Friday, March 29, 2013

Confessions of a Perfumaholic!

Have you ever caught yourself thinking of how much junk you have at home? Or how little space you actually have available in your cabinets, closets, shelves, etc...? It looks like some people like to think like ants that have to store for the winter!
I can tell that I consider myself a medium to light clutter. 
The reason why I am bringing this subject to a perfume blog is that I am in that time of the year when I dedicate myself to declutter and organize my home from all the unnecessary items that are taking space and cumulating dust and dirty. I try to do it at least every six months, but lately I feel that it is not enough, so I am trying to do it every  03 months. It is a long lasting process, and it takes a lot of energy and time, so I found out that reducing the periods between the last and the following it is much easier and faster to conclude this process.
The easiest part for me is to get rid of old documents, pile of papers no longer relevant, shoes, accessories and clothes that I haven't worn for more than a year and a half or simply not flattering anymore to my actual look.
The dilemma starts when I move to my perfumes and perfume sample collections. It is funny how emotionally attached I am to my perfume bottles sometimes!
It is easy to apply the less is more motto to all aspects of my life, but I am still fighting the habit of having 100s of perfumes at home. 
I am trying a new idea this time:
I decided to keep all my samples for future references and articles. They have a purpose to stay where they are. I put aside the fragrances that I really love to wear and after  cleaning their bottles they went back to the boxes. I took some time to smell all of them over and over again, and check how I felt with each one of them. The fragrances that I am not wearing, or that I bought without really putting a thought (I call them emotional purchases) I will do the following - buy small vials and make splits of them for future reference or articles, and what is left will be donated to friends or relatives.
The reason to do it is because I love perfumes too much to see them kept standing inside a box, aging without being appreciated.  I find it very rewarding to see the smile a small gesture like that can bring to the face of the loved ones!

Thinking of my level of cluttering lead me to think about unhealthy relationships with perfume in general - or should I call it "the less alluring side of perfumery" (?): addictions, compulsiveness, obsessions, narcissism, envy and many others...
I have been watching this aspect of perfumery for a long time, but never wanted to write about it till today. One of the reasons was that I know many people who would think this might be a direct message to them. But what the heck! If the hats fits your head...So here it goes!

Impulsive purchases: if you ever have ever bought a perfume impulsively, you probably also regretted it afterwards. Who hasn't, in the spur of a moment, made a blind purchase of a fragrance while browsing a perfume shop online? Just because someone else said is very nice, or because it is a must-have?
If this applied to you more than once, the suggestion is to blind purchase a SAMPLE of a fragrance instead. If you like it after wearing it a few times, than you are ready to commit to a full bottle. Many brands offer sample sets. Sometimes they call it sample set, discovery sets or they just offer a small size of the original. You can also look online for sample and splits exchangers.
It is very common to find these people trying to sell these perfumes afterwards in the perfume groups or EBay. Here is also where danger is. The obsessed and the shopaholics go after them to find an opportunity of a good purchase...

Obsessive purchases or shopaholics: I have seen many people in the fragrance community purchasing any fragrance they can put their hands on just to be the first to have it, the first to review it or because this person has a compulsion to buy stuff. They usually suffer their financial crisis alone, but some of them from time to time share that they are having credit card issues or even putting their relationships at stake.
Truth is that I don't need to be a psychologist to know that this behavior is at the moment being exteriorized with perfumes, but it could be with anything else.
I can give you a few ideas that I find easy to try, but sometimes a professional is needed.
Try to fix a budget for perfume purchasing. It can be a annual budget, a 6 months budget, etc...depending in your financial status and priorities. You can also divide this weakness that you have with a supportive person - just like AA! Every time you feel like purchasing a perfume - share with your supportive friend to evaluate if this is really something you need to do at that very moment.
If you can't control yourself - I suggest giving  your credit card to your wife, husband or partner and consulting a shrink. Shopaholics buy to fill a void, an emptiness. Shopping provides a momentary joy, a superficial sensation of accomplishment, that later will bring more emptiness, despair and depression.
I have set a savings account for perfumes to purchase when I travel. It is very little money that I save in a monthly basis and that I use abroad. I don't buy anything outside this budget. This way I keep myself far from credit card nightmares.

