Saturday Question: Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?

With the [Early] Black Friday [Day/Week/Month] happening this year, I thought we could talk about not buying something for a change.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #141:

Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?

If yes, was it a complete halt on any perfume-related spending? For how long? Were you tempted to break it, or were you firm in your decision? Did you strictly stick to it, or did you have any “relapses”? Has it affected your interest in perfume in general or perfume-related activities, such as reading blogs, participating in SOTD discussions, etc.?

My Answer

Until now, I’ve never done “no-buy.” My perfume acquisitions slowed down compared to previous years, and I haven’t exceeded a self-imposed perfume budget in the last several years. But I was buying some new perfumes and recently a lot of samples.

Starting this December, I’m doing my first “no-buy.” I won’t discuss the reasons (nothing too dramatic, everybody is healthy), but I will temporarily refrain from buying perfumes to wear (i.e., travel/full bottles or decants). Since it is a perfume blog, and I plan to keep it going, I will probably keep a small budget for samples and postage for swaps. But until the underlying practical reasons are resolved, my current collection should be more than enough to enjoy all aspects of my hobby – wearing, writing about and discussing perfumes.


How about you?


Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?


45 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?

  1. Yes I have but I don’t remember giving myself a time limit as to when it would end. I can’t remember the last fragrance I bought either in bottle, decant or sample so I guess I am still on a somewhat no buy. I rarely read blogs or participate in discussions so I am not even sure what’s current and what’s trending these days.


  2. Hi Undina and crew,
    Yes, I did a No Buy for about 9 months during the pandemic. It wasn’t a complete one because Jin gave me some money a couple of times expressly to buy myself a new fragrance.
    I still had so many things to sniff and samples I’d never touched, plus my wardrobe. I missed shopping but didn’t miss having new things, does that make sense?
    Portia xx


  3. Yes, for 90 days, the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020. I had not exceeded any budgets but I did suspect COVID shutdowns and some difficult family matters may have caused some “shop-o-tainment” on my part, so restraint was in order. I strictly stuck to it and walked away from, for example, a vintage Diorissimo spotted on a thrifting outing. I’ve lived to tell about it :). My no-buy (and the memory of it) helps to keep me focused on my collection, as you have already seen. I have many dozens of samples and decants that I need to use and appreciate.


  4. Oh my-I’ve tried, and failed spectacularly lol. Every time I say no more-none at all-I sort of rebound and buy too much. I think it’s the thought of restraint that does my head in.

    I put my collection in order and looked at the NST article on how much perfume do I need for a life time. I have about 75 bottles, so I have more than enough for my lifetime. I want to use my collection and enjoy it. So now I think in terms of-if I buy this it will take away from wearing what I already own. I like what I own-I worked for it, and planned the purchase, so what does this shiny new perfume have that my older scents don’t.

    Since we’re almost in December I’ve pulled out all my Guerlain parfums. There’s something so satisfying about parfum in the cold of winter, leading up to the Solstice. A few drops feels so elegant, wears so close to the skin, and leaves a gorgeous scent trail for the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you about the restraint being a culprit on its own. Psychologically, it’s harder to abide by self-imposed limitations (anyone who tried to give up any type of food would agree).

      Even though I’m not a huge Guerlain fan, recently I felt drawn to many of those that I have. I don’t understand how I could pass on Gourmand Coquin while it was still available! But I will enjoy the remaining ml in my decant before it’s gone. So, it’s kind of a positive side.


  5. I haven’t, as I’m not generally a fan of arbitrary restraints and don’t spend more than I can reasonably afford. I haven’t bought much perfume this year compared with the last couple of years. However, I’m toying with the idea of going on a no-buy for anything that’s not essential in January, mostly for the discipline because I’ve spent a lot of time recently on online shopping (not perfume related) – hours and hours of browsing very similar things, thinking about which one to buy if at all, and it feels like too much time wasted.
    In the meantime, plenty of familiar bottles and samples already here to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t help comparison shopping for anything! :( I’m not talking about big ticket items – that’s given. Sometimes I can spend 30+ minutes figuring out where to buy a Landry detergent! And it’s not even that I really need to save those $2-3. I’m trying to get better at saving my time instead. But it’s a process.

