What’s In Your Bag?

I love seeing all those posts where people open up their handbags/closets/bathroom shelves for us nosy folks to see what is in there. I love discovering what kind of products people use, what makes up the daily stuff they carry around or live with.

So, since I love being the voyeur, I thought it would be only fair and even might be fun to show you my own bag and what is inside…

photo 1 (7)

My Furla bag with a red cosmetics pouch, a black pouch and my wallet (all of them by Robert Horn Vienna)

photo 3 (4)

All neatly stacked inside along with my keys on the right (in their own little bag by Robert Horn).

photo 2 (9)

The wallet has a generous size (not that I would need all that room for money, it is more for bills. πŸ˜‰ )

photo 1 (8)

In the larger pouch I carry mints, a foldable shopping bag, tissues, a pen, a creditcard holder and gloves (by now I’ve exchanged the latter for sunglasses).

photo 2 (8)

In here I have face powder by MAC in NC5, a concealer palette by Bobbi Brown in Porcelaine, cream blush by Edward Bess in Island Rose, MAC Strapless lipstick, MAC Steel Kiss lipgloss, Chanel Glossimer in Pampille, Tom Ford Lip Shine in Bare, L’Occitane handcream and Chanel 28 La Pausa perfume sample.

My Kindle is missing from the photos, as is my iPhone, but I usually carry both with me wherever I go.

For more bag voyeurism (and better photos) take a look at this Flickr groupΒ or this tumblr site.

What’s in your bag?


About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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88 Responses to What’s In Your Bag?

  1. judith dm says:

    I carry very little on a daily basis, liipstick, gloss…just about it. However on a night out I am loaded, a blush to touch up, perhaps a powder, well that’s loaded for me. However takes four layers to achieve my ‘natural’ look before I venture anywhere… except the market. Then it is … just me! Thinking one of the all in ones such,by Nars,,,, and missing the most important… a small flacon of fragrance. Always!

  2. Undina says:

    For the last couple of years I’ve been planning to do that kind of a post – and keep postponing. Now when I see how organized is your bag I realize how much I need to do with mine before I dare to take pictures. For now I’ll just say that if I find myself on a desert island I’ll be able to survive for a while πŸ˜‰

  3. Sandra says:

    Oh you are so organized – impressive. I carry far too much. Large wallet, credit card holder, business card holder, small pouch for Shiseido lipstick and lipgloss, all pouch carrying pen, band aids, pain killer and of course the far too large emergency pack with two epipens and inhaler. And don’t forget the tossed in treats for my son- like Pez or mints.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Aine my boys are bigger I’ve shed a lot of weight, nowadays they need to carry their own stuff – I’m brutal like that.
      Nothing to be done about Sean’s med kit of course… 😦

  4. Safran says:

    I am deeply impressed! And I will show this thread to my husband tonight, he will be even more impressed and might want to marry you! ;o) That means, in my purse is usually chaos and he doesn’t like chaos very much. One large pouch (from Marimekko with Unikko design, these happy poppy flowers) with the cosmetics stuff and all the rest floating around. Usually perfume samples, perfume blotters, pens, all kinds of flyers from anywhere, a book and of course my wallet and keys.


    ah, r. horn πŸ™‚
    beauty bloggers do such tags ALL THE TIME, but I think I only participated once (http://beautycalypse.com/2013/12/04/spill-it-the-green-product-junkies-come-as-you-are-beauty-tag/).

    however, I love how your bag is completely super-structured! it puts all other bags to shame; mine included. my bags are a pickpocketer’s nightmare, a free weight, a black hole, and a mess. a mess! I started carrying smaller bags so I am forced to keep the chaos at a minimum! πŸ˜€ I’m rubbish at keeping bags tidy, really. clean: no prob, I even sanitise my bags every little while. but tidy? nah.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You know R.Horn’s? He is fabulous, isn’t he?
      I keep it very strucutred because it makes it so easy to change bags quickly without ever missing a thing. And the leather pouches just make me happy… πŸ˜‰

      • BEAUTYCALYPSE says:

        I know R.Horns, I’ve worked for a luxury mag and we ran a Vienna special every year, with a release party πŸ˜‰ So I happen to know a lot of in-places and local heroes. I must say I loved them all for the quirkyness I miss in Germany, and that I love Vienna πŸ˜‰

  6. Sabine says:

    Even before I saw the photos I knew that your bag would be super tidy…: )
    And nice bag!
    Mine isn’t too bad these days, I find that changing your handbag often enough makes all of them more tidy, as there is less time to accumulate all sorts of stuff. I usually carry various perfume blotters, receipts, hand cream, pens, 1 or 2 lipsticks, nail file, paracetamol, tissues, sunglasses, in winter gloves, in summer suncream, kindle, phone, purse. I am lusting after a baby blue handbag for spring and hope to find a TKMaxx bargain.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Exactly! Changing bags is a breeze when everything is in its own small bag.
      Thanks for sharing your bag’s contents.
      I hope you find your spring/summer bag!

