my pals too hard while I journey through those decisions..

        xoxo

        • To me the important thing is that you bought something you loved. You’re not out there buying 700 bottles of perfume. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  3. Hmm, I don’t have any incredibly silly stories. I’ve come close to being suckered by those *postcards* of perfumes on evilbay… seriously, WTF is with that? Getting perfumistas all excited and stuff for a photograph? Whatever. Then again, there are probably vintage advertisement collectors who are all annoyed because they got suckered by an ACTUAL bottle of crusty old vintage Apres L’Ondee extrait…

    Anyway, the most recent proof of my “little problem” is that mere hours ago I used “Buy It Now” to nab a half-full 200ml bottle of Prada Id’I for only $19.95. And I don’t even really LIKE that stuff that much. But…!

    And I’m looking at a desk that will never be neatly organized again, thanks to way too many sample vials and various sizes of decant atomizers and chunks of bubble wrap scattered all over the place. I’m starting to hate it.

    Also, I’m embarrassed if the paramedics ever have to come in and see the collection on my shelves. I’m serious.

    • AHA!!!! I am NOT the only one getting suckered by postcards?!?!? Although you didn’t pull the trigger…. makes me feel better though. You made me laugh out loud with your crusty extrait…

      And I can further demonstrate my addiction: I read your note about the Prada for BIN $19.95 and my first thought was DAMN, why didn’t I get that?!?! And I don’t want a bottle either!

    • PS My husband has asked me to do something about the Bubble Wrap Situation all over the house because he’s tired of listening to the twins jump up and down on it. He finally figured out “where they’re getting it,” having noticed it’s all over the house like snowdrifts depending on where I opened a box.

      • Ha ha ha! “Bubble wrap situation”… my tortured soul, green eco-minded, is constantly whack-slapped by my “oooh, EvilBay deal” self… I have found myself offering up “collections” of packaging materials to eBay sellers (which sometimes works, btw). My kids have been around the block with the packaging so much that the excitement of bubble snapping actually wore off. And they were pretty mean poppers, too…

        • Yeah, if my eco-minded self isn’t sufficiently smacked around by the bubble wrap and (gasp) STYROFOAM PEANUTS (haven’t these people heard?)… it’s smacked around some more by thinking of all the aromachemicals and such involved with all this. Green-friendly my a**. I’m not about to switch to all-natural botanical perfume oils anytime soon. Mother Nature can whoop my karma later on…

          • Joe, I HATE those dang packing peanuts. Every so often I bag ’em up and take them down to the local pack-n-ship place, which is overjoyed to get them.

            I too am covered up with bubble wrap, or “Pop paper” as my kids call it. However, The CEO doesn’t work at home much, so he doesn’t have to listen to small feet jumping on it. Or bigger feet, since I have a weakness for stomping on it myself…

            • Weird. I almost never get peanuts any more? Lots of newspaper and those inflated plastic baggies.

              • Me neither, thank God. Those things are worse than roaches. Once they get into your house they never get out. Ten years ago a neighbor’s trash can blew over at Christmastime, and the wind blew thousands of them into our yard. Last year I was pruning a shrub and I found one of them under there. Not to mention that the recycling doesn’t take them and they last forever.

    • I won a bid on the same for just over $20, full bottle. Ha. Before I hit the “pay now” button, I thought I might just go ahead and request the seller to guarantee authenticity (like that means anything anyway). I’ve sent 3 messages so far, no reply, and it’s been well over a week. Go figure. The item is still sitting in my “won” list, mocking me. Well, I got suckered, but at least I didn’t get SUCKERED. 😉

      • For $20 you’re worried about authenticity? Oh honey, let it go. Then go purse shopping on some back alleys off of Canal Street in NYC… you can get some great deals. 😀

  4. Well, I’m terribly new to Perfumedom. Well, a year. But I haven’t even spent one hundred dollars on samples yet, so surely I still have a long way to fall.

    I have a story, I suppose. I found a nearly-empty bottle of My Sin parfum at an estate sale and fell head over heels. So first thing I did when it broke (first my Dzongkha, then my Sin!) was get a friend with an eBay account (and a sniping bot, thank you very much) to procure a bottle for me. It was much cheaper than I’d expected it to be. Well, it’s My Sin extrait. Just can’t get the freakin’ stopper out. I literally broke off the top of the stopper (it’s glass) trying to get into it. Now, I can definitely smell it, so I wasn’t ripped off. I plan on taking a hammer to it soon, actually. I got what I hope is a large enough atomizer today, so all I really need is a funnel. And good luck. =P

    • Getting The Stopper Out. Somebody did a perfume tutorial on that, where was it? Although it sounds like you don’t care much anyway. Every now and again, one of us (usually Patty) casually mentions hammering some old flacon to get at the juice, and I picture a bottle collector out there in the blogosphere quietly weeping into his/her monogrammed hankie.

      Good luck with that decanting! Watch out for shards of glass…

      • I have a vintage collector friend who is also in the middle of making various repairs to her newly purchased (but old) house. She used her tile drill to go right through a bottle like this (she bought it with the stopper broken) and decanted it. I think it was another Lanvin actually! Maybe they have a tendency to go this way…

        • I called some bead-makers, thinking a bead drill would do the trick but I got tired of waiting around.

          I really have no idea what the problem was, but it was definitely worth the trouble.

