Saturday Question: What Do Family And Friends Think Of Your Perfume Obsession?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Comment purposefully on yours or anothers comment & you’ll have a chance, will draw on Friday.

Last Weeks Winner: Sadly we didn’t hit 100

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with the eMail you’d like me to send your Gift Card to.

Saturday Question:

What Do Family And Friends Think Of Your Perfume Obsession?

A particular longtime friends discovery of my addiction and subsequent question this week got me thinking. I’m pretty sure that loads of our friends and families think we are fully bonkers and are flummoxed by our irrational perfume (and often all things fragrant) hoarding collecting. Do you mainly get intrigue, outrage, bewilderment, support, drama or any kind of reaction to your passion? What are some of the hilarious, upsetting, ridiculous or damning reactions that you have met while being part of this amazing world trend?

The hoarde in 2013

My Answer:

My perfume obsession has baffled so many friends and family through the years. Fortunately Mum was always very supportive of all my quirks and wrapped it all up into a huge blanket of acceptance. I think her laissez faire attitude of do what you want but don’t hurt anyone rubbed off and set me up well to deal with and ignore the worlds need to have people work and live within parameters.

Most of my mates have known me to get very involved in whatever takes my fancy at a given time and are quietly surprised fragrance has lasted so many decades in all different levels and forms. Having discovered the online perfume worked, the boards, blogs, niche stores and discounters I became a man obsessed. It was around this time that Jin and I watched the film  Julie and Julia and the pilot light burst into a bonfire and then a conflagration.As Australian Perfume Junkies started my reach and scope became instantly much broader and suddenly I had access to the world. The blog has added a sheen of respectability to my outrageous frag spending and continued my trajectory of try and buy.

Jin doesn’t have anything but support for my habit, though he sometimes wishes we could land in a city without me having a bunch of frag meetings organised. My mates are intrigued and I’ve made a plethora of new friends too.

Last week a guy who I worked in bars with through the 1990s and have remained mates with got in touch and gave me some of his current loves and fave notes and asked for recommendations. I gave him 10 from across the price board. He was disbelieving at some of the prices but happy for the info.

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Do Family And Friends Think Of Your Perfume Obsession?



71 comments on “Saturday Question: What Do Family And Friends Think Of Your Perfume Obsession?

  1. Chocolate Marzipan says:

    Well, P, given that my obsession is still going strong after 46+ years I think those who know me have come to a certain level of acceptance. Then again, most of my family is also really into fragrances (with the exception of Mr. CM who chides me for binge watching youtube perfume reviews) but not at the level of obsessiveness that I am. It’s loads of fun having bottles floating around the house for all to share and bottles being passed back and forth in borrowing between my parents and myself (my 80 year old dad even “scents” his socks and underwear!)

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      OMG! Your Dad sounds like a treat. Good on him.
      How cool to have a constant merry go round of scent. I am WAY too mine and yours oriented to do that. It would send me around the loop.
      Portia xx

  2. Marion says:

    Well Mum let me book up perfume at both Wingham chemists during the gawd 60’s it may have been guilt as she came to town to play tennis with the Wingham ladies and was very good she had been coached by aaah ? Harry Hopman at White City in the Big Smoke as a state A grader. I blame my totally stuffed knees on too much athletics in my youth. Thanks for the sporty genes Mum. I think I got my perfume genes from Dad actually tho’. It just kept going. Until the Internet I thought I was the only human in the world who has adored perfume all their life. My dear ex has only two categories of perfume – “floral” for stuff he doesn’t like, and “vanilla” for stuff he does! I give all my “meh” blind buys to my daughter who shares them with her friends although I frequently bust her for raids on my cupboard. I wore massive fumes to school in my working life as an art teacher and the kids loved fumes and gawd knows what my colleagues thought as I blew them out of the staff room with Paris, Ysatis, Bal a V, Poison etc. I prowled the night in Mitsouko always. Yes the internet has been a real joy in this perfume connection thing!

  3. Azsa says:

    I don’t have any family or irl friends who care about fragrance. Most of the people around me hate scents so I never apply more than a spray or two unless I’m alone

  4. Jackie b says:

    Perhaps we are the type of people who can easily get obsessive about stuff. I know I have been super involved with things like watercolour painting, meditation, Elizabethan history, but perfume has outlasted them all. So far! Maybe because the world of frgarance mutates all the time. Anyway, I have never been aware of judgement from anyone about my collecting and lots of people have been on the receiving end of samples and unwanted bottles.

