Perfume for Life: How Long Will Your Fragrance Collection Last?

Robin, the creator of this blog, has written many times: “…my perfume collection will outlive me.” Come to find out, she’s probably right; or at least her current collection will see her into grandmother-hood (keep in mind her child is only 9 years old) and the receipt of her first Social Security check. I decided to figure out the “life expectancy” of my own, much smaller, perfume collection and the results are shocking.

To start, I used three empty 50 ml perfume bottles, by three different perfume companies, and filled the bottles with water and sprayed till they were empty. The average number of sprays in a 50 ml bottle is 735 (double that figure for a 100 ml bottle of fragrance). We all know there are 365 days in a year, so a 50 ml bottle of fragrance will provide a person (who wears that fragrance every day and sprays once) TWO years worth of perfume. Of course, most of us wear more than one spray of scent; if you wear two sprays a day, every day, from a 50 ml bottle of perfume, that single bottle will last a year.

I divided my perfumes into 50 ml and 100 ml groups. I then further divided the perfumes into usage categories — perfumes I spray 3 times per wearing, perfumes I spray 5 times, and perfumes I spray 10 times per wearing (I rarely use less than three sprays or more than 10 per use). After measuring the contents of all my perfume bottles (many bottles were only partially full), I had the equivalent of (approximately) nineteen 50 ml bottles and eight 100 ml bottles (or 1,750 ml) of perfume.

I was thrilled that over the last 5 years I have drastically reduced my perfume collection; in the distant past, I’ve had between 50-75 bottles active — at least. However, I was shocked to realize I have enough perfume to last years and years.

I, with only the equivalent of 27 full bottles of perfume, have enough cologne to last me 5,291 days — 14.5 years to be exact! This figure does not include the hundreds of samples I will wear (each sample takes up one full day) or the contents of minis and decants in my collection.

Do these figures shock you? Do you have the time, or inclination, to figure out YOUR perfume collection’s lifespan? (If you have the nerve, see the guidelines at the bottom of this article to figure out the years your current perfume collection will last.)

When I first did these calculations, I spent several days in a semi-depressed state. How could I justify buying MORE perfumes? Knowing my powers of self-control, how could I resist buying more perfumes? Was I doomed to “waste” more money — and perfume — as I added to the collection?

I’m the type who has fast and furious perfume affairs. I become infatuated with a scent, madly in love, then I buy the perfume, use it several times a week for a month and then…then, my nose starts roving — my latest love becomes less interesting, more like a “friend” and a new love enters the scene and the expensive cycle of lust/desire, friendship, and forgetfulness begins again. Shiny, new, and mostly full, “trophy perfumes” line my shelves…ignored for months at a time.

What’s a perfume fanatic to do? Decants are not really a “bargain” when you figure their price against buying a full bottle of fragrance, but a decant is a good option if you really like a perfume but know in your heart it will not be a long-term relationship; perfume miniatures are great and I buy them all the time. Selling or swapping out perfumes as you tire of them is a good “business choice” — but it’s a time-consuming process. Buying perfumes from discounters when possible cuts down on my perfume guilt (it’s easier to abandon a $30 bottle of scent than it is a $100 bottle). I end up using many perfumes as room sprays or I tuck a mostly unused bottle of fragrance in my bag and, during my day, abandon it — in a restroom, a lunch room, on a ledge at a restaurant, in a classroom. I sometimes look back at the abandoned bottle as I flee the scene and feel a twinge of regret and ‘sadness’ — and hope it will find a good home with someone who loves it.

As I was beginning to look at a 50 ml bottle of scent not as a beautiful sensory experience but as “147 days of perfume”, my partner said: “Who cares if you don’t use it all? Everyone wastes money on something.” And life is short.

Note: image is Made of Light by der sich den wolf tanzt at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh God, this article is me. Now I'm considering a bottle count! I've finally decided there are no more purchses for this year. Period! I have to be brutal and start burning through the stuff!

  2. Anonymous says:

    SFLizbeth: I was shocked myself…to the point of wondering if I should wear one perfume on my legs, another on my torso, another on my arms and one on my neck…all in the same day. HA! Just face the fact you'll probably NOT drain every bottle.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How funny! I was contemplating doing this same sort of exercise to figure out how long my perfume would last, but you've done all the hard work for me.
    Although the years of perfume I have bottled up is shocking, it does bring me some comfort. I know I can spray with abandon, spray any lucky (in my mind) friends who visit, and give away decants and samples freely. No need to be stingy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    True, I probably won't drain every bottle.

    In addition to what I purchase myself, I receive fragrance as gifts. I've always adored and collected makeup and perfume!

    Quite a harmless habit (but not inexpensive) in the great scheme of things :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Seriously humorous article, Kevin! Thanks for the morning giggle.

    ~~”trophy perfumes”, “sometimes look back at the abandoned bottle as I flee the scene”~~

    I wonder if I have the nerve to figure out how long my supply will last? I have been adding to it with wild abandon this summer, with samples, decants and FBs.

    About 15 years ago, I went crazy with AG scents and being an amatuer (and naive) aromatherapy perfume blender, I pretty much mixed the different scents together hoping to make new and improved scents (big eye roll). Not thrilled with the results at the time, I went back to playing with essential oil blends. Those AG blends have been sitting in my bottom bathroom drawer all this time. Many times I thought about just chucking them all, while my hubby grumbled about the lack of storage space, but TG I didn't. I pulled one out this morning just to give it a try and found out it still smells good. In fact, it smells really great! This gives me hope that even if it takes me another 15 years to go through my supply, my bottles may still smell great. There is always hope, isn't there?

    Now to ponder the question of facing the reality of my collection while I sit here and enjoy this scent…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great article! Do you think perfumes should be dispensed in smaller bottles, so we can add more variety to life? It'll probably be more expensive to buy in smaller quantities, but I think it'd be better for someone with a limited budget like me. I can't even remember the last time I used a perfume bottle in its entirety, either, before it either went bad, or before it becomes banned into the depths of my closet, never to be seen again.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Angela: EXACTLY! In fact I may make it MANDATORY to be sprayed if someone visits!

  8. Anonymous says:

    divinemama: since you are experiencing a moment of happiness…DON'T figure out how long your perfumes will last, at least don't figure it out TODAY!

  9. Anonymous says:

    WOW!!!! That's incredible! Thank you so much for breaking this down. I had no idea how many sprays I'd get with one bottle. The number is astounding! The thing that strikes me most – for the amount of enjoyment that perfume provides, it's really a cheap form of entertainment. If a 50ml bottle provides you with 5 sprays for each of 147 days, what's the cost per wearing? An average 50ml bottle probably costs about $60, so that's about .41 per 5-sprays. Not a bad deal!

    I'm similar to you, Kevin, with the fickle love one scent today and another one tomorrow. If I get as far as emptying a bottle, I rarely repurchase. The times that I've repurchased, I've regretted it cause I rarely use up the second bottle. I end up giving away the scents I don't use up in order to make room for new scents. But looking back, I now regret some of those giveaways and wish I still had the scents. What if 3 years from now I want to go back and smell one of them? If I had a half-empty bottle hiding at the back of a drawer, I could do it! But I'm not going to run out and purchase another bottle.

    The “problem” (if you want to call it that) is that they keep creating new, fun, interesting, awesome scents!!!! And we have to try them all!!!! How can we not??? And what about all the old ones that everyone raves about that we've never tried? Help!