      • Man, I tried everything: hot water, ice water, freezing, swirling, pickling, pan-searing… I mean…. >…>;;

        Well, to save those poor bottle collectors (monogrammed hankies! xD) any unwelcome distress, the “extraction” went rather well. I’ll probably need a new turkey baster, but I’ll cross that bridge when I actually need a turkey baster. Should probably get some decanting tools while I’m at it, huh? =P

        • Yeah, who the hell needs a turkey baster?!?

          The last time I bought supplies they threw in a bunch of those cheapo plastic pipettes (?) which have come in handy.

      • I go with 1) putting the bottle in the freezer for a bit; 2) hot water over the stopper; 3) alcohol soak of the stopper; 4) pliers wrapped in fabric; those *grippers* for opening bottles; 5) non-sectarian prayer; 6) cursing and 7) throwing the damn bottle against a wall. Usually I get my reward my step 3 or 4 🙂

        • xD

          I actually used pliers, but the stopper was a more delicate glass than the bottle. Which is just Bad News.

          What’s an alcohol soak? I pretty much did everything but that and throwing.

          Just took a wrench to it in the end.

          • 2 kinds of alcohol soak: first you soak the stopper neck for a while-it de-cruds dried gunk; if that doesn’t work, you soak your system in your favorite beverage to console yourself…

        • What usually works for me is a hot water bath and a hair dryer – magic!

    • Oh boy. Isn’t this what is referred to as the “Smash and Dab”?

      I bought some LHB extrait last month in a nice bottle with a glass stopper that was absolutely frozen. I had a bit of patience, running the top under hot water, wrapping the neck overnight in a damp papertowel, and finally, tapping against the thing with a heavy spoon handle (I was sure I was going to crack that heart-shaped stopper right off), and it eventually came loose. If it hadn’t, I would have seriously been heartbroken. I’ll remember to find someone with a tile drill next time. Eek!

  5. I guess about the craziest thing I’ve done is called up Paris to have two bottles of Bois de Violette and one of Iris Silver Mist shipped to the west coast of County Cork, Ireland, so that my friend Ava could bring them with her on her next trip to NYC. She carried those bottles first to her flat in London, then on a cruise to Africa, where they waited patiently in her tent while she went on safari, and then schlepped them to Los Angeles, to Bucks County, PA, and finally to Manhattan, where she handed them over to me in a suite at the Plaza Hotel.

    • Sounds as if your friend Ava was the one who did the “craziest thing”!

        • tomorrow, dear 😉 I’ll be glad to see you and the gang, but there are a few attractions here in Euroupe…

      • Me, either! Sounds eminently sane to me (and I have done (and requested) similar antics).

        And that sounds like a nice trip! I’ll bet those bottles had lots of stories to tell.

        xo >-)

        • The reason I consider it to have been crazy is that I risked losing one of the best friend’s I’ve ever had by putting her through this rigamarole in the first place, and the fact that I was perfectly willing to do so for three bottles of perfume. I must have been out of my head at the time, but the REALLY crazy thing is that I’d probably do the same thing all over again. She wouldn’t, but I would.

    • Hahahaha!!!! Okay, my Annam didn’t get to go on SAFARI. It just banged around Paris for awhile, then went to Denver for some skiing.

    • Well, if you’re ever able to coax her in to doing it again, could you add a bottle of Poivre and I could meet her in LA somewhere? 🙂

      • Tammy–
        She was barely speaking to me by the time she handed over the goods. I’m going to have to find myself another victim; several large manly mens would no doubt have to grab her as she lunged for my throat if I were to so much as even tipey-toe around the subject ever again. I don’t even attempt to WEAR perfume in her presence anymore (well, at least not anything with violets or iris in it) much less speak its name.

  6. My name is Dinazad and I have back-up bottle mania. And classic perfume mania. I daily scrutinize the perfume section of a local perfume site (so far, I’ve managed to stay away from that particular ebay section), and if a classic Guerlain or Caron is for sale, I feel I need to save it from the ignorant public and buy it, even if I don’t like it all that much! And if there’s something I love – well, you do need backups, just in case your beloved is discontinued, don’t you? I have a third of a bell bottle of Lutens Chene, and when it was in the export line for a short time, I bought a backup. Then I found one at half-price in the sales. Heck, it’s Chene, it’s Lutens, of course I bought it! Last week, what did I see? Chene for a scant $50. I’ve got lots of Chene……

    • You all and your backup bottles. I used to rooolll my eyes, but now that everything’s being reformulated cheaper and IFRA-friendly, I kind of wish I’d done it…

    • Hold on… is Chêne only in the exclusive line, not the export line? Damn. This changes some things.

      • I’m not the Lutens expert… I think they rotate them? So Chene was export for a year and now it’s back to non-export only? Don’t take my word for it though.

        • That’ll teach me to swap samples of that stuff left and right without checking. :-O

        • Yup, that’s the way they handle it – every now and then one of the non-exports visits the export line for a season and then goes back home into exclusivity (and I don’t have a backup of Chergui, d….n!)

  7. There is actually one more detail to my story–which, I hasten to add, is true–that I left out because it made the whole thing seem even more improbable: the movie that I was going to see was “Run Lola Run”, about a woman who basically has to run across Berlin in twenty minutes or else. It’s a really terrific movie which, unlike Yohji Homme, is still available for your enjoyment.

  8. Clearly, I am nowhere near all y’all’s stratosphere of ‘fume addiction, but I certainly am enjoying reading these stories!

      • Oh, and this, BTW, coming from a woman who, if I’m not mistaken, recently put out an all-points-bulletin on Facebook for someone, ANYONE who could speak Hungarian and wanted to know how many *Hungaroonies* to the dollar.

        • Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!! I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THAT.

          Anyone speak HUNGARIAN?!?! I did give up, I didn’t just give those maroons my MasterCard #.

    • I’m not addicted, I can quit at any time. I’m not addicted, I can quit at any time. I’m not addicted, I can quit at any time…

  9. Um, well I have a bunch of stories I *could* tell that really humiliate me, but instead, I’ll tell the Big Stupid Ebay story.

    I am a vintage Mitsouko freak, aiming to find all concentrations from various eras. I scored the ‘Lyre’ shaped bottle of EdC a few months ago on ebay for a decent price; the bottle had clearly been opened, and my expectations for the juice were lowish, but the bottle was fab.

    A week later, I ran to the post office, delivery notice in hand, and was handed…a beer-bottle box (12-pack), sealed with Scotch tape. Huh. Then, like a true addict, I jumped in the car and tore the box to pieces with my teeth. Inside I found a mess of wadded newsprint, and then the bottle, completely empty, and the lovely stopper, intact. I couldn’t imagine that the seller would just toss the juice. I dug a little deeper, and found…a plastic Coke bottle.

    Oddly enough, I resisted the urge to toss the bottle out, and opened it, to find about 7 ounces of the lovely vintage Mitsy, full of peachy lactones and oakmoss! The juice was immediately transferred back to the bottle, and is mostly OK, though it has a slight cola drydown 😉

    I did write to the seller, suggesting other means of sending perfume safely, but to no response. Huh.

    • The COKE BOTTLE. I love this story, thanks for looking up from your crepe long enough to drop by. 😉 What a freak… who packs juice in a coke bottle? Although given the way some of the things I’ve gotten have been wrapped I guess we shouldn’t complain. For instance, my ginormous vintage stoppered Poison came completely unsecured and (miraculously) intact. Can you imagine if that thing had LEAKED?

    • I recently bought a couple of inexpensive clothing items on ebay. So, I received a letter-sized envelope that was bulging with soft material and tightly bound with tape. I thought it contained fragrance samples wrapped in some..soft material. So, I cut into it with scissors, only to find the chiffon blouse that I won in an auction, thankfully, unharmed. My suggestion to the seller regarding other means of shipping clothing was met with a sarcastic “I’ll take it under consideration”. Wow. And I didn’t even leave her negative feedback! Touchy, touchy!

      • I try not to criticize other people’s shipping because my packaging is so terrible (as anyone who’s gotten something from me can attest – P once asked me if I EVER bought any packaging stuff) but that is just plain stupid. Lucky you didn’t cut into the blouse.

        • I weild my box-cutter carefully…’cause I’ve destroyed some nice stuff

          • Box cutter? I thought you just ripped packages open with car keys and your teeth?

  10. The first thing that I do when I go anywhere foreign is to check online for local perfume related stuff. Years ago when on hols in the Cook Islands for example I dragged my husband to a little perfume manufacturer in the jungle called “Perfumes of Rarotonga” (totally worthwhile experience btw).
    And then there was the time when I had to convince a stranger at Rome airport to put a bottle of Montale Aud Queen Rose in his suitcase as I couldn’t carry any liquids in my hand luggage…
    Lots of other loopy stuff, but the end justifies the means !

    • Wow, you actually got a *fellow passenger* to mule your Montale for you? I’ve run through this nightmare scenario in my mind (it makes my stomach tighten) and I am pretty sure I could never talk anyone into doing it for me. I don’t want to start a fight on here, but personally I think the 3-oz rule is one of the stupidest things foisted on the public I can recall.

      • Is there anyone else who seriously has been curious to root through the garbage bins at airport security checkpoints looking for juice that peops have had to leave behind?

        Whoa. Did I just admit that?

        • Baby –

          I had to travel the morning that moron put the stuff in his shoes (remember that?) O’Hare went NUTS! Security was stretched back to the entry doors (I am not exaggerating) – anyway, I had a FB of Joy (luckly not ‘full’) EdP as well as several samples – they were so freaked-out and power-mad that day that you couldn’t even get up to the conveyor with anything! No NUTHIN’ (except pharaceutical). If you did, they would pull you out of line, like in a gulag, and send you back to the back! You should’ve seen the stuff going into the bins!!! I snagged the TSA lady and gave her my Joy, telling her I couldn’t stand to see it go into the bin. A quick glance at the label and zzzzzzzzippp! into her pocket it went.

          Somehow that just felt better….knowmean?

          xo >-)

          • dumpster diving? ummm… just where do they dump all that ‘contraband’?? can we root through those dumpsters? did I really just think that… for perfume….? aaaaaah… yup!

        • I’ve *thought* about it, but security’s always standing right there (this is DC, do we have extra?) and I’m afraid if I get their attention they’ll haul me off to a back room and body-cavity search me.

          • You know–I live right down the road from Dulles, and it seems like I could offer my services as a last-ditch perfume sitter. You know, so no one would have to throw anything away.

        • Okay, Joe, dumpster diving is where I draw the line but, you know, just for fun, do you have any special techniques and what have you come up with? But seriously dude, you should talk to someone about that.

