Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Sample heaven, or hell?

I don't know about you, but I have collected a sizable collection of samples over the last four years. It's become a bit of an obsession you see, although I suspect I'm not the only one to suffer from this malaise. As much as I love sampling perfume, it does become a double-edged sword after a while. 

There are two issues as I see it. The first issue is storage, or the lack of it. I would guess that my collection now numbers well into the hundreds, and as you might appreciate, even though sample vials are not that big, two to three hundred-plus little vials, some carded, some loose, do amount to something quite big. Part of the storage issue is how to categorise these perfumes, and how to catalogue them. As they all look pretty much the same, it can be a nightmare to locate the one I am looking for. I currently store my samples in a large, multi-tiered plastic box with a snap on secure lid, to keep the smells in. Within each tier is a plastic tray with little compartments, a little like an old fashioned printer's tray, if you've ever seen those. It works well, but as I said, if I'm in a hurry, and want to find something specific, it can be time consuming.

The other issue is usage. I haven't done an exact calculation, but even at this stage in my perfume journey, I would estimate that should I choose not to buy another sample ever again, it would still take me at least two years to work through what I've got. Although I am not a huge collector of full bottles, I still own at least 15-20 at last count, and those would probably take me another six years to work through, I reckon. So, I have enough perfume to last for what I would conservatively guess the best part of a decade! And in reality I am nowhere near stopping yet, oh no...

So what is the point of this post? Well, nothing really, except it serves to illustrate just how quickly this little 'hobby' of ours can spiral out of control! I still love doing this though, and as I collect more stuff, I think I am far more open to sharing this with others. I haven't really got into proper swapping yet, but I think I should start being more generous, perfume wise.

Do any of you have a perfume dilemma? How many samples do you have, and is it as much a nightmare storing and cataloguing them for you as it is for me?

Ooh, I've just thought of another 'complexity' in my shallow little perfume life - I'm always taking samples out of my storage box, so I keep loads at work in my desk drawer, some in my suit jacket pockets, and who knows where else!


  1. I try not to think about the quantities. :-) Way too much samples and I' m pretty sure my bottles are enough for a decade.
    My way of storing is still not good enough because I keep a bunch of stuff at hand and then it gets lost among everything else. I'm sure I'll fix it eventually... :-)

  2. I store my samples in three boxes, and every perfume house has it's separate bag (since I often purchase from TPC, they give you those little drawstring bags when you order sometimes).

    I want a better system, but haven't found one yet!

    Trying to to purchase any more samples until I review/sniff all the ones I have! Trying...but not entirely succeeding!

    Good luck, my friend!

  3. Michael, I store my samples haphazardly. Whatever. And, it's not really a hobby unless it is excessive, right? I will never, ever, use the perfume I have acquired. This makes me feel extravagant and...abundant, really. You are a great contributor to the discussion of perfume - enjoy yourself!

  4. Ines, Frida and Josephine - thanks for the comments. Seems like I'm not the only one then, not that I thought I really was!



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