Tuesday, 13 October 2020

'Be more Undina': another full juice count and radical 'reorg' of my perfume collection - Part 2

I am a little bit behind with things, even by my own 'slow blogging' standards, but I did say the deliberations over my full bottle collection warranted a separate post, and so I think it will prove. In Part 1 I quoted some of my thoughts at the time of a collection 'reorg' in 2014, having completely forgotten that three years later I conducted another one, and wrote a post focusing on my decision-making MO, entitled: 'Lemmings and lemons reprised: a current capsule collection of 20 desert island scents'. I was clearly getting maximum mileage out of its pleasingly rhyming title...! And how could I even have missed that more recent post, which suggests that I am drawn to such existential musings every three years...;) Maybe it is good that it had slipped my mind, because I compiled my latest list of 'what I would keep plus what I would acquire' - aka 'my desert island scents' - without reference to the choices I made in 2017 or 2014. Or at least not until the very end, haha, when I succumbed to a spot of last minute tweaking. Nor did I consult the list of possible ways to make my selection, though looking back it is spot on, for this time round I did in fact use a haphazard melange of all the MOs mentioned in the 2017 post. These may bear repeating, namely:

  1. The burning building speed grab method
  2. The systematic review of ALL perfumes owned, including samples, to determine favourites
  3. The travel bag 'nuclear precedent' approach (that's nuclear in the 'capsule', not 'apocalyptic' sense)
  4. The fragrance family method
  5. The scents for all seasons method
  6. The scents for all occasions method
  7. The covering all my favourite notes method
  8. The scents I had happy times in method
  9. The inclusive perfume house / perfumer approach
  10. The Bois de Jasmin seal of approval approach
I have just thought of another one: 'The association with the early days of my perfume hobby method.' Jasper Conran Woman snuck onto my list that way...it was discontinued for a while, but seems to be back in stock now on a number of internet retailer sites. Ooh look - my fourth post out of a current tally of 704...;)

Does anyone remember this? ;)

Eyeballing that method list, I think I mostly homed in on #3, #4, #5, #7, and #8, but I did have a bash at #1 and #2 before abandoning both: with #1 I feared I might miss things, and with #2 I ran out of patience pretty fast, limiting my research to anything in a bottle, in a decant with a metal top(!) (because that connotes value/importance in the receptacle pecking order, ditto Travalos), or smaller samples I could remember spontaneously. So given this slapdash, flip-flopping smorgasbord of scent selection methods, there is no way I could remotely liken myself to Undina, hehe. I am reminded of my Latin textbook, which was called: "The Approach to Latin". Five years into learning the language and it still seemed like a hazy mirage on the horizon - I may have been approaching Latin in tiny imperceptible increments, but I certainly never got close.

Now before presenting my list of 20 (so much for the 15 target!), I have had to revise the figures of my bottle count, as a few more came to light, plus one had gone off**, and one I decided was more of a purse spray, when larger quantities were available. 30ml is therefore my chosen cut off to be classed as a 'bottle', unless the brand don't do a bigger size. Hence the inclusion of HOCB Immortal Beloved, for which the largest size appears to be 10ml. 

Source: HCOB

(**There might be more scents that have turned in fact, but I haven't the heart to try them all to find out, hehe.)

The total (excluding the perfumes I can't bring myself to include for reasons touched on in my earlier post) was 63 in the end, though a few are nearly finished. 

Of these, I bought 31, so about half. As I mentioned, the remainder were a mix of gifts from friends (mainly fellow perfume lovers), and the brands themselves, plus a handful I inherited (from my own -and somebody else's - mother).

For reference, here is my modest list of 20 from 2017... To which I retro-added a seasonal split, though I don't think it was a major driver of the final cut. I have added italics to the ones I actually owned at the time, so you can see the lemming proportion (quite high!).


Wintry scents

Guerlain Attrape-Coeur
Chanel Bois des Iles
Caron Parfum Sacre Hermes
Hermes Doblis
Tom Ford Private Blend Fleur de Chine
Ormonde Jayne Ta'if
PG Brulure de Rose (have run out of this now, but used to own it)
DSH Cimabue 
Flower by Kenzo Oriental
Christian Dior Ambre Nuit
House of Cherry Bomb Immortal Beloved
Prada Candy

Summery Scents

Annick Goutal Songes edt
Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse
FM Carnal Flower
Mona di Orio Tubereuse
Serge Lutens Un Lys
EL Bronze Goddess
ELDO Fils de Dieu, du Riz, et des Agrumes
En Voyage Perfumes Zelda

And here is today's selection, with only very minor amendments, when I realised I had forgotten a few things.



DSH Foxy
Chanel Bois des Iles
Caron Parfum Sacre
Hermes Doblis
PG Brulure de Rose
DSH Cimabue
House of Cherry Bomb Immortal Beloved
Prada Candy
EL Bronze Goddess
Mona di Orio Tubereuse
Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse

Source: hww.ca

Scents I already own

Annick Goutal Songes edt
Annick Goutal Chevrefeuille
Flower by Kenzo Oriental
Bvlgari Black
Jasper Conran Woman
Papillon Perfumery Bengale Rouge
Ormonde Jayne Ta'if
Diptyque Volutes edt

I think I am disproportionately leaning towards wintry fragrances, although these are not flagged up as such. This is likely in response to our current dismal weather. ;)

Note that the two lists have a lot of crossover, even though they were largely compiled independently and several years apart - 13 of the 20 (or two thirds approx) are the same as last time - and if you said I could only have 2017's list I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. I came very close to including five of the perfumes on that list, in fact! The same goes for the more generous list from 2014 with 30 perfumes in it. Because as we perfumistas know, so many alternatives would fit the bill we'd probably be happy if a friend picked us out the scents we had to wear. After all, it is through friends (you know who you are!) that I have discovered most of my recent fragrant loves. 

