Monday Question – What Are Your Fragrant Regrets?

Which bottle do you wish you hadn’t bought?

What spontaneous (or long thought about) purchase has you writhing with buyer’s remorse?

Which perfume you’d rather not have in your collection?

Is there a perfume that makes you feel bad, because you don’t really want it anymore?

My Answer:

Well, well, there are a few of those in my history, but most are gone again, thanks to ebay and fellow Perfumistas. As they say: one woman’s trash is another man’s treasure, or something along those lines…

One perfume sits in my collection like a Pariah though and is mostly ignored and sometimes evilly stared at by me, it is not the innocent bottle’s fault, of course, but rather my greedy, little heart is to blame.

It is a bottle of Guerlain Meteorites. I know, I know, this is a discontinued Guerlain, what’s not to like? What makes me cranky is that I succumbed to the lure of evilbay and paid too much for it in the first place, AND – that is the real pain – had to pay custom duties for it too. This totally dampens my joy about finding it, let alone use it.

Knowing myself, I will get over it eventually and start enjoying Meteorites, but it’ll be a while. I hate letting my desire to have something get out of hand and letting the I WANT IT NOW! impulse win, rather than looking around and waiting for a good deal.

The perfume is tainted by the fact that I feel like a greedy fool and that is not an enjoyable feeling…

What are your stories of shame?

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69 Responses to Monday Question – What Are Your Fragrant Regrets?

  1. I love Mondays because your questions are fun
    I have a Bvlgari Omnia. I spent about 4 hours scouring the web, looking for the best bargain. I had checked, cross checked and checked again when in Google up came a place in Australia offering Bvlgari Omnia for $3 less than the rest of the world, saving me about $12 in postage as well. I bought it, of course.
    Probably should have checked the size. 5ml.
    Insult to injury, couldn’t work out how to open it and when I finally got the ruddy thing open spilt about 3ml of it all over myself.
    There you go.
    Portia xx

  2. andreawilko says:

    My biggest regret was tocade, the five star masterpiece according to LT, I bought it unsniffed as there were no testers, I hated it instantly, fortunately it was cheap and I off loaded it on evilbay at not much of a loss, the second was missoni missoni, same perfumer same 5 star recommendation, can you see a theme developing. I stopped reading the book after that. Your recommendations have always worked better for me and I do not regret one purchase that I have made from you, bois naufrage and dans tes bras being my favourites.;-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m very honored that you had more luck with my recommendations than with Luca Turin’s. Our tastes are a bit closer, I guess. 🙂
      Another recent “success” of yours with a five star review was EldO Secretions Magnifiques, wasn’t it? 😀

      • andreawilko says:

        If you can call secretions a ‘success’, I have never been put off perfume as much as when I tried this, are they on drugs??? I still think it is a case of the story of the king is in his all together and why oh why would you put this stuff anywhere near your skin?? I spilt it on my fingers and that imprinted on my brain for days, I just sold the full set on evilbay and picked the sample up with a pair of scissors, that is how bad it was. Ok rant over.:-)

    • If I’d seen a bottle of either Tocade or Missoni before smelling the, I likely would have bought unsniffed. Luckily I ordered samples instead and found out I hate them both. I did make a bunch of other unsniffed purchased based on reviews in the guide, most of which worked out very favorably (Cuir de Lancome, DK Gold, Tea Rose….)

      • Olfactoria says:

        Tocade and Missoni must have seen an incredible demand after The Guide came out. 🙂

        Cuir de Lancome is wonderful, I’m so glad I have a bottle.

  3. hedonist222 says:

    I guiltily have had spouts of unsuccessful impulse and blind buys:
    Blind:
    Citta di Kyoto: too feminine albeit iris’y as described – wifey loves it now

    Marescialla: hoped it wouldn’t be as overwhelming as it sounds – it is

    Nostalgia: hoped the captivating opening would last longer (petroelum/automotive) – I should have listened to friends and reviews – I didnt

    Impulse:
    Eau Noire Cologne: thought the immortelle would subside – it doesnt

    Granville: Hoped the coniferous/menthol accord wouldn’t overwhelm – it did

    Santal Massoia : hoped it would develop more – TBA

    Mona di Orio – Vetyver: hoped that by spraying more it would project (for personal pleasure) and be less of a skin scent – it doesn’t

    Otherwise I am happy. I managed to swap out other less-than-perfect buys.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, that is quite a list… I totally understand though, sometimes buying blind is such a thrill, but it can go wrong… 😦