  5. Sue Mills says:

    A timely question! I was at dinner tonight with friends and while the boys were reliving football and cricket matches they played 20 years ago, my friend and I were talking about Facebook and how involved we were with it and this led on to me telling her about APJ and Fragrantica and AFN and all the great things that these connections had led to.
    I told her about the friends I have made, the laughs I have had, the life stories I have heard, the wonderful messages and gifts I have received, and that strange comfort of knowing that there are people out there, at any time of the day or night, that ‘get’ me.
    And then we talked about the perfumes themselves! She was intrigued by how many I might have, where I store them, how I use and rotate them, how I choose them … It was really good to speak to someone ‘in real life’ about it. She is non-judgmental and really quite fascinated by it all.
    But I choose who I tell. And I don’t choose too many. My other half, while he has never said anything negative, doesn’t know how deep the hole is …

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY! Sue,
      Do you think your friend will be knocking to try some scent on skin soon?
      HA! What will your other half say do you think?
      Portia xx

      • Sue Mills says:

        Portia, I think my friend is very eager to see and smell the stash for herself! Not sure what the other half will say, but he does know that I am on first-name terms with the regular postie and the AusPost courier …

  6. MmkInPA says:

    I’m not really a collector of things. I have a lot of jewelry, but I have made most of it myself. I have a small collection of blown glass pumpkins, but I’m near the end of mantel space for them- they come out for Halloween and Thanksgiving. So my very large perfume collection is perplexing to Mr K. My son thinks it is weird but he’s now at he age where he is interested in smelling good (13) so I’m helping him find quality scents he likes to wear. My sister in law is absolutely unwilling to try anything other than her winter scent (Burberry Brit) and her summer scent (Be Delicious) – and she actually wears a good bit, so it’s kind of sad to me! I think my mom would have understood— she always liked to smell good.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY! Your son sounds like a perfumista in the making MmkinPA,
      Love the idea of your blown glass pumpkin collection, that sounds magical.
      Portia xx

  7. Ceil says:

    My friends don’t get it until we start talking perfumes… then they want me to help them find a scent. My husband thinks I have enough.. and of course I do! But there are new ones to try! 🙂 He is the one who asks me if I want to stop at Indigo Perfumery when we are on the west side though!

  8. What a great question! We can all ‘fess up right here in the comments! My family is quite tolerant of my perfume collecting, probably because I have been a collector of many things over the years, and I do have a tendency (totally inherited from my father) to take an obsessive interest in a subject and immerse myself in it and all its arcana. So they’re used to it. I think my kind husband is somewhat relieved that fragrances take up much less space than some of my other interests and don’t require watering or upkeep, for example, like the plants I have collected. (Yes, I’m one of those, which is the origin of my commenter name Old Herbaceous). My daughters enjoy getting “perfume hand-me-downs” and my husband has enjoyed some of my “perfume tourism” on our travels. He has even engaged in some on his own, on my behalf, as when he sought out a beautiful rose attar for me in Dubai! ( Even my teenaged son asked me to find him a suitable fragrance (I went with Davidoff Cool Water).
    Old Herbaceous recently posted…Scent Sample Sunday: Carla Fracci’s GiselleMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there OH,
      Sounds like you have a happy balance.
      Lucky you getting a Dubai stop & shop from the OH Husband.
      Portia xx

  9. Gina says:

    Yes, everyone has a different opinion. My coworkers think I stink. My friends thing I smell wonderful all the time. My mom thinks I am nuts and can’t seem to smell anything.

  10. Teone says:

    My perfume obsession was so much bigger than my wallet. I felt so bad about my constant over-spending and never being able to afford the growing list of must-have fragrances that seemed to become more and more necessary to just being OK. My family were surprised at first, and after a while they began to hover around me and look over my shoulder a bit when I was constantly on-line staring at bottles and bottles and more pretty bottles. The packages kept arriving and I was getting neurotic about leaving the house in case I missed the postman. Everyone became glassy-eyed when I kept rabbiting on about Ropion and Roudnitska, and they furtively left the room if I started guffawing/reading ‘hilarious’ Turin quotes out loud. I felt elated one minute about my new scent acquisitions, and then ashamed and horrified at having succumbed to the drug again. My beloved husband was so patient and supportive. Eventually I caved in and decided I had to make my own perfume. That led to the proliferation of some very unfortunate cocktails. We somehow survived it all and I’m still mental about perfume. I just kept one tiny little wooden crate filled with my fave commercial fragrances and they are my loves just to wear …just for sheer happiness, not for testing or analysis. I am endlessly grateful to my family for enabling my obsession and all the household upheaval in turning our lounge-room into a perfume studio and parlour… but every door-knocking politician, vacuum cleaner salesperson, Census collector and pizza delivery chum who comes to the front door says ‘wow it sure smells good in there’.

