You know you’re a perfumista if…

vintage adThis post is dedicated to all of you, particularly those of you who own fragrances you find less than stellar due to an unsniffed purchase triggered by rave reviews.

You know you’re a perfumista if:


You’ve bought something unsniffed that you regret. It may seem counterintuitive, but the real mark of perfume obsession isn’t that you love everything you own.  It’s that you hate some of it.  That bottle of Dune/Rush/Kenzo Jungle you bought unsniffed after an ecstatic review?  The one that makes you throw up a little in your mouth?  Yeah, sorry about that.  People still occasionally offer me their bottles of Worth Courtesan, saying, b!tch, you have it since you like it so much.  Bonus points if you: were chemically impaired while purchasing; bought it on eBay worldwide and screwed yourself on the currency conversion; bought an empty bottle, factice, or (as I did) an image of the scent rather than the actual thing.  The only proper response is to laugh and add the story to your repertoire.  In return, someday you’ll run across a bottle of Venezia in a thrift store and the lady will shrug and say, oh, five dollars, I guess.


You’ve bought multiple concentrations/vintages/versions of the same scent.  You need old Femme (skanky/leathery) and new Femme (sweaty/sweet.)  You know that the cologne, EdT, EdP and parfum versions of Chanel No. 5 are somewhat different animals, and you want them all in your zoo.   You enjoy the variations in peach, moss, patch and musk among your nine vintage bottles of Mitsouko.  You like trying them on at the same time so you can compare.  You are a freak.  Come sit by me, you smell good.

You love a “difficult” fragrance that you used to hate. Maybe you’ve always loved oysters, sashimi and arugula.  Or maybe, like me, you had to expand your horizons a little over time.   I have learned never to say never when it comes to some of the most pugnaciously assertive scents.  Scents as varied as Muscs Kublai Khan, new Femme, Rasputin’s Armpit Ambre Russe and Satan’s Beehive Miel de Bois have wormed their way into my heart.  Perhaps one day I’ll add Angel, Tubereuse Criminelle and Borneo to this list.


You know exactly/have no idea whatsoever what you’ve spent on perfume in the last quarter. I’m always fascinated by the quarterly spending polls on NST.  Who are these people who track their purchases and their inventory in spreadsheets, along with notes about vintage, source, etc.?  Some of them … are you.  I take the opposite approach.  I have more or less instantaneous perfume-buying amnesia (PBA**).  That new box of vintage Fidji on my dresser?  Owned that thing forever.   Femme?  The sweat-fairies brought it.  Half-bottle of Cartier Must II?  I … decline to answer on the grounds that it may be held against me by someone in this house who thinks I own too much damn perfume already.  As if.  **Warning: PBA may result in multiple backup bottles you forgot you already had.

You have a deceitful relationship with the US Postal Service. Your mailman looks at you funny.  Did that vial of Secretions Magnifique leak into the mailer?  Damn.  Also you’ve learned to look deep into the eyes of the clerk behind the counter and lie.  Nope, nothing liquid, fragile, hazardous or perishable.

You’ve got more vials lying around your place than a crack dealer. On your kitchen counter.  In your briefcase.  On top of the dryer. Sometimes they’re unlabeled (is this Bandit?)  Sometimes the labels got wet or smudged and you spend the next 45 minutes trying to decide what Eau d———— is.


You spend as much time choosing your scent as the rest of your attire. Maybe it’s just for work.  Or a job interview.  Or maybe it’s a weekend in New York, or three weeks in Bali … or Austria … decants?  Samples?  A single bottle? Should I buy something there to be a scent souvenir of the trip?!?  Panic ensues.

You hang out on perfume blogs. Okay, your turn!

  • Elizabeth @ Christian Dior Worldwide says:

    Hi, just doing some browsing for my Christian Dior website. Can’t believe the amount of information out there. Wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but cool site. Take care.

  • AnnieA says:

    Often when I smell a new perfume I say, “That would suit [friend X]!” Being a perfume matchmaker…

  • weegee says:

    \:d/ you also know you are when…

    you’re not only able to name the noses who created your favorites, you begin to seek out new-to-you fragrances simply because some particular nose created them. And then you buy them blind.

  • weegee says:

    :-\” …when you lie about what you’re wearing and tell none of your smelly friends (my gender neutral phrase for fellow parfumistas) how dazzled you are about your new favorite hard-to-find vintage/discontinued (or about to be)/pre-reformulation UNTIL you’ve managed to purchase your own lifetime back-up bottle supply at the lowest possible price…

    Right. Let’s not talk quantities, but here are mine: Le Galion’s Sortilege; Matchabelli’s Abano; Courreges’ Empreinte; Ferre de Ferre; AG’s Eau de Ciel; Coty’s older floral label Lady Stetson; Jacomo Parfum Rare; Rochas Man; Guerlain’s Anisia Bella & Mentafolia; Havana Pour Elle by Aramis; Fendi’s Palazzo in edp. concentration.

