Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Perfume: The Bi-Annual Insanity

I'm noticing that my perfume acquisition comes in cycles. I suspect that they're six-month cycles related to season changes. (And, no, I'm not a psych student, but I did recently see Beer Bad. Hence the phase names.)

Id: First, there's excited, happy exploration. Sometime after the halfway point of the Warm Season or the Cold Season I start to develop cravings for scents of the season that's coming.

I send off for samples and samples and more samples. I buy bottles, preferably bottles that I sampled thoroughly last year, but sometimes just because something was pretty and my purse was dangerously close to the computer.

(Note to self: Always keep the purse in another room, preferably somewhere where you have to pass a witness who knows darn well why you've gone to fetch it.)

This phase is fun, but expensive.

Ego: Then comes driven exploration.

I keep reading descriptions and reviews and forum posts and ad copy. And adding things to my shopping cart and taking them out again. And debating whether the greater utility of an eight dollar 1.5ml sprayer from The Perfumed Court outweighs the lower price of a four dollar 1ml vial from LuckyScent and, hey, does Aedes have samples for that one, and what's the perfume house's policy on sending out samples?

My mind is a hamster wheel. I want it. I shouldn't get it. I might not wear it. I'm not made of money. It might go away. I want it. Just buy it. How much is it?! Is it any better from The Perfume Shoppe? What's the Canadian exchange rate? Remind me, do I have to pay customs?

This phase is not nearly as expensive, but also not nearly as much fun. It's also characterized by denial, because didn't I just say in my sampling post a few days ago that I was free of the "must try everything!!!" drive? Ha. Just look at my Perfumed Court cart.

Superego: Then comes the (temporary) release from the drive. This is the moment - and it happened twenty minutes ago - when I realize, "I don't have to buy another drop of perfume as long as I live."

Now I'm not saying, mind you, that I won't buy another drop. I certainly will. I'll buy quarts, if not gallons. But I don't have to. I could stop right now, for ten years, and still have a more diverse perfume collection than just about anyone I know in real life.

I can just wear what I have. Velvet Gardenia is going away? I have Tubereuse Couture. Feminite du Bois in the original formula is leaving? I nabbed Theorema.  I don't have Bandit? I do have Daim Blond. So there.

(Clip Show Warning: Excessive use of internal links. I'll try to get a grip.)

This phase is the most relaxing, and the least expensive. But it's not the most fun.

Now, this is the first year that I've been blogging, so it's the first year that I've documented this process. But I do remember experiencing it at least twice before.

I predict that I'm going to keep halfheartedly looking at my Perfumed Court cart, and that I'll send off one last order this winter, possibly in the next couple of days to give myself toys for the holiday. But then I suspect that I'm done with the obsessive acquisitions until, oh, late March. At which point I should probably bury the credit cards until June.

I'll still be posting. And reading. And urging people to sniff things. It's not like I've been taken over by aliens. I'm just relaxing a little - I hope.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I just went through a phase of ordering pretty uch anything I could get my hands on.
    You just got me thinking, I go through bi-annual phases as well, but they seem to happen once the season changes and I'm in it so I get a feel for what I want and like this time around. And that also seems to change seasonally. :)
    P.S. Fem du Bois is changing the original formula?! God, I hope not - I love it like this.

  2. They are changing it. :( But they're also rebranding it in a Serge Lutens bottle, so it's not one of the "sneaky reformulations", and presumably if you get the old bottle, you get the old stuff. The old bottle is available at BeautyEncounter, but I've never smelled it, and it would be Wrong to buy it unsniffed, right? Right? (Right? Where's that credit card?)

  3. You never smelled Fem du Bois? Hmm. Shame on you.
    :) I have a bottle and would be happy to send you a sample to try. I don't mind sending (I read here a while ago you don't send samples) so I'd be happy to send you some.
    Email me your address? :)

  4. Bad me. :) But I did send off that Last Perfumed Court Order Of The Season this afternoon, and included a bitty sprayer of it, so I will soon know what it smells like! (And I expect to like it and spend some time staring at the page on BeautyEncounter that shows the old bottle...)

    But I do appreciate the offer. :) (While I wait for Perfumed Court to ship, what _does_ it smell like? Some people complain that it's just cedar shavings, but I don't see the down side of that. Who could not-love the smell of cedar shavings?)

  5. Definitely not me - I have a bottle of SL Cedre (which might not be like cedar but at least it's called that). ;)
    What does it smell like? Hmm - it's hard for me. It smells typically like SL as a woody-oriental, warm and cuddly and the plum thing is not for me the smell of plum, but more the feeling. It smells as though it is plum colored. I cannot describe the feeling better - and I'd say it's not an easy scent, you definitely need to wear it.

  6. Yep, I figured it wouldn't be as simple as cedar. And I generally dislike at least half of the Lutens creations, and he created (or project-managed, or something) this one, right? So I'd better wait.

    If I want plain old pencil-cedar, there's always the CB I Hate Perfume accords...