    • lol, I read hilarious Turin quotes out loud too, sometimes! No one leaves the room … yet.
      Old Herbaceous recently posted…Scent Sample Sunday: Carla Fracci’s GiselleMy Profile

      • Teone says:

        Maybe we should create a perfume addict’s board-game, sorta like Trivial Pursuit…

        ‘Which nose?’


    • Ingrid says:

      My God, Teone, we could be genetically related! I interrupt my husband’s favorite TV show with Turin quotes, stand on the balcony like a meerkat to look out for the postman and regularly loiter around the perfume section in department and cosmetic stores. Fortunately my husband is very tolerant and supportive and I have just started to infect my daughter. Most friends are dismissive, so the subject doesn’t come up any more. I wish I had friends were I live who share my interest in perfume.

      • Teone says:

        Ingrid, I have a totally crackpot theory that those of us transfixed by chasing aromas probably descended from champion hunters/trackers. It’s just unfortunate that we unleash our skill on those poor, unsuspecting posties.


    • Sue Mills says:

      Teone, those of you who own or have tried your fragrances are very, very grateful for your obsession xx!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      LOVE that story Teone,
      We DEFINITELY need to create a frag board game. Can we call it Stink or Swim?
      Portia xx

      • Jackie b says:

        Or, I Stink Therefore I Am!

      • Teone says:

        It would need to be an online game for fumies to play in cyber-groups, because I just can’t imagine it as a family fave that the whole fam’ wants to sit around playing for hours and hours on boxing day.

        Q: ‘What was Thierry Mugler thinking about when he changed his name to Manfred?’

        A) Protein Powder
        B) Supermanity
        C) Aliens

        Scentrifugal Force …name of the game 🙂

  11. Maggiecat says:

    Friends and family think I’m a little crazy – until they want to buy some perfume for themselves or someone else. Then, they covet my expertise!

  12. Marion Low says:

    My hubby thinks I’m nuts. My boys and their wives think I’m nuts. My granddaughter thinks I’m wonderful. I’m willing all my 200 bottles to her. Since I’m retired, I can’t spend like I used to, but I do allow X $ a month. It carries over too. I have accepted the fact that I can’t try everything right now, and that I don’t want to. I guess I know now that I will never narrow it down to one, that one is never enough, and that one more is never enough.
    Marion Low recently posted…Saturday Question: What Do Family And Friends Think Of Your Perfume Obsession?My Profile

  13. Ellen M. says:

    Every time a package arrives, I tell my partner that I’ve won it. Since my collection is in a closed closet, my adult children really have no idea as to the extent of that collection, nor do I intend to tell them. They see it as a waste of money and I find all of them intolerant and dismissive of my interest which is sad for me. I have no one to talk with about it except APJ and Facebook Fragrance Friends. And there you have it.

    • Sue Mills says:

      Ellen M., I feel for you. It’s hard to not have someone to really share an interest with, and being dismissive is extra hard. I find that sometimes it’s the least expected people who will be interested, and even intrigued to find this side to you that they didn’t know about. I hope you find a couple of friends like that.
      Happy to give you an email address or friend you on Facebook if you’d like to PM about fragrance. I’m absolutely no expert, but happy to chat.

      • Ellen M. says:

        There are a lot of “Sue Mills” on Facebook, so it is impossible to figure out which one you are, but thank you so much for you offer to chat.I’d love to chat.

      • Sue Mills says:

        Ellen M are you a member of Fragrantica or Worldwide Fragrance Network?

