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Perfume Budget Decision-Making

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#1
leathermountain

Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:18 AM

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I recently made a spreadsheet of all my perfumes, including prices paid with shipping and tax.  Then I went over the list with partner to find any regrets.  The regrets amounted to over 10% of the total money spent!

 

We analyzed my patterns and decided that I was too easily influenced by sales, and by attempting to "just add one more thing since the shipping cost will be the same".

 

So we made up three simple rules, and agreed to revisit the issue after four months:

 

1.  Try before buy.  

Perhaps you've heard this one before?  It bears repeating.  And by extension:

 

2.  Do not buy samples.  

The concept is that I should finish sampling all the fragrances that are available in tester bottles in retail shops -- i.e. thousands of fragrances -- before I spend money on samples.  This was tough to commit to, but I'm going to try it and see what happens.

 

Note that this does not apply to decants (however large or small).  If I try out a fragrance fully, love it, and don't want to pay for a full bottle, then decants are completely fair game!  

 

In other words, I'm drawing a qualitative rather than a quantitative distinction between "sample" and "decant."

 

3.  Check what the % discount would be online versus in the store.

Rationally, I want to support retail shops that allow this kind of sampling.  I also want to support great SAs who provide great retail experiences.  

 

And of course I am irrationally subject to their salesly wiles, "free" gifts (possibly unwanted -- remember that!), and so on.

 

So if I've fully tried out a fragrance and decided to purchase a full bottle, then I must check prices around.  If the available discount is 50% or more, then I am obliged to purchase from the discounter.  If the discount is less than 50%, then I can exercise discretion.

 

Ultimately, creating the spreadsheet and then sharing it with my partner were rather eye-opening, cringe-inducing experiences.  Furthermore, knowing I'll have to enter every future perfume expenditure into the spreadsheet is already making it easier to follow my current rules.

 

So we'll see how it goes.

 

How do you figure your perfume budget?

 


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#2
jeffreydame

Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:28 AM

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Wow!  May just be me, but a regrets rate of under 10% seems excellent.  Many a perfume-person make emotional buys which never make it onto the favorites list.  If I had to guess - not statistical, just a guess - I would have expected a regrets rate around 30%; say one in three.


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#3
vmarshmellow

Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

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I prefer not to calculate my regrets percentage!

 

I have been TRYING not to buy things just because they are on sale. I keep reminding myself that there are several expensive fumes I would like and that it would make more sense at this point to buy infrequently and purchase the perfumes I really want the most. Afterall it's not like I'm going to run out of perfume anytime soon or even in this life time. However I have a hard time doing this and can't seem to resist a sale.


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#4
adonna

Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:31 PM

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Perfumeo, ditto. just what I was thinking!

 

A~~


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#5
theminx

Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:11 PM

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I think early on I bought too many scents unsniffed just because I liked the description. My regret rate was probably around 30% back then. Now I buy so little, only if I absolutely love something, the regret rate has gone down to 0%.

 

This isn't including samples, which I do have to buy if I want to sniff anything interesting. Baltimore doesn't have much in the way of niche perfumes, and Nordstrom's selection seems to be limited to stuff that I can sniff in a magazine. I try to get to NY a couple of times a year and sniff what I can, but sometimes I can't wait!

 

And I always try to buy at a discount. If it's a fairly commercial scent, I know I can find it on a discounter's site. But if it's niche, I'll sometimes pay full price. Or go without.


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#6
leathermountain

Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:41 PM

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I think early on I bought too many scents unsniffed just because I liked the description. My regret rate was probably around 30% back then. Now I buy so little, only if I absolutely love something, the regret rate has gone down to 0%.

 

This isn't including samples, which I do have to buy if I want to sniff anything interesting. Baltimore doesn't have much in the way of niche perfumes, and Nordstrom's selection seems to be limited to stuff that I can sniff in a magazine. I try to get to NY a couple of times a year and sniff what I can, but sometimes I can't wait!

 

And I always try to buy at a discount. If it's a fairly commercial scent, I know I can find it on a discounter's site. But if it's niche, I'll sometimes pay full price. Or go without.

