|The loved-up lemming list|
Then, following a recent massive reorganisation of my perfume collection - the tedious and largely illogical principles of which I will spare you - I kept coming back to the idea that I would really love to own far fewer full bottles - maybe around 30, say, instead of well over twice that number. I couldn't quite face sitting down with a blank piece of paper and compiling a list of which scents should be in the 30, so I decided to approach the question from another, more intellectually - and emotionally - forgiving angle.
I took a long hard look at my current collection of full bottles and asked myself which ones I would buy again if I had my time over. But I still had to bear in mind the overall constraining factor of an upper limit of 30. Otherwise, there was a real risk that I might keep a bunch of bottles that I like well enough, not least because they only cost me £10 on eBay or whatever. I decided to strip price out of the equation and focus purely on which perfumes I would wish to hold on to for themselves, and not because - when considered in the round - they represented 'good value for money'. And their 'selves' could include the appeal of the bottle, but for me that is generally a lesser factor.
|My kneejerk HGS ~ Source: fragrantica|
So that little whittling exercise stripped out a goodly number. I managed to get the list down from 70(!) to 19. These are listed in no particular order - not even alphabetical, and not all with a full complement of accents - how sloppy am I? ;)
Roja Dove Scandal
Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur
PG Brulure de Rose
Lancome Cuir de Lancome
Serge Lutens Un Lys
Kenzo Flower by Kenzo Oriental
The Different Company Bergamote
Le Labo Labdanum 18
En Voyage Perfumes Zelda
Diptyque Eau Duelle
Diptyque Volutes edt
Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger LilyL’Artisan Parfumeur
Opium Fleur de Shanghai
Agent Provocateur L’Agent
Bal à Versailles edc
Sonia Rykiel Woman Not for Men!
|Relative lemons languishing in the hall cupboard|
So the next rather tricky job was to edit the list even further, so that I could add to it the next category of 'perfumes I wish I had bought instead'; again, money was no object. You see where this is all going, don't you? I shall arrive presently at my 30 favourite perfumes in the whole world (allegedly) in a few slightly deceiving stages, the way my mother used to encourage my brother and me when we were kids to complete a long walk: 'Just as far as that tree up ahead.' And when we would reach said landmark, it was of course a false summit - or its level ground equivalent - because Mother would immediately announce brightly that we now only needed to walk as far as 'that lamppost a little bit further on'...
Long story short, the five perfumes listed in italics above didn't make the next round, to help make way for the following 16 additions:
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Cimabue
Guerlain Plus Que Jamais (if it could be found!)
Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
Ormonde Jayne Tolu
Chanel Bois des Iles
Ramon Monegal Ambra di Luna (another potentially reckless spontaneous purchase!)
Tauer Perfumes PHI
FM Carnal Flower
Annick Goutal Musc Nomade
Damien Bash Lucifer #3
Robert Piguet Calypso
April Aromatics Unter den Linden
Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka
Hmm, it is quite shocking to think that even if I didn't supplement the hard core of perfumes I am hanging on to with these imaginary acquisitions, there were in fact only another 5 or so on top of the 14 that I was really attached to - out of a starting point of 70. Which begs the question of how I managed to clock up so many lemons. Or to mix metaphors somewhat, my stash turns out to be a veritable albatross sanctuary. Well, that is perhaps too strong a term for it - a sanctuary for 'moderately liked ex-lemmings' is the size of it. I could definitely undertake that analysis another time, but for now I am still reeling at the stark split between the keepers and the rest. Many of the other bottles in my collection are nice enough as I say, and I might reach for them occasionally, but if I am going to settle on 30, they have to evoke a fiercer, more visceral kind of emotional connection, which I think is true of this combined list. Or it is at the moment! Being an incorrigible Flittersniffer, it goes without saying that I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.
And even though 30 is actually a pretty luxurious number - in the eyes of any normal person, surely! - there was still a fair amount of podium hustling by the also-rans, including Van Cleef & Arpels Gardénia Pétale, Prada Candy and L'Eau Ambrée, Amouage Honour Woman and Chanel No 5 Eau Première, to name but a few. Then PG Aomassai and Jardins de Kerylos, Balenciaga Cristobal and Jasper Conran Woman, to name but a few more.
So if you have ever carried out a similar 'full juice count' - which I suppose one could equally well term a 'full dud count' - what proportion of your current collection are you totally happy with? I don't suppose anyone else has a ratio as low as 30%, to which my 19/70 equates?
This has been quite a sobering exercise, it must be said...I should perhaps rename my blog 'Clueless about Perfume'... ;)