Best Perfume – how finding it leads to the 5 stages

the best perfume - five stages to finding it

Finding the Best Perfume leads to 5 stages of perfume addiction.

We are in the midst of some long-overdue renovation here at El O World Headquarters.  As usual His El O-ness has waited until it’s freezing cold outside to rip the house down to the studs – but whatchagonnado?  Well, what I do is reorganize my closet and my perfume samples, since every last inch of the rest of the house is in chaos. Managing the perfume decants and perfume samples helps keep my anxiety in check.  If you have been on here awhile you know I have this ‘thing’ about storage – I love organizing stuff, even if I can’t always keep it organized.  When I came back to the house looking like it does in the photo above (note:  it still looks like that, as I type this) I poured a bottle glass (GLASS! really..) of wine, went into the bedroom, closed the door and started reorganizing my 5ml perfume decants.    The 5mls begat a thought about the 1mls and I started wondering how I got to the point where I have ammo box after ammo box of maybe-once worn, largely unexplored stuff…and stuff I hate?  Why do I still have it?  I still hate it.  Or it’s just ‘meh to me, like Poor March and the Iris Ookie’.  Whatever.  WHY DO I STILL HAVE IT?

I am deep in one of the Stages of Perfumista-ism.  I’m curious  how I got here, and if any of you have gone through similar stages.  Here are mine, in a somewhat lazy format:

1.  Pre-P Existence: What you wore before you become a perfumista (for me that was Fracas, some Guerlains, Bal a Versailles and Fresh Lemon Sugar) – I wore the same thing over and over, not paying much attention to it.  Vintage?  What?  It was vintage because it sat on my dresser for the past 10 years.  Heh.

2.  Toe in the Water. I Blame Google.  I was bored, reflecting, wondering what is the best perfume…. had a Proust moment – for me it was Nina Ricci Bigarade.  Led me to NST, which linked me to the Posse and blogs beyond.   Before that  I got into the Jo Malones because I like grapefruit and I liked the idea of having to call London to get it (this was Back Then – WAY back – there was no real Internet yet. I found it in a magazine editorial.  In the Actual Magazine.  wow. ).  Never mind that when I did get it, it turned out to smell like alligator piss.  On me.  In the bottle it smelled just fine.  Dang.  It took me awhile to get my bearings.  My nervous, early point of view translated to ‘What you think you ‘should’ be interested in’, once you get hooked on the concept of niche/sampling, etc – I clicked on Aedes and Luckyscent links….oooops!  Katy, bar the door.  I lost my mind, got the most obscure samples, not because they sounded particularly up my alley but because they were obscure.  Marketing 101 Victim, right here! LOL! That also includes mass market  reverse snobbery just for the snobbery of it. One minute Calyx was Perfectly Fine.  The next?

2a. That Emperor is Wearing Some Crazy Clothes (aka ‘if Luca Loves It, It Must Be Good)  Never mind that you HATE a particular note (or a particular perfume):  The Guide/Posse/NST/X loves it and thinks it is the best perfume for (fillintheblank), suddenly YOU LOVE IT.  Sub-division: Perfumer Paen.  “X is a Genius!  This was his finest creation!”  Forgetting that it smells like weasel farts to you, you buy it anyway.  Most of us get over this stage pretty quickly and opinions – popular and/or learned become useful tools instead of gospel.  You get your mind back and feel way better about the whole thing.

2b (or possibly 1a – who knows?).  Collecting every perfume sample on earth.  Splits, decants, samples, swaps…if it’s out there, you must get your perfumista paws on it!  Then:  is Container Store your Holy Shrine or do you just have a big ol’ box where you throw everything in  and …..and this is where it starts to get weird – what do you DO with all those perfume samples? are you collecting to sample them all?  CAN you sample them all?  Or are you just getting for the sake of getting?  That Stage scared me silly – I had visions of Hoarders coming to my perfume closet.

The eeeeB.  I am not even going to go there.   That’s a post (or 12) all by itself.   We all know That Drama:  the vintage/obscure hunt, the 2am-glassofwine-hit ‘Bid On It” BID ON IT!!!  BID ON IT, DAMMIT!!!  ohhh, the humanity..  sniping?  heck, half the time I couldn’t even remember what I just paid for, let alone bid on!  I was Out. Of. Control.  and it was fun!!!

3.  57 Channels and Nothing On. This came on just as I was facing 2B square in the face after a sample/decant bender that could’ve sunk a tanker.  Instead of delight, the idea of rummaging through 4 ammo boxes filled with 1ml perfume samples fills you with despair.  So you reach for Guerlaain Mitsouko and call it a day.  This one comes and goes for me – the 7-Day Scent Challenge was actually a welcome relief to trying to figure out what the day called for.  Not that I’m anywhere near interested in a full-time, signature scent – as in this is the best perfume – but it did ramp down what sometimes is a challenge – especially for something that should be fun.

4. Looking at scent for its own sake, devoid of marketing (or anti-marketing) hype.  This is where true Perfumistaism begins, imo.  But I think one has to go through some variations of the Stages to get there, unless you are born into a perfume family or are just blessed with lucky nose-genes.

5. Admitting you’re a Smell Freak and just going with it.   Lemons, gasoline, knees, dog’s Frito-feet, wet pavement…a good Dior classic…Coty Sand and Sable…some fog-thing from Sweden…all can coexist in your milieu quite nicely. Exclusivity, vintage, label…none of that matters – it becomes all about the Smell.  But you don’t have to keep everything you smell.  Sending stuff out becomes as much fun as getting stuff in.

5a.  The Cull.

This is where I am now and where the Fun Begins.  I’ve gone through Number 3 about 3 times too many – time to thin the herd of the things that are NOT the best perfume so I can enjoy the new stuff that I am so glad comes my way.  I’ve got a couple of little 1ml perfume sample bags – nothing fancy and I don’t have the slightest idea what will be in there.  Tell me YOUR story – where are you now in The Stages? Do you have a different set of stages altogether? I’ll throw your name in the dog bowl and Bruno will pick a couple of winners. If you are at your own Stage 3, tell your story anyway – just let me know you don’t want any more samples! (yeah, right).    I will try to get them to you in time for MMS (March’s Massive Swap) so this particular giveaway will close Midnight, Friday 19 November. If you win and you hate the stuff you get – why, you’ll have that much more to swap!

There are lots of Stages sub-divisions I have not addressed here, like vintage v. contemporary, celebuscents….feel free to whirl away on any of those and more!

photo:  my living room/dining room…..le sigh.

  • zeezee says:

    I see you adopted my nickname for Ukiyoé! (Or is it a case of great minds thinking alike?) Either way, Ukki-Ookie-Icky it is.

    I think I’ve joy-ridden through each one of your stages, not necessarily in order, except stage 4. That’s where I’d like to be; to be able to separate the cheap conjurer’s tricks from the actual magic. I’m finding it very very hard though, without having actual study materials and access to high quality single note oils and synthetics. And as a result, marketing still does colour my perception.
    Well, that was a little more gloomy than I started out with. :”> At least my true snob stage (niche!nicher!nichest!) didn’t last all that long, case in point: my latest purchase is a TBS room spray which I will use as a perfume, ta very much. :)>-

  • Alice C says:

    Just found your blog. Too late to get in on the drawing. :(( I have worn the same fragrance since 1989. (My husband gave it to me.) I’m ready to branch out and try new things. I just got a few Bond No. 9 samples and a Creed sample. So–I’m very new to this. I did perfume hop quite a bit in the 70’s and 80’s. Right now I don’t even know where to start. Any advice for a newbie would be appreciated!!

    • Musette says:


      Welcome! Great that you are interested in trying new things! My totally inexpert advice would be to hang out with us and a few other blogs, read about some perfume houses/styles …and go from there. March, Patty and Nava do excellent perfume reviews…mostly I just blather on about stuff about perfume, rather than perfume itself….oh, hang around with us awhile, you’ll see what I mean!

      What notes do you currently like? Not that that always means much – as you move forward you will find some surprises in store – for me, it was oudhs! Who knew I would be wearing oudh in August, when all I used to wear was citrus!


      xo >-)

  • Eric says:

    2. I’ve been googling

  • Kyle says:

    1. Pre-existence :(
    enlighten meeeeee……..I’ve been wearing the same armani code and armani mania for eons.

  • Thea says:

    I think I am at a stage 4-5 and totally admitting I am a smell freak… I still have my favorite brands that host more wins than not but i am trying to look past the brands past the packaging. I still love samples, love ebay (esp for sample lots). I just love to try everything and have found not one HG in sight. Right now I’m focusing on a collection of satisfactory “note” equivalents as in vanilla, rose, patchouli – burnt rubber – LOL – just to get a satisfactory fix for the moment. :)

    • Musette says:

      sounds like you have given this a lot of thought!

      and you’re not alone with the burnt rubber! That and gasoline (which I get from contemp Mitsouko – and love it!) are very popular notes.

      there are some ‘smells’ that entice perfumistas that, 5 years ago, would’ve 😮 my very soul. Now I don’t bat an eye.

      xo >-)

  • mariekel says:

    I think we should start our own twelve-step program.

    I bop back and forth between stages 3-5 (with a smattering of some lingering 2b). If I could afford it, I would be engaging in scent flights — different vintage of a single perfume. sigh.

  • Daniele says:

    I definitely went through most of those stages, but I’ve never bought perfume on ebay — I’m scurred. I feel like I’ll buy the wrong thing, or get ripped off, and I live in Canada so you never know whats going to happen with customs and shipping.
    I went through a stage where I wanted to collect a sample selection of different notes or scent categories so I could get a kind of broad overview of how different perfumer’s were interpreting and using notes.

    I think it was really informative, but it lead to my having a lot of samples that I wouldn’t necessarily want to wear for any length of time.

