How to Organize Your Perfume Collection

Corralling those pesky perfumes, or my attempts at organization is how Patricia described to me her idea for this article. As you will see, she was being modest, and her organization method is impressive. 

First, let’s get this out of the way. I have a lot of perfume. But, if you are reading this, chances are you have a fair amount yourself and struggle, as I do, with containing it all. The first stages of perfume collection don’t pose a problem. A few bottles here, a few samples there are easy to keep track of. However, once the collection swells (I swear, those dab samples in their neat little plastic bags multiply like rabbits!), some form of organization is necessary if you want to find anything in under an hour. The following is my method, which has evolved over the years by trial and error and is not meant in any way to be a guide or “how-to.”

chanel tray

Housing. My collection, large as it is, lives in three different locations: a tall, narrow cabinet in the bathroom, a shelf below my bedside table, and my dresser tabletop. (Newly obtained samples, of course, can be found floating here and there throughout the house.) None of these locations is ideal for perfume, which likes dark, cool places, but I don’t want to keep my perfume locked away in a special refrigerator, and for the most part I either never had or didn’t keep the original boxes. I make some effort at limiting direct light, but that‘s about it.

My cabinet has six shelves: four above with glass doors are used for perfume, and the two below with a solid door are used for samples and decanting supplies. I also keep the “discovery set” type samples offered by the perfume companies in the two lower shelves.

shelf2bshelf2a

I recently purchased two nice adjustable teak spice racks with three tiers for the two upper shelves, as it was impossible to see the perfumes in the back of the cabinet. Vintage perfumes and perfumes in pretty bottles are kept on these shelves. The third and fourth shelves are lower, and items on them are easier to see. I have included some beloved personal items along with the perfume. The third shelf holds two enameled Battersea boxes of a rabbit and a teddy bear given to me many years ago by my brother, and a carnelian carved dachshund, a gift from my mother to remind me of my childhood pet. The fourth shelf has my mother’s pillbox, enameled with violets, an antique perfume bottle in the shape of a lady from my mother-in-law, and a crystal horse, an anniversary gift from my husband.

shelf1

Organizing. A label maker is your best friend. I’ve had mine, a P-Touch, for going on ten years without a problem. Of course, if you have good handwriting (I don’t), a pen and stickers will work just fine. Small Baggies of varying sizes are essential for keeping the little dab samples under control, and clear plastic boxes are also very useful.

The bottom two shelves of my cabinet contain the samples and small decants (up to 5 ml.). The dab samples are organized by house in small plastic Baggies and put into one of four alphabetically divided plastic boxes. The small decants stand upright in four separate alphabetically divided boxes and are more loosely organized by house. The plastic boxes I use have been collected over many years from my husband’s office (they originally contained small mirrors) at no cost to me. Various carded samples, useful for swapping, are also stacked in these boxes. The Travalos, which are great for traveling or to throw into a purse, are kept in a plastic container that formerly held cotton swabs. The bottom shelf holds some backup perfumes, manufacturers’ sample sets, and a cigar box with decanting supplies.

Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets or handwritten lists can be useful tools for keeping track of your perfumes. I created an Excel sheet and used it for a few years until keeping it updated became too much of a burden. I found that I swapped, gave away, or used up samples and decants too quickly to keep the list up-to-date.

shelf3

Satellite Areas. The shelf under my bedside table holds open plastic shoeboxes with my most often-worn perfumes, grouped loosely by house. Large decants (8-10 ml), are held in two of the small plastic boxes, within easy reach, as I get dressed for work in the morning. These are not very organized, but I enjoy rummaging through them to find something that feels just right for that day.

Since I own more Chanel perfume than any other house, I have arranged these fragrances on a vintage mirrored tray centered with a pretty paperweight and placed on my dresser top. (A nod here to Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels for this idea.) There is another, smaller tray with Hermès on the other side of the dresser. The top of the dresser is also always scattered with samples of new things to try, and I often use the lids of the plastic boxes to keep them from migrating.

Now, if only I could figure out where to put all the shampoo, face cream, and soap currently residing on the bathroom floor!

Please share how you organize your perfume collection.

Photos by Patricia

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224 Comments

  • Michaela: Oh, oh, oh… This is about all I can say 🙂
    Impressive organization, indeed! Suggestive pictures also (I especially like your Chanel tray) and, last but not least, excellent article, I had a lot of fun reading it! Thank you so much 🙂

    I have a little collection and it’s easy to keep track. I wasn’t aware that ‘those dab samples in their neat little plastic bags multiply like rabbits!’ 🙂 so, for the moment, I keep them all together in a small cosmetic bag, divided in 4 plastic zip bags: fresh, woody, oriental, and floral. All the bottles (about 10) are in a cabinet, on a single shelf, except colognes, which I keep in the fridge, on the door.
    ‘Newly obtained samples, of course, can be found floating here and there throughout the house.’ I know exactly what you mean and I love how you put it! 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 7:42am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Michaela, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article!

      It sounds as if the way you organize your samples works very well for you, and I occasionally (especially if writing an article) will also group some of mine by type rather than by house. November 7, 2014 at 8:50am Reply

  • Marsha: I do not have enough perfume to have an organization problem, but I certainly wish I could enlarge your photos! November 7, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

    • Patricia: I used to have a collection that didn’t require an organization system, but that was 30 years ago! 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

    • Sheri: Marsha, try holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the + key to enlarge Patricia’s photos (it enlarges the entire web page, actually). This works with most browsers. November 7, 2014 at 4:19pm Reply

      • Marsha: Hey! Thanks for teaching me something new! November 8, 2014 at 4:55am Reply

  • rosarita: Beautiful! I need a label maker. My house is tiny and my collection is housed in a small antique cabinet that also holds my jewelry and has drawers full of underwear and pj’s. Inside the cabinet are boxes full of decants and bottles so that I can pull out a box and find what I want. There’s a shelf above with a pretty cheese plate with a domed glass cover that holds minis, and on the wall is a glass display with doors (the type that people display tiny crystal figures) for small bottles and decants I wear often. Also hanging is a small storage unit with little drawers from the hardware store that’s meant to organize nuts and bolts – I use that for samples and jewelry. When you have a tiny house you learn to use wall space creatively. November 7, 2014 at 8:10am Reply

    • Patricia: You have certainly organized your space creatively, rosarita, and also beautifully! There is something about perfume and antiques that goes together so well. My furniture used to be my mother’s: the bedside table is vintage, and the dresser is reproduction. The tray I picked up on eBay.

      When I first bought my label maker, I went a little label happy until I realized how expensive the tape was. Now, a cassette will last me quite a while. November 7, 2014 at 9:01am Reply

    • angeldiva: Cheese plate with domed glass!!! O M G – I have one! Too fantastic!
      P. November 7, 2014 at 7:49pm Reply

  • Ankica: I wish I have thid problem. 🙂
    My collection decreased so much that everything is on one small shelf. November 7, 2014 at 8:16am Reply

    • Patricia: It’s great that you can see and use everything you have. In my twenties and thirties, I never had more than six bottles at a time, and that seemed like a lot! November 7, 2014 at 9:03am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: How nice to see your perfume-organisation! Did I see there (on the shelf with the crucifix) a bottle of Worth Je Reviens? Is it vintage?
    I have the luxury of a little, cool room vising the North, where I keep the curtains closed and the heating off, the window slightly opened even in the winter. There is my big perfume collection in banana boxes, in their own little boxes . I should label them with the date of purchasing (thank you). Guerlain, Lutens and Chanel have their own bananabox.
    Some bottles are 20 years old but still in good shape.
    I know precisely what I have and where it is. The perfumes that serve me at the moment are in my sleeping room where I can enjoy the beautiful bottles.
    I have written a catalogue of the perfumes I own, otganized by their character.

    Well, everybody needs a hobby. November 7, 2014 at 8:22am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Haha, the 20 years old bottles are in good shape and the perfumes as well1 November 7, 2014 at 8:24am Reply

      • Michaela: 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 8:46am Reply

    • Michaela: The perfume room is a beautiful idea. You must love them all to know precisely what you have and where it is 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 8:50am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Cornelia, The Je Reviens is sadly neither vintage nor very good. I keep it for the pretty bottle.

      You have the ideal perfume-storage area in your north-facing room. (I would probably sneak a wine rack in there as well.) 🙂

      I had to chuckle at your comment that everybody needs a hobby. Some would call it something else altogether! November 7, 2014 at 9:09am Reply

    • Hamamelis: It would be so interesting to have a look in your catalogue! November 8, 2014 at 5:58am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: I made a list some years ago like this:Tubéreuse ; Lavender; violets/heliotrope/iris;jasmine; chypre; flowers:bouquets; abstract; dry; heavy; cologne; and ”home sweet home”.

        Recently I made another one:
        My ladylike, classical perfumes
        ladylike, stylish
        ladylike/excentric but chic
        excentric
        ladylike, very luxurious
        edgy
        casual
        charming
        fruity
        sultry
        severe
        cozy
        frivolous, gay
        mysterious, spiritual
        patchouli
        colognes, eaux fraîches
        sweet is lacking (don’t like it)
        All have a list of my perfumes. The longest list is for chypres and tubereuses November 8, 2014 at 12:19pm Reply

        • Hamamelis: Excentric but chic sounds very interesting! What a useful descriptive list, I am going to read it more carefully. Thank you for this glimpse! November 8, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Excentric but chic is in my collection (and in my view);
            Shalimar
            Opium edp
            Aromatics Elixir
            Bornéo 1834
            Shaal Nur

            Making such lists is fun! November 8, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

            • Hannah: And what are the mysterious/spiritual fragrances?
              Eccentric but chic in my collection would be Tubereuse Criminelle. Sultry would be Alexander McQueen Kingdom. Mysterious would be Tubereuse Criminelle, Black Cashmere and Bulgari Black. Not sure where CDG by CDG would be. November 8, 2014 at 1:37pm Reply

              • Cornelia Blimber: Tubéreuse Criminelle would be ”excentric” if I had it. I love the initial phase, but the drydown is too sweet on my skin.

                mysterious, spiritual are Ambre Sultan and Bois d’Encens. November 8, 2014 at 2:13pm Reply

            • Hamamelis: Reading your list, and my own (just a list of FB’s according to note) I think I am in great need of an excentric chic! The closest to excentric chic I have are I think Sables and Dune…but I am not sure they are excentric enough, they could also be cozy…I have not smelled the ones on your list, except Opium decades ago, so I will set out and sample them. Great fun! November 8, 2014 at 5:30pm Reply

              • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, great fun! I hope you will like the reformulated Opium. I love it more than the old version, less thick, more transparant, more radiant. November 9, 2014 at 3:43am Reply

        • Hannah: I make lists like that to see where things fit, or would fit, in my collection. It also makes packing samples while traveling easier for me. November 8, 2014 at 12:50pm Reply

      • Anka: Very interesting categories, thanks for sharing Cornelia!
        I have a similar system and Bois d’Encens is in my “contemplative” department while Shaal Nur, together with Fils de Dieu is in the “wanderlust” one, others are e.g.: “uplifting” (à la Nuit) and “invigorating” (Orange Sanguine). My favorite category is “wunderschön” – beautiful – and there are Nahema, Mohur, Osmanthe Yunnan, Après L’Ondée and others in there.
        I like your “frivolous, gay” heading and will adopt it! November 9, 2014 at 1:50am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: It is also nice to give a colour to the perfumes. For exemple, deep yellow Tshirt: always with Arabie. November 9, 2014 at 6:07am Reply

        • andrea sd: Anka, love your categories! Are there more? November 9, 2014 at 9:31am Reply

        • Hamamelis: Hallo Anka, I like wunderschon (can’t find the umlaut…), my German is limited but I find it has great words! I think at the moment Chanel 5 Eau Premiere is top of my wunderschon list. Thank you for sharing. November 9, 2014 at 4:15pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Hamamelis!
            Umlaut is alt +u.
            German is a wonderful language, isn’t it! November 9, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

            • Hamamelis: Absolutely wonderful language, I wish I was more proficient in it. Thank you for the umlaut, is there a similar code for a smiley? November 9, 2014 at 5:07pm Reply

              • limegreen: a colon : followed by a closing parenthetica markel ) 🙂 November 9, 2014 at 7:35pm Reply

                • limegreen: that’s “parenthetical marker” ) November 9, 2014 at 7:35pm Reply

                  • Hamamelis: 🙂 November 10, 2014 at 2:54am Reply

                    • Anka: Ah, I didn’t know the code for a 🙂 too! November 10, 2014 at 3:45am

  • Figuier: What a beautifully organised collection! I especially like the travalos in their cotton bud container!

