On perfume storage, Tan Giudicelli Annam, and other random thoughts for Friday

Tan Giudicelli Annam

I have spent much of this morning searching in vain for my decant of Tan Giudicelli Annam, and have come to the conclusion that I need a new storage system for my perfume.

Annam, for anyone who has never tried it, was a wonderful fragrance from designer Tan Giudicelli, who launched his own fashion label in 1984. It was created by perfumer Benoît Lapouza, and smelled like a creamy-milky rice pudding, lightly spiced, with floral & woody undertones. It was a gourmand scent, but not overly sweet, and it had a kind of Asian feel in keeping with Giudicelli's background (he was born in Indochina). It was very reasonably priced at ccb-paris, but was discontinued some time ago.

It has long been one of my favorite comfort fragrances, the sort of thing you could throw on when you were over-tired and didn't want to have to think too hard.

Some fragrances, like Coty Chypre, ought to stay in production just for historical reasons. Others, like Deneuve, ought to stay in production because so many people loved them. Annam was probably never very widely known, and I can't claim that it has any significance in the history of perfume, but I wish it hadn't been discontinued.

So, anyway, I can't find it. All of my decants are in a series of wooden boxes with lids. This was fine when I had about 30 decants, but now that I have over 100, it is a horrible system. I can't see the labels without pulling the bottles out to examine them, and my memory is not what it used to be so I can't always remember which box to look in to begin with. I would love to hear how others are dealing with their decants.

Plastic three drawer storage

My fragrance samples are in a series of plastic drawer units like the one shown at left. This has also turned out to be a mess. The drawers are a good size, which I thought would be perfect since they would hold a lot of samples, but actually that just means that I have to dig for 5 minutes through a drawer to find the sample I'm looking for. Usually I end up just dumping the whole drawer on the floor to make it easier. I have a feeling that what I need to do is go to Sears and look for a bigger unit with smaller drawers, like the sort of thing that people use to store nuts & bolts.

Please comment if you have any storage suggestions, laments about discontinued fragrances, or if you'd just like to add a few Friday complaints of your own.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear R! Thanks for the review but I do not know what to say about that bottle!!!!! Hope you do find your sample.

    Also thanks for reminding that i too NEED to sort out all those 100s of samples. I am giving away like crazy but they seem to fill up again.

    I store mine in various cupboards because they are slightly themed. Extraits in one place, EDPs in another blah blah blah……

    Have a super weekend!

  2. Anonymous says:

    My sample storage situation is nearly identical to yours (at least, perfume bottle have their own shelves in the closet, but even that is becoming too small), so I am looking forward to the responses.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Actually I store them in paper boxes with dividers (I work in a lab, so I steal new ones from there =P). So it's just 1 tube/slot

    • Owen says:

      that’s probably the best way to store samples, like a filing system.
      I don’t have any samples but that’s what I’d do :)

  4. Anonymous says:


    Same here. Decants and samples are taking over the house. I tried boxes and plastic drawer units, like yours. It is still a mess and inconvinience. Your idea about a bigger unit with smaller drawers is great for samples. What to do with decants though, I don't know :-(

  5. Anonymous says:

    N, I have never seen the bottle in real life…I think that might be an overhead shot of it? Who knows. You have a great weekend too!

  6. Anonymous says:

    My bottles are in a small armoire and all of ym samples are in the drawers below. My collection isn't terribly huge yet , I'm a young-un. I only have about 70 bottles, no decants and about 150 samples. But I'm workin' on it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    V, our next career: a California Closets kind of franchise that offers perfume storage solutions. LOL!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ah, maybe I need to hit a lab supply store instead of Sears!

  9. Anonymous says:

    That bottle looks like a Japanese hearing aid, or a hip replacement insert or something! Guess it looks better in the flesh…otherwise, one of those ones where you really don't mind having a decant rather than The Real Deal.

    As a rank amateur, I just have two big cardboard boxes filled with samples. It takes me hours to find anything…but I have such a lovely time in the search!