    • Ingrid says:

      I tell my husband it is a present from Uncle Fred in Oslo. A very generous uncle he is!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Ellen,
      One of the reasons we started APJ was so there would be a new, non judgemental, come as you are, little knowledge required place to hang and chat whenever. We usually try to keep it in short bites that you can read, catch up, go your own way in under 6 minutes. Then you get the option of reading the comments and participating if you have more time. It’s wonderful that we have given you a place to be you and love your obsession. Thank you for sharing.
      As for the people in your life that don’t get it, f**k em. We got your very fragrant back.
      Portia xx

    • Neva says:

      What about your friends, Ellen M? I can talk to some of my girlfriends about it. Althogh not for long. They lose interest in the subject soon.

  14. ElizabethC says:

    Hubby and I both tend towards collecting things (books, music etc.), so he sees my perfume collection as fun and amusing. A number of family and friends are allergic, so I am always having to plan my perfume usage based on who I am seeing that day. Friends, family and acquaintances who aren’t allergic are most likely going to end up with samples 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      That’s really nice ElizabethC,
      Though Jin is no perfumista he does have a stellar collection and when we get to do amazing things overseas because of my addiction he loves it.
      Portia xx

  15. Moira says:

    Ha, ha! Great question! My family just reacts with a shrug…which pretty much sums up our relationship. Friends/coworkers are much more interested. My obsession is pretty well-known. Funny thing is, no one was interested until they were asking what was I wearing that smelled so good! Now, I find the random perfume sample in my work mailbox that somebody didn’t want. Also identified Iris as the note a friend really loves in scents I wear. Pretty sure I’m going to turn her! lol

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Moira,
      Love that you are recruiting your friends and coworkers to the fragrant side. Good on you.
      Portia xx

  16. Fazal says:

    of course, there are some who thinks it is crazy and I always counter with an explanation that is more or less true. I say I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs and this addiction is far better than other forms of addiction. I am tell them it is sort of stress therapy. last but not least, I tell them I plan to significantly downscale my collection at some point and I do make it a point to pay good price for what I buy. While I will def. lose some money, I will recover most of what I have spent on perfumes I sell in the future. But I also admit overall of course this hobby does involve some waste of money, even for a careful shopper like me but at least it does not involve health hazards 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Fazal,
      It’s nice to have a hobby. Good on you for eschewing the other addictions that proliferate. Perfume is INFINITELY cheaper than drug addiction, I know this to be true.
      That little money you lose is the same as paying for your fun.
      Portia xx

      • Fazal says:

        Yeah, right on spot. The happiness part exceeds the little money I may lose. But I do not see myself ever losing passion for perfumes in life. It’s just that I will become more selective with my own collection so that most of my collection is used rather than sitting there untouched for long periods of time. I will always enjoy smelling new creations in the hope that I discover more gems like Eau Sauvage, vintage Opium, vintage Cuiron, and vintage Givenchy Gentleman, and when I do discover them, of course, I will buy few bottles of them.

  17. Amy says:

    My person was actually glad when I developed a hobby, as mostly I just work all of the time, plus he likes it when I smell good. He may be less enthused now at the *extent* of the hobby, but I stay within a (very generous even I have to admit) budget and we are good, plus he gets fragrant gifts that he too enjoys. I generally hide the extent of it from others, except for some friends who are interested.

    As for those with “allergies,” I am highly dubious, but I do humor a brother-in-law and try to keep it toned down if I am going to be in a closed environment with anyone!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY! It’s nice to have someone on board who lets us go our own way, isn’t it Amy.
      Glad you found a happy diversion from work.
      Portia xx

  18. VerbenaLuvvr says:

    No one knows how much time and money I spend on this habit. It is my private addiction!

  19. Greg says:

    Hmm. I think they think it’s a bit weird but they don’t give me a hard time about it. I’m an impulsive, obsessive kind of person by nature and, if It was not perfume, it would be something else. (Before I got into this it was vintage cufflinks).

    It doesn’t help that I’m married to a “one perfume at a time” woman who cannot see the need for anywhere near the number of bottles that I have.

    TBH, I think it would be much more accepted if I was not a man. Guys who collect perfume instead of wine or stubby holders are definitely a tiny group in Australia, and most people cannot fathom it. I don’t broadcast my interest and, when I do, I talk about it in terms of vintage and antique collecting, not fragrance collecting. But we know the real reason, eh?

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Greg,
      Vintage cufflinks! How cool. Do you still have them?
      Nah, I think anyone can collect anything now. Luckily we have the web so that though our close mates don’t get it, the world of the scentbloggosphere does.
      Portia xx

      • Greg says:

        I have an absolute stack of them Portia. My favourites are a couple of tiny Art Nouveau French links with hummingbirds pictured in gold and enamel.

