Xerjoff winners – (Patty)

Hope you all had a fabulous Valentine’s Day.  Mine was, well, surprising.  The best kind.

First the winners of the Xerjoff, using a random number generator

The winner of the big discovery set – Madea.

Winner of the sample set of sample sets of Elle, Irisss, XXY and Homme – Tara and Linda B

Winner of the sample set of Oesel, Lua, Nio, Oroville and Ibitra -Dremybluz.

Winners of the Richwood samples – Hemlock Sillage, Nozkoz, taffynfontana, Silvia, tammy, Ms Christian, goose,  Gail S.,  sherobin, and Abyss.

To get your prize, click on Contact us on the left, send me your address, remind me what you won (the names in the samples), and I’ll get it maile dout to you!

A couple of weeks ago, I started Yoga Teacher Training.  At this point, I have no wish to teach yoga – but I always remain open to all possibilities – but I did want to go deeper into yoga theory, alignment, anatomy, meditation, ayurvedic practice, and this is a great course to do that.

One of the principles of the Yoga Sutras is not to take more than you need.  I’ve been thinking about what that means practically. I’m a girl who likes her stuff.  Not a hoarder, I give lots of my things away if I find out I don’t use it or don’t use it enough or someone needs it more.  And I’ve been trying to think of how I deal with material things and making sure I only take what I need.  And how on earth does that fit in with my perfume habit?

But while I have a lot of perfume in my personal collection, I don’t hoard it either.  Even the super-rare stuff, I spray it, use it, let other people try it.  I’ve always believed that stuff is fun to have only to the extent that I’m not attached to it or want to have more than someone else.

I think this is how the yoga sutras could be interpreted. I supposed they could be interpreted as well to mean austerity. If that’s the case, then I’m probably out. I like being comfy and surrounded by lovely thing that smell good, look good, feel good.

In your perfume collection, where do you fall on the collector spectrum?  Do you collect just to collect?  Do you collect to enjoy and share?  Do you treat a few precious drops like gold and keep it up in the proverbial fragrance china cupboard and never use it for every day, but only for special occasions?  Do you just get a thing here or there, use it up, then maybe get more?  I’m interested to see how people look at the fragrances they have or want, and is our love of scent spiritually risky in terms of forming attachments to something.

It strikes me that fragrance is a terrible hobby to have if you have attachment issues.  Anything you love will be discontinued, will go bad, will evaporate.  It’s almost like we love something we all know absolutely won’t/can’t last. We spray it, enjoy it, and then it is gone.

  • Carla says:

    There have been times when I was tempted to buy a perfume as if I were curating a collection. For example, maybe…I don’t have any perfume from the 1930’s, I must go buy Vol de Nuit or Joy! But I’ve stopped myself. Everything I own, I love. Right now, we just completed an international move, returning to the US. At the last minute, when the movers where there, I had to sign a document stating that our air shipment did not contain any perfume, etc. I wavered, but concluded, what if a perfume breaks and they refuse to cover it because I wasn’t supposed to pack it? So I took all my expensive perfumes out of the pile for the sea shipment, including new purchases like Iris Silver Mist and Lumiere Noire. They were well wrapped, but I wasn’t taking chances. Imagine if they were confiscated! I’m doing fine without them, but it is strange to think of all my possessions bobbing about in a container at sea right now. Until we find a home to buy and get our sea shipment, I have to content myself with about half my perfume collection. I do miss just being able to take the cap off Lumiere Noire for a sniff in passing… And of course, this is serving as an excuse to purchase a new expensive niche perfume! Any suggestions?

    • Carla says:

      Oh, I meant that I couldn’t take my perfume in the air shipment. All my expensive perfumes are packed away in the sea shipment. The others arrived by air..

      • nozknoz says:

        Carla, I used to live overseas and gave away so many perfumes each time I moved – that was before I learned that perfumes can last a long time. From Caron En Avion to 1999 J’Adore – I’m really kicking myself! I hope yours arrive safely.

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  • sherobin says:

    “The entire Universe is one big exercise in abundance…”

    I love that. Well put, Tammy. I think before I was just taking from all that abundance. Some of you amazingly generous perfumistas out there have taught me to give out of that abundance. Not to get all mushy or anything, but I’m really grateful for that.

  • tammy says:

    I think Sherri M comes closest to my perfume experience……”I’m not concerned about any hoarding tendencies. Like you, I’m very visual and want to live in a plush, beautiful environment”


    I won’t deny enjoying the hunt, but I have no trouble getting rid of what I don’t like. I am somewhat appalled by what a bottle ho I have become, though (not necessarily surprised by it, but a bit ashamed!) and in fact just spent my last Christmas Amazon gift certificates on Penhaligon’s Love Potion No 9….unsniffed mind you, and all down to the hot pink juice and black velvet ribbon ’round the top.