    I think the most fruitful stage of my perfumistaism has been the stage where I ordered a large(ish) number of 5ml decants, some of them unsniffed. I found that, even the ones I found strange at first (like Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca) I’ve now found a love for. Yay for decants!

    • Musette says:

      so come on over to the MMS next week!

      I like how you approached the sample selection – way better than my point-and-shoot!

      xo >-)

  • Pamster says:

    I am absolutely a Smell Freak. I don’t think I went through all of the prior stages, though. I have always been “collecting” various scented objects and even places (the Allegany National Forest is just up the road and some amazing scents there!) And when I smell a perfume that I love, it does not matter what it cost. The lowliest bottle of “Tabu” to the priciest Amouage… I can love them both equally! :) So please enter me in the draw, and thanks!

  • Millicent says:

    Definitely Stage 3 now, except for the part about having samples! After moving to SE Asia a few years ago, I haven’t been able to get my hands on any — SA’s here are shockingly poorly trained to begin with, and the mentality is that you don’t get something for free unless you’ve bought something expensive already. Add to that the dearth of non-mainstream AND a somewhat unreliable post (which limits my access to mail order) — forget it! Plus, I’ve given away a lot of the samples I arrived here with, trying to cultivate fellow perfumistas.

    So, long story short: I’d love to be in the draw, and am all excited about the swap.

  • zeram1 says:

    I’m in a flux-state between 3 and beyond… too many sample vials that I try not to multiply the total# of times ~$4-5 dollars each. Let’s just say “oh my, did I really spend that much on these tiny vials” (some of which I will most likely never retry again in the future). I therefore, like you, sometimes (regrettably) just reach for a familiar and call it a day. Please enter me in the drawing as well.

  • Flora says:

    ROTFL – Anita, I do love you so! :-D

    Oh yeah, I have been through all these stages, but the groundwork was laid long before the Intertoobes existed in its present form, so I had lots of time to become a serious perfume lover before I discovered the world of perfume blogs about 5 years ago. I thought I was all alone! Who else went as crazy over smells as I did? I knew absolutely no one else with my obsession – that is, until I stepped into the hallowed shrine of the newly opened perfume shop in my city and found my kindred spirits. My first bottle of really good perfume was the now-defunct Caresse de Fragonard, followed by a big bottle of the original Jean-Louis Scherrer, and thus began my love affair with chypres before I even knew what they were. Then the Jean Patou Ma Collection came out and I was hopelessly addicted. Each year at Christmas I would buy myself something really good, from Vacances to Sublime to Parfum Sacre to Lady Caron to Chant d’Aromes, I loved those classic French perfumes with a passion.

    Flash forward to about 2005 when I idly wondered if a certain perfume was still around (I don’t even remember right now what it was) and stumbled across my first perfume blog. I could hardly even BELIEVE they existed, where had I been?! As it turned out, that’s just about when they started to appear, so I did not miss all that much. So I discovered Uncle Serge and Andy Tauer and all the many niche lines, and of course all the wonderful perfumistas I have come to know, a few even in person. These are MY people, at last!

    My latest stage, other than sample swapping, is vintage, the more obscure the better. I started out by trying to find some vintage Femme because I loved it so back in the day and never bought it, and now it’s not the same, and maybe in the process I could get my hands on some original formula Jolie Madame and Mitsouko. I was soon humbled by the auction prices on perfumes like these, not in line with the reality of my income, so I set my sights a little lower, and in the process I have discovered some wonderful but overlooked perfumes. I think it was this that finally cured me of “having” to try all the latest releases , because I can’t possibly keep up anyway, nor afford to if I did have the time, and now every so often a package of little treasures arrives and I take a trip into the past. Sometimes it’s disappointing, sometimes it’s smelling an old familiar friend from years ago, and sometimes it’s a transcendent discovery of something so lovely it takes my breath away. I never know, and that’s what makes it so much fun.

    That said, I would still like to be in the draw….. ;-)

  • Winifreida says:

    Yup been thru’ all those stages – and have had to admit to myself that what I always thought was monogamy with Mitsouko after I found her in my late twenties, wasn’t really. I also fooled around with essential oils all the time, including, yes, patchouli. I remember smelling pure ylang ylang about 25 years ago and nearly falling over, it was so amazingly carnal, it seemed to go straight to the synapses that control reproduction! (I think the modern stuff is adulterated, its not quite the same now…). This coincided with a strongly organic-only natural phase which in some ways is still with me. I had two triggers into full-blown perfumania; a new bottle of Mits which didn’t smell right, and getting my little farm in the hills and getting all those sorts of smells again. There is some weed there that when I put the slasher through it, smells just like Ormonde Woman! I have hundreds of samples and decants and while some don’t immediately wow me, I still keep using just to ponder and analyse. I am particularly fascinated with notes, families, and classifications now, and am always mentally things into ‘groups’. This has actually led to what, stage 6?, as I now have to find my three favorites of a note, type, or family. In the last few days I’ve been playing with fig, a note that I’m not immediately crazy about, but find I love in applications such as Pulp and Ninfeo Mia and even Womanity. I’m getting ready for summer Downunder when I will give into a couple of figgy full bottles this year.
    And speaking of full bottles, there is just something about having the whole bottle! Quantity, wet the socks, don’t scrimp! And I still love the occasional gamble with the unsniffed, there is something about ripping open that parcel that appeals to the sense of adventure.
    I nearly went thru a regret phase especially with vintage stuff I had missed back in the day. Only yesterday I soaked myself in Quadrille, which had gone to the back of the shelves because it was a bit of a meh FB when it arrived, and I went holy cow that is STUNNING!
    In fact I think I am loving everything more and more; the more I smell and learn the more wide-ranging and appreciative I get. I wish the perfume companies would educate people more instead of just serving up all the same old stuff they think will be popular on the back of some irrelevant ad campaign.

  • Holly B says:

    Like many who have posted already, I too have always loved scent. I remember telling my mom in junior high that I wanted a “signature scent,” and being that I was in junior high and didn’t have any money she bought my perfume, her choice of course. So I spent junior high and high school doused in Calyx, Aqua de Gio, L’eau d’Issey, can you sense a trend? So as soon as I was out of the house I starting wearing the trashy, but to me delicious, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique. I then found Fracas and fell in deep love, wearing it every day for five years. Every day…..for five years. My mom claimed it gave her asthma, and I’m sure the ladies at the gym, doctor’s office, vet, and anywhere else it is inappropriate to wear Fracas were pretty pissed. I then moved to the mountains and Fracas didn’t mix well with mountain air. So I tried to be earthy and wear essential oils, which I love, but they never gave me the same thrill as Fracas. Then I discovered Luckyscent and all the great perfume blogs and it was all over. I’m in year three of being a perfumeista, and I think I’m still in the level 2b, sample hoarder stage (as my budget allows). I even got my boyfriend into it. We pick out perfumes together and always swap scents. I’m sure his brothers back on the farm would give him grief, so it is our secret. He is my enabler. I have expensive full bottles that I never touch because I’m always fiending for the new set of samples. Arrrgghhh the madness has to stop, but it is so much fun!!

    • Holly B says:

      Oh yes, please enter me in the giveaway!

    • Musette says:



      and FWIW Fracas (and the Queen of Everything, Mitsouko) would NEVER give anybody asthma. [-( Unless you are a draft horse. A little chancy, then. I just got binked by a Clydesdale because I had on too much Carnal Flower. The Clyde won.

      xo >-)

  • Claudia says:

    I’m pretty much stuck at 2b, with an aside into amateur librarianism. Every time I test a new sample, I record my impressions, and if I really like it, the next step is a decant. I keep a list so I don’t order the same sample twice, and my husband has actually put this all on computer for me. (He’s retired, and REALLY bored.) I don’t have many FB’s but when I get one, my hands shake a little. One arrived the other day from Ormande Jayne, and I thought I was going to hyper-ventilate. I’m having FUN!

    • Musette says:

      that’s what it’s all about! how nice of your husband to do a spreadsheet for you! The best I can ask of El O is that he not get mad when I leave stuff on his dresser (which is next to my decant/sample closet, which he built, bless his heart)…but stuff does end up there…he’s a pretty good sport about it all, though.

      xo >-)

  • tammy says:

    I think I started off in Stage 5. Have always loved scents and sniffing things; Daddy always said I had a nose like a Bluetick Hound!

    I have no memory of a Pre-P existence; as I have shared here before, I started wearing Joy when I was 3, after sniffing it on the wrist of one of my aunts, while visiting New Orleans.

    Fast forward a few years; another aunt arrives at our door on leave from her tour of duty as an Army nurse in Vietnam, with a suitcase full of presents…..I completely ignore the dolls and zero in immediately on two little boxes tucked in with her socks, and within minutes, I have anointed one 7 year old arm with Tabu (the original), and the other with Toujours Mois (the Corday version). I was inhaling so much I hyper-ventilated, tho’ I suppose it could have been the combination of scents that made me so light-headed!

    Mama refused to let me have either bottle (fancy that!) and I was devastated….word was out by then that I loved perfume,and I got plenty of those sweet drugstore bottles of Love’s Baby Soft, Enjoli, Windsong, Charlie, and also Sweet Honesty, Chloe and so forth…but I never quite forgot those other two loves, and I know y’all won’t be shocked that the first bottle I bought myself as a teenager was…wait for it…Opium! I think I had just turned 14, but I may still have been 13, and that was an enormous amount of babysitting money.

    I never found much else to like besides Victoria and Fendi; the fresh/watery/clean era left me cold, as did the current fruit stand trend, and I was so desperate for something new that I Googled perfume, found y’all, NST and PST, and the rest is history.

    Two years and 4 figures worth of samples later, I think I can say I no longer need to smell every thing that comes out. But I have to admit, this has more to do with the fact that my tastes are shamefully narrow, rather than any kind of discipline……when you come to the realization that you just do not like citrus, fruit, musk, tuberose, gardenia, gourmands, aldehydes, most spices or leather, there is no point in trying them any longer.