    In the past 10 months, I ramped up my perfume collection from around 5 to about 30. I actually made the decision a month or so ago to start enjoying what I have and stop “shopping”. I have some really great scents that I enjoy wearing…and I'll never wear them if I don't stop scouting out new fragrances. It's not easy, believe me. I have to say, I do love those smaller bottles, though. :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    jolene: I wish 15 ml and 30 ml sprays were the norm…more room, more variety, less waste….

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think we should start a lobby: “perfume addicts for 15 and 30 ml bottles”. The life of perfume addiction would thereby be much much easier… ;)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Karin, what makes me mad is that MANY scents are available in Europe, Asia in 30 ml size…American department stores don't stock them! And it really ticks me off when a niche brand ONLY issues 100ml bottles!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good advice, Kevin. Why ruin my esctasy by facing silly ol reality…at least for today. '~)

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Anonymous says:


  16. Anonymous says:

    Do you think the smaller bottles are not available here in the US because the retailers have the mentality that we only want one signature scent? One one of my numerous trips to Sephora recently to procure some free samples, the SA said something like, you can come back and get more samples until you find the ONE you like. ONE?!? Are you serious?

    BTW, I heart Sephora's free samples! I LOVE the SAs that fill the sample bottle all the way up to the top. I try to avoid those that give you only a few sprays.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think my collection will last at least 15 years. But I can promise myself that I'm gonna stop buying fragrances rsrsrs

    I've enjoyed the idea of counting. If someone want's to see my collection, the link is:

  18. Anonymous says:

    divinemama: ah…my Sephora folks only fill the vials half full..ALWAYS! I wonder if American's buy larger sizes of perfume overall? I need to buy a marketing report on US fragrance…should be interesting to read.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Henrique: Promises, promises!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I don't have the courage to count. I don't even count my bottles… I'm in my forties and with over 100 of them (make that 200, most likely), even if I live as long as my grandmothers (well over 90), I think there'll be enough left over to embalm me. Cheering thought. Especially since there are new additions every year. But, as your boyfriend says, if it makes you happy… It does!

  21. Anonymous says:

    CC: forget embalming! use the leftover bottles to enliven your cremation…that's what I'D like: the snap, crackle, pop and sizzle of perfumes on the pyre.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This article is all about me too! that's just crazy! But really, I never really dared to calculate all of this… I knew it would shock me, so it's better to pretend that I don't know how much perfume I own. This article just screamed the truth, I finally HAD to hear it. Yeah it is shocking, but at the same time… I love perfume, I love it, I enjoy it. I hardly ever buy jewelry, I shop for clothes at higher-end stores as well as discounted places. I know how to save money when it comes to other things in my life, other than perfume of course. So when I think about how much I do enjoy perfume, I feel a little better, but just a little…

  23. Anonymous says:

    IrisNobile: the power of our minds when faced with such truths…I think perfume has made me give more money to charity…. When I think, “Hmmmm. I just paid $150 for this perfume when I have 27 bottles at home!!!” the next time I write a check to a favorite charity I say: “If I can pay $150 for perfume that I don't NEED I can certainly pay XXX to have a dog spayed.” You get the picture.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh argh. I keep telling myself that one month I am only going to wear one perfume, then next month another for the whole month, for however long until all my perfumes are gone; But I can't even stick with a month, how can I use them all up?!

  25. Anonymous says:

    and yet, when making a purchase of less than 100ml of a new frag, one gets dirty looks!

  26. Anonymous says:

    platinum15: many SAs give “the look” in that circumstance to imply one is cheap, and not WISE, to buy only 50 or 30 ml. That look does not work on me.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Lizzi: A+ for “bravery” in facing those bottles and doing the math.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Let's put it this way: If my nieces and nephews won't grow up into raging perfumistas (which I have every intention to encourage and enable), they're going to have one heck of an estate sale after I've gone to the great perfume counter in the sky.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have actually estimated these numbers before, and that's why I'm so incredibly reluctant to buy full bottles (I've only ever bought four). Serious self-denial is involved.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ok I am trapped in the same situation …

    I now only buy perfume wich will be discontinuated soon.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Your partner is right – we all have our weaknesses, so let this be yours!

    Other than that, a very big scientific research effort – thank you, Kevin!

  32. Anonymous says:

    The non-blonde: glad to hear you are encouraging a new generation of perfumistas!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Nam: WOW!

  34. Anonymous says:

    helenviolette: OK…I'll let them CHOOSE which scent they must wear.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Benoit: I just “had” to buy a bottle of discontinued pefume too…what other choice did I have? HA! At least it was 50ml.

  36. Anonymous says:

    air ocean: you're welcome. believe me, after spraying those bottles empty my index finger hurt and I had a cramp betwixt that finger and my thumb. At least I didn't “reward” myself after such an endeavor with a new perfume….

  37. Anonymous says:

    Well, with about 500 bottles, you can imagine how long that supply will last – far into eternity! But I don't feel guilty, I get enjoyment out of each purchase and I rotate different scents every day, so I figure I got my money's worth.

  38. Anonymous says:

    25 years 5 weeks 1 day 9 hours and 36 minutes. (Sorry can't help getting all obsessive about exactness). Though I already know some of those I won't necessarily finish (I'm considering accidentally letting Britney Spears sit on a sunny window sill, I still want the bottle…)

  39. Anonymous says:

    nice article, I also used to count how many perfume I can own/
    and since I use approximately 15ml per month, given that average EdT lives about 5 years I don't let myself to have more than 15*5*12= 900 ml of perfume or maybe just a little bit more since it's really hard to find out how many do you have left in an already opened bottle.
    And, Kevin, I think that you use perfume more than once a day, not just in the morning, so maybe it's not as bad as it sounds:)

  40. Anonymous says:

    cazaubon: if only you knew your reincarnation you could write a will! Otherwise, you have the right attitude…though most of your perfumes must wait over a year for their “wearing!”

  41. Anonymous says:

    IngestedKitten!: HA! Poor Britney has been in the hot seat long enough!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Veronica: oh it's bad alright…but thank you for trying to cheer me up. There ARE some fragrances I put on more than once per day…but they are in the minority.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, this is a TERRIFIC column!!! Thank you so much. The calculations totally appeal to my OCD tendencies, the philosophical bent appeals to my rationalizing addict's mind. . .and the 41 cents a day makes my penny-pinching heart soar! Perfect.

    I have one word for everyone, particularly if they have upwards of twenty bottles in their collection: REFRIGERATE. Oh, yes. Now that Chandler Burr has pooh-poohed the cold-is-bad theory, we need to face facts. So empty your vegetable crispers of all broccoli and carrots and your fridge shelves of silly things like food, and do right by your scents.

    You betcha I practice what I preach. I'm the bashful owner of 190-plus full-size bottles, and the only thing besides fragrance in this gal's Fridgedaire is a bottle each of soy sauce and hot sauce. Indeed. That's all that'll fit. And my vintage Bandit is is EXCELLENT condition, thank you very much!!! :-D

  44. Anonymous says:

    Mandatory sprayage! Can I come visit your house?

  45. Anonymous says:

    Oh thanks Robin! I have a somewhat less then reliable fridge in the garage that would be perfect for storing my bottles. Do you keep them in their boxes while in the fridge?