    But my real shame comes from lusting after that darned Cherry Bomb key chain thingee. I am FORTY SEVEN years old, for one thing, and I strongly dislike gourmands in general and vanilla in particular….do I really NEED this?

    Why yes, yes I do.

    At some point, I’ll be buying back up bottles of TPIM, and vintage Carons, but I don’t see that as any different than buying bulk TP at Costco.

    I’d caution that anyone giving away perfume to pare down is likely to have it backfire in a sense….a ton more comes rolling in! I find perfumistas to be the most generous people on Earth…my swap partners from the swap here were just amazingly generous (in so many ways, and from continents away…getting the candy from Estonia was one of the best experiences I have ever had!)…and I have learned never to ask Mals or Daisy for a “drop” of anything!

    I also think that austerity practiced out of a sense of guilt or shame is almost a sin in itself. The entire Universe is one big exercise in abundance…how many different types of insects alone are there? How many flowers, plants, stars? As long as you aren’t hurting anyone by acquiring it, and don’t develop any weird issues around having it, why not experience everything life offers?

    As someone here said awhile back. “Life is too short, I”m havin’ me some.”

  • Ann says:

    Hi Patty, great post. And a big congratulations to all the winners!!

    When you wrote: “It strikes me that fragrance is a terrible hobby to have if you have attachment issues. Anything you love will be discontinued, will go bad, will evaporate. It’s almost like we love something we all know absolutely won’t/can’t last. We spray it, enjoy it, and then it is gone,” it really struck a chord with me. I have hoarding tendencies, I’ll admit, but that is mostly samples and small decants, borne from a desire to smell as much as possible. Of course, with those $$$, I could have bought a few full bottles. :) I love to share and try to do so often, but with scents that I adore, the old “back-up bottle (or decant)” reflex kicks in. I second what so many others have said above, that we should use it and enjoy it in the moment.
    What I really need to do is put a moratorium on any further sampling/purchases and just spend time with what I already own. Sounds good in theory, until the next lovely review comes along, or it’s swap time again, but a girl can try.
    Anyway, thanks Patty, and everyone for a wonderful, thought-provoking post.

  • odonata9 says:

    I agree with Millicent, Nina Z and others above that a lot of my perfume collecting has been based more on the chase of it – reading a review, whanting to replicate the amazing reaction the reviewer had, scouring the internet for deals and finally placing the order. Once the bottle arrives, the fun is mostly over and so the cycle continues. That said, I have some hoarding tendencies and am pretty new at this, so still in acquisition mode. Lots of unsniffed TJ Maxx purchases and when I discovered the split group, I just bought almost anything that sounded interesting. But I have been trying to do lots of swapping of things I don’t love to pare things down and am always so delighted at the generosity of my fellow perfumistas when I get my little padded envelopes! While I don’t have a “save it for a special day” mindset, I don’t use my perfume very quickly as I’m not a heavy spritzer anyway and my husband gets migraines and is very sensitive to smells, so I don’t wear much at home and certainly can’t spritz the sheets! Thus, the collection just gets bigger and bigger.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    First, THANK YOU for the hosting the drawing. Patty, you put so much thought into it, and I appreciate the opportunity to try this fragrance!

    I am so blessed. Yes, in winning a drawing. . .but in having enough, as others have said. I’m so very grateful that not only are my daily needs met, but so many of my wishes! I’m blessed with wonderful family and friends. . .and forever charmed by this community of perfumistas who make me spit my tea in laughter nearly daily.

    Do I hoard perfume? Probably on some scales. I certainly use the heck out of it. I spritz it on sheets, in the bath, as room spray. . .and into gazillions of little decant vials to mail away to friends far and near. I still have more than I could wear in a lifetime. I’m with Maggiecat, March and others who advocate using the “good” china, wearing the vintage perfume and opening the company madeira. Life is too short, too uncertain. Let’s live big, love extravagantly and get all the goodie out of it. Be well.

  • AnnieA says:

    I try to only buy perfume when I really love it — UNLESS — there’s a crazy sale somewhere. When is perfume on sale? Okay, at Winner’s its often enough.

    I have done a bit of a Perfume Dating Service, where I will try to get a friend interested in a perfume that would better suit her…

  • Tamara*J says:

    Hear! Hear! Well said Maggiecat! Your totally right.

  • I guess I work on the premise of the good historian that I am: any small tidbit is data to be archived in both memory & drawer “banks” (just can’t stomach the idea I won’t have reference samples to bring out and compare/contrast/whatever when the need arises).
    As the years have passed into the hobby and I’m not an eager teenager anymore devouring knowledge, I find I want to wear more of my favourites and savour them.