Perfume Narcissism: this is one of the most common behaviors of the fragrance community. "I have that already", "I have 1000s of those..", "I was the first to review this perfume"...etc, etc, etc... so what??? Many of these people receive the fragrances for free. So if you want to compete with this people and you are a common perfumista know that you are in disadvantage from the beginning. While you run to spend your money to compete and be the first, they got it for free. While you run to spend money and later find out that the perfume is not even a good one, know that many received money to say it is good or are friends with the brand's owners. My advice here is the following: being the first does not necessarily mean you are the best. Embrace that and life will be much easier on you!

Jealousy and Envy: some people are willing to loose friends and create enemies just for the sake of perfume. These are the ones who had, have or wish to have recognition among perfumistas and therefore like to gossip, bad mouth or even bash others in other to feel they are somebody.  There are other types that they don't bash, but they can't simply socialize with others in the same level of knowledge. They look for other communities to discuss perfumes in order to feel that they are the experts. To gain fans. Some of them even like to be called professor by others...Some even try to be friendly and once they get what they want, or don't get what they wanted - they reveal their true self. I met one once. The message is GET HELP - YOU NEED IT!
I have even seen two that use the faux passion for perfume in the false pretense to expose him/her self, to be famous and adored, or to market his/her very own image, and once they meet they goal - like having a job in the fragrance industry or perfume related job - they close their website with a long lie about how much they love perfume but life got complicated... These are the ones who also lie in international contests by saying they represent a country, or even lie about being jurors of contests they never participated. All for the sake of the personal marketing. Here I can bring not less than beloved Bob Marley:
"You can foul some people some times, but you can't full all the people all the time".

Perfume Cluttering or Fear of Loss: if you have been purchasing perfume like ants saving for the winter in the fear that this or that fragrance will be discontinued, or that maybe you won't have enough of it in the future, or IFRA is going to reformulate the fragrance - rethink again your relationship to perfumes! Perfumes have to be a reason to make you feel good about yourself, not to bring pain. And again, if you are not in the fragrance business or fragrance journalism, you don't really have to have 1000s of perfumes at home.

Limited Editions, Seasonal purchases obsessed: are you a person that has to purchase a perfume just because it was announced as limited edition or because it was advertised for valentine's, x-mas or any other special holiday? Being limited does not necessarily mean that it is good. Also, many limited editions are very close to the original fragrance. If you have it already, check your budget before placing and order on line or before running to the closest perfume shop. Do you really have to collect all the Guerlain's?? Are they all good and worth wearing?? Do you really need to be the only one having this limited edition? I know some people that run to buy the "limited and rare" and later complain that they wasted a lot of money they could have spent on or saved for something else. Again, obsession, compulsions and narcissism is not a healthy behavior...

It is true that perfumes are developed to suit seasons - winter fragrances are much heavier than summer fragrances. They also provide different concentrations to fit seasons - such as EDTs and EDPs; they are developed to be day or night fragrances etc, etc...
 All true! There is nothing wrong to have more than one perfume, if you are not the type who wears a signature fragrance. Fragrances to go out at night usually don't suit a work environment etc etc... do follow perfume etiquette please! But do you have to have an OUD perfume just because OUD is a trend now? Do you have to have 04 rose fragrances? Do you have to own all the Annick Goutal perfumes? That is what I am talking about!
You don't!  You could limit your fragrances to a smaller number and increase the number of samples - or travel sizes. Try using one perfume during all winter and experience it to its fuller existence. Try changing perfume only when your nose got tired and you no longer experience all the notes of the fragrance composition.  Try to buy a new perfume only when you reached the bottom of your last purchase. Just try...for the sake of your healthy mind!

+ Q perfume Blog is a blog about fragrances, and it is not qualified as a professional of Psychology. This article does not have the intent of treating or curing anyone who suffers from any psychological problem or disease. If you feel you have any psychological discomfort, please consult a professional.
And again, if you felt insulted by anything I wrote here...well...again, if the hat fits the head...I am not the one to blame, sorry. 
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