  46. Anonymous says:

    R: I live with a cook and the fridge is FULL…I'd need to buy another one for the scents. Don't like to mention this, with your OCD tendencies and all!, but I've heard several perfumers say a fridge is “OK” if a cool cabinet or cool basement is not to be had — IF the fridge is NEW. These people said old fridges with their constant vibration can break down the oils quickly (same with champagne apparently). Choose not to believe that and live happy is my suggestion…HA!

  47. Anonymous says:

    divinemama: see note above about old fridges…. Keeping perfumes in their boxes is a good idea (it's nice if you give it away to have the box…or if you ever want to swap or sell it) and it keeps out light. But it's a pain in the arse to open a box if you have less than 20 bottles going at one time.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Okay, so my old fridge (which DOES vibrate) is NOT the best option then. Maybe I'll just go with a drawer or get a light tight storage box. I live in the Bay Area which rarely gets too hot and we use AC when it does. Then again, I could continue on my decadent path and buy a new fridge just for my scents…giggles.

  49. Anonymous says:

    As a professional wine reviewer, I can say bollocks to that champagne idiocy — vibrations indeed!, and it makes no sense whatsoever that your average domestic fridge at around 7-9 Celsius is somehow too cold. GAAAAD. And box, shmox; once the door is closed, the light goes off. The boxes get damp anyway and it's a pain to boot. “These people”! Sheeesh and double sheesh!

  50. Anonymous says:

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your old fridge is perf. Who makes up these things???

  51. Anonymous says:

    Will use my old fridge then. :~)

  52. Anonymous says:

    WOW! 190 + bottles? I should tell hubby so he realizes I'm not so bad :~)

    Who needs broccoli anyway???

  53. Anonymous says:


    Did you see the article re Macy's where they are actually considering goint BIGGER? because people have that Wal-Mart mentality…. the Macy's marketing 'genius' said that people are looking for bargains (or something like that).

    And not all perfume holds its integrity for that long – what a disaster in the making!


    ps. how's Diego? Spray a bit of Rochas Femme on him for me!

    We have a new addition to our household – a little boxer-pit mix that El O found stranded in the middle of the highway. He's gained 11 lbs in 2.5 weeks, is driving my alpha Rott nuts (the younger Rott is enjoying him a lot, though) and El O is complete in love. Right now he has an Axe mentality – but I'm hoping that smooths out in time – I'm thinking Givenchy Vetiver (one hopes)

  54. Anonymous says:

    R: good to know about the champagne…I've read a few articles on that topic and was frightened I'd open a long-kept bottle and find it went flat thanks to the fridge's bump'n'grind.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE the idea of leaving bottles in public places for someone else to discover! The next time I get a bottle of something I can't/won't wear, that is exactly what I will do.

    Regarding the number of sprays for each application… I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I probably use 6-7 sprays each morning while dressing. I spray legs, abdomen, chest, hair, throat, wrists, sometimes even my back. I also spray my scarves in winter. I'm thankful most of my bottles are free (job perk) otherwise I'd be doomed.

  56. Anonymous says:

    bartamy: I think 6-7 sprays is average…no need to be embarrassed!

  57. Anonymous says:

    Mama: BIGGER????? Whenever I must walk by that LINE of Chanel Exclusifs at my Nordstrom I huff in anger..I'd buy a few of those if they were not 200 ml. My goodness, you are aiming for a TRUE gentil homme with the newbie…Givenchy no less! Give him a hug for me…I got a pit bull calendar this year for the kitchen and just love those dogs' looks.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Reading you, I recognized me in the past. I was like you, buying new perfumes, shiny as you say because it was new. So, I loved it on the moment but after few days, I get tired of it. I didn’t manage to find a perfume I really love to wear. So, I fervently bought again all the perfumes which seemed to please me until I decided to stop this behavior (yes, it was not easy), also because I’ve discovered one perfume which let me think that all the other ones I owned didn’t correspond to me. I used to love “young” fragrances with citrus, marine notes but I realized that I lost myself. I prefer elegant fragrances. And now, I’m fixed to 3 essential fragrances. Sometimes, I wear other perfumes (with samples) but I don’t need to buy them because I know it will be a waste of money.

    And instead of abandonning your bottles at the restaurants, why don’t you resell them on eBay, even on lot ??? You will win some money to buy new perfumes !!!

    But nevertheless, I have many perfume bottles because, even if I don’t wear them, I collect them. So, I have a great collection with ladies and men fragrances, old as brand new …

  59. Anonymous says:

    kashaya: I'm too lazy for eBay! Collecting beautiful perfume bottles must be as addictive as buying “just perfume”…but bottles last 'forever' so no guilt…

  60. Anonymous says:

    Exist: I need to find more perfumista friends!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Well K…I've recently shared my list with you…and it has grown since then…(so much for no more purchases this year!)….AND it was larger before I first shared…gave away and sold about 10 bottles. According to your calculations…I will be smelling wonderful for a Loooooooong long time. You know what? IT MAKE ME VERY HAPPY! Glad to see I'm not the only OVER THE TOP collector around here. I thought I was ready for the asylum with my 152 (correct current #) bottles! I may be broke and crazy, but at least I smell amazing!

  62. Anonymous says:


    Not counting all the minis, samples, decants, anything 25 ml and under, or the full bottles I put down in the basement because we have company right now and I was embarrassed,

    mine comes to 27 years. Exactly.

    I ddn't *really* want to know this, but at least I have a chance of outliving them.

    Oh! Forgot to mention that I have *oils*. Kevin, do you have any data on oils?

  63. Anonymous says:

    I, too, have a lot of perfume and I collect them for the bottles when I've emptied them. I wear fragrance daily. Even when I'm hagged-out on my day off, wearing rags for housework, no makeup (gasp!) and nobody will see me, I wear perfume. Before bed I often spritz on a Calgon cheapie! I believe perfume is a living thing and should be WORN, not kept in a bottle and admired from afar. We have the Osmotheque for recreating long gone scents so why not use up what you've got? Don't let it go bad. Just like there'll be money left over when we die and go to the great perfume house of our choice (if we've been good) in the sky, there will be bottles still with juice in them left behind. There are MUCH worse addictions and this one appeals to our senses rather harmlessly.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, seriously, what's the brand? Is it vintage, i.e., is there a year on the bottle somewhere? (Not all champagne is vintage; most, in fact, is/are blended from various years). I can give you some sage advice if I have those pertinent details. Also, have you had it in the fridge since you've owned it, and how long has that been?


    Your personal wine expert, Robin

  65. Anonymous says:

    I am too frightened to do the math on my collection tonight. I may need a few days to work up the courage and moxie to tackle that…oy.

    May I just say, Kevin, that your partner is the cat's pajamas! I wish my sweet hubby was as accepting of my fragrance addiction as yours!

  66. Anonymous says:

    ha ha ha ha! *picturing Kevin standing at his entry door… all entering accept a spray of perfume…HIS choice*


  67. Anonymous says:

    LOL. 'Zackly!

  68. Anonymous says:

    C: was about to write you to make sure you saw this! And you have two lovely smelling cats too, don't forget! (Your box is packed and addressed…walking to the P.O. is the only problem….

  69. Anonymous says:

    R: It's a big ole bottle of Veuve Cliquot from the mid-90s that's been in the fridge since I got it around 2002…been roosting in the fridge forever. Is it dead?

