Monday Question – Do You Ever Experience Perfume Fatigue?

Do you have phases when you just don’t want to smell anything?

When you have enough of new things?

When all you crave is something tried and true? Familiar and loved?

Are you always in the mood for perfume?

Or are there times when the passion flags and the exitement is missing?

My Anwer:

There are times when I want to go slow. When all I need is selecting a perfume in the morning and one at night and that is that. No testing, no trying new things, no sniffing at perfume stores.

Admittedly I go though such a phase now for the first time since I am blogging, and thankfully regular service is not yet compromised, because in phases of high productivity, I write a lot and save those posts like a good little squirrel stashing away some nuts for hard times. Times are not exactly hard though. I quite enjoy this slower pace for now, slowly enjoying perfume. Savoring it.

Mona di Orio’s death somehow shook me out of my usual routine, I find myself wanting and needing some time to breathe these days. Not pushing myself, but sitting back and smelling the roses as they say, or in my case, it is more likely to be amber I smell.

How about you?


About Olfactoria

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43 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Ever Experience Perfume Fatigue?

  1. Vanessa says:

    I know exactly what you mean about the desire to relentlessly seek out the new ebbing and flowing. I also feel like that about clothes shopping, and sometimes I find myself in a big city with great opportunities to sniff obscure scents or buy nice clothes, and am simply not in the mood for either. I do try to make an effort if I get that lucky break (I live in a small town with a woeful selection of shops), and usually I am glad I did. It was a bit like that in Paris the other day, not helped by the atrocious weather. But generally I would say I am 60% just wanting to wear those familiar cosy winter scents like L’Eau Ambre and Ta’if, and 40% up for new things. A number of which were in the bag you gave me! : – )

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad to hear you know the feeling as well, V. It changes quickly though and some things are just too exiting to pass up. I felt my perfume mojo coming back already when you gifted me with Plus Que Jamais and Santal Massoia! 🙂 And I guess it is fine to sit back and just enjoy once in a while…

  2. Ines says:

    I’m also going through a phase at the moment where I put on a familiar perfume in the morning and then Shalimar to ease my mind in the evening and in the meantime, I deal with a whole bunch of stuff and my mind just doesn’t seem to be able to delve into mysteries of new perfumes.
    But I know it will pass so I’m not worried. 🙂

    I just wish this whole period of stress would finish…

  3. Tara says:

    Great question!

    I am definitely experiencing perfume fatigue when it comes The New. For years I was sampling something new pretty much every day. Only in the last 3 months or so have I been wearing my full bottles for most of the week. The up-shot of this has been that I’m a lot happier with my collection because I’m actually making use of it! It was a bit crazy forever trying new things to add to it when I never wore what I had. The attraction of the new can be very strong because it’s exciting and I still get that buzz now and again, but I’m glad I have it more in proportion these days.

    As for perfume in general, I do wonder if I’ll tire of it but it’s this wonderful perfume community that keeps my interest up more than anything else.

    • Olfactoria says:

      And once more we seem to be on the same page, Tara! As you say, the perfume community plays a great art in keeping the interest alive, but that is a grea tthing after all. On the other hand it is very satisfying to use my full bottles for once and I feel a lot more in control and more and more able to curate my collection into a size and shape I feel comfortable with.

  4. lady jane grey says:

    As I mentioned to you last week I’m not good at all with systematic and thorough testing, so I can be easily overwhelmed by a huge amount of samples, which I order faster than I manage to test them. And then I get frustrated…
    And then sometimes my “buddha-mind” is disgusted by all that consume and wants to go easy and entirely spiritually (but still smelling nice…)
    And then sometimes my nose is just tired and wants a break – for 2-3 days.
    But they didn’t last for too long, sofar…

  5. Liam says:

    I completely understand Birgit where you’re coming from. I think like most things it’s so important to savour the now, appreciate what we have and enjoy the moment. I love seeking out new and exciting perfume, but when you see yourself only doing that for periods at a time (I’ve done this myself), it’s time to reign it in a bit and do exactly as you’re doing, sit back and smell the roses/amber 😉

