ULG Saturday Question: Shall We?

Since I came to blogging from forums preceded by chats, out of all possible types of blog content, weekly free-form discussions always seemed the most attractive to me. But when I started my blog, Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) was already doing Monday Question series, and since the circle of my readers was mostly a small sub-circle of hers, it would have been strange to start a similar feature here. Over the 5 years, Birgit ran it 222 times, collecting on average 66 comments per question (ranging from 4 on her very first one to 169 comments on the pick of her blogging venture).

Almost two years after the last Monday Question on Olfactoria’s Travels, Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies) picked up the idea and successfully ran Saturday Question series for another 2.5 years, which translates in 132 posts with 103 comments on average (min 26/max 241).

With the same idea behind the two series, Portia’s implementation – a live chat/dialog between participants, often not involving the host, had an even stronger appeal to me. But, again, why would I try to compete with a place that many of my virtual friends and readers and I myself frequent? But when Portia announced the closing of the hospitable virtual APJ saloon, I decided finally to give it a try.

So, the question in the title is not the one I’m going to ask as the first question of the Saturday Question series on Undina’s Looking Glass. I am trying it, and by your participating in it or not you’ll let me know how the water in that river on the third time is.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

I know that whoever participates in these posts does that not for any tangible prizes, but to honor the tradition and celebrate the pilot episode of the series, if the post gets 50 comments (I’m being reasonable), there will be a prize: a random draw for a $25 (or equivalent in pounds or euro) gift certificate to a decanter service of your choice.

Saturday Question #1:

Do You Know How Big Your Collection is?

Forget decants, minis, samples and even travel bottles. We’re talking big. I mean, full bottles. Not asking you to divulge the actual number of those bottles (unless you want to, of course), the question is: are you aware of that number? Do you know how many bottles you have?

My Answer

Since, as many of you know, I track my perfumes in the database, at any moment I could tell you exactly how many bottles of any kind, decants or samples I have (though, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I can easily locate all of them). But knowing that most of my readers do not have a formal filing system, I tried to guess first and only then checked.

If not to count some “stray” bottles that joined my collection not by my choice (novelty-type gifts or relatives’ cast-offs I couldn’t refuse) or almost empty pre-rabbit-hole bottles that I never plan to finish but keep for sentimental reasons, my estimation was not that far off: I guessed my full bottle collection to be just 7% smaller than it actually is. But even if I were 100% correct, it still would have been a number that does not make any practical sense. And yet, I don’t think I’ll stop completely any time soon.

 

Do You Know How Big Your Collection Is?

143 thoughts on “ULG Saturday Question: Shall We?

  1. Hi 🙂 I’ve come over from APJ, so glad someone is continuing the Saturday question. I have a very small collection, Arpege, 5th Avenue, Rive Gauche, Oscar de la Renta, Jazz, Modern Muse Chic, Avon Imari, L’Occitane Bergamot Tea, Red Door, Bvlgari Rose, Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, Body Shop Ananya, Prada L’eau Ambrèe, CK One. Some were birthday gifts, others random gifts and the rest I bought for myself. These are, or were, all full bottles and the only ones I wouldn’t repurchase are the Modern Muse Chic, Rive Gauche and Red Door. I loved Rive Gauche in the 80’s and early 90’s when it was a bit more subtle but these days it just screeches at me and I just can’t handle it 😢. Red Door smells like cat wee on me these days, maybe it’s my hormones, maybe it’s the perfume, but I ain’t gonna smell like that for anyone! Modern Muse Chic was an ex tester, a gift from my d.i.l. who works in a pharmacy; it’s ok but not something I’d buy for myself.
    I remwmbered about 80percent but had to go and check the perfume drawer ‘cos I knew I’d forgotten something.