  70. Anonymous says:

    mahgwet: I'm imagining the oils will do fine as well as long as they are stored in a cool dark place with TIGHT caps…. Any collectors of oils out there or natural perfumers…please comment!

  71. Anonymous says:

    No, darlin', but it's likely on life support. Drink up!


  72. Anonymous says:

    Celestia: what a charming idea…our choice of PERFUME HOUSE in the skies if we've been good little perfumistas! Now I must figure out a house…it must have a HUGE inventory of all original formulas…doesn't Guerlain have the biggest fragrance list?

  73. Anonymous says:

    TPIAP: yes, he has a good attitude to such things…I don't have to HIDE bottles..HA

  74. Anonymous says:

    pearlbailey: “Welcome to chypre night, friends! Sorry you could not make it for the citrus extravaganza last month! Anyone allergic to oak moss?” PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST

  75. Anonymous says:

    R: THANKS. I will….

  76. Anonymous says:

    I am so NOT a numbers cruncher… But the fact that you did the measuring and tables for all of us? Very amusing. Thanks for risking serious injury to your sprayer finger.. carpel finger??

    No worries for me about too much perfume. I'll enjoy swapping or giving away fragrance to new perfumistas when necessary! (Always keep a sample for you to sniff later if you get nostalgic!) Someone on MUA suggested a “travelling box” of perfumes to get mailed around, and people take what they want to try, and put some of their own former-loves inside. What if it came back to you with more than it started with!!!)

    BIG laugh at “abandoning the bottle & fleeing the scene” heeheehee


  77. Anonymous says:

    And drink a toast to that sublime fragrance house in the sky. . .



  78. Anonymous says:

    I would hope so but one should probably consult a book by Ken Leach to be absolutely sure.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Nope, it should be fine. But, fyi, don't let it get to room temp and then re-refrigerate it. Best to always keep it cool.

  80. Anonymous says:

    OIls do fine, but I keep them in the fridge (cool & dark) too, just in case.

    I also am careful about using a clean pipet before dipping into the oil, just so it doesn't get contaminated with another oil's residue.

    I keep essential oils in glass b/c it breaks down plastic.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Me too, especially for the Chanel Les Exclusifs…! My brother, though fullly aware of my perfume compulsion, bought me a 50ml bottle of Private Collection for my birthday, which is generous on his part, but 30 ml would have done just fine. I have taken to applying perfume in bed now – so what that I am unconscious while wearing it – it still means a double shift of consumption. This article is most timely, as I was lying in bed the other day (perfumed up) and pondering this very question with a sense of rising panic. I have just bought a slightly used 100ml bottle of the very lovely Givenchy Le De for £7.50 on Ebay, and will at least be able to consider that “cheap enough to waste”. I am also in the process of giving away all my duplicate samples, eg ones I have mistakenly ordered twice (!), the multiple lots you get on Ebay, or I am giving away the small vials when I get a FB, which hopefully I won't be doing too much more of this year.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Dioressence would make a great embalming fluid, I think!

  83. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a proprietary storage system to cater for your collection? Like a dedicated room with umpteen chests of drawers? Please let us know how you are organised, as my collection of 13 FBs and twenty zillion minis and samples is rapidly outgrowing the three drawers I nicked off my partner.

  84. Anonymous says:

    yes, that idea appeals to me too – I have done it with books and food many times – leaving items on walls, in planes, in hire cars etc.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Curious to learn what are those three essential fragrances? Oh to be that streamlined and focused!

  86. Anonymous says:

    I just did the maths too based on an estimated 1000ml collection and 5 sprays a day. That works out at a little over 8 years. Some of my “sprays” are in fact little dabs from those dipper vials though. I guess to equate to the spray volume Kevin is working with, I need to use a 1ml vial up in 14.7 days. Better get spraying and dabbing!

  87. Anonymous says:

    I must be the exception to the rule re perfume bottle size. I almost always get the biggest bottle as it is way cheaper per ml. As for how long my perfume collection will last me, I choose not to think about it, except to ponder that my great great great grandchildren will have a rocking vintage collection. My collection has to be one of the most massive out there. I actually have a room dedicated to them with four buffets where they are stored in the dark. I have vintage bottles over fifty years old that are none the worse for wear. Friends absolutely adore playing with my perfumes, It always cracks me up when they worry about spraying too much as they don't want to waste it! (look around people, I am NOT going to run out any time soon!) Also,I had to add, I have a beautiful chocolate pit ball called Bonnie. She has stunning green eyes and is a complete sweetie. My other dog is a west highland/shitzhu called Clyde and they are best mates. Pitties don't deserve the evil rep they get.

  88. Anonymous says:

    AussieBec: encouraging friends to spray away is good…as are most PBs.

  89. Anonymous says:

    vanessa: isn't it VERY disappointing when you realize you've already ordered a sample and even tried it and still it didn't “register” so you ordered it again?…I need to keep a perfume log

  90. Anonymous says:

    Dear AB,

    Hope that room of yours is chilly!

    P.S. I, too, almost always buy 100mls. Within a few weeks, they can be down to 50ml anyway, since I'm now one of the Great Enlightened (I swap, dontcha know). My 100mls of Parfumerie Generale l'Oiseau de Nuit has been the fastest to go so far; I'm just blasting through it. Worth ever decant, too, since I've gotten some much-coveted stunners in exchange. Blogmistriss Robin, I remember, was thinking of running a day where we could connect with other niche-minded swapaholics. . .

  91. Anonymous says:

    My full bottles are in the fridge, while my hundreds of samples and decants are in drawers in my bedroom, organized in boxes of alphabetical and size groups: samples A-G, H-O, P-Z, and ditto decants, in the latter case stored upright in lidded, hinged, clear plastic boxes with round handwritten labels on the tops for easy reference. The labels are colour-coded as well: green for contemporary Euro (French and Italian in the main), yellow for American, pink for classic houses (Guerlain, Caron, et al). There is a separate box for classic high-end samples as well, for speedy reference.

    Not that I'm OCD by ANY means. . .

  92. Anonymous says:

    And French perfume, or Italian perfume?

  93. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, a super post again..:-) !! So we might/should/could/love to spray ourselves, our guests, our rooms, our sheets, our clothes, our cars, our suitcases, our towels, our newspapers, some of our books, chairs, sofa, other linens and our car… ^”^ oh well in that case my 50+ FBs are not nearly enough for the next five years….

    So you leave your traces with a bottle here and there. That is such a great idea! If I were a writer I would use that for a story.

  94. Anonymous says:

    MW: I'd love to have a camera to see WHO takes each bottle…once I put out a bottle of CSP Vetiver Haiti in a lunch room of a building I worked in, and an elderly Japanese lady who worked there all of a sudden started smelling of Vetiver Haiti…we'd share an elevator often and it smelled better on her.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Very cool, Kevin! It must have been nice to have some closure there.

  96. Anonymous says:

    This article and these responses have been so much fun to read, thank you all! Being relatively new to my scent fanaticism, a confession: I began putting my full bottles in a drawer of my dresser out of embarrassment, to hide them, having no idea they were better off in the dark and cool, anyway. Only months later did I learn it was a good idea, and the fridge an even better idea.

    Second, I would love to know the answer to the question intimated, above: if you were forced to choose but three of your most favorite fragrances, which three would they be?