          • I admitted being CURIOUS, not that I’ve DONE it. Geeesh. Can’t a perfume addict even speculate without being misinterpreted? 😉

  11. Okay, so the vault of ridiculous scent stories grows larger every year, but probably the silliest involves an attempt to procure the htf Louis Gady Musk Oil (which is really an edt) from a seller in Italy. So (and Louise, I’m sooo sorry to involve you dear) the first attempts involved a clumsy back and forth in half Italian and half English, in which we were both using on-line translators. (“Dear US Customer, I would delight to send you a jug of this precious… blah blah”).

    Louise to the rescue, with a friend who speaks Italian and crafted emails, then translated replies, which were….no more comprehensible! (“My dear friends in America. Thank you so much for your boys in uniform and your service to the world, blah, blah… I will delight to send you seven bottles of the Gady and you can pay me upon receipt.”)

    So, needless to say. We never received the fragrance. But we were very amused.

    • That’s so great. I wonder what the problem was? Although Italy seems to crop up in these types of stories. I really offended their iPdF rep once in a fax, trying to buy some non-export stuff, which I guess violated their agreement. My bad. 😉

      • Criminea. Exclamation–that’s one I file under “why you shouldn’t buy unsniffed, no matter how often you generally agree with the reviewer.”

        Of course, that would be a “general rule,” such as the one you mention further down, about going through a decant first… emphasis “general.”

  12. Just recently purchased my first unsniffed bottle on Ebay. I looove Hermes, and looove Bigarade Concentree, so I bid on a brand new bottle of Eau d’Hermes. I won for $3.24 (wow!)— but when it arrived, we laughed and laughed. On my fiance, this smells far more than skanky– It smells down right embarassing! As soon as it arrived, I dabbed the tiniest amount from the bottle onto him, and we took off to run some errands. It developed and bloomed and grew. I felt uncomfortable standing next to him in the store with people walking by! But it brought us a great laugh.

    It’s not nearly as strong or body-odor-ish on me. But I am holding out judgment for now. If nothing else, the price was worth the tears of laughter is brought us as the ‘fume grew and grew on his skin.

    • March subjected us to this fragrance, I recall her politely offering her arm to my nose while saying “Ball sweat? ball sweat?”

      But, then again – I sniffed it anyway!

      • And there you go — right up there with “sniff my finger” and “does this milk seem chunky to you?” I offer up my arm saying ball sweat, and everyone leans in for a sniff.

          • Hey … how cool is that? I had no idea, thanks. It’s time for some other random blog to link to us with a note that says “these people are freaks.” That always makes me smile. Like shoe blogs and boat blogs are so much more legit.

    • Hahahahaha!!!!!!!! I blogged on this, where is my link? Then a buncha people bought some. Then I got their samples unsolicited in teh mail, with notes saying things like, “you think this is so great, b!tch, YOU wear it.”

      I’ll admit it’s pretty durn sweaty, but I love a teensy spray in the air. It’s like having a hot, sweaty man in the house.

  13. It was an awful experience. Cold sweat as time was running out. The Montale alu bottle looking like a hand granade than a perfume. Fellow passengers avoiding me, keeping eyes down to the ground for fear I’d ask them. This was back when you could take no liquid whatsoever on board. I am still remembering the man who eventually said yes in my prayers.

    • Sorry, was supposed to be a reply to your comment above.

      • Sorry about that — threading tantrum! I forgot about the ALUMINUM bottle — that’s hilarious, I can’t believe someone carried it. Your Prayers Were Answered. Maybe if I pray REALLY hard for a bottle of Gobin Daude Nuit au Desert… sigh. Nah. Ain’t ever gonna happen.

    • Oh god, I had the same thing happen to me! I’d gone to Aedes on a business trip and came back with a Montale that I simply could not put into my checked baggage. So I put it in the Ziploc bag. Thank god I got a nice TSA agent at EWR!!! He took one look at the can, said “oh, hairspray” and gave me a pass! 😀

      • lucky duck! Patty got this hun who made her chuck all her expensive product, this AFTER the airline caused her to miss the baggage check cutoff.

  14. Well, I’m pretty new at this game, so all my stories are probably standard newbie stories. Like buying a little bottle of Dior Homme on Ebay only to find it was actually Dior Homme Sport… but only after having opened the bottle, tossed out the box, and thus making it impossible to return. I’m convinced “Sport” on fragrances is code for “don’t bother.”

    The main thing I’ve done so far is to spend far too much! Especially on Ebay, it’s so easy to make lots of small bids and get in trouble. Luckily, I refuse to get a sniping ‘bot, so I mostly just lose out in the last minute.

    The biggest success I’ve had so far was my wife’s mother’s day present. Beginning on May 1 this year, I gave her one (usually small) bottle of perfume a day, and culminated on May 10 (the actual Mother’s day) with a bottle of Bois des Iles which I had to call Chanel in Boston to get. Most of the bottles came from the local discount and salvage stores, so I did it all with not-so-much money.

    • oh my god! The mother’s day present! I’m cutting and pasting this into an email to the Big Cheese… he owes me. 😉 What a lovely gift.

      Yes, those “sport” things are sneaky! Or some other flavor we overlook — I’m one of several people who bought the Mure et Musc cologne fraiche (? that’s not quite right) instead of the regular, not knowing it existed. The seller let me out of the transaction, and now I’m sorry after smelling it elsewhere, it was nice!

      • I’m directing one special son of mine to this post!

    • oooooh!!!

      xo >-)

      ps. I’d cut and paste this to El O….but we all know how THAT would end…:-)

    • Oh, hell, I KNEW there was a reason why I shouldn’t have had my ovaries removed!

      • Glad you all liked the idea… My wife did too! I don’t know whether I could pull it off again, though, now that I’ve overfilled her perfume cupboard.