  6. GeM says:

    Well Birgit, that’s a good point!! I love my love and interest in perfume… but I get tired of being so fuckin’ crazy about perfume for ages, specially after a lot of walking up and down the city LOL! As I get older… I think the whole thing it gets better and better to me, which means it tends to be more clear and simplistic… but of course a perfumista may/should think that is getting worst and worst.
    Ten years ago I usually was tired of ‘perfume’ after spending big bucks on department store fragrances without being 100% sure of my choices, but the past is the past and it belongs to the past. It’s been a long time since I’ve learned to manage that, and specially I know that when you find something as nice as ‘x’, you don’t need anything else in a very very long time.
    Now I have more than 15 perfumes in my collection already (I know it’s a relatively very small collection, but pretty enough for me), and from now on my only purpose is to reduce the number to the “minimum essential”, that I hope could be just four or five or even less -I see it as a platonic ideal-. In fact, since some time ago I have been received more gift perfumes coming from other people than from my own purchases (that’s what I got from my fame!).
    So the pursuit for the wanted items isn’t the main reason of fatigue at all, but the wanting to find the perfect scent YES…. I’ve realized that it isn’t exist at all, and besides, lack of innovation and homogeinity is my eternal frustration of many or most of today’s frags… so eventually I get tired and I tend to think that almost everything smells the same way and that’s all…!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, the perfect scent… like the Holy Grail, I think the perfect scent is something to look for inside oneself. In the case of perfume that means commissioning a custom fragrance. 😉

      • GeM says:

        You’re right, and that’s what I’ve been doing lately: looking for it inside myself and since then I’ve just found a pair of them, so I’m in heaven!!!
        I’m at breaking point (similar than the one Olfacta relates, see below: I feel just like “I have enough perfume now to last the rest of my life…and then some”). Anyway I still enjoy to talk and read about it, and even to consider purchasing for a very concrete and exceptional purpose (but very very concrete!), but I’m extremely careful about getting anything more unless there is a fire or an earthquake or another calamity that put my collection into a dangerous position. Lol!

  7. andrea says:

    As I am still fairly new to this obsession, I still go out of my way to try as many different perfumes as possible but I sometimes wonder if I will ever be happy with my rather large collection and sometimes get a little bit despondant. I do get occasions where I just dont want to think about a perfume, I just want to smell it and be happy, I have been getting this with Mona Di Orio Oud, I am varying between that and the Vanille which also lets me just be. It seems my obsession is getting more and more expensive but luckily I have managed to secure a 15ml decant of the Oud (I may be a snob regarding full bottles but even I will not stretch to a full bottle of Oud) I am also going to treat myself to the vanille and possibly Frapin 1697, so not too depondant then. 🙂

  8. deeHowe says:

    Ha! I wish that I had been a good little squirrel, and stored away blog posts for rainy days! Then I would not be in my current position of feeling guilty for not posting…. I’ll get back to it, very soon. These phases have come and gone before, no doubt they will again.

    I am so happy with my collection of bottles and decants that I love to wear them, and sometimes look at my sample pile with resentment. Like, “why try something new when I have so many wonderful things that I want to wear?” Well, that apathy has recently been blown out of the water with a couple scents: SSS Fig Tree, which absolutely captivated me, and Parfums d’Empire Fougere Bengale, which satisfies a craving struck up long ago by another scent—1740, which I did not buy because the hubby dislikes it.

    It’s good to have slow times to enjoy the existing wardrobe, and then it’s great to be reinvigorated by a fragrance that reminds me how my giant cabinet got filled in the first place: exceptionally beautiful scents! I can live without sampling something new every day (or even every week), but I cannot live without the perfumista community! 🙂

    • Warum says:

      Dee, good to see you! I am almost GLAD that you said you weren’t posting — because I stopped finding your updates in my mailbox and I thought you cut the email subscription off somehow! How silly of me! Of course you did not cut off the subscription, it is just a hibernation time. These phases come and go, I know it like no one else since I lurk and de-lurk on blogs!

      Oh, and we share a scent love — I just pulled a trigger on a 60 ml of 1740. Lucky me, Mr. likes it just fine and MIL will send money for XMas to justify the gift…

      • deeHowe says:

        Olga! So nice to see you here… 😉

        I thought of you just last night, because I was wearing Anne Pliska, and I remembered that first experience of it, with you in that coffee shop in Portland—it was euphoric! And, every time I wear it, it’s just as beautiful as it was the first time, and it always makes me think of you. Sending you a big hug from Texas! xoxo

        • Warum says:

          Dee, right back at ya! 🙂
          I remember that too, and it makes me smile. we both had a euphoric experience on that day — and you have a picture of mine, I was trying #5 lotion. Since then I bought a gift set with a 50 ml EDP, shower gel and body cream in #5. Meowrrrr!