    I have a not very glam cardboard gift box on top of my dresser, in which I keep my full bottles and large decants; the rule is that my collection has to fit in it, which has so far helped keep my acquisitiveness in check.

    Last Christmas I got a lovely little wooden carved jewellery box with very small compartments which are useless for my chunky costume jewellery but perfect for standing up samples in. Plastic bags might be an idea thought – now when I lift the lid I’m assaulted by a potent olfactory melange – not v pleasant… November 7, 2014 at 8:43am Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Figuier! I love to repurpose containers that would otherwise wind up in the landfill.

      Your system of containing your perfume collection is admirable. One-in, one-out…I like it! November 7, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

    • angeldiva: “Acquisitiveness!!!” FABULOUS word!
      P. November 7, 2014 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Polly: Thank you, Micahela, for your wonderful advice. My own collection is stashed in a dark closet and while that is fine, I guess, for the decants and vials, it breaks my heart for the lovely Lalique and Baccarat flacons. Even my decidedly trashy Tigress with faux-fur top deserves to be exclaimed about. You inspire me to keep my favorites somewhere a little more visible.

    What do you think of using parafilm to create a seal around the neck of the bottles with a glass stopped and no plastic insert (pre-1980s?) that are so prone to evaporation. I have have been considering it. November 7, 2014 at 9:22am Reply

    • limegreen: Hi Polly — the parafilm is great, especially for vials! Can you get Glad Press n Seal in Europe? November 7, 2014 at 10:07am Reply

      • Polly: I live in San Diego these days. Perfect weather, of course (barring the risk of losing your home to wildfires) but not a very perfume oriented culture. It can be quite challenging to find non-mainstream fragrances. I even drove to the Chanel boutique on Rodeo Drive to try Bois des Iles extrait and they (very) apologetically explained that they do not have testers for any of the Exclusives fragrances. November 8, 2014 at 10:50am Reply

        • angeldiva: Hi Polly!
          I also had a disappointing time at Chanel Beverly Hills, and this was when they HAD testers!
          Oh! My goodness those bottles smelled amazing. But, I was just LOST! lol It was so difficult to read even what the names were. I swear some had no names! There were no prices…anywhere. None of the sales women helped me.
          There was a security guard who said the price range was around 185.- 350. US This was 2009.
          So, the perfumes remain a great mystery to me. I did not know that Chanel had scents other than those found in a department store. Would love to learn more about this here on BdG.
          But, I won’t beg for service at any overpriced snooty store.
          Peace November 10, 2014 at 2:09am Reply

    • Patricia: I’ve been using parafilm for shipping decants and samples, but it’s an excellent idea to use it for your earlier stoppered bottles.

      Let us know how it works! November 7, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

      • Polly: Thanks, Patricia. Sorry for misnaming you as the author of the artcile. In my defense, I had minor (very minor, so no worries) surgery that required me being at the hospital at 7am so I was rushing to post an answer in a huge hurry. One has to get priorities straight! November 8, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

        • Patricia: No worries! I hope that all went well. 🙂 November 8, 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

    • hajusuuri: I use parafilm on my bell jars and the Chanel extraits. I probably should be more disciplined with all my bottles but the ones with stoppers are the most vulnerable, I think, to evaporation. November 8, 2014 at 3:03pm Reply

  • limegreen: What a fun read, Patricia, and I love your collection organization. So much work though. You must enjoy just gazing at your beautiful dresser tray. 🙂
    I used to keep perfume bottles in boxes in the closet but it was hard to find things and survey what I wanted to wear, especially in getting ready for work!
    Now I have a dresser drawer of boxed perfumes and they are loosely organized by house and if there is only one of a house then they are on one side (heavier perfumes) or the other (lighter floral). Weather here is pretty much two seasons (warm or cool, rarely cold) so it makes it easier to find.
    Dogwalking everyday colognes, mostly the light citrus types sit on top of the dresser, in boxes. I’m not going to worry about the light for these. The curtains are drawn but that’s about it. I also keep new samples out on the dresser so that I can wear them early in the day, or bedtime if it’s that’s kind of scent. House sampler sets (of which I only have 2), just sit on the dresser while I experiment and play with different scents. Kind of like a new toy. 🙂
    I have a big jewelry case with slots that holds samples or larger vials/decants. (I have a tiny basket with travel or purse sprays. I sometimes forget what I have in a travel spray — I try to match the color with what I associate with a perfume but this can be a flawed system!) When the case overflowed (those rabbit samples!), I did 3 BdJ giveaway packages of samples and decants and it was the best thing for organization!
    And after reading Victoria’s parafilm recommendation, I started to use Glad Press n Seal to wrap not only my bottles but the larger vials. (I asked my scientist husband for parafilm and he said the Glad stuff was the same thing, just more convenient.)
    I didn’t used to need a system because I didn’t have much, but now I resolve to keep things in the drawer and case.
    Fortunately with the giveaways I have more space again in the case! And I still have a little room in the dresser drawer for full bottles. 🙂
    (I recently left a Hawaiian perfume, Wicked Wahine, a very inexpensive orange sandalwood perfume, in the restroom on my office floor to use as air freshener. It’s kind of powdery to wear for me but lovely as a scent. Wicked Wahine was taken after a day. This has given me an idea of leaving some other such bottles. This also helps with organization!) November 7, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

    • Patricia: In addition to your great organizational suggestions, limegreen, I like your idea of leaving perfume gifts in the office restroom.

      I need to do some downsizing, too (did you guess?), and appreciate your comments there. It is very frustrating when samples or decants evaporate because they haven’t been used.

      Thanks so much for sharing! November 7, 2014 at 10:24am Reply

      • limegreen: Patricia — I would never have the energy to label anything, you are to be commended for being so organized! This is after all a hobby, not work! (But I guess for you the boundary is blurred!) Those 1 ml sample vials really do evaporate, don’t they? Since I’ve downsized I’ve discovered that I’m using the samples I do have much more. And deluxe ones (hello, Malle!) I wrap in Glad parafilm. The funny thing is that my work clothes are organized in my closet, by color mostly. I took the time to organize them, probably because I don’t want to look for stuff when I’m getting ready in the morning. November 7, 2014 at 6:13pm Reply

        • Patricia: Great idea about wrapping the deluxe decants in parafilm. I don’t own any Malle FBs, but love the line and have several of the 10 ml and 5 ml sizes. That’s definitely some big bucks going up into the atmosphere! November 8, 2014 at 8:19am Reply

          • limegreen: btw good news about Malle 10 ml sizes! A Malle SA told me that Malle will start selling them individually, maybe around the holidays. It will be nice to not have to buy a set of 3, though it was great to be able to do so (instead of a FB) when I was in Paris. Easy to bring home and does not take up much room in the dresser drawer. 🙂 I already have a wish list of the single 10 ml ones I want for Xmas … maybe I should make the effort to write this list down on paper and leave it around for my husband to find. 🙂 November 8, 2014 at 10:59am Reply

            • Patricia: That is fantastic news!! November 8, 2014 at 12:37pm Reply

    • Michaela: Hahaha, your story about Hawaiian perfume is very nice! November 7, 2014 at 10:40am Reply

    • Hamamelis: Hi Limegreen, off topic, but as a newbie dogwalking perfumista may I ask which citrus colognes you wear when you are walking your four legged? November 7, 2014 at 2:15pm Reply

      • limegreen: Hi Hamamelis! Do you walk your dog often?It’s a great way to wear several perfumes in a day! (Dogwalking, shower, change perfumes!) My dog used to require much more walking so I needed citrus types to keep bugs away (Nicolai Cologne Cedrat and Jo Malone Grapefruit were favorites in warm weather this year. The Cedrat was a huge bottle for its value so I sprayed my ankles, too!) But I really love florals and heavier scents (incense etc) so when it’s cooler, and I have less fear about bugs, I’m wearing all kinds of big florals (Lutens Fleur d’Oranger) and Sahara Noir and Eau Duelle EDP.
        Lately, my dog has been slowing down with arthritis so the walks are shorter and slower so I’ve been trying out different vials from my L’Artisan sampler set. If I don’t like something, I’m home relatively soon to wash it off. 🙂 I probably look funny strolling with my wrists to my face!
        (All the love on this blog for Chanel has encouraged me to give the house another try. I have been test driving different samples, and the exercise really does bring out different nuances in the Channels, more so than some other lines!) November 7, 2014 at 6:26pm Reply

        • Hamamelis: Thank you Limegreen! I walk my dog all the time, she is a young German Shepherd and keen to discover life (a.k.a. putting her nose everywhere). Having such a nose based creature living with me is partially what ignited my love for perfume and all things scented. Great idea to use the citrus colognes to keep off the bugs, in summer we have lots of ticks here, besides tucking my trousers in my socks I will spray citrus! I am sorry to hear your dog suffers from arthritis, it seems unavoidable when they get older doesn’t it, but I also love that old and wise stage…I will look up the dogwalking thread and try out Nicolai Cedrat when I can. I am new to this hobby (…) and recently discovered Chanel 5 Eau Premiere and Cristalle, top of my favourites list. Also eagerly awaiting the travelling box from Belgium! Big hug for your dog☺. November 8, 2014 at 3:28am Reply

          • limegreen: Will you let us know how you like your traveling set? How fun that you got it!
            The Nicolai Cedrat is really good value — I got a 100 ml size from Luckyscent for $40. Since you’re in Europe you can get it even easier, I imagine. (Plus samples!) I love the smell of cedrat. To change things up, I also use my Goutal Eau d’Hadrien for bug spray but I have to spray a lot since it’s so short-lived.
            German Shepherds are so loyal but they are really big and energetic, aren’t they? November 8, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

