100s Of Bottles And Nothing To Wear!!


Post by Portia


Hello APJ Fumies,

Sometimes I go to my fragrance wardrobe and am completely overwhelmed. The choice seems impossible because there is so much but also seems impossible because nothing seems to be 100% right either. It’s the grossest of first world problems and I am ashamed of myself but there you have it. So how do I cope with these titanic traumas?

I don’t cope at all, what happens is I do one of two things…..

100s Of Bottles And Nothing To Wear!!

A Perfumistas Problem

So imagine me, it’s work time. I have bathed, made up and am ready to spritz. Lets say for my bath today I have used a citrus bubble bath because I’m unsure of my fragrance choice and most fragrances have citrus somewhere through them, usually up top, so I feel it’s a fairly neutral choice. I’m at my cupboard, the boxes are all named so while my eyes run down them I get mental images of the bottles inside: Designer, Niche, “Hermès, Piguet, Versace, Jacomo”, “Rochas, Caron” etc etc. NOTHING is jumping out at me and I’m due to walk out the door in 10 minutes, I need to spritz, get dressed, grab my bag and go….

What do I do?

Portia I Really Liked This Sample Box

Hit The Sample Box

There are a few sample/decant boxes around here. One of them is my “I really liked this” box. It’s got a bunch of fragrances that worked for me when I tested them, may have stayed on the desk for a week or two and are then cleared away in the next influx. Sure they’re unfinished and I’ve probably not bought a bottle of them but they are fine fragrances awaiting their time to shine again.

Quite a lot of these are 3, 5 or 10ml decants that I have bought in splits, smaller bottles from the Indie houses and a couple of extraits. Sometimes when I sample something new but don’t feel I’d ever go through 50ml of it I go to Surrender To Chance or My Perfume Samples and grab 5 or 8ml. There are the gifts of things that I may like from perfumista friends, perfumers, perfume houses etc. Lastly there are a few manufacturers minis.

I can always come to this box and Lucky Dip. This is a sensational, fun, surprising way to solve the problem for me. It also has led to me finally falling in love with a couple of maybes and buying bottles. Lolita Lempicka Elle L’Aime, Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, Annick Goutal Ce Soir Ou Jamais and Divine EdP all came to be full bottles this way.

Spritz An Old Favourite Portia

Spritz An Old Favourite

All of us have 5 or 10 scents that are our favourites. Having so much and sampling so much these beauties often get ignored. We love them, it’s already decided, they’ll be there tomorrow and all manner of other reasons get in the way of us wearing our special forever favourites as much as we can. This then is the perfect fix. We know that they work, we know they’re eye rollingly gorgeous and we know that they smell good to others while we wear them too.

Some of mine are Guerlain Shalimar and Mitsouko, CHANEL No 5, Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur (You’ll notice I’ve recently opened my second bottle!!), Madonna Truth or Dare, Liberté by Cacharel and SOIVOHLE Rosa sur Reuse. All over the top gorgeous and when I get to wear them it always a surprise that I don’t wear them more.

Do you ever get overwhelmed? What are your coping mechanisms?
Portia xx


31 comments on “100s Of Bottles And Nothing To Wear!!

  1. Katherine says:

    I need a system this organized. All my samples are in a big pile. We are in the process of relocating to new city so I’m hoping I can devise a system. I just bought Kai and Tom Ford Orchid Soleil. It’s crazy hot here right now and these two hit the spot for me.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Katherine,
      I freaking love Kai. Have you used their Bubble Bath? It’s super yum in a cool bath for summer.
      Good luck with the move.
      Portia xx

  2. Bernadette Winfield-Gray says:

    In summer it has to be Eau de Givenchy. In Winter vol de Nuit. BTW, don’t want to gazump you or anything, but Surrender to Chance are discontinuing Guerlain! they are having a massive closeout sale, on now until the 21 August, including some vintage parfum strength. I am already in mourning for when my 1ml Parure decant is no more…:(

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Bernadette Winfield-Gray,
      What lovely choices as your Go-Tos.
      Yes, already been across and bought the 3 things I really wanted. GAWD There is some incredible stuff going for VERY nice prices, and 40% off that with the discount code!! guerlain40
      Portia xx