  10. Anonymous says:

    M, I am thinking whatever I get needs to have drawers deep enough to hold the decants with the samples. It is highly inconvenient to have them in separate places anyway, since sometimes all I can remember is that I have the scent, but not in what form. Maybe what I really need is an administrative assistant, LOL! And a maid. And a cook…

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have absolutely nothing intelligent to contribute. Sorry! My samples and decants are all over my bathroom cupboard and in the closet at work. I wish I could give you some brilliant ideas, but I can't.


    P.S.–Never heard of this fragrance or seen this bottle. You are way ahead of us on this one, R!

  12. Anonymous says:

    For Sample vials I use quart Ziplock freezer baggies labeled A-Z, then store them in an oversized shoe box. As for decants, I'm afraid I'm in the same boat. I have a lost one at the moment too.


  13. Anonymous says:

    No decants! Is that a policy? And just wait until those 150 samples turn into 450…

  14. Anonymous says:

    I like the alphabetical order idea, cheers on that!! I guess the ultimate storage would be a cupboard with 24 small little nuts and bolts drawers that you can label A-Z, wouldn't it?

  15. Anonymous says:

    R: Get a friend at a Chinese pharmacy. They have great little square boxes in HARD cardboard (used for herbs) that have divisions for 50-100 samples…make a SPRING, SUMMER, WINTER and FALL box. Life is too short to waste too much time on filing isn't it? I must be classiified: “Semi-Recovering Perfumaholic” these days. I get about 25 samples at a time…and in a month they are GONE. Usually the contents of one vial last me one day…only a few vials are generous enough for 2-3 applications. I use the perfume, write some notes on it so I'll never get that sample again if I hated it or was bored by it. Now it's a full-bottle relationship or nothing at all…no more decant “affairs” for me! K

  16. Anonymous says:

    LOL — you're right, it does!

    And as long as you're happy with your system, it works ;-)

  17. Anonymous says:

    R, I discovered Annam via MUA, of course. It has wonderful reviews there. I never would have heard of it otherwise :-)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Interesting on the ziplock bags. Might have to think about that & where I would keep them. Way too many at this point for a shoe box.

    And hope we both find our lost decants!

  19. Anonymous says:

    K, that is a very interesting idea. Am going to DC tomorrow & might have to see what I can find in the way of a Chinese pharmacy. I know lots of Asian grocery stores so there must be one around somewhere.

    And we are on the opposite trajectory. I am less & less likely to buy full bottles ;-)

  20. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had more organizational skills when it came to samples…for now they are all in a shoe box. The Annam bottle is beautiful. It's smooth and egg shaped, and the writing is on the underside of the top. Trying to figure out the picture above, because you can't see writing unless you take the top off. I wonder if DSH would undertake trying to dupe this one if she was sent a sample. Hmmmm, something to think about. Also, happy belated birthday to NST!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robin. This post is making me feel all warm and fuzzy because I remember sending you your decant of Annam. I'm pretty sure its in a 1/3 oz rol on with a black lid!

    I have my decants segregated by category in fancy tins which I picked up at the dollar store. So a tin for Ambers, florals, orientals, etc. Its not really ideal because you have to pull them out to look at them.

    One thing I bought for my samples is really cool. I got it from a Storage speciality store. Its a jewellry roll. It has a built in hanger so you can put it in your closet and 100 individual clear pockets. (Who has that much jewellry!) It doesn't fit all my samples but quite a few. 'I've been trying to cull them but they somehow keep reproducing :-)

    You're going to kill me but I've changed my URL again.I forgot to tell you. I'm not sure if this is final because I”m not totally crazy about wordress.com but here it is:




  22. Anonymous says:

    Ah, thanks for the description of the bottle! I do have a mini of his other scent, Zen, and I love that bottle so assumed this one would be nice too. And thanks for the good wishes :-)

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am ahead of you L, had already changed the link here, and I am pretty sure I did it on perfumefaq as well but will go check.