Well, that is encouraging!  I hope I'll also get down to 0 before too long.


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#7
leathermountain

Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:43 PM

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Wow!  May just be me, but a regrets rate of under 10% seems excellent.  Many a perfume-person make emotional buys which never make it onto the favorites list.  If I had to guess - not statistical, just a guess - I would have expected a regrets rate around 30%; say one in three.

Yes, well, they are all emotional buys, in a sense, no?  For me that is the case.

 

If 30% is typical, I wonder what happens to all that unwanted perfume?


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#8
Donna255

Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:47 PM

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I was once made to write down every fragrance I own(about two years ago), the list was taken and they worked out the prices.

 

I believe they were trying to shock me at the cost.  Didn't work.

 

Regrets very few less than say 10% for me.   I used to get carried away when on day trips to Scotland and stores they did not have here.   I have been very very lucky with blind buys I admit.


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DONNA

#9
jeffreydame

Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:37 PM

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I don't know that 30% is typical, just my guess...usually the orphans get swapped; or sold on ebay.


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online shop now open

 

Dame Perfumery Scottsdale

Concept Store Opening Fall 2014

"the good life"

 

Dame-Perfumery-Logo-Oval-Preliminary-200

 

 


#10
Catherine Fraser

Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:20 PM

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10% is excellent. I do regret some purchases and I do shelve many. I don't analyze this though!


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#11
Jicky

Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:33 PM

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Regrets, I've had a few, I'll mention Champs Elysees. I bought it because the write-ups on Pol made me want it so much, i went ahead and bought it unsmelled.  It was putrid on me.   A dear Aunt scored the scent and loved it.  

 

I also bought Byblos untried.  I liked it, but never reached for it.  I sent it to another member of Pol who found it to be a favourite for quite some time.

 

There are others I could list just like the above but my point is, there are no regrets when you can pass scents on to others who will love them.


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#12
Donna255

Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:58 AM

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My biggest has to be Penhaligons' Castile.   I was in the store in Glasgow, had to go to the coach to go home within 30 minutes.  I tried and fluffed about with some and and all to quickly decided on Castile, I was checking my watch to make sure I was back in time.

 

Oh dear, oh dear.  Got home and decided to wear it properly, that was when I discovered neroli and I do not get on at all.   It just got stronger and stronger and stronger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   The worst part was friends trying to tell me, "But is smells fine."    I gave it away quite quickly.


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DONNA

#13
dorthea

Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:32 AM

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I don't have the faintest idea how much I've spent on my perfume collection, and I don't think I want to know. :o

 

That said, I have never bought a bottle I didn't love. I have tried most of them before I've bought them, and the very few times I've bought unsniffed, I've read reviews from people I trust - often on POL.

 

The only perfume I have ever owned that I didn't like was Chanel #5. My grandfather gave it to me on my 18th birthday, and I was thrilled, but the only scent I ever got from the bottle was a faint trace of cinnamon cookies. I wondered why it hat gained so much fame, put it in the back of the closet and forgot about it. Years later I returned home one day to find the entire house enveloped in the most beautiful fragrance. I questioned my 13 year old daughter who said that it was something she had tried in the local supermarket. I knew that was a lie. Perfumes of that quality certainly weren't sold in the local supermarket or anywhere else my daughter had to go. For a moment I feared she had an affaire with an adult man so I made a scene and demanded to know from where she had got it. Then she confessed that she had discovered the bottle in the back of my closet and had dabbed herself with it. I was stupefied and of course very relieved. I gave her the bottle on her 16th birthday, and she has never been without Chanel #5 since. :D   

 

(Btw. it still smells of nothing but cinnamon cookies on me... :( )


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#14
FiveoaksBouquet

Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:24 AM

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Cinnamon cookies??? LOL

I dont't regret any of my perfume purchases because I enjoyed them when I bought them and, even the ones I ended up not wearing for very long, I enjoyed for the time I did. One comes to mind. When Spellbound was launched in 1991 I got caught up in the hype and bought a boxed set with everything. Wore it once, found it overwhelming, and it's still sitting in the closet. But I'm glad I have the parfum because the bottle is the most adorable take on an antique inkwell.

