Other Collections


Milan, D&G Spring 2010 collection, model is wearing Dahlia.

I had a perfume post written and I think I’ve “lost” it due to technical failure, and I’m too irritated right this sec to rewrite it (imagine its brilliance!) so let’s talk about something else, since I’m practicing patience in the New Year.

I know from spending time online and in person with other perfumistas that many of you have… collections …. of other items. Often makeup. Or other things. And sometimes you wrestle with the size and expense of those collections as well.

Not too long ago, I was really into nail polish. At the height of my mania, I had five underbed storage boxes of nail polish, organized by color and/or effect. I haven’t done any math in terms of exact count, because I’m sure it would horrify me, but it’s a lot of polish. At this point I have it winnowed down to two boxes, and I’m working really hard to maintain that. I love painting my nails. I find it very soothing, like (I imagine) some folks find knitting. It’s a bit of a work of art, I have patience, I like the end result. I still paint my nails, but I now limit it to twice a week rather than every day because I simply don’t have time. If I did have the time, I’d probably go right back to spending 30+ minutes a day repainting my nails. I don’t even think that’s ridiculous – lots of folks spend 30 – 60 minutes a day doing their makeup, or their hair, or whatever. You do you.

I don’t have a ton of makeup – I’m one of those people who finds a product and sticks with it. Because I’m pale, and older, and silver-haired, I’ve reached a point where I think I look better with a little touch up and defining of features. My basic routine is Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Malted (which blends in with my skin) plus a Bobbi Brown gel liner, finishing off with my beloved el cheapo NYX brow powder/wax kit in taupe (they have several combo shades), and some blush, of which I have three. That’s it.

Except for the lips.

I love, love, love a bright lip. I love coral lips in summer, or raspberry. Now it’s cold and I’m rocking a lot of reds, deep pinks, and plum. Would you like my secret to perfect bright lips? My secret is: I don’t care. I put it on, and if it wears off, oh well. I’ll add some more, or something else. If I want it less bold I pat it on lightly with my finger, rather than applying from the tube. It’s a softer look and tints my lips for hours. My go-to red for precision lips is that old standby, MAC Russian Red. The two lipsticks I probably wear the most right now? Inglot 128, a shade that, on me, falls between raspberry and plum. It’s bold, but not BRIGHT, if you follow me. The other is an old fave: Dolce & Gabbana in Dahlia. I bought it when it first came out and you had to get it in New York at Saks, when it wasn’t sold out (which it generally was.) I think I’m on my third tube. It’s the darkest, vampiest lip I can wear that’s still flattering and appropriate for work and doesn’t make me look like a zombie or goth granny. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

OK, your turn! What do you collect (besides perfume?) What makeup or products are you loving? Our mall Sephora got re-done recently and I could spend half a day in there, I swear.



  • Nebbe says:

    I collect clothes, have a rotating closet of thrifted finds.
    Also been busy this last year creating a nice little stockpile of yarn, since i taught myself to knit uaing youtube & ravelry sourced patterns.
    I recently purged a bunch of shoes that i’ll never be able to wear again due to recently acquires foot issue. Heartbreaking. But! Now i get to search for foot-friendly shoes. So not utterly hopeless 🙂

  • Taxi says:

    I’ve collected, and have therefore, far too much, including perfumes, books, sterling baby cups, miniature picture frames from the early 1900’s, and enough nail polish to manicure the whole town. Bath powders are vastly preferable to lotions for me. Even though their popularity waned long ago, I’m still rotating through Quadrille, Chanel 22, White Shoulders, Joy, and Must de Cartier powders. Probably still a bit of Diorissimo is left too.
    There, I’ve confessed. Do I need absolution?

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    I loved reading about other peoples’ collections. I forgot to add that, if I had the room (which I do not), I would collect vintage barware: Culver glass, Cera, George Briard, etc.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Late to the party… I have a rather large collection of rhinestone costume jewels (Weiss, Delizza & Elster, Eisenberg, Coro, Harry Iskin), and multi-strand beaded necklaces from the 50s and 60s (especially the ones from Japan). Also, handkerchiefs, but for some reason have lost interest in those. I have a lot of vintage silk scarves, mostly rose-themed, but I will consider any by Liberty of London, Jacqmar or Richard Allan. For a little while, I considered collecting vintage compacts, but gave up on that when I realized the ones I liked best were really expensive. There is a particular maker of Bavarian china that I love but don’t often see, with a castle and crown mark on the back. Nice little odd-shaped pieces with reticulation; white with floral decoration. The perfume collection grows, but slower now.