    And you're right, you did sent me that Annam! I had completely forgotten. Thanks for the decant, again, and thanks for the description — hopefully that will help me locate it.

    The jewelry roll is a great idea! Now if I can just find one with 200 pockets, LOL..

  24. Anonymous says:

    I also liked Annam very much, as well as several other Tan Guidicelli scents. Almost everything I've ever liked has met the same fate as Annam–discontinued.

    My “solution” for organizing my own decants and samples involves small plastic storage boxes from The Container Store, but I never remember what is in which box. Am trying, therefore, to reduce the number of decants and samples I allow myself. That's worked to some degree.

    The best storage/display idea I've found was to have my dad drill holes of various sizes in some really pretty chunks of exotic burl wood, which I display on my dresser. My goal is to weed down my collection to fit only those 30-odd holes, and do away with the plastic boxes.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Burl wood! Thats sounds extraordinary. But I don't think I have the willpower to limit myself to 30.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Annam had the most beautiful bottle, actually. I miss it quite a bit, too. Here's a link to what it looked like upright: http://www.beautymall.ru/shop/womanparfume.phtml?ID=position&groupID=20072

  27. Anonymous says:

    GAH. Everytime I get close to something quasi-organized I just end up blowing it. Plus, I've yet to figure out a satisfactory method of keeping them easy to find without having to wrestle them out and check the labels one by one. So I'll be interested to hear the suggestions myself!

    What a peculiar bottle. I've never seen this one before, but it looks so strangely inviting in a tactile way.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The only other TG I've tried is Zen. It, of course, is a goner too.

    Your burl wood chunk sounds lovely, but 30-odd holes will not do for me!

  29. Anonymous says:

    K, the picture of the bottle doesn't seem to mesh with the descriptions above, so not sure if it is an early version or what.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, thanks! I'm not sure I understand what part of the bottle is being shown in the picture above, but it is better looking on your link :-)

  31. Anonymous says:

    I think I figured it out…it was driving me mad. The bottle is upside down in the picture above. Weird, because it's a rounded top which doesn't balance. You can see the writing this way (on the inside of the lid). That picture has always been a mystery to me. I can sleep now. :)


  32. Anonymous says:

    Annan sounds so lovely…right up my alley. A shame it was discontinued. Ok, about the storage. Let's just say I'm so happy I found this site, because I was starting to feel like a lunatic with my huge amount of sample vials and decants. I'm SO happy that other's have the same issue.

    I have no storage system yet. My stuff is in a tiled wall insert, sounds weird, but we live in a spanish style house. It has all sorts of neat little places. Eventually I'd like to get plastic storage boxes like the ones pictured for the decants and samples, and just keep my full sized bottles in this area. It stays cool in the summer, so it's pretty perfect.

    Wearing Feminite Du Bois today. Didn't seem to last long, but I do love it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Okay, here's what I do:

    Samples: in ziploc bags labeled A-Z, just like Victoria, but the companies I have a lot of samples from (like Bond no9 or L'Artisan) I have entire baggies dedicated just to that brand.

    Decants: I bought several of those acrylic lipstick tube holders, and put one decant per hole, and stick a label on the top of the decant bottle so I can see what it is without taking it out of the slot. I still have decant bottles that are not small enough to go in the lipstick holders, and those are in a separate wooden box with 3 compartments that I got at the Container Store, I think it was in the bathroom organization section. Not perfect but reasonable.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that makes sense! Thanks for commenting, I was curious too.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I have a large, flat, handled box with a large, hinged clear lid from the hardware store. The thing was designed to hold a bunch of various-sized nuts, bolts, screws, etc. This works okay for my little tiny sample vials (I have them sorted alphabetically).

    The problem is: 1) my largest decants don't fit in their appropriate boxes if I have more than a couple

    2) at the risk of sounding like an idiot, sometimes I can't remember the precise name of the frag I'm looking for, so I have to sort through them all anyway, or I'll drop it in the wrong cube… I spent 30 mins looking for my Tea for Two decant a couple days ago and gave up in disgust.