    Glad your Val’s day was so exciting!

  • maggiecat says:

    I love perfume, use it, share it, enjoy it! Like others who posted earlier, my parents ‘saved’ the good things, which meant that 1) we seldom got to use them and 2)in the case of perishables (wine, perfume and the like) they spoiled before they could be used. Spray that Chanel No. 5 on the sheets, I say. Love life and play hard and cherish people rather than things.

  • Nina Z. says:

    The Yoga Sutras were written over a thousand years ago for serious yogis who were willing to give up everything to achieve union with the divine (that’s the scripture that talks about non-hoarding). That being said, I believe it still has much to teach us everyday people in contemporary society about the nature of the mind (how it works) and about how to achieve peace of mind (and reduce our suffering).

    As you might imagine, I have a lot to say on the relationship between perfume collecting and yoga philosophy (whoa, that sounds a bit weird!), and I might write more a bit later. But for now, I’ll say that at the very least it teaches us about the nature of desire. For what happens when we desire a new perfume (sniffed or unsniffed!) and then obtain it? How long does our gratification and happiness last? And how soon after that does a new desire arise? So it becomes an endless cycle.

    I’m not saying I’m immune from this desire (I most certainly am not), just that it’s something I often think about and use to keep myself from falling in to this–dare I say it–obsession too deeply.

  • sherobin says:

    Great discussion. In the past I’ve been a terrible hoarder, but getting into perfume has helped me tremendously in overcoming that. For one thing, I’ve had to accept that if all the really good vintage Chanel No. 19 runs out, well, life is gonna have to go on, and to just be thankful for having had the chance to smell it and wear it. March’s “just wear it” post helped me put that one in perspective. It’s kind of like gardening. If you can’t deal with a plant dying, you have no business playing.

    And the other thing is this. Only psychoanalyzing myself here, but I think hoarding has a lot to do with feeling poor. Or potentially poor. And here’s the deal, if you can afford a serious perfume habit, you are probably not poor. By a long shot. Americans can really lose perspective on that, I think. My growing perfume collection forced me to recognize that not having your student loans or your house paid off, or having to budget a little, or wait to buy something really expensive, does not constitute deprivation. I must sound really spoiled…

    • Karen G. says:

      You don’t sound spoiled at all. I could not agree with you more about perspective, and how we all lose sight of it. If you are born into the First World in the 20th or 21st century, then you are one of the luckiest humans to have ever walked the planet.

  • Karen G. says:

    Hmmmm… I don’t want to feel guilty about my perfume. I feel like I deserve to NOT feel guilty about my perfume, you know?

    This hobby is such an anomaly for me. I love to get rid of stuff; it feels so good to pare down to essentials. It’s calming. BUT…. my perfume bottles are true loves, they all get worn, and I couldn’t dream of giving any of them away. It’s a small collection, not even one unsniffed purchase. I guess I consider them essential to my well-being :)

  • Gail S says:

    I don’t really know where I fall on the spectrum. I have WAY TOO MUCH perfume right now, but it’s still nowhere near what it was a few years back. Sold probably 50 bottles on Ebay, took about that many more to work and left them in a box in the breakroom (all gone by lunch!), got about 30 more up for swap and probably have still about 200 bottles. Obviously I can’t wear all of these. Some of them I’ll never wear again but I’m not sure what to do with them, they’re not perfumes that would sell or swap easily, maybe give to a women’s shelter? I dunno. So there’s probably about 75 bottles that I can’t bear to part with and will wear but even that number is still daunting.

    I’m pretty generous I think when it comes to sharing the loved bottles with friends, family and swap partners – always making decants or samples to give to them. There’s only two bottles that I hoard, whether it makes sense or not, my 1950’s Shalimar parfum and my Vero Kern Onda parfum. I can’t bear to wear them or share them. Logically I know this is silly but I just can’t make myself do it!

    If any of you have ideas for getting rid of non-desired bottles, I’d love to hear them! I’m talking about stuff like Maja, 4711, half-empty Obsession, etc.

    Oh! And the only bottles I’ve purchased recently have been things that I wore years ago and want to wear again, RL Lauren, Boucheron Jaipur, you know 70’s and 80’s stuff. Strange….

  • Rowanhill says:

    I buy selectively, never unsniffed, the perfume needs to be special to me. The collection adds up to some 30 bottles and I use them all. If I do not use something I try to find it a loving home. My regret with even a collection this small is that I do not dare to keep the bottles displayed for the fear of exposing them to light and heat. It is such a shame to keep the beautiful bottles out of sight. Perhaps reducing to a displayable number of bottles could be an objective.

  • Sherri M. says:

    I collect alot of things–flow blue, porcelain, furniture, etc. I’ve only been seriously into niche perfume the last year and a half, maybe.

