Saturday Question: What Size Full Bottles Do You Buy?

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

I have had an idea. Well, actually I’m copying an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun events each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.

I’d like to carry on that tradition, maybe 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.

OK, so you’re all sending me broke. Let’s UP THE ANTE! If we get over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card. Every comment will get a place in the draw, so if you comment purposefully on your own or another comment you’ll have a chance, random.org will draw the winner on Friday and the winner will be announced in next Saturdays question.

Last Weeks Winner: Tiffanie

Send me an eMail to portia _ turbo at yahoo dawt com dawt au

Saturday Question

What Size Full Bottles Do You Buy?

I’ve been thinking about Full Bottles. A couple of weeks ago Rosarita313 brought up her love of buying smaller bottles of fragrance and it got me to thinking. My collection contains almost every size of bottle but do I have a preference? Then that led to the obvious next step, do you all have a preference? So let’s see who thinks what about Full Bottles.

Also, we are asking the question for today. Right now. this is not an enduring answer that we will hold you to in future. Don’t think too heavily about it but do please have some reasons why.

My answer:

I think I go three ways.

Full Bottles

100ml+ Bottles

OK, these are delight and bane of my existence. When I’m in the rush of love and think this fragrance will suddenly supersede all others as my one & only favourite then I’ll often buy the 100ml full bottle or more. It’s also good if I want to Split the bottle or if a friend has already said that they’d buy some ml off me. Also when something is D/Cd then I’ll buy the biggest bottle available.

Full Bottles

30ml Bottles

I bloody LOVE 30ml full bottles. It’s the perfect size for me in most of my fragrances. There’s enough that when you want to spritz you can do it lavishly. They don’t take up ridiculously large areas in my cupboard and there’s enough to make a couple of 2ml decants for my mates.

Full Bottles

Travel Bottles

If ALL full bottles came in a 10 or 15ml Travel Bottle then my whole collection would be made up of them. They are by far the easiest. I love spending a few minutes before leaving on holiday picking a suitable selection. They fit beautifully in my carry on luggage and are also good in my pocket if I’m out for the day and into the evening. A sneaky spritz before my next adventure and I’m good to go.

So my question to you is

What Size Full Bottles Do You Buy?

92 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Size Full Bottles Do You Buy?

  1. I hate that most niches want to come in 100 ml bottles now. I’m 56, with a chronic disease that has lowered my life expectancy and I already have 300+ bottles in my closet (2/3 are extraits). I can’t justify buying 100 ml of an edp at this point, especially tbh at niche prices. I don’t think I would like it if I was 22 either though, except maybe for a few serious favorites. It annoys me to no end that some brands only offer 100ml or possibly larger; I am much slower to consider getting involved with those. Any perfumer that has 30 ml bottles gets mad points from me; 40 – 60 ml I can work with. Hurrah, thanks for letting me rant about one of my pet peeves. 😛

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    • Laura, I’m so glad you came to comment. It seems crazy, especially when the bottles just keep getting bigger. They have some 400ml splash CHANEL exclusives now!
      Yes, 40-60ml is really workable too.
      Good luck with the illness.
      Portia xx

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    • So recognizable Laura , I’m 55 years now and have a rare disease. If I have to use all my full bottles up I need to get over 100 years while my future is very uncertain. But that’s life. Also a reason why these days I just love the 30 ml. bottles.

      Like

  2. 30ml is my favorite size I think both for storage and volume reasons. My skin holds fragrance pretty well so it is rare for me to wear more than one or two spritzes of anything. Most frags get worn only once every week or two at most…so 30mls will last a loooooooong time.

    I buy 50mls where 30ml is not avail and anything above that only under protest (where protest means I REALLY love the fragrance and can’t possibly live without it). I often buy partly used bottles from ebay to get around this. Only 40mls left in a 100ml bottle? Perfect!

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    • Hey Lillibet,
      Yeah, LUCKY you to have good skin for frags. 30ml is a wonderful size and SUPER great idea to get half used bigger bottles. Thanks.
      Portia xx

      Like

  3. I usually get the smaller bottles for variety. If I find something I love on sale I’ll get the biggest they have for fun, but I usually want to try as many things as possible on my tiny budget.