    Mine: Gucci Envy. L'eau Par Kenzo. Odori Iris.

  97. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, this is very intriguiging. Maybe the Japanese lady is also a great lover of perfumes..? What if you would leave another bottle in that very same place..

    Great material for a story.

    • littleengine says:

      It would make a good story! Now I want to do this, but I’m so new to perfume collecting that I don’t have much to share yet. Patiently building my stash…

  98. Anonymous says:

    Yea, I stick mainly to using up samples. They can be had for free, and are generally a renewable resource. And of the scent is an edp, they last foreeever.

  99. Anonymous says:

    I guess I have about 5000 ml, using 2ml each day would be 2500 days, or 6/7 years.. 2ml is about 20 spritzes. I sometimes spray perfume on my curtains / linen…love it! And your friend is right, we all waste money on something…

  100. Anonymous says:

    So, these are my 3 essential fragrances : Bvlgari Blv Notte which has made me changed my affection for the other fragrances I used to wear. When I was younger, I would have hated the smell of Bvlgari but the day when I discovered it, I was certainly ready to change ;-) My second one is Helmut Lang Cuiron. It is unfortunately discontinued but I will try to find other copies (I love to search for discontinued perfumes after they have been removed from sale). And the last one is Armani Attitude which is more “commercial”. I think my next one will be Dior Bois d’Argent. I love this fragrance so sophisticated ! And before, I have worn Dior Higher, Kenzo Pour Homme and Carolina Herrera 212 Men On Ice. I still like Kenzo Pour Homme but too many people wear this perfume.

  101. Anonymous says:

    unfortunately, this doesn't take into account how long the actual scent will last. which is, sadly, only about 2 years. factor in heat and sunlight for a poorly placed fragrance display and you can reduce that.
    sure, after the 2 year mark your perfume will be wearable, but you may notice it smelling a little different.
    one day it will be completely foul. i've certainly had these experiences. it's a sad sad day when you are all dressed up on yr way out the door, and you are washing yr wrists and neck with every soap, oil, and rubbing alcohol product you have.

  102. Anonymous says:

    I really think someone should start making perfume coolers – you know, like the wine fridges they make, but insted of wine racks inside, shelves for perfume bottles. I would definitely buy one!

  103. Anonymous says:

    lol! I would *so* attend that party! and bring extra clothing with me to spritz before I leave!

    You could give out fragrances you no longer love as door prizes or party favours!

  104. Anonymous says:

    Ha, indeed! I don't *hide* bottles, but I do pretend they've been there longer than perhaps they actually were. “Is that new?” “Oh, that? No, it's been there awhile, I just moved it to a better spot” because no, it's not “new”, I've had it for at least a week now, and I did move it from the shopping bag to my nightstand, which is a better spot for spraying.

    I'm sure he's on to me, too… ;)

  105. Anonymous says:

    OK I think most of us who read this blog on a regular basis find ourselves in this article. Kevin, thank you for the laborious research and mathematical equations. It reminded me of what I do on a regular basis with clinical trials: Extracting non-obvious data that can be used eventually for promotional materials. A lot of work and little useful information most of the time…(I wish I worked with perfume though)

    As for your partner's comment: HE IS RIGHT ON! Fragrance is our “crack”! And I personally am glad it is, rather than another “vice”.

    I have a recommendation for my fellow perfumaholics:

    Why don't you do what I do when a scent is no longer the “beau du jour” for me? I use it as deodorant AND cologne during my travels. And I use a lot! I only pack one product, and I can go through a third of a bottle on a 3-day trip that way. And then, the ultimate pleasure: Tossing that empty bottle that you no longer had the hots for anyway in the hotel bathroom trash can! What a relief that is…And practical thinking, mind you because you can rationalize that your impulsive purchase was not a (total) waste of money since you used it all.

    2 caveats to my recommendation though: Don't do what I do IF:

    1) You sweat a lot and feel the need for an anti-perspirant because you won't get away with it, trust me.

    2) You want to get rid of your “Yatagan” or “Montale Aoud” that way. Go for something more common and citrus-ey. A flanker or a “marine” accord (which no one should buy anyway but we all make mistakes and we just discussed it)


    PS: Kevin, to answer your question about my Dior dilemma, I'll be traveling with “Bois D'Argent” soon. Because it became a “friend” as you put it so brilliantly in your article today :-)

  106. Anonymous says:

    sourbunny: I've never had a bottle go bad on me! And some of the bottles, less than half full, still smell fine after 7 years…but they are stored in pitch blackness and coolness. There are several fragrance lines that apparently do NOT last longer than one year…I shall not mention names…and they are expensive. Never understood WHY that would be…but the world is full of mysteries I guess.

  107. Anonymous says:

    peanut: I'd hope that whoever issued such an EDICT would give me several months to make the decision…even then I'd probably be hauled away without being able to choose three.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Ah…so it's Bois d'Argent…no “curried Eric” then: more's the pity! Using your post as a starting off point, I almost recommended saying “take the perfume on camping trips too”…but on second thought, Lord knows what animals some colognes would attract. YATAGAN for instance!

  109. Anonymous says:

    that's awesome that you've managed to get fragrances to last so long. yr storage methods really work!

    my theory as to why a fragrance would have a short lifespan is that it probably has a larger amount of natural oils v. synthetic.

  110. Anonymous says:

    Kevin – thanks for the great article! Your partner has sage advice. I used to have a shoe fetish before my current perfume addiction and then figured out it's much less expensive to buy a bottle of quality perfume than a pair of designer shoes. For the price, the perfume will give many more days wear and enjoyment and won't be out of fashion by the next season! (or have a heel fall off, or get a big scratch on the leather on the first wear, or give you blisters). So… no more guilt methinks. And it's reassuring knowing that I'll never run out! (at least, not for the next 20 years).

  111. Anonymous says:

    rachelsf: Thanks. And how many of us will have a pair of today's shoes going strong in 20 years?

  112. Anonymous says:

    Wow! So many comments… look fwd to reading them, Kevin. Great piece… though very sobering. I must say that your vicious cycle of perfume infatuation sounds in some ways like my distant romantic past. Ha! The thing with my collection thus far is that I start getting “nervous” when there's only half a bottle left, and when it's one-third full or less I'm almost afraid to spritz because I “don't want to use it up.” Silly or a common feeling?

    However, hardly ANYTHING is a 3-spritz fragrance for me: 5-7 sprays average, and I often take the bottle with me so I can refresh a little through the day. Would you believe I drained 50ml of Terre d'Hermes is less than two months (and I was hardly wearing it every day)?

    Loved your story of leaving perfume “orphans” in public places, like foundlings on doorsteps. You're like a perfume samaritin — bequeathing gifts on the world randomly. A nice thought — and a good way to maybe get ride of my Azzaro Chrome that I'm realizing I do NOT need 50ml of (a mini will suffice for many years).

  113. Anonymous says:

    I haven't popped open my somewhat new sample of Yatagan yet… after a comment like that, I can't wait. Ha! Stand back, wildlife!

  114. Anonymous says:

    Good lord, Kevin! 12+ year-old Champagne!! Have there been NO special-enough occasions since 2002?? Life is short indeed — pop that cork!

  115. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this – I have only heard of the Bulgari one in your top three. Am curious to check it out – for I like Bulgari Femme!

