Dithering and Deferral

Do you put off buying things for no good reason other than you can? Or do you just buy on impulse? I used to be the total buy on impulse type, but slowly I´ve been a-changing and now, well, now, I procrastinate.


Let me tell you what I´m procrastinating over at the moment. I have a series of electronic post-its on my laptop, some of which have been there a couple of years. On one, there´s an everchanging list of scents to buy/try´. They merge into each other, normally because the ones that get on there are sound like me´ numbers that I read about at Now Smell This or elsewhere, before they´re launched, or ones that I´ve had decants of and know I love. I hold off nowadays because I´ve made mistakes from love in the past – perfumes that first smile and caress, but over the slow accretion of time, their lips curl, a few short-tempered words get spoken and soon we avoid each other cuz we no longer match. Oh, huge bottle of Bois d´Ombrie, I´m talking about you. I loved you, but now I can´t wear you. Our time together´s become stifling, and you´ve told me I´m too frivolous one too many times.


There are 11 on the buy/try list. A handful need crossing out because I´ve tried them and they´re not me. I´m not good at removing, only adding. Dans tes Bras was a crushing disappointment to me – an unbearable blending of some CB I hate Perfume earth accord with powdered violets and the smell stale skin – but I´ve yet to remove that. Likewise Baume de Doge which reminded me of Noir Epices with all the airy spaces filled in. Ormonde Man I keep changing on – sometimes seduced, other times afraid the drydown will be another stifler on me. It´s a serious scent – no? – and I like a bit of silly or lusty in mine as a rule. Though the news I read somewhere that Linda Pilkington is making another men´s scent has me pretty fired up.


But there are two that are definite buys. One is l´Artisan´s Dzongkha. My decant ran out months ago, and every once in a while I have to sniff this to remember the malt whisky fairy tale of how Laphroaig can transform itself into a pensive incense laden cadence in which iris chills and thrills. It has neither silly or lusty qualities, and so runs counter to the false rule I set for myself in the last paragraph, but no matter. To me, it´s Duchaufour´s best scent, balancing the austere, transparent and smoky qualities of so much of his work, without any of the sour pickles quality of the others. I used to lust for Timbuktu, but that shouts too much in comparison. I need a bottle. And now.


The other is el Attarine. Yes, it´s a rehash of the oriental formula. Yes, some people claim it´s all cumin and curry. And others stock up on Colgate to ward off the sweetness. Elsewhere, individuals state it smells like a humid night of wild sex with a person who possibly hasn’t bathed in weeks´ (the fun sounding Therese108 on MUA) or all about potent sweet roses, spices, and dried fruit´ (the reliable and prolific Vibert of Basenotes – though I have to say the sweet roses escape me completely – and I don´t do roses comfortably in perfume). But it could be all those things, and more or less, as it shifts and finds new facets for different wearers. I never noticed its sweatiness until Patty pointed it out and now it feels thick with human and fleshy aspects, which battle against the waxy, wooded qualities borrowed from the Bois series. And it´s fruity, but sepia hued, tinted with the past, nostalgic for the heat of summers long gone. I´m in Paris – all too briefly – in December. I´ll nab it then.


Tell me how you deal with purchases. Defer? Delay? Dither? Or just acquire and hope not to misfire?


Pictures come from the crowning of the new King of Bhutan yesterday. I need that Dzongkha, even if its colours are muted greys and greens rather than the unreal vibrancy of Bhutanese ceremony. Look at those  boots!


  • joe805 says:

    I’m both an impulse buyer AND a delayer. I buy most of my fragrance on eBay, and I’ve actually made more than my share of unsniffed buys, many or most of which turned out to be great (“What, a 75%-full bottle of Chene going for $70!!? I have to have it!! Even though I’ve never smelled it!”)

    And then there’s the endlessly re-ordered mental list of scents to buy. Too many new launches get added to all the scents I’ve sampled after reading about them on Now Smell This. Dzongkha is definitely on there (though it’s probably my #3 Duchaufour after Jubilation XXV and Timbuktu). Avignon used to be on there, but I think Ouarzazate is closer to the top now, along with Villoresi Sandalo. I’m kind of in a pre-holiday buying lull right now… but when that next tempting offering appears on eBay (especially if it’s something on my “like it” list), I’m a goner.

