Tuesday, August 16, 2011

on collecting I: perfume

transitioning to fall
as regular readers of this blog are aware, i have long been struggling with trying to pare down and live a simpler life. i'd like to be less of a consumer or at the very least a more conscious one. but i struggle, because i worship at the altar of apple and i am an avid collector of many things...perfume, fabric, stamps, pretty paper, locks...i could go on.

and the rest of the week, i will go on. because i want to explore my need for collecting, what it is i like about it and hope to get to the bottom of what it is that drives me (or any of us, really) to collect. of course, this isn't the first time i've pondered this, but i want to do it again in the hope that i will begin to be more conscious about it and maybe also to remind me to actively enjoy these things i've so obsessively carefully chosen.

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so to start this off, i got out my rather shockingly large box of perfume (to which, i am proud to say, i have not added any new ones during 2011) and changed out the summery scents for a selection of late summer/early autumn scents. i think that scent definitely can help you transition the seasons, so i chose some with darker, heavier undertones to carry me into fall.

i also kept a couple of the summer scents out (sarah jessica parker's lovely and the michael kors island) because i'm expecting that since we've had such a rotten sunless summer, we will actually get some sunny days here in august (so far, that's but a pipe dream).  for example, chanel no. 5 eau premiere is a great transition fragrance - a lighter version of the heavy, serious no. 5, it's perfect for these windy, changeable days where fall and even a few leaves are definitely in the air.  and for the truly blustery, autumn days where there's no hint of summer left, i'm ready with paul smith woman and the tom ford white patchouli.

even if i don't put on other makeup or do my hair, perfume is a part of my everyday. i keep several bottles on the shelf in the bathroom and several in the bedroom. i use scent to lift my mood or to underline it if i want to keep it dark. scent can trigger memories or just give flashes of a feeling you had when you wore it. i wear perfume every day - it's as essential as my glasses. sometimes i wear the same one for a week straight, but more often, a different one - one that somehow matches how i'm feeling or how i want to feel on that particular day.

aside:  what's interesting is that husband also wears cologne every day - he calls it "smell-good," which i find charming despite being dubbed that by a long-ago girlfriend. the difference is that he uses up a bottle before starting a new one, so he's content to wear the same one for several months at a time. he doesn't have the same need i do to collect a wide variety, tho' he doesn't buy the same one over and over again, when one bottle is gone, he buys something new.

but i suppose the moment i enjoyed most of all with my seasonal switch today was that the sun had come out all gloriously golden in the early evening sky and the perfumes looked just gorgeous all lined up on my scale in the evening sunlight.  enjoying the collection, in all its aspects - whether using it or just looking at it - is a big part of what collecting is about.

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more collections coming soon...


Spilling Ink said...

Oh perfume, collecting it is my addiction too and like you I can go without make up or without doing my hair but not without scent.

I can also proudly say I've not added any scents in 2011 but the ones I have are so important to me, especially those that bring my grandmother back to life again with one quick sniff of my own wrist where I sometimes carry her.

What is life without perfume?

Lisa-Marie said...

People are always obsessed with have a scent that is 'them'. I think that assumes you are the same person every day, and won't change. My husband is allergic to synthetic fragrance, so I wear rose or lavender balm, and but pure fragrances whenever I find them!

heidikins said...

I sometimes wish I was the kind of girl who had a dozen different scents and switched them out for different moods or seasons. But I'm not. I have one perfume that I wear 90% of the time. I sometimes mix in one fresher, more summery scent, and sometimes use a muskier, more wintery scent. But, for most of my life, I smell like D&G's Light Blue.


Pia K said...

i used to feel naked without a scent every day, i missed trains because i forget the perfume and had to return home for it. now i actually feel i can do without. though there is something missing then. but as i use body lotions and such that are scented i feel perfume on top of it would be tad too much.

that said, i have *too many* bottles and i do enjoy to sniff for new favourites at taxfree shops. but i rarely buy them anymore. though i save the pretty bottles when they're empty, i used to have them displayed in the bathroom, now i don't have room for such a display, but maybe one day. a well designed bottle is almost half the joy of a good perfume!

and what is it about collecting? i like pretty things, but i collect weird stuff too (not very actively these days but still...). i think i might have inherited the hoarder-gene. possibly.

wf = outcast. yes really.