            • Hamamelis: I will definitely let you know how I got on with the travelling samples once they arrive! I love citrus so I will look up Cedrat, thank you.
              And so nice to read some dogtalk…incredible that your mutt is nearly 15…my previous dog, also a female German Shepherd died too young. They are indeed big and loyal (and ofcourse all German Shepherd owners would say very intelligent ;)) but unfortunately prone to HD and other problems. I have Aylah now completely on raw meat, maybe that makes a difference. And I also gave my late German Shepherd chiropractic, acupuncture, Turmeric and herring (instead of fishoil) and I do think, even though she died quite young, it added quality to her last years.
              I think Dasuquin is called Cosequin in the Netherlands, also very good. Have a lovely Sunday! November 8, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

              • Austenfan: I love all this doggie talk sneaking in as I am a great dog lover. I was interested to read that you raw feed your dog. I’ve done so for a little over 11 years now. One of the advantages is that raw fed dogs smell better! November 9, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

                • limegreen: Given that dogs are great smellers, and love smelling EVERYTHING, I think the sub-doggy talk fits right in here with all of us great human smellers! 🙂
                  Shoes were recommended for my dog and he has been walking so much better. Less strain on the hips when he gets up, gives him traction on our wood floors. November 9, 2014 at 1:34pm Reply

                • Hamamelis: Absolutely Austenfan! My dog smells and looks wonderful I think. Even the produce 😉 that she sometimes left in our home when she was very young did not at all smell unpleasant. I feed her Lotgering all game (wildmenu) in the morning (has a nice sweet smell) and Darf in the evening.
                  And she tries to catch mice as a snack…so far no luck there ;).
                  What do you feed your dog? November 9, 2014 at 4:04pm Reply

                  • Austenfan: Several different brands actually. Her main menu is Bibi which is one of the oldest firms producing this kind of food for dogs. Bandit as a special treat and on holidays. I also feed some Tinlo and Petsfish. She adores fish but I can’t feed that all the time. Herring seems to be her favourite so far.
                    Oddly enough her stomach couldn’t cope with Darf. So I quit feeding that. When I started feeding her this way there were probably around half a dozen brands available and look what you can buy today. November 9, 2014 at 4:11pm Reply

                    • Hamamelis: Another herring lover in my house…I will look up Bibi, Bandit is indeed a more expensive treat. When we go away for a weekend we feed her K9, that is dried raw lamb ( also handy if we forgot to take her meal out off the freezer). I would assume you are also careful not to overvaccinate? My vet takes teeters, and Tannetje Koning regularly takes teeters in a petfoodstore close by. November 9, 2014 at 4:34pm

                    • Hamamelis: Btw I can understand your dachshund (lovely breed) did not take Darf well, I find it is quite fatty, ok with a young dog but probably not for an old lady! November 9, 2014 at 4:37pm

                    • Austenfan: Unfortunately I have to get her her Rabies shot every 3 years as she travels abroad with me. My vet is quite careful and so the only yearly shots she gets are Parvo and Weil.
                      I’m not overly nervous about vaccinations, however. I’m sure there are side effects but the diseases they could get were they not vaccinated are far worse. I’m aware that it is quite a hot topic in the doggy blogosphere, which I follow at a respectful distance 🙂 November 10, 2014 at 7:45am

                    • Hamamelis: Oh, yes, Weil is a must. I keep my distance from those blogs as well…and as your vet, mine is careful as well (esp. with rabies). I wouldn’t be surprised if in an few years time, taking teeters is the way for them to generate income. Hugs for your fourlegged! November 10, 2014 at 10:30am

                • Michaela: I too raw feed my dogs 10 years now. Much better all over. November 10, 2014 at 6:18am Reply

        • Patricia: Off topic, but my 13 year old Welsh Springer Spaniel has done very well on Rimadyl, Dasuquin, and Fish Oil capsules for his arthritis. He bounds up and down the stairs with no problems at all. He’s been on medication for about a year now. November 8, 2014 at 8:24am Reply

          • limegreen: Dog are never off topic! 🙂 Thanks for the heads up, Patricia, will ask about Dasuquin.
            What do you wear for dogwalking?
            My mutt (nearly 15) is on Rimadyl and glucosamine and fish oil and turmeric! The turmeric capsules were working really well (natural anti-inflammatory that our vet suggested 3 years ago) until the arthritis became too severe, so we upped the Rimadyl. Don’t laugh but he also gets chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture and it has been a wonder, he is using his arthritic leg normally and sometimes bursts in the yard after a stray cat that dares to wander in. (And then he realizes he’s pulled a hamstring or something and has to stop. Reminds me of myself. Not that I chase cats.) November 8, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

          • Hamamelis: Thank you very much for this lovely article Patricia, and all the interesting comments it provoked. So nice to read you have a Welsh Springer, my first boyfriend (this is many decades ago) had two Springer Spaniels, I hold fond memories of them. And also such a respectable age to be bouncing up and down the stairs! November 8, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

            • Patricia: My daughter’s Field Spaniel is visiting (with her) this weekend, and talk about energetic!

              I’m glad you enjoyed the article. 🙂 November 8, 2014 at 12:41pm Reply

          • Austenfan: My Dachshund is 13 years old now and though still doing quite well, has trouble walking long distances. She is on pain medication and has laser treatment for her back. I looked up Dasuquin but it isn’t available in the Netherlands. I need to switch her to some glucosamine supplement as well. Saw that it is called Cosequin here so will look into that. November 9, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

            • Patricia: I had a miniature Dachshund when I was growing up. She was the smartest and cutest dog I’ve ever had. Sadly she had severe back issues and didn’t live past 7. November 9, 2014 at 5:35pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Dachshunds are very smart and so funny!
                Their backs are not their strongest point. Also the North-American and British Dachshunds are quite different from the continental European ones. Over here 3 different sizes are recognized. In Germany it is a dog that is still very much bred for work, so they have shorter backs and longer legs, and probably more prey drive. November 10, 2014 at 7:49am Reply

            • limegreen: A year ago I did a DNA test on my mutt out of curiosity and also to see if there were breed specific genetic problems we needed to be aware of. He’s a medium size white fluffy dog and dachshund was one of the “dominant” three breed lines. in his DNA (There’s German Shepherd at the grandparents level.) Crazy dog DNA. November 9, 2014 at 7:46pm Reply

              • Hamamelis: Dachshund and German Shepherd sounds like super DNA! November 10, 2014 at 2:59am Reply

                • limegreen: :0> November 10, 2014 at 10:11am Reply

            • Michaela: Cosequin HA is very good. I buy it online from a Spanish site, they are serious: http://www.farmaciaveterinaria.es/ November 10, 2014 at 6:22am Reply

      • limegreen: We had a dogwalking perfume thread earlier this fall and someone (can’t remember) who wears Apres L’Ondee to walk her dogs. Lucky dogs! November 7, 2014 at 10:06pm Reply

    • angeldiva: I remember Wicked Wahine! This just confirms what I thought in 1972. It smelled good!
      P. November 7, 2014 at 7:36pm Reply

    • Joy: My YMCA has a basket in the women’s locker room where members can leave items that they can’t use or don’t care for. I have left some perfumes there. It is amazing how quickly they disappear. I’m glad that someone can like and use what I don’t like. November 13, 2014 at 8:51pm Reply

  • Elisa: I just love seeing other people’s perfume collections! Seconding the great value of a labelmaker; I got one for Christmas last year and use it all the time.

    I usually organize my samples and decants and even bottles by family rather than alphabetically. So I cluster all the roses together, all the chypres, the white florals, the fruity florals, the orientals, the gourmands, etc…. November 7, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Elisa, That’s a great way to organize. I often find myself running around my different outposts in search of a second leather perfume (for instance) to compare to the one I’ve pulled to sample! November 7, 2014 at 10:28am Reply

    • Kat: I organize my samples by group/family as well…that is how I discovered I have more floral woody musks than anything else! 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

      • Patricia: Good way to pinpoint your favorite perfume families! I think my favorite group is chypres, especially of the woody variety, but I’m not sure if my perfume collection would back me up. 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 12:15pm Reply

      • TheFrenchMistress: Haha, yes…I think the fact that I have as many rich orientals in my collection as I have of everything else put together probably means I’m a bit of a sucker for them!

        This topic and all the posts are utterly fascinating and also very reassuring. ‘Normal’ is relative, right? November 7, 2014 at 12:38pm Reply

        • Patricia: Oh, yes, absolutely right. 😉 November 7, 2014 at 12:49pm Reply

    • Hannah: My collection of bottles is small so I don’t need a special system but organizing samples by family would be useful.
      I was refreshing Trayee and my friends wanted to know what it was and eventually how much it costs came out, so I explained to them I only have that 1ml. They asked how long it takes me to go through 1ml and I said “A while. I have more than 200 of these.” and their minds were totally blown. November 7, 2014 at 12:52pm Reply

      • Patricia: I know, civilians just don’t get our love for perfume, do they? 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 5:54pm Reply

        • Gentiana: 🙂 Civilians 🙂
          When I start to talk about my perfumes, I am looked at as some kind of alien by my friends and colleagues… I only have a lady friend whit whom we used to change/ swap perfumes and clothes. But now she has lots of bigger problems and no more time and state of mind for these things… Even the therapist I visited a while made huge eyes when I told her about my ‘fume collection and tried to explain me that this is a part of a compulsive behavior… 🙂
          So I only get some understanding by you, dear bloggers… 🙂 And I see I’m not the only “weird” one… November 9, 2014 at 3:53am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: weird..compulsive…jacko…at least we are not dangerous! November 9, 2014 at 6:08am Reply

            • Hamamelis: LOL that comment made my morning…I keep chuckling when I think of it. 🙂 November 10, 2014 at 3:09am Reply

          • Hannah: Most people are interested when I talk about perfume. Maybe they’re just glad I’m passionate about something, since I’m basically Eeyore. November 9, 2014 at 7:56am Reply

            • andrea sd: Yes. Total conversation stopper. November 9, 2014 at 9:49am Reply

          • Joy: Loved your statement. My obsession is quite compulsive. I don’t dare talk about it with most of my friends. Therefore, my enjoyment in this blog. November 13, 2014 at 8:53pm Reply

      • limegreen: In these type of situations, I find that information that is on a “need to know” basis is best! Some of my colleagues think I wear only one perfume (Oh, “you smell nice with that perfume you wear all the time” kind of comment) and I think it’s need to know and just smile and don’t say anything. 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

        • Patricia: Sometimes a “thank you” and a smile is all that is needed! 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 6:49pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I loved seeing the level of organisation of your collection. Mine is, of course, organised in a totally different way. Everything lives in it’s boxes and in the dark. Some live in the fridge, like most of my Goutals and Calyx. So my fumes are much better preserved than myself:) November 7, 2014 at 10:49am Reply

    • Patricia: You are a much better perfume caretaker than I am and I would do well to at least start keeping my perfume boxes.