  • Ingeborg says:

    I collect stamps by country since childhood, but these days try to cut down on how much money I spend on FDCs and such. I collect Girl Guide and scout themed stamps in a small way and it is fun and interesting since I am a member of a club with like-minded collectors.

    I used to collect phonecards too and got hold of a lot of early issues, but had to stop after getting far too much junk in the mail. Thankfully that collection is easily stored away and I never used much money on it, so I don’t have to worry about it not being possible to sell for any reasonable amount of money. There is even a perfume-theme phonecard or two, I’m sure.

    I also have a lot of postcards received from pen friends or from places I visited, but plan to get rid of some of them little by little. I do love the Atelier Cologne postcards and have kept those I have received with purchase!.

    Since collections easily get out of hand, I don’t keep a lot of perfume samples for reference, but there is still enough small vials in boxes and bags. Living in a small flat is sobering when it comes to buying new stuff, but I will never become a true minimalist.

  • tfk31 says:

    You want me to name things I collect – how much time do we have ?:)

    I am a life-long stamp collector ( Pre 1960’s World wide + a North Korean and Buddhist thematic collection alongside the required Canadian albums). Perfumes, and everything Greyhound related. Shoes, cooking sauces/pantry ingredients/snack foods from different countries, Asian skin care products, bath and shower gels and clarinet and cello collectibles. Books and cookbooks bringing up the rear.

    Living alone in a big-ass farmhouse does come in handy.

  • Ann says:

    Howdy, darling March! Ah, yes, the collections. It’s rarely just all about the perfume, is it? I have had varied collections over the years: purses (but have sold most off and now am happy with just a few classics); lipsticks (lots of red and some plums and fuchsias, just like you, March!); some Estee Lauder perfume solid compacts; teapots (places I’ve visited/want to visit), and of course — tea! Lots and lots of tea (three shelves in the pantry and a mini fridge full). I think DH will kill me if I bring one more tea leaf into the house, ha!

  • tiffanie says:

    It’s good to be among friends who won’t judge, amirite? Thanks to everyone for sharing the “other” hobbies and obsessions that fill our fragrant lives.

    My kitchen is full of old pyrex and fire king that we use all the time. Some was my mother’s, most of it came from thrift shops over the past 20 years. I don’t actively look for any more, but I love to randomly find a piece I can use at a yard sale.

    In the past I collected books and DVDs, but after konmari-ing the house a while back, I’m sticking to e-books, digital movie libraries, and borrowing from the public library.

    • March says:

      Pyrex and Fire King — you and Anita will have to get together! I bet they look lovely all stacked together. And yes, I know I’m safe talking about our collections here!

  • Patty says:

    I collect knitting projects. I finish like 1 out of every 4 I start sorta, then I go into a phase where I complete a bunch of them or rip up ones i’m never going to complete. There are two sweaters buried somewhere that I really will finish one day, but they are slow going. That’s my collection of projects, and I don’t even want to talk about the yarn. Happy new Year!

    • tiffanie says:

      Hi Patty, I hear ya’. I started a knitted cowl in November 2015 and just finished a week ago. Getting it done was my present to myself this holiday season.

  • HeidiC says:

    I collect books, too — a few are rare, though I bought them for touchstone reasons (a first edition of a favorite poetry book, say). I left my job in academia, where I had a whole other place to keep lots of books, so when we moved, I gave a lot to my grad students, but STILL had to find a way to get all my office books and house books shelved in one place! Thank god we live near an IKEA — converting a room into a library/writing space was my Christmas present this year. Someday, I aspire to have a library with one of those stepladders on a sliding rail — sigh!

    I also seem to collect sock yarn. I rationalize buying yarn for which I don’t have a dedicated project by saying oh, it’s just one or two skeins for socks. But now I have drawers full, and I definitely have a type — so many multiple skeins of handpainted sock yarn in shades of red!

    • tiffanie says:

      Hey HeidiC, I have a stash of sock yarn, too. I’ve been using it to make scarves and cowls because my sock drawer is full.

      • HeidiC says:

        COWLS! That’s brilliant. I should do some of those. Also, I was thinking of making some boot-toppers. Stash-busters, unite!