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    • Carolyn, welcome to ULG!
      It seems like a reasonable collection. I’m curious: how long have you been reading perfume blogs? I ask because you seem unaffected by the “niche fever,” and I’m trying to determine if it’s “yet” or “in general” :)

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      • I came across APJ in its early days and it’s really the only perfume blog I’ve read. It got me interested because it was Australian based and no others were. I live in Adelaide, South Australia. “Niche fever”? Hahaha, not me, I daresay if I could afford it I’d have it but have been on a very limited income for many years and have to save up and justify (to my self) any and all perfume purchases over AU$50. And I like the classics. Not crying poor, it’s just a fact 🙂

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        • Limited budget is an effective limiting factor. But as someone who for many years had just a couple of perfumes in my collection (one “special” and one for daily use), and later moved to 5-7 bottles plus some samples, I know that it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of perfumes. So while I hope you’ll get a better access to perfumes to test (for free), perfume wardrobe you have now is more than adequate for having a variety to wear on a daily basis, so do not need just “more bottles” – you can keep saving for something that you’d really love – be that cheaper or more expensive perfume. And there are still a plenty of good perfumes to choose from that won’t break a bank.

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          • One day I hope to be able to justify Chanel No 5 😁 I’ve adored it forever but…
            In my younger (pre-internet) days, ’70’s and ’80’s, I explored many and various perfumes, always department store brands, Fidgi, Calandre, Magie Noir, First, are just a few I can remember but then the budget tightened and Youth Dew was the fragrance de jour for many years. Then I was given a 5ml of Estee Lauder’s Knowing when it was first released, and simply adored it so wore that for many years but when it was rejigged in the late ’90’s it was nasty on my skin. I was so very disappointed… Not to worry, my Mum gave me some 5th Ave and now that’s my every day go to, that and Oscar de la Renta, the others I save for the days I want to be a bit different. 🙂 The “niche” perfumes have their place but for me it’ll always be “the tried and true” that get my vote.

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  2. Great first question! I didn’t know, but guessed at 30 as it was around that the last time I checked a few years ago and I’ve tried to keep it around the same level and moved on bottles that aren’t getting wear. I just counted full sized bottles and it’s 29 so surprisingly close which makes me happy. I switched to a minimalist lifestyle since moving home and much more than that would cause me slight stress. It’s hardly a minimal collection but one I’m comfortable with. My new purchases tend to be travel bottles so not counting those helped :)

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  3. I have 100+ full bottles in my collection. Some classics I have just as reference and I rarely wear them. Most of my full bottles are fall/winter scents, followed by summer scents and the spring ones that are jut very few. Due to that huge amount I am in a “no buy” this year. Will I stick to that resolution? Not so sure. I already survived January and February without a single purchase. Let’s see what the rest of the year is going to bring!

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    • I think my collection is in your range, 100+ FBs, but I’m afraid to count! I too have a number of classics for self-education and don’t wear them often; I also have a number of inexpensive bottles that I bought to educate myself but don’t plan to wear much, like the Angel Muse I found at a deep discount at Marshall’s. I justify this to myself by making such items available to my young adult daughters! Otherwise, my collection is probably the reverse of yours: I don’t have many FBs of winter scents but I have many of spring and summer fragrances, probably more spring, because I love green and floral scents.

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      • I used to keep record of full bottles and decants, but I have been so busy in the last couple of years that I have not had time to update my list. Last time I did I had 112 bottles. Many more have joined my collection since then. I have many decants, but samples are out of control already. I have to clarify that I never buy samples. I have received 99% of them from very generous perfumistas and I am very thankful for that, because many of my purchases are the result of sampling. I have cheap and high end scents, but I can’t even justify, like you, that I can share them with family, because no one, except for other perfumista fellows share this passion with me.
        I am a huge lover of green scents and I wonder why my spring scents are not so many. I better stop thinking about it, otherwise I may end up breaking my “no buy” resolution 😀.

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    • How strict is your “no buy”? I’m not too decisive when it comes to full bottle purchases, and I found that it helps knowing that I can buy something if I want – but then I start asking myself if I actually want it. Not trying to talk myself out but just poking my reasoning for wanting that particular bottle.

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      • Every year I make the same resolution and I always fail. I am trying my best this year to stick to it. With so many full bottles, decants and samples (we are talking about thousands) I cannot justify more purchases because, if I am honest to myself, I keep buying but I am basically not even wearing 1% of what I have. It is too much and I am not enjoying the ones that I really love. Lately, I have been giving things away or swapping. Still I am not making a big dent in my collection. It requires time to sit down, check what I have and decide what has to go. Unfortunately, I am always pretty busy to do that. Do I need more perfumes? No. Do I want more? Yes. Difficult situation! This is an addiction almost impossible to control or cure.