  3. Gavin says:

    Substitute few of the fragrances and this could have come directly from my pen (or that of most of us obviously!). I think we have quite similar organisational structures in our collections too Portia.
    I must say, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been late for one engagement or another due to this problem, I’d probably just buy a few more bottles and add to the conundrum!
    Nice little write up!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Gavin,
      Nice to know I’m not alone.
      Yes, more money usually equals more fragrance around here too.
      Portia xx

  4. Barbara Carter says:

    Oh lord yes, this keeps getting worse. I have recently been pulling based on cap sniffing. Kind of like – is this what I want for dinner? Then for whatever reason my nose says “oh hell yes” to something and I spray. Lately I have gone back to 2014 picks because I have not worn them in a while. Perfume is totally mood based for me right now. I also contemplate my day and if it is intense I don’t wear anything because I zone out or get distracted, so I save it for night. Sometimes I have to take a break for a few days or a week then my craving and enjoyment are back. My favorite is pulling out a big basket from Scentbar visits and reading through them and pulling out things. It is all good, but Geez.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      HA! Barbara, I can see you doing this too.
      ScentBar guys are so generous, it’s a double edged sword.
      Portia xx

  5. Hanna says:

    Happens to me all the time – this morning, in fact! When nothing jumps out at me, I usually reach for a perfume legend: today it was the vintage Chanel No. 5 EdT I picked up thrifting a couple of days ago; something “safe” but also complex enough to keep me interested through the day. I just love really getting to know these classics through and through, discovering new facets to them in different formulations, seasons and moods.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      VERY nice pick up Hanna,
      It’s so good to learn the historical beauties. 100% with you on that.
      Portia xx

  6. Sandra says:

    Loved reading this Portia because I am not alone now! I have this ‘problem’ quite a lot when seasons change or when my schedule changes. Then I just head for my faves – Ashoka, Kiki, Diva and Cuir Beluga. I really need to get better organised – you are amazing!!! Sandra xoxo

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY!! We are tribe Sandra.
      BTW what a stunning set of Go-Tos. I think you are my Go-To hero.
      Portia xx

  7. Hamamelis says:

    Hi Portia!I think my perfume choice often reflects how I am in all parts of me so to speak; my body chemistry, my mind and emotions, what I need to do (or not), how much or how little stress or inner peace etc, combined to what I am going to do that day, who I will meet, where etc…and I think this makes a the perfect perfume choice a fine art! And ofcourse we regularly miss and sometimes really hit. Our old favourites match us in our baseline I think, so they will almost always be right (but maybe not perfect). Mine are Heure Exquise, Cristalle, Dzongkha, no 5, no 19, Journey and Iris Nobile.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hamamelis, you have hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly how my choosing should go.
      Also, yes it is our baseline that the faves speak to. That’s why they work so often. You’ve thought about this I can tell.
      Isn’t Cristalle heaven? I love me some CHANEL too.
      Portia xx

  8. Fifi says:

    Your sample box is like porn for penitent slobs. When I’m overwhelmed I either do eeny-meeny-miny-moe with my (unorganized) samples, or go to old faithfuls like Amouage Lyric Woman, Mugler Oriental Express, Aramis Calligraphy Rose, or (ahem) Adam Levine (ahem) for Women.

    And about that Surrender to Chance sale — talk about overwhelming. I don’t have much experience with Guerlain so I don’t know what to choose. Eeny-meeny again, I guess.

    • Carolyn says:

      LOL…I love that…the eeny-meeny-miny-moe way to select a fragrance 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      HA! Fifi, that’s the organised stuff. Everything in 2ml or up is organised, everything below that is in a jumble box, NOPE, you’re not seeing that one. He He he.
      I really like the Adam Levine, and the bottle is super fun.
      For Guerlain, anything that says vintage in the sale will be ultra hard to find elsewhere. I love that they are doing a bunch of 5ml so you’ll really get to wear them.
      Portia xx

