White Elephants? What 3 Perfumes Should You Sell?

Hi there Posse, I have been looking through my collection and hoping to downsize it to manageable proportions. Jin built me a beautiful cupboard for my fragrances. I freely admit that it is more than ample space for a collection of scents. Yet there are still boxes and boxes around here that don’t fit in, and it is chock a block. So then I started to think about my perfumed White Elephants. You know, the ones you love but you never seem to use? There are as many reasons for this as stars in the sky. The bottom line though is that the fragrances never get spritzed or dabbed. Why should they languish is our draws or cupboards when they could be out in the world bringing oodles of joy?

White Elephants? What 3 Perfumes Should You Sell?

White ElephantsFragrantica

Why 3 perfumes I hear you ask? Well, thinking about selling or giving away my White Elephants makes me sad and a bit nervous. What if I sell it and then need for a reference? How about if I gift it and want to spritz myself in a particular weather or moment? What if, What if, What if? That way lies a spot on TV show HORDERS!! So to start with I decided to get just 3 White Elephants out and sell them. It’s a totally manageable number, not overwhelming and because it’s so insignificant my worries disappeared.

White ElephantsFragrantica

Funny thing is, once I started looking through my collection there are dozens of bottles that I rarely or never wear. There are also all the vintage back ups. The ones that the top notes have ever so slightly started to turn. Ones that I just can’t bring myself to spritz anymore for whatever reason. Surely they would be better elsewhere? So I made a DOC on Aussie Fragrance Network FaceBook page and have been getting rid of quite a few fabulous but unworn beauties already. As I go through the collection I’m adding more each week, some fabulous, some impossible to find, some dross but all not getting the love they deserve in my home.

White ElephantsFragrantica

What were my first three to go?

Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum 49/50ml vintage original formula boxed: When I first tried this it was so freaking good. Went through a couple of decants, bought it and used it three or four times but it started to give me headaches. Such a shame because I loved it to bits. My bottle was the purple black turnip bottle.
Gres Cabochard vintage parfum 5/7.5ml pedestal box: Besides the fact that I have quite a collection of vintage Cabochard parfum this bottle annoyed me because of the pedestal box. Every time I would go to grab it the lid would come and I’d be scrambling after the rest. My bottle was so old it still had a fabric bow.
Jean D’albert Eccuson vintage parfum 3/30ml unboxed: This one was the bottle in the ad above. The juice had become as thick as thin honey and dark, very dark. It still smelled unbelievably gorgeous but was so precious and special that I never wore it. Best to move such things along.
UPDATE: So far I have sold 51 bottles and I’m feeling chuffed.
So, what are your 3 White Elephants that you could or should send off on their journey?
Portia xxx



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  • Diana says:

    I buy very few full bottles anymore, but there are quite a few mfg samples I’d like to get rid of. Tauer sample pack would be the first and PureDistance sample the second. Can’t stand any of the frags in either of those and they cost quite a bit for 5 or 6 spray samples. If I had to pick a full bottle that I don’t use alot (but still like) it would be Tom Ford Black Orchid. Its just too rich for my bland, everyday life that goes from 10 hr work days in front of a computer to taking care of the dogs and cats at home. Not much “going out” so I just don’t think to wear something so rich very often.

    • Portia says:

      Bummer about your sample packs Diana.
      Maybe treat every day as if it’s a going out day, even if it’s not. I always smell like I’m off to the ball.
      Portia xx

  • Meems says:

    I have too many patchouli gourmand-types that I absolutely love the smell of but never quite have the gumption to wear out: A*Men, Cuba Prestige, Cadavre Exquis, Cigar Aficionado are all good to great but I will realistically never finish all four bottles.

    Similarly, I have so many budget vanillas and I don’t love wearing them. I accidentally dropped a bottle of Givenchy Organza a few weeks ago and the house has smelled wonderful since then (talk about longevity!).

    • Portia says:

      WOW Meems,
      I love Organza but it would probably drive me batshit crazy if it took over my house. Ha.
      Yeah, the budget vanillas rarely cut it once you’ve smelled the good shit.
      Portia xx

  • kayliz says:

    “It’s a totally manageable number, not overwhelming and because it’s so insignificant”
    No! No no no! It’s ten per cent of my WHOLE COLLECTION!

    … not counting decants… or the bottles I literally don’t count, because they’re theoretically on their way out…

    …but no way I’m ejecting Eau du Sud, Myrrhiad or Misia!

    OK, maybe Eau du Sud. But Myrrhiad? And MISIA? What are you here? Subversives?

  • Finanna says:

    I recently donated Priscilla Presley Experiences, Pacifica Mediterranean fig and Vamp a NY for a fundraiser. But I might be able to get rid of YR Voile d’Ambre and Shalimar Parfum Initial too. The third one is tricky, maybe Lys Soleia (too many lilies in my wardrobe).