      Eau Noire has way too much curry for me too, and it NEVER stops! 😉

  4. Philipp says:

    My first niche purchase turned out to be a regret: Royal Adler by Ziebermann, an obscure Swiss perfume and fancy jewellery house.
    The fruity-floral concoction in the grand French manner of yore is just too much for me, so I stopped wearing it almost immediatly. I then decided to add a sample of it to each one of my swaps as an extra, hoping it would entice someone else to get it off my hands, so far no luck.
    This is the only bottle I am trying to get rid off, but there are a couple of other fragrances I don’t wear as often as I should: Daim Blond, Balenciaga Paris and Jardin sur le Toit.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It’s a good thing that first unlucky purchase didn’t put you off niche for good. 😉

      I used to wear Sur le Toit a lot last summer, but not once since, it really needs to go into the rotation again… thanks for the reminder.

  5. masha7 says:

    Ah, Meteorites! I went through a bottle of it early in my perfumistahood- it’s not really my thing, but there’s a specific reason. In South Florida, babies are cooled in the tropical sun with violet water. You pat it on their heads. It’s a very specific smell, and I used up bottles of it on my little ones (redheads have more trouble in the hot sun than other kids, such thin skin).- So I had to have a bottle of Meteorites, it is a somewhat more grownup version of violet water. Always made me feel cheerful, and of course, the kids loved its smell.
    I regret buying a large bottle of Emeraude (vintage) on the Bay. I actually don’t care much for Emeraude, it turns out, I prefer Aphrodisia and L’Origan. Fortunately, a friend coveted it and she got it when I moved! Smells great on her.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope to love it once the bad feelings associated with it wear off… 🙂

      The violet water for babies things sounds so lovely!

      • masha7 says:

        The violet water really is beautiful. But once I was past my raising babies phase, I didn’t want to smell like that myself anymore. 🙂 I’m averse to certain powdery perfumes for the same reason- they smell too much like baby diaper wipes!

        • Olfactoria says:

          My last few months of diaper usage lie ahead, as my younger son is growing out of them, I cherish the smell. (Sounds really odd, but mothers will understand). 🙂

  6. lady jane grey says:

    An Evilbay-buy, which was too expensive for the discolored juice in a bottle without cap (The Different Company “Charmes & feuilles”) – and to top it all off : it smells strange….

  7. Julie says:

    Just one, really, and it’s not bad because it was cheap. Lolita Lempicka from a Ross discount store. I don’t have easy access to most perfumes mentioned in PTG, so when I saw it, I got it. I’ve never liked the taste of licorice and now I know I don’t like the smell, either. But I know enough to hold on to it, as some things I didn’t like at first sniff (BaV), I now enjoy. I may take it out from under the bathroom sink and keep it with my other perfumes. The bottle’s really cute.

  8. Nina says:

    I’m going to have to mention, once again, my two vintage evilbay finds: Arpege and L’Interdit. I believe both to be in good condition. I prefer the modern Arpege, incidently. And I just really want to like L’Interdit. Perhaps due to the reference to the iconic Audrey Hepburn. Nonetheless, they both sit in their boxes, staring at me, ready to be loved by someone else….hopefully. Anyone?? They’ll soon appear right back on eBay. I think I’m done experimenting with vintage perfume for awhile. Lesson learned.

  9. smartapartments says:

    I have a more regrets than I would have suspected:
    * NOT buying a back up bottle of PdN LE-version of Week-end a Deauville (anyone have one they want to sell? After doing some research with a fellow perfumista over the weekend, we think that the 50ml size only came in the limited edition, pre-reform version)
    * Buying a travel bottle of Iris Ukiyoe on ebay. Should have waited instead to get a fb of Rose Ikebana, which I love so much more
    * Many, many ebay almost-purchases where I didn’t set my max bid high enough and later regretted it since I lost the bid.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Regretting something you didn’t buy is bad too. Those lost at the last minute ebay bids make me gnash my teeth. 😉

      Deauville was LE? Oh too bad. 😦

      Maybe you can wish for Rose Ikebana for your birthday or anniversary?

  10. Dionne says:

    No regrets in terms of full bottles or decants, so how about the ones that got away? I’d heard good things about the Crazy Libellulue and the Poppies line, especially their Encens Mystic. As an incense fiend, the reviews of this sounded great, and the price point was amazing, but I never got around to purchasing it – now you can’t find it anywhere, dagnabit! I was also kicking myself that I didn’t get Dior Homme and Après l’Ondée before they were reformuated, but fortunately, I’ve managed to acquire bottles of both.