    Perfume is a little different than the other “collections”. Very little resale value, for one thing! I liken it more to a wine collection more than the antiques or even my Imelda Marcus rivaling shoe collection. Perfume gets used or goes bad. Hopefully you enjoy it in the process!

    I’m not concerned about any hoarding tendancies. Like you, I’m very visual and want to live in a plush, beautiful environment. I have a much harder time with waste and justifying all the beautiful bottles of perfume I’ll barely make a dent in. Decants don’t always satisfy me. I love to share, but sometimes I confess I’d rather have that big beautiful bottle to spray; it seems so much more luxurious! I’m part bottle collector to make things worse; it is actually good for me when a perfume comes out in an ugly bottle–one less temptation! :-)

    Glad you had a great Valentine’s!!

  • karin says:

    Congrats to all the winners!!!! So cool. Thanks for hosting, Patty.

    This is a great post. After a few years of rapid accumulation of perfumes, I’ve begun to realize that life is too short to wear mediocre scents. So, now I find myself pruning. If I don’t really LOVE something, why am I wearing it – because I feel guilty that I bought a bottle of it, and I really should use it? This has especially happened with unsniffed purchases. And then there are those bottles that I’ve purchased on impulse before really living with a scent for awhile.

    So, recently, when I wear something, I’ll ask myself – do I really love this? If it’s just not doing it for me, I put it into the purgatory pile. Just counted. At this moment, there are 33 bottles in the purgatory pile. Thing is, I don’t want to swap them cause I really don’t want perfume in return. I’d rather give them away, or sell them…but how? Over the years, I’ve given bottles to the Goodwill. But that doesn’t seem like the best solution. Why not give them to those who will really appreciate them?

    Re: possessions, there’s this really incredible proverb in the Bible, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he’s done.” God blesses us and gives us so much, and it’s up to us to do with it what we want. Yet, how do the poor get fed unless we feed them? Oh geez. Now I’ve opened up a can of worms. I really think that everything I have is communal property. It’s “mine” because it’s physically in my house, but if someone needs it more than I do, who’s to say I shouldn’t give it to them? It’s a constant battle – how much to give to those who don’t have. Yes, I have a bunch of perfume bottles that I don’t need. But I really enjoy them, and believe life is for our enjoyment; yet I also see the responsibility involved in loving our neighbor and not thinking selfishly, only about me, me, me!

    Blah, blah, blah. Sorry – didn’t mean to get so philosophical! Now, what should I do with those purgatory perfumes???

    • karin says:

      BTW – I’ve thought of selling them and giving the $ to charity…but selling on eBay is such a pain. Don’t think I have the stamina to deal with it.

      • Tamara*J says:

        Karin I just want to say that I loved your post and agree with what you wrote. Don’t feel weird about it K?
        If you want to give away any perfume I’m interested!
        Instead of Goodwill, make it Tamarawill. lol
        My email is~

        [email protected]

        • karin says:

          Ha! Tamara, too funny. I meant give them to a charity – women who don’t have the opportunity or $ to purchase perfume. But perfume sounds like a silly thing to gift a charity with, though every woman wants to feel beautiful, and perfume helps with that…

          • mals86 says:

            That does it, Karin. After vaguely considering the idea for several months, I’m calling up the local women’s resource center this afternoon to see if they want some of my early unsniffed not-loves.

          • karin says:

            OK – I just contacted a friend who works for a women’s charity, and she says they can’t accept “used” toiletries, so donating the bottles of perfumes is not OK. BUT she said (of course – ha) that if I wanted to donate the $ gained from selling the perfumes, they’d gladly take it!

            So, I have a proposal – I have a bunch of bottles I’d like to get rid of. If you’re interested in checking out my list, email me at krnszn at gmail dot com. I will give all proceeds (minus cost of shipping) to this women’s charity.

      • Ann says:

        Hi Karin, love the mention in your post about the proverb. Definitely rings true. Thanks for the reminder …

    • sherobin says:


      Love your post. I have also been thinking of selling some of my perfume riches for charity. Had a weird experience over the holidays where I became absolutely consumed with concern for Down Syndrome orphans in Eastern Europe. I realized that I would give up all my perfume to bring one of those little ones home. Only that’s not what it takes. But a little donation here and there… I mean, it’s not really like most of us have to choose between a donation to charity or the decant of the week. We’re just wallowing in luxury, you know? I don’t feel guilty about it or anything. I just don’t want to ever live life again without the needs of those children as much at the forefront of my mind as perfume is.