    Of course this doesn't even begin to address the actual bottles, which take a couple shelves in my closet, EXCEPT for the ones that are too tall, and they are….

    The truth? At any given time, there are vials everywhere. In my coat pockets. The bottom of my purse. I found a decant of Douce Amere in my spatula drawer by the stove, still scratching my head about that one. And I am actually a fairly organized person in most respects!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Your house sounds wonderful! I love houses with “all sorts of neat little places”. Is it adobe?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Now see, why don't my decants have labels on the top? That is just what I need to do. And a trip to the Container Store is probably another great idea.

  38. Anonymous says:

    M, actually I was just now eyeing my husband's fishing tackle box. It sounds similar to what you're using. Of course, even the best organizational system can't keep the Douce Amere out of the spatula drawer, LOL…

  39. Anonymous says:

    It is adobe – good red tile roof, cool barrel ceilings in the living room. But, a drawback is it's cold as hell. Which is great in the summer. It's a neat place, wish we owned it…housing prices out here are freakin' ridiculous.

    Ok, to the hardware store I go. The clear plastic box with compartments for nuts and bolts sounds like a great way to store sample vials.

  40. Anonymous says:

    My samples are stored standing up in a perspex lipstick organizer. I don't have that many. Any that do not fit in that organizer have to go. Decants are stored in several small plastic baskets (inside a drawer).

    I don't like the other Tan Giudicelli scents so I don't think I would like Annam either. Still, it's a shame Le Club des Créateurs de Beauté, which stock his fragrances, do not mail to the UK.

  41. Anonymous says:

    J, they stopped shipping to the US too. I guess nobody can be bothered to mess with all the shipping regulations these days :-(

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hope you find something great at the hardware store! I'm hoping to do a little shopping myself this weekend.

  43. Anonymous says:

    My samples & decants are thrown into drawers with no organization. However, I do have an Excel spreadsheet listing all the samples. I started this after discovering that I was swapping for samples vials I already had! So now I have a handle of what I have. Getting my hands on it is another matter!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Okay, Robin, you're not gonna like this, but I had this. I swapped it away on my very first MUA swap, to Carlita in Greece, I think. Here's something else you won't want to hear: I DIDN'T LIKE IT.

    Nope, and I never thought it smelled like rice pudding. Not that it smelling like rice pudding would cause me to like it, either, because I don't like rice pudding!

    So, what are we–one for one? The only frag we both like is Shaal Nur? Will I see you in NYC in April? We should bring all the frags we hate and swap.

    But I still love your blog!


  45. Anonymous says:

    Oh, P.S.

    Re: the bottle. Yes, that is indeed an overhead shot of the bottle.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Slightly off the subject, has anyone ever heard of O Boticario? It's a Brazilian perfume line. There was one that sounded somewhat intriguing called Myriad. I am wondering if anyone has tried it.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Well, Shaal Nur is a worthy scent to have in common! Always good to have an evil fragrance twin anyway, that way, you know if I like something you don't even have to bother trying it ;-)

  48. Anonymous says:

    Have heard of the line, and have tried 1-2 of their scents that have come my way by chance, but don't even know where they are sold in the US. Have you seen them somewhere?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Yes but only online. Read about them in Allure Magazine, an article on perfumes. Did you like them? Did you try Myriad? It's available at http://www.brazilexplore.com/, very inexpensive, too.

  50. Anonymous says:

    i jut bought this at saks they say its new ..cant find it any where on line ??any one heard of it yet i figured someone around here surely has ..

  51. Anonymous says:

    I didn't know it was out yet, but I assume it is the one mentioned here:


  52. Anonymous says:

    I have a list of the samples I haven't smelled yet, but can't manage to list *all* the ones I have. And like you say, getting your hands on it is another matter entirely, LOL!

  53. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, I saw that article too. I didn't try Myriad, and offhand I can't remember what I did try — possibly not a good sign, but I am forgetful that perhaps it doesn't mean a thing.

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