  • Lee says:


    I can add nothing else.@};-

  • lunarose says:

    i’m cracking up thinking of how i’ll come across in this environment……….i’m a MAJOR PROCRASTINATOR by nature, in every single area of life. from that huge project for school that they’ve give you 3 months notice on to hitting the john, my default mode is “hhmmm…no need to rush into anything….maybe best to hold off….you can always do this later…….”

    needless to say in my younger years this caused untold dramas, which were not enjoyable. so i hit on the idea of procrastinating in areas that were GOOD for me. for example, i’d get a big yen for a hot fudge sundae when i’m trying to slim a little. so i make a big deal to myself of putting it off, so i get the pleasure of procrastination – without the calories! you can put off calling that person you’re so mad at that you’ll just make an ass out of yourself, and of course, put off shopping that will bust your budget. in my circle i am officially the person you tap to talk you out of buying any and every thing whatsoever.

    so, about 4 months in to perfume mania proper, i am in proud possession of (ta da!) 24 1ml sample tubes. 6 of which i paid for, others were free at stores or generous gifts. as for the ones i bought, i mulled the purchase over for about a month and a half prior to taking the plunge.

    for anyone who feels the need of being ‘talked down’ from a precipitous purchase – i’m your gal.

  • Aparatchick says:

    Before the recession hit home (my brother was laid off in September), if I wanted it, I bought it (or at least a decant of it). I did the “how long will your perfume stash last” calculation recently, and the answer was …. :”> years and years and years. So the list has been tucked away to await better times.

    On the other hand: Must.Have.Those.Boots.

    And congratuations, Bhutan, on your new king. May his reign bring you peace and prosperity.

  • Vasily says:

    I suppose I’d call myself a ditherer. I have several lists, and when I try a new frag it goes on one of them: Bottle-Worthy (not many of those), Decant-Worthy, Near-Misses, Second-String, and Rejects. Even if I think something’s bottleworthy, I’ll get a decant first. Sometimes a frag I think might be Bottle-Worthy turns out to be a Near-Miss or Second-String … or vice versa. As a consequence, I have very few full bottles: Tauer’s L’air du Desert, Knize Ten, Creed Bois du Portugal, Ava Luxe Cafe Noir, Midnight Violet, and Kretek. There are several SL’s I’d buy, but my taste tends to run to the non-exports which are hard to come by.

    El Attarine … yeah, I think I like it, on my Decant-Worthy list. The sweatiness doesn’t last long on me, and I find it occupies some sort of middle ground between Arabie and Fumerie Turque. Not a bad plot of land at all.

    • Vasily says:

      Oh, yeah, I forgot … also have a full bottle of Guerlain Vetiver.

    • Lee says:

      I am immensely impressed by your restraint, and genuflect at your wisdom. It seems I had to experience profligacy a lot in order to get there.

      The SL non-exports are very easy for me to get, (un)fortnately…:d/

  • Olfacta says:

    I’m a decant buyer too. I used to haunt TJ Maxx but just see too much junk there now. Except for an 8 ml decant of 24 Faubourg which I (sob) SPILLED last week, I don’t think I’ve made it all the way through one yet!

    But if I really love something and want to use it liberally and constantly, I’ll get a full bottle, if I can find one at the right price. I do make myself wait, though, a few days usually.

    It’s funny how that few seconds, you know them, the ones right before you press the “checkout” button, can feel so…good/bad, as in I-know-I-shouldn’t-be-doing-this but-it-feels-so-good bad. I was getting kind of hooked on that. But the constant negative news (with one wonderful exception Tuesday) has made me step back a bit, budget myself, even with the decants.

    However…I did order an FB of “Black Cashmere” this week because, Eureka I have found it, it’s my perfect autumn scent, one that doesn’t go all sweet on my skin so, yeah, I bought it.

  • Elle says:

    In pre-recession days I was *much* more of an impulse buyer. Now I’ve vowed to refrain completely from unsniffed purchases. And to wait till something has been on my want list for at *least* a month before I succumb. My financial restraint halo is positively blinding it’s got such a shine going. 🙂 Well, OK…not totally. I can’t seem to resist stocking up on the classics these days. NEED the comfort. But I really am refraining from buying scents I think I won’t still be finding essential to my continued existence on this planet five or ten years from now. I’ve got *way* too many scents that are pleasant enough, but I no longer find worth wasting several hours of sniffing time and space on.
    And those boots. Want. Need! Must figure out how to do an internet search for them.

    • Lee says:

      You can’t have those boots given what you’ve said about your perfume behaviour and your o:-)ic new nature….

    • Musette says:

      They’re called ‘tshoglams’ and apparently there’s a color for every station in life. Majesties wear yellow, MPs wear blue, somebody else wears red and I think regular folk wear green.