  7. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Well, I carry a lot of rubbish with me all the time ! I have 2 of those “handbag organizers”, where you can put all your items and it makes easy to switch handbags (basically, it’s a bag-in-a-bag), but they seem to be far too small for all the things I “need” (today I have even 3 baby bananas in my handbag…)
    The favorite thing in my handbag would be a Cle de Peau Lipstick and my Kindle, of course.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, that lipstick sounds good (so do the bananas btw)!
      I tried a bag organizer too, but it didn’t work so well as the pouch system.
      And, I have to say it: I adore your handbag!

  8. poodle says:

    I knew you’d have a neat purse. Mine is controlled chaos. I have 2 pouches but I like bags with lots of compartments so I can keep things separated. I carry way too much and I keep trying to pare down. It’s hard. My lip products seem to multiply in there. The last time I did a dump and clean of my bag I had 12 lipsticks/balms/glosses. No one needs a dozen lipsticks in their purse. As far as the ret of the stuff, it’s like a survival kit. I’m ready for almost anything. Some people at work know that too and send people to me when someone is looking for mending kit, aspirin, Benadryl, antacid, cough drops, whatever. Oh, and I do have a small ziploc of empty perfume vials just in case I need to make a sample on the go.

    • Olfactoria says:

      People must love you! It is great knowing someone who is prepared for every eventuality!
      I can see how the gloss/lipstick collection comes about, I put an end to that habit only recently. πŸ˜‰

  9. Ines says:

    Oh my dear god, I don’t think I’ll ever do that. I can’t believe anyone can have a bag like yours. Why is everything so neat?! πŸ™‚
    When I just think of my bag, I shudder. There’s a saying in Croatian when you have a whole lot of stuff someplace that everything is in there, except for little snakes. That would basically sum up my bag.
    That said, I really like how your bag looks like (and you can obviously find whatever you’re looking for in an instant), so I might emulate your idea with more little bags instead of one huge mess.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It’a true that I can find everything instantly now. I did not always have such a good system. This post was prompted by my smugness that this system works so well now. πŸ˜‰

  10. fruwinther says:

    Wow! Thats a well organized bag! Impressive! My bag- the one I use the most is my Mulberry Bayswater that I got for my 30th, some years ago, and I stuff it with my huge wallet, a couple of purses from Louison Paris- love that they are so glittery and girly and glamorous, they always make me smile, no matter the weather- where I keep things like lipstiick,lipgloss, concealer,small testers of perfume. Quite often I feel the need to drop by the library,and that’s when carrying a big bag comes in real handy.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Your bag sounds very well organized too! And what a great bag! Wjat color is your Mulberry?

      • fruwinther says:

        It’s black. In the “standard” type leather. I was torn between that and the lighter brown colour, but decided the black was the most ladylike and classiest. Really love it, it’s so well made and looks even better now than when I got it.

        • Olfactoria says:

          Beautiful! I would choose one of those two colours as well (probably the black πŸ™‚ ) Good to hear the quality you pay for makes it worthwhile over the years.

  11. Asali says:

    Dear Birgit, out of expertise I can tell you that you might have the nicest, cleanest and tidiest handbag in the world. I worked at the royal opera house, London, for a while just when they had introduced handbag searches… ‘ everything but the kitchen sink’ would sum it up I think. Eew, pretty grim, now if all bags had only been like yours πŸ™‚ as for my own, always pretty minimal, I think a leftover from that time πŸ˜‰

  12. You’re really organised, Birgit! I don’t pack much in my own bag myself (notebook, pen, book, water bottle sometimes), but by golly you’ve got to see what my mum packs in her handbag. She’s got so much stuff that she had to buy a handbag insert to help her organise because it was taking her at least a full two minutes to find anything she wanted!

