Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Purgative urge prompts radical reorg and cologne clear out!

There are thematic groupings in this madness
Nearly two weeks have passed since my unreview of Salome, during which time I have found myself possessed by a post-project decluttering demon - well, a general housework demon to be exact. The catalyst for this uncharacteristic bout of domesticity may have been the arrival (and subsequent upcycling) of a blanket box / Ottoman that I got for an absolute snip in a local secondhand shop. My overflow wool stash has now been relocated from under the bed into its cavernous depths, freeing up a great deal of floor space, and simultaneously unleashing my inner tidying genie.

So it was that I spent the next two days systematically demolishing the ironing mountain (which dated back to July!), followed by a mammoth hoe-athon in the borders of the back garden. You can see a lot more earth now and considerably less ground cover, which to the untrained eye seemed mostly to comprise assorted 'weed-like entities'. Then the next two days were spent throwing away old toiletries and medicaments, ruthlessly editing my wardrobe, and sorting through the rest my perfume collection, specifically the bottles and samples that hadn't already been subject to a 'reorg' (to annexe the management term beloved of big corporates) and allocated a compartment in the wooden tray-cum-drawer insert I got from the same shop as the Ottoman.

In a kind of high speed triage exercise I tested dozens of different scents (shoulders, elbows and knees were all pressed into service in addition to the high traffic areas of wrists and forearms), and figured out what I wanted to keep - and what albatrosses I wanted to put up for sale. Well, not necessarily for sale, even. Anything that I did not pay money for (all the vintage section, basically), I am offering for free - I would just ask that you cover the cost of postage and don't re-sell it, as if anyone would! If your vintage acquisition is a) in good nick and b) you like it, feel free to make a discretionary donation to a charity near you (cancer and cats would be my top two themes, but I don't wish to be prescriptive on this point!). Otherwise pass it along to somebody else or throw it away.

The quality aspect will hopefully only be a potential issue with the vintage scents, not all of which I am familiar with, so it is hard to tell how they have evolved since they were new - which is anything up to 40 years ago! That said, I have tested them all and did not recoil once, except when smelling a couple of very retro, spicy animalic numbers that may date back to the 70s or 80s. But I would almost certainly have recoiled back then too. ;) So yes, with the vintage category a degree of mutation goes with the territory - but that will be for the recipient to determine.

NB Hypothetically, in extreme cases of new owner recoil I would be happy to refund postage paid. ;)

There are even two categories of silver atomiser - shiny and matt!

I shan't put prices on the non-vintage scents which - with one exception - I did buy myself, but if you are interested in any, drop me a line and I will work something out, including postage to wherever you are. I don't mind posting to North America, but it is a bit fraught to ship there as you know, and requires a degree of subterfuge and creative customs labelling, a challenge for which I am well up, as Churchill might have said.

And be assured that all the perfumes will all be going VERY CHEAP. Anything from a few quid each for the minis - or less veering to free if they are not full - to maybe £35 for the Creed, which is half full at a guess, and more in the realms of £10 - £30 for anything else, except the Lidl perfume, which only cost £3.99 new, hehe.


Front row:

Dita Von Teese by Dita Von Teese (nowt wrong with the scent, but the bottle has stability issues!) - SOLD

Second row (L to R): 

The Cotswold Perfumery Company Ruby - SOLD
Cloon Keen Atelier Castana (nutty jasmine scent) - SOLD
Boucheron B
Jo Malone Kohdo Wood Day Lotus Blossom and Water Lily

Third row (L to R):

Roja Dove Urban Retreat Reverie (aromatic citrus scent with notes of bergamot and lavender - discontinued!) - SOLD
Creed Love in Black - SOLD
DKNY Cashmere Mist - SOLD
Lostmarc'h L'eau de l'Hermine (sad associations with Max Rat...)
L'Eau par Kenzo l'Eau Indigo pour Femme

Back row:

Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour (BNIB!) ;)


Front row (L to R): 

Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade
M Micallef Hiver (teeny bit left)
M Micallef Royal Vintage
Lanvin Arpege - SOLD
Chloe by Chloe
Burberry Woman

Centre row (L to R):

Clinique Simply
Sarah Jessica Parker Covet (very sweet bottle!)
Guerlain Champs Elysees (can't be bothered with accents, sorry)

Back row (curving round L to R):

Marc Jacobs Daisy (another sweet bottle!)
Burberry The Beat
Hermes Cologne Verte (slight wobbly top alert!) - SOLD
Etro Vicolo Fiori (some people were keen to explore the Etro line?) - SOLD
Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle (stonking white floral) - SOLD
Versace Crystal Noir


Here the concept of rows goes somewhat out of the window...