  9. Yes, I’ve been found standing and staring vacantly into the cabinet where I keep my perfumes! My teenagers find this very amusing. I take a similar approach: either grab a sample, spritz and then toss it into my purse so I have it with me at work; or spritz one of my tried-and-trues. For summer daytime (at least this year!), those include all the Hermes “Jardin” scents, especially Un Jardin Sur le Nil, plus Creed’s Fleurissimo, Penhaligon’s Blasted Bloom, Lili Bermuda’s Lily, Bvlgari’s Rose Essentielle. BTW, I love your organized sample box! It may inspire me to tidy up my own samples …
    Old Herbaceous recently posted…Fragrance Friday: Les Fontaines ParfumeesMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Old Herbaceous,
      We are amusing in our hobby but all the joys it brings us makes being a little silly worth it. (for me anyway)
      LOVE those Hermès Jardin frags, I think they are my favourite work JCE did for the company. So wearable.
      Tidying them up is a really enjoyable pastime, when they’re done you breathe a big happy sigh.
      Portia xx

  10. Carolyn says:

    Mmmmmm…coping mechanisms…lol. Sometimes I just stand in front of my dresser or bookcase completely blank as to what I want to wear. If that happens I usually do the favorite, tried and true scents. I’ve found if I don’t go that route I usually end up with something I want to scrub off five minutes later 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Carolyn,
      Tried and True are called that for a reason. ACK, scrubbers! Luckily I’ve had very few of those.
      Portia xx

  11. Azar says:

    Hi Portia,
    When I feel overwhelmed I just figure its time to stop – for awhile, anyway. So – I just stop – spritzing or dabbing or otherwise applying fragrance for a day or two. It’s the deprivation cure and its works fast and it works every time. I don’t think I’ve done this abstinence thing for longer than 48 hours before I know exactly what I really want to wear. My nose is clear, my head it clear and most of the time, but not always, I go first thing for the old stuff.
    Azar xxx

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Azar! WOW! You are strong.
      One of my great joys is the spritzing itself. That lavish squirt, squirt, squirt that feels so movie star. I’m going to try abstinence one day just for fun.
      Portia xxx

  12. Fazal says:

    The collection size does pose a problem which is why I plan to significantly downsize my collection in the near future so that I only have what I LOVE because the list of LIKE is too long. I would already have started the process but most of my stuff is still in boxes in storage in another US state 🙁

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Fazal,
      Great. Good luck with the downsizing. I find that part really difficult. Back in 2014 when we moved I managed to cull 80 bottles, it was very liberating.
      Portia xx

  13. cookie queen says:

    Great post Portia. I seldom have this problem, but only because I decide the night before what I am going to wear. I thoroughly enjoy the build up to the actual applying
    of the pefume. I am one of those who lie in bed at 04:00 getting excited for the planned scent. Hahahahahaha. I will plan weeks ahead what to wear if I have some happening. All that said, when I am smacking my head against my oven having had no inspiration then it will be a Chanel. Bussis. ❤️

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Thanks Val,
      You are SO much more sensible and controlled in your hobby that I.
      LOVE that you plan weeks out for big events.
      Portia xxx

  14. Anna Maria says:

    Haha titanic trauma lol, love you Portia!
    Yes mood weather etc. help to let me decide what frag choice for that day…special occasions I gave my Chanel coco noir parfum or black orchid by Tom Ford, make me feel decadent.
    Your perfume room is as fabulous as you are Portia love it!! So honoured to be there.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Always so happy when you come over and share it Anna-Maria. Thanks for being my buddy.
      Portia xx

  15. Undina says:

    Portia, I loved this post! Not just because it’s great (it is!) but because I’ve been just thinking about it (I even started writing my own post on a somewhat similar topic).

    I do not wear “random” perfumes: in the last several years I’ve been wearing only perfumes that I bought to wear (bottles or decants). So the first approach you’ve described probably wouldn’t work for me. As to the 5-10 “best-of-the-best-of-the-best”, they all are just too special for me to wear them for those occasions when I cannot decide 😉
    Undina recently posted…Bargains That Hunt (Haunt?) MeMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Undina,
      YAY! So glad to strike a nerve.
      Right, yes number one definitely wouldn’t work.
      My best are not best because they are expensive but because they seem to fit no matter what mood i’m in.
      I find it difficult to wear my 5-10 “best-of-the-best-of-the-best” at all because they are so precious and I don’t want to miss the ride but also feel as if I’m wasting them if I wear them around the local shops (which I do sometimes for a lift)
      Portia xxx

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