    Oh, and I guess you also know you’re totally hooked when you specify which concentration/bottle shape/label when recommending a fragrance…

  • Denise says:

    You know you’re a perfumista when getting over a cold is the most ecstatically joyful experience you can imagine.
    me: The closet smells wonderful!!!
    coworker, wrinkling his nose: I think it smells like smoke.
    me: I know! :d

  • tammy says:

    Nope, you’re not alone. I am putting it off as long as possible today, because of an an accidental layering that I doubt I’ll be able to perfectly replicate!

  • Lilybug says:

    I’m late! But I have to add: you (somewhat!) schedule your showering around your fragrances: if it’s sampling day or just meh perfume, bring on the blank canvas that is post-shower skin! Otherwise, desperately holding off on showering, not wanting those gorgeous basenotes you waited hours for to be washed away. Or is that just me?! *blush*

  • nozknoz says:

    You no longer have to look up any of the acronyms in a Perfume Posse post or comments :-)

  • Carla says:

    Really enjoyed this, thanks!

  • Rednails says:

    when you must have at least five representative fumes from every line, say Balenciaga, Balmain, Lutens, Ava Luxe, whatever… or when, heaven forfend, you need EVERY fume from a certain line…

    when you change scents 3 or more times a day.

  • Gina says:

    Every morning I pick my SOTD by doing this weird, pseudo-algorithmic decision-tree thing in my head, in which my fragrance must match/meet criteria for: mood, season, weather, what color I’m wearing, what style I’m wearing, and of course, where I am going. For example, today, while Black Cashmere would have fit my mood, the season, and the weather, it didn’t make the cut because I was wearing pink scrubs. And while La Chasse suited my look, I found it completely innappropriate for the weather. I went with SL A La Nuit. I’m that kind of freak.

  • Rednails says:

    …when you own Diva, l’Arte, Parfume Rare, La Perla, Nikki, Knowing, even though most folks probably couldn’t distinguish those chypres if you wafted by.

    ditto Y, Scherrer 1, etc.

    • Flora says:

      Heh – I own more chypres than most I think, even some that are VERY similar to each other, but is it enough? No!

  • Rednails says:

    Here’s more:

    …when you keep a vial from every bottle you finish, as a “graveyard” of your former fumes.

    …when you start collecting perfumes by decade, meaning you must have every blockbuster of the 60s, 70, 80s…

    …when you stop buying clothes, or only spend pennies on them in thrift stores, because all that money is better spent on perfume…

  • Rednails says:

    You know you are a perfumista when

    you can’t part with certain finished vials of rare scents and keep them around to sniff.

    you obsessively haunt thrift stores that you know get vintage fragrances, visiting at least twice a week.

    you don’t touch your minis, because they’re too cute, but admire them at least once a week.

    you have certain special days (such as weekends or holidays) when you wear only samples, others (such as weekdays) when you wear only bottles

  • Kate says:

    I almost forgot. The rather embarasssing: “wow, smell my leather watchband” exclamation at a family dinner.

  • Sugandaraja says:

    Oh dear. I fit ALL of those!

    1. Here’s looking at you, Yendi. And you too, Ava Luxe Nag Champa. I refuse to admit One Man Show ever made it in here.

    2. Not sure why I need three versions of Poison, but I do.

    3. L’Arte di Gucci! Rasa! La Myrrh! ( It goes on… )

    4. How did all these samples show up? Hmmm.

    5. Toys. Soap. Cosmetics. Mysteriously unidentified “bath products”.

    6. My desk rattles when I walk by.

    7. I’m a t-shirt and jeans type, but SotD choice is THE decision of the day.

    8. …Guilty.

    • Kate says:

      I have a decant drawer in office desk.

    • Mals86 says:

      Wait. La Myrrhe is “difficult”?

      Mitsy still hates me (I give it another shot every couple of months or so, just to see if she’s changed her mind. Nope.), but La Myrrhe was love at first sniffaroonie for me.

      • Sugandaraja says:

        Aldehydes used to be my big no-go area. La Myrrhe was pretty unforgiving at first, but was one of the frags that converted me to the fizzy side, as I’ve always loved myrrh.

  • Flora says:

    Guilty as charged on all counts. And I anot sorry at all, Your Honor!

    Oh, and my “$5 Venezia from the thrift store” happened a coupla weeks ago – except that it was a $6.99 bottle of Josephine. :-D

  • Kirsten says:

    You know you’ve got it bad when the SA’s in your nearest major department store, not only know you on first-name terms, they call you – on your mobile – when a new Lutens or Goutal comes out!
    …and send you cute little invites to come in for new launches, etc.

  • maidenbliss says:

    I figure if my linen closet is now a wee perfumery, I can’t bear to part with
    my bubble wrap, find myself standing at the closet door inhaling, playing with samples
    as if they were dolls and I was six again, reading blogs till my eyes are bleary, cruising eBay
    constantly, admitting that I’ve done it chemically impaired by vino, late at night, own
    what non-perfumistas would consider too much, and lastly, admitting to hoarding perfume, then I am on my way to addiction. Or am.
    With no guilt. I don’t do the quarterly/spread sheet.
    Great post, love the comments.