      Had to laugh at your comment about perfume/self preservation. It’s a losing battle, isn’t it?? November 7, 2014 at 12:19pm Reply

      • Austenfan: It so is!
        There is a part of me that doesn’t really mind but sometimes it just gets to you. I mean I need to get multifocal glasses soon. Plus, as a woman, if you don’t dye your hair-and I do not- people seem to think it’s perfectly fine to question that choice. I know it’s getting gray, but you know my skin isn’t exactly 20 years old either.
        Going back to perfume storage; having been blessed with an excellent memory, I haven’t been bothered to be more organised. Having an older brother who is a chemist has made me very aware of how to keep certain things 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

        • Patricia: I think that trying to hold onto the hair color of one’s youth can actually be aging. Just be grateful for your excellent memory…mine certainly isn’t what it used to be! November 7, 2014 at 5:59pm Reply

        • limegreen: That’s what so wonderful about perfume — it’s ageless! November 7, 2014 at 10:08pm Reply

  • Claudia: Is that Madame Rochas? I want to smell it again! November 7, 2014 at 11:14am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Claudia, Yes, it is Madame Rochas, and there is very little of it left. I bought it “preowned,” and it is a lovely thing. November 7, 2014 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I have most of my eau de parfum, eau de toilette and cologne on top of my dresser and bureau. Right now, there is not a spare space. Most of them are the ones I use on a regular basis, some are vintage that I rarely use but they hold a special place in my heart. The rest are on the floor underneath the dresser and bureau. I used to buy extra bottles of something I loved that I thought may not be around forever and I wanted a spare…those unopened boxes are under my bed. I have been collecting perfumes since I was 20 years old which was many decades ago. I have lots of bottles well over 20 years old and most are still intact. I once took a photo of my dresser and bureau and sent to the Non-Blonde who had made the request. I thought she would be appalled but she wasn’t. I have toyed with the idea of buying a cabinet but never got around to it. In the middle of both the dresser and bureau I have a mirrored tray similar to Patricia’s on which of keep my actual extract perfumes. I haven’t had a problem finding the one I want among the hundreds even when I am in a hurry. One of these days I am buy that cabinet…but then what would I put on top of my dresser and bureau??? November 7, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Phyllis, As long as you know where everything is, your system is working!

      Love your comment about how The Non-Blonde wasn’t fazed at all by the size of your collection. 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Christine Corretti: I have many bottles too, and because of that I”m always afraid the perfumes are going to deteriorate before I get to wear them.

    How does one prevent a perfume from deteriorating (other than keeping it out of the sunlight)?

    thanks November 7, 2014 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Patricia: Sunlight, heat (and any temperature fluctuations, I believe) are the enemies of perfume. Also, decants won’t last as long as perfumes in their original bottles.

      See Cornelia’s post above for how she keeps her vintage perfumes from turning. I don’t claim to be as careful with mine. November 7, 2014 at 6:09pm Reply

    • andrea sd: Some tend to evaporate, like KenzoAir. Difficult case. If you don’t use much, seal stopper and shoulder with wax, but carefully. A clogged nozzle is a problem. If you use regularly clingfoil helps. A little. November 9, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

  • Tamuna: Oh , your collection is a perfume heaven I ‘d like to visit and discover. November 7, 2014 at 1:29pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Tamuna! November 7, 2014 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Jamie K.: Oh, that Chanel tray made me swoon! May I be so rude as to ask which you have on there? I can make out the names of some like 31 Rue Cambon and Coromandel, but not others. November 7, 2014 at 1:46pm Reply

    • Patricia: Your question is not rude at all, and I’d be delighted to share. I bought the Coromandel and the Cristalle Eau Verte new, but all the rest are “pre-owned” or from swaps. The 31 Rue Cambon was half full when I bought it and is now about one-third full (out of a 200 ml. bottle). Left of Cristalle Eau Verte is Coco EDT and vintage Cristalle EDT. Next a decant of Bois des Isles, No. 19 EDP, Cristalle EDP, No. 19 EDT, Travalo with Coco parfum (from a very kind SA in Orly duty-free…I only bought the travalo and she filled it with the parfum). In the front two Cuir de Russie parfums, Coco EDP, and a small amount of No. 22 parfum.

      Oddly enough, I don’t own a full bottle of my HG, No. 19. I also have a small vial of the parfum…great stuff! November 7, 2014 at 7:03pm Reply

  • Ginny: Loved the post and all the comments! They make me want to go play with my collection right now.

    In addition to wall shelves and a dresser top, I use a wicker storage unit from an import store (deeper than it is wide) to store fragrance bottles.

    To keep track of samples, I’ve found slotted ring trays very helpful. Mine are from Fetpak, but there are other sources.

    I store the samples upright in alphabetical order, The lid of the box holding the tray (also from Fetpak) is transparent apart from a rim. This protects the samples but keeps them visible. The boxes stack perfectly lengthwise on top of the narrow wicker unit. November 7, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Patricia: This sounds like a great system, Ginny! I especially like how you store your samples. Whenever I can stack anything, I do. Space is always at a premium when it comes to perfume. 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 7:08pm Reply

  • Carolyn: I love that you have “satellite” places for some of your collection. I do that as well. My former housemate bought me a bookshelf for my collection of misc fragrant things (I collect oils & such too) a few years back. I house most of my misc, less worn, etc. fragrances there. My collection of current faves is on my dresser and I have one top drawer (I have those sock type of drawers) that houses some samples and my roller-ball/purse sizes and the other drawer is incense (yum). I have my older samples in another drawer and the recent samples/decants since my foray into trying to explore more and such are on two of my headboard shelves. My label maker I “borrowed” from my daughter. She wasn’t using it so…voila, it has a new use.

    I do think of fragrance as a hobby. People are meant to be creative and creativity comes in many forms, smell being one of them IMHO 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 2:49pm Reply

    • Patricia: Carolyn, I couldn’t agree with you more re: perfume and creativity. We are meant to use and enjoy all of our senses, and smell has been somewhat overlooked, though I think that this is starting to change.

      Thanks so much for sharing your organization methods! November 7, 2014 at 7:12pm Reply

  • Petunia: Hi Pat, I was watching a perfume review for MDCI fragrances and the couple doing the review suggested using “amo” (ammunition) boxes for dabbed and small spray samples. Apparently you can buy these boxes with different sized interior grids for different sample sizes. They also used a labeling system. The boxes are dark and have lids that close. Sort of like an old fashioned recipe box with a hinged lid. I am a new perfumista so I haven’t accumulated enough yet to buy them, but I did think it was a great idea. Apparently these boxes can be purchased online if anyone is interested. November 7, 2014 at 3:57pm Reply

    • Patricia: This sounds like a great idea, Petunia, especially if one doesn’t have too many samples (requiring too many ammo boxes!).

      Nice that the interior grids come in different sizes to accommodate different sized samples. November 7, 2014 at 7:16pm Reply

    • angeldiva: Fab! I’m going to look now.

      P. November 7, 2014 at 7:46pm Reply

  • Andy: That Chanel-studded tray is gorgeous! In your picture, I notice what looks like a bottle of No. 19 cologne, a recent thrift store find for me. Anyway, I have a drawer of my desk that I rotate fragrances through seasonally; this allows me, upon opening up the drawer, to momentarily delude myself into thinking I have a well-edited, organized perfume collection. 🙂

    I don’t like to keep most of the boxes either (somehow they seem to take up more space than they’re worth…), and most of my perfume collection dwells within a large, leather box. I should mention that I’m pretty dedicated to keeping my fragrance collection small and manageable; I have room for perhaps a dozen more bottles, and after that, I will give something away to someone who will appreciate it even more, or figure out something else. For now, my collection is contained! November 7, 2014 at 3:57pm Reply

    • limegreen: Turns out the office restroom is great depository for some bottles! 🙂 (Not the really nice stuff, of course.) November 7, 2014 at 6:35pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks, Andy! The Chanels are some of my favs, especially No. 19, which I own in small amounts (no FBs) in EDT, EDP, and parfum.

      Your desk drawer method sounds great, and small and manageable is my ideal! November 7, 2014 at 7:20pm Reply

  • Sheri: This article made me realize how much junk I have in the drawers of my bedside table – surely I should clear one of them out and keep perfume there! I currently have a relatively small collection of full bottles that I keep on a shelf in my closet (if they’re in current rotation) or in a wine refrigerator (if they’re currently off-season or are back-up bottles). The sample vials are in a clear plastic divided tray intended for nail polish bottles, organized mostly by fragrance family (except for Chanel and Hermes samples, which each get a dedicated slot of their own). About a dozen 1ml vials fit in each slot. The samples I didn’t care much for are in small ziplock bags in the closet waiting for me to either rediscover them or decide once and for all that they need a new home (or go bad … whichever comes first). November 7, 2014 at 4:44pm Reply

    • Sheri: Oh, I meant to mention my favorite perfume “tool” – it’s a pair of long-nosed, scissor-handled tweezers. They help me get those little plastic stoppers out of dabber vials without breaking a nail or the vial (sort of like delicate pliers), and they act as tiny fingers to get a vial out of the middle of a tray slot. November 7, 2014 at 4:48pm Reply

      • Patricia: Sheri, You win for best tip of the day! My next purchase will be one of those long-nosed scissor-handled tweezers. November 7, 2014 at 7:22pm Reply

      • angeldiva: Genius!!

        P. November 7, 2014 at 7:47pm Reply

      • Michaela: Very clever! I struggled with those stoppers so many times and broke some vials. November 10, 2014 at 6:30am Reply

    • Patricia: Yes, clear out those drawers! I’ve found that my bedside table (or, rather, the shelf below), is my favorite place for perfume storage. November 7, 2014 at 7:25pm Reply

    • Vanie: It’s funny you should say that: my samples are also organized by family, except for Chanel’s and Hermes’! Not exactly sure why that is, but it somehow made sense to me… November 8, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

  • Karen: Great article, thanks for sharing your ideas and photos! I, too, love having the bottles out of their boxes – something about perfume on a vanity or bedside table that just seems so elegant and beautiful to me. November 7, 2014 at 5:10pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks so much for your kind comments, Karen. 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 7:26pm Reply

  • zari: As a lover of scents, and as a somewhat OCD/constant organizer I LOVE posts like this. Also as a voyeur – I love seeing what other people’s organization methods look like.

    Thanks so much Patricia! November 7, 2014 at 7:20pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks, zari! I’m also a somewhat OCD/constant organizer who loves perfume. November 7, 2014 at 7:27pm Reply

  • Nati: I loved your organization but am really coveting your collection, organized or not! I hope in some years I have more than I have now (14 bottles and 10 testers)- perfume makes me happy! November 7, 2014 at 7:55pm Reply

    • Patricia: Perfume makes me happy, too, Nati! November 7, 2014 at 8:10pm Reply

  • angeldiva: These photos are like a new medium: “Perfume Porn!” LOL LOL LOL November 7, 2014 at 7:56pm Reply

    • Patricia: 🙂 November 7, 2014 at 8:11pm Reply

  • Audrey: I am completely impressed by your organization. My boxes (most bottles are still in the original boxes) live on 5 shelves in my dark closet. The rest live in their boxes in other boxes in a couple different dark temp controlled places in the house . My bottles without boxes live in some built in shelving in my bedroom (in the dark with a closed door), and I have 2 full shoeboxes of decants. I have no idea where anything is :). I was think about separating them by category (floral, green, gourmand etc) but there are so many crossovers!