  • sweetlife says:

    Perfume is the first thing I’ve ever collected, shopped for, hoarded up, and given away, (unless you count food which is even more ephemeral, so much so that it’s kind of not in the same category). This may just be denial, but I feel like it’s been a good spiritual lesson to encounter all those impulses in myself. It’s made me understand whole swathes of behavior in other people much differently (never got the whole women/shopping thing before) and I don’t think you can really practice non-attachment if you’ve never attached to begin with!

  • LindaB says:

    I definitely go through phases. Started out as an innocent collector then quickly turned to hoarding. I purge the collection once a year (due to space constrictions) and then start collecting again. Usually I’ll end up mourning something I gave/threw away but then I’m onto something else that smells pretty.
    I like finding something wayyyyy in the back of the collection or a sample that fell behind a shelf and rediscover. I couldn’t do this if I had a “normal” amount of perfume. lol

  • Suzy Q says:

    My experience with the internet perfume community is that there are many generous people here who enjoy sharing what they love with others. Even if they’re hoarders, they’re sharers!

    For the past ten years or so my rule has been “if you don’t absolutely love it don’t buy it”. This has worked well for clothing and home furnishings and so on. It also works for decants and full bottles of perfume. However, you know how it is with perfume: it can take a while to realize you love it! Thank goodness for samples.

    Curiosity compels me to keep smelling everything. But my intention is to own a tidy collection of true loves to wear for each season of the year.

  • Tiara says:

    I use it but then I don’t go overboard buying in the first place. I’m way too practical to go overboard plus my husband and I retired early. Much prefer to be frugal than to have to go back to the daily grind to pay for perfume. Decants, samples and swaps are working quite well for me. The occasional FB feels that much more special!

  • Denise Miller says:

    Without a shadow of a doubt, I have hoarding issues. I’ve only recently begun to experience “grown up” scents, previously hoarding what amounts to foodie scented oils.
    What seems to drive me are the reviews. (No blame to anyone, I go searching them out) :) All it takes is a word that evokes who I want to be or think I am at that moment. Then I’m off to persue the potential H.G. scent. Sometimes I’m underwhelmed and sometimes it’s a very pleasant surprise, but then I read another review and it starts all over again. (Currently saving up to buy the wonderful sounding Cartier IV)
    My challenge is to go through what I already own, critically cut the meh scents, pack them up and sell/give away what I am keeping just in case. I can see how this would be a great practice to apply to all areas of your (my) life. Good thought provoking post Patty!

    • Patty says:

      I think that may be the difference, keeping stuff you just don’t love anymore. those ones I cut loose of, even throwing them away if I can’t find them a good home!

  • March says:

    I use it. I use it all. I use everything. I’m the child of two parents who *never* broke out the “good” china, and where’s the fun in that? My kids eat off nice plates, because I inherited them, and we use the inherited “family” silver as our everyday silver. If I have to lug it once a year to the repair guy to have the tines straightened and the spoons repaired after run-ins with the garbage disposal, it’s worth it.

  • nozknoz says:

    It’s clear to me that my ancient ancestors survived the Ice Age and other hardships through their love of hunting and gathering. I can’t walk to the Metro in the fall without picking up a particularly lovely acorn. There is also an aspect of wanting to hold onto the beautiful moment. This does not make for a minimalist interior, but I’m not going to stress about it. I acquire in order to experience, not just to have it in my collection, so I do wear every scent that I own. I do feel pangs about the prospect of running out of something irreplaceable. I find it harder to share, although I’m inching in that direction.

    It’s great to hear that you are deepening your study of yoga, Patty. Investing time in this way will surely enrich whatever you choose to do, whether or not that ever includes teaching yoga.

    • Patty says:

      That’s what I was thinking. The learning is great, no matter what I ever do or don’t do with it!

    • mals86 says:

      “A particularly lovely acorn” speaks to me. I am that way about leaves. And rocks. (Every time I visit another country I wind up bringing rocks home, which is really not so great for the ol’ suitcase.)

      And as the oldest child/grandchild, I seem to be turning into the repository for ancestor treasures. I’m still trying to apply the “useful, beautiful, or meaningful” rule of thumb.

      • tammy says:

        Mals, I am rock collector from way back, as well as being the one my aunt refers to as the “only niece I have that won’t sell the family china on eBay”, so I’m getting a fair amount of ancestral treasures myself.

        And I don’t have kids to pass it on to, ugh. It’s piling up.

      • nozknoz says:

        Love rocks, too! I have rocks from all over the world – if there were any rocks on the way to the Metro (aside from people’s garden edgings, which I refrain from swiping), I wouldn’t make it to work. :-)

    • tammy says:

      We obviously share common ancestry!

  • Alice C says:

    Congrats to all the winners!