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      • Budget is a big constraint for me. Often I will buy an ancillary product such as bath or shower gel, soap or talc instead of even a small bottle.
        That way I pay less and still get to have a pleasurable experience. Also useful for heading out to a place where I need to be careful about perfume.
        Lotion is wonderful too. I have scent-holding skin so a dab or two of lotion on my neck and wrists works as well as perfume. I truly enjoy Shalinar lotion for just this reason.

        Like

  4. I like Lillibet’s thoughts on buying part bottles. When I first started collecting I was aware of the cost of the big bottles and so started with decants. Now it’s more a question of having so much perfume it seems wrong to have to buy bigger sizes. But I REALLY love the beautiful original bottles. If they come in smaller ones, so much the better.
    Some perfume houses are listening.

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    • Yes JackieB, Some houses are listening. thank you Hermès, Neela Vermeire, MFK, Perfumerie Generale and others. The more we buy there better they’ll understand.
      Portia xx

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  5. Since i buy most perfumes as second hand, i take what is offer. Personally I prefer bottles in the 30-50 ml size as they are affordable, allow variation and will last me long enough.

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  6. Hi dear Portia,

    In the past I used to buy full bottles which contains 50 or 100ml. But seems that I did only to make decants for friends & family. Nowadays mostly when available the 30 ml. bottles. These are perfect. This way you know , even when you make decants, you still have enough for personal use.

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  7. Well I’m in the minority here but I go for the larger sizes wherever possible. I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly bought a smaller size and in fact the idea of anything less than 50ml annoys me. They’re always more expensive per ml than their larger ones, and I don’t want to worry that if in the time before I finish the bottle, I fall madly in love with it and it gets discontinued, I’ve only got such a small amount to play with. The bigger the better as far as I go.

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    • I do wince a bit sometimes at the per ml price but then I think about putting the rest of the larger bottle cost towards my next FB love. I do think sometines ‘what if my fav ran out and was discontinued?’ So far I have resisted the siren song of back up bottles (but next week who knows lol).

      Do you have a large collection Bianca or a small tightly focused one? Do you ever worry about the frags going off before you use them?

      Like

    • Hi BiancaB,
      I totally hear you but this place is FULL to bursting. I know I should just stop buying but I love it all so much.
      Hoarder alert.
      Portia xx

      Like

  8. I love the idea of a big bottle and the whole experience–the texture of the box, the heft and design of the bottle and cap. Even the quality of the sprayer is part of my aesthetic enjoyment of the perfume. The companies who offer 30 ml bottles marry that experience with the smaller quantity, which I prefer to purchase.

    Ranking :
    1. 30 ml
    2. Travel size
    3. 50 ml
    4. 100 or more

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    • I do love the bottles – it really is part of the joy of perfume to me – so I totally get where you are coming from. It is also why decants, except for small ones to test the luuurve, don’t feel like a solution for me. Hence my preference for smaller bottles. It’s my happy middle ground.

      Like

      • I agree with you about decants! I invest in them just to make sure it’s true love. But I don’t want to have a collection of decants.

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    • Yeah SuzyQ,
      I get really annoyed when I pay retail and get a shitty nozzle, no matter what the size bottle.
      Portia xx

      Like

  9. Ditto what Azsa said. I’m all about the smaller bottle unless it’s a great price on a huge bottle and I know I’ll want to be lavish with it or I think it might be reformulated or discontinued. if it’s a choice between $180 for 50ml and $200 for twice that, I’m paying the extra twenty bucks, hence my larger Amouage bottles.
    I know it’s prohibitively expensive for some indies to offer smaller bottles, but I’m a lot more likely to buy a 10 or 15 ml “sample” or throw a couple of travel sprays in my cart to justify shipping charges. I have a pet peeve about paying for shipping on one small item and will always fall for free shipping over xx dollars promotions.