  • March says:

    LOL I realized I was clutching my pearls, reading this. It’s HARD to get rid of stuff! If we were normal we wouldn’t own that many bottles in the first place. I never did a hard count, but moving twice in a year (and needing the money) forced me to downsize. I sold much of my priciest stuff to perfume friends and on eBay. I do feel like, for something hard to come by, I’d rather put it out there in the universe for others to enjoy. I now do a seasonal rotation and the rest is on shelves in the basement, which is actually a great place to store them, if not hugely convenient; my house gets warm in the summer. Having said all that, if I sound sanctimonious, a wild guess is I have 200+ bottles. That’s full bottles, not decants etc. And yeah that’s downsizing.

    • Portia says:

      Hey March,
      Yes. Downsizing is hard. Till you start doing it. All of a sudden it becomes a weight lifted off my shoulders. I really do feel lighter with so much of my hoard going elsewhere.
      After I come back from this holiday I’m going to do even more.
      Portia xx

  • Christine says:

    I have jungle l’elephant that I couldn’t bear to get rid of, because I should like it. On paper, I should straight up love it, and yet. So on Facebook Fragrant Friends I’ve given away half of my 30 ml bottle in decants. I bought Air of Despair for the name alone (and also, because I usually get along with saffron and cedar) and oh. It does not work. At all. So I’ll be looking to unload that. Jungle is the only fume I’ve really held on to. I’d give away some more decants, but it packs a hell of a wallop while decanting.

  • Sylvia says:

    You’ve sold or given away 51 bottles!? That’s impressive!
    I’m working through only keeping what I wear, too.
    I gave away two last week: a nearly full bottle of Shalimar and a 1/3 – 1/2 Bottle of Eau Premier. I was given both and ‘tried very hard’ to like them because they were classics and I was supposed to love them. So, I kept trying. . I did like some aspects of both. I had to wait through some development, that I disliked a lot, in both too. It felt wonderful to finally acknowledge they weren’t enjoyable for me -and let them go to someone who wanted them!
    I hope I’ve finally learned to trust my nose and my judgement. 🙂
    we’ll see….

    • Portia says:

      Hey Sylvia,
      Perfume is like love. You will be attracted to some and not others. No matter what the world thinks you should choose your heart/nose has its own path.
      I always feel better when I follow the way my self tells me to go, even if it’s longer, rougher and more challenging.
      Portia xx

  • Holly says:

    Bravo, dear Portia!

  • tiffanie says:

    Fifty-one bottles! Bow down, perfume people, that is amazing. I don’t have 51 bottles in my house (yet ha ha). I wholeheartedly agree it is better to set unused bottles free. Let them create happiness now somewhere with someone lucky before they change for the worse or evaporate into the aether from whence they came.

    I have three bottles of different versions of Infusion d’Iris. *hangs head* I should let go of one or two. *sigh*

    I’ll add my voice to the above and mention again that if you donate fragrance to a charity shop it may get tossed in the trash due to rules against selling opened or used personal products. Some donation locations don’t have this rule, or they ignore it, so it’s worth asking.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tiffany,
      Yeah, I was surprised when I did the count. When I get back from my holiday I will be culling again. It’s so cathartic.
      Do you use all three versions of Infusion d’Iris?
      Portia xx

  • GrandmaGaga says:

    My ‘get rid ofs’ are the usual suspects….cheapies from TJMaxx that I bought untested because they were too good of a deal to pass up….and now they are not worth (to me) the space they take up in my wardrobe and mind. I’ve learned my lesson at this point so these usually end up as gifts to nieces that are thrilled to have them so no harm, no foul I guess.

    • Portia says:

      Excellent that you have nieces to siphon off the excesses GrandmaGaga. That’s an excellent outcome for everyone.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    I should probably get rid of most of my backup bottles, as I’ll likely never get to them, but the hoarder in me isn’t ready to let go yet. So my alternate goal is to at least stop accumulating – I plan to finish 6 bottles and buy no more than 6 this year.

    • Portia says:

      WOW TaraC,
      Think how much more you can fit if you let go of the excess
      That’s a big deal. Finishing bottles is fun. Good luck with the go slow.
      Portia xx

  • Taxi says:

    A few years ago I moved to smaller digs. I threw away Tocade, VickyTiel, Krazy Krizia & some other ’80s monsters. Now I want to further divest-YSLs (except Yvresse when it was still Champagne,) a couple of Bois1920s, Stella McCartney-Vera Wang etc., a Guerlain or 2. I’m also over Clive Christian X, which I love for the first hour or two. By 4-5 hours, I’m sated, & by 8 hours I’m frantic for a shower & obsessed with the desire to launder all the clothing I’ve worn.
    Ahh! Jean d’Albret? As a teen, I loved Casaque. Still have bath oil & some edt. Amazingly, it still smells good & hasn’t turned color though top notes are fading.