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  4. Great first Saturday Question. My answer is…. I have no idea !!!!
    I have lots of bottles packed in boxes and stupid me didn’t write down which perfumes were in the boxes. I would estimate about 50.

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      • I haven’t got shelving or cupboard space to store perfumes. This is a solution. The boxes are attractive boxes with illustrations on them. My favourite boxes have an Art Deco lady on the lid.
        The also stack. They are easily accessible to see the perfumes in the boxes. As I said in my earlier post I didn’t write down which perfumes are in the box, so that I don’t have to pull them all out to find what I want. Sounds complicated, but it isn’t really. The boxes aren’t hidden away.

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          • I certainly would do,but I can’t upload pics.
            Trying to be helpful now……….. I’m in the UK.Google could be your friend. I buy the boxes from a chain of shops called The Works. The ones with the Art Deco lady on the lid are a Christmas edition. Google The Works UK and put boxes in their search bar. Hopefully you will see what I’ve bought. They are strong cardboard type stuff and you put them together by pressing studs together up the sides. They do very nice children’s ones. I’ve bought those as well for my Greatgrandchildren.
            I’m sure these type of boxes are available worldwide. E Bay probably have them but I only buy from The Works. They are very handy items for all sorts of thins.
            Hope you have luck finding a picture of them X

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          • I’ve just looked on E Bay, there’s lots of the type of boxes I buy (UK). Put decorative storage boxes in the search bar. Maybe someone on here could post a pic. I don’t know where you live.

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  5. I’d have to do a head count, but my bottles are pooched here and there and it would take time. I’ll hazard a guess at around 60. I may be wildly off the mark here. I have countless minis, decants and samples. This is a great question to kick off with.

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    • Would you be upset if the strict count proved to be, let’s say, 50% higher? I mean, is keeping them in a way that prevents counting a defense mechanism, or would you be fine knowing “the damage”?

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      • Oh I’d have no problem with knowing the actual amount. It’s purely storage space that has them pooched here and there. My undies drawer had to move down one to make room so that the ones in use could be together. So there are two full drawers. The unopened and bubs are elsewhere. I should really have a dedicated space in my wardrobe, which is always cool as I don’t turn on the radiator in it.

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      • I shop my collection in Switzerland about once a year and thats usually when I pick up samples and decants because they wouldn’t make it thorough Chilean customs. Sometimes a bottle comes traveling with me. I miss having it all together but I’m used to it now!

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  6. Hey Undina,
    SO good to be over here at Undina’s Looking Glass. YAY!
    Last time we did an inventory here there were around 1400 but I think that may have blown out a little. Yes, I know it’s ridiculous, no I wear only a fifth of them, 1/100th with any great regularity.
    Every time I purge a bunch of unloved it seems to give me the freedom to get a bunch of things I’ve been yearning for.
    I haven’t bought anything new this month and most of January. It’s not a No Buy but I am trying to slow it down.
    Portia xx

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    • Wow! That’s a huge collection, Portia! It would be so wonderful to see it one day! Have you ever thought about having a perfume room or do you already have it? Hugs!

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        • I will not miss that opportunity when I go to Australia, thank you! I have always dreamed about having a perfume room with thousands of scents and a special area with the most beautiful and unusual bottles. Some day!

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            • HA! Undina, Always pragmatic. Most of them are in their boxes, in boxes in my perfume cupboard. There are two trays of favourites and four boxes of unboxed bottles that are easy access. Those are the only ones that need dusting, it happens fairly irregularly, every month or two depending on my dedication. I have a microfibre duster that grabs everything with a couple of swooshes. Not perfect but pretty good. I’ve only given the whole unboxed bottle collection a few clean each by hand washes, I will definitely do it now there’s all this free time without APJ.
              Portia xx

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              • I am pragmatic but in this case my comment wasn’t about your perfume room but rather about the Perfumelover67’s imaginary room “with thousands of scents and a special area with the most beautiful and unusual bottles.”
                BTW, one of the inspiring things from your Perfume Diaries was your report about your cleaning the house ;)

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                • He he he he! THAT was a huge adventure. Three people, two full days. The down side is that I wasn’t there for the repacking because of work and now some things are lost, probably not forever.
                  One day i’ll open them all up again and repack to my satisfaction.