  20. Tara C says:

    My family (parents, siblings) think I have too much and I should stop buying. They are of course correct. But the good news is my husband is totally fine with it and buys me perfumes every time he travels to Europe. He has his own very small collection of perfume, plus he likes cars, gadgets and knives, so he can’t really say too much about my perfume. As long as the bills get paid, everything is okay, and we are financially stable. That said I do want to cut back and sell some as i am having moments of feeling overwhelmed, plus I would like to spend in other categories now and then as well.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey TaraC,
      Your husband sounds like a dream.
      Financially stable is excellent. Good for you guys. Congratulations. It’s getting more rare.
      What stuff would you like to spend in?
      Portia xx

      • Tara C says:

        I would like to buy some new furniture, specifically a big comfy reading chair. They are hard to find but I want to be ready to pounce when I find just the right thing. Would also like to make a trip to Paris as it’s been 9 years since I last went.

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Hopefully I’ll be in Paris early next year.
        Let’s keep fingers crossed you can come there in 2018 too.
        Portia xx

  21. Lynda Allen says:

    Well my problem is that I collect perfume, skincare AND makeup. My poor husband…he hassles me a lot but is not too bad about it as I often find he has ‘stolen’ my skincare samples. Cheeky boy. I figure that i didn’t have children so I am only spending what I would have spent in school fees 😁 My hubby is the chef in the family and spends a fortune on quality food so I guess we are even (well ok probably not). It makws me happy and that makes him happy. As for others…no one really knows the extent of my spending. Although some od my friends suspect….and did I mention I also collect jewellery…ouch.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      HA! You like the speedy stuff Lynda,
      Presuming that you guys are D I N Ks too. Double Income No Kids.
      Nice place to be.
      Portia xx

      • Lynda Allen says:

        Kind of…my step son age 27 (i am a lot younger than my husband) is still living in the downstairs section of our house though. Wondering if he will ever leave 😀 Not that he needs to. Am about to turn one of our spare bedrooms into my boudoir. Very excited…

      • Lynda Allen says:

        Oh crap. Just re-read my comment and how it sounds…ive been with my husband 20 years…

  22. Melanie says:

    Super question – my family and friends who know about my perfume collection aren’t that bothered. Work mates think having more than 4 bottles is unusual! What the? One gal survived on two choices only – OMG can you imagine?? ahhhhh!!
    so i usually just follow that up by saying, some people have handbags, wine or shoes – i have perfume!
    Its growing collecting, dare i say it as i get older i’m becoming a bit fussier with my choices.
    Have a few copies of the book Fragrances of the world and i read them all the time & having finally got into the world of decants and taking the plunge to order some i guess i’m entering a whole new level! There goes the savings!!

    I do like it when someone compliments me on how i smell – one day i got discount on my coffee because the lady who served me thought i smelt amazing.

  23. Neva says:

    Since I live only with my daughter, not many people know about my addiction…until they ask me what perfume I wear. Then they regret it, I suppose, because I talk on and on and on. The only people I can talk about perfume exhaustively are the owners of my favourite perfume shops and the sales assistants. I’m okay with that.
    My daughter is also fine with my perfume addiction and I brought her up to be picky about perfume but sometimes she is rolling her eyes when I start the topic. I remember her reaction on Portia’s question: Which fragrance do you want to be burried in? – She asked, while she was laughing, if I realize that we are all a bit perverted. I do, of course, but I like it.

  24. Kathleen Smith says:

    Hi Portia!
    Great question and conversation!
    I don’t recall when I didn’t love fragrance, and have always purchased fragrances. It definitely has accelerated in the past few years! Friends always appreciate that I smell good, but not many know the depth of my passion or the size of my collection. Thankfully my husband appreciates most of my fragrances, but I don’t dare tell him how much I buy! The internet has definitely opened doors to learn, share, and meet fellow fragrance junkies!

  25. Undina says:

    Everybody who knows about my hobby are either supportive, fascinated or do not really care. I’d dare anyone to be dismissive, disapproving or anything in that vein 😉 But looking at the picture of your collection four years ago (it hasn’t shrunk since then, has it? 😉 ), I feel like I’m being pretty restrained 🙂
    Undina recently posted…Second Sunday Sample: FRASSAÏMy Profile

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