Ever since acquiring a beer chiller to "curate" the key bottles in my collection, I must confess to feeling rather virtuous for taking such pains to care for my perfumes, keeping them in their optimum temperature controlled environment of 10 degrees C - well, except for the citrus ones, that is, who allegedly prefer it a little chillier - but I refuse to pander to minority groups.
Any feelings of smugness have been gradually eroded of late by the appearance of icicles on the inside roof of the fridge, which gradually lengthened, their sharp tips grazing the top shelf bottles. Perfumes may like it cold, but they do not like it wet.
Then this week - an odd one meteorologically speaking, what with this volcanic dust cloud and all the downstream aviation chaos it has wreaked - I realised that the icicles had now all melted and dripped through the fridge interior, forming puddles on boxes and depositing droplets of condensation on dozens of decants.
There was nothing for it but to evacuate the bottles for the second time and defrost the fridge properly. So once again, there was a sprawling refugee camp of perfume migrants on the bedroom floor. I closed the curtain to prevent the spring sunshine from inflicting any more damage. Having wedged a towel into the fridge to soak up the moisture, I set about examining the boxes to see what state they were in. Well, sadly there were about half a dozen, including PG Brulure de Rose and Creed Love in Black, that have water marks and some warping. And Ferre by Ferre is positively undulating, to the point that the lid no longer fits! So bendy indeed, that the Downward Facing Dog would be an absolute breeze for it. I'll call that Warp Factor 9. But mostly the damage was around the 3-5 mark, and it was the matt cardboard boxes rather than the glossy ones (Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, EL Sensuous) that were worst affected (packaging designers, please take note!).
Now, the other day I burned an indelible brown ring onto the kitchen work top in two very visible places, so in the grand scheme of things this is not a big deal. And Mr Bonkers is being very supportive about the kitchen disaster: "I hated that pattern anyway!"
I have learnt from this that keeping perfumes chilled and dark is easy (a fridge), dark and dry is easy (a drawer), but chilled, dark AND dry presents more of a challenge.