    I’ve only started this perfume ‘hobby’ recently (October ’10). I’m in an acquisition mode for sure! I’m trying to encourage friends and relatives to enjoy my finds. I share with my daughter and son. I’ve shared with a few friends who have mentioned fragrances they used to wear–I found it or already had it and sent them a decant. I’ve given several decants of different things to a friend who loves violets. But I can see a hoarding mindset could easily take over….

    • Patty says:

      Early on is always acquisition – so much to sniff!!!! I think after you’ve been at it longer, you do start letting it go with more ease.

  • dissed says:

    I’m all about The Ones, the really Special ones. Those have to be found and obtained. Luckily, they’re few and far between. I don’t hoard, but I do like backups. I’ve given away dozens. Should probably get on the ‘Bay and sell off some of my acquisitions from the Unsniffed Purchase years.

    • Patty says:

      Yes! Think of all the love and happiness someone will feel when they secure one of your treasures that is a one-time-only thing for them, but is just a backup for you!

  • Connie says:

    Firstly, congratulations to all the winners!@};-

    As for my perfume collection and how I feel about it, I am definitely not a hoarder and like you, I love to share what I have with others. It is such a great feeling when you share what you have with someone and their eyes light up and they are swept away for a bit … these moments in life are so fleeting, why not indulge in them whenever we can?

    My close friends do not understand my perfume hobby but they indulge me and are verrrry happy when I decant little goodies for them. It is fun to try and choose something you think they would like and when they do I get a little frisson of joy and it makes me appreciate what I do have instead of (frequently) wanting to try/acquire even more perfume.

    You’re right, we’re not going to take it with us so lets spray it, share it, enjoy all the facets of this wonderful passion while we are able to because you’re right, it is an evanescent hobby, ultimately.

    I feel so grateful and blessed I’m even able to have what I have but little reminders now and then are good for the soul. Thank you for the wonderful post, Patty! xo

    • Patty says:

      My friends feel the same way. Often when I go back home, I get requests to bring – and the list follows – so whoever is around can smell new stuff or stuff they heard about. I love watching people’s reactions to smelling beautiful things or finding that one thing they love. Their faces radiate happiness.

      That’s a great thing to watch. If I could figure out how to do TPC as a storefront without losing my shirt, it would make me the happiest person on the earth to see people fall in love with scent. But I haven’t quite figured out how to do it where I wouldn’t wind up going broke in a week. 🙂

  • tania says:

    “It strikes me that fragrance is a terrible hobby to have if you have attachment issues.”

    True dat. But who was it who said, “Man is in love – and loves what passes’?

    I don’t hoard my perfumes, in the sense of never using them. Well, not deliberately – though I often forget I own something, sometimes for a year at a time!
    I like to share my scents, and will give one away if I’m no longer that into it. And I don’t have any perfume filed under ‘only for best’. I’ll wear vintage Mitsy extrait to the supermarket, if I feel like it. But I have nightmares sometimes, where I open my drawers and find the whole lot has turned. So I guess, deep down, I feel guilty about the materialism my collection represents.
    So I suppose I feel about austerity, the way one of Carrie Fisher’s characters feels about anorexia – I’ve got the mindset, but I can’t seem to muster the behaviour!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, absolutely. I think we can only really love what we believe to be impermanent. I always think of the times I’ve felt really secure with love, I take it for granted and do not treat it well (hence being married and divorced three times). I think you have to know every second that everything is impermanent and choose wisely what you love.

      I don’t think it’s bad to love having beautiful things. I think the problem comes in if you love it for some other reason than that you enjoy the scents and love smelling and wearing them.

  • Shelley says:

    I need to address (and then dismiss) straight away the fact that I have hoarder instincts. Collector Hoarder, mind you…curated, can tell you the story behind each object, etc. etc., but nonetheless, have a clear issue with eliminating things.

    That said, I’ve also done Big Purges, too. Eliminated things of sentimental and/or “collector” value that could (and did) make Collector Self cry. But I will generally fall on the side of “too much is too much,” and much more enjoy my life without the weight of physical noise. But…I could never be austere. No way. I like contemplating things way too much, let alone taking pleasure in putting them to use.

    Useful or beautiful. Back to William Morris.

    But that’s just the me-me-me side. I *LOVE* sharing. I gave away a precious vintage to a friend who I knew loved that particular scent more than I did. I figured it was better off being used up by somebody getting whoop-dangies out of it than me fighting to find greater happiness with it. It’s hard to categorize my habits, though, because I do both; I hang on to precious drops as if they were museum specimens (which, in a way, they are)…but there are a couple of “preciouses” that use as if I could pick up replacement without thinking. It depends where my mood is, which is okay by me; if I were to force usage when I didn’t feel prepared to enjoy it, that would be a waste, and if I were to put a precious something back in its hiding place when I felt like using it because I was afraid of it being gone, well, then I’m left with my knickers in a different twist.