Front row (L to R): 

Myurgia Maja perfume (review by The Non-Blonde here, in which the link to Ramon Monegal is also mentioned)
Goya Gardenia - REHOMED
Madame Rochas (was 'Brand Old in Box' when I got it! And we are talking very old indeed...)
4711 Cologne
Second Sense 1 cologne (evil spicy oriental) - REHOMED

Back row-ish (L to R):

Coty L'Aimant (70s version - I am keeping the 80s purse spray)
Houbigant Chantilly (lemon meringue number - think poor man's MCDI Promesse de l'Aube)
Royal Copenhagen mini (may suit men, or Danish nationals)
Houbigant Chantilly in a boxed set with talcum powder - also 'Brand Old in Box' till I broached it! - REHOMED
Lentheric Elle Bouquet
Lentheric Mystique (another evil spicy oriental)
Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps (yet another BOIB)


Oh, I also have this large bag of (I think mostly niche) samples to give away. I had a similar one of designer scents, which has been rehomed already with a friend's son's girlfriend - a much easier set to place, in fairness.

Don't ask me what's in it!

So there you go...I am not expecting a stampede, but there are one or two things that might appeal to specific people if they see this post. I also have minuscule amounts of Joy Parfum and 'unspecified other vintage format' of Joy which Odiferess might be interested in, for example (not pictured).

Am very happy to describe in more detail any scents people might be curious about - or they can readily be googled, except Second Sense 1, which I can't even tell you who it's by. You are clearly meant to use your Sixth Sense to figure that out. It's a monster, I can say that...Makes Salome look like a pussycat.

PS Speaking of 'rehoming' and 'pussycats', I am currently actively looking for a kitten to be the next 'xxxx Bonkers'. I am especially drawn to 'semi-long haired tabbies with a lot of white and that very defined Kohl-like look around the eye', which sadly is not a recognised search term on any of the rescue centre or classified ad websites. So if you are in the UK and see anyone offering kittens broadly answering to that description, please let me know! FYI, the three attributes I am looking for overall are 'fluffy, loving and independent'. I don't think that's a big ask - why, I like to think of myself as 'loving and independent', though at my age, 'fluffy' might be a bit of a stretch.


  1. Hi Vanessa! Are you willing to ship to the US? I think I've heard shipping to the US from the UK is terribly difficult...

    1. Okay, I clearly missed your line about North America (or I'm probably too tired to associate that with myself, haha)...

    2. Hi Sun Mi,

      I will email you back! ;)

  2. God, sometimes I hate google. Ate my comment.
    I'm interested in Dita von T and Cashmere mist. :-)

  3. Nice! Now there are two same comments. :-D

    1. Hi Ines,

      Duplicate comments duly deleted - will PM you re those two. ;)

  4. That is a fine looking blanket box/ottoman you have there. Clearly perfect for your bedroom.
    And now a sigh, as you have reminded me how much room I could recover in various drawers if I tossed out old cosmetics and skin care samples. I always wonder why they can't just disintegrate like the old Mission Impossible tapes.

    -- Lindaloo

    1. Hi Lindaloo,

      I am thrilled with the Ottoman, and have been known to sit on it with a book as well. It also serves as somewhere to lay my clothes at night.

      LOL at the failure of cosmetics and skin care samples to self-destruct! I am afraid they do need a little helping hand...;)

  5. Hey there Vanessa,
    WOW! You are a busy girl. I would like some of your initiative and energy. Blanket Box is YUMMY!
    Portia xx

    1. Hi Portia,

      Yes, I am verily a whirling dervish at the moment, and am going to go with the urge while it is upon me. Though I am starting to flag a bit after nearly two weeks of housework of one kind or another! xx

  6. I agree with Portia on the energy and drive! (Do I spy Marie Kondo's influence at work here after all?)
    Beautiful ottoman!!!

    1. Hi B,

      You do spy some of Marie Kondo's influence at work there after all, but I am deploying her methods selectively. Clothes were not all tipped on the floor / bed (the re-ironing requirement!!), but the cosmetics and toiletries / medicaments were all right.

      Glad you like the Ottoman - a bargain for £40, no question. I just saw a modern one in a shop yesterday with no character at all and they wanted £125 for that.

  7. Hi my dear. I think I will give the Second Sense a try.

    1. Hi Sabine,

      It's yours. Actually, I spritzed it again today and I think that once the evil spices phase goes off, it is fine. Like a rather weak version of Femme, if you know what I mean.

  8. 'Danish Nationals' hehe. Actually, I didn't understand the royal cph perfume, and the fact that I hadn't heard of it, until I discovered that it was a weird US turn of events, something about franchise, and as such it hasn't even got anything to do with Denmark. Ah anyway, lovely list, I'd say let all the furry, beastly spicy numbers come to me ;-) but I think I'm ok for now, as I too have storage problems. Nothing like a good clean out, eh?