Then bubbling under the twenty are a number of what I called 'podium-hustlers' in one of my earlier posts - some of these are from the earlier list; others are sadly discontinued, so it seems a bit pointless to include them, but I have strong feelings for those scents regardless. Thinking of Balenciaga Cristobal - the edible fig scent - Damien Bash Lucifer #3, Guerlain Plus Que Jamais, and Prada L'Eau Ambree to name but a few. Strictly speaking, I shouldn't have Hermes Doblis, as it was released as a Limited Edition, and the chances of finding some today are vanishingly small. If I shouldn't be breaking my own rules again, I would substitute Cuir de Lancome instead. 

And of course I reserve the right to change my mind the moment I hit publish!

As you feel about your 'wardrobe' today, could you limit yourself to 20 perfumes? I'd be interested to know...

Editor's note: Oh dear...I spilt a full mug of tea on a pale carpet in my efforts to take this photograph of the bottles I already own that made the list without getting a shadow of any of my body parts in the frame! All the photos I have subsequently taken are a bit blurry, probably due to the artificial light. It does at least show the lengths to which I go to try to illustrate my posts with appropriate images. ;)


parfumista5 said...

"could you limit yourself to 20 perfumes?" The answer would be a resounding bwahahaha! erm, no...In fact, I just keep adding and adding to my collection (of prolly more than 350 bottles)... Recently I got a modern version of Courreges in Blue, which was cheap and smells amazing (fyi: it contains either oakmoss or treemoss. Just sayin')... and prior to that i got Patou Sublime, which was also cheap and smells amazing (it's the version with the square cap; also with either oakmoss/treemoss...) ... safe to say, I might have a teeny bit of a hoarding problem, but they again, each and every bottle i have sparks joy. So that's good. Right? Cheers, Wendy

Vanessa said...

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for dropping in to give us a different perspective on fragrance wardrobes! I am not familiar with Courreges in Blue, but I do have a mini of Sublime with a square - or certainly oblong - cap, and I like it. 350 bottles puts my current count of 60-ish in the shade, haha. Hmm, maybe you need 15 more bottles - or 16 to account for Leap Years - so you can wear a different perfume every day. ;)

Tara said...

I thought you had done a reorg not so long ago! It made for an interesting blind comparison though.
I'm afraid I don't currently own any of your lemmings or I'd happily help you out. To only have bought 31 shows great restraint really.
I just went through my collection and could just about do with 15 if we don't count different formulations of the same perfume or back ups. Otherwise it's 20 for sure.

Vanessa said...

Hi Tara,

Well done for knowing my blog archives better than I do myself! But it was interesting to see how much of my list remained the same. There's more of a difference if you go right back to 2014, though still some crossover. And obviously a longer list.

Yes, 31 currently, though I have bought quite a few more bottles over the course of my perfumista j*****y, and either used them up or sold them or passed them along to better homes. I shudder to think what my 'ever owned' tally might be, haha!

I don't count different formulations really, or back ups, so 15 is restrained of you. ;) I shouldn't think we'd have that much in common, but I would be interested to know your choices. You could do a post on it yourself sometime?

Undina said...

I find both the title and the later reference to me just hilarious: I suspect that if you didn’t remember your own post from three years ago, even less likely you were to remember that it directly inspired me to apply most of your methods to creating my own lists and compare them (see here https://undina.com/2017/04/04/entertaining-statistics-desert-island-perfumes/) :)
I think, I’m due to go over my “don’t want to be without” list, so I’ll do it for this week’s Saturday Question and link to your post.
Whenever the next opportunity arises, I’ll share some Bois des Isles with you.

Vanessa said...

Hi Undina,

I had forgotten about your post too, how funny! And typical...mind like a sieve. I have just revisited it and it has now come back to me. ;)

I look forward to your Saturday Question, and thanks in advance for the linkage and perfume offer. Val gave me a decant a while back which I am using sparingly, so am okay for now!

parfumista5 said...

Tbh,I might actually have a full year's worth but I haven't yet dared to count....I mean, it IS slightly decadent to own this many fragrances...ah well! At least I don't spend my money on drugs or anything 🙄

AustralianPerfumeJunkies said...

Hey Vanessa,
WOW! You have inspired me to do same. We snap on 9 scents is 2017 and only 6 in 2020. interesting.
20 seems like a very good number. Sensible variety and breadth.
I think I'll do it as my Undina's Looking Glass for Tuesday, if you and Tara are cool?
Portia xx

Vanessa said...

Hi Wendy,

Sounds like you may be in what my SIL calls a SABLE situation - Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy? Very easy to do...hopefully you have family and friends to share your collection with so it doesn't seem such a huge number. ;)

Vanessa said...

Hi Portia,

I guess it will be a trickier job for you than Tara or me even, as your collection is sizeable, I believe!

By all means do a similar post - will be interested in your choices. I read the ones on Undina's Saturday Question with interest and am amused to have triggered this stock-taking idea amongst the perfumista community. ;)