      Apparently Bhutanese bootmakers were burning the candle brightly to finish all the embroidered tshoglams ordered for the coronation festivities. Wonder how long it took them to do His Majesty’s?

      • Elle says:

        I can’t even imagine the work that went into those. I read that they normally only make 200 pair a year, but this year had orders for 2,000. I also read that the regular ones go for 2,000 nu and the ones w/ the most embroidery go for 5,000 nu. That seems just incredible since at the current exchange rate 5,000 nu is only a little over $100. However, it seems there are no sources from which to order them, so I’d have to tack on the cost of a trip to Bhutan to that price. A teensy bit of a budget buster there. 🙁

  • Disteza says:

    Dzongkha is great, just not on me: it’s one of the verrrry few ‘fumes that I consider too masculine for me. OK, full disclosure–the only perfumes on that list are Dzongkha and Fumidus, so it must have something to do with the whiskey/peat aspect. I too have meted out my purchases to only those that make my FB list, and generally I try to get decants where I can first and work my way through those. I figure that I’m still young enough to sell some eggs if I feel like I absolutely have to have those JARs, but they’ll probably just stay on my list until the life-of-leisure fairy whacks me upside the head with her stupid-money wand. [-o<

    • Lee says:

      That fairy’s done one of her ‘disappear for our lifetime’ acts, the minx.

      Peat/whisky eh? Interesting, very interesting…

  • helenviolette says:

    :d/ Helloooo Lee!

    I am on the road to recovery and am becoming a ditherer…I would love to have some Black Rosette but it is super spendy- and I am supposed to be in L.A. next summer, so I don’t mind waiting.

    I am bidding on something that will remain nameless on ebay, but after I placed my bid, I saw I could get an 8ml decant for 20 smackers and that seems like a better plan. Hopefully I will be outbid…

    Musette, my heart is similarly swollen with joy this week! I bet your city is still smiling!

    I just put a dab of Dzongkha on my thumb- might be a great b-day gift for the hubby this month…he did love the LL Poivre- good thing it is in the motherland…

    • Lee says:

      Joy joy joy…

      Glad hubby likes the Poivre out there in the West.

      And get him the Dzongkha. You’ll both be happy.

  • kathleen says:

    Yes, Ormonde Jayne is putting out a new scent for men. It is called Zinzin. Samantha spritzed it on Don, a week or so ago. It is comprised of 3 forms of vetiver. I do not believe that there are samples available as yet.

  • Tania says:

    My scent-buying process used to be a more legal version of Faith’s weapon-acquisition mantra: ‘Want. Take. Have!’ Instant gratification was too slow for me.

    But I can’t afford that any more, and I only buy after I’ve used up my sample/decant, or if it’s so cheap it’s *almost* free. So I’ve got a small bottle of the new Jo Malone, but Carnal Flower waits on my bank balance growing a bit fatter!

    I love Dzongkha. The whiskey note struck me immediately when I tested it, but the SA thought I was imagining things! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one….

    • Lee says:

      Whisky lovers unite!

      Now, I think my journey sounds similar. The days of acquisitiveness have past, in all things it seems for me (plants, books, music and perfume have long been my vices – all are no longer instantaneous).

  • Shelley says:

    I’ve got issues.

    I’m pretty darn good at holding off…pondering, revising, determining what’s really at the top of the “get this next” list. And then…BAM! opportunity and impulse strike, and something ends up in a bag with a receipt, and it probably wasn’t at the top of my list.

    Actually, my last two purchases show me batting .500. One, a “waited” item that was purchased after months of being on the “get” list. The other, a scent I’ve always liked, but didn’t consider FB worthy because I have others in that scent family (iris) and actually had *another* one on the “eventually get” list. Zoiks.

    • Lee says:

      *whispers* I’m so like you it’s uncanny.:x

      • MarkDavid says:

        Im like the both of you.
        Ive spent more money on perfumes that I don’t love than I ever have on ones that have changed my life forever.

        Well, its a new day. Hear that world? No more. You’re all my witnesses.

        I vow to never buy another bottle that hasn’t been placed on the tried-and-true Must Have list.

        *runs off to the 20% off sale at Parfum1.com*

  • Masha says:

    Want. Boots. Now.
    Dzongkha is always in my top 3. I get tired of scents, too, but there’s something magic about Dzongkha. It’s one of a kind.

  • Billy D says:

    My want list is constantly being updated. Right now, it looks like:

    1. Straight to Heaven
    2. Ambre Narguile
    3. L’homme de coeur
    4. L’eau de Guerlain

    All told, that’s just about $750 of perfume, so I’ve yet to buy any. Thank god for Luckyscent’s sampling program. I am a ditherer. You should see how picky I am about buying shoes….