    But I do still have a mile-long list of things to sniff….I adore vintage, and camp out regularly at TPC. I have yet to try any Cartier, and the both the bottle and the notes of Le Baiser Du Dragon are screaming my name, as are Habanita, Shocking, and other oldies, so maybe I shouldn’t say my sampling days are behind me just yet, and yea, I’d like to be in on your generous draw!

  • Suzy Q says:

    My experience has been similar to yours, Musette. I wonder how different it would be if I lived in LA, NYC or Chicago. I would love to be able to “sample” by going into The Scent Bar, Barney’s, etc. and spraying on a new release. Proximity to good perfume stores would add a whole new step to my routine.

    • Musette says:

      well, I’m pretty lucky – I still get back to the City on a regular basis and keep up with my SAs, so all is not lost….plus! I have some really fabulous perfume friends…so I’m not totally bereft down here in Hooterland.

      But it would be way easier to just walk up the Avenue!

      xo >-)

      btw – just spoke to Lydia (the new MALLE rep, y’all! our little Lydia is movin’ on UP!) – Portrait of a Lady should be at Barn’s any day now….@};-

  • Beth says:

    I think I can easily say I’m in stage 2b. I want to try everything! But I think that’s just because I’ve gone from thinking of perfume as “hmmm, smells nice” to “ok, that makes me feel like … that reminds me of … i never noticed that leather could smell like…”. It becomes a sensory experience.

    Well I am all about that! I always want to hear any new music out there, whatever the genre and I like some, don’t like others. I like the opera, a broadway show, the symphony, bluegrass, zydeco, pop, rock, as long as the artist is talented, I like it. And I like what I like, even if I’m the only one defending it. This is how I feel about art, music, food, and my profession (interior decorating). I just had no idea that perfume fit in this grouping for me.

    I think I skipped 2a tho, because I know from my experience in the other areas, that I will sometimes have very different opinions. It doesn’t matter if everyone loves it, if I hate it, I vocally hate it, and vice versa. So this is what has driven me to try everything. Definitely if everyone on here loves it, I’m going to want to try it. But I may shrug my shoulders and say “hmmmm, not for me tho”. Or “you all are NUTS, that’s HORRIBLE, my sinuses are bleeding!”. \;)/

    If samples are involved, sign me up!! I’m wearing my Citizen Queen today and already wondering what to try tomorrow!

    Oh, and P.S. In my profession, we walk a lot of people through renovations and my one big piece of advice is … Surrender to the Process. Good luck, I know it’s difficult.

    • Musette says:

      You are in. It’s funny how perfume isn’t thought of as ‘art’ – but I think it is.

      As far as the reno goes – I’m fine with the Process – as long as there is an actual PROCESS. He’s hanging around, moaning about his ‘back’ …..oooh! owwww! but guess who’s going bowling tonight? :-w

      that ‘cracking’ sound is……..8-x

      xo >-)

      • Beth says:

        Hehe! Well you should have some whips around there right?

        Have you considered telling him you’re going to do a blog that’s time elapsed progress of his project… 1 pic a day .. and post it online for all to see what a great job he’s doing? Evil, I know, but any port in a storm!

  • Nina Z says:

    Is there some special stage for the perfumista on a very small budget? Someone who is desperately trying to stay in the sampling phase in order to save money? Someone who, um, slinks around San Francisco and New York begging for free samples of niche perfumes (my husband is outside waiting for me turns out to be strategy) so she can avoid buying whole bottles?

    • Cathy says:

      If you’re in that stage, then so am I!

      • Musette says:

        There’s no shame in asking for samples, imo. In fact, it makes good economic sense. There is no way I’m going to pay 3 figs for a scent I haven’t test-driven for some serious outings. If you cultivate your SAs and buy from them when you can/will (if it’s not perfume, a lipstick will do) they will/should be happy to give you samps!

        both of you are in the draw!

        xo >-)

  • Fragrant Witch says:

    Pick me Bruno! My dad had Rotties and I loved them to bits- big, slobbery babies that they were.

    I am between stages 2 and 3, budget being the largest barrier to going any further along. One daughter in private school another to follow soon and a hubby who keeps a close eye on finances!
    I always have loved scent and loved perfume as soon as I could get into my mom’s perfume: No.22, Opium, Norell, Aviance Night Musk, KL and on.
    My grandmother wore Magie Noire, No5, Arpege, My Sin, Ma Griffe… Gorgeous.

    I followed with Emeraude, Shalimar(at 14 and 15) – love at first sniff! Also, the usual suspects of California, Exclamation, Babe, Chantilly, Love’s , Jovan Wild Musk and manyany more!

    • Fragrant Witch says:

      Damn Safari on iPhone- can’t see what I am typing! I then went though the regrettable Cool Water phase, which we shall pass over in silence. Discovered White Linen and Safari and Knowing before smelling Chaos and falling totally in love and then experiencing the devastation of discontinuation! My search for it is what led mr down the rabbit hole and the discovery of NST and the Posse and PST. I am home!

    • Musette says:

      Bruno is the American Bulldog/boxer mix, though he has the heart of a Rottweiler (and he RULES the Rott, of course). He’s nimble enough to go up and down those scary stairs, where his Rottie bro can’t control his mass (they are VERY steep) so ended up rump over muzzle. But he says you are in the draw!

      I am LOVIN’ your journey – from Cool Water to Chaos! Good for you!

      xo >-)

  • Karen G says:

    Like Kym above, I’m a bit compulsive, but the perfume obsession, hobby, whatever, has lasted almost 5 years and shows very little sign of abating any time soon. Sampling has always been my it…I was never looking for my HG. Just wanted to smell EVERYTHING. It’s slowed down. A LOT. But I keep all my samples, even the ones I hate, for reference. It’s all just a hoot, and when it’s not fun anymore, I guess I’ll stop. It’s not like my cupboards are overflowing with bottles. I consider full bottle purchases very carefully before pulling the trigger. But sampling…that’s where the fun is!

  • Kym says:

    I think it’s time to embrace a fundamental truth about myself: I have compulsive behaviors. Before perfume it was shoes (really, really nice shoes), which slightly overlapped with handbags (yes, really really nice ones). I could feel the shift coming and was grateful to be released from my deep dedication to purses. Then came perfume, reading The Guide every night, checking the blogs, swapping, etc. I was a little surprised by the “clique-i-ness” on a popular swap board, but nonetheless wanted to belong to this group of people who were like-minded. I suppose I was looking for the perfect scent — and slowly came to realize that this desire to find my Holy Grail would never fulfill itself. Suddenly, I’m totally over it. In the past 6 months, I did about 30 swaps and bought as many bottles (so much cheaper than shoes!) And now, I’m just using what I have. Maybe I’ll come back to it. My new “thing” that keeps me on-line for many hours each day is trading options. :) The outcome of this newest could actually be rewarding in several ways!

    • Musette says:

      but half the fun is the hunt, isn’t it? You come hang on here with us – we are not clique-y!

      And those handbags…….:-? do tell…..

      (everybody here knows Me and the Handbag go waaaay back ! 😉

      xo >-)

      • Kym says:

        Aw, thanks! I think you’re right. Now, about the bags…

        Ohhh…handbags – how I love thee, let me count the ways:

        I don’t want to brag (too much), so I’ll keep it to five bags…

        1) Jimmy Choo suede Ramona (I think..)in “Spice”
        2) Bottega Venetta – don’t know the style name. I’m afraid to wear it, it’s so nice!
        3) Rebecca Minkoff (don’t know the name, but it’s a a clutch with a chain in brillant hot pink)
        4) Donna Karan Aries in “Palm”
        5) three YSL’s Muse, Muse II and a “stingray” evening bag with chain that I wear with jeans

        The one I wear most often is a Henry Cuir (okay, so that’s six).

        Plus some other goodies. As you can see, I AM obsessive.

        • Musette says:


          but hon, DO carry them. All. Just not at once. ;))

          Murray Says So. [-x

          xo >-)

          • Kym says:

            The funny thing is, most of the time, I just run out of the house with my wallet. I love a big purse, but don’t really need one. I find when I do carry a bag consistently, I seem to attract a lot of junk! Within a week, I’ve got who knows what in my bag! I do wear an Hermes Evelyn (the small one) with some frequency. It’s just big enough for my wallet, phone and keys :)

      • Kym says:

        Adding to this – I’m not sure the hunt is that fun if you’re hunting for a unicorn, if you know what I mean…

        • Musette says:

          if anybody can relate, ’tis moi!

          I love Henry Cuir, btw, but find them heavy – what say you?

          And I am ;)) about the wallet and keys – I do that a lot too. My handbag style is a bit more structured than the E (and I’m too big to carry the small one) but I love the design!

          xo >-)

  • Tiara says:

    OMG–no walls whatsoever! Just looking at that picture made my heart race. I can totally relate, although I did still have walls.

    We are wrapping up a 6 month long remodeling/updating project on the first floor of our house. New kitchen, updated laundry room, refinished hardwood floors (plus they had to be rescreened weeks later due to some damage from an issue in the kitchen, the list goes on and on. I feel for you.

    I’m not sure what stage I’m in. On top of this remodeling, we had to have 2 trees cut down and the chimney repaired, we were in a car accident (minor damage but it was a county sheriff who hit us with a prisoner inside-total circus), and my mother died. What stage are you in when you just reach in, choose anything you touch and spray?!

    • tammy says:

      Hugs to you, Tiara. That’s a whole lot to deal with!

    • Musette says:

      You are in the stage where you sit down. take a deep breath. have a glass of wine. A box of chocolates.

      Then you take another deep breath and pull out a fragrance…and just be in the moment with it.

      My heart goes out to you – I was sort of giggling along with the silliness of Daily Life (and rofl with the sheriff/prisoner crash – since you were okay it’s okay to laugh – that sort of Barney Fife crap happens here all the time).