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    • Oh yes MikasMinion,
      I do that too and will fill to a dollar point for shipping. Especially all the way here in Oz.
      Portia xx

      Like

  10. I prefer 30ml or 15ml size. If it’s one I love, I will get a larger spray, as long as it’s not $$$$. Some companies only have one size. I love the small (15ml?) sprays from Matriarch, but wish they had a 30ml that was cheaper. Love the 50ml from Osrfumd’Empire, but I do ask for the larger one at Christmas. I do find that most samples are not enough to judge full purchase. I commend Jeffrey Dame, Neil Morris, Paul Kiler, SSS, Bourbon French, Hove New Orleans for their ample spray or roll on travel sizes and samples. I can use many times to better form a “gotta have”, or a “doesn’t move me enough” opinion. I certainly find myself buying again from the offerings above.

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    • Hey Marion,
      Great list of smaller bottles in the Indie sector. Olympic Orchids do small ones too.
      Portia xx

      Like

  11. I buy anything I love after sampling in FB. There’s a direct correlation. I have an enormous collection of Serge Lutens FB, of Teo Cabanel FB, and Amouage FB. I’ve got a few Guerlains FB in Bee Bottles, and a few unsealed Vintage Shalimars, plus my true love Vallee des Rois by Mira Takla, and too many others, along with several Ateliers. I have to rotate these all and store in my captain’s bed, and it’s a sickness. The 30 mls are my larger samples of work I know I’ll like and can get more, but don’t feel greedy. I have some large FB Andy Tauer along with 30 ml and some 30 ml of Nicolai’s work. But usually, if I try, I get a large 5-8ml sample, and if it’s love, I go all in, the exception being two purchases, “blind”: Hiram Green’s Arboles…, and Amouage Bracken woman, which is heaven to my nose. Ohh…maybe that is SOTD! Off to scented wonderland.

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    • Woo Hoo! Sounds like an excellent fragrant wardrobe Shive-woman. Lucky you.
      How good is the vintage Shalimar? I love it so much.
      Portia xx

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  12. Like you if I LERRRRVE something, I’ll buy a 100, but usually go for either 50 or if available, 30’s. Lately less bottles and more decants which may result in a bigger bottle if it’s great. Since I prefer extraits, the bottles are in the 15ml range, albeit at 3X the cost for a big bottle. Ahh well… it’s a lose-lose situation which is fine I guess….. xoxo

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    • HA!
      Robert, we are so similar. Lose-lose to win-win. Hobbies are supposed to be expensive. I don’t think I’ve spent a sportscar, boat or plane yet. Hell, I haven’t even spent a racehorse and I’m not a gambler.
      Portia xx

      Like

  13. The 200 challenge….:)

    I also prefer the larger size bottle because of reformulation fears and they last a long time. (How many reformulations end up better than the original?) There is a big *but* on sizes though. I love David Jourquin Cuir Altesse and want a bottle but they only come in 100ml and are expensive. If they had 50ml bottles, I would buy one in a heartbeat, so it will have to wait awhile even though it is a definite buy!

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    • Hey Maya!
      I know. 200 is a big ask. Oh well, it’s all in fun.

      Yeah, strange to me that they aren’t issuing 50ml of some brands now. I will happily pay extra for less.
      Portia x

      Like

  14. I have a very sensitive nose and my skin used to hold scent really well, so I used to only use one or two spritzes when I wore perfume. The nose is still sensitive, but I find I need more spritzes now that I’m getting older and my skin is becoming drier.
    I have a few perfumes I bought in the 50mL size which I really love and they have since been reformulated and wish I had bought larger bottles at the time. My overall preference is for smaller bottles though since I am not a signature scent kind of gal.
    I love when perfumes are offered in travel sizes, although I am happy to make travel sprays of my own using the bottles I purchase at MUJI. My ideal size for most perfumes would be 30mL. I think I’ve only used up and repurchased three perfumes. Looking at my collection, I am sure I will be dead before most of it gets used up.