  • sweetlife says:

    Oh, god, where is that ROFL emoticon when I need him?! Love all these comments, and Mals marginalia in the The Guide made me laugh and laugh. Lucky Francesca with all that sexy snuffling…

    FWIW, I knew I was a perfumista when I read my usual round up of blog posts and realized I’d not only tried all of the perfumes reviewed, but also recognized all the perfumes referenced in the reviews…

    A big kiss for all my fellow addicts!

  • Tara C says:

    You know you’re a perfumista when guests come to your house, see the hundreds of perfume bottles, and assume you work in the perfume industry. Also, you have a separate fridge just for perfumes and body creams. :-)

  • pam says:

    And they’re opening a new outlet mall nearby on Thurs. With a perfume discount store. Not that I noticed.

    • Ann N. says:

      Hey Pam, would this be anywhere in the vicinity of Birmingham? If so, think I smell a road trip. :d

      • pam says:

        Ann, This is the new outlet mall near Leeds AL. It’s just east of Birmingham on I-20. I plan to try to get there Thurs. or Fri. just to check it out. Will let you know if you like.

  • pam says:

    Yes. I’m a perfume addict, too. Am guilty of much of the above.
    Loved this post and all the comments
    Am looking forward to the tea post (another love).
    And -of course! – Shoes.

  • Musette says:

    you know you are when… are watching a Hoarders episode and suddenly, in the midst of all the cuckoo clocks and shoelaces the camera pans across several dressers filled to the gills with perfume bottles. The interventioner talks about the possibility of the woman having a yard sale – you totally ignore the process and rules of television production and the time/space continuum, frantically trying to figure out where in Texas this lady lives and can you drive down there (from Illinois) and possibly talk her into selling you her hoard.

    xo >-)

    • Mals86 says:

      OMG… Drive to TX for it? Let’s road trip, I’ll go halvesies with you.

      • Musette says:


        Can you just imagine? That poor woman…trying to come to grips with selling just a little bit of her hoarded stuff…

        …and you and I descent like Mothra and Godzilla (I get to be Godzilla, okay?) on her poor perfume hoard?


        xo >-)


  • Bev says:

    It’s not all quantity of perfume. I was just at the supermarket and passed a woman who smelled really good. I turned my cart around and asked her what she was wearing. Ahh, Royal Secret, I used to wear that back in the day. It still smells lovely, even though it’s been reformulated and is less complex.

  • Linda says:

    Oh Gawd. We did taxes for the Oct. 15th extension date — the reason being that PBA kept me from supplying my husband/accountant with my receipts on April 15th. I opened my perfume lab business in 2009, despite not launching a thing in that year, and so… perfume purchases (99% samples) for market-research reasons were deductible. I had sworn up and down that I hadn’t spent over $100 in samples that year. Bottom line is that I did — oh, I did. Hundreds and hundreds. How he managed to accept all that math with a “thank you, that will help a little,” instead of a “WHAAAAAAT!?” I will never know.

  • jenh says:

    I throw any small packages over the side gate and pick them up later after telling my fam, “just bills today.”

  • dleep says:

    You know you are a perfumista when your perfume has its own closet (former linen closet)!

  • Robin says:

    Perfume-buying amnesia! Excellent, I love it. I used to have it until I started writing it all down :-)

  • Jen says:

    I love this post!! And yes please to a tea post. I adored the chocolate one.

  • Gretchen says:

    I’m a relative newbie, but I still score 7 out of 8 on your diagnostic index (don’t really have that many vials yet– maybe 20?– who’s counting?) More backups than I realized I had?– you bet, and in more than one fragrance too.

    And I second your earliest commenters: one also needs lotions, body cremes, bath powder in the beloved fragrances. Good grief, I even bought Fidji bubble bath on *bay. This is embarassing.

  • Disteza says:

    You know you’re a perfume addict when:
    -your habit requires its own furniture/room/controlled climate.
    -you have a waiting list for FBs you inted to purchase that never gets shorter.
    -most of the new releases you smell remind of something else you’ve already smelled.
    -the new releases that don’t smell like anything else send you into paroxysms of hate or adoration.
    -the first 3 letters you type into Google automatically suggest perfume blogs!

    I also vote for either tea or shoes for the Friday posts–my tea obsession stretches back much farter than my perfume problem does, and I have only recently completed my multi-state quest for the perfect nude pump.

  • Mals86 says:

    I confess to:

    Multiple concentrations/vintages of No. 19, No. 5, and Jolie Madame.

    Stuff I bought just *because* it was difficult. (Minis or samples, but none the less, I paid cash money for them.)

    Keeping up with my perfume Excel file.

    Backup bottles.

    Lying to the post office.

    Hiding that d*mn bubble wrap from my husband.

    Keeping scissors in the car, for that stubborn padded mailer full of samples.

    Annoying my children with requests to “Smell this!”

  • Teri says:

    Long long ago in a galaxy far far away, I had so few perfumes that I could keep them on a single mirrored tray on my vanity. As time passed, one tray grew into two, into three, and eventually into four. When it got to the point of taking almost an hour to dust my vanity, thanks to all the bottles, I realized I had crossed the threshold from afficionado into addict.