      I have enough perfumes to probably never buy another bottle (unless they spoil, which can happen as we know). And I shouldn’t suffer much about not getting any more. But curiosity when it comes to something released by a favorite brand… This is what I will be against in that “no-buy” endeavor.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I did a no-buy YEAR in 2020. No perfume, makeup, skincare, clothing. It was hard, but a worthwhile exercise to constantly be thinking about spending and acquisition, needs vs. wants. I often “window shopped”, but always walked away after looking through my collection/stash/closet realizing I had something similar enough already. (My rules allowed me to replace a few key skincare items – sunscreen, vitamin C serum – and I bought a pair of shoes for my photography work, but otherwise kept to the No-buy – I was really bad about having backups of everything before). Followed with a 365 perfume project in 2021. Certainly had no problem wearing something different every day, so the no buy was needed. I “low buy” now – limit a lot but I do buy a few things each year – just not big bottles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A year is impressive! And I can’t believe that you 365 project was almost a year ago!

      I plan to do it for cosmetics/skincare as well – for the non-essential items, I mean. Any regular skincare items will be replaced as needed, but I feel like I have a stash of the most items to last me through 2023 :), and right before deciding on this no-buy (before I knew I would be doing it, I mean) I bought even more. So, it will be interesting to see how I cope with the shopping withdrawal :)


      • It is really satisfying to see the stash of product reduce. Shopping withdrawal is the hardest thing, I tended to be a bit of an emotional shopper. Still fight against that all of the time. It helps that I’m starting a long process of clearing out our house to eventually downsize in a few years.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I also feel like all the shopping, thinking about what to buy, plotting my next sample purchases and evaluating them to see if I want to buy a full bottle is distracting me from what my life should be about and not wearing and enjoying what I already have, so I am calling a halt on Dec. 1st.

    Previous no-buys ended in failure, but my life and priorities have shifted in the past two years, so I think I’m more ready to let go. I will give myself an out though – whatever perfumes I sell, those funds can be reserved for a special purchase.


  8. As I have gone through my adult life my perfume obsession has ebbed & flowed. Spells of buying sprees, spells of having little, if any, interest in buying or sampling anything new.
    DH illness has sent me back to repurchase things that hold memories for us. When I was developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & trying to work long hours in a complex & stressful job, I didn’t have the bandwidth to think about new scents. Much of the time I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to even wear perfume. I felt it too intrusive.
    I know there will be times of natural no buy in the future, there will be times again when I will go months without being scented. The chase will return though


    • I also noticed that with some level of stress making a decision of what to wear today or fear of choosing the “wrong” one takes away from the joy of wearing perfumes. So, I started skipping that from time to time. Not too often, but it happens. And then I regret about the missed opportunity :)


  9. I haven’t done a formal no-buy, but I do limit purchases ahead of time when I know I’m going on a trip and hope to buy some fragrance. I may try a no-buy this December, as I have plenty to keep me occupied and will be getting some nice fragrances as Christmas gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I’ll have any perfumes as Christmas/NY gifts this year (I can’t complain: right before the no-buy I got a new bottle I wanted to get for a while, so I’m fine), unless there is something perfume-related in the Advent Calendar that I bought and plan to open in December.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t done a no buy, but my slowed down a lot in the last year. Being pregnant changed my smell. I could not wear florals. And now being a new mam takes all my energy. I just can’t wear my fragrances.


  11. I made a budget several years ago and ended up spending the most in January, so no more. I also tried to list my daily perfume wearing and I lasted 25 days (with some gaps). And, I stopped doing Wordle because it stressed me out – so poof!


    • I’ve tried to keep a record of my daily wears in various ways, Basenotes, Fragrantica & a home made spreadsheet too. Always failed miserably! Some how it sucks the joy out of wearing scent & the whole love of fragrance. So glad I’m no alone


    • I’m having issues with tracking my perfume use :( Mostly because the database I use is on my home computer, and during the week I often don’t get to it. I’m trying to record it in the iPhone Notes and then transfer, but I keep missing some data :(
      If I could only move my database to the cloud…


  12. My no-buy year in 2019 -2020 was due to all my $ going to tooth implants and crowns. Arrgghh! I don’t really feel like I missed out on anything, though. It was good, actually, for helping me to evaluate and appreciate the perfumes I already own.


    • Implants/crowns are much more important than an extra sample of bottle (especially since it’s in addition to the already impressive perfume wardrobe).
      I hope I won’t feel too bad about having to stick to “no-buy” for a while.