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      • Thanks Ingeborg,
        It was an amazing parade this year. Matt, my order, and I seem to have made an iconic duo. Every major news outlet has their own pic or video of us.
        It was Matt’s very first Mardi Gras Parade so he is a bit shell shocked.
        Yes, we had great fun. It was special. A million people screaming at you with love!
        Portia xx

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    • It’s wonderful to see you here, Portia (though, I would have preferred slightly different circumstances – promise, I’ll stop complaining about the APJ closing in a while ;) ).
      But even more wonderful is to read about your collection! I immediately feel much better about mine :) But I don’t envy your “decision time”: even with my relatively small number of bottles, I have so many perfumes that I like, that it’s hard to pick the right one for each occasion.

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      • HA! Undina. Thet you and many others loved APJ so much is wonderful. Of course your miffed. Nobody likes change, even more so when something we love ends. You are welcome to razz me for it till the end of time.
        Thank everything we have YOU to host Saturday Question. It already feels like a super tight fit. So many happy commenters. wait till the banter starts! The thread becomes hilarious and almost impossible to follow.

        Really, having this enormous collection is silliness. I wear less than 50 with any major regularity. Many of my later niche buys are not even opened because I’m still using up a 5 or 10 ml decant. Problem is that though I don’t wear them, I love them for some reason and MAYBE I’ll want to one day. HOARDER mentality at its worst.

        Now that the blog is done I may have a clear out. No promises but it would be very nice to be able to fit the collection into my perfume cupboard.

        Hugs and love Undina.
        Portia xx

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  7. I really have no idea, but I’d hazard a guess and say 50-60. Not a large collection, but I only have FBs of perfumes I truly love. The likes and ‘nice enoughs’ have long ago been given away.
    Decants are another matter entirely 🤫

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  8. I keep a google sheet on my collection. Full bottles: 114. I have another 169 minis or “more-than-sample-sized” decants. Yes, I have a problem. But I’m really bad about moving things out and many of the minis are kept around because I love the cute little bottles – maybe 50 in that category? Don’t ask about samples – although at least with those I try to cull and give away periodically. This is a no-buy year for me and one of my goals is to reduce the size of my collection either by thunking or by giving away the least loved bottles. It remains to be seen if I will be successful!

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    • I started but never finished a spreadsheet of my collection; I should revisit that and only enter FBs. I got slowed down by all the samples and decants! I think my FB collection is in your range, 100+. A number of those are scents I won’t wear much, they were usually deeply discounted items I’ve used to “educate” my nose. I make those available to my young adult daughters, with an occasional offering to my teenaged son (Guerlain L’Homme Ideal Cologne, $19.99 — had to buy it/try it, as it’s one of Turin’s top 10 citruses, and it is being discontinued).

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      • I have given away bottles that later on when I encounter them again I find out that they are amazing. It is so frustrating, especially when we are talking about expensive ones that cannot be replaced in a short period of time.

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      • I could give some bottles away, but I would have to be certain that they’re going to a loving home where they’d be properly appreciated 😏 But what if i took a sudden yearning for it when it was gone? That’s the conundrum we all have to contend with.

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    • I swore to myself that I was going to cut back this year but I’ve already bought 5 or 6 bottles already😳 And errr, several decants. I admire your restraint.

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  9. My goodness, I wish I could be even a fraction as organised as you, Undina. The word that describes my “collection” is chaos. Complete and utter. Moving house didn’t help, so boxes and bottles are stuffed higgeldy-piggledy into every shelf of my walk-in wardrobe (no room for actual clothes). I don’t want to count how many bottles I have – I am actually ashamed of the huge number I possess. I don’t even like all of them, and keep meaning to pass some on but life lately has intervened and I haven’t been able to deal with the problem yet.

    I suppose it’s a nice problem to have, though!

    I have not bought anything for myself so far this year, and am trying to be strong.