    I’m fortunate enough to have a large built-in linen closet in my upstairs hallway. Once upon a time, it held sheets, towels, and spare blankets. Now it holds perfume….and a lot of it. Samples are contained (barely) in a six-drawer etui I found when antiquing. Fragrances in frequent rotation are housed in a chest I gutted and had fitted with pull-out shelves.

    As is frequently the case with addictions, I’ve developed a whole cadre of behaviors that feed my habit – e-baying, estate saling, swapping, clearance bin hunting (surprisingly, I’ve found some good stuff in clearance bins). And I have a budding home business whose proceeds fund my two major habits — art glass and fragrance.

    Please don’t put me in perfume rehab!

  • Aparatchick says:

    You know you’re a perfumista when … uhm … your friend rushes to get to the mailbox first so that her husband won’t ask “ANOTHER bottle of perfume?”

    You know you’re a perfumista when your … uhm … second cousin tears open a mailer with her teeth in a hurry to get to the sample inside.

    Or so I hear.

    • Ann N. says:

      Yep, I hear you on the mailbox business. And someone I know also takes her car keys with her to get the mail, so if there is a package that might get her in trouble, she can quickly chuck it in her car trunk and then go on into the house innocently with the “rest” of the mail. Man, are we (oops, she) addicts or what?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I have mine shipped to my work address. :d

  • Vetiveronica says:

    You know you’re a purfumista if the bank teller has you fill out a new withdrawal slip because you signed it ‘Vetiveronica’.

    Whoopsy daisy.

  • maggiecat says:

    I Have Found Others Like Myself. Yay! I spent more time picking out a perfume for my wedding day than I did finding the dress. I plan both my outfit and my scent for work the night before. Packing even for short trips upsets me terribly – one scent? What if I start to hate it? Samples? How to coordinate soap/body lotion? Even a long weekend is problematic and don’t even get me started on airlines and those little plastic bags we have to stuff everything in for carry-on. I need to show this day’s postings to my husband so that he knows I’m not the only one…

  • Kate says:

    Well, I just lowered my freak flag from a weekend of flying it with over a hundred perfumistas/perfumists in New York at Sniffapalooza. I did get a bit of a head-rush when I got to Plaza Beauty and a10 foot tall Michael said The Different Company was 60% off. I called some of my bestest pefume pals to ask what they wanted me to get for them! Oh and you know you are a perfumista when you tell the perfume reps and/or SAs that Jarvis is unfortuanately not in town this weekend and Melissa might not be able to stop by either. So maybe I’m an advance person for other perfumistas!

  • Style Spy says:

    I finally took a picture of my perfume collection to keep on my cellphone so that when people say, “Into perfume? Like, how into perfume? Do you have a lot of it?” I can just whip out the visual aid and their mouths drop open and they say, “Oh,” in that trying-hard-not-to-be-judge-y voice the way you do when someone casually admits to being really into having sex while wearing scuba gear or something. It’s not wrong, exactly, but it’s not quite right, either.

    Also, Saturday night an incredibly hot man sniffed my neck and fell in love with my Musc Rav. And I was more excited about the fact that my perfume was being genuinely appreciated than about the hot man. (In my defense, he is married & completely unavailable, but still… hot.)

    • maidenbliss says:

      It’s pretty damned divine, Musc Rav. I get excited when someone is excited about what
      I’m excited about.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Great post and comments. I’m chuckling and nodding my head in agreement with all of them. :-D

  • Geordan1244 says:

    How about:

    You know you’re a perfumista when you carry said decants/samples/bottles to girls night out and try to get your non-perfumista friends as hooked as you are (usually to no avail – but, you keep trying). :”>

    • Ann N. says:

      Amen to that! Even if you don’t hook ’em, though, it’s fun trying!

      • Geordan1244 says:

        Normally they just humor me. It’s especially funny when they get a scrubber that I LOVE…

    • Geordan1244 says:

      Or if you’ve been caught multiple times at stoplights sniffing your arms/hands/appendages.

      • Geordan1244 says:

        Or if you are on a personal, first-name basis with more than one SA at more than one fragrance house.

        • Geordan1244 says:

          Or, if you found one perfume blog (such as the posse or NST) and now read 15-20 on a regular (daily) basis, and have reaped some really wonderful acquaintances/friendships.

  • tania says:

    You haunt TKMaxx (or TJMaxx in the US I suppose) checking for discounted scents. Even though you know they usually overflow with stuff you wouldn’t wear if it were free, and the various (but smell-alike) perfumes named for actresses, singers or Paris Hilton.
    Because one day – ONE DAY – there will be a bottle of whatever your Holy Grail scent is. For pennies. One day….

    (Though I have to say, my recent score of Imperial Oppoponax for £9.99 was pretty good. And they have two Miller Harrises at the moment. Yay the Maxx!)

    • March says:

      There you go again, Miller Harris. Our TJM never has anything interesting, never. I do wonder, why is everyone dumping the MH line right now, though?

      • Ann N. says:

        Yes, I noticed that, too. They were on sale at my local Bloomingdale’s when I was in there this spring.

        • tania says:

          Hmmm. I wonder what’s going on?