    • Oh, there are a few bottles of Dior Homme Sport masquerading as Dior Homme on Ebay right now. You can just barely tell from the photos. I want to e-mail the sellers, or report them, or something. Buyers will be so disappointed…

      • Yeah, there’s someone selling a bunch of vials of Amazone LIGHT on ebay and listing it as Amazone, also. I love trying to enlarge the ebay photos as big as they’ll go and then looking at the computer monitor through a photo loop just to see what I’m REALLY buying…

          • I was kidding. I now realize it’s not possible to assume that any statement typed here is obvious sarcasm, no matter how outrageous it is. Ha.

  15. So, are you going to revoke my Perfumista card because I’ve been known to trash ebay on occasion?

    I actually messed up my very first ebay transaction – I can’t remember how or why, but it was for a decant of SL Rahat Loukhoum. Does that get me back in your good graces? 😉

    I’ve had many scent-related escapades over the years including attempting to convince my husband to rent a car so we could drive from Vegas to LA just so I could buy a bottle of Child at Fred Segal. Turns out, I hate the stuff.

    Other random events notwithstanding, I still have to defer to my greatest acquisitive adventure: the day spent in Paris when my first order of business was to pillage the Salons. Pillage I did, and then I ran over to the Louvre only to find that it was closed. But, alas, those 4 bell jars cushioned the blow rather nicely.

    • Hey, trash eBay all you want. It’s not like it’s this perfect system, for perfume or anything else. In fact my general eBay rule is: never spend so much that if the entire transaction is a ripoff you’ll be really upset. 🙂 Which will get me through the two like-new Waterford lismore old-fashioned glasses I just bought on eBay, one of which is clearly … off. And it’s not worth the trouble to do anything about it.

      Eh, the Louvre will be there on your next visit, go to Lutens!

        • I thought this was my BEST joke — kosher, non-kosher, whatever — and not ONE person appreciated it. I must be slipping, or flopping, clam that I yam.

  16. Wow…I feel so lame. The goofiest thing I’ve done so far was order Chergui from Barney’s. When I told my friend found out how much it cost (she looked it up, with an eye toward buying it), she said “I can’t believe you bought that! You must be (removed) me! What kind of perfume is worth that?!!” Come on, it’s Chergui! Almost reasonable! Not like I went for the MDCI stuff…

    • Persactly! You can never tell a non-perfumista how much you spent on a bottle. In fact I go a little walleyed when a friend tries one of my decants and wants to know who to phone up to buy a bottle. Depending on what it is, we have to have a little come-to-Jesus upfront… interestingly, some of my friends don’t bat an eye. They’re buying one bottle, and if it costs $300, so what…

  17. I guess I knew I was an addict when I ordered a split of PdE Ambre Russe. The atomizer it was in was bad and it all evaporated in short order. So, the only logical conclusion was to buy a FB when BH had a gift with purchase. I picked up my package from the PO on my way to work. In my hurry to open the stuff, I broke my bottle in the parking lot.

    Not to worry, I just kept the bottle upright until I could get home and decant it myself. (I already had funnels and multiple atomizers because I had bought a bell jar of Chergui on Ebay for a ridiculous price and had to decant it, though in my defense, at the time Chergui was non-export.)

    • That is so funny. I love “so the only logical conclusion….”

      I will say that, in general, maybe we are all getting more organized, but it seems like it’s easier to get ahold of overseas stuff than it used to be. The Perfume Mule Network, ya know? Somebody’s always going to Europe.

  18. These are such great stories! It’s like getting a glimpse of my future, I fear 🙂

    I’m very new to perfume addiction, and like the other newbies, my stories are pretty boring so far. Like sampling Apres L’Ondee, falling in love and then calling Bergdorf’s in NYC in a fit to order a bottle…hanging up afterward and realizing that I had not even ASKED about the price.

    Really, the thing that everyone can probably relate to is that I started buying decants because, you know, it’s such a great way to sample scents and wow, I was saving so much money by doing that instead of buying full bottles! What I failed to account for in that wonderful logic was that I would be so enchanted by the samples that I would turn around and end up buying full bottles after all (or if not ultimately buying (yet!), obsessing endlessly over the question of whether or not to buy). No so much with the savings, there, missy!

    • So did you buy it? I have no idea how much Apres is now… it’s in the fancy bee bottle there, right? Ouch. But hey, at least you can BUY it. I remember for awhile there you couldn’t find it in the US. I think I got one of the last online bottles here, and I’m not sure the parfum is available anywhere. (Probably Paris?)

      I love decants. My general rule is I have to use up a decant before I buy a bottle, which keeps me out of trouble. 🙂

      • The parfum is no longer available anywhere, to my knowledge. I found a guy in Paris who would come up with a sealed vintage bottle every now and again (not bee, acorn) and I bought every single one of them. I now have six, plus three bottles of Edt, so I’m hoping I’m good.

      • I did buy it, March! I don’t recall the exact price, but with shipping, it was under $120, so I was OK with that. Yeah, it’s in the bee bottle.

        Carter, I’m so jealous of your parfum…count me as another who’d like to get into your Ondees 😉

  19. My worst moment was bidding over $500 for a bottle of Chanel No. 41 (after losing many auctions for too-good-to-be-true vintage Lanvins, etc.) from our favorite ebay scammer who shall no longer be named! Stupidly, about 5 minutes after winning the auction, I decided to google her/his name, and found post after post about horrible fraud. So I refused to pay, offered to give her/him good feedback, etc. but she/he didn’t want to forget the whole thing and just relist it, instead going to the trouble of filing a non-paying bidder report and giving me bad feedback. Oh well, she and the feedback have since disappeared. YAY!