      But the loss of your mother is monumental. Give yourself a lot of breathing room – and accept my heartfelt >:d< xo >-)

  • March says:

    Such a great post. I go through stages when I think, I’ve lost it, I’m not that interested any more. Then I find something to be obsessed about! :x

  • AnnieA says:

    I am at the “LT/TS, are your noses working?” phase. Although I love reading the guide I vehemently disagree with many of their opinions. Sometimes I can appreciate when something is well done but not my style, but mainly my motto seems to be “If It Doesn’t Smell Good on Me It’s No Good”. Definitely have a wardrobe rather than a collection of scents.

  • Geordan1244 says:

    I’m on stage 4 mostly, although Sunday I had a stage 2a or 2b moment (or maybe it’s kindof a 3 monent). Was at an antique store, saw a full oblong bottle of Bal a Versailles, and thought – I know I’ve read about this on the boards! Without knowing much about it, just knowing it gets some love,I dropped $25 on it right there, thinking I had a treasure. Well, I got home, read up about it on the boards, and saw that not only is it readily available on the discounters (for much cheaper), but it’s been described as “Cat Butt” by none other than our lovely March. So, now I’m trepidatiously (sp) waiting to pull myself together to even try it because I don’t want to be even more disgusted with myself than I already am. Oh, to top it off, I realized (this morning) that it has a sticker on the bottom of it that says “dummy”, which makes me want to try it even less, because if I bought a bottle of colored water for $25 while thinking I was getting a super deal, I’m going to flip (ignorance is bliss, so probably will not be opening said container for awhile).

    • Musette says:

      Honey, I doubt there is a perfumista on here who hasn’t done that!

      And….just so ya know? From March ‘cat butt’ is a GOOD thing! ;))

      xo >-)

      • Olfacta says:

        Sorry to hear about the “dummy” thing, but the cheap Bal a Versailles the discounters have (big round bottle, plastic lyre top) is not nearly as good as the vintage. It’s not horrible, but it’s not the Bal we all go on about.

    • Mary says:

      Yeah– I bought what I thought was a vintage, mint bottle of Fleurs de Rocaille– the bottle leaked everywhere in the mail, but that was ok, it was a dummy anyway! Sometimes, what you get in the dummy is eau de toilette– so it still may smell nice– and the vintage juice might be of interest. Or, you can pass it along to a bottle collector– there are tons of those out there!!! :)>-

  • LindaB says:

    Hi, my name is Linda and I’m a Smell Freak! I’ve been through all the stages and back – finally comfortable at this stage. I just love all smells but I’m wary about purchsing FB’s and don’t hop on every bandwagon (I admit some still get me, especially if it’s something freakalicious, lol).

    This was a terrific post – I very much enjoyed reading and giggling through it.

    Would love to be entered into the draw…thank you!

  • sara levy says:

    I would love to enter the drawing! My stage is not-so-innocent bystander–I have more scent than I will ever use or need–not swayed by blogs or ad copy but enjoy reading–know my taste and will try out 5-10 new scents each year based on descriptions. Have a scent pantheon that rarely varies or admits new perfume gods!

    • Musette says:

      well, I hope you come visit for the MMS next week – your gods might just have to scooch over to make some room.
      You’re in the draw!

      xo >-)

  • annie says:

    WOW!!!!!….hope Bruno picks me!…on to buisiness:I was a ‘frag-a-holic’from age 10 on(Mary Chess,We Moderns,from Saks)My mother was my enabler..She wore Diorissmo,and an oriental frag.that was made just for N.Marcus…she was VERY thrifty,but ALWAYS let me purchase any fragrance,and even though she needed it,she wore no make-up(this I cannot imagine)…From there it is all downhill into the abyss,and I wore every oriental known to man;Venenzia,Royal Secret,Anne Klein2,Chanel Coco,SHALIMAR,Secret of Venus,Samsara,Roma,Quelques Fleurs,Panthere,Opium,Odalisque,Must de Cartier,Chloe,Gem,Galore,and on,and on….until now.Now my nose is confused.THEY have reformulated,and RUINED,all of the above,but,I am older,now,and fly frequently,to visit my Diva Princess grandaughter,so I chose something from Escentric Molecules,or CBIHP,as they are not obnoxious in close quarters….kinda’ sad,huh??:(

  • Cathy says:

    I came into this two years ago knowing nothing at all about perfume. I didn’t wear it, I didn’t think I liked it, sometimes I wore oils with names like “spring rain” or “fresh rain.” But I decided “Huh, it would be nice to have a signature scent!” If it weren’t for the Internet, I would have gone to Sephora, smelled three or four things, and bought one. But instead I started reading perfume blogs and buying samples on eBay and got all obsessed.

    I don’t know WHAT stage I’m in! Mostly, I’ve smelled a lot of things, and want to smell a lot more. Most perfumes, except gourmands and very sweet fruits that smell like candy, smell pretty good to me. But I’m reaching the point where “smelling pretty good” isn’t enough, and I’ve started to learn which notes and styles I really like — more iris please! And hold the melon!

    I’m still pretty intimidated by “what I’m not supposed to like,” especially since my nose is not that acute. I often can’t identify WHAT I’m smelling except in very general terms; people who can smell someone walk by and go “Oh, she’s wearing such-and-such” amaze me!

    Please do enter me for the samples — anything I don’t like will go right back out in next week’s swap, along with all the other stuff I already have that I don’t like.

    • Musette says:

      you’re in!

      and try to to let this ‘thing’ intimidate you – it’s a fun passion! I can identify others’ fragrances ONLY as “I know that…now 😕 what IS it?” Like you, I’m always stunned with someone can say “oh, that’s XX”.

      Unless it’s Polo. Or Pierre Cardin, with its weird, Raid-accord. Those two I will be able to identify forever, I think.

      xo >-)

  • Disteza says:

    I sort of skipped around in the phases too–I’ve always been big on smelling things, regardless of social impropriety. The odd bit is that I never was really into perfume; tea and shampoo and pets seemed to be the things I mostly went nose deep on. Aruond 14 I got my first bottle of perfume: Acqua d’ Gio, and never really went any farther with the stages until my mid 20’s, when I stumbled on a perfume blog. Next thing you know, I was sniffing SLs, and had dropped more $$$ on ‘fumes in one day than I had in the previous 10 years. Damn you, oncle Serge.

    I sort went through the rest of what you describe, but on a relatively accelerated schedule. Now I sniff thing s based on whether I think I might like them given their notes. It cuts down on a lot of unnecessary spending, leaving that $$$ free for my decant purchases. It’s the rare ‘fume that makes me go wild-eyed with the desire to buy FB any more. And no, I don’t need the samples–got plenty of those already. ;-)

  • Olfacta says:

    I morph back and forth, but I think the 2-glasses-of-wine-oh-go-ahead-and-BID! days are over, especially since I’m approaching the level where PayPal wants the routing numbers to my checking account and I’m damned —damned!, do you hear me! if I will ever give that to them. (BTW they call it “verifying” you. As if the wad already spent doesn’t “verify” me enough.)

    Sampling, yes, but only what really sounds interesting. New bottles, rarely. Splits — yes! It’s the only way now, other than the Great Deal, which is rarer and rarer. But I did score about 10 mls of vintage Coco and about 5 of vintage Safari, in beautiful bottles, for $5 the other day at an estate sale and both are…heavenly. I guess my goal is to build a supply that will see me through every refo the “industry” can throw out there.

    Lately I’ve been giving partially used samples (a few at least, don’t want to look stingy) to friends. They always love them and, otherwise, they end up in the samples gourd/drawer/box/cabinet. They’re like party favors when there isn’t a party.

    • Musette says:

      I love the party favors analogy and I’m with you on not giving PayPal routing numbers (My Opinion here). I’ve cut way back on info-giving to the point where I’m taking info OFF FB, for example. I dunno….eventually I might go back to gaslight and quill pens, who knows? ;))

      xo >-)

  • maggiecat says:

    What i want to do is save this post and show it to my husband. See? I’ll say. There are others out there like me – ammo boxes and all! I’ve at least learned to sample and wear a scent several times before investigating a bigger decant or FB. What’s love at first sniff often morphs into “nice but not worth the expense” after a couple of days. I do love to try the new ones though… even if my sample boxes are overflowing with stuff I really should be working on instead! I’ve set aside the coming holiday weekend to do some sorting and pruning – wish me luck y’all!

    • Musette says:

      Good luck! %%-

      we’ll see you next week for MMS!

      xo >-)

      and no, don’t show this post to your hub -he’ll try to get us ALL committed!

  • Teri says:

    First off….I FEEEEEL your pain on the renovation. I’m currently living in the garden level guest bedroom while my 1st and 2nd stories are being repainted and recarpeted. Hopefully all of this will be done in time for Christmas, since I’m hosting. Post-Holidays I’m starting on the kitchen – new cabinet facings, new floor. It will be great once it’s all done, but what a pain in the asfoetida it all is when it’s going on.

    I really don’t have too many fragrance ‘duds’ except in samples. I’ll try anything if it can had in a 1 ml vial.:d

    Samples I don’t like I offer first to my daughter in law (or son, if they are a more masculine scent). Since they are in their 20s, they go for the sweeter, less complex things that I tend not to like. So most of what comes in to my house finds a happy end user. Absolute scrubbers get dumped. Icky but interesting things get filed away for those moments when I want icky-but-interesting. lol

    That being said, I have an awful lot of bottles. I’m a sucker for picking up used bottles on ebay. Results are variable, but most of my purchases have been good ones. Again, a few of them I’ve passed on to daughter in law or son, but most I’ve used and enjoyed.

    I’m not a bashful applier of scents. I like to be able to smell myself. Fortunately I work in conditions where that is not only tolerated, but encouraged. I do use bottles up. A few stalwarts get automatically replaced, but for many scents it’s one-and-done for me.