  116. Anonymous says:

    joe: Yatagan is wonderful, but apply with a steady hand! You know I almost always feel like CELEBRATING when a perfume bottle is almost drained…”success!” I wonder if your Terre d'Hermes use sets a record?

  117. Anonymous says:

    Joe, I know exactly what you mean about that mindset when the bottle starts to get even slightly “low.” My hoarding instincts rev up then, and sometimes I'm even already looking around for the source of a replacement bottle. In fact, in my fridge is a big ziplock freezer baggie filled with about half a dozen full bottles still in their boxes of fragrances i already own at least half a bottle of!!! Fortunately, they were all bought at fire sale prices, moslty on eBay, so that tends to assuage feelings of guilt and dysfunction to some degree. . .

    I also spray more than a mere couple of sprtizes each time. True, the occasional person could fell a smalll army at twenty paces, but most people don't use enough. When I'm travelling in France or Italy, I find that I smell fragrance on others much more than Canada and the US, so whoever says Americans really lay it on thick compared to more refined and sophisticated Euros has had a different experience from mine. I wish we North Americans would use more!!

    Oh, yeah, with one caveat. Use Good Stuff. Isn't it ironic that when people wear lovely things you can't smell them tilll your inches away, and when people wear Charlie and Giorgio you can smell them in the restaurant hours after they've finished their meal?

  118. Anonymous says:

    wow! can't help to leave a note though i'm very late.
    when reading the notes i'm quite surprised that people using up perfume so quickly! personally i only give 2 to 3 sprays eveyday. 3 is the maximumeven for the lightest scent! and even the perfumista i know only use 3-4 sprays max… is that one of the differences between the habit of using perfume in asia and the US + europe? i think one of the reason is that the weather in hk is too humid and hot? always above 30'c in summer?

  119. Anonymous says:

    hi robin and all of you! i'm very new when talking about buying perfume online and would like to ask for your advise: is it “safe” to buy perfume in ebay. i mean, are the perfume usually “authentic”? how can we buy safely in ebay? I'm looking for a perfume which is released recently and find it only at half price. i'm so surprised and excited but also afraid if i'm buying something fake or not…


  120. Anonymous says:

    Sevenjoy, that's a good question. From my reasonably extensive experience bidding on eBay — about 60 bottles — I've only had one phoney, a Chanel, and the Seller promptly refunded my money, no questions asked. Later, I saw that he'd had his privileges revoked and was no longer selling; clearly I wasn't the only one who smelled a rat! You can always look at the Feedback to see what these guys are up to, so that helps; actually, that guy was starting to get some “got a dupe” comments just as I had won my bottle, so it doesn't take long to tarnish a rep.

    Otherwise, I've had very, very good luck with eBay, and have picked up some incredible deals (a 1.7 of Pure Turquoise for two bucks, would you believe??!!!). As far as safety goes, as long as you do it by PayPal, you're good to go.

    Good luck!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Yatagan smells like a T-shirt sprayed with the old (green) polo and worn for 2 days in a row while you got stuck in a non-air conditioned airport without being able to take a shower :-)

  122. Anonymous says:

    Eric: I assume you are very familiar with that scenario and scent-sation? HA! (For all you Yatagan virgins: don't let E scare you off!)

  123. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, I must say that you haven't really lived until you've experienced a flight cancellation by effing Air France at Tbillissi airport (Republic of Georgia) and stayed at the airport waiting for the next morning flight to Frankfurt on Air Zena (Georgian Airlines). I had sprayed Polo on my neck at the duty free shop to experiment with the Alpha-Male scent again that day (why? don't ask…)

    Years later, when I first opened and sprayed my bottle of Yatagan purchased on eBay, it brought back that same exact rank scent of my own sweat mixed with Polo, a sad olfactory signal stached somewhere in my memory!.

    (Needless to say that I incinerated my T-shirt the next day instead of sending it to be laundered :-)

  124. Anonymous says:

    Just read in O Magazine that Givenchy has relaunched, LeDe, & l'interdit for fall. I always luved LeDe too, wonder if it will smell the same way it used too.


  125. Anonymous says:

    wow!! 2 bucks!! it can be virtually counted as “FREE” right? :) thank you so much for sharing! i'll go now and place my bid! ha!

  126. Anonymous says:

    Well, I don't know how it used to be, as I have just discovered it, but it smells pretty all right to me – and I have knowingly bought a tester with the top missing! My biggest bargain ever on Ebay, though it has just added about a year to the life expectancy of my collection…

  127. Anonymous says:

    sevenjoy: supposedly the Asian market prefers lighter fragrances and applies them with a light touch. I can say the eastern and southern U.S. is just as humid as Hong Kong in summer so that should not affect usage. For me, the strength of the fragrance determines how much I spray on…no matter the season.

  128. Anonymous says:

    E: I'm sure the German laundress would have been thankful if she (he?) knew you spared her (him?) the job of washing that Tee. (Was the tee PINK? Did a Georgian question your manhood because of the pink tee? Is THAT why you wore Polo and beat your chest at Duty Free?…see, never make me imagine what happened!)

  129. Anonymous says:

    kevin, you are right! i should look into this interesting cultural difference!

    oh! the happiest thing after reading your post is that i can justify myself to buy a bottle of Un Jardin apre la Mousson! not becoz of the amount of perfume i own (around 1 litre, can last for more than 14 years) but the fact that i own a very small collection of perfume when comparing to you all, so i think it's still “safe” (and happy) to buy some more! and yes, we always waste our money somewhere…it's human nature i suppose? thanks for the great post!

  130. Anonymous says:

    Every once in awhile I think about this topic, and look at all the bottles I own, and all the ridiculous amount of samples I have, and KNOW that more than I will ever need, but I still get more, not often, but I do add to what I own.

    In all honestly, I really think I have found my holy grail fragrance, and could get rid of all the others. But what fun would that be? And I still need to smell other smells.

  131. Anonymous says:

    You have hit the nail on the head – I think a lot of us have to smell other smells. If I didn't read this blog, it would be easier, but as soon as I read that so-and-so really likes Amouage XXV, regardless of the fact that that's a masculine, I am intrigued and it goes on the list. Rochas Femme – “a rumpled peach satin teddy” – how can I not try that too? If other forum members were less passionate and eloquent about the ones they know and like, my collection would be a fraction of what it is, for I live in a very olfactorily deprived part of Britain…No regrets though, for as someone has observed, this habit is cheaper than a designer shoe fetish. Why, my next purchase may be a £2 bottle of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea which is going cheap in my local supermarket!

  132. Anonymous says:


    't was a white Hanes darlin' and there's plen'y testosterone here baybee :-)

  133. Anonymous says:

    no worries…at your convenience bud!

  134. Anonymous says:

    Hi Vanessa and all! I agree that our perfume wardrobes would be much leaner if we stayed away from the blogs. If I can't pay my bills next month, I'm placing the blame squarely where it belongs: on the eloquent writings of Robin, Angela, Kevin, and the other contributers here (grin).

    Here's a question: Which is more persuasive, language or fragrance?

  135. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Haunani: and I accept blame for all of us at NST! I certainly think language leads us ALL by the nose to the fragrance counters, doesn't it? Sometimes a description of a fragrance can “open the mind” or relieve a nagging question about what a perfume smells like…and result in ANOTHER purchase, even of a scent we initially were confused by or didn't like! Can't win!