  20. I guess I just realized that the first thing I do when I travel anywhere is to try to find a perfume retailer. My last trip was to LA (where I’d never been before), and the very first thing at the top of my to-do list was a trip to LuckyScent. Which really was the highlight of my whole trip!!! I also rode the bus from Universal City all the way to Santa Monica (since I didn’t have a car)just so I could go to the Fred Segal out there. It took hours and sadly, Segal wasn’t worth it. But the trip was a great way to see LA.

    My next trip takes me to Washington DC/Alexandria, Va. Anyone know any great places for perfume there? 😀

    • Art With Flowers in Tyson’s Galleria in Tyson’s COrner, VA. You simply must go there. Tell Bill and Jose that Mrs. Skanky Musk sent you.

      • Ooh, thanks for the tip. It’s going at the top of my list!

        “Mrs. Skanky Musk” – love it! 🙂

    • Pam, we don’t have much in the way of interesting retail that I’m aware of, I’d have recommended AwF too. They’re great.

  21. I’d be happy to take a bottle off your hands for $50 🙂 you can never have too much Chene!

  22. Well, I did have one story: a few years ago a dear friend of mine forgot my birthday (which is normally something that i wouldn’t care about). She however was going to a friends wedding. In France. She was going to be spending one day in Paris, and I of course whined and moaned until she agreed to go to the Palais Royale and pick me up a little something. She did, regaling me with how much trouble it was dragging her mother and her then 6 year old nephew across Paris in the driving rain while being attacked by man-eating clams or something and having to lug the bottle around for the next few days, then bringing it to me in California when on a business trip. Like I cared, I had my juice.

    Fast forward to me visiting her in NYC (where she lived) only to find TWO bell jars on her bureau. This girl, who previously wore only Issey Miyake eau de eau came out with Un Lys and Fumerie Turque! Witnessing the birth of another ‘fume hound is so gratifying..

    • MAN-EATING CLAMS???????

      rofl!! (where is that blasted emoticon!)

      xox >-)

      btw – I have a friend like that – she hates to tell me she’s going anywhere because I have a list….

    • Hey, I love those stories! I’m happy to share my obsession. Just not my vintage Mitsouko. 😉

  23. This is definitely my years-long Walk of Shame, although it seems to have run its course. Memorable moments include buying Scherrer parfum for less than $10 on the bay; I opened the box, removed the beautiful crystal bottle, unwrapped the cord and dropped it, spilling most of it on the rug. Asphyxiated once, I’ve never been able to wear it. Other fiasco was when I read rumors of Rykiel Woman, before it was available in the U.S. I had to smell it, HAD TO. Finally found a mini on French eBay, purchased, and waited for weeks — the seller shipped a mini by boat. A few months later, I bought the huge edp for less than the cost of that mini.

  24. I have thus far been lucky in my perfume buying, regardless of how often it occurs or how much it costs, but I have the one story about the bell jars that didn’t happen. I probably posted this here before, but here it goes:

    My uncle and aunt had let everyone know that they were going to Paris, so I asked them very sweetly if they would consider picking me up 2 bell jars (Rose de Nuit and Tubereuse Criminelle) while they were there. I finally got them to agree (after many unanswered e-mails and phone calls), with the stipulation that I would send them the $$$ after they shipped it so they could be re-imbursed for the shipping too. Well, they went to Paris, and came back, and I didn’t hear a word from them. More e-mails and phone calls went unanswered, and no new bell jars graced my front porch. After 2 MONTHS of fngernail biting, I finally got a 1-line e-mail back saying that yes, my aunt(-in-law) picked up the perfume, but she had opened them and tried them and loved them so much that she kept them for herself. Words cannot describe my emotional state, then, or now, having thought about it again.

      • Sobbed, sulked, and took it out on my fencing students for about a month afterwards. Since no money changed hands I didn’t actually *lose* anything, but still! Suffice to say I haven’t been on the best of terms with them since, and I’m sure they’re both thinking “What’s her problem; it was just some perfume”.

    • Okay, I laughed. Because I admired her nerve. But if they’d been my bottles, I’d have cried.

      • okay, I laughed too. another addict born – isn’t that kind of like getting them hooked on the good stuff right off the bat??

        • I giggled a little, too, because really, can’t you just see it?

          Aunt (in-law): “Why in the world was there such a fuss about us picking up this . . . this perfume!” *opens bottle and dab dab dab* “Honey, we’re keeping it!”

          It seems like the Serge is featured most often in these kinds of stories.

      • That’s beyond chutzpah.

        Your aunt has great taste, if not entirely honorable behaviour.

          • Lee’s messing about with his dahlias! Hey, Lee! I think of you every time I walk past the HUGE basket of lily bulbs I’ve yet to plant! Such a piker, am I.

            xoxo >-)

            • Get on it. Those lily bulbs should be flowering right about now, poor things. Or being devoured by those evil red bugs and their bird crap-a-like offspring.

    • I’m laughing thinking of that famous movie line: “You mean all this time we coulda been friends?!” (in reference to you and said aunt-in-law).

      You could have taken it as an opportunity to introduce her to the joys of decanting, etc. What better than a fellow perfumista in the extended family?