    Guess I’m an ebb and flow kind of user.

    • Patty says:

      You’re definitely not a hoarder – you’re incredibly generous with your scents, which is the first rule of hoarding, don’t give it away or share. If you do, see, not a hoarder!

      I think all of us do both, though. I do find myself with a couple of things that I start treating like The One Ring, and I have to just check myself to see where that’s coming from. Sometimes it’s just temporary, because it’s new or a favorite, and then it fades.

  • Marsi says:

    Not a hoarder at all.

    I’d like to take teacher training as well, but haven’t been doing yoga long enough. My CPY studio is two blocks from my house and does the training session. Someday! Sounds like your classes are fun.

    • Patty says:

      Core Power? I love their classes for an amazing sweat. I didn’t do my teacher training through them, though, only because I wanted a broader thing. I think they do a great job, from what I’ve heard.

      The classes are great, I highly recommend doing it, whether you ever want to teach or not. It just gives you the space to read the Yoga Sutras and Bagavhad Gita, etc., which I know I’ll never get ’round to on my own!

      • Marsi says:

        Yes, I practice 6x a week at the Stapleton studio, which is an LLC. Has a very different vibe from the corporate studios, which are soooo competitive and pretty impersonal. My husband and I practice together — it’s been not quite a year, so we’d have another year or so before teacher classes are a possibility. I’d just like to have more of a grasp of the ideas behind the practice. Not interested in teaching myself, but I’m always amazed by the pedagogy of my teachers.

        • Patty says:

          No way! That’s the CPY I go to. Well, I haven’t been going lately with traveling and now TTY over at Karma Yoga off of Alameda. I agree, that CPY is competely different. Dakini did a great job in giving it the right feel. I’ve taken classes at Grant and Cherry Hills, and I love the teachers in those, but I’m just not crazy about the mood. I’ve done enough Bootcamps and things at Grant, I feel more comfy there, but I just don’t go there unless I can’t find a class at Stapleton or Karma or Sacred I.

          I’ve probably seen you there! Unless you guys do the early morning or evening classes. I almost always do the daytime ones

          • Marsi says:

            Small world. I usually do the 6pm C2 after work, but try to take Sarah Shafer’s Wednesday nooner when my schedule allows. My husband works from home and always did the nooners till he started taking the evening C2s with me. We like the mirrored SE corner of the studio, right in front. So who knows, maybe you’ve seen us.

            Dakini is a goddess among women. I also love Sarah, Shere, and TaraVinlove. Stephanie teaches an incredible class — she’s a phenomenal teacher — but I am so not a 6am yoga gal, so I haven’t taken her class in ages.

            What I like about Stapleton is that there are soooo many people our age in classes. Almost all of the men are my husband’s age, and it’s really cool to see that. They’re not the young, 20-something yoga dudes hepped up on goji berries, if you know what I mean. And it’s great to see women in their 40s and 50s, too, taking good care of their bodies.

          • Patty says:

            Oh, I never do the evening ones,but I love Sarah’s class! I haven’t made it in a while, but I bet we’ve both been in there and your husband!

            i don’t think I’ve done Stephanie’s class. I love Marley’s and Tara’s and Krista’s and Shere’s and Meg’s. Well, there’s very few that I don’t love. I’m not really big into Anusara, but if you ever get a chance to take a class with Chris Muchow – he’s at Sacred I over in park Hill) – do. Amazing alignment, and his spirit and style is really lovely.

  • pam says:

    OK, I probably have enough bottles to last the rest of my lifetime. But I admit that I enjoy the Hunt. Going on a Sniff Trek through the mall can be fun, and then I may decide to get something. But whatever I buy, I use. With good healthy sprays. And if the fragrance is discontinued, then I will have to keep that one in memory.

    The exchange process is not only about sharing: It is also a lot of work and necessitates buying decanting supplies, packing supplies, hanging out at the p.o. etc. I have so far done little of that, and I admit it is probably due to inertia.

    I will say that I have thus far stayed away from ebay. Went through a phase of that years ago (different subject-not perfume) and swore it off.

    • Patty says:

      I wasn’t good with swapping. I did it for a while early on, but running into some people who would measure swaps by the penny and others who would send you decants of whatever because I couldn’t read the labels, or wanted to swap their Britney for your Serge, I finally gave up. There were lots of great swappers, but I wound up feeling horrible at saying no all the time because I wanted specific things. I used to say yes, then got all sorts of things I didn’t want at all. Saying no seemed like it was coming from a bad place, so I just quite doing it.

  • I’m a natural hoarder. It’s true. I love to swap and make fragrant pen pals, but I love to AMASS the perfume.