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    • Jillie, since you’re not buying perfumes uncontrollably, it’s not a real problem, and I think you should try to stop being even upset about it. We all have things that require fixing/organizing/etc., and stressing about not doing that is even worse than not doing that :)

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  10. I keep a list, and could check that, or count bottles. I know roughly how many full-sized bottles I have, though, because I can picture them in my mind. I tend to forget the Demeter ones because they were comparatively inexpensive, but they count, too. :) I’d say around 25 bottles that have an ounce or more of perfume in them. I must have hundreds of samples.

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    • Before I got to 20+ bottles, I was acutely aware of my collection and could easily picture them all in my head, choose what to wear the next day or plan what I’ll need to re-purchase soon. Not anymore :)

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  11. Oh dear. I really don’t know how many FBs I have, but it has to be at least 100 (hangs head in shame). I started a spreadsheet a while ago but I got bogged down in logging the smaller items and stopped. I should go back to it and only enter the full bottles. But I’m not sure I want to know, lol! I don’t even want to think about the many samples I have …

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    • Just 100 something is not that bad :) At least most of them will hold for years, which is harder to expect from decants.
      Lists help me to have a more general perspective about my collection.

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  12. What a coincidence – I actually just asked myself that a couple weeks ago! I started by trying to remember them one by one, and missed a few, and then I counted them and it is now at 20.
    It’s only been just over a year for me, so the collection is definitely looking to grow (hopefully more selectively), and like others here, I also have a bunch of samples.

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    • A couple of years ago I did that exercise with recording my collection one by one, and I missed about 5%.

      You’re at such a wonderful state in your perfume hobby! Please, learn from our collective mistakes :) Cheap or “perfumista-cheap” bottles take up space in your perfume storage and add up to such a sum that you’d be able to buy almost any perfume that you love instead.

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  13. I definitely don’t know an exact number or even a good approximate number. I was just about to guess between 150-200 but went over to a shelf that holds a small part of the collection, and there were around 40 bottles there, so now I know it is over 200. Maybe 225? And if I counted travel sizes, decants, and samples, there’d be at least 1,000 different perfumes covered, I would love to get organized one day, but that sounds like quite an undertaking for someone like me who does not have organization as a strength. Great question!

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    • I have more than 1700 records in my database: these all are perfumes that at least passed through my collection in any form. But I built it over 11 years, and it took some efforts and discipline. But if you do it only for your full bottles, it is doable! On the other hand, if it works for you “as is,” why to bother? :)

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    • I’m thinking about re-organizing my perfumes and cosmetics for the better accessibility. Unfortunately, I’m almost at the max capacity in the coldest place of my house… I need to think of something :)

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  14. Thanks for hosting the Saturday question! I don’t know how many I have but my husband thinks it’s upwards of 700. I don’t want to count out of guilt and shame for the ridiculous excess. So I just try to not think about my number.

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    • Don’t feel guilty – not unless you buy perfumes with money you don’t have. Look at it this way: a lot of other hobbies are even more expensive! For example, at a weekend dinner (or over a 2-3 days during the week), we can finish a bottle of $25-35 wine – without any occasion, just because this is a price range of wines from the wine clubs where we participate. My perfume budget is smaller than our wine budget. So, instead of feeling bad, I’m trying to enjoy it. The only regret I have is that I don’t wear often enough my most favorite perfumes. But using my records, I’m trying to rotate them better.

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      • True, I don’t drink, smoke, dine out or have any other expensive habits. I stopped buying purses and jewelry years ago, don’t spend much on shoes/clothes. But I want to stop so I can enjoy what I already own. This is difficult for me though because I love new smells/bottles.

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      • Oh lord, I never even thought of my wine budget🤪 Or my ‘entertainment’ budget. I know for a fact they’re way in excess of my perfume budget. If I had a perfume budget, which I don’t.

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  15. I am going to venture a guess that I have 30 full size bottles in my collection. I’ll have to take a count when I get home tomorrow to see how close I am. Luckily my collection is small enough that I am able to store it all in one place so counting should be easy.

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  16. I have 53 full bottles and around 50 decants. My samples still fit in a small paper box, so it’s manageable.
    I keep a list of my perfumes at parfumo website, so I always know what I have at home.
    I still would like to visit Portias collection, this must be fantastic.

