Perfume in the Winter-Spring

crocusI’ve been on a cleaning jag –too early for spring cleaning, I know, but it’s been crazy weather in the DC area. This is exactly the time of year we get crushed with some huge blizzard. But instead it’s been upper 60s. My snowdrops just opened, I have a crocus, and my daffodils are up – all waaaaay too early. But each day with this nutty weather is one more day we didn’t have snow, so.

You know what smells amazing? Antique malls. I was wandering around in one today.  Antique malls smell like Danish oil, orange oil, lemon oil, linseed oil, and dust. Am I the only person on Earth who loves that smell? It makes me smile. I’m on their security cameras, leaning in and sniffing the wood appreciatively, lol. I’m moving furniture around in my home, making room for items from my dad’s house, pieces I know and love.  It’s time for some changes.

I’m the talkative introvert. I love meeting people and talking to them, like at the antique mall. Instant connection. But I need quiet and downtime and my cloak of invisibility. I got down on my hands and knees today and scrubbed the floor, because moving furniture reveals the larger dust bunnies, plus is there anything more wonderful than a clean, scrubbed wood floor? (That answer is no.) Then I got to dusting my perfume bottles.

All this re-arranging in my room… and switching up the pieces again, and where to put the perfume bottles? I have some new bookcases coming downstairs from my dad’s house, so I moved stacks of books down there. Moved my bottles to the empty bookcase – just to park them there for a minute – on the lovely blue fabric bespoke tiny bookcase that belonged to my mother in law. But what to do with all these bottles? Here, let me insert the emoji for you.


And then (derp) it hit me – this small bookcase is the perfect place for them! Sturdy and pretty and right here. Sometimes I miss the most obvious things.

Where do you keep your perfume? Do you have to dust it? Did you build something specific for your obsession? Do you hide it from friends?


  • Kate E. says:

    I keep mine in a lingerie chest in the coolest corner of the room. I rotate out a few that sit on top but it’s so hot where I am most of the year that I’m overprotective!

  • Tom says:

    I keep mine in a closet in the cool dark. 20 years on Maple and now nearly 4 here and I still have bottles that are way older than my car and still good. (take that Le Labo and your artificial expiration dates!)

  • Musette says:

    sucks that you did all that cleaning, only to have the ceiling fall in – but heck, at least it didn’t fall on YOU! right?

    With the exception of (ALL) my vintage No5s, my Amouages and 3 Guerlains (which I keep on one of those mirrored trays on my cherrywood dresser) I keep everything else in the Messy Armoire in the front room because we are about 3 rooms short here at the Shotgun Shack and there is nowhere else for it to go until post-reno (which may or may not happen because Eh. Life. But hope springs!)

    Messy Armoire looks like how Jurassic Park’s Welcome Center looked after the T-rex killed those two sassy velociraptors.


  • maggiecat says:

    I am also a talkative introvert and did not, until reading this, realize that it was a thing, or that there were others like me. Figures they’d be perfumistas too! I would love to have a bookcase for my perfumes – they’re kind of scattered right now. I think it’s a great idea!

    • March says:

      Well, I just made it up 🙂 A reaction to those personality quizzes that seem to use the ability to converse easily with others as a sure sign you’re an extrovert. I love talking to people — people are interesting — and so do a lot of other introverts.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Clean and dust my perfume collection never happens. I’m just lucky and happy that they are mostly organized and in one spot. That spot is on top of my dresser. When I eventually get one of my rooms organized, I will get some kind of book case to put my perfumes. I just have to get motivated.

  • HeidiC says:

    I have a pretty little shelf that I keep my perfumes on — but I leave them all in their boxes to try and protect them from the light, so you can’t see the lovely bottles. 🙁 I’m totally jealous of a friend and fellow perfumista who, when building her new house, had an area of a walk-in closet designated for her perfumes, so she could display them safely — just gorgeous!