    Lovely collection and presentation on your tray.. November 7, 2014 at 8:07pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Audrey!

      You were smart to keep your boxes. I’m trying to be better about doing that to provide light protection for my perfume. November 7, 2014 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Sofie: Drool… This post has it all! Perfume, labels, organisation, vanity table… :-).
    I love looking at bottles and collections from other people, and there’s just something about having them on a nice tray on a vanity table! I really like your show tray, from the bottles to the paperweight :-). Btw, the OCD’er in me likes the fact that Chanel uses different bottles for concentrations, but the same throughout the collection. I like the simplicity in it.
    I thought my organisation was nonexistent since I hardly have anything you could call a collection… Until I remembered I have my out-of-season ones on a shelve in my cupboard (in boxes where possible). So, a slightly bigger collection then I thought. Mostly samples and department store knock offs from before getting serious about this hobby… The ‘real stuff’ is slowly creeping in (my first serious purchase on it’s way as we speak, yay! Serious as in, tested, tried, thought about and saved up for. A FB of Sycomore, Chanel. Never considered myself a Chanel girl, but there we are…)
    I loved some of the comments above btw, so much fun to read about other peoples collections and ways of organising! November 8, 2014 at 12:43am Reply

    • Sofie: Ha, forgot about half my collection! The ones I use at the moment are placed on a shelf in the kitchen, the few samples in a nice little bowl next to the bottles. Out of reach of little hands, and in full view. I like being able to look at it and I can quickly spray something while I’m heading out the door. Or when I need a pick-me-up during the day.
      I have to reconsider the out of reach factor though, the other day I found my mini Arpège on the table. My oldest son found ‘the little onion’ too seductive and had managed to pry it open and douse himself and his little brother. A very luxurious trip to the park that day :-D. November 8, 2014 at 12:55am Reply

      • Patricia: LOL! As a busy mom on the go, your system sounds great. Just keep your collection out of reach of inquisitive little fingers! November 8, 2014 at 8:32am Reply

      • Michaela: hahaha, very nice kids… November 10, 2014 at 6:32am Reply

    • Figuier: Congrats on your FB of Sycomore, Sofie! This was my purchase of the year in 2013, DH and I had saved for it for a while and it was so worth the wait! Both of us wear it often, and it never fails to cheer me. November 8, 2014 at 11:06am Reply

  • andrea sd: Chiming in here late I’d like to add a few suggestions. My perfume collection is rather big, something like 800 full bottles. After the Turin/Sanchez book came out, during the time they did those online supplements, somebody made a huge excel file with all discussed scents and offered it for free download. Maybe it is still around somewhere. I took that and modified it, marking the perfumes I own, adding new scents, adding my own commentaries, like what date bought, how much, version, concentration, size, and so on, like mood, colour, season. The file being Excel I can switch it any way to sort. My actual perfumes live in the cellar, in a dark unheated room. Not sexy. The full bottles are shelved in alphabetical order by their name. Vintage extraits, decants, samples and perfume oils from India live in compartmentalized plexi boxes and ziplocs. The plexi boxes in different sizes I got from Muji. As many of the samples are untried and thus hard to remember I grouped those by – don’t laugh – country (Italian, French, British, US and so on) and then House. I put a thick sisal carpet on the tiles – for falling bottles to bounce off. And there is an ‘out’ box for samples and scents I do not wish to keep. All sample doubles are upstairs with my travel gear so I can grab a few for travelling or handbags. I rotate a lot and bring up the ‘just now stuff’ (e.g. just now: burnt leaves, ‘orange’ and ‘brown’ scents…) to keep in the bathroom. I rotate that weekly. November 8, 2014 at 3:21am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Andrea! Wow, your organizational method is impressive, and your storage is outstanding. Your perfumes will thank you for that later.

      When I kept an Excel sheet, one of the things I liked best was the flexibility in sorting. One of my favorite ways to sort was by perfumer because at the time I was just starting to get to know individual perfumers and liked to see what perfumes they created. Now I just use Fragrantica for that.

      Love your idea of an “out” box. I definitely need to incorporate that into my system! November 8, 2014 at 8:42am Reply

      • andrea sd: Thanks! I can’t stress the importance of that carpet enough…
        A comment to my Out – box: I am pretty quick to put things in, but learned to wait half a year or so before giving away. Sometimes I change my mind, sometimes I need to smell again for reference.
        Fragrantica or Basenotes wardrobe is a great idea, too. I abandoned it though, because scents I own are not registered and I did not like that. Another reason is that I can make print-outs to keep with the perfumes.
        I have added a column where I add the links if I found great reviews and I have that excel file on my device, too, so when I need to check back underway its faster to pull up.
        When I feel I need creative chaos and random interesting combinations, which I sometimes do, I send the kids in. Carpet time, again. November 9, 2014 at 1:50am Reply

        • Patricia: Fun that you share perfume time with the kids! November 9, 2014 at 9:39am Reply

    • angeldiva: Andrea- Rock On !!!

      P. November 9, 2014 at 12:03am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Andrea sd,

      I just found that Excel file; it is at http://tinyurl.com/nzdjc4.

      Thank you so much for this reference. I am going to have fun browsing through the file. I already have the books, but I’m sure that I can hatch a few of my own uses for the spreadsheet. November 9, 2014 at 1:17am Reply

      • andrea sd: That’s great! November 9, 2014 at 1:24am Reply

      • Patricia: Thanks for sharing the link, Tourmaline! November 9, 2014 at 9:42am Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Patricia,

    Thank you for sharing your great perfume organization methods and photos.

    If I had known in advance, many years ago, how many bottles of perfume I would end up acquiring, then I would have been more organized from the start. Instead, a few years ago I reached the stage where any spare shelf surface in several rooms was covered with perfume bottles, something that certainly spoiled the décor in terms of the ornaments that were already on those shelves. I decided to clear out several of my deepest drawers of varying sizes so that I could store many of the bottles in those.
    I still have bottles of perfume in at least 15 different places in my unit, but at least they are no longer spoiling the décor and I pretty much know where everything is, although I have over 270 bottles (not including spares).

    Some of my favourite fragrances that I use most often are displayed on my bedroom dressing table (Tea Rose, Paris, White Shoulders, Lipstick Rose, L’Heure Bleue and Mitsouko) and on the bathroom sink bench (Le Dix, Oscar and Y).

    There were so many perfumes that I wanted to display that I decided to rotate a different collection on another bathroom bench each season. The current perfumes in rotation are:

    Spring – Diorissimo, Anaïs Anaïs, Le Jardin, Jardins de Bagatelle, Clair de Jour and Chamade;

    Summer – Chloé (1975 original), L’Air du Temps, Eden, Après L’Ondée, Terracotta Voile D’Été, Chant D’Arômes, Yvresse and Jicky;

    Autumn – Trésor, Nahéma, Ombre Rose, Lolita Lempicka and Vol de Nuit; and

    Winter – Bal à Versailles, Poison, Youth-Dew, Opium, Cinnabar, Loulou, Shalimar, Ciara and Laetitia.

    Some people might wonder why I have categorized certain fragrances in particular seasons, but all of my choices make sense to me!

    In my “Violet Room” (aka my study), along with violet-patterned china, violet flower-embroidered cloths and the like, I have several perfume displays. One is a selection of my favourite violet fragrances (currently including Violetta Di Palma, Devon Violets, April Violets, Violettes de Toulouse, Violetta, Les Météorites, Somersby Violets, Le Dix and Insolence).

    Another display is a collection of some of my very first perfume bottles from childhood, including those for Blue Grass, a Miss Dior bottle that held 4711, Yardley Honeysuckle, Three Flowers Skin Perfume by Richard Hudnut (the first perfume given to me by my late mother), Bird of Paradise, Phul-Nana and Black Rose (the first perfume given to me by my younger brother).

    On a shelf in my bedroom is a glass display cabinet, about eight inches high, which my mother gave me about 30 years ago. In it I display my favourite perfume miniatures from the fragrances listed already. On a two-shelf wooden spice rack on a shelf in the hallway, I display my favourite Guerlain miniatures.

    The 30 or so perfumes left by my mother are stored in two beautiful Royal Albert boxes that held china of the Old Country Roses pattern. The boxes are glossy and feature a print of crimson roses.

    The bulk of my other perfumes are stored in my deepest drawers in the dining room (the bottom drawer of an antique wardrobe), bedroom, Violet Room and lounge room. An entire shelf of the refrigerator is devoted to perfume, and all my spares are kept in boxes down in the garage, which is at least one or two degrees cooler than my second floor unit.

    Perfume samples are stored in plastic lunch boxes in Violet Room drawers, and perfumed soaps, lotions and talcs all have their own drawers or sections in the bathroom, although the more expensive lotions are stored in the fridge. As yet I don’t have any decants, but when I do, I’m sure that I shall follow your excellent labelling and storage system.

    At the moment I tend to keep older perfumes (that are not on display) in their boxes, because I am loathe to throw away vintage boxes, it saves space, and the boxes also keep the bottles from clinking against each other when I open and close the drawers. I do have many boxes, including for perfume miniatures, that I keep in a wardrobe drawer in the Violet Room, and others in a box in the garage. Perhaps I will throw these away one day, but at the moment I can’t bring myself to do so.

    About 25 years ago, long before I bought a computer, I hand-wrote a spreadsheet list of all of my perfumed products within each fragrance category, not unlike the excel spreadsheet that you created. But, as you say, such lists are time-consuming to maintain, and I only ever made the one list. It is now an interesting time-capsule of the fragrances that I owned at that time.

    For several years now I have kept a computer list of all of my perfumes, categorized using Michael Edwards’ system, and numbered. The fragrances that I aspire to buy one day are printed in red, without numbers, and when I finally purchase a bottle of the perfume, I delight in changing the print to black and allocating a number to the fragrance.

    For many years I’ve thought that, just as wine cellars are common amongst wine-lovers, perfume cellars should become common amongst perfume lovers. When you consider that most perfume is vastly more expensive, per ml, than most wine, I think that it makes sense.

    I do apologize for the length of this comment and for putting anyone to sleep! November 8, 2014 at 5:22am Reply

    • Karen: Your comment is incredibly inspiring and helpful! Thank you for listing out the perfumes in your seasonal category and also the violet fragrances. Ideas for samples to try! Reading everyone’s comments has been wonderful, again many thanks for such a terrific post Patricia! November 8, 2014 at 8:18am Reply

      • Patricia: Thanks, Karen, and I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts, too! November 8, 2014 at 8:58am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Karen,

        Thank you so much. I’m glad that you found my comment helpful and gained some ideas for fragrances to try. I notice that for some reason I forgot to include the last of my Autumn perfumes – Femme. How could I have forgotten that one! November 9, 2014 at 5:05am Reply

    • Patricia: Please don’t apologize for the length of your comment, Tourmaline. It was fascinating reading and provided so many good ideas. I think we all like to share, which is one of the best things about the perfume community as a whole.