  136. Anonymous says:

    Huanani: I think language lures us to the counter, but fragrance really makes or breaks it. I was recently talked into buying a bottle of Andy Warhol Silver Factory, against my gut feeling (I wanted Chinatown). I took me about 24 hours to realize what a grave mistake I had made. I promptly went back and exchanged it, without caring a fig what a pain in the ass I looked like. I say we should always let the fragrance prevail.

  137. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kevin! Question:
    Almost all my friends actually use and like perfume, and are very aware of what's out there, but don't bother moving past their signature scent. One of my friends has been repurchasing and using Lancome O Oui for 6 years now, another is a dedicated Tresor user (maybe 6-7 years), and another has always used Calvin Klein Euphoria. Why do you think it is that even knowledgeable perfume users are convinced that a signature scent is the right way to go? Are we just lost souls here at NST while a whole hoard of other perfumistas (in one way or another) have settled down with The One?

  138. Anonymous says:

    Crap. Didn't realize it was this bad. I only have four bottles, true, but my favorite scent is a 100 ml bottle, and I only use ONE spray per day… which means that it alone will last me 4 years. Good thing I love it so much (as close to a signature as I'm ever going to get).

    On the up side, the one I like to switch it up with is a 30 ml, which I spray twice- that'll last me only 7.2 months. That makes me feel a lot better.

  139. Anonymous says:

    This kind of relates to divinemama's comment above (way above).

  140. Anonymous says:

    I read a market research report which categorised such people as “fragrance loyalists” (quite a sizeable part of the market, in fact – ie regular users of a sole scent), while we are the highest interest group known as “fragrance sensualists”. Being a market researcher by trade myself, but never having worked in the industry (except once on the industrial side), that is my next goal, ie to combine business with pleasure in the most amazing way! My near anosmic partner who eschews all but soap is known as a “retrosexual”, LOL! That's quite a large segment as well, would you believe! I am working really hard on the loyalists in my own town, and have enabled about 7-8 of them to see the light ie a world beyond No 5 or Paris. They are surprisingly open minded once you tell them you have a collection of about 300 they might like to dip into. Part of the problem is the rushed/stressed experience of in-store testing (“spraying and praying”), or so they tell me. I have some older relatives who are simply not bothered, but most of the 35 to 55 year olds in my circle can be cracked open a bit, and I have managed to turn my loyalist brother into a raging maniac like myself.

  141. Anonymous says:

    When you think about it, monogamy is the cultural norm in relationships, but why stick with just one perfume for donkey's years when there is no obligation to do so? Indeed, perfume is a great outlet for one's endless curiosity about the new. Why, it may even save marriages, though that may be stretching the analogy a little far.

  142. Anonymous says:

    Some people wear the same and only shade of lipstick forever. Some people wear their hair in the style of their heyday for decades. And there are those who choose the same boring desperate housewife bra-in-a box for a lifetime. Then there are the others who co-ordinate lipstick to match an outfit as well as their colouring, those who change their hair style and colour as often as Madonna, and wear colourful matching bra and panties from French designers to go with their outer clothing. Perfume people are an interesting group that psychologists should study as to why some wear a signature and some use only fragrances in one category. Then there are those who are not loyal to a category and perhaps go with what's appropriate for the time of day, a season, occasion or outfit. Different strokes folks!

  143. Anonymous says:

    Nam: of course we're not lost souls! I know people who vacation at the same place each year and love every minute of the trip, though they know there's a BIG world out there. Others go to a new place each year and realize they may not like it as much as the little town in Thailand they visited years ago. Some people are loyalists and others love variety. No one is right or wrong. If I tell a perfume loyalist they are unadventurous they may well tell me I'm confused and unsure of myself. Stay out of this argument! HA!

  144. Anonymous says:

    Yep, live and let live! Same as folks who visit the same restaurant every time they go out for dinner — they know what they like, dammit! — and others want to explore different experieces. Ah, and wine is very much the same: I Drink Yellowtail Shiraz types versus Why Would I Want to EVER have the same wine twice when there are thousands more just begging to be tried?

    I'm definitely of the sensualist group in everything in my life, and I feel the richer for it. But that's just me. I'm glad to know there are lots of us out there, and that's why I love the blogs.

  145. Anonymous says:

    Interesting conversation. Just for fun I will propose that those who like variety in fragrance (and clothing and hair styles, for that matter) may simply have more confidence. Some of us don't have a need to build and maintain a rigid external personal style. We are comfortable being ourselves, mostly for ourselves. Thus we are freed to indulge our intellectual and sensual curiosities when it comes to personal style.

    Now, I'm not sure I've convinced myself here. Just thinking aloud (giggle). Perhaps we simply have more imagination than our friends who don't experiment! What do you think?

  146. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kevin and Nam. Clearly language leads us to the counter (or the online samples seller). And it can lead us astray, as Nam described with her story. Kevin, I like what you say about words opening our minds. Today I'm trying Luten's Iris Silver Mist for the first time, and I must say that the opening pretty much frightened me. If I hadn't read reviews and blog comments from so many who love this fragrance, I'd have been in the shower in a flash. But now, darn it, this fragrance has settled down and I'm finding some real beauty in it. I guess this could lead to another conversation: How much pain can you stand to get to the middle notes? LOL!

  147. Anonymous says:

    Who knows? I'm sure it's a matter, when it comes right down to it, of simply enjoying that kind of creativity and self-expression, being aware of and sensitive to all our senses. Hey, there's another one: what we listen to! Some people are quite content to listen to their old Eagles albums, while others love to explore different genres and keep abreast of new things. I'm so happy to be in the latter category. It brings so much joy and richness to my life. Fragrance is just one thing — although it's up there in my Top Five, I think!!!

    Speaking of which, I just got my bottle of Bois de Paradis in the mail and am swooooooning over it as I'm typing. . .

  148. Anonymous says:

    I'm thinking that my dream house would have an easily accessible wine cellar for my husband's “billions” of bottles (now in boxes under the house), with a pretty little section on the side for MY special little bottles of pleasure.

  149. Anonymous says:

    I'm with you regarding music, though I need to take more time to explore the newest stuff. And wine – too much out there to limit oneself to one or two. Another thing – I've never understood the desire some folks have to view a movie over and over, or to read a book a second and third time. I do that very, very rarely, because there are so many books and movies to experience!

  150. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, another one to try! It sounds lovely in the reviews and different from Amoureuse, which didn't agree with me – I think this one will have to go on the list. I agree about the pain thing to get to wonderful drydowns. Iris Silver Mist, Hiris and La Pausa all take no prisoners to start with, Ta'if is a bit sharp on me, ditto Tauer L'Air du Desert Marocain, but they are mostly worth persisting with. Tabac Blond was borderline but the drydown won the day, and most of the Aouds take some grinning and bearing it initially!

  151. Anonymous says:

    Language gets me to the counter, and then from there it's all about the fragrance, if I like it or not. That could take a few test sprays.

  152. Anonymous says:

    I think there are recent published studies in which couples are more likely to split if they don't like each other's scent. But that's more of a pheromone issue than anything else.

  153. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the article! It's very interesting but even more for me it is eyes opening.. I calculated that I would have a perfume for 48 years ahead of me! :) I need to think at least 9 times now before getting any new perfume :)

  154. Anonymous says:

    Anyone really into perfumes knows they are perishable, some more than others. You can keep the trophies, but after a few years, most perfumes are unwearable. I “saved” many favorites for special occasions only to be disappointed when I sprayed, and eventually had to toss. I also made the mistake of stockpiling favorites for fear of being discontinued, same bad result.