  • jenbat says:

    You’ve just inspired me to rearrange the furniture in my teeny apartment, doing that always cheers me up in a ‘new lease on life’ sort of way. Right now I keep my small fragrance collection either in a dark corner of a bookshelf or in a drawer, because all the warnings about light and heat ruining them have scared me. One day maybe I’d like to have a proper vanity in a proper bedroom with them on display. PS I too appreciate a freshly cleaned wood floor, and although my partner thinks I’m crazy, I really don’t think a floor is clean unless I’ve done it by hand. I don’t trust mops.

  • rosarita313 says:

    Great post as always. My perfumes are in a small antique cabinet that I bought at a country auction in my teens and have been hauling around since. On top of it I have a tiny glass front display box, the kind used to display miniature figurines, where I keep my most used decants, a revolving assortment. There’s also a cheese plate with a domed glass cover that holds my perfume minis so they are displayed without dust. I hope you find worthy buyers for your dad’s house.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    I like that antique-store furniture smell too, March. I keep my perfumes in a cabinet that a neighbor had discarded and left on the street. It is a beautiful wooden RCA Berkshire TV console. My husband stripped the insides out of it and added a shelf. You can see it here, if you like: There are now many more perfumes in the cabinet than when I took these photos, but I manage to put 95% of the collection in there without too much trouble.

  • bevfred says:

    We must be soul sisters! Or at the very least kindred spirits. A day without snow is a good day. A day without perfume isn’t really a day at all.

  • RoseMacaroon says:

    I keep all fumes out of the light, too. Storage /organization is pretty suboptimal in my apt – may it not always be so! ?
    LOVE the secretary desk idea, the smell of antique malls, and most especially the Talkative introvert description. (Think I’m one too..!)

  • Sarah says:

    Perhaps antique store smell for me is THE hardware store from my childhood. There was just one in town. Hanging with Dad -the smell of all is right with the world. Before the nasty fertilizer/weed killer smells took over. Now I choke in hardwares stores.
    Olivia’s comment has inspired me to do likewise with Dad’s antique secretary. Currently my bottles are in the windowless
    walk in closet in baskets.
    Perhaps if I had electric shock treatments to forget what winter should be I could enjoy the weather.

    • March says:

      I’m going to do the secretary desk too — man I’m glad I have a blog, y’all are the best. I’m getting my dad’s secretary desk next weekend. This is perfect. Yeah, hardware stores — parts of them smell wonderful, but that lawn/garden area is just awful, and it always seems to be by the front door.

    • rosarita313 says:

      We have a hardware store like that in my small town that has been there forever and still holds it’s own against the big chain home improvement stores that have moved in. Their garden department is in the building next door so they have held on to the smell, which takes me back to childhood too.

  • Olivia says:

    I love the smell of antique malls too. I didn’t realize what it was until you put it into words. I decided to put my perfumes in an antique secretary desk I have that has remained empty for a while, till now. It has shallow drawers just tall enough for perfume bottles, along with envelope slots that are perfect for categorizing various sample vials and packing/mailing supplies. Best of all, it keeps everything out of the light and doesn’t draw attention to itself.

    • March says:

      Oh, this is GENIUS! I’m getting my dad’s old secretary desk! I’m going to use the top part for actual deskwork (bills etc) but I didn’t have any specific plans for the drawers. Thank you!!

  • Teresa/GrandmaGaga says:

    I’m a talkative introvert, too! The center of attention for an hour or so and then 48 hours of solitude to recover! I keep my perfumes boxed and hidden away from the light, unfortunately….they are vampires, released from their containers only long enough to brush my neck with their contents and then back to their dark sarcophagi they go! It’s funny…I often select fragrances for their attractive bottles, yet they are never on display…hmmm?

    • March says:

      That’s a good practice, though. In my last house I kept them on shelves in the guest room closet, which was the coolest room in the house. It was great storage. Here, most of my perfumes are in the basement in boxes, which is sad, but it’s too hot upstairs.