      You have a lovely collection. Many of my personal favorites are listed there.

      And good point about the relative expense of perfume versus wine. I’m hoping for a wine refrigerator for Christmas, and may very well sneak some of my more fragile and vintage fragrances into it. November 8, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Patricia,

        Thank you for your kind remarks. Yes, you’re right of course, we all like to share, and it is great to have this perfume community in which to do so. On that subject, the reason why I have no decants as yet is that I don’t actually know any other perfumistas. I obtained Internet access only three years ago (at the age of 50…), and I discovered Bois de Jasmin and other websites only last year. So for most of my life I have been enjoying perfume on my own, quite happily, but occasionally feeling a bit “alone” about it. My mother was not particularly interested in fragrance, and she bought only a few perfumes herself. Her collection developed mainly with gifts from me and my two brothers, and samples in “gift with purchase” sets when she bought make-up.

        I didn’t feel as though I was strange, just into perfume in the same way that many people were into cooking or sport. Finding Michael Edwards’ Fragrance Manual, back in about 1991, was my first real perfume world revelation, and then “The Book of Perfumes” by John Oakes (a fellow Queenslander) confirmed that I was not alone in feeling so passionate about perfume. Discovering the perfume websites, Bois de Jasmin in particular, was another watershed again. Home at last! We are indeed fortunate to have this forum in which to share our experiences.

        I do hope that you receive your wine refrigerator for Christmas, and you should definitely use a portion of it for those fragile and vintage fragrances. Explain to hubby about the perfume/wine price difference if necessary; hopefully that should clear the way! November 9, 2014 at 5:27am Reply

        • Patricia: Thanks so much for sharing your perfume journey, Tourmaline.

          I tend to ask for practical (but expensive) gifts for Christmas. Last year I requested and received a dishwasher. It’s quiet and actually cleans the dishes, neither of which my old one was able to manage! November 9, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

          • Tourmaline: The practical but expensive gifts are so great, Patricia. I have a dishwasher courtesy of my brother, who didn’t want the one that came with the unit that he bought about 15 years ago. For my part, now I wouldn’t be without one! November 9, 2014 at 8:19pm Reply

    • Gentiana: Absolutely impressing perfume collection and storage…
      I would like to be a little bird, or a fly and sneek in to see especially the bottles left from your mother 🙂 November 8, 2014 at 1:55pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: I would like to see the teddybear! November 8, 2014 at 2:23pm Reply

        • Tourmaline: Hi Cornelia,

          I do actually have a teddy bear from my childhood, but for over 35 years it has been packed away in a large suitcase along with all of my dolls and a few other toys. The suitcase belonged to my father, however it had held my possessions for so many years that he eventually said that I might as well keep it! So teddy has lived in a suitcase in my garage for over 26 years now. November 9, 2014 at 5:44am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: I never played with dolls, but I have a little teddy. Her name is Carla von Steiff zu Steiff und Bockenranf und Palffy.

            So you have memories of your youth in a suitcase of your father, lovely! November 9, 2014 at 6:15am Reply

            • Tourmaline: Hi Cornelia,

              Yes, I certainly agree!

              Oh my goodness, I have never come up with a name anywhere near as brilliant and distinguished as that bestowed on your lucky teddy. In fact, I never even named my teddy bear – rather dismissive and neglectful of me, now that I think about it. I guess I was more of a doll girl. But even so, my early sixties Barbie was just “Barbie”. I do recall naming a stuffed turtle (a soft toy, not a real one) Theodor Tugby Tortoise, but hey, Carla … takes the cake! November 9, 2014 at 6:40am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Gentiana,

        Many thanks. Yes, there are a few interesting perfumes in the Royal Albert boxes! Have a read of my reply to Patricia, above, about my mother’s perfume collection. The gifts my brothers and I gave Mum included Paris, Orange Blossom, Sweet Pea and Rose (all three by Yardley), Bluebell (Asquith & Somerset), Le Jardin and Arpège. Most of these are still almost full.

        One that she bought for herself was Ma Griffe (Carven 1946). She might well have liked the fragrance, but she bought it mainly because the word “Ma” was like “mother” and the word “griffe” is very similar to her (our) surname. So it was her private joke – “Mother Griffe”! I have certainly benefited from her humour, because she left a 7.5 ml Ma Griffe parfum spray and a 10 ml parfum “stylo” (pen), both full. Another that she probably bought herself was a large dab-on bottle of Aquamarine (Revlon 1946).

        The fragrances that she acquired via the “gift with purchase” included spray bottles of Le Jardin and “Ultima” (Ultima II 1967), a classic soft oriental. November 9, 2014 at 5:36am Reply

        • Gentiana: Hello, Tourmaline,
          thank you for sharing these very valuable and dear memories… I love the style of your posts , especially how detailed you tell about your perfumes. You love fragrances, that is very visible in your posts, each and every bottle has a wonderful story.
          I am happy to be in a community with lovely persons as you are. November 13, 2014 at 9:52am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hello Gentiana,

            Thank you, you are so very kind. Indeed, this is a wonderful perfume community and we are blessed to have it. I feel as though we are among friends. I often fear that my comments are too long, but my view is that, often, the angels are in the detail! November 14, 2014 at 6:16pm Reply

            • Victoria: Your comments are wonderful, and I know that I speak for many when I say that we enjoy them very much. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and thoughts. November 24, 2014 at 12:50pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

                I just found your reply. As I don’t receive follow-up comments via email at the moment, every now and then I check posts to which I have responded, just in case someone has replied to one of my comments (and, as I’m sure that you discovered long ago, comments can trickle in over time). I would hate a reply to go unanswered for too long; I think that it is respectful to acknowledge replies as soon as possible – as you always do!

                A little earlier this evening I posted a comment about “seasonless perfumes”, and it was another longish comment, so finding your lovely remarks here was comforting. Thank you; you are so very kind. When I think that I have something to contribute, then I enjoy writing comments. After all those years of exploring perfume solo, it is wonderful to be a part of this community. Thank you again for the matchless Bois de Jasmin! November 28, 2014 at 4:03am Reply

                • Victoria: Sorry about the lack of follow up emails; I really don’t know why that’s happening, so I’m not sure how to fix it.

                  Above all, thank you for your comments, stories and anecdotes! I love them all. November 30, 2014 at 9:50am Reply

    • angeldiva: Tourmaline,
      Thanks for the wonderful imagery! I want to try “Y”- do you have a way of describing this scent?
      P. November 9, 2014 at 12:15am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Angeldiva,

        Thank you so much.

        Ah, Y! I have a soft spot for this fragrance, because it was the very first French perfume that I chose for myself, when I was aged 21. I wore it exclusively for four years, until I could no longer smell it on myself and branched out to develop a perfume wardrobe.

        I’m not sure that I can give you much more than an abstract description of Y. When I first smelled testers of it in the shops, in around 1982, I thought of it as “pearlescent”. It smelled so refined and cool that, 27 years later, when I read Luca Turin’s description of it, it made perfect sense. He gave it four stars and wrote, ”This is the archetypal green chypre, fresh, scrubbed prim and proper, made of excellent raw materials, with the slightly screechy feeling of silk-clad thighs rubbing together“. I think that the silk stocking quality to which he refers is probably what struck me as the “pearlescent” quality.

        I am not good enough at teasing out individual fragrance notes at the moment to provide you with a list of what I’m smelling, and in any case the scent seems so well created that I would probably have difficulty identifying any particular ingredient in what I find to be a seamless perfume (like seamless stockings, in fact, ha ha). So perhaps Michael Edwards’ classification of it is of more use. Interestingly, he changed his mind on this one. In his “The Fragrance Manual: 1992 Pacific Edition” he classified it as a crisp floral aldehyde with green notes. By 1995, in his “The 1995 Fragrance Manual”, he had put it in the category of fresh, mossy woods with green notes.

        In his “The Fragrance Directory: Head, Heart & Soul Notes” of 1992, Mr Edwards lists Y as containing the notes of green leaves & soft aldehydes (head notes), jasmine & ylang ylang (heart notes) and oakmoss & vetiver (soul notes).

        I just checked Bois de Jasmin, and the first major references that I found to Y were from Victoria and, speak of the devil, Patricia. On 8th June 2012, in a comment following her post, “Houbigant Essence Rare : Vintage Perfume Review”, Victoria wrote, “It’s such a beautiful fragrance. A distinctive peachy chypre that wears so well”. It was while reading the ensuing comments that I learned, to my deep dismay (if not my surprise), that Y had been discontinued.

        On 9th December 2013, in her post, “Love Letter to Chypre”, Patricia wrote, “Yves Saint Laurent’s Y, created in 1964 and reissued two years ago, was another early favorite. It opens with a blast of green leaves, coriander and peach skin that is rather quickly followed by a dry, almost prim, combination of iris and moss”.

        I am fortunate enough to have a good stock of the vintage fragrance – a 30 ml bottle of essence (with half left), most of a 100 ml bottle of EDT and most of a 100 ml bottle of the bath oil (along with a shaker of talc). However, given that it has been discontinued, I am tempted to buy another bottle or two from eBay or some other source soon, before it becomes more expensive.

        There, that’s the long version of my response and I hope that it has been of some assistance to you. I suppose that I should simply have advised you to refer to Victoria, Patricia, Michael Edwards and Luca Turin on this one, but I had fun revisiting Y! I hope that you enjoy sampling it. November 9, 2014 at 5:50am Reply

        • angeldiva: Hi Tourmaline!
          Wow! you did GREAT! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed that review of Y. As many of you know I have been on a long , looong quest to find a scent similar to a beloved childhood scent by Yardley called Mountain Greenery. I believe it was Elisa that suggested I try Y.
          Victorias suggestion of Vent Vert was sooo close… I love it, and love that Bridgitte Bardot wore Vent Vert. But, the scent I seek is sweeter, with an oak moss silage.
          It is so hard to find online. I’m in California. But, I have located a good price at Lipsticknet.com..
          Just waiting for my discount coupons to arrive.
          Thanks again!
          green peace… November 10, 2014 at 2:34am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi Angeldiva,

            I’m so glad that you enjoyed my review – which of course was mainly a collection of far more interesting comments by others!

            I have never smelled Yardley’s Mountain Greenery. However, I know what it is like to long for a scent from childhood. There is nothing quite like the impression made by those first fragrances.