  13. I have not bought perfume since December 2018! 2019 was my intentional no-buy which is when I got into my art p. seriously and spent on exxy art supplies. Then the pandemic started :( I used to buy lots of fbs, not samples, so it was a no-brainer to stop for a bit longer.
    I do want to buy a bottle of Bel Respiro but I don’t think I can get that in Oz for love or money.
    I never stopped wearing perfume every day, though!


  14. Hello all 👋
    I DO HOPE everyone is having a simply lovely holiday season 🤞🏼 🙏 ❗️

    So ❓️
    A “perfume no-buy” event 🤔 💭 ❓️

    EEEEEKS 😱❗️
    🙉 I don’t EVEN wanna hear [or think] about such a dreadful thing 😖 🚫 ❗️


    THAT being said?
    I should * gulp* 🥴

    At last Sept 2022 count, I was at OVER 1760 DIFFERENT frags 😬

    My name is Lu
    And ❓️
    I AM a fragrance addict 🤚🏻 🙋‍♀️ 💁‍♀️ ❗️

    Nuthin 4 nuthin tho❓️
    Its about THE ONLY thing that keeps me going nowadays – the ONE THING that stops me from COMPLETELY giving up 😔. Whilst many percieve my expressing such as a cry for help or something of the kind -> all I CAN do is assure otherwise 😉.

    After all ….. that my frags are basically what enables my “hangin in there” ….. one must admit: not TOO SHABBY a thing, eh ❓️
    It COULD be worse 😌

    I’m AWARE its alot – my collection.
    However ❓️
    Please don’t get me wrong: everyday I feel blessed having it & give thanks …. if only grateful TO – SOME form of a Higher Power I feel likely exists: even if such a power/concept might be “Mother Nature” 😑

    ✌️ 😊


  15. Oh AND P.S.
    FIRM believer in “spreading the luv ❤️ ”
    Meaning ?
    I share 😉
    In fact ❓️
    Gives me great joy to share 👌

    NOT much of a modern day fraghead tho.
    95% of my collection are vintages & antiques & OF THOSE -> a solid 70% are mostly parfum/extraits &/or concentrated perfume/bath oils …..

    I HAVE been endeavoring to de-clutter my collection of unwanteds consisting of:
    ● dissappointing blind buys
    ● excessive inventory of once loved frags I’ve
    either completely outgrown or simply have
    too much of
    ….. such as the 8 bottles of Caron
    Narcisse Noir I’d accumulated over decades
    when THAT ONE was my #1. LOL
    ● unusually large flacons/bottles with
    amounts remaining I can/have transferred
    to smaller, less space consuming vessels
    ● ….. etc …..

    Altho I have, from time to time, gotten a spark of energy to list & sell frags on a site, I’ve NEVER bought TO resell. THAT’S bcuz I’ve more than enuf of a task ahead of me weaning & de-cluttering what I already have ….. ug.

    NOR do I want 2B percieved as a “seller” per se

    But I cannot dispute the rational choice to invest MORE into WEANING than acquiring frags. If nothing else (?), it SURE DOES enhance the ABILITY to afford & hence, knock off items from that “wish list” …. which, in MY case, tend 2B rather lengthy 🤪 …. not to mention pricey 😬 😰❗️

    I must admit I have profound admiration for those fragheads whom DO self-discipline via a “no-buy” resolution 👍 👏🏿 👏🏿 👏🏿 .

    Had I NOT been capable of that very such way of life in my younger days, & in ALL ways too, I’d likely NOT be capable of investing of myself & finances TO engage in my perfumista passion …. literally my “Lifeline” nowadays.

    To ALL my Scent Soul Sista’s (& Brutha’s) 🤭 out there AND the creator of THIS site:
    🙏 Bless ALL your ♥️ 💕 💞 .

    BE (& do) well 🤗 ….. always 👐

    ~ Lu ✌️


    • Hi Lu!

      Your collection sounds impressive, and I’m glad that you get joy and self-support from it. But I can’t imagine how you handle it! I get a choice overload even from my collection that is much smaller than yours even if to count all the decants that I got for wearing. How do you decide what to wear every day?!


  16. I have never had an official no-buy spell, just as I have never banned myself from eating chocolate(!), but I find the urge to buy perfume is naturally very sporadic these days – my recent purchase of Prada Candy being a very rare exception.


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