    • Musette says:

      shudder…..the idea of having my house look like it does until Christmas!



      Those are the stages El O is going to experience if he doesn’t get a move on and get this done!

      xo >-)

  • Madea says:

    I’m sort of in stage five, but I skipped a lot. I don’t own many full bottle, simply because I move round so much, and I’m hesitant to buy something I might not love that’ll take up valuable suitcase room.

    Please enter me–I’m absurdly excited about the swap thing like it is.

  • Bee says:

    I was a serial perfume monogamist from the age of 13-14 (Fidji), changing mainstream perfume every time a bottle was empty, until staying with friends in Paris. This was shortly after the big Sephora opened, I got teased for having been there and they told me I should have been to Diptyque instead. This made me curious and so I started off, Luca Turins NZZ-editorials helped too, then I discovered you blog perfumistas and LT’s guide, so now I have a neat little collection of full bottles.I never was in the eBay phase, but now I’m in the “I know better than you, ignorant (well, implied)SA” phase , e.g. “when are you finally going to have la-traversée-du-Bosphore” phase, when the SAs still are convinced that la nuit is the latest artisan scent (or similar stories)
    ps. when does the abbreviation phase begin? (e.g. SOTD, FB, MKK, TC, 31rC, Mitzi)

    • Musette says:

      ;)) on the abbreviations. I think it begins the 3rd time you post on a perfume board. You realize that 99% of the people on there will know what MKK means and it saves a whole lotta time!

      btw – the SA phase? you will probably always be in that one. It’s not their fault. For a lot of them, it’s just a job and they only know what they are told by their rep – perfumistas, with our rabid ways, usually get the insider scoop!

      xo >-)

  • jen says:

    Definately hovering between the dipping of the toes and the must sample everything stages. Budget is preventing me from indulging in the two am eBay sprees – but I have a list of full bottle purchases when the budget allows. Right now I’m just starting to get into the samples and splitting and decants but I don’t feel the need to keep those that don’t sing to my soul, so I am happy to pass along anything that doesn’t work. Please enter me!

  • Sara A. says:

    I’m firmly in stage two. I’m starting to collect samples and getting my snob on, I’m learning about my likes and dislikes while the blogs are leading me further and further down the rabbit hole. Because of March I’ve tracked down a place where I can go to smell Serge Lutens because I’m poor and while this all sounds very interesting, I can’t afford to spend $120 on something I haven’t sniffed. (She says as she prepares for her next DSH sampler binge and her next travel size Sephora raid… I think the point is that same $120 goes further for these things) But I’m also culling as I go. If I don’t like something or it doesn’t work on me I want it gone I do not have the space to store up things I don’t like.

    • Musette says:

      Samples are Good! ^:)^ and ;)) at getting your snob on – I think most of us go through/have gone through that, even if we don’t all admit to it!

      xo >-)

  • Cheryl says:

    The stages are a bit uneven for me. For example…I’m not organized. Also, there is a “completist” side to my affliction where I have the desire to smell everything put out by a given house. Like SL. That’s a lot! But affordability cuts down on the chase, so I sample a few…or one… Also..I have a raw materials curiousity (variant of smell freak)and this has ruined many perfumes for me that rely on specific pennies by the vat load aroma-chemicals. But it has deepened my appreciation of differences in rose or vetiver. I’m just getting ready to clear out to barest bones all these samples and trials so someone else can have some fun. Have to wait to the man of house is not around, because of embarrassing size of sample collection issues!
    Please enter me in the draw…I would love more SNIFFS.

  • DinaC says:

    This is my perfume story: I was a loyal Signature Scent kinda gal. I would wear one for a whole chapter of my life, then move on to the next.
    Childhood was some drugstore dreck called Skinny Dip and Sweet Honesty.
    Middle School was Jontue.
    High School was Jontue, Lauren, and Flora Danica.
    College was Lauren.
    Post-college working woman was Arpege.
    Married, working, kids, etc. was Chanel No. 19 for at least a dozen years.

    Then, I saw a review of Perfume: The Guide, and all was lost. I learned about MUA in the acknowledgments where Tania thanks the gang over at MUA, and thus I found several perfume blogs like Perfume Posse, NST, etc. etc. etc.

    What I’ve discovered is that my taste in perfumes is remarkably consistent. I always am drawn to green florals, floral chypres, some woody scents, a few green aromatic scents…There’s this common thread of green and/or wood that runs through everything I like. So my perfume passion seems to be about exploring that terrain, trying out variations on the same theme. I have no interest in exploring categories I don’t like. I just want more of what I like — classics, masterpieces, the 4- and 5-star rated beauties.

    I haven’t started culling anything yet. I’m still in the acquisitive stage. Also, I don’t want to throw away the samples I hate because I feel like I ought to save things as a reference. (Is it any surprise that I have worked in a library?!?) I guess I’m in stage 2 and stage 4 simultaneously. Collecting samples, sniffing lots of stuff, but stubbornly wearing only what I love.


    • Musette says:

      You guys are all taking me back to Walgreens, 1970!

      If you want to keep it ALL……^:)^ I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a review, gone 😕 and rushed to my 1ml ammos because I just KNOW I have a samp of this….and there it is!

      Alas, those times are fewer and farther between for me, largely because I am focusing on vintages these days. Hence the cull.

      xo >-)

      • DinaC says:

        I’ve got some “misses” that I could definitely swap away without any pain. So I’m in for March’s swap next week. And I’m always up for more samples, so please include me in the drawing. Thanks, Anita. :-)

  • Sherri M. says:

    Anita, hugs and hopes your renovation project goes quickly and smoothly and you’ll be redecorating and enjoying that new construction smell soon!

    Like Tamara, I loved perfume from the time I could reach my mother’s dresser. Maybe some of you are old enough to remember some of these: Blue Grass, Avon Persian Wood, Unforgettable and Brocade (think that one was Avon; my sister used it to clean all the mirrors once “helping” Mother, so I remember it well), Chamade and Chanel No. 5 (of course), Babe…). I knew not only my mother’s but all my aunts and grandmothers dressing tables well and still enjoy the loving memories evoked by Mitsouko, Muguet du Bonheur, L’Aimant/L’Origan, Emeraude and Avon Sonnet. Everyone knew I loved perfume and bought it for me, and gave me their unloved bottles.

    I see a pattern on these boards. It seems lovers, not “likers” of perfume do tend to more of a sensualist nature. Also, I wonder how many of you are good cooks, wine connoisseurs, decorators, artists, etc. as well.

    Tween to Teenhood I had all the typical perfumes of the 70’s: Love’s Baby Soft, Earth, Wind, Fire, Rain Scents, Sweet Honesty, Heaven Scent, Wind Song plus Miss Dior, Mitsouko, and a slew of others “inherited” from my loving aunts. Oh, and the Coty Sweet Earth compacts. Does anyone remember those? They were little compacts with three solid perfumes, e.g. woods were patchouli, sandalwood and one other, etc.

    However the inborn perfumista in me had to be tamed because I discovered (horror of horrors!) thirty years ago that my dh cannot tolerate large quantitites of perfume. So I adjusted. I found he could tolerate and loved pure parfum. I used what I could afford then: a combination of Sweet Honesty talc with Enjoli parfum (you remember they had a set with spray and a tiny bottle of pure perfume). Laugh now, but he loved that! I still had bottles of Coco, Cinnabar (could still not tame myself), etc. but could not use more than half a spray or so.

    In the 90’s I discovered he not only tolerated, but loved Lady Primrose Tryst and Royal Extract. He still loves it so much it is the only thing I have carte blanche on buying–every form. Then last year I discovered niche perfume. He likes it! For the most part anyway..I do have to be careful (some like Uncle Serge are not exactly gentle) to keep from ruining a good thing, but on the whole the niche perfumes are pretty well tolerated–better quality ingredients, maybe? Anyway, Sooo…I’d say I’m at Stage 2B, enjoying lots of samples and vintage perfumes (esp. Jolie Madame at the moment…it’s so elegant).

    • Musette says:

      Wow! Great story! and LUCKY BREAK!!

      May he continue to love Uncle Serge and The Malle!

      and JMadame is Elegance Personified.

      xo >-)

    • tammy says:

      Ooooh, Lady Primrose, I have never heard anyone mention them, and I love them for their packaging and accessories alone. I love Celadon, though I prefer it in the powder and candle form.

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi Sherri, just loved your post! Just the mention of those fragrances had me strolling happily down Memory Lane. As a kid/teen, I particularly loved Sweet Honesty, Babe, Love’s Rain scent, those Sweet Earth Compacts (weren’t they just the coolest?) and later, Chloe, among others. Thanks for the blast from the past!

  • Debbie R. says:

    Pre-P: In my teens, I purchased Chloe and little trays filled with four wax fragrances. I purchased Zen and, of the advice of a co-worker, Samsara. I didn’t purchase them at the same time, however. I would wear one fragrance daily until about one-third of the way through the bottle, I became so sick of it, I threw it out. (How I wish I had them back.)

    Toe in the Water: Our city actually had a perfumery store. I still don’t understand how we can be like the 15th largest city and not have one now. However, I wandered in there and the clerk introduced me to Bal a Versailles. How I loved it! I bathed in it.

    Perfumista: Having used up the Bal a Versailles years ago, I started craving it again. Since the perfumery was long gone, I looked online. Somehow I ended up here or at The Perfumed Court, and…..Let The Sampling Begin! Hundreds of dollars spent on samples; near-daily trips to the post office for swaps. At least a couple K spent on bottles. It was fantastic fun! I viewed it as an education in fragrance also…it was a new world to me.

    The Cull: OMG! I have debt! So I sold about half of my collection. Only to discover my husband didn’t care about debt and while I was selling fragrances and clipping coupons, he was wracking up unimaginable debt. I regret The Cull.