  • Cb Sutcliffe says:

    SmellyDandelion has the best description of why she has some white elephants. The one I’m thinking of is one of those standard “I bought it unsniffed at TJMaxx because everyone said it was great” things. It may be great, but it isn’t me

    • Portia says:

      Yeah, the lure of a bargain is often my downfall too CB Sutcliffe,
      Move them on, they are not leaving space for growth.
      Portia xx

  • SmellyDandelion says:

    Mine would be Chergui, Agent Provocateur EDP and Theo Fannell A Scent. You seem, somewhere in my imagination I am an assertive femme-fatale unafraid to project her lust and desires on unsuspecting audiences. In reality, my meek ever-so-ready-to-please disposition means I’ll never bring myself to spritz or dab.

    Sad but true.

  • malsnano86 says:

    I have a far larger number than three that I could stand to divest myself of! But three that come to mind immediately:
    Tocade I really enjoyed when I first bought it. But then it became quite smoky/ashy (I don’t know why), and I never ever wear it anymore. My second backup of L’Arte di Gucci, I have no idea when I might ever get to pop that one open, given that I’ve been working on the original bottle for 9 years now. So even if I keep one as a backup, I don’t need TWO. (Should probably get rid of the backup as well.) Shalimar Light I don’t wear much now, either, and I know there are people who might really want it.
    I keep talking about posting a sale list on my blog, but I have yet to get around to taking pictures and writing descriptions and what-not for it.

  • Claudia S says:

    Probably the Ivoire and AE Perfumer’s Reserve. There’s just others that I choose much more often!

  • HeidiC says:

    Probably my SL Datura Noir — though maybe not, because I sometimes still spritz it in the summer. And the Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin — what was I thinking?

    • Sylvia says:

      Hello HeidC!,
      There are no SL’s here in distribution- so no worries- I just order samples from STC. I like to get ideas of what the scents are like before I decide what to try. I’d love to hear your take-What is Datura Noire like?

      • HeidiC says:

        Some of the SL’s are in distribution stateside — just Google them for shopping. Datura Noir is kinda kitschy-smelling, and I can never decide if that’s in a good way or not. It smells like a BWF crossed with suntan lotion.

  • kathleen says:

    Probably my Quand Vient la Pluie

  • bevfred says:

    I would kill for the vintage Cabochard. The new stuff just isn’t the same. And no, I wouldn’t really kill!

  • Tiara says:

    Three! You’re so right three is totally manageable! Nuit de Tubéreuse would be #1 to go. Guilt rears its ugly head any time I see the box. It was loved until suddenly it wasn’t for whatever reason. I still cannot bring myself to spritz that one and it’s been several years since it was last worn.

    • Portia says:

      Ah Tiara,
      NdT is one of my faves. Whenever I spritz it I wonder why i don’t do it more regularly.
      You’ve inspired my SOTD, off to spritz now.
      Portia xx

  • solanace says:

    Vintage Givenchy Amarige, current Balmain Vent Vert and I can’t think of a third…

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Hi Portia! I am also feeling like I need to divest some lovely perfumes that I will probably not get around to using. We haven’t done a swap in a while, have we? While swapping could lead to owning more perfumes again, we could also swap out our “white elephants” for other things, like tea, chocolate, accessories, etc…

    • Musette says:

      I love that idea – we did it awhile back and I traded for such things as a hat, a box of Miette sables (I bought the sables and they mailed them to me because SHIPPING! yikes!) – I sent someone in the EU some saltwater taffy, etc etc….it was grand!

      I recently gave several friends BIG boxes of unworn scents – I took a good long look at what I’d not worn in ages – and if I’d not worn it in ages, into the box(es) it went. ’twas a beautiful thing. Same with a lot of little sample vials. Unless I am reviewing something, I rarely break out the samples, so they sit in the little boxes….I feel bad for them.

      Also, after awhile, knowing that I have all that unused perfume lying about starts to make my ears itch – a sure sign of anxiety.


  • Julia C says:

    I suggest one ask before donating to thrift stores; ours say they can’t accept perfume, and it gets thrown away immediately.

    I try to only buy what I love, so nothing comes immediately to mind, but of course somethings to get worn more than others. A lot of my Kilians seem to linger unworn, for some reason.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I keep looking at that box that I have sitting at my computer desk. It’s full of perfume that I want to get rid of. Don’t know if I should look at using E-Bay, Goodwill or a consignment shop to get them out of my line of site. I know that there a couple Frapins that do not suit me but I haven’t looked in the box in a while.