  25. Want to be good but still have some fun? On the new Parfums Delrae web site, you can now purchase samples of all six fragrances (including the new one) for only $6.00. Just had to share with someone….

    • And like a true addict, I immediately just went and purchased. There was about a 60 second lag time.

      Free shipping, BTW.

    • No hesitation there.

      I should have my credit-card in an easy-access holster. We could have quick-draw contests: First one to complete the order wins!

      • My husband is always surprised that I can recite our CC number and 3-digit security code by memory 🙂

        • Ha! Me, too. Years ago we were meeting with the mortgage guy filling out paperwork and I spouted off the CC number without looking at the card. It was crickets for a good three minutes as Mortgage Guy and my husband stared at me. Hey, it’s an important number – everyone should know theirs.

          My shame has to do with backup bottles. Now mind you, I always prepare for the worst (you should see my Hurricane Supplies Closet), so I have a backup (or four) of my favorites. Come The End of the World as Predicted by the Mayans, I may not have power or water, but damn, I’ll smell good.

          • What I find funny is, he remembers all sorts of random ass numbers. Football scores, FICO stores, how much XX stock is trading at…. but I remember stuff like our SSNs and credit cards. He STILL doesn’t know his SSN.

            • That’s sad about the SSN. Are you serious? I think I’ve had mine memorized since I was like 15.

        • mmm…..how else are you supposed to order pizza from the minivan?

  26. I’ve had all kinds of OCD perfume moments, but I think the best/worst was a trip to Paris several years ago, where I caught the flu and was laid up in the hotel room feverish, weak and nauseous. Realizing we had only one shopping day left before returning home, I waited until my husband went out to a museum and dragged myself out of bed, managing to walk slowly, taking multiple rest stops, all the way to the Palais Royal in order to purchase my bell jar of Vetiver Oriental that I HAD to have.

    I can totally relate to the movie theater / Yohji Homme incident, I would have done exactly the same thing. Priorities, you know!

  27. So have any of you sold stuff on ebay? What is that experience like? Awful stories? Should I learn how to do it?

    • Why would you sell perfume on ebay? Wouldn’t that mean, like, getting rid of some…?

      • Hey, how else can I rid myself of Dior Homme Sport?

        • I’ve flipped a couple of things. I’m such a slag I used the previous seller’s photo, but I’m pretty sure that’s against their stupid rules 🙂 I figure it’s the same item I bought, you know?

    • In all seriousness, it’s easy as can be, though the only thing I’ve ever sold is a vintage concert t-shirt. Go for it! Just make sure to set a minimum price so that you aren’t reduced to tears if you are forced to sell something at a heartbreaking price.

  28. My Yohji Homme story is that there’s this weird little perfume store up the street from me which clearly hasn’t updated their stuff and doesn’t turnover much. Mostly the usual suspects, but I noticed on their top shelf a few bottles of Yohji Homme! Ooh ahh! I smelled it, didn’t like it (not into licorice or coffee) but immediately bought it anyway, cause, well, someone out there wants it! (I swapped it immediately and know I’m thinking of buying up the rest of the supply!)

    And when I got my tax refund, my first thought was to blow it all on Frederic Malle. Which I did! Hell, it’s worth $1 a spray!

    Okay, so I don’t think either of these stories are regrettable. I’m a hardened addict!

    • That’s Canadian dollars! Those travel atomizers spray a lot of juice. I’m thinking of decanting Carnal Flower so I can dab it. Not everyone likes it as much as I do. I wish could bathe in it.

      • Lord, I love me some Carnal Flower. I have a decant and a smaller sample that I tote sometimes. Thanks for the stories!

  29. Have you tried Waterford’s Lismore perfume? Doesn’t sound like anything thrilling, but the bottle is intended to be used as a bud vase after it’s empty, and I love Waterford, so I am tempted….and it’s practically free, after all!

    • I haven’t. I’m not really a crystal girl…. the Lismore was for the Big Cheese, he likes them as cocktail glasses and he broke his last one. 🙁 We had several from his mom, so the glasses (I guess the style) has sentimental value. I couldn’t get him his mom’s glasses, but I could buy him new ones…

  30. That is VERY dear of you! You and Fernando…keepers, for sure.

    Oh, and as far as addictions go, I am a rookie thus far, but despite the fact that my Visa AND my checking account were both hacked on Monday to the tune of $2000 a piece, and both accounts are frozen, leaving me with no way to actually pay for anything at all like food or gas, let alone perfume, I am STILL trying to figure out how to score those samples from DelRae……one of my favorite houses, AND free shipping???? Why NOW, for crying out loud????

  31. So, with one year as a perfumista under my belt now, here’s my story:

    I agonized and agonized over L’Artisan Iris Pallida. Seriously. Fell in love at first sniff after I bought a 2.5ml sample from The Perfumed Court. But as a law student (just graduated in May), I worked 20-30 hours a week for the last year while making about $500/month. A $300 bottle of perfume, needless to say, was outside my income range, particularly since my husband was already pretty irritated with all the EBay packages/samples I was already getting because I “had to try it” or because it was “such a good deal.” I dithered over this purchase for like six months, and made a deal with myself that I would maybe buy it for myself if I could at all afford it as a graduation present. I even talked my husband out of buying me the traditional expensive leather brief case gift most newly minted attorneys get so I could have this instead. Finally I see a deal on Beautyhabit where I can get a 15 ml spray of either Timbuktu or Tea for Two (I chose the later) with a L’Artisan purchase of $150 or more, *and* I have a 15% coupon because I’d already spent $100+ at Beautyhabit that month. (They are so tricky with the coupon with purchase cycling!) This was in March. I literally made all my friends talk about the purchase for an entire lunch before I finally gave in. But with graduation two months away, I knew I would never wait to break into the bottle that long. So I bought it and had it sent to my best friend, who is not into perfume at all (severe allergies), then made her take everything else out of the package – 15ml sample included – and ship that to me in March because I couldn’t wait that long for the rest of my goodies, then schlep the bottle of Iris Pallida all the way from Houston to Portland, Oregon for my graduation so I could actually wear it on graduation day, but not before!