            I do hope that you like Y, and that it is close to what you seek. I would be interested to hear your impressions down the track. November 10, 2014 at 6:25am Reply

            • angeldiva: Hello Tourmaline and Gentiana,
              Great news! I finally found your beloved Y at a price I can live with. Ordered it, and am waiting for the arrival! I have a mystic feeling that Yardley may have copied this Y perfume, or at least they were influenced by Y , when they sold Mountain Greenery. The dates would be workable for this era: 1960’s- early 70’s. Can’t wait to share my experience. Millions of women can’t be wrong!
              P. November 13, 2014 at 11:50pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Angeldiva,

                How exciting! I hope that Y does not disappoint you. I am confident that, even if it is not quite like Mountain Greenery, it will be a fragrance that you enjoy. Yes, the copies of landmark perfumes are very common, so Mountain Greenery could be in this category. I always think that such fragrances help make lovely perfume available to those who can’t afford the big names, including those who are still only earning pocket money! They might not be the original fragrance, but they are often similar. In fact, they often become some of our earliest scent memories and therefore special to us – as Mountain Greenery is to you. I look forward to hearing your impressions of Y. November 14, 2014 at 6:27pm Reply

                • angeldiva: How right you are! Pocket money certainly describes my personal finances at age 11. I had to work at jobs for extra money to buy embroidered peasant blouses, platform shoes, and tickets to rock concerts, as I was the youngest in a very large family. I remember that little tube of green juice so well. The prissiest , most goody goody girl in my school turned around to me during class and exclaimed,”That’s perfume smells sooo good!”
                  I was stunned! The power of perfume!
                  P. November 14, 2014 at 8:47pm Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Hi Angeldiva,

                    We must be from the same era! I, too, bought platform shoes (bad idea – really didn’t suit me) and a white peasant blouse with multicoloured embroidery when I was a teenager. With the latter, not only did I want to honour the German part of my heritage, but I also wanted an outfit like the embroidered white peasant dress that Agnetha from Abba wore in the Fernando film clip! Well, the blouse was a good enough substitute, and easier to get away with wearing in Brisbane at the time. I recall that in those days, long dresses and skirts were really only for “after 5”.

                    Your school experience was interesting. If only perfume could help to achieve world peace! I’m reminded of one of the final scenes from “Perfume”, but I mean it in a more international, diplomatic sense! November 15, 2014 at 12:17am Reply

        • Gentiana: Y is a wonderful perfume, it belongs to my top no. 1 cathegory: peachy chypre – together with Cristalle by Chanel, Diorella, So Pretty by Cartier (sadly discontinued), Femme by Rochas and Mitsouko.
          I own a 100 ml EDT bottle, used 2 or 3 times. I am seriously thinking to buy a backup bottle, from a discounter site, active in my country and reliable, as I already bought about a dozen of fragrances from them and they are OK. November 13, 2014 at 9:58am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hello again Gentiana,

            I’m pleased to hear of another person who appreciates Y! I find Cristalle a little sharp; however I adore Mitsouko and Femme. I still have to become acquainted with Diorella and So Pretty (the latter via an eBay purchase, no doubt). You couldn’t go wrong by buying a backup bottle of Y. Given that it has been discontinued, you’ll probably be glad of it in years to come. November 14, 2014 at 6:36pm Reply

    • andrea sd: I am very much in favour of free customized fridges with your 150th perfume purchase. But, seriously, you got me thinking. Don’t pharmacies use customized fridges? Maybe one could find some used ones on CL or Ebay. I find the regular fridges too deep for daily storage, but of course great as archives.

      Tourmaline, if you you start using the wine cellar, your family will declare you wacko. They will start guided tours with the guests. Believe me. I am there. November 9, 2014 at 2:08am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Andrea,

        You are probably right about pharmacies using customized fridges. That is a great line of enquiry to pursue.

        Ah, well, Andrea, the fact is that I live in a unit, so unfortunately I don’t have a wine cellar, only a garage. I also own the unit, and plan to live here until I am aged 100 and have to be escorted to a nursing home – preferably one with a perfume cellar (it will be 2061 by then, after all).

        The best thing is that I live on my own (by choice), so I have the luxury of not having to share space or justify using an entire shelf of the fridge or miscellaneous drawers throughout the unit for perfume.

        I am also very fortunate in that my family members support my interest in perfume. In fact my younger brother could be classed as an enabler, having bought me my first bottle of Diorissimo parfum for my 30th birthday, as well as many others over the years.

        As for my father (currently aged 86), several years ago he bought me a copy of “Essence and Alchemy” by Mandy Aftel, because he knew that I was interested in perfume. So I suppose that he is an enabler as well.

        Indeed, I am a very lucky perfumista, whose family members are not at all surprised to find a bottle of perfume next to the milk on a shelf in my fridge, or to have me stop at a book shop when we’re out shopping and I see a fabulous book about perfume in the window. This happened in 1996 after I saw a copy of the sumptuous “The Book of Perfume” by Elisabeth Barillé, Catherine Laroze and Tamara Blondel in the window of a book store in Hastings Street at Noosa. I was in shock, but a bit further down the street I said, “No, we have to turn around, I have to go back and get it”. And so I did. Yes, they’re all enablers.

        Might I suggest that, when your family members take guests through your “perfume cellar”, you take full advantage of the situation by informing them that any perfume donations would be gratefully received. Tell them that you know they probably have some unwanted fragrances at home, and that one person’s poison is another’s Paris, so to speak. Well, it’s worth a try. Milk it for all it’s worth; that’s what I say. November 9, 2014 at 6:22am Reply

        • andrea sd: Hi Toumaline,

          Donations! Yay! I’ll do that right away. I’ll love to see the husband’s face when he goes in to get some wine. Poor man.
          Your family sounds really nice.
          Mine are more bewildered and just uncertain about the possible benefits than actively suppressive. 800 bottles simply look like a lot in small room. My teenage sons are actually interested. They even have favourite fragrances – Mitsouko and Shaal Nur and for the other Extrait de Antilope and Inoui. They love showing their girlfriends the perfumes and impress them and take care to lock up when they have parties. What can I ask more…
          And I imagine you rolling out to the nursery home, still quite dapper, with a huge bag of ‘bare necessities’…where is Noosa? November 9, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi Andrea,

            Yes, I can imagine that 800 bottles would indeed look like a lot in a small room. But for guests, seeing your collection is really a privilege, so if the donation idea doesn’t work, then perhaps you could charge a toll. For the pleasure of viewing your superlative perfume collection, they could make a fixed contribution towards your next perfume purchase. It seems fair to me!

            Your sons sound great, showing interest in perfume, as well as respect and care for your collection. I have a tiny bottle of Antilope! When I first saw the name of the perfume many years ago, I couldn’t believe that someone would use that animal name for a women’s fragrance. It strikes me as a choice that was rather ahead of its time for 1945. A few years ago I found a 5 ml bottle of the parfum for only $5 at a jewellery/vintage store and snapped it up.

            Yes, that will be me rolling out to the nursing home; I never did travel “light”!

            Noosa is a popular beach holiday area on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane here in Australia. I’m not a sun lover, but Noosa was the location for all of our family holidays when I was a child, and my father and younger brother and I like to return there every so often. Hastings Street is the main street just behind the beach, and it has become very up-market over the years. November 9, 2014 at 8:22pm Reply

            • andrea sd: Hello Tourmaline,
              I found your answer only now –
              I love Antilope! The Extrait to me smellls like hay, grasses, fur and young animal. Bambi curled up, and the breeze rustles the dry grass…

              Hi to Australia from Silicon Valley, CA where I live a minimal perfume life and Bavaria Germany where I hoard… November 15, 2014 at 10:48pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Andrea,

                Hello to Silicon Valley! We have had your president here in Brisbane this weekend for the G20 Leader’s Summit. He just flew out late this afternoon. I have never heard so many helicopters flying around (for security) as I have during the last week or so. I wonder if that is what it is like living in Washington!

                That was a great description of Antilope. Yes, it is surprisingly lovely, not the blokey, overly animalic scent that I was expecting based on the name.

                More than half of my ancestry is German and I hope to learn a little more German and visit there one day.

                Bye for now from a fellow perfume hoarder! November 16, 2014 at 5:54am Reply

    • Michaela: Very interesting comment, and so impressive. Thank you for sharing, Tourmaline! November 10, 2014 at 6:37am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thank you, Michaela. I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my comment. November 10, 2014 at 8:43am Reply

  • HN: Hi! To store my collection, I cleaned out my clothes closet and emptied a drawer in my dresser. The perfumes are stored in the drawer in their boxes. The bedroom is cool and the drawer is dark so, so far so good! I just open the drawer, scan and select. Samples are in decorative boxes on a shelf and the top of the dresser has a tray with the fragrances of the season. Your system is far more sophisticated 🙂 November 8, 2014 at 8:40am Reply

    • Patricia: Your system is straightforward and efficient, HN, and I’m sure it works very well for you. Many have mentioned using drawers for their perfumes. Unfortunately, mine are so stuffed with other things, that is an impossibility for me! 😉 November 8, 2014 at 8:57am Reply

  • Gentiana: Hello, a very useful article, and fun, too!
    I kept track of my collection since about 8 years by handwriting in a notebook, by Houses, in alphabetical order. At each house I had the FB-s in one column and the samples, decants ore bottles with less than 5 ml left, on the right column, with a different colur. I rewrote the list about every 3 months.
    As the FB stock expanded to more than 80 perfumes and those little spry rabbits multiplied to about 200… I had to do a spreadsheet. It is huge, and I gave up to write all the samples. But I have an “archive” column, with all the perfumes I had…
    All perfumes are in their original boxes, some in my drawer, some in a big document bag (don’t needed since I am no more CEO 🙂 ), some in my cabinet, some in a plastic box. On my vanity table are usually 4-6 perfumes most used in the current rotation. And I have about 15 bottles at the office, in a locker.
    Samples are in alphabetically (by house) labeled plastic envelopes, put in a cardbord box – except some of the niche samples that I like to keep in the nice present bags I got from the stores. These all sit in by are in my cabinet. I have a nice straw box on the vanity table, with samples I currently use.
    Bottles with less than 5 ml left are kept for the record (especially the discontinued ones) in a drawer, but I seriously think to move them in the fridge. But then, where I put the food ? 🙂
    Empty bottles (about 120 Pcs) used by me or by friends, or testers dried out in the stores and given by nice S.A.-s) are in another room, in a small cabinet with glass doors, exposed (currently by Houses). Empty vials including card or other design elements are in alphabetically labeled plastic bags. (by Houses, of course). Reusable vials are some on a plate on the vanity table, some in the bathroom cabinet, waiting to be washed, or in a glass with water/ or white spirit, or, the clean ones in a plastic bag that migrates in the house.
    . I don’t feel the need to organize the FB-s in any order at all *they are grouped by Houses, in no particular order) but I 80% know where it is each of them. And, if I don’t remember and I have to search… it brings me fun! November 8, 2014 at 11:05am Reply

    • Gentiana: Sorry: the little Rabbits are more than 300 now… :)) November 8, 2014 at 11:06am Reply

      • Patricia: Hi Gentiana, You have an admirable collection and storage system!

        You are a bottle collector as well? Sometimes the empty bottles are such works of art that it seems a shame to dispose of them.