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    • I must say that I’m impressed: with the number of full bottles in your collection, I kind of can understand the small(is) bottle to decant ratio (some people do not like decants or don’t have good access to their source where they live), but managing to get to 50 bottles without being overflowed by samples is an achievement on its own.

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  17. Omg, I forgot completely about the Monday question. Different perfumed times it was… I never caught on to APJ, so didn’t know they had something similar.
    I love this question, and I have very little clue, is the answer. I got given quite a umber of perfumes through my last job, so I might be about 170. I’m not sure I’ll do an inventory anytime soon, but if I do, I’ll let you know how right or wrong I am.
    Yes, please do make this a feature 😊

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    • Asali!!! Had I known this feature would bring you out of the woodwork, I would have wrestled at least a guest-appearance-episode of it on my blog long time ago! :)
      Great to see you. For a while, I can promise you its appearance here every Saturday.

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      • Haha! Thank you so much. You did peak my curiosity regarding numbers, so I did a very quick overview calculation which came to 200+ 🤔 however, many of these (+-30 ) are things I got in my job, and which I wouldn’t have bought myself. I also hardly ever buy new, but mostly used perfumes. When new, only from indie and artisans. The last two years I think my buys have been extremely rare. However, I found a huge 225 gr ( yes grams not ml) vintage bottle of My Sin, at such a steal I had to get it, that was this year even.

        I miss the old perfume days. Thanks for bringing them back in a new way.

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        • It looks like you were about 20% off in your initial guess. Not too bad :)

          Did you count only big bottles, or does that include 10-20 ml “travel” bottles?

          I don’t remember ever seeing liquid perfumes measured in grams… “I’d like to get 200 grams of this cheese and 100 grams of that perfume… No, not that one – next to the left. No, my left… “ ;) Does it still smell good?

          I miss “good or’ days” of perfume blogging too. But since I’m not reading to let it go, I try to “keep the light.” And I hope to see you at least from time to time.

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  18. My collection is pretty sick. I stopped counting at 2,000. So, I am guessing I have 3,000-5,000 full bottles plus hundreds of minis and decants and thousands of samples yet to be sniffed. Don’t hate me or lock me up. LOL. So glad to participate for the first time. I found my way here from Australian Perfume Junkies. I miss Portia already but hope some of our community has migrated and will stay together and play together.

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    • OK, I’m officially speechless :) This is an impressive collection! I have SOOOO many questions… Would you be willing to do an e-mail interview for my blog? Or do you have your own?

      Welcome to ULG! I hope, you’ll find at least some people from the same APJ crowd here (some of them are a long-time members here, so it’s only the new feature that will be new for them).

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    • I am lmao. Of course we don’t hate you! What I want to know is how do you store them? Have you built a small, cool house dedicated to them? Does it have armed guards? How do you even keep count? Spreadsheet? I am amazed.

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  19. I have about 60 full bottles now and maybe 10 decants of 4 or 5 mls. It’s the perfect size for me and I find I’m enjoying the fragrances more now that I have downsized from 130 bottles about a year ago. I needed more space and the $ from selling the extra bottles. I kept all the ones that I truly love, though. There are plenty of irises, roses, violets and lilacs in the current 60 bottles. And some really lovely ambers, spices, etc. Lots of Guerlains, 5 Lutens, some Chanels and Pradas, and a good representation of a number of niche houses as well.

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    • I can hardly imagine downsizing 50% – unless I absolutely have to. Though, I think that 60 bottles is more than an apt collection if you start from 130 and go down. But I have a question about decants… I assume, that those 70 bottles that you let go weren’t NIB and weren’t perfumes that you disliked. Weren’t you tempted to keep at least 5 ml of most of them? You did buy them for some reason in the first place, right? Why suddenly such a drastic change of heart?

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      • Good questions. Some of the ones I sold were backup bottles that were new and unused. I decided I wasn’t going to live long enough to use a current bottle and 2 backup bottles of some of the favorites. LOL.. Some of the ones that went on the block had been sprayed only a very few times and weren’t loves. I had just bought things that I could no longer really afford now that I’m retired. There are a lot of us having to adjust to having less $ in retirement and I wasn’t very good at it, so some more extreme measures were required. (Ricky smiles ruefully). But no regrets, I’m enjoying the fragrances I have kept even more now. And I enjoy following all the lovely perfume blogs and hearing about everyone’s wonderful perfume collections.