  155. Anonymous says:

    I'm only 18 and already in just 12 months I have purchased 15 perfumes, sometimes I'd buy two at once. Strange seeming that only 12 months ago perfume meant nothing to me.

    I only recently got Burberry Weekend for Christmas in 100ml, but I doubt it will last a year, I just spray it way too much in a day.

    Just wait until I purchase Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Femme. Most likely purchasing that in 100ml too, only because it's cheaper to buy that way. Damn those discount perfume stores!!

  156. Anonymous says:

    Mschem: I can honestly say after 20 years of perfume craziness, I've never had to toss out a bottle of fragrance because it went “bad.” My storage methods (coolness/complete darkness) are strictly followed. Perhaps I'm lucky or the brands I normally buy are well made. I believe Luca Turn said in his book that a good perfume can last 200 years! with minor changes over time. Unfortunately most of the vintage perfumes I DO find on shelves of antique shops/antique malls have been displayed in WINDOWS! horrible.

  157. Anonymous says:

    miss k: you are in the early stages of perfumitis…beware…things only get worse.

  158. Serafima says:

    Hm.. i remember having only one perfume and 50 ml lasted me 2 months, I sprayed 3-4 times per day. Now, when I have close to 20 (and wont stop to increase my lot) I settled to 50 ml or 30 ml bottles, because I wear different fragrance every day. The 3.4 oz bottle lasted me 7 months, when it was my only perfume.

  159. Blimunda says:

    Oh, Kevin – I love the image of you sneaking out of a public toilet having left a bottle of something lovely by the hand towels! I think that’s a marvelous idea! Imagine the joy it could bring some poor, depressed person in need of a wee lift! In future, I will do exactly the same thing when I want to get rid of something.
    Having said that though, I have become utterly ruthless about my scent purchasing that I now own three full bottles, one decant, and I love them and wear them often. So no giving away! They have become my ‘staple scents’, which I supplement with lots of samples to keep life interesting! So it does mean that my bottles get used up quite quickly.

    • Kevin says:

      Blimunda: I admire your restraint!!!!! I’m trying to whittle down the collection too…I’ve been VERY good this year, living off samples and trying to use my favorites…and buying just a few scents at discount. But so many goodies are on the way this fall 2009!

  160. Oana says:

    I am terrible at math but based on 5 sprays of 100ml, I have perfumes for me to last 95 years ahead of me. Can it be true? :D

    • Kevin says:

      Oana: yes, TRUE!!!!! HA!

      • Oana says:

        The worst part of it is that after this mind blowing scented years ahead of me, I got on a following day 3 Chanel perfumes released ~ 1999 & Balenciaga Rumba.. and ordered another two online. I think I am about a 100 years now :D

  161. George Sand Devotee says:

    What a great article Kevin. I love the idea of you leaving offerings for others to find – that’s a perfect solution and would certainly make someone’s day. Remember, what goes round comes round – perhaps some other perfume will come into your life as a result!

  162. ishtinkgute says:

    I’ve had thoughts of getting a mini-fridge just to store the perfumes. It’s getting that bad! Wine cellar… perfume cellar.

    • FOandW_oh_my says:

      Actually, I think you may have something there.A mini fridge! Or, in some cases, a normal sized one. For me, I tihnk mini, at least for the time being. The concept of a perfume cellar sparks the immagination, you would definitely have to have a room set aside for the storage, and one for the “testing”. Ahhhh! the design ideas!!!!!!!

  163. Owen says:

    omgosh !! how did you work how much juice you had ?? I got lost

    hmm, a 50ml bottle does last me around a year. the ones that last all day I only spray once or twice on my neck. but the ones that dissapear half way through the day or before I spray about 4 or 5 times, and then take it out with me to reapply. so it’ll be a bit difficult to work out my perfumes lifespan.

    though compared to you guys I’ve basically got none.
    I have five bottles!!! and two refills (two of my perfumes are refillable) but I honestly don’t know how you can have like 50bottles I’ll never own that many at any one time.

    • Owen says:

      AND strictly speaking, your perfume collection might very well not outlive you, with that many bottles you’ll never drain them all. well you would if you didn’t buy any until they all emptied but that’s crazy talk. and perfume goes off on average after 36months (three years).

  164. vmarshmellow says:

    To the author: just up your daily sprays from 2 to 4 and you’ll go through your collection twice as fast. So you can acquire some more.

  165. Merlin says:

    I read this article about two years ago – about the time I started collecting and so, although I have gone totally whacked out and have about 15 mostly full bottles now, the majority of them, about 9, are 30mls each. Most are mainstream / commercial though, because these are easily available here. Niche are large and pricey and though I like to buy often I prefer spending smaller amounts. There are niches I love like Sa Majeste Rose, Filles en Aguilles, Ambre Russia and Charogne,
    but there are so many mainstreams, amour, paloma Picasso, and addict that it seems silly to get the expensive ones….

  166. olorunjobi says:

    I want to know names of perfumes which can last for more than three months when used onced

  167. jjrichard83 says:

    Decants are a HUGE bargain… I have no idea what this person is talking about… For anyone who has a large collection, 20ml will last 1-2 years even in rotation. If they are happy with it after that, then they can grab a bottle. Many of us buy bottles only to regret it later, so I say, go for decants in the online fragrance communities (Facebook and base notes are good places to start).

  168. calsycat says:

    I’m more interested in how long I might expect my fragrances to last in terms of quality…before they “turn”. I know people buy vintage bottles on Ebay that are 20 years old. Can perfume actually last that long and still smell good?and after a fragrance is opened I assumed that it would start to degrade, at least it’s top notes. Am I wrong, or will perfume, properly stored, last indefinately? this would be a revalation to me.

  169. Pinnacos says:

    This thread prompted me to do some math myself. It was helpful to have you provide your spray-per-bottle numbers. I’ve got a collection of 60 different fragrances, most of which are the largest bottles I could get for any one fragrance. I knew I had enough cologne to last me well into my next life, but I was too was amazed at how long I can keep spraying. Based upon the assumption that I will go through 5ml/week, I have enough for 2,089 weeks (14,623 days) which at the age of 49 will last me until just shy of my 90th birthday. That’s nuts. It’s good to know though. I also calculated that I’ve got 2.76 gallons of fragrance which just made me laugh at its absurdity.

    I think it’s time to stop buying.


  170. Sfumato says:

    I knew I’d accumulated quite a decent collection over the last couple years, but never sat down to calculate just how much. This article forced me to sit down and do some math. I’ve got 75 fragrances in my haul, and approximately 2 bottles of each. I did my math on the basis of how much is currently in each bottle and it looks like I’ve currently got about 19,780 ml. Assuming that I’m using 5ml/week, I should have enough for the next 27,692 days (or approximately 75 years and 10 months.) I’ll long since be dead, so maybe I should slow down a bit on additional purchases. I doubt that I will though. As long as the extra bottles remain in their original unopened packaging, they’ll probably be worth a bit in another 50 years. Time will tell.

  171. l. says:

    Do you have any information on how long a splash bottle of extrait will take to use? How many dabs one gets out of the bottle?
    Thanks for your hard work, it is very illuminating!

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