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    • Hey Tatiana,
      I have a bunch of self made travels but some of them have dried out so I’m now only enacting for trips the amount I’lll use.
      How annoying that they have reformulated your faves.
      Portia xx

      Like

  15. I wish everything had the 10-15ml option if the cost per ml stayed even close to the same as the bigger sizes. I have too many 100ml FB that will never be empty and if I had bought less, I would have been able to buy more variety. Even the 30ml would be better. So many fragrances today , especially the niche ones, are completely out of my price range. It would be so great to have a decently priced alternative size. Then if something really stands up to the test of time, a larger bottle would be something for which to save.

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    • Agree! I’ve stayed away from sampling some of the niche lines because I fear falling in love with something very expensive. But after finally sniffing a sample of L’eau d’Hiver, I comfort myself knowing that if I find a Frederic Malle to love there are travel sizes.

      Like

    • Yeah, I hear you. The Neela Vermeire Take-Two Travel Sizes are almost the same as buying a bottle. I was very surprised that they made them so affordable, and you can buy a set and share so 15ml each. It means you can now have the set in 15ml bottles for way less.
      Portia xx

      Like

  16. When I love a scent enough to spring for a full bottle I prefer a 50 ml. I do wish 30 ml bottles were easier to find. Fifteen ml bottles are delightful. They feel like little perfume appetizers and are wonderful space savers.

    A 100 ml bottle, especially one that is wide across the middle, can seem heavy, awkward, and difficult to spritz with one hand. Some exceptions are Hiris and Cologne du 68, two of my favorite scents. Part of the appeal is their tall, slender shape, so those 100 ml bottles feel sleek and luxurious.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments today. Many thanks to Portia and Lady Luck for the results of last week’s draw. 😉

    Like

    • Hey Tiffanie,
      YAY! You were our winner! Congratulations.
      15ml bottles are the freaking BEST! If only every crew put them out.
      What’s your fave 15ml?
      Portia xx

      Like

  17. I adore my Sunday mornings, lying in front of the heater, the boys in bed asleep, coffee beside me, reading all the comments. Just the best. I learn something and feel closer to you all.

    While I’m learning about niche scents, large samples in a 5 ml spray are ideal. If I love it, I’ll upgrade to a 100 ml, or their largest size. If I like it, or am undecided, a smaller bottle is chosen.

    Like others, budget, options offered, delivery fees, degree of desirability etc all play into my choice.

    But I do have a soft spot for the sensory joy Chanel twist and sprays bring!!

    The only exception is Guerlain. Biggest bottle possible of any scent pre-Champs Elysee.

    Like

    • Yes I am loving these weekend question threads too!

      Portia can we have one about the ideal sample size and format (i.e. spray or dab)? I’d be really interested to know what everyone thinks.

      Lil Xx

      Like

      • Hiya Lillibet,
        YAY! So glad.
        Sure. It will be a few weeks away but I’ll definitely do that. Love it.
        Thanks for the idea.
        Portia xx

        Like

    • Kate, Sunday mornings are yummy. As long as you have them off and can get up early enough to enjoy them. I walk the dogs around 8.30-9am and them usually have an hour of quiet computer time if Jin’s home. It feels so luxurious, doesn’t it. Stolen time.
      How lovely that you spend it with us, thank you.
      HA! Guerlain is a BIG BOTTLE kinda house, DIOR too.
      Portia xx

      Like

  18. Honestly, I only collect minis and decants up to 10 ml because I’m very limited in space in rental appartments and small bottles collecting lets me have hundreds of them =)

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    • I love miniature bottles – so cute. I just wish more of them were spray rather than dab because I mostly prefer to spritz my frags. So I often end up decanting them bit by bit to get around that.

      Like

    • Excellent answer Anastasia,
      I have a girlfriend who collects miniatures, she loves them for very similar reasons.
      Portia xx

      Like

      • 50ml’s are fine with me. They are most common choices. If I really love something, I’ll grab a 100ml.
        30ml’s and under are great if I want to test something a bit longer and/or I want to take it travelling. In saying that, if I grab a 10-30ml and I really like it, I’ll get a 50ml (or more if 50ml isn’t available) when I run out.
        I’m a big spritzer (3-6 sprays) so I don’t want to panic when I run out of a 30ml too soon. Ha!