    Going With It: The fragrance purchases are so much farther apart (see The Cull), but when I do purchase a bottle, it’s because I adore the fragrance….not because it “should” be my collection or any other reason. I love fragrancce; the days when I can’t wear it are kinda depressing.

    So there you have it: from “wow, those little wax fragrances of woods smell great!” as a teenager to “fragrance makes everything better”.

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

    • Musette says:

      I was living your timeline as I read it! With the exception of the debt – mine own came on with a bang! and was SO huge that no sale of perfume could’ve made a dent. Luckily it’s mostly gone now and I am grateful for timing – my acquisition of my beloved vintages happened after that bang! and since they are largely small decants haven’t made too big a hole in my meagre finances.

      I love the Going With It part – that really is a nice place to be, innit?

      You are definitely in!
      xo >-)

      • Debbie R. says:

        Yes, it is a good place. I realized if I spent all my time sampling 100’s of fragrances, I would never have the time to wear the fragrances I really loved. Same thing with owning fragrances that were only interesting or liked….altho it’s tempting. However, those purchases can’t happen until the things I really love are in my collection. MKK, KM Jasmine….thinking of you.

  • pam says:

    I believe I’m at Stage 5, but skipped a couple of stages.
    Have always loved fragrances and started with N. 5 by age 11. But I only had one or two bottles at a time and used each one up and then replaced it with the same or with a new love. Don’t forget, there didn’t used to be such a huge number of fragrances out there. Anyway, after having a signature scent for years and years, I moved on to trying and purchasing different perfumes and am having fun with it. However, I bypassed the ebay stage –been there done that with another collection and swore it off. Also, have not ordered the decants and may give that a try in 2011, since I have never sniffed anything remotely niche. Even the Saks here is limited in the Guerlains it carries (my favorite line), and Saks is the ultimate.
    I do have a small container of samples, and do try one occasionally, but let’s face it, samples have become harder to get, and often after spraying the tester I wouldn’t want a sample anyway.
    Good luck with the cull, and enter me in the draw if there is a niche sample or two. Would love to check one out.

  • kathleen says:

    I am at the “Want to Cull, but Too Overwhelmed, So I Run” stage. I don’t, really, enjoy swapping. Mainly, because I don’t enjoy the post office or searching thru wishlists. Still, it has become chaos, and things have to go!

    • Musette says:

      so we’ll see you next week, then?

      xo >-)

      ps. it’s astonishing how many people’s swap decisions revolve around the Post Office! Looking back at how unwilling I was to PO in my major Urban Life I totally feel your pain (I would arrange my package mailings to coincide with my travels to the North Shore, where the lines were short and the clerks pleasant). I am feeling ever more fortunate to have the PO I have now! ^:)^

  • gator grad says:

    What about the crazy wishlist/desperation phase? That’s where I am. I have a wishlist going of things that I ***must*** buy. I feel desperate to own full bottles and worry that there will be changes in the quality of materials if I wait. So on a daily basis, I add up the wishlist of FB and see that it comes to too high a cost (OJ Tiare, OJ Ta’if, Kelly Caleche Parfum, CdR parfum unsniffed because I love my pre-exclusifs edt in a way that almost verges on cheating on my husband). And it’s sort of crazy to feel desperate need for a fb of parfum that you’ve never sniffed, right?

    • Cheryl says:

      This is a part of the profile too! The mental or physical list-making of stuff we want, as soon as possible..with attachment-anxiety to un-achieved beauties….

    • Tamara*J says:

      GatorGrad! I FEEL YOU. Myohmy, it can drive you crazy with desire, wanting what cannot be had right now!
      I have lil’ journals filled of the stuff I want the most, dying to get them crossed off and in my greedy arthritic mitts! ;)
      Hope you get them<3

      • Musette says:

        I can’t relate to this one much because I have SO many decants and samples that I want to really experience – and I have started to ‘do the math’. While not ‘old’ exactly I am certainly looking at the downslope of Life (I am not a Vulcan, so am unlikely to hit my 200s in this lifetime)……..actuarially, it would be nearly impossible for me to give full usage to all the FBs I currently own unless I gave up all my sampling! And I don’t want to do that. So I back away from the FBs and instead very carefully store splits and decants.

        But that’s just me…

        xo >-)

  • Melissa says:

    I’m busy reducing the sample and decant collection, so I would say 5, or as Tom puts it, 5b. Like a few others, I have a system for scenting my house with little worn decants. I would rather do that than have them go bad or simply evaporate. Or I just give them away.

    My purchases are more thoughtful these days. Much-loved vintage bottles, new fragrances that I have carefully tested and deemed full bottle-worthy. I rarely buy samples although I participate in a lot of bottle splits. But if I don’t like the split after a few wearings, out it goes!

    • Melissa says:

      Oh, and I don’t need to be entered into the draw. Culling!

      • Musette says:

        Melissa –

        I’m largely where you are, though I do keep myself open for new, interesting scents along with my much-loved vintages. I am blessed with a couple of perfume friends with exquisite taste, who are always happy to introduce me to new, fabulous stuff. The mainstream stuff I tend to test onsite (I will go into SFA, for example, with the express purpose of doing sniffage/spritzage) – every once in awhile I will be pleasantly surprised (the ‘new’ Diorama is nice) but usually it’s easy to move on.

        I’ll be sure to keep you out of the draw – otherwise you know it is Fate that you would be picked, right?

        xo >-)

        • Melissa says:

          Yes, please delete me from the draw! Or else Fate will have me dumping sample vials on pillowcases in every room in the house, no matter the tastes of the rooms’ inhabitants.

  • loverdoll78264 says:

    My stage probably mostly 2-b but a little broke right now. Though its been a bit of all you described
    for the last 5 or so years.Waiting for Christmas to see what lovelies I cant afford Mr. Loverdoll will bring. Crazy isn’t it, what we will do to get new and exciting sniffs? G

    • Musette says:

      El O bought me a bottle of contemp Femme! I nearly fainted! Granted, it was on my Amazon Wish List (and it was around $39 at the time, I think) but still……he largely HATES this ‘hobby’ of mine, because bottles and decants are always ‘in his way’ :*

      However, I wouldn’t dare put a Malle or a Serge belljar or anything on a list – then he would know how effin’ dear this ‘hobby’ could get – and that would be Bad! ;))

      xo >-)

      • Ann N. says:

        I hear you on that, Anita! I think a lot of us tend to make sure this hobby remains our little secret. What our partners don’t know won’t hurt them, I say. :-\”

      • loverdoll78264 says:

        Gotta Admit that mine knows cuz he has more money than I. He’s been really sweet about it though over the years A few De Nicolais several vintage Balmains I think he understands it more than he needs or wants to though.

  • Louise says:

    I’m likely at a Stage4-5, pre-cull. But that’s only because I don’t cull anything. Or clean.

    I was an avid Stage Oner-for so many years. Never dispassionate, always looking for something new. And early breakthrough was discovering SL at Bergdorf while makeup shopping.

    The real frenzy began when I met March. Largely a mutual recognition/pickup at a local mall ; ) She can tell the rest if she so wishes. This blog introduced my to my Whole New World, and has been the gateway to interest, frenzy, financial ruin, and loads of fun.

    The best part of this journey has been the people-so many fascinating folks, and a few deep loves (heart emoticon here).

    • Musette says:

      Yeah, but you OWN it, Louise. Reading your comments and knowing just a little (very little) about your collection it seems that you have evolved into 4 and 5 quite gracefully. You know what you want to smell and you do it – whatever it takes.

      btw – cleaning is overrated. Clean is not but who says you have to do it yourself? I would love a cleaning service but because I have two dogs and a Bear I would have to have a live-in maid – and that is =))

      wait….did I =)) ??? I meant to =)) =))

      xo >-)

  • dinazad says:

    I’m definitely in the “cull” stage – I hosted a perfume and cosmetics bash last weekend where everybody was invited to put unwanted scents and cosmetics (and scarves, fashion jewelry and such) into a basket from which everyone could take what she (only ladies present) wanted. A great success, and I was so busy doing the hostess thing that I only scored a scarf and some face cream. Success!
    The Collection is still far too large, though, and every now and then scents I DO want to have appear on the horizon. The cull stage is a long and twisted one…

    • Musette says:

      as it should be, I think. Cull should be done with care, lest you get rid of something you will regret letting go.

      Congratulations! on the p&c bash! sounds like a lot of fun and a great success!!

      xo >-)

  • Ines says:

    I’ve skipped the 2Am ebay bidding stage (if it can’t be won during the day, I let it go) but I went through all the others and I’m very happily enjoying myself smelling pretty much anything and trying to catalogue it in my mind. Sometimes it takes several tries for something to get catalogued but at least I’m having fun.
    I look forward to the mass swap event, I’m just wondering how it’s going to go in real life (and I’m already planning what’s going on my list of things to let go).

    • Musette says:

      oh, gosh yes! If you are having fun, HAVE FUN!!! I think all passions should, if possible, be fun. Otherwise, what’s the point? My life has enough un-fun moments – no need to make perfume part of that! I think that’s why the Stages exist (in whatever form they take) – I accept that I have to go through them in order to begin to enjoy being a Perfumista again!

