Arghhh … where is it?

By Ann

OK, I admit it — I need help. I thought I was being so organized by arranging my samples and decants by house, placed in pre-formed plastic sections, made to hold socks and hosiery, and stored in several drawers of a tall chest. That’s worked most of the time, but the past few days, it’s failed me. It’s been in the 70s and is now flirting with the 80s, temperature-wise, and I’ve been craving green, green, green, and can’t put my hands on those scents as quickly as I’d have liked.  Plus, quite a few samples, such as Silences, are lone rangers and don’t have their own compartment and have been going into a miscellaneous area. So I was kind of wishing I had arranged them by similar scents: green, citrus, incenses vanilla, etc. But then you can’t select by house … oh well. Maybe I need a handy-dandy computer spreadsheet chart thingy or something to cross-reference fragrances, but I’m not very good at that kind of thing. Or maybe I should just completely overhaul my system and designate a drawer or two for spring/summer scents and one or two for fall/winter.

I’d love to know how you guys organize and store your scents so you can find what you want easily and quickly. Thanks!

  • unseencenser says:

    My only recent storage innovation has been to pull all the untested samples into one place. Of course they overflowed the container I found for them (a cool covered Turkish bowl), and so there’s also two organza bags full… plus some more I bought. *hangs head* But at least I know to go to one place to look for something new to try.

    Ones I’ve tried and want to wear (on the theory that I won’t buy a FB until I use them up!) are in a small silver cup on the bureau. Ones I’ve bought FBs of, I give away. Ones I’ve tested and didn’t fall in love or like with, get filed. (I find I sometimes fall in love with them – or at least want to try them again – later.) They’re filed by house in baggies in a box which is now overflowing and I’ll tackle THAT problem later this year.

    • Ann says:

      Exactly — you know where to go to find what you want –that’s half the battle right there.

  • Kismet says:

    Have a couple-three of those heavy glass flower frogs. You know, the things with the holes that you put in the bottom of a vase to hold the stems upright. They are a great way to hold a dozen or so small vials on a vanity or dresser. Pretty and practical. Antique glass finger bowls and jelly jars take care of (most) of the rest!

    • Ann says:

      Too cute, Kismet! I love the idea of the frogs on the dresser. And that way you can put a batch of seasonal scents out and have them at your fingertips.

  • OhLily says:

    Organized chaos works for me. Someone else who was trying to find something specific would go mad and give-up, but I’m actually good at knowing just where to look. Same thing with paperwork. I think it may have developed fully when my boys were little, one had hundreds of action figures and the other was into matchbox cars on an equal scale…there has always been something small that needed to be found ASAP, lol.

    I sprayed Envy today, it’s very warm here as well. I just know we’re going to get snow in April!

    • Ann says:

      “Organized chaos” is right! Except mine is probably closer to near-total chaos with a touch of organization thrown in for good measure, ha ha! I hear you on the April snow, or a late-March ice storm or something. BTW, you’ve got me hankering for some Envy. Now where is that sample …

      • bookwyrmsmith says:

        Is that a new Donna Karan Chaos flanker? “Organized Chaos ” Ads for it should air durring home improvement/organization/decor shows.

        • Ann says:

          Love it! I’ll snag a famous perfumer and get right on it. And I’ll take a gallon of it, right off the bat, too!

  • EileenS says:

    My system is a bit hit-or-miss, as I’m not much on filing — I just like making up a system and hoping the fairies come in and put things in the right place!

    Like others, I use the little 1 x 2 plastic bags, one labeled bag (or more) per house. These get filed alphabetically in a couple of tea chests with 8 sections that I found somewhere. I also have a few bags labeled “A – F”, “G – M”, etc. for the one-of samples.

    Before getting filed, samples live in an old candy box that’s about 4 x 6 — that is, small enough not to lose things. When that gets too messy, I have to go and actually file things. *dramatic sigh*

    • Ann says:

      Eileen, sounds like you’ve got it pretty much under control. When the perfume fairies are done at your house, please send them over to mine, won’t cha?

  • Joanna says:

    I’ve been reorganizing my samples too. I have honey scents in a jar, rose scents in an old jewelry box with painted roses, tabacco in an old cigar box. But I only keep samples that I associate right away with that note in each. For everything else I’ve repurposed a couple of my older son’s baseball card albums and the plastic sheets with the individual pockets that he cards go into. There’s plenty of space for one or more samples in each pocket, I have each pocket labeled and tabs on the sheets to make finding what I want easier. I’m thinking about getting larger labels that I can put on the back of each pocket and jot notes about each scent on when I wear it.
    I’m playing with the idea of a magnetic board or one of those magnetic knife bars in my closet and gluing small magnets onto sample vials to keep favorites, seasonal scents, thinks I want to think about more…right at hand.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Joanna. I remember your very cute storage ideas from a previous post. The card albums are a great idea and the magnetic board idea is intriguing. If you try it out, do let us know how it’s working.