    But my biggest all-time regret? Giving away my almost-full bottle of Anne Klein II. Sigh….

  11. Bee says:

    oh, dear, the poor unloved bottles a) bought unsniffed, because of (raving) reviews: Dzonkha and Occitane’s immortelle de Corse, b) escale à Pondichéry bought because I liked the name and the idea of being a voyageuse de luxe cruising around in colonial style (well, I’ve finally said it out loud), c) no longer interested: musc nomade, bvlgari thé rouge, d) my latest impulse buy during a trip to NYC: aedes de venustas , it’s just not my thing.
    I often worry about what to do with them, sell them on ebay?

  12. Meg says:

    Certain very dear friends have handed me perfumes they no longer want, saying to me, “YOU like perfume; you’ll get more out of this than I have.” Generally, they make such offers in sincere good faith, thinking that I’ll truly appreciate the perfume, or imagining that it will make a perfect addition to my collection. Because I’ll try anything once, I usually accept and give the perfume a whirl. Some I end up liking– I’m happy to give these a good home. Others I simply loathe — yet I worry that if I pass these albatrosses on to a thrift shop/trash bin/unsuspecting victim that I will hurt my friend’s feelings. My rogue’s gallery is getting too big for me to store (has anyone ever noticed how much room Avon novelty bottles take up?!) But I’m too guilty to pitch it, and therein lies my regret.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, that is a dilemma I can totally relate to. They mean well, but liking perfume does not mean we like any perfume, does it?

      • Meg (olenska) says:

        So true… ESPECIALLY where Avon is concerned. I’ve actually been inspired to write about it tonight….

        • smartapartments says:

          I’ll 3rd this one!

          I have many bottles that were gifted to me that I don’t reach for or love.

          On the flip side, someone gifted me an almost full bottle of vintage (90s) Chanel CdR. So that has TOTALLY made up for all the gift bottles that missed the mark.

        • Olfactoria says:

          I can’t wait to read about it. 🙂

          • Gaaaahhh… I tried to put my thoughts about these dubious gifts into words, but it’s not gelling. I feel stalled, muddled, and HORRIBLY GUILTY, and I’m not sure why. (Though I know this usually signals that I’ve walked into a snare that I could have avoided if I’d been honest.)

            When I try to examine why these particular people wanted me to have their perfume, it almost invariably leads to a NEGATIVE motivation (disappointment, anxiety, unpleasant memories, painful connotations, shame, guilt, denial, disavowal). By giving away the item that triggers these hard-to-deal-with feelings, they sidestep the responsibility to face them. And being a sympathetic friend who has trouble saying no, I let them because I think I’m helping them. I take the weight so that they can feel lighter…. and my own guilty tangles keep me from throwing it away.

            I think what I have to do is learn to say no, stay firm… and bring a box of “albatrosses” to Goodwill tomorrow, for once and for all.

          • Olfactoria says:

            I know how you feel. We get so entangled in a web of social obligations, perceived or real, our own overly complicated emotions and the concern for others, it is exhausting.
            Goodwill will be happy though! 🙂

  13. taratamarisk says:

    The last thing you are is a greedy fool but I know how those ill advised buys can make us feel bad. I don’t have too many regrets because I take so long to take the plunge with my full bottle purchases (usually). However, I still have a few. I’ve owned a bottle of Iris Poudre for a couple of years convinced that I will love it one day. I’ve sprayed it about 4 times and know no matter how great it is it’s just not for me. I also bought Cartier’s L’Brillante but feel it’s too expensive for a light summery fragrance even though I got it for a third of the retail price. I think I’m just going to wear it and not worry. Finally, I have a Mitsouko parfum tester I need to move on. I think that’s it…for now!

  14. Your poor Meteorites, all she wants is to be loved lol!

    My biggest regrets have been impulse purchases made in London. On two visits to The Old Smoke I ended buying a perfume (Juliette Has a Gun’s Lady Vengeance and Lutens’ A La Nuit) simply because I felt that I had to come away with something. Those were big regrets, and pretty stupid buys seeing as I didn’t particularly like either.