  • mikasminion says:

    I won’t bother to mention the books, especially vintage cookbooks and silly mysteries that are usually hard to replace in my area so I really can’t let go of. Nail polish, though I think my collection is reasonable and I try to pass on anything I’m not wowed by and I try not to buy dupes. I used to collect vintage kitchenware but the prices have gone completely silly and I have more than enough to display some and use the rest. It was a great thing to shop for when I was in college because the thrift stores were full of Corning and FireKing for literally pennies.
    I’m still pretty bad about collecting vintage sewing notions and “stocking up on” nice beads and jewelry findings when I find a bargain. Luckily, those are easy to hide. I have a similar weakness for rescuing little embroidered hankies and doilies, bits of barkcloth fabric, and beautiful unloved remnants. My husband collects vintage lamps, mostly tv lamps and those with figural bases but also the occasional pole lamp.
    We should probably declutter a bit 😉

  • rickyrebarco says:

    I love makeup, too, but I purposely did not buy any new shadows or lipsticks this fall. I have wonderful Chantecaille and Tom Ford shadows and don’t need any more. I’m trying desperately to go minimalist, which means lots of stuff is going out the door! Samples given to women’s shelters, other things sold on Ebay or gone to consignment shops.

    My biggest collection is fashion dolls- Gene, Tonner and Integrity brands. I love miniature couture styles for fashion dolls. I once had over 400 dolls with amazing outfits, copies of Charles James and Dior outfits, miniatures of Jason Wu’s designs, great stuff. Selling the collection has been very time consuming but I can finally see the end of the tunnel and am hoping to have the collection down to only dolls that I absolutely love, hopefully no more than 50 of them. Thank goodness for Ebay!

    I have almost sold all my purses but two, that was an obsession for a while, too. Love Brahmin and Tory Burch. Then there’s the vintage Fiestaware… Not too much but I love the pieces I have and can’t let them go yet…

    • Musette says:

      I’d never heard of any of those dolls – just looked at the Integrity line over on eBay – what wonderful faces!!!
      Hang on to your vintage Fiestaware – if you love it, keep it. When you shuffle off your mortal coil they can bury your ashes in one of the larger pieces, if you like 😉 I’m going for that whole ‘become a tree’ thing, myself and I hope my Pyrex/FireKing will give someone as much pleasure as it’s giving me!


    • March says:

      Those dolls are AMAZING.

      • rickyrebarco says:

        Thanks. I love them so much. I wanted to be a fashion designer or a perfumer when I was a kid. Now I just collect other people’s fabulous creations, but it’s all good!

  • Musette says:

    Like Portia, I collect body creams, lotions and solid soaps, but not on purpose. It just seems to ‘happen’.
    My ‘on purpose’ collecting is vintage Pyrex and Fire King – but it’s not an actually ‘collecting’ – I just like the thrill of coming upon the stuff when I’m at a thrift store – I have the loveliest little pressed-glass Fire King prep bowl, which I got for $1.75 – and a gorgeous turquoise Butterprint mixing bowl that ……..omg. I have NO idea where it came from but I know I didn’t pay more than $5 for it. I have a few fun pieces and probably more in storage – can’t wait for reno to be done so I can display and USE them!

    I’m not at the ‘real’ collector stage and I hope to never be there – I saw a rare Pyrex (or equiv) mixing set that went for (gasp!) $1500!


  • rosarita313 says:

    My longest running collection is jewelry, starting when I was little. My mother is a jewelry person too and she got me started. Mainly sterling silver, vintage, lots of turquoise, also vintage costume jewelry. I can sniff it out at auctions, garage sales, thrift stores, it’s my trademark, especially rings and bracelets that I can enjoy with my painted nails, another collection. I’ve pretty much stopped with nail polish but it was intense for a few years. Then last summer I visited my best friend who lives in a city and she scolded me for letting myself go, makeup wise, so I have accumulated some important items, my biggest thrill is a bold lip. Why haven’t I done this before? I’m having fun.

    • March says:

      Goodness, I love jewelry, particularly turquoise. I bet you have some stunning items. And I’m glad you have rediscovered the bold lip!

  • I’m into organic beauty products and have a collection of natural make-up (especially lipsticks) and skincare products. It used to be much more but I know try to own less since it’s not very environmental friendly to throw half-used products away. It’s a work in progress.