I've got closets full of perfumes I don't need any more but I have more regrets about perfumes I passed up, like the last bottle of the original Vent Vert edt seen in a drugstore once. Didn't feel like buying anything that day and have regretted it ever since. I guess my real regret is living in a country where I can't lawfully send perfume in the mail, because I would love to be able to pass on some vintage scents to people who would like to experience them.

As for budgeting, my policy is if I can afford it and I want it, I buy it. I only buy perfumes locally available and test them first. And, I do not entertain, from the outset, brands I find artificially overpriced like By Kilian, Tom Ford or Bond No9, as examples.
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#15
leathermountain

Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:45 AM

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Regrets, I've had a few, I'll mention Champs Elysees. I bought it because the write-ups on Pol made me want it so much, i went ahead and bought it unsmelled.  It was putrid on me.   A dear Aunt scored the scent and loved it.  

 

I also bought Byblos untried.  I liked it, but never reached for it.  I sent it to another member of Pol who found it to be a favourite for quite some time.

 

There are others I could list just like the above but my point is, there are no regrets when you can pass scents on to others who will love them.

I've just started to experience the incredible joy of sharing perfume over the internet.  I participated in the Fairy Godmother process at Perfume Posse, and when I showed the relevant correspondence to my partner, she exclaimed, "they're just like you, darling!"  Meaning, I'm pretty sure, passionate about perfume and just as eager to share our stuff and our thoughts.  I can get pretty jaded in various aspects of my life.  At first, perfume itself helped me access a different plane.  Now, perfume community has given the experience real substance.  It is a beautiful thing.


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#16
leathermountain

Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:52 AM

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I don't have the faintest idea how much I've spent on my perfume collection, and I don't think I want to know. :o

 

That said, I have never bought a bottle I didn't love. I have tried most of them before I've bought them, and the very few times I've bought unsniffed, I've read reviews from people I trust - often on POL.

 

The only perfume I have ever owned that I didn't like was Chanel #5. My grandfather gave it to me on my 18th birthday, and I was thrilled, but the only scent I ever got from the bottle was a faint trace of cinnamon cookies. I wondered why it hat gained so much fame, put it in the back of the closet and forgot about it. Years later I returned home one day to find the entire house enveloped in the most beautiful fragrance. I questioned my 13 year old daughter who said that it was something she had tried in the local supermarket. I knew that was a lie. Perfumes of that quality certainly weren't sold in the local supermarket or anywhere else my daughter had to go. For a moment I feared she had an affaire with an adult man so I made a scene and demanded to know from where she had got it. Then she confessed that she had discovered the bottle in the back of my closet and had dabbed herself with it. I was stupefied and of course very relieved. I gave her the bottle on her 16th birthday, and she has never been without Chanel #5 since. :D   

 

(Btw. it still smells of nothing but cinnamon cookies on me... :( )

What a hilarious story, well told!  I can't imagine the cinnamon cookies, although I've never actually worn Chanel No. 5.  Rather, as a child younger than your daughter, I made a hobby of playing with my mother's perfumes (I think because through some bizarre oversight, no one ever bought me a chemistry set!)  I don't think she noticed at first, because I can't imagine letting that one slide.... But I was rather proud of myself.  So when she walked in on me one day in her bathroom, I eagerly shared my various concoctions.  I thought she was there for the tea party, if you will.  Turns out she was mad that I used up hundreds of dollars worth of perfume.  She might put that in her regrets column, I don't know, but I cherish that memory.  I have no idea what it smelled like.  I'm sure I couldn't smell anything by the time I got busy with those bottles.  But I think I would have remembered cookies of any variety!