  • Lisa D says:

    Well, it’s not as if my storage scheme is all encompassing (if only my particular OCD tendencies were really useful like that), but I do keep the majority of my samples in little 1 x 2 plastic baggies, standing up in small boxes (miscellaneous gift boxes, etc.). The small boxes are then housed in larger shoe boxes. This keeps them – mostly – from leaking, and also accommodates any carded samples I have, which are simply sandwiched in between the baggies.

    I’ve tried standing the samples upright in various jars and cups, a la Occhineri, above, but I always end up emptying all the cups onto my bed and pawing through them in order to find one in particular.

    So, that’s the storage. I don’t have an organization scheme, though, which would be very useful. It’s a bit like an archaeological dig – latest acquired is in the box on the top.

    • Ann says:

      Too funny, Lisa! But it sounds good in a way to just dump and rummage through them! And you get to see all your lovelies at once, so nobody gets overlooked all the time.

  • Occhineri says:

    I keep my samples in glass custard cups, shot glasses & sake cups. I just reorganized them & ended up getting rid of about a dozen of them, so that helped. I group them by house if I’ve got a lot by a certain line & then by type (green, oriental, floral, etc).

  • Patty says:

    Checking out my new Facebook log-in!!! I don’t want to talk about organization. I literally have bags and bags of stuff that I can’t figure out how to sort through and organize in any way possible. So I put them in a corner and hope they go up in value. 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Or maybe they’ll even organize themselves during the night if you leave them alone long enough. :) I’m still fumbling my way around this format, trying to figure out how to get a different gravatar for myself (though I’ve grown a bit fond of my little purple Preparation H lady in high heels!).

  • bookwyrmsmith says:

    I try to sort by how I percieve a fragrance (vanilla/floral/aquatic-don’t shoot me I do like a few /Roses/incences/orientals/greens/etc…………
    However my samples are NOT organized quite as well (probably ’cause I haven’t tried them all -yet.)

    • Ann says:

      Hey, not to worry — you like what you like and that’s great. Your storage system sounds pretty good to me.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    After fighting with wordpress to get a working password, I can now finally comment at Perfume Posse. I used to organize my decant collection by those little baggie things that TPC likes to hand out. One bag was worn and reviewed and the other was not reviewed and might have been worn once or twice. But I did find a make up bag that was in great shape at a garage sale for 25 cents, so all of my worn and reviewed decants in that make up bag. I haven’t found away to organize my full bottles of perfume.

    • Ann says:

      Yay! Glad you made it! I, too, like those little baggies — at least any spillage is contained.

  • Francesca says:

    Sorry to be off-topic, just wanted to say that the text looks really good now.

  • mals86 says:

    I don’t even want to talk about organizing samples. HMPH.

    You can’t make me.

    • Ann says:

      OK, Mals, you’re off the hook!

      • Musette says:

        Well, how non-OCD of yew! (insert crossed-arms emoticon here) – my cupboard is moaning and sighing – and not in a good way! It neeeeeds me to reorganize. Neeeeeds. it.


        xo >-)

  • Musette says:


    If you could see my perfume armoire, you would weep. It used to be really organized (remember all my storage posts?) – now it looks like a couple of wolverines got into a fight in there! I’m wearing Charmes & Leaves today because I, too, was craving green. And it’s in a big, honkin’ bottle, so I didn’t have to look too hard for it. That was the tipping point. I could find it! LOL!

    xo >-)

    • Ann says:

      Too funny! Sometimes the bottle you can reach and put your hands on is the winner that day …

  • rosarita says:

    Good morning, Ann! Ha, samples. You are already way more organized than I am. I rely on my memory, which is hilarious in a sad way. I have a couple of boxes for samples and a little antique dish on my dresser for samples that I’m currently using….plus random samples in my nightstand drawer, purse, old purses, etc etc. My collection is mainly decants, which are in a little tabletop display case on the dresser itself (bedroom is dark and cool). The backup decants and bottles are in a cabinet. I can usually find what I’m looking for without too much trouble, and in searching find lots of things I forgot about, which is fun. Years of swapping provides lots of extra stuff. So I guess I organize by the random method. Hope you find what you’re looking for! It’s actually hot here, as in June/July hot. I can’t get to my summer clothes easily, and the storm windows are hard to get off….hate to complain, but I’m just not ready for this. All the fruit trees are blooming and it’s hard to imagine we’ll make it to the middle of May without another freeze. That’s quite a blow to our local economy. Wearing Un Jardin Sur le Nil today.

    • Musette says:

      (riffin’ on Jeff Foxworthy)

      You Know You Live in the Country When:

      1. your first thought (like mine) is “will there be a freeze that will kill off all the young plants?”
      2. your second thought is: “wonder if I should re-hook the rain barrels?” (no – see above)

      I read DTN/Progressive Farmer every morning (as goes corn, so goes ethanol, etc)…and the detailed weather maps are fascinating! Ag weather maps take it to a whole ‘nother level.

      let’s keep our fingers crossed we don’t get murdered by a freeze – long range looks decent. I’m more worried about drought, given how insane this is.


      • Ann says:

        I hear you, ladies! I’m hoping this crazy weather doesn’t backfire big-time on us down the road.