        Like

        • Hey Latai,
          Can you believe we didn’t take pics on Friday? Not one with the three of us or the dinner table? MADNESS!
          Portia xx

          Like

  19. As I almost never buy new frags and often buy online, I usually stick with 50 ml or smaller (in the case of extraits) – hopefully avoiding the pitfalls of even the older counterfeit bottles. Some things, like after shave, I try to get the biggest available (usually 125 ml or bigger)…

    Like

    • Hey Palmer Ward,
      Yeah, it’s hard winnowing the real from fake. They are SO good at replicating nowadays.
      Portia xx

      Like

  20. I buy the smallest possible size (30ml) because I often get bored with a fragrance after a few weeks or months. It’s also not such a great loss when one of them turns bad. But often the smallest available size is 50ml and I buy those as well if I really love the fragrance.

    Like

    • Heya Ingrid,
      Yep! 30ml is king, and yes I buy them all sizes too when I can’t get the small stuff.
      Portia xx

      Like

  21. I try to avoid buying 100ml+ bottles. My thinking is that I just have too much perfume, and I’m never going to live long enough to finish a big bottle of anything. In fact, I have never finished a bottle of perfume, even the partial bottles that I have bought second-hand. Like you, 30ml bottles are my sweet spot, and up to 50ml is pretty much the highest I will go when buying FBs.

    Like

    • O M G Greg,
      You’ve never finished a bottle? WOW! Better get spritzing, it’s a wonderful feeling.
      Portia xx

      Like

  22. I am very much on the fence too when it comes to choosing what size bottles I should invest in. I like 50mls as a general rule but also purchase 30mls when I’m not entirely sure of whether or not a fragrance has true love potential. 100ml bottles are purchased only if that fragrance is an all time favourite of mine or if I happen to come across a deal I just can’t pass up.

    Like

    • Hey Kathryn,
      That Deal You Can’t Pass Up is a killer for me too. Sometimes buying whole bottles when really a 5ml decant would do.
      Portia xx

      Like

  23. I totally get the reasons some love smaller sizes. It makes sense for lot of people due to their lifestyles and unique life circumstances. I usually go for economics so if there is little difference in the price of 50ml and 100ml bottles, I prefer the larger ones due to better value. but I am reaching a point in my hobby where I want to get rid of most perfumes I just like and stick to those I madly love. So bigger sizes make even more sense for me now if I want to, let’s say, have lot of quantity of 5 different perfumes than one bottle of 20 different perfumes.

    Like

      • you are so right. I have not started the culling process but I already know how difficult it is going to be. It is easy to sell something you hate but much harder if you do like something. And you never know when you may start missing something you sold and how your tastes may evolve over time.

        Like

  24. My preference is the 30-50 mL range. I will buy 100 mL bottles used though, so that often works out to about 30-80mL. I really have a hard time buying 100 mL new bottles, as I know I’ll never get through them. I hesitate to buy the 10mL bottles because so often those are rollerballs, and I hate rollerballs.

    Like

    • Yes! to partial 100 ml bottles. I received a partial bottle in a recent swap and it made me so happy! Less perfume to use up! Hurray! Is that perverse or ironic or both? heh-heh

      Like

    • Hey there missionista,
      Why do you hate rollerballs? I don’t adore them unless they have oils in. LOVE the Le labor ones. I like the L’Artisan perfume ones too, though one did leak a little.
      Portia xx.

      Like

      • Ooops, didn’t see this earlier. The rollerballs always get so cloudy from (I assume) sloughed off skin, and then they get a bit gummed up and not much juice comes out of them. Maybe it’s just me…

        Like

        • EWWWWWW! So gross.
          Ha Ha ha. I only ever had a couple and used them up on holidays, so no time to get scanty.
          Portia x

          Like

  25. My preference for things I love and wear a lot is 30-50 mL, and 10-15 mL for things that don’t get worn as often. Anything smaller and the bottles seem to often be rollerballs or splash bottles, which aren’t as convenient.