  15. shylotus says:

    Birgit,
    Oh heavens what a comforting post this was to read! I feel like I’m sharing in group therapy: “perfume obsession regrets”. Here’s mine: Amaranthine. I even wore out the sample! I just knew I had to have a full bottle. I got the FB on ebay for about 2/3 of the original price and was so thrilled. I store some of my perfumes in the guest bedroom closet. I walked in one day and smelled something like dirty laundry, followed the trail and found my … Amaranthine. Ugh.
    So I’ve re-listed it with the hopes of at least breaking even. No bids yet! 😦

    Perfume give away regret – Magie Noire. Yes, Magie Noire in the original black bottle from the 1990s. I was recovering from major brain surgery which left me with headaches and got rid of my perfume. My headaches are better now; can I have my Magie Noire back? 😉
    Thank goodness it’s in the loving hands of my best friend who has offered it back. But I think I’ll just decant a little……

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lol, I’m glad you feel comfortable to share your regrets.

      Too bad about Amaranthine 😦 I hope someone snaps it up…
      I’m glad you are recovered, brain surgery – that sounds harrowing, good to see you are well again and hopefully your Magie Noire comes back to you eventually.

  16. deeHowe says:

    Hmmm… Well, many bottles have filtered through my collection, so at present, I don’t think I own anything that I regret. Certainly, I wish that I had learned earlier that a few “great deals” equals an Amouage, but that’s all part of the learning process, I expect. I really treasure what I have right now!

    HOWEVER, during my first blush of perfumista-Dom, I acquired two different versions of Beyond Paradise (damn you, Turin!), which were utterly horrible! Luckily, they were re-homed to a very grateful perfumista! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Je ne regrette rien… 😉
      That goes to show what an excellent collection you have now.

      Those Beyond Paradise bottles will haunt you forever. 😉

  17. Undina says:

    No regrets so far. Maybe because once something gets in my collection it feels like a part of me and I don’t want to part with it? 🙂
    Though, I had a couple of bad buys on eBay in my pre-perfumista time: bottles were clearly off but I was too inexperienced as a buyer and prices weren’t that high so I just cut my losses and didn’t try to do anything about it.

  18. Alexandra says:

    I had EdLO’s Noel au Balcon for ages and I felt bad everytime I looked at it. I bought it because my EdLO samples voucher was running out and it seemed a shame not to invest in a perfume. In hindsight I have NO IDEA why I chose this as it always ends up as a weird chemical red peppers mess on me. Happily I swapped it away at the beginning of the year and I hope its new owner loves it dearly, I feel the poor bottle deserves as much. This just leaves me with a bottle of Kenzo Elephant that I wanted so badly to love…

    Oh and can I join the love – I also adore my unsniffed purchase of Cuir de Lancome! Oh and I recently bought the 7ml sample bottle of Mona de Orio’s Musc (based entirely on your review) – it’s just wonderful. Look at the bad/good influence you have!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m happy that you love Musc and Cuir de Lancome! 🙂

      Kenzo L’Elephant is sooo coveted, I’m sure you will find a happy buyer should you decide to sell it.

  19. Eva S says:

    I have a few regrets, like a bottle of Petite Cherie bought when visiting the capital just because, like CPB mentioned above, I wanted to come away with something!
    Also the bottle of Carillion pour une ange, yes it’s interesting and got splendid reviews but I can’t actually wear it! (Anyone interested?:-) )
    I tell myself I’ve learned my lesson and will do better in future, when I’m tempted I will repeat deeHowes maxim “a few “great deals” equals an Amouage” to myself 🙂

  20. Figuier says:

    Major regret: not buying a bottle of L’Attrape-Coeur when I was in Paris three and a half years ago and they still had it in stock. I was all set to purchase, but got distracted by a long boozy lunch with friends and never made it to the Champs-E store 😦

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Figuier,
      oh, that is sad indeed. With Guerlain it is always good to snap it up as quickly as possible, wait one day and it is too late. (Sounds melodramatic, does is show that I regret a few Guerlain non-purchases as well? 😉 )

  21. My nadir was not being able to pass up a bargain. The whole Serge Lutens export line on sale… What could I do? My hands were tied! But unfortunately not so tightly that they couldn’t reach a credit card. Wouldn’t you know it, both bottles ended up on Ebay about six months later. Groan!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, I know how it goes. Lutens perfumes have a really high turnover rate at my house too, they are coming AND going at an unhealthy speed. 😉

      • smartapartments says:

        I regret not buying a FB of Un Bois Vanille. I keep buying decants and could have had that pretty tall bottle for my collection already. But it’s a teeny tiny regret since I don’t really *love* it the way I love my top 10.

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