  13. rosestrang says:

    That is indeed a well organised bag! Mine usually has a week’s worth of shopping receipts, sprigs of flowers collected during walks that I’ve forgotten about, purse, gloves, small notepad, pen, a profusion of exhibition leaflets, in winter a ‘whitby hand warmer’ which looks like a zippo lighter, in a black velvet pouch (I hate having cold hands!). A travel perfume spray or two, and a rather nice silver business card holder (business cards naturally sprayed with light perfume – usually philosykos). In zipped pocket, hair grips, safety pins, lipstick and I’m never without my camera

  14. Tara says:

    We are all feeling rather inadequate in the hand-bag region now, B πŸ™‚

    I shall be looking into getting at least one of those pouches now for sure. A great idea. Yours are gorgeous. My Mum says I carry my life around on my shoulder and it’s true. I think it helps me feel secure. Very sad!

  15. Ana says:

    Oh I would be ashamed to post a photo of my handbag,yours is so lovely and organized.Most days,Monday to Fridays to be precise I carry my Fenland burgundy leather bag,medium to large size,messenger style. So far so good,inside is where things get messy.2 notebooks,a little l’occitane bag with various bits like lemsip sachets,nurofen pills,lip balm,etc,etc,pens,nexus 7 tablet,phone,earphones,liebeskind purse,some makeup items like Dr hauschka foundation,estee lauder double wear concealer(have terrible eye circles),no.7 blusher and lipstick,sometimes an estee lauder one,eye glasses, silences EDP,badgley mischka extrait,bunch of keys,and today my handbag is particularly overspilling because I have my FB’s of Onda VdE and Chypre Mousse with me plus my photo camera AND a little drawstring bag with some Maria Candida Gentile samples.On top of my handbag I also carry a cotton shopping bag with a floral print(want to upgrade to something sturdier and more stylish)in which I stuff my hat,gloves,sometimes a book,sometimes things that I need to post,sometimes my lunch and sometimes groceries.So it’s hectic:-)

  16. florence raab says:

    Well well well, my handbag is impossible, you can’t find anything, but I’m zen because I see we are a few people able to survive on a desert island for weeks!!! I’ve got a big wallet, a pouch with my pills (headache…), a pouch with my make up (terracota 4 seasons blonde, lips balm 8 hours cream Elizabeth Arden, Face= my lipstick and a travel sprayer of the perfume I wear + one of Molecule 01 by Escentrics I spray as a first layer.

    I love this kind of questions!!!!! so funny and interesting, full of advices often!
    Have a nice week-end.

  17. Suzanne says:

    Well, as to your question, let’s just say that you have given me a high standard to aim for! πŸ˜€ Your bag is so smart and elegant, and I love your cases. I carry a small bag with no cosmetics in it other than lip gloss, and oddly enough, no perfume either. But there is all manner of chaos in it, mostly in the form of sales receipts and little pieces of paper on which I’m always writing lists or notes to myself. Reading glasses (essential), loose change, tissues or napkins, and sometimes things like pine cones or seed pods that I find interesting when I’m walking about … and for some reason feel compelled to take home with me.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That reminds me of my son’s rucksack that always filled with leaves and pine cones and stones he absolutely “needs”. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for letting us peek inside your bag, Suz!

  18. Lynley says:

    I can’t believe how tidy your bag is Birgit! You’ve inspired me to get a couple of pouches to divide and organise.
    I get quite bad neck and shoulder pain so I try to travel light, but at any given time there will be: my purse, phone, sunglasses, lipbalm, ventolin, nurofen, tissues, keys and hair elastic or clip. It may also have concealer, powder compact, lipstick, perfume samples, a book, a scarf, a bottle of water, an apple or banana or protein/muesli bar.
    Not much at all πŸ™‚

  19. vintagefrenchchic says:

    Very smart and chic to keep everything tidy in your three separate bags. I don’t carry a lot. I always have my Filofax (serves as wallet too), lip gloss, hand cream, finger nail file, eye drops, iPod or Nook and “dumb” phone. I try to travel light! ; )

    • Olfactoria says:

      Very smart to travel light! Most of the time I don’t need half the stuff, but as soon as I try to leave something at home, I can be certain that I would need it! πŸ˜‰

  20. OMG Birgit,
    That is astounding. That’s REALLY how your bag looks? Gosh, I have less in my bag but it’s so much messier. You are my hero.
    Portia xx

  21. arline says:

    Thank you for sharing!!! I just LOVE how organized your bag is, and I am inspired to change my overflowing and very heavy arm breaking one. I could really use some more inner, and nicer little bags, that go inside the big bag, because I love organization and I like nice looking containers that add to visual beauty, even if it is only me that sees what is inside.