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  20. I didn’t know offhand, but could name them all offhand to get my tally as I’m still in the early stages of discovery: 10 full bottles – well, three smaller 15ml but they’re not labeled “travel size” so I’ll count them as full.

    4-5 samples floating around and a handful of tiny 2ml decants on their way.

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    • It’s a perfect collection! Try to enjoy what you have now for as long as possible: once you start acquiring more and more samples, decants and bottles, each of your favorites will be getting less and less time.

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  21. Hi Undina, I’d say you’re getting good participation! I am one of those that is afraid to count but I’m guessing in the 120 range. Which probably means it’s more. Many of these were obtained in the sweet spot about years 3-6 into my perfume awakening, when I really got into perfume and was buying a bunch of stuff at the discounters “because it was so cheap” and I wanted to try everything. I have been slowly either selling the untouched ones for bargains on ebay or giving them to friends if I know they like it and that makes me feel like I’m allowed to get the occasional new bottle from time to time. My buying has slowed way down, but I’d say that instead of buying a lot of inexpensive stuff,I’m pacing myself and saving for that special (and usually expensive) one. To illustrate how poor of a handle I have on what is in my collection, about ten years ago when I was living in Singapore, me and the kids would go to the States in the summer. When my husband was away my house helper had a big party at our house (not allowed!) and at least one of her guests went into my bedroom and stole several perfumes. I knew some that were missing right away–some Chanels and Carons–but I had an embarrassingly large amount of them with me, so it wasn’t immediately apparent. This past summer, a full ten years later, I suddenly thought of my old bottle of Sarah Horowitz Bliss and began searching, thinking I hadn’t worn it in forever. I tore apart my collection (I should have been counting!) but it wasn’t there, and I realized I hadn’t seen it since that long ago time. So it took me a full ten years to realize. There is a lesson in that I’m sure! Anyway, today I really deliberate before buying, at least most of the time, and I do try to find decants. If I really like it, though, I want the bottle, not a decant. I am trying to try my samples as I got so behind on them and have some from companies that no longer exist. Anyway, I don’t let it worry me. It’s my only vice, and here while I’m in Australia every pub we go in has “pokies”, people mindlessly playing slots. I don’t see that in Texas so I find it really depressing. At least my frivolous pastime leaves me smelling good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an interesting and didactic story! But I bet, partially it can still be explained by your living between two continents.
      I’m lucky, in a sense: I’m not tempted by bargain mass-market perfumes, so I do not have that many of those in my collection.

      I’m not a gambler at all, so I feel bad for people who choose to spend their money this way: I could even understand playing against other people or betting on a race (it’s some action and element of luck and or skills), but with those machines… Perfumes are clearly a more satisfying vice! :)

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  22. I know I have roughly 120 perfumes, roughly 100 BPALs and no idea how many decants and samples. I’m not a decant/sample hoarder though, I tend to freely pass them on after making a decision about them so they are always in flux. I did drag everything out a couple years ago to take a group photo and there were all manner of things that were missing.. the first thing was YSL Nu which I remembered having two bottles of.So it seems during my frantic swapping years I just swapped stuff away and don’t recall exactly what. So, to answer your question, NOPE! I have no bloody idea.

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    • Are you counting BPAL perfumes separately because they are oils or because you place them in category of their own?

      If you were to discover that your collection was 20-25% larger, would it upset you that you didn’t realize that fact?

      Like

      • I put them in their own category though were I to buy an oil from another brand I would count it with perfumes. Would not be upset if I gad miscounted :)

        Liked by 1 person

  23. I keep my ‘haves’ in a database, so it is easy to keep tabs. Full bottle count right now is 142 and my perfume shelf is crammed to the hilt, can’t fit in even one more. Up until last year, I maintained a 100 bottle limit, then fell off the wagon for a short time and well here we are. I only purchase what I truly love and will wear though. I do not hang on to samples or anything I do not love. Or boxes!

    Like

    • What database do you use?

      Look at it this way: in a year you managed to find more than 40 great perfumes. It’s a significant accomplishment taking into consideration the modern state of the industry.