    1. Hi Asali,

      Yes, that reference to Danes was very much with you in mind - and Marie, if she is about. What a shame that Royal Copenhagen is a bit of a contrived concoction.

      Sabine just bagged the Second Sense but you can have samples of it and the Maja and Mystique if you'd like? They wouldn't take up much space...;)

    2. Temptress, perhaps the Salome is in the DNA after all ;-) I should like that and actually perhaps the jardin de bagatelle, if it isn't gone?

    3. The Jardins is gone, sorry, but will PM you re the samples.

  9. Very much enjoyed that you triaged your perfumes in this ermergency reorg situation, V. I also admit to a smirk at you having a "hoe-athon" :)

    I'm such a lazy, messy pup, i really admire you.

    1. Hi Tara,

      Haha - it has been most cathartic, I must say. There are four parcels made up already, and two more to go. Well, three, as I am splitting a consignment for safety reasons, like the way the Royals travel on separate planes.

      You lazy or messy? Surely not. I have been to your house and it looked immaculate and well-organised. And your perfume collection is admirably well edited already. ;)

  10. You are tempting me, but I will resist, as my own turnout is way overdue. About to attack my bedroom, will be carnage, have so much stuff I need to get rid of and yet hate to part with. Admire your energy, it would take me a month to do all that you have described.

    1. Hi Lucy,

      I can't but approve of your resistance! I hope my post has inspired you to get stuck in and sort out that carnage. I am even half way through dealing with the hell hole that is the cupboard under the stairs, if you needed further encouragement. ;) And I think it will have taken me a month by the end of this process - without even starting on the garage, which might as well be a whole other house there is so much clutter in it.

  11. Goodness, I feel vicariously tired at your efficiency! it feels great to sort things out, though. Have emailed about some cute minis. AnnieA

    1. Hi AnnieA,

      I am actually quite tired if I am honest. I stay up too late because there is 'just another bit to do' - and always kittens to google...Cute minis are labelled accordingly in my updated post.

  12. Consider getting two kittens, possibly litter mates. I have two male (neutered, of course) Siamese. They are beat buddies. When you travel, they will be happier.

    1. Hi nbh,

      Thanks for dropping by, and you have got me thinking again now...I have always owned cats in pairs myself in the past, and as I do travel, maybe it would be a kindness, though arguably double the job for the person feeding them in my absence...?

  13. One very excited perfume lover here...
    I would love to have joined you for the cull/rehoming. I adore a good de-clutter and a fragrant one would be a massive treat. I hope great enjoyment was had.

    1. Hi Odiferess,

      Oh, it would have been good to have had you here. It's a tough old job, testing as many things as I have done in the past week to decide on their fate. I am covered from top to toe in about 15 scents at any given time. I am amazed in fact that no one in shops has complained!

  14. I'm eying up that big bag of mysteries...but mostly I am admiring the very tidy and organised drawer and realising I am wildly overdue for a big tidy up of *stuff*. And being distracted by kitty search!

    I will keep an eye out for floofy feline youngsters who are well-endowed with eyeliner, but suspect that Scotland is a long way to go for a cat. And thinking about the strange happy surprises I've had while intending to adopt very specific cats (e.g. searching for an older, quiet female, probably black? ha. no. I came home from Battersea with a very young long-haired ginger and white male, with a personality bigger than an ocean liner. And I was pleasantly tricked last year by the little short-haired timid grey who, in the space of six months, turned into a dandelion-levels-of-fluff ball of energy and chirruping, despite her mature years--and completely revitalised the lazy lump already in residence. They are currently running laps around the sitting room together...)

    In other news, I was travelling recently for work, and with a there-and-back via terminal 5 at heathrow, planned to a. try the Armani MI and b. buy a 35-quid-off bottle of Bois d'encens but was thwarted, damn it. Such short transfers I had to do the frantic trot and panic from gate to gate to make it to my flights. Argh! I even had an extra £5 off voucher.

    1. oh! Denver is so pretty...;children:undefined;size:undefined;sex:undefined;liveWithDog:undefined;liveWithCat:undefined;breed:undefined;type:Cat;PageNumber:1

    2. Hi Crikey,

      I have belatedly updated my post to the effect that the bag of hell / indifference is already on its way to a new home, sorry.

      I am really still just dipping my toe in the water, clutterwise, even though I made such great strides in the clothes, medicaments, make up, toiletries and perfume departments. So much has just been shoved into drawers and cupboards even so...

      LOL at 'floofy felines' - Scotland is a long way to go, though I have been looking as far north as Dewsbury and stopping there. There's a very sweet kitten called Cleo there.