    I too love closet, purse, bathroom shelf, kitchen cupboard/ fridge posts. They are oddly inspiring.

    In my bag, which as mentioned before, is asking to be edited, are a wallet, that I definitely look forward to replacing, several pens and a sharpie, a book and a small notebook, meadowfoam oil and moisturizer for my skin, a little bag of scents being, sandalwood oil, peru balsam, lavender absolute, lavender oil,geranium oil, amber resin, Ambre Fetiche (small bottle), chanel 19…
    I also keep have my phone and ipod in there when I leave the house, as well as sunglasses. Sadly there is change on the bottom of the purse, longing for its own little change holder. There may be more, but if there is, it needs to be taken out.

    Thank you for creating bag envy πŸ™‚ , and inspiring me to reorganize mine.

  22. anitathepianist says:

    Ah, you are the kind of daughter that my mother wished that I were…She was neat as you are, but I am not. The operating principle for my bag is “you never know what you might need”. There is all the usual stuff, of course: a small make-up bag, keys, over-stuffed wallet with adequate cash in case of dire emergency, tube of hand cream, scent of the day, meds for breathing and anxiety, various bits of paper, a bill to be paid, emergency food, tissues, also a few interesting acorns or stones that I pick up while out walking. Needless to say, it’s not a small bag.

  23. Alice says:

    Gosh you do look organised – and elegant! I’m quite organised as I travel a lot, and I like ‘bags within bags as a concept, but I’m not nearly so elegant. I tend to use various clear plastic pouches (Mujji or Superdrug) with combinations of ‘first aid’ type things – painkillers, individual wipe sachets, tissues, bandaid, mints, etc; larger one has overnight things like mini toothbrush; tiny one has lipstick/compact, and of course a perfume atomiser…. I then grab one or two of these depending on where I am off to. Clear means it’s easy to see what’s in them, and make a snap decision in my usual rush, but not very chic, I’m afraid.
    Apart from these, its wallet, keys, phone, oyster card, and mini iPad, of course!

  24. ringthing says:

    Birgit, your bag is streamlined and elegant which is how I picture you! That’s a compliment πŸ™‚ Clutter follows me around the house and my purse is not immune, there’s always a pouch full of lipsticks and several flavors of breath mints among other things that I seem to find necessary to haul around.

  25. I also love your pouch system! What do you think of the new teeny tiny bag trend? I’m on the pocketbook fence. I’d like to give it a shot, for kicks. ~Theadora
    Here’s my list:
    1. mobile phone
    2. notebook and pen
    3. sunglasses
    4. candy, crackers, and mints
    5. lipstick in red
    6. back-up lipstick in red and eye lash curler
    7. wallet

    • Olfactoria says:

      Teeny tiny bags are not for me. I always end up overstuffing them and hating the fact that I can’t add anything.
      Thanks for sharing your list, admirably minimalistic!

  26. machula says:

    oh, you are very ‘ordentlich’ Birgit, love it :). My bags are a mess – I call them ‘black holes’ they are mostly black & large and things tend to disappear in them.
    Let’s see – I always carry my camera (Fujifilm x100s plus a lens filter, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy (for playing games), headphones, chewing gum, a couple of perfume samples (sometimes a full bottle), a small make-up bag bursting with stuff – a couple of lipsticks (MAC, Gosh, L’Oreal), lipgloss (CK), lip balm, another make-up bag (more perfume samples, pins, ties, comb, mirror, dental floss and brush, painkillers), wallet with all kinds of bank and membership cards, keys, scarf, some food and documents. But sometimes I carry around thins like tape measure, pruning shears, screwdrivers, just because I needed them and forgot to take them out and put them back.
    I think I’ll go and clean my bag, thanks for the inspiration πŸ˜‰

  27. Your bag is amazingly organised Birgit. That is my dream! Sometimes I get it to that point but a few days later it’s a crazy mess again. Your post makes me think I must invest in some leather pouches as that may encourage better organization. So typically I have phone, keys, notebook, Guerlain lip gloss, Weleda lip balm, 1 x Bobbi Brown lipstick and 1 x Mac lipstick, nasal spray for allergies, pocket tissues, hand creams (1 x Clarins and an Yves Rocher Xmas one with chocolate and raspberry), a couple of monthly woman’s products (sorry probably too much information), wallet, a magazine or a book and always perfume that I change constantly but I just took a peek and currently have small bottles of Fou d’Absinthe and Rose Anonyme and vials of Premier Figuier, Fleur d’Oranger, Black Orchid and Grand Amour.