    • Lee says:

      I have the last three and don’t feel the need for the first. That help any?:d

      Buying any body wear is hell for me. I hate shopping.

      • Billy D says:

        Used to be when I found something I loved, I would try to get everyone I knew to fall in love with it too–talk it up on the boards, POL, etc. Now, I’m sort of content with the fact that no one likes the By Kilians (or is offended by their price tag, yadda yadda) and everyone is especially not interested in “Straight to Heaven.” Mmmmm, gorgeous, smokey, sweet, fruity dark earthy rum and patchouli on me. Probably the most masculine scent with which I’ve ever fallen in love.

        That being said, VALIDATE ME AND LOVE IT!

  • March says:

    I like to hold off as long as possible and adhere to my rule of working through at least a decant first. If I get to a point that I’ve used enough that I need to repurchase, then I might get a bottle. At which point I often lose all interest in wearing a fragrance ever again. 🙁 I don’t know why this is, but it is.

    Also my track record for unsniffed buys is abominable, I am almost guaranteed to hate it.

    Hope I brightened your day —

    Little Mary Sunshine

    • March says:

      Meant to add: those photos are stunning. I want those boots!

    • Lee says:

      I’m trying to follow your rules of grouchiness nowadays. I like em, my lovely grumpy chops…>:d< I'm going to anaylse that losing interest phenomenon sometime - it's not dislike, more disregard and I get it too. Odd, eh?

  • Dane says:

    Lee, you NEED El Attarine…one of the few new releases that has taken my breath away. Serge still gots it. 😉

    • Lee says:

      Dane – you’re right. I do. It’s love.

      You know those scents you have samples of – the ones where you think ‘Oh, I’ll just have another sniff/dab/spray of that…’? It’s one of those.

      Thanks for confirming it.

  • Melissa says:

    Perhaps it is the uncertainty of the economy, but I recently shifted from “what the heck, I guess I’ll buy it” to “nah, I don’t really need this”. This has certainly resulted in a few disappointments in the past. I only bought two bottles in NYC and they were both old reliable standbys and reasonably priced. Others that tempted me went onto my wishlist. I will probably find a friend to split or swap a decant in order to try these. Oh, for the sake of full disclosure, I did split a few mls of Homage with a few people in NY. Still, I was much more restrained and able to defer.

    • Lee says:

      And I just heard about the latest round of job losses in the States. We’re all starting to feel that pinch, even if symbolically rather than literally.

      Do tell on the Homage! I take it nothing like Louise’s soap sensations?

  • chayaruchama says:

    As you, and most of my scented seraphim know-
    Other issues have nailed me to the wall…
    But perfume is my salvation.
    I was uncharacteristically prudent, in NYC.
    I find that I try to wait and buy my craves on sale.

    Do I miss my Lee and Z ?
    Does the Pope poop ?
    You be the judge.

    MWAH !

  • Louise says:

    It’s generally been Buy, Baby, Buy for me, but some hint of restraint appeared recently. Late in summer I hit a point of feeling quite overladen with my “stuff” in general and really unimpressed with the new perfume releases.

    My disapointment started with Serge Noir, a complete disaster on my skin, carried on with Aziyade and Baume du Doge, and reached its apex with Homage (pure soap), for which I had such high hopes. I decided to just take a break, and enjoy my lovely collection.

    Of course, other little treats, such as nail polish, were subject to impulse buys (Thanks, March!)

    Lately though, due to a very dear enabler @};- , some Poivre fell into my hands, and my enthusiasm is reinvigorated. I’ve been on a bender, with two new leathers, a Big Skank, and a wishlist fulfillment (Micallef’s Guaic) now coming my way. The demon is released >:) !

    Happy Weekend, sweet Lee, and to all!

  • MarkDavid says:

    All of the perfumes on my must-have list have been pushed aside ever since I laid eyes upon those beautiful Bhutan boots.

    Alright, I kid. Or do I?

    The problem Im having is that too many things are going on the must-have list and not many things are coming off because I’m just not buyin’ ’em like I used to. Im in the jaded place where nothing thrills me anymore and I think everything that comes out is crap. (well – most of it IS. Even niche. nowadays. There I said it.) So – hopefully this phase will last forever and I can spend the rest of my life just trying to obtain the 15 or so must-haves. But chances are – that will never happen.

    Although, this past week – I managed to cross off 3. I was in one of my depressed moods where the only thing that can cheer me up is buying perfume. Not one bottle on my wish-list is priced below $120, anymore. So – best make do with what I have.

