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I can’t sleep till I find the mini-decants of Diamonds and Emeralds

I know I’m a perfume nerd because it’s taking me longer and longer to find the thing I want to wear.

Like many perfumistas I keep a spreadsheet of my holdings; I keep mine online so that if I am considering a swap with someone while I’m away from my home machine, or considering a mini in my favorite thrift store, I can check the list and know what I have. More importantly, when I see a great review from someone, I can check the spreadsheet before I go buying it all over again. (Once this happens to you once or twice, trust me, you’ll have a spreadsheet too. I recommend GoogleDocs.)

But knowing what you have and being able to find it are two entirely different things.

I have perfumes on the bureau, yes; but light is not good for storage, so those are somewhat for “show” or just to poke through from time to time. I have a drawer full of the “good stuff” – things I want to wear often but don’t want to submit to light. (I need to put away my splash bottle of vintage Chanel No. 5, but I love seeing it on my bureau, and let’s face it, it’s not that hard to come by vintage Chanel No. 5.)

I have “morning” perfumes in the bathroom, mostly in the cabinet, again away from light, though I have a few Marc Jacobs spritzes on the counter because I like the way they look there. I have a glass box of oils, mostly Ava Luxes, and I have another little stash of oils inside another bathroom shelf. I have a growing collection of decants on another shelf in the bathroom; and I have a box in which samples are filed (yes, filed) by company name. Not being able to find a sample is SO demoralizing. Of course the DSH samples are separate, as there are so many of them, in a baggie next to the bed, where one Clive Christian small bottle is also hiding. The other Clive Christians are still in the travellers’ box because I can’t bear to take them out even though I have nowhere to put the damn thing.

That’s all separate from the perfumes I have stashed in my desk, which I can honestly say might best be categorized now as “a cubic foot’s worth”, and “the vault”, which is a box in the closet with backup bottles, larger bottles of Good Stuff from which I’ve made small decants for daily use, and suchlike.

There’s a System to it, but sometimes it’s still hard to find things. I have to clear stuff off the counters every two weeks to clean, so sometimes things get Swept Up and I don’t know where they’ve gone. I’ve been looking for two mini decants I made of Elizabeth Taylor’s Emeralds and Diamonds and Rubies and Diamonds, for instance, with rollerballs (I just know those are scents that don’t really NEED to be sprayed – and you know it too), but I couldn’t find them. Since I hadn’t yet had a chance to try them, this was making me kind of nuts. I finally just devoted myself to the search, and finally found them – in a baggie of things that had clearly been Stuffed out of the way because there was, sadly, no room for them on the counter in any sort of controlled fashion.

(The scents that are out on the bureau tops are on glass trays to prevent damage but still I have managed to put down a bottle that leaked – unforgivably, it was a Montale, it should not have leaked – and melted the finish in a ring on top of one of the few actually nice pieces of furniture I have. Sigh. So I try not to leave them standing out on top of wooden furniture. In fact I TRY not to leave them standing out at all. Sometimes they wait awhile in some part of the house while I figure out how to categorize them and what to do with them.)

Sometimes it’s too damn hard to separate them from their box. My precious Andy Tauer Maghreb limited edition came in a box that fit it like a glove – but the box just makes it that much more difficult to store. Do you store your things in the box? Does it make them tougher to wear, because you can’t just grab and spritz?

It’s kind of fun to look for things for one primary reason: I keep finding things I didn’t realize I owned. Somehow, just looking at the spreadsheet doesn’t remind you of the closeout bottle of Apricot Vanilla oil you bought, or the split of The Unicorn Spell when you bought in a fit of longing for violets that you still haven’t even tried yet. (I’ve been vacillating between violets for over a week, between Guerlain Champs-Elysees which I read is supposed to be more like mimosa but seems more like violets to me, and Caron Violettes Precieuse which is just solidifying my newfound appreciation for the Caron line.)

That said, I should probably update my spreadsheet too!

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