Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rambling: Just Looking

You  may have noticed that my posts lately have been abut buy, buy, buy perfume. Not that I'm actually buying anything these last few weeks, but every post is obsessed with whether it would fit in the collection, whether it's redundant, whether it would be wrong to buy it, blah blah blah.

This is rather like my tendency, when eating something new and delicious and deceptively simple at a restaurant, to say, "We really have to cook more." With the implication that if we did cook more, we'd imitate the dish that we're enjoying and thereby have access to it forever. And my tendency, while admiring a neighbor's (for example) daylilies, to immediately rethink my decision not to grow any daylilies myself.

It should be possible to enjoy a fine thing without immediately focusing on having control and possession of that thing. That focus suddenly looks to me like a hoarder's mindset. And there are hoarder genes in my DNA that I want to squash very, very flat. I've decided that I want to cut this out.

So what does that mean? As I write this post, it means that I'm considering buying no perfume for quite a long time. A long time by my standards, that is. Six months, maybe?

So if I were to do this, what would the rules be? I can think of a few :
  • I'm allowed to repurchase what I use up. This will only be meaningful for soap and shampoo and bath potions, though if I unexpectedly use up a bottle or decant of a perfume, yes, I am allowed to replace it. This particular exercise is not about divesting, though it could well be accompanied by other exercises that are.
  • I'm allowed to buy 1ml or 2ml samples. If the philosophy is to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of life without taking permanent possession of them, a 1ml perfume sample seems like a fine example of exactly that philosophy.
  • No decants. No bottles. No excuses. No "But it's a sale." No "But I heard a rumor that it's being discontinued." No "But I already decided I wanted this before I made the rule." No "But it's vintage and it'll be gone." No "But I want to encourage local perfume sellers." No "But I'll buy it as soon as the rule is over, and it's on sale, so I may as well." No "But it's windfall money." Nope nope nope.
Now, I should make it clear that I'm just thinking about this. I'm writing up the rules and eyeing them, cautiously, from a distance. But I think it's a good plan.


  1. "O brave new world, That has such people in't!"

    Timely thoughts.

    A period of restraint, using and enjoying what I've already got, appeals to me too. I possess more than enough scent, really! Must stop simply coveting what I haven't got, getting it, and then chasing something else.

    Cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  2. You missed off the "investment bottle with high swapping potential" excuse, with which I justified my recent bulk purchase of Mary Greenwell Plum on Ebay. Possibly because of your Perfume Postal Phobia. : - )

    But seriously, you speak wise words...and this sentence particularly chimed with me (note correct use of "particularly" here):

    "And there are hoarder genes in my DNA that I want to squash very, very flat"

    I use the "windfall money" one extensively - indeed I wish the windfalls were as extensive as my usage of them as an excuse.

    Also, in his latter years my dad was entombed by books and every piece of direct mail he had received in 30 years, so it is a timely reminder of my own hoarder genes...

  3. I have hoarder genes I try to put out of effect. But I don't count perfumes and books as my hoarding stuff, they are necessary to keep me functioning normally.
    If you do actually succeed with this, that will show strength of character I just know I don't posess. :)

  4. Hey, Anna! Yes--it's fun to chase the new thing, but eventually it just gets tiring, doesn't it?

  5. Yo, Vanessa! Y'know, I never considered the value of the Phobia in suppressing purchases. :) If I had the, "Oh, I'll just trade it away if I don't like it" excuse, I'd probably have a lot more perfume.

    And, yep, killing those genes is, I think, a priority.

  6. Greetings, Ines! Well, I think it's a "feel" thing. Until just a little while ago, the perfume felt happy and sparkly, but suddenly I'm feeling an exhausted urge to acquire without the associated happiness in acquisition. So it feels like time for a change.