    • March says:

      Ugh, you’ve hit on the aspect of makeup I struggle with in terms of the environment… I thrift much/most of my clothes, so they’re recycled, but every time I buy facewash I think, do I need this? And let’s not think about the nail polish.

  • Portia says:

    Hey March,
    My parents got a Royal Doulton 6 seater dinner set for their wedding. Since my Mum died I’ve expanded it to about a 20 seater with all the add ons. We use it as the day to day china. Also I have ridiculous amounts of soap and shower gel. There is an enormous box of feathers also that I’ve collected over the years, lavish showgirl feathers.
    It used to be drag fabric, shoes and jewellery too but I now keep all that under control.
    Portia xx

    • March says:

      I LOVE your china story — absolutely, use it every day! That’s what beautiful things are for, are they not? What’s the name of the pattern, if you don’t mind sharing? I’d love to google it just to be able to picture it in my head. Y’all… you and Anita and Patty with all the body product. Maybe my baths aren’t sumptuous enough. And I love the box of feathers, what a delight.

  • bevfred says:

    Oh, a woman after my own heart. I’m glad someone else gets the painting aspect of nails, face, whatever. Few do. I love that D&G picture, what a hot little top. I’m way past that age but the lipstick is lovely. I must admit, I sometimes hang out in front of the D&G store just marvelling at the richness of the fabrics and patterns. I try to live my life as art and “Have nothing in my home that I do not believe to be beautiful or useful.” That’s a bad paraphrase of William Morris. Happy New Year!

    • March says:

      Kindred spirit!!! Do you remember that collection?! Ugh, I droooooled. And it wasn’t like I was buying any of it (except the lipstick), it’s just so…. sumptuous in the right ways. So rich, as you said. Do you remember Romeo Gigli in the 80s? Most beautiful clothes. Heart-stopping.

  • Tara C says:

    I have collections of books, cosmetics, purses, jewelry and shoes, but I’m only actively adding to the perfume collection at this point, and I’m cutting way back on that too. Too much stuff! I am actively culling the shoes, purses and cosmetics. But I really enjoy doing my makeup, choosing my perfume and my accessories every day, so it’s not going to waste. My plan is to give away things I’m not using or loving and let everything else get whittled down through attrition. I am not a minimalist at heart but I am trying to reduce consumption and use everything I own.

    • March says:

      LOL I just took a load of shoes and purses to my favorite thrift over the holidays — really, somebody should be enjoying them, and if that somebody isn’t me… this included several pairs of “fancy” loafers and pumps that never fit right (I bought on eBay.) And then: shoe karma! I found the *perfect* pair of Ferragamo loafers in my size right there, nicely broken in but not worn out.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I collect books, but the reading kind, not the valuable-first-edition kind. I have been greatly enabled by the availability of e-books; when your shelves are crammed full and big stacks have accumulated by the bed and armchair and family members have tried to intervene and even you yourself have had to concede that yes indeed there is a real problem, well, you can still buy e-books and nobody can tell how how many you have. It’s a very cool addiction in that respect. I am wily as any addict in hiding my addiction-related activities, but more successful than most. As I sit with an angelic expression, nobody can tell for sure that I’m downloading…

    • March says:

      Hehehehe. I’m betting a number of folks on here share the book one! I had to move several times over the past few years (divorce, etc.) and I tell you, there’s nothing more effective to help winnow possessions. My rule is the books have to fit on the existing shelves, which means there’s a constant rotation to/from the resellers, and we’re heavy users of the local library as well. E-books — I have some and I like to read on the subway to/from work, but only there! Otherwise I’d be following in your footsteps.

    • malsnano86 says:

      “You can still buy e-books and nobody can tell how many you have.” Preach it, sister!

  • GrandmaGaga says:

    I used to collect STUFF but in my later years I’ve reined myself in and now I only collect stuff…as in little, tiny things. I love anything miniature…vases, porcelain do-dads ( as long as they’re tiny) and along with perfume, I absolutely go nuts over perfume mini bottles; teeny, tiny replicas of original bottles…could there be anything cuter?!

    • March says:

      Now there’s a hobby I can get behind! Although, does everything get dusty? (As a kid, and even as a young adult, I was fascinated by dollhouses. I built/rebuilt one, which I still have, hoping to pass it on to a grandkid someday.)