          I haven’t seen them on sale anywhere else in London. And so far TKM only have Terre de Bois and Citron Citron (I keep hoping for Fleur Oriental, but no joy yet).

  • jen says:

    I thought one mini cabinet would hold them all. Nope. Now the collection is invading my dresser.

    I have never counted. I have to say that I am afraid to do that. (may do it soon just to see)

    But I did “come out” to my family. They are well trained. My husband hits perfume counters while he is traveling for business now.

    I also put way more effort into my SOTD over my outfit of the day. Haha

    • March says:

      Once they crawl out of the cabinet it’s all over. Do Not Count.

    • nozknoz says:

      Yep, it’s time to “declutter” the sock drawer to make way for more essential things (like minis and decants)! LOL

      • Elizabeth says:

        The sock drawer! Mmm-mmmhhhmmuuhaahaahaa!!! Now why didn’t I think of that?

        I’m thinking of learning Excel so I can keep a proper perfume inventory…can anyone help me with this?

  • Ruanne says:

    …If you know the name of the perfumer (“normal people” don’t know if it’s not on the label)

    …if you have a priortitized list of FBs to buy. Bonus points if that list is more than 5 items long/

  • Todd T. says:

    You know you are one when you hide the credit card bill from your wife! I been on a niche buying spree for over 4 months! As all of you know that is a big bill. I have bought over 15 past 2 months. Can’t stop the insantity! Oh who am I kidding, don’t want it to end. Now where is my order of Memoir Man!


  • Ann N. says:

    Ah, yes, you’ve got our number. All our dirty little secrets are now out into the light. I especially squirmed in embarrassment at one some people have already shared: Your back-up bottles have back-up bottles (looking at all you vintage Cartier Musts and original Organza Indecence). I think we all must have the hoarding gene. Incidentally, I’m the same way about tea; if I really love it, gotta have a few back-up packages, tins, etc.
    BTW, March, yesterday I wore the dee-lish fruit bomb that is Must II EDP in your honor. If you ever get tired of its nearly overripe charms, you know where it will find a good home :-\” (But I really hope you just enjoy the heck out of it!!)

    • March says:

      Heh, I put on Must II too! It really is fruital… perfect in this sort of weather, though. Thanks again for the introduction to Must.

  • KIm says:

    A lot of my favorites have been covered, but I’d add… You know you’re a perfumista when you have so many bottles stashed here and there that you can’t FIND them all! In the worst case, this can lead to purposeful re-purchasing of something you know you already own… somewhere.

    • March says:

      I can almost always find the specific bottles if I am looking for them, but I forget I own something and re-buy it. :”> And decants I misplace.

  • gator grad says:

    I don’t know about Perfumista, but you know that you are a ***PERFUME ADDICT*** when you start googling the notes (and materials from interviews with the perfumer) in some frags that you like, desperate to figure out how soon you need a FB though you have a perfectly good decant in hand, because you are worried about scarcity in the materials and reformulation. *sigh*

  • gator grad says:

    Oh noooos! Nava, please post later! Or comment with a quick off-the-top-of-your-head list! You aren’t my scent twin, but you are definitely my scent sister!

  • Diana says:

    Sometimes I consider myself lucky to have discovered perfume so late in my life (well, not *that* late) since I now have the freedom and disposable income to spend on such madness… but then I look at my competing hobbies and shake my head. Perfume is the most expensive of them all and provides the least lasting result.

    *Some of my other hobbies include playing the fiddle and knitting/spinning yarn. I am also a Fiber-Addict and secretly desire owning my own alpaca llama (which would drastically tip the fiber-addiction into the expensive category!)

    At least perfume takes up less space than a llama!!

  • Tara says:

    You know you’re an addict when your formerly perfume-normal husband, who had never worn cologne or any type of perfume, now can’t leave the house without it!! He’s not addicted yet, but I am working on it. Then I won’t have to explain why there is an entire drawer (or two) and closet filled with perfume and vials in all the rooms of the house!

    You also know your an addict when your kids want to use the computer and come over and say “Mom, I need the computer. Stop doing all that perfume stuff!”

    • Ines says:

      I did that to my boyfriend as well! :d

    • Meliscents says:

      I love it when our significant others get sucked into our crazy behavior. My husband and I were in New Orleans Saturday & I always have to go to Hové perfumers. Well we got there right before they closed so the pressure to pick one was making me tense. My husband moved me out of the way, ASKED for the coffee beans and started sniffing. I came away with a gorgeous soapy green scent. He was rather proud of himself. The biggest problem we have though is that his fragrance often out powers mine!

  • Illdone says:

    Oh Yes! Coffee or tea please!
    Why are we so much alike?

    If any of you ever consider comming to Europe, France, where ever, let me know! March, Patty anyone? Can’t this be arranged – a blog-group meeting?
    I’ll bring the dark chocolate with lavender (Kiki!)bonbons along …

    • Wendy says:

      Perhaps we can start a European chapter first so that we have a welcome committee ready? I know there are a few fellow lowlanders reading this blog? :)>-

      • March says:

        Y’all should chat and hook up, sniffing with other gals from the Posse is so much fun. I know Sniffapalooza has done France, Italy and London but I’ve not gone. I will definitely meet up with folks locally, though, next time I am back.