    Still trying to unload my kidney. Could use the 25 grand. If anyone is interested, let me know. Call in the next 5 minutes and we’ll throw in a stylish Kidney carrying case. Our gift to you. But wait! there’s more…

    You know we’re in a recession when even people on dialysis are going “Nah, I’ll wait for the next one.”

    Ah, the black market.

    Have I been under a rock? I didn’t even know Bhutan was getting a new king. What happened to the last one?

    He has a bird on his head. And he doesn’t seemed too thrilled about it, either.

    What’s MarkDavid doing up at quarter to 3 in the morning? Ay yi yi.

    • Musette says:

      Dad gave the keys to the shop to Junior. He had a difficult time keeping the bird on his head (I think what’s making him not-thrilled looking is the fact that the crown doesn’t quite fit (metaphor? I hope not) and so he’s having to hold his head at an angle, just so, to keep it on. That would irritate anybody.

      I would bite everybody I know for those boots!

      Beyond a FB of Diorissimo, come spring, I can’t imagine any FBs I need right now. I just got my FB of Femme about 2 months ago and a particularly fantabulous little fantabulette of wonderfulness gave me not only a FB of Feminite du Bois…….but a gorgeous FB of Mitsouko EdP (my love, my love!)! AND I was gifted a FB of Dzongkha as well!!! To lust for others would be to fly in the face of Providence. I will just revel in these as well as the joy that is our President-elect and be grateful for gorgeous gifts!


      • Lee says:

        I’m feeling the joy over here too. Just was talking to my pa about it (he’s actually my step-pa, but too important to me to be denigrated in such a way). The twinkle in a 65 year old Jamaican man’s eyes as he talked about BO’s little girls up on the stage…:x

      • MarkDavid says:

        You’re right. he’s thinking to himself:

        “Must balance bird. Must. Balance. Bird. Monarchy will fall when bird does. Must balance bird.”

        Its actually a very old Bhutani chant.

        Known colloqually as the “Fowl Prayer.”

        • Lee says:

          The biurd squeaks if you squeeze in. It’s called the Dzongkha honker.

          • Lee says:

            Bird. It. Must resolve typing issues.

          • MarkDavid says:

            O-Ho! *drum crash* G’Night!

            (He’s here all week)

            The Dzongkha Honker. Now why didn’t I think of that?

            If you remove the bird, you’ll find its actually a thermos cover. Underneath is a steaming cup of coffee.

    • Lee says:

      I’m with you on the kvetching about new releases. Yawn city.

      And I *LOVE* an early morning MD ramble. I so do!

      The old king stepped down two years ago. The court astrologers have been waiting for the most auspicious moment to crown. So it goes it mountain kingdoms, apparently.

      • MarkDavid says:

        In the little Northeastern Pennsylvania mining town that I come from, we choose our King the very same way.

        Small world, isn’t it?

        Truth be told, there are a lot of new releases I’ve not smelled yet, having opted out of the recent Sniffa at the last minute. The old me would be kicking himself in the bum about not having smelled the latest Lutens or Amouage. The current me could. care. less. I’ve given up on trying to keep up. I’ll get to them when I get to them.

        I got to bed at 4:30.

  • carmencanada says:

    Lee, my “want” list disappeared in an operating system meltdown and I haven’t written another one. The problem with want lists is that once a name has been hanging around there for too long, I don’t feel the desire to act upon it anymore…
    I guess I’ve always liked a little spontaneity to come into play, which battles with my enforced thriftiness and the knowledge that I already have enough perfume to get embalmed in should I live as long as Alice Nixon Cooper.
    So I try to strike a balance between want and wait, by trying a fragrance several times (in shops, decants, samples), but keeping the trying process alive, not just relegating a name to the “want list” and moving on to other trials.
    For instance, I’ve now tried El Attarine several times at the shop and definitely need a bottle soon. I’ve said what I think of it in Grain de Musc.
    And Dzonghka is masterful.
    Two bottles is a very reasonable list, I’d say.
    See you in Parigi!

    • Lee says:

      It is – and like you, any list I have soon becomes cobwebbed enough to garner the response, ‘Oh, I wanted that? Funny!’

      Paris on 4 5 and 6 December. You about?

  • Elizabeth says:

    Oh, and sorry that I’m no help in convincing you to delay purchasing it. Delaying only works for those scents that are not awe-inspiring and have must.own.now status. Dzongkha is one of those!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Dzongkha is a wonder. 😡 It’s one of my top three, one of the few that I have a bottle of (I’m new to this!). Get thee a bottle soon!