    Like

  26. I am 55 years old and I prefer 100+ ml bottles. Although I’ll never finish any of the bottles but these will be, for sure, as an asset to my children. I hate 15-30 ml niche/indie perfume bottle, instead I’ll prefer attars/oil on 15-30 ml bottles.

    Like

    • Hey Hikmat,
      Yeah, that makes sense. I don’t have kids and have no idea where this collection will go when I do. All of it is my sickness alone.
      Portia xx

      Like

  27. Someone once asked me why a short person like myself would get a rottweiler. My answer was: “Because that’s the only size they come in.”

    I have so many perfume bottles, 100 ml.just seems wasteful, but sometimes that’s the only size the scent comes in. 30 – 50 ml. is enough for me to enjoy the scent and not get tired of it.

    I have a gazillion travel sprays/decants, but, unfortunately, many have evaporated to perfume heaven.

    Like

    • Hi there TaffyJ,
      Do you really have a rottweiller? How do you control it when it’s running, sniffing and puling the lead? I have trouble with the Greyhounds and they are way less strong and powerful.
      I too have lost beautiful perfume to evaporation. just today I discovered my 2ml decant of Deneuve parfum is almost bone dry. I’m thinking of using it to scent my bath because it’s just dark yellow jelly sludge currently.
      Portia xx

      Like

  28. Personally I love small bottles, they look adorable, basically I am buying 30 ml bottles because they are cute an small.

    Sometimes if there is no choice for 30 ml I will go for the 50-100 but 30 ml is my favorite. I also love mini bottles… Go figure! :)))

    30 ml bottles are perfect for traveling and for testing a perfume in blind because yes I buy in blind. Mini bottles are also pefect for testing fragrances especially if they are vintage

    I have witnessed a bit of snobery when it comes to smaller bottles as “bigger is better” but I do not really care.

    Travel size or purse size are also great!

    Wish you a great Weekend!

    Like

    • Heya MichelleU,
      Wishing you a lovely week ahead.
      100% with you on this. 30ml is totally cute and practical.
      Portia xx

      Like

  29. 30ml by preference, even a 15ml. If I finish that and still adore it, then 50ml or 100ml. Unless a smaller bottle is just crazily priced so that 100 is barely more than, say, 30. (And some of the wee bottles are just so nice to use: I like the CDG flat pebble bottles–they sit so nicely in the hand when spritzing.)

    I wish more of the perfume houses that have travel sprays would let you mix them up (thank you, Hermes!) rather than sticking with the three or four of a kind.

    Like

  30. With vintage perfume you can’t really choose, so I’d go for anything available but for all new perfume I’d love to have it in 15-25 ml bottles. Just enough to enjoy it for a couple of weeks if I want to use it up at once or to take it away for vacation. I suppose the lower price would make it even more appealing. AND I could always carry it with me in my bag.

    Like

    • Hey Neva,
      Yeah, imagine the fun of spritzing what you left the house in all day without lugging a 50 or 100ml bottle.
      Portia xx

      Like

  31. Generally, I prefer bottles of 30 ml or 50 ml. Sometimes I nearly stop using a perfume if I have no more than 15 ml left, I’m afraid of running out! So the absolute favourites would have to be in at least 50 ml bottles. I don’t buy back-up bottles because of lack of safe, cool storage.

    All that being said, I do have larger bottles, too. Many of my scents are in edt, so there’s a need to put on more after lunch or in the afternoon.

    I would buy more travel sprays (to have a larger variety available) if they came in a good design, much prefer manufacurer’s bottles to decants for anything larger than 5 ml. Different designs will make it easier to tell them apart. The possibility to mix according to taste in boxed sets is a very good thing.

    Like

  32. The perfect size is 30 mLs but so many perfumes only come in 100 mLs so that size seems to be predominant in my purchases for the last 2-3 years.

    Like

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