  • Louise says:

    Guilty as charged.

    I’m about to decide which of my vintage Femme PdT bottles to grab this morning…I have several, all slightly different, to my nose. Odd girl, yes.

    I think (if it’s not mentioned above) that spraying perfume when by oneself-maybe for watching T.V., while wearing torn sweat pants, might indicate a Perfumista Identification. Also spraying one’s lover while they sleep, just to smell a favorite scent on another skin, might veer into Perfumista territory.

    Lovely sniffing day to all!

    • SniffingAround says:

      Yes to spraying when by oneself watching TV in old pyjamas. Also: sitting a movie theatre on a Friday night watching a crummy movie (Hereafter, I’m looking at you) and thinking, wow, I wish I were home watching TV in my pyjamas and sniffing some of those samples I still haven’t gotten to…

    • March says:

      Yes, absolutely. Perfect detail. Perfume worn just for you — at bedtime, during the day, etc.

  • Austenfan says:

    I am terminally afflicted with PBA. I repress all memories of having spent more than I should on perfume.
    I think one third of my rather large refrigerator is used for Goutal-Storage. And my bottle of Calyx lives there very happily. It does make for funny remarks when a friend happens to open the fridge: What are all those cream coloured boxes?

    Could we perhaps do a tea or coffee post on Friday? The tea one on NST was very successful the other day. And they are so linked to perfume anyway.

    • March says:

      We’ll do a coffee/tea post AND a shoe post. I may combine the coffee/tea post as one post so that I can watch the coffee and tea people slag each other about which is superior. :d

  • Fiordiligi says:

    I am in denial about the number of bottles I own and don’t dare count them. I certainly don’t track how much I spend and the thought of a spreadsheet to keep track brings me out in a cold sweat (well, hot flush actually) despite the fact that I am an accountant (sorry).

    Yes, it’s a wonderful life, being a perfumista! I am intimately familiar with the tiny, hidden-away perfume shops of Europe and on kissing terms with the staff at 68 Champs-Elysees. When I ask if we can go to St Paul de Vence for Christmas it is with the unspoken understanding that the trip will include a visit to the Musee International de la Parfumerie in Grasse (again).

  • Illdone says:

    Knowing when you’re a fume-aholic consists of behaving like well, an addict.
    I live in Flanders Belgium (odd country let’s not get started about that) but I started worrying about myself since :

    -I had a cooled closet installed in the hallway to protect old (perfume) treasures from turning bad

    -I have really no idea on how much I spend on perfume (when in love one doesn’t count)

    -Dusting the living room is turning nearly impossible since I have somewhat 300 vials and miniatures lying around in boxes. I have to have them at hand – immediatly if necessary

    – In spite of owning quite a few gems there’s always a discontentment, so some mornings I leave the house with a mix of 2 roomsprays on my clothes and some heated liquid candle wax on my wrist. Don’t I smell original today??

    – I discovered a few old perfume shops in small towns (third generation owners no part of a chain) and I beged them to be allowed to look in old closet-drawers behind their counter. Once I pushed aside (it was a gentle push but never the less) an 83-year old shop-owner who claimed that old stuff was just off. IT WASN’T!!
    Then getting some old treasures for free as they claim there happy not having to go to the container park with it as hasardous waste..
    When I come home with them, stiff on Happy-Adrenaline my husband asks reluctantly : “More Pledge??” As everthing old seems to have a Pledge furniture wax note to his nose.

    -Every city-trip I make abroad is built around where the best perfume shops are, secondly I look for places to eat, sleep and the obliged cultural part like musea and so on. Luckily Pledge-honey indulges me.

    Do I get my – you’re really sick nomination?

    • Austenfan says:

      Well Flanders maybe odd, but at least you don’t have the embarrassment of having someone like Wilders hijacking the government. I am Dutch and I feel awful about our current political situation. Sorry to introduce this subject on this lovely thread.
      Love your post. My dream is to enter a shop where the owner has entirely forgotten he has a stash of vintage Guerlains sitting in his cupboard and allowing me to acquire them at a bargain price!

    • Musette says:

      Nae, on this board you’re normal! I don’t think there’s a commenter on here who hasn’t fantasized about that vintage Guerlain stash. Because I am a greedy, I always find THREE boxes in the estate sale/2ndhand store/somebody’s aunt’s closet:


      I am sooo happy!

      xo >-)

  • Maria says:

    My god, all the above suit me!!!Like I didn;t know…
    Plus…When a new love i always have to change my perfume for the particular man.Never the same parfume for different persons. Smell memory is very strong.I own some perfumes which actually a r e my ex lovers.Some of them I still love, some I hate…
    I teach my 8 and 7 year old kids about perfume.I have some for them, (Moschino Funny and OH!, D.K.Be delicious, Hermes Sur le Nil for the daughters and Moschino Friends for the boy).I give them to try( unfortunately they hate ALL the chypres that I LOVE!)But ofcourse I don;t allow them to use everything.
    If they stick on, the drawers of the house will not be enouph after some years… And the family budget too. Thanks God, the husband has anosmia!