          Hope Texas is treating you well! Have you been to that niche store that carries MPG? I miss your posts! xoxo

    • Olfactoria says:

      So true! The community is the major pull into Perfumeland, I wouldn’t want to be without all of you anymore. I have often said it and I’ll say it again – I envy your well-edited collection, Dee, but I also love to hear you fall in love with something new.

      • deeHowe says:

        Perfume-land is a magical place that changed my life for the better. Isn’t it funny how an essentially vain pursuit (perfume) can bring such fulfilling friendships, and international generosity! We are a blessed tribe 🙂

        That’s funny that you mention the editing, because today I was noticing a bottle lurking in the back of the cabinet that needs to be “edited” out! Beautiful-but-never-worn is a category that I still have a little trouble with 😉

  9. Warum says:

    Oh, the issue of pacing.
    The conundrum of keeping up with new releases and using sense of smell to center and ground yourself in loved and familiar.
    The tricky balance between finding new loves and giving love to your FBs.
    I have not solved either one of them, so I can keep going on forever talking about it. I won’t… Let me just listen how others deal with these questions for themselves, since I have a lot of questions but absolutely no answers.

  10. I experience perfume fatigue occasionally, too. I have plenty of full bottles and samples to keep me busy when I am not interested in something new. And, from time to time, I take a break from wearing any fragrance for a few days. Sometimes I just want to focus on the scents around me, be they in nature or foods or whatever, without fragrant distractions.

  11. Olfacta says:

    Wearing, but not buying. The other day a friend offered to pick up something exclusive for me if he goes to NYC (big if) and I heard these words actually issue from my own lips — “Thanks, but I have enough perfume now to last the rest of my life…and then some.” (!) Did I really say that?

    I have so many decants and minis I haven’t given proper time to. And a show coming up. And and and and and. I guess one could call this perfume fatigue.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is indeed an unusual (and admirable) response! 😉
      It seems you really have enough perfumes in your closet for now, one should think I had too, but I’d take on offers for perfume from NY in a heartbeat.

  12. Eva S says:

    Sometimes I just don’t have the energy for anything new, not smelling a new perfume, reading a new book or buy new clothes. I just want to creep into some old comfortable things, read a book I’ve already read several times before, smelling of Mitsouko…The only thing I never seems to tire of is music.
    Right now I should give more love to the FB I already have and the samples I’ve already aquired instead of chasing new things the whole time!

  13. I know exactly what you mean, I had the same period a couple of weeks ago when I didn’t want to sniff anything new, or focus to much on perfume. I’d just finished two university assignments and with what’s proved to be some rather stressful times at work I decided to I take a short blogging hiatus (I envy your squirrel-stash of posts, I am nowhere near as organised) and only wear perfume recreationally. I definitely felt refreshed when I focused on perfume again.

    Do you find that you appreciate new scents more after a brief break?

  14. Georgy says:

    There are times I don’t want to do experimental things true with scents. Food and clothes….
    These are the times I want to smell like the look of one of my beloved navy blue v-neck sweaters, uncomplicated, something i know that suits me and I feel comfy in……

  15. civava says:

    Sometimes I just want give up. Too much new stuff, too much unsniffed perfumes, too much vintages ought to be sought for and the next moment I’m ordering bunch of new samples sniffing all around and everything. I guess I’m doomed I’ll never give up on perfumes. Maybe for day or so but never for good. And that is fine;-).

  16. I have had perfume fatigue often, especially as a perfumer myself. So nowadays I limit myself to perfume creation and blending only 2 days a week so I can maintain my inspiration and my “nose”, otherwise I find everything starts to smell the same, and I find it hard to even detect the notes of a fragrance, let alone blend them creatively! And I don’t even wear perfume every day, believe it or not!
    It’s the same with all things in life, Im sure – its all about balance, and having down time regularly. You can have too much of a good thing! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Liz,
      how lovely of you to comment!
      It is reassuring to hear perfume fatigue also strikes perfumers. 😉
      You are so right, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Balance is important also with the beautiful things in life!

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