  28. nemo says:

    Your bag is mind-boggling in its neatness! I don’t have a bag that I carry regularly (as a student, more often than not it is a backpack with my laptop). I imagine once I do have a bag, though, it will collect odds and ends in the same way my backpack has a tendency to do…which probably also explains my habit how I managed to stick two cell phones in the washing machine in the past six months.

  29. rickyrebarco says:

    My purse-. Wallet, checkbook, Droid phone, keys, glasses case, a couple of perfume samples, pen, lipstick & often a couple of bills to pay or something from work that I need to read. Boring!! I think I have a couple of the Rain series Jo Malone series in there now. I swap out the samples every couple of days.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The samples sound interesting? Do you like the Rain series?

      • rickyrebarco says:

        Yes, I do like the Rain series by Jo Malone. So far my favorites are the Wisteria & Violet- I’m a violet lover so I had to have that one. I also like White Jasmine & Mint. I love jasmine as long as it’s not too heavy on the indoles and this jasmine is perfect for me. I really like the mint note- gives it a different vibe from other jasmine fragrances. The Angelica fragrance is nice, rather powdery in the drydown and it’s well done, but I am just not an angelica fan. The Cedar and Juniper fragrance is well done also, has a lovely development and drydown, but it’s too wood heavy and oud heavy for my taste. I think many men would love this one, though.

  30. cookie queen says:

    OMG B – That is not normal. Don’t you ever have to sit on the floor of the supermarket and scrabble around looking for your money??
    I have red lipstick, a Bedhead stick, wallet, sometimes boxes of cookies, lots of chewing gum wrappers, unidentifiable crumbs, a neat leather Osprey bag from Vanessa for my perfume samples, a mirror, headphones, the odd couple of litres of milk …… my bag is a Tardis. Powder, tweezers (very important) ……. headache pills, flipflops …..
    And full packs of gum. Bussi.

  31. Figuier says:

    What an inspiring post! The multicoloured mini-bags look beautifully neat, and exactly what I need. My bag is too large to bring into the research library with me & I spend my time decanting the contents in & out of clear plastic bags; small pouches would be perfect. Also I dropped the bag from a height recently and shattered my powder compact (yes, v messy); advice on a good & robust replacement would be much appreciated πŸ™‚

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, figuier!
      I’m glad you find this post helpful.
      As for the powder compact: I find the MAC ones very durable, more high-end and harder to find are Dolce& Gabbana compacts, but they are metal and are immune to almost any kind of onslaught in my experience. Also the powder inside is divine and comes in a huge range of shades. πŸ™‚

      • Figuier says:

        Thank you! there’s a Mac counter in our local department store, so I will definitely investigate asap…tho the D&G sounds awesome too

  32. Birgit you are phenomenally neat and well organised. I however, am not. That said, my bag (she’s called ‘Viv’) is relatively tidy and currently contains:

    1. Various iPhone chargers, one for my personal phone and one for my work phone
    2. Wallet
    3. Work ID pass
    4. A bottle of Tom Ford’s London
    5. A bottle of Portrait of a Lady
    6. A bottle of YSL’s Paris
    7. A pot of instant porridge that I’ll probably never eat, despite my sincere intentions to do so
    8. Chewing gum
    9. My work phone
    10. A lipstick (not mine, honest – it’s a gift for my sister)
    11. A calculator
    12. A pen

    OK, maybe not so tidy after all. I definitely have an issue with forgetting to clear out bottles of perfume from my bag. Normally my arrival can me announced by my clanking…

  33. Vanessa says:

    Goodness! My bag is an unsightly mess by comparison, with old receipts and a credit note for a shoe repair, paper clips and crumbled Parma Violets, too many pens and several glasses cleaning cloths. Oh, and I am always good for crumpled tissues. Usually clean, but never very appealing…;).

  34. Melinda says:

    I always have my Kindle in my bag too – and lipstick… oh and perfume, of course πŸ™‚

  35. What a wonderful post! It inspires me to get pouches to organize things because each time I change handbags, I always forget something…

    My handbags don’t have much in them, but what they do have is sloshing around in the bottom. Currently there is a dark plummy LancΓ΄me gloss, a matte Hourglass gloss in Icone, a tube of Kevyn Aucoin’s Blood Roses, a new BLUE lipstick from Lipstick Queen that doesn’t actually turn your lips blue (it just makes them look pinker — weird), my wallet, iPhone, keys, a handkerchief, a beer coaster, and a metal luggage tag. I know: so random!

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