  • Francesca says:

    Thinking, WOOOO, I’m seeing Antony and Cleopatra tonight, time to break out the Montale Black Oud.

    Standing on the corner of Hudson and King with my nose in the neck of a newly-discovered perfumista co-worker, and then her nose in my neck.Meanwhile, she’s a heavy smoker. WTF???

    Also naughty thoughts of leaving a big lipstick print on the perfect white shirt of a gay colleague who invited me to sniff the l’Elephant he’d dabbed on his chest.

    • March says:

      Mmmmm, L’Elephant on a man!

    • Carla says:

      Ha, I watched “Mrs. Dalloway” last night and had to wear Jolie Madame to watch it. Thought it was appropriate for a “period piece” with the violets and soft leather. And, you’re lucky to have discovered perfumista co-workers. I’m now a SAHM and expat in Germany, and fellow moms’ eyes glaze when I mention my perfume love. They don’t get it. Luckily my sister does, and then there are these blogs.

  • Ines says:

    I admit to all of the above, especially PBA. :d

    And I still think samples procreate by themselves because I just can’t understand where are they all coming from.

  • Madea says:

    You know more about classic perfumery than does the SA at the counter.

    You’ve devoted time to wondering what perfume/cologne your favorite book/movie character would wear, and can explain at length why this is right one for him/her.

    You find someone’s choice of perfume/cologne more revealing than what they drink.

    There’s more alchohol in your bathroom cupboard than under your bar.

    You’ve calibrated your favorite scents to moods and don’t mix them. ‘I’m relaxing today, so X is out. Too high energy.’

    You match your fragrance to location in detail ( The perfume you wear to visit the DMV is different than the one you wear to the market, etc.)

    You’ve learned to appreciate certain smells in historical context.For instance, musks to blend with body odor, clean smells in an era with an emphasis on frequent bathing, etc.

    Smelling like used bedsheets, bloody pavement, etc. disturbs you far less than smelling banal ever could.

    You spend twenty minutes posting this when you should be working on a term paper ( not me, of course. Must be the other guy.)


  • Masha says:

    OMG, you got me on all of them, except I haven’t actually bought perfume in months. However…could add another paragraph about how a perfumista can branch out into buying all the olfactory components of perfume! Tiny bottles and vials of the eos, absolutes, aromachemicals (yes, I own a small bottle of Iso E Super!). And of course, my budding collection of non-western perfumes, and obscure 19th-century Venezueland perfumes, and….

    • March says:

      The aromachemicals! Not even I have gone there yet, although everyone on here owes you for the attars…

      • Masha says:

        Aha! A new frontier for you to explore! Don’t worry, it’s much, much cheaper than buying actual perfumes….

        • Rappleyea says:

          Not really good essential oils! Have you seen the prices of rose otto lately?!? OUCH!! Of course March won’t be needing any rose otto… ;-)

          • Masha says:

            Rose, no, but orris butter maybe, and yikes, that stuff is CHER! And tuberose, lots of flowers, really. But sample vials of most non-florals and synthetics aren’t too bad.

        • March says:

          I liked the part of the tea post where he’s apologizing for the tea Sweetlife picked, and she says, yo, it’s WAAAY cheaper than perfume.

          • Masha says:

            Yeah, I collect tea, too. It just sort of spreads out from perfume, collect things that smell good!

  • ChickenFreak says:

    You convince non-perfume-collecting friends to sniff your arm in public because you Must Have Someone To Talk To!!! about that new sample.

    Outerwear goes to the dry cleaners’ not because it’s dirty, but because it’s exceeded its quota of different scents.

    Ziplocs are only incidentally used for food.

  • Joe says:

    I love it. Yes, I am a freak. And you are a freak, too. We admitted we were powerless… MUWAHAHAHAHAHA.

    I love this one: You’ve got more vials lying around your place than a crack dealer. That and “the bubblewrap situation.” Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to just heave it all into a giant cardboard box to get it out of my sight? How many times I’ve been nervous about anyone — friend or stranger — coming into my apartment and seeing my “strange little secret”?

    I started keeping a very detailed spreadsheet just last April because I had to get a handle on it and face up to how much we were actually talking about. It’s alternately scary, sobering, and helpful to keep the impulse buys down.

    I don’t have anything to add to the list, but I do have a final comment: Who the hell doesn’t like Courtesan?? That stuff is the bomb!

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi Joe, I’m with you all the way (except for the spreadsheet, not computer-savvy enough to attempt that), especially in the bubble wrap dept., and specifically those little bubble-wrap envelopes you get samples in from Lucky Scent. Just can’t seem to throw them away! My hubby despairs of me and rolls his eyes when he sees yet another stack of them.
      In my defense, they do come in handy when selling on eBay.

      • March says:

        Joe and Ann — I keep all my wrappers, envelopes, etc., as anyone who’s been unfortunate enough to receive a package from me can attest. I do have them organized, though — all the bubble wrap’s in one box, the mailing envelopes are in a shopping bag.

