Over the course of the last few months, I made it a priority to test each and every perfume in my collection. When I started, my collection was at over 200 perfumes — half bottles and full sizes only, not including sample sizes — yet I found myself reaching for the same few over and over again, partly because I would forget the notes from other perfumes or simply hadn’t gotten around to testing some.
At the end, I culled about 70 perfumes for various reasons!
So, here are some thoughts on the whole project and lessons learned:
- I’ve learned more about which brands suit me best (Arcana, Blooddrop, BPAL), which ones don’t (Solstice Scents, Lou Lou’s Soaps, most Sixteen92), and which ones I want to explore more (Poesie Perfume, ZOMG Smells, Twisted Wonderland).
- Some notes just don’t love me no matter how much I try (black pepper, jasmine, vanilla) and some are like kryptonite to me (incense, florals, apple).
- I have a better sense of my collection so I’m more particular about what I want to buy. “I probably don’t need another tropical floral perfume,” or, “Hey, oudh didn’t work out so well for me last time.”
- I also understand how important an inventory spreadsheet is for me, as well as my ratings and impressions; it also gives me a good reference when I get a little grabby hands about a new collection so I don’t wind up ordering something very similar to a scent I already have or from a brand that tends to not agree with my skin chemistry.
- Some brands don’t age as well as others, so I’ll start annotating when I buy my perfumes.
- Periodically re-test perfumes. Skin chemistry changes for a variety of reasons; a good perfume may go bad or a meh perfume may become wonderful!
- If I haven’t reached for something in at least 6 months, it’s probably time to get rid of it, no matter how good it smells. I hung on to Arcana Demimondaine for too long; it smelled like the most wonderful creamy coffee but wasn’t a scent I actually wanted to wear.
This was a great project for me and I really enjoyed rediscovering my collection. I still want to pare it down a bit more but at least now, I know that I can reach for pretty much any bottle and be happy with it!