    Also, I have two giant bottles of Annick Goutal Songes from an accidental EBay double bid where, of course, I won both. Whoops! I’ll be wearing that for the rest of my life. (Good thing I really love it.)

    • That is *awesome*! Happy, happy graduation, and many congratulations! That Iris Pallida will always be super special now. I LOL’ed at the separate the samps from the main attraction–I know, I know! The samples part is so fun–and just what you needed to make it down that last stretch before you actually were done with classes, right? 😉

  32. you know how I know I am an addict? I wish the perfumed court had account history searching so I could use it to find if I already ordered a sample/decant and just can’t find it, or I never ordered it. So little time, so many fumes…

  33. They do, they do!!! It’s called Details, or something like that…..

      • I have to use details all the time to make sure I’m not reordering samples. Works like a charm! That and the wish list helps me keep track of what I want so I can place a spur of the moment order from any computer anywhere.

  34. Y’all are a zillion % freaks.

    I no longer have mad stories, though my enthusiasm to drop $$$ on rarities and niche wonders has not yet totally diminshed. I’m an addict full stop, though not so much a ‘fumehead any longer….

    • Sooo…. I guess we’re not going to get you to tell your Matt/sneaking off to London tale? 😉

      • Ha! The one where he thinks I’m having secret hot sex with mysterious strangers when actually I’m buying a coupla bottles on the downlow? Them days are gone, babe. Now it’s me decorating the house and saying ‘I don’t know how that happened’, or buying a $$$ blanket and saying – ‘yeah, I found that secondhand for mere pence.’ Same old story, different product. No thoughts of secret city frolics on his part yet though.

        • Crikey! Now we’ll be sending you mysterious packages of well-disguised blankies, then?

        • “I’m on the Perfume Down-Low.” Yeah, that one, thanks for sharing. 🙂 I think of that story and smile.

  35. To appease my perfume addiction, all of the ebay purchases and ‘fume swaps the postal worker has to hand-deliver to my front door on a regular basis must drive him crazy. But he is a pleasant man, and comments that all of my mail keeps him employed! LOL. Deep down, though, there must be some resentment. I have a large, goofy dog who barks loudly and implacably every time there is a knock on the door, adding an irritating soundtrack to the extra steps that nice man already takes in getting my lovely packages to me, safe and sound. Lately, though, I’ve had to let the door go unanswered and just leave my precious mail on the doorstep until the coast is clear. Why? Because he totally caught me in my skivvies the other day. I was not expecting the mail so early, and was about to get in the shower when my phone rang. In the midst of having a mindless chat, a program on the TV caught my eye and I wandered over to get a better look… well, mr. mailman certainly got a better look, walking up my driveway in direct view of my front window at that precise moment. My mouth froze in an O like a blow-up doll. This was Saturday. I haven’t been able to face him since. I thought, hey, let me at least give it a week or so, maybe this time we can go for full frontal.:o Anyway, one of the treasures left for me today (it fit in the mailbox, yay!) is an item I won in a bid. 1/2 oz of Amalie parfum, I had never heard of it before, it was made by Virgin Islands Perfume Corp., in St. Thomas, and is no longer made. Anyone familiar with this? If so, please, indulge me, esp. after the above long-winded and only semi-relevant spiel. 🙂

    • Yeah, our postman knows us pretty well too. My husband eBay’s baseball cards, so he is always buys some and mailing others. That, combined with my little “pleasant” smelling packages (that is how the postman described them one day to my husband, because as well as they are packaged, there is always a slight scent to them), and our “guard dog” (she’s a basset hound), led to both our postal workers commenting on our mail habits.

  36. I convinced a co-worker to call wake up her husband at home (he’s a police officer who was working nights) in order to call a store in Seville about a perfume I’d purchased 14 years earlier. I’d been missing this scent terribly since buying it while on honeymoon in Spain and recently discovered they had a website – but only in Spanish. My friend’s hubby, being Spanish-speaking was happy to oblige (bless his heart) but got more when he bargained for when I was upset to find that the shipping fees were more than the cost of the perfume. He tried valiantly to both translate and mediate this whole conversation which ended, unfortunately without a purchase. I’m still sad about it 😉

    His wife, my colleague, who was intrigued by my growing pre-occupation with scent decided to tag along on one of my sample orders. She reviewed some scents online and gave me a list which I quickly added to my order, not paying attention to to the costs – I mean she only ordered 6 samples – how bad could it be? Only to discover later that she’d ordered a sample of Clive Christian at $30 for 1 measly millilitre!!

    We both learned our lesson – to on one hand not be so cheap and on the other to read the fine print!

  37. p.s.

    The worst part was that the Clive Christian sample was actually for her husband – who will never see the sample since it will be a no-win situation. If he loves it – she’ll never be able to afford it for him. If he hates it – he’ll kill her for spending that amount on something he hates!

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