        I agree with you about searching for the full bottles. I pretty much know where everything is, but if I have to rummage through to find what I’m looking for, I often find what I’m not looking for! November 8, 2014 at 12:53pm Reply

        • Gentiana: Exactly! It is like having a surprise, an unexpectad present… Many times I search for a certain fragrance in the morning and I finally put on a completely different one. 🙂 November 8, 2014 at 1:52pm Reply

        • Gentiana: Ref.: bottles: I keep a lot of bottles and I always liked to see the connection between the name, the small and the design of the bottle. Some pieces are really very inspired, and me, personally, I only have to see the bottle and I remember the fragrance.
          My collection is mainly about the classical designer perfumes, released from the 90’s till now.
          I have no valuable vintage bottles or the kind of special, unique cristal, crafted, engraved etc., I didn’t afford them. I love my bottles, because each of them has a story. Or remembers me to the dear persons who gave them to me. November 9, 2014 at 4:04am Reply

          • Patricia: That is lovely, Gentiana! November 9, 2014 at 9:54am Reply

    • andrea sd: Archive column! Yes! That is so important!

      I always keep the boxes and when a bottle is empty I usually sell it on Ebay. I have mostly vintages and can use the money well for other purchases. November 9, 2014 at 2:17am Reply

  • Ariadne: Such an enjoyable post and responses! The descriptions and lists are a vicarious virtual trip through everyone’s ‘boudoir’.
    I keep my perfume collection partly on an inlaid tray (changed out every now and again) and the rest in a big box.
    I keep both in my ‘boudoir’ (a glorified walk in closet with no door). This space is strictly off limits to my dear hubby, who loves to just barge in anyway especially when I am yelling GET OUT.
    I have been a diligent scent student and attentive to BdJ to try to learn my perfumes but I just cannot remember my impressions of more than 5 at a time. Each foray into my collection is ‘everything new again’ but I consider that a benefit of minimal organization. November 8, 2014 at 11:21am Reply

    • Patricia: How nice that you have your own closet for your perfumes that your husband isn’t allowed into! I’m pretty territorial about my space as well. 🙂

      Learning about perfume is a life-long process that keeps us young and engaged with other people. And it’s fun!

      Enjoy your collection, Ariadne. November 8, 2014 at 12:59pm Reply

  • hajusuuri: Great post, Patricia! If anything, yours and the commenters’ methods will inspire me to be more organized. I have a poorly maintained spreadsheet of my FBs. I have to clear space first and then think about the best way. I’m envious of your Chanel tray. November 8, 2014 at 3:14pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks, Hajusuuri!

      Yes, finding space is my biggest problem too! November 9, 2014 at 9:57am Reply

  • Odiferess: Crikey that’s organised…

    Oddly, reading your article has not led me to be more organised. Instead, it has made me want to hit ‘buy’ on yet another bottle, deducing that because your collection is so much more prolific than mine, it’s OK to add another one to the fold.
    Oh dear.
    Brilliant article though! November 8, 2014 at 4:14pm Reply

    • Patricia: Ha! We perfumistas don’t have to look very far to find an excuse to push the “buy” button, do we?

      I’m glad you liked the article, Odiferess (love your name!). 🙂 November 9, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

  • angeldiva: OK – Here goes… Confession time.
    My modest collection of perfumes are sitting on a marble table atop a column. Then there is a another column with a bust ( A handsome French King…) balanced onto of all that. And, I live in earthquake country LOL.
    I just keep placing boxes and bottes ( and an incense burner) on the corners of this installation. A mini of Miss Dior fell off, and I can’t risk toppling this arrangement by crawling underneath to find it!
    I need to deconstruct this, now.
    Out of gratitude to BdG I will list my modest acquisition of perfumes with suggested perfumes by BdG indicated by the BdG:
    O de Lancome
    Hermes D’orange Verte
    Giorgio (!) tried this unsniffed because I’m on a major nostalgia kick
    Creed Fleurissime
    Vent Vert BdG -Victoria, herself
    Guy Laroche Jai O’se reunited & it feels so good
    Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca BdG
    Oscar de la Renta Espirit D’Oscar in memoriam
    Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan BdG arrived today

    I give thanks to the Lord that I am able to enjoy these luxuries, as I was not able to afford but a few bottles of perfume during the whole decade of the 2000’s.

    Also, will be attending the party at Luckyscents physical store in West Hollywood on the 19th. I have about 10 sample vials.

    Peace November 9, 2014 at 12:44am Reply

    • angeldiva: The store is called SCENTBAR. There will be a launch of a scent called,”Vodka On The Rocks.” Come on down!

      P. November 9, 2014 at 1:38am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m debating a bottle of Ambre Sultan myself. I just tried it for the first time and was astonished by its beauty. November 9, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

      • angeldiva: Hi Patricia!
        My advice: Just Get It! There will be a sale for Veterans Day and Black Friday on O.co.
        I did follow the advice of a BdG babe, and Serge Lutens sent me 3 .3 ml samples.
        The SULTAN is a down, deep, earthy, exotic foreign film! If I may share a quick story: When I was a young shop girl- we sold incense and imported gifts, European glass ect.. A magical 1960-70s shop in Los Angels. Most of the customers would ask the same question:
        What is that amazing smell? It was the whole accumulation of the incense, and essential oils combined.
        Ambre Sultan smells like that shop! Amazing! I would never have guessed that scent could be duplicated. What a nostalgic sensory gift. The quality of this perfume smells so organic that I can’t imagine it smelling bad on anyones skin. But, the erotic nature of it may not be for everyone. I don’t believe it to be overtly male-but, could be worn by a male. When I wear this perfume- I want to go out! This makes me want to wear my Stevie Nicks boots, hippie jewels, and dark eyeliner. It would me great at a rock concert. People linger when they talk to me, although no compliments, yet. And, I’m OK with that, too !
        P. November 10, 2014 at 1:54am Reply

        • Patricia: Great visual and olfactory image! November 10, 2014 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Gentiana: This topic is fantastic! I love to read everyone’s methods of keeping and organising… Yes, it is an enjoyable visit to a lot of Boudoirs, houses, souls… An learning better ways to keep the dear perfumes…
    For me this is very uplifting and inspiring. November 9, 2014 at 4:08am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m so glad you find it so, Gentiana. This is such a sharing community, and we learn from each other. 🙂 November 9, 2014 at 10:08am Reply

  • sam1: Interesting article:) I try to keep my fragrance collection at around 25 bottles.. I’m a 28 yr old guy living in Beirut. I divide my collection in 5 groups of roughly 5 fragrances each:) sitting atop a wooden dresser.

    1)classic orientals: (shalimar, opium…)
    2)green & chypres: (N.19, Bandit…)
    3)modern classics: (Tubereuse criminelle, rush…)
    4)casuals: (D&G homme, Fico di amalfi…)
    5)and the last group is the arabian/middle eastern style; chergui, traversee du bosphore… November 10, 2014 at 3:22am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Sam, 25 bottles sounds like the perfect sized collection, enough for variety, but not so many that you aren’t using what you have.

      And I see that you own my favorite: No. 19. It’s such a great unisex scent! November 10, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

      • sam1: Hello Patricia:)
        N.19 is a staple in my wardrobe! ever since i sniffed that galbanum leather green opening of the edt 2 yrs ago, i’m hooked!
        In the company where i work it is known to be my signature, they tell me whenever they smell N.19 they know im around! Have u tried the current version? November 10, 2014 at 1:09pm Reply

        • Patricia: Hi Sam, I’ve heard that the current version is good, but I haven’t personally tried it. My EDT is vintage-ish. I bought it pre-owned and pre-used.

          If I had to wear only one fragrance for the rest of my life (fortunately this is only hypothetical), it would be No. 19. November 10, 2014 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Wow, what a great idea and article. I guess at some point all perfumistas must face valiantly the probing task of organizing their growing collection. Tips are always welcome especially as I think most collectors draw a great pleasure in reorganizing their treasures time to time.
    As for myself, I’d also abhor hiding my beauties in cold and somber drawers. Let’s face it: scents are not for eternity but ephemeral, however they need to shine displayed in their flattering bottles that enhance their charm. I have about 40 big and mini bottles and 50 samples. At the moment, I have 3 shelves displaying my big and mini bottles organized by colour. One with white one with gold and black and one with pink/ purple bottles. As for my samples, I just reorganized them by season, I used to perfume myself with my favourites regardless of the temperature but realized that some scents really need cold or warm weather for the fullest experience. My warm weather scents are sleeping through winter in a silver colored box painted with fairies and spring flowers.
    My naughty little collector secret is that I have my favorite samples in my bag always with me, even when I go abroad. These are organized based in 3 section : 1 for most treasured vintage samples, one for the best scents to be used during the current season and one for those I’m still experiencing with. I carry those around to light me up when I’m bored or fatigued during the day. An interesting, new scent is always making my day. November 10, 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Patricia: Organizing by season is another good idea, Nora. Do you live in a four-season climate?

      I like to travel with a lot of samples, too. They are small, light, and provide variety. Though every now and then I need to empty out my handbag to make room for new arrivals! 🙂 November 10, 2014 at 12:23pm Reply

      • Nora Szekely: Yes, I live in Europe, Hungary. We have four seasons, all with their own pleasures.Right now, autumn is full of colorful leaves amd scent of smoke with brooding sunsets. Winter is white in the countryside but as I live in the capital, I look forward to smell chestnuts fried and sold on the streets. Spring brings flowers to bloom, pleasure to the nose and eye. Summer is hot, I especially adore to sit on the bank of a river after sunset, barefoot, wearing a light dress. November 12, 2014 at 4:33am Reply

        • Patricia: What beautiful images, Nora! I wonder if there is a fragrance that brings to mind the smell of roasted chestnuts? November 12, 2014 at 9:19am Reply

  • Ann: I’ve had to take a short hiatus from reading perfume blogs to get caught up on a work project (well, I work from home!)… but I put your piece in special email folder to read first when I got a moment. Ahhhh… what a pleasure. So fun to peer into another’s perfume world. Thank you! November 12, 2014 at 5:34pm Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Ann! I’m glad you found a moment to visit us here at BdJ :-).

      Isn’t it fun to look at others’ perfume collections? One of my favorite things to do! November 12, 2014 at 6:12pm Reply

  • Joy: This article was so much fun to read. I can see that many of you are as compulsive as I can be.
    I also have a process for sampling, testing and buying perfumes. I find that if I make a compulsive purchase, I often buy perfume that I don’t enjoy for the long term.

    I loved the storage ideas especially using re-purposed items. I like to use fancy soap boxes for storing samples, boxes such as Rance’ or Roger and Gallet are really attractive. I can use the bottom of a box for holding my bottles in their boxes to keep them from tipping over when I look through them. November 13, 2014 at 9:08pm Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Joy, Fancy soap boxes can be so pretty, so why throw them away! Great idea for repurposing them.

      I also like to use the containers that candles come in once I’ve burnt the whole candle. I just put the container in some simmering water and pour out the remainder of melted wax. The glass containers are great for holding makeup brushes. November 30, 2014 at 5:25pm Reply

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