      Like

  24. Hi Undina, I’m one of the APJ followers and I’m very happy to see so many of my perfume family commenting here. Thank you for hosting the Saturday question.
    My guess is that I have around 40 full bottles. I’ll check that out later. During my latest perfume years I’ve changed my buying habits. After having bought some vintages from the eighties (my favourite perfume years) on ebay I’ve realized that they don’t impress me anymore…and they won’t bring back time. That was the hardest part to put up with.
    Nowadays I’m being less sentimental with perfume. I buy and keep only perfumes that I really LOVE and perfumes that always bring a smile to my face when I spray them on.The test is: if I go through a decant and want immediately some more, then I go for a FB. I’m selling/gifting perfumes I haven’t worn in 2-3 years because if I don’t crave wearing them in such a long time, it means they have served their cause. Now I’m gonna go and count my FBs :-D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Neva, welcome to ULG! I “recognized” you: I read APJ, including comments, much more often than I commented.

      I’m curious to know whether the actual count confirmed your estimate.

      I think perfumes get sentimental value only when they are connected to something “worth remembering” – childhood, [grand]parents, friends, youth, trips, etc. And also you have to spend some time with those perfumes to form those associations (well, travel “souvenirs” might be excluded from this rule, but in general it’s true). So, I’m not surprised you’re not building those relationships with recent perfumes. You buy them pure for how they smell, so if they stopped attracting you before they get to mean anything, you have no connection and can let them go.

      Like

  25. Off to a great start, Undina! I love the stats you provided from Olfactoria’s Travels and APJ!

    To answer your question, I can only guesstimate that I have between 500 and 600, some of which bought specifically to split or bought as partial bottles. I made an attempt several years ago to list the bottles I have, including travel-sized ones; however, I stopped in January 2017 because my file got corrupted 😉. I have a hard time letting go of bottles and have done so sparingly. That said, I am generous with samples and decants and the aforementioned splits and buying partial bottles have helped in overall volume.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, hajusuuri’! I thought of adding a little personal twist to the series by using some statistics. I think those numbers were impressive (both in themselves and in my getting them, she said modesty ;) ). So I’m glad you noticed.

      Sounds like a very serious collection! Does that count include only full bottles that you buy as such, or you added your “large samples” to it as well? ;-P

      I’m making monthly back-ups of my database for the fear to loose 10 years of data input. And I’m dreaming about moving my DB to the cloud one day (but I’ll have to figure out where to store data, specify the mobile or at least web interface, and then commission the app (mobile or web) creation. I don’t have time for it. But one day…

      Like

  26. I think i have somewhere between 40 and 50 bottles. Years ago I decided I would not hold on to samples for reference, so that pile isn’t ridiculously big. Also, I try to buy the smaller bottle sizes, so a good number of my bottles are 30 ml. Alll this in attempt to not let the cost of this hobby become too high.

    Like

    • I think saving samples was a mistake. At this point I have some 10 y.o. samples that I will not probably test again, but they are too old to pass them onto somebody else. These days I’m trying 1) to get the smallest sample possible and 2) decide quickly whether I want perfume to wear or at least to write something about it and, if no, pass it on.

      Like

      • I keep up with my samples now. If I don’t like the scent after test, they go in a pile to give away or sell on eBay. I keep the ones I really like and try to use them up fairly quickly.

        Like

    • I’m with you on the samples, Ingeborg. I was keeping them for reference too, but the good ones I’ve used up immediately so it left me with unloved perfume samples. What’s the use?

      Like

  27. Pingback: Saturday Question: What Do You Do With Samples? – Undina's Looking Glass

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  31. No idea, haha, plus I am unsure how to treat ‘tiny’ full bottles from the likes of Ajne and DSH which may be in the 10-15ml range. They are not travel sprays as such, just small quantities. That question has probably been addressed in the many comments above, but it would take some finding. ;) I’d really rather not count, though I have given a lot away. I’d say about 60, maybe…

    Like

    • Well… If you consider those bottles to be a part of your “regular” collection (perfumes that you planned to wear), then if you remember them, you count them towards what you remember, and if no – then no ;)

      Like

  32. Pingback: Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 3 Citrus Perfumes? – Undina's Looking Glass

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