      I’m looking forward to the mass swap, too! It’ll be fun to see what people have on offer!!

      xo >-)

  • rosarita says:

    I just plain have an addictive personality and things go in stages for me. Exhibit A: a collection of vintage costume & silver jewelry that started when I was 8(I pared this down considerably in 1999 and have regretted it ever since); Exhibit B: a collection of vintage scarves that I’ve been adding to, on occasion, for decades. I’ve always loved perfume (and eyeshadow and lipstick and nail polish, etc) but didn’t start the Current Obsession until a few years ago. Because I’ve always done my collecting on a shoestring, most of my acquistions came through swapping on MUA. While I still read the frag board sometimes, I stopped swapping last spring and it’s been somewhat of a relief to just enjoy what I have. Not that I don’t still have stuff to cull, or the desire to try new things (the new Nicolai is calling me) but I live in a small town with no good shopping/sniffing options and I’m tired of buying stuff online, esp perfume, since even samples and decants have gotten So Expensive. Not done being a product junkie tho – it’s been nail polish for the last few months. Cheaper than perfume, easier to find, and such pretty colors…..insert eyeroll emoticon here………

    • Musette says:

      I know just what you mean. I am borderline addictive myself. When I moved to this small town (1500 – maybe) in the middle of absolutely NOWHERE I turned to the Internet to assuage my delight in (mostly) window-shopping. The problem with the Internet (and the eeeB) is that it is so easy to Pull that Trigger! So I have gotten off eeeB for awhile and stay FAR away from MUA, with its siren song of swappage…:-@ (that’s the “I Can’t Heeeear You” emoticon)

      As I age ever more ;)) I’m finding it easier to part with things. My godgirls are getting a lot of my early, good jewelry (things a grandmother couldn’t/wouldn’t wear) and I get exquisite pleasure in their delight at receiving it. I’d rather see that now than not see it when I’ve gone to my reward, knowmean? My other stuff I put in cull boxes and give myself a LOT of time…..a lot. If I haven’t missed it in a few months then I feel okay passing it on. But I really do take my time, since it seems the letting go is harder than the ‘gone’ for me.

      xo >-)

  • Frenchie says:

    I’m not sure what stage I’m in. Somewhere between “X says it’s good therefore it must be good” and feeling like I have to like something because it’s niche or a classic or whatever.
    I’m trying to free myself from all that and purge my collection so I can keep what I truly like and what I actually wear.

    • Musette says:

      Take your time. I think most perfumistas have to go through some form of that stage unless you are born into a Perfume House (like Dior or Guerlain) or ….I are blessed with The Perfect Nose? Even with that, I think it’s a function of human nature. It took me quite awhile to get past that (and I can still be swayed by seductive copy – or trusted friends/SAs. That’s where a sample comes in handy, allowing me to get out of the Circle of Oooh and smell it on its own.

      xo >-)

  • anon says:

    I’m at 5a as well with a twist – somewhere between stages 2-4 I accidentally aquired a job related to the industry…

    • Musette says:

      That’ll do it! With any luck it won’t completely ruin it for you, though if you’re on this blog I’d say that’s unlikely!


      xo >-)

  • sharviss says:

    I’m definitely currently in three. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my smellies but it’s a different ballgame now than it was for me two short years ago. Before Perfume, I owned about three bottles and I wore them somewhat regularly. Then I read Burr’s The Perfect Scent and I had to sniff some of the fragrances he mentioned and, from there, It WAs ON!

    About four months ago though I looked at all my samples, decants and bottles and thought, “what IS all this stuff?” And I felt fatigued by the quantity of new releases. It really is impossible to keep up and my hat is off to all the bloggers who do such a great job of informing all of us of what’s new, etc.
    Anyway, I’ve backed off. But not entirely as I’ve just asked a trusted Internet friend who lives in the Netherlands to get me a bottle of Sarrasins. I think I can deal with that as I haven’t purchased so much as a sample in months.

    Sadly, I haven’t stopped purchasing things I don’t need entirely: Purple leather boots with 3 1/2 inch heels, I’m looking at you :d

    • gator grad says:

      That thought (“what IS all this stuff?”) happened to me during the week long scent challenge. I’d only gone a few days without wearing my lovelies (one of which was unscented) before I felt guilty and a bit heavy looking at my fancy sample bag full of excess.

      Thankfully, I’m back to my prior perfume-hopping ways and loving all of it again. But I worry about that feeling of overindulgence that I felt on one of those days.

    • Musette says:

      Totally on board with the Sarrasins and the boots! I think we all go through some form of fatigue with any passion, don’t you? It’s a natural step in the evolution. Serious collectors (of anything) usually get to a point where their collections are very carefully edited. I know I have done that with my art (and art monograph) collection. And it is a much more comprehensive and elegant collection (imo) for that effort.

      As for the ‘overindulgence’ feeling: I assuage that by paying my incredible bounty forward. I find that helps on all levels and you know what? It feels good to share – I like getting other people’s opinions on the stuff I love/hate/meh. I don’t want to get too philosophical here but I think the Cull begins when you start to look at your samples, etc with a lack of enjoyment – that ‘heavy’ feeling you described.

      xo >-)

      • Ann N. says:

        Yes, Anita! I love that you enjoy sharing too. Makes me very happy when I give an underloved scent to someone and she (or he) “gets” it and really enjoys it.

    • Masha says:

      You ENTIRELY NEED those boots. So do I.

    • Catherine says:

      Those boots sound fantastic–definitely worth the splurge. I look forward to the day when I’ve got my basic brown and black boots lined up (soon! soon!), because I want COLOR. Red, in my case. Or turquoise. Hee-hee.

    • tammy says:

      Oh, do get the boots! Merely reading the phrase “Purple leather boots with 3 1/2 inch heels ” made me smile!

      • sharviss says:

        The boots were a good decision. For their first outing, I wore them to my friends office. She said, “those are hot!” and tried to wrestle them off my feet – ha!

        Musette – giving samples/decants away is a lovely idea. I have done some of that and I will do more :)

  • Masha says:

    I’m actually one month post-Cull. But hey, I love samples, so enter me in the drawing! You have Bruno the Pooch, I have an angora rabbit to pick out winners. How does Bruno do it? Limette nibbles on a name written on paper, then flings it at me! And if I win, I have a bag of samples to send to YOU! hee hee

    • Musette says:

      oh, you’re in! ;))

      See, that’s where the Cull gets ya! I cull….but then somebody has Mystery Goodies…how can one resist?

      Bruno has a flat tray (actually the top of the Tupperware dog-food tote (both my boys are tall and one is a gobbler so we spread the food out on the trays to minimize gobbling and avoid bloat)…anyway I wad up each name, spread them out on the tote – and the first one he grabs is it!

      xo >-)

  • tmp00 says:

    I think I’m in what I’ll call 5b: Cull part deux.

    This is where if I find a sample/decant that I haven’t worn for a while and don’t want wear right then I pour it out. I have a little glass bowl that I toss a cotton ball in and pour it in there. It scents the room, and if it was a mistake, then it scents the trash. But then I guess since I write about this I may collect more samples than the average human.

    I also have potpourri in my cars ashtray since I haven’t smoked in 20 years, so some of them I put in there. Right now the car smells of Mark Buxton. It works much better on my Honda than it does on me.

    • Masha says:

      OMG, I do these things, too! Yes, we are certainly Post Cull, and my car and various rooms can smell very interesting!

    • sharviss says:

      What a lovely idea! I’m not sure my husband would always be onside with house perfuming but what I do in my car is my business.

    • dinazad says:

      I scent my bathroom with all the samples and decants arriving with illegible labels (or completely without label) via one of those reed scent dispensers. For some reason, no matter what I pour into it, my bathroom always smells of roses…..

    • Musette says:

      OMG! 😮

      I’ve done that! I rarely do it now since I send out samples and swap a lot but I remember doing that cotton-ball thingy and El O coming into the bedroom all b-(

      Once we get this house done I will have a Room of My Own (I have it now but the stairs are so wonky that neither of us goes upstairs much – even the dog fell down those stairs (he’s fine).

      That’s Part 3a of the reno, btw. Reworking the Stairs. I’m planning to be Far Away when that happens.

      xo >-)

      ps. I have a Mark Buxton sample – perhaps I will cotton ball the Explorer – that’s the dog-car and Floyd knows it needs all the help it can get!

      • Mals86 says:

        The dog fell down the stairs! LOL.

        (Glad he’s okay.)

        • Musette says:

          Mals, he was SO embarrassed! Giant Rottweiler, sliding and tumbling like a bratwurst with legs! I was worried he’d been hurt but El O, who is a hard-heart 8-| nearly wet himself laughing! After I checked him out and found him unhurt I quietly went into the bedroom and laughed myself silly! Wouldn’t do to laugh in his face. ;))

          Carmine is fine – but he’s smart enough to remember that What Goes Up……so he stays on the first floor now.

          xo >-)

          • Mals86 says:

            Poor baby, his mommy just called him a bratwurst with legs!
            (It would not have been funny if I hadn’t known he was okay.)

            Sounds familiar, actually… when I was a kid, we had a dog that was half dachshund, half basset hound, and she was truly the most bizarre-looking animal I’ve ever seen. I used to call her a sofa cushion with feet. She loved ice cream and was too bored to bark at anything, so she really was a lot like a sofa cushion.

            No, you can never laugh openly at your dog (or cat) when they’ve done something dumb/funny. Laughter must be clandestine in that case.

  • Tamara*J says:

    Am I first?! am I really?
    Nooo, I probably am not…mostly cause more talented peeps are typing while I’m chicken -pecking! haha!
    Well darling Musette, it all started back when I was 12………….
    NAWWWWW! ;) Just playin’ Anywhoooooooo I have always loved perfume and smells. My first serious perfume purchase was when I was 18 and Chief bought me Estee Lauder Pleasures. After that was a series of “signature scents” that I got over and over, I went through bottles rather quickly and that was nice.
    Coty Exclamation (started wearing this when I was 14- killed anyone within a foot of me)
    E.L. Pleasures
    C.K. Contradiction
    T.H. Tommy Girl
    R.L. Romance
    The Healing Garden Lavender
    Avon Natori
    Chanel Chance
    Lancome Miracle
    Versace Crystal Noir
    Marc Jacobs
    Burberry London
    Burberry Weekend
    Burberry The Beat
    C.K. Euphoria
    Vera Wang Sheer Veil
    Issey Miyake L’eau D Issey
    Philosophy- Baby Grace, Pure Grace & Falling in Love
    Vera Wang Look
    Fresh Sake ( realized I can’t do peach with this one) and Cannibis Rose (which was my very first rose awakening BTW besides Stella)

    That’s the best I can recall, there are others I’m sure..
    This was all before classics and niche’ and natural perfumery which I’ve been into for about a year now.
    I’ve always loved perfume more than shoes, clothes and jewelry.
    My girls and hubby miss these scents though, it represents so many years gone by, how Mama always smelled to them growing up.
    But I am just not that woman anymore,
    I’ve evolved in my fragrance obsession and my tastes have changed.