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#17
leathermountain

Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:58 AM

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Cinnamon cookies??? LOL

I dont't regret any of my perfume purchases because I enjoyed them when I bought them and, even the ones I ended up not wearing for very long, I enjoyed for the time I did. One comes to mind. When Spellbound was launched in 1991 I got caught up in the hype and bought a boxed set with everything. Wore it once, found it overwhelming, and it's still sitting in the closet. But I'm glad I have the parfum because the bottle is the most adorable take on an antique inkwell.

I've got closets full of perfumes I don't need any more but I have more regrets about perfumes I passed up, like the last bottle of the original Vent Vert edt seen in a drugstore once. Didn't feel like buying anything that day and have regretted it ever since. I guess my real regret is living in a country where I can't lawfully send perfume in the mail, because I would love to be able to pass on some vintage scents to people who would like to experience them.

As for budgeting, my policy is if I can afford it and I want it, I buy it. I only buy perfumes locally available and test them first. And, I do not entertain, from the outset, brands I find artificially overpriced like By Kilian, Tom Ford or Bond No9, as examples.

I've just started catching on to that simply-ignore-the-overpriced policy.  So far, it's working out well!  My latest purchase was L'Eau MiXte from Patricia de Nicolai, reasonably priced, unique, and a perfect (and edgy) delight!  However, I did unfortunately fall for Armani Prive Bois D'Encens and Guerlain Nahema Extrait prior to coming to this realization.  I splurged on a 2mL decant of Bois D'Encens during a sale (not a regret), and I was given a Nahema micro mini by a real Fairy Godmother from Perfume Posse.  And then what?  I'm not sure.  I'm a little afraid to wear them, which certainly kills a good bit of the joy!

 

Also:  the more we ignore the crazy prices, the lower the prices must fall.  Right?  Isn't that how supply and demand works?  I'm not usually all about the free market but in this case, it could potentially do its job.


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#18
fleurdelys

Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:56 AM

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A 10% regret rate isn't bad at all! I've never done that kind of calculation, but my regret rate is pretty low. In agreement with FiveOaks, I enjoyed my 'fumes when I first bought them, even if they did not become favorites. Now I'm trying to whittle my collection down to just those I love, and those I don't love have been either swapped away or given to family and friends.

The choice to buy samples or not really depends on where you live. I'm close to New York City, and have the opportunity to sample perfumes at many venues, from high-end department stores to small niche shops. Someone who lives in a small town far from those types of resources would find it more cost-effective to buy samples before making a FB purchase.

I have only bought a couple of bottles directly from a store. Most have been obtained from discounters, on eBay, from flea markets, and via swap.
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#19
jeffreydame

Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:57 AM

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I don't have the faintest idea how much I've spent on my perfume collection, and I don't think I want to know. :o

 

That said, I have never bought a bottle I didn't love. I have tried most of them before I've bought them, and the very few times I've bought unsniffed, I've read reviews from people I trust - often on POL.

 

The only perfume I have ever owned that I didn't like was Chanel #5. My grandfather gave it to me on my 18th birthday, and I was thrilled, but the only scent I ever got from the bottle was a faint trace of cinnamon cookies. I wondered why it hat gained so much fame, put it in the back of the closet and forgot about it. Years later I returned home one day to find the entire house enveloped in the most beautiful fragrance. I questioned my 13 year old daughter who said that it was something she had tried in the local supermarket. I knew that was a lie. Perfumes of that quality certainly weren't sold in the local supermarket or anywhere else my daughter had to go. For a moment I feared she had an affaire with an adult man so I made a scene and demanded to know from where she had got it. Then she confessed that she had discovered the bottle in the back of my closet and had dabbed herself with it. I was stupefied and of course very relieved. I gave her the bottle on her 16th birthday, and she has never been without Chanel #5 since. :D   

 

(Btw. it still smells of nothing but cinnamon cookies on me... :( )

 

Best story ever...Lifetime Channel Movie Quality


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online shop now open

 

Dame Perfumery Scottsdale

Concept Store Opening Fall 2014

"the good life"

 

Dame-Perfumery-Logo-Oval-Preliminary-200

 

 


#20
sgupta4

Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:10 AM

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Oh, dorthea, that's just too awesome!


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