        • Rappleyea says:

          LOL! Mine is the opposite – the envelopes are in a box and the bubble wrap is in a shopping bag! But you CANNOT re-use an envelope from Laurie at SSS, or at least I can’t. She’s the queen of packing tape!

    • March says:

      See, it’s weird for a man, but it’s weird for me too. People just look at you like, what is all this crap?

      Courtesan, I hear you. I think the problem is: if you get none of the interestingly sweaty bits, it’s essentially fruit cocktail, and if fruit cocktail doesn’t do it for you …

    • Mals86 says:

      Oh, LORD, the bubble wrap. I get busted on that bubble wrap alll the time. (“What did you buy? I know you bought something, there’s bubble wrap in here…”)

      I have a password on my Perfume Excel file. The totals – while not nearly as scary as some I’ve heard of – are kind of heart-attack-inducing if you’re not expecting them.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi I’m Jennifer and I am a perfume-a-holic,Fragrance junkie and I’m fine with it -at least until my dresser won’t contain anymore!(that should take awhile I have only filled 1.5drawers -so far.)
    Has someone been snooping in my drawer? How did you know I have seven or is it nine partial bottles-some are minis of Opium?
    I think I will be wise and set limits on myself.
    Alright here goes-I will not allow more than 1,001 fragrances in my collection until I turn 50(I’m 31).(Not number of bottles,and counting different concentrations/formulations as one)I think I am up to 350-370 range many are minis or partials.
    Does this sound adequetely reasonable to you?
    Well maybe so or maybe not .At least perhaps some of you can take a little pressure off yourselves “honey-I’m not nearly as bad as Jennifer.I only have ___.”

  • RuthW says:

    You know your a perfumista if . . .
    Your DH insists the bedsheets need to be washed because there is a miasma of competing perfumes (Hypnotic Poison, Bal a Versailles, Kenzo Kashaya, Habanita) from the last few nights and he can’t pull the duvet over his head without suffocating from pure awesomeness.

  • nozknoz says:

    I love the duality of numbers one and four above!

    Someone else said it first elsewhere, but another sure sign is that certain of your back-up bottles have back-up bottles.

    Your copy of The Guide is falling apart and you curse the publisher for putting the thing in a white cover.

    It often starts innocently enough with using ebay to track down a scent you wore in high school/college/sneaked from your mother/father. Then you start tracking down the scents that had ads you liked but never owned at the time because you were loyal to a signature scent. Before you know it, you have a perfume closet.

    • Francesca says:

      The white cover is my fault! we have very little to choose from for binding materials. However, get the paperback edition because it has about 500 additional reviews as well as more Q & A. And no, I don’t get any kickback from additional sales.

      • March says:

        Heh, my white cover has coffee ring stains on it. And it smells like cumin.

      • Musette says:


        I was thinking of this the other day, when I was snorfling around in my Topsy vintage collection – I, for one, would LOVE to see Luca and Tania put out a vintage version – obviously it can’t be in the same vein as The Guide – by their very nature, vintages are ephermeral…but I remember reading Luca’s tale (in Secret of Scent? don’t hold me to that) about finding some obscure Coty vintage in some scary little shop in Marseilles (I’m butchering this, aren’t I?) and I was completely mesmerized.

        A guide to vintages they have smelled and their stories/opinions would have me bowling old ladies over, in my mad dash to the bookstore.

        Just sayin…

        xo >-)

      • nozknoz says:

        Oh, Francesca – that would explain why some of my other favorite books these days are white. I also have and love the paperback, which is holding up quite well, also.

    • Mals86 says:

      My Guide copy has scribbled notes in the margin: “Find sample of vintage.” “Beg sample.” “Mug SA for sample.” “LT, you LIAR!” “What were you smoking when you wrote this one, TS?” “Yes, amen, the most gorgeous stuff on earth.”

      And it smells like Shalimar Light because both the SL and The Guide go to bed with me.

      • March says:

        I wonder how many of our copies of The Guide are scented? Most of them, probably. And my laptop smells like perfume, the girls think that’s hilarious.

    • Gretchen says:

      Nozknoz, your last paragraph has me down pat.

  • Catherine says:

    How about this?

    Not only do I own a few versions of Chanel No. 5 — more importantly, I own both the body lotion AND the body creme. Because the lotion and the creme are NOT the same, not even close, AND they are different enough to be worth having from the fragrances proper.

    Hello, I’m Catherine and I’m a perfumeaholic.

    Psssttt — in one of those odd Fridays, let’s do SHOES!

    • Kim says:

      Ummm….. Don’t forget the bath gel and also the soap – distinct scents and complement the edt/edp/parfum differently than the lotion or body cream (my favourite). :))

      • Meliscents says:

        YEP! Got all of that stuff. Actually I have more than one of each.
        After this post I might need serious therapy!!

      • Catherine says:

        Soap! O! I need that to put in my scarf drawers to scent everything proper!! (Right now, I use the No. 5 bath powder–which reminds me, I have that too!)

    • March says:

      Ohnoes, I totally forgot the other scented product.

      And I think shoes are a great idea!

    • Gretchen says:

      Shoes: now I tremble.