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!