So if Twentieth Night was on Saturday, that must make today Twenty-Third Day, which you could say is a bit late to be making New Year's Resolutions, perfume-related or otherwise - I have almost certainly broken a few before they are even made. Ah, but it is only 17th January though, which doesn't sound so far behind the curve of resolve.
I am very boring when it comes to resolutions in my offline life. Every year I recycle the same old suspects, knowing full well that I probably won't keep any of them much beyond the end of the week. I am attached to this particular set of goals, not least because several have synonyms that rhyme:
Drink more (not alcohol, ideally) - hydrate
Use that body brush from two Christmases ago - exfoliate
Floss more - extricate
Cook more dishes from scratch - marinate and gratinate
Stop pretending to be an American by farting about on the computer till 2am, and get to bed at a sensible time, preferably on the same day as I got up - stay up less late
Eat more fish - eg skate and whitebait
The only resolution I have adhered to from this list is the one about eating more fish (though not the regul-at-ory varieties, admittedly - more your cod and salmon).
So given my dismal failure rate with run-of-the-mill New Year's Resolutions, you would think I could do no worse by setting myself some perfume related ones, so here goes:
Grow my nails
I am an inveterate nail biter, and find it increasingly difficult to prise off the stoppers on 1ml plastic vials. (Apart from which, I have two pots of Chanel Particulière and one of Paradoxal that are about six shades behind the current fashion because I haven't had a complete set of nails of the requisite length since 2009.)
Give up 2.5ml glass atomisers as a bad job
The problems I have had with this particular atomiser style and its so-called "snap fit" mechanism have been well documented elsewhere on Bonkers. Recent retrials have been just as messy and hopeless, and it is time to admit defeat. I know that it is all about the knack - hey, I have the knack - and still it doesn't work two times out of three.
Keep the office tidy
What's that got to do with perfume, you may ask? Well, a clear desk would be conducive to work, and if I don't work I shan't be able to support my perfume habit in all its manifestations, from financing new bottle purchases to decanting supplies and perfumista meet-ups. Today I started the big tidying operation in earnest, proceeding inch by inch, like police conducting a fingertip search or archaeologists on a dig. Intriguingly, amongst the effluvium of printed matter of every kind, I found laminated visitor badges from factories in Slovenia and Poland that I must have forgotten to return on my way out.
And in case anyone is curious, the Slovenian for "visitor" would appear to be:
Buy what I like, and deal with it
I have given up all resolutions along the lines of: "You must drain all your samples before you buy a full bottle", or "you must wait three months from the onset of the lemming before acting on it, in case it goes away again" - or even the "no list-skipping rule" whereby you buy the bottle you had in mind to buy, and don't allow yourself to snap up something else that you have only just taken a shine to, which then jumps to the top of the queue. All these rules are so easy to break that I will not restrain my spending, just live with the guilt that will inevitably follow. In practice, I am buying far fewer full bottles than I did in the first two years of my hobby - maybe not more than one a quarter? - and have of course largely perfected the art of the "fondle and replace manoeuvre".
NB Perfume sample travel bags are one exception to the above licence to spend. I am the Imelda Marcos of the perfume sample bag, owning at least seven or eight of the things, yet I only ever take one with me on even the longest of trips. Perhaps we perfumistas crave an endless variety of these bags instead of shoes or handbags, but personally I don't think I should be encouraged. Verdict: Stay out of T K Maxx!
Plough through my pending pile of perfume books
You know how it is - nice "literary" books pile up on the bedside table, like Lisa Chaney's biography of Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life, Damage Control by Denise Hamilton or Le Parfum by J-C Ellena, and then on an impulse I will go and buy the latest Kathy Reichs with "bones" in the title, and all my good intentions to read these more worthy tomes go out the window. In fairness, I have actually read Le Parfum now (it was slimmer than a Mills & Boon, luckily), so I may be able to make short work of The Alchemy of Scent, with which I understand it has a large amount of overlap.
Don't keep a scent diary
Okay, so this is more a case of letting go of a resolution previously held. For I did make a note of my SOTD up until April 2011 - quite religiously in fact - and have scarcely been back to see what I wore on "this day last year", type of thing. Nor can I be bothered to count the number of times I wore x, y and z scents, to see what styles or individual perfumes I am particularly drawn to. It isn't that I wouldn't find such information interesting - I would, and I admire the likes of Undina for her detailed analysis of her own scent behaviour - but I just don't have the energy to crunch the numbers.
Lose the nose bag
On the shelf above my head is a brown paper bag that looks like a nose bag. It contains a jumble of un- or once-tested scents waiting for another trial and review of their long term category status. It is the perfume sample equivalent of Guantanamo Bay or a prison wing full of lifers on appeal, and this unfortunate state of limbo mustn't be allowed to go on another year.
Don't keep perfume boxes in the fridge
Cardboard is hygroscopic - those wavy boxes with blurry lettering and tide marks are trying to tell you something.
Next up: the "YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A USE FOR THIS - SO WHY ARE YOU KEEPING IT?" series:
Empty manufacturers' sample cards
There used to be a vial of perfume in there, but it has either been used up or transferred to a travel bag, where the card would be a bulky inconvenience. Once a bulky inconvenience, always a bulky inconvenience. Verdict: chuck!
The innards of Serge Lutens boxes
Serge Lutens boxes have particularly complex internal architecture, on account of the fact that they come with both screw top and interchangeable atomiser. If the innards of the box have managed to strike out on their own, it is time to set them free.
Empty atomisers impregnated with a particular scent
Wash or let go? I decided - against all my instincts - to try washing the more expensive atomisers in this motley collection of empty perfume decants. Will let you know if it works. They may be soaking some time...
Narrow, with a short stubby neck that is neither use nor ornament. I'd be better off throwing away these pointless funnels and using that nice plastic bag for something else...
Multiple bottle tops
There is a reason for how I came to have two tops for the same bottle. See if anyone can guess - it can be like one of those lateral thinking puzzles, you know, the ones involving a chair, a noose and a block of ice, or where a man cuts off his arm and sends it to another man in the post.... : - )
Upping the ante further, I appear to have about 14? atomiser tops to fit just one remaining bottom in this spiral 10ml size. How on earth did that happen? And why am I hanging on to the other 13...?
Photo of shopaholic from glamriah.com, other photos my own