    For the better I think but they are still getting used to what I wear now.
    Looking back, I see I’ve always liked florals,for the most part I like strong, present scents, I like my fumes’ to have heft and sillage.
    But I appreciate all kinds now and never get tired of wanting to try new perfumes and hopefully have a good, long romp with several.
    An orgy of perfume! hahaha :P

    My girls still remember these fragrances , and with more than a lil’ longing since I’ve become rabid with desire for “the others” They miss how their mama USED to smell. HA!
    I love em’ and leave em’ now bebe. I adore many a perfume but I’m always whorin’ around. It’s funner loving so many than just ‘The One.’ Oh well -only got into niche because of the damn internet.
    I started reading blogs casually and then religiously and I found out about samples, and Luckyscent,PPP’s (whom the ones I’ve met online I now adore, love my perfume peeps) and the rest is history!
    I blame Alexandra , my 17 yr. old cause she was all “Mama check out stuff online , they have freaks out there like you that love perfume.” And lo and behold , there ARE other freaks! Ahaha.
    So that’s how it went down. And yes Alexandra teases me all the time that she got me started in the blogs and now they all dread my time on the computer as we only have one in the house!
    They have to go the library to get on one when I’m on a roll and hoggin’ it.
    We really need another one or at least a laptop for me!
    I too organize ans sniff the nights away- every single night actually. God I go crazy for decants! The girls will wander into my room at bedtime and find me huffin’ my perfumes , surrounded by samples galore and roll their lil’ eyes. All 8 of them! (Eyes ! 8 eyes! Not girls, geesh I only have 4.)
    The best times are when they join me and we have sniffa-thons and I get to try out stuff for them and on them. I teach about this or that. I say lovingly-” This will alllll be yours my pretties.”
    Which starts more eye-rolling! teehee. No matter.
    I’m passing down history, they will never forget how much mama loved perfume.I mean THEM. ha! :D

    Musette we love our scents don’t we?
    Like people almost? Extensions of us , how we perceive ourselves?
    Aha- whatever hell THAT may be!

    <3 ~ Tamara

    That's my story my love<3

    • Ann N. says:

      Hey Tamara, guess you and I are just slow typists — ha! Enjoyed your scent history. BTW, are you still loving Amouage Memoir or have you moved on, you fickle girl? :)

      • Tamara*J says:

        Ann N. Yes! I am slow on typing, (don’t even know if you can call it that) ;) And another yes ~ I still LOVELOVE Memoir, I think it’s gorgeous.<3

    • Musette says:


      What an interesting and wonderful perfume history! It got me to wondering how mine own evolved – but that is for another time.

      =)) with the 8 Eyes! For a split second I had visions of 8 eyes rolling around in the air, sans heads! I guess you have to be in my insane head to …..oh, never mind :-j

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find your girls easing sloooowly into your passion. The fact that they miss how you used to smell shows they are at least paying attention!

      You keep lovin’ em! when you leave ’em, do you ever come back – or are you gone for good?

      xoxo >-)

      • Tamara*J says:

        Looking back and reading it I am realizing that maybe that wasn’t the point (DUH!) to give you the whole darn thing, you were talking’ stages, I told a story like a lil’ ol layday wanting to talk and talk your ear off! (blushes!)
        Thanks for reading anyways doll.
        Oh yah ~ I’m 3,4 and 5 all the way! <3<3<3

        • tammy says:

          Just think of all the lovely memories you’re making for your daughters! I love that!

          You need to write a book….Huffin’ with my Freaks….

          • Tamara*J says:

            Tammy LOL- I love it! – You ‘get me’. :)
            Awww the babes<3
            I hope they do remember me fondly huffin' in my bed at night. HA. ;)

  • Ann N. says:

    Hi sweetie, am I really the first poster? Hmmm … feels kinda weird. But anyway, as for the stages, I think I’m a floater. I have hit No. 4 but frequently backslide into 2b (good heavens, there’s so much fascinating new stuff — MUST TRY). And then panic ensues (Oh, mercy, what have I done?) when the credit card bill arrives. I am feeling pulled into Stage 5, but only occasionally. OK, it’s official — I’m certifiable. Sending a big hug and serenity your way regarding the renovation. Hang in there; this, too, shall pass.

    • Ann N. says:

      Whoops — make that No. 3 poster. Still a record for me… :”>

    • Musette says:

      I want it to pass into the Insulation and Drywall Stage – and quickly. Ann, I live in Illinois. It’s the End of NOVEMBER!

      btw – why I am not that squeee-ed about this reno. I asked that we begin this, back in April! I’m fine with reno during the warm months but being locked in a house with open walls or drywall dust makes me physically and emotionally ill. Of course, I asked for the bedroom in March (previous year) and we started in December.


      maybe I’ve got my calendar/scheduling wrong. If I ask in December, perhaps we could begin in May? ;))

      But I’m hanging in there – hoping this will be done in time for ~:> Day (pretend he’s a turkey)

      xo >-)

      • Catherine says:

        Back in April, dear Musette?!?!

        Keep your mittens close by. And cuddle up to those horses for warmth. Indeed, maybe the stable would be warmer! :d

  • Catherine says:

    Miss Anita, I was thinking of you *just now* as I made a teensy order at Equestrian Collections. (rubs hands) Too excited. I will, I will, *I will* have beautiful basic classic black boots!

    smooches galore!

    Where I am re: perfume: Half the time I don’t wear it. I almost never think of it. Truly. And it’s so strange, that–because then I *do* think of it, and I go to my bookcase, and I pull one of my two dozen bottles off the shelf (down from 80 or so pre-divorce), spray, and go into ecstasy. I think there are 3-4 bottles which can go (beautiful ones, too), but largely they are all perfection. I like that. This perfection. For almost all, I can say: “If I had to live with one perfume, this could definitely be the one.”

    Thankfully, March’s experiment showed us how NOT good that idea is!!

    (By the way, I failed! Total fail! Wore Mona di Orio’s Nuit Noire, then got a bug up my ass and wore Carnal Flower to an art opening in which one of my photographs hung. And when I wear Carnal Flower, I pour it on. 8-10 sprays that night. I figured if I was showing up in a leather miniskirt, Trippen wood heels, and racy nylons, my scent and red lips needed to match. I needed to somehow match the picture itself, which was of a Bergdorf window.)

    I haven’t tried a new sample in over a year. I didn’t even delve into the perfume of Bergdorf’s when I was there this summer. Things will change now. I must finally try the new Mona di Orio’s. And I MUST try Portrait of a Lady. I’m waiting for Les Senteurs in London to get in the Malle (do they have it already??) and then I’ll make a big sample order.

    But make no mistake, despite the lazy attitude toward perfume shown above, I *love* my perfume stash. Come near it with intention to pilfer, and I will knife you. Or at least step on your toes with my new boots.

    • gator grad says:

      You haven’t tried in a new sample in over a year? Gah. I’m almost looking forward to that stage, because I feel such a need to sample everything.

      • Musette says:

        Don’t worry about it – keep sampling until it’s not fun. Stop for awhile. Then it’ll be fun again!

        The beauty of our ‘fetish’ is that 99.9% of the time, what we missed is still around, somewhere..:)>-

        xo >-)

      • Catherine says:

        Yes, it’s been a relief! But that doesn’t mean I haven’t poured my obsession with beauty into other things. :d

    • Musette says:

      WOW! Catherine, I am stunned and in awe of the elegant simplicity of your Perfume Life. And I don’t think you FAILed on the experiment – having a piece in a gallery showing trumps all! Had I been the fortunate artist I would’ve kicked Miss Diorella to the curb so fast, grabbed my vintage Mits and never looked back.

      You will post gorgeous photos of your gorgeous boots when you get them, won’t you?

      The sampling will come back….see? it’s already got a toe in the door with the di Orios…..what I think is cool is, you have so many MORE to sample, since you haven’t touched anything new in awhile.


      ps. Felicitations on your show. Or should I say, SHOWS. You are such a wonderful photographer – thrilled am I to see you getting such recognition!

      • Catherine says:

        Thank you, Anita! :x

        Absolutely I will post pictures of the boots! And (cough, cough :-\”) I got two pairs. One dressage, one short paddock. I’ll tell you a secret (you and the fifty thousand people who read the blog!), my eyes bugged out when I saw the paddock styles, because I had no idea that ankle boots derived from them. What an out-to-lunch of a fashion-person I am! I can’t tell which pair I’m more excited about breaking in first.

        Yes, with so much time gone by since I last dived into sampling perfume, I have five Mona di Orio’s to sniff and now this Malle. Yum! The last scents to excite me (which are the last scents I sampled) were the VC&A from last fall. I adored, adored, adored the Lily of the Valley. If the ending hadn’t have fallen flat on my skin, I would need it.

  • k-scott says:

    Wow, great post, you nailed it! I was really worried for awhile bc I was at stage 3 for a couple of months… but now I’m back to getting my hands on every sample I can. I guess I’m regressing but I’m just relieved that perfume smells good again! :)

    • Musette says:

      Oh, I think we all go through the Stages in cycles. I’ve certainly been at 2b a couple of times – but I think it changes over time. Where, at the beginning, it might be just for the sake of ‘getting’, as time and perfume experience progresses, you might find yourself wanting to try variations on particular notes or genres.

      Then again, I’ve been known to just I can SMELL! 😕

      xo >-)