      No obvious eyeliner but she has adorably stumpy legs. I never think of my own stumpy legs as adorable, but they definitely are an asset in a kitten.

      Your own cats sound delightful and you make the very good point that you can get broadsided out of the blue by a cat that doesn't fit the brief at all - as can happen with men, indeed!

      Sorry you had so little time at Heathrow but at least you can sniff them in Harvey Nics. Not as cheap I don't suppose as in the duty free?

      Denver is quite leonine, isn't she, with astonishing whiskers!

    3. Oh, Cleo is a poppet!

      I've been ridiculously fortunate with the cats in my life. Particularly the ones who have claimed me when I've got to rescue/rehoming places. (this is my scruffy grey love Herschel, and the surprise rapid enfloofenation: )

      no worries re: big bag of hell/delights. It's probably just as well :)

    4. Seems like you have been lucky - one of my cats had major behavioural issues - or more likely the boyfriend it took a dislike to did. ;) Herschel is magnificent, and mega floofy as billed!

  15. Ha, while I was reading your post, I was thinking about my own dire situation... Piles of ironing, disorganised perfume bottles & samples, mountain of paperwork to sort out... You made a start, I haven't. Well done, Vanessa. :) By the way, don't tempt me with all the goodies.

    1. Hi Yuki,

      Well, I hadn't done any ironing in all that time since I came back from my travels at the end of July, so I can relate. With the perfume chaos - to which Tara and Sabine can testify as they saw just a sizeable chunk of it when they came! - it had just got to the point where the discomfort of NOT sorting it out was greater than the massive effort of doing so. Things in that messy state were really sapping my morale in quite a profound way. Good luck with your own tidying initiatives, if and when you do get stuck in yourself!

  16. Well done, Bonks, for tackling so many jobs with gusto!

    I've emailed you about a couple of tempting prospects, because I've been good and done some decluttering as well. More to be done, of course, but "little and often" might work best for me.

    Good luck tracking down feline company.

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

    1. Hi Anna,

      Thanks, it does feel quite satisfying, though I may keel over soon from the exertion. ;) Good to hear you have been busy decluttering too. Will send you those things on Monday!

  17. I am admiring, from afar, all your de-cluttering!!
    My spaces need attention, too. I am kind of afraid to start, fearing that I will get it all out, and then falter while getting it all GONE!! And,it will linger on top of everything instead of nicely hidden away......

    By the way, the Jo Malone Lotus and Water Lily is rather rare here in the US on EBay, and goes for a pretty penny and might do the same in your neck of the woods.

    1. Hi sunnlitt,

      That is so true about getting things out and then faltering. I do that all the time, indeed it may be a necessary part of the process, but eventually the things you left out bother you so much that you knuckle down and move them on.

      Thanks for the tip about the Jo Malone. I have never eBayed anything but maybe now is the time to learn how...;)

  18. I should probably bookmark this post and come back to read it as an inspiration once a week - until it pushes me to do the same ;)

    Kitten search is a great news! I can't wait to see A LOT of pictures. I can even go to FB more often for that.

    1. Hi Undina,

      Haha - have had another good day today - utility, cupboard under the stairs and a three drawer chest. But there is still so much to do...;)

      Kitten search is ongoing every day, with several lines of inquiry into rescue centres, but nothing concrete as yet.

  19. Your tidying and divesting is admirable. My Postal Regulation Phobia continues to hamper me in getting rid of my perfume excess, and the people who live nearby mostly don't want it!

    1. Hi Martha,

      I am sorry you still suffer from PRP - could you get therapy for that? ;) You can get therapy for most things Stateside. I have the same problem about people near me mostly not wanting my reject stuff, so am reliant on the post to find new homes for things!

  20. Hiya - just a quick note to see if you had any stragglers who need a loving home? :-) regards, Pats. (in the UK)

    1. Sure thing, Pats. Was there anything in particular that caught your eye?

    2. HI Vanessa, any of the scents i had my eye on have been marked as sold. I was wondering what all the litle silver topped bottles were in the compartmentalised drawer? Perhaps it may be too time consuming to list them or perhaps they are not even for sale? Not to worry - just thought i would ask! Cheers :-)
      PS i hope you find your perfect kitty. I'm sure you have checked your local animal shelters - they will also keep a close eye out for you. There is always some poor wee fluffy who needs a loving mama! x

    3. Hi Pats, oh that is too bad then. The compartmentalised drawer is part of the collection I am keeping. It was included in the post to illustrate the progress of the decluttering mission. ;) Sorry if my post was unclear on that point.

      Perfect kitten found, thank you! See my latest post for details. I did check the rescue centres, but this kitten popped up sooner...