    I’m learning though. Recently, I had a new manufacturer’s sample of Cologne Noire by VCA just go off. Strange? Yes. It’s like water with a slight touch of alcohol. No smell. This really got me thinking about the hoarding thing. I’m worried about a few of my prized bottles turning (like my CdR). I’m spritzing more now.

    I’ve also discovered the pleasure of using fragrance for other things: scented handkerchiefs, spraying the sheets. It’s lovely to experience the frags in other ways than just on skin.

    • Patty says:

      It does happen! It’s happened to me too many times, which taught me the “use it or lose it” frame of mind when it came to perfume. I put it everywhere.

      But I still sometimes worry about the getting, if somehow that is taking too much, even if you wind up using, giving away, sharing, whatever. Probably not. I think of all those Guerlain and Hermes employees that have jobs because of me. 🙂

  • Millicent says:

    Haha, busted! Sort of. Probably shouldn’t tell you this, Patty, but I read this right after I had spent a bunch of time on TPC all excited about the Valentine’s Day sale and had actually gotten to the point of filling out my address and credit card information, when I decided to cancel because I Have Enough. At least for now, and at least not to be worth more international mail heartbreak.

    The seeking, finding and experimenting is the fun part these days, along with the beauty in wearing something lovely every day. I don’t hoard, exactly, but I do get tired of scents and so kind of dole out wearings of my favorites. I’d LOVE to share more but haven’t found anyone in real life who’s as interested as I am (nor a good source of decanting supplies). So far, then, this doesn’t seem too spiritually risky.

    Except for the part about having Enough. What is that, and how will I know when I’m there?

    • Patty says:

      Hahaha!! I get that feeling all the time – I have Enough. And I do. Of Everything. When people ask me for holidays what I want or need, and I honestly always say nothing. There’s piffles that I pick up out of interest, but I recognize down to my core that I absolutely have enough.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Hi Patty! I have a lot of perfume (understatement) but I don’t hoard any of it and am always happy to share. I also wear my ancient rarities because I have them to enjoy, not to look at like Scrooge in my fingerless gloves, as it were. Perfume for me is joyous and not about amassing a mythical stash that I never look at or use. From a practical perspective, too, we all know that some perfume just goes pfft for no particular reason (I give you Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebes which has evaporated into a little sticky pool).

  • Erin T says:

    I was annoyed the other day when hubby said I was a poor bet as any sort of perfume entrepreneur: store owner or online business of some sort. “You’d end up giving stuff away all the time.” He was probably right, really. I remember getting that first perfume swap package, with about eight times as much as I’d swap for, and the little light went on: Ooooh. That’s how this works. That’s part of the reason I love the hobby.

    • Patty says:

      It always surprises me that when you do give, it’s always more in return. I had my car stolen once, and I had insurance, which wouldn’t really compensation me to get me back to where I was, and I kept thinking, well, whoever stole it must have needed it more than I did, and then just didn’t worry about it anymore.

      it was found about a month later, with a busted clutch, which had been a little weak anyway, and that got replaced. All in all, I wound up with a better car back than they stole. 🙂

      • Erin T says:

        Great story! I’m currently in a culling phase, feeling guilty about the number of bottles I own that I never wear. But every bottle I’ve given away, somebody has insisted I take a bottle *they* don’t wear in return. I’m not cutting down my numbers at all! Perfume is a world filled with very generous people.

  • hongkongmom says:

    CONGRATS TO ALL OF YOU….totally agree with u Patty…need to get rid of hoarding issues…

  • taffynfontana says:

    I agree it is better to enjoy it and let the fragrance brighten your day and hopefully those around you.

  • jen says:

    Yes. Thanks for the timely reminder to use those scents rather than look at them!

    • Patty says:

      Seriously! Nothing is worse than hanging on to a lovely scent for a special occasion, and when it finally arrives, uncapping it to find it has turned. Already did that, never again.

  • Musette says:

    I went through an early ‘hoarding’ phase when I first got into perfume – but I got over that quickly because hoarding made the whole experience stressful. Now I just enjoy it as it comes along, share freely and am amazed at how often what I thought was gone forever shows back up in my mailbox in some, often better, form!

    What’s more difficult, oddly enough, is enjoying it for myself! I find myself spritzing the teensiest, tiniest little bits, as if….what? I am going to live forever? I am not worth a good, hefty spritz of a beautiful fragrance? It’s silly, so I just laugh at myself and give the sprayer a good, healthy PUSH!!

    xoxoxo >-)

    • Patty says:

      Hoarding IS stressful! I think that’s why I’ll never be one, just the keeping track of, worrying about. Once you let go of things in your head, you don’t have to worry about them going missing or bad. Whew!

      Good for youd. Sometimes I have to think about it first, but when I found myself surrounding myself in a cloud of Iris Gris without thinking at all, I knew I was gonna be okay.